It was Independence Day, 1982. Last off the plane, he wore jeans, shirt, and tie, the first of many disguises. The church people in Mexico must have told him to look for a woman with a bracelet made of turquoise stones because he walked toward me. And as we shook hands, I saw everything-all that was meant to be or never meant to be, but that I would make happen by taking reality in my hands and bending it like a willow branch. I saw myself whispering his false name by the flame of my Guadalupe candle, the two of us in a whorl of India bedspread, Salvation Army mattresses heaped on floorboards, adobe walls painted Juarez blue. Before his arrival the chaos of my life had no axis about which to spin. Now I had a center. A center so far away from God that I asked forgiveness in advance, remembering words I’d read somewhere, words from the mouth of Ishtar: A prostitute compassionate am I.
Interesting stuff to share with your teens.