What should be worshipped?

“Who is the God whom we should worship with the oblation?” – The Rig Veda

For what reason should we worship this God or so called deity? Just because someone tells us that a certain thing or person created the universe, this does not mean we should believe in that of what we are told. How can we believe something, which we cannot see? I am not trying to be a skeptical, but I consider myself a realistic. How can a human being allow their world to revolve around those values? The values, which they have to follow because their God said they should. Or matter of fact set their life based on some rules that they have been told that the so-called God has set up for them. The reward for following those rules will set a spot after they die. Indeed there are two hypothesis of how the world was created. Those two hypothesis do not apply to every person, everyone has their own opinion towards the beliefs of how life was created.


The first hypothesis involves religion. One of these beliefs is that there is a higher power. A higher power is something that is greater than humans. A greater power entails that should be consider as the creator of life. Something that is conceivable is that something greater created the world. Is impossible for a simple human being to have created the universe. Humans do not have such a super power to create the universe.  This so-called god is the Supreme Being that created the two footed and four-footed creatures. He is also the creator of the mountains, sky, earth, and the waters that exist in this world. Is he so marvelous for creating those things?


The second hypothesis of how the world was created has a scientific answer. Life began in the water.  The scientific answer seems to explain how the universe was created as well as the reason how humans exist. It all began with the big bang theory; this theory mentions that the life of human beings began with water. The sequence of life started with a combination of ammonia and methane and energy, next to amino acids, and then proteins, to DNA, and then to Nuclei, to cells, to Multi-cellular organism, to worms and sea weed, to fish, to reptiles to amphibians and then to what we have become now.  This complicated theory seems to explain how life began according to scientist. – I learned this in my astronomy class with my professor Michiau Kaku he is a brilliant man-

Some people believe that is right to praise the creator of life. If following the first hypothesis were true, we should worship the so-called God. But what happens if we see it in another perspective and believe that there is no creator and things just happened. The scientific hypothesis seemed to explain a theory of how life was created. This theory seems to be more believable since scientists have to use facts to prove their hypothesis. To me the scientific hypothesis seems more realistic; the facts seemed to proof their point.

“People tend to believe in some kind of creator because they have been raised to do so. Throughout life people will learn new ideas and become convinced by them, but will fall back to those believes. This is similar to what I have experienced. I was raised a catholic, but learning new ideas, I became convinced about the creation of life. Some information made me change my mind of the origins of life, but I will always fall back to the belief I grew up with”

So if a human being believes in the science theory, such as some people do. Does this mean we have to praise the big bang? Does an individual who believes in Gods or a deity, how are they convince of whom they should worship? Who is the Supreme Being? These type of questions stay in my mind because we cannot say we believe in a god without thinking or asking to ourselves who is god? And why did he create mankind?

Avenue I…

Sometimes I wonder how my life would have been, had I grown up in some fancy neighborhood. My college roommate grew up in the Hamptons. She’s now studying to be a lawyer. But me- well I grew up on the corner of Avenue I and Flatbush, and I still don’t know what the hell I’m going to do with my life. (See the correlation?) Don’t get wrong, it’s not the worst neighborhood in the world. It’s actually quite residential, and reasonably safe. Even so, the Hamptons sounds much better…

I used to visit Renaa’s house on weekends, weekdays… you name it. You could always find me there. Renaa – or Nay as I called her, lived down the block from me. I guess you could say she’s my ex best friend. I don’t exactly know what went wrong with her. I mean – she has a mother and a father, and although they’re currently separated, they lived under one rooftop. They always spoiled her (to the best of their abilities). She could always hit up her mom for cash, and then turn to her dad for some more. To me, it seemed like the best of both worlds. I say this because I grew up with my grandmother. My mom passed away when I was twelve from cancer. (Well not really – one night she was complaining of pain, and an at home hospice nurse actually overdosed her with morphine. This explanation is rather graphic and much more difficult to explain, and therefore I usually choose the first one). Since then my grandmother took care of me, and my father chose to live his own life, at his mother’s house… where he currently resides.

When Nay was about sixteen she became addicted to pot. I don’t know if one can actually become addicted to pot, because it’s a common defense for weed smokers to say that “it’s not an addictive drug.” So I guess I’ll rephrase that: Nay became dependent on weed at about the age of sixteen. Luckily, I dogged that bullet until I got older. Then again – I don’t know how lucky that makes me.

Nay was always cooking up some kind of scheme to get money.  When we were in about the twelfth grade, she told me that she was going to deposit a fraudulent check into her account to get the money. I was always the more logical type. Although I absolutely despise philosophy, I can always devise up some long logical reason for or against something. I’ve always been good in manipulating the English language – however I’m slightly better at it on paper than in person. When Nay came to me with her plans, I told her that it was absolutely absurd and that she would surely get caught. Sure enough, she did. She was actually arrested, taken to bookings… you know the whole process. She was eventually charged with some kind of money misdemeanor in exchange for community service.

I never quite understood the weird dynamic of our friendship. Besides participating in increasingly mischievous behavior – she always found a way to betray me. There was this one time when she came to my house with my other best friend Nikeya (whom I call Ki) filled up my purse with shirts, jeans, and jewelry and then left. I was distracted because I had other friends over, so I didn’t notice her until I saw her leaving the house with my belongings. There was also the time that she took my brand new pair of orange-stripped air max 95’s to borrow (still in the box I may add), and then claimed that she lost them.

When I first met her, I admired her because I was so shy and quiet while she was so loud and daring. She knew what to wear to get attention, and she hung out with some of the popular girls. She even had a boyfriend in the sixth grade. She was cool, and even knew how to talk to boys. But somewhere along the way, my definition of cool changed. I don’t think hers ever did.

