Dark Matter / The Mirror

It is not a coincidence that the darkness that hinders my growth shows up as a misplaced car in some uneven driveway, or a marijuana-fueled person needing me to distract them from some self-inflicted circumstance. It tests us to be emotionally available for people who act like they are their own worst enemy. Pink sang it well when she said:  “I’m a hazard to myself/ so irritating / don’t wanna be my friend no more/” (Austin, Moore 2001)

Why was “Don’t Let Me Get Me” on repeat in my past life? Why did I want to be someone else? Probably, I was confronting darkness, demons of a doubt, as a black man. Those lyrics were a balm on my wounded soul. And I needed to feel less like some Cerebral Palsy-having weirdo who attended a mostly white school, in a white-ish neighborhood feeling like an Uncle Tom who betrayed his own black community by having different connections.

We’ve all faced the pain of rejection when we feel a case of mistaken identity.  Fear becomes the reason for why we don’t want to love ourselves.

When we are scared to peel back the veil, tragic people become our “strength persons”. We choose the idiot still looking for his or her self, because we cannot admit that we are doing the same search.   

 We tell ourselves someone is good for us when they are all we have.

In my past struggles I’ve tolerated men and women, who strong-armed me into believing they knew what was best for me.

And in that period of heartbreak, shame, criticism, and dependency, I could not see the spiritual abuse that those toxic persons left inside me.  I’d give myself to people and once people received from me had what they wanted, I was left to rot in my own misery.

Loving a person, no matter how patient and kind… does not force them to treat you deservingly. When the person you love fails at changing… the job is yours to detach as best you can.

Love plays an ironic role in black, darker times. It is the anti-dote to the pain and also the reason pain happens. We don’t begin a relationship seeing the painful scars of love until we are totally alone. We don’t start healing our own trauma until we get quiet.  You must get quiet and listen to yourself.

That quiet comes when the TV is off… when the phone is dead… when the internet loses connection and when all you have is just YOU.

Quiet is when the television is powered off.  Quiet is when the phone is dead or when the internet’s lost its signal. Quiet is when you realize that you are all that’s left.  When you still yourself in the quiet, you then get past the blackness, the confusion and the mistaken parts of yourself that were once “hazardous”.

How do you know when you’re facing trauma?  Trauma is the negative voice in your head that says you’ll never be quite as capable as your brother and yet you’re staring at a Master’s Degree.

Trauma is the elder mother whose words rendered you unlovable even after you’ve accepted God in your life. Trauma is inviting a known drug addict back into your life after you’ve completed two years and twelve steps. Trauma is having a driver’s license and being deathly afraid to drive because “a voice still tells you when the traffic gets heavy you’ll cave.”

Trauma is the face of a clinically depressed person, waiting for a restock, because the store is just too overrun with people.  Trauma is the protest and yelling in your voice when you know a caring person is telling you something it hurts to hear. Trauma takes baby steps to grow on. Healing from trauma is allowing fractured words to collide with one another knowing that both are equally important to you.

We all have dealt with past mistakes. Don’t let your pride make you believe that you cannot heal your dark, broken pieces. You can become a whole person. But it’s going to take a new kind of awareness. Trauma’s a weird genie, but if you can work hard to hide it…it’s just as hard to reveal and deal with it.

Kindness

Selena Gomez sings a song called “Kill em’ with Kindness”. She released it in 2015, the same year “Hands to Myself” became popular. The song was a manifesto for me when I went through a creative slump. Ironically, 2015 is also the year I started working on my bachelor’s degree to the ire of an estranged bunch of idiotic naysayers that allowed their fear that I would embarrass them to outweigh their actual joy that I had made the decision to be kind to myself and further my education.

See, I have always been the man turning the other cheek, supporting others never quite counting the cost that “support” actually requires. If you need a word to describe my impression of what I’ve done, the word would be fervent—which basically means with fierce passion. I like my role as the passionate advocate. That’s my impression of true kindness. A kind person is fervently there for others.

