« The Moth

Swiftly Flow the Days: Caroline Connolly & Christopher Moncayo-Torres

2020-09-25 | 🔗

This week, stories of parenting and being parented.This week’s episode of The Moth Podcast is hosted by the director of MothWorks at The Moth, Kate Tellers, featuring two special surprise guests.

Storytellers: Caroline Connolly, Christopher Moncayo-Torres

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to the moth podcast, I'm your host for this week, kate tellers. This week's episode is about parenting, a word that, according to Miriam Webster, is now, but I would certainly argue, is a verb during the summer that I was fourteen. My parents were getting divorced, my aunt mary, who sense that we could use it, get away, invited my dad my sister and I to stay with her in her time sharing vermont it was at the top of a mountain in the trap family lodge yes of the sound of music. We drove for a half day from pittsburgh and when we finally got to the base of the mountain, my father pulled the car over locked eyes with me and then my sister said roll down your windows. Then he shoved the tape.
you'd up into the deck and sang along with the voice of julie, Andrews styled up to eleven. The hills are alive, as we made our upward climb four years. This was our go to dad is such had story, but now that story reminds me of how hard my father was trying to keep his two girls happy during a really tough summer to the exuberant dad's everywhere. I see you and thank you on that note. Our first story this week is from caroline connally. Caroline told this story at a story slam in Boston where the theme of the night was roads. Here's caroline connelly live at the mall to her, and so the distance between my hometown of
The very poor massachusetts in new york city is about two hundred fifty miles when you're eleven years old and strapped in the way back seat of above station wagon with your sisters there's enough time to be assaulted by a sibling into declared here, conservative catholic pay, since that you no longer believe in god, and I honestly That might be why volvo made a way back see because it is in the literal trunk of a car and faces away from everybody else inside the car, it's like where a kidnapper might put a victim except suburban moms, were like on balance can be so fun my parents are kind of earned this right to do that to us. On this particular occasion, my mom had sacrificed her birthday to take us all to see lucy lawlessly, If in increase on Broadway, she was the actress paint the warrior princess and my sister and I were huge zena fans and greece fancy. This was like the greatest gift she could ever the best and the first part of the ride was relatively unremarkable. My mom would give us little fistful of, grandma mean that, to this day,
she's swears who are non drowsy. and I'm not gonna call my mother, a liar or a drug dealer on this. Sage had some very foggy car aids as kids. But that's always pretty clear because about two hours into it, my dad is driving down the highway and he's looking for a mcdonald's so that he can get a large, vanilla milkshake, as he always like to do, and my mom said to him: hey where the tickets will respond, with this benign what tickets as if he has like no idea why we're all in the volvo heading to new york, city and she's, like the tickets, will no one had the tickets, because it was like ninety ninety seven, inexplicably the only solution, into this problem was to turn around and drive all the way back to newburyport together tickets for the show that night, by the time we start our second trip to new york city, the dramamine has started to wear off if, like three feral tat had come alive in the back seat of my parents, volvo, some
a little sister suddenly burst into tears, because she's starving and my older sister suddenly remembers that I exist and apparently my leg had shifted her side of the way back, see which was it crime punishable by a swift punch to the side of my head, because, I was smaller, but no less insane. My only course, was to take her nintendo gameboy and hold it up and threatened to lick all of the buttons on this service, which is growth sport super effective. Can she let out there's blood, curdling scream, which prompted me. whether to whip around and issue a threat that she loved to give us at this time and our lives, which was girls, god is watching you and because I was in the way back seat and separated from my mom by like an entire row, I turned around and I was like well good thing. I don't believe in god. Well, We pulled over really quickly after that
mcdonald and my dad jumps out of the car because he had no interest in this portion of parenting, and so my mom comes around to the back, see where I wasn't gets really close to my face, and she says you better apologise for that or I am telling sister roots what you said and if you have ever been a kid sent a catholic school. You know that Read of a sister is way worse than like, whatever your mother or god could ever do to you cyrus like I am so sorry, I love god and Jesus and like everybody up there with them and and that was settled. We, inside the mcdonald's, and we found my dad finally ordering his large, vanilla, milkshake and it gets us some happy males
we all go out to the car and get back in and he places his shake down in the driver's seat. In comes around to the back very calmly, as he always is says to us look, could you guys please just get along for the remainder of this right? It's your mother's birthday, after all, only gets back in the front, and they said sound right on top of that lars vanilla, milkshake weeds, as this is like explosion of dairy on the steering wheel and the wind shells and my mom, and I was at an age when I knew its where words were, but I had never heard when delivered super well, just yet, and so he dropped with force asleep. With expletives, and I remember my sisters and I looked at each other like did we just break dad and so we drove the rest of the way in silence because nobody wanted to cross him and we get to new york city, and we check into this fancy.
