Periodically I get mentally and physically tired. When I’m tired a lot of small things seem to bother me and I feel disengaged from everyone. I usually just snap out of it provided that nothing major happens to make the small stuff seem petty in comparison. Today I was at work being aggravated by something I really didn’t need to waste energy on when I got a call from dad to tell me that my cousin passed away. From now on if he calls me before 6PM I am not answering because something is wrong. My cousin was the eldest grandchild and the first one to pass away. No matter what issues he may have had it still feels pretty strange. None of the other things that were upsetting seem to matter as much.
The daily challenges of living in the city for a black man who grows up without a lot of money is not exaggerated. Regardless of our much your parents try to keep you out of the traps it’s still not a sure thing that everything is going to work out. I think that paranoia about everything falling apart is what keeps me on the path that I am now. Some brothers choose a different path and they hope somehow they can manage to live a long time without the consequences of their actions coming back to get them. A few of them make it that far. Most of them don’t. It’s rough out there.
If you are lucky you can make it through all the challenges and lack of opportunity that everyone swears is there if you just wake up and decided to go work without anything bad happening. If your loved ones are healthy and your personal situation is reasonably stable then you did a good job. If all of those things are not the way you want settle for the consolation prize that you tried. There’s a bunch of cats that didn’t try as hard as they should. We have to love them too. Maybe they didn’t know how to try or the pressure was just too much. I’m not making excuses. I’m just keeping it real.
There are times when I am driving and I see a bunch of older cats sitting under a tree in the middle of the day drinking or something. Most days I want someone to stop them from loitering and bothering everybody. There are other times when the reality of their lives hit me and I feel like going into the store to buy them another cold one because you never know what those cats had to go through to end up sitting under that tree. Tonight I am going to have a toast for Big Easy Slim from the Lower Ninth Ward.
Rest in Peace Harold. Try not to get on grandpa’s nerves when you see him.