My earliest memory is of my mother playing the guitar in our front porch. I must have been about 3 or 4, and I remember her playing a song that to this day I can recognize though I didn’t hear it again until I was almost 20 years old- which is also when I found out what it was.
She sat on the floor wearing her khaki shorts and a delicate white blouse and played as if she were serenading the moon. It was beautiful. Every once in a while she would sing a line or two “…y yo no tengo mas que un unicornio azul…” but it was mostly her playing that hypnotized me.
That was the last time she ever played.
When I was 4, my mom made me start taking piano lessons. I hated them. My mom swears that the only reason why I hated them was because being as rebellious as I was, I had to say no to everything; but in reality, the reason was that I don’t have piano playing hands. My hands have always been so small that after an hour or two of piano playing they hurt. But I digress. I took piano lessons until I was almost 17 years old.
After my last rehearsal, I never came near my piano again for years.
When I was 18, I moved to Santo Domingo. For the few years that I lived there I was so unhappy that I just wanted to die; but like they say, God closes a door but he/she opens a window. Every step of the way I had friends to help me through it. I was lucky.
The first Dominican I ever dated, A.P., who incidentally wasn’t Dominican, was a bit of a bohemian. We met at a bar that was very bohemian and it was there that we usually hung out. One day, out of nowhere I heard a song I didn’t really recognize but the style seemed REALLY familiar: “El tiempo pasa nos vamos poniendo viejos y el amor no lo reflejo como ayer…”. A.P. had said that it was Silvio Rodriguez, a Cuban singer.
Too many Presidentes later, I went home and without thinking about it I sat down on my piano for the very first time in years. The song I played was the song my mother herself had played when I was a little girl and though I didn’t know all the lyrics, I did remember “…y yo no tengo mas que un unicornio azul…”
The next day, my mom asked me when I became a fan of Silvio Rodriguez, to which I answered “I guess I always was”.
For two nights straight now I’ve dreamt that He who must not be named was hooked up with this girl who is just about the biggest airhead I know. In my dream, there are no voices, just this background music playing. Silvio Rodriguez singing “…si miro un poco afuera me detengo la ciudad se derrumba y yo cantando…”
I don’t know what this means. Hopefully that won’t happen. But I think that if I had to use Silvio's words to describe how I feel about this all I can say is “Ojalá se te acabé la mirada constante, la palabra precisa, la sonrisa perfecta. Ojalá pase algo que te borre de pronto: una luz cegadora, un disparo de nieve. Ojalá por lo menos que me lleve la muerte, para no verte tanto, para no verte siempre en todos los segundos, en todas las visiones: ojalá que no pueda tocarte ni en canciones”.