This post is not edited. There is no spell check on the Android app. No linking capabilities that doesn’t involve code. No cliché removal option. No grammar check to point out the passive sentences. No feature image that links to Ashton Cutright’s Etsy page.
We were supposed to have a department meeting today. It did not happen. The plan was while we were talking about ourselves and how we are doing, I was going to let it slip that Jeanna and I are no longer an item. When asked for how long, I had planned on stating that the first person I confided in was Lee and leave it at that. None of this happened.
I started writing again. Mostly thoughts that I hope will transform into a lyrical essay some time in the future. Something I hope to read when Amado decides to make me feature writer (we discussed this, I asked for October). My plan is to read “Storm” by Tim Minchin first and move into my stuff. Or start with something of mine first that can segue into the 9-minute beat poem. I know it will offend people, but at this point of time, they need to be offended.
Last night, I compiled my fourth playlist since I started up again. The soundtrack to a fake romantic comedy about a girl who works as a barista. Inspired by nothing and everything. I made two copies. One for Angela (I promised her one way before it ever came to fruition), and one for me. A good amount of time spent on thinking about it, I realized that it’s something I may attempt later in the future. I just need to carve out the story a little more, and pepper it with romantic comedy clichés—”[T]his song sorta gives it the kissing in the rain feel. Which, as we all know, is romantic (but not in real life as rain water is really dirty due to all the pollution in the air).” For those of you reading this and wanting to recreate my playlist (I’d totally share it with you if I had the ability and disposable income), I’ll add the track list at the bottom of this post.
For the cover and CD art, I used a collage by Ashton Cutright entitled “Summer Reprise,” which you can buy at Etsy. Ashton and Miranda’s CDs were the first to feature art on the cover and CD label. It’s something I’m probably going to add from now one because, as I’ve stated before, I love making these CDs and creating arte for them adds to the fun. Like scribbling doodles on the cassette tape sleeve.
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@EnnuiPrayer Did it arrive? I’ve been having umpteen problems w/ USPS. Might be time for me to only gift Kindle & Nook versions of my books.
So the above happened today. Upon receiving my copy of Serving Him edited by the sultry Rachel Kramer Bussel, I noticed the packaged open. No explanation. No attempt to tape up the violation of my package. It’s been some time since I received an erotic book to review in the mail. About a year, actually. Copies have been sent to me via e-mail for Kindle or Nook readers (I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, and I use the Nook app due to Amazon’s tight ass restrictions on their Kindle app). It’s sad that Ms. Bussel may take the same route because the USPS decided to open and lose several packages because they suspect that their media mail service is being abused.
I started the book, checking off Lori Selke’s “What You Deserve.” I won’t review the story here (not yet).
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My coworker told me his creative well has run dry. It’s something I’m familiar with. However, there’s never been a time that I couldn’t write. It’s just what I write isn’t worth reading or worth the time spent writing it. Words, good or bad, never failed me. I can’t begin to imagine what he’s going through.
I force myself to write something every day. Good or bad, just keep writing and things will get better. I read as much as I write and I’m reading less these days. I need to change that. Need to switch off the TV and the computer once in a while and just start writing.
I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You – Black Kids
These feelings won’t go away
They’ve been knockin’ me sideways
They’ve been knockin’ me out, babe
Whenever you come around me
These feelings won’t go away
They’ve been knockin’ me sideways
I keep thinking in a moment that
Time will take them away
But these feelings won’t go away
I find myself at a stalemate. Last month, Jeanna asked me if there was someone else. I seemed happier and I’m usually happier when I’m “talking” with someone. “No,” I lied because even though there is someone, I’ve not been vocal about my feelings with someone. She makes me smile. She gets my mind off things. She’s great. She’s sweet. She’s smart. And she asks about Shaun, and that’s a great sign that there’s potential there if she felt the same way for me. Earlier this month, as we were lying in bed talking about her problems, I confessed to her that there was someone who holds my interest.