Hotel. My mom had book than we go, see lucy, lawless and she's. Amazing. It we go back to the fancy hotel in it's actually a pretty fabulous night in new york city for our family. Next morning we all pylians the volvo again and everybody is on their best behavior. Today. The only thing, sisters- and I were complaining about- was that without the beds at the fancy hotel, her kind of itchy and we're like scratching ourselves all morning. It would be a few hours and a couple hundred miles later before my mother realise we and our contracted lies at the hotel, and you would think that, after, like several freezing cold lay shampoo baths with a mom and dad in these three girls, no one We want to take a road trip ever again, but we ve actually got I'm dozens more. We still go on them today and my dad isn't seventies now, and you still demands a vanilla milkshake on the way there and on the way back in, for whatever reason we are all still lend a volvos station wagon.
by truthfully, we waited, then we would have no other way that was clearly curling. Caroline is reporter. Who lives and works in Boston? She enjoys horror films as well as a good romantic comedy montage when she's not telling stories she loves to run and likes the idea of cooking when we followed up with caroline, she said our last family trip was a visit to the berkshires a few years ago. Even though my sisters- and I are now adults living in different cities- are mom insisted we all, DR together, I spent four hours in the back seat. Listening to my father's, nor and my mother ask if any of us thought we would be married soon. We were, of course, and above all station wagon to see some photos of
airline and her family, on their big trip to n Y, see had to our website the moth dot org, slash extras. Ok, the jiggers up, I said this was applied, has deemed on parenting, and it's really a very neat by cast about my family obsession with broadway as nurture. I might add. Our next storyteller also made its broadway christopher among cairo torres told this had amassed stories lamb in new york city, where the theme of the night was home. Here's christopher lie the august two thousand and four nineteen am at the doorway of. What's going to be my new bedroom, which I'm sharing with my dad, who I haven't seen since I was two and the left side of the bedroom,
is super clean, gotta matters that he stole from me on. The right side is his side. That's mostly western union receipts with dub scratch off lottery cards, lots of movies all over the ground, but every night he always watched the same movie, not terminator, no die hard. The film the roof. I can't tell you why this ecuadorian man love, fill on the roof, but he watch it every night and he would ask me: is a strange son? Come watch fiddler on the roof with me, and I was like nope.
Besides the fact that it's like a three and a half hour or however many hour like saga, I at that time just didn't feel comfortable being in this very small room. When I say small, you know like the back of a u haul, like the tiny truck that you could probably afford, like smaller than that, so I would usually be in the living room and I would actually sleep in the living room of this apartment. So he was renting a room from this lady friend that he knew it's actually not too far from here, like thirty ninth place in queens boulevard. So a couple of blocks away and I kind of felt bad after just always saying no- that serendipitously in october same year, fill on the roof was on Broadway. Alfred Molina was playing the lead and I was like a surprise him. I'll get tickets. Now here's the thing I have
I kind of a language barrier like yes, father, son language barrier, but like my espanol, is like very muy malo. If you catch my drift, so I told dad hey while most sullied outside, let's go, and I have like a little like translation book. That's like not working for me and he's just like in whatever spanish about the hit right now is like very rehearse. Nor me who can almost mean, like I said, just just stay home, but let's watch fill in the room or fiddler on the roof and I'm like no, let's go I'll pay for everything. He's a great. Let's go the trip. They're super anxious my father likes to smoke in between the train. Cars of the seven train.
He also likes to like stop not like walkie talkie. Let's stop until you a story. Imagine doing that in times square, so we finally get there, but we're like super late and but like just enough to hear the opening song tradition for those who know and that's like the big number, and it gives the whole story of the town and this jewish family. And I look and I'm like. Oh man he's probably going to be super said he's going to be Moore was going to be amazing. He hasn't been saying anything since we got in. I don't really think he understood what we are all dead, he's asleep hi. My little like abandoned child heartbroken I know him and like being debated in which Residents show sleeping,
