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The Fuel

Citrus Memories

The scent of cut Cara-cara Orange brushed my nose with citrus healing as I held steady the knife to cut it into eight pieces. A few minutes after I came home, my headache overwhelmed me and the orange was my first stretch to peace and calm as I tore the oranges and suckled them inside my mouth. I didn't mean for my headache to cause me to text my Mami with nonsensical subjects but past memories brought it up and I made her cry now. 


It hurts me to make my Mami cry, but I have been doing so each time I texted nonsense to her about past memories and my fears or bad thoughts. She's grown so sensitive and she's especially empathic about my past trauma that her tears flowed out with each syllable she reads on her cell phone out of the texts from me. I didn't know what to do, as I asked her, "Mami, eat some with me, please," as I offered the Cara-cara oranges we bought together from Costco three days ago. Her tears flowed again on her cheek as I held her close. "When are you going to be healthy?" she asked me. I kept her close inside my hug and I kissed her forehead.


She walked towards the chair in the dining room, and sat as I ate the oranges that I placed inside a ceramic bowl. "We should have bought a mobile home so we could have bought a place to live without a mortgage, and you will have something for yourself when I die," she said. 


I almost cried, but I changed the subject and said, "I think you need to crack your back and I can give you a foot massage, Mami. Why a mobile home?"


I gave her another orange and she stopped crying, "We can both live there," she said. "We can't afford a rental home. Listen to me, Diana, bikin naik darah (you make my blood pressure rise)."


"Mami, janggan pikiran tentang Diana. Diana cuma ngoceh aja," I said. (Don't think too much about me, I"m just talking).


She looked to me and agreed on me cracking her back with accupressure and with the foot massage. I breathed and suckled on another orange. 


"You will live forever, Mami," I said. "I pray, forever. I can work at Target and we will be okay. I love you. Don't worry." Yet, I felt her worry through her palms as I held her hand to walk to the bedroom for the massages.


Mami has been and will always be my petite Bear Hug. I told her everything and everything she knew about me. I will try to not tell her anything, but everything comes out and she has been my confidant. I wish I wasn't so transparent with her. I wished we had barriers about words, but we didn't and never did. I could talk for hours with her, and even in silence, I could spend eternity with her. I supposed this was why my Papi loved her so deeply and before he returned to Heaven, he told her, "I love you, my first and only love."





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