Wayward.

True to my nature, I continue to stay Present, Live and Direct

There’s not a soul walking Earth that I perceive as a threat.

I’d rather burn in the sun than hide in someone’s shadow

I refuse to find comfort in strangers eager to play Operator

Eager to fiddle with the locomotion governing my train of thought.

ill-intent — with its crooked wheels — is quick to be derailed,

From my track, bulldozing its way through some wayward woods

Where it rightfully belongs — getting lost in its own confusion

— and still, some part of me continues to hope

It finds itself a home.

– O.D. ©2023

Art by: arcipello

Lock Your Doors — Cross The Road. I Won’t Judge.

People define racism in a number of ways. It can be more overt, with racial slurs or ethnocentrism that borders on neo-fascist ideals. Or it can be covert through value judgements based entirely on ethnicity (racial prejudice) and divisive rhetoric.

As fun as it is to talk about all these things; today I’ll be taking a completely different direction.

There are some actions people take that can easily be interpreted as “racism”, and we can sit here and debate them all day. So to avoid poisoning my analysis (by approaching this from a holistic perspective) I will base it entirely on my own experience and interpretations. If you share some of my views (or don’t) let’s talk about it in the comment section.

It’s also important to note that I live in a foreign country and I’m the only black person in my community. Sometimes I forget it until I’m reminded.

This puts me in a unique position to share my personal insights and conclusions.

CROSS THE ROAD

I’ve been in a situation where I’m walking home, and someone (usually a lady) is walking in my direction, sees me, and decides to cross the road. I’ve heard some people who’ve gone through a similar scenario conclude it as racism or fear built entirely on prejudice.  (i.e Black = Rap + Basketball + Drugs + Hood mentality + Chicken + Gun)

These are all interesting theories, but until proven, they’ll stay that way, as theories. I can’t, for certain, say why this has happened to me 2-4 times. But it can be the result of numerous reasons. Maybe where they (the person crossing) need to go is across the road and has nothing to do with me. Maybe they want to avoid how awkward it would be to cross paths with someone when there’s plenty of space across the road. We could theorize about this for hours.

What I know for certain is, they are justified, for whatever reason — to do whatever they want — as long as it doesn’t inconvenience me. Sometimes people take actions based on culture or past trauma that we might not be aware of. Not everything that happens around us has to do with us. So yes, please cross the road; bunny-hop there if you want to as well. 

“Maybe they cross the road because you’re Black. And Ugly”

You mean ugly to her, right? Because no way I’m “objectively” ugly lol have you seen my face? I would describe it as many things, but “ugly” definitely isn’t one of them.

Ask my girl Shay; she’ll tell you 😉

LOCK YOUR DOORS

I remember one day I was walking home from work (late afternoon). There was a car parked by the sidewalk I usually use. I was busy on my phone, minding my own business when I heard the car doors lock — just as I passed (the car).

Now, look, I’m not saying they locked their doors because of me lol but it wouldn’t be far-fetched to tally that as a possibility. Considering the fact that they had been parked in that same spot for well over a minute and then decided to lock their doors as I was passing by lol (not before — not after)

Some would go as far as calling that racism,  because the driver’s actions imply they think I’ll car-jack them. Maybe. Again, there’s no way to know for certain. There’s enough evidence to build a theory/argument but no solid foundation to confidently stamp a judgment.

Perhaps they always lock their doors, and by seeing me — the only pedestrian at the time –they were reminded to lock their doors.

Perhaps their doors were already locked, and the sound I heard was them unlocking — I can’t identify the difference personally.

As I said before, there are too many interpretations and possibilities to consider for me to confidently commit to one. (racial prejudice is still one of those possibilities)

But you wanna know what I say to all this?

“Go ahead and lock your doors, Sir/Madame. Lock them tight. Double-check if you have to”

If you see a person (from your race or a different one) walking whilst you’re alone in your car and you feel threatened? Please lock your doors, you have nothing to prove by keeping them open. I and many others won’t think of you as racist or weak. Because who knows, had the roles been reversed, I’d probably lock my doors too once I saw you.

It’s not racism to simply practice basic survival skills in the urban jungle. That’s like walking around dropping 100-dollar bills (Hensel and Gretel style) to help me find my way home and expecting to see each and every one of them on my way back. Also, consider the possibility that I AM  a super black mugging man; then that would make you correct (in that particular instance). Or maybe I’m not. Truth is, no matter what I tell you, only I know myself and I can’t expect you to NOT lock your doors to prove you’re NOT racist to me or yourself.

