Wednesday, January 10, 2007


"Everything has been too intense," I say into the phone. "I can't seem to separate now..."

My mother talks over the static on the cell and tries to calm me down. It's anxiety attack time and it's not even noon. I'm crying and smoking and my stomach feels like a big...pit.

I've never been able to separate well from the intense. When things get really thick, really good or really bad and then settle - I'm left somewhere in between and don't know where. But it's where I am today.

Today I have class and have to get back to work - and I don't think I can do any of it. Things just got way too intense.

It hit about 4 a.m. in the morning when I was crashing somewhere other than my own bed (nothing steamy, I promise you...). I knew the morning would come and I'd have to try and break away from what is more than drama...when it's real - it's life. When it's purposeless it's drama. This was life, so I lay there and started to cry and started to worry and only slept for a few hours.

.... = I'm going to jump subjects now.

If anyone wanted to look at a picture of my family - it would be an enormous panorama that would have to be set in some sort of circular vestibule so as to not make anyone crane their neck.

They'd see a paddle hanging from a nail in a post in my Grandpa's studio. The hard, wooden kind with holes in it. They'd know it's not hanging there because he used to paddle his kids - but because he fought to stop paddling in schools - and won. The paddle hangs there as a reminder.

They'd see failed marriages because of abusive husbands or emotionally unavailable wives - but men and women who are called by "aunt" and "uncle" that are all the stronger for them. And children who are still trying to mend.

They'd see thick, heavy plastic sheeting used to insulate homes and protect against chemical warfare. They'd see race riots and police with clubs and handcuffs taking some to jail because they turned against an abusive authority.

They'd see rebels with causes.

..... = I'm jumping back.

Sometimes, I sit and I look at a person...and I listen to them. And I think about their lives and the pure shit they've had to go through to get them where they are. The strength they carry with them that they may not even be aware of. The pure humanity that sits right there, a mass of skin and cells and flesh and bone. And my heart breaks when they talk about their pain and it leaps when they smile and laugh about a triumph.

And the tears fall because all I can think about is... How will I ever write someone down - who is far beyond the measure of words? How will I ever tell the world about them - because they're the kind of person the world should know? How will I tell it right enough and well enough that they don't sound like a cheap, talk show guest or People Magazine featurette - but a real person. An inspiration.

I wonder how I'm ever going to do that. I wonder if I'm fighting well enough, hard enough - enough, enough...for my cause.

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