Waiting For (GOD)ot

Short Story By: Kelli Green

Nora traded her pale yellow chiffon dress and white kitten heels for a pair of loose fitting blue pants, and a pink t-shirt with little daisies around the collar. She slid her feet into a pair of slides and headed to the kitchen to grab her lunch and take it out on the porch. Once she got outside she took a minute to pull up the music library on her phone and press shuffle before settling in and unwrapping her sub.

Nora ate and embraced the soft breeze as Nancy Wilson serenaded her with songs about love. As she finished her last few bites she picked up her phone and scrolled through her social media. She chuckled softly to herself as she came across a photo of her five year old great-granddaughter, Lani. Lani was smiling as big as day with a missing tooth and glasses much too big for her small face. Her hair was pulled back into the strictest of buns, making her look like a child impersonating a grandma. 

“Bless her sweet heart,” Nora laughed before placing a heart emoji in the comments. 

“Excuse me, Ms?” A man called out from the sidewalk. 

“Yes sir?” She smiled, shielding her eyes from the sun. 

The man smiled back and raised his sunglasses before bowing his head in a friendly greeting. She appreciated the gesture but from where she was all she could really see was that he had on all white and his hair was silver. Perhaps it was the sun, but she couldn’t focus on any of his other features no matter how hard she tried.

“May I,” he asked as he tapped his foot on the first step that led up to her porch. 

“Sure darling,” Nora nodded. 

“Thank you,” the man continued up the steps and reached out to shake her hand. 

Nora met him half way. 

“What can I do for you?” 

“Well, I’m looking for my friend; he lives across the street,” the man pointed at the house across from Nora. Nora squinted at it and searched her brain for a clear image of her neighbor, but she couldn’t really place him. 

“Oh, honestly I haven’t truly met him yet,” she apologized.

“I understand, he’s only been there for about two weeks.”

“Is that all,” Nora laughed. “I’m losing track of time.”

“That’s alright. Time isn’t real, you know? A minute can change everything, and yet decades can go by and some things can remain untouched,” the man smiled at her.

 His smile felt familiar, but she was almost certain she didn’t know this tall and charming man. Still she asked, “are you from around here?”

“I can’t say that I am,” he shook his head and patted his knees. “Do you mind if I wait for my friend?” he pointed at the chair next to her.

“Go right ahead.”

The man smiled graciously and took his seat. 

“Oh, are you thirsty?” She stood up to get another glass.

“No. No, don’t worry about me,” he shook his head.

Nora hesitated but he insisted she get comfortable and sit with him. 

“So, what’s a young lady like yourself doing out here on a Sunday afternoon?”

Nora laughed, “well I always have my lunch out here on Sundays after church.”

“That so?”

“Yes sir,” she assured him and took another drink of water. “Been routine more or less, for the last fifty years.”

“That’s dedication,” he sat back with an amazed look.

“You could say that. I enjoy it. I’ve grown very fond of my Sundays.”

“What about your Mondays?”

“Well, you know what they say about rainy days and Mondays…” Nora replied as she

ran her hand between her white curls before resting her head on her hand. 

“They give you the blues?” The man asked with a look of concern on his face. 

Nora smiled but looked away, turning her attention to a tree in the yard. 

“There’s something on your mind,” the man remarked.

“Often,” she laughed. She was going to change the subject but something in his smile

disarmed her. 

“I suppose you aren’t the only one waiting for someone to come home,”she spoke softly and closed her eyes for a moment. 

“I know you say you aren’t from here, but back in the day we used to have this club called, The Firepit over on Rose street. It was always hot as hot could get, and the drinks were never cold enough. Jimmy, my guy back then, we would always complain and swear we’d find a different club. We never did,” Nora laughed, and the man chuckled in response. 

“Oh but, Jimmy and I would still dance for hours. Most times we’d make our way back outside for a little air and just keep on dancing,” her mouth curled up in a smile as she reminisced. 

“Sounds like fun.”

“It was. It was always so much fun,” Nora opened her eyes again and took another sip of water. 

