Limbo: A Dialogue

Photo from Unsplash taken by Greg Rakozy


Inspired by real events

Death: Boo!

Me:..

Death: *Evil Laugh*

Me: … Boo!

Death: Why are you not scared? 

Me: Why should I be scared?

Death: Because… everyone is?

Me: Not me

Death: Why?

Me: Because I don’t believe in fearing my fate

Death: Your fate is to die?

Me: Not to die, but to go through the cycle of life. It is not like I can stop it from happening, just like I can’t stop the birds from singing, I can’t stop the waves from crashing back into the sea, and just like I can’t stop a child from climbing and falling off a tree.

Death: Humph. You make me laugh, so many people pass by but it is rare that I hear something like that.

Me: Most people don’t think of it.

Death: They don’t. I don’t. Very few do but, most do not. But, if they did maybe, they would respond differently. 

Me: Maybe

Death: Why do most react the way they do? Such surprise at their own demise. Yet, it is the fate of all, I know it to be true. 

Me: Because most people don’t think about you, to them you are not relevant until their journey ends. By the time you arrive, people realize it is too late to do all the things they said they would do. It’s always pushed to later so why bother and by that time you get the best of what they had to offer.

Death: The best of what they had to offer?

Me: Yes! All their potential, all their dreams, and all their goals.

Death: You make me sound like a bad guy. Maybe I am.

Me: No!

Death: I am, look at me! I come with a smile, eager for those to tell me of their journeys, traveling miles. To see life through a million points of view but, I only know little to a few. That guy who says, “It’s time to go” time to move on, how can you say that’s a good guy?

Me: You are just like birth at the end of the day.

Death: Then who is? Who frames me in such a way?

Me: Fear, he stops us from everything, no matter how small. From love, to expression, and the moments we could have had it all.

Death: It all makes sense now, everyone arrives with their fears and wonders how? As though, I am the one who took it all away. Regret, sadness, all these things are nothing I wish to bestow on anyone.

Me: Maybe there will be a glimmer of hope and as time goes on, as humanity will find ways to cope. To enjoy the cycle of life and say “it wasn’t so bad.” 

Death: It is a bittersweet quality that those who have come by are not scared of fear. A satisfied life is all I wish to see rather than tears.

Me: We have a lot to catch up on in many years.

Death: I look forward to seeing you again, some day. What will you do with your time?

Me: While my journey is not clear, I hope it is filled with adventure, joy, cheer. 

Death: May your life be long and happy… now get out of here!

Utopia: Explained

Photo from Unsplash by Andrey Andreyev


Let us start with an exercise: First, you must close your eyes and clear your head of everything (very similar to meditation). Second, I want you to picture the most peaceful setting on the planet, it may be the mountains, a plain, a small town, or even a big city. Third, I want to think of the people in this peaceful place, how are they interacting with each other? How are they grouped? What are they talking about?. Fourth, I want you to think of outside factors, such as entertainment, social media, and political entities; how are they operating in a peaceful setting? Last, take everything that you just pictured and throw it all away.

For those who were not expecting the last part, I wanted you to imagine a perfect world for just a moment but to also realize that it was all in your head. There is nothing wrong with having a strong desire to have a perfect world, but, the truth is that we do not live in a world that can ever be perfect for everybody. There will always be dissatisfaction to some degree whether it be “The sky is too blue”, “These people chew too loud”, or “I want more money but don’t want to put in the work to get it.” It can very much go back to the classic Yin and Yang that is used in various forms of ancient Chinese philosophy. The idea that opposing forces must exist in some form of duality with one another; peace cannot exist without chaos, love cannot exist without hate, and light cannot exist without darkness. To put it simply, everything that exists in our world will always have an opposite even if you narrow it down to the smallest details. So, why did I title this Utopia: Explained?

