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Raised by Wolves

Gaki: writing myself Real

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she was sweet, she was real, she was hardcore, she was punkasfuck

Rosa Parks passed away today.

I sit here, in this dimly lit apartment in Vegas, working an uncomfortable amount of hours for a job I’m not sure why I do, other than to stay alive, to stay fed, to stay active. To be doing something. The dishwasher’s behind me's broken, gurgling quietly, refusing to drain. Towels sop up the bile it's coughed weakly onto the kitchen floor. Maybe some of the excess will drain through to the apartment below, dampening the dimly unsatisfied moans of the girl who lives there, or maybe it’s her boyfriend’s place, or maybe it doesn’t really matter. itunes is set to Spiderpower radio, amphetamine beat subsonically bursting bubbles in the Captain Morgan's Tattoo and Coca-cola mixture to my left. The air conditioner is set to a temperature that most Nevada natives would find to be unseasonable.

I think a lot about why it is that I write. Every day. I think about it more than I actually write.

The reasons are dull. Is it right to say they're generic, when in fact they’re deeply personal? The synth radio hits a melodic pitch. The television is still sparkling with the static aftermath of being turned off after the conclusion of Scream 2. I’d forgotten the Vycodin-like charm of television. I’ve lived so long without it, a decade since I’ve seen a cable service bill, yet the hungry box is tempting, so very tempting when I’m too tired to think, when all the hungry, empty wants of my being call out to be matched in their emptiness, and the thoughts my brain thinks seem to want nothing more than to be shut off.

My natural state of being is unease. It's a pattern that's built up over years. Sometimes I get these strange, “unseasonable” manic rushes of energy, when it feels like I can talk to anyone, say anything, be charming, be everything. Most of the time, though, I feel like a ground out cigarette, smouldering quietly but devoid of flame. We moved out to California when I was in fifth grade, and I never quite made the leap. That is to say, I did fine in school, but fourth grade was the last time that I felt unselfconscious about being me, about how others saw me, about making friends. I never really figured out how to deal with people making fun of me, spitting at me, telling me I looked like a girl in my oversized gym shirt that didn't fit because I was inches shorter than everyone in my class for years, making fun of my flat nose, my obvious brownness in mostly white communities, my stilted, oversyllabic vocabulary that came more from books than conversations. I didn’t understand the place the world had put me in, nor did I know how to be anything other than complicit, staying in that place.

Most of my time in school, I spent by myself.

I don't know that writing is something that I excel at. I don't know that it's a healthy pastime for me, in the traditional sense. Sometimes it makes me friends, and for me that's a value in and of itself. I can’t even talk to the cute girl at the Border’s down the street without feeling drenched in self-loathing and fear. (Of what? Fear of what? That she’ll laugh at me, that there's food on my face, that this is all a big orchestrated practical joke? All of the above, and more outlandish things besides.) Maybe I think that everyone will be my friend, if I write enough. I’ve thought stupider things.

I'm afraid a lot of the time, and whenever anyone's laughing, I always think it's about me. I have a lot of weird little issues like that. Like bathrooms, I'm convinced that there are cameras in all of them. Every single one. It's completely illogical for so very many reasons, but I can't shake the notion, the conviction, that I am observed. Eventually in that situation, you run out of time to be worried about it, and you just have to shit or get off the pot, whoever's watching. Get used to the idea of being seen at your lowest, because one way or the other, you're going to be seen. The bathroom, invaded privacy, school, writing, it's all a tangled knot in my head, and it might not ever untie itself enough to let me feel human again. Sane, and normal, and unafraid.

I've been naked in front of people, bloody in front of people, stoned, drunk, high, tripping, ODing in front of people, screaming in front of people, weeping in front of people, erect in front of people, flaccid in front of people, full of darkness in front of people, full of unguarded smiles in front of people, blind in front of people, sleeping in front of people, helpful in front of people, violent in front of people, vomiting in front of people, pissing in front of people, oblivious, attentive, ignorant in front of people, frustrated, confused, loud, quiet, alone in front of people. Such things have taken their toll on my pride, and my arrogance, and have taught me that almost everything in this world is survivable. It's a good lesson. More people should learn it, though I wouldn't wish it on them.

Those things aren't why I write.

I often feel that I have something to prove, when I put pen to paper or finger to keyboard. Rosa Parks didn't have anything to prove to anyone. She was a tired woman, and she didn't care who might be watching her, she was too tired to. Too tired to be embarassed about anything she might do in front of people. It was a place the world had put her in, and she was too damn tired to move out from it. And from that tiredness came dull resistance, and finally a sullen determination that changed the face of our disingenuous nation, hoist it by its' own petard of freedom for all. There are places now where my race can be used against me, but not by law.

I can't imagine what America would have been, without Rosa Parks.

I am the way I am today because of adversity, and as well because of hope. I write because I'm too tired to move. I work out because I'm unsatisfied with the way things are. I work, because I need to keep living, regardless of what's in my way.

I write, because all of these things make shapes in my head, and I can't tell if they have any merit, by myself. I would drown them out with television and booze, but they keep leaking out onto the floor, and everywhere I am I'm hearing unsatisfied moans, day or night. I want to share those thought shapes with you, and see if you have the same shapes in your head, or different ones. I want us to put them together, and see what we can build.

What I write is drenched in various shades of fiction, more or less, depending on my mood. But it all deals with things, themes, moods, and thoughts that are important to me. I want to be important to you. I want you to be important to me. I want us to be important to each other, though all the world might be against us, though the story might be a tragic one.

