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See Me Please

29 Jan

I’m wearing a cream chiffon dress.

I look lovely.

Should I dart in front of that truck?

My tanned skin glistens in the sun, screaming Southern California health.

Toned.

Strong.

The windows were open on our 15th floor lunchroom.

They beckoned,

strongly.

I averted my eyes, blocking the windows out, the LA sunshine.

Pretending everything was okay, eating my lunch.

I run to catch the bus to pick up my daughters and I remember.

I remember.

I can’t leave.

I can’t leave them.

This conversation, and many iterations, airbrushed versions, quiet cries, fake smiles, masked feelings, shuffling raw sewage of hurt dripping away to make it blend. Blending. Existing, surviving, smiling, living.

Walking through life wanting to not only survive but to find MEANING.

So many times, so many days. I wanted to stop it. Just stop.

And it was always them that kept me present. That saved me from myself, from my brain that was hurting from the frantic energy buzzing inside, from the inability to neatly file shit away in a folder. No folder could hold it.

Like The Nightmare Before Christmas. Sewn together, coping. Hoping to hide the seams that were bursting, screams pushing outward to free the energy that I have for life.

When you want so much but you are given a 1 square meter space to fit into. The space given only gets smaller as time progresses. People tune out. They sign off on your failure.

Not knowing what is inside.

Bubbling out. Leavening. Like rising bread.

I take a bite and I enjoy the taste. So I keep kneading and baking.

I hate baking.

It makes me uncomfortable.

But I keep pushing.

And today, now.

I am a balloon filled with so many voices, so many stories, so many paths.

And I am asked, “Who Are You?”

Expected to answer in 2 sentences.

And I always take longer and I fight the feeling that I am taking up too much space.

I want to shrink onto myself.

Not speak.

Because when I let it out, when I roar,

it fucking hurts.

And when I hear that roar from others,

that low growl before the end

it fucking hurts.

Why does it have to hurt so much for so many?

I am okay. I am fine.

I am even.

I can say this with honesty now.

I can say this with confidence.

In the face of the questioning looks, of the wonder, of the hostile unwelcomes.

This place can be so unwelcoming.

 

Almost a joke.

How cold, how faceless, how irritatingly alike so many people choose to be.

See me please.

See me.

Because I strive to see you.

Because how hard is it?

To See with Kind Eyes?

 

Memories of a Daughter of Immigrants

2 Oct

My father is an immigrant. He crossed the Mexico/US border as teenager, on his own, to find another life. My father is from a small, rural, town in Mexico. We live in Los Angeles, the second largest city in the country. The Second Largest City in the Country. His town’s population hovers around 1,000 people. Los Angeles’ population hovers around 3.5million.

Can you even imagine the difference? My high school had a population of 5,500 students. My freshman class, at 1,500 students, was larger than his town’s population. But don’t worry. My senior graduating class magically pared down to half of his town’s population to 500.

I could tell you about MY memories from the first time I visited Mexico, the first time we traveled to his town. But I’d rather not. I’d rather focus on my dad.

Can you imagine being 18 and leaving your town, your state, your country, your mother, your brothers, your sisters, your father, your mother tongue, your culture, your identity, your pride…All behind?

Can you imagine jumping on trains, finding  a way across the desert, finding a way across. Across. A hostile crossing.

Can you imagine –

Rejection,

so Painful that it cuts into your being,

cuts you down.

Every rejection, every categorization, every generalization,

Every Migra Threat.

Fear.

Fear so cold that it freezes your blood on its tracks.

Fear like an ice pick piercing your heart.

Fight or flight.

Can you imagine ignoring both and choosing instead to

Survive.

Keeping your head down. Smiling. Paying taxes. Ignoring condescension.

So that one day you would have children, your own family, and hope to –

dream.

To believe that they could break the chains of fear because they Did Not Belong to

Anyone but America.

America the Free.

Be Free.

And they came, and they came, and they came, and they

Will Continue to Come

whether you care for it or not.

Whether you care for it or not.

They will come. As you did.

And they will borne others like Me.

 

 

Howling to Emptiness

4 Sep

Aoooooooohhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

I’m howling.

But no one seems to hear.

I’m hurting, but I don’t seem to feel.

Madness.

Self-serving, legitimate action, Stupidity, willful ignorance – who can tell the difference anymore.

When I lashed out in pain at those who had voted for Trump I received admonishments from people who defended their reasoning, defended themselves from being labeled racists, defended themselves as different. They were just ready for a different administration they said. And with reticence I tried to listen, I tried to empathize, I tried to understand.

Only to realize that I was listening to no one.

Because they have nothing to say.

There is no one there.

There are only echos that ricochet off well-meaning deaf walls that were constructed long ago.  And those walls will remain standing long after the truth comes raining down. A glaringly obvious acid rain that will be hard to ignore. That rain has come and gone and those echoes remain. I am not racist. Not everyone who voted for Trump is a racist.

That may be true to a certain extent because can a hollow being with no substance truly be anything but an echo?

Ricocheting hate.

Ricocheting pain.

Ricocheting ignorance.

Aooooooooohhhhhhhhh!

I’m howling.

And you hear.

But you won’t listen.

 

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