Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Damn Shani and her Tagging!

Four jobs I've had in my life:
1. intern at MTV
2. visual merchandiser at Banana Republic (is it wrong that I didn't know how to spell banana until that damn Gwen Stefani song?)
3. teacher/secretary at a dance studio
4. tutor

Four nicknames I've been given:
1. Lala or just La by my WHBC family
2. Babygirl by a couple boyfriends
3. Babe which is what John calls me
4. Wife by, well, the wife

Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. While you Were Sleeping (well just about anything Sandra Bullock but that tops the list)
2. Lethal Weapon 2 (my favorite in the series)
3. Crybaby (please don't tell anyone that)
4. Finding Nemo

Four places I have lived:
1. A-T-L-A-N-T-A-G-A thats where I stay!!!
2. New York
3. Washington DC
4. Technically Houston but boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Four TV Shows I love to watch:
1. Grey's Anatomy (I neeeeeeeed it back b/f Sept)
2. SportsCenter
3. The Boondocks
4. Law and Order SVU

Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Madrid
2. Paris
3. Florida
4. Gulf Shores, MI which, despite the country sound of its name is a really beautiful place

Four people I could not live without:
1. Joy
2. my stepdad
3. Shani
4. John

Four of my favorite foods:
1. authentic mexican
2. fetticini alfredo
3. Thai
4. chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream

Four folks who I have tagged:
1. Joy
2. Ana
3. John
4. Dom

Monday, May 22, 2006

I am a Single Woman

What she was really saying is that she admires herself for trusting in him. She went ahead and threw up her hands for that man, just like I threw up my hands for my career. And she's being courageous enough to let the pieces fall where they may, just like I was with my career in Hollywood. And here I am again, jumping full fledged into the fire with my ideas. But will I do the same for a man? No. Not even for him. So she admires me for having the courage to be who I'm going to be... I mean we're all different. And we all have to live with who we are and accept ourselves. I'm a single woman. I am a free woman. And I may not like it all the time but this is who I am...until further notice."


Boss Lady Omar Tyree

A Rose by Any Other Name...

I am the ex-fiance of my gay husband's brother.

Get it?

I'll give you a minute to connect the dots...

It's not as bad as it may sound. My ex-boyfriend (who I now call my husband, the Will to my Grace) had a friend (whom he called brother) whom I got in a relationship with as you may have read and planned to marry this December (obviously not happening anymore). My ex-boyfriend is now in a happy relationship with another guy (hence the gay husband part).

Maybe it is as bad as it sounds. But this isn't about you judging me. LOL

Technically speaking, this is all true. These are all correct titles. Some I am happy about, some I wish I'd never worn. But how important is it really? What's in a name? Do you think differently of me knowing that I planned to spend the rest of my life with my ex-boyfriends best friend? Was my year and a half long relationship with my ex and less meaningful because now he is with a man? Is our friendship more solid because he can call me his ex-girlfriend? Am I not the same woman I was before the details?

Really, fundamentally, the names are just lables, titles we put on things to be able to catagorize them, to understand them, to figure them out. They are just words. They are just titles.

Then why is the title so important to us?

Yall Don't Appreciate Nothing

You ever think you're over something, only to be confronted with the something again just to realize you weren't really over it in as much as you were able to put it outta your mind because you had some distance from it?

Anyone?

You ever looked around and realized the number of people in your life far outnumbered the amount of people who really made you feel appreciated for all the things you do for them and for having you in their life?

Just me?

And now to leave you with some words from Christina Milian's new album that has not left the current playlist on my MP3.



So tired of these disrespectful/so ungrateful/make me hateful/yall don't appreciate nothing/I played my part for you faithful and trusting/but yall really, yall really don't appreciate nothing/above me I placed you/like it was nothing/but yall really, yall really don't appreciate nothing/and I did it cuz I wanted to/cuz I wanted you happy/isn't that how loves supposed to be/ but now I'm so done I'm through/and I'll tell ya something/Yall niggas, yall niggas don't appreciate nothing

Part 2

His breath is in my hair. I am curled up in his lap, his arms wrapped tight around me. I'm resting my head in the curve that his shoulder makes where it meets his neck. I'm inhaling his light scent, and scratching my nails through his curly hair he grew out because I asked him to. His hands steady me, one on my ass, the other on my thigh tracing lazy circles. Beyond the window behind us, night has settled and for once his neighborhood is silent. For a moment we are the only two people in this world we've shaped for ourselves, and I like it. We're talking about the draft, flipping through a couple different ESPN channels and discussing what we think the draft picks will do for their teams during the upcoming football season. We are surprisingly eloquent despite the fact that we're both drunk. Very drunk.

