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.

Never forget the—ehhh who am I kidding, I forgot


One of the things that I keep forgetting to do is to get the ink in my printer refilled.

This is *really* ironic because not only am I smack dab in the middle of a draft, there’s another project in the back of my head that basically requires working printer ink and glossy paper.

After four days of attempting to contort myself sufficently enough to kick myself for forgetting to write it down I remembered that I remember things much better if I can look at them at the same time—this being why, at work when suddenly something is changed, I’m very likely to bust out the phone to take a picture of the changes and study it. Back when I didn’t have a phone that could do this would take notes on literally every detail, sometimes in the shape of the detail.

Yes, I got made fun of at work for this… But I got things right.

And now here’s the note to get ink just like at work…

Because when I took this shot I realized I’m also out of paper.

Under the skin…


A few weeks ago I made a fairly large transition. Cutting people from your experience, even when they are miles away, hurts like stepping on glass with a tender foot, a pain that does not go away readily and refreshes itself with the slightest touch against it, even when it is unrelated to what happened.

It burns like withdrawal. Even when they were bad for you, you want to go back, even when it was your idea to get out of there. You think, “maybe there’s another shot,” and you justify maybe possibly going back for “one more hit.” In times like that, one is happier than ever to have a group who will grab you by the shirt collar with a shout of “HO, DON’T DO IT” and a litany of reasons why you should *definitely* not do it.

And for a long time, it doesn’t get easier.

It’s like getting clean. Especially when they were bad for you in the first place. You can’t see it, so you don’t know what it’s doing to you. And you wonder again…should I go back?

And you bleed. And you grieve. And you struggle. There’s an empty spot where you know what was going on before—even if it was horrible, even if it hurt you every time, but at least you *knew* — and you don’t know what to do.

Then you suddenly can see everything from the outside, looking in. And you rage. Because you *know* that this was not what you deserved. And you *know* that you should never have had to go through this much to see that this wasn’t what you deserved. Yes, in life we must make mistakes, but sometimes, when you make mistakes, the mistakes also make you, and they leave scars that mark you for a long, long time. And the only way to take those scars away is to shed the skin you wore for so long — becoming a raw version of yourself, because it’s the only way to heal now. The insides, exposed, with everyone able to see what you really are until you can defend yourself again…

It’s frightening, but sometimes it’s best not to wall all the way back up. Some do not understand this, and they play a role perpetually. And you cannot trust them. Yet I tried to, so many times, and was hurt over and over.

No more.

So what if people think I’m ‘too intense,’ or anything else. I cannot be anything but who I am. And I will not play a role for anyone to accept me.

And I do not ask anyone else to play a role, in turn. You be yourself around me…

Or don’t be around me.



Wishful thinking on an overcast day

I’m not awake yet.

I have a “Morning Rituals” playlist on in Spotify. It’s surprisingly easy listening but with deep enough lyrics to keep me from dozing off.

I’ve severed a few ties since my last little photo diary thing. I’ve also had to deal with the abrupt increase in a medication. I’ve been so tired and rather panicky, I’ll admit, that simple reading commitments have gotten shoved onto the back burner.

It’s like… even when it’s someone you don’t need, someone who has repeatedly hurt you, you can form a bit of an addiction… and that takes time to recover from. Yesterday was the first day I didn’t look at the date that I broke it off—and he went immediately into denial—with a hit of sickness in my stomach.

…granted, I could still punch him.

Today’s the day I start reclaiming the little things. I raided the petty cash by an amount enough to get my hair professionally done as soon as I get a chance… I’ve seen a folding table that would perfectly replace a piece of the apartment I’ve been forced to live without… and I’ve been trying to get my sleep back on track.

The last couple years were a strange, dreamlike haze, the kind that you doubt the reality of but for a very long time have no solid reason to try to break apart—at least, until the one thing that is completely wrong happens and you have no choice, watching the pieces flutter downward.

… it’s probably better that I’m awake now.

When you have to frame it “queer vs n-word” you probably already know the answer.


An open question was posed in a group I’m in that (I hope) was honestly confused with why one can now use the word queer, but not nigger. I feel this is important enough to restate here.

Apologies for the Language there. All examples after this will be em-dashed.

Reproduction of my response:

As a black queer person, I am in the camp that you cannot compare the two.

Queer was never used in the old trade as a way to designate an inventory. It never denoted — legally for years — mere fractions of a person. Being queer was never an exclusive reason to stamp out an entire people (as opposed to parts), but as soon as you were labeled n—, it was open season, sometimes literally, as people were once hunted, beaten, lynched. Special laws kept us from advancement. There are literally studies out there that confirm both a subhuman and superhuman bias—we’re thought of as both more dangerous and savage but we’re thought of as literally “magic Negroes” and it even affects the medical treatment we get—I didn’t know that I had a superhuman tolerance for pain, thanks!

N— was used for hundreds of years to call us livestock. We internally reclaimed it as a “screw you” to the past. It was a tool of often fatal oppression. This is why the two words cannot be compared… and also why there’s so much vitriol when one who is not Black uses it. It is not your word.

Minutes later I discovered how deep down the group’s unknowing of the situation ran, as part of the entirely white questioning group asked me “but, what about when it’s used as a term of endearment?”


“Used as a term of comraderie and endearment, it is a terminal -a, not an -er… and if you are not Black, you shouldn’t be using it. Don’t be Chet Hanks.”