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by Alessandra Simmons

Thank you, Fernando, for spinning me in circles; every little girl should experience being weightless. Thank you, Joe of the red-rimmed glasses, for that conga drum pin I loved because it sparkled. Thank you, Isaac, for teaching my brother to sail on the Pacific, where he learned to stand up straight. Cheers to you, Jovan, even though your couches were mysteriously covered in plastic, you solved the mystery of car engine noises. And Alex, thank you for teaching me it’s possible to draw circles close enough to perfect. And gratitude even to you, Rick Romero, for convincing me that Baywatch was a quality show. Thank you, Lucho, for renting movies for me when you stole my mother for the evening. And also to you, Bob, the corner storeowner, for the tips on grilling sirloin and other strange rations. Thank you, Scott, self-titled mother’s soul-mate, you finally fixed the vacuum you broke and left without saying goodbye; it was better that way. Thank you, Jose Luis, for teaching me that sometimes the ostrich strategy works: I closed my eyes and counted for two years, and you finally surrendered and disappeared. Thank you, Marco, for the NoFX tickets and teaching me to how read the tattoos on men’s arms. Thank you, Craig, for joining in the ranks of people who worried about me for a year and half; I liked when you called me princess even if it was issued like a bullet from your lips. And Garey, thank you for the chromosomes, the brothers and sisters, the two-year-old laptop, the used teddy bear, and the six-dollar lunch at the all-you-can-eat Indian buffet. Thank you, Maud, for entrancing me with your stories of crying statues told after dinner while my mom cleared the table and you sipped your beer. Thank you also to the one whose name I never remember, because it’s never spoken; my mother hung on your violent arms as a ticket from marriage to self-employment, black and blue, but with her own pair of shoes by the time you retreated. Thank you. 


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