Act 3, Scene 1: The Grind

To grind, or not to grind,
That is the question,
Whether it’s nobler in the mind to suffer,
The envy and slander of greatness,
Or to stunt in a crowd of haters,
And by flaunting, silence them.
To be broke is to sleep — same thing,
And by sleeping, we hope to end
The paranoia and disappointments
That fortune brings us–that’s the life
We cry for inside!  To be broke, to sleep
The life of a sleeper might be a dream: that’s the catch,
Because we don’t know what we’d long for while broke,
After we’ve gotten away from all of the bitching,
That’s something we should always worry about as we grind,
That’s what continues to motivate us.
Because, who else deals with all of the problems,
The higher-ups, those too grimy to respect us as we move up,
Those who don’t get the same love we get, the paperwork,
The hostility of those we have to grind with, and the general hatred of those who make good from shortcomings and bad situations,
When all you have to do is stop hustling?
Who else would work this hard,
Unless they were afraid of being without anything worth envying,
The life of the sleeper?
-Greg Thompson Jr.
You get it?  I feel this way more and more, and I can’t help it.  This is too important a time.  I’m aiming for security, slowly but surely.  I have absolutely no choice, just like you don’t.
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Overdue

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Where do I begin?

Picture sitting in a room full of five year-olds who suffer from an unwavering mental disorder: namely, mental retardation.  Imagine an obligation to the group of unpromising minds.  Surely any attachment to their existence would be an inconvenience, but consider how painful living would be if you were forced to stay within their quarters.  Although verbal communication between you and them may be unnecessary, you might dare to speak to the retards facing you out of your natural desire to verbally express yourself.  If you opt to take up your inherence, you’d have initiated what you’ll hope to be—in the least—an insidious journey to a tapered avidity for communication.  But, this isn’t what will happen if you’re as inquisitive as I am.  Instead, you’ll end up waist-deep in questions of your own intelligence, frustrated by the views of the majority, which, in this case, happens to be a flock of children with IQs lower than the years between the Gettysburg address and the written molestation of the Brits by our founding fathers.

You just looked at my life in a nutshell and I’m the only person to blame for this, I bet.  Albeit my upbringing, television and the books I was exposed to early on, I’m surrounded by a bunch of idiots because I didn’t put in the work to be where I’m understood. 

That’s right: I’m calling everyone who doesn’t understand me idiots.  I-D-I-O-T-S.  All of them.  I’m absolutely sick of it at this point.

No matter how hard I try to explain myself so that everyone is on the same page with me, I’m perplexed by an ass-load of daunting, unruly questions followed by a subjection to ridicule—usually. 

If you’ve found my pretentiousness unsavory, I apologize.
If you’ve tried to understand me and gave up, I apologize.
If you think I’m a know-it-all, I apologize.
If you find my tendency to question you disrespectful, I apologize.
And, if you find my general tone condescending, I apologize.

I don’t mean to be rude and I want everyone to know what I’m talking about most of the time.  The only time I don’t want someone to know what I’m gettin’ at is when I’m absolutely tired of their small-mindedness and I feel like entertaining myself by inconspicuously insulting their intelligence.  Yes, idiot, I’m talking about a satirical engagement of sorts, but instead of telling you simply, I took the more cryptic route for shits as I write this.

If you find the way I express myself stupid, I don’t know what to tell you.  How about “fuck you?” 

Fuck you.

In high school, I was a fucking nut.  I had fights, I’ve been suspended, I failed exams and classes, I’ve had arguments, broken bones, undermined a century-old academic infrastructure under the noses of a considerable number of fuckheads—basically the whole nine.  I wasn’t the worst student and I wasn’t the best, nor was I some badass everyone feared.  I was a misplaced geek, and flagrantly so.

I went into high school a programmer and sketch artist.  The first day I got in there, I was ridiculed.  It was for the way I pronounced my words.  Something so small ended up being what I would later consider a glimpse into a rough high school career.  I barely saw any refuge from the first day on—it was Hell day after day.  If they weren’t telling me how “white” I sounded every three minutes, they were making fun of how fat I was, and if neither of the former two, they were picking on me for what they found to be a remarkably stupid way of thinking. 

It wasn’t just the students either.  Administrators would clearly deem me a lost cause, downplaying my advances in the realm of analytical thinking constantly.  Sometimes, I’d catch them in the act of defaming me with other students—I’d have the displeasure of catching their consenting eye movements during class as a student openly mocked me; I’d always happen to be nearby a room in which a student is mouthing off about how despicable they found me and the teacher agreeing; sometimes they’re laughing with the student and sometimes not—though, it never mattered. 

“What about Thompson?” they’d say, or some variance of it, as if they were using me as a good place to kick off a jovial conversation.  I’d usually approach the group and act like I didn’t hear or see a thing, and much of the time, I’d even play into what they viewed me as, saying or doing something completely asinine, like it would somehow steer them in a more favorable direction.

