July 21

Why Do I Write?

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I have been spending a lot of time recently trying to strip away all the sequin attached to blogging. I have never been a fan of the term blogging or blogger, mainly for the simple reason blogger sounds way too damn similar to the word ‘booger’. I don’t want to be a booger.

But really, it is forever associated with the word ‘booger’.

I love writing. The instant gratification that goes along with hitting publish can produce a small high for me. Yeah, that’s right; I am a junkie for words.

It’s why lately I have been on a vision quest of sorts. Seeking out my origin story and my inspiration.

Why do I write? It is the latest in a life of existential crises. I mean, what is the point of it all?

I certainly don’t do it because I am some sort of activist. Most social justice issues I approach with tongue in cheek because even I can’t entertain the idea of truly caring deeply about things not happening to me. Bathroom issues? I somewhat sympathize, but I will never feel empathetic. To be honest, I feel enough things too deeply to get into feeling other people’s issues to my core.

I already have a hard time falling asleep with my own problems.

I do have things I need to say though. It started as a parent blah blogger. Before I knew it, I had listicles, word pictures and bears- Oh my! Over time, I feel as if I have refined myself. Taken the rawness and molded it. Worked it into something more than this passionate, emotion-laced rant.

I learned to be concise. Put a suit on and cleaned up per se.

Sometimes, I miss the way I used to write. Back when the rules didn’t matter because I didn’t know them. Sure, I couldn’t differentiate my ‘there their they’re’s with such precision but whatever.

I write because someone told me to do it, and in that moment of someone believing in me I believed in myself. I also had more to say than ever had I imagined.

I write for the rush. There is a certain synapse fire off that goes along with airing your dirty laundry. A false sense of bravado, leaving me feeling, for the moment, as if I can do or say whatever I want.

I can talk about the things most attach trigger warnings to, what else can I do? I put voices on demons and then hand them microphones and loud speakers.

Why do I write? Because, someone needs to provide Melania Trump with something to plagiarize. I write because I can’t plagiarize how I feel inside.

It is a conduit for me to express myself in a way I never thought possible. It is my interpretive dance. I am wild flowing motions moving messily along, but most importantly moving freely. I am following the beat of the fingers on the keyword, pirouetting through prose as if they were poems. It is slow before speeding up. I move from the bridge to the chorus, trying to dance across the paragraph.

There is a beat, you can find it hidden in the verse.

I write because it is more fun to be a troll with a blog than just an everyday asinine commenter.

A troll with a blog might be my new name.

I have so many reasons to write, every one of them important to me.

I write because I needed to give my voice safe passage into the world. I write because it can be as one-sided or conversational as I deem it. I write because it is a better way to pass the free time than drink and snort cocaine. I recently got a small plaque from work for being employed there for five years, and lamented over how when I first began working there if they given me the recognition thing it would have been the perfect surface for crushed up joy to be snorted from.

I write because I have a tumultuous amount of things to say.

I write because my sister killed herself.

I write because she wasn’t the first person I knew to end their life. Not even the first in my family.

I write because her father killed himself.

I write because my mother’s brother killed himself.

I write because I don’t want to kill myself. It isn’t a claim to know the reasons they or any others have had for ending their lives. It is an admission of not wanting to exist sometimes.

I write because if I didn’t, that admission of not wanting to exist would stay buried inside to possibly sprout and grow into suicidal thoughts.

I write because the highs and the lows are easier to navigate if I have a loose catalogue of them. I can read every post I have ever written and tell you if I was happy or depressed when I wrote it. I can tell you if I wondered about whether the world would be better off without me. I can read and be brought back to that moment, and remember why I needed to sit and say something that day.

I write because I haven’t stopped having things I need to say.

I write because…

I write.

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July 10

From Jail

As I am writing this, I am currently incarcerated. Facebook has put me in cyber jail, banning me from posting, liking, and commenting. Am I being a bit dramatic about the whole ordeal? Maybe. But, as someone who spends a lot of time on the Book of Faces, after only twenty minutes in time out, boy did I feel sorry.

