Beautiful Misfit

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In layman’s terms, the goal is for a clinician to be able to take a person in crisis and read him like a book. Even when they have to read between the lines.

 

Recently, I stumbled upon an article in Cincinnati Magazine regarding suicide and the search for a solution of sorts, a way to predict who might be most at risk. With the use of computer programs, video recordings, and actual suicide notes, the scientists, doctors, and researchers hope to identify various word patterns and phrasing that will pinpoint when a person is on the brink of taking his/her own life. To examine and decipher the words of someone having dark thoughts is an intriguing concept, and one with the potential to reduce future suicide attempts. Hopefully, this creative approach proves effective.

I admire the folks mentioned in the article for devoting so much energy and passion into helping those struggling with mental health issues. It’s a fascinating and insightful piece. Also, the title of this post was pulled from the article, it was part of a suicide note when a gentleman referred to himself as a beautiful misfit. A haymaker to my soul.

You can read the article here

 

How can you tell when another human has moved beyond ordinary despair or sadness or frustration or confusion, and in defiance of his body’s biological imperative to survive, is at risk of ending his life?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melting

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If Stephen King (Richard Bachman) ever pens a sequel to his chilling Thinner, I might be in the running to have the lead character based on my last few months. Well, minus the implementation of a gypsy curse as a dark tool of vengeance. And a strawberry/blood pie to share with the family.

 

Weight Loss Update

March – 216 lbs.
June—   199 lbs.
August- 189 lbs.
Total Weight Shed = 27 lbs.

 

How a Depressive Dissolves Hunks of Fat

1- Refrain from consuming frozen dinners of any variety.

2- Pine for disappeared things for hours, days, a fortnight.

3- No cola, soda, pop, ultra-sweet tea, sugar in coffee etc…

4- Introduce your body to the couch, as Luther Vandross plays tenderly in the background.

5- Avoid fast food. The ease of grabbing a prepared meal is eclipsed by the future hardening of your arteries. And your heart will probably explode when you turn 52.

6- Rage against society, hypocrisy, dishes in the sink, unrequited love, yourself.

7- Incorporate fruits and vegetables as best you can. Salted caramel gelato is neither fruit nor vegetable, sadly.

8- Dwell intensely on what could have been.

9- Guacamole. Eat it while nude. Eat it when crying. Eat it to forget. Just eat it for the rest of your days.

10- Continue to play the fool, it’s a good look.

11- Portion control. Portion control. Portion control.

12- Use bird bones to spell her name on the floor of your bedroom.

13- It takes a couple of weeks to develop a pattern of eating. Be patient. Because after those opening weeks, it becomes much easier to stay on point. I rarely think about junk food anymore.

14- Imagine what flavor of e-liquid she would be when you vape like a fiend. Strawberries & cream with a hint of quinoa, a splash of debilitating silence?

15- If you fail, it’s okay. Try again. Be persistent. Set a realistic goal and pursue it with a steadfast confidence.

Do the above things and you will be on your way to becoming a new you. A rearranged you.

A Thinner you. (Cue spooky piano)

 

 

 

 

#KorrynGaines

Recently, a woman named Korryn Gaines was shot by police during a prolonged standoff. According to law enforcement, she had a shotgun on her person, and her young son was in the home. The cops say she threatened them and pointed the weapon in their direction, which led to them killing her after an exchange of gunfire initiated by them. I rarely accept the first police version of what transpired when a black person’s death is involved. I know police have a tendency to shape the early narrative in their favor. It happens frequently. But I don’t want to rehash this case here because I spent hours on this subject yesterday, which led to this post.

The hashtag #KorrynGaines erupted on Twitter yesterday because, as mentioned above, yet another black individual was shot and killed by a police officer. And, as expected, the racists emerged from every corner of the digital landscape to attack Korryn Gaines due to (in their eyes) her unsavory background. Or subpar parenting. Or having a legally owned shotgun. Or her attitude. Or because she was black. Yes, I think her being black was the issue, obviously. The situation veered into hostility in a matter of minutes. I engaged them in a lengthy debate/argument. Hundreds of tweets went flying from my Chromebook. As I’ve said previously, I think it’s paramount to use your voice, and use it with vigor, when a segment of society slings hate with the sole intention of causing harm, mental or physical, to a person or group of persons. We can live in our rainbow bubble and choose silence and indifference if we want, but that doesn’t work for me.

I defended the life of Korryn Gaines to the best of my limited abilities. It was rather intense to be honest. And I got frustrated and irritated by their insistence on victim-shaming a dead woman, as well as promoting a serious lack of empathy. And their blind devotion to the police. Their blatant racism.

But, out of the blue, a lovely lady sent me a tweet. We don’t follow one another on Twitter, I don’t know her. She, like most of us, saw that #KorrynGaines was trending and read all the tweets. I always do the same. Anyway, she must have seen my avalanche of comments because she decided to reach out to me. I’m not sharing her tweet to boast or bring attention to myself, I don’t require nor seek the spotlight. It just truly made me feel nice during a time of massive annoyance. She made my day and I’m appreciative of her kind words. Her tweet to me is below. It’s been a bit of a bumpy ride for my emotional state lately, and this one tweet impacted me in a profound way. There is good in the world even when I don’t always believe that to be true.

