Alejandra Aponte

"The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue." –Dorothy Parker

Two Whales on a Couch

I’m busy packing for New York (haha no I’m not, I’m writing a blog post). I’m leaving tomorrow for a three-week trip. I have a three-hour layover in St. Louis–or Chicago, I don’t remember. (The fact that I don’t remember should be a red flag. Surprisingly, it is not.) I will probably write another blog post while in St. Louis/Chicago for three hours tomorrow.

I should be packing, but instead I’m sitting upstairs in my messy room listening to Robyn and writing a blog post. I don’t do this enough. I think it’s because I don’t want my blog posts to get out of hand. Unless I’m being honest and talking about Feelings and Other Forbidden Fruits, my posts are very very, uhh…dull. (Which is why I seldom write blog posts.)

Or unless I’m talking about books. Then it’s fun.

The point is, today I’ve been doing what I’m really really good at (aside from writing–which I’m only good at sometimes–and fitting as many bad words into my sentences as creatively as possibly–which tends to get me in trouble): procrastinating. I’ve done one load of laundry today. But I watched a hilarious Greg Behrendt special! And I answered e-mails! And and and…my suitcases are empty. Yes, plural. Southwest lets you check in two free bags. God is smiling down upon me today I swear.

Except for the part where my older sister is downstairs feeling lonesome. God’s not being too cool to her today.

She invited people to her pool party (we have a pool in my backyard–it’s a rather large backyard, so we tend to have parties there), and people actually RSVP’d and said they were coming, and then…no one showed up.

Have you ever felt really protective of someone? My sister is at least three inches taller than me, mind, and she’s a hell of a lot stronger, too. But I swear I wanted to take my tiny Mexi-rican fists and punch her friends out. I’ve met them. Can I be honest? They’re winos. And stoners. And theatre people. And beer enthusiasts. Anyone who drinks Bud Light WILLINGLY is not, in my opinion, someone who is worth my sister’s time. I have told her this. But my sister is a cutie pie, and she’s the sweetest kid–usually. She has her moments. But she’s a good kid. And she damn near broke my heart when she walked into my room while I was reading fanfiction online (again: procrastination MASTER) and said, “Am I really that big of a loser?”

Am I really that big of a loser.

I feel like this is middle school all over again, like she got bamboozled into thinking people were going to be nice to her for a change and actually show up to her fucking party, instead of saying they would and then texting her to mock her about it (true story, by the way. Someone actually texted her earlier to make fun of her for that). I don’t even care if these kids end up reading this post and figuring out it’s them–chances are all the Mary Jane they’ve smoked has slowed their brains so much they won’t even realize it’s them I’m talking about. And even if they do, I don’t really care. I have no obligation to be nice to them.

I bet I’m going to lose readers/Twitter followers/Facebook friends for writing and then posting this. Whatever. It gets fun now, I swear.

When we basically realized no one was going to haul ass to our house, I went outside, grabbed a Blue Moon from the cooler, and the giant bowl of chips on the table. Then I went back inside, sat on the couch, put the bowl of chips between us, handed her the beer and said, “Let’s pig out!”

(Well, I didn’t say it like that. It was a bit more inappropriate, I suppose. But you get the idea.)

Point is, we sat there and ate chips from a giant bowl (I tasted her beer–and remembered why I hate beer so much), and I turned on the TV and changed the channel to Bravo. Real Housewives of New York was on. Jill and Ramona were squabbling in Ramona’s room in Morocco. After a minute Ramona threw herself on her bed and started crying so hard she was shaking. My sister and I started laughing.

And then we had pizza, and Pirate’s Booty, and watched a girl on New York Ink get a tattoo of a tree on her thigh. And then we watched the Greg Behrendt special, and then we tried to watch Patton Oswalt but he just couldn’t top Greg. And now I’m packing. Erm, blogging. Might as well be honest.

I have this mechanism, I think, where I don’t tell people things. If I were upset about people not showing to my party you can bet your bippie I wouldn’t tell anyone. I’d never in a million trillion years admit it. Last year at my birthday party I had four friends over and it was the best party I’ve ever had. My sister isn’t like me. Her heart isn’t even on her sleeve; it’s on her forehead. Sometimes when she’s really upset her heart’ll spill over into her eyes. It hurts me to see that. Again, Mexi-rican fists. I want them to meet the face of whoever hurt her feelings so I can knock their lights out. Because she’s my sister, and I hate to see bad things happen to her. She’s like a little kid, in a way–a good way, for serious. She’s a kid. She likes everyone. She doesn’t say mean things about other people. I’m the gossip; she’s the nice one. I’m the one who automatically assumed the cousins I hadn’t seen in ten years–and therefore didn’t recognize because they were so unfairly effing gorgeous compared to little Mexican tree-stump me–were the girlfriends of a scurvy cousin of mine (Rilee and Savannah, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry. You kids are amazing. I love that I’m related to you, but I also hate it at the same time. Nothing personal; it’s the principle of the thing. Also genetics. But I digress). My sister? Super sweet to them. And even if they had been my scurvy cousin’s plus-ones, she still would have been nice to them, because that’s who she is.

I think I’m writing this because I know what it’s like to be lonely. I know what it’s like to be the kid who throws a kickass party, only to have no one show up. I know what it’s like to not be able to share certain things about yourself because all people are going to do is throw it back in your face. When I was a kid I lived in a foreign country, and I never told any of my friends that I loved to write, and that I wanted to be a writer someday, and that I relished every creative writing assignment in English class. They were just going to make fun of me for it. I know what it’s like to be bullied. I know what it’s like to experience things that are really weird and complicated and absolutely not okay. But I also know that being the kid with the pool party where no one shows up isn’t the worst thing ever.

If my sister’s friends had shown up, they would have blasted show tunes all afternoon, everyone singing along with “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist,” and “Life is Pandemonium” and a bunch of other songs they love. They would have drunken all the beer in the cooler downstairs, and someone would be smoking in the back corner of the yard, and someone would be making out with someone else. (Theatre kids always have cigarettes, booze, and illicit kissing. And show tunes. It’s not a party with theatre kids if you don’t have those things.)

Anyway, all this chaos would be happening, and my sister would be downstairs in the thick of it all, maybe swimming in the pool, maybe making sure no one climbs the wall separating our house from the house next door. Whatever. All I know is, we sure as shit wouldn’t have parked ourselves on the couch in the living room like a couple of beached whales and split a large DiGiorno pepperoni pizza while watching Jill and Ramona duke it out Moroccan style. And that, I think, is worth twenty pool parties with a hundred drunken chain smoking self-centered actors. (Because here’s the thing: EVERYONE is an actor. At least, in their minds, they are. Even the techies.)

My sister and I have been through a lot. We’ve weathered many a shitstorm together. And that pizza we split this afternoon was the best pizza I’ve ever had, because for a while at least, neither one of us was alone or bummed or scared or nervous. We were just two whales on a couch, pigging out. And at the end of the day–not to get cheesy here, kids–I think that’s the kind of person I’m writing for. The kid with the birthday party where no one shows up. I guess people are going to think that’s weird, but it makes sense to me. If you’ve ever been a whale, if you’ve ever been scared, if you’ve ever worn your heart in your eyes, if you’ve ever wanted to make your hands into fists and give someone a piece of your mind, if you’ve ever wanted to stick up for your sibling, then this is for you. If you’ve read this whole nonsensical rant, this is for you.

End rant. And now, back to packing.

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