Enough Silence: 100,000 Preventable Deaths, Incited Violence, and Police Brutality Are Appalling and Shameful

I don’t know if you’ve seen the news. You probably won’t like it. Look only if you plan on not be able to function for the rest of the day. I just did, and I am useless.

I wrote an email to my mom and dad a little bit ago on my feelings of “current events”. Summary: the racial disparity that has been present in this country (United States of America, I admit I live there) for 400 years, especially exemplified by the astronomical deaths by COVID-19 and police brutality, is unacceptable. Rage felt by being told to stay indoors and wear masks is impossibly incomparable to the rage Black people have been feeling for literally centuries.

To further my point, here is a list of deaths by COVID-19 and list of deaths of Black people by police brutality. Thank you, New York Times and Chance The Rapper, for these lists. See also detailed pandemic obituaries by the New York Times and https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/.

The email is below. It was written in a fever, so there are probably inaccuracies. It gives Joe Biden a bit too much credit, but I’d take Biden any day over what we currently have here. In any case, I wanted to share these feelings with you, dear readers.

Dear Mom and Dad,

[Name withheld] and I had received our absentee voting applications, and we’ll be sending them in the mail today. Just as for the presidential primary in March, I hope you’ll send applications (if applicable, ha) and vote absentee in the upcoming elections. So much depends on it.

Although it’s no fun to stay indoors and wear masks, it really isn’t that bad, all considered. Privileged white people with automatic weapons decided that being told, “You have to stay indoors and wear masks,” meant that they could openly carry their death machines and storm public buildings. They want to be “LIBERATED!” They have never faced tyranny in their lives.

In Minneapolis, by contrast, another horrible death by police brutality against Black people has caused a far more righteous protest. Although burning a building is extreme, the rage is palpable and understandable. The rage privileged white people feel for being told to stay indoors and not get haircuts is incomparable to the 400 years of being treated either as property or human capital stock that Black people face. Let alone being gratuitously killed by the officers who “swore to protect them”. Compare the Biden response of staying calm to the “Too Hot for Twitter” take of “the shooting starts”, and we see what kind of moral leadership is completely absent at the top.

There will no doubt be backlash for the protests, just as there have been since 2014 when police brutality against Black people became widely publicized via Black Lives Matter. However, there is a call to be on the side of justice. “Law and Order”, the motto of the beloved Richard Nixon, is not what we need. We need justice. Please support the candidates who will align the moral compass of this deeply wounded nation, support the lives and rights of Black people, and get us back to a sense of calm.

You were probably going to vote for the Democrats anyway, but, I just to share how aghast I am at the complete lack of virtue exemplified by the other party.


Please do what you can to support elected officials and potential candidates who stand for real justice for Black people, and who will hold police officers for their atrocious acts. Please do what you can to comfort people you know who have been directly or indirectly damaged by the horrific events of this year and this pandemic and everything leading up to it. Please support food banks and medical resources for especially underprivileged areas.

It’s hard to imagine what the future looks like after this. I’m trying to, even though my default reaction to the events of our present time is horror. I’m trying to read more on “visioning”, also called “positive futuring”. Maybe these resources can help you imagine a better future, too.


Steinbeck on Love

I’m a lot better today than I was just recently. John Steinbeck had some letters on love that will help me get through things.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another — but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good….
If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.
I needed that, Mr. Steinbeck. Thank you.

On Losing Hope

I probably shouldn’t be writing anything right now, but I’d like to record a few things while they’re fueled by confusion and sadness.

A set of Magic: the Gathering cards came out in May 2012 called Avacyn Restored. In this fantasy universe, Avacyn is the Angel of Hope. No one had seen Avacyn in a long time, and the people were beginning to think she would never come back. Almost all hope was lost on the plane of Innistrad, where its denizens were under siege by zombies, werewolves, and vampires. Everyone renounced their faith in Avacyn. It was their darkest hour. Then, by a freak accident, an ancient stone called the Helvault cracked open and Avacyn was released. She smote the monsters and brought light back to the people.

I had a ritual where I cracked open packs of this Avacyn Restored set hoping to find Avacyn’s card. I never did. I always tried; every time this set of cards was available for sale, I bought some. Avacyn never appeared. I lost hope in the Angel of Hope.

I changed my life significantly recently. I quit my job where I was a significant mind in a burgeoning technology. I said goodbye to the best manager and team I will ever have. I left my delightful and accepting friends, who threw me a going away party where I literally danced all night. I was just starting to get to know some of them.

