NEWYORICANGIRL’s Birthday Countdown! Celebrates with daily excerpts from her new book!

26 Sep

Julia and her parents


CHAPTER #1: “The Hermit, the Harlot & Me”


He was born with only one testicle and she was chronically ill as a child.

So, I guess I’m lucky to be alive. He moved to New York City from Puerto

Rico when he was eight and forever missed the island, while she came from

P.R. too, but never looked back. They were both high school dropouts who

smoked too many cigarett es, each belonging to large and loud Catholic

families living in urban poverty and chaos. 


The hermit met his harlot one night at a party he didn’t want to be at.

She noticed him first and cast her spell from across the room. He was barely

twenty and she was only eighteen when they got married at a big church in

the South Bronx in 1959.  The harlot wasn’t a virgin, but at least she wasn’t

pregnant like many of the young girls on her block.


They honeymooned in D.C. for a couple of days before the hermit

had to return to his base as a Marine. He’d convinced his harlot that a

dutiful Puerto Rican wife is supposed to follow her husband anywhere.

So, there they were, living in a cramped tin can trailer,  launching their

Semper Fi life.


Eighteen months and many fights later, they’d managed to make a baby

and so along I came, crowned as the first grandchild on my mother’s side.

The reception on my father’s side was not as welcoming. 


In a futile attempt to gain favor with his madre,  my father named me after

his mother, even though he knew my mom despised her mother-in-law.



His madre’s dislike of the harlot was well known too. Maybe that’s why the

woman spent her life ignoring me to the point that all I remember about her

was the mole on her face.


A few months later, the hermit was away too much while practicing his

cold war military exercises. He loved the military life and wanted to make it

his career even though his harlot wife felt trapped in her stereotypical P.R.

life. She’d grown tired of her macho husband who dictated her every move

and always demanded that she obey.


So, family folklore has it that the night he came home and confessed he’d

had sex with a prostitute during the Bay of Pigs invasion, his harlot cracked

the hermit’s shell forever. He begged forgiveness, but the harlot used his

confession as the excuse she needed to escape their sardine trailer and get

back to the Bronx…

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