I told Santa, “Iguana lot of books.”
Santa also brought a companion for my Ho Bag.
My Poe bag reminds me of a piece, “Nuestra Casa Is Bilingual,” which I get really wound up while performing because it gives me an excuse to mimic some of my rap and comedy idols. Publishing the piece here, for you to fantasize about me reading, and rapping, is this year’s XXXMas lump of coal.
Nuestra Casa Is Bilingual
TJ and I live in a small, blue house halfway between Little Phnom Penh and a strip of Pacific Coast Highway where the crumbliest hookers go to lose that last tooth. Our cul-de-sac is very crowded. Houses overflow. Even our roof is crowded. Starlings roost in its Spanish tiles and their nests half-dangle over our porch, like a kindergarten teacher’s ass off a kindergartener’s seat.
TJ brings the white flavor to our cul-de-sac. She brings the Caucasoid casserole. The hot dish. Everyone else is carnitas or pho real. Phở real.
In our cul-de-sac, speakers jiggle to Rick James a la Mexicana. Supafreak a la mariachi. Viva Rick James, bitch!
Sometimes, I think it’s a mark of geographical vanity when my neighbors blast good rap: “With so much drama in the LBC, it’s hard bein’ Snoop D-O double G” (U-R-B-A!) This morning, sitting at my dining room table, eating a bran muffin, I listened to my neighbor blast a song of political protest. I tapped my big toe and sang along: “Fuck the police! Fuck the police! Fuck the police! Fuck the police!” Eazy E came on, rapping like a mouse, “I’m tired of the mothafuckin’ jacket sweatin’ my gang while I’m chillin’ in the shack…”
My pet rabbit was roosting in my lap. I grabbed one of his ears and pretended I was scratching a record. Wicka, wicka, wicka! Wicka, wicka, wicka! Fuck, fuck, fuck the police, fuck ’em! And then I started to, you know, wonder. Fuck the police? The po’ lease? What kind of landlord would Edgar Allan Poe have been? If he had been my landlord, would he have done things to make me chant fuck the Poe lease?
What if he bricked up my front door so that I couldn’t leave my apartment?
What if he lived upstairs with a raven that squawked worse than my redheaded tía?
Would he sneak in while I was at work and take my Vicodin?
Would I hear hearts beating under my floorboards?
Would he listen to Usher?
Fuck the Poe Lease ended, and I heard marching. I looked out our window. A platoon of Mexicans, armed with leaf blowers, headed up our cul-de-sac, on their way to fight the deciduous battle against OPP, other people’s plants. Barefoot, TJ padded into the room and stood beside me. Seeing the men, she asked, “Myriam, how do you say leaf blower in Spanish?”
The rabbit and I looked up at her, and I told her what my mother told me when I asked her that same question, “El blower.”