My Great Power

I changed its existence again.There’s a bug in my room. Or rather there was a bug in my room. It’s dead. I think it was a centipede or a millipede.  I don’t even remember killing it, but I know it was me. Its carcass lies on the wall of the corner of my room. It’s been there for years. I know it’s been at least four years. I used to call him Bob the cockroach as a joke when I’d look up and see it on my wall.

Its innards have long been eaten by some other bugs in my room. Life hasn’t been in it. It’s just an empty shell. Nobody would even know it existed. This bug had no name. It was just popped out by its parents, then left to fend for itself. That is my great power. I grant this bug existence by remembering it and looking up at that corner. There’s not a living creature in the world who cares what happened to this millipede. I murdered it. I ended its life just because it looked creepy. There’s no parents worrying about what happened to it. There’s no void in the world now that it is dead. It didn’t matter to the world whether or not this particular bug lived. It might as well not even have existed.

Was there any value to its life? I don’t know what this bug did before I ended it. I have some theories but I will never know how it lived its life. It was crushed to death.  A terrible way to die. I killed this bug and I’ll never be punished for it. Nobody cares about a millipede or centipede or what ever the heck it was.

My great power is to give this bug significance and existence. The world has forgotten this bug. The world never cared about this bug. I give this bug purpose. Whenever I remember it, it matters for once.  I’ve killed many bugs just like that one. Their dead bodies aren’t hanging in my room like this one. Its body grows harder and harder as the years pass by. One day it might fall. And then perhaps I’ll forget about that bug. It won’t exist at that time unless I recall it.

One day I’ll die and my memories will go with me. Then it will fade from this world forever. It will never exist again. Does it matter? There’s loads of these bugs. I see bugs just like it all over the place. Does it need to exist anymore? Is there any point to me remembering this bug that the world has moved on from? A bug with no name. A bug with parents that didn’t care for it. A bug that died because a young boy found that it offended his sight. I suppose there’s not much of a point to keeping it in mind at all.

I only remember it to flex my own ego. I control the existence of a creature. Even though the creature is insignificant to the world, I still hold the power of its existence in my hands. A great power. Of course, that power is no longer mine alone. Anyone who reads this now grants the bug existence.  Through my words, I’ve granted the bug a more permanent place of existence. It now rests among the data surfing around the internet.

I don’t know how long this bug will exist in this form. I have no control over it. WordPress could take its site down one day long after I die. taking away the bug’s existence once and for all. It’s fun to be able to decide whether something will exist or not and how it will continue to exist. I might use this power again on the next bug I encounter.

Who Am I?

The Piece to My Puzzle

I’ll start this off with something very simple. I’ll go with a gender identifier. When I wake up, I feel my beard and stretch out my legs. At my most basic level, I’m a human being but that’s a given. Since I only have an identity amongst other people, there’s no need for that to be my first identifier. The same reason I’m not writing down a two-armed two-legged man. It can be a piece of identity for some, but not for me.

A man.

I have to think about what comes next. I’m a man. Then the next piece that keeps the pieces of me together could be where I grew up. I couldn’t be the same if I wasn’t from Jersey or if I went to the schools I did. But I’m not the biggest fan of New Jersey.. If someone asked me who I was, I wouldn’t mention my hometown. I’d only say that if they asked me where I was from. I wouldn’t ask myself that question. I don’t think that comes next. I’d say my age comes next. I see myself as young.

Young man.

Arrogant and confident both come to mind as something I want to put next. I think I just wish I was arrogant.I have to put down confident because a lot of the time I don’t care what people say or think. I dress how I want. I say what I want. I know that even if all my friends hated me, I’d still be able to carry on in life. It’d bother e but I would get over.

Confident young man.

Now to paint the next stroke of this picture. I’d probably want put Straight Edge next. I do like wearing the shirts and listening to the music. It’s fairly important as it sets the tone of some other sets of my identity.

