Devotion wears heavy on a weary soul.
I apologize for mine.
I wrest my weight,
And the road is much lighter.
I apologize to my others,
For I didn’t see,
Devotion wears heavy on a weary soul.
Devotion wears heavy on a weary soul.
I apologize for mine.
I wrest my weight,
And the road is much lighter.
I apologize to my others,
For I didn’t see,
Devotion wears heavy on a weary soul.
I’m going slowly insane. I mean I’m glad I’ve got my job but, the amount of people who don’t seem to care about the pandemic makes me want to pull my hair out. I just don’t know what needs to be done so that people won’t come into my store with their entire families… It all just makes me want to scream. Why don’t they care about being sick?
It’s not enough that they don’t care about themselves but when we walk away because they’re too close they follow us like it’s no big deal. They squeeze in behind us and reach over us like we’re mannequins. I’m so tired of it. If we get infected in a great enough number the store closes.
We had our first confirmed case at the store this week. There’s no telling who could have been infected it’s made a huge change at work. People who were unworried before are now wearing masks and gloves and actually staying away from each other. Things we were always supposed to be doing but, we foolishly thought we were safe.
My friends range from essential to laid off and they’re all worried about me. Somehow that’s not really the attention I like. I feel bad for those that lost their jobs and I feel lucky to have mine but, somehow the apocalypse isn’t great for my mental health. Who would have thought?
Sorry about being late on the book but, you already know the score. Things are looking a bit better for me right now and I think I need this way too much not put my all in. Thanks for being patient I won’t make you guys wait too much longer.
She lures me in,
Bright and shy,
I caution myself
Too wary to try,
She bites full lips
And I lick mine.
Her eyes make contact
and dart away.
I follow them
I’m drawn in
Predator and Prey
I slink closer
my body reacts
About to pounce
There’s no turning back
I bite in
Taking what I deserve.
Our bodies tangle
I can’t tell where we begin
This is it!
What I’ve waited for…
My fly wide
I left myself open
She knew I would
I sink my fangs in
But there is no purchase
Red Tide flows
She lifts me from off my feet
With practiced ease.
I’m on my back
she pins me down
I whimper and beg
I see my reflection
In hungry bright eyes
She lured me in
To my demise
It’s this remarkable word that we almost never get. Things don’t end and tie off in a neat bow. Not like they do in fiction. Everything can work out in books, tv, or movies but, IRL things don’t always end that way. And even when we do get closure and everyone is an adult about everything why does that not ever seem like enough?
Why does even knowing it’s over not change the way you feel? Why doesn’t cutting them out make things better? I guess because you still care, right? You want them to be happy even if that happiness isn’t with you. At least that’s what I want to say. I want most of my exes (ex-friends included) to be happy. I just selfishly want them to miss me too. I don’t know if this is good advice but, maybe if there’s someone you’re curious about (who didn’t leave you hurting or ruin your life) may just check on them. Just tell them you miss them. Just a little bit. Maybe something good will come from it.
That’s how it feels at first like a wave drowning me and dragging me down. It feels like I’m drenched to my bones with lukewarm melancholy and it weighs me down. When just getting up feels like walking through floodwaters. It’s nearly unbearable but, I do my best to get better and be better.
I think I’ve probably been depressed my whole life. I don’t know when it started but, it was a long time before I knew the words to describe what it was I was going through. It took a long time for me to come to grips and understand just why I couldn’t muster the energy to do things in my daily life and why the thought of getting up off the couch sometimes ruined me. I won’t say growing up was easy for me but, I got through it.
I’m not saying I’m in any way a good role model. I just ride the waves. I still manage to get up every morning and go to work and can more or less get the little done I need to but, I know I could be better. I’ve told people that they should probably go to therapy and I haven’t really followed my own advice. Maybe I’d be in a different spot now if I had. Now there’s medical insurance that’s the hurdle now but, hopefully, that will be easier to get in the next few years.
I’ve had a few pretty bad breakdowns in the past two years. It usually happens around this time cause work amps up, seasonal familial obligations, and not being able to get in that restorative friend time. Seasonal depression is a real kicker. I think I know I can’t do it all on my own but, now I have the skills and the wherewithal to know when it’s coming and try to head it off. Things like not staying too late at work or just doing things to make me happy. It’s not perfect but, it’s gotten me through. I can smile now more often than ever.
