Rants ‘n Raves by a Nuyorican Who Calls Herself Bennie

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A Boricua’s Remembrances

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I remember… Dedicated to the French writer George Perec

A Boricua’s remembrances: I remember or Me recuerdo…

I remember my mama’s smell….Avon’s Timeless.

Me recuerdo watching West Side Story, Darling, and the Ten Commandments at the Dover theatre on Boston Road in the Bronx with my cousin Martha.

I remember standing in the cold in front of the Fox theatre in Brooklyn waiting to see The Murray the K show.
Jay and the Americans were appearing ‘live’.

Me recuerdo mi mama pulling my hair so tight to get the kinks out of my hair. Tears rolling down my eyes…no, not because it hurt….

I remember getting my reading grade in the fifth grade. I had jumped two levels. Thank you Iris Varela….escaping Cuba in 1961. If it hadn’t been for the teacher praising you because you were Cuban, I would not have pushed myself so hard to be noticed as a smart Puerto Rican too. Did she say we were lazy and stupid?

Me recuerdo how I always wanted a white boyfriend. The lighter the better?

I remember singing ‘i feel pretty’ with my cousin Martha. Every Sunday she would come over and we sang, played Parchisi, spit out our milk when we couldn’t stop laughing, and dreamed.

Me recuerdo when Mama told me Martha had an accident. No more dreams…

I remember my little cousin who was three ask my mother why the little girl that was walking with me was dirty…. She was just a few shades darker then me.

Me recuerdo translating my mother’s words asking for more food stamps and hoping no one noticed.

I remember fragments of recollections threaded together by transparent strings…did I want to believe what I wanted to believe. Illusions not verified but accepted as truths.

Me recuerdo around 1966 or 67 my mother’s best friend lived on 96th and Broadway with her daughter. She lived in a room in a hotel converted to house welfare families. One room, a sink, a hot plate, and the shower and toilet down the hall. They seemed happy.


Written by Benilda Pacheco Beretta

July 31, 2010 at 8:22 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

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