Spanish to English Translations:
Alejandro me dijo -- Alejandro told me
Amiga Mía -- Female friend of mine
Y solo se me ocurre amarte -- And it only occurs to me to love you
Yo quiero darte mi alegría, mi guitarra y mis poesías -- I want to give you my happinness, mi guitar, and my lyrics
Tan pura la vida y tu -- So pure life and you
Gracias Alejandro, por esa noche -- Thank you Alejandro, for that night
Amarte -- love you
Maricon -- faggot
Pero no puedo tocar -- But I can't touch (the word for playing an instrument in spanish is touch)
mi hijo -- my son
Todavía puedes cantar -- You can still sing
Padre - Father (Priest)
Que vas hacer -- What are you going to do
"Voy a cantar... a llorar... tocar mi guitarra y mi mujer. Lo demás se lo dejo a Dios." -- I'm going to sing... cry... touch (play) my guitar and (touch) my woman. The rest I'll leave to God.
Dedicated to Michelle
Nobody expected it, least of all me.
I was a freshman scholarship student at a private high school with an excellent music program. One of my teachers, Ms. Smith, sweat blood to get me the money over an athlete or academic whiz-kid.
I agreed to perform at the Winter Recital for her sake. I also wanted to see what it felt like to be alone in the spotlight. It was the future I wanted and getting used to the glare was a necessary step.
The Recital was a big thing at the school. The schedule of performances was printed a month before and I was the only soloist with freshman in front of their name. Nobody asked why I had the spot; they formed the opinion that best fit their high school social religion. I guess I was a heretic of the established order to most.
Walking in the arrogance of a destined future, I made it worse.
I touched my first guitar strings before "Ma-Ma" came out of my mouth. My mother could lay a guitar on the floor and forget me for a morning or afternoon. I looked at the other Recital performers with the arrogance that if our individual practice hours were summed up and compared they would be years in deficit. They cried for toys when they were children; my punishments always involved taking away the guitar.
Puking twice in the half-hour before I performed was not a favorable omen. Ms. Smith tried to make light of my clammy, pale skin. She laughed when I looked annoyed and put the guitar in my arms.
I felt grounded again.
I performed near the beginning of the Recital. Ms. Smith wanted me to close the show but was shouted down. I was singing in Spanish to a Caucasian audience went the argument. I laughed when she cursed in front of me about the prejudice of that stupidity since the final soloist was singing from an Italian opera.
They announced my name and even the guitar could not hold off the return of stage fright. I walked out and nodded to the audience as soon as I was out of the curtain's protective cover. I moved to where the stagehands had placed the bar stool in front of the microphone.
The lights were a painful white and I could barely make anyone out. I crooked my neck to the side trying to release the tension. The microphone was too high so I adjusted it with trembling hands. There was a snicker as the silence extended past what a good performer would have allowed. I looked behind me at the people who would be accompanying me. They looked bored which did not bode well. I turned back and squinted my eyes to see if I could make out anyone. One of the lighting technicians took mercy and pulled his light away so it did not shine on me directly.
The silence was broken by feedback when I tried to say hello. There were a couple of laughs, increasing my nervousness. The sound of those laughs nearly cramped my stomach. A line of sweat broke out on my brow and I cleared my throat nervously.
She saved me that day.
The technician moving the light let me see the audience. Directly in front of me, a few rows back was Samantha Jones, or 'Miss Samantha Jones' as the freshman guys called the Undisputed Senior School Princess. Every high school has one of them, the Unattainable Dream.
She centered me.
I knew who would be sitting next to her.
I turned my eyes to her left and saw MY unattainable; Michelle Debreau, a senior like Samantha.
She was popular with the guys because she liked sports and laughed about guy things. Unlike Samantha, Michelle saw me when I passed her in the school halls, even if I was a lowly freshman.
I looked at Samantha again, and then at Michelle.
I had to smile. I always had to smile when I saw 'Miss Michelle Debreau'. I could not see her brown-green eyes but I knew they would be shining with sympathy. I turned around, looked at the musicians behind me and waved them off.
I didn't need them anymore.
I smiled at Michelle again. She reflected it with a wide one of her own. Those smiles reduced the world to her and I.
I didn't have my own words, but hours of Alejandro had put his inside me.
Alejandro Sanz, Spanish singer-songwriter.
He captivated me with 'Amiga Mía'. The subject matter was the most original I'd ever heard. I bought every one of his album, and learned every song by soul.
He gave voice to what I wanted.
