Mohs Nose Tales of Woe

A bird shitting on you equals good luck, right? I hope so because my Mohs surgery to remove a basal cell carcinoma from the right side of my nose – bordering the bridge, an unfortunate location – is scheduled for tomorrow morning.

I was talking with a friend in the parking lot after dropping our boys off at camp this morning and a bird shit on me. Just like that. I looked up at my friend and said, “a bird just shit on me” and we laughed. What else was I supposed to do? I got a tissue from my car, wiped the shit off my shirt and then my friend was kind enough to share a tale about a bird shitting on her in an outdoor bar once upon a time, which I really appreciated, even if it wasn’t true. At least the bird didn’t shit on my face because I don’t care what anyone says, there is no way that would be considered good luck. In fact, I’m sure it would be bad luck. Almost as bad as this motherfucking basal cell carcinoma – which certainly isn’t going to kill me, but it can do some pretty hefty damage if not fully removed and the process to fully remove it stinks – right smack in the middle of my face. But bird shit on my shirt? Ok, I’ll take it as a sign of good luck.

All joking aside, I really do believe the cancer part of this thing will be fine. If you’re going to get skin cancer, let’s face it – get it? let’s FACE IT – basal cell carcinoma is the kind you want to get. I’m lucky. At the same time, I also realize it will be important for me to be more vigilant about my health care in general and to see my dermatologist regularly from here on out, and I will, because apparently once you get one of these motherfuckers, your chance of getting another one – or another kind, maybe a not so good kind – increases. 

As I get ready for tomorrow, however, I admit I’m feeling pretty wimpy about it. I might have researched Mohs a little too thoroughly and also the motherfucker is in the middle of my face. Did I tell you that already? I’m not looking forward to the anesthesia shots I’ll be getting in my nose and surrounding area. I wish I hadn’t read about that part. People on the Internets make it sound like a horribly unbearable thing, worse than giving birth and I know that can’t be true because I’ve done that. Twice. I’m sort of worried about the surgeon being all up in my face too. I hate that. I mean really, really hate it. I’m mostly worried about how much of my nose will have to be cut away and whether the Mohs-trained surgeon is skilled enough to handle the reconstruction he has mapped out or if I should have lined up a plastic surgeon for that part. Damn you, Google. I think I’m realistically prepared for what things will be like immediately following, but I’m pretty surprised by how worried I am about the long term cosmetic results. It’s not like me to care so much, but it IS my face, after all, so I’m giving myself a pass for having these uncharacteristic vain concerns. I kind of wish I could be asleep for the next week or so, or have a glass of wine at least, but I’m just going to have to suck it up and I will. So anyway, thanks for letting me ramble on about this a little. I’m really not freak-out-scared, just kind of depressed-scared. It will pass. Always does. And true to form, I’m expecting THE WORST so I’ll be fully prepared for when it happens, or relieved when it doesn’t, whichever. I did talk to my primary care doctor a little while ago and I feel better knowing he thinks I’m in good hands and all will be well.

True to form once again, I spent most of the day cleaning my house with my one and only cleaning companion, Bruce Springsteen, turned up LOUD so I couldn’t think, and also ignoring the phone. Sorry if that was you. I’m pretty much in full-on INFJ mode right now and I just want it to be over. I’ll keep you updated on how it goes, ok?

Oh, and people? Don’t forget to wear your damn sunscreen and your hat too!

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A Week (Or Two) In The Life, Part Two: A Sunday In DC

Part 2

A Sunday In DC

In early May I made an unplanned visit to a black church in DC – a full six weeks before the Charleston murders. This is the story of what happened that day.

The weekend before my reading in the Listen To Your Mother show in Baltimore, a few of us went down to DC to support our fellow LTYM readers and to witness their stories being shared at the National Geographic building. The background to this part of the story is the savage murder of Freddie Gray in late April by Baltimore police officers and the days of protest, uprising and additional police brutality that followed.

