Uncomfortable by Joseph Begay
When I went back to the Rez for a short visit, certain things surprised me. I saw tourists taking pictures of us like we were some kind of freak show and I remembered how mad I used to get. Someone said she would pay me $2 if I would pose. I just stared at her and left. I hitchhiked and forgot how easy it is to get a ride on the Rez. Some natives I didn’t know picked me up. They didn’t ask me any questions and shared their food with me. They weren’t drunk or anything—just regular folk who treated me like I belong.
I also saw those who had nowhere to go and nothing to do just sitting around. I had forgotten how many people do nothing and hope nothing.
There’s good and bad there. The bad is mainly that the future doesn’t have any substance. When I got back to Albuquerque, I compared my life to what I saw.
I am a part of a different group of people now. We are still Natives but we have a future. I enjoy going to school and working and having my own place to live.
I also miss just hanging out with my own people on their own land.
It is hard being in two worlds.