So yes, lock your doors Sir/Madame.

Word of advice though. If you’re trying to be safe, maybe try not to wait until someone is literally by your car to lock said doors. That’s just being reckless and taking “adventure” to an unnecessarily high level. Had I been a carjacker, your timing would have been sloppy. I would have gotten into your car, and asked you to leave (politely, of course) with a drumstick in one hand and a coke-stained gun in another. I would wear my hood, start playing rap music and talking about my grind in the hood. I would talk about white privilege as the reason for all my misfortune, starting with the stomach-ache I’ll be having as I drive your car away. Not at all to do with my poor hygiene, oh no, everything can be blamed on someone else.

Then you could go home and tell your family that everything those films and news outlets say about black people is correct. 

You don’t need to thank or pay me for giving you this world-shattering advice. It’s free. You can, however, repay me by continuing to lock your doors. You can even leave them open for people that look like you. Just keep watch for the drumstick man with a hoodie and a loaded 9mm. That’s the real danger right there.

Art by: Pegaite

If I Was Nicer.

If you want to pick a fight with me

I’m gonna have to (politely) ask you to wait your turn

You might be the only one on the assembly line — don’t be surprised

As it’s one thing to think you’re worth my time

And another, to push me while I balance on a knife.

If you have a bone to pick with me, keep dreaming.

I’m the Pavlov to the dog embroidered to your nature.

The carrot to your proverbial stick — salivate, on command,

As I continue to stay out of reach,

Hound me and unintentionally put me at the centre of your universe

All at your own detriment — you just don’t know it yet.

From the centre of your universe, I can do what’s necessary, 

I will be your sun at high noon; try to ignore me, but I’ll still cook you (Lovingly too)

Ferment the marrow in your bones and have you re-evaluating your life choices.

Your heart will thump —

 — Like moon-beam muffled beats resounding in an undisclosed club —

Deep in the dark side of town — Evocative of — the placement of your heart —

Miss a beat — Heave — Your eyes —  Wide with surprise

It dawns on you — You’ve lost administrative control over your body’s basic motor functions

The centre of your universe says, “You never had them.”

Your finite-state machine approach to being is coming to its most natural conclusion, as I

CTRL + ALT + DEL you from existence with the nonchalance of a RAM enthusiast. 

– O.D. ©2023

Art by: Rashedjrs

Differentiation.

I don’t just close doors on people; I lock them.

Then with wide brush strokes, I paint those same doors

With the colour you see when you observe everything —

— Everywhere — on Earth — simultaneously.

“That doesn’t sound like any colour I know”, I hear you say,

To which I respond. “Precisely”.

– O.D. ©2023

Art by: tatasz

Timeless Canvas.

I used to be an artist

Until I realized no piece I formed could outdo

The moment-to-moment orchestrations of a human mind.

So I became a poet — a story-teller

That way, I could paint — using the reader’s imagination;

None can compete with the versatility of that canvas.

– O.D. ©2023

Art by: IMNODOIRAE

I Don’t Read Breakup Texts.

I like to look at all of my readers as my buddies, so I’m going to share a secret with you. Half of it is in the title. If I’m being honest, you probably won’t like me by the time you’re finished reading this post. And that’s exactly what makes this post the perfect share.

I’m sick and tired of people pretending to be perfect on WordPress. I’m not perfect (duh) but more than just saying it — I’m looking to show you in which ways I’m not. 

Let me lay the foundation here to maintain transparency and help you understand my headspace regarding this decision I made years ago (to not read breakup texts).

I’ve been in a number of relationships, most of them ended poorly, and others ended on a bittersweet note. I was completely in the wrong in some and in others? Well, it wasn’t necessarily clear who was to blame. Despite all that, I like to take accountability for every contribution I made to all eventual debacles.

You might not know this about me, but I am extremely patient when it comes to mistakes and misunderstandings. The reason for my patience stems from having a high tolerance. The reason I have a high tolerance is entirely rooted in my upbringing and profession. 

(My patience, however, doesn’t extend to the more egregious personality types that have reached the nadir of irrationality)

The reason I don’t read breakup texts is simple; there’s literally no reason for me to do that. But of course, that’s not a satisfying answer, so we’ll go deeper.

I made that decision early on in my life based on a number of factors:

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1) You didn’t listen to me, so why should I listen to you?

For the Strawman: Petty? Maybe. But let’s explore that backwards logic. If ignoring them because they ignored me is “petty” on my part. What do you call it when I was ignored? Perfect? <<Put this paragraph on a sticky note, place it on your door and read it anytime you need a reminder of your neuronal blindspots>>

*******

I don’t like conflict. In fact, I go out of my way to avoid it. It drains me. However, I don’t mind sitting down to solve a problem. I’m always up for that, assuming the other person is willing to do it calmly.

