Classic…Veggie Scrambler

They were having brunch. She was saying that people eat too much meat. That’s what I remember as I began to notice their conversation a bit in medias res. I was just waiting for my veggie scrambler while their dialogue began to heat up.
She was a vegetarian. She wasn’t proselitizing. He was deep into his frittata when he took pause and deadpanned: “But you kill bugs. Don’t you kill mosquitos?”
Classic! That’s what I thought.
She didn’t argue her cause. She wasn’t trying to convince him. She had given an opinion about meat consumption and had made a very personal decision not to consume meat herself.
I made that decision about a decade ago. And yes, I’ve been presented with the bug-killing scenario, and even leather-issues regarding winter boots. It’s the classic comeback of those who maybe feel curious, perhaps even threatened about their carinvore ways. You know what? It’s OK. I’m not judging you because of that, I’m not even trying to convert anyone. Vegetarianism is not for everyone. And heck, if you want a steak I might even cook it for you, if only I were more savvy when it comes to kitchen matters.
If anything, one thing I know for sure: there’s a difference between an insect and a mammal. As for shoes and outerwear, there’s also a difference between what comes close to my body and what goes inside it for inner digestive processes. There is a difference and there are different reasons to be vegetarian, just as there are for being a carnivore, vegan or of the macrobiotic persuasion.
As soon as my name was called, I got up to get my veggie scrambler. It was delicious. I didn’t miss the ham or the bacon of the non-veggie option. I never really liked ham or bacon, or any meat for that matter.
And yes, I washed my hands before eating in order to kill germs. Bon appetit!

Readings of a Summer

This summer, I read several books that either accompanied me for several nights, resting on my nightstand, or meandered with me on bus rides and long walks in the afternoon. What follows is a list with a short blurb about how I liked it and/or how it impacted me.

SONG FOR NIGHT (Chris Abani)-A beautiful novel that tackles the violence and instability surrounding a young boy and his journey through militarization, loss of innocence, and the promise of recovering his voice. A narrative gem.

THE LAST OF THE MENU GIRLS (Denise Chávez)-A set of narratives that pointedly address gender matters in Hispanic/Chicana/Latina culture.

LOVING PEDRO INFANTE (Denise Chávez)-A rich tribute to Pedro Infante and to the life of his fans, especially one fan–Teresa–nuanced with the experience of border-living and the impact of popular culture in everyday life.

BASTARD OUT OF CAROLINA (Dorothy Allison)-A masterfully-written coming-of-age story in which family violence is depicted without glossing over, as well as the raw incipient sexuality of its protagonist.

THINGS I’VE BEEN SILENT ABOUT (Azar Nafisi)-A fine memoir in which family-matters are contextualized not just from the social perspective but from the narrator’s own appreciation of her father’s writings and thoughts on her mother’s contradictions.

IN THE SHADOW OF AL-ANDALUS (Víctor Hernández Cruz)-A brilliant poetry collection in which the Caribbean and Córdoba are celebrated as places of invaluable wisdom and as crossroads for invigorating possibilities.

WATERCOLOR WOMAN, OPAQUE MEN (Ana Castillo)-A novel in verse that addresses a myriad of relevant topics for border subjects, from gender biases in academia to the atrocities of the murders in Juárez.

These are all highly recommended.