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picket fences

when i was a little girl, my friends and i used to play “house” (not nate dog’s version. RIP), “wedding” (in which some little boy would begrudgingly walk down the sidewalk aisle and have his friends laugh at him only because he liked you — not much changes with that when they reach adulthood, eh? lol), “kitchen” and all those other games that socialize little girls to want to grow up, get married and be a good stepford wife.

only thing is, i never saw myself married, even as a young girl. it was just fun to see if i could really get a grubby little boy who clearly wanted to be anywhereelsebutthere, to stay still long enough to mimic the tired-from-work husband who came home to a dinner of mud pies, rock potatoes, plastic chicken, and grass salad, ready to eat.

as i got older, this really didn’t change. even when i started having crushes and daydreaming about some “knuckle-headed little n*gga” as my dad so nicely referred to them, i still didn’t see being married as something that i’d ever be okay with. they say every little girl/teenaged girl/woman dreams about her wedding, and this might be true, because i could definitely see some fabulous beach wedding with lightweight white fabric blowing in the wind as i walked towards some faceless man, but the actual marriage? i would nearly break out in hives at the thought of being someone’s wife.

i always dreamed of traveling the world with some handsome man that would also be my bestfriend. i dreamed of adopting two (twin) little boys. things one would associate with marriage, but never actually being married. lol

“forever never seems that long until you’re grown…” sorry andre, but i realized that at age 14. forever is a very long time.

funny thing is, i’ve spent most of my dating years in (long) serious relationships, and i actually think i’d be a pretty awesome wife. still, each time a boyfriend would start talking about baby bumps, forever, and what city we should live in to raise our kids in a serious manner, i’d panic. heart and thoughts would race, and before i knew it i was subtly and subconsciously self-sabotaging (that alliteration was not on purpose. lol). eventually, we’d break up. and while there are myriad reasons why the relationships didn’t work out, i can’t discard the probability that my “freak out” had a small (or big, depending) part in each one, eventually. i’ve heard it all: i’m not open enough to truly Love someone, i can’t accept a good thing (let me just say that the whole “good” part is VERY debatable though), i’m scared to lose, scared to fail … etc.

which brings me to present day. a couple months ago, i was watching some reality show about this married couple and i found myself smiling and admiring how happy they were. even when they argued, i appreciated the way in which they did so, the way in which he genuinely wanted to work out whatever was wrong. it was sweet.

in that moment i dared to look to the future and picture myself married. i did, and i didn’t panic. there was absolutely no fear. i must say, i was proud of myself. lol.

one of my favorite books ever is Raising Fences: A Black Man’s Love Story, by Michael Datcher. a memoir written like fiction, it bounces back and forth from his childhood to adulthood, slowly (and poetically) piecing together the journey he took in overcoming his psychological barriers to reach the point of being able to accept that he could indeed have the white picket fence and beautiful wife he’d always dreamed of, but never thought possible. (great book. read it, love it, and then tell me what you thought of it if you do.)

i’ve been a little of the opposite. i’ve always thought it possible, and maybe even unavoidable, but never had rosy dreams of cooking, cleaning and saying “hello dear” everyday for the rest of my life.

so while i know that any man whom is actually brave enough to marry me will be in for a adventure of a lifetime challenge (a [mostly] pleasant and exciting challenge, but a challenge nonetheless), i can now say i can look and see a picket fence in my future, and not break out in hives. and that, ladies and gentlemen, is progress.

Sliding Doors: Part XI

I know, I know. One. Whole. Year. has passed without an update. It wasn’t without reason. I’ve been writing. Working on a story that I love and am actually happy to submit to be my first published work. Yay. Because Sliding Doors is so different from said story, it has been hard to jump back and forth. But alas, I have arrived at the end of that story and am able to focus a little more on SD. So, here it bees. I don’t know how long this series will be. I have a few more chapters in my head that I feel may complete the story. We shall see.

anyhoo. Sharing is caring and comments are always welcomed. Hope you enjoy!

January 2011

It was hardest at night.

When the moon took over the sky, she couldn’t cope. Not with Nathaniel’s arms cocooned around her, his sweet Altoid breath browsing her skin with each exhalation.

She just couldn’t cope.

Dishonesty had a way of eating at your interior, deteriorating your soul until there was nothing left of you but Empty. These lies on top of lies on top of … more lies, had simply hollowed her. This guilt was digging a grand canyon day by day. She hated regret, hated the missteps that happened when she chose want over gut.

“You awake?” Nate’s groggy voice filtered into her ear through the thick beige comforter pulled tightly over it. His body on the outside, tightly formed to hers. No matter what the weather, he hated sleeping under the covers.

“Yes.”

He shifted, leaned his concerned forehead to her cheek. “Something wrong?”

“No.” Attempts at full sentences failed, wetness gathering anytime she’d tried to have a real conversation with him in the last week.

She was depleted of all will. A well of emptiness about to run over.

