I'm leaning over the balcony at Nana's, calculating how accurately I could spit into the bin three levels below on the footpath. You know. For science.
On Nana's balcony, there is mesh, and according to the adults, this is because of me. It is my fault there is mesh covering what could be footholes (and better aim at the bin). "Ay, Carmen, you were una diablilla," Nana always moans, flapping her hands around her face to stop herself from swooning at the very thought of my idiocy. "You used to climb up and up and up -"
"Who cares?" Tata grouses. "At least she showed ingenuity, wanting to get away from you."
Nana carefully ignores him all the time. "And then, then, you went through your 'depression' -" (she says it with quotation marks) "- and I was so worried you would jump, and I was extra glad I put the mesh on."
The mesh was probably black when we got it, and after fifteen years of it being firmly in place, it has been covered with glitter paint, sticky tape and a few teeth marks from a young Trinidad. I toe it with a scuffed Converse; it barely budges.
"What are you doing?" Lorena appears at my side, suitably patriotic in her blue spotted dress and red headband. "You're jumping?"
"I'm spitting. Vast difference." In contrast, I do not look patriotic. I am wearing the colours, but I am not nearly feminine enough to pass for a Chilean lady. "Do you think I can hit the bin?"
She peers over the water-stained white bricks. "Yeah, but I'd say you'd have to go a bit to the side. Wind factor and all."
Lorena may look patriotic, but she is less of a lady than I am.
Nana's balcony is also covered with plants, some exploding into bloom and some, like the tomatoes, creeping slyly across the cement floor with curling tendrils. It takes Nana approximately twenty minutes from noticing our absence to find us huddled under the leaves and flowers.
Today, five minutes. Lorena is particularly allergic to some orange flower that's dangling on her nose.
"Why are you two always out here?"
"Carmen, I need to introduce you to someone." She waggles her eyebrows at me. "Come on."
The eyebrow waggling concerns me. I make to grab Lorena, but her hand is now covered in slightly wet snot.
One day I'm going to finish and edit and fix and make you better.
For now my excitement to write has diminished and instead, I leave you with Fishies.