Monday, November 14, 2011

Urban Prophecies

Three posts in as many days! What is this madness?

Okay, so the truth is, I've been meaning to write this and the Tim O'Brian post for a while. So enjoy the unexpected windfall.

Now, about the video. It was made by my friend, Magillichetti, the one with the witty blog, and all his friends. (by the way, he's the male voice you hear, talking to the girl at the beginning) It's HILARIOUS. Watch it. Comment on it. Let him know you want more! DO EET. Please. You'll make his day. (and mine)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

For want of a key...

Yesterday I locked myself out of my room with nothing but nightshirt, towel, and shower supplies.

How did this happen, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. (and if you didn't ask you're going to be told anyway)

Saturdays tend to be my do-nothing-until-noon-and-then-maybe-do-something-but-probably-not days. So it was noon. My alarm went off. I had forgotten that I had TMU practice at 1:00. I hadn't even brushed my teeth by this point.

"Oh crap," I thought, "I have to hurry!"

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but the showers in the Lodge are not in the bathroom. There are shower rooms with stalls that you use like a public restroom. But with showers.

I scrambled to gather my shower basket filled with things useful in a shower and a towel. Dashing into the hall, I spun around and shut my door firmly, tugging it to make sure it was locked. Before my hand left the handle I froze; my brain belatedly reminding me I needed my keys and that they were still on my table. Inside the room I had just vacated. Behind the door I had just made absolutely sure was locked.

Isn't it (not) funny how your brain remembers exactly what you need the second after it's too late to do anything about it?

Anyway, I walked up the hall to my dorm manager's room and knocked. No one was home. So I took a shower.

Afterwards, I went back to her door and knocked again. Again, no one was home.

I couldn't call because my phone was in my room. And who brings their phone into the shower with them?

I thought about asking my suite mate to go through our shared bathroom and open the door from the inside. But then I realized that the latch that kept anyone from walking into my room from the bathroom was still in place. Having no other ideas I sat in the hall next to my door. I sat there until my butt went numb. That was when I decided that Mrs. Gaia wasn't coming back anytime soon and if I was going to wait I would dang well be comfortable.

I moved to the chairs set up front. Unfortunately, now anyone waking into the Lodge would be greeted by my damp and undressed self. Fortunately, Saturday was a lazy day for everyone else who didn't work that day, too.

One girl who was passing by lent me her phone to call Mrs. Gaia. I got her voicemail. By now I had resigned myself to missing TMU as well as any respect Mr. Meyer and my dorm mates ever had for me. I brushed my hair and covered my legs with my towel.

After an unknown amount of time I realized Mrs. Gaia's office door was ajar and decided to sit in there. That way both I and anyone passing by would be spared the embarrassment of seeing me.

I sat in there for perhaps fifteen to thirty minutes before realizing that this wasn't going to work. It was dark and boring in her office and sleep threatened me with it's soft, fleshy arms. I could only imagine how awkward it would be if Mrs. Gaia returned to her office with me sprawled out on the floor. So I moved back out front.

A boy who lives in the lodge came out and sat with me. We made some small talk. Eventually he tried to pick my door using a credit card. It didn't work since my door was fit too tightly in it's frame. I thanked him for trying, at once disappointed and reassured that my door couldn't be picked by a mere credit card.

He asked whether my suite mate could let me in. I explained that my paranoia about my privacy and a handy latch prevented that from being an option. My blond-haired attempted savior told me that from what he knew of my suite mate, I was more likely to enter her room than she mine. I refrained from explaining that I also used the latch as part of my Zombie Survival Plan. Should the dorm be overrun by zombies and my suite mate and shared toilet compromised, that latch would be one of the few things I could rally in defense of my oh-so-delectable brain against the ravenous undead hordes.

During this conversation, another boy had been walking between his room and a friends. He asked about the credit card trick. When informed that it had failed he suggested calling Security. I explained I had no phone. The hat-wearing boy suggested using the other boy's phone or the phone I had not noticed that was attached to the wall behind me.

Thoroughly embarrassed, and sure that both boys had doubts about the amount of digits in my IQ number, I went over to the bulletin board on which Security's number was posted.

The Security man who came over was very amiable and understanding about the whole thing. I cannot heap enough praise on his head. I should make him a card...

By the time I was able to enter my room again, any dim hope I had of making it to TMU practice very, very late was extinguished.

But at least I could finally get dressed.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tim O'Brian and Bus Ride Philosophy

Sorry for such a late entry for this week, folks. I just kind of forgot.

