It’s the most horrific time of the year: back to school. I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with this place (Río Piedras, San Juan, Puerto Rico). It exudes a sense of freedom. There’s art everywhere. A plain white wall is hard to find here. Everything seems simple. Just like these sentences.
Coffee is almost at arm’s length and a cold beer is just around the corner. People always say “good morning” as they walk past me. It’s mostly men. They don’t always have good intentions, so I focus on their tone. Some of them make “good morning” sound like a rape announcement. Those that make it sound like one, don’t get “good morning” back. I honestly hope their morning ends up being crappy. Like spill coffee on your crotch crappy. I guess you could say I’m getting to the hate part of this love-hate relationship.
Time is money here. Everything is fast paced. The light is about to turn green? You better be 10 miles down the road when it does ‘cause if not, Mr. I just spilled my coffee will play you the song that best describes his feelings at the moment. A little song called “hornraping.” Anyone can play it, really. Just honk your horn and never let go. A beautiful long “beep” will magically make your car disappear. At least, that’s what Mr. I just spilled my coffee thinks.
I never get why people in cars are always in such a rush. I’d much rather be in a car with a/c than walk to school in this heat, which is what I’ve been doing for the past 3 1/2 years. My arms and legs are noticeably darker than the rest of my body thanks to this. Now we’re getting to the frustration part of this post.
I can’t dress the way I want to. The way I dress in my hometown is so different. I always have on at least one vintage-inspired article of clothing. I can’t do that here. I sweat buckets of lady stank and am not willing to ruin pieces I almost killed for just to look cute at the university. And yep, same goes for hair. What’s the point in curling or victory-rolling it if it’ll be flat by the time I get to class? My hair is always up in a bun, a high ponytail or maybe a braid. That’s it, nothing special. I’m always wearing men’s t-shirts I cut and stretch to make them look less manly. The pricing on graphic tees is ridiculous. A Coca-Cola logo shirt for men costs $12 while the same shirt for women costs $18. Yeah, I think I’m gonna go with the one for men. $6 extra for what? A little shape? Pfffft! Don’t even get me started on make-up.
Really, don’t try to get me started, ’cause I won’t start.
The heat here is different than the heat in Ponce. It’s hot and humid at the same time while in Ponce it’s just hot. I can wiggle my nose without breaking a sweat over there and the only thing I can wear in both places are these babies:
Ah yes, my limited edition sequin Converse. I got these for Christmas when I was 14 years old. They’ve been everywhere with me. Music festivals, a Metallica concert, the mall on black friday… They don’t sell them anymore. I wish I could buy another pair. I plan on wearing them until they fall apart.
As I’m writing this (almost 11 PM) some kid is screaming at the top of his lungs in the middle of the street. Why? Because it’s Río Piedras. It’s extremely noisy here. Some truck, I don’t know if it’s the garbage truck or what… But it comes at 4 AM. Gun shots can be heard almost daily. Beeping cars are always around and here I am, trying to blog.
Yep, it’s definately a love-hate relationship I have with Río Piedras. I feel as if I can be free here but at the same time, I can’t express myself the way I enjoy doing it: through fashion.