5:23pm: So long, LJ
This is probably my last post here.
To say that I'm not writing in here anymore is sort of redundant. I try to think of the reasons that I blogged so much before, and I think that it's almost hard to remember all of it. I plan on keeping this LJ up, and especially downloading the archives of what I wrote. However, I don't think I'll be posting here anymore. I don't think I'll be checking on here so much anymore. I think Facebook has filled a lot of that niche of wanting to know quickly what people are doing, or letting them know the same about me.
One thing that I will miss about LJ is introspective posts, particularly in communities of folks that felt so similar to myself. LJ played an important part of my life, and I like to look back on those years with introspection.
Thanks to everyone that ever insisted that I believe in myself. I have taken all of that to heart, and things are going well. I expect that I'll be doing great throughout 2012. I'll be graduating from Portland Community College and heading off to a four year school. I have no idea where, but I have a lot of interesting prospects that I am very interested in. Law school is coming up after that, and who knows? I want to keep pushing for the rest of my life.
Lots of love to everyone, and thanks for the ride. It's been worth it!
This is the most neglected journal in the world. First post this year, hahaha.
Have you ever missed people, and not called them, because they're no longer the person you miss? How ridiculous. Some old betrayal and transmuted them into some strange ambiguous form.
I should be doing work for finals, but I'm poking through the "cemetery" of photos of dead friends. A significant motivator? What would they be doing with their time, if they were the ones sitting in this chair with a test on Monday, instead of me. A lot still comes down to the fact that they would have been a good lawyer, but they are gone. It's up to me to chase down those dreams of education now, and I cannot be wasting time mourning. Nevertheless, my fingers would caress a headstone properly tonight, and then I would sigh loud enough to be heard. Long weeds blowing like grass too long. So long.
Day 01: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now. Day 02: Nine things about yourself. Day 03: Eight ways to win your heart. Day 04: Seven things that cross your mind a lot. Day 05: Six things you wish you'd never done. Day 06: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever). Day 07: Four turn offs. Day 08: Three turn ons. Day 09: Two smileys that describe your life right now. Day 10: One confession
9:41pm: Ten Days Meme -- Day Five Day 01: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now. Day 02: Nine things about yourself. Day 03: Eight ways to win your heart. Day 04: Seven things that cross your mind a lot. Day 05: Six things you wish you'd never done. Day 06: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever) Day 07: Four turn offs. Day 08: Three turn ons. Day 09: Two smileys that describe your life right now. Day 10: One confession
Six things I wish I'd never done:
1. Scared my mom, dad, and siblings by my habitual drug use. I've been sober nearly eight years and counting, but it will never be enough. 2. Dropped out of "real" school as a teenager. Nevertheless, I'm attending college now. 3. My teeth are in bad shape now. I wish I would have chilled out on the bad things I've done to them and increased the trips to the dentist instead. 4. A few very inappropriate jokes that cost me friendship and respect. 5. I wish I had never heard of Abrahamic religion. What a complete waste of time Christianity has been for me, Mormonism in particular. How I wish that the parts of my mind that will always be occupied by this invasive force could be attributed instead to something, ANYTHING that reiterated true love for the human race instead of such disgraceful lies. I dismiss all of religion as nothing but a long and rambling inappropriate joke. 6. ..... [Sorry, I can't write that here. Check PostSecret instead.]
9:25pm: Ten Days Meme -- Day Four Day 01: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now. Day 02: Nine things about yourself. Day 03: Eight ways to win your heart.<\I> Day 04: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.<\b> Day 05: Six things you wish you'd never done. Day 06: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever) Day 07: Four turn offs. Day 08: Three turn ons. Day 09: Two smileys that describe your life right now. Day 10: One confession
Hmm... this didn't post before. Restored from a draft for your convenience.
Day 04: Seven things that cross your mind a lot
1. I should probably be like so many of my friends-- dead or in jail. 2. Married life is often difficult. 3. I enjoy my family, but I am the odd fitting one every time. 4. There is no such thing as God. It only exists in the willful delusions of people I love. 5. I should probably be writing in journals more often. 6. I really dislike people that abuse animals. It is practically unforgivable. Your dog may still lick your hand after you kick her, but I will hate you and hope the absolute worst thing in the world happens to you. I will curse your bones and declare that such filth has no place being buried in the earth, that they must be burned instead. 7. I like animals.