How will I gauge my popularity now? Twitter??
How will I gauge my popularity now? Twitter??

I like to fancy myself a freedom fighter of sorts. I champion causes with the fiercest of social justice warriors. So, upon being cast out, banned and labeled a rule breaker; it cut me to my core.

You see, I was only spreading a message about being comfortable in your own skin, when someone decided to report me to the gestapo. If given the chance to do it again, I would a million times over in the name of doing what is right.

It all started when I downloaded the Pokemon GO app. I grew up on Pokemon. In my youth, with Poked in hand, I dreamed of breaking out of my small town and making it to the Indigo League, to become a Pokemon Master. The Pokemon GO app made my dreams possible. Here I was, ready to CATCH EM ALL!!!!!

So there I was, having my dreams realized, when a wild pokemon appeared! I was super excited and went to capture it. The wild pokemon just happened to appear on the front of my boxers.

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I didn’t know the front of my boxers was such a hot spot for pokemon to appear. But, being the 25 year old, mature, adult that I am, I found it HILARIOUS. I decided to snap a picture, and post it on the Gods of Faces that are Books. I even captioned it cleverly with a ‘lol’. Now, most are not comfortable enough with their body’s to post recklessly pictures of themselves online in their underwear. This guy however, he has been known to occasionally post photos of himself on the internet some would see as distasteful.

Couldn't find anything to wear
Couldn’t find anything to wear

I find it important to celebrate my dad bod. I think being comfortable enough to do something in hopes of likes and comments is somewhere we all strive to be.

Guys, I was trying to break down barriers.

In my boundary busting movement, I also titled the art of catching trouser pokemon as Pokemon GO: On My Penis. Apparently, this was not nearly as well received as I assumed it would be. The Pokemon Go On My Penis Movement was swiftly and unjustly shut down as I was censored and banned from the one place I love with my whole heart, The tome of faces. I don’t blame anyone for slut-shaming me. I believe it was more out of ignorance than anything else.

But, I will not be silenced. And although I am currently facing and serving my Facebook jail time with my head held high, I will continue to fight on and champion causes.

You see, if we can’t post things for shock likes and laughs, what social media cyber world are we living in? You would think, between the constant video and images of people being shot, a wild Poke Penis picture appearing would be a blessing.

Guess not, folks. I guess not.

I spent the first hour of incarceration texting my friends to let them know I would be gone for twenty four hours and making it clear I wouldn’t go down without a fight. The second hour, I have spent writing this anthem for freedom of doing things in the name of social justice or gaining likes. With twenty-two long hours ahead of me, I plan to take as many pictures of pokemon on the front of my boxer shorts so I can pump them onto Facebook with the anger and determination of a woman who posts breastfeeding pictures.

I will not be forgotten. Pokemon GO On My Penis will NOT be shut down!

So here I am, getting ready to be the greatest pokemon master of my generation. To bust the stigma that goes with doing things to gain popularity on the internet.

You can not stop me, Mark Zuckerberg. I pay for this domain.

Pokemon GO On My Penis Lives ON!!!!
Pokemon GO On My Penis Lives ON!!!!
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July 7

Comply or Die

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Fuck the police coming straight from the underground

A young nigga got it bad cause I’m brown

And not the other color so police think

They have the authority to kill a minority

Oh great, another shooting. The condemnation spreads through my newsfeed. A social media wildfire is sparked. Look at those lyrics. So much hate. When was this even written?

1988.

No, that can’t be right, can it?

Twenty years before hashtags became the norm for spreading social justice and bringing controversial subjects to light, NWA released an anthem for the angry minority. The ones who felt the brunt force of police brutality.

This isn’t a new issue. The only thing ‘new’ about this issue is the ability for a grotesque murder to pervade its way into the places we seek comfort from. I watch, as my Facebook newsfeed becomes gripped by videos, opinions, fighting. I search for the usual food videos and humorous memes, only to find they are gone and in their wake are images and disgusting stills. Men, with rosebuds turning into splatter marks seeping from their chest. A shaky camera, a gun and another officer-involved shooting.

