My dad and I cleaned today. I don’t think we’ve ever cleaned before. Papi left the house when I was eleven and at eleven I never cleaned. Most kids did chores. Mami didn’t want me to end up being a maid. She did everything. She used to get mad at me because I didn’t know how to clean. I think she thought I would know through osmosis. Now I get on my hands and knees to scrub the kitchen floor.
Maybe I have always been like this but it takes me a week to adjust to anything. Which isn’t a long time, I guess. But that week seems like torture. I realized I can’t write in the apt for three or four hours a day. I feel trapped here. You would think the solitude would do me well but it drives me nuts. So, we figured out a plan that my brother will come pick me up everyday and I will go to my other brother’s restaurant where everyone works and write in a booth in the back.
The house smells good and I went out today. It rained and I walked in it like I did as a little girl. Clothes on this time, not a bathing suit. the rain was light not pouring like I want it. I can’t get to the ocean yet but I have the rain.
I realize that it is a big deal that I am here with my dad for Election Day. I think we will cry if Barack Obama gets elected, insha’Allah. My papi and I drive by houses and houses and strip malls and strip malls and there are Obama posters everywhere. Each time he sees one he says, Change. Change. Change.
The one thing that is constant is that everything changes.