If you decide it’s time for us to breakup because I’ve become withdrawn due to your actions, that’s not my issue. I became withdrawn because engaging with you was costing me my mental health. 

I’ve rarely come across people who argue their point whilst critiquing it in the same breath. That’s how I personally like to argue my position. Instead, when I often bring about my point (critiquing its flaws along the way); the other person (of the highly neurotic variety) use my own self-critique as evidence and a cudgel to drive their own flawed point home.

Hello? Aren’t we trying to build a synthesis here? If your aim is to “win” an argument. You’re arguing incorrectly (Unless you’re in debate club) but relationships aren’t debate club, dove. 

When you’re (1) Difficult to reason with– (2) Expect me to listen when you don’t — and then (3) We breakup as a result. Hell yes, I’ll ignore your messages; what do you have to say in a final conversation of the many we’ve had that you won’t say again? 

 

2) Breakup Messages Are Sometimes Too Long.

Look, if I needed someone to draft The Bible 2, I’d let you know. Keep it succinct, alright? Otherwise, I’ll give it a hard pass. You’ve already plagued me by having me hogtied to your reality. 

Do us both a favour and just cut to the bone. I can take it.

Writing paragraphs upon paragraphs like you’re writing the Illiad. Are you trying to convince me or yourself that this is the best decision moving forward?

I know its a good decision. Do you? Just end it.

 

3) It’s The Same Song And Dance. And It’s Not Even Interesting.

If we’ve known each other a long time, years even, there’s nothing you’re going to say that’s going to make a difference. And if it will, why wait till the last conversation? Even more reason to leave that message ignored. 

Enduring a relationship of word salads was good enough for me, I don’t need a To-Go bag to really seal the deal.

No, that bag is for you. Enjoy.

 

4) We Had Already Broken Up, You Just Didn’t Know It.

 “You know what [name], this O.D. guy doesn’t sound like a good person” *unfollow*

(Side note: I never said I’m here to be liked, I’m only here to be honest — flaws and all — that’s a far bigger move than most are willing to offer here on WordPress. You’re anonymous and can’t even be honest. Afraid of being judged; it’s ridiculous.)

As I mentioned above, I don’t like conflicts with volatile personalities prone to shouting and foaming at the mouth. But a part of me doesn’t like abandoning people either. Some part of me always believes that every human has a light in them, and that tends to backfire.

So sometimes, as a defense to my sanity, I emotionally check-out from the problematic types. Particularly with people I hope will “change”; people I’ve known for a while. And when these types come at me for not being as bubbly or jovial and use that as an excuse to finally pull the plug, I’m like. “Good. Would’ve been too much work anyway”

 

To Balance The Scales.

I’ve since done a better job at choosing who I associate with because I’m partially to blame for even giving these people my time. Got rid of most of them in 2022. And I’m proud of myself for that. Took a lot of work, but I sorted through the crippling self-doubt and started to take control of my life. Stopped making excuses for people, far more than before.

In the present, it’s no longer a case of Not reading breakup texts from family, friends and paramours. It doesn’t get that far.

It’s instead become about me not ENDURING nonsense. If you’re curious to know what I define as nonsense, well, that’s what the rest of my blog is for. Get to reading 😉

 

– O.D. ©2023

 

Art by: tatasz

Death Defying Scripts.

Choosing to love and cherish those around us,

Despite knowing how it all ends?

Now that’s one big middle finger to death

If I’ve ever seen one.

– O.D. ©2023

Art by: ArthurHenri

Happy New Year, dear reader ❤

Soul Killing Exercise.

Devalue the sanctity of your soul,

Even as it cries out

And soon enough,

Any acts of compassion

Will come across as weakness,

Or god forbid …

An undue inconvenience.

– O.D. ©2022

Art by: ryky

The God Frequency.

In the darkness of the dreamscape,

The world, as you know it, ceases to exist.

You have forgotten it. You reform it.

Reality begins when you wake —

Opening your eyes — bringing light.

You are God.

– O.D. ©2022

Art by: BLPH

You Can’t Kill Abel Twice.

The more you revel in cruelty and an unwillingness –

– To be accountable for your actions.

The more you forfeit the “ethical imperative”

Of a closing conversation.

– O.D. ©2022

Art by: Rashedjrs

Words are wasted on those that don’t listen. 

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