Blanca (excerpt)

[Blanca, a young twenty-ish office worker stops by her friend’s house to borrow shoes.]

Listen Lisette, lemme borrow your shoes? The short black ones. No because Manny gets off Footlocker in twenty minutes and I have to take the bus. But I can’t be looking ugly in the bus. So find them! Don’t stress me more alright. My life is already stressed enough, can I tell you? The other day right? I was at Manny’s house, and we was fooling around, and like you know how guys be getting all shy like when they wanna say something really important but they don’t say it? Or like they say it, but like their voices be getting all low so you can’t hear what they saying? So he was doing that right, and like I don’t be playing that. I was like, hello- excuse-me-I can’t hear you-what-you-saying right?

So I figure he’s doing that because he wants to ask me to marry him cause already we been together one year nine months seventeen days and he aint asked me nothing. So I look, and he got this thing behind his back and I figure it’s a Hallmark card or something saying like, hello Blanca how you doing I love you will you marry me. Instead, he got a condom right? …Right? So I was like, excuse me who’s that for? He was like, that’s for us. I was like, excuse me-I do not think that’s for us. But he goes, no we have to use it, because he said that he had seen some thing in like channel thirteen or something, like some thing. He goes, no you have to be careful you don’t know what’s out there. I was like, excuse me I know what’s out there, I’m talking about what’s in here, right? I was like, you aint sticking no fucking rubber shit up inside me I don’t know who touched it. You might as well put a rubber glove and do some Spic and Span in that shit, cause I aint having that. …No cause, one year nine months seventeen days we been together, now he comes to me with it? Now he thinks I’m dirty? I aint fucking dirty.

And he thinks like I don’t know nothing. Like he thought that I thought that you could get it from mosquitoes. Plus it aint like I just met him. I know his whole family, his parents, his sisters. They’re nice people. If I would have got something, I would have got it one year nine months seventeen days ago, right? …No, we talked about it but you think we used it? Ps. We started fooling around, I was like, you seen this in Channel Thirteen? He was like, no. I was like, mmm.

…Not those, the black ones you wore last Friday! The short ones with the bows on it. I’m telling you though, Manny be driving me crazy sometimes for the dumb reasons. Like, you know Manny’s father’s Puertorican and his mother’s Spanish. So he’s Puertorican right. And he’s dark and his last name is Sorullo. So when people ask him, he always says Sorulo. Cause he says he wants to work in business in Wall Street, and that nobody wants to hire a Sorullo. So I be telling him, Manny that’s your last name, you can’t do that. And he be getting angry at me like, That’s my last name, that’s how it’s pronounced! And like, you got it easier than me Blanca cause you’re lighter than me, cause you’re a woman. And I’m like, excuse me, I’m Puertorican too right? So it was the Puertorican Day Parade, and I had gotten us these T-shirts with the Puertorican flag in the front, and in the back there’s a little Coquí and it says Boricua and Proud. So you would think that he would be like, oh thank you Blanca that’s so sweet I love you, right? Instead he starts screaming. I’m not wearing this shit! I can’t believe you got me this! It’s ugly! I was like, excuse me, it’s not ugly. So he puts a Ralph Lauren shirt. I was like, Manny, you think somebody’s hiring you for Wall Street at the Puertorican Day Parade? So he goes to me, Look Blanca, I might be Puertorican, but I don’t have to walk around looking like one. …I was like, excuse me. You think that people think that you Swedish? You Puertorican. I couldn’t believe it. It’s like, he wants to wear a condom, but not a T-shirt.

…Not those ugly heels, the short ones with the bows. …So find them, don’t stress me more! It’s like I be nice to people and they be having tempertantrums. You’re like Lemington. You know my roommate Lemington right? ..I know, his name is Lemington, that’s weird right? So you know he’s gay right? And you know if you see Lemington, you be like, oh my god this guy is gay. But if you see his boyfriend, you be like, oh my god this guy is not gay. Cause he’s like six foot and all muscular. Like when I first had seen him I was like, mmm. Like that, right? But he’s gay. And they’re not only gay, they’re black and gay. Can you believe that? I couldn’t believe that. ..No, cause they don’t look like those guys from In Living Color. At all. But you know I don’t care cause I’m very liberal. But I think that his boyfriend be beating him cause one day Lemington had a cut right here, and I seen those signs in the subway that like if you’re gay and your lover beats you call that number.. right.. whatever.

