In"SEEDFOLKS"by Paul Fleischman,Gonzalo tells of his uncle in his POV, but the other way?
|*The concept is not mine (description)*
My nephew walks into the room and flips on his stupid television again. To me, it really is just a humble jumble of nonsense. Why couldn't we just have a single channel with my language? I can never be included in these things that my nephew rambles on about, so everyday I find myself simply existing. Nothing more. This leaves me with just my thoughts, which always have to lead back to Guatemala. I need a distraction, so I put on my coat and sneak out through the door, silent as per usual. It's not like anybody would bother to understand me anyways.
The silence kills. It's either that though, or the chaotic scramble of foreign words. They make my head hurt. Nobody understands how hard it is for me to be away from Guatemala, and how am I to tell them? Of course, I could tell my nephew, but the boy is so kind and caring, he doesn't need more of me to burden him. He used to be very interested in everything that I did, but he is more caught up in these American things now. Normally, it pains me, but today I just need it to work for a little bit longer.
As I walk down the pavement, my thoughts go on faster than usual. Everyday my family comes and goes, but I always stay. Doing the same thing everyday. Back as a farmer, I would have a sort of repetition to my work. The same movements, over and over again. I would go to sleep still trying to hoe or water. It felt wrong to stop. And, just like them, I’d wake up in the morning to go and be responsible for something. Gripping the wooden handles of my tools was like wielding my family's well being and success. All up to me, but now the only thing they count on me to do is take my afternoon pills. Ack, there was a reason I came outside.
I approach a barbershop, it all seems so alien to me. You wouldn't see anything like this back where I grew up. I press my fingers against the cold, wet glass staring in. They too, have a repetition to their work. I see it, but more, I feel it.
My thoughts are directed to their craft and their craft only, one of the few things I understand in this place.
Something spins around me, like an illusion of some sort. What is its purpose? I wouldn't know. I feel kinda like crying, but I'm too grown for that. I mean, it's not like they treat me that way anyways. Sure enough, I hear footsteps pounding on the pavement to approach me. So many years less wise, and yet, who is the boss but him? I don't want to lose focus on them for my nephew to scold me, but he gives off a more guilty feeling instead of an angered one, something that I didn't expect. Should I feel bad now?
The breeze blows my straw hat off of my head as I stare at my red-eyed reflection in the barber shop’s window. A hand reaches out and snatches it. My nephew's hand. “Mother is worried sick. She’ll practically kill me if I don't get you home safely.” Solemnly, I nod, following behind him. Our fingers intertwined, and he gripped my old hand like I used to grip my tools. That’s when I understood. I was his responsibility. He was in charge of me. He was wielding my well-being and success.
It wasn't his fault, though. Was it mine? Not necessarily though, too. I wish, I wish, I wish, that SOMETHING would be like it was in Guatemala. I need to wield my own.
But every once in a while, wishes do come true. Not too long after that day, I spot a little community garden, dotted with familiar soil and plants. The smell, it smells like home. Not necessarily exactly like Guatemala, but it, well, it feels like home. It does not mirror my farm back there, but I did realize at this moment, why does it have to? My mother used to tell me her morals. “Home isn't here” she tells me, pointing to the floor boards. “But rather, here” She says, poking me in the chest. I tilt my head. “...In your heart.” she whispers into my ear. And farming, that was what I poured all of my heart and soul into. That's where it was.
So I poured this heart of mine into this garden, giving it a home-like feel. That's right, a feel. The soft soil running through the gaps in between my fingers and the wet soil against my fingertips. The dirty feel on my hands, my way of announcing that I’ve come home.