Anyway, last week I went to Wichita with a bus of friends and strangers. Why?

It was THE BIG READ (say it with feeling, people) and we were off to listen to a speaker. One Tim O'Brian, in fact. He writes war stories. The only work of his that I knew anything about was "The Things They Carried." I read a little excerpt and it seemed really interesting. Plus, this would be the first author I had ever seen in person. I was thrilled.

I was even more excited when I realized that two friends who I don't get to see as often as I like were coming too. I will call them "Grace" and "Rapunzel."

I didn't sit with them on our journey to our destination. I sat with another friend, whom I shall call "Glasses" until she tells me what she would prefer her alias to be. We talked about Philosophy class and writing and even a little bit about religion. I hope I didn't bore her too badly.

Once we arrived we sat in a nice auditorium that I recognized from one of my cousins' graduations. It's not often you see such a rich green carpet.

Anyway, we were given pamphlets and some cards to write our burning questions on. Unfortunately, I had no burning questions. I had no smoldering or even soggy questions. But the speaker wasn't able to get through even half the questions asked, so it worked out.

He was pretty good, but he was nothing like I imagined. He wore a baseball cap, for one thing. He talked a little about how truth can be subjective and that absolutism is a trap to avoid. There were other things he spoke about, but that sticks out in my memory.

My friends and I got some things signed and even got a picture with him! It was a new experience.
Notice how he uncomfortably looks away from my disturbing visage.
Also; left to right is Rapunzel, Grace, Tim O' Brian, and Myself.
Afterwards, we were all quickly herded away into the bus. We went to get food, but the yogurt place one of the teachers had her heart set on was closed, so we went to Freddy's Frozen Custard. I thought it turned out nicely for me. However, as the bus driver had been navigating his way to the yogurt-serving shop, Grace and I had started an intense philosophical discussion on the nature of truth. It was inspired by Mr. O'Brian's statements earlier.

I had commented that it seemed like he thought some truths were subjective, but there was an ultimate truth if one looked deeply enough. And Grace, having taken Philosophy, jumped on that. She plays a fantastic Devil's Advocate, by the way.

As you probably guessed, dear reader, I felt like an utter fool for most of the conversation. I kept restating myself and struggled to explain my position. I knew what I meant, but getting it to where my listener could understand it was another thing altogether. I ended up confusing myself several times but Grace was very patient. It didn't help that the entire bus started listening to our conversation. Grace assures me I did well, but she's such a sweet soul, I think she would say that even if I sounded like a babbling moron. Anyway, we managed to wrap up our brain-bending conversation in over our frozen custard.

Ultimately, I ended up taking the stance that while there are subjective truths, there are also ultimate Truths out there. Whether anyone can find these ultimate Truths and if it's possible for everyone to arrive at these Truths, is something else entirely. However, the fact that I believe there are ultimate truths is a result of my subjective truths. So, yeah.

Then Grace started teaching me some Chinese and we talked about how Japanese and Chinese people use (mostly?) the same kanji, but different words. For example, the same kanji mean "one", "two", "three", etcetera in both languages, but the words spoken are different.

And then my Creative Writing teacher insisted that I take Journal Writing/Storytelling next semester. She is convinced I'd be great at it. We'll see, I guess.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable and educational trip.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Elephants in Paradise

Coldplay is one of my favorite bands when it comes to alternative rock. A couple days ago I was listening to some of their new stuff and became addicted to this song. So now I'm here to share my obsession with all my followers. All four of you. :D

(oh! and i managed to fix my blog's url. gimcracks is now spelled correctly. yay!)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In Which I am Once Again Reminded I Have a Strange Mind

I had a queer dream.

In this dream, I was in Philosophy class. Mr. Mayer was there, along with some random extras (a.k.a. nobody i recognized or knew) and we were talking about philosophy and music. But mostly music, I think. Then zombies showed up. And Mr. Mayer may or may not have given me a bottle of pills (zombie repellent?) and then left, returning as Robin Goodfellow in some epic-looking armor and helped us (me and the extras) escape from the castle (which the school had somehow transformed into) full of zombies. It gets confusing around that point.

And there was a sub-plot about some people who had holed up back at the castle, watching TV and hiding from zombies. I think a couple of them may have been vampires, because there was some blood-sucking going on later and stuff. The dream kept flashing back to them at random intervals, but it was boring and nothing really happened. Just some people watching TV. Not a bad way to spend a zombie apocalypse, I suppose.

