The world is full of
strange coincidences and miracles. We humans can be too busy acting busy on our
phones to actually stop and pay attention to them (I’m guilty of this), but
every once in a while, if you disconnect, they will reveal themselves to you like
a hidden image emerging from a chaotic pattern.
This afternoon, I read a
passage from Oscar Wao as I did my laundry. It was the moment where
Oscar (if you haven’t read this, I would skip this part) jumps off the bridge
onto the highway trying to commit seppuku (as he would describe it, which in
hindsight he’d criticize his form and say he should have had his sheathed sword
at his side and fallen onto it). I felt a chill and had to put the book down.
It’s a heavy moment. It’s a touchy subject, but it’s beautifully written. I had
to walk out to my car just to let it sink in.
This evening, as I left
work with a red bull, a bag of chips, and a hand rolled cigarette in my ear (I
never even smoke), I came upon the bridge over Glendale. I had just filmed some
bands. As I crossed the bridge, I saw there was a girl sitting on the ledge,
slumped over, crying with her legs dangling over Glendale Blvd. Another woman
was walking in the opposite direction and we both noticed the girl. La guera
kept walking, because that’s usually lo que hacen, so I decided to stop and
talk to her. There was no way I’d let somebody be stupid enough to jump off
that bridge. For one, they’d probably only end up with some broken bones just
like Oscar el probe pendejo. We humans are the second most resistant
anthropoids to such large falls. The first being Warner Bros. cartoon
The girl was
Nicaraguan-Mexicana and refused to move. In fact, she wasn’t a girl, but 32
(Gracias a dios por la gen cafe*) She kept crying and I asked her to
please not sit on the edge. She didn’t want to, so I told her I was going to
carry her off no matter what because death can come as swift as a breeze that
knocks you off balance. I picked her up and planted her two feet back on the
ground. We talked. I listened mostly, because people direly need to be
understood and not just agreed with for the sake of politeness.
I won’t bore you with the
details, but we didn’t just talk about why she wanted to fall off the bridge.
Some of our talk involved brujeria, spirituality, how our human bodies limit
the way we see and perceive dimensions, and we shared anecdotes about strange
occurrences like the story of my twin brother. By the end of our conversation,
I’d given her the Red Bull, cigarette and bag of chips. She was worried because
she locked herself out of her apartment, but I had a gut feeling she wouldn’t
have a problem getting in. I walked her home and sure enough, somebody had left
the front door propped open.
Everything was fine in
that moment. She made it through another night, and she was at least understood
by a guy who wasn’t playing along just to cop a feel. I told her my name and
where I worked. We didn’t exchange numbers but I told her she knew where to
find me if she needed to talk again. We parted ways and hugged** and she
went home smiling. She wasn’t alone.
It wasn’t until I got to
my car and saw the book sitting on the passenger’s seat that it dawned on me the
significance of having read that passage this afternoon and later finding la
reina sitting on that bridge. It was both a coincidence and a miracle.
Sidenote*: gene in Spanish is masculine, so it’s technically el gen but
really, the oldest and most pure genes in America are female and should be
correctly pronounced as such. Why is that, you wonder? Well, it’s clear as
lluvia when you understand that it was the conquistadors who raped the
indigenous women, not the other way around. Our mixed culture, generations
later are the result of that, but that essential essence that makes us niños de
la tierra is birthed by las reinas. Las reinas are the ones who’ve carried on
la raíces puras the longest. If the conquistadors had decided to kill everyone
instead (as horrible as they were, even they couldn’t deny the beauty of las
reinas), we’d all be white and have lisps.
Sidenote**: she had a
boyfriend who probably had no idea that his girl was sitting on the bridge down
the street. I didn’t meet the guy, and I didn’t want to either. Fue un gabacho.
Not surprised. He doesn’t really get the complexity of loving a reina. I don’t
even think the gaba was even home. It would have been hilarious to have met
him. He probably would’ve been hostile and mad, and I honestly wouldn’t have
minded a fight (I did squats and barbell punches earlier that day) but this
night wasn’t about me, it was about a girl who needed a shoulder to cry