The Punchline

BLMI laugh. Everyday I laugh because someone or something inevitably happens that proves various points that I’ve been making. This doesn’t make me smarter this just means I’m observant. The thing is… I laugh because I see where we are in this world and it’s a joke to even think for a minute that people will be able to accept difference in other people.

When Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek there was this thought that at some point in the near future “mankind” would put aside it’s petty differences and we would view each other as equals thus spawning an age of peace where we would embark on exploring the galaxy. How funny is that? His vision may not have been wrong in the sense that of our evolution as a people may be based on us accepting diversity.

That is the punchline. That is our ultimate fate and the reality is that the world around us is crumbling and no one really cares because it’s not making them money. It’s not cost effective to accept diversity, or to lower our carbon emissions, or pay women equal wages, or to save the bees, or consider transgender rights, or to simply have affordable healthcare. It’s certainly not cost effective to hold our police officers accountable. Which means the world as we know it will probably end and not by some meteor that killed off the dinosaurs. Our world is ending because people simply forgot what it is to be human.

I laugh when people on my Facebook wall want to talk about how I point fingers or I incite people with posts about racism. I fucking crack up when people think that we’re delusional (meanwhile they eat, sleep, and drink Fox News) because we must believe everything we see and we must follow Al Sharpton. Then it hit me, people are terrified. CNN was amazed at how the protestors in NYC last week were so peaceful and moved with such purpose. They searched for a leader. Take me to your leader. Why are they searching? Because there is this thought in the back of people’s minds that we must have a leader because thousands of people can’t possible do any of this on their own. I laugh.

Having a leader means that people can focus on a person to blame or perhaps someone to take down in the media. Many people think Al Sharpton is a joke and are happy to rip him as the leader of everything thing black, but guess what? People of color are smarter now than ever. Some of us are highly educated with various opinions. Let’s not forget that African Americans got the right to vote in 1965. August 6th 2015 with mark 50 years. FIFTY YEARS. That is not that long ago. We may have needed a leader then but we don’t need one now because we are all leaders and that is some scary shit to the majority.

I laugh at people who suggest that we have progressed and moved on, that people are using the race card for selfish reasons. That makes zero sense because I’m quite sure that all of us would rather be doing something else instead of reminding the world that Black Lives Matter.

So have we truly progressed? Technologically we have done things that we’ve only seen in movies as kids and it’s amazing. Modern medicine has kept us alive longer than ever. We have a space station… A SPACE STATION. That shit is awesome, but you know what?

It all means nothing. Why?

World Hunger. MONEY. Racism. MONEY. Cancer. MONEY. HIV/Aids. MONEY. Sexism. MONEY. Patriarchy. MONEY. White Privilege. MONEY. Climate Change. MONEY. Gender Bias. MONEY. Pesticides. MONEY. I laugh because I hear the walk in music of Ted DiBiase.

Roddenberry might just be a genius. We cannot evolve until we solve our issues and actually BE human.

One Year Later

about

It’s amazing a difference a year can make. A year ago today, I started working for Barnard College. This was a life event for me that has had an effect on everything I currently do. It’s really too early to start a year in review post but I’ve never lost an opportunity to be reflective about the journey.

Everyone knew that I wanted to come back to New York. There was never a secret in that. I made it well known to my readers as well as the people I worked with. We all knew that it was time for me to move on. It was also widely known, and still is, that I have a love for Syracuse that will not go away anytime soon but I just needed to love myself more. So the break up was painless and my main goal was finally achieved.

Being in the bright lights of this big city has taken a little getting used to again. I’m a native of the Bronx so living in Manhattan was a change because I didn’t know the streets and neighborhoods as well. So I ended paying for that (literally) until I figured out how I was going to park my car without getting anymore tickets. Yet, the best thing about returning home is that I can see the city from a different lens. I think that I can now appreciate the NYC life and the views because I’m more mature and centered in my thinking.

While I am excited to go to Comic Con in a few weeks, I’ve taken the time to enjoy places like MoMa. I find myself taking pictures of just about everything. I don’t post all the pictures on Instagram like I should because I would inundate everyone’s feed with my glorious pictures, lol. My picture taking has given me a chance to stop what I’m doing and really enjoy the things that are around me. Because of this, I have been able to fall in love with this city all over again.

