In the afternoons (1)

The day before, I came home with her and went straight to bed.
She cleaned up the house, doing what my sister didn’t get to do in the morning and prepared a meal. I was feeling so tired, but didn’t get much sleep. Instagram and Pinterest got the better part of the deal, even though I kept refreshing because there wasn’t that much interesting stuff. Afterwards I went out and got my sister from work and don’t remember what else we did that night and when I went to bed.

Today we didn’t get to go home together. I had a meeting with a few colleagues, so she left before me. When I got home, everything was quiet and the front door was shut. I called her and she didn’t answer the first time. She was taking a shower, but quickly put on a robe to come meet me because she thought I told her to come meet me. When she was walking back I saw how tired she looked, it was something about the way she walked.

She was really tired though. On one side of her head she had three corn braids and the other was in a hairband. ‘Remnants’ of a visit to a little cousin the day before. She couldn’t get the job done, because other visitors arrived and they were going to pray. My mother hit the couch and I took some Haitian castor oil for her outgrown roots, that would otherwise hurt when I tried to part sections. While braiding the second row she already fell asleep beneath my hands. We did get to talk a little before she slipped asleep. We talked about weddings that are coming up. The little cousin that started the braids, but first the daughter of a good friend of hers are about to tie the knot later this year. Expenses. She wants to fix her teeth, her face and has no idea what to do about her hair. She has been bleaching, so have I. We thought the bleaching products would remove acne. But I soon discovered the terror of those products when I realized the acne became more aggressive after the product was used up and mom didn’t get to buy me any. That was about a decade ago. But now and then friends talk her into using the horrible substances. I keep warning her about it, but I think I’ll just have to help her practice healthy lifestyle by buying her the more beneficial beauty products.

But I kind of worry about her faithfulness towards their use.
Now she’s fast asleep and I take some green beans and clean them. My sister is still at work. We are home alone. I have to go get my sister and we are going to our friends’ house. But I don’t want to leave my mom alone. Either ways, I decide to finish the ‘bean cleaning’ at my friends and go take a bath. Soon enough we get company. When entering my room after the shower I hear another younger cousin in the house and upon getting dressed, I hear my father clearing his throat. Hooray, I say.

My mom is awake and she is not upset about my sister and I going to our friends. We usually stay late and our parents don’t agree on that. But it’s just something we can’t help. I hate that I don’t get to see my parents a lot, because mom leaves early for the marketplace, she’s a vendor, dad leaves before me too but I might see him for 5 minutes. When getting back home, I usually leave for my friends’ or something else. When I do stay at home, I go pick my sister up and when we get back home, they might be asleep.

It’s just that I miss them. I miss a version of them that might have never existed. A version of them that doesn’t work hard and is at peace by being home and not having to go to work. They just work so hard and I feel like they don’t have too. Spending time with them, just sitting and talking about stuff is priceless. I like harassing my mother’s acne and teasing her to come sleep beside me. She never does, because she says I’ll make her warm. She can’t stand the heat/too much warmth because of her hypertension. Translating the news, chatting is how I enjoy my father’s company most.

They’re golden people to my heart, but there will always be dust about them and that dust is worth more than gold. It’s the cost of my life, our existence, my education, my health and everything else that I am. My siblings and I. Under their nails is never clean, because of the culmination of dust over all the years. Dust from the land they cultivate, the rope of his cows. The products that she sells and buys. That dust settles on and underneath their skin and clothes they work in and never leaves. It makes them not want to leave their profession. It is all they know, kind of.

I sometimes wonder how it will be when they are no more, what I will remember them like. I wonder are they happy? What are they hiding? I will hate for them to not know my children and enjoy each others company when they get older than this. But I know I have strength to let go of my people of soil. I wonder how my relationship will be with the soil, when they’re gone. I could very well go before them. But I would hate that for them. They’ve given too much to see me be.