Dangerous Compassions



“Are you mad at that tortilla?” I asked Ming.  Then I started laughing.  “I never said that sentence before.  I get a thrill,” I said.  He had moved a box that had a plate on it, with a tortilla.  It made a slamming sound, like tortilla anger.

Tortillas are the most beautiful, innocent, perfect things in the world.  Who could be mad at a tortilla?  That’s why I’m laughing again now.

“Go feed your mocos to the frogs,” I later said.  “They are mocos creatures anyway.  Hmm, I never said that before either.”  What do you think?  Are frogs mocos creatures?  I think so.  Not in a bad way.

Hey, yeah, did you know my first word was not in English?  My first word was caca.  That’s a lot like mocos, to me–the baby Spanish.  Pansa, panzon, pedo, baboso, pendejo.  Coco, cucuy.  Cosas like that.

Yeah, you thought I was just a white person.  Well, I am a white person, but my peeps are not white.  Well, what’s white.  I think of white people as my dad’s side.  My dad was born in England.  Those people were so white, they didn’t need lips because they didn’t smile or kiss people.

I’m not saying white people never kiss people.  Just the ones I’m related to.  I’ve kissed other white people–they had lips, and it could feel good.

race and ethnicity

I’ve been thinking about race and ethnicity differently lately.  Ming and I talk about it all day.  Some old Asian lady in the Bay Area was attacked in a hate crime recently, so I told him to call his mom, as she is an old Asian lady in the Bay Area.  “Maybe you could comfort her,” I said.

It reminds me of how when there was an earthquake near LA, people who loved us would call us.  “Oh my god!  I heard there was an earthquake!  Are you ok?”

“Yeah, we’re good.  It’s a ways away.  We didn’t feel it.”  I would cherish their concern and love, but the map in their head was a little funny, or their understanding of the Richter scale.  I was born and raised in California–the Richter scale is inside me.

Like weighing mail in my hands–I ask Ming to weigh it for me on the postal scale, and I say 2.2 or 3.7 or 1, guessing at how many ounces.  Sometimes I’m wrong.  I’m hoping that when he tells me the number, I’m training my hands for accuracy.

Maybe it matters, how important the letter is, or what I said in the zine.  Some sentences have more gravity than others.  Some words are gold.

I wanna say words are my love language, but I’m multilingual.  Touch is my love language.  Time is my love language.  Maybe gifts the least, but a gift can be an amazing, powerful symbol, like a ring, necklace, roses, or a beautiful art.

Love is my language–life is the ritual.  Potato chips are the sacrament, if apples of the earth are God.  Hmm.

white people

I’ve been thinking of race and ethnicity differently because I was writing something about my mom and wanted a less personal pic as a pic.  So I looked up Mother on wiki commons, trying to find my own mama represented somehow.

You know I saw thin white moms with blond babies, in old timey photos.  I also saw POC depicted as curiosities, with cradle boards, or the young age of the mom noted in the caption, with quiet violent judgment.  I saw Black moms, Native moms, Asian moms.

Which mom pic could I use?  What was ok?  I wanted to use a pic of a Black mom, as she seemed most like my mom, but my mom wasn’t Black.  Maybe that was wrong.  But nothing was right.

I came back to the idea of “only POC can write about POC,” which I’ve been told.  Confusion at whose stories I’re allowed to tell.  Am I only allowed to write about crazy, fat, queer, half-Mexican-American, half-white cis ladies?

Well, I write about Ming, my mom, and a few other kinds of people in this blog and elsewhere.  I’m going to hold love in my heart, stay honest, and hope for the best.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

One reply on “tortilla”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *