A Collection of Time Machines

I still remember those hot summer days and the clear blue sky, as blue and as bright as my grandpa's eyes. All my memories of him I cherish but there is one that won’t ever perish. For as long as I can remember his colognes have been present, in all colors and size, in all pigments and dyes. He kept them all together on the upper part of his boudoir, although in no specific order, it was almost aléatoire. The scent of them all together is still quite hard for me to describe but if I concentrate and try, I begin to reminisce. The smell was a jumble of oak, tobacco and wood, boy o boy those colognes did smelled good. He wore cologne everyday no matter where he went, from a casual rendezvous to an anniversary event. It surprises me I must say, that not one time I saw one empty, maybe he must’ve bought of each cologne plenty. When it came to the brand he wasn’t at all picky, as long as he liked it and made him smell nifty. He owned brands like Creed, Dior and Robanne, but he would not mind to have from Forever 21. Later, as I grew older, I learned why he had such a big cologne collection; he taught me that there is a specific cologne for every single occasion, even for the most simple day of summer vacation. As the years went by bottles came and bottles went, all but three that never left. I soon came to know that they were not just any bottles cologne; they were from special moments that he would never forgo. One from his wedding, one from my mom’s and one from my aunt’s. Not so long after learning this my grandpa took his last breath and it was not until his death that I came to understood the true meaning of what his colognes meant. These were not just fragrances that he used to smell fine, these were time machines he had to travel back in time. He used the smell of this fragrances to remember precious moments in his life, as I now do to keep him in my mind alive; years have passed, and time has gone by but I will always remember what that boudoir smelled like. After a while I took it upon myself to carry this collection as a tradition of my own and now I have my own collection of cologne.


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My Grandfather's Minivan

I can still remember my grandfather’s minivan with vivid detail. Gray were the interiors and gray was the outside, although the painting was blue. How come? He never washed that old Voyager. Coated in dust like a breaded chicken breast prior to frying, that minivan took me and many others to magical places. Several were the hours that I would be crammed into the vehicle, together with my grandmother and cousins, like a bunch of pool balls squeezed perfectly into place in their rack. As the youngest, I would always seat in the third row, next to a heavy toolbox and a rusty can of WD-40, but a whole different thing it was when I was riding alone with my grandpa. I was the king. Riding shotgun, windows down, stereo all the way up, cranking hours and hours of what seemed as archaic music to me. Little did I know that this “archaic” music (AKA “jazz”) would become one of my favorite later in life. Somewhere in the messy central console, located between the two front seats, my grandfather always kept a glass (usually a red Solo cup) a bottle of Coke and a bottle of Appleton State, his favorite rum. Punctuality was one of his main traits, and as the punctual man he was, he would arrive 30 minutes earlier to any place he had to go. He figured he rather wait, turn the engine off, lay back in his seat and play some jazz while sipping on more than just one glass of rum with Coke instead of being in a rush. So it was not a surprise when I got out of school and I found him waiting (or sometimes even sleeping) in the parking lot, engine off, music up, glass full. Some days he would even bring me a bottle of juice, a ball cap and sunglasses to impress the ladies on my way out of the parking lot. Some other days we would drive to the beach and eat some shrimp, fresh and ready to peel. The Chrysler van then would take us to the shore, where we would park it and walk along the breakwater, all the way to the end of it, where the lighthouse stands. Time flew and we all got older, the minivan included. 83 years old, my grandfather was still driving that old, rusty, dirty and battered Voyager. The rear bumper had completely fallen off, one wheel did not match the other three and the seats were no longer seats, but racks for tools, buckets and machinery he kept hauling back and forth to the beach, to work in the construction of his beach house. The car seemed to have been through war, but no, it just had been through my grandfather’s life.    

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Dedicated to my grandfather Rubén Marrufo, who died at age 83 this last June. His memory will never be forgotten, let alone all those great times in that old Chrysler Voyager.

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Call Me Wistful


Time wiles away, barely noticed by the clock.
I'm so lost in far-away journeys,
its awareness stalls my motion and stands still, my pace .


Careless moments pass by the wayside,

my gaze trained to the skies of yesterdays
and my mind wrapped around billowy clouds.


I grow nostalgic in remembrance
as days long past flit by like antique picture shows,
grainy and distorted by their long, stored away years.


In a mood, melancholy and reflective,
I languish in a woolgathering state,
preoccupied and pensive in this little bit of infinity.


Memories, fresh as the current air, wash over,

warming me, where I thought was now cold.

His face still a vivid dream, his hands still touching.


Some things never leave a heart so young,

A heart so broken and remaining still...

Broken, empty and longing for shadows gone.


Here, in this mere spell of perpetual forward motions,

I remain entranced by my recollections of former days.
I guess, you could call me wistful...


Sweet Ingrid Bergman,
Olivia de Havilland,
Grace Kelly...

Of the grand time when,
Hollywood was resplendent.

Monroe, Liz Taylor,
And sexy Hedy Lamarr...

Joan Fontaine,
Rita Hayworth, Ava Gardner,
Gina Lollobrigida...

She was cool:
Audrey Hepburn, who,
Is still the "My Fair Lady".

"Madam X",
Is Lana Turner,
While Jane Russell still sizzles!

Vivien Leigh,
"Scarlet O Hara"!
All...'Gone away'...'with the wind'!

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