I have never addressed this issue on my blog but it’s been bugging me for a while and I sort of need to let it out somehow. This is the perfect place to do so.
The year was 1989, Venezuela was in the middle of an economic bonanza, life was good, public education was highly effective and the biggest problems around were the growing popularity of the mullet and Ilan Chester retiring from music every 5 months. Damn, it was a glorious time. However, and as it always happens whenever there’s good shit going on, there was someone unwillingly plotting to fuck it up big time for everyone. In my particular case, Gabriela, Julio Sr. and Hugo Chávez (Yes, THAT Chávez).
Let’s fast forward a little bit, I’ll catch up with you in a few moments.
The year is 2014, here’s what happened: Hugo Chávez ran one of the most half-assed coup d’état attempts to overthrow Carlos Andrés Pérez from his presidential duties. Even though he failed miserably and ended up being put in jail, the circumstances got him running for presidency in 1998. We Venezuelans ain’t very good in taking transcendental decisions, so he won. 16 years, many “transparent” elections and hundreds of controversial decisions later my country is #1 on the shittiest places to live in list which makes us the most undesired citizens all around the globe. The guy even died of Cancer and his legacy still keeps us submerged in a sea of shit you wouldn’t even imagine.
On the other side, and back in 1989. Gabriela and Julio Sr. decide that skipping school to go have unprotected sex is the best move for an 8th or 9th grader. 9 months later, I was born, needless to say, this was a shitwreck for my family. Negligent underage parents who were probably the stupidest kids in their class sounds like the best formula to raise a psychopath, right? - Wrong, this is where my uncles and grandparents step in.
Grannies provided me a decent education, food and a roof and together with my uncles and aunts they supported and raised me, and they raised me well. I have taken shitty decisions, I’m human and I slacked for a while (failing one class in College). However, I’m a talented musician with a good job and very high goals in life, I’ve gotten accepted in two world class musical institutions and my short term goal this year is to make a name as a session musician in the local scene and the internet. I haven’t got a chick knocked up, never been arrested, I don’t use drugs or even smoke and even though I have lots of issues, I’m trying to become the best person possible. Now, here’s my question.
Why do immigration officers keep denying my visas? I was supposed to go to Canada this year to study music just to become better and get a degree, which is impossible here, unless you go to UNEARTE and deal with their propagandist bullshit instead of getting better at being a musician. I do not intend to stay in your country as an illegal immigrant, I just want a fucking chance to accomplish an academic goal. How come I have not enough ties with Venezuela? There’s a group of people that raised me well, I owe them a life. I could be shooting people on the streets or even dead right now. My grandpa is the smartest guy I know, my uncle Arnaldo is all that I want to be in life and one of the main reasons of what I am right now. My aunt Andry is one of the most selfless and loving persons ever, her picture should be next to the definition of integrity in the dictionary, my other aunt, Argelia is one of the most determined and hard working persons ever. Fuck Chris Gardner, this woman deserves a movie inspired in all the shit she went through to get where she’s at right now. I need to make it big, for them, for me and for grandma up in heaven. Yes, you’re right, I don’t know my father and my mother has never acted like one. I’m different and I pity those who had just one mom and dad, I had 2 fathers and 3 mothers and I have to make them proud.
Please, God, universe, Buddha and whoever deity may be reading this: cut me some slack. It’s fucking unfair, I do not intend to do anything illegal or harm anyone. I just want a decent education, which I can fucking afford - which is the other reason why I haven’t traveled in such a long time: priorities: I bought myself a car and saved lots of money for an education.
I’m frustrated but I’ll keep working towards this.
Next step: buying gear since I sold it all last year when I was going to Ireland.
Cherish the perfection of a moment as it happens.
Stop and memorize how it feels, how it smells and how it is.
We can’t freeze time but we can feel back, if that makes any sense at all.
Feeling is good.
I may try again as well. It makes no sense.
Boxing skills are evolving really fast.
I have a black eye due to the ground and pounding I got.
I LOVE THIS FUCKING SPORT.
I had an amazing day with my friend Lucho today, we went to this freshman party and had a fucking blast, we didn’t socialize too much because of the age difference but we had an amazing chat and had a few drinks.
BTW, my coach congratulated me for not tapping to a vicious ground and pound I was getting. Also, my boxing skills are getting better, I also slammed a heavier training partner.
new haircut, new plans.
Never give up.
I was submitted with an armbar and fucked up my elbow but when we went at it again we were all fired up. It was metamoris-like training, I mean, looking for submissions, I grinded my teammate until he was dead tired and took his back, unfortunately time was up and I couldn’t get the RNC.
I’m sore as fuck but I’m also ecstatic!
whenever you’re feeling down you can make pizza from scratch.
Shit is upside down again.
If this was an MMA fight I’d be a bloodied BJ Penn or Joe Lauzon.
I’ve wrote many ungrateful lines about 2013 bitching about how my life changed drastically. The truth is, the last 16 months rebuilt me. I’m a new person with much more confidence and I managed to achieve something I never thought I’d make, not once but twice in a year.
Less hair, more confidence and no monotony at all, 2013 was definitely an amazing chapter in my life, full of great stories, life and characters that make Larry David look like Adam Sandler. All those memories, I’ll cherish forever.
Today, all the main characters of this wonderful story are officially out of this country and while I’m incredibly happy and proud of their achievements, I can’t help to feel a little nostalgia.
Berth, Boo, Marie, Penguin and Ryoma, I just want to thank you guys.
Tito Ortiz’s walkout shirt for his last fight said something like: "I helped building the sport that built me". So, I’ll use that to THANK YOU for helping me build the year that built me and since that period of my life had the most ass kicking soundtrack ever, I’ll leave this here:
So long, Astoria
I found a map to buried treasure
and even if we come home empty handed
We’ll still have our stories
of battle scars, pirate ships and wounded hearts,
broken bones, and all the best of friendships
and when this hourglass
has filtered out
its final grain of sand
I’ll raise my glass to the memories we had
this is my wish
this is my wish
I’m taking it back
I’m taking them all back.
So long, Astoria - The Ataris
From the record: So long, Astoria (2003)
ONCE AGAIN, THANKS.