34 feels like open fire hydrants on Spanish Harlem streets; my mothers love; the sand park; black eyes during street fighter tournaments; my guardian spirit; folded-up love notes and kisses behind bleachers; cigar smoke, Aqua Florida and Oshun before she was in formation; collect calls and prison plexiglass.
34 feels like my fathers eyes, my mothers smile and my grandfathers appetite for women; it tastes like arroz con salchichas at the end of the month bought with the last food stamps; it feels like my aunts loyalty; my lovers hair and my brothers bloodshot eyes.
34 feels like tv and soda before dinner; pulling my sisters hair and my grandfather thinking candy money could ever replace the hug I never received. 34 feels like uncles you admire; stepfathers that you respect and principles that you would die for.
34 is Super Nintendo at 2am, power naps and chu-his on Tokyo streets. 34 feels like forgiveness; like healing; mediation..but throwing the hands if necessary. It is life and death; the sacred and the profane; the Sun and the Moon; Chichen Itza and Ingapirca. 34 feels like triangle slave trades and family DNA with red hair, blonde hair, and Afros. Negros, mulattos y blancos. Pelo bueno, pelo malo y pelo grifo.
34 feels like picnics at the beach with your ancestors eating caramelitos and pasteles. It is both La Playa de Ponce and Jones Beach. 34 has the texture of Mámá's wrinkles; 34 sounds her voice in the wind and the weight of the infinite on your shoulders.
34 hits the ear like a song of liberation.