Trees. Growth. Happy New Year.

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We lived. I did, for sure. I made a list and did what I said I would, finishing strong just under the clock.

The heart I ate, and the tea I drank across the pond made up for the rough days in May when attempting to blend into Flatbush and the Lower East Side. I became an architect and I remembered the activist I was when I found out about Mumia.

The motherland was gorgeous, and the love was felt. I established amazing relationships with those who intimated me once, and we’re now building together. I became the man in small circles, and I became the novice in others.

I now move forward to 2015, still the growing tree I promised to be years ago. I’m a friend short, and I haven’t fully recovered, but I won’t be stumped. Growth.

2015 will be our year. Me and my friends and my people ‘nem.

I love you all. And to those who question where we stand, let this be the New Testament. After tonight, all will be forgiven and we can rebuild.

Gone Girl. Matching Crazies.

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“I’m the cunt you married. The only time you liked yourself was when you were trying to be someone this cunt might like. I’m not a quitter, I’m that cunt. I killed for you; who else can say that? You think you’d be happy with a nice Midwestern girl? No way, baby! I’m it.” – Amy

And there it was. Me, realizing part of my problem with relationships; finding them, falling in them, remaining in them, and thinking about them when they end. I love crazy. Not the simple, basic “she knocked on my door crying at 4am” crazy. That would be too boring. I think I love the “she found my mama’s phone number on google and called her to talk wedding plans for a wedding I knew nothing about, then drove to all my exes houses and threw Molotov cocktails through their windows because she hates competition” kinda crazy.

I watched Gone Girl, and sat on the edge of the couch the entire time wondering how Nick Dunne was gonna escape his private Hell. I had thousands of questions and proven wrong assumptions. Questions like, what was Amy doing when she crouched in the corner with the straps around her wrists on camera? Was this cop gonna bust this case open like a virgin on prom night? “This bitch crazy,” I kept repeating. A few times I yelled to the screen, and when I wasn’t yelling I was remembering all the crazy I was ever attracted to.

Amy came home, and I smiled. I imagine in a crowded theater I would have sat surrounded by a crowd of pissed off, disgusted folks who looked at Amy as nothing more than street trash. Me, no. I would have taken her into the house, open-chested* her, put her in that “what was that shit you were talking earlier” position, then sat down to begin planning the rest of our lives. In her crazy, Nick found himself. In his Hell, he found himself. Amy brought out the Nick they both needed. Crazy does this, doesn’t it. Her crazy brought out his crazy.

I’ve been in crazy, and had we opened up about just how crazy that crazy was, I think we could have found the perfect place to love. We avoided that conversation. Perhaps for the best, since in my head, the merging of our crazies, especially with me not really know what my crazy is outside of being an empathic sociopath, could have taken down a civilization.

I want what Amy and Nick has without going through what they had. Like Dexter and Hannah, can’t we post our crazies on a wall someplace at the beginning, or on the bar? I’m just looking for someone with a crazy that matches mine.

Well done, Gillian Flynn.

Notes:

“I hate calling the women ‘bitches,’ but the bitches love it.” – Drake.

Open-Chest: a childhood game of punching your friend hard in the chest when they are least expecting it.

When A Fart Brings Hope.

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I’ve been eating too much for too long. Lazy, after-Christmas me. Stubbly-faced me who wears unattended, unwashed college hoodies and eats hard-baked fish sticks. I’ve eaten too much in the last week, and I’m not understanding why the force of the new hasn’t pushed out the old. With each fart comes hope. I found missile-shaped transparents somethings to stick in a place to bring about change.

I suppose I’m talking about my writing as well. Since October I’ve taken in too much. Nothing’s come out. I need it out. Hope comes when I open the lid of this old Macbook. It’s in the tips of my fingers, every word in my head that should be on a new document. I used to be a writer, and I want to be one again. I have the notes in my phone to prove it. What will emancipate these nuisances?

I’ll write soon, I hope, even if I’m as insecure about those words as I am about wiping my ass with my left hand.

The Friends I’ve Lost.



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We’ll be friends forever, won’t we Pooh?” asked Piglet. “Even longer,” Pooh answered.

The first friend I lost was in 1995. She was 13, and I’m not sure why my mourning was so short. I had no idea who Alphaville was then, but I suppose we shared a belief: die young, or live forever. Leave the party during the set up, but never when the music is playing. And the music is so good right now.

A little while ago I read Calvin’s post about the many great friends he lost in the early 90’s and how hard it was to deal with. I remember thinking of all the great friends I lost in the last few years, hoping for at least a 50 year hiatus.  I remember how sad I was because Calvin and I are a lot alike, and I know if his friends mean the same to him as mine mean to me, he still thinks about them now.

Where is the fairness in great friends dying long before you? Who takes the place of the irreplaceable? I lost a friend today and I’m remembering the insanity she brought to my life to add to what was already there. Us in all the cities, bars, malls, and stores. We were like Thomas Jay and Vada Sultenfuss. What now? What about Piglet and Pooh? What happens when Piglet dies? Part of Pooh must die too.

