Thursday, September 20, 2012


In continuing with my decision to be insane, I'm going to blog "the" memoir. I've been working on writing "the" memoir for a couple of years now. But, it has never come out this way. This part is titled "Fabrications," as with most memoirs, there's a fine line between embellished memories and actual events. What is fact versus fabrications, though, is something we may never truly know.


To understand the larger story of Sarai Oviedo who became Sopphey Vance, we first have to wade through the multiple lies and discrepancies between facts and fabrications. The first fabrication is the story I made up about my birth as a joke over the dinner table. The fabricated story goes:

One sunny day, my older sister found a brown doll in the garbage can in front of the llantera. She picked it up and realized it was a baby! She took it over to her mother and asked, “can we keep it?” Of course, her mother said yes and voila, the brown baby became a member of their family.

I think it's a wonderful fabricated story, yet my mother hates it. Yet, it's how we joke as a family. We've made other fabricated stories about the appearance of just about anything because the real story is a mystery that no one wants to talk about. Not even I want to dig up these stories. But I will try.

We'll first have to examine the story of how my parents eloped and a history of what existed before my birth. The story begins one sunny day in South Texas. My mother, who lived with my grandmother and my older half-sister, lied to my grandma.

She said that her and my older sister would go to the park. She never said when they'd return or if they'd return, but my grandmother expected that they would. After all, my mother was an exemplary Mexican woman to my grandmother's eyes (not including the fact that my older sister's father is a mystery).

My mother did everything she wanted to do which coincidentally was everything my grandmother expected. My mother cooked elaborate wonderful Mexican dishes, my mother crocheted, sewed quilts, cleaned, raised my aunt, had manners, and stayed at home. Because good Mexican families stayed together, unlike those gringo families.

My mother and my older sister met my father at the park. Old retellings lead to this one ending: my mother, older sister, and father became homeless. They moved into the flea market and lived in front of my grandmother's stall in the llantera, or tire stall, people bought tires at the flea market back then. The llantera didn't stay there for long, but as a child I remember seeing the charred wooden wall of the adjacent stall.

What really happened at the llantera? We'll never know. My father isn't on speaking terms with me, he rightfully accuses me of disliking his actions. My mother and I don't discuss family matters, she leaves the room or hangs up the phone. My older sister and I don't talk, we argue. And I will not willingly call my grandmother ever unless I am filthy rich and can remove her from her current living situation, more on that later.

The fabrications about the llantera and my parent's love story are about illness. “Se fueron y me quede preocupada,” is the first phrase my grandmother always used to retell the story. The English glamorized version of what she'd tell me:

I was so worried when they didn't return after the evening sun set. I walked the streets, my heart beating and my body sweating in tremor. I thought of the worst, but no they had run off. I remember that evening so clearly because that's when I became diabetic. You look just like him, morena; brown.

The story always ended with a comparison of me and my father. To her, I was my father's daughter and I reminded her of him by simply being brown. To her, my father took her perfectly wonderful daughter. To her, if my father hadn't met my mother, then my mother would have never lived in a llantera and developed asthma. To her, it was perfectly natural to stick the actions of my parents onto my person.

Imagine that. I wasn't born till a few years afterward and I already had expectations. That can be the biggest fabrication about my life, expectations. What is Sopphey Vance? What was Sarai Oviedo? Who am I really... these are all questions I ask myself. Because, I'm neither what I claim to be or what I have been in the past. This is why I'm digging through all these stories. These memories, the good, the bad, and the forgotten. It's an attempt to separate it all into words.

At this time, I'm 24. I've lived a one of a kind life, and my writing ignites questions about why do I feel weird if my life were a movie? Right now, right, right at this instance, my head hurts, my tears are dry and yet still falling, and it's been seven months since a problem I cannot seem to fix plagues me. There is pain on a daily basis and no matter how optimistic I want to be, I just can't seem to recall anything worse.

I'm a bit scared and alone. I don't know what will happen tomorrow, and if I'll finish swimming through the ocean of facts and fabrications. But, I will try. Because the larger story of Sarai Oviedo who became Sopphey Vance is something I need to understand before I can know for sure what the hell happened to lead me to this point in time.

Make it Hurt - Next }


  1. Your writing is beautiful and your story captivating. I too want to learn more about who Sopphey Vance is and where she came from. I hope you'll continue your journey. I find that sometimes with digging, you'll discover you're not as alone as you thought.

    1. Thank you for your comment. It's quite the journey, but I think it's a little bit easier because of all the nice people who visit my blog. :)