Living in the Bronx is no joke.
It is about 3:30 a.m. and I was lying in bed. The mosquitoes have begun to hop around yesterday, so I decided installed some screens on the windows to keep these blood thirsty Dipterans away from my flesh. Most other invertebrates I would love to classify, preserve, and observe (not necessarily in that order of course, haha pun, Order), but mosquitoes are particularly nasty in the Soundview projects of the Bronx.
One downfall with using the screens is that they don't work. After graduating from Vermont, and doing research in bogs, I thought I have seen the worst (as far as black flies and mosquitoes are concerned). However I woke up at 3:30 in the morning and again I was itchy on my arms and legs. It doesn't help that I was recently burned near my elbow, while trying to set up my room, by a light bulb. Picture can be seen on this account:
However, it was not the mosquitoes who woke me up. The screens also have a downfall in their ability to keep out noise, since the windows need to opened for the fresh air (and arthropods) to crawl in. I heard the voices of a few men downstairs, and it was a bit creepy. They were talking about loyalty and being "Bloods". The Bloods are a gang here in New York, and they do normal gang things. It was a bit scary for me to hear their conversation. I have been a New Yorker all of my life, but this was just crazy. They were talking about beating up some police and about money. No I am not being racist, I didn't even see their race. I was lying in bed wondering why they had to shout as opposed to speaking in a normal tone, sort of like normal, educated people. Then I rethought, and realized that in Soundview the normal was to not be educated. My conclusion is that they were probably drunk on alcohol, or high on 420. In any case, they woke me up.
I really want to get out of the Bronx. The ideal situation for me would be to get a stable job where I can grow professionally and personally. One that pays the rent. One where I can pay rent in NYC (yes Manhattan), and be a bit more secure than here in the projects. If your wondering what makes my current situation so bad, you have not searched my current location on wikipedia. Here, I did it for you:
And if you missed it, it reads:
"Still in 2002 Soundview was named the murder capital of NYC."
Is this what life after college is supposed to feel like? Am I supposed to live in fear at home? I would like to think not. UVM doesn't help either. There is an alumni association, but I doubt they will be willing to help a jobless person like me find a job and a new living situation in this recession. And so for now I will just live in fear.
Well I can honestly say I know what it feels like to be scared while walking home. The funny thing is that it doesn't really matter whether the street is lit or not. These people will take what they can and might kill you if they felt inclined. I do not think they would listen to my voice of reason. One that simply asks them to quiet down. I fear because ever since I was in middle school I have been targeted and attacked by students living in the Bronx. I thought UVM was my way out, but after graduating, there is no difference.
Why do people choose to hurt each other rather than help one another? I do not know. I do know that I need help and fast. I have a Bachelors of Science in Biology. I do not have a job at this moment, but I am actively looking. I would do just about anything to get out of the Bronx. I am an educated, Latino male who has worked with two of the greatest Ecologists of our time, Nicholas James Gotelli (Biology Deptartment, UVM) and Aaron Ellison (Harvard Forest Research Facility).
I remember once seeing a movie called from Homeless to Harvard. I feel like I just moved backwards, from Harvard to living in a situation where I would rather be homeless. Seriously, being homeless in Burlington Vermont must be better than living in this hell hole. At least I will not fear for my life on a daily basis.
It is sad that this is what my life has become. And then I wonder to myself, why did I even try. If I just got a job right after high school I would probably be in a better position than I am now. As a matter of fact, I am sure of it. College has gotten me nothing but a useless degree. I am actually in a worse living situation then I was before going to UVM. Everyone always says, well now you have something to fall back on. Not really. What does one do, with a B.S. in Bio? Probably become a teacher. I need to see what it takes to obtain a teaching certification here in the city. Then I could make something of myself, at least for now. I was thinking of getting my Masters in education. I could get it done with quickly, being that I am not working, but I still need a safe place to live. I am scared to leave my apartment. Scared for my life. And that is the way the world is for me.