“Jimmy proposed to me right there,” she pointed out to the sidewalk in front of her home as a tear rolled down her cheek.

The man quickly pulled out a handkerchief and knelt by her side.“I’m sorry to bring up hard memories,” he apologized. 

“I’m sorry to become so emotional with you. I’m sure you didn’t plan on comforting an old woman while she cried about the past,” Nora laughed with embarrassment. 

“No need to apologize,” he assured her. “A broken heart doesn’t have manners.”

Nora nodded and dabbed her eyes with his cloth. 

“He would go away on business a lot. He was in sales, you see?” She continued with her story.

“He always came back, and the last trip he went on was only for a couple of days. He was going to Baltimore and he’d be back Sunday afternoon,” she bit her knuckle in thought. 

“Sunday came and went a total of three times before I finally got in touch with his agency. They told me there was a massive explosion at his hotel. They never confirmed where he was when it happened.

“One week they told me it was possible he wasn’t even there. Then the next month they told me he might be one of the unnamed victims in the hospital. By the next year all of the patients had been discharged or claimed by relatives, and no one had ever bothered to tell me so. I never got a straight answer. For all I know, he’s well and alive. I hoped so anyhow. I used to have this fantasy that he had amnesia and went home on his own only to remember one day who he was and he’d come right up that sidewalk smiling one more time. 

“So you know,” Nora shrugged and let out a painful laugh. “Mondays aren’t my favorite, because they always mean that yet another Sunday has come and gone.”

“So you’ve been waiting for him all these years,” the man asked with a hint of pain in his voice.

“Well, I moved on. I’ve lived my life, don’t worry,” she smiled and reached out to tap him on the knee. “I had boyfriends here and there. Though if I’m being honest, it isn’t hard to realize why it never really worked out. But still, I had a daughter and I’m a great-grandmother now. I was an accountant for 40 years, and I work on the welcome committee at my church. I have a life. I haven’t been living like Miss, Havisham; but I can’t help but wait on Sundays.

Just as she finished her story, a man pulled into the driveway across the street. He got out of his car and simply waved at Nora and the man.

“Oh there’s your friend,” Nora said as she waved back. “I’ve taken enough of your time,” she patted his shoulder as a farewell. 

“Well, like I said, time really is peculiar,” the man smiled and placed his hand on hers before standing up. As he stood, the Ray Charles song she was listening to cut off mid-verse and was replaced with, All of Me by Billie Holiday. 

“That’s strange,” Nora raised an eyebrow and inspected her phone. 

“Nora, might I have this dance?” The man asked, holding his hand out for her. 

“You’re kidding,” Nora laughed. “What about your friend?”

“He’ll be there” he replied, grabbing her hand gently, urging her to stand. 

“Well, only if you smile for me,” she teased as she stood up.

“Gladly,” he smiled, nice and big for her. 

A shiver ran through her, though she wasn’t sure why. She stared at his mouth as they moved with ease around the porch. They were steady and strong. She didn’t expect to move so effortlessly. It was if she had never had a care or a stiff joint in the world.

“Wait a minute, did you say my name? I don’t remember telling you my name,” she asked suddenly wondering if she had told him and already forgotten. 

“I had a lucky guess,” he said as he dipped her and pulled her back up to face him. She squeezed his arm, certain her body wouldn’t agree with the sudden jolting movement, but again she felt more light and loose than ever. 

He smiled noticing her shock and another chill surged through her as she studied the shape of his smile, and the way his nose crinkled. She reached up to remove his glasses and gasped. 

He was different, and yet the same. His silver hair and eyebrows were unfamiliar, and the wrinkles in his forehead were new; but his eyes were the same sparkling beautiful russet brown that they had always been.  

“Jimmy,” she whispered. 

He just nodded and kissed her on the forehead. Then he grabbed her face gently with both hands and kissed her on the lips. He turned back to look across the street, and the man in black began to walk closer. 

Nora watched this exchange in confusion.“I don’t understand…” Nora began to back away but Jimmy pulled her closer. 

“Close your eyes,” he instructed.

