So, before I go into the whole happy moment, let me clear a few things up. Have you ever been to a Catholic Funeral service? Have you been one during a pandemic? Have you been to a Latin service? Let me give you a little recap of what’s happening—number one. I am not getting walked out in a closed coffin yet. Thankfully since I didn’t die of COVID, my family was able to have a regular funeral. It’s an open service before the actual goodbyes. Number two. Latinos are all about saying their goodbyes. They give no fucks. We’ll let me rephrase that. We do provide a fuck. Anyone who has even almost a fever warm to the touch has a fever. We don’t fuck around. Usually, we would just make Caldo of some sort. Thanks to Jade, it was ramen or a Vietnamese soup called Pho. Even though she wasn’t Vietnamese, my Goddaughter was cultured as fuck. She always made me proud. There was this one time that I got bird flu where her mom came in with a mask and all, and she had a to-go order that was Pho, which was the very first time I had it. Hey, it’s the Vietnamese menudo if you ask me, which is another thing that we give to the sick in the Latin community. The spices that have clears the sinuses up with quickness. Which is why I say Pho is the equivalent to Menudo. But back to what I was saying about the funeral. Of course, my gay BFF was supposed to give the first eulogy at this rosary thing they are having before burying me six feet under. But real talk, have you been to a Latin funeral? You thought traditional funerals were sad. Latino funerals are depressing as fuck. As heartbreaking as it is expected to hit the treadmill for weeks. Latinos like to drink and eat during these times. Some in celebration. Some in guilt. Some because we never got to say what we wanted to say. We tend to hold our feelings inside, taking for granted the time we have here. Others time. Our time. Everyone’s time. Aside from the machismo and the pride, Latinos are very self-sacrificing. Call it whatever you want, but we suffered a lot in our history and our lives with our passive-aggressive irony. Or course, we are going to be self-sacrificing. Duh. So back to the happy times.
Of course, as I said, I was down and out, but my Goddaughter knew precisely how to get my spirits up. One of the reasons why I loved that song was because of what A$AP Rocky says in the music. “Preach, pray that today is not a lonely one. You gotta know you’re not the only one,” which always got my spirits up because it’s true. We still think we have it bad. Truth is dealing with the same pain but just holding it in to look like a badass, or in the tumultuous case. They are going through something far worst. Well, my ungrateful ass was, of course, beating myself not being grateful for the things that I had in front of me. Yeah, things didn’t work out how I wanted, but I was healthy. Well, so I thought. I had a roof over my head. And I gained the most important thing that I didn’t realize at the time. The power to stand up for me. Little did I know the traumatic event I stood up myself for was going to have me go hard or go home after being told I had a year to live three months later during the most joyous time of the year, supposedly. December.
Did you know that people off themselves during the holidays? Thankfully God forgives those moments and pendejas. I think it’s because when people do that, which appears when you shoot yourself in the head, there is still a window where your still alive. Which my homie up here tells me that it’s enough to pray to God, asking to keep you busy. One of the things that people don’t realize at that moment is like everything in life. We were in that “I’ll show you” mindset, and when death is knocking at your door, your like, “what the fuck did I just do.” Robin Williams told me that your flash flashes before your eyes, and you begin to realize that life might be challenging, but It was not as hard as we thought it was. My friend that killed himself in junior high eve tells me that those who told him he’s going to Hell for talking like that was the reason why he did it. He was gay. And he said look at me sinners. I’m here and queer in the pearly gates. Unfortunately, because those self-righteous who used religion as a savior ended up falling into the bandwagon trap, enabled their sins by using religion to convince themselves that it was all in the name of God, and now simmering like a rack of ribs in Texas barbecue. Oh yeah, back to the barbecue.
