"Life is like…" meets "Life, I wonder… If I ruled the world (Imagine that)…"
I’d probably have epic comedic drama filled conversations on benches like this one. I’d definitely make sure they put benches back in the front of all the buildings on Richmond Terrace and Jersey St. (That’s where I grew up on Staten Island). Why?
The entire intergenerational fabric of my neighborhood changed when they removed those benches. Hmmm. Yes, I remember that loitering and cornering in NYC in 1994 was, hmmm, “complicated.” Felt like some policy somewhere read “Let’s just get and keep everyone in the building.” Hmmm.
Now, I remember those benches being more helpful than harmful actually. As a youth, you’re just a little more mindful of everything you do and don’t do when you know there’s an elder sitting out there watching you, watching out for you, etc. you also just learn to be and sit outside.
I know it’s complex. I get it. I got it then. But, looking deeply, the elders don’t gather outdoors like they used to. I’m not sure we do either. You know? As expected, I’d be inclined to ask if others, in other neighborhoods, wanted the same thing (those story telling benches).
So, if life were like a box of Rolando, especially if I was sharing the story of 1994, I’d probably enjoy explaining my life to a group of elders waiting for the bus. I’d probably keep coming back to the miracles of love and friendship.
For the epic, I’d rely on sprinkles of critical connections between 131, Now Born Click, Ruthless Bastards, 456, Genocide, Wu-Tang Clan, T.M.I, The Hoody Men, Forest Gump, Steve Jobs, the Bee Gees, Gucci Mane, Outkast, Ceelo Green, Common, Missy Elliot, Charan P, Abstrek Genius Tha Funksta, Dead Prez, Jay Z, Tupac, Sarah Montgomery Glinski, Biggie and of course, Nas.
I probably wouldn’t say something like “Life is like a box of Rolando…” However, being that this is an Instagramed Bitstrip, and I am part of a generation working to be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant,” you really never know. You probably need to read The Forest Gump page on Wikipedia to really get all of this). Maybe. Maybe you get it. Maybe you been got it.
I do know this. It takes a lot of mind, body and spirit work to navigate all of these spaces with grace. Sometimes I need to move. Sometimes I need to sit down. Forest Gump seemed to know how to both “make a miracle” and “let a miracle.” We need such people.
I do know this. While it might be a bus ride to war, to storm, to loss, or a ride to one of worlds many joys, I look forward to the next bus ride.