“Jimmy, how…”

“Please,” he pulled her in and held her hand. The song changed and he sang along softly in her ear as he swayed with her. 

She looked back at her patio chair and saw herself still sitting there with the neighbor by her side. Her eyes were closed as if she had fallen asleep. Another chill ran down her spine and she trembled, but he just kept singing and swaying. Nora closed her eyes like he asked and pressed into him, letting him lead her. 

As they moved, she began to feel hot. She opened her eyes and saw that she was wearing a red dress and black pumps. Her skin was fifty years younger, and jet black hair curled around her face. She looked at Jimmy and he was dressed in black pants and a white button up shirt. His brown hair was cut short. His smile was wide with no wrinkles, just like she remembered it. 

She looked around and saw the name , The Firepit in red letters on the front of the old building. 

Tears rolled down Nora’s face as she accepted the change of scenery. She grabbed Jimmy’s face and held him for a minute. She obviously had a thousand questions about him, and about herself for that matter; but none of the questions seemed right for the moment. 

Instead she simply kissed him and said, “I missed you.”

“I missed you too, Nora; but I didn’t mind waiting,” Jimmy hugged her tight. 

Note From The Author: The reason I titled this short story, Waiting For GODot is because I saw the prompt and couldn’t resist a pun. Waiting For Godot,  is a play about two people waiting for someone named, Godot but he never comes. I’ve never seen it but I’ve heard it referenced. So I wrote a story about a woman who has been waiting…and waiting…and waiting. She isn’t exactly waiting for God literally, but she is waiting for a miracle. She’s waiting to see the love she has missed for so long. She comes out to her porch every Sunday and silently asks for God to show her something. In all these years, who knows what miracles she’s seen. We only know the one miracle she’s always wanted…and here it is. God may not have delivered Jimmy to her as fast as she wanted, but …time is strange. 

The End.

This story was inspired by a prompt from a Reedsy contest, which I did not win; but enjoyed participating in! 

I hope you enjoyed reading it. 

Martyrs Reviewed: Rev. George Lee

Rev. George Lee

The chronology prepared by the SPLC begins in 1955 with the murder of Rev. George Lee. Lee was a member of the NAACP, the operator of aprinting press, and a reverend to a Baptist church in Belzoni, Mississippi. Lee wanted to be the first black person in Humphrey County to vote. No African-American in Humprey had registered to vote since Reconstruction despite the fact that African Americans made up most of the population.

 When Lee went to pay his poll tax he was turned away and he filed a formal complaint. After that he was able to submit his ballot, but after successfully registering his information was printed and spread to local white business men.  This, much like the poll tax, was a form of voter intimidation that often led to black citizens who dared to register to be fired and/or otherwise targeted.

The White Citizens Council became aware of  his involvement with voting registration and at one point Lee was offered protection if he agreed to stop his work for voting rights. Lee refused the offer and on the night of May 7, 1955, Lee was shot in the face as he drove home. The newspapers wrote off his death as a car accident, stating the lead found in his mouth was the result of dental fillings coming out.

According to Alice Mays, a witness to the aftermath of the crime, a white man that lived in the neighborhood came outside during the police investigation and claimed to have seen the gunman. The police officer told him to shut up and go back inside. No one was ever charged with the crime, but the crime was reopened in 2008 as a part of the Emmett Till justice bill which was made to help resolve civil rights cold cases. 

 Sources

Murder in Black and White : George Lee, dir. Barnard Jafier, perf. Hank Kilbanoff, Al Sharpton (2008).

https://www.splcenter.org/rev-george-lee

Also check this link out: https://mscivilrightsproject.org/humphreys/person-humphreys/rev-george-lee-and-gus-courts/

Civil Rights Martyrs Reviewed


While I was working on my Bachelor’s degree in History, I had to create a capstone on a chosen topic. I chose to do mine on the Martyrs of the American Civil Right’s movement. 

Of course there are several upon several people that could be written about under that category, so I had to narrow it down. I picked a sample portion of the people officially recognized by the Southern Poverty Law Center as martyrs. 

