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The Real Meaning of My Café Late October 9, 2011

Posted by carlosgreat in Uncategorized.
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The other day in class we talked about ways of bringing memories back to life by remembering specific details of the environment around the event.  I was immediately captured by the topic of “extremely happy time” as students read each possible scenario. I wrote on my last post, Capture of Emotions, where I unexpectedly presented a friendly contradiction of my post and my blog. I am happy about and want to contribute on ways of making 3D technology improve our lives; however, I must admit that I hit a wall when it comes to digitally capturing of emotions and memories.

Sir/Madam if you believe that everything can be captured in ones and zeros, please allow me to contradict you and at the same time prove you right by detailing my introduction to Café Late at the age of 4.

My parents and me when I was a teenager

When I was a very small child in El Salvador, my father would take me around the land to pick fresh fruits or to go see the workers that helped my father on our farm.  I was very short, slim and had white colored skin that would easily blend in with the rocks and grass and disappear from sight in the middle of the bright sun.  My father would take me from home through a short and narrow trail with huge rocks and lots of trees to where the workers and crops were.  My father would never let me walk alone on our land, no matter how much I complained. Why do parents always do the opposite of what the child wants? Is it possible that a parent wants the child to suffer just as the parent did in the past?

I remember my father carrying me on his shoulders with my little legs hanging forward on his chest with my left calf hitting a small plastic and animal decorated cup on the left side pocket of his shirt.  My hands would be constantly grabbing and sliding off his soft short hair while my whole little skinny body would be pressing against the back of his head.  I would be terrified of falling off my father and hit the rocks or roll down the hill and be lost from my father forever; I would then squeeze my dad’s head tighter.  I would be annoyed that he stopped constantly and asked me to be quiet not to scare the grass hoppers, squirrels, and birds away.  But I was glad of these stops sometimes because that gave me the opportunity to see more of what was around me.  Since my father would dress me up with a light green shirt, light brown shorts, and black soft sandals I would feel that fresh cool morning breeze creeping up my shorts, tickling my ribs and back, then exiting around my neck making my ears cold.  The warmth of my dad’s shoulders and head was enough to stop complaining about the cool breeze and instead look at the little animals around me. If it had rained the night before I would smell the fresh morning dew, see the wet birds sitting on the rocks or top of the trees bathing on the sun while the blue and purple tiny butterflies sat still on the not yet opened flowers. The other times, the sun would be very bright and I would feel warm.  On these dry days, I got to see birds flying and singing, the squirrels chasing each other along the branches and the grass hoppers jumping away from the hunting ants. I would be absolutely fixated with this amazing range of details and unfolding of events before my eyes, all the while I had to stay quiet sitting on my father’s neck with that uncomfortable cup by my left leg.  Finally we would walk past the rocks, birds and trees and come to the other side and be mesmerized by the cows and their calves, flicking their tails left and right looking at me while my father walked between them.

I would be lifted off my father’s shoulder by a very old man that was always smiling and gently scratching my head while the other workers started talking to my dad in words that meant nothing to me.  My dad would pull out the little cup from his pocket.  All of the sudden this tickling joyful feeling rushed through my tiny body and I would grab my dad’s leg as he walked toward the big buckets of fresh warm milk that the workers had milked by hand from the cows that had observed my arrival.  He would dip the cup into one of the buckets and pull it out full of fresh milk and foam then gently bring it toward my lips and I would drink it.  My father and the smiling old man would start laughing hard, but I would just be interested in drinking even though my upper lip and the tip of my nose were completely covered with foam.  Eventually my father would wipe my lips and nose, put me back on his shoulders and bring me back home.  On the way back I would fall asleep and then wake up at home when my mother pulled me off my father’s shoulders.

On a recent trip to El Salvador, my mother and I went walking around our land and she pointed with her left hand toward a dense tree covered area while holding her hat with her right hand and said “that was our secret short cut during the civil war”.  She continued to say, “Your dad used to take you through that trail against my will because your uncles and other workers liked when you came to the farm, but some people lost their lives around these lands during the war”.

Then I understood the significance of seeing a happy child covered with milk foam in the middle of such precarious times.  As grownups do we tell our parents that we love them and thank them for their protection and support?  Do you think it is necessary to say it or parents know us so well that it is not necessary to tell them how much we appreciate them? I usually don’t share these memories with my siblings for fear of being overshadowed by more exciting memories of their own recollections of events.  I hope I have been able to emotionally present you with a full dimensional image of one of my memories.  My father passed away years ago and this is one of my most cherished memories of him.  On the way to my office every morning I stop by Starbucks coffee and with a joyful smile I ask: “a tall late please… with extra foam”.

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Comments»

1. lineahann - October 10, 2011

Wow, this is a great story Carlos. Your detailed description allowed me to picture the atmosphere you were describing and kept me interested. The ending surprised me, it is interesting how such a fond memory of your childhood was so much more than you realized at the time. I enjoy reading your blogs, you are a great writer and it seems like you have also had a very interesting life.

carlosgreat - October 14, 2011

Thank you, it is always easier to write and provide a greater range of details when we write from personal experience.


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