a status report on my piece from earlier this year: “To Being Unreasonable in 2015”
LESSON #1: Embrace your hostility. Be angry. Be a stain. Be what others call a “negative” person. Create a “zone of hostility so large it creates a forcefield of care for yourself and your kin.”* Pick every last fight. Learn the words “go fuck yourself.” Wake up each morning and say: “Our mothers didn’t bring us here to shut up.” Those who do not want to hear your anger do not want to hear you at all. Those who wonder why you are so negative all the time don’t realize how vocalizing this anger publicly and loudly might, in fact, be part of your survival.
LESSON #2: As a result of lesson 1, your inbox will become an unsafe space; don’t check it in public or late at night or too early in the morning. Or at the bar. Or on the train. Or before work. Take special care with emails from well-meaning white friends who have been confused by you: Are you referring to me in that tweet from 2 weeks ago??? 2PM is the best time to check e-mail—far enough into the day that you can still make it through.
LESSON #3: Learn that your first English words, at the age of four, were HI! & PLEASE! & THANK YOU!—and that you were taught these words before you really knew what they meant. Learn that you performed them like a parrot to try to pass as American at an airport in Texas. Learn that from the moment you’ve entered this country, you’ve been excelling at passing, so this heartbreak you are feeling now, this unlearning that feels like death, this feeling that you’ve been a phony your whole life, is actually somewhat real, because, who are you? who have you been? Continue reading