 Anyway, I arrived for the LTYM DC show quite a bit earlier than everyone else and it was a gorgeous day, so I decided to do some walking in the neighborhood while I waited. As I walked down M St, NW, I heard the sounds of a gospel choir pouring out of the doors of a church and into the warm, sweet, spring air. An impressive gothic revival edifice towered above me and I noticed a sign in the small patch of grass in the front lawn. Metropolitan AME Church. I stopped at the wrought iron gate separating me from what was happening inside and I listened to more from the choir. I let the good news, the praise, the optimism wash over me until the juxtaposition of that joy coming from inside the church and the ongoing circumstances of such pain and injustice outside, most recently in Baltimore, began to unsettle and confuse me. Suddenly, a man who had been standing inside the gate asked if he could help me. I didn’t know what to say, so I just told him the truth. I told him I was walking in the neighborhood while waiting for some friends and I was enjoying the sounds of the church choir. He opened the gate and suggested I go inside, so I did. I walked up the front steps and stood there a minute, listening, feeling out of place, feeling like I was intruding, unsure if I should stay, but not wanting to leave either. An older church lady was sitting right inside the door and gestured for me to join her. I went to her side and she greeted me with a warm, “Good morning”. She, too, asked if she could help me and I told her the same thing I’d told the man outside, she welcomed me and we began a conversation.

I learned that Metropolitan AME Church is the oldest AME church in Washington, DC, founded in 1838. The church is shrouded in history with noteworthy visiting speakers such as Frederick Douglas, a regular attendee whose funeral was also held there in 1895, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Mary McLeod Bethune, Eleanor Roosevelt, Hubert Humphrey, and Mordecai Johnson.  The building itself is on the National Register of Historic Places. She asked if I was familiar with the AME church and I told her yes, a little, as I’d had a supervisor back in the late 80’s who’d belonged to a big AME church in Baltimore. My boss had talked about it often, it was an integral part of her life, but I’d never visited. We talked a bit more about the structure and the history of the church, what it still represents in the black community, and then she asked if I attended a place of worship. I told her about the faith in which I’d been raised and how I’d left it for complicated reasons. I told her for all intents and purposes, I’d been without a church home for 9 years. “But I still love Jesus”, I made certain to say, I’m not sure why. She told me the service would soon be ending, and encouraged me to climb the grand staircase to see the sanctuary and to greet the pastor if I wanted. I hesitated and then she took me by the hand and walked with me up the stairs, the choir’s last shouts of praise beckoning.

Pastor William Lamar, IV was giving his closing remarks by the time we reached the top. The church lady and I stood together over to the side, listening. I looked around the vast sanctuary filled with hundreds of worshippers sitting in rows of shiny wooden pews and anchored by the pipe organ and choir loft. There it was again, that unmistakable sense of joy – or something – in the room. I was the only white person there. It was a strange feeling. Not one I’m used to experiencing. As the service ended, people started to line up to greet Pastor Lamar, a tradition very familiar to me as we’d done the same in my former church. The church lady encouraged me to get in line, to greet the pastor. I was reticent, I didn’t want to cause discomfort. Or maybe the truth is I was the increasingly uncomfortable one. Or both. I don’t know. She took me by the hand and placed me in the line behind a few of the congregants. I stayed in the line, but I kept moving back, giving up my position, encouraging church members to move ahead of me, many of them greeting me with smiles or nods. Finally, the last in line, I approached Pastor Lamar and I shook his hand, introducing myself. He greeted me in kind, asked what had brought me to Metropolitan that morning and I told him. He thanked me for coming, encouraged me to come back for a full service sometime, then he asked if there was a prayer he could offer on my behalf. I didn’t expect that at all, I looked down and part of me wanted to run like hell in the opposite direction. Maybe it was my damn church baggage rearing its ugly head. Or maybe something deeper, more confusing.

