Day 347

12PM:

Aaaah, the things the uninitiated don’t know…

The eating disorders you inadvertently cause.  The selfconsciousness you unknowingly perpetuate.

No lunch for the vegan.  Lunch for the vegetarian, lunch for the halal, lunch for the allergic, lunch for the picky (no tomatoes?).  But no lunch for me…

All I got was an “oh?!?”

You even asked about dietary preferences and I took the chance with a small breakfast.  I hoped for the best and was unprepared.  Stupid me.

Nevertheless, it wasn’t the mistake that got me, it was the reaction.  I could have brushed it off, had you not brushed me off.

But you don’t know the blackness, you’ve never seen the underside.  That is how you could give it power.  Inadvertently.  But that’s because I’m expendable, isn’t it?

Restaurant industry might be transient, but so are teachers in schools.  I’m expendable; if you treat me as such, it will empower my black bits.  But I will also act expendable.  Want to use me up?  Want to treat me as a cog?  See the blackness you will spawn.

Oh yeah, and the topic of the day was Mental Health and Well-being.  You think I am mentally healthy and well?

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Day 340

10AM:

Finished my Fleming Bond book last night (The Man with the Golden Gun).  With only one left, I wanted to cherish it, and I did.  In fact, I think I’ve taken so long between books to stretch out the experiences that I can go back to the start, not remembering much of what happened (I think I read Casino Royale close to ten years ago).  But that’s an investigation for another day.

For today, I have my remembrances, some quotes of genius from the man they call Fleming, from the man they call Bond:

Blofeld: “Since last January he has ceased to be an animal.  By a simple stroke of surgery on the woman he love, I reduced him to human dimensions” (You Only Live Twice, 245).

Animals above humans, you say…?

Bond’s suggested epitaph: “I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.  I shall use my time” (260).

Be bold, be brave, be Don – do the most good in the time I have, share the most love and be the best of me.

“The man had taken off his macintosh. He was wearing an old reddish-brown tweed coat with his flannel trousers, a pale yellow Viyella summer shirt, and the dark blue and maroon zig-zagged tie of the Royal Artillery. It was tied with a Windsor knot. Bond mistrusted anyone who tied his tie with a Windsor knot. It showed too much vanity. It was often the mark of a cad” (From Russia With Love, Chapter 25).

Had to throw that one in there – an oldie but a goodie.

Day 325

1PM:

Contrary to my grandfather’s openness, he is a man somewhat fixed in traditions.  He supported Black and homosexual track and field athletes before anyone of his generation, opening his home and talent and heart by putting the “athlete” part first.  That is his openness.

He, however, needs to have Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving, not recognizing that the traditions of giving thanks and enjoying each other’s company [as opposed to being tired as fuck from helping them move all weekend/week/month/Summer (depending on the respective family member and their level of helpfulness)] is more important that doing so on the day that the pilgrims fucked the North American native populations.

He, contrary to his openness, needs to have meat at dinner.  And as such, sees my veganism in such a light.  He will come close, because out of love, comes his support.  However, he will comment on veganism’s perceived (and sometimes real) pitfalls.  Usually, in this situation, he will defer to logic (as the protein argument/discussion went, quashed with a couple of Thrive Fitness protein graphics).  One of the things that his logic will deflect, or should I say ignore, is the animal argument.  The argument that eating animals should be questioned, not just done out of “tradition.”

As we were cleaning out the final remnants of my grandparents’ house today, my brother and I found a slip of paper.  This slip of paper is of unknown origins.  This slip of paper is of unknown owner.  However, this slip of paper is the connection between veganism and my grandfather, even though its original intentions we connected to arguing against evolution or for religion or who even knows, even though the sole basis of his follow-up argument was “but you don’t eat monkeys!”.  This slip of paper connects love to love:

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Day 320

My Ode to Tea

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There is a cup above the rest.  A cup above every cup of coffee, regular and large.

That is my cup.  Tea is in my cup.

Similar but not the same anymore, but worthwhile evermore.  Soy milk is not regular milk, but watching dairy farms changed that.  Veganism is in my cup.

Getting bone cold on a morning like today, rainy and wet and blech, this day that’s so similar to many-an-event (fuck you Toronto Zoo Run 10K and your propensity for feet-soaking).  Tea gives it worth, bone-cold more value in the context of weather.  Warmth is in my cup.

Sweet tea reminds me of my grandmother, her noble attempt to find the soy milk of my dreams.  The sugar changed the taste, made it more warming and full of love, made me smile.  Love is in my cup.

Through exhaustion, not knowing if my shoulder hurts because it is hurt or because it notices the drop-dead fatigue, tea is on my table.  It will let me get through the next couple of classes, brace me until the end of the day, convince me that a day off from my September is needed.  Strength is in my cup.