It must have been two or three years ago, when Nay, Ki and I were driving to McDonalds. I had noticed a riff in our friendship that had slowly begun to get bigger. Ki had recently obtained her mom’s old car, and we decided to spend the weekend together. Ki was blasting the newest Drake song, and as the wind whipped through our hair we began to enjoy a night on the town.

“Omg, we’re finally getting older”

“I know, and you’re driving now. You finally got your own whip”

Of course, Nay already had the privilege of driving her dad’s car. He would have given it to her, but she was always in the middle of something, so he was hesitant.

“Remember, when we were younger how we used to be jealous of Krystal’s hair?”

The statement kind of came from left field. It was like a group of people playing a football game, when suddenly a random ball was tossed into rotation. When we were younger, Ki and I had long hair, and Nay did not.

“Um… no that was just you”

Nay wasn’t the prettiest or brightest of the bunch. She never really cared about school – she was more interested her social life and physical appearance. At a young age, she would often wear makeup such as colorful eye shadows, extravagant costume jewelry and hair extensions. Ki was always more interested in school than Nay, and although she didn’t get high grades like me – she always did well. I was always placed in the advanced class, so for me that meant that I was usually one of the very few Black girls in my class.  This continued from junior high to high school. I always understood this intellectual division between us, but disregarded it. Throughout our friendship, she would often make comments about me being tall and awkward or my feet being too big, because she was shorter than I, with smaller feet. I remember trying to squeeze into shoes a size smaller, because of her. (And yet, as I got older, I realized that my feet were actually small for my height.) She would often make jokes that got on my nerves – but I ignored them. I remember in the sixth grade, when she curled my hair and pressed the curling iron directly on my forehead, leaving a large box mark on my face for months. (Now, I wonder if this was intentional.) When Nay made her jealousy comment to me that night, it kind of marked the start of the decline of our friendship. She simplemindedly laughed it off, and if I was younger I might have done the same. But now that I was older, I thought it explained too much and I couldn’t understand why my friend of so many years still felt this way.

Our friendship finally came to a ‘sad’ conclusion during my third year of college. She had begun to make up stories about me, and tell a mutual acquaintance. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I never explained to her how I felt – I just kept it inside. I never answered her calls or texts again.

Of recent, Renaa has become a stripper. It’s news that affected me at the time she told me – but now I could actually care less. Sometimes I wonder how two people who grew up in the same neighborhood, with the same values could turn out so different. I mean, the first time I went back to church in my teenage years was with her! Her mother was an active member of the Christian church that was about two blocks from her house. It was actually her that encouraged me to go to the prayer group with her. Until today, everything that transpired between us seems to be a mystery that’s not worth solving.

I resent a lot of my childhood days, and she played a huge part in that. When I look back on everything that happened when we were younger, I often find myself angered about how heavy of an influence she was to me, and how my grandmother was not able to be emotionally available for me. I know it’s not healthy for one to blame anything or anyone for their past actions, but damn it… someone’s got to take part of the blame. Sometimes I wish I grew up anywhere else, with different friends, in an entirely different demographic… like in the Hamptons. Yea – sometimes I wish I grew up in the Hamptons instead of Avenue I….

We die, because we need to live.

Her body bounced on the floor, like it was some latex dummy, life size and realistic…

It was real though – so very real. The red paint flowed out of her neck, like a budding rose that could no longer maintain structural stability. I suppose the life had fled from her eyes; eyes which were mere seconds ago alive with fear. The fear came from the cold metal pressed against the left side of her neck…


Oh how she fell. How the blood poured and life just left her. How God showed me there was no justice in the world; all things were limited and precious. Such dark poetry bestowed upon a young child. It has fucked me up for the rest of my life. I saw no evidence of heaven or hell, just that which was here and that which was no longer here. I knew she was gone from this world; I felt it deep within.


The ringing in my ears from the sound of the three shots the asshole emptied in her neck sang loudly in my ear. I couldn’t process any of this. I was too young and I hadn’t a true concept of death, though I supposed this moment changed that; life is the thing we go through before it all means nothing.


The night before I had a dream relating to this moment; how fucked up is it that an 8 year old is having dreams of shit like this happening before the events unfold before his eyes? I’m like a cheap rip-off of The Shining. Imagine a sewer-like environment cleaned up as much as it could be for people to live in. People were depressed in this unseen, but clearly felt, miasma of depression and boredom. Through some less travelled passage ways dark men in hoods who looked like black Klu Klux Klan silhouettes with red eyes stood ominously in the background. One such man came up behind this beautiful blonde woman at the end of the dream. It was abrupt, the terror in her eyes and heart being what I remember most about the dream.


Back to the waking world, and rewinding a bit… I had gone to court with my mother. She was divorcing my father. I must’ve been around eight years old, and a week or so before, we had gone to court prior to this visit as well. Doing anything in court is a process that involves multiple trips, lot’s of wastes of your time, and money, if even only for transportation. In this previous visit, I saw a young lad drawing Venom from marvel comics, and I thought the drawing was awesome. The next time around, he wasn’t in his spot, or anywhere to be seen, but I liked his idea so much that I decided to take residence in his spot and draw.


This placed me in an ideal position, several feet from the front row of chairs in the waiting room, making me able to see the action first. Life can happen in slow motion, and it has done so for me several times.


He appeared from behind one of the pillars like a chocolate Slender-man; he was tall, black, thin, in a black suit. It hadn’t fully dawned on me that this was my dream becoming reality. My nightmare. My real life nightmare.


I struggle between being agnostic and believing that God is out to get us. He’s out for all of us, but especially me. This is a nagging feeling buried deep inside me from this moment, but he took this woman from the world to remind me that I was next. I see the flaw of this logic, but I am human, and this sort of thinking is how I was affected.


