Hot Tamale

She sat there, staring at her newly painted wall. This color made her feel good, happy. The boldness of the color made her feel strong. Despite the murmurs from her mother about how it’s “too much,” she smiled, happy with her decision.

She got up from her bed, the wood floors were cool, the air heavy. Summer nights in this house were hot and humid. Old windows allowed little air flow. Only a breeze of chilled air whooshed out from her mother’s bedroom. The window air conditioning unit made the air smell cold.

Tired, she turned into the bathroom. It smelled of toothpaste and bathwater. The bath mat was damp on the ground. Her hair felt the humidity. She looked in the faded mirror, and splashed her face with cold water. It felt good, so she did it again. Eye closed, she grabbed for the towel hanging beside the sink—water dripped off her face onto the floor. She held the towel to her face for awhile, rubbed her eyes with it, and hung it back up. Her reflection showed a red spotty girl. Eyes puffy, skin shiny, she was ready for some sleep. Exhaling, she removed her contacts, a ritual that had become an annoying habitual bed time routine.

She walked back into her “hot tamale” red room. The room glowed like a quiet candle. Eyes blurry, she spotted the outline of her glasses on the dresser. Placing them on her dewy face, everything came into focus. Her room felt new. Now, opportunity is not a characteristic typically offered from a tiny cramped bedroom, but indeed, that is what she felt from it. The color. The god damn crazy hot tamale color—it was what she wanted. In that moment and in every moment after that she loved that color. 

She turned around and flicked the light switch off. She stood there for several seconds in the dark. Letting her eye adjust, she felt her way to her bed. Feeling the coolness of the sheets, she threw the covers to the floor. Throwing both legs onto the bed at once, she exhaled, laid her head back, and closed her eyes. For once, in a long time, she immediately drifted off into a dream. She could feel herself sinking into her bed, her pillow, as she drifted further. Darkness took over the colors of her awake mind. But soon new colors emerged as her reality slept.

The girl who wakes up

Once there was this girl. She sat up all night because her mind would not stop minding. Minding about what, she didn’t even know. But, she knew enough to know it felt good. Good to be there. Right there.

Zooming and looming, her thoughts laid across her face. Sprawled in carelessness. Who is to judge her, she didn’t care.

Wild, she felt. Uneasy, she felt. Electric, she felt.

Steadily, she will eventually fall into sleep. Content with her last thought; enough to let herself go. Just for the moments where she can lightly dance on top of her reality.

The morning chiming hums her to life. She gets up, and heavily walks to open her door. The outside breeze wraps around her. Her warm, safe, and lonely ebode gets wooshed up and twirled around.

 

From the Storyteller’s Daughter

You taught me to laugh with life. You taught me silliness. You taught me to have big goals. You taught me to live purposefully. You taught me that being me is exactly how I should be. You taught me that I deserve the best, and nothing less than a King.

You taught me all this with more than just your words, but with your actions–how you live your life.  I learned from watching you. Watching you be kind and helpful. Watching you take on projects bigger than yourself and thrive. Watching you make a positive impact on your community as well as everyone you meet. Watching you teach. Watching you be a father. Watching you is an inspiration.

You choose to live your life full of color. Not many people can truly say that for themselves. To me, you always go above and beyond. You are the best of the best in my eyes.

You are a storyteller. At home, in class, and on stage. Your stories are personal and told with awesome gusto. It’s always like the first time you’re telling it. Watching you speak is thoroughly enjoyable, but watching your audience is almost better. People want to hear you speak, I can tell. Eyes are full with excitement, and smiles are ear to ear. You touch people’s hearts and speak to them with a bigger message. All storytellers have something to say, but  you emanate a special aura in the room the way you do it. It’s hard to explain. It’s one of those things you understand when you witness it in person.

Your stories are so great because of where they come from–experience. You experience life at a much larger level than a lot of us, and your stories enable us to see life like you do for that moment. Sometimes it’s funny. Sometimes it’s serious. It’s always beautiful in its own way. Your view of life is one of my favorites. Your view of what I am capable is what pushes me every day. You believing in me is something I cherish, and don’t take for granted. You make me want to be great–to do great.

Today is your birthday, and we get to celebrate your greatest story–your life. Along with everyone who feels they’re lucky to know you, I want to wish you the happiest and best birthday yet! Because every year gets better than the last, daddy.