9:17pm: Ten Days Meme Day 01: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now. Day 02: Nine things about yourself. Day 03: Eight ways to win your heart. Day 04: Seven things that cross your mind a lot. Day 05: Six things you wish you'd never done. Day 06: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever) Day 07: Four turn offs. Day 08: Three turn ons. Day 09: Two smileys that describe your life right now. Day 10: One confession
I've been out and about! Funerals and such. Instead of filling in the blanks, I'm just going to have to resume where I left off.
EIGHT WAYS TO WIN MY HEART:
1. Apologize. You will do shitty things. Accept it. I can. Say you're sorry. 2. Vegan food. Cooking like genius never hurts ever! I would rather cook with you, I think, as opposed to be waited on like Leave It To Beaver. 3. Singing. The more you sing, the more I love you. I don't know why that is, but it is true. 4. Stories. We all live life. Who remembers it? Tell me about that one time.... 5. Time. Given enough of it, I will probably get to know you and really love you. 6. Underdogs. I have an eternal soft spot for the little guy. I came from nothing, and it's always interesting to lean with people that are coming up that have as well. 7. Make me laugh. Admittedly, not a hard trick, as it is one of my favorite things. Let's laugh at all the bad things that happen. 8. Cry with me. Life ain't so good that we never need to.
10:20am: Ten Day's meme Day 01: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now. Day 02: Nine things about yourself. Day 03: Eight ways to win your heart. Day 04: Seven things that cross your mind a lot. Day 05: Six things you wish you'd never done. Day 06: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever) Day 07: Four turn offs. Day 08: Three turn ons. Day 09: Two smileys that describe your life right now. Day 10: One confession
1) I have been vegan for six years, vegetarian for ten, and straight edge for seven. Time well spent.
2) I feel myself losing "anarchism" as central to my identity as I get older. I have taken to identifying myself as a sympathizer, rather than an out and out anarchist. There's no program to replace what so many want to see destroyed. "Smash the State", right? yeah, but who's going to sweep it up? Whoever has the most guns. If you can accept that we will not likely live in a stateless society, if you can accept our transigent failure, than you can accept the responsibility to try anyway. I am no defender of the state, but I fear that many self-proclaimed anarchists that I know are more interested in drinking alcohol and/or stealing than actually putting in the sacrificial work it will take to affect some kind of long-term change. I am exceptionally turned off by messages like "Fuck the Troops", or "Voting is Complicity in Murder", and other kinds of capricious nonsense. The fact is that I know many "troops" and I am related to more than a few. I don't hope any harm for them, then or now, and I have little patience to reason with those that do. I see that our alienation breeds only alienation. What are effective strategies? Petty shock value? Spare me. I think you can (and should) protest the war and recruitment while respecting the people that are still caught in the middle. Today's veterans are tomorrow's I.V.A.W and A.V.A.W. activists. Repeating the worst mistakes of the radical left is not what I'm about. If you hate war, take it up with a president or a congressional representative. Don't spit on a soldier, you fucking ingrate. Do you only want the armchair of the moral highground, or do you want to make a true difference? "Fuck the Troops"? What a disgrace.
3) I like stage-diving, even though it might not be the right thing to do, if we are to believe Ian MacKaye of Fugazi.
4) I love bicycles. I have never bought a car, and I don't think I ever will. I want to learn how to be a frame builder and then build at least one bicycle every year or two.
5) I like tech. I am fascinated by new gadgets, but I am not nerdy enough to know enough about them to take them apart and put them back together again. I like things like iPads, iPods, and various laptops. A goal is to have digitally scanned copies of my textbooks available on a shared virtual cloud drive that I can use in class as a searchable PDF, rife with annotations, or as a specifically formatted ePUB. That sounds completely ideal. I think technology will be able to answer to the problems posed by technology when further synthesized with stewardship ethics. We're not there yet, but tech is part of the answer to get there.
