The Race is On

It’s easy, being white, to assume that racism doesn’t affect me.

(If this is too particular for you, allow me to generalize: It’s easy, being [insert dominant class here], to assume [the associated discrimination] doesn’t affect me.)

In fact, for many, it’s remarkably easy to assume racism doesn’t exist at all.

But the truth is, if we’re really honest with ourselves, it affects us like nothing else.

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Dialectic

It’s the patch of fabric scratching a patch of skin that’s agonizing and incestuous but you can’t get enough.

It’s biting the side of your mouth with your back teeth, the sting of flesh splitting, the intrigue of electricity pulsing in your skin, the sweet discharge of ferrous blood onto your tongue.

It’s the first few breaths after orgasm, lungs empty, yearning, muscles locked in place and paralyzed, every inhalation aromatic and awe-some: you’re smelling oxygen for the very first time.

I’ve been in a mood lately, fostering new views, melding old ones: Creation is destruction, there is attraction in repulsion, beauty exists in the most ugly and painful things.

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Heartless

He was drunk. At least I think he was. I heard the can clink against the grey metal box on a pole I had never noticed before while I was still across the street. I had just finished rehearsing my performance for tomorrow night–a six-minute splathering of emotions into air–and here he was, clinging to his beverage can–I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe he wasn’t drinking–just to keep his balance.

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Rain and Independence

With Independence Day right around the corner, I feel compelled to continue my tradition of celebratory posts, but the summer months also represent the dip in the metaphorical sine wave of my life and as such, I haven’t felt inspired much. A dismal forecast only compounds this interest into something darker, brooding, wet.

Yet as I sit here, plucking words from turbid air, outside my window, past the Cartesian coordinates of the screen, through the humid and disparaging air, I see a verdant field pockmarked with shadows of hunter green, the rust-colored brick buildings opposite ours, dense trees on the horizon yet another shade of green, and above them, stretching toward the ends of the earth itself, the azure skies with snow-white clouds tied in bows all about it.

To me it seems a beautiful sight to celebrate.

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Count the Leaves

It’s been a long time since I’ve said this and an even longer time since I’ve sincerely believed it, but today I feel happy. Genuinely happy. And for the life of me, I can’t even say what’s changed.

It feels like, for so long, dark clouds have held their hands around me, ethereal and tornadic fingers twisting around me, tumultuous chaos attacking me from every angle. Today the wind awoke over the world and while I was crossing the Brickyard–an open courtyard at the heart of campus–I felt the wind whipping around me, awaken the wind inside me, and in a burst of ecstasy I spun around and watched as the world itself twisted beneath me….

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Reinventing Writing

I had never used cursive since maybe the third grade when I learned it. “You only need to know your name,” I was told, and the other sixteen letters of the alphabet vanished from memory. I had no need to even be able to read cursive until this last spring when my literature professor wrote exclusively in this flowing form of script.

I never expected that would become my gateway back.

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Age is Only a Number (But Numbers are Everything)

Exhaustion is the theme this semester. Actually, “exhaustion” is not a theme. “Exhaustion” is a topic. It would be much more appropriate to say that “Intense schedules lead to overwhelming exhaustion” is a theme since themes must be complete sentences that communicate a message to the consumer. By “consumer,” I here mean any readers, watchers, observers, et cetera, that observe a piece wherein some creator intended some deeper meaning. That’s theme.

I mentioned in my last post that I’ve felt exhausted a lot lately. I had hoped this weekend–my second foray into the world of the National Association of Campus Activities, where I got to meet Zach Wahls (!!!), attend live group sex therapy, and had “Bazinga” airbrushed onto a hat–would rejuvenate me, but…well, at least the comedian was uplifting. Laughter does inspire. And live music is like imbibing poetry to regurgitate later. But the overall effect was not as I had hoped for.

What was worse came the morning after.

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All the Beautiful People

Today things finally felt like they’re back to usual.

This made me happy. It was only a few moments after leaving my religion class that I came to my statistics classroom and as I walked toward my seat and saw familiar faces and one of my best friends I thought to myself, It’s good to be back in my old seat.

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