Rowing in Dulce de Leche

My short story memoir, Rowing in Dulce de Leche, was recently published at the Lowestoft Chronicle. It’s about a young feminist-vegetarian who goes on a high school exchange to the land of meat and machos. In Argentina, “rowing in dulce de leche” means trying to navigate one’s way through a challenging situation.

An excerpt from the story:

And that’s when I spotted a thick, broad-shouldered jacket in distressed black leather that hinted gray in the folds and creases. It looked too rugged and boxy for my thin shoulders, but I didn’t care.

“Can I try it on?” I asked the sales attendant. She assured me that this jacket was for a man, and tried to show me the ladies’ section with its soft, supple, form-fitting leather garments.

No importa,” I responded, and tried it on anyway.

The oversized, faded jacket weighed almost eight pounds. The rugged leather coat, made from the cattle of the high plains of Tucumán, became my armor. Putting it on exchanged my sadness for resilience. The thick skin I wore shielded my own thin skin. Wearing it, I didn’t feel sad; I felt invincible. Like I could row through a sea of dulce de leche.

The fact that it was a man’s jacket made me love it even more. Men were powerful. Men held keys and could go and come as they pleased. Men made decisions and called the shots. Men didn’t have to go on diets or get catcalled by other men sitting on sidewalks. Wearing this coat made me feel strong, like a man. Although I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy the flesh of the Argentine cattle, I could wear one instead. In this way, I became part of the ritual of the preparation and ingestion of the meat.

I purchased the boxy coat and proudly wore it every day like a tattoo of freshly earned street cred.

Read the full story here: Rowing in Dulce de Leche

Photo by Agustín Lautaro on Unsplash

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