This was not published because it reads more like a diary than non-fiction and we tend to publish non-fiction pieces primarily. When we followed up with Markus, he informed us that his genre was “revisionist journaling” which is a sub-genre of “creative non-fiction” that he had invented.
I am Markus, a lacrosse playing punk rock listening all-time designated driving tattooed young black man in suburban Cincinnati. When my friends give me shit, I yell HATE CRIME at them. When people need rides home, I’ll do it in multiple shifts. When women need rides home, I do it with their comfort and safety as a priority.
I’ve never been a drinker or drug-user. In part, having a father in prison has made me take on a great deal of responsibility early in my life, so getting fucked up has never been appealing. My younger brother Brendan is diabetic and has always required lots of my care and attention. I do wish sometimes I could fuck off and join my friends in partying, but I always snap back to reality to handle my shit first.
I’m the only black guy in my group of friends and there’s seldom a conversation at which this isn’t a central tenant. Some of them invite me over for family dinner – often I feel they’re doing it to show their family how tolerant they are! As though I am something to be tolerated. The school counselor calls me “brother” every time we meet – I don’t mind it, he’s Latino so I feel like it’s allowed.