You’ll be glad to know I didn’t run away, but I did think, whoa, Pastor, I don’t even know how I ended up standing here in front of you, ok? I feel like I want to crawl out of my skin and I’m scared to death I’m going to say something wrong. Or that you’ll know how wrong I am just by looking into my eyes. I was walking along, your choir was singing, your congregants were kind, and now here I am. The truth is I’m sorry I didn’t listen sooner. I’m sorry I’ve been blind. I’m sorry I’ve turned my head away. It’s not ok. The truth is I’m realizing what’s happening in our country isn’t new, this has been the way things have been since the beginning, but I didn’t see it before now. The truth is I’ve been crying on and off for days about Freddie Gray, the uprising in Baltimore, and white supremacy to the point where my husband is worried about me, and I don’t know what to do. I don’t even know what NOT to do to make sure I don’t cause more harm. I want to be part of making things right, but I don’t know how. The truth is I’ve been feeling this terrifying and overwhelming urge to hit the streets, to do what I don’t know, because like I said, I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO. Or maybe I do know but I’m afraid to do it.  I most certainly know now that something is terribly wrong. The truth is every time I see a black person this week – stranger, friend, male, female, young, old – I start to cry. AS IF they need my tears. I’ve been remembering all sorts of things – things like a fellow graduate school student, my friend, a young black man, asking me if I was afraid of black men because I flinched as he reached out to wrap a measuring tape around my head in preparation for ordering our graduation caps, our faces inches apart – my anger at him for confronting me with the question  and my immediate denial – I’ve been so unglued, so immobilized by my own white shame, projecting all over the place, and I swear I almost walked up to a black man I didn’t know in HomeGoods to embrace him, to apologize or something. Yes. Yes, I did. AS IF I have the right to do such a thing or to invade his space with my bullshit. AS IF an apology from me would somehow change a damn thing for him. I’ve been drowning in my own feelings about this ugly reality you have to live with every single day. The truth is I hurt for all black citizens of this country in a way I never have before and I’m scared for you, I’m scared for us all. I’m scared to put myself at risk. I guess on some level I’m also scared of you, but I don’t know why, and dear God, I don’t want to be. I hate this. I don’t understand how you live with this over and over and over again. And I don’t understand how I can stand my own stench either. 

But anyway, all I keep thinking this week is please stay inside until we figure out how to make this stop, please don’t drive, please stay away from the police. My hair stands on end every time I see a police officer pull over a black driver. A few days ago, I even pulled off the highway and circled back around, just in case, because you are in danger. AS IF you didn’t know that.

I know, I’m a MESS. And don’t worry, I didn’t say any of that to Pastor Lamar. Thank God. Still, I’m convinced he saw right through me, this middle-aged white lady standing before him, so obviously without a freaking clue and so obviously in desperate need of SO many of them. I took a deep breath and said, “Will you please pray for me to be a good listener,  and also that I might act wisely and courageously on what I hear?” Pastor Lamar took his own deep breath and said, “Ah, so thats why you’re here. Because that’s what I needed to hear this morning. Lets pray.” So he put his hands on my shoulders and we bowed our heads down together and he prayed for us. Amen.

Memories of my visit there have been an especially strong and constant presence since Charleston. The open doors. Stories being lived, stories needing to be heard. The freely given welcome. One I didn’t deserve. The opportunity to see my own reflection in the context of their joy – Joy with a capital J – against a continuous backdrop of the burden and oppression I’m learning more about.

Yes, and what am I going to DO with it?

The importance of interrupting the lie, the fantasy – so I might listen, learn, empathize, and WAKE UP – has smacked me hard across the face. I’ve decided what I can DO is get a clue, do the work. White people’s work. I don’t know exactly what that is yet, but I’m going to find out. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with not drying my tears, but honestly examining them. Not letting my grief paralyze me, but using it to build a bridge for my neighbors to walk over. To create space for them to take what belongs to them. Freedom from fear, for one thing. Freedom to live. And speaking up whenever I see someone trying to block that bridge. It’s time. 