It occurs to me for a second that when I allowed myself to think of the possibility of marriage, this is what I dreamed it would be. I never really thought about the wedding or the honeymoon. Those weren't really important to me. I always pictured coming home, throwing on one of his shirts over old cheerleading shorts and cooking, staying in bed on Sunday mornings to watch football or basketball all day, depending on the season. Most recently, it has been his t-shirts I've gotten into, his bed I stayed in Sunday mornings to watch ESPN. Sometimes in reality, other times only in my head.

He's talking, but I've missed most of it, lost in my own reverie. I turn quickly from my awkward position in his lap to see what he said. He catches my eye and I turn away swiftly, knowing I just did something I shouldn't have done. I moved too quickly, too instinctively, didn't take a moment to close the door on the things I've been keeping hidden down in the basement of my heart. He turns my head with his index finger and looks at me. I gasp a little because I realize he knows.

I bolt from the chair to the door, faster than I've ever moved in my life. I need to run so badly that my legs are itching. My hand is on the knob and turning when he puts his hands above me on the door, gently pushes it shut. I lean my forehead against the cool wood of the door, not realizing until right then that my skin is on fire and without even the benefit of a mirror I know I'm probably scarlet from head to toe. He puts his hand on my hips, applies pressure to turn me around. I fight. I don't want to turn around, I can't bare to look in his light eyes because if I do I'm afraid I won't be able to stop myself from saying the things I haven't been saying for months. I know I won't be able to keep my mouth closed, not because I'm drunk, but because I want to.

He pushes a little harder on my hip, the impatience and insistence of a child on Christmas morning. He leans into me, the length of his body pressed into my back. He rests his chin in the curve of my neck.
"Don't be scared."

On the inside I feel something fall down. I don't know how not to be scared.
He turns me and I open my mouth in hopes that somehow I can articulate this, that if I speak fast enough I can stop him from saying what I know he's about to say. Before I can barely part my mouth he puts his fingers to my lips.
"Shut up. Don't talk. I have something to say and I don't want you to say anything."

I look him square in the eye and I am a deer caught in headlights, rooted to this spot and unable to tear my eyes away from the impending crash.
"I love you. I love you and I know you love me. You don't have to say anything. I know. I feel it. I already know."
"Don't-" I try to counter and he cuts me off.
"Just shut up. I know better. And you better not lie to me."

He hugs me to his chest and for the smallest second I am still on the inside, as I am very, very rarely. Almost immediately I come back to myself, remember who I am, where I am, who I'm with, who we are.
"Ohmygoodness there's something in my eye," I stammer and reach for the door again. He grabs my hand in mid-air, wraps himself in a bearhug around me. I forget, because he is so gentle with me, just how strong he is. I wish I were stronger, emotionally that is, to fight his embrace harder. He sighs into my hair.
"Baby girl do you really think I'm gonna let you run away that easy?"

Jesus.
Why doesn't he know like I do that no good will come of this? Doesn't he see the glaring red flags, like gaping wounds across the fragile skin of this entire situation? Doesn't he know me? Doesn't he know it's in my nature to push, to run? To be alone? Isn't he scared as I am? Why does he tread so heavy through this minefield we've created for ourselves? Doesn't he know at any moment I'll blow up in his face?

I turn to him, my best poker face on, ready to go to war with him until what one of us feels for the other is slain. I will not lose a battle, I will not lose this war. I've lost too much already.