When something happens in Los Angeles, nothing happens. Just another nigga dead. 

A post pops up in my newsfeed, it claims to be an anonymous commentary from a police officer. Among other things, he says the victim ‘determined his fate’

Maybe I am not fit for social commentary on these type of issues. I read something like this and it angers me. I want to tell the purported officer of the law to sit his wannabe Robocop ass down until his notions of dystopian judge, jury, executioner dream world come to an end.

And not the other color so police think, they have the authority to kill a minority

In the wake of these tragic and appalling cases, there always seems to be a protocol. Urge caution and waiting for the facts. Vilify the murdered person through posting any past crimes they had, while insinuating the world is actually a better place without them. Ignore the people’s call for change until it dies down. Kill another unarmed black man.

What isn’t in the protocol seems to be accountability. Between all the shoulder shrugging, deflecting and constant reminders that not all cops are bad; accountability falls to the wayside.

Officers, sworn to protect the citizens; except from the officers themselves. There isn’t a cop problem, it is a compliance problem? We citizens should comply or our friendly neighborhood officer will use his compliance pistol?

These deaths remind me of an episode of South Park, where the boys go out with their Uncle Jimbo hunting.

There needs to be accountability. Too many of these incidents have shown the general public something has to happen. No longer can we deflect from the issues by saying the amount of good cops outweigh the amount of bad cops. We see this argument with everything. When a system needs to be fixed, there needs to be decisive change. We cannot, as a society, continue to allow an issue to fester and boil over because ‘The good outweighs the bad’.

When lives are at stake. When there is a deep-rooted problem. We need to stand up and demand change. We need accountability. By refusing to acknowledge a problem and allowing it to continue; we become a part of the problem ourselves. When cops are killing unarmed men with little consequence and are protected by their fellow officer for blatantly disregarding human life, it sends a powerful and disgusting message to the people.

Comply or die.

I want to thank my friend, Bria, for inspiring this post with her social commentary on this issue. 

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July 3

This One Time At Blog Camp

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There’s no cool way to say you have a blog. Hi, I am a blogger. See it even sounds awful. I like to think of blogging as similar to Iceland. That is to say, the awful name is to ward off people; convince them it is an awful place they absolutely do not want to be.

Hi, I live in the blogosphere.

I went to blog camp. Technically it was blog college. Either way, I paid to go to a stay overnight program exclusively for bloggers. I feel about as bad typing that as I did when I tried to justify such a thing to my wife.

“Baby, all the COOL bloggers will be there!”

So, I spent a decent amount of money to find my social anxiety crippled self around a bunch of strangers in Baltimore. Did I mention I have severe social anxiety?

A five hour train ride later, I found myself in the car of my best internet friend. Best INTERNET friend is a title I use here because when I found myself in her car, it was the first time I had ever met her. Thankfully, she didn’t serial kill me and, I think, we became real life best friends in that moment of chain smoking and getting lost on our way from the train station to the dorm rooms.

The conference was everything you would expect a death march to be. Surrounded by good people, trudging to what seemed to be certain doom.

Along the way, I learned cool things for sure. I learned how to survive walking six miles a day by the powers of sangria. I learned the reason you don’t talk to strangers online and meet them in person. I learned if you have social anxiety, a five hour trip to a campus surrounded by people you don’t know might not be the best birthday present to yourself.

I enjoyed BlogU. For everything I hated (The walking. The walking. Did I mention, I HATED THE WALKING) it was absolutely amazing to meet some people I formed a relationship online with.

I can’t believe how popular blogging is with people in the south. Usually I associate the south with burning crosses and fried chicken. It was a real eye opener to spend so much time with thoughtful, awesome, people. I actually picked up saying ‘y’all’ after BlogU ended. Y’all got to me, and not with racism so that is cool.

A blog college wouldn’t be anything without a little controversy, right? Well, aside from my constantly shouting “This isn’t a blog conference, this is a fat camp” I did get myself in some trouble.