I’m so much happier these past years than I have ever been in my life. I have friends who get “it” who understand me when I feel the worst. Understand and honor my anxieties and are willing to be there to calm me down. I’ve been able to be there more for the others in my life suffering because I’m in a better place mentally. I can rise above the waves now.
You are the warm zephyr on an autumn day,
Just when your nose starts to chill.
A white, fluffy cloud on across the sun on the highest of noons.
An arm around me when I just can’t stop bawling.
A scream when I’ve had just too much.
I found you when I needed you most.
A comma to break my pace.
The perfect thing to make what’s already great greater.
And make what’s destitute and unlivable,
bearable and full of hope.
You have put my world into focus.
Clear and sharp.
I can finally see myself.
I know you have a thing about me using your full name but, just this once give me a break. A mistake has become something that’s just ours and I hope it will continue that way. You have changed my life and no matter what happens next that won’t ever change.
I loved DONTNOD’s Life is Strange 2 prologue? (Question mark because at first, they said it was something like a demo but, playing it seems like something more like the first chapter [I’ll probably remove this when I’ve started the main game and find out where this fits in.]) It really did a lot to put me back in the shoes of being a kid and long for a bit of the old days, when my brother, my friends, and I would play imaginary games. The whole thing flooded me with more emotions than I ever thought possible. I thought that this was gonna be a pit stop on my way to bawling my eyes out city with Life as Strange 2, turns out I wasn’t ready for the wave of emotion that hit me with this game. When the credits rolled, and even now thinking back on it, I realized that I’m already hooked on Chris’s story. And like Life is Strange the original and Before the Storm, it’s probably going to linger with me a long time.
for Life is Strange 1 and Before the Storm
Life is Strange the original is one of my favorite games of the current generation. I loved Max and Chloe’s journey through re-connection, reconciliation and in my game romance. I remember all the major narrative beats and how each twist story hit me so hard. From Kate’s attempted suicide, alternate Chloe’s injuries, Jefferson’s heel turn (Yes I was actually surprised by it. I shouldn’t have been but, I was really just enjoying the story.) Things moved so quickly for something many consider a “Walking Simulator.”
Before LIS I didn’t know a narrative-based game could hit me like that and because of it, I’ve played games like Detroit, Until Dawn and Telltale’s Borderlands which are games I always gonna recommend to anyone into the genre or even just starting out with it or games in general. I guess I’m the perfect audience for more cinematic games. It’s probably because movies can’t always hold my attention and this allows me to not only interact with the story but, tell it my own way.
I chose to let Chloe die. That she needed to go to back to the beginning and die so that everyone else could live. It was so hard but, after bawling my eyes out I realized that this not only what she wanted but, it was kind of a redemption for her. She did probably the hardest thing possible. Max would unmask Jefferson and save Kate. Nathan would go to jail most likely but, he’d be away from his dad and finally get the help he needs. Victoria will probably be heartbroken but at least she’ll be saved.
Part of me thinks that Chloe might have wanted to die because she felt guilty about the ultimate fate of the love of her life Rachel Amber. But, I think she also felt guilty for the pain she put the rest of the people in her life through. She might not have seemed so much like that in the original but, as we see in Before the Storm she’s way more vulnerable then she lets on. Her relationship with Rachel probably hardens a lot of her exterior. All and all, I have to say The first Life is Strange put me on a feels train and now Captain Spirit is the next stop.
End of Spoilers
for the Original LiS and BtS
for The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit
I say it right now, I couldn’t help but smile as the song Death with Dignity by Sufjan Stevens came on. I didn’t know the song but, it somehow it held a bit of the wonder I always have when I start a game like this one. There’s a bit of child-like wonder when I’m about to dive into something that I know will tell me a great story. I get the same feeling for a book I want to read, an indie movie, a slice of life Anime, and a great number more. A warm feeling with a low rumble of excitement. I love this feeling. It’s the feeling I chase when I consume things, a little like an adrenaline junkie. The song itself fits so well into the game because, the tone of the song kind of belies the intent of the lyrics. The whole thing lulls you into a false sense of security which is exactly what this game does.
The scene comes up on Chris, our POV character, as he starts drawing the titular Captain Spirit. You make a few decisions on what he’s gonna look like and whether he’s colorful or a bit dark. I chose light armor and a much more subdued design, mirroring some of my favorite characters from youth. he decides what he wants to do for the day. There are tons of options like playing around with his toys or getting to know Chris through his room.
Before I knew it dad was calling and I wanted to check out more than one thing and apparently, that was the wrong choice. When I finally answered and left to go to the kitchen he was angry. It wasn’t even that late and but it kind of in a way set off a bit of a chain reaction.
