a reflection looks back at me. I didn’t dare look at it in the eye. a cat settles itself beneath a parked jeepney. it’s dark and I don’t have to remember. no, not yet. 2:54 March 14
shadows move. casting themselves in the blueish wall. I am falling. face-down. the mattress sinks, refusing me any relief. I didn’t lie. at least, I still believed. 2:57 March 14
don’t smirk at me. stop giggling behind my back. why must you do it? Oh. it’s not (about) me? … yeah. right. 2:59 March 14
the room stinks of light. it’s all too much, overhead, reflected against an artificial white table. labor, labor. f*ck you, I can’t spell love anymore. this space is function; no love. this space is digits, quotas, quality, blah blah. I don’t create, I produce. if I don’t emit, I lose. against you. against me. how did I get here? how did I become one AND against the enemy?! … 3:06 March 14
I’m sorry, Jan.
3:08 March 14
This is how I fade. I don’t greet you when it’s your birthday, Christmas, New Year. I suppress the smile, the impulse to ‘Like’ any of your posts. I don’t. I don’t. I just don’t. Then I fade, naturally. That when you speak or hear my name, you’d struggle to find a picture of me in your mind. I become this short human, black hair, thin arms, no face. I’m long gone… before you even learn to let me go.
4:45 P.M. March 8.
From BETHANY SALTMAN‘s “Can Attachment Theory Explain Our Relationships?”
“Separate, connect. Separate, connect. It’s the primal dance of finding ourselves in another, and another in ourselves. Researchers believe this pattern of attachment, assessed as early as one year, is more important than temperament, IQ, social class, and parenting style to a person’s development. A boom in attachment research now links adult attachment insecurity with a host of problems, from sleep disturbances, depression, and anxiety to a decreased concern with moral injustice and less likelihood of being seen as a “natural leader.” But the biggest subfield of attachment research is concerned, not surprisingly, with adult attachment in romantic relationships (yes, there’s a quiz). Can we express our needs? Will they be met? If our needs are met, can we be soothed? Adults with high attachment security are more likely to be satisfied in marriage, experience less conflict, and be more resistant to divorce.”
“The trouble is that only around 60 percent of people are considered “secure.” Which, of course, means that a good lot of us have some issues with attachment, which gets passed from generation to generation. Because if you had an insecure attachment with your parents, it is likely that you will have a more difficult time creating secure attachments for your own children.”
“Attachment is a simple, elegant articulation of the fact that, yes, we really do need each other, and, yes, what we do in relation to each other matters. And yet we don’t have to get it right all the time, or even most of the time.”
From DAVID H. FREEDMAN‘s “The War on Stupid People”
“The 2010s, in contrast, are a terrible time to not be brainy. Those who consider themselves bright openly mock others for being less so. Even in this age of rampant concern over microaggressions and victimization, we maintain open season on the nonsmart. People who’d swerve off a cliff rather than use a pejorative for race, religion, physical appearance, or disability are all too happy to drop the s‑bomb: Indeed, degrading others for being “stupid” has become nearly automatic in all forms of disagreement.”
“Yes, some careers do require smarts. But even as high intelligence is increasingly treated as a job prerequisite, evidence suggests that it is not the unalloyed advantage it’s assumed to be. The late Harvard Business School professor Chris Argyris argued that smart people can make the worst employees, in part because they’re not used to dealing with failure or criticism.”
“The most popular comedy on television is The Big Bang Theory, which follows a small gang of young scientists. Scorpion, which features a team of geniuses-turned-antiterrorists, is one of CBS’s top-rated shows. The genius detective Sherlock Holmes has two TV series and a blockbuster movie franchise featuring one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars. “Every society through history has picked some trait that magnifies success for some,” says Robert Sternberg, a professor of human development at Cornell University and an expert on assessing students’ traits. “We’ve picked academic skills.”
“We must stop glorifying intelligence and treating our society as a playground for the smart minority. We should instead begin shaping our economy, our schools, even our culture with an eye to the abilities and needs of the majority, and to the full range of human capacity.”
“Smart people should feel entitled to make the most of their gift. But they should not be permitted to reshape society so as to instate giftedness as a universal yardstick of human worth.”
From ALEX VADUKUL‘s “The Trials of a Boxing Romantic”
“When you get into the ring, you think everyone’s there for a different reason than you, but that’s not true,” he said. “It’s all the same reason: to reclaim respect.” In his case, classmates violently ambushed him on an empty field when he was 11. He retreated into reading Dostoyevsky and punching heavy bags.
A documentary he made about his adventures left him $50,000 in debt (he has struggled to get the film released), and though “The Domino Diaries” received good reviews, it sold poorly. But Mr. Butler didn’t linger on the financial outcome of his travels. “J. D. Salinger said, ‘Write the book you want to read,’ and I got to do that,” he said. “Writing about Cuba was an honor.”
“I’m having to struggle and grind like the fighters I write about,” he concluded. “That makes it easy for me to sympathize with them.” ~Brin-Jonathan Butler
2:05 AM. Friday dawn. I slumped on the concrete, facing the trees that look back at me. Taunting. I didn’t drink anything weird, okay? But I could hear the silent message from the trees. “Isn’t this what you want — for things to be as they are,” the trees said, un-moving. I look back at them, speechless.
~image by Phoebe Strafford