Straight Edge confident young man

Now next I have to think of how I handle my everyday situations with people. I don’t like idle chit chat. A lot of people get the idea that I hate them. I’m not the biggest fan of saying hi to others and I’m pretty honest about how much I don’t care. I try to be as honest as possible. I view a lot of  social interaction to be fake and not genuine. In fact I would say you could extend this and connect it to my identity as a Straight Edge individual.  I made a mistake earlier. Straight Edge was put on too early and follows this part of my identity. My want to be honest comes before it.” I’m honest “which then leads me to the logical “I’m Straight Edge.”

Honest confident young man

This is missing something. This could be a guy in a suit doing his taxes. This could be a lawyer. This is something a politician would say he is to impress people. I’m missing a key ingredient of my personality. The thing that really makes me who I am. There’s this thing to me that people don’t quite understand. I do a whole bunch of weird things. When I open the door on my way to class, I kick it open. When I wake up in the morning I do a front kick. I play fitting background music while I walk around to class. I laugh at the statuses I make. I say things because in my head they’re entertaining to say. I pretend to take things seriously as a joke. I wrote an entire four page essay for my women’s history final where I just talked about how I knew I was going to fail. I blatantly lied each page promising her on the next page I’d have the real essay. I like to have fun at every minute of everyday. I try to never be in bad mood. When I am, I laugh at myself in head. I laugh at everything I take next to nothing seriously. When I slip and act serious, I’ll  be laughing about it later. Life is a big joke to me. I can’t even really describe this part of me. People just don’t get it. I’ll put it down as zany This word is the closest I can get.

Honest zany confident young man.

What do I see when I think of this statement. When you put down  The picture is majorly changed by this. Honesty and zany are almost two sides of a coin. Where I could once picture a lawyer, I can’t really see anything. The next quality of mine I have to put is Courageous. There’s not much that can stop me. I’ll confront anyone eventually. I’ll talk to any girl regardless of how pretty they are. I always look to conquer my fears. I used to be afraid of a lot of things. I’ve conquered a lot of them.

Honest courageous confident zany young man

I’m not even sure what this sounds like. As I think of times I was courageous, I also have to think of one of my major flaws. I said that eventually I can get over my fears. I hesitate a lot. I stop and always want to think about the options. This helps me often, but from time to time it causes problems. I’m afraid to make a decision with proper judgement. I’m never afraid to make that decision but the time it takes is sometimes too long. I hate to do things that I would regret. I don’t like looking back and thinking “Man I really wish I could back and change that.” I don’t live for the now. This is the first flaw of mine I will put on here.

Hesitant honest courageous confident zany young man

Sometimes I think I’m apathetic. Because I’m confident and not afraid to do what I want when I want. My parents accuse me of this when I don’t budge on issues. I would rather be right than agree that I was wrong just to maintain a relationship. There’s times I say honest things that people think are mean and I don’t care. This is more a projection of what I think people think of me. I wouldn’t say it’s who I think I am. It’s more who I think other people think I am. Apathy may follow my honesty, but I don’t think it comes next. What comes next should be rational. I require rational evidence for everything. I need to always feel I’m right and justified in the ways I think. I constantly brag online about my beliefs hoping to find a person to completely destroy so I can reevaluate them. It’s a type of self-reflection for me. I’ll make a post on a forum dismissing or praising something. I’ll wait for a response. As the years go by, it’s rare that I find people out there that shatter my standings on things. Eventually the discussion breaks down to subjective differences of opinion and I stop caring because I’ve won.

Rational hesitant honest courageous confident zany young man

Next we have to add in cynic. It is part of the name of the blog and for good reason. As a rational person, I am looking for logical evidence. Logical evidence points to the fact that this world sucks and full of sucky people. I can’t see much rational evidence that points to the idea of a good idea. I scoff at people who think that everyone isn’t selfish in some way. At this point of my identity I should change confident to arrogant. It’s a bold claim on my part to think everybody is selfish. I’m generalizing. As confidence leaves facts, it becomes arrogance. I know myself but once I extend my opinion to other people, it’s too much to be confidence.

