Since a chiquito, I have attempted to understand my purpose in life. I hold such intense memories of meditating on top of Bernal Heights, above the San Fran city, how I worshipped the skyscrapers and nightmares, imagining my baby face as some sort of Scarface kingpin, pretending that the city would one day be mine. With a ludicrous laughter, I made that my little kid purpose, both laughing and crying when eventually I was kicked out of my own neighborhood, as most of us were due to prison, death, and the streets’ own demise—gentrification. As royalty we had claimed the streets as if we owned them, without appreciating how the homeboy streets, the actual tar and cement, could betray us; economics knows no friends. The years escaped me, and I made new goals, such as the Marines, such as education, such as family and children and writing it all down. Barrio Bushido. And I did it. I did what I wanted, what my brother wanted for me, and I paid for it, through blood and sweat and lots of beers downed. I tried to do something different, even though that meant, at times, my own sanity and shame, but I did it. No real regrets. I have been lucky.
Now sometimes I believe myself some sort of sage, some sort of writer, and I fool myself pretty good, knowing I can do whatever I want because I believe in the power of crazy, la vida loca. But by writing this I do not mean to promote varrio craziness because that alone is ultimately destructive and defeating and pretty selfish, too. No, the craziness I have in mind is a more universal insanity, one that we all take part in that is called life. We all have the feeling, which is more powerful than knowledge, that this craziness does not make sense, yet we continue. Things may get better or emptier, but we move forward because of faith, which is invisible, which is some type of stupidity, which is what we like—to smile at our own stupidity. Our biggest laughs, however, do not emanate from witty American accolades or overly intellectual ideas that we finally grasp; our deepest hooting belly laughter booms from the craziness of the Three Stooges in our own life. We love pie in the face, food fight, smashed banana in the hair insanity, goofiness, stupidity, to take ourselves not so seriously—to remember, to agree that we have all been brainwashed in one way or another, some by Scarface, others by education or “normal” or a system—you choose. But in that acknowledgement of our own absurdity, we admit how none of this makes any sense, and that is ok. To laugh with smashed banana in your hair or pie in your face, that is perfect laughter, and that is my goal.
I come up with grand schemes, which I have written down and carry around in my hip pocket: the book I am now completing, the books I will write, the curriculums I will put into practice, the presentations and people I will inspire and offend. But sometimes I take myself too seriously, as if I am some sort of poisoned politician. I am not a politician nor am I an anarchist or nihilist either. I do have purpose, but it can’t be just about me or my decisions for a body of strangers who have their own dreams. This is my purpose: I want to do it all, all that I am supposedly incapable of doing, to do all the craziest, most impossible things I can imagine, the headaches and heartbreaks, the plannings and implementations; I want to continue to do it like no one else has done it because that is my duty to roots, roots that we all share, and once finished, once la locura is laid out, I want to have a gigantic Three Stooges food fight and beer party, so we can all together share the craziness that is this existence. After all the books I have read and pages written, this is as sincere and profound as I can be.
Joy does exist, but it requires a suffering. Therefore, I do not believe joy is a totally selfish motive. Genuinely I believe in a sharing; what good is the proof of my own will to power if it is only for myself? No, in order for it to be true power, it must be able to empower itself to others, or else I am only living in an illusion of myself. If I can entertain, empower, or inspire others through my words and energy, I am filled with joy. I do believe in a transfer of energy, but if it is less than my full force will to power, I am doing myself and others a disservice, a lie to myself and them. I desire that others apply my ideas, combined of course with their own ideas, and become even mightier than me; that is a true proof of power, that the student has learned to teach the teacher. That is not a betrayal but the way it should be. If I cannot risk being laughed at, I am just stroking my ego and attempting to be politically correct or normal, and then my entire writing is a farce, and I would not like to believe that true. I like to believe that my goal is truth, the ultimate will to power. Perfect laughter is perfect truth.