6) I don't want to die. I want to live. I feel like death is snuffing out the flame of a candle in a cave without the light ever traveling back to the stars from which it came. I am not satisfied with death until I have homesteaded on a few different planets for a couple hundred years. Sorry, wrong millennium. Try me again in a thousand years, death.
7) I am studying for law school. I want to try my hand at some appellate criminal defense and some public defender action as well.
8) I intensely dislike religion, even as my base of friends and colleagues expands with more religious people than ever before.
9) I am married to a lovely man, although I don't think I am a very good husband. In time, perhaps.... I care enough to try.
Day 01: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now. Day 02: Nine things about yourself. Day 03: Eight ways to win your heart. Day 04: Seven things that cross your mind a lot. Day 05: Six things you wish you'd never done. Day 06: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever) Day 07: Four turn offs. Day 08: Three turn ons. Day 09: Two smileys that describe your life right now. Day 10: One confession.
1) You need to stop burning bridges just to keep your hands warm. You live here on this planet with people that will upset you. That is not a reason to disengage. Talk to your enemies until you remember that they were friends. 2) Go to fucking school. At least you'll be wasting time with class. (see what I did there?) 3) If you go to New York with me, it could be worth our while. We won't be gone too long. 4) You need to show your true friends real respect. Start your next sentences in a conversation with "I'm sorry...." 5) Hire me 6) Let's face it --- we're both atheists. Why do you give the time of day to some woo bullshit? 7) I love you, seven 8) Honey, a man like that is a confused, lost dog. You can take 'em home, but they ain't yours. 9) I would be an ideal transfer student for you school because.... 10) Sorry, honey. I'm married.
12:43am: Today a woman told me...
... that her dad killed her sister. He was a drunk that beat them up and did crazy, crazy shit. He would hold a loaded gun to the woman's forehead and ask her to come up with at last one reason why he shouldn't pull the trigger. "That's how I learned to negotiate," she said to me. "I told him that I could cook dinner." She told me how she used to keep money on her at all times, at least a dollar, so he could go buy a bottle and go away and pass out. She told me that she regretted not killing him when she had the chance. She talked about wanting to hold a pillow over his face one time when he was so drunk, that he didn't even wake up when his cigarette had burned his knuckles red-brown. A few years later, he killed this woman's sister when she interceded when he was beating their youngest sister. "If I had killed him, she would still be alive..." she mentioned wistfully. "We always know what we should have done; never what we're going to do," I replied.
Apparently, it is that time of the year for someone else, too. She just up and said all this to me. I have sat in classes with her off and on for two years. It must near on the calendar....
Fuck the holidays forever. I don't even know what to say
11:28am: And so...
Been awhile since I beenhere. Checking up on friend's pages makes me smile and wince. Very little has changed, substantively; we're still in constant flux.
I was thinking how all my friends are "professional" or working contacts. How so many people I know is through solidarity, ideological convergence, and labor intensity. I am pleased to have met such a group of people and to have them in my life, but hidden, now, are the relationships that revolved around a record, were conceived of in loud, sweaty basements, and were carried through on the tenth "too rainy" day or "too fucking cold and snowy" day in a row, sitting on a couch and doing nothing in particular.
I am not doing "nothing in particular" anymore. Everything has purpose and focus, and with that clarity, I begin to miss the soft fuzz glow. Warmth and radiance are replaced with boldness and distinction. Everything now has it's proper place. I have discovered the limits of my endurance several times, and I believe in the delusion that on the next ramp up, I will be able to get more done, or do more things simultaneously, than I did last time. This is a convenient myth that might help benefit capitalism as a whole, but the human truth is that it is really going to be going downhill from up here.
Still failing to enjoy the ride as much as the sensation of the momentum. "I like to swing. I like to kick. I'm (nearly) thirty". It is an odd kind of failure that doesn't seem like much of a failure at all, an immodest exercise in smashing the myth of futility, all while the soul goes limp from lack of spiritual effort. Asskickers are given a special place in the pantheon of workaholics -- it is called the dayshift. But there ain't no saints up there --- just a bunch of cold, pragmatic, mindfucked creatures on their third marriage and counting. This may be where I'm headed unless I can slow it down somehow. It doesn't matter if my campaigns are noble; I have starved the spirit of myself. Ginsberg: "America I have you given you all, and now I'm nothing."
or better yet, I sing this one on my commute
"I still gotta get where I'm going, baby I still gotta get, still gotta go. I still gotta get where I'm going, baby. I still gotta get, still gotta go --- FUCK YOU!"
