I don’t remember the year to be honest. I never knew. It just got internalized.
It wasn’t that my home was apolitical, just that it was never the focus of our lives. The scope was much closer than that. More to do with being fascinated by a troupe of ants than Henry Kissy.
But I grew up with a certain viewpoint. My ma had a sincere hatred of institutions like the Church. My da was pushed into being an instrument of the Church. Maybe it was inevitable.
I went to Church every Sunday for quite a while. The thing I loved the most was the bread. It was tasty and I wasn’t supposed to eat before Church. So I ate more than my fair share of the symbolic flesh.
So, the Papers!
My pa was reserved most of his life. But even before he had his epiphany moments with emotions and malehood, he was extremely politically active. He went to El Salvador in the ’80’s and ’90’s to build houses and protest for God’s sake!
As I understood my father at a young age it was a direct corollary to idea of “G-d” that was being spoon-fed to me. It was a masculine god, so how could my father not be the direct representation of that? I was disabused of this notion by none other than my own pa-pa.
He told me about “going down south” in the civil rights protests and how he’d never go to Mississippi again (until he did on our road-trip together). He told me why I can’t take an easy route, because it doesn’t really give you the picture. He told me how many times he had failed.
My father had many regrets. He was at the end of his days a deeply compassionate person.
I never had any problem questioning him. I argued with him. I pushed back. I fought with him. He kicked my ass without hardly ever laying a hand on me. You know that trope about lifting a person up by their neck? I do.
Wait, the Papers!
I remember the first time I thought I might kill a man. I was a child. Fucker called across the road and I responded. He was a dipshit of a stain. The kind of guy who’d write a meaningless poem of a post randomly delivered. This was earlier though. He crossed the road because he was a big tough badger. I shouldn’t have taken the bait, but now it was on.
Have you ever had somebody set upon you? What rights do they give up? I don’t know.
I placed my thumbs on his eyeballs.
I thought to squeeze.
I already knew what if felt like to crush an eyeball thanks to science. Not really what I think the message was but there it was. I could feel the outline of this little gelatinous ball. It’s not a soap bubble, but it pops quite easily. He didn’t even know.
I didn’t squeeze. I got the shit kicked out of me. The lady made fun of me.
The Papers though!
It was a time in college. I was too drunk to drive. I might have killed us all. I reject the idea.
If you want to know you can find out. It certainly shouldn’t be on the say-so of some dipshit on the PT.
Don’t step on the flowers.
Smoke em if you got em.