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  • RUSSELL

Functioning insanity

Can you imagine something for me, just for a sec? Or maybe just recollect a past, or maybe not so distant time, of a certain feeling you may have had. This feeling is Shame. Coated in Anger. Disguised as Functional- in the way you go about being the person people believe you to be, all the while not betraying that deep smoldering truth boiling so deep inside you- combustible at any instant it may indeed breech the surface. The surface you shield it from. Remember that moment of your deepest Shame and Anger? That pit of emptiness and rage lining the entrails of your gut? That block of ice freezing and preserving your heart in that constant state of desolation? With this big darkened cloud shrouding your mind, but every nerve within you refuses to let your eyes reveal what should be an understood truth about your situation without any peering? Somehow, you have mastered this state of extreme Angst, becoming a functioning ball of internal Chaos. At neutral you are in a continual state of shock, described by ignorant others as coping. No one knows the difference, no one even bothers to even imagine what may be a story untold behind your eyelids, let alone what you may be like in another scenery, taking you for only what they see, fantasizing no higher illusion of contentment for you. Realizing that you aren't understood, not because you are unsolvable, but because no one cares to. So this festering, bubbling eruption beneath your skin is miraculously being stymied day in and day out by sheer will! Talk about strength-but you don't bother to share it. Why should you? No one cares to ask, prod, or pry, as if they have enough going on in their life or have made up their mind about who you are and the situation you may be in. So be it. I guess since there is a such thing as a functioning alcoholic, then there should be a such thing as functioning insanity. Because here in prison, this is what we are reduced to, savagery, insanity, dehumanized, segregated, and forgotten. And that feeling I speak to, that is me, that is us...going even further, before I came to prison, I feel like that was and still is, the same functioning feeling being a black man or woman for the most part in America, with the life positions we are placed in and forced to cope inside life long with illusions of equal hope and opportunity. People with privilege knowing that speaking against it would challenge their privileged places. So they fein ignorance or deny it all together, being that they are the most benefited by these disparities of living and opportunity, and wishing not a more tasking and pedestrian future for themselves and their families, so convenience becomes those that continue acting as if racism and impartial biases are just a sin of our country's past and have no prolonged or continual existence and effect in today's American Dream. Acting offended by the remote accusation alluding to their possible racial ignorances and insensitivities, as if the "I have black friends and family" quiets all avenues of possible stereotypes, prejudices, biases and racial bones within them, and now I am wrong to challenge or question them. Deflecting is the sincerest form of projecting. Yea, I've had this furnace-like fire inside of me my whole life! But you won't know it, until I'm ready for you to, or at least until I can't control it no longer- after being weighed down by this 'yes sir' oppressive freedom, to which certain freedoms can only be exercised without castigation by a matter of public taste, while societal mores are set and enforced by a top 1% presiding over the rest of us with no real understanding of the lower class, and I grow more unpalatable the more I speak of my struggle and my color as if it is of no latter and all of my doing, and its best to not make other good folk uncomfortable by my ignorant rants of 'get your boots of me and my people that you opportunistically turn into prisons society'- so when the frames in this pretty picture of perseverance and civility smolder into a pile of fierce agony from this stoked fire which you deem life, because frankly, I don't believe we live it on the same terms., don't be surprised, just ask me, "what took you so long?" I mean, that's considering you are sane...Maybe you feel me, maybe you don't, after all, you have your own problems and I live a different truth. If truth doesn't feel good, it says more of you and less of truth, because no truth should be watered down, then how can there be proper attention for possible change? Truth should enlighten, empower, and enrage us all if we are indeed empathizing people. I just figured, as we do in prison, and lesser areas, or areas with less, that maybe allies in our pain, can become families in our healing...imagine, because we can't be the only functioning insane people walking around.

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