Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Damn Yankees

My New York Yankees cap, hanging off a hook in my closet, disturbs him.
“It makes me think of obnoxious Italians,” he told me a few nights ago.
It reminds me of obnoxious Italians too, like my ex-boyfriend who gave me the cap.

I will throw out the cap (ok maybe just leave it in the basement so that someone in the building can use it. You wouldn’t believe how many of my neighbors are walking around in my unwanted clothes). I am not just throwing it out for him but for me too. I will throw out all the clothes and toiletries my ex left behind because the relationship too has now been left behind, in my heart and mind.

I should have known better then to date a Yankee fan. What good could come out of dating a white man who cheered for a team whose name represents conquest, invasion and rape to me? Yeah I know it’s just a baseball team but how could I ever be expected to listen to the Star Spangled Banner while watching the Yankees? It seems so unpatriotic to me. I hear Yankees and I want to stand with raised fists and sing La Borinquena.

He thought himself as a savior. He saved me from stripping. He saved me from becoming “too spic”. He saved me from my radical identity and feminist politics and for awhile I was happy to be saved. I reveled in the domestic suburban fantasy he held in front of me including weekends in the Hamptons and of course good seats at Yankee games. My mother adored him. He was “un buen candidato”, candidate for marriage. He accepted the fact that I had a daughter. He had a son from a previous marriage. I was going to trade my metrocard in for a driver’s license and move to Long Island.

Then I heard the racist jokes and I worried about my daughter hearing them. Then he started to reach out and grab a roll of fat that would hang over my jeans when I sat and I thought about my daughter’s body image. Then he said I was lazy for wanting to write and not selling out in a corporate job. He said my diagnosed mental illness, which seemed to be getting worse was just me making excuses. Then I remembered why I usually don’t date white men. But I stayed because it was what was good for me, for my daughter, and our future, or so I had been taught.

He left me months ago, emasculated by a potential loss of income from a lawsuit stemming from a deal he entered on behalf of the woman that came before me in his life.
He wouldn’t be able to provide the life he had promised me and my daughter and I for one was grateful. But he only stopped seeking me out last week when I told him I was dating someone else.

Sweatpants, hair gel, deodorant, brush, Yankees cap. My room is emptier and I feel lighter.

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