Okay, I told one person they should cut out another person’s hair. I did that. That was me. To be fair, the person I told to cut another person’s hair- they didn’t even have the resources possible to do such a thing. We all brought a lot of things to BlogU, one of them wasn’t scissors.

I met a ton of great people at blog camp. I also met people who I will pretend I never met, for the sake of their internet profile. I think this is absolutely fair. I know I suck in person some (most) of the time. I can forgive people who suck in real time because most of my existence relies on being at least occasionally awesome on the internet.

I did try to convince my friend to write someone’s name on a desk next to “for a good time call” BUT, I am sure a phone conversation with anyone I met at BlogU would fall under the category of ‘good time’.

I learned a lot at Blog camp college. It was like a vision quest. I left it hungry and tired, with a new understanding of myself. I will always be the guy who tries to get his friends to do awful things like unsuspectingly cut someone’s hair or write their number on a desk. I never said I was a role model.

 

And, Sangria in Baltimore is GOOD. Find The Cock, sip from its fountain.

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July 1

Box of Hammers

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I am constantly being a stick in the mud. As I scroll my newsfeed, seeing post after post about copying and pasting or picture challenges, I roll my eyes. Nobody cares about your support via copy and pasting. No one actually wants to see your first profile picture or photos that make you feel beautiful.

I catch myself thinking these thoughts. A part of me is forever annoyed with other people. I don’t like people. If I don’t have a few drinks in me, I don’t think people much like me either.

Maybe it is a part of social anxiety, but I have never been one for small talk. I don’t want to know how you are and I don’t want to lie when you ask me how I am. I have never been much good at small talk either. I actually got into sports to have something to talk to people about.

A good portion of the useless information floating around in my head is for the sole purpose of being able to maintain a conversation and not make someone uncomfortable with my awkwardness. I don’t watch baseball, yet can tell you fact after stupid fact if baseball is what you are into. I read movie plots so I can join in conversation about movies I never even plan to see.

It is neurotic the lengths I go to in the name of fitting in. I go through motions, suffering inside for an exit sign or escape route.

I want people to like me. So much so I know random oddball information and have it prepped to pepper into conversation. If given the option to dissipate, I may linger a moment or two.

I am scared I lack the impact to be remembered.

Would you miss me when I’m gone?

If I peel away my sarcasm and cynicism, exposing my soul in its bare gritty form, would you look away or hold my stare?

I am perpetually sad. Perpetually anxious. Perpetually uncomfortable. Some days, I don’t even realize I have carried sadness with me all day. I sit at my laptop to write and find myself suddenly feeling a burden lifted from my chest as sad thoughts fill page.

A good day spirals into darkness when I finally allow myself to think.

A friend of mine put out a message for writers to share their faces and the anxiety or depression they carry guarded by a smile. As I typed out my feelings, I found myself unable to leave a comment. It wasn’t so much feeling like talking about my sadness would be taboo, but the thought that nobody cared.

In my mind, everyone I talk to hates me. I don’t much like me, so why would they? I didn’t want her to feel obligated into including me. For as long as I can remember I was an unwelcome obligation and I spend a good portion of adulthood going out of my way to be out of people’s way.

I didn’t add to her piece, because my anxiety coupled with my sadness told me I wasn’t wanted. I am feeling a deep sense of irony with that.

One of my closest friends said I was fucked up like a box of hammers. I don’t understand the analogy and maybe that is why I loved it so much. It fit. I spend most days feeling like a square being forced to fit in a circular hole.

If I had participated I would have said I am sad. Most days, the sadness creeps up on me when I take a moment to myself. I don’t label the sadness, because I try to spend my time outrunning it or outright refusing to acknowledge it. I have anxiety. It forces me to become withdrawn when I really want to be outgoing. My anxiety convinces me everyone hates me. The sadness convinces me I should disappear. Together, they coerce me into believing no one will care if I dissipate.

I am fucked up like a box of hammers.

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