Portland Traffic

OK Portland, we need to discuss your driving.

First of all, if you’re trying to move forward, you have to use the pedal on the right. Otherwise, you’re stopping. Also, blinkers. They exist and serve a specific purpose. Also, climate is a thing. You’ll have to learn to work with it. And if someone’s trying to change lanes, you have two basic options. You can either be nice and slow down, to let them change lanes, or you can be an asshole and speed up. What you cannot do is speed up just enough to pull up beside them, look over, and honk as though they’re being unreasonable for not sideswiping you.

To be fair, I realize every city and state has its fair share of incompetent drivers, but it seems clear to me they all move here. I’m even willing to acknowledge that I’m part of the problem. Since moving here, I’ve apparently forgotten how to park.

Do I leave my car in the middle of traffic or on the sidewalk? I’m pretty sure it depends on the time of day. Even if I’m prepared to not park like a piece of shit dangling from the rear of a bearded collie, I play this little game called “Is It A Parking Space?” SPOILER ALERT: It’s not a parking space. It’s never a parking space. I’m not even convinced Portland has parking spaces. Regardless of neighborhood, there’s just a series of rectangles that seem like they should be parking spaces.

(listen at https://soundcloud.com/yourfaultforlistening/brockett)

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The Bus Screamer

I recently had the terrible realization that I am the bus screamer. Not just yet, but eventually. Whenever there’s a fully developed  bus screamer, I feel a deep, almost spiritual connection that startles me to the awareness that I’ve been mumbling incendiary things under my own breath for the duration of our shared commute. So, sooner or later, my inner censor has to give out, and once it does, let the public outrage commence.

In fact, I was recently walking downtown, angrily mumbling to myself as I have been known to do, when an elderly, disheveled gent with one giant rat’s nest dread lock protruding from the center of his head approached me. He placed one hand on my shoulder, looked me dead in the eyes – as much as he could with all the darting back and forth – and said, “Don’t worry, brother. I hear’m too.”

I’m still not sure if I was disturbed by the fact that I was being consoled by the mentally ill or the fact that it was so goddamn comforting. Like, I hugged him and placed my head gently on his filth-encrusted shoulder. And then, he stabbed me with a piece of broken glass.

(listen at https://soundcloud.com/yourfaultforlistening/segovia)

The Golden Ticket

It’s embarrassing to admit this, but I’ve been Black for over thirty years, and not once in all this time have I been threatened, harassed, harmed, or even arrested by police, despite committing numerous crimes. The truth is, 100% of the racism I have ever experienced has been at the hands of White people without badges. So, if you ever see me post something extremely negative and disparaging about the police, I actually just mean White people, but I don’t want anyone to feel bad.

You see? That’s the hidden magic of police violence. It gives the rest of White America a temporary pass to say “the n word” while singing along with Kendrick Lamar. It’s like a golden ticket of racism.

But don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. There are plenty of cops throughout the country getting away with horrible things, because our entire legal system needs significant reform. That being said, I don’t think we should eliminate law enforcement, because we still need police for the positive roles they play in society. For example, you may recall the recent tragedy in Orlando and who defused that situation. It wasn’t some random group of well-intentioned gang members, but the police – a very specific group of well-intentioned gang members.

Similarly, there are plenty of White people all across the nation getting away with terrible shit. And again, I don’t think we should eliminate White people, because we still need White people to do stupid shit, like explore undersea caverns and go into space.

(listen at https://soundcloud.com/yourfaultforlistening/weierhauser)

Baked Goods

I had a child for one very specific reason: a legitimate excuse to avoid my friends.

When you have social anxiety it’s hard to always come up with a believable, if not good reason to avoid the ones you love, and you can only pretend to have died once or twice before they catch on. I sometimes wonder if Jesus just pulled the ultimate long con. I mean, his friends were especially shitty, so I’d understand. And if that strategy has truly worked for the last 2000 plus years, I’d be willing to call him my personal savior and follow his example with zeal.

Aside from faking my own death, I once ghosted a friend’s wedding because Fred Meyers had a sale on baked goods. The shameful part of it is how easy a decision it was for me. Be witness to the prelude to someone else’s marital bliss or my night alone with cheesecake?Simple. If you think about it, they’re the selfish ones for getting married. And then inviting me? Blatantly inconsiderate.

(listen at http://soundcloud.com/yourfaultforlistening/kuppenbender)