“Why haven’t you told her?” she asked me, echoing my words five years ago when she left me for the interest of another. She’s echoing Ashton’s words, too. Ashton’s always cheering me on, my hipster cheerleader with a Justin Bieber haircut and a craft that outshines anything I’ve managed to spill out.
“Dude, she likes you.” “You both like each other.” “You should take her out on a date.”
I smile more knowing I get to see her. And I look forward to conversations. And I just don’t know why I don’t just get the courage to say something. It’s high school self repeating in adulthood. I admire from a distance because the moment feelings are admitted, things go south. Should she not feel the same about me, then things get weird.
“They only get weird if you let them, Gil,” Ashton would probably say, even though I’ve stated a hundred times before how I loathe that name (there are reasons, but I won’t get to them here).
“Things get weird because they’re weird to begin with,” I’d reply or some bogus doobie-without-the-doobie philosophy.
“It’s unfair,” I told Jeanna. It’s unfair to the person who’s stuck with me next. Unlike Jessica or those who came before, moving on from this relationship is proving difficult. Is it because I loved Jeanna? After nine years, I’d imagine that love is the only reason I stuck around. Is it Shaun? Is it this feeling that I haven’t had closure because every time we split it was by her hand?
And she confessed something and withheld something and both broke my heart. That continues to break my heart. Then I think about the conversation. And how, no matter the falling down (I’ll explain this later), the nausea, and whatever else went wrong yesterday, I didn’t lose the feeling it left me.
According to Amado, I’m sharing more intimate details—more corazón—at the readings. Thursday, I read Eulogy of the Living (a sewn together piece I shared a few months ago) and a post from the blog. “My writing’s always been personal,” I defended myself, not knowing why. “Yeah, but…” And I knew what he meant. Give a man a mask, and he will tell the truth. I’m just a man whose outgrown masks. I dropped the Ennui Prayer moniker (though it’s forever present in the background of social network urls).
Writing is therapy. The cliché is never been more prevalent. As a child, I started writing to keep my thoughts. To put things in order. To hold control over things I wouldn’t have otherwise. I worked on my craft all these years out, not out of some sense that I’d become a profound writer one day but to keep myself from going over the deep. I wrote mostly autobiographical pieces, using dead bodies and drugs and alcohol as metaphors to the demons I carried with me.
Last year, I saw my relationship with Jeanna crumbled. And the dead bodies, drugs, and alcohol came back. Writing about divorce and separation without putting the topics in the foreground is a difficult task. So I dropped them and started writing from my heart. I returned to my poetry roots. I returned to just standing at the mic and speaking. I’m blending my journal writing and personal blogging skills into my new pieces (minus the links) and pouring out a side of me I’ve kept hidden.
So if my writing carries more corazón, as Amado states, it’s because I’m not holding back anymore. I’m building my way toward my feature night when I can stand in front of the mic and profess a year of separation and moving on. And last night’s conversation gave me hope. But hey, just because I’m sharing more doesn’t mean I’m sharing every detail. Not yet, anyway.
I dated a girl who lived a few cities away. This was back in my youth. The drive there, by car, was about an hour. By bus, longer. Every Saturday, I’d walk to the bus stop at 6Am. And returned home every Sunday at midnight. A difference six hours makes, if you think about it. At six, I lingered the streets, pacing myself toward the bus stop. At midnight, I rushed home for fear of some unknown danger. I was eighteen, and I feared the darkness and all it held.
One autumn or winter night, I walked home wearing my signature black hoodie. Strapped to my shoulders, I carried my backpack carrying whatever my girlfriend sent home with me. A few houses away from my home, a beat up truck pulled along side me. The bearded driver stunk of cheap alcohol and failed machismo.
“Are you out robbing houses?” he asked twice as his slurred words fell awkwardly around me.
I’ve dealt with drunks my whole life. Ignore them and they usually go away. I shrugged and continued on.
“Hey! I’m fucking talking to you!” he barked. He roared the engine and the vision of him spinning the ninteen-eightysomething Ford pick up and gunning it in my direction filled with me dread. “Come back here so I can kick your ass!”
