Monday, April 10, 2017

A Mulata Contemporánea Chasing Autonomy
















Dique el artist statement:

I'm tired of being invisible. So I take selfies, sometimes inappropriate ones, sometimes unflattering ones that I delete minutes after I post them, sometimes photos that show my body hair that I end up deleting too, photos I block everyone from seeing, photos I post in places away from people I know, photos I post rebelliously for people I know to see. Photos that aren't neat.

Photos chasing autonomy.

It feels like a performance, but calling it that would be too simplistic when I take these photos and feel liberated somehow. I perform sexy and feel sexy, I perform femininity and feel feminine. In choosing the performance, I internalize it.

And maybe I'm performing with this.

Tengo meses thinking about how to turn these photos and their poems into something that's "perfect" somehow--and with chasing after that, this thing which was supposed to be freeing for me, became something else that entrapped me into the many ways in which we're supposed to present ourselves within the confinements of hegemonic capitalist whiteness, where everything is clean and makes sense. I was also trapped in wanting this to be void of anything that wouldn't be accepted. Anything that would start an argument. Anything that would make someone angry. Rethinking terms and titles. Can I clean the oppression off? Can I rewrite the history of el Caribe, the history of colonization? Can I rewrite the history of my body?

Why mulata? 

So yeah, alofoke, autónomamente autonomously, here are some photos I've posted online with captions I wrote to make sense of who I am, in this body. En palabreo. Taking back power and shit.



"Sexy"
Se quisieron apoderar de mi
Se quisieron burlar de mí
Sequía en sus labios
Sectioning my body into pieces
Sexy su culo
Sexy sus tetas
Sexy sus labios
Sanctioning my freedom
Tu dices sexy
Sects si
Yo digo
Sex sin dueño
Sex sí



Memelo pun
Ay memelo pun
Memelo pun
Ay memelo pun
Asi cantábamos cuando niña
Memeleando
La canción era de mujere freca
“Se suben la faldita
Se le ve la popolita
Y los chicos se avergüenzan
Eso e mala ratreria”

Ahora estoy yo aquí
De ratrera
Déjalos que se avergüencen los chicos








Dedos entrelazados entre mi greña
Trapping lovers' fingers with the strength of the ancestors

pero
Shea butter is too strong
Suave is too soft (and it has sulfate and whatnot)
I'll settle for coconut milk
Pretending it’ll do something but it doesn't
Like wtf am I, a vegan dulce de leche?
It's like the new Caribbean woke casi-hipster-except-we're-poor wave
all about that sulfate-free-organic-energetic-brujería 
que se vende en pote

Caribbean whiteness, that's my hair.
Creeping up in my head
disrupting the curves
rectificando todo
reminding me I aint shit if it weren't for its presence in my body
Alive like Medusas’ serpents
The first sin of the Americas happened en el Caribe




I remember when he taught me how to comb it
treat it with love for the first time
it's my crown
it's my black ancestors
it's...
it's glorious.
sin joyas
sin flores
Así, it's enough



“taina” (or "the photo I didn't post online")
Entre violación y muerte
Nació algo que nunca existió
Del blanco y negro
Un nuevo gris
Parecido a lo que ya no existe





Snapchat
Snapchatting
Snapping shots of my real desires
Efimerally alive
Like everything
Snapping me in half
till my respectability stops existing
and I pour my messy self unto your screen
Letting u snoop into my life
in loops of 5 seconds at a time
in this photo I look like a bridge





"I want to title this 'Light skinned tears' but only because I know that's what you're going to think and I want to beat you to it"

I’m not as melanated
But I’m melanating
Constantly






I cut my hair to stop hiding my face
Then I took 116 photos
To get a good shot




Esta foto es la que tiene más likes de todas mis fotos
"La autenticidad vende"
Es por el gaze
Porque no estoy posando
Porque no tengo agencia visible
Eso es lo que la hace "auténtica"
Que no estoy de privona
Que no me digo bella
Y aun así se me ve “tremendo cuerpazo”

