the soiled tee shirt

Posted: August 6, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

earlier today i thought about her. Dona Setembrina. it was second grade life. we passed her house once. mother knew where she lived but i was really surprised to see her at the window. in the sun. like a big ass cat. she was older than the other teachers and had blue eyes. i stared at the white fuzz along her cheeks but i don’t think that she ever realized that.  i didn’t particularly cared for her. nor did i particularly dislike her. second grade was a breeze and even excelling was boring because the bar was amazingly low. i entertained myself by having orgasms in class. what the hell, right. one day she brought me a brand new pink, very soft pink, long sleeved tee-shirt. much like the white one i am wearing just now. ribbed and soft to the touch. around the neck it had a satin pink ribbon. i could have cried i liked it so much. this was not your usual second-hand shit. so i said thank you and carried it home on the streetcar. it was cold for a long time in porto alegre. the minuano blew everything from the andes into your soul, no matter how young you were. and cold you lived, cold you slept, cold you ate and the only warmth usually came from the big noise engines of the buses.  chapped lips, chapped cheeks and tears that felt cold right after they ran out of your eyes.  so i put the pink tee shirt on when i got home. i didn’t take it off for an entire week. i loved it. i would peak under the sleeve of my uniform and felt good about it. a couple of weeks after the gift, Dona Setembrina cornered me in the school yard peered into my eyes and with her enormous German smile she asked me: “is it still corrosa?” I didn’t understand. that wasn’t a real word that i knew. i didn’t  understand sarcasm, cruelty, goodness or any of those things, really. i was into survival mode and you don’t have the luxury of judgement in that sitch.  so I’m looking at her and wondering what she meant, i asked her, i’m red on the face, i’m sweating, i want to run away, but she gave me the fucking tee-shirt, so i stay plugged to the ground, the cold wind on my bare legs, and my chest nice and warm because of the fucking tee-shirt. Is it still pink, she asked, the smile going away.  the reality of my poverty, poor hygiene, aloness, smell, all came crashing down on  me as the love i felt for the fucking tee-shirt dissolved with her smile..


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