Labels

I hate being labeled.

When I registered for college there was a space for your 'Ethnicity' and I checked 'Other', always have. I didn't want to be known as any specific 'Type' because I've always known we are never just one thing. To my parents I was a son, to my sister, a brother, to my friends as Mike and it just goes on and one. A single word, a label, can never describe a person and yet we're still stuck with having them attached to us.

Artist. Man. White guy. Witch. Minister. Writer. Anarchist (Antichrist?).  I've had the displeasure of having several Psychiatrists slap several labels on me and I really don't know how to spell them so I'll just leave that to your imagination. In the 80s you could rightly say I was an alcoholic and drug abuser and you'd be right. 

Still, they're just words. Images that, by themselves, elicit singular images...Most of the time. We have this place in our heads that say an 'Artist' dresses, talks and acts a certain way and, yeah, maybe, but most of them I knew were dedicated workers who had disciplined themselves to sit at the drafting table day after day and really not a lot of time spent partying. Back then Artists and Writers had to fight for the next job and only a small percentage actually got published.

Still...I hate labels. They're like that dash in between birth dates and death dates...There is a whole lot of years to account for and not one of them was any singular thing 24 hours a day. 

Humans. People. Flesh and blood. We love, we fight, we think, we create and we die. Some are missed when they're gone, many aren't and a DNA test isn't going to tell you the whole story. We all have secrets and guilt and fears. Maybe some day a person will come along and find them, maybe not. 

The point is we're all the same in our hearts, our souls, our spirits. We've allowed the outside package do create an image that is only a fraction of the person inside. White. Black. Hispanic. Asian. Male. Female. Straight. Gay. They're all only a small fraction of the story, a part of the case in the court of humanity each and every day and we all think ours is the one that matters most. We believe we're above the person across the street or the neighbor with a different color skin...But we're not. Politicians and 'Ministers' and Priests have thought that for a long time and they never believed they'd have to be judged of face justice for those they've cheated, abused, and raped in secret.

Some may slip through the cracks but only because we've come to fear being labeled ourselves in the process. Victim. Liar. Failure. Seeker of fame. Money whore.

We all face judgement because we all die. I don't know what happens next and anyone who says otherwise is pretty much living in a dream world. Religion is all hope and maybe and used to keep the poor and disenfranchised...The other...Under control. Sinners. 

Another label.

Death takes everyone and sometimes we still seek some kind of retribution for what they've done in life. We want others to hate what we hate, love what we love. It justifies our lives. It gives the label we want to be remembered by power.

I still don't like labels to this day. I've been called a lot of things and they're probably all true in part because I am human, I make mistakes and I've lived a...Colorful...Life. I don't have a 'Bucket List' because I've done what I wanted to do, accomplished more than I ever dreamed and fucked up a lot in between...But I've lived.

More than most. Too much for one person. 

And still wondering how in the hell I'm still alive.

Lucky. 

That's a label I'll accept. 
I've known great people. I've loved and been loved. I've fought and survived.

That's more than a person like me could expect and I embrace all the labels because they tell the world I was here, if only for a short time.

later

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