Caminando así mismo por la calle es que me gritan los hombres
Y así me gritaron ustedes
Ni siquiera tenía los pezones llenos
Cuando comencé a coger el camino largo pa ir a la escuela
Pa que no me jodieran

Tus likes son los catcalls modernos
Pero, yo los pido, los elijo.
I ask for it.
Posting this photo is agency. Or is it an obligation?
A moral duty?
Potential likes would be wasted.
“You look so good in that photo, post it!”
Extending the gaze. Cuz I’m fly as fuck.
You’re welcome






"Mulata"
Me dijeron mulata en la calle
Y sentí que en mi mismo vacío estaba la plenitud
De cualquier lado que me cojas
Me coges o por fetish hacia algo que consideras inhumano
o por odio hacia esa misma cosa
Soy inherentemente violencia anti-Negra
Y en esa misma verdad es que se encuentra mi realidad de Negra


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Sunday, March 5, 2017

My Anxiety Is Not An Excuse


The first time someone said the word anxiety to me was my doctor. I had just returned from having been in Paris for 4 months. I was supposed to stay for another month, but I changed my flight to come home early. There was this fear in my chest that I couldn’t get rid of, and a light headedness I couldn’t shake off. I thought I was sick. While travelling in Greece for 4 days, I ended up in a doctor’s office and told them that I must’ve had diabetes because it ran in my family, that thyroid disease ran in my family too. That maybe I caught an STD. Something was wrong. The Greek doctor took my pressure, checked my blood sugar. He had me rest quietly in the one-room clinic with open windows  before showing me that my blood pressure was fine, charging me 10 euros, and sending me back to the beach, to enjoy my vacation. "It's all in your head", he said while smirking.

But I couldn't just continue vacationing like nothing had happened. You see, I had just had a very real anxiety attack before going to the hospital. My anxiety isn't just in my head. My anxiety is not an excuse.


Mykonos, Greece, 2011


During my anxiety attack, I thought I was going to die. I didn’t know that it was anxiety, I just knew that I wasn’t okay. When I returned to my temporary home in Paris, I knew I had had enough and that’s when I called my mom to ask for money to change the flight date and return home sooner than expected. Back in my doctor’s office in Jersey, I told him my symptoms, and he said it just sounded like anxiety. He sent me home with some “calmantes”. I can’t remember the name of these pills, I just know they made me sleepy.

Since then, this thing I was suffering from had a name and I couldn’t escape it. It’s become like this character. This presence in my life underlying everything.
It’s telling to think that it unleashed while studying abroad in Europe, the continent that caused the demise of my ancestors and entire generations. It was the place where my anxiety was triggered to the extent where I couldn’t escape it. That, and perhaps that I had smoked several times to the point of getting a panic attack while under the influence as well...those events brought out this part of me that had already manifested itself in many other ways before.

--

There comes the anxiety again, literally standing in the way like a giant block that can’t be removed, so I must climb over it, or walk a long distance to get around it.

I watched I Am Not Your Negro this weekend, and it reminded me of my own subjectivity as a woman of color, of black descent, living in the Western world. When I returned to the United States to live here permanently after living in Santiago for my entire childhood and formative teenage years, a change happened. Yes, of course it did, I moved to another country. But it was more than that. I stopped being surrounded by people of color reinforcing white supremacy on one another via racial stratification and aspirational whiteness, and went to a country with a majority white population. In the United States, I became the other. I was in a country with white folks who directly benefit from the violence that is enacted upon populations of color. And even while being in a high school where most of the students were Latino, Dominicans were black. We were [are] vilified, seen as ugly, as loud, as disrespectful, as speaking bad Spanish, as stupid, as criminal. We are hated, made fun of, and often the butt of jokes.


I Am Not Your Negro reminded me of my own experience, and made me see the racial politics of this country and its impact on the lives of black and brown folks in a way that I somehow still hadn't been able to fully absorb before.

