Because I am a child of exile and a minority within the country I was raised, I will forever be an up-and-comer-born-elsewhere-but-living-in-America.
Like me, there are many out there who stand somewhere between the light of ‘I’ve been here all my life’ and ‘but I come from somewhere else’.
I was born in Cuba and yet as an up-and-comer-born-elsewhere-but-living-in-America, I never got to truly see Cuba with my eyes of reason. I’m sure the baby born on the land of sugar cane saw blurs of the insides of a hospital, but my adult eyes have never seen Cuba.
My Cuba is one that I never had the privilege to see and therefore my Cuba has no C.
Without Brucito Springsteen chanting my anthem to the masses, I can safely say that this one day Jersey boy was born in the _UBA.
As we talk about normalizing relations with the not-too-distant island of my birth, I am ready to invest myself in whatever it takes to bring forth this change.
I need my alphabet and my line of sight to be complete. I want to be able to say that in my lifetime I have recaptured the homeland I only know through anecdotes from too many dead relatives.
It is interesting how speaking the language articulately, writing it somewhat creatively and embracing the mores of many a person named Smith, I still feel out of place in my 80% English speaking home.
Fifty years into this life and fifty years in this country and I am still searching for home.
Everyone says, ‘we should go on a cruise, let’s go to an all-inclusive…’ but that doesn’t seem fitting as the first time I set eyes on the land of my birth.
I don’t think my parents left Cuba thinking of it as a resort land, it was their home and a great deal of respect is merited to the place where one’s roots reside. Besides, while this is not a deal breaker, I think the land requires a little cleanup before my feet set foot on it anytime soon (if I am not to disturb my Grandfather in his grave).
So I wait patiently as the governments speak and decide and open up the doors that will one day soon welcome me home.
Until then I am a part of this land of the ‘Oh say, can you see…’
And while, No, I don’t see and I don’t C, I can safely say that somewhere between my home of yesterday and my home of tomorrow, stands the only home I know in the land of good ‘ole _UBA.