I look him square in his eyes. I hope he can't see my heart tremble through the facade I'm putting on. I stare him down, the way a hunter sizes up his prey and I hope I look more menacing than I feel.
"I don't love you," I state, my voice surprisingly steady despite the fact that there are a million little earthquakes going on inside me.
"Just shut up," and he dismisses me with a kiss. Strong arms on either side of me, torso leaned against me so my back is to the door. I have nowhere to run.
"Stop fighting. I already know. I already know." And with that he takes my hand and leads me towards his bed, each step taking me closer to salvation or starvation. I haven't decided which yet.

He lays me down softly, like if he's too harsh I might break, and that is probably not far from the truth. He kisses me. I try not to respond. He pulls away and looks at me, pierces me with his hazel eyes.

"Kiss. Me." He commands. I do but not with whole heart. He snatches his head back.
"No. Kiss me," and I try to think of something else, anything else to make the weight of this moment less heavy.

I have an important decision to make. I can kiss him, halfheartedly, eyes slightly open and heart safely in my chest and still leave this room with my dignity in tact...or I can kiss him, eyes closed and vulnerable, with my whole heart, and let the tears forming in my eyes confirm all the things he claims to know. I know my desire. I know his desire. And I fear the weight of it might crush us both.

I try to think. Think of times he made me angry, times I suspected he lied, times I felt I couldn't trust him, any kind of distraction from his cloying sent smothering me. I'm everywhere and nowhere but here.
"Look at me. Kiss. Me."

The muscles in my thighs flip him, heavy thick ropes of muscle built, ironically enough from running and I straddle his torso, my own power move, my own not so subtle way of taking back the power I'm quickly losing. I lean down to kiss him, distract him physically from the emotional intimacy I fear and I choke on my breath. He puts his hands in my hair and he makes me look at him. It hits me.

My god.
He's telling the truth.

The fight leaves me. I am no longer a soldier in this war we've fought for the better part of a year. I am just a woman, soft around the edges, and stripped down bare. Exposed for the fraud that I truly am.
"Kiss. Me." And I do because this time I realize I had no choice from the begininng. He knew. Probably always did. When I thought I was being coy, aloof, distant, he read me with the ease of a Dr. Suess book. I feel foolish. I can't believe how ignorant I've been.
"Why?" I ask, my formitive years stripped down to the vulnerability of a child. "Why do you love me?"
"Lemme show you." And he does. He kisses me, and for the first time in many kisses, I close my eyes completely, giving into the feeling and it feels like someone has set fire to the bed. I'm burning, melting, shaping into the real person he knows me to be under the careful sculpting of his hands. It's like a song the way we move, each chord perfectly orchestrated to produce the right harmony, each touch a note he plays and I sing, not a measure of discord or chaos. Symphonic. Perfectly composed music, a song I've never heard before but we've played a million times.

After he falls asleep, my head on his chest, his arm cradling my head, our legs intertwined, I push myself onto my elbows and watch him sleep. I'm like a child, curious, watching something I feel like I'm not supposed to see. I study him, the lines in his face, the faint smile of his lips, the exact color composition of his skin. I reach up and scratch through his curly brown hair that he grew out just because I absentmindedly mentioned that I liked to play in it. He listens.

"I dunno what you want from me," I whisper. "And I dunno how this is gonna make our situation any easier. I mean why would you say that?" I stop myself short of any more questioning. At least one of us is brave enough to speak truth into the universe.
"I love you back," I say as I kiss his forhead, his eyelids, his lips and then snatch myself quickly away from him. I curl myself into a ball, the intense drug of the last couple hours wearing off, completely sober now. I hope that I've pulled far away enough, wrapped myself up tight enough that he won't hear me cry.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Just a Note

I did finally graduate despite the bullshit!! Yay!!!!! In the meantime, I will finally go back and post the tons of blogs that I've been writing on my trusty sidekick on the go that I haven't had time to post. Just to get a few things clear...

*I did graduate despite my teacher fucking with me and it took exactly what I said; I had to go show my ass. And it worked.

*Thank you very much for your compliments on Part 1. I will be posting Part 2 soon and there will be some more parts to follow. Yes it is a true story. No I will not tell you more details. LOL

*Here are some more links that you should visit...

John

Dom

Ana

Chris

That's all.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

When Does Almost Count?