It showed me that my anxiety doesn’t even have to be ancestral, that my trauma doesn’t have to be ancestral...I’ve been living and going through shit now. I say it showed me that about my anxiety because not acknowledging my anxiety has gone hand in hand with not acknowledging how my own reality as a black woman has affected my day-to-day American life, not at least at a “deep level”. I’ve ignored this very real thing that is my anxiety, and often felt that I was just using it as an excuse when the truth is I really hate not handing in work on time, staying home as opposed to going out (especially on a nice day). And it has come to affect the relationships in my life in ways I have yet to understand. For example, I’m difficult to live with which is probably the most hurtful realization to come to, only because any task can feel so daunting that they paralyze me.

Not acknowledging racism's effects in my life goes hand in hand with not acknowledging my anxiety because we're taught to be super women, to fight through the obstacles, to not complain, to meet challenges in the face. How dare I feel entitlement to anything? Especially if that anything includes somehow asking others to accommodate for me, to accommodate my own anxiety. I would never be worthy of that.


As a part of moving here, something else, particularly in high school: I was heavily discouraged in a way in which I hadn’t been before from pursuing knowledge and intellect.


Sometimes I think that I exaggerate when I acknowledge how being in this particular body has impacted my life outcomes, but listening to James Baldwin’s words reinvindicated my own reality. And my own truth. It also has made me realize how little I have been able to absorb of the readings I’ve done these past couple of years, because I was so heavily discouraged whether directly or indirectly from speaking up. Not only do I feel my own vocabulary fails me, but I have seen the progression in these past few years from being a very outspoken woman when I started my undergraduate career, to being afraid of speaking up in class or any environment now. And of course, I still participate, but apologetically so.


I really just feel dumb.

And while I know that I’m not, listening to Baldwin made me realize how my own hunger for knowledge was completely replaced by a hunger for something else, a hunger to gain humanity, a hunger to survive. My 10 years living in the United States have been underlined by an exhaustive amount of work and a ridiculous competitive drive, and it breaks my heart to know others without documents, in situations of further marginalization, who aren’t able to get a degree for example, work even more, at very strenuous jobs.


The way in which we read decolonial texts in academic environments, whether that be Fanon, Cesaire, Said, always require complete objectivity; I felt ridiculous centering my own experience in some of these texts although I often saw myself in them. The conversation felt too elevated. I remember for a class that I took on International Relations while in undergrad (a class that thinking back to it was ridiculously conservative), we were supposed to do talks on US interventions. I did mine on the US intervention in the Dominican Republic, and felt afterwards that perhaps had I presented on a subject that wasn’t close to home I would’ve been taken more seriously. And I see this happening a lot, where students apologize for studying subjects related to their own life, whereas a white student presenting on the Dominican Republic would be seen as interesting, and in clear pursuit of intellectual growth. Furthermore, I never fully read these texts, while in undergrad I was also working part-time, and dealing with the very anxiety that I’m speaking of in this post, so getting through readings that are often dense is nearly impossible. Now in grad school I’m working full time, and going to school part time. I’ve been too busy trying to survive, to heal, trying to compete in the journalism field, and trying to carve spaces for myself in this busy life that I lead in New York City, trying to build sustainable relationships that just continue to fall apart whether that be with friends or partners. So no, I can’t give any book it’s adequate time.

As a woman (here I go, centering my experience again), I feel even smaller, invisible, as if these thinkers weren’t even writing for me. And so I’ve read Audre Lorde, and I’ve read Gloria Anzaldua, and I’ve read bell hooks, and I’ve read Danticat and Alvarez and Arundhati Roy and Angela Davis. But to bring up these texts by women of color in intellectual spaces feels once again like I’m centering myself, and I’ve learned that we’re not allowed to do that. But dammit, I will.

I Am Not Your Negro reminded me that I must. I reminded me of my soul. And it reminded me of the horrible legacy of colonialism on my body, and the bodies of people of black descent particularly in the United States, but that can translate to the entire diaspora.


