my story is purely anecdotal. miami made you think castro was the devil. like the satan worshipers i saw on episodes of geraldo, castro could quite possibly kidnap you and eat you. cuba was the saddest place in the world. they were a people trapped in a prison by a monster. no joke. and then one day in high school i made the connections: communist theory, castro, and cuba. and it all clicked. bullshit! and i looked around me again.
this city is a meatloaf of multicultural living, oppression, cultural preservation, materialism, and lies all wrapped in pink saran wrap and put out on the sidewalk on a 92° day, with 98% humidity. and in the middle of it is a hard boiled egg. don’t ask me why. it’s a latino thing.
in some ways, it’s strange to remember i grew up in this tropical, plastic flamingo, riot weather, short-shorts place. in other ways, it seems so obvious. it’s in my blood. this hot cloud, ocean rush, loud voiced, thunder clap, drum beat, mango meat town is home. i understand it the same way i understand my family. i am of it. and just like with my family, i had to rebel properly and fully before i could come back again and feel completed by it.
fuck. does this make me a grown up?
i have nothing to do tomorrow. or the day after. i have absolutely no reason to be stressed. there is no client needing advocacy or support. there is no event coordinating looming over me. there is no angry teacher to whom i have to respond. all i have is time. and i decide when the time is over. you know, unless something else does…
sometimes, like the split second before you fully wake up from a nightmare, i think i’m missing something i’m supposed to do, and then elation rolls over me. there is nothing. and so what remains is everything. at some moments, i think, “well, i don’t know if i can do that right now.” and then i remember, i can. i’m realizing that vacation has always created in me a sense of urgency, of limited time, of time running out. which never allowed me to do anything at all because i needed to take advantage of being still.
in choosing not to settle for a life that simultaneously bored me and made my stomach turn, i have the freedom to settle down. time gives me freedom.
i feel free for the first time… ever? it’s hard to say. i think i spent most of my past, and youth, trying to create a stable future. a “stable” future has a great deal of prerequisites and boxes; responsibilities that can be in direct opposition to the responsibilities i actually care more about. and so i think i’ve always been answering to this potential future me. it’s like i was already caring for an infirm family member.
i’m over it. i’ve taken it back. or rather, i bought it back. i recognize that time is not free, and i am privileged to be able to make this choice. but i am so proud of my choice. and it feels so fucking good.