This has been a hard week.
It’s been filled with so many emotions for me that I barely know how to start.
I want to touch on some positive notes though before I return back to my feelings.
This week we celebrated the 28th birthday of our girl, T. Simone. I’ve been friends with T since 2013 and she is one of the people in this world that knows me best. Jas and I really wanted to do something fun to celebrate her birthday. So, we threw a 4th of July cookout that was more about her birthday than anything else. We had tons of food, hella drinks (again, I made punch and it was bomb) and a bunch of friends and family. We kicked off our week on a high note, celebrating the life of one of our dearest friends.
Then, the days dragged on. It was time to return to work, school and real life. I took a day to recuperate and hang out with my girls. I volunteered at church and spent another night with my friends to bring in T’s actual birthday (7/7). But the most poignant memory from this week is of the tears that I shed in memory of two black men that had been slain by, you guessed it, police.
Videos climbed up and down my twitter timeline, I avoided them at all costs. But I read the details, as much as I could handle. I read about Alton Sterling and Philando Castile; two men that will never ever celebrate another birthday.
I read, I cried, I took breaks. I tried to take my mind to other places, but I couldn’t and I cannot.
I now sit in a suburban Starbucks, donning a shirt that proclaims that I am “Young Creative and Black” attempting to hold back tears as I recall hearing the video of Philando as it played on Jas’ phone. I refused to look at the phone and watch a man die. But I heard the frantic cries of his girlfriend as she was forced to watch something I cannot even bear to imagine. I heard the tears of his child coming through her live feed and I still cannot let go of the terror.
So, here I am, sitting here, surrounded by people going about their business wondering what in the hell there is that I could fucking do to make any of this better. And, I keep coming up empty. Everyone has a solution but none of them have worked. Because year after year and day after day, we fix our thumbs to type another hashtag. We wipe tears of pain, frustration and sadness from our eyes. We pick up our own personal swords and fight to survive daily. We admonish those around us to acknowledge the brutality going on around us. We comfort the men, women and children in our lives and communities. We move forward through each minute and day as if these events have no affect when truly, we all have some form of communal PTSD. We cry, shout, march, protest, plead and demand. Still, nothing.
The murderers of our children receive slight discomfort and pats on the back. Perhaps they are heckled on the streets or are forced to live with the nightmares that they have caused. But, there is no true justice for the children that have been slain in the name of nothing.
We get all of the pain, all of the suffering, all of the turmoil. We hold it on our shoulders, you can see it in our watery eyes. We hold on to it, we carry it with us like a badge – something that could be overlooked but is always there. We carry the burdens that have not been created by us but forced upon us. And still, somehow we get our asses up and continue to live life.
We are somehow stronger, prouder, more focused with each tragedy. We continue to be resourceful, resilient and magical. I suppose that is at least one victory that I can count.