Monday, July 8, 2013

Blackie...

Something you need to know about me. I cuss like a sailor even though I don't on my blog. This post has a few obscene words . This post is my story.  My first attempt to deal with some wounds. This is a true story... If you have never read the blog please read the About Page and the following post.  To my regular readers, friends and family... I did ask permission to write this. She (Mom) gave me artistic freedom to write regardless of how painful it could be to read.  I thank my lucky stars and I admire and love her for allowing me to move forward regardless of ego or emotions. This is not an apology for my words or the story about to be told but a bit of background information. 

Unapologetically Yours, Blackie. 





I want to talk about her.
"Oh... her" my mother said as if  I was talking about somebody deceased.
We all change over time.  Evolve. Grow up.
But to have a persona of yourself die.
To know that if I was face to face with that girl would she even acknowledge me as her future.

It was the last day of school before the Christmas break. Friday. December the 18th 1987. Plans had been made for everyone to meet at the rainforest after school to celebrate. These plans had not been shared with my parents.  A "no" was not going to stop me that night. All I could do was ask for forgiveness since I wasn't asking for permission. I needed nothing from them but time.

My father, a converted Jehovah Witness and closeted alcoholic, would never allow me to go anywhere. He was a singer songwriter during the late nineteen fifty's in Miami Beach right after the Cuban revolution and he reassured me he had seen it all. Since he had seen it all, there was no need for me or anyone to travel and see anything other than our familiar surroundings. My father wasn't protective. He was a tyrant, a dictator, a sadomasochist and alcohol enhanced it. Nine months prior to this day he had dragged me by my hair down the street. By down, the street I mean two blocks down the street.  And by dragging me by my hair, I literally mean dragging me by my hair. My feet had no choice but to keep up with the fast pace of my father's footsteps. That was just the prelude, the Intro, as his musician self would have referred to it. I had no doubt what my father would do to me "the night of the rainforest" as I now refer to it.

Money came via a visit to the pawn shop. A gold necklace. Figaro. The pawnbroker must have been pretty happy with his thirty dollar score. To me it was my ticket to freedom.

Thirty bucks in 1987 could buy you:

1 Megadeth T Shirt
A Half pack of Marlboro Red
1 Bottle of Lambrusco
1 joint (pre-rolled)
2 bus rides
1 Slice of Chorizo Pizza
1 gulpie size Coca Cola
A few dollars to contribute for gasoline.

In attendance was my much older boyfriend. I had just turned fifteen a few months prior. He had been eighteen for awhile. He was also the driver of a brand new MR2 which made him look cool.  His hair stretched down to his waist and he wore a leather jacket that matched the attitude. He was a bad boy and I knew it. He was bad and I wasn't. I, the girl that had never gone out on a date, the classically trained ballet dancer wanted  her freedom.

The rain forest was everything after closing hours. It provides you with everything to make fairy tales come alive. From mythical creatures with wings and red eyes to goat blood sucking monsters and the many waterfalls and tropical birds. El Yunque is one of the oldest in the western hemisphere and the only tropical rainforest in the USFSS (United States Forest Service System) Home to seventy kinds of birds, eleven kinds of bats, eight kinds of lizards and thirteen kinds of  Coqui, to over two-hundred and twenty five species of trees and plants, twenty six of which are found nowhere else. The rainforest like  a great a recipe has all the ingredients to make something really mystical.



We climbed the watchtower after hours through the lower level windows. Once we were up in our tower we could see the mountains and the whole island among the clouds. Three thousand and three hundred feet over sea level. By my side stood the god of rock and cock. An untamed force as wild as a hurricane and just as destructive. Who could stop us. We were gods for a moment. Drunk on wine and high on cannabis we felt like gods. I looked out over the forest as if it was my kingdom. The trees bowed gently towards me paying their homage. The Ceiba trees said you are queen. I was their protector and my forest would survive the industrial machine driven by American interest.



We danced while we stood high on the turret.  Jokes were exchanged as well as anarchists and socialist political arguments were thrown to the mix. I felt smart and strong until it was our time to go back. As I was walking down the spiral staircase of my turret my mortality became apparent. There were ninety-eight steps to reach the bottom. Every step brought us closer to the beginning of our end.

As the last to leave we fell prey to the forest spirits.  The mud was so thick and unyielding it held to the tires of the MR2 like it had been left there for years. And maybe it was. It rains every fifteen minutes at the top of the mountain or about two-hundred and forty inches of rain a year. Time held no sway to us on that night. The forest would not let me go. In a desperate attempt I sacrificed my Megadeth tee shirt in hopes it would be enough to get the tire out. As anyone knows from back-country living the only way to get a vehicle out of the mud is to put something under the tires to give them traction.

A stop sign would be what did the trick only after taking a gash out of his head as he yanked it off the pole. My god of rock turned into the lord of murder with blood dripping from his head and covering his whole face like new skin.

We were freed. But I was about to be taken hostage by something far worse than unyielding mud. My father, god of rum and not giving a shit for what you have to say, was about to show me his wrath.

