Up and down the crowded hallways people prepare for imminent battle. Sex and disrespect are the theme of the costumes. In and out, in and out, they float around attempting to escape themselves. The music silencing all thoughts. Sing alongs and tune ups hide the screams. Excitement pollutes the air. Tonight, memories will be made as the absence of responsibility is lifted for a few hours. Drowning everything to escape this island is the common goal. The advice for such a night is to ignore obligations and appreciate the moment. Allowing the experience to begin, I relax and appreciate the power of this formula. Sip after sip, the demons are exposed. The problems stir as the night flows. I feel great. Sip another, and the numb tingle of gravity releases me from its constricting grip. I feel so free. The ceiling spins into a blur. I’m confused. Consciousness begins to fade. I’m lost. I’m mentally vacant. The work of art in my cup melts my mind. I’m barely breathing. I’m in college. My mind burns of paranoia. It swirls around questions of my commitment. I reminisce in my record of failure wondering if this will just be another added story to the collection. Failure isn’t an option yet success seems so distant. The expectations of my culture that I bear make the transition from what I hold dear to this foreign landscape seem almost impossible. The sounds of repressed emotions boom in my ears. Smiles adjusted to ignore the scars of life. The genius future of a nation ignorant to the Poverty of Philosophy. My aspirations seem to dwindle and lose any chance of becoming a reality as the days smear together. Broken and in dismay I clasp onto my faith and determination and blindly allow them to navigate me. “A leap of faith” Some might call it, I prefer passion. I shoulder the weight of my culture, family, and community as I slip into the dreams of my future and escape my fate because after all, I’m in college.
By Mario Alberto Picon Jr