It’s been too long…

Wow, time flies when you realize that your last post was 60 days ago!  Man, I gotta stop working.  {Head held between hands as if trying to figure out a way to pay the bills otherwise.}

So, I wrote a post-Thanksgiving note to my sister-in-law who is more family to me than the man she divorced over a decade ago, my brother.  It went something like this:

Hi, Sweetie!
And a happy one to you!  I didn’t have a second to call as I cooked my first Turkey and stuffing alone and had friends over to my new place so I was like a whirling Dervish all morning and afternoon. Thank Jesus for my friend Janice who took control of the turkey out of the oven and who made the gravy too.  I keep forgetting that I’m not a cook!  I collapsed at 8:30p in a post-tryptophan glazed haze of a long day doing something that I forget until the next Thanksgiving comes:  I hate to cook this crap and I’m stuck on Mom’s favorite holiday.  I swear to Buddha, I’m going OUT-OF-TOWN next year and skipping these shenanigans. NOT TO SAY that I didn’t have a great time and everyone brought something DELISH to add to the food extravaganza especially the aforementioned friend Janice who brought KILLER mashed pots.  YUM!  (crap, it’s 5:30a and I wanna go heat up some more to eat. I ate at 3:30p yesterday fer the Lord’s Sake!).  I had bought a Diestel organic Heidi Turkey to cook.  It’s quite something to buy these humanely-treated animals to eat.  She came in a box with a story about how well she was raised on land free to roam about and fed non-pesticide, No GMO foods and could just hop, skip, and gobble wherever she pleased.  It even came with a video of her roaming the land with her other Heidi mates…(OK, that last part I made up…haha!)
Phew! It’s 6:09a and I’m back.  I had to run off to the kitchen just now and heat up some corn bread to have with my coffee I just made.  One thing led to another – first the water to boil, then the cornbread warming in the micro real quick, then the first taste…Oh my god!  I swallowed the Sahara desert in one fell swoop!   What tasted awesome yesterday under a cloud of wine and gravy now needed a 1/2 stick of butter to enjoy.  Dammit!  I was going to start the diet today (not really, who am I kidding?) and now I have a 2-inch by 4-inch slice of cornbread inside me with 1/2 stick of melted butter making it’s way through my gutlet.  Woof.
Alas, I found my comic side again.  I haven’t been this funny in months.  Something changed today when I awoke at 4:45a. I was tired of feeling sorry for everyone and mostly my nephew and my brother.  I tire of feeling badly for people who do bad things and end up in bad places because of their bad choices in life.  I have made some small bad choices here and there, but NOTHING like this.  And I think that after talking to one of my cousins on the phone yesterday morning, these words she said struck me over and over all day and I was mumbling them before I went to bed even…
“You know, Dana, we have a pretty decent family and it’s a huge family with all of us cousins and our parents, uncles, aunts – pretty huge.  And though we have some weirdos and a few creeps, I used to say to myself:  ‘Well, at least none of us has ever killed anyone…’ and now that has happened.”
Then I started to realize that truly the lowest-common-denominator elements in the “huge family” are my closest blood relatives:  My eldest brother, Bob, is a lying, conniving cheat; my sweet, in-the-final-stages-of-MS, reformed, ex-junkie brother, Bill, lives completely off of the government yet votes for Tea Party candidates – go figure; Bill has one son who has never held a job in his life (he’s 34) and no one on the planet (including the government) knows he’s alive because he’s akin to an amoeba; and his other son is now in jail, a murderer.
I went to bed sad.  Even though I had a great day with friends and ate a killer meal, I couldn’t help but think about Chris and how he must feel after this many days in a cell and on a family holiday like Thanksgiving.  We know he’s never been a bad guy or an evil person. (Until now?)  I don’t think he’s ever thought about killing people, though I question where this road rage has come from in the past 8 years of his life since he wrecked his boss’ truck – when was that? about 8 years ago, right?  Anyway, I felt for him not having anything but a cold cell to be in.  I know he’s going to prison, Wendy, and even though I’m angry as hell that he has taken another human’s life and so sad for that man and  his family, I’m going to devote myself to writing to Chris in an effort to keep his spirits up somehow.  He’s going to have an awful time in prison since it’s filled with understandably angry African-Americans and men of color, many of whom have never seen the light of the  justice represented by the torch in Lady Liberty’s palm who stands at the entry to New York on Liberty Island.  And Chris shot an African-American. Now that we regularly see our own police forces brutally murdering unarmed black civilians claiming they “thought the other person had a gun” just as Chris is attempting to do to save himself in court, he’s going to take the heat from the anger that blacks feel.  And that will lead him, undoubtedly, to the white supremacist freakshow in prison who will bring him into their clique to protect him and alas he’ll grow to become even more f’ed up.   Poof – in one moment of one’s life, everything flips completely upside down and suddenly, you live  in hell.  I just keep shaking my head as I write this because I still can’t believe it.  It’s so hard for me to shake off the feeling of: what could I have done to change this? But, of course, I couldn’t have done anything as his aunt living another state over and shouldn’t feel badly about myself.  It’s just hard.  I’m sure you feel that guilt ping too.
So, anyway, when I woke up and started going through the motions of writing, I let go of the sadness and was funny for a minute or two at the start of composing this to you and I haven’t felt funny in a very long time.  What with work pounding down on me, Wen, the 100+ hours-a-week I devote to the college and all of the politics that we are wrapped up in…it’s really just not been fun for a very long time.
OK, more to come and I promise I’ll try to find my funny again.

About danaj33

writer * department chair of Broadcast Electronic Media Arts and audio faculty at City College of San Francisco * music composer and producer * always in discovery mode, learning, living, loving, and laughing.
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