For my research I watched documentaries, read books, legal documents, FBI files, and of course research done by others on helpful websites. To keep these reads short, I intend to just post the portion relative to the martyr mentioned in my paper one at a time. 

I hope posting these will inspire people to look the stories up and learn even more about the people mentioned and the history around them. I also intend to continue my research. I truly believe we must remember our past if we are to understand our present world. 

Soon, I will post the first martyr that is featured in my paper, but today I will post my capstone introduction below:


A Review of Civil Rights Martyrs

The Modern Civil Rights movement is recognized as being from 1954–1968. In those years there are forty people officially recognized by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “martyrs” of the Civil Rights Movement. Even though there are several martyrs of the Modern Civil Rights movement, only a few are commonly recognized. It is important to not only recognize and remember the martyrs of the movement, but to also acknowledge what some of their legacies mean in terms of the movement.

Martyrdom is traditionally associated with religion and persecution, but it is also used in cases of politics and civil rights. The Merriam — Webster dictionary defines the word “Martyr” as “a person who sacrifices something of great value and especially life itself for the sake of a principle”. Another definition of the word states that a martyr is anyone who endures suffering because of a belief or principle. While this definition is similar to the one from Webster, it does not stress the idea that the suffering must be voluntary. One of the issues with the term is that some people feel it makes it seem as though the person that lost their lives chose to do so, which is often not the case. The SPLC includes activists targeted and assassinated specifically because of their activism, random victims killed for the purpose of disturbing a movement, and other deaths that bring attention to the struggle

The first Martyr story will be posted on this coming Friday. 

Born In To Danger

A brief analysis on the themes of race and sexual assault in my book, May

A lot of times I am asked about my inspirations and what kind of things lead me to write the stories that I write. Usually I have a lot of trouble answering those questions because to me, my stories come from such a natural place in me that it’s hard for me to find their roots.

    That being said, after dissecting my novel, May and my short story, Elizabeth , I have been able to identify a couple of things that played a part in how I addressed a few things in those stories. 

    **Before you continue reading, I find it necessary to warn you that this blog post will include mention of sexual assault and racial violence. It is not my intent to upset anyone, and there will be no graphic details, but I felt the theme itself might require a warning.**

    ***Also, this blog post contains a few spoilers. Not too many details, but if you don’t want to know anything before you…know anything about May or Elizabeth, then please bookmark this discussion for a later date.***

In 1965, the Honolulu Advertiser profiled Jim Clark, the notorious sheriff of Dallas County, Alabama. Clark told the reporter, “We got a sayin’ down here that every nigger baby girl born is a 12 year old—.” The newspaper cut off the quote, but explained that Clark used an unprintable word. His meaning was that every Negro girl who has reached puberty is fair game for a white man.”

    In both my short story and my novel, one of the dark themes that hangs over the heads of some of my characters is the threat of sexual assault. While creating their story I obviously decided this would be a part of it, but my motivations behind doing so have become clearer to me lately. The fact is, it is a theme that honestly seems inescapable when thinking about the human experience.

    When I was a little kid, around 8 or 9, one of my favorite movies to watch was For Us The Living. It was a made for TV film about the life of, and ultimately the assasination of civil right’s activist, Medgar Evers. The film was set in the 1950’s and 60’s in Mississippi. 

    There was one scene where Evers’ father & mother-in-law are stopped and harassed by a mob of young white men. Some of the men roughed his father-in-law up and pushed him around. Meanwhile, another man ripped open his mother-in-law’s dress. I don’t remember the things that were said in that scene but the intent to further assault her was clear. 

    Luckily, Medgar shows up just in time and chases them off. Later that night after they return home , his mother-in-law has a quiet conversation with her daughter (his wife), Myrlie. I remember that conversation. I don’t remember it in verbatim, but I remember her telling her daughter that, rape is a part of life for many negro women. I remember her saying something to the affect of how it was something many negro women are fated to suffer through at the hands of white men. Not only that, but they try to leave their husbands out of it if they can. Because if their husbands tried to seek revenge against the white men, they would undoubtedly be killed. This conversation stuck with me. 