He draws the gun from a shoulder holster, slightly puffing out his left lapel. He is probably right-handed like most of us. The silver cowboy gun is in his dark hand. It moves in a perfect sweep from his chest to his target spot. The cold metal — it must be so cold — kisses her neck. The cold metal wakes her up from this dreary miasma holding us all. Her eyes widen. She knows what is happening within an instant of this instant. Her head turns and she looks at him. Those beautiful eyes stare like a deer looking in headlights. His eyes are cold and barely noticeable, blended into the rest of his dark form. The end is here. Oh God the end is here. The baby she is holding in her arms… her baby echoing her beauty into the future; a physical memory of a woman who is no more.








My angle of view changed. Somehow, I knew what was happening. I gathered my things and ran, taking a step for each release of hot lead. When I had made my way some small steps to the side of the room, she fell in front of me. I already told you what that was like. I have to relive that moment in my mind often.  I’ll spare you from the repetition. The moment is gone now and I am here writing about it to you. The tenses change in this writing which is a no-no, but I feel that it is appropriate in this piece. The transitions may be weird, as I dance between multiple thoughts and feelings while writing this. I won’t change them so much. I want you to feel like I did; like I still do sometimes. When I relive this memory, I am in the past and the present at the same time (time isn’t as linear as we often perceive anyway). My heart beats faster and breath quickens as I dig deeper for a way to best describe to you the experience. I regurgitate it on this screen for you to read.


What if God is the bad guy? What if this is his venom?


I’ve tried to make peace with this moment. A few years ago I was able to recall that in her final split-second, the blonde woman passed her child onto someone else next to her. The other woman accepted. There is something beautiful there; the human instinct perhaps. It is a mother caring for her child as best she could. I am so sad now. I feel like crying but the upper part of my cheeks punches my tear ducts shut. Don’t you see people? It’s not up to God. It’s up to us. The only thing we know that exists in some mystical sense beyond our full understanding is death. If there is a God then that is what he is. Death. Make no mistake, our time can be anytime. Everything we do can come to a sudden halt at any time. I read a book written by a warrior once, as a way to come to peace with this tragedy. I’ll paraphrase his words: “Death is a big brother standing over our shoulder, reminding us to live.”


I understand now.


We die, because we need to live.

Borrowed Memory (Absence Paper)

Many of my childhood memories are ones that I had with my aunt, Leslie. My mother’s only sibling and the only aunt I had, she was very tall, but I looked up to her in more ways than one. As a teenager, Leslie babysat for many families in the neighborhood. One night while my family was visiting my grandmother, Leslie received a call to pick up something from one of the families she worked for. It was late, but I immediately took the opportunity to accompany her. Even though it was just a few blocks away, probably no more than a 10-minute round trip with Leslie’s long strides, the prospect of spending any time with my aunt alone was treasured. I was always sharing her with my family and any chance of increasing my usefulness to her was taken (i.e., pursued) if it meant increasing her fondness of me.

I don’t recall what we spoke about as we walked from 90th to 96th, or even if we did at all, but we got the envelope from the doorman and then went on our way. We walked along the Riverside Park right off the 95th street exit of the Westside highway where my mother had said she was going meet us after my father arrived to pick us up. It was dark out and there wasn’t much light apart from the orange streetlamps lining the parks on either side of us, but it was bliss walking together with her even if it was in silence.

As we waited at the light for our chance to cross, we heard movements in the bushes behind us. After much squinting we noticed an older man about 40ft away from us squatting near the trunk of a large tree. It was difficult to see what he was doing as the low bushes made for easy camouflage, but it soon became clear that he was pushing his business out without realizing he had an audience. The lights in the background from high rising apartment complexes, most of which had their shiny-poled marquises covered with cobwebs and long-nosed witches midflight in preparation for Halloween, silhouetted the man so we could witness him scrabble in the dark for leaves to wipe with.

A woman in sweats walking her Beagle crossed the street near him and the man jumped once she was a few feet away, hastily pulling his pants up his skinny legs. He stumbled and hit the rusty green guardrail behind the tree and nearly flipped over it, his bare backside now visible under the flickering streetlight. Once she noticed the scene, the woman crossed the street back in a hurry without looking in either direction and dragged her yapping dog behind her as she disappeared around the corner.

The man managed to pull himself upright again, but with his pants still by his ankles he fell again face first on the ground with his butt high in the air. A single yelp and the sound of feet struggling to stand on the sloped area lined with wooden chips mixed in with my aunt’s high pitched laugh. She grabs my arm, points at the flailing man and laughs.

“Oh my goodness, Julie! Do you see that man over there?”

Spotting us, the man looks over and falls again. Leslie laughs louder. Two quick beeps refocus our attention to our rendezvous location where my father’s white Lincoln pulled over across the street. My aunt couldn’t stop giggling and we turn back to the man one last time. He picked himself back up again and using both hands to hold up his remaining dignity, staggered off like Sasquatch caught on camera. We rushed across the street and got in the car.

Before the door could slam shut, Leslie starts retelling the story to my mother in vivid details and while she is in the car everyone is laughing. She uses me to validate that the events occurred.

“Wasn’t that so funny, Julie? You saw him, didn’t you?”

I nod.

We all have some memories of events that are so vivid we can recall them with indisputable details as if it happened yesterday. This incident happened over fifteen years ago and this very scene plays in my head whenever I think of funny moments in my life. I remember all this very clearly, but I never tell anyone about it because this actually never happened to me at all. Yes, I was with my aunt that day. I heard the initial shuffling behind us, but didn’t see anything in the dark and turned my attention elsewhere. But my aunt insisted and trusted me to help her with the story so I couldn’t let her down.

“Yes,” I told everyone that night. “I saw.”

And I remember it so well that even I believe it’s true.

