My Skin

June 1, 2012
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Different is what my life is. A world full of colliding skin, language, and culture. I’ve been thrown into difference from the beginning. Never once did my mom do anything that let me know i was different, she didn’t put that boundary in my life, she didn’t let the difference be known, but instead all the other kids did. At that time I thought it was normal to get shiny earrings and sag your pants. I was too young and naive to realize how different I was.

In reality I am. And was. As. Abstract... And alone... As can be. I STAND OUT, the only WHITE KID in the midst of a latino city.

“No you’re too white to play soccer,” kids told me cold heartedly as i tried to join in on the game. Sudden shock hit me. I was confused, “Why should anyone not be allowed to play soccer over differences?” A blank feeling came over me where I didn’t know what to do. Awkward. “ Go somewhere else,” they ended the conversation. I walked away and let what happened digest. It finally hit me. I looked down at my hands and saw cold white hands shaking with rejection. Thoughts raced through my mind, Why am I different?, Why does difference matter? Just a surge of whys. I looked at everyone else and saw how much different I was. Right after after that day in 1st grade I wanted to be like everyone else. To fit in. Mom’s reply: Oh well... That hurt.

I moved on; I wasn’t depressed or anything, I never really have been. But everywhere I was different, my neighbors, my friends, kids, adults, everyone. I wanted dark skin, black hair, and brown eyes. At one point I even started to spike my hair in the weird way they did, Mom hated it.
But as things went on, my dad started to take me places. Ti-cities where they actually have a mall, Everett, Seattle, everywhere. I then saw more and more people with white skin, blue eyes, and no accent. They were of my race and I thought it was so great to finally fit in.

But something was off. As I got to know more and more people something changed. I noticed. Cold. Hard. Faces. I saw how the rich stuck their nose up at the ones in poverty. I saw a different culture. Near hate. I knew I was as different as can be. I realized that I wasn’t like anyone. No I didn’t to work in the fields, but yes I do like lengua tacos. I realized that to my race I am from the “ Ghetto, where I might die everyday”, and that I’ve found a different culture that I live in with quinceneras, taco trucks, and soccer. And to my friends and locals I am a “rich white boy, who’s culture is nothing like theirs, where I am too naive to understand their struggles.” But I am who I am and now I know that. I live in two great worlds. I know that I’m this hybrid of skin versus culture and culture versus skin. I don’t belong to anyone or group. I am just me.





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