I’m low-key upset as hell. I started writing this post two different times before deciding, fuck it. This is how I’m starting off 2016. Anxiety creeped up on me unexpectedly and forcefully during my second draft, so being aggressive about it is the way it’s gonna go down. They took down the Puerto Rican flag from the ceiling of the Mountainlair and I’m slightly enraged.
For those non WVU students, the Mountainlair is my university’s student union and hanging from the ceiling over the food court they have flags from all over the world. The Puerto Rican flag used to be in one of the corners. I know because if you stand at the end of the long ass Chick Fil A line it’s right above you, just before the columns.
So as I stand in like one day I look up for that small comfort that I don’t understand, that I probably don’t deserve, and feel…I don’t fuckign know, confused? Definitely. Upset? A lil bit. Lost? Probably. I scanned the rest of the ceiling, maybe they moved it. But it’s not anywhere. The Cuban flag is gone too. Is this significant? Who knows. For me, apparently it is. It’s a huge deal. I wouldn’t be surprised if no one else on this campus notices. But I can’t complain. I chose to isolate myself in this way. I wanted to. To feel fucking special for once. I’m that ridiculously needy.
I find myself staring at the shelves in my room more often. I placed a small Puerto Rican flag my dad gave to me on the top one, right next to my West Virginia single pennant flag (you know those triangular pointy ones). They face each other like challengers. I can feel the tension between these two inanimate objects now more than ever. It feels disrespectful to have them so close to each other.
I’ve felt conflicted about my Puerto Rican flag. It’s doesn’t have the right shade of blue for the triangle. It has a permanent fold in a corner. it’s been slowly unthreading itself. It’s literally a symbol of a place I hate going back to because I revert into someone bitter and hateful. I can’t bring myself to take it down.
It’s a cage, Puerto Rico. A beautiful one, but a cage nonetheless. So why am I furious at that flag, my flag, our flag being gone? Deeply ingrained blind pride probably, if I’m being completely honest. But still, there’s more. There has to be more because I can’t stand being so stateless when I have no idea who I am. I realize the irony of my word choice.
So I’m sitting here writing alone in my dorm room listening to a Spotify made reggaeton playlist to drown out the sound of the obnoxiously loud gringos in the room next to me because this music genre is the only thing that makes me feel home. That’s not a typo, it’s a feeling. I’m writing, listening to Los 12 Discipulos unable to get out of my head the article I read earlier this week about some guys vandalizing bronze statues of US presidents in San Juan. I can’t help but think about the word “asesinos” spray painted in red at the dead presidents’ feet in such a highly touristic area. I can’t help but think at how both articles that i read said that the men’s actions were “alleged protests” and how language is so effective in keeping the oppressed in check. I can’t help but think, hope, that revolution is bubbling, finally, decades later than the rest of Latin America. But maybe this is just my 2012 pro-independence idealism resurging from time and distance.
I have yet to determine what this blog is going to be in 2016. Hopefully something a bit different from last year. Maybe even a cliche’d journey that my whopping 11 readers will join me on. People love that kind of shit in blog descriptions. If you like my selfies and retweet my cryptic observations I might not even care.