So we be getting along, except this one morning I’m getting ready to go to work. It’s like seven-thirty in the morning and I’m sitting there eating breakfast, I look up and he’s wearing my skirt. So I was like, Lemington what you doing with my skirt? He was like, That’s your skirt? I was like, yes that’s my skirt Lemington, where you got it? He goes, In the closet. I was like, well that would happen to be my closet, which would happen to be in my room, so that would happen to be, Ding! ..My skirt right? I was like, Lemington you can’t be wearing my skirt. So he starts crying right? And he’s like, Fine I won’t wear it! And I can’t have him crying in my house at seven-thirty in the morning cause then the neighbors be thinking like I’m beating him or something right. So we had gotten over it right. Except that he be leaving me these pamphlets all over the house. Like in the dishes he puts them, in the freezer. So, should I go to get a ice cube, I’ll read a pamphlet. Meanwhile I got frozen pamphlets in the freezer. It’s this one pamphlet, it’s called, Getting To Know Your Body. It’s these drawings of these women, looking at themselves, in you know, there, with instructions. Excuse me, but I don’t need to be looking there. For what? It’s money in there? Plus, what if somebody comes over and they go to get a ice cube, they’ll be thinking that I’m looking in there with instructions like, what’s this? He thinks that I’m like one of these women that doesn’t know nothing about her body and goes and does whatever. [She puts on some lipstick.]

But he’s sweet though, he got me this cute shirt with all these pictures of famous womens on it. Clara Barton, Nefertiti, Mother Theresa is on the shirt. And he gives it to me and he goes to me, Rejoice in your womanhood Blanca, be good to yourself cause you’re a warrior. I was like..? This is some black gay thing or something? He called me a warrior. I picture myself like running through the jungle with a machine gun like, lookout it’s Blanca coming!

But the thing is, now he got this little dog right? And a)He don’t be feeding it, so the dog be eating my curtains, now I don’t have no curtains people could just be looking at me naked through the window. And b)He don’t walk it. So the dog be shitting all in my house. And let me tell you, I don’t know what the dog be shitting because it got nothing to eat but curtains. It’s like little curtain shits is in the floor. The other day I’m getting ready to go to work and I get out the shower in my towel, I step in this little macadamia nut shit. So he goes, Wipe it. So I wipe it, I took a Bounty but I don’t have time to go back in the shower and scrubbing shit out my foot twenty-four hours. So I go to work. People at work are like, Ooh you smell like shit. And when I explain to them that, excuse me I do not smell like shit naturally, but I happened to step in shit. They’re like, Oh you stepped in shit? You must be stupid then. And I’ll tell you right now, I can’t have people calling me stupid cause I aint stupid.

…No, I wanna kick him out, but then he’ll think it’s cause he’s gay. I mean it’s not that he’s gay that his dog shits in the floor, it’s that he’s irresponsible. Things are so complicated. Plus I think he got AIDS too, cause he’s all skinny. …Yeah Manny’s skinny too, but Manny’s just skinny. Lemington’s gay and skinny alright? But them people be getting that shit anyway right? They do though right? …Right. You got them? Finally, gimme. I hope they fit. I’m telling you, you know what is it? [Blanca puts on the shoes and checks herself in the mirror.] I think my life is stressed because I have to learn to be nice to myself. Cause if you think about it, nobody’s being nice to me. you included. But listen, I have to go because you making me late. And these shoes are too tight but I’m wearing them. And let me tell you something. If Manny comes to me with that whole condom thing again, I’m gonna tell him like this, You think I’m dirty? Who do you think I am? Do you even know who you are?