My Simpson likes peanut butter, and it’s embarrassing – “Why don’t you read Virginia Wolf?”


When I was 7 mom told me I was European

and shooting the fall guy in the woods was wrong

(actually we played cowboys in a corn plantation –

but corn is American and she didn’t like it).

She also asked my doctor:

“Isn’t it dangerous for a boy handling guns?”

I was embarrassed, with the doctor’s snicker

and his apologetic words while blinking.


When I was 8 mom asked me,

in one of those Saturday’s café mornings

with friends, out and loud:

“Ricardo, the ballet teacher,

that elegant man over there,

the father of Maria

(I knew the gorgeous Maria)

told me you have the perfect body for ballet.

Don’t you want to become a dancer?”

“That’s for girls, mom”, and that was the end

of an embarrassing conversation

before my mates at the table.


When I was 9, at the swimming classes,

I was afraid of jumping into the pool,

trembling while the others jumped happily.

One day, irritated, the teacher threw me

and I finally learned to swim:

waving in panic,

grabbing the legs of a fellow swimmer.

Everyone laughed,

but mom was proud

because I was swimming

without the Styrofoam,

and was the first.

But to me it was embarrassing

and I left the classes.


From 10 to 16, mom was devastated by divorce, segregation, disease

and I wasn’t kind to her.

I experienced fashion and drugs,

discovered The Doors, live concerts, evasion,

a few girls discovered me…

nothing embarrassing for my surroundings.

Mom experienced very strange men

sunny days in a dark room

suicide attempts

institutionalization… almost no friend.

Truly embarrassing, I can tell.

But we kept our respectable Sunday lunch

in family – till Grandma’s death.


One day we reconciled but she died soon.

Today I’m eating peanut butter and watching the Simpsons (on facebook).

Mom would say: “that’s so American, why don’t you read Virginia Wolf?”

Without mom’s sensibility life is embarrassing.

She’s in heaven and me in the wasteland.

Fortunately I swim every day, dance alone in my room and am anti-militarist

but the butter glides whenever I’m with my pals.

I miss mom.