August was august for teaching me about handling stress and tragic circumstances. I feel like I took the month off (and did as far as writing on this blog is concerned), but it was one of the busiest I’ve had so far. I organized my first rally against police brutality, met some wonderfully motivated activists, lost a really good friend to cancer, and another one went missing mysteriously. I still don’t know what happened to her, and it doesn’t look good. Those were just personal events. There’s also another war a-brewing, and I am trying everything to not let my cynicism envelope me in despair and inaction.
I must keep moving.
I learned some pretty intense life lessons in the course of a month that normally could have taken years to digest. Well, I guess I’m still digesting. The month felt like years. File this post under pretty srs bsns, but I’m trying to keep my head up and keep laughing because if I stop I’m pretty sure I will die. Snark and sarcasm have become food groups; protecting my mind and body from dark places so I dine to keep from whining. Or crying. God, I don’t want to do any more crying this year. I think I’ve hit my limit, and I’m good on that. Shit, there’s with the whining again.
My apologies for the lack of pictures in this post, it’s just going to be a bunch of finicky words and tangentially related topics. Sad words. Angry words. War words. Warward.
The cops shot a man in his front yard for being black and out at night, and burst into another family’s home and shot their dogs, killing one and almost killing them. The sheriff somehow made it into a poop joke at a Rotary Club luncheon. We are truly ruled by our inferiors.
The rally I held just a few days ago was successful by my standards, which can hardly disappoint because I intentionally keep them low. Everyone who showed was meant to be there and I had a great time. There will be more informative projects to come, and best of all I learned who the doers and talkers were. There were no surprises as to who attended, and it reinforced my distrust of suits. This valuable information will optimize efficiency.
My regrets keep coming back, though. I spent so much energy organizing and reaching out that I neglected one of the most meaningful relationships in my life, and then it was too late. I told her last time we hung out I would visit her again. It was painful seeing her like that; confined to a bed, bereft of the strength to give the longest, strongest, whole hearted hugs I’ve ever felt. The aloe plant she had given me languished from neglect on the mantle of my living room because I had been too busy. Always too busy…what a piss poor excuse. Honestly, I haven’t had a lot of experience with death, especially interacting with someone who was dying right in front of me. It was all so surreal because I really never thought the day would come.
Lisa was the strongest person I knew, male or female. Her life was filled with tragedies that would make most people give up, but she fought harder to continue than I ever could and thrived despite it all. Even as it became apparent in the last six months of her life that her battle would not be won, I just couldn’t picture her losing. She worked so hard up until she physically couldn’t and even through pain that was crippling she kept on. It spread to her bones, her organs. Because she was so strong, it seemed like she just couldn’t die on us like that. I mean, yeah, the tests all showed what was happening, but this was Lisa. But she didn’t let anyone down; if anything I feel like I let her down because I became so preoccupied in the weeks leading up to her departure.
We were close friends, but hadn’t spoken in a couple weeks. I found out on Facebook when people started posting pictures referring to her in the past tense. Disbelief was the first feeling I experienced. I kept reading…it couldn’t possibly be true. It was. I cried that night, but knew she was free of her excruciating pain. She was in so much pain it was unbearable, but she still managed to smile. I am a coward when it comes to pain, and don’t think I could have held out as long as she did. When we visited her husband the following night I tried to hold it together, but I couldn’t. In between intermittent sobbing I was able to contain myself, but when her husband lost it as he was describing her last moments we all started weeping profusely.
There’s something so despondent and terrifying when a grown man cries. As a woman and a sissy, I expect myself to lose it when a friend passes, and I assume it’s expected of me, but I could never get over seeing a man cry. Say what you will about gender roles and all that, but many people still look to men to keep it together and when they weep it is especially tragic. I can’t imagine the pain of losing your spouse, and I’m such a ninny that if I try to imagine losing my husband I start tearing up. Can’t help it, I’ve always been really prone to crying for some reason. My alcoholic second grade teacher tried to get me put on Ritalin not because I was ADHD, but because I was “too sensitive.” I have yet to see how speed makes me less sensitive.
So, that happened right smack in the middle of the month, and shortly thereafter I found out another friend close to my age went missing. I hadn’t seen her in a couple of months, but she was best friends with an old roommate, and we frequently crossed paths. I rediscovered the darkness of the unknown. They found her car and phone, but no keys way out in a parking lot near Fort Pickens. Living in a beach town can be ominous sometimes, and its beauty masks its danger. There’s so much beach area someone could be disappeared into, and we joined a search team to cover some of the toughest patches, but to no avail.
She had a penchant for adventure, and so do I. We also share the statistic of a group most likely to be kidnapped, raped, or murdered. We can’t go exploring the vast shores or even the nature trails of the local university (notorious for its rapes and murders) without the fear that someone could attack. And maybe we should be able to, but the reality hits home all too often, and I always carry if I go out on my own. It’s not because I think I’m some kind of badass; it is because I have come to terms with my own vulnerability and am reminded of it every time a woman my age goes missing. I’ve been having nightmares and I suspect it is because I have been thinking too much about the monsters that walk among us; the real ones that prey on people who only ever wanted to enjoy some solitude in peace…the unseen beasts that lurk in broad daylight and wait like cowards until the night to strike. It takes a coward to harm someone smaller than them. I want her to be found alive more than just about anything, but I have a heaviness in my gut that betrays my hope.