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Blue Diary

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BLUE DIARY

chews nightfall to grieve

captures smoke in mason jars

dips married skin in propane

 

hunts when he shaves

cooks memories on a spoon

sucks on bergamot lolipops

 

uses gravel to exfoliate loss

worships papier-mâché breasts

drowns in lagoons of silence

 

goes down on glaciers & tidal waves

pours atonement in silver goblets

smiles at wasps

 

runs/waits/stares/fondles/yawns

stumbles/soars/admires/remembers

 

survives

Sirens Everywhere

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“Race doesn’t really exist for you because it has never been a barrier. Black folks don’t have that choice.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi

 

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1 – If you ever say #AllLivesMatter or #BlueLivesMatter, you’re most likely a racist, or you enjoy playing the disgruntled contrarian who prefers to marginalize a crucial movement instead of being more open-minded. Neither is a good look. Let’s be clear: Cops Lives have always mattered. White Lives have always mattered. Black Lives have never mattered to a high-percentage of our population. This is not difficult to understand. If your first instinct is to type #AllLivesMatter when black Americans protest against police brutality, then you are part of the problem. What happened to the cops in Dallas was tragic and senseless. People have a right to be outraged and to mourn, nobody wants to see a police officer killed. The difference I typically see on social media is that when a cop is murdered, everyone refers to him/her as a hero. Everyone. And that’s perfectly normal and understandable. Employment as a police officer has never been safer, the stats indicate as much, but a cop has to face a potential threat at every door he knocks on, every car he pulls over. Hero is fine, maybe even accurate. But when Philando Castile and other black citizens are murdered by cops, the narrative takes a barbaric turn. The victim’s past is investigated for criminal activity, gang affiliation, and any other minutia that racists can use to justify his murder. They spend hours online to find one scrap of evidence that will “prove” the victim was a villainous person and probably deserved to be shot. Neanderthal claptrap. In our lovely pale world every murdered cop is an American hero. And ever murdered black person is a worthless thug. We should all be ashamed. We need to be better humans.

2 – Not complying with a police officer should not be a death sentence. Cops are not Gods. Cops are not super-human. They have the same capacity for hate, violence. love, and pacifism as anyone else. You have a right to question the tactics of an abusive officer without fear of taking a bullet in your chest. De-escalation should emphasized more in police training. Too many funerals have taken place because too many officers chose to be trigger-happy. Men in positions of authority can be a foreboding presence, especially when they have a badge, gun, and the rabid support of white society.

3 – You can have respect for police officers while also demanding accountability for their actions. You can do both of these things, they are not mutually exclusive. It’s not about picking a side, it’s about desiring a world where black people aren’t hunted like elk in every major city. Full disclosure: A kind and compassionate police officer went out of his way to help me during a time when hopelessness owned my mind and soul. He is a wonderful human being. But that doesn’t mean I should look the other way when bigoted cops target minorities. And I realize the majority of our police force do exemplary work in our communities. Most cops are good people. But the nefarious ones need to be rooted out and admonished/prosecuted for behaviors that lead to unjust arrests and/or physical harm.

4 – Silence is violence. Silence does not ignite change. Silence is cowardice. If you say nothing about racism, if you witness it in person or on social media and remain quiet, you’re not only helping their cause, you’re also committing a disservice to those who might need your voice the most. I actually created a second Twitter account to go after some of these monsters. I went the anonymous route because I didn’t want to subject my writer friends on my main account to the venom that would inevitably invade my feed. The racists tend to attack as a horde on social media. I was shocked and saddened by how many vulgar Twitter accounts are out there. Blew me away. They have thousands and thousands of followers, and all they tweet is abhorrent, prejudiced bullshit. I have engaged them in debate numerous times the last few days. They don’t listen and I feel a bit grimy dealing with them, but it did make feel like I was doing something profound. And I need to do more. Speak up and say no to the racist rhetoric permeating every inch of our digital landscape. Silence is easy. Silence is weakness.

5 – Many people on social media claim that #BlackLivesMatter is a terrorist group. It’s hard for me to type that with a straight (handsome) face. Just stop. They want change. They want to spotlight atrocities committed against them. They want peace. The movement grew from a Facebook post, which you can read about in the New Yorker. Educate yourself.

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6 – A favorite trope of racists when you call them out is “I have a black friend, I’m not a racist.” Or some variation of that nonsense. What? If that’s true then why have your last 75 tweets used some of the most offensive language I’ve ever seen? Own your racism. Or be a better human.

7 – If you’re a racist, look deep within and ask yourself why. Why so angry? Why so hateful? Why do you want to be on the wrong side of history? Imagine your children reading your horrific tweets. Are you capable of objectivity? We all have issues, nobody is flawless in their thoughts or interactions with others. But most folks aim for decency and fairness in their lives. My only fundamental goal is to be a better person today than I was yesterday. Sometimes I fail, but I never stop striving for any slice of enlightenment and amelioration that shoves me in that direction.

8 – Follow these bright, rational, earnest folks on Twitter: Roxane Gay, DeRay Mckesson, #KeepItMoving, Samuel Sinyangwe, and #BlackLivesMatter. Or find their articles online. Read and absorb their wisdom.

[I had to edit this post to add an article by Ta-Nehisi Coates. He nails it as he always does. Please read his The Near Certainty of Anti-Police Violence. Potent stuff.]

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9 – Have a vape. All racism can be remedied with a delicious custard vape. Right?

10 – Lastly, #StayWoke. Or for the racists, wake the fuck up.

I’ll Have What He’s Having

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I’m delighted to make a second appearance at Spelk Fiction with my story I’ll Have What He’s Having. A big thanks to Gary Duncan for giving it a lovely home. Spelk is the rare journal that publishes a wide array of stories. Gritty crime, dark thrillers, emotional gut punches, and poetic tales, they offer something for every type of reader. Check their archives out, you won’t be disappointed.

You can read my story here