Looking Back, Looking Forward

With two months left to go, I choose to pause. 

Pause the experience, the immersion, the host family, the apprenticeship, I choose to pause it all and look back. I’m looking years backward, into the rearview mirror of my past, and look back on to the man of my dreams. The man who made me, who raised me, who changed me and accepted me. I dedicate this post to my father.

To my father

Who knew, somehow before I did, that I would never go back home. Never in the same way. Not truly

To my father who blurred the authority line between us

To the pride he takes in my work, even when he doesn’t know what that work is

To my father

The first Latin American man I saw openly cry

To my father who will copy-paste entire articles from El Pais and send them to me as a text

To my father who when I was fourteen told me he hoped I was a lesbian

As if he knew

Because perhaps he did

To my father who spoke at every funeral we went to and made me cry every time, but whose words I can’t remember

To my father who never expected more from me than exactly what I could give

To his music taste of Pedro Guerra and Arctic Monkeys

To my father, who sat me down and told me, “intimacy should always feel good. But it will feel better with love”
To my father who was right.

To his rollos de naranja and pan de queso cheddar

To my father, whom I walked next to on a beach one morning as he explained to a perhaps too young Lara, the theory of evolution

To his chichitas and berrinches

To my father, Quincho, Papa, Panes Quincho, to his many names

To my father and his poetry pushed under my door

To the Sally Lunn sandwiches of cream cheese and jelly, given through the bars of my grandma’s home

To my father and his English, as rusty and enchanting as anything could ever be

To his constant need to fix things 

To my father who wasn’t afraid to confront his own masculinity, who took my radical feminism in stride

To his various social media accounts, all of them dormant

To my father, who I knew didn’t want to see me go, but pushed me out the door anyway

Happy Birthday

I’m with you across the ocean

I will visit you once again