Look, how can I cut it to you without breaking your little heart? I guess we all will suffer somewhat, anyway, so here it goes: you have an established balance of days, a precise weight of instants, of moon phases, crossroads and yet you will be supplied with sufficient stamina to climb uphill this mountain of life. In an opening and closing of eyes, or shall we say instead of leaves, pages of this fragile book will be written. You have had too many moons go through your hands, a softness of time since you were conceived. You are a whimsical girl, brave girl, but girl you've wanted to do what you want and when you wanted; and you know what I'm talking about. Admit it, you're no longer a child, una niña, but are you a woman? You might be, somewhere deep within your being. But of course - if you're a mother! I'm just teasing - I am only a watch, a clock, like any old hourglass of salt. I'm all clocks in the world, am I a mere construct of the human mind, an illusion, or am I what GOD has given you? My name: Time. Today, you want to write a book about me, a love story, a tale of sand, as a soup with spices and a little salt, you’d like to cook not paella, or rice, but a story - you want unique, amazing and beautiful characters - something never seen. Let me tell you something, you're something that was never seen!
There are people who think that you are from India, right? There is actually some truth to that. Your grandmother said once you seem Brazilian. But you're not. You're American. And your parents are Honduran. You were ashamed to say you were from Honduras when you were small, well, and not so small, you were like twelve when you felt more American. What will your book be about? It seems that I will write, well, through you. What do we have in common? We both speak Spanish and English. But I speak more languages than you, because obviously I'm The Salt Clock and speak all the languages of sand, in hours, minutes, and seconds. I speak the language of the heart, as well. No wonder you are a poet - you are a simple and observant girl! But see, so am I!
How beautiful you are. You know it, but do not know to what extent beauty is embodied in you. Without becoming smug, you need to look into the mirror as I saw you today. You need to look at the you deep inside, and say, “You are a sea of shells that are hidden, and you are beautiful just like GOD made you. Never change your beauty, subtlety and quiet way of living."
The minutes go after you, and envy you because you have more time than they themselves: irony. In time there is an always complicated task, and manual works will make you light and happier. Darling, let me write. This book I have it written in a compartment of my Body of Time made of old wood. Imagine me like that, if you like. I'd like to be a man like an hourglass, but a wooden clock, straight and tall, and as a guard or statue, but always, someone worthy and decent and good mutually loved and loving all those around him, plus his surroundings. Sweet Rebellion is a secret inside me. But I will tell you what rebellion is, what is sweet, what the secret inside the sun is. There it is. Here's the secret. Sweet rebellion is simple, really. It is to love, but love despite failures when you plotted a rebellion that you thought sweet, but in reality, it was bitter or bittersweet. You hurt Giovanni, and that's why he hurts today.
And I know what you want, what you love, what you miss it is true love, caresses, feelings. You know I talk a lot, in long inexplicable ways - it is because I am The Time. And I'm important in your life, of course I was always yearning to talk to you and see you finally happy like this writing something decent: a novel, a novel from me, but you, so then you and me. Continue writing, and dreaming, and laughing. Do not listen to the winds if they laugh at you or say, “That's not a book! That's trash!”
Do not believe them, because my girl, you have talent, let GOD develop you in me - Time - and see how you grow in some seeds, rain, land, suns, moons, rain, sun, moon, and buds, petals wrapped in a flower, two or a thousand. Grow, and conquer. You will look and live to write; you’ll write to live.
Be patient, the book will be written. Be patient like when you were a preteen and you waited for your breasts to bloom. In front of the mirror, you questioned your fate. You wondered at what age you’d lose your virginity, when you would have a husband to go to sleep with every night of your life. You imagined yourself in your late twenties, and you were right – sort of. You were twenty when you found the love of your life, so that was early; yet you were nineteen when you lost the flower of your purity. Go on now, and keep writing in your diary. Keep typing our story away. Grow in the light of the eternal hand-holding. Be bold, be everything you’re planning and dreaming. Watch me every thirty minutes, right now I am 11:33 PM.
And now 11:34. Tomorrow I'll be these times again only for two minutes. Every hour you wear different masks, yet they repeat themselves over and over again, day by day. On Sundays, you wear the mask of sainthood, you pray to God, you read the Bible, think of the Virgin Mary, your guardian angel, and Jesus, and sometimes go to Mass. You try not to fight with anyone. You mope around and feel guilty for having argued with your Dad. No one should work that day, only I can tic away and not be held accountable. I tic talk and bother no one, unless you are a patient with cancer, aids, or something similarly dire, and I can be your worst enemy apparently. If only you knew I will bring you closer to GOD, you wouldn't fear me as much. Death is my friend, and you mustn't fear. Death is only a bridge. A bridge of beauty. A beauty like dandelions growing in dirges, like a half-full glass of water. Stop sucking your thumb, and write! It is 11:41 now. It is still night, your mother snores to your left sitting and sleeping on the Victorian styled sofa. You prompt her to go to sleep twice, twice she is reluctant. The TV is on with the sports news - it is a Spanish channel. Giovanni sleeps in the room, he leaves a banana peel on the floor, you complain to him, you pick it up, and throw it in the kitchen's trash. He asks you for water, you are happy to oblige. You wait for him to rise until he drinks, and you wait for the transparent cup. He waits for you to sleep with him. You told him you'd be there in ten. It's been fifteen. He loves action movies, you write stories. You used to love romantic comedies, until you gave those up; for a while, anyway. Those poison you, you thought. Why watch unrealistic stories on love and fate? Why not just accept your destiny with Giovanni? And guess what? You did - you accepted it with a hint of honey painted on your lips. But you won't for long, I sense it...