Each time her cell rang, she nearly jumped. Anticipating the inevitable call from Nigel had her almost shaking, worry chasing through her veins like a bitter shot of whiskey. She didn’t know if she should be more concerned that he hadn’t called, or that he would. That she’d had to leave a message so impersonal, so desperate, on his voice mail, left her fighting tears and the urge to spill all to Nate, just to spite Nigel. (more…)

too much, too soon?

it is said that history has a way of repeating itself.

i suppose that’s why we study patterns of weather and society and behavior and illness and just about anything, to put provisions in place to avoid or insure outcomes of the past.

but, is this always true with people? does history always repeat itself?

i found myself wondering this the other day on a phone call with a friend. she’s met a great guy. i mean, a great guy. they’re still in the new phase, finding out each other’s quirks, personalities, and personal histories that led them to each other.

but what is too much too soon? how do you determine what secrets/regrets/mistakes from your past to share, and which to hold close to your vest? this is the decision she was faced with when he got serious the other day and told her he had to ask her three very important questions. they all started with “have you ever…” and ended with some unsavory act or circumstance.

“he must have googled me or something! can you even pull that information up?” she had panicked, knowing her history and that the answer to each of his three important questions was a very complicated “yes.”

what if he decided he no longer wanted to know her after hearing her truths? and was he even entitled after only a few weeks to know these specifics?

in the end, she was honest without being too forthcoming. light, simple answers that answered his questions while not scaring him away before getting a complete picture of her awesomeness as it is now. thing is, i believe that as adults, we’ve all done things in our past that won’t be remembered as shining moments in our lives.

but i also believe in growth. if we all were to be punished at thirty for the stupid things we did at twenty in relationships, we’d all have a tougher time getting and keeping a boo. lol

i also think some things just aren’t anyone’s business. “have you ever killed anyone?” fair question. but asking very personal specifics of someone’s life and past relationships that have nothing to do with you and them currently, is a little unfair. as we all age and hopefully mature, the idea is to learn from past mistakes and experiences so we don’t walk into them blindly again. but assessing someone as they are today (within logical limitations. i mean, i wouldn’t date a serial killer) is a much better way to determine if they are worthy and compatible, in my opinion. now, once the relationship is serious and there is a potential for life-longness, then sure, share away.

people grow and change. people evolve. sometimes, what happened in the past is no one’s business but your own. and other times it’s all about determining what that person deserves to know.

so, what is the appropriate time to disclose a potential “deal breaker” from your past?

Boomerang

Boomerang.

i only considered it a myth on the mouths of lonely women

longing for a time when hints of jasmine rose like smoke between their thighs,

and men had reason to worry of their departure.

“they always come back” they said, eyes twinkling with redemption songs.

Boomerang

i laughed, nodded in agreement with a lying nod.

and now.

thrown, cast, leapt, jumped, dumped, disappeared– out into the wild

no matter the exit strategy, they’ve started to come back from their landings,

from world travels, from swollen wombs of wives, longing arms of girlfriends,

from business ventures gone wrong, and gone wealth.

debunking my theory of myths

–my inboxes a disjointed script of Ghosts of Hims Past.

“i’ll fly you,” they say. “do you miss me?” they ask. “just lunch?” they bargain.

ulterior motives dripping like drool from hungry wolf fangs.

my head shakes, heart long turned away.

forgotten boomerangs

a strange phenomenon.

no thank you, sirs.

no thank you.

Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer

the evening breeze in New York City has started to carry more of a nip, a subtle but distinct reminder that fall will shortly cover the streets with its colors and take over wardrobes; replacing rompers and gladiator sandals with skinny jeans and tall leather boots, tank tops and free-flying afros with smartly layered sweaters and protective styles.

this summer was surely supposed to be THEE summer. after all the positives and “just wait ’til summer”s thrown around, i was to be in for the treat that was three hot months spent in The City.

and, it mostly was.

NYC sun seems to be more intense, more concentrated than Michigan’s, to my great pleasure. my tan reached deep in the hues and settled at a nice hershey’s bar color. i became more of a New Yorker than i ever thought possible, not batting an eye at topless women strolling across parks, ignoring the arguing couple next door that is the epitome of Hood Love, dropping a dollar into the upturned hats of those that entertained my daily subway ride without even having to look up from the novel that became so innate to carry.

i laid out on blankets along Riverside park and carved dreams into plans while tracing fingers lazily along a surprisingly soft bald head. i discovered talent on talent on talent when cruising through an independent film festival, and bought countless pairs of earrings and necklaces from bargaining street vendors lining 125th. i learned to navigate my way through the city by train, on feet, and on rollerblades, adding a little shape to the bump below my waist in the process.

i experienced more flurries of kisses to nose, to forehead, to lips, than i have ever in life. i attended barbecues and cookouts sponsored by greeks and ivy leaguers and married folks, and friends of friends, and met so many dope people in the process.

i celebrated in the Domican Republic the completion of one year with the person that’s made my time in New York infinitely more memorable. i made so many new friendships and strengthened existing ones (*blows kisses to Latoya, Diana, Mika, Marilyn*). i danced, i laughed, i downed my first shot to a round of cheers.

mostly, it was a good summer. one though, that hasn’t been filled with as many accomplishments as i had planned. i scrapped an entire 200 pages of a book i’ve been working on since moving to NYC was only a desire in the back of my thoughts. i wrote so many short stories that will never see the light of publish. i started three projects with a burst of enthusiasm, and halted them with quick deflation.

