To my son,
Only time will tell if this letter will be applicable. If my destiny sees fit, you will be created as a product of genetics, my love, and my dreams. It is at this time in my 21 years of being under these stars that I have chosen to reach out to you and share the lessons I have learned. Not doing so would be irresponsible on my part. Depending on the age that you begin to fully comprehend these words, you will realize that all the lessons I teach you presently and in this letter will be feeble if seen in a dark room. In addition, you will know that all lessons cannot be learned by spoken word. Rightfully so, you will challenge the limits of this societies so call standards. As your father, I will fear for your consequences, but, as my son, I trust you will lay gravel for your own dirt road of your standards of magnanimity. Even as I type this letter to you I find it very difficult to choose what to tell you and what you should find out on your own. I guess this is what parenthood really is.
While I write to a son that I have yet to create, I find pointless to give you the numbers to life’s everyday Sudoku puzzle. If our futures are meant to collide, I will gladly show you the strategy of filling in each box. That’s a guarantee. Instead, I will give you the clues to your daily crossword puzzle of manhood. Take heed to them but also recognize that as this letter, I am also not perfect.
With that being said, across 15 is simple. You will struggle. At this point in my life, I have come to the revelation that the distress I’ve endured have made the beautifully tattered man writing this letter. Only time will tell how far this tattered soul will get me but I have high hopes. The cliché that I have created in my time is -No Struggle. No Identity- meaning that when something you do becomes part of who you are, expect struggle. At the same time, do not seek struggle to validate your existence, but don’t stray from it either. As your father, I will shield you from all the agony targeted for you as long as I can. As time progresses, with the disapproval from my own psyche, I will remove the plastic from life’s couch and let you experience its stains and abundant opulence. Because you are my son and I am my father’s son and he a son of his father, you will be able to rid of the stains without ruining the material and handle the abundant opulence without getting stuck in its settling nature.
Speaking of lineage, you come from a long line of proud Brown men. The funny thing about pride is it can be the greatest advantage while also being your greatest disadvantage. Imagine a disease that gives you unlimited strength but kills you a little bit faster every time you use it. Pride has killed a lot of men. You will need to find the balance between the destructive pride and the advantageous pride.
Down 22 is a more difficult clue for me to give insight on because I have yet to figure out the word myself. Let love be your conscience. Try not to accede to hate and mistrust consuming you. As you grow intellectually, you will notice that certain things will be uncontrollable in your eyes. When the anger and lack of control are mixed in your heart, you get a martini of hate with olives made of despair. Then you will begin to stagger away from the ones who have invested love in you. Your speech of peace will begin to slur. Your memories of happiness will fade away. And one morning you will wake up from your intoxication with a lonesome induced hangover. Your father has been drunk many times but my 12 step program is in full effect.
I do not know if I should give you across 2. I could force upon you the lessons about who you are as a black man or let you learn these lessons painfully. You may ask why but as your life progresses, you will answer that same question. What I will say is do not be ashamed of who you are and what you came from. I cannot predict the obscure future of our people. Yes, our people. Treat them as such. The rest you will figure out on your own.
Lastly, down 44. A day will come when you learn that fiction is not true. Most people say that this knowledge is the first step into the “real world.” At first this pseudo-truth will hinder you and make your outlook on life mauve. This “real world” they speak of is a product of their despair created by the energy they used to stop chasing their dreams. You can live in a life of pure imagination, and as my favorite song quotes “There is no life I know that compares to pure imagination.” I say even the most fantastic things are true. Throughout this entire letter I have chosen not input my experiences and demand you of anything because I recognize that you will live your own life. Right now, I will not become victim to the fallacy that by telling you and that. Instead I say, mess up and learn. But, if I am to make one demand of you it is to not stop chasing your dreams for they are the only things keeping us away from the ground.
Your father, Bryant Brown