We escaped on these flying lizard things (not dragons, but they were interesting and i may go into more into detail about them in a later post) to this...island? Oh, and at around this point, Aladdin and Jasmine had hijacked the dream for some sort of zombie survival love story. I don't know. *shrug*

So Mr. Mayer/Robin Goodfellow officially vanished from the storyline at this point. And we were safe for a while.

And then the zombies (which walked and talked like the people they previously were, except rotting away and hungering for the flesh of the living and being very unapologetic about it) implemented a plan that involved them falling from the sky onto the island. Somehow, this worked. And there was a massacre and Aladdin was running around, avoiding zombies and trying to find Jasmine (they'd gotten separated in the general panic created by raining zombies) and I was running around, somehow managing to avoid being eaten by these rather smart and agile undead, and feeling very uneasy and upset about this whole thing. And then I woke up, feeling very uneasy and upset about that whole dream.

And then I went to bathroom.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blog Neglect (and a little aside on my stupidity)

I have been very neglectful this month. October just hasn't given me a lot to blog about. (i lie, i'm just too lazy and forgetful) But I intend to do better from now on. Really.

The plan is that I'll blog at least once a week. No matter what, I'll post one update a week. If I post more than that awesome, but this way there will be updates. So expect a lot of randomness in my upcoming posts. But I know that's a goal I can reach and I'd hate to see my blog wither away simply because I don't post for stupid reasons.

After all, I made this as a place for me to write my thoughts and feelings. They don't have to be profound or meaningful. I can gush about my favorite movies and books and things, or vent about a stressful event or friend, or just ramble on and on. I can share my stories here, or art (if i ever get around to scanning it into the computer). This is a place for me. I don't want it to be a pathetic little thing because I don't take advantage of it. So, yeah. Sorry for the drought (if anyone cared). I'll do better in the future.

(and i realized a couple days ago that i misspelled "gimcrack" as "grimcrack" in my blog's url. it's really embarrassing and further reinforced the fact that i can be a real idiot)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Virgin and the Monster

This is tied with the Disney version as my favorite movie retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It's a much darker and macabre version, but it's so amazing. And the re-imagining of the Beast (known as Nevtor in this version) is superb!

The title for this post is taken from the literal translation of this film's title. It's a great way to welcome the October month.

Watch it. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Temporal Mechanics Union a.k.a TMU

So I finally got to join TMU at my school! For those of you who don't know (which are many, I'm sure) TMU stands for Temporal Mechanics Union. It's an organization that gathers like-minded individuals to make music, taking influences from around the world and whatever our imaginations can offer. It's fabulous!

I wanted to join as soon as I found out what it was they actually do. (and it doesn't hurt that one of the head honchos is my favorite professor, hands down) But my CNA class and hectic schedule kept me from being able to join. Until recently.

This was the first rehearsal I went to, and while triplet is no longer a real word in my head (on account of how often i muttered it under my breath to keep time) I think I was starting to learn my parts somewhat correctly by the end of the meeting. I was playing on one of the handmade instruments. It's one of many, but this instrument was called Copperhead most likely due to the fact that it was made of wood and copper. It looks like a glorified xylophone, but it's very interesting. It has sharps and flats and double flats and double sharps and regular notes. I'm very impressed by the work and ingenuity that went into it.

I even got to mess around with the bass instrument known as the Medusa Oblongata, so called for it's many tentacle/snake-like pipes. You hit the openings of the tubes with the flat of a ping pong paddle to force air through them and make sounds.

And then I learned how to play a Conga drum (pronounced with an "oo" sound, so it would sound like Coonga). It was fun and fascinating and my instructors were very forgiving and patient.

Now I just need to learn how to play my part by heart before December 8th, so as not to shame the rest of the TMU members. I think I can do it.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Early Morning Deer Spotting and State Tests

This morning I walked out of my dorm and saw three deer.

Now, that doesn't sound very impressive but it was mystical experience. The crisp early morning air, the radiant colors of the dawn sky, the dew making the grass a richer green, and a startled doe, close enough for me to tackle.

However, I restrained my impulse to tackle said deer.


I looked at the deer. The deer looked at me.

It seemed I had startled the doe with my presence, and it decided that it could find just as tasty food, without the human pest, across the road. It began to walk away when another deer appeared from behind a tree, almost like magic.

They greeted each other, then stared at me. I stared back.

A third deer joined the starefest.

