The street is called Lauralan Dr, but my memories preceed memories of the street. The very end of the street is covered over with brush. The road just before this is dirt, patchy with many potholes. It hurts to walk on it. but there, in the middle of this space of road is..
Nap-time at daycare –
Me: I can’t sleep.
Adult: You at least need to try.
Me: I’m not tired.
Adult: Then lay down and pretend to sleep.
Me (Out within seconds)
Further up the road…
My grandfather’s magnifying glass. A pyramid-shaped handle connecting off-centered to a metal frame which wrapped a rectangular lens. Burning leaves with sunlight by holding the magnifying glass at the right angle and distance. A cloudy day – no sun – nothing to do. Twist the handle off. The frame comes apart and the lens comes out. Don’t break it. It is valuable. It is a relic left from the life of a person who could not leave new ones. I don’t want to or feel unable to play with my peers. I liked to draw. But I have no paper out here. Drawing future cities. At Granny’s house. There is a TV show about drawing. The man who hosts the show is always drawing these incredible futuristic cities. Drawing gets me praise. I am smarter than other kids. My answer to “What will you be when you grow up?” is “Architect”. I’m told this will mean I can draw for a job. My grandparents love me – my mother’s parents and my father’s mother. I don’t remember father’s father, but I pray to him. In a way, I ask God to hand over the spiritual phone and God does. I believe my grandfather looks over us and I have conversations with him, imagining his side of the conversations. I recognize the fact that I am different as an inescapable truth. It is a part of being me. My family loves me. This is all I need.
I can draw a map to Lauralan Dr, but this road is no longer home. The only place this road, the road detailed ever so slightly above still exists is in its incomplete state in my head.
The last person with whom I spoke was a friend in Street Lit. He was asking for clarification on this writing prompt. The last person who really spoke to me was Jimi Hendrix: “When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” “But how do we go about empowering love?”, I ask through a wormhole. I’ve yet to receive a response. But I’m looking. I have to keep looking. I’ve always tried to be the change I want to see in the world, trying to spread love, making the world better in my own small way. But damn it, I want to make the world better in a big way. I think we need it.
I know I don’t speak human very well. I’m kind of goofy, whether I try to be or not. I learned from a young age to steer into the skid. People find me peculiar, so why not pretend like I’m intentionally peculiar? Why not be peculiar intentionally? I make jokes because I want people to be happy and because people tend to not take me seriously anyway. It is easier to pretend I’m joking than to try to defend a thoughtless comment. I tend to live with my head in the clouds. This has led to some alienation throughout my life. I felt like an outcast throughout most of my childhood. As much as I’ve grown, as much as I’ve learned to love myself, those memories are always just below the surface. On occasion, a new friend will take my presented confidence combined with my joking as an attempt to cause offense, to get a rise out of them. I don’t aim to cause offense. I aim to inspire happiness and spread love. I’ve gotten better at speaking human, but still tend to insight undesired responses. If you happen to encounter me throughout the day, please understand that I love you and want you to be happy.
A friend recently told me I should refrain from calling “black” people “brother”. I tend to call males with whom I encounter “brother”. I think some people hear the word as “black man” (“Hey, black man. How are you, black man?”). This would certainly seem to hold the potential to create division, but I use it as means of expressing kinship. It says, “We are in this together”. I suppose, to some males of African dissent, I am not viewed as “Brother” because I do not face the same discrimination they do. It is offensive because my claim that we are in this together does not seem justified. To others, the use of the word, may seem belittling. It classifies the individual as a brother rather than my brother. Of course this is all speculation. I have never been a “black” person and don’t know that I have the experience to truly understand the offense this word would seem to cause some. I try to do as little harm as possible in any case I find myself. So, is it the greater good to avoid calling only people of African ancestry “Brother”? What would it mean to treat these people differently solely as a result of the color of their skin? It would mean I would have to start treating them as “Black” first. I try to see people as people. That is not to say that I am color-blind. But rather, I believe we have more similarities than we have differences. It is not my skin color or my ancestry that defines me. I’d like to think my fellow humans see things in a similar way. Any rules for interacting with certain people as a result of something as superficial as skin color would seem to work to create illogical division. This is kind of the opposite of my intent. Perhaps the greater good would be to stop using the word as means of showing unity all-together. I can’t give one name to my family of African dissent and another to every other member of my family. Perhaps my real meaning behind the word is namaste, I recognize you as a beautiful part of God – en theos. But I don’t want to force my spiritual perspectives on anyone. It there a word, a title, a name that just means “I love you and appreciate you and would not want any harm to come to”? I would use that word every day.