Heeyy Cuuzzzz!

Cousin It
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“Heeeey Cuuuzzzzz! What’s happening man?!”
Her voice is shrill and nasally. It’s incredible that it booms with such vibrant power. She is 4’9″, and draws all eyes in a room onto her petite frame. She stands as a giant. She is different and knows it.
As I, she was adopted and never quite fit perfectly into the family. As children we were drawn together at family functions to appease our not-so-mainstream ideals. While the other kids were watching sports, we were break dancing on cardboard to Michael Jackson. While they were playing Atari we were building legitimate tepees and forts. Cowboys and Indians always worked out well as she is of Mexican/Indian decent and well, Ya, I’m a cowboy. We shared a love for art, painting and making sculptures out of the mud from the olive grove. Painting Indian symbols on whitewashed walnut tree trunks with rotten walnut husks and black olives. Running through the fields with adventure and creativity brimming. It was one of the times I felt so alive and carefree. I was free to create, to be myself.
30 years later we have grown and lived our lives distanced. We come together for gatherings and maintain phone convo’s ever so often. She is still the same. People are shocked at times by her refusal to conform. I catch bewildered stares, stolen glances of awe. How could she not conform? How could she color her hair that color at that age? Tattoos on her chest? She plays the violin for a biker church…omg. They don’t relate, they can’t. It’s uncomfortable. But THAT is what I love about her! Good or bad, right or wrong, she is living regardless of what the herd is doing. Even after all this time I still admire my cuz for who she is and what she stands for in this life. I admire her strength to stand alone. She always shares her paintings and tattoos she done recently, it’s hard to look past her to the art she creates. She is the art, and I am lucky to see it.

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