Debbian Antoine-Harris

My brother and I climb into bed with our bigger sister as she tells us about her life growing up in Grenada. She looks down at me and kisses me on my forehead while confidently assuring me that I won’t be attending any sweet sixteens or proms. I sadly pout in the dark, knowing she cannot see me to lecture me and complain about all the liberties she did NOT have growing up with my dad.–But these lectures…these stories…surprisingly are what I miss the most.–

Daddy Keith, is what she calls our dad. She tells my brother and I, this name had to be adopted because the amount of children in the house “back in the day”. So many of her cousins would attempt to call their own dads, that it was necessary to have some form of distinction.

Debbian Antoine is my big sister. Well, socio-biographically she is my “half-sister” but everyone believes us to be near twins. Oh yeah and for the amount of complete and utter nonsense she has had to deal with between my brother and me, she’s rightfully earned her familial label of “Sister”. From the stories I have heard, Debbie’s mom is what we call delirious, mental and a complete basket case. My sister was born in Grenada (West Indies) in the year of 1974. Yet till this day, her mother has denied the existence of any of her children. Thus, my sister has lived with our dad until they moved to the U.S and he married my mom. We are a family, her family. She moved out on her own once she was of age, and our sisterly bond was sealed once I was able to walk and talk. We would do everything together. From people watching, to shopping to making jokes, to straightening our hair to even “breaking day” watching Korean romance shows…my sister was me. Her apartment was my home away from home. Whenever she was missing in action, if you called my phone, you would find her. Her place was a sanctuary, away from my parents, my friends and all other distractions. We would order Chinese food and gossip about all the hypocrites in the Church. It became so bad that my mom had to almost ban us from seeing each other.

In 2005 it all changed. My sister decided to betray me. Betray us, betray the Antoine name. She got married. Instantly, like Joan Didion, I felt deceived. She didn’t ask me, she just did it. As she put purple flowers in my hair (I was the stupid flower girl), I couldn’t help but to think why? Is this really happening ? Was it something I did, said, didn’t do? She chose a tall lanky Caucasian man over me (Anthony Harris). And all of a sudden she became Debbian Antoine-Harris. He turned out to be fully Grenadian, quite a shocker, but still. Why? (One time she tried to pull the I’m-getting-married-stunt with another man and my dad completely nullified it..I was ecstatic) But this time around, the second time around, my spidey senses kicked in. It was clear she wanted independency, responsibility and autonomy. But what about me? What if I am not ready to add a wolf to our already perfect wolfpack? What if I didn’t request a wolf at all?

What is marriage really? Dictionaries describe it as “a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner of a husband and wife.” However, it seemed to me to be a disunion from my family to this arbitrary construction worker she decided to wed. In my eyes she wished to train him. As a recovering alcoholic–not to mention Grenadian–, he is loud and ignorantly confident. These traits are not curable under the Debbian-stroke-of-love but rather, cured with time and experience. In the years following 2005 I learned to appreciate if not love my brother-in-law. We crack jokes daily and every time I show up at his door he comically closes it and claims he married my sister not me. Countless times he went out of his way to visit me when I was sick in the hospital (monthly at times) and even always allows me into his and my sister’s minuscule new apartment. He was here to say and whether I approved or not, it would not change.

The harsh truth has jus hit home a couple months ago as I latched onto my sister’s hip before she left church on Sunday. Rather than seeing her beautiful, cynical face every weekend (and Monday, Tuesday and whatever else days I could manage to swing by against my mother’s wishes), I would not see her again until the following Sunday in church only. My sister was not Debbian Antoine. She was now Debbian Antoine-Harris. Her first priority was now this man that has leeched his familial name onto our own. I love him, but frankly, it’s how I feel. He’s weighing us down. Why is he here? My sister and I are no longer the inseparable dynamic duo we once her and it’s his fault. Now her excuse every Sunday for leaving early is that she must go home and iron. Ugh. Forget him, let him iron his own crinkly clothes.

But now I guess is a better time as any to confess. I am now 20 and after 8 years I’ve realized it’s not just my sister but it’s me. Like every other deprived friend in my life, my sister has not moved from the spot she holds. I am welcome to visit her anytime I wish. Yet once college started for me, our bond still existed but became less frequently acted on. Trivial visits to her home have become harder to create around studying, internships and part-time jobs. Could it have been me who has also married? Have I subconciously married the educational-societal factors in my life?

Just like my beautiful sister, it was time for me to become independent as a college student and as a woman. No longer did I require my sister as a baby-sitter to give me baths and feed my continuously hungry stomach. Although my name did not change, I was now also in a new relationship in the world, that is the relationship that brought along (not a recovering addict) but maturity and sophistication in preparation for the real obstacle of life. Thus, the ugly truth was, my sister entered a new stage and I followed closely after. It hit home quite rapidly but it served as a great complement to our already great bond. Now in addition to gossip and Korean romances, we converse on philosophical, marital and even religious morals, ideas and teachings. Our bond now, might be even stronger than it was before she married. As individuals married to physical and metaphysical aspects of life, we connect on levels that were otherwise incomprehensible for my young mind before her wedding in 2005. My sister is now a graduated, married, registered RN with a driver’s license (something my older brother and I got before her) with an enriched perspective on life.

I truly love Debbian Antoine but I adore Debbian Antoine-Harris even more. She is the woman who adopted the name of a new life but retains and cherishes the memories of her old life. As for me, I too have rebelled. My own marriage has disconnected me at times from my sister but for the better. Just like our past where I constantly followed in her footsteps, I too married and became a professional in the obstacle we call Life.



“I’m so annoyed right now #fuckcandycrush”

“WTF!! Really tho? Of all days #fml”

“Just made my day 🙂 #feelingblessed”


It has become a place where you can go to share your thoughts and feelings. A place where you can seek for approval before trying something new. A place where you can go to ask for advice before making the wrong decision. A place where you can tell who cares and who doesn’t.

