Sometimes at the big parties, I wouldn’t dance. Instead, I’d stick out my arms, place my feet — in cute patent leather Mary Janes — in position and spin. My colitas and dress would fly up.
The dancers would become a blur. Until I bumped into one.
Then I’d be told to stop.
“Ya párale, te vas a marear!”
But that’s exactly what I wanted. So I wouldn’t listen and get back to spinning. Soon, cousins and siblings would join the fun and we’d become a small group of whirling dervishes.
It was all so much fun… until someone got hurt. Someone always got hurt. The eldest kid or ringleader would try to prevent more drama.
“Don’t cry! You’re going to get us in trouble!”
But it was futile. We hadn’t learned yet how to suppress the tears. A parent would rush over, to scold the crier.
“Te dije… that’s what you get.”
The sniffling crier would be taken away or inside to get cleaned up. The rest of us would come up with a new game to entertain us… until someone got hurt.
Photo taken by Alan at LACMA inside a Richard Serra sculpture