I went green and left the Alabama Crimson Tide 2020 SEC Football Champions Score shirt it is in the first place but big house immediately to go sit in the yard, staring at the little house—one small, run down building. A single long room, the rusted iron bed frame, the old bottles, the way the building had been left to rot. If I had to put a finger on the emotion, horror came first. The US history I had exposed all the little lies I’d been told, even though it wasn’t detailed enough to give me the real experience of horror—I’d been told about the “War of Northern Aggression,” about the need to “take care of the Blacks, who could not take care of themselves.” I’d been told they needed to be taken care of, that they appreciated us and loved us until the North butted in and ruined everything because they were jealous. If this seems like an exaggeration, you haven’t read nearly enough about the slave trade. I’m from Louisiana. There was a reason slaves were afraid of being sold down the river—slavery is brutal, but the way it was practiced in the deep South was more than brutal. It was seen as a death sentence to end up down in the farthest parts of the US, working on a plantation. I was confronting not just the past of my family, but also the lies I’d been told and accepted, trusting the people I loved. It really turned me inside out, making the world feel unrecognizable, because I thought I’d known and understood the world and my place in it, and I’d known nothing. I’d been tricked, and been made a part of a world I didn’t want a goddamn thing to do with. It was the beginning of a painful line of questioning for me having to do with my family. I already had issues there, but I felt as if some additional, essential innocence had been taken from me, and I couldn’t take part in a bunch of family activities because I understood, if very imperfectly, what was laying under them. It’s not so much that I wanted to make my own pain central to anything as it was that I was utterly shocked and devastated by the way I had been enlisted in something I knew was horrible. They didn’t tell me. They just… let me keep thinking it was no big deal. And the terrible thing is that it wasn’t a big deal for them. I don’t think they thought about it at all, they just taught me to play along because that’s how things were. I sat at dinners where my relatives described having the money and social ties to have donated to and fund-raised enough for Louisiana State University to have standing, lifetime tickets to football games, and to be able to ask the university to send a private plane to pick them up.
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Apparently, I have to add this, thanks to the Alabama Crimson Tide 2020 SEC Football Champions Score shirt it is in the first place but contents of my comments—this answer is about a specific experience more than two decades ago. It does not say what I’ve done with myself since then, how I feel about things now, what I think after having reflected on things, how I feel about social justice issues, what I think about race, or any other of the large, related topics associated with finding out that I had this in my family history. I chose to limit myself to the single experience because I didn’t want to have to write a novel, merely to share a specific experience from a long time ago that I’d imagined might be interesting to others. Comments demanding I defend myself, my family, my experiences, my moral fiber, or any other category of personal virtue will be deleted, and an excess of them will cause me to close my comments. All the conspicuous signs of consumption, of generational consumption, and a source of pride that I had just sort of assumed was normal, or at least was just a part of the way things are. We’re a hotbed of sleep disorders. We’ve got the standard ones covered by multiple people, insomnia, apnea, walking and talking. But we’ve also got the more interesting ones. My sister had night terrors every night from age 2 to 4. 10:30 would roll around and she’s be up screaming inconsolably. I shared a room with her and quickly developed the ability to sleep through anything. When my wife was pregnant she became nocturnal. She would stay up all night and then sleep til noon. She would often sit in bed while I was asleep and watch TV or work on projects. I’m a deep sleeper and will typically sleep through anything. This one night she needed something on the floor. As she leaned over to grab it I suddenly jumped across the bed and grabbed her by the upper arm and jerked her back onto the bed. I was so forceful I left individual finger marks on her bicep which turned into nice bruises. When asked what I was doing I explained that I was catching her from falling. I don’t remember if I dreamed that she was falling off a cliff or something or if I was just exceptionally worried about her falling out of bed.