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Dear Readers,

The story I’m about to tell you is something of an unorthodox one for me if you’ve read my other works. I’ve always considered myself an essayist, telling my own brand of horror stories about trauma, adversity, and racial injustice.

But this tale, though wrapped in the guise of a paranormal ghost story, is really just about a Scooby-Doo Gang of rather ordinary people with a rather extraordinary hobby.

2020 has been filled with a lot of scary, anxiety-inducing twists and turns, so unexpected and underappreciated for their long-enduring trauma and PTSD I’m sure they’ll inflict on us all for years to come. A pandemic. A presidential election year. An apex of political activism. …


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Image of me, my dog, and my Jeff Goldblum pillow at home. Designed by Katie Catalano

Back in July, I published my second piece on Medium — I Didn’t Drink Water at Dinner as a Poor Black Kid — about growing up poor and its continuing effect on my life. It was the first time I’d really written anything personal about my life and shared it with a mass audience. So many of my friends praised my piece, thankful for the insight into my life, but also for the new perspective of their own lives.

But my family felt otherwise. They were embarrassed by what I’d written. And angry — my mom especially. Hindsight being what it is, I probably should have prepared them more. We’re all at different stages of our healing journeys. I could go into a much longer story about how society teaches poor people to feel ashamed for that poverty, but I’ll save that for another article. What I do want to call attention to is something my mom said in the heat of the moment. In her defense, she was hurt and has since apologized, as well as received apologies from me. …


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I always used to wonder: “is the gay community incapable of seeing my Blackness as universally attractive?”

And for the longest time, I honestly couldn’t figure out where I began to question this. But as I’ve begun to trace my fear and disbelief, I found it originated back to one of the happier days of my life, actually — on a date, of all things. An incredible one. It was in a moment of complete infatuation and butterflies, being treated so well by this super cool white guy, that I started to fear that it might not be for the right reasons. …


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It is really freakin’ hard remembering to drink water every day. But in my defense, it wasn’t really a muscle I trained in my youth. I grew up in a Black ass household that prepared bomb ass kool-aid for dinner every other day. My three siblings and our mom lived on food stamps and a waitress’s salary, and the only supplemental income came from my mom’s odd boyfriends here and there. You’d think that meant we drank lots of water — it’s the cheapest beverage right? Nope.

Being poor creates a lot of weird paradoxes. We had no materials of value so we learned to value other comforts — sugar, sweetness, flavor, that after-dinner fullness in an otherwise empty home. Unless you count love. There was always lots of love. And laughter. And fun. But not water. White, wealthy families drank water at dinner. Who else but rich people would forgo the decadence of a sugary soft drink unless the best parts of their lives came into the picture after they left the dinner table? …


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Just thinking a bit.

I’m sitting here, in my white partner’s childhood bed, for the first time in a few days completely at peace. I went on a bike ride on his childhood bike. I was waved at and waved back at his childhood neighbors. I keep stopping and staring at childhood photos all over the walls. His home’s walls are filled to the brim with memories, but also… peace?

Every year we’re together, I get a deeper look at what it was like for him to grow up here, in this small 10,000 person town, in a home that grew as his family grew. I’m sitting here, coming to terms with the fact that peace was also a privilege I didn’t have.

About

Jadon-Maurice Forbes

Just a black ass activist with a heart of black.

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