Sydney, did you forget? When you weren’t popping. When you wasn’t flexing. When you was a baby cub and women seemed perplexing.When you were marginalized, underestimated, and was an outcast in your social circle. When you were bowling pins to everyone’s ball? When your silence was speech.
Sydney, did you forget? When your suffering internally affected you outwardly? How you didn’t have the courage to cry? How it felt to smile? How it felt to be held? When you slept because you didn’t want to wake up? Do you remember?
Did you forget your grandmother telling you not eat with your eyes? How she would put your leftovers in the microwave for you to eat later? You would eat it later. How you use to wet the bed as a teenager? How those yellow spots were the core of your shame and embarrassment? I remember putting pen to paper after a couple of times. I couldn’t handle the pressure, I had to express myself. I started writing.
I started writing because it was a friend who listened when no one cared. The writing was and is my friend and I will never turn my back on it. I stayed silent for years because I thought no one would listen or care. Who would listen to a boy who wet the bed? Words comforted me as I expressed myself through its’s winding waterfalls of emotions.There was a time I didn’t have the courage to cry. I wanted to so bad. I wanted someone to hold me and recognize the pain I felt inside. No one cared as my sheets were in the laundry nad my shame was spinning in circles.
Who wanted to embrace my whirlwind of thoughts? The complexity of my emotions, the winds of my anger. The tornado of yellow water. No One. I fell to this pressure. I fell and kept on falling until there was a glimmer of light.One day I realized there was no place to hold on.I flashed, blinked, screamed to write more and more. Screaming to view the world from a different set of eyes. As my words scribbled, I scrambled to create a new life of my own.
I started racing. I was observing. I started reading. I read philosophy by Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, Confucious, and Lao Tzu. I read plays by Karel Chapek, Henrik Ibsen, and Shakespeare. I read short stories by Edgar Allan Poe,James Joyce, and Raymond Carver. I read African and Caribean literature by Wole Soyinka,Manuel Zapata Olivella, and Clarice Lispector. I became mobile. I became worldly. I become a better version of myself. I became rich in spirit because I was poor in life. I worked smarter because my parents worked so hard.
This is what I remember. I remember peeing on my bed. I don’t know if it because I was too lazy to get off my bunk bed or because I was scared. I remember, but my family forgets. It hurts to express this because it’s very personal. This was my reality for months, but it felt like years. Writing for me is about honesty. This is me letting go of who I used to be by expressing it to the world. It’s about expressing your truth. A truth buried in embarrassment and shame of who we were. I’m honest about who I am. I am a Natural.