Traffic Accident 

“You have got to be kidding me,” thinks Metaphysical Man as the Camry crosses the intersection. Just then a sudden impact causes the superhero to lose consciousness  for an instant. When he opens his eyes it’s to find that the car has been thrown up onto the curb. 

“Ya meeno emvwah? Is everyone alright?” Asks Chaz frantically unbuckling his seat belt. 

He exits the car to survey the damage. When he does so Metaphysical Man notices a soldier angrily exiting the navy blue armored vehicle that ran the stop sign and struck them.

“Wah! Zah va! Endag abeen!!” Orders the soldier angrily while walking towards Chaz.

“Me wah geet!!” he threatens. “Do you know whose car this is?” asks the soldier pointing angrily at the armored truck. “This belongs to the son of ‘He who Commands’. I’m not paying you nothing!”

Metaphysical Man could smell the strong breath of the soldier from his seat in the car. It was as if he were soaked in spirits.

“Are we going to have a problem?” asks the soldier while placing his hands on his hips and revealing his side arm.

“No,” responds Chaz meekly looking down at the ground. “I just want to get my car home.”

Chaz motions toward the damaged Camry. The soldier squints his inebriated eyes and takes a closer look at Chaz.

“I know you from somewhere.”

He shakes his finger accusingly at Chaz.

“Wah oney ehyora yay?”

“Me ney ehyora ney Chaz,” responds Chaz.

The soldier laughs.

“I know your sister. Go home Chaz. We’ll pretend this never happened. Okay?”

Before waiting for an answer though the officer turns and walks toward his vehicle. He noisily peels off showering the damaged Camry with dust and rocks.

The ride home is quiet. Metaphysical Man’s irritation about the internet is temporarily forgotten. He is surprised however by his reaction to the preceding events. He would have expected his mind to be filled with questions and protests over the actions just witnessed. Instead he feels a sense of order mixed with relief for having been shown mercy.

“Have I been here so long that such shocking behavior seems normal to me? I need to watch myself,” thinks MM.

Are you a fan of Don Quijote? You may enjoy this new book. When Metaphysical Man, Atro City’s resident superhero and trendsetter is inadvertently sucked into an alternate world by a mysterious super villain he’s forced to overcome his only weakness; reality. Read more at http://smashwords.com/books/view/540303#amreading #amwriting

 

Machete!

Being that I see the guy every week and greet him on occasion I think it’s about time I wrote about the thief that attempted to break into my house. I didn’t write about it straight away because I was a little shaken up an felt I needed to give my mind an opportunity to wrap itself around what happened. I think enough time has lapsed so here goes.

It was a normal night and by normal I mean the bar that was attached to my house was blasting music until 1:00 in the morning. We sleep on our living room floor because we don’t have an air conditioner right now and it’s too hot to sleep in the bedroom. After finally falling asleep I began to hear a scratching noise that woke me up even though I had tissue stuffed in my ears. I then heard the crackling of wood. It was about 4:00 in the morning. I looked at the window and allowed my eyes to adjust in the darkness. There was a machete lodged between the wooden shutters. The crackling was from the thief’s attempts to pry open the window frame. My wife and I quietly ran to the window to try and see who it was that was breaking in. We had iron bars installed so we weren’t in any immediate danger. The shutters are inclined downward so it was hard to get a look at his face while he was so close to the window. I got a good look at the bottom half of his face. He was lean and beardless. “He’s so young and already a thief,” I reflected. In one hand he held the machete and with the other some other jimmying tool. After a few more attempts the thief’s blade struck the iron bars. He must have realized the futility of continuing so he ran away most likely to find an easier target.

I’m sure it goes without saying that we didn’t get anymore sleep that night. I was troubled the entire following day as I was not sure about the intentions of the thief. Was the machete just a tool for breaking in or was it a weapon to be used on anyone that stood between him and his bounty. I felt a little better after my friend assured me that it was just a tool. The thieves here are not known for committing violent crimes. 

“But if you were to have cornered him,” my friend added, “he would have reacted just like a cornered animal and attacked.” So we weren’t completely out of harms way. As I mentioned earlier we believe we have identified the young man who attempted the break in. He’s even been rather cordial always greeting us first.

