Taking up space and proud to be average | Writing about life and trying to make sense of it all | Editor of Freethinkr | Maker of Pancakes

Subtle reminders are all around us, you just have to know where and when to look.

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Photo by Author

Unexpected journey

Unlike many whose days were upended by the pandemic, my daily routine hasn’t changed much. I work from home and my interaction with the outside world is infrequent at best. An occasional trip to the store, an impromptu car ride to an unknown (or not) destination, and the oft taken trek to the neighboring town’s library. Yes, I still visit the library. Call it a moment of welcomed distraction in a time of otherworldly upheaval — a way to feel normal again.

The simple act of leaving my isolated bubble and taking a quick trip anywhere is something I look forward to, especially when almost everything in today’s world keeps the gratifying moments at bay. …

For Black children, in particular, a prosperous life free from targeting has always been a fantasy.

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Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Tamir Rice was 12.

Aiyana Stanley-Jones was 7.

Michaelangelo and Makiah Jackson were 6 and 3, respectively.

Tyre King was 13.

Emmett Till was 14.

The preservation of childhood innocence has long been a staple of this country’s doctrine. The safety and protection of the small and helpless are looked upon as our top priority. This however does not apply to all children, especially Black children — not in this country anyway. Throughout our history, inherent racism has been the lens through which many look.

Systems have been put in place to oppress minority communities for generations causing horrific legacies of injustice, inequality, discrimination, and of course, racism. …


If he orders the left side of the menu make sure he ponies up

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Artwork: Joshua Dunlop

It wasn’t the talk of blood sausage or crude manner in which he devoured his oxtail, ceremony notwithstanding, it was the arrogance that came along for the ride when pursuing each bite. As though it was his last meal, he couldn’t hide the devotion to his cause — to destroy what was on his plate, to make a mockery of any exhibition of couth.

Throughout the dinner, the interview inquiries were few and far between, yet the retelling of emotional trauma was in abundance. I had no other option than to power through this unabashed, uncomfortable experience in hopes of landing a job offer. …

Every day and every win moves you closer to where you want to be.

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Photo by Sebastian Voortman from Pexels

If this year has proven anything, it’s that good fortune and the ability to stay the course of optimism can be stymied beyond measure. Finding solace in every day may seem like an impossible treasure hunt to navigate.

In an effort to keep my sanity from succumbing to a windfall of depression, I often remind myself that each day will bring something new. Positive or not, the anticipation of “something,” compounded with a desire to reverse my current course, is enough to awaken a sense of optimism.

Looking for a job in a pandemic for instance has been a challenge. With everyone and their mother on the hunt during this time, and only a select few given an opportunity to share payroll with employed colleagues, the frustration can overwhelm. …

It’s simple, almost rudimentary really… when you gotta go, you gotta go. Full stop.

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Image by Author

Whatever you do, DO NOT get kidney stones. This experience no one wants — even the most ardent masochist. The pain these little f*ckers can inflict on you is not dissimilar to learning only decaf is left in the pot.

If you are however someone who enjoys a full bladder that decides on its own when it wants to expel its demons, then godspeed.

This might be where we part ways.

On Tuesday I would be at the hospital freeing myself of “the stones.” The Sunday before, a COVID test was required as part of the pre-op. Admittedly, I had no prior knowledge of what to expect, nor did I plan accordingly. Having never experienced either, let’s just say I was on the cusp of an emotional breakdown. I don’t do well with hospitals or tests. …

A foggy head plus uncooperative shorts is never a recipe for success, or maybe it is.

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Photo by rebcenter moscow from Pexels.

The night began as you’d expect… a bro collective ushering off one of their own into a world of “asking the boss for permission to pee.” Some in attendance would not find their soulmate until many years later but for Dan, the time was right and he had found his better half.

The Golden Banana would be the first stop. A sketchy local skin joint tapped to be the evening’s amuse-bouche. As bad luck would have it, the “trustees of dance” were not having a good night and dialed in most of their routines. Fitting, as it was fairly early and the senior citizen discount was in full swing, or limp. …

I cannot go on living this lie any longer, I love to pick my nose.

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Fashion photo created by cookie studio.

My excitement for this euphoric activity can only be compared to that of a giddy school child finding a crisp one-dollar bill on the ground. When I was young there was no stopping me. A pick here, a pick there. I was on a mission. The more alien-like, the better.

Since the early days of hiding my treasures underneath the front seat of the family car, I have been a proud card-carrying member of the Nose Goblin Club. Truth be told, I find no finer pleasure in life than spelunking for gems while no one is looking. The fear of being caught held me captive for years, but no more.

The bastard didn’t even take a plate or use a napkin.

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Photo by Matt Antonioli on Unsplash.

Camping is for people who claim to be one with nature but yet refuse to put “back against bark” when they have to poop. If you are going to be one with nature, go all in. I enjoy the outside as much as the next person but don’t sign me up for s’mores and cooler food over an open fire unless there is a plan to hit the club afterward and a hotel bed at the end of the night.

For the better part of my childhood, my family insisted on spending our yearly vacations exploring the country’s most questionable campgrounds. My protest did nothing. In response, my father would often make me pack the camping equipment while trying to sell me on the life-changing adventure we were about to undertake. …

When unbridled hatred spreads, it can do so like wildfire.

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Photograph: PA/PA Archive/PA Images

I hate you.

I hate them.

I hate.

Undeterred by its objective, this disease can and does, plague every aspect of our society. We see its exhibition every day in its rawest, purest form; cowards in cars driving through crowds of innocent people, school shootings, parishioners being shot at their place of worship, marches of polo shirt wearing tiki torch wielding bros, neighbors being attacked, and of course… police brutality. …

Steeped in disgust and embedded in our soul.

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Image by Gundula Vogel from Pixabay.

Frightening to even fathom, but with all its ugliness, this phrase was commonly chanted by suburban schoolchildren eagerly awaiting a rumble to commence between two misguided preteens. It didn’t matter if both opponents shared the same skin tone. Determined before the first swing caught air, whoever drew the shortest straw (or was the crowd’s least favorite) would undoubtedly hold the distinction of being the “less than desirable” subhuman that was “the n****r.”

The ease at which this chant slipped off the tongues of babes so effortlessly, one could wonder was this statement used as easily at home as it was in the schoolyard? …

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