After a quick huddle, it seemed they all agreed that the grass was greener on the other side (of the road) and trotted away, while a car decided that now was the time to appear. They made it to the neighbor's lawn before the car reached them, thus avoiding destroying the beautiful morning calm with a horrific crash and deer guts splattered across the street.
On another note, I took the State CNA test and I feel pretty good about how I did. However, I'm not sure I understand the logic of the test that says "you are worthy of being the person who takes care of multiple persons' essential and daily needs" being 100 multiple choice questions. Don't get me wrong. It's a heck of a lot easier to do than, say, 100 essay questions.

Still, wouldn't actually putting us in our working environment and having us show that we have the skills and knowledge needed be a better and more accurate test of our abilities? But I suppose that's what the class is for. To prepare us for the actual job, and the test is a formality.

A formality that determines whether or not you actually are a CNA. Which is kind of the opposite of a formality. But, whatever. I should know whether I passed or not in the next 3-4 weeks.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mimes and the Trees That Fall on Them.

So, my friend (of Stupid Decisions Anonymous fame) asked me this age-old question.

If a tree falls in the forest, and hits a mime, does anyone care?

To which I replied, "The mime cares. But probably no one else does. Except maybe scavengers like vultures and stuff."

And he promptly returned with, "Do mimes have feelings?"

Now that was a good question.

So I thought. And I pondered. And I speculated. I even tried to get into the mind of a mime, to be a mime, so to speak. It was a cold barren place, devoid of life. I will not go there again.

After I recovered from my self-induced torture, I replied.

"They were originally human, so I imagine it's like becoming part of the Borg. Under the right stimuli they can remember what it was to feel. And if they're really lucky, they'll experience a flicker of feeling again. But then they return to their respective Borg/mime mindset as if nothing happened.

 But that's all speculation. Most likely they're nothing more than an empty shell."

"Is being smashed with a tree the right stimuli?"

"I'm not sure. I was thinking more emotional stimuli, like being ordered to torture your former family or something. But a tree would be painful. I think a mime can still feel pain, because that's not an emotion," I said after a couple moments.

"True," answered my friend, "but could they care that they feel pain?"

I pondered some more.

"That I don't know. I would imagine that they want to stop the pain. And that would entail getting away from what's causing you pain. Which would be hard to do if there is a tree on top of you..."

At which point we abandoned the conversation and talked about other things and my other friends kept commandeering my computer and I had to beat them off with blunt instruments because it's my computer, dangit!

But I kept thinking about this hypothetical mime under this hypothetical tree in the back of my mind. And I realized that I was looking at this all wrong. The mime's (not) feelings didn't matter so much. The tree's did.

The tree would care.

The tree would care because it fell. And not only did it fall, it fell on a creepy former-human, which may or may not be able to feel pain. Who knows what mental and emotional trauma comes from falling on a mime? It would be deeply disturbed and distressed by this turn of events in it's life. How did come to fall in the first place? Was it a freak storm? A lumberjack? Was the said mime responsible or just an innocent in this affair? (as innocent as a mime can be) What was this mime doing in the middle of a forest anyway?

And there is a very severe lack in details about the tree that fell. Is it old? Is it deciduous? Was it healthy? Did creatures live in/on it?

There isn't enough to go on, to truly understand what happened.

I will never know what happened in that hypothetical forest, where a hypothetical tree fell on a hypothetical mime. But I will always wonder.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Toilets and Tampons

My dorm toilets are picky. They'll take a massive load of crap, but if I need to flush a tampon, suddenly they can't handle it. It's a freakin' tampon.

It must be a man's toilet.

So now I have to throw my used tampons in my trashcan, which is pretty gross for any visitors I might have. (actually, i never have visitors, so it's all good) And it's annoying to be ready to answer the call of nature and suddenly having to scurry into my room with my pants around my ankles, to drag the trashcan back to my bathroom praying I don't drip, just to throw away a tampon.

Fortunately, I only have to go through this once a month. But I can't wait until I get a house with a toilet that isn't a pansy.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

God of War and Douchery (here be spoilers)

I have a friend who loves the God of War franchise. Often when I come over to visit, he plays part of one of the games at some point. I'm no gamer, but I enjoy watching others play, especially when it's a story driven game. So I've learned a lot about God of War from him.

When I first heard about God of War and, specifically, it's protagonist I had one thought. "Kratos (the protagonist) is a douche." Having learned more about the franchise and it's hero (i use the term loosely here) I still hold to my original view. However, it's tempered by the knowledge that everyone else is a douche too.

Kratos lives in a world of douchery. The gods are douches, the people are douches, the creatures are douches. Anyone who attempts not to be a douche dies. Anyone who is a douche also dies, albeit in a more violent and grotesque manner and after a nice long life of douchiness. The point is, you can't win in Kratos' world. But you'll live longer if you're a douche.

