Below

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

Discover Prompt Day 3: Song

Song. Songs languages. Places Adventures… A song can take you back! I remember the songs from a kindergarten life in Miami, Florida, in the early ’80s. The hair was big, and nails had become a huge fashion statement. My friend’s mother had a fingernail that had its own earing dangling off the end. I never understood it, but I was mesmerized. My mother would wake me up to the song you are my sunshine with a heavy Colombian accent “Jew are my Sonshine. Jew are my Sonshine jew make me happy Jew know the rest.” Well, I loved and still love this song I hear it in a toy box and boom I am once again sitting next to my mother no matter where I am in the world. Play me some “Con mi burrito habanero Voy Camino de Bellen”, and there I have transported to Christmas time in Miami.
Today I play all kinds of songs and music. I mostly enjoy local talent and find myself lost when the radio is on. Most songs make me dance. my feet will move to any beat, even a car horn repeatedly can cause me to shake my booty. #latina. Within songs and memories are sensations at times my body sinks into the ground with the bass, and my feet need to be bare! I want to feel the earth between my toes. And other moments, I fly into a twirling sky with a violin. A song can have no lyrics, and yet I will sing, a song that can have no music, and however, we know it. Children sing repeating words they do not know or understand. 1 little 2 little 3 little Indians. Wondering whose culture they are learning. Songs that break our emotions apart songs that help us heal from loves lost. The power of a song to unite people. Songs of nostalgia and faith, love and hate, songs for every moment, silly songs for passing moments and most of all the songs that have been lost the languages that will never be heard again. Somewhere in the sky between the falling stars are these lost songs.
Let us keep singing our songs into the universe and moving our bodies to feel the connection to more than just self. We might be in isolation at the time, but we are more connected to our songs our people our planet than ever before. Keep sharing your song!