Monday, December 11, 2006

Harlem Girl Sings the Birthday Blues...


So another year has passed (almost, my birthday is on Thursday, at 4:26pm), and I do feel older and wiser but I'm still not sure if I'm happy about it.

It seem more of a progression than progress.

I'm not really upset about being in my "late, late 20s" to quote my best friend, Z. In fact, I don't really mind telling people I'm thirty (well, very soon to be thirty-one) since most people's jaw dropping and disbelief, in addition to still getting carded everywhere, is enough to boost any one's delicate ego.

No, what's really bothering me is more a sense of being discombobulated, not physically, but spiritually.

Two days ago, my boyfriend responded to my questions of plans for my impending birthday, with a curt "I didn't make any plans," and now we're barely speaking because I apparently annoyed the shit out of him by asking him to help me fold the laundry too many times.


I mean how is asking six times too many times? hey, taking no for an answer is hard.
But whatever, let him stew in his own juices. So back to what I was saying...

Oh yeah, I feel much more accomplished, and more strong-headed than the place I was at last year, but I also feel more anxious and more pressed for time. I feel like I get up everyday, struggle to get myself and my game face out the door, do my thing at work, come home, make dinner, get online and catch up on email and freelance work and then go to sleep and do it all over again.

I've been carrying around a book that I need to review for like a month, untouched. I'm just not in the mood and that's so unlikely me. Usually, I love taking long, idle walks, reading on the train or bus or park bench, in fact at every chance I get, lighting incense and just playing some instrumental music or even bursting out into dance. God, I haven't danced in so long, I feel shy and achy. Old.


Worst of all, I haven't written any poetry at all.

What happened to that girl, the one who knew Central Park like the back of her hand, that wrote poetry every night and slept curled up with her cat perched on one hip (my cat is now dying, he's been with us about 18 years).

It's weird but I feel like I'm at some crossroad in my journey, not quite there, but not far enough to let go of the past.

Earlier tonight, I came across this article:


2nd Teen Gets 90 years in Brutal Party Attack


HOUSTON - A 17-year-old suburban teen was sentenced Monday to 90
years in prison in the brutal attack of a Hispanic boy who was beaten, kicked, stomped, burned and sodomized with the plastic pole of a patio umbrella. Keith Turner was the second teen convicted of aggravated sexual assault in the April attack at a house in Spring, north of Houston. David Henry Tuck, 18, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison on Nov. 16. Turner was convicted late Friday after about 90 minutes of deliberations.


The jury took about five hours over two days to reach the sentence of 90 years. Turner will have to serve at least 30 years before becoming eligible for parole. Although Turner was the younger of the assailants and didn't have the history of racial attacks that colored Tuck's past, it was his idea to use the patio umbrella pole in the attack.


Turner, Tuck, the victim and two other teens were partying at a
house in Spring, drinking and taking cocaine and Xanax. Twelve-year-old Danielle Sons, who was at the party at her house, told the other boys that the victim had tried to kiss her, prompting the attack. Tuck shouted racial slurs and "white power" as he and Turner kicked the then 17-year-old, cut him with a knife, sodomized him with a plastic pipe and poured bleach on him in an assault that
lasted up to five hours.


The victim was left bleeding in the backyard until dawn, when Sons and her brother, Gus, finally woke their mother, who slept through it. During Turner's trial, jurors saw a videotaped statement by Turner in which he admitted to being the first one to grab the umbrella pole and joking about using it to sodomize the victim.


And, I just felt utter despair - for all of us, all of humanity. This despicable act, so reminiscent of what was done to young Emmet Till, by racist White men, who accused him of whistling at a White woman, back in 1955, turned my stomach.

How is it, over half a century, over five decades, or fifty one years later such a horrific act is being replicated --but instead now targeted at a Hispanic child?

How? What kind of hatred is brewing in this country, what sort of indecency and intolerance is being bred so that even our most cherished resource, our children, are becoming murderers and abusers before they're even eligible to vote
?

How?
I just feel sad now.

3 comments:

  1. Outside the mainstream? Are you KIDDING? Pablo Neruda. Octavio Paz. I could go on and on. Wonderful literature -- and color has nothing to do with it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is not considered mainstream, believe they are plenty of people who would not, not only fail to recognize those names as the Greats of Lit. but fail to recognize them completely and that's what I mean by marginalized.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't think racial hatred is a new thing..as much as the media likes to portray all these kinds of things as "shocking" I think its a lot more normal then you'd think..just has to do with location. I think as a society we have to get over our prejudices, people have to realize that the first impression isn't always the right impression and that people are as diverse mentally as they are psychically.

    ReplyDelete

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