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Curves Spiral turns and twists; the world is full of them. Sometimes we even have to zig-zag a corner. Even a small curve like a powerful eye-roll can transform your emotions. The sign of a tight panty mark against your booty’s curvature, causing admiration as you walk. The undervalued curve of the neck. Pure elegance, many cars are designed based on nature’s curves. They say life throws you curveballs, and well, this curveball is communal! COVID-19. A collective international curve ball! What does this teach us? I wonder? Today I sit at home cleaning my apartment for the hundredth time, and I enjoy it. This satisfaction comes from having the time. A sensation that I don”t need to rush, that no one is coming over to inspect or judge. That if a corner took me twenty minutes because I was so high when I started that I thought it would be a good idea to clean everything with a toothbrush. Well, that is ok! At this moment, you have time. I play the bass for a bit. I stretch I paint, and yes, I still avoid going through that pile of crumpled receipts I have to put into my taxes, and with all this time!
During these days, I have rediscovered that simple ways are better. We don’t need so much stuff to do #busy. We don’t have that much to prove. Yes, I want to entertain you. Yes, I want to get paid as a professional (Does anyone need a yacht?) Where does success become gluttony? How important is my own time? Am I doing this for the right reason? Is it real or ego? What am I proving, and to whom? Look at the orange Cheeto in office in the U.S.A. why do you need your apartment to be gilded in gold? Who does that? And did you treat the people that worked for you well? Because that would be real golden! Yes, I want to have my own home and not live like a twenty-year-old with roommates. Even then, with my own home, I will always have a guest or temporary people staying with me while they find there own place. I have a family of international artist friends that I love to welcome with open arms. They bring me joy and inspiration.
Nowadays, the visits are few, but my lover and sister-friend are here, and we share the space curving our needs to each other during this time. Having communal meals and focusing on encouraging good mental and physical health for one another! So much to learn from ourselves while we are in isolation. Each curve a challenge Today is April 8th, and things are feeling and looking stable in Berlin, but the hope is still low on when we will resume “normal” life. What is “normal” is not always healthy! And what was most likely will no longer be… This curve has also shifted us to be more capable of working online, including the entertainers. Our future is now different. Social distancing and social media have combined to bring in a new Curveball: Time After Internet and Plague. This has shown us no mercy for social class, you might not have a home, but you will most likely have the internet on your phone. Prepaid or not.
COVID -19 sticks to anyone; no race or age is really safe. Yes, the older are more vulnerable, and I believe we should protect our elders. So we can learn too from their stories, not lose our history care for those that cared for us and paved the way. At this time, if you are in a place of privilege and can help an elderly neighbor (go shopping for them) or a family with children (share online activities with their kids) to stay healthy and sane. Throw a person or two a curveball of empathy, love, and community while still social distancing. I am sure you can find a way! Stay Safe!
Below the waist, that was a low blow. Remember to punch up. These are things I hear all the time in comedy. What happens below the belt? When did that saying begin? They say it happened in boxing. But I think Latino families have been hitting below the belt since forever. My grandmother would say the cruelest things like: My daughter’s children are my grandchildren, But son’s children, I question. My siblings and I are the children of her son. What why was she saying this to us. I remember it well we were in the bathroom getting ready for a day of school at this time; we were only three kids. A large family already, but hey Catholics = no condoms. So looking in the mirror, my sister and I fighting for space. My grandmother approaches with a smile and almost in rhythm “Las Hijas de Mis Hijas en Duda Nunca Estan.” She did not need to finish the rest. Wow, I looked in awe at my mother as she took that low blow and ignored it.
At this time, I considered her weak for not saying anything. for playing the part of oh what I heard nothing. Now That I am in my forties and I saw my grandmother last year on a visit to Colombia. I recalled her low blows through life as she sprayed me with Lysol and said that I could never be clean enough to be saved. My grandmother is 99 – 103; we don’t really know her exact age as she has been shaving off years, even in her nineties.. Vanity does not have an age limit. She now lives with her eldest daughter; they are two widows. Looking at me, they inquired, where was my husband. I told them that it is a long story for another day. And then proceeded to remind me that I am nothing without a man. So I looked at these two widows and asked, what does that make you? The anger in the room could be felt for miles. They mocked my career as a comedian and actress and reminded me that my tattoos are the devil’s markings. At this moment, when I was getting hit below the belt, I recalled my mother’s distant stare when they used to visit in our youth a stare that I now controlled too.
I still love visiting my grandmother and making her laugh. The generational pull and strength she had to be a single mom in NYC. I am so grateful to be part of these women. Women that can throw shade and love at once. Now I keep my roasts for comics, but I will say the strongest roasters below the belt. The heavy hitters are usually the ones that know you best. In my case, it is the strong women in my family! The outspoken auntie, the religious grandmother, the successful control freak sister. Your best friend. And a few good men (that hopefully are not mansplaining) So go with the flow. Share the love and walk away from those low blows unless you are roasting Bruce Willis