“All Lives Matter?” Shootings. Protests. Noise. Silence. But “All Lives Matter.” I guess some more than most.

I’ve had it up to here with “All Lives Matter.”

The shootings recently have me completely jaded. Not because they don’t matter—they do.

But because they’re everywhere. All the time. Most recently, the domestic terror incident at the Planned Parenthood in Colorado. The shooter was taken alive. Three dead.

And the first thing that I could think of at the resolution of the situation was: the suspect cannot have been anything but a white man.

Because, in situations like this, that is the only way the suspect ever gets out of these alive.

Let me back things up a a bit.

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Of Mismanaged Apartment Complexes and Men

The telltale scent of gasoline, syrup, and carrion meat is all I needed to tell me that for the final few weeks of not having an actual mattress, I’d been lucky: the bedbugs are in the bedding. I’m quite glad I’d taken the paranoid option and bagged every piece of linen that I had used as a temporary bedroll mattress assembly at this point—I didn’t even need to see the place where a dead one had dislodged its desiccated corpse.

What I’d forgotten about was that this is weeks of signal chemical, and anything live was about to come running.

Cue my shriek when an exceptionally fat, well-fed little pestilence bringer shot up the side of my bed frame and made a beeline for me.

The horror.

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The Pink Cloud.

Thursday, October 1st.

I don’t have followthrough. That’s been pointed out to me no shortage of times. By my father, my grandmother, my aunts, uncles, strangers, a supervisor who only lasted a week…

The people in charge of the standardized tests back in 1996.

But I had an excuse that time. They pulled me out.

There was so much pink. Cups, ribbon, blanket, batteries—why did batteries have to be pink?

I learned you were sick two months earlier. I didn’t know how sick until that month. They told me it was something called “Breast cancer awareness month.” Until then, I only knew it as—


The month of leaves falling, sweaters, fluffy jackets out of your closet that always smelled so good, and candy. Also, inexplicably pink things.

I remember that you were sick. There was no doubting that. There was this thing that tested your lung strength in the house, and you weren’t so good. Of course, I was much worse, and you took me to the doctor, only to find out I’m just kind of a runt.

But it was kind of funny.

I remember you being rather annoyed that Dad wasn’t telling me much, more annoyed than when he got the hair dye wrong—you rocked that magenta.

I don’t remember seeing you lose any strength at all.

You did not lose any weight.

Your hair seemed finer, but that didn’t seem odd; you wore wigs often though so I didn’t know much. You told me that day, “Never cut your hair. You don’t know just how much power you have in your hair.”

“I promise.”

“I’ll see you tomorrow.”

So the day Dad pulled me out of class and told me you weren’t coming back home was a shock.


Pink everywhere. Ribbons, shirts, blankets, batteries. Awareness, they claim. I wanted to be less aware.

The ivory and whites of the funeral were almost a blessing. I remember very, very little.

This isn’t one of those “we’re mad at him and not telling him where we are” things. People should not be cold in a box. This is real.


Two weeks go missing in the middle.

“Halloween was her favorite—”

I’d never seen that look. Not from him. I’m going to be hit.

“We are not doing it this time.”

I shrink back. I spend the night playing Super Ghouls ‘N’ Ghosts, a game about the undead.


It’s the first year I left a page of my journal unfinished, terrified that completing it meant losing it. I lost my follow-through.

I hate October. It’s cold.

It’s fear.

It’s loss.

You probably think that I’m being silly, Mother. But this pink cloud that follows me everywhere during this month—it’s like being back there.

I can’t even finish a stupid project to find a hundred things I like and talk about them.

If I could find you, I’d tell you about them. Maybe I will anyway.

You’ve missed a lot… and this month is hard enough for me to navigate as is.

Among other things, I’ve been ill.


Pardon the watermark, I'm ganking my own tumblr

1:45 PM.

There is the souvenir of my trip to the MRI:

A CD with pictures of my brain.

Of course, I don’t know how to read these things. But I find it fascinating. I mean it’s pictures of my brain.

It’s too early to get the results. As usual, the nurses present asked me more questions than my doctor does. These included

Have you had seizures?

That’s one I honestly don’t know about. I mentioned that thing where I’m fine one minute and then after what I think is a migraine ice pick starter I’ll feel the irresistible urge to sleep wherever I am. (That got an alarmed look.) Apparently this might be a kind of seizure.

And then there was

Has your doctor talked to you about MS?

No he has not, but he is HELL BENT on making this neuropathy diabetic. Cue the WTF face at the chart when she saw how many times I’ve been tested this year.

The MRI itself wasn’t so bad. But grocery shopping?

I shouldn’t have done that.

I should not have done that.

I’m dizzy, faint, weak. I’m going to collapse as soon as I get home. That thing where out of nowhere I desperately need to sleep wherever I am.

I’ll take questions and things… I’m just not awake for a bit. Holy crap.

Thank you, Mr Iwata.

The honest truth is that the news late last night that the president of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, had died from cancer of the bile duct, hit me harder than dropping the man who is now my ex.

At the time I’d been thinking: he’s been a huge part of my life and there’s no way I’m going to be able to go back to things without him. Everything reminded me of him. It hurt, and I was losing my mind on a daily basis.

But that was connected to a distant abuse, a long manipulation. These are things I’m still washing off my skin.

This… Is different.

I never met Mr Iwata. The closest I’ve ever been is Nintendo Directs and the impossibly affable Iwata Asks. But thanks to his work programming so many of my favorite games, he has pretty much been a part of my whole life through his work. Even now there’s a stash of games and things around—I never was able to put down the sticks, as they say where I’m from.

And last night I saw the news, late, in a place that perks my “do a damn two second google search” sense, so I didn’t believe it until I did.

I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say it felt like I had just lost my favorite uncle. And when I found out how it happened I wanted to punch something. We can’t fucking do anything about cancer and it just takes from families, friends, the world.

So, once again I’m stuck in a room with things reminding me of someone out of reach. But again… This is different.

Mr Iwata’s work, both as programmer and president, has had such an impact on my life. Things that have brought me enjoyment,  things that he has said that have inspired me to no end—I will probably be making a compilation of things he has said to keep by my side to keep me going—and the difference is… These are things that I want to be surrounded by. This body of work is a worldwide legacy of perseverance, generosity, talent, humility, kindness, and humor. The world has been changed for the better for his influence. Really, there’s only one thing I can say:

Thank you, Mr Iwata.