See for yourselves. (Chains of Olympus, Ghost of Sparta and Betrayal are not in this synopsis. also, certain events may be out of order. i'm sorry if this is so, let me know and i'll try to fix it)

Before God of War
*Gaia and Uranus come from the Chaos*
*They make love and have lots of babies*
*Uranus is a douche*
*Uranus throws his kids into Tartarus*
*Tartarus is a bad place*
*Gaia is pissed*
*Gaia makes sickle*
*Gaia asks her kids to use sickle to castrate Uranus*
*Why can't Gaia do it herself? Because she's a douche*
*Cronos castrates his father, Uranus*
*Gaia warns Cronos that his kids will destroy him*
*Cronos does the only logical thing and eats his children*
*Children are gods and don't die in his stomach*
*God-children are bored out of their minds*
*Rhea, their mother, is pissed*
*Rhea sends last child, Zeus, to Gaia*
*Rhea feeds Cronos a rock instead*
*Gaia raises Zeus*
*Zeus decides to take down his father*
*Zeus takes down his father*
*Zeus frees his siblings*
*Zeus and siblings throw Cronos in Tartarus*
*Zeus and siblings throw a lot of other Titans into Tartarus*
*Said Titans hadn't really done anything*
*Kind of a douche move, guys*
*Gaia is pissed*
*Gods rule Olympus*
*Zeus gets it on with the human, Callisto*
*Callisto gives birth to Kratos*
*Callisto raises Kratos, tries to teach him not to be a douche*
*Callisto fails*
*Kratos joins Spartan army*
*Spartans are kinda douchey*
*Kratos falls in love with Lysandra*
*Lysandra is not douchey*
*Kratos marries Lysandra*
*Lysandra gives birth to Calliope*
*Calliope is not douchey*
*Kratos is a happy man*
*Kratos is still a douche*
*Kratos fights barbarians*
*Kratos starts to lose*
*Kratos is about to be killed by barbarian chieftain*
*Kratos calls out to Ares for aid*
*Ares helps Kratos*
*Kratos wins battle*
*Kratos is now Ares' faithful servant*
*Ares is a douche*
*Kratos does douche things for Ares*
*Ares decides that Kratos' family is holding him back from his true douche potential*
*Ares tricks Kratos into killing his family*
*Kratos is devastated*
*Kratos is pissed*
*Ares is amused*
*Ares is a douche*
*Kratos has nightmares about killing his family*
*Kratos seeks the gods help*
*Gods are like "do things for us and we'll take your nightmares away"*
*Kratos does things for the gods*
*Gods don't take nightmares away*
*Kratos is pissed*
*Gods are douches*
God of War
*Gods decide Ares is a douche*
*Gods want Ares dead*
*Gods ask Kratos to kill Ares*
*Kratos agrees if they'll finally take his nightmares away*
*Gods agree to do this*
*Kratos goes on a long, epic quest to get Pandora's Box to kill Ares*
*Ares kills Kratos*
*Kratos dies*
*Kratos gets better*
*Kratos opens Pandora's Box*
*Evils in Pandora's Box corrupt gods, making them douchier than before*
*Kratos gets power-up*
*Kratos fights Ares*
*Ares is a douche*
*Kratos kills Ares*
*Gods are freaked out that Kratos actually managed to kill a god, despite the fact they wanted him to do it*
*Kratos asks for his nightmares to be removed*
*Gods split hairs and don't take his nightmares away*
*Gods are douches*
*Kratos tries to commit suicide*
*Athena stops Kratos and offers him the (now empty) position of god of war*
*Athena is less douchey than the other gods*
*Kratos accepts*
God of War II
*Kratos helps the Spartans conquer Greece*
*Gods are unhappy about this*
*Zeus tricks Kratos into losing his powers*
*Zeus kills Kratos*
*Zeus was afraid Kratos would kill him*
*Zeus kills Spartans, because he can*
*Zeus is a douche*
*Gaia wants to kill Zeus and other gods*
*Gaia saves Kratos*
*Gaia offers to team up*
*Kratos wants to kill Zeus*
*Kratos accepts her help*
*Kratos goes on epic quest to change Fate*
*Kratos kills a lot of people*
*Kratos kills the Fates*
*Kratos goes back in time*
*Kratos frees the Titans*
*Kratos beats up Zeus*
*Athena tries to stop Kratos from killing Zeus*
*Kratos accidentally kills Athena*
*Kratos is sad*
*Zeus escapes*
*Kratos finds out Zeus is his father*
*Kratos is pissed*
*Kratos attacks Olympus with Titans*
God of War III
*Death and douchery ensue*
*Titans betray Kratos*
*Titans are douches*
*Kratos is pissed*
*Kratos kills a lot of gods and Titans*
*Athena (in ghost form) offers to help Kratos*
*Kratos accepts*
*Kratos needs Pandora's Box*
*Zeus puts Pandora's Box in the Flame of Olympus*
*Pandora is the key to sealing the Flame of Olympus, meaning she has to die to unseal the Box*
*Pandora reminds Kratos of his daughter, Calliope*
*Pandora is not a douche*
*Kratos gets attached to Pandora*
*Pandora dies*
*Pandora's Box is empty, meaning Pandora died for nothing*
*Kratos is pissed*
*Kratos kills Zeus*
*Athena reveals herself to be a douche*
*Kratos has the power of Hope*
*Athena wants it to rule the world*
*Kratos kills himself, releasing Hope to all mankind*
*Athena is pissed*
*Kratos may not be dead*
*God of War IV?*

