When do you think it will all become clear? ‘Cause I’m being taken over by the fear.

Was watching a video about morality and how it has nothing to do with any deities, and it covered briefly the concept of more significant punishments for more significant crimes, pointing out that if all crimes are punished equally, then there’s nothing to lose by committing a more significant offense instead of, or in addition to, a small one.

With Trayvon Martin’s killing in the news lately, and reading lots of information, statistics, and stories from people who know first-hand far better than I can ever imagine, the first thing that came to mind as I watched that segment was…

In this society, with its prison industrial complex, and its systemic racism, and mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug possession and use… and the fact that for any given alleged crime, a person of color will be given an overwhelmingly harsher sentence than a white person accused of the same crime, and convicted at exponentially higher rates… and it doesn’t even take doing anything wrong in order to be “punished.”

And for a few short moments, I thought about the fear I’ve felt when I’ve faced down a gun and been robbed, the fear that stayed heavy with me for weeks afterwards both times, the terror of being unable to pack my purse because I could only carry the things I was willing to lose, the anxiety of walking down the street and making sure I did my absolute best to stay aware of any potential threats around me, the frustration of having to learn what things were threats and what things were safe, and how subtle the differences were between “safe” and “not,” and realizing that ultimately, it didn’t really matter if I did any of that, because if someone felt like it, and had the means to harm or kill me, they would…

And then I remembered that over time, that fear went away.  That after a while, I stopped worrying about what would happen if someone thought I was looking at them the wrong way.  I stopped being scared of what I would lose if I got knocked around and ripped off by someone.  I didn’t make lists anymore of what things went to whom if I died that day, or the notes I needed to leave to say things to the people I left behind.

And the really, really shitty part is realizing that I have the privilege of forgetting.  Realizing that I have no fucking clue what life would be like if I weren’t white, and knowing that the fear I felt, the fear that came back for a moment and overwhelmed me, is something I can choose to let pass — not something I have to live with every moment of every day of my life.

I am not Trayvon Martin.  I am not Oscar Grant.  I am not Troy Davis.  I can’t chant along with others when they cry out loudly that “We are all…” because as much as I may stand in solidarity, as much as I may join in fighting injustice, I am treated differently because my skin is not the same shade as theirs.  My good treatment is equally unjust as anyone else’s suffering so long as that distinction is based on our perceived ethnicities.

There are words made of letters unwritten, and yes — I forgive you for leading me on.

I write when I feel like it, because I feel I have something to say.

I write because it’s a familiar way to express myself, through words written and re-written and carefully crafted to mean what I want them to.

I write because it’s a way to take unfamiliar things and make them familiar.

I write because as I repeat the spelling of “familiar” for the fourth time, I understand that I take thought-strangers and make them mind-family by thoroughly thinking things through.

I write because it’s what I do, because it’s what I love.  It probably won’t ever pay my bills, and it may not always be well-received, but that’s not the point.

Sometimes I write about simple things, sometimes deep and difficult issues… but I write what I know, I write my truth.

When I write I use the words that I mean to use, and will not substitute something obtuse where I need to make a fine point. I strive to follow the advice given by one of my favorite authors, Julie Anne Peters, who exhorts aspiring authors to:

Write honestly and fearlessly, even when your words invite censorship or controversy.

I write because I know that others read what I write, and because I have read things by others who explore in words the things we cannot easily confront in reality — and because often my growth, my understanding of self and of what it means to be human, is made possible by those explorations, by the unsettling questions and unsettled discussions they provoke.

I write to shake shit up — because when it all just settles… so do I.

And I’m not willing to settle.


(This entry was inspired and influenced by this post by Remittance Girl and the discussion in the comments. Check her out!)

“Hugs and kisses, I’m always right there if you need to talk!”

isolation made more poigniant
your “hug” is just dots on this display
it is not arms around me
it is not warmth at my side
it is not breasts pressed tight against my own

you mean well
i know you mean well
but you wound with your well-wishes
good intent betrayed
by the breeze blowing cold across my back
by the pillow clutched in my almost-empty arms
by my heart beating slowly to its sad and solitary song

when you ask if i want to talk to you about it
the answer is yes
but not to the question you really mean

i want to TALK
to YOU

you are not a video screen
you are not a telephone
tapping on computer keys
makes a very different sound from speech
and compressing the vibrations from my throat and lips
to translate into digital bits
beamed out and back again to the little box beside your ear
cannot compare to the full sensory fidelity
of my voice muffled against your tear-wet shoulder

understand, then, if i seem angry
when you offer
yet again
the same shallow substitutes
which cannot
will never
satisfy my needs

understand
that i will not comprimise
that i will have what i need
or nothing at all

understand
and do not scold me
for knowing what i want
standing firm and unwilling
to settle for less

if you cannot offer what i ask
so be it
you certainly have no obligation
to care for me
but if you don’t fulfill those needs
then i will suffer through this

alone

as i so often do

…every night — she needs to suck, she needs to lick, she needs to fight!

I…

need…

SEX.

It’s been a couple months since my last brief bit of fun; I fingered and ate her out but couldn’t even manage to get myself off.  Last time before that was almost 9 months, again a delightful opportunity for cunnilingus but that’s all.  It’s been over a year now since anyone fucked me, and I’ve been trying hard to compensate for that unfulfilled need by taking care of the needs I can address, but the appetites I can satisfy on my own are few, and the chances to do so are extremely rare.

The most frustrating part is that I’m unable to let myself fully enjoy the few beautiful moments of intimacy I do have, because some part of me knows that those short moments are all I get, and there’s no telling when I may see anything like it again.  It’s a lot like being hungry for food all the time, then being given a moderately sized meal, served with kindness and special attention as a guest… and biting back my tongue from complaint as I graciously thank my host for the wonderful food.  Yes, it really is tasty; yes, I really am grateful for it… and yes, I’ll leave with my belly wanting more and I’ll spend the next few weeks more painfully aware of my hunger now that my body has awakened to the memory of food.

I’m also so conditioned to avoid touching, to know I do not have permission, that touch is unwelcome and unwanted — especially the kinds of touch I want to give.  I can easily recognize non-verbal expressions of “back off! hands off!” as well as the indirect verbal cues that convey the same message; I’m not nearly proficient in understanding the body language or idioms that communicate invitation.  I’m probably clueless enough that unless someone tells me “I want you to touch me” or “it’s okay to ask for touch, I’m likely to give it” then I’ll probably stay with my default mode of extreme caution and isolation.  You could open the door wide enough that most people would catch on and step through… and I’ll be standing there wondering when that drafty breeze will settle down and if maybe I should grab a sweater!

So… if you happen to be one of those rare people who keeps company with me and might be down for more than sitting side-by-side each with our knees together and hands folded in our laps — I might need a little bit less subtlety to see what’s in store!  And by “less subtlety” I mean I wouldn’t complain if a woman wanted to grab me, strip me, fuck me however she felt like it, and then tuck me in to sleep…

~sigh~ I think the “tucking in to sleep” part I’ll go ahead and do for myself though, at least for tonight.

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