When there is a death, I’m accepting calls and instructions from bygone relatives who were, when I needed them most, too self-absorbed to truly aid me. I’d get last minute requests that were not truly requests. People demanded my input, my man-power, my money, my counsel, my prayers, even my computer. I kindly obliged because “obedience is better than sacrifice”.

I didn’t want to be the one that gave anyone a stone when they truly wanted bread. Although there are some willful lies I’ve told for fear of being a doormat, I have always delivered some form of patient kindness whenever necessary.

When someone is too pained with mourning to say the words they know to say, I have offered words up, because I know words are not meant to be scattered upon the waters of tumult without grace or purpose. I, in kindness, without much plan, have pulled sentences and exhortations, praises, and tributes out of my rear end. I’ve done this in season and out of season, never minding the HOT MESSES I’ve witnessed.

I remember birthdays, and although I am occasionally late with gifts, I come through. I act even when I have to be the same one that plans my own celebration, treated as though I was the narcissist that has not taken care of anyone, in any way.

Because I believe in kindness, I have given time to men and women who seem determined to plot disrespect toward me. But that is me. I believe love is patient, kind, and forgiving. But the kind question I ask often as I get older is: Who is going to be kind to me and give back when I lose the strength I have. The fact is: NOTHING lasts forever.

People are not meant to be martyrs; they are meant to share, but sharing is done with the promise that one day God will repay it back. Kindness should never have to be a point of scolding rebuke. No one should have tell a person that actually cares…to care.

I’m in 30s now. And I’m glad that I see kindness as something that is not concerned with narcissistic things like bank accounts, career aspirations, and new automobiles.

Do you know what a narcissist is? Derived from Greek myth, it’s any human that is so in love with their reflection that it is the very end and beginning of who they are.

Truly selfish people, (narcs) often tell those edging toward better self-care that they are inherently selfish. Narcs shame people for saying no to hurtful relationships, damaging experiences, careless engagements. The view is that the person making the “new” decision to avoid a situation that took advantage of them is “too needy”. But show me a professional that spared no expense when the quality of work was immaculate, and I’ll show you a jerk that has swindled so many, that he or she cannot help but believe that what has been done is “kind”.

But this twisted shaming mechanism designed to incite fear in broken people is nothing more than jealousy. If kindness truly starts within, then why would not the patient kindness of a lover reveal itself on the path toward healing. The conversation toward better thoughts and feelings starts with you.

And either you are happy because you work at it, or you’ll never know the difference between someone who loves you, or someone only willing to love what they believe you should be. There is something I’ve learned about the struggling self-absorbed person.

That person believes that the only kindness they ever need is the kind is that of fawning, fearful pedestal worship.

Some people believe kindness is limited to one deed every year. I believe kindness a daily, monthly, weekly commitment. You don’t have to put your friends or family on pedestals… but you must learn to listen with your heart. Because some kind acts are all about your actual presence, your time, your listening ability. There are no perfect people. When I was young, I went through a painful narc faze. I believed that the world was entitled to feel sorry for me because I was born with a disability. But all false misconceptions lead to dead-end dreams. I don’t have that air of self-important arrogance any more. I’m looking for my kindness to connect boundaries, to shatter roadblocks, to motivate brokeness, to liberate prisoners, and to alleviate anxieties.

To be kind, is to be willingly present.

Even If No One Reads This

I stepped outside today and greeted the Amazon Prime delivery van. I had not ordered anything from Amazon Prime and although I pay for Amazon Music Unlimited, the idea that Amazon has fleets of distribution vehicles ready to move along my small town streets evoked a inner sentimentality. I snapped a picture of the van and asked the driver had she found the right address. She replied swiftly and obliged my joy about the “prime” moniker and how I enjoyed Amazon products. Momentarily, it seemed like I had left Louisiana and was not in a backyard crossing the street.

I snapped this photograph:

I remember the first time I accepted my call to artistry and realized the scorn and hatred I might face.

