Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Waiting

{an original short memoir by me}

It is the second week of December and the school year is finished, Catarina cannot wait to get rid of the school uniform. She knows that she will see the uniform next year early March again, she might be lucky enough to get a new shirt with a new school emblem, but she knows that she will see the same skirt. Her mother sews the school uniform herself and every couple of years she makes a new skirt, with a large hem so she can undo it the following year and make the skirt a little longer. Those were tough years, Catarina knew that most of her friends did not have to wear the same skirt two years in a row; she resented that fact although she never questioned her parents about it.

Now that the school year was over she was free to wear whatever she wanted, it was like becoming a new person in a new skin, and as long as she kept her distance from friends with well-to-do parents, she should be ok. It was hard enough having to cope with her sense of comparison, never mind having friends with new clothes, new school supplies (hers were always hand-me-downs) and all that talk about trips to their beach houses over the weekends. Among them, she always felt like a strange creature from another world.

Summer was just around the corner and that meant Christmas would soon be here. Every year she quietly but anxiously waited for Christmas, not because it was her birthday, but because her grandmother would take her and her siblings to a store and buy them a new outfit and a new pair of shoes. They would walk the short two blocks to the store and she would try to pay attention to her surroundings, birds singing on the trees, flying from place to place carrying new findings to build their nests, the sun shining brightly, its warmth giving her goose bumps, the sound of her old flip-flops on the sidewalk, her grandmother very quiet. She never talked much, and Catarina always felt she was always upset with her for some reason. She would want to run to the store, her hair flowing around her face, trying to keep her balance so she would not trip and fall, but she was sure that her grandmother would not like that, and she did not want to upset her grandma at this special time. The store was a new world for Catarina, a world where she did not belong although she was allowed to enter it once a year. She would choose a nice dress and for a moment, while looking at herself on the mirror, she would be a normal girl, and nothing else would matter, if only for a moment.

Those were the happy days of her life, but she did not see them as anything but trivial and unimportant days. Much later in life, Catarina would go back in time and think about those moments and try to understand who she was and wish that back then she knew how important those moments were. Maybe, just maybe, she would savour them more intensely, more deeply, and they would be the cornerstones of her much complicated life; they would be her life buoys, helping her to get through the rip currents.

..:: ::..


  1. Obrigada! Tbm gostei de ler sobre vc.
    Volte ao meui blog sempre que quiser.
    Tenha um ótimo domingo!

  2. Lucia... nao tem mais, tem eh jeito de que ficou sem fim, parece que soh postei um pedaco dele neh? Eh que o assignment tinha um numero limitado de palavras, eu parei mas pensei em continuar depois, soh nao tive foi tempo.

    Escrevi outro dia desses sobre uma amiga minha que morreu, mas escrevi foi em portugues e ainda tenho que consertar umas coisas na coerencia do texto, e aih coloco aqui.


  3. Gostei Elaine! Triste, e profundo! Sabe, eu tive aulas de writing nos ultimos 3 semestres e nao gostava, justamente porque meu vocabulario no ingles ainda e tao pobre! Fico pensando se um dia eu vou me sentir realmente confortavel com ingles! Sera?

  4. Really nice, touching, sensitive! I really appreciated it.
    I have some posts in my blog that show memories of my childhood and, because of what I lived, especially with my grandparents, your chronicle sounded kind of familiar...

    (Off-topic: Did you see The Pink Panther's video? I was talking about it in Sessão Nostalgia) :)

  5. Oi, ô a vergonha sou uma "analfabeta" em linguas estrangeiras, arranho quando muito, um portunhol! rs Mas, vim agradecer a visita e os comentários.

    Aha, mas já combinei com maridão, e ele vai traduzir pra mim seus post e ai, poderei falar sobre eles. :o)