The IE to The Bay (No Edits)
What I would have done differently at CBU
January 2, 2019
I often try to conceptualize where I’m at by relating it to places I’ve been. The Bay, San Francisco & Oakland specifically, is so far different from The IE overall - but there is a definite familiarity. These days; when Im in meetings, when Im at my desk alone, when Im in conversations about certain things that does not speak to me it reminds me of my time at CBU.
I often relate this whole new life to me entering CBU moreso than me entering Johnston because CBU really was a START start. Johston was a fresh new breath of a new series of a new chapter of a new life. BUT Cal Baptist definitely helped me prep for that stage - the space itself, but moreso where I was at in my life at that time.
There were no parties, no friends, no distractions, no adrenalin, nobody caring about my business, no external pressures, pretty much as stagnant of a life that you can think - or at least that I could imagine. It was a day to day routine, and NOTHING sparked me. Basketball was fun, but it didn’t drive me. It was coo hanging with my girl at the time, but that didn’t push me. School was dull, so I didn’t ever wanna be on campus if it wasn’t for class or a project. There was no calling. There was no light towards another path. It was just me. In the middle of a deserted island.
But that silence of a life prepared me for ALL of the noize I was going to be at JOhnston just 2 years later.
I don’t have any intentions on showing up to work early other than my own personal goal to be on time, and to not get fired (as if). I constantly doze off in meetings, and damn near close my eyes for about 15 straight seconds before nodding my head at what someone said to wake myself and seem alert. I love my Youth, they’re my favorite part. I even am grateful for my co-workers, they are chirpy and bring a light from within to work every day.
But it is the same dull feeling that I had at CBU.
But just like CBU, I know that this place is getting me ready for whats next.
As much as I didn’t like CBU, I loved Riverside at the time. I loved driving past Mission Inn and seeing what almost-a city looked like. I loved passing by Mt. Rubidoux even if I had climbed it 30 times already. I loved the congested light blue skys, even if they were constance reminders that the air there is filled with pollution from the warehouses and dirt because we are a whole desert. I loved passing RCC’s football field that seemed to have dented the earth perfectly for Friday Night Lights. I loved seeing all ages of people, and people from so many different backgrounds coming with so many different stories walk from the near bus stops to RCC - it was porbably the most diverse place I had ever seen in The IE to this day. I loved passing the Ralphs my dad used to work at across the street from the Goodwill that actually had decent shit, the thrift shops that had great expensive sculptures, and the subway that my girl and I used to eat at when we wanted to meet between her school @RCC and mine @CBU. Then passing through all of the downtown ass downtown area of Riverside to finally get to the area around CBU which had dividers in the lanes with palm trees, white people walking dogs, ‘landmark’ signs outside of houses, nice apartment complexes that were often filled with ‘older’ people, and of course finally arriving at the school itself. That HUGE front lawn that they organized 4 separate flag football fields on, but no one ever used or any other use. The big parking lot that Adriel would tell me he would play on when he lived in Riverside - next to his middle school literallty right down the street. The older classroom buildings that looked like rundown chapels. And the already nice sports facilities that they just HAD to keep building on. Soccer field 4 stories high and all. Riverside was lit. Riverside was love. And I couldn’t get enough of walking around finding new small parks to walk around, or just walk down the streets that ACTUALLY had aligned sidewalks. I mean ALL of that shit that made me happy to be in college in The IE. My empty stomach that I was getting from the academia of CBU couldn’t even stop the love, the content love, that I had for visiting the galleries in DT Riverside. It was love man. It was love love love for Riverside. But CBU wasn’t it.
MyPath isn’t it. But The Bay is. Even when I visited home over this past break, which felt like my first vacation EVER, I couldn’t wait to get home. And right then I had recognized that I know longer had a home in The IE, and perhaps never really did have one depending upon how you describe ‘Home’ - I almost could say at least I always had a residence in Fontana but even that wouldn’t be true. But what couldn’t be more true is that my HOME is The Bay, My Home is Oakland. And walking around Alameda Shore makes everything. Walking down Mission Street (ironic, once again) makes everything. Seeing Lake Merrit makes it. Seeing the hills every day that I take BART makes it. Seeing the streetcars, like actual fucking streetcars like we’re in an 80’s film in Harlem, makes it. Seeing so much streetart every which way you turn makes it. Seeing portraits of people who look like me, instead of discouraging the length of someone’s hair extending, makes it. The clean ass air makes it. The best food I’ve ever tasted in my life makes it. How generous people are and how your neighbors sparking a conversation with you is just as naturally as you obviously looking occasionally in your barbers eyes, makes it. The Bay makes it. My Final-fucking-ly New Home makes it.
