Friday, May 26, 2017


Puerto Rican in New York, Uprooted and rebellious


Porto Rican and yet New Yorker. She lives in the City and no other city than the City. And that urban music, those urban lyrics have the power of suffering, death at every corner, surviving as a daily activity, solitude as both a life style and a curse that leads to a death pyre but is yet the fuel of survival. Add to this the feeling that a colonized person from a colonized people uprooted out of everything to survive in a foreign environment that is no choice but a real curse then the experiential existence you may have is going to be more situational than enthusing. But you have to be ready for the world except if you prefer dying.

And in that uprooted life there are few things and people that can keep you alive. The bottle of course and you are always at the bottom of it, and a sugar daddy that can provide with some solace but even these daddies are not eternal and then from the bottom to the well there is a well tramped path that can only not be trodden if somewhere you believe you may have a life to save. Your life? Indeed, and yet that’s nothing but salvaging. The world is a salvage yard for old models of human beings discarded like old rags.

And that rag is the rag of a rag doll, of a rag girl that has gone and yet comes back, unchanged and nevertheless totally locked up in that nothing that’s gonna change that girl, and yet that simple rag accepts to be picked by some man and she accepts to be the love object, the love rag of that man who has no other identity than “you” but who is that “you”?

And to think of tomorrow and what will or may happen is like living in a dream, like locking oneself in a dream while real life is nothing but perdition, abandonment and suffering. But why do people need some solace from a dream of tomorrow, always tomorrow? Because life is always a trip along some road and you have to follow that road the navigator points out to you. What a shame we cannot go wherever we want, but just where the navigator tells you to go.

And if you get out of the hands of that navigator you can walk in the street and everyone around you will be the navigators of your life and they will of course tell lies because navigators are liars, people are liars, and you can only let yourself be taken over up and down and through by fake prayers on your knees as if the world would change because you pray for it to.

And she can only live the haunting curse of being a woman in a world she pretends was made by men, which is at least unfair and vastly untrue. Railroads, records, phonograph needles, and what else, who cares, never mind. And even those who do nothing and produce nothing, politicians and cops, are the real masters of this world and they all are men by definition, I guess especially when they are women. There is nothing more manly than a woman who wants to be a man. And she has only fighting as the end of this beginning that will lead to more ends and more ends, till the end of that end.

In the old neighborhoods of New York City fourteen floors are many though little to do with skyscrapers. And yet she sees these fourteen floors as if they were the fourteen steps to heaven in the sky. And strangely enough these fourteen floors are some kind of bridge to her father, but a father that is nothing but a ghost in the background. Sky, lie and cry all rhyme nicely. You can be up in the sky lying on some cloud and yet all that is nothing but lying and crying. True life is in the distance speaking Spanish and playing rhythmic percussions.

And imagine her at night in this room on the fourteenth floor listening to the street. She is like in a bubble up in the air with some kind of noise from the bottom. And she has finally decided to settle in that bubble. And bubble it is in the sky and then settling is fine but it is evanescent, it cannot last, she wonders how long she will settle. In America, this country of settlers, you cannot stay more than a short time in every settled place because you are a settler that has to go on and settle somewhere else any time settling is getting slightly too long.

To want, to wish, to desire to be something, anything, provided it is something, is just nothing at all and leads nowhere because you have lost your humanity in that constant searching and looking for something. And she is there waiting for that door to open, that road to lead somewhere, her feet to take her along to something she could come to. To what some preaching from Puerto Rico. And there is nothing left but some howling in the desert of this aimless world, Pa’lante Please, Pa’lante again and again. But what is it? In Latin American and especially Puerto Rican slang, it's a contraction of "para adelante" or "forward."

But what is that call to move forward, forward to what? But she is preaching to all those who hide, prideless in their survival to stand up and move forward, but forward to where, to what, since she does not know where to go.

And that’s the end of this improbable journey to an improbable goal with an improbable navigator that does not even know where the road leads. There is in that music some kind of sad aimlessness. And that’s its charm because today to feel emotion and empathy you have to be lost, uprooted, out of sorts. And off we go with the navigator in some Spanish and yet so repetitive between the navigator and “oh, my girl!” and nothing but the final voodoo rhythmic trance percussions that can maybe take us to the sky on the seventh heaven of totally inward vision and contemplation.


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