Monday, June 26, 2006

Part 7

I always knew that there would be 7 parts. Not because 7 is my favorite number because 8 is my favorite number; because it is the number I always wore when I auditioned and tried out for things, the number on my basketball jersey, the number Kobe Bryant wore back when I liked him, before his ego made him suck. I've told you these things, I think. No I chose 7 because 7 is the number of completion. Of finality. Or end. And that's really what this is, yes?

I've never been one for writing love letters. Love has never been tangible for me in too many ways; just some concept sung of in old blues songs, the synthesizing fiber of fairy tales I abandoned in favor of realism. I've never believed in love letters, even when I used to received them, because they are just words on paper, no explicit action, no intent behind them to make them ring with sincerity. Just pages, paragraphes, phrases. Two dimensional adaptations of what should be infinitely multidimensional.

From the first day I saw you, you felt like home to me. And not home, in a literal way because we are from the same city, but rather an intangible place of being still neither of us have quite had before. This is what I am with you; I am still like I am very seldomly, if ever.

This is trivial of course. A feeling if you will, and feelings change, a treacherous sort of ebb and flow of emotions when you are responsible for a soul who could, at any moment, disappear under the foam topped waves, trapped forever in the emotional purgatory of loving someone who cannot, will not, love them back.

I have drowned for you. Sunk deeper into the currents of words that should have never been given life, kisses that should have never been shared, physical and emotional intimacies that should have never been traded. Somewhere along the line, I forgot how to swim, or maybe I was not strong enough to stroke my way out of the undertow. Maybe I chose not to swim away. I'll never know, I guess. But I know that loving you feels like opening your eyes underwater; it burns, blurry around the edges, distorting the shapes and distances until they are what the mind prefers it to be.This is not to say that I regret it. In ways you have brought me closer to the woman I always wanted to be; confident, strong, decisive, sharp tongued. You have inspired me, artistically, yes, but moreso on a personal level, pushing me to a balance between who I was and who I will be. You get to me, get under my skin, but all without irritation, mostly just to grow closer to the heart of me, to spur me to more genrously share this part of me with others. In ways you have saved me, a proverbial liferaft when I'd otherwise thought that I might drown in the overwhelming push of who everyone thought I should be. In other ways, you held my head under the surface.

I have lied for you. Lied to people I love dearly, and I am not a liar. I have snuck around to see you, manipulated popular thought to allow you to remain unscathed. I have fought for you, have fought with you. I've sat patiently idle and pretended that things you've done did not cut me, things I've seen did not bring tears to my eyes that so seldom see water. There are times when you've been gone, out of touch and I know where you must be, what you must be doing and the mental pictures in my head torturing me, searing themselves into my minds eye, running an irreverant loop in my head like a bad movie I cannot tear my eyes from. When the credits roll, you come back, you kiss me, and tell me what I've come to think might be lies with genuine eyes. You kiss me but I don't believe you. You touch me but I don't feel you. You speak but your words lack the sincerity, the depth of these waters we've treaded together and I feel slighted. Cheapened. I have settled for less than I deserve because...honestly I don't know why. The only excuse I have is I loved you. And that is a paltry excuse at its very best.

This is not love of course. This is in no way, shape or form that which can be disguised as love even with the most carefully painted facade. This is not what love is, these lies, these secrets. This is, in fact, some alternate universe we've shaped for ourselves over a year of conversations, feelings that keep us trapped here in the skewed perception of what love is really like on the outside. This is not love.

Or at least this is what I convince myself. Most of the time.

But at night when the air is still around us, when darkness has fallen and so have our defenses, I see you for who you are. Faulty but not broken. Fragile. Vulnerable. Just a man, albeit one that I would swim to the furthest edges of the earth for. I see the way you look at me, straight through my skin, and I feel it. I know that this is real. I also know that right now, it doesn't matter. I don't know what you see when you look at me. You are too secretive, too mysterious to reveal this to me in any kind of consistent way without being vague or laughing it off. And maybe this is what makes you so appealing; the unwrapping of layers, the constant unveiling of new idiosyncrasies to your being that draw me to you. For some reason, you move me. You stir up feelings I'd long thought settled at the bottom, only to find them swirling, just inches from the surface, jarred loose by your special brand of storm. I had not prepared for this, had not readied myself for the possibility because I guess, like many others, I underestimated the strength of the current on which you move. It is a mistake I will not make again.

