Alone Watching Atrocities

Isolation Mar 1, 2024

It feels like my heart can't sustain my body anymore, emotionally or physically.

My whole face feels bleary, the strain of looking without watching. Crying without release. No potential connection on the other side of any expression, unless I'm recording.

I'm alone watching atrocities. Not alone in the watching. And I think about you, the isolated person facing the same daily struggle as me. And I think about you, the person being.. atrocitized. The person who's trauma is on display for the world and yet it will not stop. Having to watch their children starve or dig them out of rubble. If they are still alive to do so.

And I think about you.

And I think about you, the child living through this. The child with amputations and hunger and complex PTSD. The child with no surviving relatives.

Whatever I had inside of me that would kill my resistance in order to survive seems to be gone. I feel like I'll lose it all rather than conform to this. I'm on my last financial leg and my fear of the fall is instead fear of myself. What I'm willing or not willing to do. Whether I can force myself to work for someone else's profits. Even though I do that every day for free on social media and with print on demand books and products. As I become more unemployable with every paragraph.

I read writing from Aaron's friend today. They wanted to say something so eloquent about why we so easily discard others, but all they could find is the ability to question that. They suggest asking that question together. But it's an entirely different question when you're the one who's been discarded

And I think about you, the person who lost your friend to self-immolation and has to see all of our broken society and conditioned cruelty reflected onto him.

I used to have a close friend named Aaron that I loved very much. We split over covid differences. He didn't understand the points in my last message to him and I didn't correct them. I just let them fall away from me as if they were never mine. Just like all of my old relationships.

I have new people in my life now, people who aren't willing to compromise on the value of anyone's life. Not for a party or a conference or a trip. We are all struggling with the weight of societies denial and ostracization and abandonment, in one way or another. It is both comforting and unbearable to be close to others with similar oppression.

I don't want to pay taxes or allegiance. I don't think it's true there's nothing we can do. Aaron Bushnell was out in community helping others and he set himself on fire because he believed his death would impact more than that. And people are arguing over that belief, over that action. What it does or doesn't mean.

I read every political self-immolation on the Wiki. And I think about you, the person in a different place and time and circumstances. A person who set themselves on fire.

And I wonder about the names we don't know, the stories we were never told, the way stories are diminished unless we are being sold production and consumption.

I take social media off my phone. This way I will focus. On my art shop, on a job, on making things. I bury my flaws under social media's. And for a second I can breath without the weight of my own failure and distractibility. What I was told and am telling myself is a distraction. Because I need money more than anything else. So many of us do.

But I just feel disconnected and I scroll in my phone's browser instead. I sense the sludge of the UX design in the browser, an impetus to install the app. I think about being on the other side. A temporary tech creator, a permanent consumer. Squished into an impossible space until one foot went out the door. Then two.

I remember a woman today talking about how she was done with tech. And I scrolled her feed and saw a recent 4 year anniversary post about finishing a bootcamp. Most of us don't even make it to mid career. The idea of going back fills me with dread and resistance. The idea of them winning and teaching me to hate what I once loved also breaks me. If there's a win for me in this situation, I haven't found it yet. And she clearly didn't either.

It feels unfair, that I want more out of myself without wanting more for myself.

It feels unfair. What we are expected to survive without support. It feels unfair, that I want more out of myself without wanting more for myself. Wanting more seems always tied to taking from others. I want to have less and do more.

I didn't build a product and does that mean I didn't want to or I just don't want to be like them. How am I supposed to be part of an industry built on devices made from child slave labor and factory suicides and leaders who commit harm to employees and users. How can I not when remote work is the only way I will survive. When there are so few people like me who've made it this far and who want to do things differently.

Put your own oxygen mask on first, they say. Before you help someone else. They never tell you what to do if some people don't have oxygen masks and others do but won't wear them. The false meritocracy of air travel, a luxury good that increases carbon emissions and spreads disease.

And I think about you, the person on the plane still masking when they announced masks could come off mid flight and people celebrated.

They are culling us. ImmC and disabled people. Trans. Anyone with a uterus. Isolation and layoffs and return to office and bathroom bills and banning abortion.

"First they came for".. but they never come one at a time. It's all at once.

Another covid conscious person tweets about the CDC website overhaul. How someone needs to scrape the site before we lose it. I think about how I just did that for Project N95. That person could be me. But I desperately need money and can't keep doing all these things for free.

I write a tweet that I will do it if people can send some money support my way. I screenshot the tweet before deleting it. Remember when you had this idea and you could not even get yourself to offer it. Because you had an ask and needs attached. Because you could do it only while being honest with yourself and everyone else.

I don't even have a valuable death to give. My death would be encouraging to others.

I can't be out in community. I don't even have a valuable death to give. My death would be encouraging to others. I just have a life that others keep telling me isn't worth living. A tiny restricted little life that I actually like and want to keep despite everything. My dog and sister, my friends I struggle to keep in contact with, my creative and spiritual practices. I'm mediocre even for a white person and I wish that was enough for me.

I should want to be alive. Not to be exceptional and not to save others. I talk myself into things that I can't see through. I try to leave a little door open and I won't walk through it. I tried to cultivate love and joy and compassion and it slipped right through my fingers.

I had an elderly isolated neighbor who's garbage I took out sometimes. She died and now I watch the rich vultures around her decaying house.

What's the point of talking to people. I have nothing to offer and I won't ask for anything. I just want to disappear the rest of the way so I don't have to be a burden to this planet and to other people on it. I am a burden, just not to the people who call and consider me one. I'm a burden to every person and natural resource in the chain of supply and exploitation before me.

I'm a burden because I'm burdened, we all are. Well, almost all of us.

How do I find a deal I can take that would let me live and live with myself. How do I renegotiate that deal every day. How do I take little bites out of the system while it takes big bites out of me. Out of everyone.

I can't get past the how to even find a why. Maybe some of us can find a way to ask that question together.


Cakelin Fable

Polygon gargoyle. Spicy scientist, engineer, artist, and entrepreneur. Disabled, nonbinary, and bisexual. Host of Defective Detective podcast. Buddhist into books. Service dog pup Pepper Ann.

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.