So, of course, Abuela and my Goddaughter were scheming. Being the compassionate soul, my Jade pulled that cute little number that she did as my baby Goddaughter that you can’t say no to. So being that she knew how to pull my heartstrings, Melissa and Jade were already adding like 800 calories to the 7,000-calorie day that I had that day. I am not complaining. Shit, it was the best damn eating I had since the diagnosis in December. We went to my favorite place in San Antonio. Tito’s, which is in the heart of King Williams. Their cilantro cream enchiladas are off the chain. And the margaritas are legit as fuck.
Of course, Jade let me only have two, which made me ask her what she is not telling me. And of course, Melissa, being Melissa, I could already tell something was going on. Jade being Jade, she spilled the T and just said what was going on. She served that T with not only ice cubes but lemon wedges with a mint garnish. Just knowing that the family, even my spoiled baby brother went through so much trouble celebrating my return home. But this little book that I said was nothing that ended up being more significant than I ever imagine. One thing that people don’t realize is that Latin women always doubt ourselves way too much. We have family telling us that we are being stuck up or that it’s not going anywhere.
Not to be intentionally vindictive. Because the truth of the matter is we lost hope that if we are on the other side of the tracks, we will never come up. Not because it’s not possible to avoid us from getting our hopes up and getting knocked on our face. Because the generations before us tried and the spectacle of systematics plays in and fucks us over in the ass. Because that is the way, the world works these days. Thanks to this little no-name author, change is possible. What surprised me the most was when my family came from Houston. Not a blood family. The sisters and brothers from another mister. The truth is, my move to Houston made my family less racist. Once again, I know it’s intentional.
It’s the fact that once we get comfortable, we stay in that zone and don’t want to get out of it. Because in our heads, this is as far as we will get. The truth of the matter is, until this prodigal daughter, I made my family shoot for the stars and back. Rumor has it. Arch Angel Michael is in charge of making sure nothing happens to us. The story has it; even the devil is applauding my efforts. Not because I am evil. Hello, I am not wrong. If I were, I wouldn’t be here, silly. It’s because, for the first time, you have an advocate that’s not making excuses for bad enabled behavior. And that if something is coming after you, I just say Bye Felipe. Because the truth is, I didn’t meddle with free will, personal choice, or destiny. You made your bed. You lie in that motherfucker. Michael tells me that he misses his brother dearly, and for the first time in history, they were able to hug it out and squash the bullshit they had. They had a wager too. His brother swore I would crack and give in, meddling my nose and engaging in favoritism. Michael won the bet. He always wanted to see his brother interact with people, and his brother got furious and just went off on this self-righteous group lying to himself. He said his brother told that group they needed to get it together and showed his devil face saying, “My nephew got sacrificed for your stupid shit. If you end up coming to my door, I am going to make sure you get punished by having you face all your fears at the same time for the rest of your life.” Which clowns, spiders, your first-grade teacher, rejection, the fear of being alone, not being liked, and facing all your embarrassing moments that enabled your insecurity is good enough reason to change your act. Being poked in the ass with a foreign objected and being turkey basted with hot magma would have been good enough reason for me just saying. I am glad they did. I didn’t know the group personally, but they helped me gain one more last month to live. They gave the ability to have my family be able to visit me at the final moments as they paid for full hospice care and helped fix the plumbing problem my family was suffering from since I was alive. They even offered to get a new house that would fit all of comfortably. Abuela raised us right. They ended asking for central air since this climate change bullshit made Texas the almost equivalent to Hell. It gives a literal meaning to the saying “I vacation there” when someone says go to Hell for those who love to visit the Lone Star state.
Texas is charming, regardless. Southern hospitality is the expected consistent behavior that you find here. I didn’t believe that until the barbecue they threw. Which not only my friends from Houston came, my friends after college here in Texas showing up. For grandma not to have bitch fit as she hated crowds of people at the house. For her to be inviting and not ashamed of the house, she worked her ass off Is impressive all on its own. So, I know I continue to deflect the part of the party. Well, get your appetites going. This will want to make you find your nearest taqueria or carnesera and recreate this wonderful thing called Texas Latino barbecue cookouts.