Cynical rational hesitant honest courageous arrogant zany young man

Now I have two flaws on there. Arrogance serves to describe some other flaws of mine. I find it very hard to see eye to eye with other people. I have difficulty putting myself in other people’s shoes. I feel like I’m dropping to their level instead of side stepping into it. I value my main opinions on things above all, and see everyone else’s below mine but on an equal level within reason on certain topics. The gap isn’t that large. Just a small bit more. I should try to add another flaw. My father calls me lazy all the time. I disagree and say that I only do things when I’m properly motivated to do them. But that falls under honesty.  I don’t do work unless I honestly want to. So what comes next? I don’t buy things for status. I don’t like to spend that much money unless I have to. I don’t care what I drive so long it works. I’m always looking for deals and ways to get out of paying money. I believe the word other people use is cheap. I see myself as Thrifty.

Cynical rational hesitant honest courageous thrifty arrogant ZANY young man

*Note here, I’m finding that zany is downplayed and drowned out when it’s a major part. I’ll put it in bold and make it all caps from now.

Now what do I see when I put all these together? I’m seeing more of myself. It’s just missing  three important identifiers. Man can change to something more personal. I really feel need to add the fact that I’m black since my perspective of the world is different because of the tone of my skin. I’ll use a word to divide it from the last word as I don’t see myself as a black writer. An at this time, not doing drugs is a major identifier. I’m certain years from now it would added later. Straight edge is a youth oriented movement so once young leaves my identity, that will be downplayed. As of now, I’m having a lot of fun with it.

Straight edge cynical rational honest hesitant courageous thrifty arrogant ZANY black young writer

Now I’m starting to see me. I could add stuff like wrestling fan, computer surfer, and more stuff along those lines. I could add my status as a brother, son, cousin etc. This looks nice though. Several neutral qualities, some positive ones, and some flaws. I could put the fact that I see myself as happy, but I think that’s fine enough for me.

Nothing Else. Nothing More

He doesn’t get to be anything else. No matter how much time passes, this boy’s story is finished.  He doesn’t get to grow up. He doesn’t even get to go to high school.He didn’t get a chance to make a facebook. He’s trapped on myspace. He doesn’t move on. He’s done. 50 years from now, the story will be the same for him.

He’ll always fall to his death. There’s no revelation. He just stays a dead kid. Forever. I didn’t even know him that well. He was in my gym class and I think I spoke to him once.  He made a mistake. And it can never be undone. He fell 30 feet to his death. Nothing can ever change that. No matter how far you go into the future, he’ll always be dead. It’s over for him. It’s been over five years since it ended for him. At fourteen years old, he’s finished with life.

I don’t know why my mind drifts to this stranger who I didn’t know from time to time. Maybe it’s because it bothers me. Middle school is the end. So much changes after middle school. He’ll never know. He’ll never make another friend. He’ll never have another opinion. He didn’t get to see the first black president elected. He didn’t get to suffer through the mundane classes that my high school had set for him. He’s stuck. There’s no moving forward. Just fourteen years. That’s no time at all. He had potential. He was somebody’s son. He was somebody’s friend. Gone. Forever. I didn’t know him and I never will. He doesn’t amount to anything now except a sad news story. All that’s left of him is a myspace, some memories that are fading away. Maybe there’s some pictures of him left. Maybe his clothes are still around. No mind. No body. No person.

Nothing more. Nothing else.

Chronicle Number 3 Pt. 2

Questions are an important tool that humans use to understood the environment around us. Why does the apple fall from trees? Why don’t we float into space? Are we the center of the universe? Where did we come from? Why am I here? What is my purpose? What made me?

Religion answers some of these for people. It gives them purpose. It gives them a community that they are a part of. I don’t think religion as an idea is evil. It does motivate people to do good, but also it can bring out the worst in some people.

