El amor is nothing but a victim of human desire

When you get to the longest tunnel on the express, hold your breath 'til the end then make your wish, she said.

We always passed through that tunnel on I90/94. We lived by Belmont and California Avenue. My mom or dad would get on the express way via the Kedzie Avenue entrance. Evertime we'd get to the downtown tunnel I'd hold my breath with the strong faith of a religious woman and repeated,  I want love, I want love, I want someone to love me.

A white long sleeve shirt from Discovery that had the word "LOVE"--a heart in place of the "O"-- in black bold Calibri font was my favorite shirt in sixth grade. I was eleven years old. It was a fitted shirt my dad's young girlfriend bought me with my dad's money. Or maybe it was just a gift from her. Or maybe she took me to Discovery and let me pick out what I wanted--a pair of shorts with glitter buttons on the hips, a crop top that had a white transparent shirt underneath.

A boy from my class was the cousin of the boy who lived in a house across the alley from our house. My dad was friends with that neighbor's dad. One night my dad, my brothers, and I went over to the house across the alley to watch Congo and play Star Fox with the neighbor's kids and my classmate was there. I was wearing my favorite shirt. We sat on the floor across from one another. Only the living room coffee table between us. The adults ate in the dining room. My classmate would smile at me and stare at me, waiting for me to look at him long enough for him to show me a bobbing hand movement. When he felt that I saw his sign he smiled big and wide. A wide grin that raised his sun-dried cheeks, filled with food, so high, the ripples and lines of his cheeks threatened to blind his eyes.


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