I’ve imagined, more than once, the very real possibility that what happened in Charleston could have happened in DC at Metropolitan AME Church, a white stranger walking into a historic black church – not by chance like I did, because let’s face it, I doubt that happens much – to do premeditated harm, simply because of the meaning the black church holds in black communities. The thought of that kind of vulnerability rattles me and yet the national AME leadership has called for their churches to remain open and welcoming, even in the face of what amounts to nothing less than domestic terrorism. Can you believe that? Open doors. Room for all at the table. “God is the strength of my life; of whom – or what – shall I be afraid?” That kind of BRAVERY – in the the face of unspeakable and repeated trauma – strengthens my conviction that we white folks are the ones who need to make this right by letting the TRUTH of the stories of black people – and our own biases – touch and teach and guide us in a new way. It’s our responsibility because we’re the ones who made it wrong and I can’t UNKNOW that. So I’m listening, and in the midst of many missteps, I’m trying to learn what to do – and what not to do. I’m unpacking all sorts of ugly crap in my own head and trying to find other white people with whom to process it. You might be surprised by how hard that is, finding trustworthy white people who want to talk about this. I’m trying to wake up my own little circle of white space, to unsettle it, to make it uncomfortable for us to go on in ways that dismiss the truth of our white privilege. No doubt, I will say and do a good bit of this work wrong, I already have. Still, I’m committed to growing through it. I’ll keep coming back, I won’t quit listening or learning or trying. I won’t give up, I won’t turn my head away again. 

A Week (Or Two) In The Life, Part One: Charleston

Part 1

Charleston

I didn’t find out about the killings at Emanuel AME Church until 24 hours after they happened. And when I found out, I was immobilized. By what I’m not entirely sure, but it wasn’t shock. Too much has happened in the past year for me to be shocked anymore. Maybe I was immobilized because the absence of shock was shocking to me. I don’t know. But anyway, this horrific, heartbreaking thing happened. I felt grief, outrage, disgust, shame, but not shock. And I still don’t know what to say about it except this, and it isn’t enough:

A white young man committed a racially-motivated mass murder, an act of domestic terrorism, and I condemn it. He walked into a church prayer meeting and carried out his premeditated plan to murder the people in attendance solely because they were black, and precisely because they were in their black church. He murdered black people inside their church, the one place that is supposed to be safe, if there is any such place at all anymore. My inclination is to call this man’s actions evil, but I think it’s worse than that, more complex than that. I just don’t know what to call it. This man published his racist manifesto on the internet. He spoke his racist beliefs before he terrorized and murdered these people. Afterwards, he said he almost didn’t go through with it because the church people had been so kind to him. What in the hell is going on here? This is America. It’s 2015. How can this still be happening? I’m waking up to an ugly truth. Systemic racism and white supremacy exist – what happened in Charleston is not an anomaly – and I will not ignore it. Not anymore.