Going forward I know every time I see a machete I’ll be reminded of this incident.

– William Chasterson 

Are you a fan of Don Quijote? You may enjoy this new book.  When Metaphysical Man, Atro City’s resident superhero and trendsetter is inadvertently sucked into an alternate world by a mysterious super villain he’s forced to overcome his only weakness; reality. Read more at http://smashwords.com/books/view/540303#amreading #amwriting

Inspirational Quotes

There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who swing the car door open without looking and those who look to make sure they don’t strike another vehicle or person. Which kind are you?

– William Chasterson 

Are you a fan of Don Quijote? You may enjoy this new book. When Metaphysical Man, Atro City’s resident superhero and trendsetter is inadvertently sucked into an alternate world by a mysterious super villain he’s forced to overcome his only weakness; reality. Read more at http://smashwords.com/books/view/540303#amreading #amwriting

 

What’s the difference between you and I?

From immigration reform to ethnic tension in Jerusalem to the Ferguson Missouri shooting the entire world is focused on the racial divide separating human beings. If I were to make the claim that there is no difference between the races it would most likely be taken tongue in cheek. The politically correct response is to acknowledge that we are all of course equal. But do we really believe this? Without fear of being judged I’m going to ask you to honestly consider the question.

I will attempt to make the case that not only is there no difference in the races but that race is a myth. I believe the human mind needs to categorize things in order to be able to understand the world around it. Nevertheless language, accent, skin color and economic status should not define a person.

3 Points to make my case

1. Were the same on the inside. I mean this literally. If our organs weren’t the same we wouldn’t be able to successfully transplant them from one person to another regardless of race, sex, or social status.

2. When a child of a different race, language or culture is raised by another group they adapt. They identify themselves with the people in their environment. Some may argue that this is not true. But I would say that any difficulties arise not from the child rejecting his environment but from the environment rejecting the child out of superficial prejudice.

3. Race is used as a tool by those with power in order to manipulate the masses. In any part of the world once a person has a certain amount of money his race becomes insignificant. Which makes me suspicious about the true authenticity of racial differences.

Tell me where I’m wrong.

– William Chasterson 

When Metaphysical Man, Atro City’s resident superhero and trendsetter is inadvertently sucked into an alternate world by a mysterious super villain he’s forced to overcome his only weakness; reality. Read more at http://smashwords.com/books/view/540303#amreading #amwriting

 Faith vs. Farth?*                                                                                     *(This is not a religious article)

When we hear the word faith our minds immediately jump to religion which is a controversial subject. But in actuality the word faith is defined as a complete trust or confidence in someone or something. A strongly held belief or theory. According to this definition the church does not have a monopoly on faith. Everyone has strong beliefs or theories about something or another. The question is: How do we express our faith and are we correct in what we think we are expressing?

Faith is not just a gut feeling as some might think. It is not just a position taken on a controversial subject. Rather it is a firm opinion evidenced by a particular action or actions. This means one’s actions can be looked at to determine whether or not his or her faith is genuine. Think for example of a person who professes to have faith or trust in you. Yet anytime they find themselves in difficulty instead of calling you they call on your powerful enemies to help them out. Despite their words their actions indicate that they really don’t have faith in you at all. Rather their actions prove they have faith in the power of your enemies. Instead of calling them out on their hypocrisy we’ve arrived at a point in our society where it’s unacceptable to question one’s faith or loyalty. This fear of judging the actions of others has resulted in the institutionalization of hypocrisy and a world where everyone’s motives are suspect. We are considered guilty until proven innocent. 

I believe there should be a word for the strong disbelief in everything and everyone that is engrained into the consciousness of society. In my search for such a word I’ve found only the negative of the root word. For example: lack of faith, lack of confidence or disbelief. Being that the lack of faith in this world far outweighs the amount of actual faith I’ve decided to award the negative of the root it’s own name. I’m going to call it farth. I’ll attempt to illustrate my claim that farth trumps faith using the following experience.