“Go the fuck home!” I called, continuing toward the house and hoping my fear didn’t get the better of me because I knew, even then, that running is an admittance to guilt. “You’re drunk and you need to go home!”
He revved he engined and continued to fire off obscenities until realizing I wasn’t going to play along. He idled too long at the yield sign. As I approached the driveway, he gunned his truck and vanished into the midnight street. And until 16 months ago, I never wondered or even catered the thought of how things would’ve played differently if he carried a gun.
I am not Trayvon Martin. My assailant, a drunkard, made no effort to pursue me that night. He made no attempt to get out of the truck. He didn’t even bother to phone 911 about my suspicious attire. What he did was continue on his drunken way. A drunkard made a better decision than a sober George Zimmerman.
Conservatives have mounted Zimmerman on the wall. The poster child of the misguided, vague stand your ground law. They pushed to vilify the victim. Trayvon Martin the thug. Trayvon Martin the thief, the junky, the expelled student. One reporter went as far as placing the blame on him because he wore a hoodie that night. They pushed and steered your attention away. They posted images of a high school teen posing with his middle fingers thrown at the camera. They spun his record to paint a boy with no actual future, ignoring the fact that because of George Zimmerman—their hero—Trayvon Martin is a boy with no future. Because of George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin will never graduate high school. He will never attend college. Never start a career, meet a girl, get married, or have children of his own.
Instead of acknowledging any of that, my conservative friends have used Antonio Santiago as the face of true racial injustice.
As reported by Sherry West, Antonio Santiago’s mother, on 21 March 2013, 17-year-old De’Marquise Elkins and Dominique Lang, 15, made an attempt to rob her as she pushed her son in his stroller down the street. When the attempted mugging failed, it resulted—according to West—in the fatal shooting of Antonio Santiago. Both Elkins and Lang stood before a judge. They were arrested for their crime. They will be tried as adults, despite their age. But, according to one conservative-made meme, neither will get a death sentence due to their age.
As of late, however, a Susan Smith twist is coming to light as both parents of the slain have tested positive for gun powder residue. Sherry West has reason for testing positive—she was shot, too. But what about Antonio’s father, whom West has stated wasn’t there?
It’s sickening that my conservative friends and so-called men like Robert Zimmerman Jr.—George’s brother—are using such a tragic tale to justify the slaying of an innocent young man. “Lib media,” tweeted Robert Zimmerman Jr., “shld[sic] ask if what these2[sic] black teens did 2 a woman&baby[sic] is the reason ppl[sic] think blacks mighB[sic] risky.”
But Trayvon Martin wasn’t mugging a woman or shooting a child. He wasn’t armed with a deadly weapon. He wasn’t antagonizing George Zimmerman. His only crime, according to Robert Zimmerman Jr.’s comparison, is being black and having a penchant for flipping off the camera (which I also did several times as a high school student). No, like me all those nights ago, Trayvon Martin was walking home. And like the drunk who approached me, Zimmerman carried a stench—not of alcohol or machismo—of cowardice, hate, and failure.
George Zimmerman, a man who once wanted to become a judge one day, stalked a young man. He instigated a fight. A fight he found himself losing. Because Trayvon Martin fought back. Because if Travyon didn’t fight—if he ran as so many of my friends insist was an option for him, it would be an admittance of guilt. So Trayvon Martin, taking Florida’s law (whether he knew it or not) to heart, stood his ground. And for that, he was murdered. And Zimmerman’s former dream came true. He stood there, smoking gun in hand, as judge and jury of a now futureless Trayon Martin.
I am not Trayvon Martin because I am alive. Because I graduated college. Because I became a parent. I am not Trayvon Martin because I have a future. Because I am not black. Because I’ve never truly been exposed to racism or prejudice outside high school norms.
I am not Travyon Martin because I know the system failed in giving him justice, a wrong I’m glad he’ll never know.
And I am not George Zimmerman, because, even though we’re both free men, his freedom is only an illusion.