You put your lips against the baby’s stomach and blow. She had him with a banilejo who had four other kids with four other women. You and Noemi fall into a little pattern: on Sunday you take her out to dinner—she doesn’t eat anything remotely adventurous, so it’s always Italian—and then she stays the night. Three Sundays in a row she sleeps over, and three Sundays in a row nada. This is your last chance, but instead of begging for mercy you bark, Fine. After you pull yourself together, you tell Elvis, I think I need a break from the bitches. You pass each other a couple of times a week, and she’s a pleasure to watch, a gazelle, really—what economy, what gait, and what an amazing fucking cuerpazo.
Your ex never wanted kids, but toward the end she made you get a sperm test, just in case she decided to change her mind. She shows you pictures; kid looks like he’ll be dropping an album if she’s not careful. Sunday is her one day off—the Five-Baby Father watches Justin that day, or, rather, he and his new girlfriend watch Justin that day. Not sweet at all, because Noemi didn’t give it to you! On whether you’re planning to give me ass anytime soon. You know as soon as you say it that you just buried yourself. Then she says, Let me get off this phone before I say something you won’t like. Even these little breakups suck, because they send you right back to thinking about the ex. This time you spend six months wallowing in it before you return to the world. By winter’s end, you’ve gotten to know all the morning regulars and there’s even this one girl who inspires in you some hope.
You give her the passwords to all your e-mail accounts. For a while you haunt the city, like a two-bit ballplayer dreaming of a call-up. White people pull up alongside you at traffic lights and scream at you with a hideous rage, like you nearly ran over their mother. Before you can figure out what the hell is going on, they flip you the bird and peel out. Security guards follow you in stores, and every time you step onto Harvard property you’re asked for I. Three times, drunk white dudes in different parts of the city try to pick fights with you. I hope someone drops a fucking bomb on this city, you rant. Why all my black and Latino students leave as soon as they can. He was born and raised in Jamaica Plain, knows that trying to defend Boston from uncool is like blocking a bullet with a slice of bread.
Almost on cue, a lot of racist shit starts happening.
You cry every time you hear Monchy y Alexandra, her favorite. Your friends begin to worry about you, and they are not exactly worrying types. K., you tell them, but with each passing week the depression deepens. He was pinned under the burning wreckage for what felt like a week, so he knows a little about pain. You breathe non-stop, like a marathon runner, but it doesn’t help. But (a) you ain’t the killing-yourself type; (b) your boy Elvis is over all the time, stands by the window as if he knows what you’re thinking; and (c) you have this ridiculous hope that maybe one day she will forgive you. It’s like waking up from the worst fever of your life. ), but you can stand near windows without being overcome by strange urges, and that’s a start. You put away all the old pictures of her, say goodbye to her Wonder Woman features.