The nineties invaded the world with a movement called: "The New Age". Several ways of thinking that seek equality between different people spread through the country. The Ser Foundation has taken these means and with these so called publicity stunts, has released a new way to see ourselves with symbols. Many people say that we are all the same with an innovative motto: “We are =’’. We keep it on fingers, on our wrists or in the heart.
The geriatric community in Puerto Rico has always been discriminated. But in the streets, this discrimination its far more evidently than in any other place. They are a bit slow, driving or walking, or maybe that’s their normal pace, but calmly you can arrive to Roma, Heaven, Mount Olympus, and even to the shopping center.
On a Sunday afternoon, I was parked on a disabled parking. I see this elegant lady, dressed all in white. Her hands, her neck and her ears were crowded with pearls. Her purse from a famous designer, her shoes from a famous designer even her sighs were from a famous designer. Her hair was stupendously accommodated, no hair was out of place, the spray and the blower made sure to get the job done. Blonde, but some strands on her roots provoked doubts about her natural hair color. She was elegant, at least in demeanor, the way she walked and the way she dressed. Actually the color of her neck was a littler darker than her face because of all the make-up she had on, but if that way made her happy, then don’t change for nothing or no one. For sixty or sixty-five years not that accurately calculated I found her a pretty lady.
A comment was released to the air but loud enough so we could hear it. As soon as that woman opened her mouth all signs of elegancy disappeared. –“The balls people have, using this disabled parking.” (Which by the way it doesn’t disable me; I’m able to do everything). After a quick glance she thought not that accurately calculated that I was a seventeen years, and was considerate too a very inconsiderate young girl. She asks: “Are you disabled? Of course old hag, look at my carnet, I think is big enough for you to see, the wheelchair is right there! Do you need any more evidence?! I was very close to bark all of these thoughts, but I inhale peace and I say: “Yes, lady I am disabled”.
Then she starts this rant saying: -“The balls, these son of a bitch, these motherfuckers…ugly word, curse, bad words, bleep, deleted word, etc… her inventory of bad words left me surprised. Her modus operandi while talking was worst than (insert here cliché of dirty talking character from your culture) and she could have been my grandma. But I don’t know her situation. Maybe it’s worst than mine, I don’t know. Maybe hers it's mental, I don’t know. Maybe her meds disoriented her; the point is I don’t know what is going on with her.
I ask: -“But, are you from Caguas? She answers: “Oh Lord, no I’m from San Juan” (Caguas is a town in PR, San Juan is the Capital City of Puerto Rico) As if this things didn’t happened there Miss Saint John. She talked and talked and in my mind the only thing that crossed was: Problems don’t go away by just talking. It’s very easy that things are wrong, and by Murphy’s Law it’s very probably that it’s going to be this way. But, what are we going to do Miss Saint John? Retaliate with the youth that have some kind of disability? Well I don’t know about you but I saw this hot looking dude and from the impression I went from walking to paraplegic! I chose this and I want to live like this. I love it when people jump to conclusions without base or foundation of because I’m young I had the accident coming, most likely I was drunk, taking pills and on a motocross bike, things that evidently are not true. I ask you Miss Saint John, did you chose what happened to you?
In Rome the elderly were respected and were seen as a source of wisdom, knowledge and maturity. Miss Saint John teaches me to scream and curse when I don’t like the things I see. Rambling on my thoughts I was when suddenly, like guessing my thoughts, Miss Saint John says: -"I know about this, I went to college. I know what I'm talking about.” But Miss Saint John you don't get to know unfairness by going to college, many kids can't get a proper education because of economical reasons, or their parents are too wrapped around on their own pleasures to take care of their childrens necessities and in that way they get to know unfairness.
But talk, talk and talk, but did you do something to change it? People think that a revolutionary comes and the only thing he or she wants to do its agitate things and not do a thing, Miss Saint John "...its to change what has been established, give the world some hope, some meaning, its heal the diseased, the injured" nice words that wind gets away, when they are not set on strong foundations. Maybe you are sick, I was injured but not for that reason I got stuck just speaking about discrimination.
Again words get away by the wind, say what you do, do what you say if you just want to talk then live and let others live. I wanted to say all this but then again her problem might be bigger than mine. I dont know thats why I didnt say anything. But you gotta express yourself, right?.
But Miss Saint John doesnt have a problem with freedom of speech. She wants that everybody pays attention to what is going on here. She wants everyone to know that a young woman it's on the coveted blue disabled parking, but it's ok, the girl has the permit. Miss Saint John, you can walk, you don't need a walker, a wheelchair, brackets or any other complement just to be able to go around the world. Like I have seen people of your age, younger and older than you, and they don't go around complaining. Miss Saint John asks herself: -"What is wrong Puerto Rico? And the young woman not that accurately judged answers that the right question that belongs to our situation is not what is wrong but: -"What are we doing Puerto Rico, why are we like this? What should we do to stop being like this?