Where will you be when everything goes wrong? Where will your head be at? Will you be able to keep it all together when the light at the end of the tunnel is another tunnel, and the light at the end of that tunnel is a train? Sometimes it feels as though pain only exists for pains’ sake. There’s no way that this is going to teach me anything at this point. Now I know without doubt that pain is followed by more pain and that life is, as the Buddhists say, simply suffering. It’s inextricable from the experience. This is not bleak or me being some sort of a downer. This is reality as I have known it for a while now, but more specifically over the past 12 months.
Over the last year, almost every little thing that could’ve gone wrong has gone wrong or come too close for comfort. I am not familiar with the phenomenon of death. It’s taking me a long time to process losing figures who represented everything good in the world to me. Furthermore, I don’t know how many issues we’ve had with cars or personal health or family health or our animals. It quite simply is always something, and I’m worried that I’ve become too used to it. Too numb to it. Sometimes life doesn’t give you lemons but it gives you rocks and in America we pretend like they don’t hurt. I thought about how I could make this year different for us. I realized there is no guarantee that it will be any different no matter what I do or say. Suffering is a constant. It’s the moments in between the joy. I am constantly waiting for the next bad thing to happen. I know that may seem drastic, but you fundamentally misunderstand my pain. In addition to the unforeseen setbacks and life altering issues, I have been dealing with the personal trauma of being away from home for my entire life. I was taken from Haiti as a young child and placed in the Midwest. The middle of White America. The middle of a foreign country. I thought this was normal. I allowed myself to believe that there was nothing wrong with that, and that there was nothing wrong with me as a result of that. I have lived my entire life in some sort of alternate reality where it’s normal for a black person to be the only black person in the room.
The cultural sensitivity training that I forced those who were around me at way to go through took an immense emotional toll out of me as a young child. It ended up this way because they was simply nobody else. We did not have anybody else who understood like we did. I did not grow up around other Me’s. I grew up around myself. That’s the type of loneliness that, not many people are familiar with I believe. I believe some of you are, but you haven’t come to terms with that yet. I am in a committed relationship with somebody who I love more than anything on this planet. And it still gets me. It still haunts me. And I know that it will never go away. The only way for me to overcome that suffering to overcome that loneliness is to tell all of the stories with grace and magnanimity and understanding. Most of you aren’t going to get this. I know that. I don’t know what else I can do at this point, other than laugh about it. It’s a shame that I do not think that I will be alive for the next evolution of humanity because that’s what it’s going to take. That is what it’ll take to get some people to understand that being the only black person in the room in this country is being materially unsafe.
I have felt that way since I was a young boy growing up in the middle of Colorado. There were none of us. My brother and I got closest to role models on the basketball court or in the barber chair. Other than that there were none of us. That wrecks you. That ruins your brain. And I’m here to laugh about all of that. After year 26, there is nothing else left to do. I invite you to laugh with me this year. I’m getting out of my pain. I will see you soon and when I do, you will be laughing with me.