You Good (8)?

The ‘Vid

It was March 13th when we had our last day in the office. Kassidy had planned to have all of the office workers go to an arcade as a last hurrah before we were forced to be in our homes for the foreseeable future.

Growth

Around the time that we got sent home, I was re-reading a book by environmentalist Donella Meadows called Thinking in Systems.
In the book, Meadows talked about common systems concepts like elements, interconnections, feedback loops, and bottlenecks. One of the most relevant ideas for me that she discussed was the idea of exponential growth. After reading her book and given the speed at which the coronavirus was spreading, I had hypothesized early on that the stay-at-home order was not going to be a one- or two-month affair like some of my coworkers had hoped. It probably wasn’t even going to be a six-month affair. We were going to be in this for the long haul.

Son

I’m not a very spiritual person, but I’m starting to believe that I have a daemon.

One of your parents is going to die.”

Chalking it up to pandemic anxiety, I didn’t think about it too much.

The Facebook post I made following my dad’s passing.

Eclipse

When Ahmaud Arbery was killed, I thought that the universe was playing a cruel joke on me:

“You’re not even allowed to jog, nigger.”

I became afraid to go outside, and when I did, I had developed a hypervigilance towards every dirty pickup truck that drove past me. Pickup trucks had become roving sites of terror for me as Arbery had been chased down by men in a white pickup truck. Their passengers weren’t human beings, but rather pink and pale bodies with the unspoken, historical right to take away black bodies and futures. Nevertheless, the experience wasn’t novel.

News segment on the Vaughxx Booker incident.
A Facebook post in support of black lives by the Chair of my department.

A Simple Truth About What Happened That Day

I woke up the next day feeling like myself — but not really.

Ballistic; or The Misadventures of Homeboy and the Swedish Sniper

Galvanized by the Vaughxx Booker event of July 4th and the Blue Lives Matter counter-demonstrations that began to sweep into Bloomington, I started exercising in my home like crazy. I started jogging again because, somewhere in my mind, I decided that I would rather deal with the risk of someone killing me outside than sit in my apartment like a scared child. Lastly, I started attending a local dojo to learn Jeet Kune Do, a martial art system developed by the famous martial arts movie star, Bruce Lee.

“So first of all. This is how you hold a gun. You don’t hold it in one hand and turn it to the side like one of the homeboys in the hood.“

Today was going to be a very annoying day.

“What kind of accent is that? Where are you from?” he asked.

“The Czech Republic.” responded Viktor.

“The what? — Nah. You’re Russian. You a spy or something? KGB?” he said as he laughed.

Maybe it was just the Army culture he came from — but we were paying this guy money, and not even the power of almighty capital could get him to use a smidgen of political correctness. But we were out in the middle of Nowhere, Indiana learning how to shoot guns. I wasn’t about to tell a 190 lbs. conservative ex-military instructor to shut the hell up, especially with his best friend Brock Lesnar on deck — especially since those big white bodies could freely take away my 135 lbs. Black body if they felt even remotely threatened and call it self-defense.

“Okay, so now we’re going to practice shooting these black targets…”

He stopped midsentence and grinned to himself. He gave a little chuckle, as if he said something really funny — an inside joke to himself.

You are just a mistake born from a traumatic experience — You don’t deserve to be here — You should have been her third stillbirth— Prove that you are good enough to exist—

Click.

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A person trying their best to be a Time Being for the time being.

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Aza Burns-Williams

Aza Burns-Williams

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A person trying their best to be a Time Being for the time being.