Machismo Ways

She falls to the ground; scraped knee and all. Her tears flowing down her cheek endlessly. Awaits for a look; an acknowledgement that she has just fallen. A little girl yearning to be picked up. She glares up to the man she calls her father. He looks down, nods his head and walks away. He says “Young girl get up off that floor.” She awaits for a hand, a smile, anything. Her mother rushes to her side. Warm, brown hair flowing in the cold wind. The little girl asks her mother “Why did he leave me here? Why did daddy leave me?” 

The mother replies “Those are just the machismo’s ways.”

A young boy parks his bike by his local middle school. He walks with his head held high, his fists are clenched  His smile turns to confusion as his friends grab him. “Charlie, today you are going to be a man.” The boy is lost but yearns for that approval. An approval he never got from his parents. Down the hall, a quiet kid. A runt they would say. Defenseless, alone, drowning in his own sorrows. Charlie eyes his prey. His next victim will be that of ease. He grabs him by the collarbone, whips him into the wall, his faced smashed up against the glass door. The boy screams, lips quivering with fear, “Why are you doing this?” 

Charlie replies, “Those are just the machismo’s ways.” 

A model as they would say. Her eyes shaped like the elegant queens of the Nile. Her skirt flowing in the sun. Her walk, her strut, would catch the eyes of even the most respectful man. She had an essence; something about her being, her aura; her scent would be caught by all who stood by her. It was a cloudy dark night. On her way home to catch her favorite soap opera; she crosses the street quickly. Footsteps behind her. They get louder, faster, heavier. She is shaking; her sanctuary is just a few blocks down. She begins to walk fast. A hand grabs her shoulder and she yells. He grabs her by the throat; she fights and kicks; another man appears. He grabs her legs. They drag her into the alley by her home. Her clothes are ripped, bruises all over. She is raped, over and over again. Left wounded and useless, like a memory that was forgotten and ignored. She lays there; her model face and strut no longer exist. She barely opens her eyes when she sees her attacker. 

He snickers, and whispers closely into her ear “Those are just the machismo’s ways.”

With a wheelchair as her only source of refuge, an old lady sits in a nursing home. She is tired, alone, and always thinking of the past. Her young daughter comes to visit her. She says “Mama, don’t be sad. I will get some insurance and benefits to take care of you. I promise.” Here she sits, an elderly woman who has worked her entire life from the moment she could walk to the nearby factory. A woman, who has given her soul, her life, her being to the government. “Young child, what have i worked for? If i have nothing to show for besides these white walls in this place.” 

Her daughter replies, “Mama, those are just the machismo’s ways.”

“I’m pregnant.” The words that he feared in his deep, olive skin. He had no man in his family to guide him into the man he was forced to become. He ponders, wonders, questions. She awaits in tears, wondering what her life will become of this. She gets in his car. They drive. On one side of the street there is a hospital, she awaits a doctors appointment. On the other side, an abortion clinic. He stops the car in the middle of the street. Where do I go. With the memories of his past launched at him all of a sudden, he makes the one decision that would haunt him for the rest of his life. He would never know of his son. His son would never exist. The woman gets into the car. He asks her” How do you feel? I’m sorry.”

She replies, “I’m fine. I understand. It’s just the machismo’s ways…


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