Bisco: Angel? are you there? where did you go?
Angel: I never left.
Bisco: ahhh. ok. did you really want to have kids?
Angel: I don’t have children.
Bisco: oh. then you don’t get it.
Angel: what don’t I get?
Bisco: if folks really want kids or not?
Or more to the point, did I? here’s the thing that you don’t know. I had a sister—Maria Rosa but she died. She was sick from a child since only three years old. She was deformed by her illness but it made her more regal, more beautiful in an uncomfortable way. She suffered horribly. She was four years older than me. She exalted in her life despite her suffering. She was not easy or perfect but rather funny, sarcastic, with an ironic wit and almost always terribly mischievous. She tortured me every day and at the same time we were best friends. I could never win. She could always play the “sick” card and our parents would defer to her. Her immune system would attack if she was angry or sad so all of us—there were four—-had to watch out or we would literally make her sick, make her hurt, make her suffer.
And it was horrible to see, her suffering. She swelled up and turned red and her whole body screamed for days. It was bad to see for a child. But it was our family, it was reality. Later I was too stupid to NOT make a baby. Just too stupid. Every time my first daughter got sick—which was like every day—I got terribly afraid and sad. It was like I was watching Maria all over again except this time she was my child. Do you have kids? Isn’t it just the worst thing of all when they’re sick and little and they can’t understand and no matter what, you can’t explain it…you just can’t. Right? Angel?
Angel: I don’t have kids.
Bisco: yes you do, yes you do…
Angel: OK. I see what you mean. I get “it”.
Bisco: really? thank you because I feel like I was doomed from the start. So afraid to see suffering. So sad. But if you feel the same maybe I’m ok too?
Angel: don’t use me to justify your inadequacy as a father.
Bisco: no. you’re right. I just wanted to tell somebody. I love having kids—I just hate being a poor excuse for a father. and i hate when they’re hurt. just can’t take it. to all you moms and dads out there who lost kids or suffer their pain—i get it. really. and i admire you all! stay strong. you never know!