By Sofia Ruiz, TIWP Student
Their favorite time to visit is late in the night. They come in the dark, when everyone else is asleep, in the poorly lit corner of my home, under my bedside table. I remain awake, hearing the pitter-patter of their paws and feet and claws, scurrying around. They delight in my restlessness, my quickened heartbeat, my doubts. They come in turns, whispering into my ear and giggling amongst themselves. They proclaim my failures and mistakes, declare my shortcomings and inabilities. They sing the terrible truths that by day I refuse to hear. Some nights, they’ll pull at my arm and keep me awake and listening. Other nights, they’ll follow at my feet as I get a drink of water. On special occasions, they’ll light a fire to dance around. They’ll whoop and cheer in their wooden masks and painted skins. They never ask me to join in. I just watch from my bed, drinking lukewarm chamomile tea, as they burn sacrifices and offer my tears and hair to their gods.