Moon in a Room
Updated: Jul 28, 2021
My mind is racing. My head is full or ideas, thoughts, emotions, reactions, inspiration.... and maybe, just maybe regret.
I've been awake since about 6am. I woke up from a dream where I was spending time with, who I believe is my friend Deborah, while having a psychic connection with a buddy of mine - one who I'm currently unable to recall. Anyway, Deborah and I were just chillin; she had something she was working on and wanted to show me. I think we were either playing a game or I was on my phone and I realized I could see my friend who wasn't actually present. I tried to arrange a test to prove we could see each other, but it failed. I misspoke a lot and... well, it was a dream so, it didn't work.
Since I woke up, I message my best friend, who actually awake, before there was quiet again (she fell back to sleep). I roll over and see that I fell asleep in the middle of a 2018 Ellen DeGeneres comedy special. Having had played to completion in my slumber, Netflix was showing a preview for the Bo Burnham special. He wrote and performed the special at home during quarantine. I know of two other COVID-era stand up comedy specials, one by Dave Chappelle and one by Kevin Hart. I feel like the COVID-era stand up specials have wholly different vibes, not just because there isn't a stadium or arena audience present to laugh, jeer, boo, or heckle the comedians. Not because there isn't the random "We Love You [insert comedian here]" to which the comedian responds in a classic [them] style. Not because the specials aren't majorly produced with full and complete intros. It's different because, unlike in pre-COVID times, there is really only a handful of topics that can REALLY be discussed.
The beauty of this is that you can see genuine reactions and commentary of true issues that are relevant to this unique "right now" period in history.
This morning, I also went through some of my Memories on Facebook. The memories from one year ago, three years ago, and beyond spark such different reactions.
A year ago, in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, where I live and raise my children, protest begun, fighting for JUSTICE for Breonna Taylor. [For the story, I encourage you to look for Louisville based news channels like WLKY, WDRB, WAVE,WHAS-TV (there's a radio station here by the same letters, FYI) and read the reports. There was a lot of bias reporting so I suggest read multiple accounts and piecing together the parts that match. The gist of the story is: In the middle of the night, LMPD (Louisville Metro Police Department) were serving a no-knock warrant to Breonna Taylor at home. There were three officers, two at the door, and one posted outside of a sliding glass door - the only other way out of the apartment (minus windows). Upon entering the apartment, where they may or may not have announced their presence, the boyfriend of Ms. Taylor, seemingly under the impression someone had just entered the apartment unexpected and uninvited (which, he was right), reacted with gunfire. The officers, being fired upon, returned fire. The officer outside the apartment, hearing gunshots but unable to see through the blinds and a curtain, fired blindly into the apartment. In the chaos, Breonna Taylor was shot and died as a result of her injuries. The incident took play in March, but it was only after the MURDER of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota reached national headlines, did the city, the country, and eventually the World, learn the name "Breonna Taylor" and what happened to her at the hands of local law enforcement. Again, there has been a lot of misinformation, intentionally and incidentally, reported so it'd best if you research it yourself from multiple sources.]
As a young Black man, these stories and reports of injustice against Black people along with the social injustice that Black people are suffering from the high and mighty "Karens" (sorry to anyone reading this named Karen. In all this, you're getting a bad rap) who are judging Black people for:
- Playing with their kids
- Selling water
- Painting their own homes (and being told they don't actually live there)
- Sitting inside a coffee shop (where other people were also sitting)
- Propping their feet up in class
- Speaking their native African language to themselves (it was a family speaking to each other), also inside a coffee shop
- While cheering on his son playing soccer
- Entering his own apartment
- Watching his friend's kids
- Going to college, but, and I'm quoting from the article, "seemed to be out of place"
-Trying to use a coupon, although the call to the police reported an "assault"
- Sleeping in a common area of their dorm
- Doing their job as a firefighter and conducting inspections
- Accidently touching the arm of the person next to them on an airplane...
...I'm forced to wonder, "Am I Black enough?" I've experienced life being Black, but have I personally really lived Black Life? Is it good or bad that I haven't suffered in the same ways? Should I have? Is it a blessing that I haven't? Have I been through enough to REALLY say I personally "understand" the pain and strife that protesters and activists have talked about? Why do I feel this way? Why is it that a Black man feels that he HAS to suffer and struggle through hatred and racism in order to "Claim my Heritage"? What has America done to the psyche of the Black man? Or is this just me?
As I look back over the memories from last year, reading the comments from the people I call friends, it's painful to feel as if there are people out there who just don't get it - like, they're watching the struggle happen in front of them and yet, they can't or won't see or believe it. Like, why? Why can't you trust someone saying that there is a problem if they're the one's suffering through it?
I sit in this room. Day in and Day out. I'm stuck inside this room; inside my head. I worry if I have any talents or skills. If people really care about me as me or if they like the version of me they perceive. Do they think I can be changed? Manipulated? Used? Does my presence give them credibility? Am I truly one's "token Black friend"? Am I smart? Am I loved?
Who am I?
The best I can do is write. I no longer trust if I'm good at it or not. I no longer trust if it's worth my time and attention, but it's what I love to do.
I have some projects to work on. Maybe they'll give me purpose.