No Aguanto Mas (Rita y Danielito)

Rita washed the coffee grounds stuck in the seal of the empty ziplock bag. She turned it inside out and hung it with a clothespin on the line over the sink. These bags were hard to come by in Coral. Danielito gave it to her full of coffee he'd snuck out of the kitchen of the Base Naval de Coral. She couldn't get rid of the coffee smell. The coffee smell bonded with the plastic. She'd use this for something that smelled even stronger. She brought her face closer to the pot on the stove. The bacalao! She'd use the ziplocks to put away the little bit of bacalao left over from the dinner plato at her Fonda Migajas. She'd make bacalaitos for tomorrow's lunch, bacalaitos con sabor a cafe. She listened to the downpour. Lightning struck so near she jumped.
Danielito brought the coffee bags about a month ago. He'd been on leave for a week and every night after she closed Migajas he'd even helped her clean up. Every night they drove to Playa Coral; walked through the tents, lean-tos and shacks of the Palenque encampment all the way to the lookout; and sat for hours on the beach.
After she hung up the bag she let herself collapse into a kitchen chair. She sobbed. The sobs got louder and louder. She walked to the back room, where she kept abuela's huge, old trunk she used to hide in as a child, lifted the lid, and crawled inside it, on top of abuela's red table cloths she only put out in the fonda for the Noche Buena meal. She heard abuela say in her mind's ear, "Red table cloths for all those sad people who have no place better on Noche Buena than the Fonda Migajas."
She curled inside the box the way she had during her secret childhood perretas. She wailed. She could not endure this. She could not endure her life. "No aguanto mas." She could not endure this pain. She banged her fists against the side of the box. She pulled at her long, gray streaked, black braids. She tightened her sharp eyebrows and deep set eyes. She clenched her sharp jaw. She wrapped herself in abuela's red Christmas table cloth. She bit the cloth. She punched her fists against her head. She banged her head into the walls of the trunk. She bit her knuckles.
"No, no, no, no, no, no." She screamed. She didn't care who heard her.
Danielito who was her love, her best love, her beloved, her partner, Danielito was moving back to the City. He could not think about her. He could not see her. He didn't care. "You can come with me," he said. So he did not see her. He knew perfectly well there was no way that she could ever leave Coral. It was like asking her to leave her body. He could leave the City. This was evident, because he had. He'd come to the Base when the City force drafted him. He'd made a life here. He even had his own place in Palenque. He'd found a family with the other guardias who crossed the river, who sided with the rebels. But now he was choosing the City over her.
She wailed and wailed and wailed until her throat seized up and she couldn't breathe or swallow, and still she wailed and wailed.
"Mami, donde estas? Estas loca?" Dulce ran into the back room. "I could hear you from the street even with all that thunder." Dulce's short, brown, curls were pasted to her forehead with rain. Her white embroidered blouse was drenched.
"I wanted my screams to reach God. Over the thunder and the lightning. I wanted them to climb up on an elevator of rage."
Dulce crawled into the trunk. She enfolded her mother in her arms. "Y Dios me mando. Mami, Mami, Mami." Rita sobbed into her daughter's chest. She dug her fingers into her daughter's back and sobbed and shook.
"There will be an end to these tears." Dulce's voice was soft. "One day, there will be an end to these tears, but now, llora como si no tuvieran fondo. Now, Mami, cry and cry and cry. Cry your Rio Guacabon of tears."