1:12 p.m. - 2004-02-12
I've always sort of had a thing for Puerto Rican men. My first boyfriend (I was 5) was Puerto Rican. His name was Georgie. Or, actually Jorje. He was the cutest thing ever. I often wonder how he turned out. Handsome I bet, with a great personality. And to think, I had a hand in forming his relationships with women. Lucky guy.
We lived in this great condo development with a pool outside of D.C., and spent hours listening to music and playing sharks and minnows. His dad was the cook, and made the best hispanic food. He and his wife made so much noise while cooking I thought they were fighting. But they weren't. They were just a couple of rambuncious Puerto Ricans making dinner for their huge family. The love in that house was palpable.
My house was like that till we moved out to the country and everything went to hell. Our house was the center of the neighborhood. My mom, "Mrs.B", was everyone's surrogate mom. Then the working parents would come home and everyone went their separate ways, until it was time to play again. Mom loved it. She was the center of attention, the one who was the most needed. She fed the hungary, cleansed the wounds, gave direction to the bored and disciplined the poorly behaved. She was a wonder. She had some anger management issues, but overall she was great.
I miss those days, and long to fill a home with kiddies and noise and bikes and sleds and all the love I experienced as a young kid. I had some great role models. My brother's friend R had a huge Italian family, with a mother who made pizza from scratch. That was really something in the 70s. It wasn't always easy for them, but boy were they happy.
We also had numerous neighbors from all over the Middle East, Africa and Asia who filled my head with dreams of travel and cultural experiences. There was a little old lady from Turkey who would have me over for tea every week. My mom and I became so close to her, though we never exchanged a word.
There was a little boy from China, whose single mother worked as a nurse. We would play until it was near time for her to go to work. She'd call us in, and we would place gifts of food and water at a Buddhist alter for their deceased loved ones. It was a ritual that I did not understand, but missed dearly on the days when it rained and our big wheels were stranded on our respective balconies as we stared over the railings waiting for the sun to come out.
It was a beautiful life. A joyous life. Full of culture, fun and carefree, unconditional love. Spring reminds me of that development for some reason. And fall reminds me of trips to the mountains where I live now. These are wonderful memories that I savor. Memories that I want to share.
I'm gonna go dab my cheeks now. They're a bit damp from the tears.