A place where you can play games with new and old friends. A place where you can receive invites to parties, film festivals, concerts and games. For most people it has become a playground, which means the more friends and followers you have the higher status you gain. For many it has substitute the morning and evening prays. I am sure Zuckerberg, Systrom & Krieger and Dorsey didn’t see all this coming.

The thirst for attention has grown, hence we take photos of everything we see, everything from what you had for breakfast to selfies. We turn to it when we are lonely because that’s when we seek for attention the most. The more “Likes” the better. The platform has become our spotlight, and it has become our job to function as our own publicist. We would unintentionally go the extreme route to produce more comments and likes on our posts. The platform has become an environment where our paparazzi can follow us. We take photos of everything we see or experience. As our own publicist we strive for creating our own image, an image we fail to build in the real world. Amore, Mayfair, Rise, Hudson, Valencia, X-pro II, Sierra, Willow, Lo-Fi, Earlybird, Sutro, Toaster, Brannan, Inkwell, Walden, Hefe, Nashville, 1977and Kelvin are just a few out of many tools used to refine and enhance our pictures. The short, chubby and sweet girl next girl has suddenly become a Victoria Secret model in a matter of minutes, #DUCKFACE! The number of selfies people take was probably not forecasted by Systrom and Krieger a few years ago.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are just a few of many social media tools given to us to explore.

#Chillin, #Friends, #Homemade #TGIF, #Classic, #Love, #Funny, #YOLO #Swag, #Legendary

Walk into any house party or restaurant and you are likely to find people who are not really interacting with each other. Instead they are staring at their smart phones. As if people forgot how to socially interact with one another. “Taking some time off my grind to chill with friends, #Friends #feelingsoblessed, #Chillin #Goodtimes”.

Technology has made it more affordable to connect with people all over the world. Nowadays no one really has the time or the money to meet up with friends. However, the social platform has pushed us much farther apart by creating the illusion that we are in fact connected. We only highlight the best moments of our days, making it seem as if we are living like rock stars every day. This tends to lead to jealousy which in turn makes you less happy about your life. It drives you to compete with posting better pictures, and posts indicating that you are always on the go. The social platform essentially creates an egocentric environment. It is there for you to make it all about you and your life. It has become our journal to share with people we chose as our audience, #deardiary. Difference is that you create your posts and tweets in a way to get attention. For instance, you are having an ordinary day except that your waiter served you regular lemonade instead of pink lemonade. Your posts would read something like this to draw attention.

“That DID NOT just happen #fml #soannoyed”

Most likely you will receive comments asking for more information and the answer would be something like this;

“Too pissed right now, txt u later”

In reality we are seeking attention which happens to be much easier to obtain via social media. If our goal is to be happy we will in the near future rely more on social media than we do today. Unfortunately the younger generation is trapped in this social media world; it has become their only way of socializing with other people.





Josefina Vidal




     I am in love with love.  One of my favorite people that I am in love with is John F. Kennedy Jr.  I saw him once at Grand Central Station.  It was the rededication.  He spoke about his Mother.  He was the most beautiful man I had ever seen.  That was October 1998.  Just nine and a half months before his death.  I feel closer to him in death.  I look forward to being with him someday.  The weekend that he got married his spirit came to me to try and stop it.  I wish I had.  Like Prince William, I did not like John’s wife.

Another person that I am in love with is my husband, Francois.  We divorced after ten years, but we have now been together for twenty-two  years.  He is French.  He is a doctor in his third year of residency in New Jersey.  We met in June 1991 in Los Angeles.  We married less than two weeks later in Las Vegas.  We lived for a short while near Paris, France.  Then we settled in NYC.  I hope to be with him forever.  I hope to be with him in heaven someday.

Someone else I love is my Mother.  She does customer service for The Metropolitan Opera.  She’s also worked at NYU.  She worked for Chase Manhattan Bank for over twenty years.  My Mother has a heart condition.  She also has high blood pressure and other health problems.  I wish that she would take better care of herself.

I also love my Father.  He is a Black Jack dealer in Las Vegas.  He moved there when my parents divorced when I was four.  He has been married five times.  His current wife is forty years younger than he is.

I suffer from depression.  I get a shot every two weeks.  In August of 1997, I attempted suicide.  My loved ones keep me happy.  I dream of them.  I pay close attention to my dreams.  I hear voices.  I feel that my loved ones can speak to me from a far.  With John, my dreams and his voice are all I have.  I have smoked pot.  It makes me feel good.  I think that it should be legal.  I have been in the hospital for depression many times.  I have been out of the hospital for almost five years now.  When I smoke, I feel as if my loved ones are making love to me.  One at a time.  My husband does not want me to smoke.  Neither does my Mother.  It is the biggest difference I have with them.

I keep a journal.  Mostly I write about my dreams.  I am also in love with Prince William and Prince Harry.  John is the best-looking of them all.  His only serious girlfriend besides his wife was Daryl Hannah.  Most of my loved ones give a lot to charity.  In his day, John was the most famous man in the world.  People magazine named him the sexiest man alive and had him on their cover.

I have not done as much with my life as my loved ones have.  I probably will be better known for who I am married to than for what I have done.  John is not remembered in his Father’s library as an adult.  I think that that is a shame.  John’s Father was the President of The USA.  He was killed.  John died in a plane crash.  He was piloting the plane.  His wife and her sister died with him.  This November 22nd will be fifty years since his Father was killed.  He is remembered by most.  I hope that John is not forgotten.  There are YouTube videos about him.  There are also videos about William and Harry.  It is harder to remember John since he is dead.  William and Harry are always in the news.  I can’t choose just one person to be in love with.  I wish that I could.  I fall in love easily.  But I am very picky.  The man has to be almost perfect.

