Dangerous Compassions

tortillas part II

I realized that tortillas are kind of like the moon.  They have the roundness.  The spots on a tortilla are like the craters on the moon,  cool and random-looking.  I mean if you held a good tortilla in the sky, it could remind you of the moon.  They’re both beautiful.

We are in LA.  I was having an intense dream.  The room is hot from outside air or cold from the ac.  I’m hungry for something carby like bread but hesitate to raid our host’s kitchen.

I needed comfort.  I talked to Ming like an intense rambling extreme talker, telling him a story about grad school–kind of the whole story, things I never told him before, for around 30 minutes.  He got a lot of facts and bits he’d already heard put together into a bigger picture.  So that’s good.  However, it was mostly 20 years ago.  I know those things that happened still affect me, so I guess it matters.

I looked up my old department head on wikipedia.  Yes, he’s 80 and still alive.

I was thinking how far I’ve come.  For a few years there, I barely talked.  I was so damaged!  Also, I was so afraid of people.  Skeptical about everyone’s motives–why would this person want to talk to me?  What do they want from me? when probably she just wanted to be friends. 

When I moved from Santa Barbara to Irvine, I cried and cried.  I used to be so bad at change and transitions.  It’s still hard for me.  But back then, I could barely do it.

I had some aspects where I was precocious and strangely skilled, and then I had blanks spots where I had no idea what I was doing and was missing the most basic of common sense.  It was weirdly bipolar.  I think people saw the precociousness and strange skill and thought, She’ll be fine.  But I was struggling over very basic things.  Almost like learning disability.

When people tell me I’m lucky, in a way they’re right, but I’ve also worked hard for a lot of what I have now.  The healing was work.  I’m sure I’ve self-medicated and wasted time, but it would have been a lot easier to check out than face demons and make effort to see what happened and change my patterns.

Once I wrote a friend a letter on a tortilla.  It dried brittle and crumbled.  He kept the bits for a while.

Where I did my undergrad, they used to throw tortillas during basketball games.  At a certain point, the fans would whip out their hidden tortillas and throw them like frisbees onto the court.  I never saw it in person but on the news, many years ago–a small clip of hundreds of tortillas landing on the wood floor.  They got banned.  Can’t remember the meaning of the tortillas.  Maybe it was just funny without regular meaning.

My first college roommate was a Mexican-American woman (my second roommate had the same demographic) and there was a thing people would say–ai, que gaucho!  Well, it wasn’t gaucho but another word that sounded like that–gacho.  But the mascot of the school was the gauchos.  Some Argentinian cowboys.

I know it’s cooler to like corn tortillas, but the softness of flour tortillas is so comforting to me.  I like both, but I remember when I realized enchiladas could be good with flour tortillas and requested Mom make my birthday enchiladas with flour.  I was a teenager.  She was skeptical, but that became the family norm, they were so good.

I would like my birthday again.  My friend’s birthday is in February.  Once a year seems not enough.  I like giving people presents for no reason.  People need a lot of celebrating–thank you for surviving.  I would like more holidays.  Please send more holidays.  Thanks.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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