The big religion on the block today is Christianity. I remember as a child, I was very confused by the different sects of it. Catholic, Protestant, Methodist. What are the differences between these? Are they all correct?  Can they all possibly be? Does everyone in these sects get into heaven?

All my friends went to CCD. I didn’t go to that. Were they all more saved than I was?

I’ll remind you that as kid I didn’t have a clear picture of what God and Jesus represented. They were protectors. They were there to protect us from Satan, Lucifer.

God was the creator of everything. He knew all. He could do anything.

He sent his son, Jesus to die for our sins. Jesus revived and then went somewhere. (As a kid, I never had an idea of where he went. I just knew he left.)

Satan wanted souls so he could torture people in hell. He tricked people and wanted them to sin.

Adam and Eve had been the first two people ever. Eve gave Adam fruit from the Tree of Fruit after being tricked by the snake. This is why mankind needs to be saved.

That was Christianity as I understood it. I also knew some bible stories like Moses, David and Goliath, Noah, Jonah.

It was after I was given this information that I had some questions.

We were told that we were all children of God. I remember asking

“If we’re all children of god, then how come Jesus gets such special treatment? He got to come back after he died.”

The answer I receieved. Jesus and God are one and the same. This only served to confuse me further.

So God sent himself to die for our sins?

The Adam and Eve story confused me immensely. Where were the dinosaurs and cave men? Were they in the garden?

My father told me that parts of the bible weren’t meant to be taken literally.

Which parts do you know are meant to be taken literally then?

I had simple questions like these. They didn’t piss anyone off. My parents were glad to give me answers even if I didn’t understand any of them really. I continued to pray every night until I reached ninth grade. I never enjoyed going to Church, but I had to go because my parents made me. My father moved up the rankings in our church. I never viewed him as incredibly religious at this time.

This one time my cousin took me to a Catholic church. It was a different experience than the one my parents sent me. I understood everything that said. I still didn’t enjoy it.

One day in my English class freshmen year, my teacher made this comment that Shakespeare probably helped to translate the bible. This shook some foundation in me.

I had never once thought of the bible being translated from language to language.

Men translated the bible? What if they made a mistake? My parents didn’t really have an answer for this other than that it was impossible. I wasn’t satisfied with their answer. I set off to the internet.

And I found a variety of answers. I was further confused by this. It was then that I happened upon a website that blew my mind.

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

I never went on the site. I just saw the link.

I sat there in my chair. I couldn’t think of a single good reason for why God couldn’t heal amputees. He could do anything. Anything.

If God is good and can do anything, why not do it? Why has this never happened?

The answers I received were

“Man cannot comprehend God.”

“It’s not in God’s plan.”

What? He has all the power in the universe and he can’t make one person’s arm grow back. What plan is this? Why is that not in the plan? That would make more people believe in him. There was one answer that I particularly didn’t like.

“He’s testing them.” Wait. Doesn’t God know everything? Why would he test people if he already knows what’s going to happen? Why test those specific people too?

Then my brain stirred up another question. “Why did God put that Tree in the Garden of Eden, if he know Adam and Eve would eat it?”

My father always had an answer for questioning this.

“God didn’t want mankind to be robots. He gave us free will so we would choose to love and praise him.” This answer didn’t satisfy me either.

“Why does God need praise and love? Isn’t he perfect? Why make a choice between hell and heaven? That’s not much of a choice. It’s basically the same thing as being a robot.”

Why would he make the snake? Why doesn’t he show up today? Why did God need to rest on the seventh day? Why does there need to an apocalypse? Why did God make hell? Why don’t other people come back to life when they die? Are Christians the only ones who can get into heaven? Where does evolution fit in? What about people who are good but aren’t Christians?

The answer to the last question was always “God will judge them accordingly.”

What if they went to hell? That didn’t seem right to me at all.