At first, I thought Chris’ dad was just going through a hard time. Living on without his wife and partner in raising their son and being unemployed. He is easy to sympathize with. While all of that may be true, Charles Eriksen is abusive.
Not just once or twice we keep finding evidence that the way he treats Chris in this game isn’t a one-off. We aren’t seeing the beginning of this, not the inciting incident. We are dropped into a just a normal Saturday in the life of Chris and Charles. This is their life together. Charles can be nice one moment and slinging abusive comments the next DONTNOD has captured a chillingly realistic picture of an abusive parent. I know because it happened to me.
There’s a lot to unpack about the way Charles and Chris interact. Chris dutifully does chores around the house which should have been done by his father, like clearing the porch of snow keeping the water heater running, and wood stove on to heat the house. I found myself doing these plus the dishes and laundry for to get some kind of approval from the dad hoping that if I (Chris) was good we could somehow prevent another outburst and I could get myself and Chris out here unharmed. This was something I felt many times in my life. If you’re good enough then they will go back to the way they were before. Charles does realize and say something a bit demeaning like, and I’m paraphrasing here, it’s like having his own maid. The comment felt a bit like a slap in the face for how hard he was working.
Charles drinks way more than is probably necessary and it’s not just one or two beers to watch the game. He’s three beers in while cooking breakfast and the half a bottle of the hard stuff while watching the game after promising his kid they’ll get a Christmas tree after the game. You can mention his drinking but, I didn’t choose those options because I was trying to be as small as possible. The thing is his drinking has a real consequence and that being his son. He will forget things he’s meant to do for him. Charles doesn’t always eat. He often gets angry at Chris for saying he should slow down. Chris has connected the causality of his father drinking with mood swings and even violence. This most assuredly negatively affect Chris’ relationship with drinking going forward.
Charles isn’t all bad. He isn’t evil. He doesn’t seek out to destroy Chris’ life. He has moments where he’s a good father. Like leading Chris to believe he isn’t getting a really good present to surprise him on Christmas day. Or when you shoot him with your nerf gun he plays along. Taking a moment during halftime to talk to him. He locks the firecrackers away from us when he realizes we can’t be trusted with him. Built a treehouse for Chris. He’s given a lot of freedom to be his self. The only problem is a lot of this comes as a detriment other places. The play box console that Charles buys is a replacement to the one it’s insinuated he broke. The treehouse is unfinished and actually dangerous as we see at the end. Chris is pretty unsupervised and even though his maternal grandparents want to help out Charles has kept them from him.
End of Spoilers
A lot of what went on with this game forced me to remember different parts of my childhood and unlike Chris, I had brothers to lean on when things got overwhelming. I don’t think I would have survived without them. They gave me something to live for. My Father wasn’t drunk so he couldn’t blame it on the alcohol not that it gives Charles any kind of leeway. I was sent back into myself in multiple ways to the kid I used to be and the whole thing hit me so hard. I’m so happy I played this.
Ps. Sorry this took so long to get out but, works been busy and I had to figure out what I wanted to say in here. If I wrote this when wanted I feel like I would have gotten a lot wrong and maybe even misrepresented myself. Thanks for your patience.
Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone is an excellent book I wish I had gotten into it when it first came about but, now that I finally have I’m recommending it to everyone It has all the tenants of YA fantasy and adds a bit more. I said it before on twitter
I’m always looking for books w/ intricate magic systems, POC, characters diverse viewpoints, all of this helps transport me to a different world. I’m willing to pay because I know how hard it is for an author. I just wish there were easier ways to find these books. #amreading
— Warren Dalton (@WarrenDBooks) April 18, 2018
This book fills in some of the pieces I’m looking for I can’t get enough of the different magics and even though it uses soft magic which is something I’m not always a fan of and forms a world around it that makes the whole thing startlingly compelling.
Zélie Adebola is one of our main point of view characters and she lives with an undeniably defining trait in her white hair and dark skin. She and the people like her diviners are people chosen by the gods to wield magic. Except the magic is all gone none of the diviners have the power to do things like raising the dead (You all know why that was of particular interest to me.), controlling the elements, healing, and even causing disease. The reason, was on a night eleven years ago magic dried up and the king’s men fled the cities and killed those already awakened to their powers.