It will go for like if I were a rich man. He loved that song and there is this one song. I think. Maybe if anybody knows it, but if you love me and husband's asking the wife, if you love me and she's, just like you're, an idiot more or less because, like I've been with you for like twenty some odd years, where you can ask my question, but it keeps asking so molina are from atlanta when he was doing this. He just kind of took these really long beats. In asking this question and in one of those really long beats minds, you were like in the balcony cause. That's all I could afford looking at cuny tuition and it's super quiet and suddenly I hear but do love me and my dad says the line, and I was like. Oh that's cool people around us, are the laughing but like in a really quiet, theater like how everyone cry right now like it's really loud, and you laugh, and so I from alina, like looked in our direction and like my father, who like for me, was like the latin paul bunyan of my life. Like shrunk,
and molina. Just like continues with the song she the show's over. I will say this much: we did cry both at that far from the home. I love, I think it's one of those songs, so we're outside taking a photo with the big poster. You know, tevye, his arms are big up in the air and then I hear from the backstage door like some rookies, they turn around and like Amir Broadway, I didn't grow up with theater, but I'm like, oh, I think people get signatures from these people like dallas, could do this and you know my dad's just like me homeless. Like I said I would just go home. I was like why, and I figure or maybe he's scared movies embarrassed. I grab him. Buy his sleeve, like he's my kid and I'm like hey, Mr Molina, you know we love. You show my dad like right there, like my dad, loves to the movies. The first time he's seen this live, and my dad's, like shaking his head
and milliners, like all its that's beautiful, and then I recall what happened in the balcony and hidden laugh. But then he, like he's, got big thing. Cyprus, I feel like he just moved me with them, and he just looks at my father he's like is that true? Did you say my line and my dad's like shakes his head? Yes, and he takes his huge army, puts on his shoulder and, like he grabs my dad and millions of tall dude, it's a good job.
your broadway, debut, congratulations way to go. My desert, yeah yeah, yeah, yeah grabs him he's like the moon photo, take a photo and I'm like okay cool, take the photo we're on our way home and my desert enamored with this photo, and he just keeps just looking at it, and I kind of figure it out in my own interpretation, like oh you're, this dude in this story. This is the first time I had ever seen it just immigrant man, far away from his family and and he's trying to hold it together. At this point me and my dad are trying to figure out who we are to each other, and I tell him all this. He doesn't understand a word of it, but he just says mohawk Goodnight. This was a good night, he goes in between the train car to smoke. Another cigarette. He looks like the fiddler on the roof because it's like in the shadows as we're trying to have the queensboro plaza and then, when we get home like I actually that- and I was the first time I slept in the room with him together.
Thank you now was christopher among taiyo Torres Christoffersen, ecuadorean american playwright teaching artist and live storyteller born and bred in queens new york. He first practised creative writing while pretending to study for his friends psychology degree he since founded, fail better and my c a bypass, centred artist community where he produces and host a monthly storytelling workshop show fail better story time. We followed up with christopher about his relationship with his father. Now, here's christopher I wish I could tell you the follow up is that we have more nights either that we remain connected and name really wish. We did the fuegians seer and now it's storytelling is for me a vague gave sums
but at the end you see him- and I haven't spoken in here. The most I can say that feels like a realistic. Follow up. Is that my relationship, it, but my father is in itself like a fiddler on the roof, at least to have to be explains that fathers are hard. I figure. Sons are just as difficult, Relationships between the strange father and son has felt like a pretty high roof to me, I'm not sure even till now, if him and I know how to keep our balance, but we tried- and now we fallen off the roof, so here from mars about my gesture of love, em they're, nice pursuing I've been thinking a lot about him. These days, fear like a sign and very big on signs
I haven't been shared, said the conversation with them, after not talking with him for the sun, but maybe I can present this gesture to him be packaged. better first story together is gonna, be shared with the world, and maybe they can Hopeless dragon and keep their balance that was christopher among cairo torres to see photos of christopher, his father and Alfred Molina go to the moth dot org. ash extras. There is no one way to parent
there's, no one way to show love to a parent. There is no one way to love anyone in my family, though, it often includes a sing along it's september, two thousand and twenty, and for many of us were kicking off a school year like we've. Never seen before are we crying were crying. This is hard. Parenting is hard, but we are learning a verb together. Okay, the kid aroused, we're gonna say it one two three can we say together to have us story worldly weak? Let's try ready
Have us story were in the way that was Kay tellers and her children. Cake tellers is a storyteller host and director of marks of them all her story, but also bring cheese, is featured in the moths. All these wonders true stories about facing the unknown and her writing has appeared on mixed sweeneys and the new yorker podcast production by Julia purcell. The moth podcast is presented by pierre wrecks the public radio exchange, helping make public radio more public at pr acts. Dot org
Transcript generated on 2022-06-17.