I wish I could do something simple, and just keep it that way. But no. There is no peace time, there is no relaxation. There was a long youthful summer a long time ago, and then I abruptly awoke to a war. I have scarcely noticed the changes in seasons since, grinding on as I have on a long campaign against the violence, the bombs, and the impending ecological collapse. That I am going to lose and am engaging in pre-martyrous behavior does little dissuade me. "We are the dead," as Orwell said. For a less gothic approach, Lee Harper speaks through Atticus Finch: "Just because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win." Orwell, Lee, Ginsberg, et al.: these are my foundational principles! I am going to try, and probably lose, but I'm still going to try.
But effort is sacrifice. Each step taken forward means moments not sitting, means moments not spent in contemplation, means I am not engaged in zazen, laughing with friends, or slowing down. There is a new horizon that we will never reach, but you cannot stop the longing by turning away, nor by wishing they would cease. So we engage, and we are never the same, for in all our striving for what humanity can never have, we find things along the way that we never knew existed. In these things, I hope to build a home. For until I am felled, or until I do choose stop, my home is the upward climb. My address is the sound of one foot landing in front of me. I'm not fucking around. I'm not wasting time. Word.
77. Look that number. Double-digits. Almost like a "crying snake eyes" roll at the craps table.
I will remember 77 percent for quite some time to come.
This is the percentage of the estimated Mormon-based contribution, according to sources with a personal stake involved in the outcome of the Prop 8 ruling, unlike those that were rallying in support of it passing. If the knife in my back plunged six inches on Election Day of 2008, I have four and a half inches to thank Mormons for. Bitter much? I still haven't healed, and I recall it as a scar. A war wound from the culture war.
Yesterday, I was filled with a sense of profound wonder when Judge Vaughn of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco made history. This is not the first federal court decision handed down in favor of same sex marriage, but it is perhaps even more significant than the recent Massachusettes victory for marriage equality. I am in the middle of history, at the intersection of faith, hope, and treachery.
On June 12, 2010, I was married to Owen. "Married" is perhaps a strong word, marginally pre-emptive, as we who live in Oregon are not given the option to marry life partners if they are of the same gender. Not yet.
My family, all devout TBM Mormons, all with missionary stories, or temple marriages as partial excuses, were present in full attendance on the 12th of June in Portland, Oregon. "Where's Doug's family?" you could have asked on that day. "I believe it is the cluster of nervous people not wearing black."
My family went above and beyond, considering the psychological and spiritual obstacles set before them. I have not asked if any of them directly funded the Prop 8 campaign, as they were no doubt encouraged to do so. I do not have to know, because I asked them to attend, and they did, in full and complete attendance. It was the first reunion of my family since my own parents' troublesome and legendarily unpopular divorce the year prior. My parents stood at opposite ends of family photos, sandwiching all seven of their children. Everyone was there.
Everyone. Not often do I count myself in that same category. I cannot! I am too strange for that term, like a foot too large for an army boot. Today I may feel bold again, and I say it, and I start crying. "Everyone has the right to marriage." Not 90%, not 52% and not according to 77% of paying customers. Everyone.
I cannot begrudge my family, for they have done what they felt was appropriate. My youngest brother was ring-bearer, and my mother gave me away (!!!). They have done so well for me in recent years.
Not all of my family is so kind. I know that amongst the 77%, many distant relatives lost money on their bet. I feel self-assured, as if I should rebuke them for gambling. I wll not forget the dangers that Mormonism does pose, but neither should I forget these clear lessons:
Thou shalt not steal. Especially legal rights granted to individuals.
The legal system is absolutely horrible, except for when it almost accidentally works for you.
If someone with more money and more power is trying to take something away from you, FIGHT LIKE HELL. It is up to YOU to determine YOURSELF, not subject to majority vote, and not up to 77% either.