twas not all in vain though. i did find a new fairy careermother that i am confident will have my name on some binder enclosing the 300 pages of my blood, sweat, and many tears. i wrote five solid short stories that managed to make it through my impossible self-scrutiny to submit to literary magazines. i embarked on a project with three of the sexiest pens in blogland that i am sure will be one of my best decisions this year.

this month also marks my one year anniversary of actually residing in this big dirty apple. i’ve discovered a lot about myself during this time. i’ve discovered i’m not nearly as money-driven as my educated and upwardly mobile peers seem to be. i’ve realized that being naturally good at things has rendered me unaccustomed to working hard, or working at all really, for anything, and had become a severe handicap that has just recently started to be less plaguing as i finally find myself able to climb over its debilitating hold. i discovered that i am comfortable being out at concerts, at parties, at cookouts … but i am more comfortable being in; behind a book, behind a desk, behind a computer screen, in front of words, in front of friends, in museums, in lounges with a familiar faces. in the city with eight million new faces, i discovered my introvert.

i discovered that writing is not nearly as easy when you have to do it, though necessary and worth it if you want to do it.

i’ve learned that i am able to adapt, to grow, to make a home wherever i may go. i’ve discovered the truth in the phrase “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.”

Toxic

toxic.

that’s the one word that continuously inhabits my mind when around a certain friend. a friend i’ve had since double dutch contests and pressed out ponytails with colorful ball barrettes. one whom i Love like a sister. they type of friend you just know will be in your wedding and present for any significant life happening, as she always has.

toxic, though.

i pride myself on being a positive, happy person. it doesn’t take long to make me extremely mad (i’m working on it… lol) but it takes half as long until i’m completely over it, and ready to go about life. i can’t live with distress.

that’s why it’s hard for me to grasp the idea of being a perpetually angry, unhappy person. someone who can find a reason to be disgruntled with something or someone every.single.day.

my coworker gets on their last damn nerves. why is this coffee this hot? you picked a stupid day to do this event. this child needs to shut the hayle up next door or it’s going to be a problem. my mama is calling too much, what does she want? i don’t even know why she’s dating that fool with his tall ass. my man is about to get cursed out, just wait ’til i see that negro. and don’t even get me started on my sister…

it’s got to be exhausting. it just has to be.

it’s like no matter the sunshine, they will find the one cloud that might erupt with rain in three days and complain about it ruining their future plans. i don’t quite understand why some people love misery, but i do know that misery loves company, and i do know it’s challenging to be the unwilling but designated company of someone’s misery time and again.

what to do about those kind of people in your life? i’m on a mission to find them a reason to smile.

And Seven Posts Later…

i don’t quite remember when blogging became impersonal for me.

i just know that at one point, i freely used my www space to express myself the best way i know how —through my words– uninhibited, with no mind paid to anyone’s opinion on what i chose to say. to me, it felt like home. an intimate space i could fill with my woes or my joys or to simply relieve times of boredom.

a natural Aquarian, i’ve been told time and again that i possess a sort of ‘distant intimacy’. people feel as though they know you, but not quite. this is never purposely perpetuated but i know what is meant when they say it. that’s why i always appreciated blogging. i shared myself to a degree, but still kept a lot of myself off the screen. it felt liberating to have a space where i could speak without being interrupted, drop ambiguous details without being probed with questions, and interact with people at my discretion.

written words have long been my best form of communication. though my tongue is somewhat catching up with the eloquence my pen holds, i still prefer to write my thoughts rather than speak them.

this affinity for written language has caused me a lot of grief over the years. from my mother finding a very private journal in high school, to my then boyfriend finding a similar one in college. when an incident like that happens, it complicates your relationship with the pen and pad, with your willingness to express. it was like an intruder had broken in and stolen the only proof i had that i could actually shift through my always conflicting feelings and construe them into something that made sense to me.

i received a text message a couple weeks ago that read something like “didn’t know you had a blog. it’s dope! spent the whole night reading.”

i should’ve taken this as a compliment. it’s always nice to know someone enjoys my writing. this person though, (along with a few other people who have expressed similar sentiment), is too close for comfort. my space has once again been invaded. my journaling cut short by an unintentionally stifling head over my shoulder waiting to see what i have to say.

that said, i know it appears that i’m failing fantastically at the #30in30 challenge. i am not. today i was alarmed to discover that currently, i have 7 completed drafts of posts that felt great flowing from mind to fingertips, but stopped just short of being published.

because sometimes what i want to blog, i don’t want people to read.

“…Write about that.”

“Wife. Wife. Hey wife!”

I’ve never walked down any aisle and said “I do” to anyone, so it took me quite a few moments to realize that the bald, midnight-hued man on the other side of the twelve-foot fence was calling out to me.

My glasses comfortably lounging on the coffee table in my living room, I struggled to inspect his features while trying to not give away my obvious lack of 20/20. A few seconds and squints later, it was clear that the man awaiting his turn on the court was not someone I knew playing a joke as I’d thought, but a nearly complete stranger. (more…)