In my great confusion, discomfort, growing anger, sadness and awakening since the murder of Michael Brown last August, I’ve reached out to a few of my black women friends in the hopes of engaging in some sort of dialogue around racism and injustice. AS IF I have a clue. They’ve been kind and extraordinarily patient with me, but I’m not AT ALL proud to say I’ve been slow to realize that while this isn’t about me personally, this is OUR issue, you know, we white people. Its not my black friends’ job to educate me or to help me understand or to reassure me. Venting my discomfort and outrage to them doesn’t prove anything and it doesn’t absolve me of my responsibility in what’s happening in this country. It doesn’t lift their burden and I sure as all hell don’t want to make it even heavier. Its just that I don’t know what to do. Lately I feel like I don’t know much of anything at all. The only thing I know for sure is that something is very, very wrong and if I’m not doing something to help bring attention to that, I’m part of the problem. I’m consciously listening and learning – maybe for the first time – so at the very least, I can try to empathize and to imagine what it must be like to be black in this country in 2015. Its my responsibility to educate myself and to take a good, hard look at myself and my own heart. Only then will I learn about the reality of my white privilege and how to use it to stand in solidarity with people who are rising up against injustice, to amplify their voices, to help make space for them to be heard. Lasting systemic and institutional change must come. Our lives are intertwined. I’m consciously realizing I need to acknowledge, confront and chip away at MY OWN biases, understanding that while I will continue to make progress, those biases are probably so deeply entrenched by living in this society for 50 years, they may never be fully unlearned. I’ll have to work to confront them every single time I default to a learned reaction. It’s my responsibility to stay present in the discomfort that’s arising without letting it immobilize me – because that’s just another manifestation of my privilege, being able to check in and out, right? – and its my responsibility to speak up in my own circle of white friends and family, to demonstrate what I’m learning, to help wake us up, to make us uncomfortable, to help dismantle these very real and present dangers, brick by brick, layer by layer – physical, emotional, spiritual – facing our black brothers and sisters. To risk my comfort for real and lasting equity. Its my responsibility. Not in an attention-seeking, delusional, white savior way, not only during one horrific crisis after another, but as a fellow citizen who gives a damn, because it’s the right thing to do, day to day, until this is made right and forever. I admit I’m scared, but I sure as hell don’t have the kind of fear black people have to live with every damn day.

I’m realizing there’s a fine line between making this turmoil I feel all about me and moving through it to do something constructive with it, to assist in the long road ahead. And I’m pretty sure the turmoil and discomfort I feel is meant to be an in-between kind of place – at least temporarily – of listening and learning before opening my mouth or taking action. I don’t know. But I do know that good intentions and words won’t mean squat if I don’t back them up with action at some point. So I keep coming back to what am I going to DO with all of this? Black lives matter. Black lives matter TOO. Its too bad we have to say it. But we do and I won’t stop saying it until this is made right. I’m learning that when we behave as if black lives don’t matter by failing to listen to, acknowledge, and empathize with their truths and experiences, failing to fully recognize their humanity and dignity, failing to empower their lives in the same ways white people have been privileged to enjoy, failing to defend their civil and HUMAN rights, failing to acknowledge our present condition (no matter how ugly), failing to learn our accurate history in this swirling mess of escalating inequality and injustice, and failing to assist in uprooting racist institutions and systems that continue to marginalize, oppress, and even kill black people, well, then, OUR lives don’t matter in the end either. It’s all or nothing. Or as my rock hero, Bruce Springsteen, used to say during his live shows in the 80’s, “nobody wins unless everybody wins”. That’s what I believe.

I’m grateful I’ve had access to so much good writing on the internet during this nightmare. I will not stop reading, listening, watching, amplifying, so I can learn to be an asset – not a liability – in the fight for racial justice and equity. I commit to supporting the change that must come, the change that IS coming, no matter how long it takes. And as I learn, I hope I will speak up more. ACT more. I intend to regularly share the voices of people of color, as I practice taking more risks myself. So, allow me to share this piece because it’s really good and it’s what prompted me to start getting over my fear about saying the wrong thing and to sit my butt down to write this:

http://www.chookooloonks.com/blog/say-something

Yes, when we know better, let’s DO better, let’s SAY something. If we have a social media presence, whether it’s on Facebook or Twitter or a blog, we can say something. We can take a stand against racism. We can scream that it’s not ok. We can wake each other up. No matter how clumsily we do it.

We can check out this syllabus and READ:

http://aaihs.org/resources/charlestonsyllabus/

We can follow some of these people on Twitter and amplify their voices:

@deray

@nettaaaaaaaa

@tanehisicoates

@BroderickGreer

@breenewsome

We can join an existing group to learn how we can be better partners in solidarity:

@ShowUp4RJ – Showing Up For Racial Justice – if you are white and you care about racial justice, joining this group is a MUST.

I’ll share more as I continue working my way through this and I’ll keep coming back. I’m waking up and I hope you are too.