Last, but not least: in all ways, look for love before you look for hate. You'll find what you're searching for.
I have a Jewish boyfriend (named: "O." throughout...) that by the asinine appropriation of Mormon lexicon, would be considered a Gentile, or, one that is uninitiated in the customs and teachings of the One True Church (tm). ( So I made him watch some Mormon cartoonsCollapse )
3:18pm: Shit, son!
My esteemed colleague and roommate is right. 2010 is the year of top ten lists. Here's mine for the past little while:
The house is quiet as shit. I think that it's just me, the occasional mice and Napkin, Chief of the Bureau of Rodent Population Control. Even with three legs, she is a Cattress that maintains a strict quota. Everyone else is out. Makes for great alone time, but also makes me stay out later.
This is a weakass winter. I have seen the sun several times, and for long periods of time. Does that mean another brutal summer?
A guilty conscience is my guide: I have been making it out to anti-fur protests again, especially in lieu of the recent events of a fella setting himself on fire outside the store. For those not in the know, Daniel Shaull, 26, originally from Kansas, has died of his injuries, but not before being maced by the police while burning alive. True story, ask google. I have been trying to make regular appearances at the ongoing protests, and so have dancing paparazzi, one liner comedians ("Heh. Got a light?"), and the occasional po-po. I tell ya, what a fucking city. You heard it here last, but wow...... un-fucking-believable.
I am slowly healing from cracked ribs when I smashed my bicycle into the ground. Ironically, I damaged myself far worse when there was nobody to blame it on except own damn self, much more so than when I got hit by an automobile last summer.
Mid-terms and all the shit that goes with it. I am doing much better now that I ditched my Spanish class this term. Sad..... I miss Spanish! Next term we will reunite, though.
Vegan food is good, but hella expensive. So is cardiac surgery, so I'd rather pay now.
I got a job tutoring at school. I am impressed by the breadth of ignorance in one of the classes. Between all of the students, the gaps in knowledge are nearly complete. I shouldn't make fun.... I was there once, too. However, I never sought a place to live there, and I am alarmed by the stagnant slum that has taken root this term. To paraphrase Amiri Baraka, "This is how ghettos grow." Time to roll up them sleeves.
All of my work is school-centric, though. No other job outside of the one mentioned above. I'm liking it, but I'm literally going to turn into a bean counter making it all work out.
I wonder if all work and no play really does make me a whack, dull boy?
8:51pm: Los Angeles
The crew is now in Los Angeles. God, how I hate this fucking place.
"Delusion" is the word that encapsulates L.A. and greater SoCal for me. Delusional Christians sticking their nose in every other motherfucker's business, Orange County clowns and their real estate. 90 mile one-way commutes for work, for social life, for every impossible thing. Human beings don't need to spend that much time in an automobile in any other city on earth. It is a scam that is being played on the people, and they either don't know or can't escape.
I hate the guarded nature of it all, how getting real becomes "too weird", how all you have to do is bat your pretty little eyes at the lights and learn to not spill your drink while you're dancing. Sorry, man, I come from the grit, and I don't do elbows with debutante slackass motherfuckers.
Because of the company I'm keeping, we've been going out to goth clubs every single night. It seems to me a poor anesthetic for alienation. And is such a condition a true malady that needs to be suppressed? I sat on the couch and read "The Trial" by Franz Kafka all night, interrupted by a duo of young girls that were way too pretty to be talking to a skulking nerd like me. They asked me if I thought it was sad that I paid the entry fee and all I did was read a book.
"Listen; this book is all about sadness, if nothing else. I guess you could say that I'm a fan. And besides, by the time you get to be my age, sadness isn't the grand offense it was in youth." Tristitia incarnate! And I have the gall to say that goth is self-pitying nonsense.
"I'll bet that I'm sadder than you are," one girl said as she looked into my eyes. "Everything is relative," I replied.
For whatever reason, the heterosexual girl of the two stayed to talk with me. She was too drunk to delve into Kafka, but I gave her the 50 words or less primer, which she accepted.
