I told this kid at the gas station today to change his pitch when approaching people about pumping their gas. I told him don’t let the first thing you say to anyone be I’m just doing this to stay out of trouble. I said don’t even implant the idea in this stranger that you’d otherwise be up to no good. A possible threat. I told him you’re not trying to stay out of trouble. You’re out here in the heat working. Trying to make money. And he is. He’s doing a service. I told him the language you use is important. You set the tone. Had no money to give the kid but gave him a bottle of iced tea. Please when you see young people out here trynah peddle some stuff or pump some gas or dance on the train, if they say to you they’re doing something to make a little money and ‘stay out of trouble’ correct them. They’re conditioned to say this nonsense. If you don’t know why it’s a terrible thing for them to continue to recite repeatedly, you prove we’ve lost already.
every day they want you to shrink:
fit here, in my palm, in my shadow, don’t be bigger than my idea of you, don’t be more beautiful than i can accept, don’t be more human than i am willing to allow you to be and be quiet, you’re too loud, even your unbelonging is loud. quiet your dreams, your voice, your hair, quiet your skin, quiet your displacement, quiet your longing, your colour, quiet your walk, your eyes. who said you could look at me like that? who said you could exist without permission? why are you even here? why aren’t you shrinking? i think of you often. you vibrate. you walk into a room and the temperature changes. i lean in and almost recognise you as human. but, no. we can’t have that.