Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Mona Lisa Smile

Stop looking at me! Your smile means nothing to me. You are not funny, not funny at all.  You know, I have never seen your teeth. I’m sure they are rotten, like all of your people prior to Colgate.  You don’t have teeth. I am sure you do not have teeth. Your people were not very hygienic. Dirty black holes all over, I don’t think Einstein envisioned a hole that was black inside when he formulated his theory, but it was the best analogy for what he meant. I think he used an ass as a referential. Einstein’s universal asses and you are one and the same. You are a self centered black hole, sucking everything and everybody. I cannot hide from you. Your cynical smile follows me. Bitch! My god, you know what you are: a drag queen. A tranvestite who is always looking at me, feeling sorry for me, with the smile of someone whose pity is bigger than her compassion is what you are.  Of course, you would like to see yourself as caring for others, as a giving soul, but, you know, the flatness of your face, the cynical smile reveals the truth about you, a rigid reactionary who believes to be in control. Standing on the podium, judging me for everything I did that never met your expectations. Pathetic! Passive aggressive! You smile betrays you. It is the same smile of so many others who love to create a problem, any problem, and then judge the failings of others.

But why do I get so angry when I see you? Why must I ask? I know. Of course I know. It is your smile, triggering – though, never willing to accept responsibility - purposely opening old wounds. You could have had the sensuality of, you know her, la de Alba, La Maja; or the repressed sadness of any Flemish woman waiting by a window; even better, the power of the liberator, Juana, la de Arco; but not you. You chose the “it is not my fault kind of attitude” and then dismiss everybody around, and never assume responsibility over your actions.

There were those days when you reminded me of the school principal, well, ex-school principal, since by the time we met, she was a professor. The kind who sits at faculty meetings, and waits and waits for the opportunity to pontificate and evaluate everybody, and then when she was alone with her puppets, it was time to plot, to plot behind closed doors. You and her are the same..... destroying everyone and anyone. But in public, at faculty meetings, there you were. Pen in hand and your smile, assuming the role of grand dame de las letras, annoying me because I refused to accept your colonization mentality. You think, because you presented yourself as a leftist and progressive educator, that I believed your posse? Really?  Pendeja, eras una grandísimia pendeja. If I would have had the power to do so, I would have sent you back to your petite progressive school in Riverdale where you could smile as much as you wanted.

         But your smile was not only a judgmental smile. It was the projection of cruel pleasure. It was the smile of the vicious, bitchy gay male, making rather intellectually limited generalizations, los boricuas son todos vagos. I know you were not interested in the dynamics of the colonial situation, the welfare state, underground economies and working conditions among members of the Puerto Rican proletariat. You were simply trying to annoy me. I know that you could not stand the idea that an older man would not fall for such a hot euro-centric mulatto. I never liked tranvestites and he was a racial and cultural transgressor. Porfapliis! I know better. Trying to anger the objects of your desire is an old Latin American telenovela technique that does not work with me. I might be many things but, hardly a masochist who would lose cordura when confronted with such tricks. If you wanted to conquer me all you needed to do was to say so, and did not have to make stupid statements. And you should have not worn women clothes, and show that smile. Certainly not! Pathetic again! When seeing my bewilderment, all you could do was smile.

          Me? Angry? No kidding. And Columbus discovered America. Which America, you ask. The Southern hemisphere, you know that. The Northern one was discovered by Ponce de Leon. My grandmother was a de Leon. True, she and one million more Puerto Ricans are surnamed de Leon. Most probably her ancestors were slaves in one of the Ponce de Leon plantations. Not according to my mother. She was a descendant of the conquistadores, though not a Ponce, only de Leon. Few could keep the Ponce part, and certainly not, my mama. Sorry mama, you were just another de Leon.  The Ponce was dropped and all you were left with was the smile, the Mona Lisa smile.       

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