You were born between two sevens - July 9th 1987. You think you're special, especially because of this. But you don't believe in numerology, or astrology, or anything "new age."
Keep typing before they stop you. Keep writing before you drop. Before you sleep, you must finish this short piece: The Impending Breasts. How many girls around the world are waiting for their breasts to bloom? I dare say many. How many girls around the world will be brave and love and have babies? Many, I hope. How many women will say no to abortion and keep their babes? I don't know how many, but I hope that in me, in Time, they will decide against abortion, which is really a horrible act, and keep their ticking babies, like little dandelions in pampers, the softest and subtlest beauties of the universe. Where else can life like this be seen? Nowhere, nowhere surely. On Mondays, you wear a particular mask - the mask of laziness and eventually renewed passion. Monday means the night prior to that day you went to sleep kind of late, even though you vowed to sleep early. Tuesday is a writing day. A day with hopes rising and falling, a day when you doubt your calling, and wish GOD would’ve given you instead talent for singing, but no – writing is your plight.
Wednesday is today. Today you wear the mask of normality and woman straining to be mother. You try to let go of your clinging-ness to writing. You cling instead to womanly ways of learning to sleep your baby, instead of rocking, now she lets herself sleep on her back, on the bed next to you. You love her smiles as she falls asleep. You love watching Giovanni watch TV, and now, how your daughter loves watching TV as well – she didn't inherit that gene from you! You’ve learned how to bottle feed her – she is now two days away from becoming officially four months old. Her name is Angelique Giovanna, and she was born this past October on the 28th. You’ve learned to burp her, cupping your hands like a boat. Sometimes she farts and you swear these are the cutest farts ever, for the first time, laughter erupts and not disgust at such occurrences.
You've learned your lesson - pretty isn't only skinny, pretty is only a word in the dictionary. Pretty is more than the made up girls on the magazine covers, the close to skeletal figures masquerading as perfect. Pretty is not skin deep, but heart to keep. Pretty can be overrated. Remember the girl with the puffy hair, that was you at thirteen, and how you hated that word "puffy." But that was you: puffy, shorty, midget, Honduras. All these were your nicknames.
You were a content girl overall, and you wrote in your diary, and you kept on, and if you wept - it was because you wanted a boyfriend, and you didn't feel so pretty. Once, for your graduation pics, you had been caught off guard, and that day you were having a bad hair day. Do you remember how your friend's mother offered to fix your hair, and between tears, you said yes. She accommodated it as best she could, but the big mistake you thought she had made was that she brushed it out with her hands. It became puffier, and you knew this, but gave up. And like this, you came out in your pictures: you thought you looked like a girl from the seventies with an afro. But overall, you didn't look bad. You were young; your beauty shone through no matter what.
Remember your hazel eyes. Nowadays pretty to you means many things: pretty is a natural thing, you say. You don't wear makeup anymore, unless it's a special occasion, so every blue moon. No more eye liner, no more mascara blotting your eyes when you wake up. No more removing every bit of green eye shadow at night. No more hassling yourself with lipsticks or lip glosses. You let your lips go nude, and you love this. Pretty turns to beautiful like the leaves on an autumn tree; you are beautiful like a nightingale. You sing. You try to. You write poetry.
Do you dance? Not often, but you did when you were "crazy" at the police station locked in a small glassed in room. You felt sexy, in your long purple boots, your yellow maternity Indian dress, you tied it up, so your belly showed as if you were at the beach. You felt the eyes of one officer upon you. A certain one passed and motioned that you cover up. You let the dress down, but you kept dancing, outlining hearts and rainbows on the white walls, and reading the writings of tagging of gangsters and thugs on the wall; you thought you could decipher them.
Pretty: your daughter Angelique Giovanna. Pretty humble: Giovanni. Pretty strong: your Mother who has striven to be all a mother should be. Pretty resilient: your brother, with his green eyes and calm ways, now that he stopped smoking, now that he is a home oriented guy. Pretty awesome: your sister, now that she has lost weight - she feels prettier, but even when she was obese - your sister was pretty, and that is what mattered; she is independent, a strong woman, hard-working, communicative, and trendy. Your father, he is more like handsome to you, but a pretty soul and father nonetheless. Even if you guys argue once a year, you will go back and say sorry to him. If not in words, in deeds, if not in hugs, in words, if not in deeds, in genuine smiles.
Pretty weird yet pretty amazing: the woman that was breaking within herself at eight months pregnant, battling the demons in her mind, the fears that accosted her living soul, while she had her baby inside - that was you, you were strong, you were brave, she was too: your little sunflower seed Angelique Giovanna. You were true: you told the doctor you couldn't push because you couldn't feel your legs, so you pushed with the power of your imagination, 'til you could feel again. Pretty: the woman whose cervix dilated like a rose, petal by petal, until your baby Angel was ready to come out. Push, push, push, said your doctor. It was your destiny, and it was your calling; like my calling is to tell you my exact hour, precise minute every minute, which by the way, I am 12:31 AM.
Pretty: you at fourteen. Your older sister told your bullies, "I told you she was gonna get pretty!" Now, your eyebrows were plucked and not bushy. Now your hair was moisturized and not "puffy." Your breasts were finally...blooming.