The head of a company survived 9/11 because
His son started kindergarten.
Another fellow was alive because it was
His turn to bring donuts.
One woman was late because her
Alarm clock didn’t go off in time.
One was late because of being stuck on the NJ Turnpike
Because of an auto accident.
One of them
Missed his bus.
One spilled food on her clothes and had to take
Time to change.
Car wouldn’t start.
Get a taxi.
The one that struck me was the man
Who put on a new pair of shoes that morning,
Took the various means to get to work but before.
He got there, he developed a blister on his foot.
He stopped at a drugstore to buy a Band-Aid.
That is why he is alive today..
Now when I am
Stuck in traffic,
Miss an elevator,
Turn back to answer a ringing telephone…
All the little things that annoy me,
I think to myself,
This is exactly where
I’m meant to be
At this very moment
Well kids, 18 years of compulsory education are over.
18 years of being told to sit down and shut up.
18 years of being told to speak when you’re spoken to.
18 years of being intellectually measured and placing your value and self-worth on a series of arbitrary and meaningless tests.
18 years of government ideologies being implemented through textbooks and subliminal curriculum changes; I bet you can tell me how many apples Kumar Rajesh The Third bought, but I bet
you can’t tell me who Mary Seacole was. Without Googling her.
18 years of conformity, take off the suit or the shit school jumper
or the blouse or the knee-length skirt, ain’t no pervy teacher
gonna get all offended; even though it’s their lack of self-control
and inability to control their sexual desires and the bullshit belief
that the victims are the ones responsible for all sex crimes performed on them. (Here’s something they don’t teach you at school: there are no excuses for raping someone. None. Zero. Nada. Don’t fucking do it. No means no means no means no means no.)
18 years of useless bullshit, goodbye Golgi Apparatus, hello money!
Time for loans and jobs and bills and I bet they never taught you
about exchange rates and how to get the most out of changing
your money. At least you can work out a Triangle’s hypotenuse…
18 years, trying to get you to behave, get you in a nice little line
so you’ll be a dutiful employee, a simpleton, normal, the same,
a cardboard cut-out of everyone else, a follower of the status quo.
Well kids, after all of that, all 18 years, I hope you’re still you.
I hope you’ve found joy in your own company and the company of others. I hope you have a dream, a vision, a belief, something to stand for. I hope you’re happy; well, happy enough after being mentally tortured for 18 years by the most flawed institution ever created.
I also hope you know just how goddamn beautiful you are, and I fucking mean it. I hope you realize there’s more to life than fly-by-night popularity and that crushes are little more than dust in the wind and that you are not defined by any of the tests that you take.
18 years now, wipe the slate. Start over. This is not the end, failure is not fatal and success is not final. This is only the beginning. It’s a big beautiful world out there. Trust me, I didn’t believe in it either.
Well kids, that’s the bell; your 18 years of hell are now finally over. Breathe in. Relax. And remember; this is only Chapter 1…"
My mother never sat me down to tell me
that humans may run the world but
they don’t own it; that they are the assistant
managers to the hotel they keep finding
new ways to trash, that they build their
society over whichever insecurity is the loudest,
that we, as a race, crave power more
than food, that we will allow others to
starve in every way possible because of it.
My father was a psychology professor, in love
with metaphors and cognition, the way the
human brain could memorize the lyrics to a
song they heard once on the radio but forget
their wedding vows, the way memories are
held differently, like new parents meeting
their child for the first time compared to a
young woman gripping pepper spray by her
side while she walks alone at night.
My father was in love with the way people
formed their sentences, the way people
remembered whose birthday was on
which day, the way people played instruments
based on their lineage and ancestry.
My father was so in love with other things
that he was divorced twice before he
realized being a psychology professor
does not necessarily mean understanding humans.
My father was a psychology professor,
divorced twice, and raised a daughter to still
believe in the infinite nature of marriage.
My mother never sat me down to explain that.
My mother never told me that I had a right to be strong.
Instead, she put me in gymnastics and dance class,
insisting that playing soccer and drums were
simply my “brother’s things”, while I watched
dust gather on the hi-hat, while my brother
sat and picked dandelions on the field. She told me that I couldn’t watch action films because there weren’t any musical numbers.
That I couldn’t take karate because I wouldn’t
make friends. My brother was put into hockey
while I was forced to figure skate. I wasn’t allowed to
touch the knives while making dinner at fourteen but my
brother could play first-person shooting games
at nine years old. I was put in a box as a child,
covered in glitter with a neon pink sign that screamed
‘GENDER’. I tried to understand why it was okay
for the boys in kindergarten to play war but not okay
for the girls to draw with blue crayons. At seventeen,
I’m still trying to understand why, whenever I lift anything,
a man will say: “That looks heavy. Why don’t I take it?” as
if I haven’t been carrying the weight of society’s
prejudicial opinions of my strength on my shoulders for years.
My mother never sat me down to tell me that
not everybody makes it out as the good guy. That movies lie.
That the person I fell in love with doesn’t have to win
every argument just because I don’t know how to
stand up for myself. My mother never sat me down to
tell me that arguments don’t always mean makeups,
that sleeping doesn’t mean feeling rested,
that being scared of abandonment is not irrational,
that sometimes hot baths just make you sweaty and sad,
and that no species on Earth has learned to hate
each other as humans do.