God Laughs.

About a week after I talked about my recent adventures abroad and plans to continue my winding, air-supported cross-country trip, a friend asked me out for drinks. I had cancelled on her so many times I couldn’t say no and feel good about myself, despite my mood. That night, dead sober, I wound up in the ER with a broken bone in my foot. F*ck.

The things I said to God, the sun lord Horus, sentient trees, and everybody else listening during my trip to the hospital were not respectful. Florida. San Francisco. Seattle. Possibly Vancouver. I immediately and obsessively calculated every flight dollar spent that I might lose.

Some friends theorize that this is a forced slowdown, that my body needs the rest. Except my daily life is rest because my health demands it. I live at 50%, 90% of the time. When I’m charged to 100%, I don’t squander that energy. I fairly bolt out the door, soaking in my surroundings, all the while monitoring my body’s battery life. There were two exhibits I missed in Portland because I needed to abruptly return to my hotel room to sleep. I lost almost $100 on a Paris tour because I was too sore to rouse myself by the 9 AM meeting time. I budget for a lot of cabs, because if I start to crash physically, I’m disinclined to wait for a bus, slumped over and feeling shitty.

sick me

I suppose it might seem manic to an outsider, but my actions are simply a reaction to the absence of pain. I know all about managing rest. I didn’t need to relearn this lesson.

The Prophet

Hey folks,

It occurred to me I hadn’t posted a short story in a while. This one felt appropriate. Enjoy~
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When I saw Dorian coming up Clinton Avenue, I’d cross the street. Whether or not I had the right of way. Whether or not it made me late. Whether I struggled with a packed shopping cart at nightfall, or strolled by in cutoffs and flip-flops to sun at Fort Greene Park. Only one thing mattered: that I avoid eye contact with my uncle.

Dorian had once been first in his class at Brooklyn Tech. He was in the Air Force for a while. In my childhood, he was the only consistent male role model I had, but I knew a different version of him then. He’d taken his high-school sweetheart on a first date wearing an all-white silk suit and grey shark skin shoes; it was tough, squaring that image with the man I later knew. The person he had become made rounds through the neighborhood wearing overlapping strands of red, black, and green beads across his neck. Over those were roped dozens of religious pendants: Jesus with neon white eyes, a brown Mary with outstretched arms, tangled among layers of crosses of fake silver and gold. And in the crook of one arm, always present, was his Bible. Dorian couldn’t eat or sleep without it. I mean this literally. Toward the end, he couldn’t use the bathroom without having it in his sight.

Continue reading “The Prophet”