I used to work at a company that offered free health insurance to low income individuals and families in New York City. As a representative of the company I had a table set up at different locations in low income neighborhoods. A coworker and I  witnessed someone drop their wallet in the street. Though the man retrieved his wallet the event got us into a discussion about ethics. I expressed shock when my coworker mentioned that if he found a wallet full of money along with ID indicating the address of its owner he would pocket the cash before mailing back the wallet and ID. He seemed to be under the impression that such an action was not theft because he was under no obligation to return the wallet in the first place. He felt that he was being a Good Samaritan by returning the ID and other documents inside and that the cash was a well deserved reward for his act. I expressed my opinion that once he discovered the identity of the wallet’s owner pocketing the cash would transform an otherwise honest man into a thief. “It’s true,” I explained. “You are under no obligation to return the lost item but if you know who the money belongs to and still decide to keep it, you are a thief plain and simple.”  My opinion offended him. He felt judged so he lashed out at me. Apparently remembering his strong sense of farth he shook his head and said, “I would keep the money but I’m no thief. I’m just being honest about my actions. In fact there’s no evidence that we’re any different, you would probably do the same.” I realized at that moment he was right. I had no proof that I wouldn’t do the same. My actions would be the only proof that I wouldn’t pocket the money and for that I would need an opportunity.

In another post I mentioned how my wife and I talked about moving to an underdeveloped country to do volunteer work. Most likely people thought we were just talking about doing something because we knew we had no opportunity of ever actually carrying it out. I realized that they too were right. Until I actually quit my job and stepped onto the plane I had no proof of what we would do. Now however I have the past year and a half to point to as evidence of my faith.

When Metaphysical Man, Atro City’s resident superhero and trendsetter is inadvertently sucked into an alternate world by a mysterious super villain he’s forced to overcome his only weakness; reality. Read more at http://smashwords.com/books/view/540303#amreading #amwriting

William Chasterson on coming out of the closet as a #blerd

After thirty seven years I recently came out of the closet as a blerd. For those of you unfamiliar with this term, blerd is a black nerd. Now you may wonder how is it possible for someone to be a blerd for thirty seven years and fail to recognize it. Well, just try and imagine yourself in my shoes as I attempt to explain. 

I was a young black kid born in the black section of Milwaukee Wisconsin in the eighties. As I was being brought up I followed in my older brother’s footsteps and gravitated to the same things they were interested in. It was the age of He-Man action figures, Thunder Cats, breakdancing, painters caps, fat laces, nyolaters (the hard fruit candy ‘now and later’), iron on t-shirts, Voltron and transformers. I was bussed out of the neighborhood to a school in the suburbs for kindergarten and first grade as part of a vouchers program. This is when I had my first contact with white people. Children have no concept of racial inequality so although I was a brown spot on a canvas of white I wasn’t made to feel different by the other kids. I even had a white girlfriend which at that age basically meant I had a friend who was a white girl. We called ourselves boyfriend and girlfriend though. At that time, life for me didn’t seem complicated but all of that was soon to change.

Because of domestic violence my mother took us kids and fled to her hometown in Ohio called Fostoria. This small town which the last time I checked had a population of 15,000 people is where I was placed after being uprooted from the city. The environment and culture of this agricultural town was in stark contrast to our previous surroundings. I had never before seen real life farm animals. The locals used to get a kick out of the reactions of my siblings and I to seeing real cows and chickens for the first time. It was in my primary years that the first signs of blerdhood began to surface. Unlike Milwaukee (probably because we were too young to care) the kids in Fostoria were well aware of the differences in race. But it wasn’t that big of a deal. It was a fact, like the sky is blue and water’s wet. It was here that I for the first time heard the chant: “A fight. A fight. A nigger and a white. If the white don’t win, we all jump in.” The kids sang this song without thinking and with no animosity towards blacks. Many times it was two white kids fighting when they began to sing it. Once I was with a group of kids and they didn’t realize until they were halfway into the song that I might be offended by the lyrics. In primary school I was always the only black kid in my class, so I stood out. Over time something else started to cause me to stand out. I began developing a firmer grasp on scholastic matters than my peers which made some kids begin to dislike me. 

