i remember sitting with him
at the edge of California
hearing him reminiscence about this white girl
he used to love.
it felt like a disruption
in space and time
when he reenacted
their violent ties.
she was toxic
and he was obsessed
with her brilliant blonde curls
and glossy white skin.
when the world seemed like
it was going to end,
he kissed her,
and i watched,
as she took my spot.
i filled in the void
to imagine where i would be
“i need you in my life,”
“i don’t remember this part of the story,”
two wayward boys,
the peak of the colony.
lovers trapped in three acts,
this is how i want to dream us now.
this is how i want to dream us now? dream us then? dream us tomorrow?
call it my overactive imagination and neurodivergence, but i’ve always been a dreamer.
dreaming of goals being middle class
dreaming of being a writer
dreaming of existing in that zone of non-being
dreams and stories are what encouraged me. this shouldn’t come as a shocker to anyone, but i was an easy target for bullying pretty much throughout my whole life. so when the pain got to be too much, i escaped.
sometimes, literally, mostly metaphorically. the looming drone of Lorde’s vocals on Pure Heroine was the soundtrack of my life during freshman and sophomore year of high school.
let, em talk, cause we’re dancing in this world alone
and talk they did. everyone used to talk. they would create these narratives about what i could and couldn’t do.
they dreamed for me.
dreams of being straight
dreams of being a proud black man
dreams of the word faggot etched into my mind
dreams of always and forever being the Slave
those were the stories that were made for me. those were the worlds i was allowed to be in
black author Ebony Elizabeth Thomas says it best in her book The Dark Fantastic.
“I have been told throughout my lifetime that stories like the ones I preferred were for ‘White People.’”
dreams of being a black creative?
dreams of teaming up to work with Quinta and Zendaya on a legendary dream team project?
dreams of being married by the end of college?
–thankfully, this didn’t happen because oh boy, life would look a hell of a lot different if it did
for the longest time, i did believe these stories. after all, that’s the true cultural and ideological power of narratives. regardless of whether they’re true or not they teach us both about what the world does look like, but also what it could look like. they teach us how to make our fantasies into reality. black history is in fact erased under this same premise because all history is literally plurality of multiple different narratives running together.
i think that’s also why i found both my escape and power in the different stories i consumed. i found catharsis and a home in the wasteland, even if it’s temporary.
like watching Will Buyers low-key signal his romantic crush on his best friend Mike Wheeler.
you could almost say the poem at the top was written from Will’s perspective, even though it wasn’t. it’s just a common trope and longing feeling that any queer kid can relate to.
that longing desire to be with the one who you feel like you’re in love with. that desire to hold their hand until the very end, even as the world breaks at its seams. because when you’re a teenager or even a young adult, everything seems like it’s the end of the world.
every rejection feels like a nightmare
closing in on your own version
i’ve known darkness so deep Vecna could gather me and swallow me whole,
but like Max, i fight
because the only way out of the dark
is the way you create for yourself