Life is Short & The Universe is Big

by Jorge Santana

My bed were two chairs and my pillow a woman’s purse. That’s how sleep overcame me past midnight while my friends, a little older than me, kept declaiming, singing or speaking technicalities to the wind. That’s how I remember the social gatherings of my childhood. Those I went to when I was barely a surprise in my mother’s womb. I grew up knowing what a bohemia was after the bohemia, the after of the after, playing with my dolls while dawn arrived with poetry and boleros. I grew up between the sensual smoke of my friends with an orange juice as I hummed to the music, art and the night. There exists no better combination.

My friends were always my friends even if they were 40, 50, 60, or years older than me. I never knew they weren’t like me. That they weren’t children and maybe even I didn’t know that I was a kid. For me, they were my friends and that romantic world was my childhood. I believe they were unaware that was my childhood and that they were a huge part of it.

At home things weren’t all that different. Away from technology, in my home, there was little else to do but read, play in the patio with my imagination, in the dirt, with the trees, have a dog and be their friend, and at night be amazed by the stars. I didn’t know more.That was it. Everything that I could wish for and then more. I had the privilege of a solitude so beautiful that I wouldn’t change for anything.

Growing up untimely had its advantages and disadvantages. I couldn’t get along with children my age. I thought cartoons were dumb and I didn’t understand video games. I still struggle to find a place with people my age, but I enjoy being different. What can I do, asi semos no somos an old saying goes.

For me, it’s a unique fortuity that I’m thankful for everyday. The point of all this is to think about how many things would’ve happened to me had my parents decided to give me a “normal” life by not including me in their adult world. How many things would I have missed out on had I followed the rules, societal norms, the rigid structure that people say we need to follow?

How different would the world be if we chose to step out of our routines, of what should be, give ourselves the permission to explore life and take a different street, ask for something different than our usual at a restaurant. For us to use red when we’re known to wear green, smile in a serious moment, or go to a funeral dressed in yellow.

Think about how many things we miss out on, really think on it my readers. Life is short and the universe is big, is it worth it to be afraid of what’s different?

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