--

I sign up for projects that sound exciting, promise articles to different publications, and when it comes time to get to it, I freeze. I can’t describe the feeling. I only have metaphors for it. It’s like a rope tied in my chest that fills me with paralyzing fear over whatever that task is, and I cope by running away. Sometimes I write a blogpost, sometimes I eat and watch tv. Sometimes I lay in bed and think about the future. Anything but that task. Until the deadline has passed, until I have to apologize for being late, until I build up the courage to untie the rope. And building up the courage is not even the word because the courage is there, but the rope feels too literal. It doesn’t feel imaginary. It’s as if a force was choking me, stopping my fingers from doing what I have to be doing. And when I start doing what it is, my hands tremble. I make swift movements with my fingers, lazily with expectations already set too high, with incredible fear of failure, lifting each finger to type, to grab the sponge and clean, to get out of bed, with a giant wait that makes every step slow, until I give up and pat myself in the back for getting through some of it today, even if it was just coming up with the title, even if I only rearranged the mess, even if I’m 2 hours late to work. The patting in the back has to happen, because otherwise the anxiety of feeling like a failure will make it impossible to continue doing anything.

Until recently, I really felt that it was an excuse. “My anxiety this, my anxiety that”. But midway through this week, I had a sort of epiphany that made me see just how much it got in the way of everything. It’s a mental health condition. It’s undiagnosed because I currently don’t have a therapist since I had to fire the last one, and finding a new one that takes my insurance requires work that, well, my mental health condition itself doesn’t let me do. As soon as something becomes a task, and doesn’t just happen naturally, it is daunting.

And yet I admire my bravery for doing everything that I do knowing I do it all in constant fear. Knowing writing is my passion, even if sometimes it’s scary, so I still do it. Es que I have to do what I have to do. There’s no way around it. I’m a pendeja con coraje.

I think about what the source could be all the time, trying to find a cure, and I come up empty handed. There’s no clear source.

As I write this, I have a twitch in my right eye, it’s been like this for weeks.

--


The most difficult part lately has been accepting that life never stops being hard and that I can fight to cope but it might not go away. I can only keep learning to love myself, to nurture myself, to be gentle with myself.

Because capitalism slowly kills us so I have to remind myself that I’m worth more than my productivity. Even though if I don’t produce, I won’t survive. So I get tired. And stop caring. And start caring again. And start giving. And sometimes I have to remember stop dreaming or yearning so much.

But...without stopping the dreaming or yearning completely. Some hopes must remain that make us keep going at it.

I’m writing this while fighting sleep because sleep means I have to do this tomorrow all over again. I don’t want to do this tomorrow...all.over.again. I wish i didn’t have to work, and that I could dedicate myself to writing, to intellect. To art. Let that be my work. But when it becomes work, will it then become a source of anxiety?

And I keep feeling that the moment when that’ll be my life is going to come, but it just doesn’t. Bills have to get paid.

As I write this, I feel anxiety about going back to edit it. Because I’m tired.  because it’s tiring. And I’m afraid. The truth is I’ve been writing this for two weeks because I wanted it to be perfect, but it can’t be and it won’t be. It is this. I want to revisit the whole thing with I Am Not Your Negro, it was such a fantastic film. It was life changing. It made me pick up reading in a way in which I hadn’t again...without that being a source of anxiety. It was the last piece of a puzzle in connecting needed to help me see the United States for what it is, validating my experience and thinking through what that means for me having just “celebrated” being here for 10 years straight.


There’s more. There will be more. But I’m trying not to let this become another source of anxiety. And that's okay. Because my anxiety isn’t an excuse to not do something, it’s a real thing.
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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Descolonizando el afecto


Really, this photo is unrelated to the post. I just want y'all to see how fly I look with my new hair cut. 

Se me pierden las palabras en la ansiedad de decir lo que quiero. Y de querer decirlo claramente.

Es que quiero escribir sobre la soledad, sobre la falta de afecto, sobre un reguero de cosas, pero las mismas cosas de las que quiero escribir son las que no me permiten continuar. Es como si mis palabras se desaparecieran.

Can you live without physical affection? Without touch?