With the live action version of Johnathan Larson’s “RENT” coming to network television soon, I recalled the impoverished African-American woman who asked “Mark” (Anthony Rapp) , a struggling New York artist for a dollar. When he could not deliver it and gazed upon her with sorrow, I thought about how artists are like the homeless. We’re looking for home among citizens who have branded us as a strange and peculiar people. A “starving artist” is truly a living organism, and not just an expression levied by non-artists for comedic purposes.

We, artists are almost self-flagellating in our creative pursuit. People do not need to explain to us that the entertainment, journalism, and media avenues are over-run with facsimiles of the same vision. We search for the same destination: acknowledgement, acceptance and above all compensation for our gifts.

I was captivated by Amazon. You could almost say I had imagined that I saw a blinding bit of sun. Surely, the van and the person are just accomplishing a goal. The van is being used to transport objects. The woman is earning her pay.

Maybe my face was happy for a wonderful day or the idea of feeling accomplished… or was it just feeling connected to someone or something.

I write to connect. And maybe I need that small moment in time to remind me that being a writer is a brave, honest pursuit even if nobody bothers to see what words can do.

Artists like me are often fearful of their crafts because words have power. And often that power is spat on, thrown out, and ultimately silenced.

I’m a starving artist hoping that someone in the crowd sees my truth. If I don’t have money, my art is still viable or important.

As a black artist, I’m mindful not to let my race or more prominently…. my culture limit that long-term vision. It just needs tweaking, and the community near me needs refreshing… needs updating.

But to not write… because we fear the reflection must be conquered. I will keep being inspired even if no one reads this.

Bitter, Sweet, Hurt, and Uncle Louis.

Losing my uncle Louis was indeed bittersweet. One day (I know not which–because the days often blend together), I paced my grandmother’s home. I asked myself. Why are there no Christmas decorations up? And then I understood quickly, Christmas is not in packaging, in witty references to Santa, aboard the Polar Express, or present in the pomp that reflects our gayest apparel. It’s hard to celebrate when you’re blue. And I’m just blue right now.

Christmas is about love. Love, that I definitely wasn’t feeling when I realized my Uncle Louis joined the spirit world and left this temporal place.

I felt sorrow. But I also felt a since of completion…and the urge to be thankful that someone else’s life struggle was finished. Funerals are not for the people who died. They are for those left behind—-the survivors that have to keep living in the wake of such immediate finality.

When I think of my uncle’s influence on me, I think of the blues. And boy did “UNC” and grandma have it. They struggled together to share even when sharing could pull them apart. They called me: the deacon or “DEAC”.

I never wanted the name. They just gave it to me. That blessing and curse, hoisted like a lasso upon me, because both my uncle and his sister believed me to be a spirit healer.

I could receive them. And I often did. I received all their blues. One can be blue, even when the smile is easy. My grandma stayed awake worrying about my uncle. She was worried in the morning, worried at noon, worried in the middle of Family Feud. And when he sat in the chair next to her, She could let loose her frustration. For she is the female Rodney Dangerfield to his very visceral Lenny Bruce. She could let down her hair and be brutal with her sibling, knowing some strange condition that he might not see.

And as my grandma loved him…

I was there to take my grandma’s side when people broke her heart, there offering good-natured encouragement when strife was unavoidable. With holly decked and tree-trimmed, I’d be the singer, the teacher, the muse, the friend, and the partner-in-crime. At gatherings, I’d try to focus the good, even when the good seemed lost. I was the bartender, the YES-MAN, and the regrettable referee.

But it’s adverse in the middle trying to radiate gentleness in many rough and tumble situations.

Little Milton bellowed: “Hey, hey. The blues is alright.” And the blues is alright—–unless it masks some deep unresolved psychological trauma.

I have vivid memories of my uncle sharing his troubles with everyone. He shared his blues with his sister, the woman I’m indebted to in spirit and truth for teaching me about hard work. When you’re as close to your sister as my uncle was to our grandma, you can’t help but feel compassion for the plight of two people so intimately intertwined. I don’t feel sadness or regret. I just feel ambivalence.

