a. raymond johnson

gadabout | bon vivant | writer

Screw the officials.

It’s officially morning, the grey light of a rising sun behind clouds is permeating the living room windows. It’s still night, says the cat, squawking around and wondering why I’m awake during her prime hours but refusing to play. I usually take herbs for anxiety, for insomnia, but sometimes I don’t, because they cost money and that is tight these days, between school and bills and a wedding, so I take breaks for a week or two, until a minor windfall happens and I can take them again. It’s been almost a week. It’s good to take breaks, except I don’t know if that’s true, but they are mandatory, I just say that to help get through the nights when I’m wide awake with no discernible reason. It is most likely stress, but I’m so good at hiding, my body keeps those signs from myself. No, there’s no racing thoughts. No, there’s no concrete worry, no heart palpitations, there’s just my eyes open, and no motivation to work, no interest in reading, no concentration, but my body refuses sleep. I’m awake and unsure of what to do with myself in these states, except to sit and wish I was wasn’t.

Yesterday I couldn’t shake a stupid comment by a stranger about celebrities and suicide, the lack of compassion is not new on the internet, but neither is that coffee table or bookcase, it’s been there all along, so why did I turn the corner this time and run into it so hard it bruises? I could only think of Freya, who killed herself three years ago last month, she could no longer bear the pain she kept hidden from most everyone, and how afterwards when I shared the news and showed video or pictures, people would say, “oh, she was so pretty” like that has anything to do with it. They say the same thing about murdered transwomen in the news this week. Will they say the same thing about CeCe McDonald while she’s incarcerated for at least two more years, serving a manslaughter sentence for defending herself from a neonazi attacker? One shouldn’t be pretty in prison, you keep your head down and blend in whenever possible to stay safe. We freaks don’t blend so well. That’s not true, I blend in remarkably well, and I feel shame at how it helps keep me safe and sane. Anyone can scratch the surface and find out the truth of my history on the internet without the need of hiring a detective, but that is not where I’m in danger, the risks are out in the world in person, on trains and sidewalks, bars and parks. There I am an average white guy of average build and average looks and average strength. I blend in just fine. Even if I try not to use it as an advantage, it is there for me to benefit without effort, whether it’s escaping the notice of train conductors collecting fares or the attention of drunken assholes making demeaning remarks against someone different and physically weaker than them. I am physically weaker than them too, but they don’t know it. I have never thrown a punch. I think I would pull out scissors to defend myself in a confrontation too, but would I? I will probably never know. I pray I will never know, I pray that no will ever have to know ever again, but that is an exercise in futility. At other times I would pray that every threat to us would know the piercing stab of self-reliance, that their rage and ignorance would finally dissipate at the sight of their own blood running out of their body. I do not advocate violence, but I accept it is in our nature, regardless of whether we act on it, regardless of whether we know what to do it. The only people who know what to do with it are noble warriors in stories and song, but I’m not sure they really exist. Even they require the ritual of coming down, of water poured on their fiery heads to keep from burning down their own castle, and even they have to live a heavy life with their burdens.

It’s officially morning. Screw the officials. My body is going back to sleep.

Posted in writing by a. raymond johnson on May 3rd, 2012 at 5:16 am.

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