Friday, November 20, 2009
For years I've lived with the guilt of my misdoing. I realize we were young, but there is no excuse for my behavior on that dreadful day, so many years ago.
Mom and dad took their annual excursion to Mexico but decided to leave me in your parents care. Perhaps I was angry for being left behind and not included in the two day trek. Maybe I was concerned that they would forget to bring my supply of cajeta and I'd have to resort to munching on wood chips with caramel to feed my addiction. I honestly do not recall what triggered my ill temper, however, I do know an apology is long overdue.
I'm certain you recall the day; we woke early and quickly drank down our ponche, followed by a soft boiled egg. We played in your bedroom for a while; Barbies, I'm sure. We laid on the floor and drew, or rather you drew while I watched your skillful hand fill request after request for yet another of your sketches which I later took to school to show off.
Before we knew it, it was lunch time. Sandwiches were on the menu that day, followed by scrumptious homemade greasy donuts. Thinking back, I don't doubt the effect those donuts must have had on me. Being the glutton I was...okay, still am....I recall eating more than my share until Auntie cut me off putting the donuts beyond my reach and sent us outside to play.
We hit the backyard with purpose; both headed for the tricycle without regard for who might go down in the process. One trike, two bodies, someone was gonna cry. I still blame the effect of the donuts for slowing me down, doesn't matter now but....you won. The tricycle was yours; for the time being anyway.
I tried to entertain myself by running around after you as you skillfully took every turn in that 12 x 12 foot patio. A speedway it wasn't but man you could maneuver that trike, Mario Andretti had nothing on you. I'd forgotten how long it had been since my last visit but it was obvious you'd been practicing.
Initially my chasing you around was fun enough but after about the 10th round, it was starting to get old...I wanted my turn and I wanted it now. You refused. I whinningly expressed my frustration and concern that you had had a fair amount of time but you just weren't ready to give up the trike. I pleaded, begged and attempted sweet offers but you weren't biting. Finally, I lost it. I called you something I'd regret for the rest of my life; "Stupid". Even I had a hard time believing I'd said it, but I had "Stupid, stupid, stupid!". I still recall the look that washed over your face. I went from being your loving cousin to pond scum within seconds. Crusty old gum at the bottom of a chair had more worth than I at that very moment. I can hear your voice as you called out to me repeatedly to stop. It was too late, I'd gone too far, I'd lost respect not only for you, dear God, but for myself. My voice rang out again "Stooo-ooo-ooo-pid!". I was out of control but the pain I was causing you gave me a sense of power until....I turned...there...in the doorway stood, your mom, my auntie, listening in disbelief. I didn't know which way to turn. Not only had I used foul, filthy, disgusting language, I'd been caught.
Regret immediately swallowed me up followed by shame for having used such language. When had the "S" word had crept into my vocabulary? How could I have stooped so low, I'll never know. I tried playing the victim to your mom but she wasn't buying. I, crusty old gum that I was, angered your mom so much I doubt she was ever the same. I know she limited my donut intake from that day forward. Could I blame her?
Now, so many years later, I find it necessary to free myself of the guilt by asking your forgiveness. I'm not sure that I'm deserving, but it's a chance I have to take. I know the distance has made it impossible for us to share as much as we'd like but just so you know I've tattooed a tear drop below my right eye in your honor.
Unable to bubble in L.A.,
Elizabeth well....Marie Elizabeth...Leonard well...Marie Elizabeth Boza