Sister: It shouldn't be this hard.
Me: I know. How do I keep getting myself into these almost relationships? And why don't I leave?
Sister: haha almost relationships. I like that.
Me: I like the phrase. Notsomuch the situation

So there's this guy. (Isn't there always?) He and I started getting close last summer after one too many 6,7,8 hour phone conversations well into the wee hours of the morning. There was an attraction there, but there were strings; he had a girl and I wanted to marry another man. But he was there. Available. Patient. Funny. Intelligent. Ambitious. Loves sports. All the combinations of things that are an aphrodisiac to me. But the damn strings. So to not risk getting tangled up, a few months into our _____ we decided, mutually away from each other, that we would avoid each other. It lasted all of a week. He called. late. I answered. Eager. I had butterflies. And I still do every time he calls. That night we talked well into the morning. And have many, many nights since.

Here's the thing; we're not together. Never have been. Up until recently never even entertained the possibility. When we first met he was with someone and I had no intentions of ruining the wonderful thing I had going at the time. Fastforward almost a year. Things have changed. Mostly initiated by him. What started out as just friends has quickly turned into feelings...on his part and mine. Things I never expected.

I talked to Joy about it, about the uncertainty, about treading the deep waters of the things we've yet to discuss. She tells me that I should talk to him. I talked to Dominique and he says the same; TALK to him about it. You won't know until you ask. The 'what ifs' will kill you. They're right of course. But here's the thing: I've done this already. Yes, he has really put himself out there, more than any man I've ever known. But I've done the whole let-yourself-go-be-open-and-vulnerable and it didn't end up so well. I did it with John; I got fucked over. I said after that I was done with it. Then I met Rob and I decided to try again. What happened? I got fucked over. I mean I don't know how much one person can be expected to take. Do you keep trying, keep being open even when you keep getting fucked over?

But that's not really the point of this post. These "almost" relationships I keep finding myself in... do they count? Why do I keep doing this to me? Is an almost relationship even worth trying to turn into a real relationship? Yes, things are good with us, yes there's chemistry, yes we compliment each other and have at least 20 million things in common. But is it enough?

When does almost start to count?

Monday, May 1, 2006

Gradu- Wait What the FUCK did you Just Say to Me?!?!

Ahh graduation. That time of year when your head is wound so tight that it seem as though it might LITERALLY explode, your patience is impossibly short, you're arguing for grades that you know you deserve and you've fought with at LEAST 6 professors.

In public.
And VERY loudly.

Just me huh?

Sigh. Shit really shouldn't be this hard. I'm not a bad student. Until I became so disgusted with my department that just the sight of the building makes me queasy, I attended class at reasonable intervals. And I definitely do my work. I stay out of people's way, try not to be that one student in class that you know as a professor that you will have an issue out of. I think I'm fairly easy to get along with. If I get an F that I deserve (which I have done in my college career) I take it without a fight, try to maintain some type of dignity if that's possible when you fail and keep it moving because, well, I deserved it. But what I don't understand is this: what is it about the phrase "I'm a graduating senior" that suddenly turns every professor into an asshole with nothing better to do than hold the control they have over your graduation over your head?

I don't do well with people exploiting their power just because they feel they can and it makes them feel big or important. I especially have an issue with it when it has to deal with something I've worked my ass off for. Does threatening my graduation status make you feel as though you have somehow gained back a little bit of control that you've lost to your students, your faculty, the administration? That's fine. However please understand that this is going to cause me to do everything in my power to make you realize that you are not big or important. My track record is great. I've not lost a battle yet. So it's best that you keep your powertrips isolated to students with not quite so much fight in them.

What is that you say? I have an attitude problem? Why yes sir you're right, I have both an attitude and a problem. An attitude because you're fucking with me and I'm tired of being fucking nice to fucking assholes because it is the "adult" or fucking "politically correct" thing to fucking do in this situation. I have a problem becuase YOU ARE FUCKING ME ME UNFUCKINGNECCESSARILY. I liked me much better my freshmen year when I cursed first and then cursed more later because goddammit I got RESULTS. And now all of a sudden I try this nice, adult shit everyone keeps telling me I should adopt and what do I get? YOU fucking with ME.

