The Sanity of a Crazy Love

Today is my wife Trini’s birthday. I’ve known her for almost 30 years. I started dating her 20 years ago. We’ve been married 17 years. We’ve lived in Chicago for 15 years together and then in the LA area for five years. We have two wonderful boys, Ruben, 16, and Luis, 10. We’ve been friends, comrades, coworkers, lovers, room mates, husband and wife, and parents. Since 2001, we’ve also been business partners, creators of Tia Chucha’s Café Cultural - a bookstore, café, art gallery, performance space, cyber café, and workshop center in the San Fernando Valley community of Sylmar (along with our brother-in-law, Enrique Sanchez).

Trini’s comportment is rooted in something deep and scary – scary for dudes like me who spend most of their lives with obsessions, addictions, impulses, and emotional roller coasters. She moves surefooted, with great thought, not any faster or further than she has to, which usually requires great knowledge and a strong sense of safety. She doesn’t take many risks – but she has joined in and helped whenever I did. Her love is encompassing, trusting, and just there, truly there. That’s scary, too. Oh there were times we wanted to bite each other’s head off – where we wanted to run away from each other and start over somewhere else (something I’ve been known to do). But always we came back, unable to really let go, realizing that in each other we have purpose, dreams, hopes, love, and a future. I can’t imagine my life without Trini. She’s my dawn and sunset. My hummingbird and wasp (the sting, man, the sting).

I had a dream last night. I dreamed that Trini had died. I was extremely sad. Her ghost came to me to say she was still there for me. That she couldn’t be held, but she would be there when I needed her. I almost woke up in tears. Trini is a hard person to commit to things – but when she does, she’s there to the end. As a fellow poet once said of his partner many years ago, “till the bumpers fall off.” The fact she’s committed to me – not when I’m mean, ugly or detached, but when I’m in destiny, emboldened, loving, and impassioned, is a gift. No man can have a greater gift.

So Trini, I love you thoroughly, the way a heart does when it goes mad (I mean this in a good way). We’ve been together through some difficult times – particularly during my oldest son’s ordeals in Chicago before his incarceration, through my sobriety (painful, although in the long run the right thing), and a massive move of hundreds of miles. We endured the uncertainty and sacrifice of the practical realities of establishing Tia Chucha’s as a viable business and cultural gathering center (it would not be the great place it is without Trini).

You’re growing old in a lovely way. I’m a lot more decrepit. But still – our love is young. Madly young. Gracias, my baby. Tlazokamati. Thanks. Sometimes I don’t have flowers, but I do have words.

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