That was counterproductive and I learned that the hard way. 

My question is: why was I treated that way right off the bat?  I was friendly, I was obviously engaged in scholarly activities, and I was generally a positive guy. 

I’ll tell you why, and this is something I should have known from the jump (the beginning; the ultimate point of causation; initialis scaena; the womb…).  Here’s where I fucked up and why I was in such a poor situation:

  1. I got involved.
  2. I expected everyone to know where I was approaching the world from.
  3. I wasn’t understood.

Look back at being surrounded by five year-old retards.  You wouldn’t have kept yourself around the bunch of you didn’t have to, right?  So why did you?  You were obligated.  Granted, that makes it tough to avoid being involved—you were by default, right?  Alright, so you were around them because you had to be.  But, then you spoke to the group.  You didn’t have to do that.  From the point of being placed in that room, you weren’t involved.  Picture a layer model (you should understand if you aren’t as stupid as I think you are, but if you don’t, you’ll be approached with an easier explanation in a second, so keep reading attentively—I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt):

State 1: [( You )] AND [( Idiots )]
Action: [( You )] + obligation: [( Idiots )]
State 2: (      [( You )]  Idiots )
Action: [( You )] + desire to speak: (Idiots)
State 3: (      [( You )  Idiots] )

State 1: You, in your own sphere of influence, coexist with idiots and their sphere of influence.
Action: You’re subjected to an obligation to associate yourself with the idiots.
State 2: You’re now grouped with the idiots because of your obligation.
Action: You subject yourself to the idiots’ more intricately because of your desire to speak.
State 3: Now you’re in the sphere of the idiots’ influence.

The final state should be obvious: you’re forced to apply at least a bit of the idiots’ reasoning to your own as you review your position because your decisions can be influenced by the idiots at any given moment. 

That’s a problem.

Now you have to put your brain through the grinder so that it’s soft enough to fit what you’re trying to place it in.  Basically, in order to adequately imagine your constraints, you have to dumb yourself down.  That’s a process and it can be frustrating.

So what happened to me?  I involved myself with what I didn’t need to be involved with.  I shouldn’t have.  I spoke to everyone thinking I’d make some friends in the process.  And it wasn’t just that: I did this under a completely naïve premise.  I actually thought that I could just walk in and attempt to fit in without having surveyed my and my approachees’ surroundings.  Moreover, I actually thought that I could communicate with people using only what I was born with, my nature.  And that brings me to my next point:

I expected everyone to know where I was approaching the world from.

Firstly, how could they have known?  How can anyone?  Would you know how the guy standing next to you will see the scorching desert in front of him if both of you were sleep-deprived and had been traveling for days without food?  (If he didn’t tell you, you cunt.)

I should have tried to be exactly like the group of people I was trying to befriend.  I did at some points.  It was a struggle and I’d always find myself in a fight or argument as a result.  Most of my fights and arguments would stem from me saying something in the realm of “Wait. That’s not right.  Why would you …?”  This wasn’t just with my peers; it was with my teachers, deans, and basically whoever I had to converse with.

The reason I felt the need to inquire was simply that I placed myself in position for my views to be countered.  If I hadn’t expected that those I was surrounded by considered my opinions as they were, each moment I found their views erroneous, I’d have been more prone to ignoring them to avoid trouble.  Because of my negligence in this sense, I suffered a world of trouble being the black sheep everywhere I stepped foot.

And finally, I was where I was because I wasn’t understood, and although this might sound like a stupid point to try to make, it’s something I’ve been struggling with and found to be of great importance.

There’s miscommunication.  In high school, there was a bunch of miscommunication I wish there hadn’t been.  Too bad this happened to be an inevitability I didn’t know how to come to terms with.  Still is.

There will always be a misunderstanding as long as we express ourselves by personally-random articulations.  In other words, as long as we communicate by stringing together a bunch of words and actions at will—a process too labyrinthine to perceive—there will be some level of asynchrony between those interacting.

So why not stop there?  If you’ve figured out that you’re going to be misunderstood by someone somewhere for something, why are you mad?

I’m mad because there are too many of you who don’t understand what I’m saying or doing too often.  I find it outrageous at this point.  It’s like the only time I’m understood is when I’m in a room of seasoned scholars or in the presence of forty year-olds.  Enough’s enough.

I’m not here to get into some philosophical bullshit you’ll rule out.  I’m tired of you just as you’re tired of me.  I’m already fucking up most of my sentences trying to write something you fucks won’t blow out of context because I figured out that I’m dealing with a bunch of idiots who never prod at anything for more than seven seconds.

This isn’t some boo-hoo, pussy, self-abhorrence to show all of you jackasses how fed-up with life I am.  I’m better than that.  This is a drawn-out “fuck you” and “if I had the opportunity, all of you would be placed in a box to starve somewhere.”

