writing this down, because i don’t want to forget


at 6am this morning, at the mental health facility where i work, i consoled a crying client. “this goddamn war’s been going on for twelve years,” she sobbed. “TWELVE YEARS. why doesn’t anyone care?” i said a few things. we talked about hopelessness and hope, about working for change. it was a good conversation, but it gnawed at me.

why doesn’t anyone care? why don’t i care (more)? these questions are unanswerable. maybe because i’m delerious on three hours of sleep.

i could tell you about other things, i guess. like how i am doing a totally scary thing right now and it’s so good. or how  much i want to go on a long bike trip but i only have a byke with one gear and noplace to attach a front rack (and my panniers are in the possession of j., who i adore but who i fear will not give them back in a timely manner. it doesn’t help that he’s on the other side of america.)

i could tell you how my memoir has been troubled by something new i’ve learned. how i may need to tear most of it down. or maybe throw it away, this thing i’ve been building for two years, now. just sift out a few chunks for open mic amusements. maybe print out a copy or two for people who want to know this particular story.

i could tell you how i spent an hour cleaning hamburger grease yesterday, also at work, and how thoroughly it repulsed me. the thickness, the stench.

i could tell you about the sun glinting off the bay today. or how another client who was leaving said to me today, “i always felt safe around you,” and how much it warmed my heart. she told me that my aura is rainbow, and that she has dreams that sometimes come true, and i believed her wholeheartedly. (i have so, so, so much more i want to say about work but i have to be careful to not violate confidentiality. i don’t think that either of these exchanges were confidential.)

i want the prison in guantanamo bay to be shut down. i remember how pleased i was, in 2008, when obama was talking about it, saying all these things that i thought, and how weird it was, to be in line with a president. but in 2013, it still remains open, still tortures with our tax dollars.

here is a drawing by a child of a prisoner in tamms supermax prison in illinois, another state-sponsored torture factory. it was closed in january of this year. i’m posting it to remind myself–and you–that sometimes we win. but usually we don’t. to keep loving. and keep fighting.



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