I have to assume Tomi knew what she was doing by making all of the diviners’ dark skin people while those without power but, of royal descent were of a lighter skin. By doing this she points a finger squarely at the subculture of colorism. Colorism the thought that people with skin closer to white are somehow better, more attractive, and for some reason more sought after. No spoilers but, she goes from a type of animosity at the world for her skin tone and those of others that made them somehow more noble, to finding a way to talk about loving hers as well as those of people seen above her. I feel like this for anyone who has ever had negative thoughts about their skin tones will see it in thoughts reflected by this book.
Each of the point of view characters has an arc here while some are more pronounced than others there’s no one gets left behind. The plot is very straightforward and tight but there’s more than enough to expand the world and show there’s a lot more to see. I need another installment of what I hope is a much longer franchise.
Honestly, if you don’t like books that talk about real things in a way that is accessible to people, then I’d say still pick it up. It’s still an awesome story with diverse characters and looks into a setting we don’t usually get in fantasy. Tomi Adeyemi has written a book that not only did I love to read and suggest to others but, a book that is just what YA needs right now.
PS, I listened to this on in audiobook form and I loved the voice acting of Miss Bahni Turpin. She did so much with each of the characters that each one felt so unique and polished I thought I was in a room full of them.
Black Panther was amazing. I loved every fucking frame. I can’t be objective and I know it. This for me was close to what how I felt when Luke Cage came out two years ago. That was a gritty view of life in a place I have never lived and hope to never live in but, what it spoke about was what it is to live in fear as a black man and that’s something I know all too well.
There’s something about these two properties that even though they are Marvel properties they portray a measure of the problems I face as a black man moving throughout the world. Black Panther is so black but, it not only that it speaks to colonization what that means and how it has and still does affect the world around it. Luke Cage talks about the Black Community and what it does and doesn’t do for its people. These things pieces of media hit me so hard and I know they didn’t do it for everyone else but, for a black man living in a mostly white suburb, it finally feels like we’ve arrived.
Luke Cage is someone I envy. Someone who doesn’t have to fear the cops or radicals. A man who can protect his home and his life with his own strength. With Charlottesville happening so close to home the idea of homegrown Nazi became a reality I didn’t think I’d have to face in 2018. Yes, I knew racists existed but, people who finally felt free to congregate and march in the open I didn’t know that was the world we were living in. Of course, the man is jacked and he’s definitely a ladykiller but, he’s also loyal to his friends and he looks out for the little guy and that’s what makes him a hero.
There’s a wonderful scene in the Netflix show where he’s getting back all the things for the Harlem community. They just walk up to his door and he does what he can to help them. The same can be said for the women who owns the apartment he has over the Chinese food shop he doesn’t hesitate to throw himself in the way of RPG careening through her storefront window. He does what he does for his community.
In Defenders, during the second episode LC and Claire were helping out after the earthquake and he quotes her saying “If we don’t take responsibility for our neighborhood, no one else will.” They’re both going block by block he’s removing chunks of buildings off cars and she’s treating the wounded. Luke Cage is all about community and that hits home.
For me, there are a ton of injustices I would love to be able to do something about without having to put a vote in a machine and hope the rest of the country agrees with me. This might be a little vain but, I’ve always wanted to be hero helping people less fortunate than myself.
So why Luke Cage and why not Superman: Luke Cage has a code of law, he doesn’t do what he does for free. It might seem unfair but, it’s realistic. His name, place of business, and the names of his family members are all public knowledge he has something he needs to protect and life to keep up. Superman hides his identity because his human life is more important to those around him. Supes is strong enough to protect everyone in his life and still live whatever life he wants to but, his anonymity is something very important to him. Luke Cage has decided to be a part of the community and takes part in its everyday struggles as well as go out and save the world.
Black Panther is the man of the hour right now and as we all talk about #WakandaForever and how black the movie is I don’t want to lose sight of why BP is as excellent a character as he is. He is accomplished, having multiple degrees from the best colleges from all over the world. One of the richest men in all the world. He has spies in every country and weapons that would make every 2nd Amendment guns rights activist and Nuclear Dictator shit their collective pants. Simply put he has the biggest toys and he knows how to use them. He’s Ben Kenobi (secret Jedi warrior), Liam Neeson (in practically all of his movies), and actually good spy so not James Bond…
“So BP has all the toys, what else?” you ask? Black Panther and Wakanda represent a future we would like to have for ourselves way too much. It’s been expressed over a hundred times as everyone pretends they don’t know why Black people are so in love with the movie. Black Panther is a king which in it of itself is enviable but when you match that with the fact that it’s of a country that was never touched by colonialism and his people were never enslaved you hit a whole new level of awesome. T’challa has never had to even consider the feelings of white men, colonizers as they’re called in the film. He doesn’t care that they think of him the king of some tribe of farmers in the middle of Africa because he knows inside that he’s more and that confidence is something that draws the eye in every scene he’s in.
