Future (Why My Family Thinks I Look Stressed Even When I Tend To Disagree)

Jose 3 Comments

A mount of papers ungraded. A set of sweaters unfolded. A collection of fruit uneaten. A set of plans laughed at by whichever entity we believe. A window to the cold Harlem skyline in the winter. A couch that find its home with its own wall, but currently unpaid in full after months of repayment. A stack of magazines still fresh from the plastics unopened. An annoying itch in my throat, a swelling left heel, and a creaky knee un-helped by my girth and unrelenting stubbornness with hospitals and appointments as a whole. A dissonance between what I believe about my profession and the anecdotal evidence for something completely different. A voice from the outside of my sphere knocking on my force field like flies running into a windshield, and people in my sphere paying too much attention to it without a fly swatter. A set of gloves strapped to my wrists, still, after battling against a past I didn’t choose, but have slowly learned to forgive. A question of whether forgiveness restores honor unto those whose precedent shapes my current thoughts. A beer, a bottle of wine, a glass of Vodka left untouched. A hemorrhoid of a situation that has me deciding whether playing the Vilson role is best, wondering if losing my cool makes people wish I kept it. A child who doesn’t know whether he’s left Earth or came in my class … that is, when he’s actually in my class … and when he is, he does anything to not be there. Actually, not just one child, but more. A set of children whose activities and well-being I don’t consider fun and games, but important to the fabric of their growth as people, and needing someone to see that growth through. A book unwritten, though the time is nigh. A book unpublished, though the time is nigh. A bank account with more hills and valleys than pundits purport. A desire for expertise and complete autonomy in something, somewhere, sometime, somehow. A resurfacing of feeling unloved sparked by childhood confrontations I’m still negotiating. A playlist that exudes an existential tapping of its owners’ soul. A hope that I only have to rely on a set of acquaintances and friends for fatherly advice, and the opposite from fathers who lacked to raise me … or raise me.

Sure, there’s a lot of stuff hanging over my head and over my words here. I prefer not to let it show or affect me because if my mettle isn’t iron-clad, then any one of these things could foil me.

An uncertain future in almost every aspect, except where it counts.

A baby born of love, anxiety, hopeful expectation, and a wealth of our collective persons. Certainly.

Mr. Vilson.

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Comments 3

  1. Bill Ivey

    Nothing is more important to me than my family. Not even my students, though they come closer than anyone else. But for me, that’s where the uncertain future does bother me. I don’t really care for myself. But I care so very deeply that the future be bright for my students, and that doesn’t touch how desperately I care for my own son. I actually have a blog in the queue at my school that touches on some of these issues, and that mentions you and your baby.
    Anyway, the world is a much better place for what you bring to it. I try not to give too much unsolicited advice, so I’ll leave it at that. You have one very lucky kid.

  2. kp

    “A desire for expertise and complete autonomy in something, somewhere, sometime, somehow.”
    Yes. I feel that desire often. Only people who “work” in a room full of teenagers can understand how we sometimes we were the guy who pushes a broom in peace.

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