Downtown mixing fabrics trying to find the magic.
Started a little blog just to get some traffic.
Kanye West in “Made in America”
Ella wept. Behind her gold-rimmed wayfarers, she let her tears stream freely. Fervently, even. Small sobs pushed their way through as she mouthed salty lyrics. Hyperventilating shorty until she broke through the momentary emotional derailment to cross the intersection. Imagine; to have been struck dead at 9:30am because she had been crying about a Jay-Z song. “Rap music kills” would have been the headline. But it had been quite some time since someone spoke to her, never mind speaking to her heart. She didn’t mind the lack of communication. What bothered her most was its repetitive failure and the inadequacy of comprehension. The deficiency of understanding. How tragically fantastic her death would have been. Secretly, her life would have been half complete: she’d have died in peace to know that her idols understood her, but would have died being merely a King to Gods without first letting them know that she too was a faithful non-believer.
How fantastically self-centered. The third person POV persists because she feels no one can speak for her but herself –and so she has broken outside of her body to illustrate to you, that she too is a character in this movie called life, but in this particular scene of it, she plays both antagonist and protagonist. Her only aim is to taunt you. Oh my, she’s gotten ahead of herself. She patiently presses each button on the keyboard assured that every letter to magically appear on the screen in front of her is exactly the way it should be. How many pixels are in truth? How many minutes? How many tracks? How many daubs of paint? How many chords? Which method is most exact in recording it? Is there more truth in music or paint? In lyric or verse? Dictionary or Pantone? Where is truth really?
“American,” I told him.
“No, but what are you?” he insisted.
“American. That’s what my passport says.“ I explained, abruptly and coldly. I have this conversation with almost every man I meet and it always goes terribly. They always give up in trying to persuade me to be something. It’s the ambiguity in tresses of my hair: too soft to be black, to black to be white. Mixed, they silently say to themselves. D told me that people look at me funny when I walk down the street. They give me a What is that? look he explained. They can’t put a finger on it –but they want to, he elaborated. I simply don’t understand why I can’t be an American. If anything, I am the American. My roots are so entangled, it’d be unfair for me to claim one soil over another, especially figuring I haven’t visited many of them. But the land that I love, the land where I was made, the earth that grew me? That was American, indeed. Besides, if you’re not going to accept the answer I give you, then why ask? “French people are from France. Spanish people are from Spain. Germans are from Germany,” I went on to explain. “The Sweedish are from Switzerland. If was born in America, aren’t I an American?” I questioned him.
“I know but like…” Either his answer was an inch away from stupid or I was simply too caught up on my end or the argument to pay attention, but I don’t quite remember how he responded except to say “meekly” at most. Oh how I despise meek men.
If I am not American, then I am dreams personified. I am the result of battles fought. I am the reason for everything. I am why the molecules came together to form man. So that man could evolved and create countries based on their individual thoughts. These individual thoughts birthed rebels who fled their countries to find free land to raise their children for a new, enlightened generation. Those enlightened generations, one after another, fought moral battles on my behalf before I was even born –giving their lives to the soil that would one day raise me –simply so that I could claim this country as mine. And it is mine, goddammit. This is a country that was build by the working man –especially when that working man was chained, whipped and dehumanized –in the pursuit of gold paved roads and diamond littered rings. Now, no one might have known that all of that was done in the name of a nappy-headed little girl from Central Falls, Rhode Island who had nothing but a dead daddy, a mommy in jail and siblings who –while they had raised her –she barely even knew. Who at six years old, found it too diffuclt to explain to her uncle that no matter how much endearment he meant by it, no one wants to be called, “Blackie” not even if you say it Negrita. My mind functioned at far too young an age so my view on the world was formed earlier than most. I learned what it meant to exist in my body, in my neighborhood, in my time. I understood that this country based on ideals of democracy and supposed equality, but I had seen a few haves and it wasn’t matching up with the gross number have-nots. I learned early that the world isn’t solely mines, but it is mines. The unwritten capitalist undertones insist that I should make it more mines than anyone else’s –I am a child of that sentiment. We are all at war with each other waiting for the time when we can take ownership of the 40 acres owed to us. I’m about to cash in my chips. I wan’t what is rightfully mine. &amp; since I understand that it will not be given to me, I am going to take it. In the words of the late, great, Notorious B.I.G, lay on the floor you’ve been robbed. &amp; ummm… oh yea… Gimme the loot 😉
I’m a bad, bad woman.
