yo from the flipside of the atlantic

hello lovers. i know i've promised a website to tell of my escapades, but all things with time. until then i'll be keeping up with myself through my blog. i know a lot of folks are still a little unclear as to exactly what i'm doing in dublin, why i have traveled for 24 hours halfway across the world, and where exactly all this is going. there are a few different ways to answer that question, one is i haven't the slightest clue. another is i'm listening to the voices in my head, and not in a schizophrenic way. the closest to any sort of universally understandable truth is that i am on my walkabout. i realized some time ago that i was beginning to cave in on myself. i have always been known for being distinctly, well...me. never the same, rarely fashionable, often obtuse and self-righteous, but always my own self. lately that hasn't been as true as i would like it to be. maybe it was coming home after being gone since i was 17, which now at 24 feels like such a long time ago though i remember it like yesterday, maybe it is simply being of the quarter life crisis age. my own belief is that i am manifesting a larger disharmony in our culture and lifestyle, a disconnectedness that slowly destroys from the inside out. i love my home and it environs more than i love most anything i know of, and yet it is so unhealthy that at times it literally brings a tear to my eye, and we all know how difficult producing tears is for me. a cultural and lifestyle perspective that says to enjoy sex, smoke weed, drink alcohol, work to live instead of live to work is bad and punishable from fines to social stigma, while to rob one's own people, to live like a robot instead of a human being, to limit ones vision and ones worth to what one can procure at a store is all rewarded. i'm not sorry to say it because it needs to be said, but that just isn't right. the favorite fallback phrase of americans is that if someone doesn't like our overbuilt, overprotective, and generally ridiculous country then they can just go back to wherever they came from. well i won't be able to return to the universe until the day i die, but i have no problems leaving for now.

now i don't know what day it was, and it doesn't matter, but one day i just got really tired. i got tired of putting in the effort of being my self, of believing that calm is strength, of always doing what i saw to be the right thing when i was so rarely rewarded for it and more often ridiculed and pestered incessantly for doing so, when it seemed like everyone else was getting along just fine going along with the world as if all was well. what i failed to perceive is that those people were not themselves, they were living someone elses vision of them, a fashionable one, an accepted one, but one imposed upon them. and i began to do the same, for no other reason than because it was easier. though a fair number of folks i know don't believe me, i am indeed human. i have the same needs to belong and be a part of something, and having always been an outsider in any group i may ever happen to be in (black at a majority white school, picking up trash in a time when to throw something away is a sign of luxury and not extreme and disgusting laziness, black at latino camp, non-religious in the south, not giving a rat's ass if someone is gay at a homophobic university, being from the only part of my family that lives in the east bay with 4 cousins in the south bay being the only other blood for approximately 300 miles, treating homeless people like they are more than a piece of the scenery anywhere, believing in magic on the north american continent, etc.), i had gotten really used to it. my comfort zone existed in otherness. and now it has disappeared, for whatever reason i find no comfort in it anymore, only in me-ness. which happens to be otherness, but hey, you can't win 'em all. i'm now being kicked out of the internet cafe, but more to come, and i promise it won't all be my minds existential wanderings. until next time, be well lovers!



it feels like this comes on the caboose of a sporadic semi-melancholy train, but these somethings i wrote long before i considered myself anything of a writer, before blogging even existed. this is a series of vignettes written for an 8th grade assignment derived from the house on mango street, which i hated.  i remember doing the assignment and being livid at having to imitate something i found so displeasurable. vignettes are a very particular writing style, it's like describing every fifth tree in a forest as opposed to giving a description of what the experience of the forest at large is.  if you've read anything i've written you know it will be as the artist sketches, singular points that mean nothing unto themselves, but when strung together they create form and shape the curves of my minds landscapes, and it'll probably be wordy as opposed to the brevity valued in vignettes.  i found these recently cleaning out my room at my family's home in preparation for my next escapade, and was shocked at how relevant some of the feelings and perspective still are. other feelings and perspectives have been turned inside and out and every other possible way. it made me want to re-write the same vignettes an equal number of years later, and i'm sure i will, but not during this blog post.  at some level it made me sad to think that the 12 year old in me was still that alive, and apparently kicking,  but mostly it made me smile.  hopefully this snapshot of a period in space and time will do the same for you, take you back to times when... 


i remember when i was around five, my dad came home with a surprise for me.  my little white bike, complete with training wheels and a bell, was waiting for me in my driveway.  the look of joy that spread across my face must have been equivalent to one of someone who had just bought the perfect house.  happily i ran around in my footsies wanting to ride it right then at two o'clock in the morning.  the little bike with the basket.  the basket with snoopy on it.  those were all that mattered to me as i pleaded with my father, "please teach me how to ride daddy, please?" "tomorrow," he promises, "tomorrow."  


some people's eyes are clear so you can see all that goes on behind them.  some people's are dark so their true feelings never show.  like my eyes.  they are almost black.  so dark in fact that you can't see the center of them, the pupil.  the eyes as dark as the heart of the devil.  the eyes you could stare into all day and never figure out what they are saying, belong to me.  

some people's eyes, such as my brothers, you can read like a book.

eyes.  some people say they mean nothing.  they mean a lot to me.  mine have a mysterious air about them.  they can change like the seasons.  they can go from black to almost hazel to just regular brown.  when you shine light into them they actually do turn hazel.  my eyes, the ones that are silent like secrets blown to the wind, secrets no one will ever hear.  

My Name

my name is like an inside joke no one understands but me.  when most people say it, it doesn't sound like the music it's supposed to be.  j-i-h-a-n.  it sounds like a melody fading into the early morning dew.  

person of the world.  that's me, what my name means.  the secret meaning behind the obvious. the harmony the rest of the song has left behind.  when i say, it sounds beautiful, as if faeries are humming it while sailing through the sky in boats made of the wind.  

what the rest of the world hears is unimportant.  in my ears it's soft like a summer day before the storm.  

there is so much more to my name than anyone could see.  it's like a tree, simple on the outside, but on the inside rings that go deeper and deeper into a complex pattern that no one but me can see.  

 The Girl That Never Left

"that loud girl that lives across the street" who is she?  where did she go?  no one but me will know.  she is me.  she left because it wasn't where she belonged.  she was like a bird, too wild to be kept confined in her cage.  "she'll come back.  she'll never get away."  yeah, she'll return, because she never left.  she's always there.  "why is she there?" she can't leave.  she won't allow herself to.  even so, you can feel the sadness she left behind.  she's gone.  gone to never return to the cage she doesn't belong in.  

"that girl that lives across the street" who is she? where did she go?  no one but me will know.  she is me. i left because it wasn't where i belonged.  i was like a bird, too wild to be kept confined to my cage.  "she'll come back.  she'll never get away."  yeah, i'll return, because i never left.  i'm always there.  "why am i there?" i can't leave.  i won't allow myself to.  even so, you can feel the sadness i left behind.  i'm gone.  gone to never return to the cage i don't belong in.