Friday, September 10, 2004

Adios Holbrook

My sister and I used to cry so that our mother would let us stay there. It was a palace compared to our apartment and the huge green grassy yard in the back was like our own Eden. My Great Uncle and Great Aunt's house in Holbrook no longer belongs to us, except in memories.

I spent weekends and weeks in that house. I celebrated my first communion in that house. I have slept in every room in that house. Rummaged through my Tio's old porno mags and giggled behind his bar upon discovering glasses in the shape of breasts. My Titi would give me books to read and would point to passages that were still in unknown Spanish, passages that were proof that my father's side of the family were one of the first families to conquer Puerto Rico. I used to play with the children that lived next door and swim in their pool. My uncle grew eggplant that always seemed to resemble penises. My Titi grew tomatoes, peppers, and flowers. My Uncle would make pancakes that were too big for the plate or many many tiny ones for my sister and I. They used to have a parrot named polly who would sing the theme from the Godfather. That house in Holbrook was the place for Fourth of July bbq's and Labor Day parties. One of my Aunts celebrated her wedding there. Many of my cousins got drunk there. The whole family would cram into the small family room to dance. When my Titi became sick I would sit on her bed with my own daughter. The parrot was long gone and about a dozen cats took over the backyard. The house in Holbrook was a shadow of what it was. My Titi passed away on July 4th. The irony wasn't lost on any of us.

tomorrow my Tio R. will leave to Puerto Rico. He will move into a house that my Titi L. and he designed before breast cancer spread throughout her body and helped kill her. I say help because it was also a bitterness towards life and the sense that she never had enough that made her ill as well.

Upon her deathbed my Titi Lucy made my Tio promise that he would care for her sisters who moved in with them when it became obvious the cancer was going to defeat her. Mt Uncle agreed but with my Titi gone everyone needed to take responsibility for what was theirs. My Uncle couldn't bare to live in the house in Holbrook without his princess as he often called my aunt. Besides her sisters were nagging. He couldn't walk around in his underwear without being called a pervert. He couldn't curse without being called a desgraciado. He couldn't have a beer without being called a borracho. Worse of all he couldn't mourn and heal. So he broke his promise to my Titi and decided on moving to Puerto Rico where all is family pretty much is.

yesterday my uncle handed the keys to the house in Holbrook over to a new family.

There is so much I can write about, negative shit about family members who have tried to and many who have taken advantage of my uncle. I could rant about how my sister and I are really the only ones here in the states who have a right, via blood to ask him for anything and we why we never would. I could curse the irresponsibility and selfishness of some of my older cousins. Pero instead I will just say adios to Holbrook. It's like saying goodbye to part of my childhood.


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