Thursday, March 8, 2018

After midnight

I can’t sleep. Thoughts swirl. My throat feels tight, my chest feels like a weight sits in the middle of it. But why? I read news stories. The brother walking home from his dishwashing job after midnight in Asheville, and two cops stopped him to say he had crossed dark empty streets four times not at the crosswalk. And trespassed by cutting through a deserted parking lot, too. They wanted to arrest him or give him a ticket for jaywalking. He said do what you have to do, I’m tired. I’m just trying to get home. They moved to handcufff him at which point he ran. They tasered him. Pummeled his head with fists. Choked him. Slammed him on the ground. All of it caught on body cam video. At least he’s alive. Don’t cross empty streets after midnight except at the crosswalk if your skin is of a darker hue. Even if you’re tired from working hard and just trying to get home. Later, much later the lawyers looked at the video and dropped all charges. I watched the video with the sound turned down. I thought: it never fucking ends. I thought: why am I putting such hateful news into my brain after midnight? What you focus on multiplies so look for the love. Maybe it is loving to bear witness to the dishwasher’s ordeal. To root for him. To pray he will be okay. Besides, who can unsee the crazy happening everywhere? Can you imagine if Barack Obama had paid a porn star a hundred and thirty thousand dollars to keep quiet about their extramarital tryst? But with Trump it’s ho fucking hum. I got a new book project. Another heavy topic. Full ghost this time. No “with” byline on the cover. Maybe there will be inspiration. Hope in the broken spaces. As there was with the last book. I loved my last subject. It really helps to fall a little bit in love if you’re going to write someone’s story. God. This turbulence inside me. Why?

13 comments:

  1. I think that every single day...if President Obama had a shred of this behavior, he would have been gone. Yet, Trump's supporters dig in deeper. It is exhausting and horrifying. I read somewhere that until Fox News turns on Trump, his supporters will continue to adore him. So, let's keep our fingers crossed!

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  2. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to live each day, judged by the color of your skin. And the bad news, it just seems to keep piling up. Trump seems to have unleashed all of the nasty shit in the world. It sickens me.

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  3. Name and shame: the Asheville cop's name is Chris Hickman. And it seems that the city council is more upset that the video got out than what the video shows: releasing body cam footage to the public is against the law...and now we know why. But the council is already starting a criminal investigation against the leaker of the video but it hasn't yet decided whether they will open a criminal investigation against Chris Hickman. Luckily, there are plenty of good people in Asheville who are mobilizing to hold the Police Dept and the city council accountable. And I read that the FBI is opening an investigation too, so let's hope that there are enough decent people left in the federal gov't to give us justice.

    Lordy, the world is an ugly place these days. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I DO NOT read the news. I refer to watch a Star Trek re-run. Almost any Start Trek version will do, and there are so many of them that you'll never run out.

    Congratulations on the new book project.



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  4. Every day, several times a day (okay, sometimes more than several) I check news sources just to see if whatever it is that is going to push Trump over the line and into handcuffs has happened yet. It just never does. What the hell is it going to take? So far, none of the horrific things he's done has lead to anything more than weeping and gnashing of teeth for those of us who live in such despair that he is still in office. It's like a nightmare which never lets up, from which we can't awaken. For me, the worst time of day is when I open the newspaper in the morning. Yes, I still do that. And the news, whether it's local or national simply slays me once again and I fold the pages and think, "I can't. I just can't."
    May this book keep your heart busy and yes, may it fill the broken spaces with hope. I love you. Hang on. All things must pass. All things must pass away.

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  5. It is definitely a time for churning. I can barely stand to read the newspaper anymore. I hadn't heard about that Asheville story -- how horrible. And YES -- can you imagine if ANY past president behaved as Trump apparently did with Stormy Daniels?! And yet no one seems to care at all. I suppose they all think it's fake news.

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  6. Whatever it takes, don't ever look away. Be a witness if nothing else. You are not alone.

    Congratulations on the new project.

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  7. I have been in 2 bad marriages and before that with a dad who was full of rage so we dreaded him coming home every day. And lay in bed listening to him shouting, or crept to the head of the stairs, astounded but unable not to listen at the screaming, screaming, screaming at my mom. So I have PTSD but here's the point. When my kids are grown, I can walk into the world and be free. Because I am white. If I'm careful not to associate with men I can be more or less free. But if you are black you can never be sure you are free. I do not know how you live with PTSD that can never be cured because the trauma is continuous, even if not in person to you, then as a backdrop of continuous reminders. I just do not know. I am bearing witness anyway.

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  8. "Hope in the broken spaces."

    Our churning is sacred. We know there is a better way of being than what we are witness to during troubling times. Maybe that is where the balance lives. Sending love.

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  9. You ask "why"? Because it's wrong and it's unfair and it's inhuman and it's inhumane.

    Sometimes I read things to honour the abused. Sometimes I can't, for my own sanity.

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  10. I love your spirit Rosemarie. Do not let the world break that. There will be hope in the broken spaces. I hope the new project reminds you that you are a light and a voice, both important.

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  11. People who do that, as these police officers did, have something rotten in them. In their brains, their hearts, their souls. It's sad, but whenever I look at a police officer, I think 'Could he/she do that? Is this one of them?'

    I am in awe at your ability to write someone eles's story. That's an amazing gift and I am so glad another one found you.

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  12. I can't read the stories anymore, the ones that I know will break my heart and confirm my worst fears about the times we are living in. I so want to live in a different world. The one where a tired dishwasher can cross the road and walk home unharmed, the one where a president is smart and honest and isn't married to a porn star while being sued by another one. I'm tired, but I think we still have to keep at it and never give up.

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  13. I get it -- and sometimes we have to just feel it, say it, name it. Hopefully, we're purged that way -- as for the injustices -- I don't think we should ever stop objecting, fighting against and naming them.

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