Outlet for expression.

I've just watched Ramon Serrano at the Nuyorican cafe. The show is called "Zen and the art of good bullshit!" a show essentially split into three parts, all of them with Ramon at the centre. First is Ramon reading extracts from a book that after ten years he's yet to finish, second is him taking the mic off the stand and going on a rant bordering on stand up or a stand up bordering on rant on the subject that his piece of writing is about, and the third portion of the show involves Ramon's band; There were three men on stage with him, all paired with their respective instruments- bass guitar, conga drums, and saxophone. When they weren't playing they would be wincing, laughing and gasping to Ramon's stories- you truly felt like if they didn't grow up with him, they grew up like him.
Ramon also brought up a two-man Doo-wop choir he met on the subway years ago to provide assistance when singing music he loved when growing up, mainly Temptations and Drifters hits. Ramon gave them a spotlight to sing some Marvin too and the crowd ate it up.
Speaking of the crowd, they were either senior, Puerto Rican or both. I wound up in the audience because I thought it was a line for the slam later that night (there's a rumour that you have to get to the Nuyorican three hours before doors open just to get on the open mic list; untrue, it's more like an hour and a half) What swayed me was that it'd be funny. It was. His story about his mother shooting her living room chair, swinging a machete on a basketball court wouldn't be so hilarious if you couldn't tell that it wasn't by someone who was the son of this woman and understood her logic.
It was theatric, not theatre. He talked about watching Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show and then said he'll sing All Shook Up for us now, just because he wanted to. 
There was growing up, there was school, there was lots of singing, and then there was Vietnam. Ramon started reading and he said something so beautifully written I wanted to hold onto it. I kept the line in my head, saying it over and over and over again and then Ramon stopped talking.
He said "I can't. I can't do it. I thought I was ready but I can't" He didn't apologise. He just put the paper back and the crowd applauded without whoops or hollers. It was a clap to let him know we're still with him.

He then read two poems. The first was called Pegao, about the rice on the bottom of the pot. "Rich people never get to the bottom of the pot. Those poor, poor rich people"
His second poem was about how different words in the Spanish language mean different things to different parts of the world that speak the Spanish language. It reminded me of something I go in and out of trying to write- he took it somewhere more fun. I really appreciated how fun he made it.

The line I kept in my head when Ramon was talking about the Vietnam war, about the soldiers coming back, about the trauma they went through to return with no welcome or system by the government to take care of them, the third line from him deciding to not go any further with his piece -"Unspeakable horrors with no outlet to express themselves".
In all of Ramon's dancing and shouting out audience members that he's known for fifty years, widows of best friends with new husbands that he thinks highly of, sons of fathers who've passed away that are watching in their place, you knew that Ramon loved every moment he had on stage. 

Ramon was a history teacher for twenty years before this show. He'd sing on the subway after work before any Nuyorican gigs.
Since November I've written at least six blog posts and have deleted all of them. I'd tell myself that it doesn't matter. Right now I don't think it has to.