I wish that I could meet someone new.  But I am forty-five now so it is hard.  I make noises and my jaw opens and closes on it’s own.  I feel that I am possessed.  I wish that whatever it was would leave me alone.  It began after I wrote to William and Harry comments in the British papers that they should leave their girlfriends.  It worked. Except William got back with his girlfriend.  When he broke up with his girlfriend I was in tears, I was so happy.  Since then I send emails to William and Harry.  One birthday it was online in a British paper that I follow William and Harry.

I am so glad that William has left the military.  I wish that Harry would too.  I worry about my loved ones.  My husband is very patient with me.  He knows about my other passions.  I feel that my dreams are an extension of my life.  I am happiest when I am loving someone.  John died tragically young.  He was only thirty-eight.  He had a lot of living left to do.  John had a magazine.  I read it every month.  I was addicted to his magazine.  I started reading it on like the sixth issue.   When John died, I ended up in the hospital.  It was my doctor that told me when they had found their bodies.  Even after all these years, it is hard to recover from.  The day after John died my husband went to a concert.  I asked him not to, but he went.

I miss John so very much.  I think that he could have been President.  I would have loved to be his first lady.  John is kind of shy.  He does not talk to me as much as I would like.  I think he could just let some other man walk away with me.  I have like one friend I talk to.  I also have a younger half-brother and three half-sisters.  Two older and one younger.  But I am really only in touch with my two older half-sisters. I am on social media.  I am on Twitter everyday.  My loved ones keep me company in spirit.  Until my husband comes back, I am alone.  I live for my classes, my writing.  I love City College.  I love being a student.  My greatest loves are away.

My Favorite Cousin is Arrested

I have a cousin that is just nine days older than me. He is one of my favorite people in the world. Growing up, we had many overlapping childhood experiences. His birthday parties would happen just a weeks before mine. His mother would rent the recreation center in the Soundview projects in the Bronx, us kids would run around and play hide and seek and pin the tail on the donkey at the parties, we never really danced. Too young, it didn’t seem interesting. At my birthday parties, my parents would invite everyone to our home in South Ozone Park, Queens. Kicking and popping the dozens of scattered all around inside and outside of the house, we would laugh and play hot potato and musical chairs. Both parties were fun and Manny and I were merry.

When it wasn’t our birthdays, we still saw each other regularly. Manny is on my Puerto Rican side of the family; the heart and soul of my Puerto Rican side is the matriarch, my grand mother. In the summers, my grandma would have have massive pool parties in the house in Castle Hill. My cousins and I would frolic and jump and swim around in the pool. The cloudless summer sky would be blue while the Sun’s rays beamed down on us and made the surface of the pool water glitter from different angles. The delicious aroma of barbecue chicken and burgers filled the air. My Tio Nelson flipped the meat on the weathered and old grill; thick pockets of white smoke flowed out into the air. My Tio Santos would blast salsa and merengue from the stereo. I loved hearing the rhythms of the music, I don’t know why, but even then it felt like family, love and home. I used to bring toy sharks, pirates and ships with us into the water. My cousin and I would play different scenarios where the pirates would become stranded in the middle of the ocean while the ships sank. Confined to just a small life boat, the survivors would cram inside and drift around aimlessly, clinging on for some miraculous rescue or chance landing at nearby island. While this was going on, the sharks would ram the boat trying to capsize it or even leap out of the water and a snatch crew member up in their massive jaws. We’d also play tag, Marco Polo and volleyball in the pool. We raced quite often- I always lost those, not because I am a bad swimmer by any means, they were just always faster. And we’d all compete with each other to see who could hold their breath under the water the longest.

After swimming, we’d hop out and enjoy the barbecue, sitting in plastic chairs on the grass in the backyard and eating hot dogs and burgers off of paper plates. After we ate, we’ll go inside and take a shower to wash the chlorine off us. We’d spend the whole of the rest of night playing “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time” or “Street Fighter II” on the Super Nintendo. Those were great times.

Manny and I also had numerous random playtimes when our mothers brought us both over to visit our grandma. One of my favorite memories with him was when we played “Predator” when we were younger. We both saw the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie and were fascinated by the invisible cloaked alien creature that preyed on people in the jungle. In the game we played, we both acted out being human soldiers in the “jungle” (Tio Santos’ room). I remember it fondly because Manny and I had to use our imagination together to make it work. The Predator is nearly invisible, and we had no one to play him, so we both had to imagine hearing and reacting to the same thing when ever we “spotted” Predator. I let the Predator kill me within just a few minutes of playing the game. I shouted out something along the like of “There he is!” and pretended that the Predator aimed at me with the three laser dots from its shoulder plasma cannon and blew me away. In a flash, I fell and just sat there limp against the wall in my Tio’s room. Manny looked at me expecting me to get up- say that the Predator missed or merely grazed me or something, but I wouldn’t indulge him. I broke character, announced that I was dead and immediately went back to playing dead, my eyes and laughing as he now had to battle the Predator all on his own (I think I understood from an early age that character deaths make good story).

When we were nine, Manny and his parents moved to Puerto Rico. His father Joe had retired and he and my Titi Iris bought a house on the island and wanted to enjoy their retirement there. Immediately my cousin Manny was gone.