    As I grew older it became apparent to me that sexual assault was all too common for women, men, and children of all backgrounds. The stories and statistics were everywhere. It was in the music, the school orientations , the anecdotes, the 1:00 a.m. conversations…everywhere. No one is immune from the threat, and that became clear very early in life.

    But it was a story in my Feminism & Philosophy class that shook me in a way I hadn’t expected. My teacher often told us stories shared by anonymous students before us. One day she shared a story that a Black woman shared about her grandmother. When the student’s grandmother was a child in the early 1900’s, a White man would come to the gate of her family’s property now and then and watch her and her sister play. Sometimes he’d speak to them. Finally one day he waited for their father to come out so he could speak with him

    The White man asked their father how much he would sell his daughters for.The man actually had the nerve and the audacity to ask this man how much money he wanted in return for his children. Their father came back out with a shotgun and told him to never come back; and thankfully that was the end of it. 

    …But I couldn’t shake that thought. That White man was confident that all he had to do was pay a nice price, and he could have those little girls. But if we think about it, those girls represented three very vulnerable groups at that time. 

BLACK FEMALE CHILDREN

If you think we as people are having a hard time getting the point across that Black Lives Matter now in 2020; then surely you can imagine how little they seemed to matter in the early 1900’s. Something similar can be said for women & girls. Again, sexual abuse is extremely common, and in the past it was less talked about, thereby making support minimal. As for children, I think we forget that labor laws, and protection agencies are fairly new in our history. So when you add all of those things together it sadly makes the story of the sisters less unbelievable.These are things that I learned and pondered for a long time, but only recently had I realized that they leaked into my writing.

    My short story, Elizabeth and my book, May share two antagonists: a vile man by the name of WIllie, and a society that allows him to thrive. In some ways he is like that man at the fence. He doesn’t request to purchase anyone, but he is pretty confident that he can do what he wants and when he wants and it is the women around him who suffer for it. 

    At first glance Marianna, my main character, is somewhat immune to his threat and it is assumed that it is because of her whiteness. It is part of it, yes; and in Elizabeth, Elizabeth directly states that it is what saves her and she has a point, but it isn’t that simple. After all, violence against women of evey background has always been an issue. The fact that Marianna has given up the social comforts she was once offered in favor of becoming a servant and living amongst the Black people in the area actually could have put her in more danger. It is only the connections she managed to maintain that really keep her in a “safe” position.    

Now that that is out of the way there are three specific Black female characters that are forced to deal with Willie and each woman reveals a different issue. 

    First there is Linda. Linda is mentioned in both stories, and her character is not seen much; but we know from her first appearance that she is a victim of Willie’s behavior. She is the reason the issue is even introduced. Willie calls her to accompany him back to a shed on the property and everyone knows what that means for her; and everyone is powerless to stop it. Most of their reactions are to just look away and keep moving. Whether it is through violent intimidation, the threat of losing work, or any other reason , they have been conditioned to accept this.

    Then there is, Hannah. Hannah only appears in May, but her role is significant. Much like everyone else, she has accepted that if she is called to the shed or elsewhere by Willie, that there is nothing she can do to avoid it. However, Hannah decides if it’s going to happen anyway, then she shouldn’t have to “suffer”. Somehow she has cozied up to him and is able to receive gifts and favor from him. This creates some resentment from the other women around because she isn’t exactly humble about it; and while it is true she has found a way to make this work for her in some ways…It should also be acknowledged that she is still not in control of this situation. Even if she finds “enjoyment” in their encounters and even if she eagerly accepts his rewards in return for her compliance, it doesn’t matter.  Willie was always going to do what he wanted to do

    Lastly, there’s Elizabeth. Elizabeth is a child and unfortunately she does not get to simply be a child very often. She’s been working for years, and for a long time she’s been on her own. Now that she is getting “older” Willie has noticed her. She has already learned to turn her head when he calls for other women. To her, growing up includes the possibility of encountering this problem.

Much like the woman in For Us The Living , Elizabeth and the  women have accepted the notion that they may be victim to their boss’s whim. They all have their own ways of dealing with it. But the truth is they are living in a society where they are not seen as people; and they are not protected by a fence and a shotgun wielding dad like those children from the story. 

