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The Long Jump

The Long Jump  (nonfiction essay - some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals)







It’s mid-June, four months before Glenn will sing to me at my locker.  Today is one of the final half-days of my freshmen year of high school.  I have made it.  A shaky start perhaps, but now sitting on the grass amongst the coolest kids of my class as we crack jokes while signing one another’s yearbooks, it’s clear my year was a success.  It’s a perfect blue-skied early summer afternoon with just the slightest of breezes.  Perfect t-shirt and shorts weather.  The entire school sits on the visitors’ side of the football field.  The upperclassmen are up in the bleachers and us lowly freshmen are on the grass—we don’t mind this separation today.

All two thousand of us are on the foreign visitors’ side, as it is closer to the school.  We were not made to cross the football field as someone official deemed that where we now were was a safe enough distance from the …

Independence Day 2016

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In America, this time of year, we celebrate our freedom. We beach, we barbecue, and picnic. We head to ball games. We gaze at sunsets and at awesome firework displays. In recent years, we also view grainy videos of Black Americans being murdered by those sworn to protect and serve before immediately (reflexively) describing all the ways the victim could have, should have, avoided this end.

We've agreed that sellingboth "loosies," and CDs,  playing with a toy gun in a public park or at a public Wal Mart, reaching for a wallet, driving with a broken tail light, refusing to extinguish a cigarette in one's own car, and simply walking on a sidewalk while Black... we've agreed that these are all prohibited activities punishable by death.

This is America.

This is the freedom we celebrate.

And This will never, ever change until we (White people) demand it so. Or at the very least, find it in ourselves to care. If we all actually started giving a shit, then eve…

Dream Disfigured

Dream Disfigured
"One bad apple spoils the bunch."   I'm curious if, in the produce world, 
this statement is even true.
Or was it simply a tale devised 
to conceal the fact that much  of the orchard owner's yield was 
a complete and utter failure having  absolutely no business being looked  upon as anything but defected, rotting waste.

My son will be nine this year. This child, seen here, is twelve. If anyone ever put their  fucking hands on  him and...      No.
That, of course, would never happen It could never happen See, his skin is neither brown nor black.
Excuse me can someone please point 
me towards the sales department? I'm here to return my American Dream

Attention: White People

I’m hearing one thing being asked of us Over and over, loud and clear, and, truly, 
it seems simple enough. Yes, this request I’ve been hearing Asks that we all, right now, 
“Shut the fuck up!”
It’s really weird you can’t hear this 
your words sound like you wish to know as you ask questions upon questions on and on to no end But stranger still, you immediately provide your own answers Without one hint of a pause between the two
transforming question to rant
Step One of hearing.... is shutting the fuck up!
Can you imagine if Dirty Harry’s famous question-bit went: “Do you feel lucky, punk? Well do ya? Cause if you feel lucky it doesn’t make sense 
to act like a savage a thug, running around with your thug friends Burning your own neighborhood, joining gangs, selling drugs
How will this all end?  I mean, who even does that? Really?!”
No. If you were in the theater watching this version Of the classic pre-curmudgeoney-Clint-Eastwood-flick, You’d spring from your seat spilling popcorn and drink
Stare hole…

Recovery Room Before

“I’ll come for you when we’re ready” and with that the plump grandmother nurse is gone leaving behind only two swinging doors. Substantial enough evidence that she, in fact, was real.
Alone. Silence. I stare into my own frenzied eyes.
Lazy light from fluorescents stammer. And inspire unhinged shadows across my face to dance. As instructed, I struggle fitting tissue paper over my ears, around my sneakers.Now, head to toe. Baby blue.
All around me steel shines and snarls. Crisp bed corners mock me. As orange-peel chemicals attack my nostrils — pillage my tongue.
And all the while my trying toe taps And tries tap tapping time away.

“A prayer then?” But we don’t… “Perhaps a plea.” Perhaps…Yes.
Everyone has to be all right. Please.

A Brief Facebook Comment

Amy, First off, I should mention that since President Barrack Obama won his second election, and after doing this way too much, I’ve avoided engaging in these types of back-n-forths.Your comment is categorized under “these types” because everything you’ve expressed here I disagree with on such a fundamental level that it is clear to me that nothing I say will be changing any of your viewpoints.That being said, since we’ve been friends since you were “serendipitously seated next to me in Mrs Brewers 6th grade class” and likely will be still when we are grandparents, I find it entirely worthwhile to attempt to get you to stand in my shoes and see the world as I do, even if only for a brief moment.So please feel free to respond, and know that I will read with an open mind, but for me this is a one-and done
“I'd like to think he did that when he was young, stupid & didn't know any better.”
Of course you would “like to think” this, but I like to build arguments with facts support…