How many times am I going to have to say shit like “I’m not talking about all of them?”  How many times am I going to have to fight to keep someone from generalizing my opinions so much that they miss EVERY detail of my explanation of where I stand?  Why should I have to fight to do that?  I don’t always and I certainly do much less frequently than I did up until a few years ago, but why is it that when I decide to, I end up having to back out of the conversation rather than see it to the end? 

I say A-B-C and you fucktards only get A.  I say the whole alphabet and you dumb fucks only get “he’s probably just playing devil’s advocate again.”  That’s all I am to you fucks.  That’s all anyone who deviates is.  They’re just the cunt who says all the wrong things just to stand out.  People like me don’t have an opinion until they’re in a room of qualified mediators—people who have the experience and audacity to diversify.

I tell you assholes I’m open-minded—you insist I’m not.
I tell you assholes I’m real about what I’m saying, offering my raw opinion—you insist I’m not real and my rawness is uncalled for.

I can show you where I’m getting my opinions from, why, how, etc… My explanation doesn’t get a lick of acknowledgement.

I hear so much about how narrow people are and how I should just do me, disregarding everyone else in the process.  But how the fuck is that living?!  How?!  Most of the people saying this shit about disregard are people who have made it into extremely successful positions in which, apparently, they can waddle right out of their situation because they have the means to.  Why should I bank on the possibility of me getting there?  Why should I keep dumbing myself down?  What if ignoring everyone is exactly what I shouldn’t do?

I don’t even have a goal anymore.  I’m just sick of going against the grain by accident.  It’s like I can’t bring myself to be anything but what isn’t normal. 

I’m truly grateful for those who have shown they want to understand where I’m coming from and haven’t just jumped to thinking lowly of me.  I’m just fed up and I want it all to be over.

I remember days my frustration with my social conditions would get so bad that I’d want to off myself.  One night back in high school, I confided in my mother wholly, letting her know exactly what was up about my thoughts of killing myself because I was so tired of dealing with everyone.  I had a good childhood and I’ll never complain about that, so my thoughts were never from anything within the scope of that.  It was just people.  I could never figure out why it was never just a few people I didn’t agree with, why I always stuck out.  If most of you knew how bad the feeling is, you’d probably sit with me more.  Instead, you’ll see this as some unspecific lash out at the world because of some mistakes I’ve made; you’ll look at me as if I’m just complaining, crying like a baby.

When I finally pick up that gun, turn it on myself and pull the trigger, a lot more of you will understand exactly what I was doing, how I was doing it, and why.  I’ll make sure of it when it happens.  I promise.

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Being a Kingpin

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I run a small business now.  I call it a small business, even if that label’s a long shot, and I’m not afraid of doing that.  There’s a price to pay for that title though, and I’ve had to learn from paying that price on a few occasions — it turns out the charge is multifaceted.

In my business–during its growth, its humble beginnings, and with its current, extremely humble legacy–a larger system is being cheated.  Although I love to think of myself as a scholarly vigilante, I’m not in most regards.  However, don’t mistaken my humbleness for a pressure-induced deprecation of my pseudo-profession — I take pride in what I’ve done and what I continue to do.

I’ve written undergrad and graduate-level theses; I’ve done math assignments for Master’s students when I couldn’t even sit down and gather enough brain power to do my own math work; I’ve studied for exams for others before studying for my own primarily out of disinterest for what I was being tested on; I’ve developed resumes for students and aspiring professionals when I haven’t developed my own enough to be prideful whenever I decide to step to the faces of employers; I’ve sacrificed days of sleep to learn material for both myself and my clients; I’ve employed others to carry some my my (growing) client load, with great educational intentions in mind, passing on thousands of dollars in jobs to learners in need of food to eat.  The list goes on.

What I’ve done is considerably undocumented.  I can’t simply reveal all of my background achievements because I’m a kingpin: I’ve sold a product and I, now, have other people sell for me.  The product is something people kill for; I create it from scratch; I sell what I create; I orchestrate the sales of multiple distributors. Essentially, I’m slowly monopolizing the tutoring business by undermining the academy.  But, what you’re reading isn’t about that.  This is all about knowing your limits, because plenty of you never realized or have forgotten that you’re born a single human amongst other humans and that your mind is your only map and compass.

I’ll be brief.

Here’s what I’ve learned about business:

  1. You’re friends with no one.
  2. You don’t owe anyone any favors.
  3. If you decide to get into business of favors, you must keep three points in mind: 1) Not everyone deserves favors; 2) Never hand out more than one favor to a person; 3) Don’t allow a favor to cause you to buckle.
  4. Your time is precious and should be used only on yourself and your business.
  5. Everything should be documented–texts, e-mail, Facebook messages, Twitter tweets, snail mail, etc…
  6. Your customer is all you have.  Treat them like it, even if you have to grit your teeth.
  7. You’ll see dry spells and minor collapses in your customer base.
  8. Every penny counts, even if you’re dealing with customers who demand the bare minimum.
  9. Your life is your business.