So one of the things that inspired a few of the darker themes in this story, is the fact that sexual assault, harrasment, and rape culture influence most of our lives more often than we think. Then if you combine that with the fact that my book is set in the 1930’s in some random small towns in Florida, the problem becomes even larger. Women barely matter. Children barely matter, and Black women and children matter a whole lot less to the white people in power around them. So when my MC, Marianna is struggling to understand how any of this can be possible, she has to realize…just like I had to realize that day in class…that in many ways black girls were born in danger.

Haven’t read Elizabeth or May yet ? Purchase as an ebook or paperback HERE

Want to read more about the history of race in the USA and the quote pictured earlier in the article ? Visit the Equal Justice Initiative .

Interesting Ways To Get Involved

Some links to people’s innovative and creative ways of lending support to, Black Lives Matter & organizations working to dismantle racism & police brutality in the United States,

Writing For A Cause

Ami J. Sanghvi is -among many other cool things – an awesome writer and artist. She is using her talents to contribute to the cause by offering exclusive writing projects through Patreon. Her proceeds from this go to The National Bail Out.

Writing for a Cause (#BLM)

YouTube Videos!

Multiple Youtubers are posting long videos that you can watch and they will use the revenue they gain from their ads . That means it costs you nothing but your time and internet! The link below is one that I listened to and enjoyed.

BE SURE TO read their descriptions to make sure you are helping at your maximum potential.

Book Sales !

Author Joseph Hood is contributing the money he makes from June book sales of his fictional horror book, My Friend Nick to Black Lives Matter & supporting organizations.

Follow him on Instagram to learn more: @jhood.author

Book Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1700994204

Creative Works

Click here to go to website

75% of what they make off of their Black Lives Matter products are going to BLM organizations.

Follow them on twitter: @aleighcorb

In Honor of Juneteenth & Black Lives Matter Sahreth “Baphy” Bowden has put together a great piece that is both informative and personal, & can offer a good start to getting in the know about Juneteenth and the way we’ve been taught history in America. At the end of the piece, Baphy makes a request for Black creators to reach out to them with their info and links, so they can post them and help in lifting their voices. So give it a read and check out the links at the bottom for support and learning.

Follow on Twitter: @Baphy1428

I Should Have Worn A Curtain: A Tale of Bulimia, Self-loathing, and Romance By Samyra Alexander

  ‘

  Samyra Alexander takes us on a quick journey through some of the most impactful moments through the life of her narrating character, Shaena. Shaena talks to the reader in a stream of consciousness that lets us take a peek inside of what brought her to this point in life. 

    Shaena has a complicated relationship with her parents. After her mother abandoned the family, she became deeply devoted to her father. She learned to use food as the glue that held her life together. 

    We get to see some of the people that helped frame her life in her more formative years:

A cluelessly  absent mother,a well meaning but perhaps oblivious father, and a ridiculously insensitive aunt who doesn’t seem to value her due to her age, and even less once she gains weight. 

    We learn about Shaena in the present day, a woman who has not gathered control over her eating habits; but she has gained another bad habit and his name is Mike.Mike is her love interest that claims to have her best interest at heart. He’s honestly a mile run away from a breakdown himself. If you ask me his unresolved grief has turned him into a complete tool and what he claims is love is smothering…and not the good kind that tastes like potatoes and onions. 

    All of these people, talong with an OA sponsor have a great deal of influence in Shaena’s life and it all comes to a head. Shaena’s past and present relationships have undoubtedly taken a toll on her; but maybe she can rise above it. 

    Alexander does a wonderful job of telling Shaena’s story. I was rooting for her to pull herself together,  while also identifying with her. This story uses humor wonderfully, and yet displays the inner darkness that comes with eating disorders and emotional health struggles. 

    I Should Have Worn A Curtain made me laugh, but it also made me reflect, and for that I thank Samyra Alexander. 