I’ll miss the fish and potato salad he offered me. And he liked to fry his “sack-a-layed”. I’ll miss the grilled steaks that he made. I was afraid to touch anything in his kitchen, for fear that I wouldn’t put it back the way I found it. I’ll miss the handshakes. I’ll miss his laugh—-that was bigger and boom-ier than a Kentwood speaker. I’ll miss how he made my grandma smile brighter than the sun.

I’ll miss the random visits that I couldn’t prepare for. HE WAS ALWAYS AT OUR HOUSE! I’ll miss his pride after cutting lots of grass on a HUGE, MONUMENTAL tractor. I’ll miss the joy he felt in playing music, the comedian he was at his house parties. I’ll miss his mini-sermons about how his method of doing things was the only method. I’ll miss the stories about his life that I didn’t get to hear because some of them were too painful.

I will miss our telephone repairman. I’ll miss his presence at holiday memorials and Jehovah’s Witness congregations. He said to me that if the Library made me happy, I should stay there.

He also said that: If graduate study helps me become the professional I aspire to be, I should be courageous and go for it.

He did impact my life in a complicated way, a way that explains why many of us are so nomadic, never truly stationed at a fixed destination. We are all searching for something. And what we search for isn’t always what we need.

But we grab at anything that eases the silences in our hearts: a cocktail hour, a secret rendezvous, a forlorn song, or a special fishing hole. We will never be able to conceptualize why wanderers journey beyond the sea, cruise to God knows where, with God knows who. Only the ticket-holder knows where that trip is headed.

He was a Navy man. Maybe that’s why he loved to ramble on and on about how fun his cruises were. He accepted me as a man—-in his own way, at his own time. I am glad I waited. It was an albatross’s journey. We reached a reasonable place where acknowledging my Cerebral Palsy wasn’t as a big a deal to him as he once imagined.

I loved him with a fear that ebbed and flowed between intimidation and honor, between sympathy and cynicism.

All I know is that:

I loved him the best way I could. And I loved HARD even when I could not rightly love myself. He was a father to me, in his way. But all is well in my heart. I can only hope that he found peace on his way to meet the great I AM.

Goodbye, Uncle Louis. “Deac” will miss you.

You are not happy

Many people exhaust themselves understanding me.  No, really. Astrology nuts say that Sagittarians are wild-cards. And if you have played UNO before, you know that “WILD” cards make any UNO game unpredictable. The “WILD” card can stop a player in his or her tracks when UNO has already been called. The “WILD Draw Four” can be the difference between a new UNO winner, and a player left holding half the deck. I’ve had to take comfort in my “WILD” status, because it doesn’t go away.  I’m either left holding half the deck, or I win in a blaze.

But if I let jealous people tell my story, they’ll say: Harold is not very happy. 

I cannot be happy. I’m in my 30s. I’m single. I’m a creative. My career isn’t “high powered”. I don’t know “EVERYONE”. The people I do know are their own pacesetters. So therefore, I must be UNHAPPY with the life I am building, and therefore impossible to “help”.

So let’s clarify: I’m choosy with my relationships. I’m not a person that “NEEDS” an elaborate schmooze fest to “feel important”.

Like a wild animal, the archer blazes with fire to hit the target. I’m in a wonderful place whenever I can just HIT THE TARGET. Hitting the target matters.In college, a “hit” would be getting the degree. If I’m at work, a hit might be a salary increase. If I’m writing, a hit is “publishing more copy”.

I believe it’s only fair that the inept exhaust themselves with their obsession with my differences. I’ve never been a fish that you can take care of in a bowl. I’ve never been my “assigned role”, even when I act the part well. I’ve always had changing options about serious issues, and I have always had to learn on my feet. It’s quite hilarious to me how the more I know myself, the more I’d rather just hide. And it’s not that I’d hide from everyone. One can be a people person and be “picky” about people.

I’d hide not because I’m afraid. I actually hide because I  sometimes anticipate that those who want my resources are writing a devious story. That story always casts me as  some silent partner in a heist that eventually costs me more than I could pay. 

