I was 16, give or take some years... cause I am bad with remembering dates
(as well as names... even though this time I am sure I got it right! =D
I was a collector of her pictures, and I believe I had a poster of her. Actually many, but one a real favourite- yes....exactly,
the one with her trying to control her wild skirt as the subway charges somewhere underneath her.
The same subway that would enable me to stand beside her, at Pratt Manhattans art show of upcoming talents, many years later, and smile. I had made it, to the big apple.To the glamour and excitement of USA´s most intense city. To the key of the American dream!
However... the road to this final show was not smooth, easy or even in any way. Definitely not. Starting with the day I arrived.... to Brooklyn.
I have always been blue eyed... and walked in clouds of pink.... and so my horror when my cab stopped at the Willoughby apartments can be more easily understood. I had been warned about cab drivers in NY, that they drive around for hours knowing the tourist has no idea where he is, and so make triple or quadruple earnings. This one had done that....yes, but what really scared me was that he had stopped at a place that did not resemble at all what I had expected from a University ranked among the top 5 of the states. I looked out in horror at what seemed to me to be a ghetto.... and was sure the cab driver was gonna call some thug friends of his and start some gruesome party with petrified me. "You must be wrong" I whined.... I want you to take me to PRATT!!!! Where the hell are we???? "This is it, my man" he said.... and so it was.
The ghetto continued into the dorms, which I recall now as a chilling block of concrete with dirty corridors and graffiti all around. I really could not believe where I had landed as I dragged with a droopy head my suitcase to my appointed room... it felt like a nightmare. And my room!!!!!what a joke to even call it that... I remember thinking that cells in the movie Alcatraz looked cosier than where I was standing. As my body went numb, and cold.... and horror spread through my cells... my brain worked frantically grasping for solutions...."call home and get the hell out of here ASAP" it hollered. Over and over the same text. Stronger and stronger for every chill that ran through my body.
Which is when I saw the view from my window.... and a small but mean looking Mexican walked into the room.....
my initial shock.
months later dressed up as Sinuhe =D
I guess it is true when they say, its not where you are, but with who... that makes the difference.
( In all honesty I must say, I did call home... and it was my Father who convinced me to try and stay. Its like with a book, he said... you have to read a hundred pages before you judge it.... so calm down, relax and attend some classes... let the thing grow on you... THEN we can see if you still want to come home).
Rudy - alias Xô coyote to me.
He was the sportsman... a black belt in some Fu style... that trained whenever he was not doing homework, siesta, or eating.
Oh, forgot to mention... or saving my ass! (but I guess that could be included in his training part! =D)
I was the party animal.... and sometimes trained with him.
With Rudy we walked outside, late at night, on the streets of Brooklyn - when no one else dared... looking for ice cream: Häagen Dazs it had to be, from a little shop on Flatbush... I believe. On our side we had that we spoke together in Spanish (thus mingled a bit easier with the local environment) and as a back-up we had his raw martial talent - which, luckily... we never had to put to test.
We also walked together to the laundry place, carrying big bags full of dirty clothes over our shoulders... calling the bulks our sins.... =D
Both having been raised in catholic environments... we knew all about that and liked to laugh at the weight of the ones we had to carry =D
Not really sure what sins Rudy was carrying... but I do know where some of mine might have come from....
Rudy had made sure I joined no fraternity... that was totally un-cool. But this did not stop me from attending their parties. For some weird reason... I was allowed in.... and it was Rudy who made sure I always came out alive from them. Because of the pitchers that were emptied at these happenings, I have no real sense of how many times Rudy had to save me... or the reason for him having to do so. But One happening I remember... vaguely. Seems I had been flirting with some fraternity guy´s girl... and she had done the same back... which caused the "brothers" to go beezerk, get together and try to throw me out. I was at the bar, with a full pitcher I had just got my hands on, and diplomatically tried to explain to them that I would leave when finished... also that it was unfair to put all the blame on me when the girl had given enough hints of liking me - not a good thing to try and reason with! They stood ferociously forming a growling circle around me... waiting for a clear reason to break my neck. THAT... is when Rudy walked in. =D =D =D With the killing machine beside me I got to slowly, very slowly and really enjoying my time... drink up my beer and give them my good nights - never having to ponder on what might have happened next if my friend had not stood by my side.
Another of Rudy´s tasks was to try and clear my sight when my beer goggles were too dense. He would come to the local bar late at night.. about closing time... to get some fresh air into his head after home-working. And so he would find me making my moves on some girl I had decided might be fun to spend the night with. We had agreed that he would try and judge... would this girl be someone I would like when sober... in other words... was the booze clouding my judgement. And usually it was!!!! Sometimes he managed to save me... others I woke up the next day somewhere and realised my friend had failed... to my utter horror!!! =D
One time though, I realised my error long before sunrise. I had made it to this exotic girls apartment despite Rudy´s warnings... and after sweating away my beer in bed decided it would be nice to go home and sleep the buzz off. This did not seem to please exotic (I recall her saying she was Russian)... who asked me what the hell I was doing. I told her... going home... she got all worked up and asked me if I thought she was a slut.I told her we were both adults, wanted the same thing, and no money had been exchanged for the fun... so no... she deffinitely was no such thing. We discussed a benefits and such but all the time she got more upset... so I just left. Once on the deserted early morning street... thanking all the gods for my goood fortune at having escaped and not having fallen asleep at that place... I hear she has come out to a balcony and see her waving a bow and arrow... saying she is gonna hunt me down! CRAZY Diana in full wrath...
this wasjust at the time the movie "fatal attraction" made a success... so I was thinking here might be a good sequel for Michael Douglas as I ran away.... I did not run straight home... fearing the huntress might be close on my steps... and find my haven... so I zigzagged and probably jogged my way through most part of Brooklyn before I ventured home. If I recall correctly... she had already been there... or did she come another day... and Rudy had explained to her there was no mike to be found.
That same week... when I came home... I found something hanging from the roof of my apartment... oozing what seemed to me to be blood. As I stared at it in awe and wonder... Rudy approached behind me with a kitchen knife.... imitating the horror music njeek njeek njeek from the Fatal attraction movie... and scaring the bells out of me. After that we renamed exotic and called her psycho B, someone to be feared whenever roaming the streets of our neighbourhood... or hitting local bars.
Guessing you already can picture where my bag of sins got its content from.... bailandoooooo!!!! bailandoooo!!!!
Anyway.... I found a picture that might fit here after all this pitcher talk =D
which is part....of another story. ;)
totally understood the fact that we are who we are.... no judging needed... and if we accept that, and carry our bags of sins laughing with a friend....
life becomes joyfull and worth living - even in the roughest of places