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Bernard B.

Dennis Brotzky
October 29th, 2015 · 4 min read
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What do you do for work?

I’m a globetrotter. I fly around the world and assist people to get to where they’re going. I’m a flight attendant.

Who were some of your icons growing up?

John Lennon, Bob Marley, Martin Luther King Jr., Gahndi, Mother Teresa, my father, my mother…

Do you think you fit in?

I never felt like I fit in. I felt like I was a great actor—an amazing actor. I could totally play the part of fitting in, but my mind was never with my body. Whenever I was present, I was just going through the motions. My mind was always somewhere else. I always felt alone.

What skills did you learn from that?

I understood how to move and shake about the world, and go unseen. Kind of like wearing camoflauge. I just felt like no one ever “got me”. It was like I was the only one of my kind, or crazy, or as if I didn’t even exist. This façade I was portraying of Bernard might not even be real, like being a ghost.

You travel a lot. Where else do you want to go?

I’ll name a place I haven’t been. Africa. It’s part of my heritage and there’re parts of me that feel lost, and I want to know more about that. I want to experience the villages. I want to find people that look like me, and learn about my heritage seeing as I’m an African-American male. I want to experience in real life the things I’ve either read or heard about. I’m a seeker.

Music, books, movies, or TV?

Movies. I love movies. They remind me of my early life—pretending to be something. In movies I learned how to adapt. There are a plethora of different personalities in movies. If you see one you like, study it! Present it! We learn social skills really well from movies if you can retain what you’re watching.

Did you identify with other black people as a kid?

I still feel alienated from black people. I lived in the country, and there’s a lot of closed-mindedness there. I was blessed with two open-minded parents. My dad’s a little closed on some things but he’s grown to become a lot more open.

Did you ever want to be white growing up?

Never. It’s funny you say that actually. When I learned how to pray when I was very young, I used to thank god everyday for making me dark. Even through all the racism—through everything. I understood that there was something amazing about it. Why would you want to surpress something unless it was great?! That would be the only reason. That’s how I felt. You see it happening everyday.

How would you describe your worldview in 3 words or less?

The world’s perfect.

Favorite historical or fictional character?

Martin Luther King Jr. He inspired me ever since I first learned about him. I wanted to do what he did. I want to bring people together. I have this memory from school. No one ever told me to do this, but I memorized his entire I Have a Dream speech. One year I was in homeroom class and it was MLK’s birthday, and these white kids were giving these ignorant responses like, “I don’t care”, or “He didn’t do anything for me.” One kid even said, “Fuck this day!” I went up to my teacher—Mr. Bradley—and I said, “I know this is going to sound weird, but I actually know the entire I Have a Dream speech and I’d like to do a piece of it for the class.” You have to keep in mind, I was a quiet kid in school. He was shocked, but all for it. So I stood up in front of the class—totally out of character. Everyone’s chattering because it’s homeroom, and you’re just waiting for the bell to ring. Then I begin, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up..” and I went on for a good five minutes. But I remember when the bell finally rang the whole class just stayed there. They didn’t leave, so I kept going. When I finally stopped the class gave me a standing ovation, even from the kids who were talking shit about his holiday! I thought, “Yes! Change!” It was the greatest feeling I’ve had in my life. That was the day that I realized that I can do this—that I’m great too. It was a real turning point for me.

Black or African-American?

Bernard.

What were you like in middle school?

Very quiet and very serious. People would ask me if I was mad and I’d tell them that I wasn’t, I was just focused. But at the same time I liked to clown around with my friends. Always joking and flirting with girls. But most of the time I was pretty reserved. I didn’t care enough about doing the ‘school thing’. I knew it was all fake so I was focused on what I wanted to achieve and didn’t let things distract me from it.

Is America the greatest country?

I go back and forth on this a lot. It’s funny that liberal America sees countries like Norway or Sweeden as being the ideal—where you never have to work on the weekend, and go to school for free. Those things are great. But no one has any ideas over there. The thing I love about America is that if you have an idea, you can make it happen. There are opportunities for you here. And if all the other countries are coming here, this must be the greatest place!

Would you ever have described yourself as angry?

Never. I was never angry. It was worse actually. I was disappointed. It was past being angry, I didn’t have anything left to do or anywhere to go from there.

How would you describe your spiritual orientation?

Pro-love. Always seeking.

What do you try to do everyday to keep yourself sane?

Love unconditionally. When I’m angry, upset, disturbed, unlevel or unbalanced, I do something loving. And it always makes me feel better. It’s a duty and an opportunity that you can seek if you want change. If you want misery, you’ll seek to make the world miserable. You want to be sad? You’ll create sadness. I try to understand that what little control I do have is over my emotions. You can always split the river and go a different direction.

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