Tourmaline: chapter 13

(Chapter 1) (Chapter 2) (Chapter 3) (Chapter 4) (Chapter 5) (Chapter 6) (Chapter 7) (Chapter 8) (Chapter 9) (Chapter 10) (Chapter 11) (Chapter 12)

Steven lay flat on the couch, singular arm slung over the edge. He stared at the slatted ceiling, which had bled to a dark projection of desaturated stripes now that the sun had gone down. He glanced to the screen door; darkness swallowed up anything past the radius of the porch light. It led to only a vast nothingness, formlessness which he couldn’t make out. There was only the lapping and crashing of the distant ocean, like falling rain. The air was damp with lingering rain water, and cold.

He blinked. He stared up again. He held his breath. He shut his eyes.

This body didn’t sleep.

Steven pressed his eyes closed, harder now, until stars sparked in his vision. It did nothing. He couldn’t feel the scattered, thoughtless pull of drowsiness in his mind. He was tired though. Mentally, physically exhausted. Just now, he was permanently conscious too. Steven groaned, rolled, and set his feet to the floor.

He wanted desperately to get the Gems. He wanted to sit side-by-side with Amethyst and lose himself to fits of laughter over her goofy jokes about his body. He wanted to listen, silently, to Pearl’s stories about how his mom handled the Homeworld invasions, to feel that strange cocktail of pride and admiration and fear whenever Pearl let details of the war slip. He wanted to press himself into Garnet’s sturdy arms and forget anything else existed.

Now more than ever, though, he knew they needed their space. There’d been a steady, dense, stickiness in the air when the Gems were around. Like oatmeal on a hot day, soggy and topped with too much cinnamon: it was a discomfort, a queasy fullness, when they had to look at him as he…was, in this body, trapped in this form. It taxed them; it exhausted them to deal with what he’d created.

So he sat in the growing darkness now, “asleep”, trying to sort out which of his memories had been the Gems’ spoken words and which had been their private thoughts. The “We love you”s and the “We’re sorry”s had been out loud. He knew that. And he knew they were sincere. But that didn’t help; Steven took no comfort in their regret, especially not now. He’d hated feeling it, and he hadn’t been able to say anything to lighten it. The Gems had laughed at the jokes he’d cracked: about his arm, about his dance, about his all-around stupid behavior. But each modest chuckle had come with a stinging new twang of guilt in the air. It was like a physical weight on his chest, feeling that responsibility for their pain.

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anonymous asked:

I would come of anon and give you a big virtual hug and 1,000’s wifey Pearls, but you’re super funny and charming and pretty and I’m just a potato. And plus, all that makes you kinda intimidating, tbh. But I still love you Eliza, anon or not!

you dont have to be intimidated by me i walked straight through a screen door once and ripped it right off the hinges while complaining about someone leaving the screen door open 

Gay Man Pulled From Home, Beaten By NYPD Officers Yelling “Faggot” In Horrifying Video

Louis Falcone, 31, told the New York Daily News that officers arrived at the home he shares with his 66-year-old mother on June 19 to investigate a noise complaint. He had been arguing loudly with his brother an hour earlier, who had come home in an “obnoxiously drunk” stupor and left before police arrived to investigate the noise.

“As I’m talking to them through the screen door, they’re saying to come outside,” said Falcone. “I said, ‘For what?‘”

Falcone added that his dog began barking from inside the house, to which an officer said, “Get your dog out of here or I”ll fucking kill it!”

Falcone also had surgery on his foot recently and was wearing a boot, but that didn’t stop the four aggressive officers from purposefully stepping on it after pulling him from his home illegally for a violent, unprovoked beating on the front lawn.

“just do what the cops say”

lmfao I just locked myself out of the house and had to cut my way in through the screen door of my window

The man from the pay TV company was  adamant: he wasn’t selling anything. But too often I’ve  opened my front door to strangers and found myself tempted by some sales  pitch. So I’d answered  the bell warily, spoke through the screen door and tried to keep the  encounter brief.

‘I’m sorry but we’re not interested.’

But he knew better. 'It’s because of the colour of my skin,’ he said as he turned  to leave.

It was to be a parting shot. But I  called him back, stepping out onto the veranda. Surely he could not  assume that everyone not interested in hearing what he had to say was a bigot.

I had no idea, he replied, how often  he was called a 'brown bastard’ by people he approached.

Later, I wondered if I was not all  the more defensive because I grew up in segregated,  apartheid-era South Africa. In Australia, where I’ve spent well  over half my life, it seems at times that as long as you have a fairish  complexion, you can be lulled into assuming tolerance and goodwill.

I like to think we can rise to the  challenge of increasing diversity. I didn’t want to believe the assertions  of that pay TV man at my front door. Then I read  about objections to the presence of Australians of Indian background  on the TV serial Neighbours.

I thought the man might be exaggerating.  Then I read about increasing complaints to the Victorian Equal Opportunity  and Human Rights Commission by those alleging they had been excluded  from pubs and clubs because of their race. The commission reported a  55 per cent increase in 'total race complaints across all sectors’  in a year.

'I naïvely believed this kind of  inexcusable discrimination did not happen in our multicultural society,’  a woman wrote to The Age in late November after an incident at  a Toorak nightclub. She’d been with fellow medical students of Sri  Lankan and Indian background who were turned away, ostensibly because  the venue was full, while others in the group were admitted.

The Monash University-Scanlon Foundation  annual Mapping Social Cohesion survey recently found that the number  of people reporting discrimination due to skin colour, ethnic origin  or religion had increased from 9 per cent to 14 per cent in four years.

Are we becoming less tolerant, as  we become more diverse? Pino Migliorino, chair of the Federal Ethnic  Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA), said at a conference in  Adelaide a few months ago that racism was now often more subtle and  had shifted to the targeting of religion rather than race.

It’s almost 40 years since Whitlam Government Immigration Minister Al  Grassby confirmed that the White Australia Policy was dead. 'Give me a shovel,’ he declared in 1973, 'and I’ll bury it.’

Attitudes were not so easily  buried. 'We have amassed more than our share of xenophobia on these  shores and seem willing to accord equality only to those who promise  not to be different,’ Lorna Lippmann, a Monash researcher on Aboriginal  Affairs, wrote in a book released the year Grassby called for that shovel  (Words or Blows: Racial Attitudes in Australia,  Penguin Books 1973).

La Trobe University academic Gwenda  Tavan, recalling Grassby’s assurance in her book, The Long Slow  Death of White Australia (Scribe Publications 2005), concluded that  he may have been essentially correct, but underestimated White Australia’s power to   haunt future generations. 'In Australia’s case,’ she wrote, 'race   remains the proverbial skeleton in the closet.’

'We’d fundamentally  debunk the White Australia Policy and white Australia mentality if we  get this up,’ Patrick Dodson said recently as co-chair of the Federal  Government-appointed panel that has recommended changes to the constitution  to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and languages,  prohibit racial discrimination and remove the last traces of racism.

The encounter at my front door ended  amicably. Next time I’ll be sure to open the screen door at least and take time  to welcome a stranger even if only to say, no thanks.

- Larry Schwartz, a Melbourne writer,  PhD student at Swinburne University and author of  an apartheid-era memoir, The Wild Almond Line.