Odilia Rivera Santos
I am sitting in Starbucks, the one with women who seemed to have leapt from my ghetto Jane Austen musical, which I've written in my head. I was thinking about my limitations the other day and realized speaking of minutiae is difficult, although a friend attempted to teach me once. My office mate at that corporate university was a master at speaking of minutiae; she swam between words to psychoanalyze people and after an avalanche of seemingly meaningless talk, she would causally cut through the shit and ask sledgehammer questions: Does your husband hit you?
Silence, except for me typing away in an attempt to pretend I was not eavesdropping.
Silence and tears.
Silence and then, a confession.
I think it helped my office-mate friend had been an NYPD cop and almost made detective. She continued to detective in her quotidian existence as the holder of everyone's secrets and gatekeeper for absent-minded intellectuals, academics and physicians. She noticed everything.
I did pick up some pointers from her, learning to chitchat in short spurts and run away, and it was a revelation. But my mind does naturally swim toward bigger questions about human potential and motivation and how to make words read like a good French pastry tastes and crumbles.
Today, I am writing lines for characters whose parts I collected in the past week and writing poetry. I am not holding the words tightly.
Words should fall delicately away, leaving only a faint memory to be covered up with clumsy experiences.
A slim volume of Puerto Rican-flavored Creative Nonfiction. Latinalogue, Puerto Rican Nonfiction Part I