one hundred nine

They’d had a couple mojitos in South Beach a few weeks ago. 

They’d more than likely kissed each other. 

It was their honeymoon. It’s 2016, who doesn’t kiss on their honeymoon?

In the aftermath, they read it wasn’t terrorism. Just a lone wolf acting out because he saw two men kissing in Miami. In front of his 3-year-old. 

He. Was. Just. So. Angry. 

They bandied their anger triggers.

People on busses with mobile phones. Televangelical hypocrisy.  Welfare cheats. Politicians dodging issues while circumventing their (lack of) consciences with lobbyists’ loot.  Cyclists running red lights. Adam Sandler movies getting green lights. A man getting so upset his son might see something he doesn’t agree with (or perhaps can’t accept within himself) that he takes it out on scores of innocents. 

A world where murder and a fatherless son (the one you said you wanted to protect)  was a better option than saying, “love is love.”

His anger unleashed a storm of bullets.  Their rage spawned tsunami of tears.

Did their kiss orphan his son?

Knowing the world could never give them an answer, they focused on what they could provide the world.

More kisses.

More love.

More tears.

No more guns.

one hundred eight

“Suddenly, life’s precious again.” 

Laia pointed to her ear, shaking her head. “No puedo oírte.” The RiRi remix wasn’t that loud, nor had she misunderstood.

“You’re the DIAMOND” he said, pointing to the speaker. She heard her eyes roll. “Want a mojito? They’re awesome.”  His American accent was as strong as his cologne.  When did Paco Rabanne launch “White Male Privilege”? He motioned two more from the bartender.

She smiled, holding up her vermut. “No, gracias. Estoy bien.

“You’re very bien,” he said, flashing a smile that would have made Bon Jovi proud, save the mint-bedazzled bicuspid.

She’d seen him earlier at her best friend’s chirringuito. She was studying for next weekend’s CPE, and liked eavesdropping on tourists to hear “authentic” English. He’d complained rather loudly that his bravas needed salt. Then he mansplained to his companion how to peel her shrimp. After demanding mustard (already on the table), he bemoaned, “The thing about Europe is it’s just not classy.”

“Come on, baby.” He nudged a mojito over. “We’re not gonna let a little foreign tongue be a cockblock, are we?”

“Cariño,” Laia said, sliding the drink back and sliding into perfect English. “Your personality’s taken care of that.”