reflection

“Quédense, unos minutos con nosotros…”

“4 and 3 and 2 and 1”..

It’s the street where we grew up. It’s the block where we came from.
To the people who look like us, who talk like us, that grew up just like us.
No matter what people say. People can’t help but think we are all the same.
We are loud in the quietest of places.
We are overly expressive in the sounds of the oppression.

We are the bad bass on every street corner. Playing the same played out Chente song.
Big banda, cumbia, salsa, ranchera songs that your heart can’t help but mimic into heart beats.
Watching your head sway as your feet mimic the beat in your Nike Cortezes and your Converse Chucks.

It’s Domingos in the church in our Sunday best.
Clutching our Jesus pieces and praying tomorrow would be better day.
Light a candle to guide your way, because Mañana is another day to be extraordinary.
As we rush through the rituals and sign of the cross at the entrance of the wooden gates.
Paciencia y fe, as we look to the cruz.
Paciencia y fe, because we have nothing to lose.

We are bright colors on your plain unmarked white walls.
We are Graffiti on your pristine street signs.
We are Old schoolers playing oldies as if time never skipped a beat.
Los viejitos on the front lawn in their lawn chairs with the same stories of what could have been.

We are big hoops and bright red lips.
We are the loud printed fabric that clings to our every curve.
Ladies with the big bags walking on the sidewalks in the sunshine.
Always places to go. Always places to be seen.
Walking out the streets like this week’s Vanidades cover.
Even when you mocked us. Even when you said we were too much.
Mucho mas y todo eso.

We become your aesthetic.
We become your mood board.
Your own reflection of cultura that you seem to know more about then me.
We become what every young person thinks they know about but they never truly lived through. Because if you knew what we lived through can’t be taught, until you lived through these breaks. You can’t scream out our words in the attempts of filler space.

Latino and Proud isn’t a t-shirt you can put you.
Latino and Proud isn’t this seasons look in this month’s Vogue magazine.

You ask me where I am from.
You ask me where I am going.
We all beg to leave but afraid we stay.
We can’t be proud.
We can’t be who we are.
Unless it better fits your mood, another look to add to this month’s pinterest board.

So, when I tell you I am Latino and proud. I watch you shiver in places in your newly bought huaraches. Hiding behind your $99 dollar serapes that the urban commercial markets be capitalizing on.

You want to be like us.
You want to act like us.
You want to take everything from us.
But don’t let us be proud of who we are.
Until the next season fad shows up.
Another culture to add to your bookcase.

When the chorus comes in, don’t forget where you’re from.
Latino and Proud, then on to the next song.

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Clutter.

I have heard that how you live is a representation of yourself. How you are at home is a reflection of your inner being. This way of showing the world the part of yourself you don’t show to the world. At this current moment, at this current time, how I live in my surroundings is surrounded by clutter. Which I find rather odd. Seeing that I am a rather neat person. I can’t stand being around mess and chaos. Yet for the past couple of months, I have surrounded myself with this overly exhausting surrounding of extreme clutter.

I didn’t ask for this. It just sort of happened, then spanned out of control. Beyond my control. “I’ll get to it when I get to it”, is what I tell myself. Just save everything for tomorrow. Tomorrow comes, tomorrow goes, still the clutter remains. I’ll be completely honest, I hate it. I know this isn’t who I am. I watch the stack of papers go from 2 to 20. I watch the piles of clothes become larger and larger. Receipts seem to keep a permanent residence on the floor. Current mail and postage ready to be sent out, still stuck on chairs and tables. For whatever reason, I can’t bring myself to stick to a routine of fixing it. I watch the dust collect on the collection of things. Watch everything that has a place become the chaos that surrounds my room.

I’ll get to it when I get to it.

I wonder if this is a reflection of myself. Reflecting everything that I feel on the inside. This chaotic way of coming back to things, when I see fit. Waiting for things to happen on their own, instead of getting up and doing things. It’s been a few months of reflection and recollections. Growing up and moving on. Trying to piece back together the past, smooth out the present, to make way for the future.

No.

I am just to lazy to focus on what is in front of me. Instead of cleaning up my surroundings, I am becoming suffocated by them. Each item is taunting me, eating away at my insides. Purchases, I should have never made. Clothes, I should have put away. Every little thing has a purpose and a place, instead I am watching it collect a life form of itself. This clutter is my absolute exhaustion, silently killing me. I want to rid myself of these material things, start over as a simple minded person. Pack up all my things in boxes and give them away. I don’t need anything as much as I thought I needed it.

I don’t, I swear.

The more I stare at this clutter, the more I wonder if it’s all in my head. If every single thing I believe inside, is really a reflection of what I see on the outside. What do I know. I watch myself collect more things, to place on top of more things, to hide how I feel inside. I grow tired making up excuses for my mess when I feel like a mess inside. I guess if you’re wondering how I feel, just take a long hard look at my room. Take hold of the notebooks, novels, notes, and envelopes, collecting dust. Take note of the broken hangers and the couple pairs of shoes on the floor. Watch as the tiny pieces of paper, continue to stay stationed on the floor. It’s not because I am busy, it’s just that I don’t know anymore.

This clutter is consuming me. This clutter is taking over my life. This clutter has to go, so I can finally move on with my life.