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On Being Dominican

Uploaded by jenonthelake on Apr 30, 2001

There is something about Times Square at 7:30 AM. You notice a lot: The desolateness, the workers in their blue jumpsuits, loading and unloading, as well as the calm in a place not usually known for calm. This is where I wake myself up most mornings with a walk from 42nd to 56th St. when I opt to get off the train a little early. The few I run into with some regularity smile at me with an unspoken friendship.

I find pleasure in the view of skyscrapers reaching up to blurry skies; so different from the reality that is the near-ghetto landscape of Bushwick, the place where I had been only an hour before. The place where I live. I can almost feel everyday on the L, The second I leave Bushwick; like I’m leaving to another world. That brings back the memory of another world I left. The small island where I was born, the place I can barely remember.

I was born in the Dominican Republic, a tiny island that is so different from this tiny island. I do not have may memories of those first six years of my life but I know that I had a different destiny in store. Except those for the rich, schools in the Dominican Republic were small buildings with limited books, teachers and opportunities. I would never have attended a school as amazing as the High School for Environmental Studies, where I have grown far beyond the scope of Bushwick.

I was awakened by my mother very early one morning and we left my small town just as the sun began to warm the air. I wish I had paid more attention to the arms that clutched me and cried as they said goodbye; but I was too sleepy. I would not see them again and not return for five years but I when I did, I was a tourist and they were strangers. Returning had the effect on me that I always questioned how Dominican I am and how Dominican I should be. I saw in my mother’s eyes that she too wondered and it saddened her to lose a daughter to the Gringos. It saddened me to be lost to her.

It is so strange to me that I live in two different worlds between the L, my lifeline to both. There is the world to which I ride...

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Uploaded by:   jenonthelake

Date:   04/30/2001

Category:   Creative Writing

Length:   6 pages (1,267 words)

Views:   1288

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