Oh and the Parrots

I wanted a cigarette this morning, but I wouldn’t have one. I can wait. I want to get my dreams down, they were rich and meaningful despite being interrupted for plans that I already knew I didn’t really have.

I know that it’s exhausting being a Black man, but why on earth do they come at Black women with anything less than their #1 A game? Like, I’m tired too and I know you *know* that. Therefore it is *least* acceptable from you to pile more work on me <=== I have to remember this and act accordingly. This is interesting.

I clicked away and clicked back. I am antsy without cigarettes, I always was before I smoked, and am every time I try to quit. I don’t think people like it. It’s fine, these lies I tell myself.

Anyway, my dreams I dreamed of my Mother, my Brother, going to school (somehow still) and many many parrots, Including a blue one who was 4 years old.

It occurs to me that parrots can reproduce at 4, yet live to be 85. Why on earth is human mortality so close on the timeline to the end of fertility? Whales too… what are we doing wrong. Why are we the only animal like this.

I probably should have had a cigarette because here I am trying to talk about something important and I can’t keep my mind still at all. The only way around is through, none of this is a good enough reason to smoke.

This is the part I told myself to remember.

I was sitting, I believe outdoor in a cafe (which reminds me, I have to go to that new bar that everyone says is the thing, now that I’m vaccinated) and behind me someone was talking. They were, unfortunately all too common out here, talking about race. I don’t remember exactly what they said, maybe it will come to me but I’m not forcing it.

But it angered me. And1 I turned around to respond.

“Have you ever been scared? Scared, that no matter where you are or what you’re doing, people are going to rush into your house and hurt your family, take your stuff and maybe your life and there’s nothing you can do about it?.”

The older, flat faced white man sitting behind me said yes.

“Are you scared right now? Because I am. Were you born scared? I was. Imagine being scared your whole life. Imagine living in fear. Not just for a short time, but for all time you have. Forever.”

The flat face grew flatter, and I realized that I was talking to a gravestone.

The grassy space that was this cafe courtyard was actually a small pocket graveyard, the kind that exist in small towns, on a lot that is specifically fenced off and unused on a busy busy street where people are trying to make use of closets as efficiency apartments. I can tell by the view of the people walking by, though interestingly I have never been to the back of that lot.

1. Never start a sentence with And…

So I finally got through it, I got through my coffee, and I get to have a cigarette.

I don’t like this feeling.

I’m going to quit.

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