She told me some of her story, of how she was waitressing and was looking to hit it big in the American South for the winter season. She told me about how she was going to go to work in some gentlemen's club, "but I'm not going to fuck them, or anything like that. I just know how to get the tips from those old rich men. The trick is to leave them wanting."
She told me about how she had been having a terrible time, and it wasn't even her idea to be in the club, that her friends drug her along. "We have that in common," I replied.
"I've been drinking all the time, usually skipping food or anything else. I feel like shit quite often. I haven't eaten anything more than a cookie in two days."
"Have you tried french fries? Maybe some oatmeal? You've got to have something, right?" She agreed to try later on, and spoke more of typical problems with boys at clubs, men are assholes, it's true.
As she left for the night, she gave me a huge hug before departing, perhaps a reward for breaking character of the brooding misanthrope. I waved goodbye as she turned around and headed out the door, probably the only decent conversation she'd had in a while.
And that is my L.A. woman, not some schlocky Jim Morrison lie. It is the face of a young person that cannot possibly want the world they are given or fit into any role available, being so much more than those petty examples. Being so desperate, defaults into hopeless wish-fulfillment, desperate that it never works. Try to smile, dance to the terrible music, drink this terrible poison. Just try to look pretty before they take that away, too. Have a fun time.
1:37pm: In Oakland, "Grand pianos crash together...."
First one up in my group of travelers in Oakland. This is the trip that is meant to introduce me to all of Owen's people that I have not met yet, and to visit my people in Utah one more time before we get married next year.
Arrived yesterday to muted fanfare, rush hour at 7:15 in the morning. Roused our host, set down bags, curled up and went to sleep amidst conversation, each movement a string of stirring hellos and greeting jokes thought to be the last until not another was offered, or a snore was a reply.
I had a date. I was to visit my ex who was living in Oakland. It had been nearly two years since we had last seen each other, and we had broken up about four years ago. It is strange what time will do to a person. I felt that she had changed; she felt that I had not. For her, it had been the worst year of her life. The old Saturn return, late on its gifts of bad luck and malice. My own had come a little early, or at least was preceded by a series of fortunate events, culminating in the granting of all of my most realistic wishes and desires. For myself, it has been the best year of my life.
She told me the story of her terrible year, and I cringed in all the right parts, "Hmmmm"ed and "ohh"ed correctly, and I beat my hand into the fist of the moral outrage appropriately, echoing in the sentiment "How could he do that?", that cowardly boy of a man that she had favored and later fallen out with. An awkward testimony at first, telling one former lover of another one's failure. Luckily for us, and for our conversation, our relationship had ended tragically, as love often does, but not bitterly, as is perhaps more frequent.
Her year was terrible; something so particular, that it takes the universal problem of "How to fall out of love" and causes it to become a solitary one. Friends retract, relations fade, and the blue girl with the purple stands in the corner, sitting this one out.
Oh, Oakland! You bitter and beloved! You are so many people, and yet I have sought out none of the rest of them. I had time enough for one, and not another, really. Today we're off to Los Angeles, seeking sunshine and warmer weather. My tourism of the last decade is not complete. If I were to visit all of you, East Bay, I would have moved back by that time. Today I will be leaving, and at least I will always know that it would have been nice, but was not meant to be.
12:17pm: First date
My first meeting with the therapist is in about three hours. More nervous than if it was a tattoo appointment. I shaved, washed my hair, combed & pomaded, tried to look all pretty. Modest Pomp? Check. Brush teeth/floss? Check. Nervous smile? Well, let's not get too cheeky. I have my mode set on "lip-nibble". As the hour ticks down, I'm trying to study right now, since I have some things I need to do for finals, but I'm kind of nervous. Easily distracted, so I thought I'd tell you about it.
I guess that today, we're just talking about general objectives and what the whole thing is going to look like. I'm not going to be able to come in again before New Years, since I'm out on a road trip. I hope that this goes well.
I got offered a work-study job, but I don't think that I'll be able to take it, since the funds have already been allocated. Bummer, son. Maybe in the fall?
It has been just as cold as you please. 14 degrees F last night. What the F? Uncommon ain't really the word any more. However, all I can think is that we have sort of lucked out. If it suddenly becomes "real Portland" very soon, what with the massive precipitation and all, the resulting snow storm will make last year's snowpocalypse look like a day in the park. It is a strange coupling with the near record highs this summer of 106/107.