My father recently told me in just a few words:

Son, I think you’d be happier if you do just like this person. (He laughed to try and hide his seriousness.) Why am I so perceptive now?

(The other person was a sibling of mine.) The sibling had recently started a job. And I was instructed by my father to mimic that sibling because somehow the professional life I’m making is “embarrassing” or “counterfeit” or it’s not, to quote Bonnie Raitt: “something to talk about”. 

But I am happy.

I don’t know if I want you to talk about my career if you can’t be positive about it. Please don’t embarrass yourself anymore than you already have.

Someone once told me that I wasn’t happy because I was unwilling to be victimized by a relative.

To which I replied: Oh, I have enough. I call “phony” on the whole crazy lot of you. 

I’m happy that I’m alive to the resentment others throw at me because I’m happy with my flaws.  I am happy that I didn’t get stuck in a marriage, hemmed with child support. I’m happy that I’m not mentally ill. I’m happy that I understand that people don’t just behave their anxiety away. I’m happy that I can figure myself out, without owing the whole world an explanation. 

I used to believe that being visible was a sure way to build happiness. But even the visibility of Instagram and Facebook does not guarantee the true gratification of REAL joy.  Sure, I could flood every feed with pictures of the wonderful things that I am doing. But the things that make me happy aren’t the things I need to plaster all over my social media platform, all the time-everytime. 

I listened to Anderson Paak’s new song “Tints”. The lyrics juxtapose the symbolism between the tinted windows , and the erected shadows needed to survive in a world intent on taking all your treasures. 

The line I love says: I been in my bag adding weight, tryna’ throw a bag in a safe”. 

As a person, I’ve had to pad my bag of creative, mental, and spiritual power with rocks and bricks. I’ve had to add dead weight to my treasure because sometimes it’s as though I’m existing in a land of vultures who really seem convinced that they are not robbing my time and space. If my life’s a car, I’m confining my light in one small space while every window is tinted obsidian.

Some believe that in order to be happy, one has to perform a role… make nice with everyone, not stand on your principles. But I have principles, even if the grand game plans to fight like hell to make them go unacknowledged. 

For me, being happy does not being “perfect”. Having joy, doesn’t negate the problems I still have, or the anxieties I still face. I can still be upset that I was disrespected and misrepresented, and still forgive and love the person that committed that offense.

Of course, there are complicated things in my past that I have asked God to forgive me for. But everyone does dirt when they are “young and ill-informed”. I believe that some people live to capitalize on the simple-minded, because that’s the only story they’ve got. 

 I’m still that wild-card… aware of so much more than people want me to see. And I’ve accepted my role as an actor, but it’s high time for the producer to appoint an understudy. Because I’m very full of joy, I just refuse to breathe in all this dead spiritual food. 

I cannot stomach the denials, the silences, the shame, the ridicule. I don’t need to talk about others to love who I am. And I don’t need a lover to know that I am not ready for a relationship. 

Like Britney Spears sang years ago: “I need me. I need space.” 

I don’t need anyone to tell me how to be. I just need each one to concentrate on healing themselves. I can’t heal you…. I do well to heal me. 

I am healing every year. I’m happier every year because I’m working through my past. And I love the guy who writes, reads, geeks, and sees that so many idiots just need therapy and maybe some good medication. No, you aren’t bad people. I just won’t fix your problems for you. I’m not gonna help you live in denial. 

If you’re so happy, I don’t want it. I’ll stay over here with my books, my Kindle, my Pacific coast fascination,  my tea, my coffee, my writer friends, my musicals, my librarians, my Chromeo, my, Weezer, my Ted Schmidt cardigans and vests, my Khaki-pant love-affair, my NPR, my anime.

I’m happy to be connected and I’m learning to be content. I’m getting my life together. And it’s not a personal vendetta, if I’d rather not write my story as embedded act in the gloom of these other ones. 