A new word emerged in our society that promised to define an entire class of people in a humorous way. The movie “revenge of the nerds” defined this group of misfits with even more detail. It didn’t take long for my peers to realize that I fit in with this group but only I wasn’t white. You had to be white at that time to succinctly be referred to as a nerd. Nevertheless I ran from the label and did anything I could to pretend to fit in. I tried to dress according to what the other kids considered cool though my family never had much money. Everyone in my family wore glasses and I was no exception. I had thick coke bottle lenses without which I was nearly blind. It was obvious that I was trying to be something that I wasn’t but so was everyone else at that age. Besides, there still was no clear label that my schoolmates could attach to me, that is until the show “Family Matters” came onto the scene and the world was introduced to the character “Steve Urkel”. With the introduction of Urkel into pop culture the black nerd icon was complete. It didn’t help that I looked a little bit like the character especially to those who think all blacks look alike anyways.

Around this time I went into jr high or middle school where the town’s minority students became more concentrated as all the primary schools bottle necked into one building for 6-8th grade. In the nineties black awareness was in full swing. Minority kids wore Cross Colors, Karl Kani and Tommy Hilfiger. It was then that I was made aware of a new fact. Something that was always as clear to me as the sky’s blue and water’s wet was now up for interpretation. My blackness was now being questioned. Because of my diction I was told I speak like a white person which I should of been offended by because these people were insinuating that black people can’t be intellectual and speak with good diction. I was in fact offended, but for a different reason. I wanted to be black. I wanted to fit in with the other minorities. I wanted to be able to use the word ‘nigga’ naturally. The Ebonics  word always got stuck in my throat when I tried to use it. I decided I would need to make a drastic change. I gradually allowed my grades to slip and I gravitated towards minority kids with behavioral problems. It took me a while to be accepted into their clique but they did eventually accept me perhaps out of compassion. I was still a blerd but I was trying to pretend I was a hip hop gangster. This new phase I was going through brought with it the animosity society directs towards rebels but didn’t bring with it the romanticism that attracts many to the bad boy persona. I was secretly seen as not quite genuine throughout my high school years. I was the not so Great Gatsby.

As I get older I find myself caring less about what people think about the real me. It’s not that I enjoy standing out or purposely do things to go against the grain but rather I now see the importance of having a clear sense of self. If I’m being myself and others have an aversion to me I no longer see the need to transform myself into something I’m not in order to gain their approval. One of my best friends said something to me recently that is both troubling and telling. I wrote some articles under a pen name and I don’t know if he even read them or not but he said “I don’t like this person”. He knew it was me that wrote the articles but he assumed that because I used a different name that I didn’t really believe in what I had written. He thought I wrote it for shock value. In reality they are my real thoughts though I’m sure he misunderstood them. “If he doesn’t like this person,” I thought, “In reality he doesn’t like me. In order to be liked by him I need to either change my inner feelings or hide them from him. Do I really need a friend like that?” As I get older I’m deciding more often than not that the answer is no. “That’s what I’ve done my entire life,” I realized, “and I don’t want to do it anymore. There has to be other people out there like me.” That’s when I came across the word ‘blerd’ while surfing online. I discovered that there is a whole community of black nerds just like me. 

When Metaphysical Man, Atro City’s resident superhero and trendsetter is inadvertently sucked into an alternate world by a mysterious super villain he’s forced to overcome his only weakness; reality. Read more at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/540303 #amreading #amwriting

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

I had a dream the other day that man was divided into various subsets and used rudimentary symbols, shapes and colors to represent everything the subset stood for. The symbols, shapes, colors and selected animal mascots were surrounded with impenetrable layers of pride and fear. I woke up in a cold sweat relieved that it was only a dream. It was only a dream… Right?

– William Chasterson

When Metaphysical Man, Atro City’s resident superhero and trendsetter is inadvertently sucked into an alternate world by a mysterious super villain he’s forced to overcome his only weakness; reality. Read more at http://smashwords.com/books/view/540303#amreading #amwriting