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Expand your business to millions of customers Sell this item on Snapdeal. Sold by. Sell on Snapdeal. Explore More Poetry. More Poetry From Books. In Same Price. Easy Return Policy. Nonfiction by Arya-Francesca Jenkins. Floating, looking up, I try to imagine what it would be like disappearing somewhere up high, what it would be like to erase my thoughts and feelings, the moment. Would I then be able to be who I am? They say home is what your heart keeps returning to.

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Lined up, we, their five kids, looked liked UN reps — blonde, almondy-skinned Mara; red-haired, fair Jane; slanty-eyed Jake with his yellowy complexion; and the tannest among us, Blaine. I was dark too, and wore my medium-length blackish hair with bangs. Our ticket into WASP-land was our dad being a gringo and top executive with a big plastics company. In the beginning, our parents must have had a dream to create an amazing union between north and south, dark and light, or what they conceived as these.

We kids felt the burden of their challenge down to our very bones. There was so much fire between our parents, and it translated down to us, mostly in the form of ire. What must have started out as affection and desire turned to argument, and we kids never ceased struggling to find a place somewhere in-between all their differences. I never once saw my parents embracing, and we kids never got a parental hug or acted tenderly with one another.

The habit of not exchanging tenderness of course began with our parents who themselves had an antipathy toward expressed love and need. Our mother seemed consumed by need, and it was poison to our father.


Promised Land

He throws my mother on their massive bed, pinning back her arms. I can see the trinity of medals on his silver neck chain — Jesus, the Virgin Mary and St. Christopher — dangling before her face as he straddles her, clamping down on her arms. Not here, not now.

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Not ever. New Canaan moved to the beat of its own drum — the country club imperatives of money, good social standing and conventional order that compelled my father too. As an only child born during the Depression, he knew what it was like to want and was driven to succeed. To make money and to spend it well must have been his all-abiding dream. John was a straight-A student and graduated early from high school, then college, and after the second world war got bit by the bug to travel and see more of the world.

She worked part-time for the company, moonlighting in the theater, her first love. John and Maria were married inside of three months. My father struck his in-laws as a model American — concerned for the world at large yet rooted in family values. He and my grandfather, a judge, shared similar simple but deeply grounded views — Kennedy was the good man of the world, while Castro represented all its evil.

My mother was the antithesis of my dad, fun-loving and madcap, a superb horsewoman who rode and partied with her own circle of British admirers. She had jumped half naked into fountains and once stuffed smashed bananas into the trousers of a male friend who lay passed out drunk on a couch after a debauch. There, we lived in a camp for engineers of Standard Oil and their families, among Brits, Texans, Colombians and Peruvians. We were nurtured by nannies, fed by cooks, and while we kids cavorted alongside the sea, our parents indulged in an endless round of cocktail parties, picnics, fishing and golf.

In the midst of this, Jake and Blaine were born. Squinting, I tried to make out the details of buildings and things in the distance.

The More I Sleep The Less I Dream

My dream came to be, when, after failing to get a long-awaited promotion, dad decided the best way to pay back his company would be by leaving. Overnight, we found ourselves in Chicago, where Grandma Jenkins lived. The first images I recall on the black and white TV at the Ridgeview Hotel in Evanston, our temporary home, were replays of the assassination and funeral of John F.

It was my first time seeing television and my first time seeing snow. I ran my forefinger along the windowsill, picking up the soot and grime of ages, and thought my life was over. I had just turned It was a time of doubt for everyone and we too worried about the future.

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A rotten driver, she smashed the brakes too hard at the mere sight of another vehicle. Ana was only 18 when she came with us to the states. As a girl, she would accompany her aunt, our cook, to our home in Talara to babysit us.

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In the United States Ana quickly assigned herself the role of big sister to us and angel to my mother, always there to lend a hand. From the first moment of arriving in the states, our mother seemed overtaken by a heightened sense of imperative about how an American mother and housewife should be. She was on a mission to get noticed and accepted, and this extended to me. Her idea of helping me fit in at school was forcing me to perform a Spanish dance in front of my Girl Scout troupe, decked out in a flamenco dress, flaming red lipstick and heels.

And Sucita, my nickname for my grandmother, had died of cancer just months before coming north. I felt freakish raising my arms, playing castanets and performing steps to music that seemed as strange here as it must have seemed to my all-American classmates. Spanish dancing felt wrong here, out of place. To top it all, I had just started wearing glasses, pale blue and horn rimmed they were, with sparkly tips.

I felt like a bad imitation of my mother. Everything about her seemed wrong here — her accent was too thick; her voice and make up and clothing, too loud. I wanted her to disappear. And myself with her. With her long legs and big boobs, she too was foreign. I resented her as much as this cold, sad place that was a poor substitute for our better life in Talara. Just as I felt myself sinking helplessly into feelings of loss about my past and childhood, dad did find a job, and announced we were heading east. The sourball jar was her lure to keep us quiet. Finally, we reached Connecticut with its winding roads and greenery everywhere, flush up to the sky.

Our house sat at the top. Gray shingled, with white shutters, it was three stories high and set on close to two acres. At the end of the back drive was a basketball hoop and the front yard sloped so we could sled down the lawn and driveway when it snowed. In the rearview, I watched his bright eyes widen then narrow into focus. We all gasped delightedly, as if this was our first true home. Soon after we moved in, Mrs. But instead of following Mrs.

My two sisters and I, who tanned easily, had always been forced to wear hats in the South American sun to protect our complexions. Now we no longer had to wear hats. In New Canaan, my mother registered the coolness at large, but was not about to be stymied by it.