Friday, November 01, 2013

Día de Muertos


In the gym locker room, a girl is standing at the mirror fluffing her recently curled hair. The smell throws me back to my sisters, side by side in our powder blue bathroom, just one for all seven of us. On school day mornings, I would wait my turn and study them, blonde curls and brown curls. With arms lifted shoulder high, crooked at the elbows, they wound AquaNet-ed strands around shiny hot wands until they sizzled. I would try to catch Karin’s eye in the mirror to see if she’d signal. ‘Comehere,’ she’d say, one word, and I’d leap within reach of her masterful hands, knowing, I’d have my own curls or braids or barrettes to enjoy for the rest of the day.

In the bookstore there is an Oxford dictionary laying open on the sale shelf. I drag my fingers across the flimsy pages. They remind me of the Bible's at my childhood church and how, every Sunday, our family slipped in late. On the rare occasion my parents forgot to sit between me and my brother, Kerry would slide in after me on the smooth wooden pew, determined to catch momentum. Of course, I would squeal and get ‘the look’ from my mom, and Kerry would put his finger to his lips in a silent shhhhh. Half of the time I was purely perturbed. But the other half, I was knee to knee with my big brother, trying to hold half the hymnal and hear him sing.

Kerry had a laugh that burbled with mischief...  
Karin's smile surprised when it flew open wide...


  1. Oh my darling. These are such beautiful pieces. Simple, poignant and beautiful.

  2. This was wonderful to read- I love getting to know Kerry and Karin better, and these stories are so flattering to them. They loved you so much, clearly.