Vaamonde and I by Andrés Vaamonde

Sometimes he will go out late at night to el barrio and play dominos with the abuelos. I am unable to go with him, lacking both balls and brain to break my curfew. Vaamonde spews spotless disgust towards me for not tangoing in the hazy streetlight of Jackson Heights or not eating coconut bread in Bed-Stuy, and what it means that I do neither. But he is really just a fool sometimes; times when I find flaws in his claustrophobic stigma spouting and inability to look in a mirror.

To be honest, we are far too different. I spell football without an accent and can barely even pronounce his name. I have a Woody Allen disposition with a possible prognosis of self-loathing. I speak like Coney Island stickiness, he speaks like Buenos Aires dulce. Vaamonde and I yell at each other for hours; broken Spanglish doing what it does. Breaking, splitting, spitting, balling, falling.

“Call me Andrew.”

But, other times, quieter times, we work together. We understand how to stitch the fault lines that bind our backs. There is no room for two-sidedness. Jekyl-ed laughter drowns sounds and Hyde-s the inner turmoil. We can be very cooperative, Vaamonde and I.

So, now, we find ourselves at 7pm. The sun sets behind us, kissing the backs of our necks orange and violet. Violent, we stalk the cemented dreams of kids who walked these streets before. The soles of our feet are caked with blood and ink. We are lost again at a faithful corner. Murmuring breezes breathe our lungs and slithering winds drink our tears.

It may be Saturday night. And we may be tired. But bed belongs to 3am and the liquor store shines Sodom in the distance. So, off we go. Together at last. Together at once. Together as one, Vaamonde y Yo.