He gave voice to what I wanted to say to the Dream's handmaiden.
"Y solo se me occurre amarte"
It began with the guitar.
I watched as she leaned forward in the way she did when something captured her attention. I touched the guitar strings lovingly, drawing the music I wanted to give Michelle.
"Yo quiero darte mi alegría, mi guitarra y mis poesias"
I sang the words to her, for her. She didn't understand a single one but that was okay. I did not understand all of his words either. I hadn't done enough to know what they meant. I felt each word when I was near Michelle though, and that night I found a way to make one part of the song true.
I showed her my soul.
It ended with the guitar.
Everyone's silence came into focus. I nodded at the audience and gave Michelle a last smile before I walked off stage.
Ms. Smith hugged me tightly and kissed both my cheeks hard.
"God, you're so fucking beautiful," she whispered into my ear.
It wasn't me.
I couldn't help smile when I was near Michelle.
The details don't matter, not to me.
Samantha Jones was envious of the five minutes I raised Michelle above her, so what?
Michelle's ex-boyfriend was a junior and a hulking brute of a football star with jealousy running through his veins like acid, so what?
The ex had two sycophants who would follow him into hell not realizing that was searing heat they felt, so what?
The important thing is the second night that Michelle and I came together, and fell apart.
We became friends. Not friends in public, but friends in the privacy outside the doors of the rest of our lives. She was waiting in her car when I came out of my guitar instructor's house a week after the Recital. She smiled and waved me in. I enjoyed the walk home but the invitation was not something I could turn down.
She drove to her house and led me into the basement.
Michelle liked to talk, and I liked to listen to her. She said even if I did not talk back, she felt like I heard what she wanted to say.
It ended the same every day for two months.
The guitar and Alejandro's words.
Our last night, it did not end like that. She was on the floor and I was sitting on her bed. She took the guitar out of my hands and placed her face close to me. She kissed me but I was too overwhelmed to kiss her back.
"Kiss me," she encouraged.
She put her lips on mine and I gave her my first kiss. She placed her hands on my hips and moved them underneath my t-shirt. She separated our lips and took my t-shirt off.
I was afraid.
Not stage-fright, but virgin terror.
Those weren't my words. There was no way I could live up to them skin to skin. I was a boy and Michelle deserved a man.
I almost fled.
She stopped me with another kiss. I drowned in the lavender smell of her perfume. I was going to fail but I had to stay, like I had to smile when I was near her.
I had to be inside her even if it was only once.
She popped the buttons of my jeans and tugged on their waistline. I pushed myself up with my arms. She pulled my pants and underwear past my hips. She took my shoes off and finished stripping me.
Michelle put her hands on the inside of my thighs and created a space between them for her. She winked at me and took my hard dick in a gentle grip. She kissed me and stroked me slowly.
I could not have held out against the first touch of a foreign hand; the hand I wanted touching me. I groaned and my eyes felt hot as I failed her.
"It's okay, baby," she whispered and I believed her. "This is exactly what I want."
She tightened her grip and milked the last of the seed from my body. She pulled away and looked at me. She stroked my face with her other hand and touched my lips with hers.
Michelle moved downwards and I thought I was going die.
I did die, more than once, as she licked, kissed, and then took me into her mouth. I wanted to live when she kissed my testicles.
She stood up and looked down at me. I was on my back with my legs off the bed.
"Stay right there," she said.
Oh yeah, I had somewhere else to be!
She turned around and walked into her bathroom. I wished she had not closed the door so that I could watch her.
I did not want her to leave my sight.
I lay my head back and stared at the ceiling. I heard the bathroom door open and looked towards it. Michelle walked towards me naked. I got hard and bit my teeth down on each other. I lost focus for a minute as a tear formed in each eye. I blinked them away and looked at her again. She stood between my legs and touched her nails to my thighs.
"Ms. Smith told me what song you sang at the Recital," she said. "I tried to do a word for word translation, and then paid to have it translated right. I bought every Alejandro album so I knew each song you sang to me in the last two months. I paid to have each one translated too."
"Are you ready for your first time?" she asked me.
At fourteen, no.
"Good," she said and climbed on the bed, then past me.
She lay down on her back and looked at me. I scrambled up and got between her open legs. She kissed me and took me in her hand. She guided me to her center and I thrust. She must have winced as I penetrated into dryness. I did not know it wasn't supposed to be like that so I pulled back and thrust harder. I was fully seated inside her before I looked at her again.
Her eyes stopped me. She wasn't feeling what I did.
