Why aren’t we showing the process? I was on the greyhound, then the megabus last night thinking about a few things since the outlets weren’t working, and the wifi was sketchy.
Those people out there only see the finished product. What my brothers Petey Wheat-Straw and Jamail Sills would call “the kream.” They only see the polished, shiny, unbreakable product we’ve offered them. But what if we allowed them to see the process?
Then I spoke with Bayyina Black, and it hit again.
If I showed you all the struggles, and the sacrifices, and veins I metaphorically cut open, would that help in some way? Would it keep a few people from jumping from radio towers in Watts, or blowing their brains over the kitchen counter? I think it would. Those onlookers would find their struggle isn’t at all unique, and there may be someone they could speak to.
And sometimes it’s not about putting it out there for the world. Sometimes if seeing something that looks familiar and reaching out to that. When I pledged, I had a teacher cancel class the moment I walked in. She took me to her office and asked “are you okay?” I told her yeah, I was just going through some things. She said “when I pledged…” and I tried to deny it, but she recognized the struggle. When I walked in class on December 11, 2002 with a Kappa shirt on, she cried and smiled, and that meant more to me than the one million people on the yard who clapped because i knew she understood.
But…show the struggle sometimes. Someone could use it. It may save a life.
The last few months
Maybe a year
I’ve wanted several things
New oil paints
To put a hickey on your bottom lip.
The winter nearly killed me. That and the half piece of bacon I thought I’d try to begin the process of bringing swine back into my life. I threw up three days of food into the snow beside the church and moved on the Biosphere. “I’ll come back in the summer,” I said.
Canada oh Canada, I can hear Jonie Mitchell and James Blake blowing. And I waited too long to write this because I can no longer tell what made the trip most amazing. The four people who’d never vacationed together, the surprising events around each corner that had nothing to do with the Jazz Fest I’ve been dying to see since childhood, the psilocybin that turned me into Jesus in the middle of a park or the raccoons and their pretty eyes and small hands, taking nuts from mine. This trip was amazing.
The “learn french” line on my list of goals is slowly being scratched through, and my Sockless Summer list is proving to not be a clump of bullshit I threw together in a moment of inspiration. This is all real. I could live there. I could love there, even in the winter. Sitting on a floor with the heat blasting and ice wine and bourbon not far from reach. This could happen.
There were pancakes and tea each morning for breakfast with Oscar from Germany and 20-somethings who put money on Argentina. There was laughs with Molly and Jean, both from Montreal, and both giving us new thoughts of things we’ve come to know. This was Montreal. Maple syrup hidden in lemon gelato like a grown child hiding behind a hydrant. This was amazing.
A completely blue sky at 4:11am and new close friends who needed to be alone to reconsider what life before this trip was about. That was worth sharing a room with 14 others, and a potentially going broke. “Life has to change,” Montreal said.
And I could live there. An amazing summer in the early autumn of this life. I’ll go back soon.