Nettle asked me THE question over beers at Richter's last Friday. The question I expect to hear quite a bit over the next two years. “What are you going to write about?” Valid question. And I had an answer. I knew. I knew because I've been telling the story for years. At some point, I'm going to write about the following:
Growing up first-generation Cuban American in Northern New Jersey in the 1970s and 1980s.
I'm not saying I know what my final project for the MFA is going to be. I don't. But this story is the story I've been telling all my life. I just haven't written it all down. I've written some of it on this blog and I've told plenty of parts of the story to plenty of people, but writing it all in one place? Turning it into something? How am I going to do that? I don't know. But I know I'm going to do it.
I had a dream that points me in the direction of what I want to be writing about. I was in one of those tunnels like the “It's a Small World” ride at Disney. I was traveling through the images of my life. Here's a sample of what went down in the dream:
I'm on the beach right where the sand meets the water. I can feel the sand and the waves at my toes. I can hear the song “Dos Gardenias.”
I'm swimming and a voice over explains how and why I never really got the hang of swimming.
I'm in a gallery where images of famous Latinos, most notably Ricardo Montalban flash across the screen.
The last gallery I'm in before I wake up shows images of cartoons I loved as a kid, most notably George, Judy and Jane Jetson. Sidebar: I spent the better part of my life spelling George Jetson in my head as “Jorge Jetson.”
I remember that in the moments before I woke up, I spoke to the dream. "I know this is important and I want to know more. Stay right here. I'll be back soon for more information!"
There's a story there.