Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Among other things

Since I saw you for the last time, that night of May, these last days you have been closer to me than ever. On Saturday we had a thanksgiving reunion at my house, and some people that knew you and loved you came to celebrate with me on your name. You would be happy in knowing that some of your friends are now my friends too and based only on that I can say the reunion was a complete success. I made sure they had a good time, with lot of food, drinks, dancing and laughs. They were there, when at the end of night I felt your absence and lost my heart, reminding me you are in everything we do together.
Your family will be in my thoughts tomorrow, I wish I could do something for them.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Between you and me

The other day I went over all my videos and my old cell phone to see if I had a voice message...a video.. something to watch you talking or at least hear your voice..I could not find anything.
I want to pretend you can read this, it is painful to know I can not talk to you is heartbreaking... but for some reason I feel better writing here, again, pretending, you would read it.

You would be glad in knowing we are about to send the paper on Brassolis and Dynastor, yes, finally. It took us two years and we could not resolve the puzzle...but that is a result of course. The next step is definitely to review B. sophorae, the species that gave us all the is polytipical...I told you..!!..those species are #$@%. The other resource will be, of course!.. to use DNA..bahh..I miss that too..having you to talk all the bad things of DNA and how boring it is..but who knows if I will be the one doing the DNA stuff...I do not have money for Hamadryas much less for this guess the question will be open to someone else.
The paper is a beautiful one, Carla took some gorgeous pictures of the butterflies and I've received good comments on my drawings. I'm dedicating it to you, it is a special paper, my very first one on butterflies, there will be a small note in the acknowledgments.

Jeff Corwin is coming to UNO tomorrow, he is giving a talk at the arena, remember how we used to laugh watching his show at Animal Planet??..when he pretended eating the spiders and little frogs! haha!. He is good at what he does..regardless he is on tv..I guess you would have liked to go and see him, so I am going...I can't image how many kids are going to be there!! is going to be fun though..I have to find the way of kicking my students out of class earlier so I can go..I can always give extra credits to those that write a good review on his talk right?..ha!.

Love you and miss you every second of each day

Friday, November 14, 2008

Not forgotten

There is this song called "canciĆ³n urgente" (Urgent Song) that the great Cuban singer Silvio Rodriguez wrote about Cesar Sandino, a militant hero that fought against the US intervention in Nicaragua. I was listening to Silvio while I was working in the microscope, and I felt one part of his song exactly captured what I feel about Jessica. At comparing Sandino to Bolivar and the Che (he explicitly says the three of them walked the same road, namely fighting for the independence of our people, and the three also shared the same luck, death) Silvio remind us that, they three, left such a great legacy that they have fooled death.

Jessica did the same, she fooled death. In her very short life and in the short time I had the fortune of being her friend, Jessica left so many memories, so many teachings, such a legacy in our lives that if the aim of whoever did this to Jessica was to take her and, everything she represented, out of the picture, he/she is very much wrong. I am personally committed with this blog and anything else I can do, to make Jessica's life, this person's worst nightmare.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I am going to walk the quarter today for you, so I can feel you close to me. I know how much you would like to be here my Jessica. I am missing you so much!!. Today I woke up so not know what happened..I thought I was getting better...I know you would not like to see me sad. Yesterday was a long day for me, I spent almost all day without seeing one person, it was just me and the computer. I woke up yesterday with so much anger for whoever did this to you and for how things happened that in my way to school, I only had awful thoughts, thoughts full of hate. I can't believe I spent your last days being with someone that, after so long and so much, betrayed me in such a way, instead of having been with you...that really breaks my heart honey. I know you never liked can't imagine how were August and September for me. They were probably the worse times I have had in my entire life. It was probably better you never knew what happened and never saw me in the state I was, I know you would had traveled all the way to Colombia to kick him at his b... I know you loved me, you told me so, many times. I remember the day you said it, you were the first in saying it, it was the first time I heard that from a made me feel important and appreciated.

I hate the fact that someone believe so much of himself/herself as to take your life and to leave this big scar in our lives. 
This weekend will be three months without you...I hope to be able to write something nicer later, I am unable of doing that that right now.  

Monday, November 3, 2008

silence, absence and sorrow

This picture was taken on November the first in the march against violence organized by a group called Peace for New Orleans leaded by Charles Anderson. Many thanks to them, for their support and the portraits they made to remember Jessica.

