This is a picture of my cousin Rosalie and me. I think she was five and I was four when this glamorous picture was taken. For some reason we were always having pictures made together. She has always been very poised and congenital whereas I have been kind of goofy. You can see the proof above. Her mom was named Lucy and was the youngest of 12 children. My mom is Lupe and is the 11th of those children. So that explains the familial relationship.
I don't recall much of our time together before I was eight. Honestly, I remember more of my dads family before that. But, when I was eight my mom, stepdad, brother and myself moved to Cabazon. My aunt Lucy, uncle George, Rosalie and her only sister at the time Alena already lived there. My mom worked so we spent a lot of time with the family. To be honest I really was jealous of her nine year old worldly ways and that she had a boyfriend. She had stylin' clothes and a double tape deck. I had a clock radio and her too big for me hand me downs. I loathed the time I spent with her. She would make fun of my glasses and tell me I was a nerd. A term I had not yet embraced.
Some days she'd push me into her closet full of coloful eighties clothes and gaint stuffed animals, make me sit there "like in E.T." some days we would be laughing while her grandma Betty showed us she could eat apples without no teeth. We'd sneak cheese with mustard on top as we layered them on crackers and run to her room.
We used to fight a lot, usually I was the target of name calling. Or I was told some horrific story about my dad. So again, I was usually left in tears which she'd point and laugh at. Some days she was super nice and try to help me make friends at school. Making friends was something I was never really good at unless it involved boys who were broken.
Once when I was almost nine I had had enough. I mean I was so fed up with the licked fingers on my glasses. I was fed up with my books being thrown and all the name calling. I attacked her full on Ralphie style in our aunts hallways.I was straddled on top of her punching those rosy cheeks everyone loved so damn much. My mom was screaming for me to stop and her mom kept saying "That's what you get."
When junior high approached she and her family were living in another town so we were at different schools. Every Thursday night I would see her when we all met to have dinner with grandpa. During this time we grew somewhat close and yet became very different people. She was getting into boys who dressed like cholos and all that came with that. Myself, I was immersed in music, books, writing and obscure thrift shopped fashion. I'd share mixed taped with her and she'd show me "love letters' from boys and how she was going to achieve high bangs. Those once a week meetups were fun usually. My mom would ask why I didn't keep myself like she did and her dad would ask why she couldn't have grades like mine. So sometimes there was this wall of hatred.
When high school came around. We use to pass letters through my mom. She would tell me about her friend Danny who she thought I would just adore because after all he was "a white boy". So I exchanged letters with this said Danny guy for awhile. Nothing came of it. It was a nice thought. For a time we didn't see each other on Thursdays as our Aunt Margaret was sick with her diabetes and was on dialysis. We'd exchange phone calls after I was done with swim or my random volunteer projects. She was usually at home helping her younger siblings and mine when mom would not be returning home at night. She had a bit of work upon her.
Sometimes I'd borrow her shoes, she always had amazing shoes. In the picture above those boots were hers. Sadly, I don't recall her wearing them ever.
When my sophomore year ended I was living with my dad. So I was a bit excited we'd be in school together. In my mind I imagined since we were neighbors we'd be best cousins. This was not the case for the most part. Some days we'd walk to the bus stop together after making burritos from the goodies our grandpa made in the morning. We'd laugh and talk about boys. There was one at the bus stop whom I had a serious crush on and another at school that I was equally into. Of course they were "white boys". They guys she was into ventured into "white boys" as well sometimes, usually cocky rude guys.This always amazed me.
Once the bus ride to school was over, so were we. We had different academic and social lives. My life was still very much music, writing, books, thrifting fashion and now theatre. I was that kind of geeky girl who hung out with teachers, librarians and random groups of people.
I found out she told a boy I liked that I was a lesbian. My heart was broken I was mad and we fought Ralphie style again.