Glimpse Between Waking and Sleeping


“Son, are you awake?”



“ What do you want?”

“ Me? Nothing. I just thought if you were awake we could talk.”

“ About what?”

“ Whatever. Your friends. Do you have many friends in Riverside?”

“ A few.”

“ Any special friends?”

“ They’re all special.”

“ And…?”

“ And nothing.”

“ Well, tell me more. Tell me anything. How did you meet them?”

“ Which one?”

“ Any one of them.”

My father and I exchange words in the dark. I can’t even tell what time it is, but I know it’s too early in the morning to be having this conversation on the bus, especially about my special friends. I can just make out sky becoming clearer over the horizon and the dominant sound is still the rough engine shifting gears as it speeds onward to Michoacán. And then something takes hold of me. A need for sex, but not just sex with anyone; I’m hungering for my lover.

I want to believe that my lover is sitting up on the edge of his bed at this hour, his face inside his hands, letting the streetlight stripe the interior of the lonely room through the slits of the Venetian blinds. His body is a silhouette, but solid, which makes the expression of his grief more beautiful, like a flower growing out of rock.

“ Are you going to tell me a story,” my father says.

I breathe in deeply and expel the heaviness of my thoughts.

“ Let me sleep a little longer,” I say. I snuggle into my seat and drift off into uneasy sleep.