He knew how to be eleven years old. He took joy in the moment—in the good slice of pizza, the trip to the arcade, the tickle fight. As part of a big family he was happy to be in company with lots of people. To his relatives I must have seemed like the strange one: quiet, introverted, demanding of difficult pleasures that were a long time in coming. I never talked to him, or to them, about love.
by Gina Balibrera
Christy Turlington, 1990s supermodel and Salvadoran-American, may or may not be my prima. The connection has never been confirmed, and I’m not trying to say I’m as fly as Christy, but her mother’s maiden name, “Parker,” is an apellido shared by some of the members of my family in El Salvador, and she grew up near San Francisco, where I grew up, so it’s not inconceivable to imagine that some of her family came over to the US around the same time mine did, maybe even on the same boat. El Salvador is a small enough place that finding unknown relatives can be as easy as flipping through the phone book.