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

Jose Vilson Jose

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 A book unpublished, though the time is nigh.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.