All the times I been stepped on, I can't even feel it any more. I only feel it when we come together.

RIP, Rosa Parks. You made us believe in something better.

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thank you for sharing this with us.

as an aside, i do want to say that i agree that TV is much like vikes. i spent many hours sunday watching (feeding the football habit), and i almost never watch TV. my brain felt dulled and unreceptive afterwards.


Isn't it, though? "Maybe I should go back to that karate flick on TNT... or here's an episode of the Simpsons I've only seen twice... or they're playing Aliens in half an hour... eh, it's all the same" = "Maybe I should go outside. Or I could read... or I have chores to do... eh, or maybe just nothing, it's all the same..."

If anything, vikes are better... I mean, if those are your choices. ^_^

i think TV supplants our natural feeling of needing a schedule. tv makes you think something important is happening, and that it will be Bad if you don't see it (Must See TV, anyone?). also, it makes life a lot easier--without tv, you need to form your own schedule, figure out what you're doing in your free time. with tv, you just need to remember that show x is on at 9, or whatever...

of course vikes AND tv--now there's something to turn off your brain. :D

I always remember that study that was floating around a few years ago, where mapping revealed there was less brain activity occurring during TV watching than during a natural sleep cycle. It's apalling to me how many hours the tube can eat up once it's on...

At least when I'm reading or playing video games or even just hanging out talking, I feel like I've exchanged some sort of information, made the world slightly different, done* something, you know?

That said, I probably should go exercise now. And maybe, you know, write something? ^_^

I read this entire entry backwards, paragraph-by-paragraph. ^^

I read this entire entry backwards, paragraph-by-paragraph. ^^

Maybe I should read everything backwards. Maybe I'm missing out. Maybe all around me are stories I haven't read yet, because I haven't read them backwards. Maybe I should write something backwards first?

Jeebus H. Christ, I'm a dork. Hi! How are you?

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Many, many thanks to you, for reading! Your invocation of those terrible words "honesty" and "tragedy" might make me squirm a little, but only because I guess that's what I was going for. I was describing luridly (but truthfully) situations that I think actually many people have had/would identify with, but I come from the suburbs, and have gotten into most of my trouble while I've been old enough to know better.

That aside; the magical Internets will have a wealth of information, but all ye of Canada need know is that, in a time after slavery but during America's segregated period, a weary black woman sat down on a bus, in the front, instead of moving to the back, colored section. When more people got on that bus, she was asked to move. Harrassed. Accosted by the bus driver, stares and sneers and jibes from the white passengers. She refused to move, for there in that bus seat she had reached her limit. The police man who arrived to move and fine her replied, when asked why he was doing it, "I don't know. But it's the law." The story reached the ears of a young Martin Luther King, and a landslide of events since then mean that I don't have to piss in a "colored" bathroom today among other indignities. Rosa was active in the civil rights movement well into her eighties, and helped people in ways that I and my electronic chicken scratchings couldn't even aspire to.

Hey. Guess that wasn't so brief after all, eh? ;P

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It is kind of ironic, eh?

It's weird; I know I have been through some things that are kind of raw. I've come near to getting my stupid self ended a number of times... I do write to get a reaction sometimes. But when I stack it up against... I mean, people near and dear to my heart have been through so, so much worse (and sometimes not made it through), that when someone reacts to something I say, I feel obligated to go, "But that's not anything, really."

It makes me think, and it makes me analyze my own motivations for putting down words, and that's a good thing. I intend to always be my own worst critic.

No need to feel silly about not knowing or forgetting things on occasion; no one should ever feel bad about asking questions. As my friend teadee put it, the media's been very quiet on this event... it's largely been through blogging, word of mouth, and personal reminiscence that her passing is being marked, and that is very much as it should be.

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Bloody Fox News. Dumbening America one viewer at a time. Ted Turner should change his name to Ike. Fox's new slogan could be, "C'mon, baby, I didn't mean it! Make me a sandwich, and sit back down on the couch." I sometimes wish I'd done the journalism tract in school... then I think, "Man, if the news depresses me NOW, just imagine...!"

Poignant. Apropos. Provacative.

Thank you.

Re: You are Brave, Ninja

In writing, I find that it is best to lie about everything except the truth. ^_^

Thank you for reading.

(Would you believe it started out as a rant about the dishwasher?) =P

It's been all over the news here. She never struck me as sullen, resentful and all of that...but rather gentle, persistant and able to see through the absurdity of what the world, at large, often accepts as gospel-truth when it is plainly as wrong as the sun not rising.

There are days we all have to simply remain seated in the face of absurdity. At least she'll be able to sit someplace grand from now on.

When she spoke, she did so plainly, understandably...and without "colorful metaphors" that the Generation we hail from cannot seem to free themselves from. She knew the difference between a right and what was right. GOd bless her.

She certainly was not the sullen, resentful sort from all accounts, and I'd no intention of applying such adjectives to the woman herself. Perhaps I wasn't clear. God's grace (enlightenment, Zen, insert synonym here) is evident in every line of her behavior and accomplishments.

That said, I personally think it would be a rare woman of her background and generation that hasn't silently thought the words, "Fuck you, whitebread," at one point in time, voluntarily or no. But such is merely my unfounded supposition. I've ridden a lot of buses, and when a confrontation erupts on any of my local crosstown routes, I find the supply of beatific good cheer to be short indeed. ^_^

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