Judith and her family moved to United Stated because of economic pressures on their growing family. Her father joined the Navy and was assigned to duty on a ship in Brooklyn Yard. In 1995, they lived in a tiny apartment in a huge tenement that once housed Jewish families but was taken over by Puerto Ricans. The apartment they were living in was small, have thin walls and heater pipes that bangs and rattles that startled them out of sleep. Those pipes are connected to all the other people that lived in that apartment and she remembers her first spanking, her playing tunes on the pipes in her room to see if there would be an answer. Her father had a strict order, for them to keep their doors locked, the noise down, and themselves to themselves.
Judith’s father’s obsession was to get them out of the barrio ...view middle of the document...
She remember watching all series showing families. Her father’s navy check provided them with financial security but only thing his money could not buy them was a place to live away from the barrio—his greatest wish, and her Mothers greatest fear.
One New Year’s Eve they all dressed up. Judith in a frilly dress, her brother in a miniature man’s suit and bow tie, her mother wore a bright red dress, her hair to her waist and her father put on a dark civilian suit. They had been invited to her father’s uncle’s house for a big celebration. There were food and drinking. They was always a trick pastel, one without stuffing, and whoever got that one was the “New Year’s Fool.” There was also music. They finished watching the home movie and the movie ended with everybody dancing in a circle but in complete silence. Judith’s cousin have his novia there and they were talking about how good of a Puerto Rican wife she going to be if he decided to marry her fast and how she is going to be corrupted by the city just like her other cousin if he waits longer. Her cousin was saying she is an American woman and will do what she please. She have an American boyfriend that is older and has a car. Her parents don’t know but she sneaks out at night to see him. Judith’s aunt was telling her how her cousin was pregnant when the movie was made. That her cousin’s mother pulled out a baby out of her as big as the doll Judith’s mom was holding before and how they flushed it down the toilet. They sent her back to Puerto Rico and lived with relatives in a village so far away from civilization. They called her la gringa. The old woman’s mouth became a canervous black hole Judith fall into. Her uncle was the last in line he was dying from alcoholism, shrunken and face full of wrinkles and broken arteries. She can see her whole family in him. She told him “Move back, Tio, I don’t want to hear what you have to say!.” Those who are still part of her life remain silent, going around and around in their dance.