Woman Who Does Not Smoke

A story from my book Mujer que no fuma, Miami, Flo., 2012

Este cuento fue publicado en el libro Mujer que no fuma, Miami, Florida, 2012.


Now, my friend Guisela Pinto translate it to English.

That sweeps that irons. She does not drink coffee nor sweetens with sugar.

Woman who lives a normal life. Woman who diets and is watches what she puts in her mouth. She even watches what comes out of her mouth.

Woman who consumes skim milk, light oil, oatmeal, water crackers, turkey, dark bread.

Woman who lives alone.

Who cleans and organizes. Folds clothes and decorates the house. Woman who waits for visitors.

Woman who turns on the light, turns off the light. Watches television, turns on the oven, bakes a cake for father. Father does not come.

She does not have a boyfriend. No boyfriend saw her in her youth. She does not have a child. No man saw her in her peak. She does not have a brother. Father did not present her with brothers. She does not have a mother. She died of illness due to father.

Woman who dusts the furniture, shines the floors, feeds her dogs.

She waters the plants, cuts flowers for mother. Mother does not come. Mother is barely ashes sprinkled to the wind.

Woman who has a father. Father who drinks alcohol. Father who has a home, a home that daughter does not know, but knows it exists. Father always had a home. Even before she was born. Mother invaded father’s home and broke the unity. Then she was not a wife, both were in dispute of father. Or maybe three (including her).

Father does not like that the daughter wants to be the woman and use perfume. The daughter is the daughter and the woman is the woman, he tells her. She does not listen. She lives for father. She loves father. She adores father. She cares for father when he comes home drunk and cries of his misfortune. She does not cry. She can’t nor should she cry. She is strong. Mother always told her that. You must be strong in this life to survive and build a home.

The only home she knows is the home she knows that father has far away from her. Over there, father has children. Over there, father has a woman. Over there, father feels love. Here he feels nothing. Here he only feels pity for daughter, like he felt pity for young and unprotected mother. Father felt pity for young and unprotected mother and he wanted to protect her, by procreating a child, in this case, a daughter. And he abandoned her (daughter included).

Woman who does not smoke, but sometimes insults father. Father does not hear her. Father is far, drinking, o maybe having dinner at home, with his family. But father will come, some night, to lie down next to her and whimper and ask for forgiveness. And she, will forgive him, as always, like when mother forgave him, a second before her death. Only she does not die yet, she can’t die. The doctor told her to take care of herself, that she should live to care for the poor alcoholic father.

Author: Rossemarie Caballero, from the book Mujer que no fuma (Woman who does not smoke) Miami, Florida, 2012)

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