Tengo gripe. De esa que dura días para irse del cuerpo, así que toca levantarse y seguir porque los bills no se pagan solos. De esa que crees que se fue hasta que te das cuenta que sigues medio...groggy. I have a tick in my eye too, the right one. En verdad me duele el cuerpo. Me duele to. No puedo dormir bien. No puedo usar el baño bien. And I really feel like writing this in Spanish, but someone told me my Spanglish is better and my exhaustion is just making me forget my own voice.

Tengo miedo de escribir que cuando te tomé de las manos el otro día fue cuando me di cuenta que lo que me falta es afecto. Tengo miedo porque contrale! Why does everything has to be about boyzzz? Yo sigo de pendeja, sufriendo. And now I'm realizing how much of that is tied to wanting afecto, afecto físico. Not just so-called Daddy Issues which society assigns some pendejas like me.

What makes us want afecto? Is it innate to all humans? I don't think it is.

Una vez en la universidad tenía una resaca malísima. No me podía parar de la cama. Me quería morir. No paraba de vomitar. Ósea, yo 'taba vuelta un tollo. Y una amiga vino y me comenzó a acariciar el pelo de la forma más casual. Ella en verdad era más amiga de mi roommate que mía, y estaba ahí visitándola a ella. Pero se puso a hablar conmigo y al jugar con mi pelo, se me quitó la resaca. Con eso me sané. I even said it. Like damn, love really does cure everything.

Ahora, con toda esta mierda de Donald Tron, el afecto me hace hasta más falta. And how nice would it be to have a friend just come play with my hair...But would that send a mixed message? Would I develop feelings for her? Can I have a guy over with a promise of just cuddling and not guilt myself into thinking I owe him sex? 

Dije, en inglés, que sería chulísimo tener a una amiga que viniera a jugar con mi pelo, como la vez esa cuando estaba en la universidad. Pero no sé si sería posible hacer eso. Ni si quiera sé si pueda invitar a un muchacho a que venga a acurrucarse conmigo, sin la promesa de tener sexo. 

¿Cuantas de esas cosas fueron aprendidas en el proceso de colonización? ¿Se puede descolonizar el afecto? ¿Querer a un amigo como se quiere a un amante? Pero después entonces el amigo se volvería amante ¿No? Cuz that's how people fall in love right? Maybe this is beyond afecto then. 

Me estoy desapareciendo. Little by little me desaparezco. En verdad no, pero eso es lo que a veces siento. Así se siente cuando el aire del heater, que está tan seco que te hace sangrar por la nariz, es lo único que te arropa. A veces duro horas debajo de la bañera, dejando que me caiga el agua caliente encima. The spontaneity of the water drops which I can't predict the same way in which I can predict my fingers helps to imagine I'm being loved. Coño...que vaina mas triste.


This might or might not be part of a larger series on pendejismo which started with this post
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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Untitled



It’s only week two and already I’ve got a bit of writer’s block.


I drink my shot of liquor that la señora from Dajabon gave me, and get to writing. Vocal chords dripping from the side of my lips as I try to manifest words unto the page, speaking them out loud, I wanna sound like a poet but what does a poet sound like?


Black keys on the keyboard staring back at me.
White words on them. Just like they try to paint on us. Paint their words on us. Descriptions on us.


I just wrote a line and erased it cuz he would've known I was talking about him.


This is what pain sounds like. Trying to fit a sentence into a breath as if it was the last one. I’ve never had a writing ritual before. I write on trains and as I'm falling asleep before going to bed. But tonight feels different. Cuz the moon is full and for the first time in a long time I'm writing for me.


This is my gift. To my skin. Take back those words and make them black, like ink.


Speak through me I ask.
But I'm only speaking to myself, because I am them and they are me.


I wonder if I’ll erase this after I post it. I wonder if it’s making sense.


I stop myself to think instead of letting it just come out. Did u know that I wanted to write about Barack Obama and the bullshit that it is that I cried during his bullshit speech cuz his charisma is so strong and our hearts are so weak right now desperately searching for a way out?


I think about Cuba and news around Cuba and how somehow my family ended up here through a Cuban connection. And that means I'm antillana. And I'm negra. And I'm dominicana. And I'm not negra enough. And I'm not dominicana enough. And I'm just Amanda. And I have to write this year. I said I was gonna write, dammit.


