2022. the year in fear…

Carvell Wallace
3 min readJan 1, 2023

I was afraid that I would be killed, that no matter where I went, or what I became, that they would find some way to kill me. I have always been afraid of that. I was afraid of who I would abandon if that happened.

I was afraid that my children would not make it in this world without me, or with me, that the world means to harm them and that I haven’t given them everything they need in order to remain unharmed. I was afraid that I have given them everything they need to remain unharmed and that they will still be harmed because I am not able to keep them from harm. I am afraid that the world I have left for my children has no space for them to be safe. It did not have a lot of space for me to be safe, but I’m afraid that I didn’t do enough to change or fix that for them.

I was afraid of the future because I was afraid of the past. I remember Bob Marley saying “every time I hear the crack of whip my blood runs cold. I remember on the slacve ship how they brutalized our very soul” I remember hearing that lyric when I had been Black in America for seventeen years and thinking “that’s ridiculous, Bob, you were born in 1945.” But after being Black in America for forty-eight years I hear that lyric and think “Wow Bob, I feel precisely the same way.” I am afraid of what this place does to our very soul. How it makes us have to fight and bleed in order to love and care.

I was afraid of the violence of hoarding and what is left behind, what becomes of us when we live in a place where this is healthcare housing and food, but we don’t get to have healthcare housing and food. If you understand anything about being a human being, and you can let yourself, just for a minute, believe that everyone here — every single person here — is a human being, then you will have to think long and hard to find anything as horrifying as showing a human everything they need to survive and then telling them they cannot have it.

I was afraid of people I loved, afraid that they would not love me back, or love me incorrectly or hurtfully. I was afraid they would love something that was not me at all but rather a reflection of me, a shimmering specter of me, that they would love not me but the reflection of them that I carried in my eye. I was afraid they would hate that reflection too.

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Carvell Wallace

This is where I experiment. This is where I learn to write.