I can accept the fact that you move me, yes, because it is a fact and facts do not change. I will not accept the conditions. You may walk away from me easily at any moment you choose, leaving me to drown in these memories we've made. You can leave without any guilt at wrongdoing because you did not have any ties to me. You can return to your quiet life as you made it for yourself, not a cheater because for all intense purposes you are not in a relationship, no guilt because I knew your situation before I dove headfirst into a pool with no water in the bottom. And for this I will never forgive myself; for throwing caution for my own self aside so carelessly and diving into you, knowing the conditions, knowing you were dangerous. Really, I can only blame me for the injuries I've sustained. So logically speaking I can be the only one to start to heal me.

I do not pretend to understand your reasons. I do not pretend to agree. I do not pretend to comprehend why you would walk away from something tangible, something real, that even in my blurred state I can see, I can feel. I do not delude myself into believing that I am capable of being such a wise and mature woman that I can understand these events as they have unfolded due to some misplaced, ill-fated loyalty on your part. I will not pretend to know how its so easy for you leave us this way, when I think you know in your heart that you'll regret this.

So this is our 7, our completion, our finality, our end. Because we knew, of course, it was coming anyway. I was nothing but a reprieve from the life you've built for yourself, and you never intended to stay in this alternate universe we built of us, you've always intended to leave me here, strewn upon the shattered memories, while you whistled Dixie back home to her as you promised, as though you'd never met me, never spoke my name or shared my heart. I've always known this. And I dove anyway. I will have to live with the consequences.

The physical reminder will be slight, as I'll allow no traces of this torrid affair to scar the exterior I've so carefully erected. I will sweep this all up, gather it like dust and pack it in boxes, store it in a basement in my mind somewhere deep and dark to be eventually ruined by time and mold until it disenegrates and becomes part of the foundation. Maybe I'll come across a surviving scrap one day, after trodding it underfoot for so long, and look at it fondly, allow a melancholy smile to touch my lips at the memory. But today is not that day.

So this is our 7, our completion, our finality, our end. No long love letter, but rather the tangible truth of a woman who no longer has to speak secrets and lies to know love. No fairy tale but a liferaft so that one day, if I encounter you again, I will know not to dive, but to stay firmly on the shore where the undercurrents will not take me out to drown.

Part 6

It is truly a pitiful life I lead. Stringing myself up fragily between the minutes, the hours between the last time I heard him, saw him, touched him, and when the next time will come. I am a slave to my phone. I've always been abnormally attatched, but the last couple weeks have been an excruciating game of waiting to hear from him. I think over the last days we spent together and I fight back the urge to cry.


This is how I am now. A raw, exposed wound reinjured at every turn at my own hand. Livid one moment, in tears the next. Convicted for a second, insecure at the next tick of the clock. This is what I've been reduced to.



I wanna hear your voice. Can I call you when I get outta the shower?

We talk for hours, at least seven, well into the beginings of the next day. We have what might be our first argument, and I come to understand even better this creature I love so much. I understand his head, his heart.


And this is what makes this so much harder.

Maybe if I'd never stood in his shoes I couldn't so understand the delicate tap dance. Maybe if I didn't know what it was like to make a promise to someone that you love, that has given and sacrifieced and bled for you, having no way of knowing that things would change and you would consider breaking your word. Maybe if I didn't so reflect and revere the depth of his loyalty, this all would be easier.

I can't call him a cheater.
This makes it harder.

It's amazing how, if we close our eyes and wade out into the calm waters of the ocean, we are under water before we ever knew the bottom was too deep to tread.


I know of course that my mind, my words are looping in circles, but this is how I live my life right now; wide, gaping roundabouts that all come back to the same inevitable conclusion. 360 degrees of confusion where there were once straight and clear lines, deliberate angles.

He's changed me. Fundamentally, at my core. Knowing him, learning him, trusting him has changed me. I am not who I used to be. Therein, of course, lies the problem.


I am not the girl I used to be. I cannot bet my life surviving loving someone this way because losing is far too expensive. I cannot afford to pay. I am not the girl who once believed that conditions could be overcome, that things will work themselves out "if you set it free" and all that. I no longer have the luxury of being so passive.

I cannot call him a cheater.
That is what kills me.


I can't be angry. He handled everything exactly as he should. If there were a rule book for situations such as these he would have violated no provision. He's handled this all as well as anyone could have. For this I admire his strength, I respect his loyalty to his word and I'm even more in love with his character. The soul of this man has rendered me still.

I cannot move in anger. I cannot rage or cry or burn pictures because there is no reason to. In place of what might be a bitter victory is only a bittersweet ephiphany. For the first time in my life I must learn to move in silence.



This is what I know.

I love him.

He loves me.





It is not enough.




So once I leave in the morning for work, that's it...it's over? Just...like...that.