So they do relate, where I was and where I am.
But what should I do better?
There are obvious differences already that I am experiencing and feeling; I still go out in The Bay occasionally, I am making a decent amount but very stable friend group, I am finding that the artsssss$$$$ that I am into fulfills me.
But what else should I do? What else should I be mindful of?
I wish that I would have intentionally taken up more space at CBU> I was already recognizing how much I was being discouraged at CBU; people who I didn’t know and didn’t allow would take pictures of me and putting it on their snapchat with captions referencing my outfit saying things like ‘Ghetto’ and all of the other Christian White shit you can think of, they were obviously homophobic which was tender for me at a time that I was still understanding my sexuality (still am, forever growing i suppose), and people would not applaud my hypeness if I were not on a basketball, they would instead give multiple side eyes and release a lot of deep breathes through their almost closed ass nostrils. Nostrils looking like a muhfucking toaster oven headass, im telling yal these mf was ugly af. How you swallow with no lips? How do you close ya mouth wit them bigass teeth?
Anyways all of that hurt discouraged me from expressing myself. I chose to wear different clothes. Something more simple, something with less color, something with less accessory to it, hoping I wouldn’t stand out too much wit my 6’2 self. I would not just lower my voice, but I became painfully silent. I would write every thought that I had, because I didn’t even have a friend on campus that I could vent to about the audacity of the caucasity. And I was too scared to change any part of my look with piercings, or dyed hair, or a tattoo, or any of that experimental shit you do your freshman year. I couldn’t wait until my time there was over. I could NOT express myself. But that is exactly why I should have.
I should have wore my bandana’s. I should have wore my locs. I should have gotten every (maybe not every) tat. I should have stretched my ears out. I should have worn as much pink shit I could find, wore my crop tops, show my bomb ass thighs, find the cutest boi and suck his fucking tongue in the middle of that fucking chapel. I should have walked around with a big ass speaker playing Too $hort ‘Shake That Monkey’ to show these hoes what’s really good. I should have smacked any mf that looked at me sideways and wanted to test their masculinity against my obvious, but interesting, one. I should have damn near done what I needed to do to be me and possibly get kicked out for making everyone feel uncomfortable.
In a weird way I do want to express myself more, but not necessarily to take up space here. It’s not necessarily the place where you have to rebel to take up space because we are all rebelling here. And its not the place you want to outwardly try to affend someone’s views because people will literally just beat yo ass on Bancroft. And my neighbors are not my targets anyways. They are not the hoes Im trying to make uncomfortable in 2019. Perhaps no one really is now. But I do need to express myself more here, and I suppose that makes me the target. I didn’t want to wear bandana’s at CBU to only piss off people, I also saw it as a representation of my community - of what I saw every day at Veterans Park. I also saw it as as representation of what my mom would wear around the house. So it was my loud cry to just be recognized for what I loved about my home. I had wanted to bring Fontana to CBU. But they weren’t for that. Now my bandana is my music, it’s my podcasts, it’s my DJ mixes, it’s my show (GROOVYieTV coming soon!). Everytime I push myself to perform any of these, I always hold SOMETHING back. Somehting just isn’t deep enough to be as authentic as I know it can feel. It isn’t close enough to the root as it probably should. As much as I want it to be. I want every song you hear to be you hearing ME. I want every mix to be a memory from Oscar’s Parties on the border of Rialto and Fontana, every Social Club event with my Wholesome Brothers, every house party at my Grandma’s house, every cruise down Foothill. I want every podcast you hear to be the exact way in which I interpret the world, the way that I understand myself being a Loud Queer Brown Skin Baby Body in this AmeriKKKa. I want everything to be me. I don’t want any guesses about who’s at the root of the plot. I wanna snitch on myself about all of this. I don’t wanna leave no trials. What you get will be everything I could have possibly offered.
I don’t really give a fuck about CBU to this day, but I do wish I would have offered more from myself at the time. From myself TO myself if no one else really. “And that should come at no surprise.”
So with that in mind, that is what I will do differently. Peep GROOVYie.com to keep me to my word, you all have the okay to check me. I am relying on you too actually.
One love. All love. I tell no lies. Praise be to God.
Rest in Love Dwight.