Just Another Day

By Omar Martinez Jr.

Before I even started to walk into the plane I felt the presence of many.  As we walked in, we could see many different faces with many different belongings.  Some with four bags on them, some with none.  One man had on him what I thought was a fluffy white pillow, but as I got closer I could see it was actually a clump of chicken feathers.  It’s been a strange day for me.  We thought we had finally finished preparations for the move yesterday until my brother, Antonio, told us he only had one bag ready to go.  He’s always prepared for events like this, until today.  Of all days, really.  We almost missed our flight because of him, but he’s always been somewhat unpredictable too.  I guess it doesn’t matter, we were still able to catch the plane.

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We were told about the move a month ago.  I was 10 feet from the ground on a tree, eating an orange.  Antonio had dared me to climb it and try to catch the orange.  But by mother told him to stop so she could tell us something.

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“How would you feel about moving to Puerto-Rico?” she ask me.

I told her I would miss our life in Spain, but I was open to the idea.  After she told us that we were moving to Puerto-Rico regardless, but that it might not be permanent, I was excited to go.  It was a new experience.  She told us the family had decided to expand the family business to other parts of the world and that they would start at Puerto-Rico.  We were already making good money off of one wine vineyard, I don’t see why we need more.  But hey, more money, less problems, and I could help people out more too.  I always wanted to go to Puerto-Rico so it wasn’t all bad.  While the exiting thoughts were still rushing through my mind I heard Antonio yell, “Think fast!”  I turn to see an orange flying toward my face.  It curved, but I knew it would.  Antonia loved throwing curve balls.  I caught it and started to eat it.

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Antonio and I weren’t just brothers, we were best friends.  I could go on and on how Antonio and I were so much in common.  We were both somewhat unpredictable, we both day dreamed a lot, and we both got distracted and sidetracked easily.  Those are few of the many examples.  Everyone that knows us or knows of us says that God meant for us to be twins, but Antonio has twelve months late to the party.  Hell, we even had the same zodiac sign, Libra.  He was born on September 24, 1971.  I was born on October 15, 1970.  We had few differences, but it’s a good thing we do.  We were as close as God made possible, but we weren’t a copy of another person, we were ourselves.

It took us a while to find our seats in all the chaos that was our flight.  When we found our seats we had to think of how we were going to “assign” seats to everyone so the flight wouldn’t be so difficult.  We were quite the crowd, I could sometimes see two or three people glance at us from time to time.  As one could imagine we took up quite a few seats.

It took a little over 9 hours to get to San Juan, and the flight wasn’t so bad if you ignored the chicken feathers, the three crying infants, the smell of natural gas, the fighting children, the fighting couples, the fighting chickens…..lots of fighting.  But not all the people were bad.  An old man randomly leaned over to me from another aisle of seats and asked me, “What year is it?”

“1992” I responded.

“What?”  He said to me as if he was in a different universe than his own.

“The year is 1992 sir.”

“….Are ya sure?”

“Yes sir”

“But I was sure it was 1933, I remember dancing with my wife to our favorite song yesterday.”

“1933 was a long time ago sir, it’s been fifty-nine years since then.  Maybe you were daydreaming?”  I could tell he had a condition, I wanted to let him know what year he was in without calling him on it or making him feel like he had a condition.”

“Maybe, maybe.  You’re probably right, thank you.  What’s your name?”

“Arturo.”

“Thank you Arturo, a kind young man you are.”  He returned to his reading and the man sitting next to him smiled at me.  He didn’t say anything but I knew he was thanking me and I acknowledged him back with my own smile and wave.

Other than him most of the other people on the plain weren’t so nice, oh but dealing with them was worth it.  I couldn’t wait to get out of that plane.  I was so tired of the flight, I can’t remember how many times I asked Antonio what time it was.  I was able to deal with the flight alright up until we were three quarters done with the flight.  When the pilot made the announcement that we would land earlier than expected I had to keep myself from screaming yes for China to hear.  It took us about the same amount of time for use to get out as it did for us to get in if not less, I was very excited.

As I walked out of the plain, I was blinded by the beautiful noon sunlight for a few seconds.  When I started to see clearly again, the first thing I was able to see was the glittering waters of the Gulf on the horizon.  I stood there looking a the land and sea until my grandmother call me to see if I was still alive.  ¨I was just looking at the Gulf”, I said to her.  I had to take a lot the luggage into the plane when we were in Spain, so I was tired and a little sore.  And so I struggled a little walking down with the luggage and I tripped when I got to the ground, almost falling but I was fine.  My grandmother ask again in a joking, sarcastic tone of voice, if I was still with us.

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Smiling because of my clumsiness and my grandmother’s humor I said to her, ¨Yes, I’m alright.¨   She was a feisty one, my grandmother.  For as long as I could remember I always called her Zinnia, and Antonio and my cousins did the same.  I don’t know why I called her Zinnia, she was just always Zinnia to me.  She was always great company to have when things weren’t going so great.  I could always expect a good laugh when she was around, but if one ever tried to mess with her or get on her bad side, all hell broke loose.  Luckily for me, I can’t remember a time when I got on her bad side.  She lived a long and healthy life.  Seventy-six years old at the time and she could still go for a light jog with us.

We had to stay at a hotel for a little while until my mother’s sister’s family was done building the house at the vineyard.  We said they wanted to help but they insisted on letting them finish it themselves as “thanks for all the things we’ve helped them with.”  Maybe a few checks here and there to help them with financial things, but that’s nothing.  We had the money to spare so why not help our family.

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