9PM: We were marching peacefully down W. Florissant when close to 10 police cars and an armored truck showed up and cut us off. We were ordered to disperse. 10 seconds later: tear gas and flash grenades. For no apparent reason. 3 hrs before curfew. Protesters retreat down W. Florissant, but we went left, running up a hill to where our car was parked. Got to the top of the hill, only to find ourselves face to face with 100+ members of a swat team with assault rifles. There were 3 of us. The swat team yells at us, advances, surrounds the car, then thankfully let us leave. This just in: the police are out of their minds. LET IT BE KNOWN: there was no violence preceding this. No looting. No “rioting.” The chaos is set into motion by the arrival of the militarized police. I’ve been saying it over and over and tonight I experienced that firsthand.
Very sad to see so many people practically celebrating news of Michael Brown’s criminal activity prior to the shooting. “Ha! Not so innocent after all.” Really? Are you all so backwards that your need for validation outweighs any empathy for your fellow man? It’s almost as if a good part of our city would rather see the human race continue to fail, as long as they get the satisfaction of being “right.” This should be fundamentally obvious, but I’ll say it anyway: any hints of truth present in your rampant stereotyping should be cause for sadness, not joy. Wake up.
I may not know what specifically I want out of this life, but I do know this much: I want to help people. The loudness of life may clutter my heart with cynicism, but it’s in the quiet nights that I’m reminded of the unflinching compassion that lies underneath. I just wish it didn’t take days like this to remind me.
I know it’s popular in your early twenties to feel disenfranchised and cynical about your future, but I’m trying really hard to remain the optimist. Like, it’s either panic that life isn’t as defined as you thought it would be by this point, or embrace it, knowing that just means there’s still so much to explore. Open-endedness doesn’t have to equal hopelessness.
At this point, just hearing Jeff Tweedy’s voice on a new song is enough for me to listen to it repeatedly. It really doesn’t have to be all that compelling. It’s almost as if I’m content just hearing him sing some words I haven’t heard him sing before. He may not have the prettiest voice in the world, but hearing it on new music always feels like a reunion with an old friend. Familiar. Comforting.
I need some nocturnal friends. So much to say and no one around to hear it.