Perpetually Homesick, Finding Home
By: Amy Catano
Flashbacks to motoconchos, El Play, tennis lessons, caminando a la bodega con unos cheles para una papitas y even that young questioning that $5 pesos is way too much for a 25 cent bag of chips.
Then you realize you’re here in this dark shady city, working your ass off. Sweating on the train because there’s no consistency, running to the corporate office to breathe some cool air that isn’t shared by millions. And wishing you were home, with juices of the stolen guavas dripping down your chin. Feeling the breeze while splashing in the only hueco in Boca Chica that doesn’t make you itchy.
Shuttling back between San Cristóbal and Los Minas. Traveling all over. La Romana, Bonao, Puerto Plata. Always Puerto Plata at least once. Los ríos, las playas, the fiiiiish.
But instead, I have retail work. Working in a clothing store instead of in the librería de mis tías. Instead, I grew to have corporate work and paper pushing. No helados Bon, no Hawaiian pizza with corn, no fritura from el malecón. Just musty Nueva Yol.
Where you can always tell how hot it is outside by how many motorbikes pass my window. Every 3-4 bikes equals ten more degrees. 10 minutes consistently means I might hear firecrackers light up the block después que baje el sol. Loud music accompanying it means que quizás me llamen las mujeres para salir a parandiar.
It’s not all terrible. Mami y papi would make sure we had fun here too. New York tiene cultura. Museos, parques, barbeque tras barbeque. Y cada verano aunque sea una vez, subíamos a Spring Valley a dónde los mejores amigos de mami. Usually around their eldest birthday for his party. Tenian picisna y tierra donde correr y jugar. We’d play and play and play. Tag. Freeze. You name it. Y un verano, bajo las estrellas que no se ven el la cuidad, the birthday boy kissed me during a game of manhunt. And I was brought back to all my summers in la República- it felt like all the breezes, all the playas, all the guanábanas, all the goodness that I have known, I felt it in that kiss.
Y antes que llegó este verano, me hizo su esposa. Like I said, not all veranos en Nueva Yol are bad.
Her full name is Mrs. Amy Berenice Cecilia Polanco Catano, Amy Cecilia for short. She feels that there is power and cultura in bearing your full name to the world. As a first generation Dominicana de pura cepa, la tambora aids the beat of her heart as she rides the line that is the duality of being a Dominicana-Americana.
She currently holds an AS in Business Management from CUNY- BCC and a BA in English Literature from CUNY- Lehman. She is continuously looking for opportunities to expand her editorial experience via mediums that represent her passions for cultura and the creative soul. She is a volunteer editor for La Galería magazine and Dominican Writers, Inc. Esta a sus ordenes.