Purchase Book Here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088KBYT6C

Follow Alexander on Instagram @TellSamyra & Twitter @SamyraTell

Your Aversion To Fire Is Not An Excuse To Sit Out.

 

On May 25, 2020 , a Black man named George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in the streets of Minneapolis, MN. The police officer pressed his knee against George’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds as his fellow officers watched…as civilians screamed and recorded… and as George Floyd begged for his life.

    Since witnessing the people we employ to protect us , murder one of us in broad daylight in front of police and cameras and witnesses, the country has exploded in anger, and frustration. Protests have taken place in every state in our union, and some of them have turned violent and become, “riots”.

We’ve seen corporations and small businesses alike set on fire. We’ve seen peaceful protestors attacked by police officers. We’ve seen officers attacked by people. Windows broken, buildings defaced, stores looted and more.  

 As we Americans go through these hard times, I think it can be easy to get distracted and lose focus. I can admit when I saw the beginning of the fires and looting, I became upset. I wasn’t upset about Target being ransacked; they have insurance and I don’t care about the bones of a building more than I care about the bones of my people. However, I wondered what this would mean for the community around it. What would be the bigger outcome? Do they have other stores in the area? Might this be one of their important resources? I didn’t know. So it made me uncomfortable. 

I’ve seen more going ons that have made me uncomfortable. Who wouldn’t feel a little uneasy watching things burn? I feel afraid for the safety of the people more than anything else.But the safety of the people is clearly already an issue. Perhaps if we as a nation had been louder in calling out the systematic acts of violence black people face every day in this country, we would not be on fire now. 

So before anyone turns their backs on the protests and the people who have put their bodies on the line in this fight to be heard in a historically deaf nation, I’d ask you to find an alternative response. 

I’ve seen a lot of refusals to listen to the grievances, because people are upset with the delivery. But there is no magic delivery.They don’t want to hear it in a riot, they don’t want to hear it on a football field, and contrary to popular belief, they didn’t want to hear it from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. either. 

So now is the time to either listen, regardless of the delivery; or to admit you aren’t interested in hearing. 

There are alternatives to literal fire, but none of them are passive. We must be active and aggressive in our approach no matter what it is.

Ways To Help

Lift up the voices of Black people and the work of Black Creators.

Link to the Medium Article version of this: https://medium.com/@kelligreen8495/your-aversion-to-fire-is-not-an-excuse-to-sit-out-13c239c58a9a

5/31/2020

My experiences are not universal. 

That is a truth I have had to remind myself as I watch my world burn. 

I can’t tell anyone how to deal with their trauma. It is not my place. It isn’t the place of any of us to tell each other how to deal with their trauma. 

That being said, I am afraid. I’m afraid because I feel as though I’ve seen this before, or something close to it and yet I’m not sure I could tell you what became of it. So I grow increasingly worried as I watch the pain of my nation flow. 

What did we expect? 

How many times did we think we’d be murdered in broad daylight before something snapped?

Seven minutes. 

A man -supposedly here to protect and serve the people-  crushed life from another man for seven minutes while his fellow officers watched. 

No one protected George Floyd. People screamed and begged for them not to kill this man. 

George begged for his life. 

For Seven Minutes. In broad daylight. In front of cameras. In front of witnesses. 

All of the things I’ve been raised to believe might protect me. 

Light, cameras, witnesses…

Police. 

…and not a single one of those things saved George Floyd.

And now much of our country is on fire. 

What did we expect?

And most of us know that not every single police officer is a monster, but it is getting harder every day to tell when the ones that seem to be in our faces are the ones with their knees on our brothers throats. 

Even so, I can not condemn every person with a badge.

To do so would be to become the very thing I am fighting. 

But I’m asking for answers. 

Where are you?

Where are you when they kill our friends? 

When they shove our protesters to the ground and leave them to seize in the street. 

When they pelt our reporters with rubber bullets.

I’m asking for an elevation in your voices. 

I want to see you screaming in the streets. 

I need to hear you.

I need to see you denouncing your colleagues. 

& for the ones who I have seen speak up and out in this time,

Keep it up & get louder. 