So why not Batman: Forgoing the option of bringing up yet again the idea of secret identities… it’s easy to say that Bruce Wayne is the mask and Batman is the true identity. But moving on Black Panther in the movie it the prototypical good son. He’s always respectful, never raises his voice, even-tempered, and patient. In the comics he’s a different person almost entirely he’s passionate, brash, prideful but, remains one of the smartest men in the Marvel universe. The reason I would choose Black Panther is he chooses to save the world out of a duty to his people and Batman does it because he can’t stop. Batman needs this. Black Panther has and will stop if it doesn’t affect his people.
In Civil War and in the Black Panther movie proper, he’s shown that he’s willing to understand the villain and hear him out. For the man who murdered his father and the man who stole his country, Black Panther shows a humility that is superhuman. Killmonger was a man who may have done horrible things he wasn’t completely wrong about what he wanted but, wrong about the way he went about it. His rage made him no different from those he was trying It hurt Black Panther to have him kill himself because he knew not only could this man be an asset to Wakanda but, he could probably offer valuable insight to the world at large that until now the people of Wakanda didn’t have.
PS. I’ve seen Black Panther three times in theatres I’ve never done that with any other movie. Even for things I like I can’t do repeat viewings but, I love this movie so much. I just want to give everyone who had anything to do with a big hug. Black Panther is a cultural phenomenon.
I know it might seem like I’ve lost track in my writing and to be honest I probably have. The work that’s almost done just doesn’t feel to me as fun to write on as the next project. I’ve got so many ideas buzzing around my head that it makes focusing on one and doing the work to put it out nearly impossible. I know it’s not just my ADHD that’s bothering me but, also intrusive thoughts: “This isn’t good enough,” “You should quit right now. You did one that’s commendable most people don’t even do that.”, “No one will fault you, you tried.”, etc. I know I have to find a way past it. I also know that this is all bullshit. I need to keep working at my craft fine-tuning it to turn into something extraordinary. I mean what’s the worst they can say then? He got better? Anyways that’s the update now on to the fun stuff.
The World Ends With You is one of my favorite games of all time. I mean everything about it from the story, to the message, to music, to even the gameplay. When I got into it I think it was something I needed to hear. I mean this isn’t a story about a piece of media changing someone’s life immediately but, more a gradual change over time. The message beating in my heart like a mantra “The World Ends With You” over and over again until I actually understood it.
“The World Ends With You,” I thought it sounds cool I mean everything about this game is cool. Kids wearing clothes I wouldn’t believe, not just because they were in but, they were also in style. Saying things I always wanted to. Living in alternate worlds. Listening to their favorite music all the time non-stop. Making real friends that you know would last forever. I didn’t do any of those things then but, I’ve learned a little better now.
Mr. H pulls Neku (our Protagonist aside as says the thing that’s slowly changing my life even now something I’ll always remember. He first says “Enjoy every moment with all ya got.” They have a small exchange where Neku says it’s the motto of someone he respects and he’s taken it as his own. Mr. H tells him he’s gotta funny way of showing it. “Listen up, Phones. The world ends with you. If you want to enjoy life, expand your world. You gotta push your horizons as far as they’ll go.”
It might seem a bit cliche but, I think this hit me at the right age. I didn’t know then what I wanted out of life. I always had a bit of wanderlust and I originally thought it was about just that. Meet people from all over the world see new horizons. What it really meant was to get to know all people find people of different backgrounds even people who think differently than you. Make friends and even find the good in people who disagree with you. I’m still having trouble with the last part but, I’m getting better at making friends. I read, watch, and play media that challenge me. I went to Barbados last June and met relatives and explored a place I’d never seen. I want to continue this trend, have wonderful experiences, and have my perspective broaden even further. I’m still changing and learning and… figuring it all out. I just want to keep doing that. Become a person who is not just “woke” but, has lived.
-PS. This was going to be my New Year’s Resolution post but, the Winter Blues got me and I couldn’t really write for a while. I’m doing a lot better and between today (Friday) and yesterday, I have written more than have in a month at least. I’m feeling absolutely great. Let’s hope it continues straight through the end of this book.