and after the numbness comes…..


I heard fear in my younger brother’s voice for the first time today, heard his tears on the other side of the line and could do nothing in my miles and miles away

and even if I could have what would I say? Don’t be scared? No. Don’t worry, I am here? No. The feeling of powerlessness and helplessness perhaps is the most frustrating of all, because after all: what can you do?

I read the news today and I felt something I haven’t felt before: nothing. My friend told me about it, and it doesn’t really matter what news it is I read does it, because it’s all the same every day, ain’t nothing changed. 2015, 1955; tell me the words have gotten different, ok, but the content has not. So I read the news, and it was almost as if I didn’t read it. A year ago I would have been overwhelmed with anger and ready to take out any motherfucker who said shit to me, six months ago I would have brooded. Three months ago I would have cried – no, wept – with such grief that it would have felt like I would never stop crying. Today the news just is. I read it, then I read more, then I heard the truth in my brothers voice, to which I lent some tears, but couldn’t completely give in because if I can’t do anything else for him at least I can pretend I am strong, right?

And I am strong, because I am surviving, and I am still here somehow, yet to have gone insane with the absurdity of it all, but who cares? Strength hasn’t saved us. Nothing has. All the strengths and the hopes and the “positive thinking” bullshit manifestations we can delude ourselves into having do nothing for us when our skull is pressed against the trigger, or maybe when we’re lying on the ground ten feet away from the trigger – it don’t matter. Nothing really matters, right? I can’t even care about feeling hurt anymore. I can’t even care about caring. My brain and my body are simply responding in a natural way to the trauma that is continued helplessness in the face of violence that reaches such a point of absurdity that I keep having to stop myself from laughing because it feels like a joke… a joke which – if I don’t laugh at, I cry, and if I don’t cry, am I angry? And if I’m not angry, then have I just realized that the sanctity of life is a bullshit conception? I feel violence in my blood; maybe numbness is the ability to do violence to others, and if so then they better be glad we’re still animated enough to protest, because after the numbness, comes…


In memory of Rekia Boyd and Laquan McDonald.


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