The funny thing is that it isn’t just the love affair with NYC (which reminds me of a poem I wrote a few years back) that has given me a new perspective, it is my relationship with my girlfriend that has allowed me to think inwardly about my past, present, and future. I don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past while I focus on the here and now AND have a watchful eye of possibilities coming down the road. She has always been a part of journey and I think that I have become a better person because of her.

Which leads me to the book that I’m currently editing. This is just another piece of this journey, in which, I have no idea where it will lead me. If you told me last year that I would have had a first draft of a book done within a year of me moving back home, I would have told you to fly a kite. I realize this literary journey is filled with imagination, excitement, fear, and doubt. In many ways, the story hits home for me and like any other form of literary work, exposes pieces of me to the world. While this is a fictional book, I will just say that all writing is biographical so there is the fear that this book is shit.

With that being said, there was point in which I took a break from my writing this novel. The woman asked me why I stopped because she had notice that it was a long time since she saw me feverishly typing on laptop. I told her that the book was crap. That I hated it and everything that I wrote was nonsense. It was then that she looked at me and told me that I could not let fear and doubt creep into my mind. After all, she has read about 90% of the book so I do believe she would tell me if I was wasting my time.

So a year later,  I have reached a point where I never thought I would be. I can say that my decision to leave Central NY was the correct one.

12 Years Later, I’m still Fortunate.

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I’ve always been short with words on this day. I feel that my words never do justice to the events of 12 years ago. When I got up this morning, I was quickly reminded of what day it was. While I’m no longer somber about this day, I always make sure I have some time to reflect on my own life.

On this day, I try not to dwell on the many wars that have taken place since or the many Arab lives that have been taken so that we, as a country, can feel better about our losses. Instead I reflect on the fact the fact that I am very fortunate to have the life that I have. I’ve mentioned that had I been any later to work on that day, who knows what would have happened. My step mother worked in that area and it just so happened she was not there that day. Two of my friends worked there as well and they both got out. Very fortune.

Yet, I did know one person, a fire fighter, who died while trying to save people. Steve Mercado was a guy that I looked up to as a kid. Someone who always took the lead in situations that no one really wanted to. His memory will always be honored and immortalized by his family and by the stickball league in the Bronx he helped maintain.

So what does all this mean to me? What is my takeaway from all of this? The one thing that I’ve noticed, and it may sound funny, silly, or maybe just unexpected, is that I can say I love you to my friends and family so much easier now than I could before 9/11. Those words have more of an impact and more of a meaning to me. This was something I never really said, especially to my male friends and relatives. Perhaps it was some form of homophobic barrier that I was not aware of but I can also say it to woman friends too without being uncomfortable or giving the wrong impression.

The point is that I realized on that day how quickly anyone of us can be snuffed out. Sure, I can talk all day about our youth being killed on the streets of Chicago, or the victims of police brutality, or teenagers with hoodies who had someone “stand their ground” but our worlds were changed forever 12 years ago. Whatever naivety we had is gone because we know what its like to be on the other end of an attack and as much as I want call bullshit on every last war we had since (as well as the one in Syria we are about to have), on this day all I can think about is how fortunate I am to even be writing this.

I have few close friends, many acquaintances, tons of former students, twitter followers, and family. Twelve years ago, when I finally left work, and stepped out on to Wall Street, I knew my life had changed and it was then that I realized I haven’t done enough in my life. Now, I’m still working on doing something and I’m just glad that I know as many people as I do. I’m very fortunate to have the friends that I have and very lucky to share my thoughts with the rest of you.

Inside My Head

creativity

So many things going on in my head. I feel almost overwhelmed with creative energy over the last several weeks. I am not sure where exactly it is coming from but it makes me think a lot about where I want to be and where I do not want to be. I have been in a place where I can be the best of me and I have been in a place of pure complacency. Yet, there is a feeling that is driving me and I will try very hard to go with it.

Let me just say that this is my second attempt to write this post considering that I lost the first blog after I had written the entire thing. So I am a little sad that all that this will not be the same thing I wrote a few days ago…

Perhaps it is New York City. I think about the those athletes who are either free agents or traded from one team to another and they have incredible success. They light the place up because the change of scenery was good for them and their competitive juices. I am starting to feel the same way because this is such a fast paced city. You need to be doing something or you are really doing nothing.

