“Do you sometimes wish you didn’t have to go home? Do you wish your feet would one day keep walking and take you far away from Mango Street, far away and maybe your feet would stop in front of a house, a nice one with flowers and big windows and steps for you to climb up two by two upstairs to where a room is waiting for you. And if you opened the little window latch and gave it a shove, the windows would swing open, all the sky would come in. There’d be no nosy neighbors watching, no motorcycles and cars, no sheets and towels and laundry. Only trees and more trees and plenty of blue sky. And you could laugh. You could go to sleep and wake up and never have to think who likes and who doesn’t like you. You could close your eyes and you wouldn’t have to worry what people said because you never belonged here anyway and nobody could make you sad and nobody would think you’re strange because you like to dream and dream. And no one could yell at you if they saw you out in the dark leaning against a car, leaning against somebody without someone thinking you are bad, without somebody saying it is wrong, without the whole world waiting for you to make a mistake when all you wanted was to love and to love and to love and to love, and no one could call that crazy.”
I like to tell stories. I tell them inside my head. I tell them after the mailman says, Here’s your mail. Here’s your mail he said.
I make a story for my life, for each step my brown shoe takes. I say, “And so she trudged up the wooden stairs, her sad brown shoes taking her to the house she never liked.”
I like to tell stories. I am going to tell you a story about a girl who didnt want to belong.
We didnt always live on Mango Street. Before that we lived on Loomis on the third floor, and before that we lived on Keeler. Before Keeler it was Paulina, but what I remember most is Mango Street, sad red house, the house I belong but do not belong to.
I put it down on paper and then the ghost does not ache so much. I write it down and Mango says goodbye sometimes. She does not hold me with both arms. She sets me free.
One day I will pack my bags of books and paper. One day I will say goodbye to Mango. I am too strong for her to keep me here forever. One day I will go away.
Friends and neighbours will say, What happened to Esperanza? Where did she go with all those books and paper? Why did she march so far away?
They will not know I have gone away to come back. For the ones I left behind. For the ones who cannot out.
Mango says Goodbye Sometimes – The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros
“The boys and the girls live in separate worlds. The boys in their universe and we in ours. My brothers for example. They’ve got plenty to say to me and Nenny inside the house. But outside they can’t be seen talking to girls. Carlos and Kiki are each others best friend…not ours.
Nenny is too young to be my friend. She’s just my sister and that was not my fault. You don’t pick your sisters, you just get them and sometimes they come like Nenny.
She can’t play with those Vargas kids or she’ll turn out just like them. And since she comes right after me, she is my responsibility.
Some day I will have a best friend all my own. One I can tell my secrets to. One who will understand my jokes without me having to explain them. Until then, I am a red balloon, a balloon tied to an anchor.”
Boys & Girls, The House on Mango Street – Sandra Cisneros