Those shores no longer appear hospitable and the waters reflect a darkness whose depth cannot be reached. Salt kissed skin won’t ever feel the same again, and it’s the not knowing that hurts the most. An open door that leads to nothing. Bitter, bitter uncertainty.
Usually I am content to dwell in some uncertainty, as I believe we can never truly know everything. And that’s fine when it comes to philosophy or metaphysical reality, but not concrete existence; especially someone else’s life that intertwined with your own on a tangible level.
Continuing my melancholy post I guess we can talk about Syria some. It’s about to get real, so if you support the Empire, you may just want to quit reading. Some deep feels have been kept inside for far too long.
It makes me physically sick to think about the hypocrisy of this country wanting to invade another on unsubstantiated claims of chemical weapons considering they used Agent Orange, supplied white phosphorus to dictators, and saturated Iraq with depleted uranium. I could post the depleted uranium babies where I more impulsive, but I figure the people who read this blog already know and don’t need to see them. Google that terrible, heart wrenching imagery if you want to curl up in a ball and cry and forever have your hope in the decency of this government shattered.
The pathetic supporters of intervention worshipping their messiah Obama disgust me as much as the administration itself. I was a part of the antiwar left during the Bush years, and I see nearly none of them remaining with a spine. The blood of the Syrian (Libyan, Pakistani, Yemeni, Waziristani, etc, etc, etc.) people are on the hands of the sociopathic authoritarians who sacrifice other people’s children to fight for their special interests, but I can’t help but say that the people who think “we are the government” bear some responsibility for voting them into power. It’s not pleasant to think about; the fact that a large portion of our population was duped into voting for a war criminal again against all reason. But that’s how voting works; if it were based on logic and reason there wouldn’t be much of this system left to support. What’s more disturbing isn’t the outright support; it’s the silence. Their silence is defining.
If people accepted the truth about their beloved leader, they would have to concede that he is not for peace, that he accepted more money from Wall Street than every other criminal president in history, and that he is expanding the erasure of civil liberties and growth of the police state at an astounding rate. I’ll accept an apology from his supporters because let’s face it; they were wrong on a life changing level. These are people’s lives at risk; it’s not some game where some president actually cares about the Syrian people and we can go back and forth about the definitions of what “war” really is. If he did care, maybe he wouldn’t be supporting rebels who are torturing, raping, and murdering civilians at the same rate as the regime. You know, rebels backed by our old buddies, Al Qaeda. Why isn’t the left infuriated by this fact? Where are the principles they claimed to have during the Bush years?
I could do an entire blog post on my dissatisfaction with the republicans, but they’re an easy target. Left wingers have historically been for war, so I guess this fits into their narrative, but really guys, where have your balls gone in recent years? It’s okay to express dissent, and it doesn’t mean you are by default a right winger if you do. Your homeboy wants to kill a lot more people, and has been steadily killing folks with flying death machines for years now. Let it out. Let the rage flow through you. Quit with the flaccid justifications. Accept that you elected a warmonger, take responsibility, join people speaking out against the carnage, and for the love of humanity (or God) don’t do it again.
Yeah, it takes work to abandon everything you thought you believed in because it is patently wrong; a whole lot of work, and growth and transformation, but the journey is worth it. If intellectual laziness and partisan politics is more important than human lives then you are what’s wrong with this country. People like you electing sociopaths are going to cause people in this country to reap the rewards of destruction and blow back because actions have consequences. When you bomb the shit out of someone, guess what? They’re going to want to ally with someone who wants to bomb you back.
And I can’t even feel bad about the idea of the U.S. getting our comeuppance.
I feel worse for the Syrians and Libyans and Egyptians (and countless others) whose lives have been completely decimated because the U.S. of A had different plans in mind for their self-determination. It’s a crime against humanity what this country has done to others, and I am ashamed to be associated with it. The lives of Americans are not worth more than the lives of the people in countries the government has taken military action in. Sure, there have been many dictators in smaller countries that have committed genocide against their own people, but those numbers pale in comparison to the number of people killed by our military overseas. That should, at the very least, give one pause when the topic of intervening in other countries comes up.
When liberals start sounding like neocons, you know the discourse has been reduced to two categories: those who support the regime and its status as world police and those who oppose the destruction of other countries. I have in the past few months been told by left wingers adages like, “If you don’t like it, you can get out” and “You should be hanged for treason” and of course the go to, “That’s racist.” When you stop questioning the actions of a president because he has a D next to his name instead of an R, you may be intellectually dishonest and unfairly applying standards. I have seen a few of my liberal friends starting to oppose the Obama regime, and I hope to see many more because the longer we go on the more these two categories will become prevalent.
Call me a traitor if you like because it seems like I’ll be in good company with the other traitors excoriated by the left wing media and its followers. And despite the stress induced nightmares I’ve been having lately, I still mostly sleep like a baby knowing I am doing everything in my power to not support this murderous administration (congress included).
So, I guess there you have it: one super long post to make up for the lack of others. August wasn’t the best month ever, but hopefully September brings better news and less bitter writings. I guess I could apologize for the abrupt ending here, but it seems fitting given the abruptness of circumstances lately.