My cup of tea is veganism, warmth, love, strength.  Tea is in my cup.

Day 313

9AM:

“It takes an animal to bring the human out of me.”  How interesting is that statement I made last night?

Usually people would equate animalness with less capable, less cognitive, stupid even.  However, in this statement, I am putting them above us.  I am putting animals above humans because their goodness is automatic, our goodness is chosen.  For animals, it does not appear to be a decision to be cute, a decision to be warm, a decision to be nurturing, a decision to show affection, a decision to be loving.  For animals, this appears automatic, part of their DNA, part of their Uncarved Block.

I made a decision yesterday to call Animal Control when I saw an un-collared dog roaming the streets.  It ran away from me and while it might be someone’s, it was running through traffic with the likelihood of being hit by a car.  I am sure more than myself saw him/her.  I am sure that I am the only one who called.  As a human, I made the decision to be warm and caring.  As a human, many others made the decision to ignore, to find better things to do, to be busy.

Today, I was hurt.  One of my students was just arrested in front of my eyes.  He fucked up, but it still hits hard.  My principal treated me like shit when I tried sharing some vital, time-sensitive information.  Show no fear though – that’s hell-hole high for you, the place where Wellness is on the walls, not in the hearts and minds.  On this thought track, humans did this, humans use and abuse us.

Equating animalness with innocence and humanness with goodness?  That is a fallacy.  Maybe I should have said, “it takes an animal to take the human out of me, and to bring the animal out of me.”

Day 309

6:30PM:

It is not easy right now – being Don, or playing Don, or taking on the mantle of Don for just a little while; working in “hell hole high” (thanks Old Department Head for that); 25 days in a row.

I can choose to focus on the soul-sucking nature of things, the universal kick in the balls that is served up much too often, the blackness-driven Mack truck that leaves skid marks all over the fucking place.  I can choose to focus on the thought that goes through my mind when I see the “Be Kind to Animals, Don’t Eat Them” bumper sticker.  I can choose to focus on that thought, the thought of, “well, shit; they eat people alive at my school, fuck even being kind to them.”  I could choose to focus on the FUCK of the universe.

I can choose to focus on the soul-satisfying nature of things, the universal kiss that is served up much too infrequently, but driven at the most opportune of times.  I can choose to focus on the much-too-ecstatic Starbucks barista to whom I gave a $5 tip (I was going to pay for my latte with it, but the latte came to $5 and change, so I had to pay debit; I put it in their tip jar figuring that I didn’t need the $5 since I had already mentally parted with it, and more importantly, the IAN would make his day, especially after dealing with all the much-too-anal-retentive techie fuckers who lined up for the new Apple iPhone right outside his store).  I can choose to focus on the STARS’ song on the radio, “Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It”:

There’s been a lot of talk of love
But that don’t amount to nothing
You can evoke the stars above
But that doesn’t make it something

And the only way to last
And the only way to live it
Is to hold on when you get love,
And let go when you give it… give it.

It’s a pretty melody
It might help you through the night time
But it doesn’t make it easy
To leave the party at the right time

If I’m frightened, if I’m high
It’s my weakness please forgive it
At least I hold on when I get love,
And I let go when I give it… give it… give it.

What do I do when I get lonely?
What do I do?
Hold on when you get love,
What do I do when I get lonely?
What do I do?
Hold on when you get love.
What do I do when I get lonely?
What do I do?
And you let go when you give it.
What do I do?

The world won’t listen to this song
And the radio won’t play it
But if you like it sing along
Sing ’cause you don’t know how to say it

Take the weakest thing in you
And then beat the bastards with it
And always hold on when you get love,
So you can let go when you give it.

Take the weakest thing in you
And then beat the bastards with it
And always hold on when you get love,
So you can let go when you give it… give it… give it.

What do I do when I get lonely?
What do I do?
Hold on when you get love
What do I do when I get lonely?
What do I do?
And you let go when you give it
What do I do when I get lonely?
What do I do?
Hold on when you get love
What do I do?

I know it’s true, please don’t think I do
Nothing that you say or do will make you love me
Forget the song, things will go on
I keep seeing you from the dark with you above me

I know it’s true, please don’t think I do
Nothing that you say or do will make you love me
Forget the song, things will go on
I keep seeing you from the dark with you above me

Take the weakest thing in you
And then beat the bastards with it
And always hold on when you get love,
So you can let go when you give it.
Give it… give it… give it… give it… give it… give it.

could choose to focus on the moments of happy that the universe provides in our times of need.  I will choose to fuck the blackness and choose to focus on the moments of happy that the universe provides in our times of need.