I moved to be closer to family, and I’m glad I am closer to them now. Two new ones were just born, and even though they had trouble breathing at the start, they seem to be improving. My grandfather is not improving. He is in his last flickering days before his flame goes out. I knew I had to be around to draw whatever warmth I could from the end of the wick. It is bittersweet to be here.

I had a hope in something else on moving back up here as well. I had a hope that I could be with a very special woman. I can count on my hands the number of people with whom I get into very deep conversations, and she led the pack. When I would leave from seeing her, I could feel the air around my body as my muscles relaxed and my heart took largo beats. I put my heart into expressing how I felt about her. To quote my journal in past tense, “I wrote a motherfucking sonnet.” I said to her I would return, and I hoped she would be around. She said that if I ever made it back up here to give her a call. I thought about her every single day since then. It got to a point where it bothered me that my first thoughts of the day were for her, and there was nothing I could do about it. I hated being 1100 miles away, and knowing that was the only thing making it impossible. I kept thinking of all the places I wanted to go with her, or all the movies to watch with her, or all the ideas I wanted to share with her. Completely changing my life was a scary and difficult process, but I got through it knowing I would see her again.

Tonight she gave me a call. I had just had dinner with her, but she (understandably) couldn’t bring herself to tell me something. She told me that there was someone else, that she didn’t wait for me and something took off with another man. She told me I was “perfect”, but that just makes it more confusing. It’s respectful of her to tell me she didn’t want to lead me on, but that doesn’t change how I feel right now. I am hurt. I am questioning everything I’ve thought over the past five months of intense pining. I am wondering why I put my delicate heart into situations that just shatter it. I am sad and confused and I don’t want to use my voice.

The pack of Avacyn Restored I opened last night did not contain Avacyn. Maybe I’ll find her someday, but for now it’s dark in Innistrad.

Sitting in the dark with my phone as the only light source,

On Waiting

Is there a way to get through waiting? Is there any way to take a lime (waiting) and make limeade (???)?

I’m sure most readers out there have hated waiting for something. Maybe you’re waiting on an important call. Maybe you’re waiting on something to come back in stock. Maybe you’re waiting for the bus. You’re waiting. You feel like you’ll always be waiting.

That’s how I am feeling these days. Anticipation is making me queasy.

I find it difficult to shift my focus from the thing that’s most important to me. Even when I write down everything I can to get the important topic off my mind, if there’s something I’m waiting for, I can never really get it off my mind. My mind wants to be the tracker of this thing for which I’m waiting. My mind is like an eager child before a gift-giving holiday in this case. “Is it here yet?! Are we there yet?! When do I get to open these?!”

“Patience is a virtue,” they say. Do I pretend to be virtuous and say that waiting doesn’t bother me? Do I risk sounding immature to everyone as an adult who can’t wait for the bus?

“We used to wait,” says Arcade Fire. Sorry, Arcade Fire. I have been writing letters longhand recently, for whatever that’s worth.

It doesn’t help the situation that my plane to a connecting flight with a layover has not taken off for three hours after it said it would, and children on the flight are yelping to keep from getting bored. Maybe I should join them.

Esperando, not Esperanto,

Insomnia Log 1

I am awake enough at odd hours (odd being 01:00, 03:00, 05:00) that I’m going to start chronicling my thoughts at these times. You may or may not like it.

I used to eat Kashi Heart to Heart cereal every morning with vanilla yogurt. In those days, I sometimes ate that breakfast with the strongest (muscularly) woman I’ve ever met and heard Beyoncé’s Single Ladies over the speakers. I’m eating it right now without any yogurt because yogurt gives me milk tummy these days. We all know milk tummy is a nice placeholder for what really happens.

I remember watching Beast Wars when I was a kid, but I don’t remember liking it very much. It just happened to be on in the mornings. These days, I’d rather sit in silence than watch TV I don’t like, but as a kid, silence was scary. I’m bringing this up because my roommate put on the old Transformers TV show. Transformers’ animation was not fluid, to put it nicely.

I think my old roommates like me more now that I don’t live with them. That’s strange, but acceptable. I saw them at a bar tonight, and they were friendly, even laughing at what I had to say. Maybe it’s easier to get along with people when you know you don’t have to wake up to them.

The dryer is running. It sounds like an ineffective Coinstar machine, or like pennies and golf balls going down a drainpipe, plinking and ticking and tumbling. Clothes are going to come out damp.

I’m going to take a shower soon and put on new clothes as if I had just woken up, but I will have just painted over a tired day with the smell of fresh deodorant. In times like these, I always think, “Eh, I can sleep on the plane.”

I took apart a laptop computer for work. That’s the easy part. Now how do I put it back together?

Aw, man, my coffee is going to get cold. Cold coffee is just dirty water.

Au revoir.