Coverage of me and other train wrecks: my mama, subway nut jobs, sex and the environment.


And another thing

I used to like this song. Stop respecting me.

New Years' in Miami

It's gonna be almost 80 degrees every single day that I'm there. Where? Miami, of course. I'll be there for a week to hang with the mama and the pappa, so no posts for me because they don't even own computers. If I get to an internet cafe I'll try.

Here's a classic for you that says it all:

By the way, that diner in the beginning is actually on South Beach, even though Willie Smith wants you to think it's somewhere up north. It's right next to Twist.

Wish me buena suerte and have a feliz New Year, mi gente.


They divorced after 25 years of marriage, and that was about 6 or 7 years ago. Since then, pop mowes mama's lawn for redemption. He also changes the oil in her car, trims her trees, trims weeds from around the edges of the passion fruit vines and makes any repairs necessary to mama's house.

Several times a week he stops by her house at about 6 in the morning and if she isn't up he simply parks outside the gate and waits for her to rise. Oftentimes she makes him breakfast and even prepares food that he can take with him to his house in Hialeah.

Now, I know what your thinking. He's banging her. But no. Mama and pop stopped having sex when I was around 6. I know this for a fact because mama confided it in me and pop--in separate, private conversations--always declared "sex isn't all that matters in a relationship."

It should come as no surprise if you've read my blog before that mama was severely repressed by her parents. A well-intentioned neighbhor, who doesn't know my parents' sexual history, recently said to mama,

"The two of you should take a vacation somewhere, get reaquainted, maybe even move back in together so you don't have to go sneaking around."

Mama was floored. She told me she doesn't ever want to speak to that neighbor again, "how dare she, how could she, to say that to ME?! I thought she was my FRIEND!"

Never mind that mama has never told this woman ANYTHING about her marriage. Never mind that she also thinks pop had an affair with this woman because "one time we were all sitting around talking and he touched her hand--he NEVER touched my hand, why would he touch hers?"

Follow me so far? She thinks pop had an affair with neighbor (who is married, by the way), but she also thought neighbor was her friend, but now she thinks neighbor is evil because neighbor suggested that mama and pop are having an affair (never mind that neighbor seems to support said affair). It's all too much for me sometimes and I wish I'd gotten her a gift certificate to Shrinks R Us.


Visions 3

I came out twice. The first time I'd been fooling around with a guy in my high school who was a year younger than I. Then he and I broke up and when I told mama, well...

There she was, lying down on my water bed, still undulating from the waves within, lecturing on the importance of God's word and Romans and Leviticus and bible bible hell hell, when I dropped the news that Kevin and I had broken up.

Mama sat up and almost toppled over from the swooshing mattress. "Oh Alex, this is wonderful news. Hallelujah Lord! Hallelujah he's saved! HE's come back to you Jesus!"

"This doesn't mean I've changed--"

"Praise Jesus! Praise praise PRAISE your holy name and your light oh almighty chrIST you have BROUGHT BACK my SON!"

She didn't listen. And something clicked. I could lie to her. That's what she wanted, right? For me to lie? For me to be straight again? Okay. And life could be normal again and I wouldn't have to go to therapy and I could have friends again I went with it.

I was safe for my entire senior year. Then, right before graduation I came out again.

Soon after the second coming...out, I was returning home from work and under the royal poinciana tree mama sat. She gazed up at the clouds and then her eyes swayed over to me as I got out of the car and stepped onto the driveway.

"Alex. I want to tell you something." Tears rolled down her cheeks and behind her--a fiery sunset.

"Alex, Jesus told me you're not gay. So I don't believe you. Jesus told me you're not. You're normal. You're not," and this was enough to work up a whole new stream of tears. When I protested she said, "he came to me under this tree and I heard his words clearly: 'Alex is not gay.'" Jesus was so totally up on the latest lingo, yo.


Visions 2

Once, during the Minister's sermon in a Presbyterian church, a choir started to sing. Mama looked to altar but she saw no choir. Mama looked to me but I was silently flipping through the hymnal. Mama looked behind her but there were no singers there.

After the service she asked the minister what it could be that she heard. "A choir of angels. They are always present, but you were lucky enough to hear them."


Visions 1

When mama began to go under, right before the cesarean, she saw all around her angels and saints. The Virgin was there as was St. Luke and St. Lazarus. The air was pure white and glimmered with flecks of gold fallen from the enormous feathers of angels’ wings.