I've never heard of anyone, not ONE person in history that got anywhere by being NICE, by being "adult" or politically correct or sweet about things. No one. NONE. And if there is someone that reached great heights by being all sweet and soft spoken rather than kicking down doors and kicking in windows if necessary, I GUARANTEE you they didn't go to Howard.

So no more nice. Let us revert if we will. I will go back to the ghetto, fast talking, potty mouthed, scathing girl from Atlanta I was freshman year, even if only temporarily, and I hope for the sake of your feelings that my sister is somewhere in the natural vicinity to calm me down before I make you cry. You will turn into the helpful, patient, kind professor you presented yourself as being at the start of the semester and you WILL stop fucking with me. Also, I will graduate. If for no other reason than when I leave your office you will be scared to have me in your class for another year.

To the Howard University administration, I am over your power trips. It is not my fault that you didn't finish school. But I WILL. And the experience will be that much better if I can make a few grown ass people cry along the way.

So please, PLEASE give me a reason to be the ghetto ass girl from Decatur that I was when I got to Howard. I'm dying for it, itching to hurt someone's feelings. Because maybe the next time you decide to fuck with a student that seems like an easy target because she has tried to be reasonable and "adult" with you, you will think of me and think better of your decision. Get a fucking hobby.

Part 1

It's raining. Hard. This proves to be an all around fail, as I'm wearing a wife beater and flip flops. I pace impatiently at the entrance, trying to look out but not wanting to get wet. I take out my little pink phone, press and hold '2' and connect with my best friend. She tells me about our friend who's going through a breakup right now and I swear I'm listening. Then the car pulls up and the inside of my mouth turns to cotton. My heart starts beating faster and I feel the heat of a flush creeping up the back of my neck and around to my face. Butterflies. That's what I feel. After all this time, still butterflies.

I run for the door and jump in. TI is blaring loudly from the speakers, the song about keeping in touch with a girl you once loved after she's gone. It seems almost absurdly appropriate. I struggle to continue my phone conversation but I'm accutely aware of him, as I always am in his prescence. I smell his cologne. Burberry. It hangs heavy in the air and I try not to admit to myself that I've grown so accustomed to the smell that I can identify it in a crowded room. At the next light he turns my head towards him.
"Hey mami," he says and he kisses me. He tastes like the mint mouthwash that is sitting on the back of the toilet at his place and the cherry chapstick he wears. He's familiar. After he pulls away when the light changes, I lick my lips and try to commit the taste to memory. I know that I should.

We get to his place and he takes my things from me, places them on the floor by the bed. He takes the sides of my face in my hands and looks and me a long time before he kisses me. His lips taste of mint and sincerty.
"I missed you."

I smile, hoping that if I stay mute I will leave behind no words in this room that I will wish I'd taken with me later. I tell him that I want to shower because I've been climbing ladders and hanging lights all day. I'm dusty and sweaty and now wet and clammy from the rain. I don't tell him that a shower is my excuse to get away from him before my heart spills out of my mouth and onto the floor.

As I take off my clothes, he goes to run my water for me, as he always does, and I smile at the vague familiarity of an almost routine. It's almost like...well, almost. He comes back in and throws me a towel after discreetly checking to see if its clean. "Cute," I say, "you're such a bachelor. Nothing gets past me you know."
"Yeah that's what I'm afraid of."

I ignore the implications hiding just below the surface of his remark and go climb in the shower. It's hot, not too hot, just hot enough to turn my skin red. Just like I like it. I smile again. Maybe I've taken a few showers over here.


After a minute the door opens and he steps in, just like I knew he would. I watch him through the sheer curtain. I will myself not to react outwardly. Maybe I don't, but on the inside I'm a mess. I watch his movements, steady, slow, the deliberate movements of a very confident and disciplined man. I'm in awe of him, physically, yes, but also because of who I know what lies beneath the skin. I watch him and try to steal it all to the file folders of my mind, his light eyes and easy smile, the set of his jaw, the width of his shoulders. Even as I close my eyes and wet my hair underneath the shower head I can see him still in my head, his well defined arms, the dips and curves of the muscles in his stomach accented by the mole just below his chest, a little to the side, the broad spread of the muscles in his thighs. I know him. Everything about him and yet still not enough. He turns and leaves the bathroom and it is not until that very moment that I realize I've been holding my breath.

