Day After Thanksgiving
29 of November 2013
I’ve always wanted to be part of a gang. I think it would be something wonderful- to know wherever you go, you have a group of people behind you that will take care of you and defend you to the death. These are people who regard you as family, as a home in midst of a life where they have no welcoming hand. To always have an interesting Brady Bunch to light up the world with, to laugh with, to call at 3 am on the verge of screaming until your lungs can’t stand it any longer. These are a team of like-minded miscreants who stomp the world with a relationship so out of the ordinary, their ties are seen as criminal.The closest I’ve gotten is the nods I’d get from fellow delinquents as I nonchalantly slunk into detention back in America.
I wake up at six am every morning to endure the grueling hours of boredom and humiliation school is now. Boys from other grades are very friendly with me, especially two groups of the prepa boys, but other than them and occasionally Orlando, I found myself almost completely alone. Santos, Nico, and Malakai will speak with me in a kind manner, and Santos laid on me today while I rubbed his back just like it used to be, signs they are slowly warming up to me again. I am outcast to my class, yet still celebrity to everyone else. My saving grace, however, is soccer. Every day at our two recesses, a pickup game ensues and I’m eagerly be asked if I am in. I regularly work two or three shifts as protera- goalie- for each team, a revelry that keeps me busy and on my heels.
I feel very free to the world, as if anything can happen, I can touch anyone or anything. But what is freedom if not the demolition of care? The weight, the burden, of an object, idea, or person, lifted from ones’ shoulders. It could slowly happen after many years, or even in some pin-drop second, and the next morning you could wake and realize you’re filled with an overwhelming sense of freedom. I didn’t see it until recently, but some people view my migration to Mexico and abroad as a fleeing attempt from my old life. A freedom trip. I want to clear this up: traversing the world with the unmistakeable air of a wanderlust case isn’t an act meant to sever ties and gain freedom from complications of the past. I’m not running from my problems, I’m enveloped in life through my travels. The world is my classroom, and through classical education and exposure to people and places, I’m becoming a more diverse, understanding, and intelligent person. My family and I are learning more than anyone who lives in their comfortable birdhouses, surrounded by infinite rows of parked Hondas, and small children, making their way to the assembly line of public school in mindless columns, to be imminently brainwashed.
My gang, I recently realized, is my family. I finally stopped looking for something that I had all along just a couple days ago. For all these years, my juvenile gang has been shuffling around under my nose, begging to be acknowledged.