What the Chupacabra means to me
What el Chupacabra means to me:
The life of a Puerto Rican exile in Princeton is full of tediousness,
and recently, enough cold to freeze all your body parts. There
are solitary moments when withdrawal from EL VOCERO addiction makes me
contemplate jumping off a penthouse and making a splash the size of
Manhattan or trying to clean the Jersey shore by licking up all the toxic
waste with my tongue.
Yet one thing has kept me going through this living hell. IT has never quite
been categorized...it could be an animal, an extraterrestrial or a former
patient from Rossello's med school days seeking revenge. Boricuas all over
the world know it as
I consider Chupi, as I call him, the essence of Puerto Rico. He has a
label yet is impossible to define (kind of like the Commonwealth). Just like
el pueblo,he manages to survive despite clownish, inept politicians such as
Chemo who try to take advantage of his gentle, goatsucking nature. Like most
of us who drive the island's spacious highways and roads, el Chupacabra is
daring enough to break the law but smart enough not to get caught. And just
like us, he never, ever sucks the blood out of little children or other
defenseless human beings.
When I daydream about Chupi I picture him (I do not consider Chupi an it)
pleasently strolling around the island's beautiful hills, taking in the
while looking for a place to have some fast food. He lives the ideal life of
the jibaro, in harmony with nature and very fond of his animals. A
significant reason we are so obsessed with the concept of Chupacabra is
that we WANT to be like him, but we are too caught up in the daily grind
of our workaholic consummerism. Which one of us would not love to strip a
chicken bare, and meterle el diente raw instead of eating at some bastion
of American cultural imperialism such as Kentucky Fried Chicken? El
Chupacabra appeals to that atavistic, primitive portion of our psyche
that longs for the old days of climbing among trees and hunting for bananas.
Chupi also appeals to the child in every one of us. We all had that
imaginary best friend who shared our tears when other little boys kicked
sand in our faces and when even the ugly girls would make fun of us. Chupi
has shared many of my problems here at the university, he has been like
a father, mother, brother, girlfriend, dog and best friend all mixed
together. He reminds me of the monster under the bed to whom I would sneak
cookies and other treats when my parents went to sleep.
Oh, and sex.There is also, as in everything in Puerto Rican folklore, a
sexual connotation ("doble sentido") to the phenomenon. How more obvious can
it get? CHUPA! Yes...suck! Cabra...we all know a word that resembles this
one that applies to most of us (CABRON). Asi que, empieza a chupar, cabra!
(or cabron as the case may be).
by Carlos Rivas 96