My Motivation

by Jeffrey Melendez

Nonfiction, Arlington County Detention Facility/Heard/OAR writing contest, August 2022

Surround yourself with good hearted people whose eyes light up when they see you coming they’re way. Remember slowly is the fastest way to get to where you want to be and go. Don’t forget the top of one mountain is the bottom of the next!

So keep climbing. Put the drugs and guns down. Pick up the phone get a job now. Stop thinking about needles and vials, think about your mother, your father and loving your child.

It’s about you and your fam, stop thinking about liquor bottles and cocaine grams. They say the games been rigged, either stay in the corner or get in the ring. Fight for what’s right make a change.

Life is pain, but beautiful, change the way of thinking, be more intellectual, when you brush your teeth look in the mirror and say “ you special” “I am special” That’s good for your mental, and be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening remember no losing keep winning stop saying bitch use women!

It’s okay to have fun and party but you can’t always think about beers, Bacardi, with the chaser. Get up this morning and say I am a history maker. I’m going to elevate my brothers, my sisters, get my family out of poverty when I stack my paper.

Can’t go clubbing every weekend, go to the library pick up a book, further your education, education is key, knowledge is power, power brings respect and money.

Everything connects money, power, respect. I just want to motivate my people that come from the struggle that they can relate and lived in that bubble. That survived that concrete jungle. Remember our all things are possible and the future can be better than the past. Don’t dwell on the obstacles and say you a winner in advance.

Thank your creator or higher power. Be happy stop being sour. Learn to thank on purpose it’s okay okay to read the Koran or Bible verses.

Do yoga or meditate because life is good better yet life is great. I want to be one who creates a happy life every day. If I want it, I can have it. I can have, be or do anything I want.

At first I was misunderstood, I just want to feel good. Life is meant to feel good. But now joy is my natural state of being.

Say I am unlimited. I am ready to allow all good things into my life. That’s right!

Before you rest up feel blessed up. Breathe, pause, rejuvenate, when do you wake up. Pause concentrate pause, stay focused, never hopeless.

This is my motivation, my dedication, all day I further my education don’t stress on inflation, trust on God, be humble and patient.

My goal is to be constructive, and not destructive. There are many obstacles that we will face in our time on God’s green earth, but never back down, most importantly never give up!

The only thing worse than being blind is having sight with no vision. It is a difference between hearing and listening. Say I am respectful, I will be successful and helpful.

From Da Bronx to D.M.V.

Jeffrey Melendez

 Third place, Nonfiction, Heard/Arlington County Detention Facility writing contest, August 2021

I can still hear Da Bronx and smell the Bronx. It’s his own world. Very different very unique very alive in spirit, in culture. All different types of races, ethnics, different flags hanging from windows, Puerto Rican, Nigerian, Cuban, Dominican, Jamaican, Ethiopian. We all from different countries but we stick together here in America, here in the Bronx. If we can make it in New York City, we can make it anywhere. I’m proud that I was born there.  I still hear police sirens, honking horns in morning traffic different languages Chinese Swahili Spanish.

I hear car alarms going off and ambulance too. People screaming inside the Yankees stadium. I hear Mr. Softee ice cream truck. I can’t forget I hear the A, B and D train. Music playing through thru windows speakers blaring Salsa, Rap, Merengue, Reggae, Hip-Hop, Soka, Bachata, Danie Hull. The fire hydrant popped because it’s hot that’s all. White man pull-up in the white vans, asking for papers. Pops working late to put food on the table.

You see me I ain’t have the same luxuries I have 2 grandmothers in different countries. I’m a first generation born American I can’t say I’m going to grandmoms today she 2,000 miles away.  In the Bronx I can hear families argue about eviction notice. From High Bridge, Kings Bridge, 3rd Ave. Big Brother telling Little Brother don’t be a loser be a winner.

Moms going to a corrupt church the pastor is the biggest sinner. Moms cooking food, gun shots go-off her son ain’t coming home for dinner. In the corner smells of delicious Jamaican food, curry chicken, coco bread, and beef patties and in the other corner Giovannis Italian Pizza up the block, the Chinese spot. Down the block Dominican restaurant fry plantain with everything delicious. Never mind that half the buildings are rat and roach infested, Black and Brown around here we got Big money invested. We unite U.N.I.T.Y Latinos, African Americans, East Africans, West Africans. We all learn from each other different foods, dances, languages.

This is the Bronx. We are stars. On the rooftops we look up we don’t see stars. We see Police Helicopters and the Goodyear Blimp above the New York Yankees stadium. Shout out my Puerto Ricans, Jamaicans, Hondurans, Haitians, Dominicans, Nigerians, Trinidadians, Asian, and Italians. The good men doing time in Rikers Island. People taking meds in the Asylum. My young youth in the street wilding. No matter where I go I represent where I’m from (The Bronx) I’m from DA B.X.