July 5

We’re still in our pajamas at 2pm on the day after the 4th of July. The kids stumbled out to the family room earlier this morning for some screen time together, and now Boy is hanging out with one of his buddies while the girls have been cooking up a storm, eggs benedict and spaghetti carbonara. Husband and I are alternating between doing our own thing, cleaning up and talking about the very real Greek tragedy – no matter which way you slice it – unfolding before our eyes.

Anyway, I’m not really a fan of the whole 4th of July thing, never have been, but I especially feel it this year when, clearly, we still have SO MUCH work to do. Land of the free? Not sure about that anymore. America is a great idea and all, but we ain’t there yet and that’s all I’m going to say about that right now. You’ll be glad to know I managed to interrupt some of my critical reflections of the day so we could enjoy a few hours of swimming with new neighbors, a long, sweaty walk, too much good food with family and old friends, a game of Rook, and thankfully, NO FIRES OR INJURIES, even though the guys were shooting crap off of the deck and TWO different people, who shall remain nameless, walked straight through our screen door. The first time, the entire door was knocked out of the door frame, and the second time, after it had been replaced, the screen itself was ripped apart altogether. No alcohol was involved. 

Oh, and let us not forget the day to day bullshit that seems to go along with being human, the stuff that keeps life real and keeps us on our toes, the stuff that makes us stronger if it doesn’t kill us first, that too.

All in all, a fine day.

Writing Day, Part 2

I’m writing again today and it’s still unpleasant and uncomfortable. I won’t bore you with the details the way I did yesterday, but I will share that I’m in a parking lot, locked in my car, cup of coffee at my side, writing on my damn phone, trying to escape all distraction. I’m posting this because a few minutes ago, I had an epiphany of sorts while teasing apart some thoughts for the essay I’m working on. And suddenly, the subject matter I’m struggling with hit a little closer to home because of what we went through with Boy this year. This notion of making people uncomfortable by talking about injustice, stigma, differences, SPECIAL NEEDS, etc and how hurtful, destructive, immoral it is when we dodge these issues because we deny they exist or we don’t want to deal with them for whatever reason or we don’t know HOW TO deal with them. Its understandable to a point, but IT’S NOT OK. We have a responsibility to do better. We have a responsibility to teach our kids to do better, to help them deal with the discomfort, to help them face it and explore it in their own little corners of the world, to encourage them to make room at their tables so they don’t grow up to be blind, self-centered, possibly even bigoted assholes and so they can help make this world a better place. Thanks for letting me share. And also, I take it back. I don’t apologize for making you uncomfortable. Don’t you dare apologize to me either.

Writing Day

I’m writing today. I should write everyday, that’s what people say, but I don’t. Some days, everything just flows, tumbles out onto the page and feels so right, so effortless. And on other days, it doesn’t go that way at all. Today, for example, the writing is UNPLEASANT and UNCOMFORTABLE and I’m using housework and twisted humor as mechanisms to interrupt it. I suck. I have no writing discipline or any sort of formal process at all other than to tell myself to sit my butt down and do it. And so I am, but what’s coming out on paper sucks. Hence, I’m writing THIS crap to dodge the writing I’m supposed to be doing. But hey at least I’m writing something which is all that really matters because if I keep at it, the stuff I really want to say will work itself out, right? One can only hope.

Picture this…

I dropped my kids off at camp and upon my return home, I breathed in my favorite kind of quiet. I caught up on emails and the news, mailed a check, did the dishes. I started yet another load of laundry. And since we’re talking about laundry, could someone please make it STOP? There are only 4 of us in this house. Where does it all come from? I really want to know. Or do I?

And then I remembered I assigned today as a writing day. I haven’t written a damn thing since before I left for Boy’s camping trip a week ago. Maybe I’m still constipated. A lot of that going around lately. Camping does cause constipation, in case you didn’t know. Or maybe I just don’t want to see some of the shit up in my head slip out in PRINT.