I think the move to a new apartment may be considered. A brand new space with a brand new beginning. I think there is so much potential that it gets me excited for what could happen next, not only in my personal life but in my creative life as well. Just living in a buzzing neighborhood is enough to know that being complacent is not an option.

Maybe it is the goals that I accomplished in the past that has made me hungry for more. There is something about doing what you would you said you would do that just feels good. It gives me a sense of purpose to really believe that I can do anything I put my mind to. It may also be moving blog sites too. I haven’t written this often it quite some time.

It could always be Junot Diaz. I know that may sounds a little weird but after reading his last book, This Is How You Lose Her, it gave me the sense that I can do what I want to do. His writing speaks to me on many levels. I am not merely talking about the subject matter but rather the way he says the things that he does. There are the little nuggets of information in his books that makes me realize exactly what his intentions are. Then there are the things he doesn’t say with his writings that just as profound. I feel that I have a vagueness in my style and I hope to cultivate it even further.

The problem with all of this is that while I have started writing (8 chapters of a book if I may be precise), all the rest of it are inside my head. That is kind of funny when I think about it. Inside My Head being the title of my former blog. I named it that because I felt the words to my existence were trapped within my brain and I just need to get all the thoughts and emotions out. Now the only thing I have left is the creative side that I need to pull out.

Yet, as always, there is the fear that motivates me as well as holds me back. I am motivated by it because I do not want that complacency that I felt in Syracuse to come back. I have always told people that that Syracuse has a way of sinking it’s claws into you and not letting you move. I felt that it took me way too long to move on from that city, Yet, I am held back by fear because quite frankly, new things and potential success can become frightening prospects when you consider that failure can and will be involved. However, there is only so much I will allow fear to hold me up. It may delay things but I have seen that overcoming fear is not as hard as one would think.

Moves

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There is so much truth in the term “making moves”. At this point, it seems to be all I do in my life. I crossed off another goal from the list I made last year for 2013. After weeks of searching, I am moving again to a more permanent apartment in Washington Heights. Thank God for that because the entire search process can be ridiculous and way too daunting.

This will be the 4th time I move in less than a year. As a matter of fact, I will have moved 4 times in 9 months. Babies have be conceived and born within that time span. I have moved from a 4 bedroom house to a room within a house (both in Syracuse) to an apartment with my woman and her parents to now a place that is just for me and her. Did you get all that?

I have an insane amount of boxes and general crap in my brother’s garage that has been there in September. It will be nice to see some of my stuff again and yet I feel that even more of that stuff will get purged somehow. Every man should expect that when they live with a woman that much of his shit will get tossed or be put in storage somewhere. I am just glad she has nothing against comic books. I make it sound bad, but the truth is that it really isn’t. Since I made the first move, I have come to realize that there are many things I can just live with out. Last thing I really want to be is a hoarder.

What I am really hoping is that this will be the last time I have to move for awhile. I know sometimes things happen, but it would be nice to settle in for more than a few months. While I am very adaptable, I was never meant to be a nomad. I think this is one of the final pieces that solidifies my move back to NYC.

For those are thinking about it, yes, I did mention that I am moving in with my girlfriend. This is indeed another plateau that has been reached. Of course, this was part of the overall plan discussed by us. It would be nice to just concentrate on each other without having to worry about parents, who have been great. However, a person can never be comfortable unless they are in their own space.

I am set to move this weekend and the funny thing about this whole thing is that my office at Barnard College has been in bit of flux too. We are moving from one office to another this week. Actually we moved from our old office in December and we are currently in what we call a “swing space” until our new office is ready (which is tomorrow). So technically I have moved 2 more times which being my total to 6, but who is really counting anyway?

Clearly, I am becoming an expert at moving. Although, I think I would like to be an expert and making moves considering that I am 2 for 2 on my Goals checklist. Everything is smooth now unless something pops up to prevent me from the other 8 things I have on my list. I believe it is always easier to get the goals out of the way early. I personally thought that finding a place was going to take me a lot longer to do. Although, we did start looking in November.

I am looking at a busy week heading into the weekend. I cannot wait until I am all moved in so I can move on.