I am sure, I am not the only one to whom counseling has not been enough in helping to deal with Jessica's murder and absence. I know Kelly is going through the same state as me, even though we know we have each other, there is still a big gap of silence at the end of all our talks, a fear to uncertainty and anger for feeling so powerless. Kelly is my biggest support now, and I love her so much for being there always for me. Poor her, she has to answer my calls in the middle of the night, has to hear most of my problems (which I know are silly and ridicule, in comparison to most of the people in this world that struggle to survive and to get to the next day), no matter what she is there, always strong from the outside.

I promised to myself I would ever again take my friends for granted. Kelly, Jessica and I were looking forward for the opportunity to hang out together, but that never happened. This is how Kelly came into our lives.

Kelly and I became close friends a year ago or so. But we knew long before that, since we took (with Jessica) an entomology class together at UNO and since then I think we liked each other. We did not hang out while we were taking the class, it was my first semester here, I lived at the dorms and I was too worried about other things like doing well in graduate school, research, publications, a dissertation, etc.. to even think in making friends. Jessica was my first American friend, and she was the only one for a long period of time. She was the first person I took a bus with, and the first person I drunk a margarita with, I ought most of experiences in New Orleans to Jessica and of course to her unbeatable ability in persuading me to get out of the house and have fun. Back to Kelly...we ran into each other many times here at school, we would, over and over again exchange phone numbers, but we did not hang out until last year. Kelly invited me to the “Nickel a dance”, I went and the next week I had Jessica sick of me telling her about Kelly, and the great time we had had. Later I learned Kelly had admired the way I had arranged my entomological collection, I was liking her even more because of that..haha!!.

She and Jessica are much more alike than (I feel) I am to either of them, and that was why I felt that Jessica needed to meet Kelly again. Therefore, I started talking to each of them separately about the other one, pushing an encounter. I would tell Jessica how cool Kelly was, how gorgeous I thought her house was. I even made a comment that I knew would mean a lot to Jessica. Kelly did not have a TV either. I knew that was the key point, I used it and it worked. 

They became friends some time before I left for the summer. They started to work together and on several occasions they went out for dinner, drinks, and dancing. What appeared to me is that their pride prevented them from becoming fast friends, but allowed them to become honest friends. There were many things they would argue about just for the sake of disagreeing, but the one thing they would agree on is about a city that they both loved, New Orleans. A city that they believed held many experiences to enjoy. One time Jessica was complaining how she couldn’t believed that she had never had a Sazerac, Kelly promised to go to get one with her. She said since the Fairmont was closed, they could go to the Ritz’s smoking lounge and enjoy one. They planed to go one night. They planned to share many such evenings. They were to eat crab cakes and fried green tomatoes at the Pelican Club. Jessica loved crab cakes and enjoyed tasting them from all different restaurants and then compare as to which restaurant had the best crab cakes. They planned to listen to traditional jazz at the Palm Court. They planned to go to the Bywater art market and then take lunch somewhere in her neighborhood. Jessica loved her neighborhood. She would repeat that sentiment many times in an evening especially after happening upon a brass band Friday night on Frenchmen. Jessica had just recently donated to NPR her favorite radio station. She had donated a dollar a day and received a coupon book to eat at many of New Orleans’ fine restaurants. Kelly had told me, she called late one evening to her house all excited about sharing the coupons and trying all these restaurants that she had not known. Jessica knew how much Kelly enjoyed eating out by the many conversations that would revolve around food, service, and the rooms at restaurants. Jessica wanted very much to share with Kelly these new tastes and experiences to share these great New Orleans moments with another sister of NOLA . Kelly tells me, they would talk about what we, the three of us, were going to do once I came back from Colombia. They planned on going, the three of us, for salsa dancing and for chocolate martinis.

I tried chocolate martinis on Saturday, with Kelly and Diego, the famous chocolate martinis. We made a toast in honor of Jessica. It was hard to be there without her, because I know how much she wanted the three of us to hang out. We never did and the only thing I could do was to make sure I enjoyed every sip of my martini. Just like my Jessica would have liked. 

I think a lot of whoever did this to Jessica, I wish he/she could feel the silence, the emptiness, and the sorrow his/her actions leave in our life. I wish he/she could realize that this is killing us. All of us; but also, that he/she can stop the guilt and remorse, and give some peace to us and Jessica by facing the consequences and turning himself/herself in. It might be naive on my part to ask for this, but deep in our hearts and souls we know, we all make mistakes. We all know, also, there is always something we can do about it.