When Beyonce's first visual album dropped, I remember feeling a new kind of exhilaration. The kind that wakes you up, confuses you, scares you, propels you; a magnetism so strong, an understanding that you don't know quite yet what just happened to you, but you will do everything you can to find out. I remember sitting on my bed, five days before my 23rd birthday, watching "Grown Woman" for the first time and really letting the words sink in. "I can do whatever I want." "I can do whatever I want." Having grown up away from my family, I've always thought that to be exactly my life's philosophy."Priscila is always doing whatever she wants!” Sometimes, a praise. Sometimes, an accusation. But this was different. Because I love structure, I thrive in structure. I love the conquering of a structure. I make structure my b*tch. Crude? Yes. But it's exactly how it feels.Read More
The temperature has finally dropped: when I asked Siri what the weather was this morning, she said "Brrr. It's 19 degrees in Brooklyn." You will understand my disappointment when I walked into my apartment from work at 1130PM last night to see snowflakes forming when I spoke. For the last year, I've meditated every single morning for 20 mins first thing when I wake up. Anger is not an easy thing to process or feed into anymore. It paralyzes me, it makes me cry. I've trained myself to immediately look at the positive when crazy begins to leak. But leak it did. I begin to take out the trash like I'm warming up for my quarterly half-marathon. I keep my entire winter gear on, including my Tims, and when my boyfriend says he’s on his way home, anger comes unleashed.Read More
I don’t have to hit rock bottom this time. Bulimia is a specific addiction. No one in my life supported it, I knew it was ugly, I knew I was being wrecked, there was no room to welcome someone into it, and I certainly didn’t engage in it with anyone but myself. My body as I knew it and as I wanted it to be didn’t stand a chance against it. My daily habit of throwing up until I scraped my throat tender, followed by a full pack of cigarettes to smoke up its bloody patches would have me gone in no time. Listen, those heart palpitations… I knew. I made excuses to not show, skipped big events to not be shown, and always replaced the food I ate in time, should I have purged something that wasn’t mine. But let’s be clear about it: this addiction was not supported. It wasn’t cool. It didn’t bring me close to anyone. It’s not what we engaged in at a birthday party.Read More
I threw up for ten years. The history of my bulimia is one I’ve chosen to be very open about: as the daughter of two Doctors, my eating disorders- along with the bouts of depression that run in our blood- have never been dismissed or brushed aside. I’m keenly aware of how rare that is. Period. But I’m mostly aware of how rare that is in a Latino household. So I’m loud about recovery. I open my doors, invite people to sit on my couch and give space to those who feel comfortable and safe enough to sit back and let something other than food out. Throwing up for ten years is a story I share, a narrative I tell, a one woman show I’ve produced.Read More
REAL LIFE LOS ANGELES TRAIN (yes): 5 o'clock to Culver City. FEROCIOUS BUSINESS WOMAN: 40's, black, French cuffs, Louboutins, red reading glasses, French twist. PRISCILA watching Wesley T. Jones' latest video (on latest shootings), sans headphones. Proud.
PRISCILA: Oh my. FEROCIOUSNESS: That your friend? PRISCILA: Yes, ma'am. FEROCIOUSNESS: Hm. You in your twenties? PRISCILA: (I nod) 22.
(I repost, open up NPR App on my phone) FEROCIOUSNESS takes off her reading glasses, places them on her head. Holds her hand to her mouth. Then chin. Inhales.
FEROCIOUSNESS: Let me ask you something. Did you just move here? PRISCILA: (smiles) what makes you say that? Indeed, I just did. FEROCIOUSNESS: Hm. We don't see bodies like yours around here much anymore. Girls come out here and disappear. PRISCILA: I'm sorry, I... Boys are getting shot and you want to talk to me about the circumference of my thighs? FEROCIOUSNESS: They're related. PRISCILA: Oh yeah? FEROCIOUSNESS: You want truth?
FEROCIOUSNESS: You see mama, whenever a girl loses another damn pound or straightens her hair or changes the way her mama taught her to make a meal, they're bleaching our histories and burying our bones and the STRUCTURES THEY COME IN six feet underground. Execution all around. Where you from? PRISCILA: (breath) Colombia. FEROCIOUSNESS: Hm. (Puts glasses back on, gathers her Prada, Newspaper, and takeout, stands) I lost my two brothers to Chicago and then I moved out here. I was twenty-five. Whenever they shoot another brown boy, they're also shooting at your curves and at the language you speak when you call your home. So yes baby, when I see you I say to myself, "she better keep 'em thighs strong." Stay blessed, child.
Train stops. FEROCIOUSNESS nods, and steps off.