September Surrender: Day 3
What I’m Letting Go: Land of the Free
I live right nearby a migrant hotel in New York City. It’s been a huge bummer for the entire city, but especially the landscape of my neighborhood. I know what we’re experiencing up here pales in comparison to what border towns are experiencing, and believe me, I’ve seen it, but those people down there didn’t ask for it. New Yorkers did. I mean, I didn’t, but we’ve got dumbass captured agencies working for everyone but the American taxpayer. But I’m getting off the point here.
There are people I see around my neighborhood who simply do not belong there. I’m sorry if you don’t agree with my position, but what I’m saying is they stick out a mile away. No matter how much NYC leadership wants to paint these people as “New New Yorkers,” I will not accept that. They’re simply people who are living here on my and everyone else’s tax dollars. I am seeing things around my neighborhood that were not here a mere year ago: groups of men on unlicensed motorbikes, “deliveristas” they’ve been branded, idling in sparking spaces, waiting for a delivery order to come in. Women using their children to sell fruit in the subways. Another woman dipping her hand into a nearby fountain to rub the water on her face. People walking around sporting NYC vaccination apparel they pawn off on them, which I find most insulting to these people. And yet, my city leaders lie to me and try to make all these people fit, while complaining there isn’t enough room or money to house them. What evil has captured them to allow this aiding and abetting of cartel activity from across the border, and most likely right in the nation’s capital as well?
One time in my local grocery store, I saw a migrant woman there with six kids. I know she was a migrant because they give them lanyards and IDs at the nearby hotel. I felt my anger growing at her presence, feeling like I’m paying for her to be here and how not right that was. I walked down an aisle and she turned to me, putting her hand up as if she wanted me to stop. I heard the word “pregunta,” which I didn’t realize at the moment meant “question.” She wanted to ask me a question and I blew right past her, not interested in engaging because I was mad she was even here.
I thought about it when I got home, and realized all my ire had been misplaced. As much as I don’t like having these “new neighbors” here, I really cannot be directly angry with them. They came here based on a lie. And it’s the politicians, the captured agencies, the lobbyists and NGOs who are facilitating this disaster. These people are mere causalities of a corrupted system. I want them to go back to where they came from and apply for asylum legally so they can actually have a semblance of a life. Because they’re not getting that here at the current moment. They’re getting an existence, which is not fair to any human, illegal or not.
This is my home. I belong here. Everyone deserves to be in their home. Maybe we will be soon.
What I’ve Discovered: Happy and Healthy Household
My parents’ home is in dire need of some serious upgrading. My mother is having trouble walking in general, but certainly up and down the stairs. They just installed a chair lift on the stairs and I purchased a wheelchair for her. Both gamechangers, my dad says. But it’s still not enough.
I went home to New Jersey today and found a mess. Figuratively and physically. Their house just needs a lot of TLC. I had walked to the Walgreens to get a bunch of cleaning supplies and was insisting I’d do the floors right then and there. It was annoying my dad, who was telling me he needs things done in his own time. “But I’m only home for the day,” I kept telling him, “Let me help you while I’m here.” But it just wasn’t happening. I ended up taking it upon myself to do a little cleaning in the kitchen and the bathrooms, and he and I both flipped the mattress while my mother slept. So things did get done, even if it wasn’t exactly on my dad’s time schedule.
This is the same house I grew up in. My parents have been living there for nearly forty years. I would love it if they were to move into a one-story home so there’s no worries about stairs, but with the way my mother’s mental state is, it’s for the best to keep her in a familiar place. But there’s a lot of work that needs to get done, including getting a new couch, a new dining room table, and junking a lot of what’s already in the home. It became apparent to me today that I can love the place I’m from and love who’s in it while acknowledging it’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. It doesn’t mean it can’t get there, but I shouldn’t be shocked if my expectations aren’t immediately met. There’s a lot in there home that’s still good. And we’re on the same page about keeping my mother safe. That’s the most important part after all.
What I Hope to Find: The Heart’s Homespun Desire
“I’m WASPy, you’re Italian. There’s a difference.” Someone once said that to me after yet another stupid fight over entirely missing each others’ sentiments. It all started with me, the overly-emotional woman who couldn’t for the life of her believe what she was praying would be her man was misunderstanding her so badly. My melodrama contradicted the aloof machinations. And I never could quite break through this dysfunctional dynamic either, largely thanks to me not ever feeling comfortable enough to express exactly how I felt. I would always be circling my heart’s perimeter, wishing and hoping and praying for the day I’d find the strength to say as much. But it never came. And right now, it never can.
This isn’t anything new for me, really. I never felt like anyone ever belonged to me, no matter how much I’d feel with my entire being that I belonged to them. I see couples walking around and wonder how much they really feel that sense of devotion to one another. Or if they’re there for some kind of ride they didn’t entirely sign up for. I don’t know, I can’t judge. But I do wonder if I’m actually meant to belong to anyone in this lifetime. Because the older I get and the more I see what’s out there, the more it’s looking like that ship has sailed. Which is a shame, really, for all that I am to just go to waste on myself.
One, I think, has to be incredibly lucky to find their person. The one you can’t help but love, who you’re so impossibly in-sync with, that all fears or doubts are erased until the end of time. That’s what is meant for me. I can’t settle for anything less. I don’t care what kind of differences are present. When you know, you know. If it’s not forever, I don’t want it. If my home is not discovered in another’s heart and theirs in mine, then it isn’t for me. Perhaps these are lofty expectations as the window slowly closes on my childbearing years, but I don’t care. When you find what’s important, you never stop chasing it. It all will fit into place. It just seems to happen when you least expect it to.