Shantih Journal 3.1 - Page 69

months. ut, retire now, the news now say, or else we won’t give you any of that retirement money. Ligia’s mom, who has been counting on that retirement money, cries again. Every headline cuts her into a smaller piece. “Stop reading that stuff, Ma. We just don’t know what’s true anymore. Don’t torture yourself,” I hear her daughter tell her. Still, in the morning she will rise. Rise and work. Some things have to be set aside to survive. And rising––well, rising is just what you do. 10. Wash plantain leaves (3 bags) with water. Make sure to clean both sides of each leaf. Alexia comes over a whole day. She brings bags and bags of dirty clothes. Hers, Joseph’s, her boyfriend, and Dana’s, her 7 months old baby. “We have not had running water for two weeks,” she tells us. We don’t ask how they manage their bathroom situation, especially considering theylive with 8 other people. Or how they cook. Or how they shower. These are things we rather not know. 11. Build the nacatamales by placing two or three leaves as the base. Adding two spoons of the white mix to the center, two spoons of the red mix on top, two or three pieces of meat, and finally, rice. Fold edges of leaves up and wrap using the strings that accompany the leaves. Repeat process until running out of leaves. Boil nacatamales in a big pot of water at 230ºC for 2-3 hours. At night, thinking about TPS going away is not what makes it hard to sleep. It’s not DACA either. It’s not the protests. It’s not the fires. It’s not immigration’s questions to those who are two tones darker than me. It’s not Alexia’s neighborhood without running water, that is not a neighborhood, but a whole country. It’s everything. It’s everything on top of everything on top of everything boiling at a million degrees every hour of the day. 69