I poured another cup of coffee, grabbed my reading glasses, and then took a few spins around the main floor of our house, through the kitchen, the dining room, the library, the family room, round and round and round, circling my target, until finally, I walked over to my desk – if that’s what you want to call it – in my little corner of the library and I turned on my computer. I opened Google docs and cringed when I saw the list of unfinished posts staring back at me. I need to finish them. I WANT to finish them. My blood and sweat and tears and thoughts and feelings and guts are all wrapped up in them, I’ve practically written them all inside my head. It’s what I DO. I have one particular essay just begging to be finished, its one that really matters to me, its the one I promised myself I’d work on today, so I opened it, read what I’d written so far, took a big gulp of coffee, another deep breath, and dug into it for awhile.

And you know what? It sucks, which totally sucks because the subject matter matters too much for it to suck. Say THAT 5 times fast. Ha.

I scooted my antique captain’s chair back, wiggled my toes because they were falling asleep, I obsessed for awhile about all kinds of crap you wouldn’t believe if I told you, played with words and sentences in my head, but when I put them together outside of my head, in black and white, they sucked. I got out of the chair and picked up some of Boy’s crap strewn all over the place, went upstairs to make beds, got really desperate and planned dinner for the next 3 nights. 

Then I sat back down and wrote some more. And it sucked. I made a Juanita the Weasel meme. Well, actually, I made about 5 or 6 of them. Ok, 10.

I got back up to grab a couple of trash bags, opened the dreaded mudroom closet and started purging, one of the home projects I have planned for the summer. One bag for trash, one for donation, the crap we’re keeping went up on the counter to be reorganized.

I got a text from one of my LTYM sisters, a happy, hopeful update about her sister who has been battling for her life in the hospital. I sent her a celebratory woofuckinghoo and went back to the closet. A few minutes later, my phone rang and I ran to pick it up – completely unlike me, as you guys know I HATE talking on the phone – because somehow I just knew it was her, and we caught up a little more, laughed together. She told she was going to take that woofuckinghoo straight to her sister’s bedside. Our conversation inspired me to get back to my desk for more writing and this time, I told myself to just put my head down and write. Don’t read, don’t edit, don’t fucking judge, just get it the hell out on paper, no matter how bad I think it sucks, and it does, but I did. I stood up, stretched my back and then sat back down to try to finish up, fighting the urge to read what was on the page. 

Unfortunately, I looked out the window instead, and damn if I didn’t miss a bunch of weeds out there yesterday, and so I decided I better go pull them before I forget they’re there and they take over the entire front yard because you know they will.

I went back inside, looked at the clock and thought, wow, time for lunch already. I grabbed the leftover pasta and turned on HGTV. 

I did another very long round of writing, no reading, no editing. Just sucky writing. In the middle of a sentence, I decided it was time to call Girl’s college to once again voice my concern about some bullshit going on there. Obviously, they know me by name by now. I admit I giggled to myself a little as I imagined Girl rolling her eyes at me and then I went back to work.

A little while later, I took a quick bathroom break, still wearing my glasses, and I jumped back at my reflection in the mirror. I thought, Jesus! Who is THAT?! And dang, will you look at that whisker growing out of that chin? My chin?! I thought I better go get the tweezers before I forget it’s there and it grows down to my shoulders. So I did. Get the tweezers, I mean. And since we’re talking about whiskers I can’t see, why didn’t I FEEL that thing growing there? I really want to know. Or do I?

I walked back over to my desk to read what I’d written over the course of the last few hours. And it still sucked, but definitely less so. I’ll hit it again tomorrow. Maybe you’ll read it sometime. I hope so. I’m sorry I’m so damn slow to speak on paper lately. I think I’m a little worried I’m ill-equipped to write what I’m trying to write about and I KNOW I’m going to say something wrong. Anyway, I felt strangely satisfied, momentarily peaceful, maybe even a little full of myself for simply not giving up for a few short hours today and for trying to say what I believe needs to be said during this completely whacked out time in the history of this country. And then I ceremoniously closed my computer and walked away, BECAUSE I CAN, all wrapped up in my straight, white privilege.

The end.