This is a throwback to the time Seth decided it would be fun to experiment with smoke bombs. Above are two photos of the very beautiful (and frequent Seth collaborator) professional model, Ashley. I don’t know how she managed to look so flawless while surrounded by foul smelling smoke/fireworks in a wooded area. I suppose that is why she is a pro. Below is a photo of me, a very nervous woman, praying to the universe for Seth not to light our apartment/me on fire, while experimenting with said smoke bombs.
I should explain myself. At the age of two, my mom accidentally dropped the pot of asopao she was cooking on me. Bits of rice and broth landed on my leg, and burned right through my skin. It is my first memory of going to the hospital. At the age of five, I fell into a pot of boiling water, receiving a third degree burn on my back. My mom, in a panic, scooped me up from the pot and rubbed the dead skin off. She carried me to the bedroom we shared, placed me face down on the mattress, and lit (!) a couple of candles for La Virgen de La Altagracia, praying for her protection. Then left me there for what felt like hours. I remember crying, looking up at all of the pictures of baseball players, and white blue-eyed women ripped from magazines taped to the walls. Finally, someone realized the virgin wasn’t helping and flagged down a motorcycle taxi to take me to the hospital. That burn left a scar the shape of Pangea, shifting and changing as I grew, finally settling its ridges on my lower back. I remember when I was about seven, napping on a bed bug infested egg crate in my grandmother’s backyard before school, and being woken up by a cousin. There was fire, he said, to come see. We ran up the hill barefoot, past the guanabana tree and wooden shacks, to a small crowd standing in front of a burned crib. In the crib were two babies, twins, burned to death. Apparently, our neighbor left her babies sleeping with a candle on the crib while she made a quick trip to the corner store. This was not uncommon in the Dominican Republic, where frequent blackouts meant people mostly relied on candles and gas lamps for light. I never forgot it. I don’t play with fire.