The internet held a lot of information bringing up the question of God’s existence. The suffering of people particularly made me question my faith in God.
Why is it that someone can be born in a country that they will starve to death and God does not intervene?
Is it beyond him? Why allow this to happen? He can see all. He can do anything. Yet He lets them suffer.

Children are born with defects. They die of cancer. Even devout Christians are not free from the evils of this world. They bleed. They suffer. They can die horrible deaths. Where is their protection? They’ll get into heaven? That’s the best God can do.

The priest at my parent’s church told me this when he heard that I was asking questions.

“Christianity has stood for a long time. People have attacked it for years. And it still stands today for good reason.”

I went home and thought about what he said. I then realized this wasn’t an argument he should be making. It just made Christians seem stubborn in their beliefs. For 2000 years, someone has had a problem with their religion. Their religion with a perfect all loving God. Something was off here.

I looked up the history of Christianity and became more familiar with its criticisms. I looked up atheism and humanism at the same time.  I didn’t like “Do what God says.” aspect of Christianity. Are you really acting good if you’re only doing to get to heaven and because God tells you to? As people, we should do good because we want to.

I came across an atheist rapper known as Greydon Square. I didn’t listen to much rap at that time, but I enjoyed Greydon Square lyrics. There was one lyric in particular I really liked.

“I’m dreamin’ of a world where there’s no such thing as the Bible Belt
Instead of lookin’ up you look inside yourself
and when you do find yourself
You help somebody else”

My parents continued to force me to go to Church. I gave them excuses for not wanting to go like “I don’t understand anything” and “it’s boring.” They still forced me to go. I went there and I hated the sermons. I just had to sit there and listen to an opinion I didn’t agree with.

One day the priest yelled at us, ” I didn’t evolve from some ape.”

I looked around as he said this to a crowd of people who agreed with him. They burst into song. I shook my head, got out of my seat, and walked out. I waited on the stairs for the service to be over. This became my weekly routine.  I’d go and walk out once I had had enough.

Eventually my parents confronted me about it. August 2007. I told them it was because I didn’t like it. I told  them I didn’t understand the language spoke. They offered to send me to my cousin’s church.

I told them no. They keep pushing me for my real answer. So I finally gave it to them.

“I don’t believe in a god.” This was complete honesty. I had no more faith in the religion of my parents.

They were not amused. My mother cried and prayed. My father told me that atheists weren’t happy. My mother said she wouldn’t give me anything to eat if that was the case. My father told me that having an atheist for a son was not the plan he had.

I talked to the ceiling for the last time that day. I asked for a sign.  Of course I received none. I’ve never been able to confide in my parents since that day. I think I grew quite bitter over that. They had such a negative reaction when I told them something honest about myself. I never said it just to make them angry or to rebel. I told them the truth about how I felt. They condemned me for it. In turn, I respected them less. I thought they were there to support me every part of the way.

We’d have arguments over me not going to Church. My father in a last ditch effort to restore my faith tried to hold bible studies for me. It didn’t work. I couldn’t believe in an all powerful, all knowing all loving God. I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to be a part of their religion. It all seemed like a huge waste of time. Praying, fasting? It didn’t make any difference. You weren’t safe.

Christianity became a sore spot for me. The day after my mother said she wouldn’t feed me anymore, she asked me to fold the clothes for her. I looked at her and asked her which was more important in her life, God or her children.

And she said God. Being a smartass, I told her to ask God to do it for her and walked away. She knew those clothes would not fold themselves no matter how much she prayed so she folded them.

Once I questioned the existence of God, I could question anything. I questioned every rule I met. Why should I be nice to everyone I meet? Why should I leave a tip when I pay at a restaurant? Why do children need to be spanked? Why do people need to get married? Why is alcohol seen as a good thing? Why?

The world made a lot more sense as I looked for the answers for these questions and came up with my own conclusions. I don’t hate anyone who is Christian. I can sorta see where you are coming from. I’m not sure if the world would be a better place without religion. Many people have trouble constructing morals without the bible.

I just wish religion didn’t get in the way of progression some times.