I rest my case.

I've come to love God of War, talking with my friend and watching him play. But man, everyone's a douche!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Nothing much to say

Other than that I finally won a chess game. Yeah!

I suck at chess, but I happened to be in the same room as the chess club last night. And whenever people are playing a game and having fun, I feel the desire to join in. I'm nosy like that. So I did. I lost my first two games, but that was to be expected. I was going up against regulars here. But my last match was against a man who was as much an amateur as me, he just played a little bit more than I did. We both made silly mistakes and had accidentally brilliant moves, but I won. Just barely. We parted on amicable terms and that was the end of the chess club's meeting. I'm definitely playing again next week. Who knows, maybe I'll actually become decent at chess! (haha. when pigs fly)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm a follower. All the way.

So, one of my friends started a blog today ( and I found out another friend has had a blog ( since forever. (though that one is relatively new) Then my Creative Writing teacher was espousing the virtues of writing journals and such and then reading them later to see how far you've come and I was like, "that's...kind of an awesome idea." So here I am.

And here's some amateur poetry for you to suffer through!

Okay, this poem was inspired by the county famous (to borrow a phrase from my friend) Writers' Corner and the poets there who read their depressing (but awesome!) thought-provoking poems. Part of the reason I dislike poetry is because a lot of the stuff I read is depressing. (and yet i'm writing poetry. oh the irony!) I can only take so much gloom and doom. But I realized that these writers are trying to draw attention to real and pressing issues, to cry against injustice and stir people to do something about it. So I began to wonder what that said about me, that I'd rather not hear about these true, sad and uncomfortable realities. Thus, this poem. I've titled it "What do I know?"

When you come up here
to expose the harshness of life,
I sit awkwardly in my chair
and try to empathize.

Because what do I know
of sorrow and pain?
I'm just a privileged white kid
with the world on a plate.

What do I know
of the man who comes home
to tell his kids and his wife
that they have to go?

Because he got laid-off
and the bill collectors take all they can.
He can't get a job,
no one wants a Mexican man.

What do I know of hunger and sacrifice
as parents starve quietly
to let their children eat
the last grains of rice?

What do I know of love
or of heartbreak
when a man beats his lover
instead of stroking her face?

How can I say "leave him"
when I've never loved?
Never felt the warmth of his skin
or his kisses, soft as a dove.

What do I know of prejudice
when the worst slight I get
is the cry of "weird" and "freak?"
No one mention my skin.

I've looked in the mirror,
wishing to be skinny, pretty and well-liked.
But never wanted so bad
that I'd pick up a knife.

I've called myself fat
and there is too much on my plate.
But I've never stopped eating
or thrown up to save face.

I've thought that the world
would be better without me.
But never popped the pills, stepped off the bridge
and left my loved ones behind me.

I'm afraid of the pain.
I love food too much.
I'm not ready to die
and I hate throwing up.

In my little world, abuse and neglect
have never been rife.
Listening to your words, I realize
I must lead a charmed life.

I have been called kind
but now I wonder, "Do I even know what that is?"
Because it seems that I use that word to hide
my true callousness.

I offer apathy at best,
judgement at worst
but I wasn't there.
I only know what I've heard.

So when you come up here
to expose the harshness of life,
I'll sit awkwardly in my chair
and try to empathize.

And as you speak
I'll try to let you sow
the seeds of truth in my heart,
because what do I know?