"Rooms We Die In," by Migueltzinta C. Solís
July 1, 2014 3:57 PM   Subscribe

"Now that aunt #6 was dead, we could be a hand. If we are a hand, my grandmother is the cupped palm at the center of her five remaining children. If we are a hand, my mother is the thumb, and the other fingers are her brothers and sisters.... Mamá is the thumb, and I am her fingernail."
posted by muddgirl (6 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
The room I had just emptied was actually inside of me, full. It was the room where my artistic ideas and creative motivations lay unused, overrun and molding. It was the room where I shut away my queerness when I went to visit family, and where I shut away my creativity when making money seemed more important than self-expression. I saw myself coming and going from this room, shuttling a bounty of dreams, inspirations, education, and fine art in plastic bags. I saw myself hiding, hoarding the perfected outfits out of sight of the rest of the world, refusing to wear them, inhabit them, use them. Refusing to be my full self. This was the kind of room people died in. The room in which you would find me dead. Unless.
I really enjoyed this, but the paragraph above in particular really resonated with me. The idea of all the potential we keep locked up in ourselves is very powerful. Thanks for posting it.
posted by billiebee at 4:21 PM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was so excited to share this, I forgot to add that this is published in the inaugural issue of Midnight Breakfast, "a free online literary magazine publishing a diverse selection of fiction, nonfiction, interviews, and visual art."
posted by muddgirl at 4:34 PM on July 1, 2014 [3 favorites]

This is cool but I wish she had done the chron! It's an easy trap for essayists to fall into but it dissuades light reading. It needs a tidge more focus.
posted by tooloudinhere at 5:22 PM on July 1, 2014

I really enjoyed reading that, thanks.
posted by pseudodionysus at 5:59 PM on July 1, 2014

To serve them as matrilineal weapon means not to tell. And to honor the nail on the thumb means for them never to ask. No one decided this. It just is.


I swear that same cholo kid in the black denim Red Kap shorts was standing on that exact same corner the last time I was here, more than sixteen years ago. He is the phantom of Kern County: shaved head, crisp white A-shirt, gray Dickies jacket, Vans with the socks pulled up. He could be Mexican or he could be white, but he is probably both. All I know is you can’t get those shorts anymore, not anywhere in the Central Valley. This is how I know he’s a ghost.

I love all of this and I really love these a lot.
posted by rtha at 6:34 PM on July 1, 2014

That was excellent.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 7:42 PM on July 1, 2014

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