I was beginning to feel alone. As if my theory were a signifier of insanity. As if there were a flaw in my hypothesis that I couldn’t quite straighten out and it was tearing me apart because I make the most educated guesses, I promise you. I simply couldn’t and can’t see the error in assuming that I am of the country I was born in. It seems unfair to me that, while my passport looks the same as the next person, I failed to realize that the blue covered white sheets stood for blue eyes, blonde hair. Fuck. She’s back to racism. I thought we were don’e with it. We have a Black president, isn’t that enough? It might have been until you made him show you his birth certificate. Am I the only one who thinks that there is still and yet a struggle? Over the years, the people who have verbalized my emotions and outlook on the world most accurately have been Mr. Carter and Mr. West. I need not mention again how Mr. Ocean makes my heart swoon. I sat upon my throne and listened as Jay and Ye told their stories from theirs. Most of the time, I get on my Emory Jones and just wannna hear the boy talk fly, but when they’re talking about Rolexes that “don’t tick-tock” I wish mine would be as discreet. So I only sing along to half those songs. I can only truly say something if it relates to me so while I smile and applauded them for their decorated verses and lives, I was waiting for them to say something that sounded more similar to mine. I’ve been listening to the album, song by song, line by line because it’s about time someone sat and fuckin listened. Each song on repeat and conscious oh what it did to my heart beat but no song spoke to me like “Made in America,” especially since all I did was start a little blog to try to get me some traffic. And if I have anything in common with any of these folk, I consider it an advantage in character.
I’m just like them. I’m a king, too. I came from nothing, too. &amp; not to say that we was from the projects, but every time we went to the store, my mom would say, in Spanish, no te antoje de nada. She never said it twice, but it means, don’t ask for nothin’. My mother made moves, if not for nada, then simply so we could have papas in our agua. But I didn’t complain much, me gustan majadas. Now, my refined poor taste can go on dates to any place, but that doesn’t mean the plate is what I was hoping for. I know what there is out there, the good and the bad. That’s why whenever I get that one Facebook message from a stranger confessing to me that they enjoy my script, it does enough to almost bring tears to my eyes because this blog is really nothing although it’s absolutely everything. My life in the actual physical world is the one that uncovers my sincerest emotions. I reminisce about my losses and plot my advances all the while still at awe that I’m sitting here are this very desk with the opportunity to speak to you –all bills paid. Checks coming constantly. I didn’t know where my life would go. I had blind faith in my own ambition and determination but I came from the same hood a lot of people came from so there’s no real reason as to why I’m here and they’re not. This isn’t a shot at them, but I did work hard as fuck to get here. Everyone knows that.
I’m not even supposed to be here. I know it. They know it. When people come in through the door, and see me at my desk, I know they’re thrown off by the Black girl with the curly fro but she’s fly as hell, isn’t she? I saw their doubt when I first started on the job, shaking shaky hands during first introductions, but eventually we saw that I’m damned good at what I do, didn’t we? And so this morning, on my way to work –and then again on the train– I cried as I listened to “Made in America” on repeat because –like I said –I’m not supposed to be here. And while I did feel a bit embarrassed because I know the woman next to me noticed, I reveled in my emotions. I’ll never see here again, anyway. I’m not really doing anything big. I don’t own nothing but shoes and I empty out my back account with too much ease for my taste, I feel like I’ve made it because I’m comparison to where I was –in comparison to where I was supposed to be –I’m doing very, very well. I mean, I’m supposed to be locked down, too. To have a kid or two, too. Breaking up and getting back together with my baby daddy, too. Working two jobs just to make it through. Aimless and lost, searching for purpose in the arms of strange men at hours dedicated to a particular profession I don’t have to spell out, doing things you should probably consider charging for. Whats the difference between a prostitute and a whore? Between made it and makin’ it? Between dreams and dreaming? Between me and the rest of the sorry souls wandering this planet failing to realize they fall behind me in line?
I am a human being to a mob. Mr. Ocean asked pertinent questions and he deserves some heartfelt answers. My dear Frank, I have them all. I am a mob to a King, a King to a God and a God to a non-believer. I am the ultimate threat and the greatest benefit. The worst enemy and strategic ally. I am brushed off answers. I am uncontrolled passion and bitter despair. I am the outlier, the exception and the usual. I am the exact same and the complete opposite of everything. I am church in the wild.
I am an American.
I am King, Queen and Jest.
I am President.
I am Ella. Every one.
The difference is, I know I’m an American, &amp; my goal is to make the dream my reality.