I wrote this over 8 years ago. But it needs to be repeated because it is still pervasive today.
Recently, I heard that another childhood acquaintance, who we called “Professor”, died from a gunshot wound. When my mom told me, I felt this wave of feelings pass through me and for a brief moment I felt like I might be next. It was a familiar feeling that I had grown up with—the persistent consciousness that everyday could be my last. For a long time I prized that sense of impending death because I had found that living with the expectancy of death was a good way for me to overcome any threats people put toward me. “You can only kill me once”, I thought. “And since I am not afraid of death, anything else you try to say or do to threaten me is meaningless to me.” It was my super-power that served me well in my different neighborhoods and other areas of life, where for years I attracted…
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