They Have To Kill My Brother, Don’t They?

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I have a brother who doesn’t doesn’t speak as loud as I speak about injustices and inequality. His neighbors do their best to help him forget those words. His mother isn’t my mother, his father isn’t my father. We share fraternity founders, and he works for a government I don’t quite trust, and barely respect. He loves his job, and asks that I don’t speak foul of it when we’re together. I respect his wishes, assuming he hides my updates on social media; filtered me out.

My brother’s oldest son in six-years-old, plays tee-ball, and wakes up early on Sundays because he’s excited about church. His wife is beautiful, and so is their five-year-old daughter. Their youngest kid is 2, hilarious, but hates being lifted up and tossed across a room onto pillows like most kids I know her age.

He lives by the rules. He questions the victims before questioning the suspects. He has a house with six bedrooms, a garage big enough for 3 cars and 5 bicycles, and a lake close by to sit near in summers and grill the meat marinated in the sauce his father passed down. His father calls every Sunday to make a wager on the game, and his mother calls Saturdays to make sure he’ll be in church in the morning. His folks are still married, and his father still opens doors and pulls out seats.

My brother works hard, doesn’t play as hard, and is thrilled to use vacation time to do nothing but play in the backyard with the family. The life without flaws, it seems.

He has to to be killed. He must be killed during a routine traffic stop to make them understand. There are no photos of him in a durag and loose clothes, and no videos of him drinking beer in college, and no women who’ll come forward saying he drugged them then ran his dick across the back of their hands. He must be shot at point blank range by a white officer for the people who currently can’t fathom that some white boys do join the police for to kill black boys. My brother must be mistaken for a burglar, then dragged from his beautifully painted porch by two white officers and beaten to death in his front yard in front of those neighbors who “don’t see color” to get them to see.

I feel bad because I sometimes, especially lately, think about doing to him what Koba did to Caesar. It can’t be me who is killed by the white officer. They’ll rip me to shreds me within minutes on World News, finding the photo of me in my underwear with a BB Gun, staring through the blinds of my SouthEast DC apartment. It must be him.

Because if <em>he</em> is killed, they’ll care. There will be no plausible excuses accepted by those neighbors who will now comfort and feed his wife and children. These neighbors may think it, but they won’t admit they believe his life is worth more than those people they’ve told him he’s nothing like. They will They’ll care because they let him in their house, and people like him. He reminds them of their sons, fathers, brothers, and uncles.

Then I remember July 30, 2009 when Obama gave Sgt. James Crowley a beer at the White House after arresting Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. for entering his own home in Cambridge, Mass. A beer. I don’t want my brother to be killed if all he’ll get in return is a wife who gets to say she shared a bottle of Don Julio with the President and Vice President and the man who killed her husband.

So who has to be killed?

8:34pm – 9:34pm : The Verdict

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Before The Verdict @ 8:34pm EST:

I’m afraid and I’m torn. I’m feeling like a child watching his parents divorce over something as simple as an affair. I’m scared. This is as much, now, about Michael as 1995 was about Orenthal. I’m so scared. I want him to be guilty, but I want revolution, too.

I have no groceries this time, and there are no people waiting for me outside my place to get in to begin cooking. I’m home early because I know how it feels to be driving and having to listen to people who don’t me tell me my life means nothing. Nothing. They said nothing beyond that. That was a year ago.

I’m starting to hate Novembers. November is that amazing grandfather of one of your closest friends. He takes her for frozen yogurt, and tells the greatest stories of her first days on earth. He goes out at night in a white hood and hangs the father of your other close friend. Mehserle is still breathing. He still shops at Whole Foods and dreams of having sons who will grow to wipe his chin dribble.

Poplar trees are rapid-growing but relatively short-lived trees. Did Abel Meeropol know? I hear voices around me asking questions they feel I can answer. I can’t right now. I know nothing. I don’t know the law. Lauren and Shannon know it, but I can’t ask them right now. I can’t face what I know is going to happen before I hear it happening. I’m a punk that way. There’s a fear I can offer.

In Amsterdam a cop touched me on the shoulder. He had a gentle smile, and told me “move aside, a bus is coming.” A seemingly small thing that lasted only 4 seconds. The first time in 16 years I haven’t been afraid of police.

6 minutes left. 6 minutes until. Until. One minute until. Until. 8:01. Those who’ve watched executions, men tied to tables, giving up on pride, must have known such Monday nights.

He reads. Explains. My jaw is clenched. My heart is heavy. My eyes are ready. Who’s outside on W. Florissant tonight? This man reading had a father killed by a black man once. His father was an officer once. Well-deserved death? Sorrow.

We started this fight in shorts, ripped jeans, and tanks. They had tanks too. It’s cold. We’re bundled, still fighting.

After The Verdict @ 9:34pm EST:

They’ve been practicing racism so long, it’s perfect.