Marianne Meets the "Free-Write," Part 2; Angelica Being More Rosie Perez Than J. Lo

With the pack on her back, Angelica is forced into a forward slant, one that reminds Marianne of Olympic ski jumpers.

“Nah,” Angelica says, “I’m thinkin’ economics is not so much for me. I’m thinkin’ somethin’ light on the book load, you know? What would that be?”

In her left hand, Marianne holds her cigarette, and with her right, she presses her fingers against her eyes and says, “Fuck. Tell me again why it’s economics?”

“Because we all can’t waste scholarship money on communications degrees.”

Marianne rolls on to her back, folding the pillow beneath her head. “Oh, that’s right.”

“But come on!” Angelica holds her arms up in the air, her breasts formed into perfect circles courtesy of her fitted shirt and the expensive bras she wears. “I am the first in my family to leave hairdressin’ behind. That’s for my mama and my aunt, my cousins. I want to be the people on that train that knock into short, fat Puerto Rican girls like me without a second thought.” She moves her arms and hands when she speaks with both rhythm and grace, Marianne watching those brown arms, her round brown stomach peeking out from between her shirt and jeans, the gold jewelry in her belly button with the red, white, and blue crystals dangling from it. “I want to be the short, fat Puerto Rican dressin’ all sick and bumpin’ into short, fat Puerto Rican girls. Girls like me—like I am right now—and be all, ‘Yo, move.’”

Marianne loves Angelica’s big cheeks, big lips, and big brown eyes, the way they move, the expressions they hold. One night Angelica caught Marianne watching her as she changed for bed, and she said, her face at first blank, but then brightening as her lips moved to a smile, “You like this, huh? You like looking at girls that don’t look like anythin’ like you—thin, white, and flat like paper?”

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