Truthfully, I believe that anyone can create their ideal world and life if they really put their minds to it. You do not need to make the world perfect for EVERYONE, you need to make YOUR world perfect for yourself. Sounds a bit selfish? Let me ask you this, do you think everyone in this world cares if you disappeared or if something bad happens to you? Unfortunately, the answer is no but, that is perfectly fine. You were not born to please everyone but, you can however; please those who see the value in you as a person. You do not need a million people to love you, just a few. You do not need a fancy car or a mansion, you just need a simple house or apartment where you can bring the people who matter in your life into your world. The people who are there, the space you make for yourself, and the outside world you choose to surround yourself in whether it be a rural area or a big city, that is the utopia that you have been searching for.

Speaking for myself, I can honestly say that I have 2 or 3 friends that I can genuinely trust, I have family in my life that is encouraging and not toxic, and I WILL live in a place where I feel at peace (not there yet since moving is expensive). I stopped talking to people who cause problems in their own life, people who criticize my endeavors, and go places that make me feel at peace instead of in a mist of chaos AKA clubs, music festivals, etc. Not against the concept but, having been there and done that, I have no interest in that atmosphere anymore. Once you realize that the utopia you are so desperate to create is in your hands rather than tossing the ball to another person to get their input, only then can you truly live in that paradise that you dream to be at. 

Food for thought. 

Some Like It Red

Photo from Unsplash by Michèle Eckert


Once upon a time in New York City during the 1960s, there lived a young gay wolf named Rolf, who always dreamed about becoming a star. Growing up, he would often watch movies of Hollywood’s Golden Age such as The Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, and Pyscho. Audition after audition, Rolf would be rejected by casting directors who were seeking people to be in their movies. He was struggling, gave up everything to pursue his dream, even dropped out of high school to focus on only auditioning. That all changed the day he got hit by a limo that held one of Broadway’s biggest stars. It was Scarlet Hood although people would often refer to her as “Little Red.” She had stared on every Broadway production since she was a baby. She was one Rolf’s role models, he had seen every musical she was part of and knew every role that she had played. She came out of the limo furious! 

“What are you doing crossing the street when cars are clearly driving! The damn sign says not to walk for fucks sake!” 

“I…I…I…YOU’RE SCARLET HOOD!”

“Obviously! Now look at this you made me late for my audition for Sugar Granny’s Productions. This is suppose to be my breakthrough!” “Wait! Sugar Granny Productions! They are one of the biggest production companies in Hollywood today! You have an audition with them!?”

“Yes I do! This is my chance to get the lead role in the movie Babes in Toyland! Do you not know how important this is to me! I can finally stop performing on that stupid stage and have my face on the big screen! Now get out of the road before you make me more late then I already was!” 

“Wait! I have been trying to get someone to cast me and I could really use your help with getting a part in the movie, I’ll take anything even if Im an extra in the background!”

Little Red looked at him and smirked at Rolf’s desperate plea for help. All she could do was laugh in his face.

“You really think that you can make it to Hollywood? Im sorry, but you should just give up, you can’t compete with people like us. We were born gifted and if you haven’t even caught the attention of one person already, then why are you still trying?” 

And just like that she hopped into her limo and drove off to her audition. Rolf was heartbroken to hear one of his own role models tell him that he was untalented. His sadness quickly turned into anger and he sought to prove Little Red wrong. He followed her limo to Sugar Granny Productions to audition for the same role as she was going to. When he saw her go into the studio he headed towards the window to go and spy on her audition because he wanted to go in the minute she was finished. Rolf noticed how innocent she appeared while she performed her piece, eyes big, huge smile, an angelic voice. It was all an illusion. The moment she took her bow and thanked the casting directors, Rolf bursted through the window into the room. Slightly injured and desperate for the directors attention, He got up and presented himself. Little Red was flaming with anger. 

“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE!?” She said. 

Rolf completely ignored her and started to introduce himself until one of the older casting directors got up and approached him with a concerned look on her face. 

