Doubt I

M: …You live in fear, my friend.

 

Y: I’m not sure I live in fear as much as uncertainty.

But I don’t believe those two things to be very different.

Fear feeds doubt, doubt feeds fear,

vicious cycle of imaginary people spitting in each other’s eyes.

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Inspiration Journaling

Marriage I

“Humph! Don’t ‘spect all dat tuh keep up. He ain’t kissin’ yo’ mouf when he carry on over yuh lak dat. He’s kissin’ yo’ foot and ’tain’t in uh man tuh kiss foot long. Mouf kissin’ is on uh equal and dat’s natural but when dey got to bow down tuh love, dey soon straightens up.”

 

-Nanny, “Their Eyes Were Watching God”

Inspiration

A Reaction to Aziz Ansari

“I believe Aziz and ‘Grace’ are a product of a society and a culture that places consent in the realm of strictly ‘No’ means no, without a lot of focus on ‘Yes’ or silence not necessarily meaning consent. This same culture (whether partly rooted in patriarchy or evolutionary biology) pushes for men to mostly take the initiative in establishing communication and taking the lead in heterosexual interactions,while also defining seduction as a dynamic process.

With that being said, I am conflicted on absolutely placing the blame on Aziz regarding reading the non-verbal cues in that interaction. At some point she expresses that the speed at which things progressed initially made her unable to properly organise and articulate her thoughts to him. Following this, she performed oral sex on him at his request and then expressed her disinterest in having sex with him afterwards, to which he seemed to agree. Then she added, ‘Next time’. We live in a society where we police verbal communication and this is another reason I’m conflicted about this.

Fast forward to the point where they were around the couch and he requested she perform oral sex on him to which she agreed. I believe she felt some pressure- possibly stemming from her feeling bad about saying no partly because she went to his apartment, her inability to reconcile what she truly wanted, who she thought he was and what she was experiencing, and also possibly being too star struck to disagree. All of those reasons make me sympathize with her. However, I do not want to blame Aziz for not understanding this pressure due to the context involving romance.

I do believe there was some inappropriate behavior displayed by Aziz in continuously persuading her to have sex after she expressed her disinterest in that.

To wrap this up, I think the main issue here is ‘Yes’ and silence not necessarily meaning consent and an indication for us to keep dialoguing what consent truly means in sexual interactions.”

 

– C. Ilozue

Musings on One Really Good Friday

I have returned to France exactly two years to the day that I left it, as if I planned it to be more significant than it was. I didn’t. But it doesn’t diminish the feeling of homecoming that has been blossoming since I got on the plane from Istanbul to Lyon, when I started hearing snatches of conversations in French. It would then seem somewhat ironic that I had been dreading this trip up until that moment, not feeling my regular level of excitement to be on the move. I love to travel and will do it to within a penny of my pocket’s complete emptiness if given the chance. But France is home. It has been ever since the first day I stepped off the plane in Lyon in 2013 and some part of me will always be here. That is the problem with travelling. We take so much of the world we see with us but we also leave immense bits of our selves everywhere making it increasingly difficult to remain whole and marginally reducing the chance of ever sitting still with every new trip we take. Very soon, we stop travelling solely to discover ourselves and new places and people and things; eventually, we begin to do it because we are incomplete and are trying to find enough of ourselves in these new haunts to replace what we have left behind in the places that become forever beloved. It becomes as much of a give as it is a take. And the more we give, the more we need to be on the go so we can take some more. Travelling becomes the mechanism by which we breathe easiest, by which we can sleep the most comfortably. Languages become thinner and thinner barriers that we encounter as we imbibe as much of them on our voyages as we can. So it is that I find myself on a train at 22h 43 on a Good Friday in 2016 from Paris to Besançon with immense happiness in my heart, the likes of which I have not felt for about three months since my last trip.

On est bien là.

Travel

Thursday

She gets off the train and swiftly tucks her gloveless hands in her coat pockets; jamming her right thumb into the clumped up earphone cords connected to her phone that is, also, jammed in her pocket. She walks briskly to the traffic light and waits with head bowed for the light to favour her crossing. Five minutes after she has crossed the slushy mess of a road, she is letting herself into a warm lobby with a fob that is part of the tangled mess of that same right coat pocket. She briefly debates checking her mailbox but doesn’t do it. She, more pressingly, needs to pee. She takes the elevator up to her floor and walks – trots- to her door. She pauses for the briefest of beats outside her door and swings her tote off her shoulder. She lets it hang at her side as she opens the door – it will discourage the cat from dashing outside when she opens the door wide enough to walk in. He is sitting by the door as expected, he is shooed back by the bag he has not yet come to expect after six months of the same… Cats are not known to be exceptionally bright. She closes the door and does a pee-jig by it as she hangs up her coat. It has become more like a pee-shimmy by the time she kicks off her boots and walks sideways to the bathroom. She pees – relief. The cat winds his way around her legs. She wishes that he wouldn’t. He rubs himself on her tights. She tells him to go away. He seems to listen and settles just outside the door. She needs a shower and some dinner – in that order. The shower is warm and necessary. The cat sits just behind the shower curtain and jumps back when she is done and moves the curtains out of the way. She puts some music on and sashays as she lotions. She throws on something comfy then passes through a body spray mist she has created on her way out the bathroom door. She decides a quick stir fry will do and gets out a chopping board. The cat trails her to the kitchen, meowing now in hopes of a cat treat. She picks out a knife to chop some onions, the cat lays it’s upright tail lazily on her legs. She squats, plants her vegetable knife deep in the thorax of the cat in one swift motion, then walks back to the bathroom for another shower. 

Prose et Poesie

Pieces

And as I listened and I read and I thought… I thought

He will break my heart

Beautifully.

And I will let him

To see what he does with the pieces.

Or

If he will find the apex of his artistry in

The breaking.

Prose et Poesie