She has always said that heaven sent its ER team to do cut her open and release me from inside her. That's a lot of pressure to put a child under: "I had a prophetic vision right before you were born, by the way."

Growing up I always thought I was special. So special, that I was sure I was part of the second coming of Christ...well, actually, I was convinced that at a certain point it would be revealed to me that I was Christ, born again, and that I would save the world. I know what you're thinking--Christ burns the heathens and takes the goodfolk up to heaven--but in the real version (my version) he, I mean I, makes heaven on earth.

All this fantasizing happened because mama, before going under the knife, was loaded up with drugs, which is why drugs are bad; Drugs make people think they're special, when really they're not.


Get Off The Train!

A short while ago two guys boarded the E train with me on a trip from Manhattan to Queens. One sat on the other for a few seconds. Too many seconds. Enough seconds produce an audience. I kept to myself. I stopped looking early on in the game. Some poor woman whose ears were plugged into her Ipod stared at them for longer than she should have. The guys separated, sitting next to each other while announcing, “We’re not gay. We’re not gay—Hey lady—look at her with the headphones on—Hey Lady—She don’t hear you—Hey you BITCH!—Fucking BITCH!”

At the next station I got up to wait for the doors to open. The two guys started yelling at me “Hey! Bye!—Bye—So long—SO LONG!!!” I got off walked down a few steps and got back on a different train car.

For a few years I have tried to accept the strangeness of subway rides in New York City. If someone was abrasive on a train or if someone was annoying me I’d try to Zen myself: this ride is not what you expected and that’s okay. Let it be as it is.

Uh uh. No more. As of this week my new policy is: If it gets on your nerves Alex—if it seems violent or stupid or annoying—switch to another train car. This is the Anti-Forrest Gump Approach, or AFGA*. Try it out.

*You could also call it GOTT OFF, for Get Off The Train Or Face Fucktards.


Lush Mama

For Christmas I decided to get mama three books (in Spanish, of course) whose central characters are women dealing with repression, opression, or otherwise unfair worlds: Pride and Prejudice (by Jane Austen), Yerma (by Lorca) and The House of Bernarda Alba (also by Lorca). She has never read any of these and I think she'd be able to relate, although she's so repressed herself that her defenses might keep her from connecting with the stories. We'll see.

My real trouble begins with the bath gift set I bought her from Lush. The picture above is a bit unclear, so if you really wanna know what's in the box, click here. It's basically a bunch of soaps and some shower gel and shampoo. The trouble is that mama never likes the gifts I get for her. It's not that she hates the gifts, it's that she complains that I spent money on something so, well, worthless. Inevitably, whether out of guilt or rebellion, she ends up enjoying what I get her. Okay, a couple of years ago I made incense for her--yup, hand made--and she downright hated it and I kept it for myself, BUT she usually keeps other gifts and even makes the most of them as the year goes on. I think she misses me and appreciating my gift is a way of connecting with me. I know, I know, MAYBE her universe doesn't revolve around me, but it does. Trust me.

So I think she'll end up using the stuff in the box, but that she'll whine about it the whole time I'm there. Here's my plan: if she complains, I'll immediately take the gift for myself. That's fair, right? And then she can just have a few books and a Christmas card to remember me by until I visit again next year.

BTW, I LOVE Lush's soaps. I got a whole bunch of free samples after buying mama's gift and they are so good. When I come out of the shower I'm already moisturized because the soaps are packed with oil. I'm worried for our plumbing, but my skin is ecstatic.


Mama on Married with Children

Poor Ed O'Neil, who played Al Bundy...Mama hated that I loved MARRIED WITH CHILDREN for no reason except the fact that she was convinced

"Ugh! That man's nose must stink! I'm sure of it. EEWWWW!"

Stink of what, I'd ask. "like buggers, or, or, or, I dunno, it gives me the creeps."

There you have it. Creepy stinky noses are a no no.

Politically Incorrect Mama

The music in the background is by Perez Prado. Mama introduced me to him. Mama also voted for Bush Jr. Twice. She also voted for Bush Sr. Twice. She also voted for Regan. You guessed it--twice. That's right, a (now) 70-year old, non-english-speaking woman from Cuba with a 6th-grade education voted for these guys. I try to educate her, I really do. But this is the woman who when Elian Gonzalez was taken back to live with his father, went into morning; she dressed in black for a week and tied black bows around the palm trees in her front yard. Oh and she refused to leave her house.

Anyway, this gag reel shows the monkey at his best.