But also be careful, because the system in which we all exist was not designed for you to fight against it. 

But that is exactly what you need to do. 

It is what we all will have to do.

Because we can not and, we obviously will not continue to go on in this way.

🖤

I’m trying to process all of my thoughts in this increasingly difficult time. I was told to rest before I burnout, but I felt the need to write and share. Though, I don’t know if it is helpful at all. My heart is with the people. Sorry for rambling.

P.s. to the people the protestors…be as safe as possible, and keep looking out for each other. Be aware of the instigators hiding amongst you. If you’re somewhere where the national guard has come out, please get somewhere safe.

Here is a link to ways to assist the protestors: https://www.papermag.com/where-to-donate-protests-minneapolis-2646128317.html?rebelltitem=17#rebelltitem17

Open Letters, Open Hearts

Dear you,

I called you today. You didn’t answer at first , so I left a message. Honestly, I never expected you to return my call. When you did I felt awkward, but excited. I had planned to ask you why it had been approximately 15 years since you and I had spoken.

I suppose, you could ask me the same thing. I mean, we were emailing back and forth and sharing occasional phone calls. We’d talk about my future as a “forensic pathologist” because I was one confused ten year old . Then one Thanksgiving -I know because I have the unanswered email sitting in my old yahoo account- I wished you a happy holiday and never heard from you again.

I tried to contact you after that but your email address came back as invalid and your phone number had changed. Perhaps I should have spent my allowance to track you down?

But, what does it matter? That’s the past. Today you answered the number I bought from the White Pages. I didn’t ask you anything that may have seemed too accusatory. You spoke as though no time had really passed.

…and we chatted. You asked what I was up to, and I asked you the same. You even shared a joke or tow. You gave me updates that I really shouldn’t have had to wait so long for…but the conversation was pleasant.

I asked if I could call again, and you said “sure.”

I asked…if I could call you again . I held my breath and waited for an answer, almost sure I wouldn’t be permitted. I was grateful to be permitted to interrupt you every once in-a-while.

We began our goodbyes, and I ended by telling you that I loved you. It is something I say to many people, but something I always mean. I love my friends, I love my family, and I love you.

You hesitated, and then said, “goodbye” before hanging up.

And you know what, maybe I should be okay with that…

Maybe you aren’t into exchanging words of affection.

Maybe you just don’t feel the same. I wouldn’t want you to lie to me. Like I said, I take love seriously. Besides, why should you be uncomfortable to appease me.

I know this may sound like I’m angry with you. I’m not.

I’m angry with myself, I’m angry because I put so much energy into this and you didn’t even miss me. I’m angry because I tricked myself into believing that you might have missed me, even though I know I’m not hard to find.

I’m disturbed by the way I tried to make sure I told yo about my accomplishments and plans in a way that I could be sure to get the idea across that I was somewhat successful . I needed you to know that I had goals, and drive, so that you would think of me as someone worthy of your attention. I needed you to know that I wasn’t after anything other than your familial compassion.

I’m upset that it took me hours after the call ended for me to finally come down from the fact that you even answered, for me to realize that our talk wasn’t exactly the warmest. It took me cooling down to even realize you avoided saying you loved me.

I’m mostly disappointed and a little lost. I don’t know what I want to do from here.

The fact remains, I love you. That’s my choice, and my right. Perhaps I’ll call again, soon. I opened up the connection, and I’d like to keep it. Maybe we”ll never be what I had hoped for all these years, but maybe we’ll be something else. A different normal can begin to exist between us.

Or not…

I can only work on my part.

But I’m no longer starry eyed over you. I don’t know what’s on your heart, but I’m starting to truly understand that how people feel about me isn’t always my business.

But I need to start making my heart ,my business

I don’t want to hurt myself in hopes of understanding why I’m not wanted.

Who knows? Maybe I am wanted ? Maybe …maybe …maybe…

I don’t know.

I just know I spent a long time and energy on this , and I feel like I have to start a new chapter now.

P.S. If you should find this somehow, I hope it doesn’t hurt your feelings too much; but keeping it in was hurting mine terribly.