“Oh Sunny are you ok? You just came through the window as though you were being chased by the police.” 

“I’m fine! I’m here to audition for the same role as she did!” He said furiously pointing at Little Red.

“… Umm you do know that the role that she auditioned for was for a female? Right?”

“Yes, but I’m very much in touch with my feminine side! Trust me, the only reason my make up is messed up is because I crashed through that window!” 

A little confused and scared the casting director sat back down along side the other directors and let him continue his audition.

“Hello! My name is Rolf and I will be performing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ from the classic Wizard of Oz!” 

The casting directors had some faith in him when he presented himself only to be disappointed by his off key singing and unnecessary interpretative dance. They could not tell if he was out of it from jumping through a window or that he was trying to portray a female. They eventually stopped him in the middle of his performance. A male casting director looked at him and shook his head. 

“I’m sorry, but you just do not fit what we are looking for in the role to be completely honest with you.” 

Rolf looked startled by the statement and started to tear up a little. Little Red began to burst out laughing. The older woman then got up and approached him once more.

“The role is going to Scarlet. She fits the criteria of what we are looking for in the film and I’m sorry, but we would also prefer a female.” 

“HAHA! I TOLD YOU! YOU NEVER HAD A CHANCE! ESPECIALLY GOING AGAINST A PERSON LIKE ME!” Little Red said as she continued to laugh and brag about herself. 

Rolf became so overwhelmed by Little Red and the casting directors that it finally happened. He cracked. He pulled out his gun in his bag in case of emergencies and aimed at Little Red. She stopped her laughing and looked horrified along with the directors. 

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?” 

“YOU ALWAYS SAID YOU WERE THE STAR! NOW IM GOING TO OFFICIALLY MAKE YOU ONE!”

Without a moments notice, Rolf shot Little Red in the face and she died instantly. The directors screamed and called the cops immediately. The police showed up quickly and took Rolf away. He was then sentenced to life in prison for first degree murder of Little Red. Before he was taken away they asked if he had any last words for his actions. He simply said.

“I just wanted to be a star…”

MORAL:

Don’t let failing go to your heart,

And don’t let success go to your head.

The End.

The Starving Creative

Photo from Unsplash by Austin Chan


This needs to be said; we are living in a day and age where we have no creativity, no originality, we are living in a day and age where creatives are being rejected if they do not spew the same propaganda. Its is usually, same story, different character, and that is it. Do not get me wrong, it is amazing to see people of different backgrounds on tv, in movies, and in books; however, we are solely relying on obvious features of a person to connect with them rather than, uniquely distinct character traits that makes anyone special.

We went from creating things like The Matrix, Gattaca, Black Swan, and other incredible movies and books alike to repeating the same messages of doom and gloom whether it be a constant reminder of how different you are or how you need to be scared at every waking minute because you can die. That is not what a creative is, that’s what a propagandist is. The exact definition coming from the dictionary is “a person who promotes or publicizes a particular organization or cause (Oxford Languages)”. We have seen this in the classic sense of newspaper and magazine cartoons which is completely fine but, with recent world events we see it in every part of our lives. We need people to come forward and start seeing worlds and ideas that are beyond our known reality. You know what happens when you do that? You are able to create culture, you are able to bring people together, and you become a great contribution that mankind can look back on and still talk about.

Some of the most incredible creators such as Prince, Selena, Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, Marilyn Monroe, Sade, and so many others that I cannot think of at the moment have left a mark in society that new creators can come back to for inspiration. Now everything is just a simple reboot, reboot, reboot. Why? Because it is easier to just use concepts that have been used before and just adjust them to modern day standards. I am so bored seeing the same things, how many times can you remake something? People are being sedated in a sense with this mediocracy, giving them the same pill just a different color. I must say and do apologize to my young audiences, F**K THAT!

Frankly, I am going to create the things that I want and explore the things that I find fascinating like different personality types, space, adventure and make something original, make something fun!

