A dirge for the dire
Trying to put into words what 14 years of waiting amounts to in my psyche is not an easy task and as I can only describe my own experience, I will describe the two mechanisms that forced my family and I to abandon what I had considered to be (until my 18th birthday) my ‘actual’ home:
The economic: Pop had always been a man that believed in the power of education and he, sometimes forcefully, instilled this and other parallel values in all three of his sons. When state university checks began bouncing and home investments began to feel like paying rent, he decided to move back to New Orleans, ALONE. For all those lonely nights in a one room studio apartment without his family, for all those lonely meals and TV shows, for all the lost time watching his progeny become young men, for the disenchantment in a home country he willingly believed in, for those three years without my father, I can only blame the policies and pontification of Hugo Chavez.
The social: Ma came from a big family – she placed high value in the magnetism of a high volume of trustworthy people. Her strength and toil through those incredibly taxing four years is deserving of ten-fold years of unencumbered living. I never told her whenever I got jumped, mugged, or robbed but I’m quite certain she didn’t want to know anyway. Through my teenage years our relationship became increasingly frayed and tense through shared hostilities, my own misplaced rebellion & her insistence on trying to be as involved in my life as possible; in other words, being an awesome parent. The tension on the streets and in my personal relationships would manifest itself at home and I acted out like any other teenager. In many ways, I owe her my life.