via Photo Challenge: Heritage
Cambridge dictionary describes the word heritage as features belonging to the culture of a specific society. The good news is these days, you don’t even have to identify with a certain ethnic background to borrow from someone’s heritage. Traditionally, the world was divided and amidst this division was unity in a way. Everyone knew who they were and accepted it. Depending on how you were brought up, traditions meant a lot. A few times out the year, your family would do things that made other people question you guy’s sanity. Well at least, in my family it did.
“Hey whats your background?” says some human person.
“Wow you were born in Haiti?”
“Oh, okay so you’re American and your parents are Haitian?” they’d ask as if they’ve finally got me figured out.
“No. I’m Haitian.”
This conversation then transpires into some amateur history lesson where I’m quizzed on the entire historical background of Haiti. Completely unrelated but, I see no one walking around questioning the Jews on their authenticity when majority of them are born here. Nonetheless, I digress.
Apparently, I am not Haitian enough in society’s eyes. Heritage was the prompt, but I got tired of writing so enjoy this neat little story about how messed up people are bro. Also, enjoy the photo of some well-known non-Haitian entertainers representing the Haitian Heritage.
At this point, I’m convinced we’ve been banished to the pits of victim hood right along with our desperate and nosy neighbors. Only Mama was so much more than them folks. All she had, was given to us. There wasn’t a missing pair of sock that she couldn’t find or a burnt piece of toast she couldn’t scrape back to edible. There was absolutely no way this disaster could’ve transpired under the watch of our superhuman.
Before I can even motion to begin my search for Mama, she emerges from the smoke coughing and gasping for air. My immediate relief pushed me toward her to feel her face for authenticity. Her eyes were cold and far away from me although she was less than a few inches away. Ma began swinging her arms at me as if my intentions were to harm her. My sister used words like stressed, anxiety, pressure and depression. All of which sounded bizarre to me at such a tender age of eight.
I thought maybe we had hidden her withering stands of memory somewhere. Maybe I had misplaced it when I borrowed her ability to love, her passion for compassion, and her eyes to see the good in all things. I couldn’t find anything she had given us. On the contrary, I ended up with all the things she fought hard to never gift us.
The hospital visit day came and my nerves were pop locking all inside my chest. I stood outside Mama’s room for about five minute. No blankets, No pillows, No lights. We filled the hallway and just waited. Nurses walked in and out that room, and we all just waited.
Nobody asked you to get me attached to you. I would be lying if I said that I asked God for you. You were never apart of my plan. How rude of you? To interrupt my lonely and release that cage of butterflies? How dare you call me beautiful and crawl into my box with me? Why do you listen to me when I scream and yell at you? Whenever I’m upset, why can you feel my frustrations? You never make me feel less than I am and you’re always happy when I’m around you.
I swear to God, I never asked for you. I didn’t think you existed for me. I wasn’t quite sure if they made you in my size.
You invading me was different because I didn’t think anyone could see through the special door I had up. I had been bothered before you. I got it renovated after storms wore them down one by one. I finally got a special new door that I thought was indestructible, and here it turns out your hurricane was sufficient. Your storm happened to be one unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. It wasn’t predicted or felt upon arrival. It took time for me to feel the damages and you were cool with that. You never got discouraged when your winds didn’t move me.
You were patient and that I resented about you. I wasn’t important and there was nothing extravagant about me, yet you stuck around as if I was. Are you mad? Do you know you ruined my miserable and your desire to “pursue” me ruined my one man show. You never pressured me to feel you back. You didn’t care whether things were mutual because you had already cared enough for the both of us. You never asked if I wanted to have moments of sincere happiness. You didn’t care if I wasn’t into smiling often. I’m sure you couldn’t have cared less that I hated being touched and kissed softly on my forehead. I didn’t have time to tell you, that I sucked at being cute. I cant remember telling you that I was so used to myself. I didn’t want someone else to have the pleasure of meeting me. My box was the perfect square feet for me alone.
Where the shadows of my laughter stands tall and the scent of my desires grow potent is where I long to be
Where the magic of my prayers and the commitment to my smile resides, is where I haven’t been in a while
Even when they hear the gossip of my nightmares, will they accept me
When the windows of my innocence are shattered, may they never forget me
what if my love one day soon wants to join them
what if love wants more than I can give
whether I left them or they left me, I cant answer that.
I do know that they’ve left and I had to build me up
only to be shattered by the harsh reality of my missing pieces
They do not call nor do they check in
you may ask how does one exist with so much missing pieces
when you’re wholeheartedly shattered, the spaces begin to grow on you…….literally.