If you are someone with a new creative idea or concept, I am telling you now, go for it! You have nothing to lose, we are living in an age where any dream is possible, mind you it is hard work like no other but, I would not be writing this to you if I did not believe you could do it. You want to make a comic book? Watch videos, contact people who have done it, and work hard like no other. The same goes for singers, download BandLab and get to work, if you are an artist, learn how to expand and go outside of your comfort zone for inspiration. Go back to the Golden Ages of creativity, because it starts with people having the balls to form our interpretations of the world around us. I may not know you but, I believe in you, be brave! Because you know what happens when you are brave, you bring hope, that hope is shown through your work, and when you create something that is inspiring, you are able to heal the world of despair by giving them a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Creativity is the cure to stale tasting world.

Photo from Unsplash by Bamagal

Luna, Yes! Luna, ¡Sí! Anniversary Celebration

Luna Yes Luna Si

Luna, Yes! Luna, ¡Si! Cover


To help fight off imposter syndrome, I am going to be hosting a celebration in honor of the Luna, Yes! Luna, ¡Si! Anniversary I want to host a Q&A for those who have any questions about the book, the future of the book, and all future endeavors! 

Due to the pandemic last year, the anniversary celebration was delayed so please join us on July 25th to celebrate the Luna, Yes! Luna, ¡Si! Anniversary on Instagram and fill out the questionnaire which is linked down below!

Luna, Yes! Luna, ¡Si! Questionnaire

Thank you for all the support!

Gringafied

I am the granddaughter of a Dominican immigrant who was born and raised in the city of Santo Domingo, who left behind everything she knew to chase her dreams in America.

I am the granddaughter of Puerto Ricans who left behind an economic disaster in hopes for a better life in the city that never sleeps.

I grew up knowing how to dance because my family always knew how to throw a party with our brugal or coquito.

I grew up cleaning the house every Sunday even when I wanted to be lazy and do nothing.

I grew up having Vapo rub and sancocho whenever I was sick because my family believed that was the magic cure.

I grew up watching all my tíos play dominos without me until I turned 15-years-old and was finally allowed to play.

I grew up having a mini identity crisis whenever I had to fill out a form that said, “Despite what you have just answered, please fill out what is your race.”

I grew up loving the New York Yankees, screaming from the bleachers every summer with my dad.

I grew up knowing how to refill my metro card in under a minute before the train leaves my station.

I grew up hearing “It’s showtime!” on the train before street dancers start performing and I duck in cover in hopes of not getting hit.

I grew up knowing to go to the food carts that sell halal and to never get anything at the hot dog stands.

I grew up thinking I was going to be Kim Possible one day, save people from mass destruction and be a badass.

I also grew up learning English as my primary language to assimilate to American society, which is why my Spanish sounds “funny.”

I grew up straightening my hair so that way I could avoid having “messy” and “unprofessional” hair.

I grew up giving myself anxiety about my grades at 13-years-old because I felt like I had constantly had to prove something to American society.

I also grew up having to show the other Hispanic kids what my dad looked like in order to prove that I was really Dominican.

I grew up confused about why the Puerto Rican kids and the Dominican kids would start fighting each other when I was Puerto Rican and Dominican.

I grew up hearing “why don’t you speak Spanish?” or whenever I did speak Spanish, I would hear “You sound so white.”

Make no mistake with my identity, I am Puerto Rican and Dominican but, I also am American. I am the embodiment of 3 distinct cultures, I cannot be one without being the other.

But isn’t that what being Latino is all about? The embodiment of different cultures?

The embodiment of our indigenous ancestors, the connection to our African roots and the history we share with the Iberian Peninsula.

Or have we become consumed with this narrow criteria of being Latino that we have forgotten that?

Every day I continue to wake up, look in the mirror and be proud to be Latino, proud to represent Latinos in America.

And although I may not meet the standards to be Latino, you can never take away that part of my identity.