“ hermanitas “

christina and clarissa drill

                                           in “hermanitas,” i interview my sister clarissa about our shared memories.

                                                                                           she is i, i am ii.


i.

i was still in college, and i'd been dating one of the most horrific and mortifying adult men on earth named xxxx xxxxxx. he was so unfit for me or anyone i knew — misogynistic, self-unaware, just pretty grim. i really wanted you to meet him because we'd been bf and gf for a year by then.i told him to please come over at 4 pm so he could meet my sip, my pride and my joy. he arrived incredibly and shamefully late at 4:40 pm and smelled like raw meat and tobacco. you and i were layin' on the bed, chillin', and i was anxious as the time went by that this rogue bf of mine wouldn't even show up to meet my #1. but alas, he showed up, and we didn’t get up for him, he just sat uncomfortably at the corner of the bed while you and i took up near 96% of the bed. xxxx went on and on about how "hatchet" might have been the best book he's read and how "the giver" was a load of shit. i cringed and felt sick to my stomach the same way i feel when i get ketchup on my hands. you were 100% disinterested and pretty much disgusted, and i could tell. if anything, in that moment, i was like, yeah this guy DEFINITELY sucks. remember that when mama met him, she just cried on sight. it was that bad. papa called him a "gentle soul" and i think that he meant by that was lost in the world kinda loserish dude. andy was afraid and anxious of everything, especially my family. "they'll NEVER think i'm GOOD ENOUGH!" *punches air*. whatever, that's fine, and you were right. the breaking point of my relationship with xxx, and also that moment, was when andy caught a sight of you playing with rose, my teddy bear since childhood’s, arm. he said, "can you PLEASE take Rose with you, she's just like, gotta go. time clarissa grows up, you know?" i froze, looked at you, and you seemed utterly and rightfully appalled. don’t remember what was said but you scurried into the bathroom, and while you were in there i said to andy, "arrite. we're going to smoke some weed and get oysters alone. bye." i guess he felt the tension he had caused so in an attempt to redeem himself he took a few more steps towards the bathroom, in which you were peeing, and said, “my sister’s in there," and he said, "yeah, i know,” and proceeded to yell through the door at you: "HEY SO MAYBE SEE YOU ON THANKSGIVING? TRYING TO GET TIME OFF FROM THE BUTCHER SHOP. YEAH! WELL HAVE A SAFE TRIP! MAYBE SEE YOU SOON?" my roommate, who was sautéing tofu, started laughing and was like "dude really? just leave". we all knew. i was mortified. you were probably just sitting on the toilet pulling your hair out. i think then you finally answered, "YEAH, BYE!!!!" LOL!!

ii.

wooooow, xxxx was such a nut. before i went into the bathroom i think i said “hatchet should not be in the YA canon and my sister should definitely NOT throw out her teddy bear from childhood.” when you drove me to the airport i think we just parked in a nearby parking lot and just talked about why that was so awful. one of the funniest parts about sisterhood as we get older is that the significant others are always intimidated by how close we are. at least, the ones that are wrong for us do.

i.

it was a weekend morning and i don't really remember if it was saturday or sunday. we had just had a really yum breakfast, something like an omelette or scrambled eggs with turkey bacon that was cooked in a really tiny bit of oil so it was still healthy-ish. mama was sitting on the fold-out chair, watching the tiny tv in the kitchen holding a spatula while me and you ate our breakfast. it was so good like everything mama ever makes. we both went upstairs and i was headed into my room when the phone rang. moms picked up, and immediately started crying, and you and i froze and looked at each other. i feel like we both knew exactly what was being said on the other line, that abuela died, but we did nothing but freeze in each other's gaze, kinda worried and sad seeming. We broke eyes at the same time and moseyed into our own rooms and i remember feeling like in that moment we both shared the same thoughts and kind of already knew exactly what happened, and that being near and together was enough.

ii.

so weird, i remember this as a nighttime memory, but you’re probably right. i was definitely wearing a ‘don’t get emo’ warped tour t-shirt (god, is that still in new jersey?) and green polka dotted pajama pants and heard moms pick up the phone and start crying. oddly, i remember being alone in front of the mirror more so than i remember us locking eyes and parting ways. my hair was sopping wet and i don’t really remember what happened next — just that shock and knowing what had happened.

i.

remember when we went to LA?! that was fun. i remember on that beach where some portion of the movie grease was filmed we were boppin' around and i was in heaven. i wanted to come back because i forgot my camera and i really wanted to take some pics — of the sand, the sunset, and the mussels. you said, "it's really cute how you like nature so much". in the midst of getting older and growing separately, differently, it was so nice to spend time together in a cool new beautiful place that felt like a meet-in-the-middle between the rockin city life you live and the green mountains i live between. you get anxious away from the city and i get anxious in the city. i love being without cell service and you get nervous that you're off the map. you know, ying and yang. sip and bip. california was a good place for both of us.

ii.

yeah, la was important. i remember going to matador beach — i don’t remember saying out loud “it’s really cute how you like nature so much,” but i do remember thinking it. your soul is the most familiar soul to me and one that is sorta combined with mine, and on the beach that day i feel like we weren’t even talking, just existing together. i specifically remember on the santa monica pier it was like 11am and neither of us were hungry but we got beer and fries anyway, and sat watching the sun. the light was wild that day. it was so nice.

 

Christina Drill