When I'm and, slide back the curtain, he is standing there watching me as he's done countless times before. He's slipped into my space so silently, so effortlessly, I didn't even realize he was there.

"I figured I'd better shower too. Can't have you all Dove fresh and I'm not." I don't know if it was a lucky guess or if he really knows I use Dove soap and wanted to let me know he studies me as I do him. He does little things like this that I pretend not to notice on occassion. Internally I beg myself to not overthink, for once.

"You should have gotten in with me."
"I was going to but you know how showers are with us," and I do. For a moment I'm back to the last time we were in this bathroom, in this shower. Instead I focus on the cadence in his voice. I try to mentally record it so I can take that with me, too.

As he steps in, I leave the bathroom and go to dry off. Before I know what I'm doing, impulsively I walk back towards the bathroom, drop my towel at the door and get in the shower with him.
"Two showers never hurt anyone," and we laugh because this conversation has been had before, more than once.

I wash his back, studying the details of sinew and skin and while I am lost in the rivets of water raining down his skin, I chastise myself for not leaving. Tonight, last month, months ago. But I never do. We talk while I wash his skin, he asks me about my day and we laugh as I tell him stories about the crazy people I've dealt with all day and he tells me about a white boy beating his ass on the basketball court. At some point under the stream of water he kisses me, slippery hands on the small of my back, pressing me into his chest. I hope I'm resisting but somehow I know I'm not.

We go in the bedroom and dress, easy jokes tossed back and forth across the distance between us. We crawl into bed after he turns on a movie, and I stay far away from him, not so much to give him pause but just enough so that I don't have to touch him. I'm afraid of what might happen if I do.
"Come here," he commands me in an almost whisper and uses his big arm to scoop me up under him. I shiver somewhere from inside. He runs his hands up and down the length of my side, stopping to play in my hair.
"I like the new hair by the way."

We don't watch much of the movie because we talk too much. Easy flowing conversation, words languidly shaping a comfort zone I know we have and hate to admit to. Somewhere in the darkness, his lips find mine. He kisses me to the rhythm of the rain hitting his window.
Lyrical; his kisses are like music.

I close my eyes and let him kiss me, return his kiss and hope he hears what I'm trying to say. He pulls back for a moment, the sides of my face once again home in his hands, and he looks me dead in the eyes. Not blinking, barely breathing, absolutely quiet. He looks at me as though he's trying to say something.
I hear him.

He pushes my hair out of my eyes and kisses my forehead. Strokes my cheek with his thumb and keeps looking at me. Into me. Through me. I'm so invisible, so transparent. I feel it. Finally, he kisses me again, this time not playfully, dead serious, a timid, slow kiss that is so unlike this deliberate, decisive man I've come to know. This kiss is different. Feels different, tastes different, moves different. Something inside me shifts. I exhale and give in to the feeling. I lose myself in his touch.

Hours later I'm naked and on my stomach, sweat pooling in the slope of my spine. He is on his back, head turned towards me. He's looking at me as I study him and I think it might be the first time we've truly let ourselves been seen. In that moment, I know. The butterflies feel more like boulders now.
"Baby," he murmurs to me, "you gotta move to your side of the bed." I smile in the darkness. I have a side of the bed.

He sets the alarm for me because I have to go to work in the morning. I try once again to lay away from him, back to him, feigning distance and indifference. He finds me in the darkness, pulling me to him, and I'm so aware of the feel of his skin against mine that I think my skin might burn where he's touched me. Somehow we find ourselves entangled, legs and arms intertwined in the way we've grown accustomed to when we sleep. I close my eyes and my other senses heighten. I feel his breath on my neck, smell his scent in my skin. Our breathing falls in line and I try to remember it all, cement it all to memory because I know a day will come soon when that is all I'll have of him. As the last snatches of consciousness give way to sleep, I think to myself that if there's any mercy in the world, by the time sunlight comes I will have forgotten all of this, all of him and I will go back to how it was before the look in his eyes told me everything I needed to know. I heard him loud and clear. And now I wish my heart were deaf.