This morning I responded to a tweet about the electoral college and slavery, and so naturally in minutes I was faced with the joy of being marked as “other.”
This time was different, though. I’m a light-skinned Puerto Rican who since age 10 has mostly lived around non-PRs, so I’m used to being labeled “other,” usually by ignorant-ass well-meaning white friends.
In high school I was walking upstairs talking with a friend who said something horrible about Spanish-speaking people. When she remembered I was there, and not white, she said “I’m talking about spics. You’re one of the good ones.”
A friend I hung out with every day after school for years “found out” I was Puerto Rican late in high school. “Wow,” he said. “I can see Dan [a darker-skinned mutual friend, also Puerto Rican] climbing up trees barefoot looking for coconuts. But not you.” He wasn’t kidding. Continue reading
In the letter I received in August confirming my appointment, I was told I’d be provided an office, a computer and a printer. Continue reading
Today Jacobin published “Against the Salary Cap” online, a piece I wrote on why — spoiler — I am against the NBA’s salary cap. You can read it here:
You can also read more of my writing here, soon. I haven’t done anything with this site in a while, but I aim to again. Miss y’all readers. Talk to (ideally not “talk at”) you all soon.
(Forbes image created by Nick DeSantis)
My department head emailed me a week ago to set up a meeting. He’s the third department head I’ve worked under at my current job, but the first to ever request a meeting. We agreed to meet Monday. I wondered what the meeting was about. Three thoughts ran through my mind:
- I forgot to include some required information on one of my syllabi; perhaps he wanted to let me know in-person such slovenly behavior was unacceptable or even legally precarious. My boss has a military background, so I could imagine him being very attention-to-detail.
- We’ve never really spoken much, despite working in the same department for five years. From his social media posts, it’s evident he’s a curious, open-minded dude with a potentially robust sense of humor. Maybe he wanted to have a brief chat and get to know me better, man-to-man.
- I was getting laid off.
I spent the weekend rationalizing why it wasn’t the third idea, rationalizing why even if it was the worst-case scenario, why that really wasn’t such a big deal. I exhausted all the logical possibilities and spent some time in the mushier world of my emotions, a realm I have an attraction/repulsion relationship with. I got to work Monday and looked for my new boss in the big office the old bosses had used while in power. He wasn’t there; he still resided in his smaller, humbler stomping grounds. This seemed a good omen. I reached his office. He welcomed me in. As soon as I sat, he got up and closed the door. I knew then what he announced moments later. Bad news. You’re being laid off.
I am in Kentucky. Visiting future in-laws. Time being what we will of it, I do not wish to call them “future” in-laws. The future is “then,” and they do not feel like “then,” and no one knows what then will or won’t be. This is now, and they feel like now, which feels like this.
So. I am in Kentucky. Visiting in-laws. Seen and heard birds and accents and people I’ve never known before. Shopped at a 24-hour Wal-Mart. Been bitten for the first time in my life by a horsefly. Been bitten for the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth time by a horsefly. Been to a supermarket with signs saying you must buy cigarettes in the checkout lanes and not at the service desk, the opposite of what signs say in NY. I’ve gone to a baseball game and scored a goal in a family soccer game and met more tennis players in a week than all the prior years of this life.
I think I’m eating elk tonight. I am enjoying Kentucky. Enjoying my future in-laws. Time is a bit stretchier here, now. This.
Not really talking these days.
Top men are working out
So far 2017 has not been my healthiest year to date. In fact, most of my loved ones seem to have been dealing with infections and bloodwork and tests since before Christmas. Generally I try to adopt a “Don’t worry until you have something concrete to worry about” attitude, because more generally I try to live by “The universe unfolds as it must; you can’t bend it; maybe bend you?”
The past couple weeks I’ve been waiting for more bloodwork while trying not to let the limited info from the last bloodwork I had done metastasize into bugging out. Imagination is often a useful thing, but sometimes it runs amok and is not so fun. Like when you get a call about your test results that goes:
THEM: So we have your test results.
THEM: Yours are a little high.
THEM: A normal reading would be somewhere in the range of 40 to 60.
ME: OK… Continue reading
I haven’t written on this site in over half a year. God and maybe Borges only know how many words I’ve written in that time, but none here. There’s been a lot of silence and confusion and pain and joy that, combined and viewed from afar, look a lot like life.
I don’t stop writing because there’s nothing to say. Usually it’s that there’s too much to say, and I generally feel overwhelmed from talking. Pro’ly nobody who knows me would suspect that, but it’s true. I like to gather my thoughts slowly and work them out carefully before I release them. The plus to typing my thoughts is it gets me out of that shell; it artificially inclines me to say more things. The minus is the longer I’m in a writing rhythm, a prestissimo, the more I I start trying to force myself into maintaining that thinking speed, to keep up. But my adagio brain doesn’t like that after a while, so I can only outrun the silence of myself for so long, for wherever I run, there I am.
Gonna try to write more now. That’ll probably mean shorter stuff, at least for a while. Got anything you want to see done on this site? Let me know. What’s new with you?
I’ve been sick with a weird flu for days. A few people close to me have it, too. It flares up, then seems to fade away, only to return with a vengeance. You know those sand-bottom clown toys kids have? You knock them over but they always bounce back?
That’s this flu.
Speaking of relentless pain, a few thoughts on season six of The Walking Dead. A lotta people were disappointed in the recent direction of TWD. Count me among them, for the following reasons: Continue reading