I am happy… I’m just not sacrificing my own peace, to make you happy. I know what that’s life. I gave more than 20 years to such an equation and came away with regret, bitterness, and insanity. 

Again, I’m happy… I think you’re just grieving because I’m not nearly as stupid as you manufactured me to be. 

About the wildcard thing. I know it was expected that I’d be afraid to abandon my comfort zone. Well, I can tell you. I am not scared anymore. If you lose me… it won’t be because I abandoned you. It will because you assumed that shaming me was better than healing yourself. 

Stay classy, not brassy.

Harold

Confusing Conversation

It’s bad when a person cannot even be consistent in his or her lies. Maybe I majored in language because I got tired of being perceived as a disabled dummy. And maybe I wanted to ensure that if any person changed my narrative—I could at least level the adversarial playing field with some spiritual and contextual wisdom.

I believe every language has weird exceptions. We, English speakers plural words differently and have odd problems addressing gender and sexuality in written and oral communication. The funny thing about English is: The ability to side-step the context of words is woven into this language’s history.

Am I surprised we are twisting narratives around? No.

The way we deal with the rampant inconsistencies of confusing conversation is simple. We had better know our own story like we breathe air. We’d better make friends with our faults, so we’re prepared for when, like a volleyball, they are lobed at us. I’m getting my own story straight because I cannot predict when an unforgiving, spiritually dead person is gonna use it against me.

Whenever thrill-seekers attend theme parks to board roller-coasters, there is a high chance they will see a message that says: Watch your step.

That’s not just an empty clause. We can make it empty if we throw our bias toward it, but that doesn’t change what it says.

When we speak, write, and talk… the words that make our conversations multiply right alongside the probability that… these words might become vacant.

Attending to your balance is also watching how far from the ground you travel. It’s also a warning about the constancy of change. If things are changing faster than you can understand, maybe the object is to keep you confused… so that you won’t see the endgame. It pays to know as much about your steps as possible. But if there are several confusing conversations to get you away from the main event, how can you know who is fooling you, or why they are fooling you?

Sometimes rhetoric can become so overloaded with symbols and idols, that the meat of the dialogue is LOST or worse subtracted altogether.

What about conversation prompters like “national media” or “the media”. It depends heavily on who you’re asking to speak, and how far from the ground they are. The conversation around those terms informs who is talking and what their passions truly are.

People in my past confused me all the time using different conversations to draw me away from the main story… to throw my mind, will, and emotion into subservience.

When you are confused about the rhetoric, the conversation—the artistry surrounding the word and speech about any topic—there is a fear and lack of discipline that can be used against you.

As a disabled person… older and rife with many misgivings, I make it my own business to know my own story, because if I don’t other more powerful people around me will use my disability to make me feel and think like an arrogant, angry criminal.

What is the best way to stoke anger among people who are otherwise well-intentioned?

Make them feel like their story is on the verge of being re-written, like their cone of influence will die. Make them doubt the validity of their roots, so that they will be manipulated to your side.

This is why conversation, language, and more broadly RHETORIC… is still powerful. The more people that are destroyed because they don’t ask the pivotal questions, the easier it is for one person or group to reap all the rewards. We can be confused to believe we have it worse than we have it, especially if we have never been been broke… never been on the verge of having NOTHING in our bank accounts. It’s easy to ask to borrow from a bank with an immaculate credit line. And it’s easy for a rich liar to convince ill-informed people not to watch their steps.

So I encourage every one to watch his or her steps not for me, but because we’re living in a selfish time, when the overload of rhetoric has totally compromised the ability of quality conversation, when fear is transcending discernment, and idols are replacing worthy ideas. Rhetoric isn’t graceful anymore… but it’s the people’s fault.

Words are weapons when people give them license to be such. I know my story… and I’ll be ready when people grind up my words into confusing conversation.

Joints

While several people around me celebrate a different joint, their blunts and papers to Mary Jane… I worry about my ligaments—the joints that I nurse like a concerned parent over a flailing, expressive baby. I delicately balance having Cerebral Palsy with being an expansive outgoing, and very disjointed person. I must consider every hour of every day, making sure that I am NOT stressing my joints out. I have to move but what is too much?

