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Summary: A Love Like Blood forces readers to question the influence of sexuality, race, religion, immigrant life, and business and how those things can disrupt the father-son relationship
Our bodies, ready for the job at hand, float up from the cobwebs. The purple leaves shake as they scrape my arm. Glancing over my shoulder, I step inside the warm living room and look in front of me and fixate on Brett’s body. Muscle fibers in his arms fill up with blood, showing off his veins. His veins twist like politics on his skin. Blood rushes between my legs as we lower the stands to the floor. The lines of his jeans are swollen with puberty and milk. I ask in secret with my hands to show me what is underneath. Turning my back to Brett, I adjust myself through my khakis and move it up into a less noticeable position. His face is a face that I know and do not know. Athletic, hirsute, strong-featured, and with large feet, he is every combination of the men featured in my non-porn porn collection. The videotapes, which are exercise workouts, are in the last place my father would rummage through, a satchel with an angel’s face printed on the front and back.
With my back to Brett, I say, “It will probably take us all day to unload everything.”
“Can I ask you something? How do you deal with your dad’s cruelness?”
I start to respond, but the truth might frighten him. My second answer feels dishonest and borrowed. That is the difficulty with language, finding the purest way to describe emotions, without having the appearance of stealing rented words. But then again, he should be as terrified as I am. My father is capable of anything, even killing a child. Brett only knows his father, paint, hammers, wood, and the splinters in his hands.
In my silence, Brett says, “You need to stand up to him.”
I shake my head in agreement; however, I know the moment I fight my Father, will be the moment he pulverizes my body into a soupy pulp. Yes, I have wanted to say – curse word – you to him two hundred times today, but my brothers and I are not allowed to swear. Respectable Catholics cannot pollute God’s breath with disrespectful language, especially Black Cuban Catholics.