The kind you’re born with, the kind you choose, the kind that teach Catholic school
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Dorian Gossy is the author of the short-story collection Household Lies (Winnow Press). She is a graduate student in social work and lives in the Adirondack Mountains of New York.
I don’t remember the exact moment when I stopped seeing chemotherapy as a sort of adventure, a necessary bit of healthcare after a breast-cancer diagnosis, through which I would do my best to be a good girl, bright and brave. Maybe it was when I first encountered the nurses wearing plastic smocks to protect them from what they injected into me.
When she finished saying she was sorry, I hung up without a word and stood before the phone, blushing. The wooden earrings my mother had given me a few years before burned in my earlobes. Hadn’t I just spoken to her the night before? No, the week before. But she and my father were still there, in California, and they were all right. I trusted them to be there always, like gravity, or paychecks.
It had all been very proper. There had been letters between Luz’s home in Guadalajara, and Los Angeles, where Diego’s family had lived for some years. Diego’s parents wanted him to marry a decent mexicana, not a wild American girl with no morals, and Luz was the daughter of old family friends. Diego traveled to Guadalajara to marry her, and she came to live with him in Los Angeles.