I absolutely, totally and completely have slain and destroyed my Immigration Law final. A step closer to straight A's....
Okay, off to pretend that I'm not distracted and nervous....
1:04pm: Finals; U.S. Immigration Asylum status for queers
One of the projects for finals is writing a persuasive letter for asylum status in my Immigration Law class. The final is tonight (* gulp *...), and the project is due today. Apparently, the facts are supposed to be based on an actual case that the law professors of this class have actually had come through their office.
The facts of the case are about a kid in "Pueblo, Mexico" that came out to himself as gay at 17 years old after already having been suspected of being such. He was bullied by people in the neighborhood, and the cops would watch and laugh as he got his ass kicked. His family eventually kicked him to the curb, so no help there. One time the cops raided a bar he was at and took him to jail. They beat the shit out of him in jail after grilling him about whether or not he was gay. He remained locked up for 8 days until the cops let him loose with a stern warning to get out of town or get dead. The kid then high-tailed it across the border and has tried to apply for asylum status.
The very idea that all of this still happens is pretty whack. Apparently, asylum status is actually given in cases like this (and was given for the inspiration for this real-world model), as the gay kid would qualify for the following asylum requirements:
1. A well founded fear 2. of persecution 3. by a persecutor 4. On account of race, religion, national origin, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion 5. And that one of the grounds was or will be a central reason for the persecution 6. Or that the person has already experienced such persecution.
All those check out. But what a way to get to come to a new country. It's too bad, man.....
The punchline is that he's fleeing persecution for being gay, and now he's in the United States. Out of the fire and into the frying pan. At the very least, we have a somewhat reasonable chance of not getting killed here in certain cities. I don't know how safe anyone really is; the world is a fucked up place.
Everywhere around me, I see valid reasons for entering the law. Can you imagine something like this not being possible, or being taken away? Stand and deliver, resist and exist. I already have a hard enough time trying to imagine what it would be like for me to have come up queer in a place like Iran or Jamaica. Hell, just growing up in Utah was harder than I thought I could ever bear. For better or wose, I am not overtly campy, and when I'm punked out with steel toe boots and a tight shirt (how is that not campy????) or maybe wearing blue collar labor clothes, people have always assumed I was straight. I pass as straight a lot of the time, and I'm sure that adds some kind of protection for me. I guess you never know what you have until you see what it is to have not.
It still makes me so angry. They really do want us dead.
3:57pm: Winter Shadows
Sitting at the Red & Black. Deep in the homework, finals business.
The Light Ball came out of hiding again today, and it is low powered and falling rapidly. A reflection of it's last efforts for today bounce off the large pane glass window across the street and flash in here, onto the table at the cafe, looking also like a pitiful yellow stain on the floor. Light fails, and the long dark will soon prevail. I will be burning the midnight oil, fueling it with spite and stubbornness.
Digging back in, concentration efforts intensify. Calling all Demons! I summon full focusing powers, I summon the powers of unholy convergence. I give my bones, you give me the fire.
Something I read in a zine recently was talking about endings. How endings are not the most important part of a story, or neccessarily even a part of a story at all. I really had to give that some thought, especially as I am trying to negotiate some endings of my own in my life as best as I can. Things that linger on, years later, things you wish you'd said or done differently, that sort of thing. Insert your own here and grimace with me. That sting is familiar, isn't it?
Now think about how it may not matter if an ending ever comes, let alone a happy one. We all know it ends badly. It ends in death, at the very least, and quite often in ways that are even worse.
What is important instead is the joy of the moments. The first time. The confidence. The full stride. These are the ways to measure moments and lifetimes. You can't think about beginnings and ends and judge it by them. A tapestry is not its loose ends. It has to be known by its exhilarations, and the full breadth of color and experience.
This is something I often forget, especially as I tap my toe, waiting for things to change, or at least the chapter to end. Maybe it won't. Maybe it already has. But in the meantime, life is still happening, and the good is not negated by the short sharp shock. There is more to being than ending.