That’s it.  That’s all I’ve learned so far.

I don’t plan on sticking with this ‘business’ for too much longer, as I have other ventures in mind.  Plus, I don’t truly consider myself a business man even though I run something I consider a business.  I consider myself a guy who accidentally fell into this situation, someone who decided to explore this way of living, and one who learned that it’s possible to do things outside of your clear lane while simultaneously riding in it — you can personify the double-slit experiment.

I’ll be taking all of these lessons with me into future projects.  Though, for the record, ultimately, I don’t want to be the head of any business.  I’d really appreciate being a developer in the background.  That’s where I see myself and that’s where I want to be.  Any entrepreneurial success along the way should be noted and will be claimed as “the inadvertent.”

Nothing more; nothing less.

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Greg’s Identity Crisis

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I have way too many identities.

At one moment, I’m the next novelist you want to endorse.  At the next, I’m a purveyor of elitist jokes against those who choose creative writing as their major.  A week later, I’m your guy to go to when you want a science lesson, equipped with all the equations and notable (but forgettable) names of scientists you haven’t heard of.  While I’m that guy, I’m your greatest confidant, willing to listen to you, patiently, always waiting for your point, clearly sympathizing with you for your apparent incompetence — almost as if I find it cute.  But, just an hour before that, I was someone else’s worst nightmare, crushing their spirits with ruthless expressions of nonchalance, requesting they succumb to my “well, you shouldn’t have”-prefixed retorts.  

You get it.  I’m a guy with many faces.

I’m currently questioning the significance of this–the questioning of my own identity, the number of distinct characters… Why am I set on figuring out why I switch up?  

Let me think…  Let me think…  Let me think…

I like to think about how I’m the Caesar of my social network.  If I don’t like someone, I kill them off; I don’t keep them around once I’ve figured out that they mean little to nothing to me.  Everyone’s expendable at some point, I’ve learned.  Of course, I have to be cautious, as those I attempt to abandon may be of great significance without me knowing at the time of my abandonment. Then, who knows how cumbersome a person is on the back of your limping body of fortitude in a war between you, a daydreamer, and forethought until you fall?

[a few hours of Django later]

I’ve completely checked out… I lost every ounce of motivation I had to write this stuff.  Forget it.  Identity issues.  That’s all.  (lol)

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There’s Heroism and There’s Stupidity, but Simply as There’s Space and Time

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I hate this fucking neighborhood.

I get off the Bx13 to a girl chasing some dude across the street from the bus stop, screaming “HELP! HE TOOK MY PHONE!” For a few seconds, I thought they were playing around or some shit — but then it started to look serious.

I fastened my book bag straps as I bolted towards the running pair, preparing to pounce on the alleged assailant. The perpetrator was roughly 10 meters in front of the girl, and I, roughly 1 meter behind her.

The girl and I reached a highway, which had been crossed by the wrongdoer just seconds before we were faced with the question of whether it’d be rational to play real-life Frogger or not. Our maneuvers were almost instantaneous; there was little hesitation when it came time to leap over the cement lane separator. She hopped over and I followed.

The dude we were chasing ran into a small group of people, and one person out of that group–a godsend–pushed the perp, knocking the girl’s phone out of the perp’s hands. The girl stopped chasing, the perp jogged quickly, and I started jogging, still towards the him. Then, he started running. I sped up and almost caught him. When the distance between us was around 5 meters, he turned around, started jogging backwards, and whipped out a knife from his left pocket. He shouted at me, trying to relay some message in Spanish. I immediately stopped pursuing him.

Shortly after–after securing the female, waving down a patrol vehicle–I headed towards my block. A dude attempted to stop me, asking me if I was “one of the cops.” I don’t know where he came from, who he was associated with, or what he wanted. I kept walking, ignoring him while glancing to see what was going on behind me as I walked past him.

As I headed down a block near my destination, I saw a DT vehicle coming up the street (extra-tinted windows, antennae sticking up out of the top, etc…). It passed me, then it busted a U-turn and inched up to me from behind. The DTs within it asked me a bunch of questions and whatnot. I answered. I went about my business.

The Bronx.

Time to complete some assignments.

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2011’s Big Lesson; Some Spoken Word?

I’m not gonna front
the whispers are killing my self-esteem slowly.
place after place,
face after face,
my mind whisphers back in acknowledgeme Continue reading

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Unfortunate Fortune

 

Longing lives like lust,
So silent, so shortly,
but bears burdens
for the longer;
feigned loss
for ignoring
what lives like lust.

 

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