Do I really want the world to know I'm a pendeja? That’s what I asked myself before writing a story last week precisely about how pendeja I was, and now hundreds of reads later, my small world knows it and it feels like a revelation. Like a release. Para tener coraje primero hay que tenerle miedo a algo. Let me translate. To have courage you must first have fear of something.


I wanna write more. More. moor. Myrrh. I heard that’s what the three Kings brought Mary after she gave birth to what many considered the greatest story ever told.

I wanna show y’all this trick I’ve been learning but it’s not coming through right now. My magic is failing me right now. My magic is words. And y’all haven’t even seen everything I can do yet.



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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Pendeja



Acción Poética, Santiago de los Caballeros, República Dominicana


I wake up and immediately look through my texts. Did he send a message while I was asleep? 

I see a message from someone, and I start reading with excitement. Contrale, maybe el muchacho came through, por fin!

I look at the sender y nada que ver, el buen ridiculo no me mandó na. Era un mensaje de mi tío, de esos que mandan a un reguero de gente en Whatsapp. I swear those chain messages should've died when hotmail died. I deleted the message knowing that I was now condemmed to mala suerte por 10 años, and went back to sleep.

I have been oversleeping these days. Es que it's easier to wait while being asleep.

I'm not really waiting though, more like trying to forget, more like trying to ignore, more like continuing on with life knowing I have this disease called pendejismo. El pendejismo es cuando uno tiene miedo. Pero no es así de sencillo, el pendejismo es también cuando uno se deja coger de pendejo, o cuando a uno lo cogen de pendejo. Basically, cuando creen que uno no se sabe defender y se aprovechan de uno. When they think u can easily get played. Not to be confused with Pentagonismo which is how the Dominican Republic let(s) itself become la pendeja de los Estados Unidos.

In this case, my pendejismo, is where I stick around for dudes who don't deserve me. Where I patiently believe their every word, and even in knowing they could totally be lying, I believe them porque sí. 

I wonder if he'll read this. Because even as I'm writing this, I'm hoping he'll check this out. Is it good enough? Should I talk about something he might be interested in? I hope he's impressed because this is in Spanglish and not proper Spanish/English, so like super cool and artsy (he's not an artist, he has a regular job like any regular person but he wishes he was an artist, his drawings are so cool...so I guess of course he's an artist) (I say that and yet my stomach fills with butterflies cuz he's like such a fly artist). 

Coño! Pero e' verdad que yo soy pendeja. 

I mean, in reality though, I'm not. Because he does like me, whenever I ask why he doesn't text me he comes up with a legitimate excuse. Being busy is legitimate. Having a 9 to 5 and sometimes more than 5pm is legitimate. Having kids to tend to is legitimate. Having una mujer to tend to--he's not with her though, I promise--is legitimate. Listen, he's into me, he just doesn't show it how others do. Y le creo.

And I'm totally getting something out of this. A veces le mando una foto super sexy, y el me responde que me veo "tan linda". Reminds me of the words I craved as a kid. De niña, I'd bring notas buenas a la casa para que me digan que inteligente soy, busting my ass every year in school, only to hear "Amandita is so smart". I knew being told pretty couldn't be earned, I was born with this cara and skin and skinny legs and round nose. But praise for being smart, that could be earned, so I earned love that way.

Now I take sexy half nude photos looking fly just to hear the pride come through in them texts from them boys, pa' que el me diga "que linda" "bella" "I want you".

Coñazo. Ni cuantos dique traumas sin sanar.

Anyway, I'm legit not trying to end this though. Because like I said, I legit believe in him, which is the whole thing with pendejismo.

My thing is, what if he's saying the truth and I'm really just a nice person who believes him. 