The desire to flee returned.
"It's okay," she whispered. "There'll be more times. This is for you."
But that's not the dream.
My body and heart fought over which would control the rest of my life.
"Tan pura la vida y tu"
In whispered lyrics, my voice was not deep or dark. It sounded as heartfelt as my heart felt living Alejandro's words for the first time.
She opened her legs wider and gripped higher up my body.
Gracias Alejandro, por esa noche.
It was the unattainable as I sang for us. She pulled me down and I gave her the song with my lips against her ear.
She moaned softly as I finished the first chorus and moved her hips beneath me. She was wet and warm. I put my forehead on hers and pulled my hips back. She squeezed me hard with her arms as I moved into her.
The song kept me in place. I could not move and sing, so I sang and she moved.
She danced beneath me and as the last amarte left my lips I kissed her. She came and I knew... knew it was the first time she had done that with a male inside her. It was in her eyes, the tears and a small part of what I felt when I looked at her while she passed me in the halls.
It didn't make me a man, but it sure felt like it.
"Your turn," she whispered.
I was lost for a second, my turn for what?
She stroked my hips with her hands and my sex answered the question. I pulled back and thrust hard into her. There was no dryness, only invitation.
I came inside Michelle.
I guess the tears that touched both our eyes at one time while we made love meant we cried.
We definitely loved, even if not completely.
We also laughed afterwards, with each other, about nothing.
I walked out of her house alive. I could smell the night air. I'll remember the clean smell of it for the rest of my life.
They jumped me a few blocks from Michelle's home. They pulled me into a dark alley and the two sycophants held my arms as Michelle's ex opened the guitar case.
I knew my life was over when he smashed the guitar against the wall. It wasn't jealousy in his eyes, but raw hatred. He pulled out a hammer and stroked the head.
"Samantha says you should have sang for her," he told me.
They never proved that Samantha knew what the three were going to do. She admitted egging them on when they told her they wanted to get even for my stealing the football star's girl.
I struggled as they lay my hand down on the barrel.
"Let's see you play now, asshole," the ex said gleefully as he raised the hammer.
It came down in slow motion. Inch by inch I watched its path until the pain lanced through my heart.
They shattered my hands.
"Not Guilty" was my second death at their hands months later.
"Not Guilty" means "It never happened" when the person it happened to hears them.
I never woke up in the hospital.
I never screamed at Michelle to get out of my room.
I never cried in my mother's arms like I had never cried before.
I never heard the words "You'll never play the guitar like you did, Miguel" come out of a doctor's mouth.
I never dropped the guitar from the pain.
"It's over, Miguel," Ms. Smith whispered into my ear as she hugged me when the jury spoke those words. "Let it go, sweetheart, please."
The jury looked at me with pity in their eyes. Later, one of the jury members called it a youthful indiscretion that had to be looked at in the context of the boys' ages.
Those words were worse than 'it never happened'.
I smiled at the television when I heard them.
I was young too and I did not have anything to live for anymore.
"Hello, Joseph" I said before I threw the bat in her ex-boyfriend's face.
I had been waiting for them in the weight room by the school stadium. There was no one there and I could watch for Joseph's car from the window.
I counted seconds and opened the door when they were about five feet away. They looked shocked but Joseph had the reflexes of a star athlete. He caught the bat easily.
He should have been looking low.
My dad looked on my music with masculine distaste and tried to make sure I was not going to turn out to be a maricon. He personally drove me to martial arts classes Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. I thought he looked funny sitting among the moms but never said anything.
The kick was perfect. I had practiced it a thousand times when I decided to be indiscrete. It angled downward and struck at the knee. I hit Joseph with my shin in a kick that would have hurt even if it had struck higher. The human body is so fragile, hands and knees break irreparably with so little pressure.
Joseph went down with a horrendous scream that mirrored the one my throat had produced that night. I took the bat out of his hands and pointed it at the other two. They froze seeing their fate in my hatred.
I pulled the bat back and hit Joseph with as much of the barrel as I could strike his chest with. His scream stopped as the air was forced out of his body.
One life for one life.
My guitar, his football.
Even Steven, as any kid might say.
The two turned tail and ran when I looked at them. I smiled as I threw the bat end over end at the smaller. He tripped and slid a few feet. He tried to get up but I smashed his jaw with another thousand-times practiced kick.
He was out.
I looked up and saw the back of the last one. I knew where he was going so I picked up the bat. I walked back to Joseph who was also out and took his car keys out of his jacket.