Every year since then, Manny and his parents would come back up to visit at least once in the year; either in the winter to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s or in the summer to go to amusement parks, the beach and huge, and massively fun, family reunions at Bear Mountain. They’d usually stay for a whole month, so we had plenty of time to see them. The two moments that strike me as the funniest from when he stayed over my house during these vacations were first when we defended ourselves from alien abduction and second, when I locked him out my room. With the alien abduction scenario, I had just spent the day watching a tv show about aliens, I think it was “Sightings.” On the show, real life people we claiming to have had encounters of the fourth kind. Aliens rolled up in their space ships, lit the whole fucking house up in their lights and then descended down in these beams, floated, walked to the foot of the bed and creepily stared at the terrified humans with their big ole eyes. They then took the humans aboard their ship and stuck things in ’em… I was fucking scared. Carried away with my youthful imagination, I used to see or feel the presence of aliens all the time; like I would be watching tv on the sofa and imagine that from out of nowhere, an alien head would pop out and stare at me through the living room window. I also saw the long lanky alien limbs in the shadows of the trees in the backyard; the subtle movement of the wind not helping stop the creep factor. It was fucking scary. I confided these fears to my cousin. We decided if the aliens came, we were not going to go down (or up?) without a fight.

Manny and I both slept on my bed when he came over, so this is where we fortified ourselves. During the night, when my parents and older sisters were asleep of course, I devised that we should do something that I saw on tv. We went and grabbed a huge bag of potato chips from downstairs in the kitchen and then opened the bag and scattered the chips all over the dining room floor, the stairs up to second floor, and second floor hallway leading up to my room. The logic was that if aliens did come into the house, they would step on the chips and Manny and I would hear the crunching noise and know when the aliens were outside my door.

For when the aliens did get to the door, we devised combat weapons. Or first weapon was actually spray deodorant. I theorized that the large creepy round eyes of our enemy was their greatest weakness; we would spray the aerosol directly into their eyes as they entered my room, painfully blinding and disorienting them. With our melee weapons, my cousin and I would follow up the attack. The first melee weapon we had was a pair of really sharp scissors; we would stab the aliens right in the eye with these. Our second melee weapon was more unorthodox. Lacking another sharp object, I concluded a bludgeoning weapon would have to suffice. I had a lot of toys laying around my room. Manny and I emptied out one of my book bags and began to stuff the toys inside. Spawn, Batman, Wolverine, the Undertaker, they all went inside the bag. It was made quite heavy. Loosening the straps completely, we gave the toy filled bag a long swinging motion. Holding the straps and swinging the bag over our heads before each blow, we hoped the weight of the toys inside and speed of how fast we were swinging would deliver a concussive blow; similar to that of a medieval ball and chain. Manny and I grabbed our weapons and sat on my bed with the door locked; listening, waiting for any lights to appear from the sky or for the subtle crunch of chips from downstairs, we stayed up all night. We did not allow ourselves to sleep until the sun began to rise; the terrifying dark skies retreating to a luminous summer day.

A few summers after that, when Manny was staying over again, I locked him out of my room. We were both downstairs, he was in the front room playing “Army Men” on the computer while I was watching tv and eating ice cream in the living room. It was late and everyone else was sleeping. Now did I mention I had just discovered masturbation that year? Getting that tingling feeling, I decided it was time for me to take my leave. I finished the ice cream, told Manny good night, went upstairs, locked the door behind me and had a night of exploratory fun…

My sister woke up the next day and said she found Manny sleeping on the sofa, his head reclined and his face pointed straight up to the ceiling. She saw an empty carton next to him and said she thought he had od’ed on ice cream. She woke him up and asked him why he was sleeping on the sofa. He said “Suresh locked me out.” I just told them I had locked the door by accident before I went to sleep. I think they still buy that.



Our teenage years is when the disparity between Manny and I really began. In our childhood, we were equals. Neither of us had more experience or wisdom than the other. My family stayed in New York. I finished high school, got my first job and dated my first girl friend here. Conversely, Manny finished high school in PR, but never did the other two; and this is where the disparity begins. I love my cousin; he is my favorite and I confide to and am closer to him than any other, but he is stuck in some bizarre form of arrested development. He is great, but his life style is that of a preteen.

Manny is a fully functional adult. He has no learning disabilities or psychiatric condition to qualify himself has disabled. He can learn and work just as well as you or I. But for some reason, he would prefer not to; Bartleby, the cousin. Besides graduating high school, he has not taken any other steps toward adulthood. He does not feel the need nor drive. His father, my uncle Joe, is a Korean War veteran. Joe died several years ago, but I think the family still gets some kind of veteran’s assistance from him.

I was a homebody in high school and passed most of my time playing video games, Manny and I had this very much in common. We would play the newest video games all the time and have long conversations on the phone about our favorite parts of the story and of different plot twists. I would also tell him about the most recent World War II books I read, telling him all about the different battles and tactics that prevailed. It was great having a listening ear. But as time went on, and I began to speak more about girlfriends or the difficulties at work or in college, I realized the conversations became more and more one sided. I was the speaker, Manny the listening ear. I was living my life; working, going to school, dating, moving out of my parent’s house, drinking, smoking weed, partying. I was living life. After he graduated high school, Manny just ah.. ahhhhhhh played videogames.

Now, we’re both 26. Manny never worked a day in his life and never been on a date. I’m really not trying to sound condescending or make it sound like I have all the answers or tell someone how to live their life, but real talk: Manny lives like a loser. He spends most of his days playing video games for several hours, takes a break to watch tv, calls people, eats, shits, and then goes back to gaming till he falls asleep and beings it all over again tomorrow. For someone to be 26 and have so little planning ahead for their future or so little drive is pathetic. He has no foresight. I ask him what career he wants to have, he says something in gaming; I ask him what specifically in gaming he’d like to do, vaguely hints at graphics; I ask him when is he going to start to go to school for it, he says he does not know. This has been going on for years.

My cousin, his sister, Maria offered to hook him up with a job sweeping trains for the PATH system in New Jersey earlier this year. Maria would even allow Manny to live with her until he gets on his feet if he took the job. It pays $35,000 a year with medical and dental benefits. He said no. Imagine the first job you ever had paying you $35,000 and insuring you! And you refuse it!- Dude, you’re 26 with no work experience or advanced education and your sister could hook you up with this job that pays you $35,000 a year and you say no?! What other prospects are out there for you? It’s not like you have anything else going on at the moment. You just sit at home and play video games and watch tv.