You know when people ask "who hurt you?" I've never been asked that, because I'm too trusting. Yo me muthafucking entrego. Completamente. Hasta a los pendejos fuckboys que se creen que estan mas bueno que el culo y que me van a coger de pendeja. I know their game, I just fucking pretend not to know and then end up falling for it como una pendeja pariguaya coño. (The irony, pariguayo comes from "party watcher", a result of US intervention in the DR which gave birth to pentagonismo, not to be confused with pendejismo, though pariguayismo is el hermano del pendejismo) (Amandita is so smart). 

Back to el muchacho, he's not a fuck boy. Y en verdad si el quisiera pussy, yo se lo diera sin todo el decorations and shit cuz I'm independent and I can fuck whoever I want without strings attached. 

Back to pendejismo, I remember the first time someone called me pendeja. It was so fucking hateful too. Man people are fucked up, why do I trust them so hard?


Anyway, I was maybe 8 years old, with Mami en una clínica waiting to get a shot. I was terrified, I hated having blood taken out. I still do. Estábamos ahí, y me iban a sacar como 7 tubitos de sangre. They always pick the same spot too, a protruding vein in my right arm that looks like the veins they draw on cartoon's foreheads when a white cartoon gets angry. I was fighting, crying hysterically because I didn't want to get a needle put inside of me. Then una muchacha ahí, she must've been maybe thirteen, looked at me and said "que pendeja". She was making fun of me, but the hate in her face was so hard that I even remember it now. She was showing off that she wasn't afraid to get a shot herself. I remember I told Mami I felt bad about it, and I forgot what Mami said. Creo que me dijo como que no le diera mente, she laughed "eso no e na".

I kinda feel like crying thinking about that moment, I wish I had had the backbone to walk up to her and smack her. Of course she was way bigger than me, but still que estúpida. I was a kid, I was allowed to be scared, buena babosa. 

Sigh. 

Look, what I'm saying is, I'm a pendeja who knows I'm a pendeja therefore I'm not a pendeja because acknowledging it means I'm aware and awareness voids the thing from actually existing, right? Cuz el pendejismo no se elige, y yo lo estoy eligiendo. 

Damn, look at how clever I am. (Is he reading this?)

Still, knowing is not enough because knowing no lo cura. But then, cuál es la cura? Is there a rehab center for pendejismo? Where can I get the will power or support to dejar las pendejadas que me tienen pendejiando como una buena pendeja?

Okay, but fuera de relajo, I know my worth. And I know that all of this is tied to needing some sort of validation from men. Cuz I grew up believing my humanity was tied to that. But I'm already 26 years old, ya está bueno de estar dealing with that internalized oppression bs. How do I heal from that shit? 

I try to curarlo, I drink té de rosas to love myself more, té de lavanda for the anxiety from realizing I can't stop thinking about him, and I touch myself every night (every.single.night) to remind myself I don't need him or nobody for sex. And I have my healing stones, and I've learned to travel sin compañero. And I'm independent, to the point where me dejo coger de pendeja by offering to pay for shit these dudes should be paying for, only cuz I don't wanna feel I owe them anything (but really, I think I just feel bad letting anyone pay for me). Pero en verdad, those new age medication shits can only do so much. Yo necesito una buena galleta de una amiga que me diga "mira coño deja las pendejadas, do you not know your worth?!" Don Omar himself needs to come through singing "Pobre Diabla" to me. Shit, I heard Nicki Minaj left Meek Mill and I'm just like yassss girl, pero yo aquí con uno que me tiene hanging by a string, cuz a string is all he can afford to give me, though I got la fucking soga que le da la vuelta tres veces a la luna for him, and it's as thick as the thickest tronco de un árbol en el caribe- cuz I love dudes the same way la Madre Naturaleza loves us, sin nada a cambio. She's there dying, being burned alive, but still loving the shit out of us. 

He's not just any dude though. 

He's telling the truth, I don't have a reason not to believe him, and I kinda wanna support him. And I know it makes me sound like a pendeja, but he makes me wanna write more. He inspires me. Having him in my life then is good for me right? Does it have to be a transaction? Can't I just care about him? Why do our relationships have to be transactions and not just like connections based on similar likes and goals?

See, I told you I was clever.

Shit though, I'm still sitting here, waiting for a goddamn text, como una pendeja. 



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