To Those Awake and Enraged
I realize that day dreaming is my reality. I spend most of my waking hours living in the present. The majority is spent diving into daydreams, fabricated fantasies in which I live lavishly or I’m a struggling artist on the verge of stardom: an inevitable tragedy, a Basquiat, a Frida. I am all but me. I want to runaway, but whereto? The idea disintegrating almost as quickly as it materializes, the question is left unanswered. Strolling through the East Village, I may be discovered, my distinctively primitive talents yearning to be trained, molded, a real rags-to-riches story to be reiterated by poor New York City youth in need of a role model, an unbelievable hopeful story; the kind recited by underpaid teachers wasting away within the concrete walls of the inner city institutions of education. God bless our shriveled souls. Standing in front of a barely used hunk of technology, delivering motivational speech after motivational speech, after motivational speech in an effort to incite a love of learning in an audience already convinced of their destined demise. Some of you blame their lazy parents who don’t know any better. I don’t blame you.
In the reality of my unreality I’m a Nuyorican, Pulitzer-prize-winning story teller. How did she do it? Some will ask, rhetorically, no genuine interest. Those whose every utterance is heard are the chosen ones as others exist in perpetual anonymity and hang onto their every word, to recite, repeat, recycling them, believing and breathing the bullshit.
In this world there are two kinds of people: those who worship and those worshipped. I come from a people obligated to worship, accustomed to unquestioned devotion. But not I.
How did she escape the confines of her mind they ask, the walls constructed and protected by a history of disenfranchisement? How dare she obliterate the obstacles created before she was conceived? How did she simply ignore the predestined path made by those before her and perpetuated by everything around her? How dare she.
I hear their whispers and I respond unabashedly, unafraid and unapologetic. Through and through I exude the power you wish you had in you.
Sometimes my reality is dark, awoken by raw emotion, hyper aware of the atrocities of our society and the injustices I am force fed, cold fingers touching my neck. Enraged by this reality, a state of being I’ve been conditioned to swallow and mask on my way to the subway. Passing faces in a reality in which we all speak the same language yet we don’t. Where humans are secretly looked upon as animals, where particular facial features and pigment allow you minimal respect, where different shades of brown dictate level of dignity, and ill-thoughts supersede good intentions, an ongoing battle between the conscious and its counterpart, the thin line between love and hate.
In this reality I teeter between hopelessness and rage often succumbing to the latter as those before me. I’m an enraged Puerto Rican woman. Always ready to fight but they laugh at me.
And still I exist mostly in this reality, enraged and awake.