she drives fitfully, like a very bad secret agent, or like a very good korean housewife, i am not sure which. she stays too close to the cars in front of her, cuts through impossible traffic and is often lost in enticing shortcuts that become the longest roads of the drive. she brakes suddenly, she gestures at the other drivers, she backs up half a mile and she never stops at the stop sign. all this so we can get to the city in 20 minutes while they are warning of 60 min traffic delays.
at the passenger side, i am happy there is a seat-belt and that i am wearing it. i pay no attention to the deep indentations it has created between my breasts and across my lap, nor to the coffee saturated shirt i am wearing. i still have my life. in a way i am reminded of that Grindhouse movie with Kurt Russell the mad driver that kills the passenger. i don’t dare think of the other two backseat passengers and drivers, who are also wearing Eau de Starbucks and trying to restart their hearts.
yes the women of my blood do not know how to deal with feelings. emotions that would leave anybody else weak in the knees and mellow as the snow, put such a strong current in them that the whole environment arounds them feels electrocuted. these tough women do not do anything halfway, they never yield, if they can not do so fully, they never follow unless they can be led, and they do not know how to handle emotions halfway. they do not deal well with weakness. pain they can suffer, but indifference drives them to drive cars like crazy amazons on crack.
in a way, they feel like men, these women. they experience everything in its strongest form, magnifying all sensations and heightening emotions until there is nothing left but to be fully consumed by them. but unlike men, they go on feeling.
my dear sister is all enmeshed in such situations, living and breathing for the man in her life, crying and lashing out at him and for him, folding and unfolding hands, being in turn half crazy with demands unfulfilled or half-dried with endless phone calls and drama fit for the best telenovelas. nothing does for her but the strongest sentiments, and affections lavishly displayed. she is a force of nature, a love tsunami that gathers and sucks in everybody around her, spitting out only lifeless and emotion-dried beings. for to be with her, one must sure be true or be emptied.
my cousin is swirling in loops and patterns of endless driving and intrigue, another soft spoken person with a fiery heart and a heavy foot. she does not know how to express the absence of her other half, so she takes hopeless shortcuts and dodges police cars and cab drivers alike. to drive with her, one truly experiences NY driving. yet she is afraid to drive into the city, which is why her husband always does it for her and which is why she suffers more now that he is not with her. he will be back soon of course but until he does and her passion is finally in check, i fear for all cabbies and chinese delivery men on bikes.
my other cousin is unconsciously caressing the black leather cover of her phone with a finger, while she tries to make sense of the emotions she is currently ensnared by. she knows these are the true ones, the ones that chase sleep away and bring in daydreaming with a vengeance, until subrealities crowd the brain and produce clarity. she is not at the clarity part yet though. her face fights between inward smiles and outward scowls, cynicism and romanticism wielding half truths like wooden swords that leave splinters even if they cannot take lives. and she feels while she is trying to think and her current is even stronger because it runs so deep.
me? i just walk the streets of the city with the other women of my blood, trying to show interest in the wonderful storefronts and forget my melting knees or the darts of desire that leave me breathless. for thinking of you has just made me miss a step and skip a note in the loony tune of my head. it is one thing to dream of kisses, but it is quite another to feel lips swelling just at the memory of them, not sure that i will be able to contain all the joy and the fury they have unleashed inside me.
oh my look at that skirt!