I think I fell in love with her because of her hair, her smile, one beauty mark by her nose. It must have been one of those days when the rain falls heavily in San Francisco. For some reason, time stopped. Here we were both 28 years old on a flower bed made of immigrant stories. Her family from Venezuela, mine from Mexico. “Francisco, do you want to listen to Lilia Vera, do you like Latin American folk music?” As the melodies filled the room I became intoxicated; here was this woman making me arepas at the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset and her black luscious hair laying my chest. For this night, I didn’t think about the problems of the world, the inequality, the fragility of life. I only thought about her words. She is an architect and I found it cute that she was always cold in San Francisco.
“Clavelito colorado que de la mata cayo, clavelito” the song lyrics amplified from our pores. I know I kissed her that entire day and I fell asleep and when I woke up I didn’t remember being 28 or Mexican or anything. Although dazed, the commotion that created friction in our stratified society wouldn’t quiet down, all the problems that are San Francisco being San Francisco didn’t matter, I was in love.
“My father tried to teach me how to whistle while we waited for an elevator.” She tells me, along with other important things about her life. I realize that this woman was genuine and so I wait for her like an elevator I don’t know exactly when it arrives. In her beautiful high pitched laugh she calls me “amor.” We walk along the crazy streets of people that lost it all, of people that had the most money in the world, a labyrinth of solitude.
Gabriela, I made a mistake will you take me back; the Venezuelan woman listens to Lilia Vera and now I know that San Francisco is a Latin American paradise at least for us, at least the Mission district is proud of us. The fog speaks Spanish and what I am sure of is that, I am willing to fight for this. Te quiero.