My bones, muscles and I tow a moving line between exercise and over-exertion. I can clean a home. I can push a lawn mover. I can drive as long as I really know where I’m going. And there is fear built in to these joints I’ve got.

Because as I age, the line between enough and too much moves wildly like a Tourette’s patient with spasms included. There are days when I exercise just enough. And conversely, there are days when my joints react in confusion because I got too excited about what I was doing… and my mind won over my body’s lingering, persistent limitations.

So while you guys are smoking your blunts, I’m giving myself tough love about what my joints can and cannot do. You people only have joint problems when you’re old. I’m not old and I’ve had to deal with pain in my joints as a child.

And no I have never needed marijuana to cope with Cerebral Palsy. I know we all are different, and I know some of you guys are going to be angry with me. But I have never used a drug like marijuana to cope with my very permanent disability.

My pain rating varies. If only I could use that celebrated J.D. Power rating system to give everyone a comfortable star rating of what happens in my daily life with this developmental problem that I didn’t ask for, you guys would get it.

But I’ve lived with these “creative” muscle joint problems for over three decades and I cannot always predict what my own muscles are going to do. I rely on faith, balance, and lots of delicate therapy, and several conversations with Jesus, GOD and myself. Sometimes, all these things aren’t enough.

Some people use joints to cope. I use my joints to linger, to traipse, to frolic, to jog, to amble, to press, to move along. I can’t kick. I used to move a ball around on grass when I was a little tike. These were sparse moments when I did some edited form of physical education. And there was this one time when the spherical shape of the ball became nuisance enough to knock me down. It’s funny how joints are space between things. We use drugs to space out, but I’ve never been truly separated from my Cerebral Palsy. I’ve tried many things to bridge the gap.

I’ve done the performance anxiety thing, they self-motivation thing, the pray it away-thing, the fool yourself and act like it isn’t there-thing. The watch others so you don’t watch yourself-thing. But there was always a space for people to conclude: Poor him, he’s like that dis-reputable establishment of a person that makes a great stew, but can’t tie his shoes.

I don’t have to pretend to be a ghost, or apparition. My disability spaced me out. There is always a space between the disabled and other people. The irony is that I’ve fought hard to find my space, my point of connection, or my point of location.

And as an adult I’m more out of joint with many of the people I’m supposed to find the space between. So books are my connection. Words are my heroes. Because in effort to find location, and the space between start and finish…

I’ve existed in a Uncle-tom establishment that says without a word: even the way you experience your Cerebral Palsy is too much for us.

Sometimes I can’t meet at the meeting place of people like me because my routes and roads are just too confusing.

As a man with Cerebral Palsy, I’ve discovered that by definition my personality is maybe more of semi-conductor than I once believed. See, when people see disability…

They tend to see a blind person. We are blind as bats. We’re looped in with the autistic, as adults quartered off on a separate planet.

But a joint is joining together, not a separation. I’ve realized recently that the social study of myself isn’t the same as the psycology of myself. Words and writing can’t fill what electrified, motivated people bring to the psyche of my disabled life.

My joints made me an other.. but my friends, and my people made me a somebody. Who are my people? Any person that helps me take a break from being a person with CP! Nothing matches the people who make you feel accepted, loved, appreciated, and supported.

And if a joint supports movement, I want to move toward the one or ONES that makes me know the electricity that makes life more than just a collection of days, tasks, and accomplishments spread over a nomadic journey.

I found one person that allows me to move at a stride that’s mine. No, we’re not dating. But like the universe, this person helps my joints do that semi-conducting — still banging, still blazing toward self-ACTUAL, still reaching for SKY.

I don’t understand how cannibus turns us into thrashing cannibals. But if I can accept arthritis before I’m 70, shouldn’t these ignorant nutcases who blame me for just existing, accept that I didn’t choose where my humanity links with the universe collective?