Like a knight, I was ready for the battle. As I arrived home every single one of the lights were turned on.  It was lit up like a boxing rink.  My father beat me like a man. Like a man, I stood up to fight him after I had been knocked down. Like a man, I squared off to him and said I am no longer afraid of you. Like a man, he told me to get out of my house.

Before you ask... And as if cued and told to exit stage left my mother was not around or at least I can't remember her being in that one room. I do remember her helping me pack my bags while she shook her head in a disapproving way at me. I was late. I had broken curfew. I was defiant. I deserved it. Her eyes reminded me of the women I had seen in photographs walking in a straight line in Auschwitz. Empty. Defeated.

But now the blood was on his hands. This is the little monster he would create. Adriana had walked out the doors and in her place stepped a different woman one that could handle the streets of Carolina. A girl that was ruthless. Calculating. Smart enough to lead. A five foot four menace to society. Her street-name was Blackie and this is the beginning of her tale.       

I've told my husband stories about her and about her existence. Amusing anecdotes to pass the time. It never became real to him until he met some of my comrades from the past. I love the word comrades over friends. Friends are the ones that you tell jokes with and send flowers if they are sick. A comrade will step in front of a bullet for you with no thought to their own lives because they would be dying for something bigger than themselves. We were rebels and we thought we had a cause. We were rebels about to cause a revolution.

"Oh, you had to schedule an appointment to see her."
" You could assume she was always watching it all."
"If  Blackie gave an order we did it."
"No one got too close to her."
"How the hell did we ever survive that."

These were some of the things that my husband would hear until one night he turned to me and said point blank... "Who the fuck were you?"

It is a fair question but one which might need more time to be answered.
To be continued...
 

23 comments:

  1. I couldn't possibly raise an eyebrow or even be shocked by this story because it's told so beautifully. I love the photograph and the mystery of it all - especially because I've come to know you as something of a domestic goddess, loving mother and wife. It was when you started writing about Paris in Savannah that I understood there was a back story. I'm torn between asking you a million questions or waiting until you write the rest. For now - it's mesmerizing and amazing that you cut through the violence so quickly - almost as if to spare your reader the pain. Beautifully written and so so I'm just going back to re-read it again x

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    1. thanks so much means the world coming from you. I am bit of a paradox. A Pandora box ;) Thanks so much for reading. Wondering if I should continue to write the rest.

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  2. You better continue.
    I do t know how long I stared at the picture of my long lost cousin once Blackie. It just took me through memory lane of us in San Juan, that private beach, Shannons pub, laguna gardens, DFTU, Crash....and more. I love you.

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  3. please DO keep writing... I'm very intrigued to see what comes next! I've been meaning to check your blog out for the longest time and it looks like I picked a great post to step into :) adding you into my reader NOW so I won't forget to come back.

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    1. Thanks Jamie for the visit. And yes a great post to step into for sure.

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  4. Wow. I'm glad to have read this to learn more about you, Adriana.

    P.S. I cuss like a sailor too.

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  5. Great job with chapter one.
    Luv ya!

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    1. LOL I know right... I started part deux. :) Will send the draft when i get the manic writing out of me.

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  6. A-I see what you meant yesterday about the struggle with the story, the debate, the words. Still, you've taken it on the story reads as if it were unfolding now. Nice job. I am curious to see, as you continue your story, who you found in Blackie and what was discovered about the person inside. I'm looking forward to the next excerpt.

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    1. Thanks Brenda I began the process it might take me a couple of weeks like this one did. :)

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  7. Adriana - I knew bits of your story from your blog posts and About page. It's been too long since we connected and I feel so blessed to be here today and read your story - because it also means that you're healing and letting go. I'm applauding your courage to share. Love ya.

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    1. Thanks C. For reading and reconnecting xo

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  8. ***Like a knight, I was ready for the battle. As I arrived home every single one of the lights were turned on. It was lit up like a boxing rink. My father beat me like a man. Like a man, I stood up to fight him after I had been knocked down. Like a man, I squared off to him and said I am no longer afraid of you.***

    Blackie is still part of you....Her strength has transformed you into an AMAZING, interesting, intriguing, creative, empathetic, empowering, compassionate woman.

    Never doubt it----You. Are. A. Writer. Xxxx WOW.
    PS. LOVE the photo.

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    1. Thanks I need to hear it tat way I won't be shy about it all. xxo

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    2. Just a note...My African pen pal, Mercy says this about you:

      "and then there is a new one I love who writes La Dulce Vida. I love her photos and poetic words."

      Just wanted you to know...she is a journalist in Nairobi. xx

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  9. if its possible i think now I love you and your words even more xxx

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    1. Awww thanks for loving me. The love is mutual

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  10. Blackie sounds like my friends in high school. Man were we young and foolish.

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    1. She was something can;t wait to share more of her foolishness.

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  11. Sounds like normal/wild stuff a lot of us did as teens. I am so sad for this teen being told to leave. I want to hug her. Hugs Adriana.

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