At my Madrina’s house I wear a mask so I can breathe. They smoke like chimneys in there. Just a couple of hours without the mask my chest was all tight and I felt like I was about to get sick. They smoke. My mami, my madrina and my cousin. They didn’t know that it took me so long to get to Miami because I had to develop compassion for this trip. I am not sure if I fully have it.
My cousin no longer looks like the man I knew. He has lung cancer. His hair on his head is almost all gone. He has grown in a beard that is mostly full of gray. One arm is skinny, the other is swollen. I ask if he wants me to massage his legs and he says no. He lays up on a recliner all day. My mami and madrina shifting pillows and blankets for him. We tell him he should walk around but he doesn’t want to. He smoke still and they do as well. Lighting up cigarettes for him because his hand is shaky. I leave the room because even the mask won’t give me any compassion.
He runs out of cigarettes and they ask me to go to the store and get him some more. I say, no, sharply. Knowing I can’t possibly get him cigarrettes but I also feel bad defying them. Instead I go to the store to get him medical supplies and pastelillos de carne. I have not cried yet. Mami told me he doesn’t want me to see him cry. We all cry, I say, but I haven’t cried yet.
I only went to his house today to say hi. I stayed in the living room. It is the day after his chemo. I wish I could have more compassion. I just can’t sit in the florida room with him (yes only in miami there is a florida room). I can’t sit with him because I have nothing to say. My words of motivation are lost. I want to tell him that I am mad. I am mad at him for not wanting to live. Mad at my mami and madrina for indulging him. Mad at myself for not being able to give any light.
When I pray for him I pray for him to have motivation. I pray for the angels to surround him and breathe on him some hope.
I’m in Miami Beach now. Writing dreams. There are no more words left in me right now.