For Shaun’s first birthday party, I bought a camcorder. A few times at work, I used it to record our puppet shows so that Mike can upload them to his YouTube account. For the most part though, it just sits on my bookshelf unused. Its case has a light coating of dust which I brush off when I see it. I dropped about three hundred dollars for this camera. Now it just sits around, slowly becoming obsolete, much like its predecessor.
This morning, El Senor called me. I lay in bed, contemplating whether I wanted to start my day or if I just wanted to cover myself in blankets and fall back into a deep slumber. I realized that sleeping during the day leads to less dreams and thoughts about Jeanna than when I sleep at night. “You wanna get coffee,” he asks. “I’ll be there in ten minutes.”
I scramble awake and throw on my pajamas. Brush my teeth. Grab last week’s blue jeans. Throw on my TMNT t-shirt. Brush my hair. Give up brushing my hair and throw on my hat. I grab my receipt-packed wallet and grab my keys. In the time that it takes me to find my shoes, he’s outside waiting for me. I’m out the door, greeting my aunt as she watches my uncle and cousins fix up my grandmother’s once jungle-like front yard.
“Starbucks sound good?” El Senor asks. My heart is usually set for Moonbeans, but he’s paying so I’m not complaining. We go over the usual things. We talk about each other’s children. We go over how much we miss campus life. I ask him about the Ebola scare. At the coffee place, he orders his black. I ask for a cookie crumble mocha frappuccino. It’s too hot in South Texas for a hot beverage. Besides, as Monica lovingly puts it, I like my yuppie drinks.
We go over our creative projects. He’s written four or five chapters of his book. Once something is legible, he promises to send me a few chapters for editing. Since college, we’ve been each other’s reviewers because we don’t hold back. We spare no feelings between us. I can’t recall the several times I’ve grumbled under my breath.
I tell him about my unfinished stories. “I start them and then I just stop.” My creative mind has taken a vacation. Maybe it has something to do with everything being about Jeanna. I discuss that issue, instead.
I notice a young woman, maybe in her twenties, studying us as we talk about my pariahism. The assistant director at work has recruited me to wrangle up poets for our events. These people haven’t returned my earlier requests and invites since the mariachi and I got into it. “A mariachi hates me,” I mocked. “I’m living a damn Robert Rodriguez flick.”
I finished my drink and we head out. On the way home, he takes a different route. It has us passing the University of Pan American’s Catholic outreach building. Only a crucifix replaces the “T” in UTPA. “I have to walk this direction later and take a picture of that,” I said. And it hits me.
I keep the idea to myself because there’s still so much that needs mapping. First off, I have to search YouTube channels to make sure it doesn’t already exist. Because it’s such a broad idea, I’m sure it does already. The best part is, I now have a use for the camcorder again. Stay tuned.
I wrote and edited this post using the Hemingway app.