They'll say "he was so creative," and "they" were. Their vision for the world was exciting, new, and above all, inspiring, but far and few ever truly leave the hood. I remember being 17, learning about the cyclical pattern of poverty and how it swallows people. It was a terrifying thought to revisit when tax season came along, and I noted that my family, collectively, made $20,000 that year. It was even more mortifying when I got my undergrad admissions letters and realized that I couldn't afford to go to college, at least not then. You see, sometimes hard work is not enough, and wanting something so badly that it hurts does not guarantee that you'll get it. Perhaps failure and rejection give genesis to what you need at this moment, rebirth, and a reminder that life, inadvertently, is twined with death. Perhaps, if anything, growth will come of this void, and from this will come something greater, more fitting, more you. These are things I repeat to myself as I, once again, am reminded of where I come from. If I am not the one who gets out, goes to Yale… who am I?
Sure, something is intriguing about following a convivial yet hazy path that sparks from the nothingness, but I ponder, how many get lost in towns destitute of commerce? To this, I say, "bon voyage," because I have nowhere else to go, and being lost is something I know all too well. This new year killed the boy I once was. They'll say, "he was a dreamer, he was passionate, and he gave everything he had to his practice," and "they" do. Only "he" is now "they," and their work is no longer tethered to you. The one who held up empty glasses of poured out potential, the one who wore a veil of vulnerability like a second skin and the one who didn't get into Yale...yet. Though for all one knows, if the opportunity were to present itself in the future, I'm not sure I'd say yes so expectedly as he once dreamed I would.
He is gone, at least for now, and you are amongst the first I've told because it's hard to say to people who believed in you; that what you thought you could do, you could not. Hard to find language that'll make it hurt a little less when you look in their eyes and see them cater to your undoing. But pity has never fed an empty stomach, and "support" is rarely coupled with actions, so I sit here and let it hurt alone.
Let it sink, that the boy who dreamed of getting out must now find another exit, and "they" will. And from this, conceivably one day, they might say " if "they" can do it, so can I."
Last night I turned to you and begged
I stood there and shouted,
cried and demanded for sense
thought that maybe if I wore a different face
I could forget that my mask no longer fit
thought that maybe if I aligned my spirit to yours
I could forget
forget the shame of feeling like an empty vessel
with potential poured out in front of it
if I give up now
who am I?
if this is a test
I am failing
If I am not the one who gets out
where do I go?