Today, November 16th, 2013, was my friend’s funeral at 3pm. He was just 31 when he passed. My Titi Iris is in her sixties. Death can take any one of us when we least expect it and my titi, even though I love her so, is not going to live forever. I worry about what would become of Manny when she dies. He is utterly dependent on her. For him not to make logical connections that he needs to take charge of his own life baffles me. I’ve tried bringing this up to him on the phone. His brothers and sister have too. I have no idea what my Titi Iris’ stance is on this; she is the one enabling him and also all of her other children live on their own and are quite successful, but she seems not to be pushing Manny- no idea why. I revere her too much to dare ask.

I love my cousin, usually when we speak on the phone, we talk about videogames and tv shows. We love Mass Effect, Fallout, professional wrestling and The Walking Dead. Those conversations are great. I love my cousin and am so happy I have someone to share my interest in; but whenever I bring the convo to his future, he just shares vague thoughts about what he’d like to do. I haven’t always had my shit together (coasted around aimlessly for a few years while I was torn about joining the army and also stayed in a deadend job delivering mail until I figured out what I really wanted to do) so I could relate to trying to figure everything out- but I made sure I was at least doing something while I got it together. I told Manny about my tentative first steps and how I made it to where I am now and he just loses all enthusiasm in the conversation and would go quiet until we change the topic.

Today, I called him after my friend’s funeral and was speaking about this essay I have to write for class to get workshopped (I was originally thinking about writing about my friend’s death) when he gradually moved the conversation to his Xbox 360 not being able to connect to one of his controllers and how he called some company to see if they could fix it for him. If only he would show such initiative to his future. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since my friend died. He was only 31, his life was over before he had the chance to do a lot of the things he wanted to achieve. I’m afraid Manny is just letting life pass him by. For all my gentle suggestions that he move to New York, move in with me even, start school or start working, I’ve never once told him that he’s living like a loser. I’m afraid it would crush him or make him hate me, but it is the truth (shout out to Daniel). I’ve tried bringing it up every other way, suppose its time to not hold back.

An observation

It stared at me again today with its dull expression. Its friends all grouped in different corners of this large room. But this “thing” was alone in a corner reserved for its grand importance. It looked philosophical because it only expressed colors of white and black as if it were holding unto the secrets and meaning of life and death. The body polished so well that the room expanded like a portal to another world. The top frame opened only a foot wide to allow the sound to resonant throughout the room and possibly move ones heart. Its shape constructed to be used at social gatherings amongst friend, family, and lovers of music. The sides of this object are not parallel, one side straight, but the opposite side resembles the seductress shape of a supple woman. It stood there on its three legs like an old man who is stricken with a terrible curse, old age. But yet its texture remains perfect from a distance.
I returned to this large room again to satisfy my curiosity. I approached this instrument to examine it, but secretly it was its seductress look that drew me in. As I got closer, its size increased and its shape appeared more captivating as I gazed upon it. Before I knew it I was standing near this object. My curiosity compelled me to touch it and soon my hand was in a trance gliding against the body of this instrument. The soundboard was open and this object no longer appeared as a single entity, but it had smaller parts connected to one another like an old grandfather clock. Inside this soundboard there were steel 230 steel strings stretched across the soundboard connected to smaller parts. And within this soundboard there were bolts and tuning pins tighten carefully with soft cloth-like hammers used to strike the steel strings to produce a sound that is interpreted as music. As I walked to the front of this instrument its properties and colors became more appealing. The colors of black and white covered the ivory keys of this instrument. The pattern of two black keys surround by three white keys followed by three black keys followed by four white keys captivated my attention. This pattern continued though the 88 keys that ascended from the lowest rumbling-like note to the highest whistle-like note. There was also a name for this instrument engraved in a prestigious gold color “Yamaha,” which seemed like a foreign name for such a traditional musical instrument. There were three pedals below the keys of this instrument used to shorten or lengthen the duration of a specific key. These parts of the instrument were assembled with great care by a person who not only appreciated this object for its aesthetic beauty, but also for its mechanical ability.
A month passed and I returned to this room where this “thing” was position alone in its corner amid all the other groups of musical instruments covered with a piece of fabric. Then, a man entered this large room decorated with painting of noise and sound. The room was quiet and pieces by Mozart, Chopin, and Schubert were heard. And this instrument poured out emotions of fear, love, hate, anger, fantasy, and despair; all which are human experiences. But yet this object is not regarded as the creator of these emotions because many believe it cannot feel or experience human emotions or pain. What a shameful thought because some have regarded this instrument as supernatural that can influence ones thought that would change ones belief that could then alter ones actions. But then again, its existence was motivated by a mechanical use to produce noise, sound, or as some like to call it, music.
This instrument stood there in its glorious stance and my hand pressed against one of the white keys and immediately a pitch was produced and an overtone series occurred, which is the theory that from one pitch many other pitches are heard at a higher frequency, but it still maintains its original sound. This pitch rang throughout the room and then it ended. I stood there and pressed the first black key that was positioned between the four white keys. Afterwards, I heard a voice ask me “Its intriguing isn’t it?” I was startled. I stepped aside and watched this man place a trunk next to this instrument and sat down on a leather covered stool near this instrument. His long aged fingers began moving up and down this instrument in a scalarly motion. Then, he played a song that evoked emotions of sadness, love, and hope. Over and over this song rang throughout this room and this man would cringe and his head would tilt every moment or so. He asked me, “Do you hear that?” I said, “Yes, it’s beautiful.” He said, “No, it’s…”