We exchange things, the passage of tangible memories, solid evidence that, yes, we did in fact exist. I take with me his favorite shirt, a couple of things that are of him, remind me of him. I give him something precious to me, something I didn't know I could ever bear to part with. When he asks me why, I tell him because I will need to get it back from him one day. We smile and kiss. He holds me in his arms and I think that we both know then that it will probably never happen. It is, at best, a long shot, a proverbial shot in the dark. I don't want to hold my breath because I don't want to suffocate.

The following morning, I watch him dress through slits in my eyes, pretending to be asleep, not wanting to disturb his routine, wanting to remember everything exactly as it was. I open my eyes to his kisses, over and over, hundreds of kisses on my lips, cheeks, forehead, shoulders. We go through our usual morning ritual and he stops short at the door. He turns and, without my contacts in, I barely make out him sticking his tongue out at me, a silly gesture we've done a million times to relieve the pressure of a moment too heavy. Monkey face. That's what I call it. Because when he does it, he looks like a cute baby monkey. I don't think he knows that.


"You have to do it back," he instructs me and I do. He closes the bedroom door and after just a moments hesitation, I hear the front door close. In that moment I lie there perfectly still in his bed and wait for the tightness in my chest to subside.



I'm feeling the same things now because I know it's time to close the door. Time to let this be goodbye, for real this time, before either of us ends up more hurt than we already are.

Knowing that it is probably best doesn't make it easier of course.


I know I should say goodbye.
But I just can't.





I do not want to be forgotten. That is what I fear. I do not want this whole affair to fade into the sunset of so many situations that didn't work out the way your heart hoped it might. I want so badly not to be forgotten.

I know a time will come when I will wonder. Where I will see his face in those of men I pass on the street of the city we both love. My heart will double time until my mind my convinces it that it is not him. I know I will feel sad. I will feel sad for a long time. But that is one day.

For now, I want to be angry, to scream and cry and make a scene but the woman I have become won't allow me to do that. Maybe I would if I was the girl I was, but that is not who I am anymore. I guess I owe him for that.

For now, I will not move in anger and only in minimal sadness, because I've learned that doing what is right is not always the easiest. I release us and who we were back to the confines of my memory. I will no longer string myself up on the moments between our encounters because I am afraid if I do I will hang.


You don't miss me now because this all too fresh, too easy to belittle as something you'll look back on and it not seem as big a deal as it was at the time. But one day, when you realize what you've lost, you'll miss me.

One day you will.

Environmental Fear

I have a friend who is in a kinda similar situation to mine. Meaning she is seeing a man that there are "complications"surrounding just being with. She and I talk from time to time about our respective situations, pretty freely because she is one of few people who understands where I'm coming from and doesn't judge me for the way I feel, the things I've done. Over the last few days however, things have fallen apart for her and this man she loves. I've watched while, in front of my eyes, she has slowly fallen apart, slowly broken down on the inside while trying to remain strong. It's broken my heart.

After so many conversations with her about their relationship, with it so closely paralleling my own situation, I have hated watching him do this to her. Over the past couple days so many irrational thoughts of floated through my mind, manic thoughts of ways to get him back for hurting this girl I've come to care for so deeply. So many times, I've wanted to say the right things, do the right things to fix it for her because I hate to see her suffer. I hate to see the thoughts she won't give breath to living behind her eyes, the questions she wants to ask, but won't dare for fear of the answer. I've watched her all weekend, as her eyes wander off into space and I know what she must be thinking. I know what thoughts run through her head in those moments before she finally finds the mercy of sleep.
I know.

Mostly, it's given way to what I call environmental fear. Fear born of other terrible things that happen to people you care for. I am afraid. For what is gonna happen to her, to her peace of mind, to her heart in future relationships. And also, as selfish as it may seem, I am afraid for me. For awhile it seemed that things with the both of our relationships were as great as they could be. And now that this thing has happened to tear them apart, am I too far behind? Can I do this again? Can I deal with the fallout? I know what my friend is going through because I've been there; am I brave enough to do it again? Brave enough to throw my hands up for this, to let the cards fall where they may, courageous enough to risk it not working out the way I want? I'm not sure.

How dare he hurt her this way. How dare he pursue her, promise her, only to discard her when she loved him so much, done so much for him, only pursued the shared dreams they had that he initiated. How dare he treat her this way for his cowardice.

And is this the norm? A man going back to what is familiar because it is easier, simpler, less work for him? Is this what I can expect?

I'm afraid. I will admit that. I don't think I can risk going back here.

Randomness

I have decided to condense a couple of short entries I wrote on my trusty Sidekick into one big entry of randomness. Enjoy!

Brandy's career makes me sad. Why? Because she went from being a multiplatinum artist to making crappy records that could no longer disguise how badly her voice sucks and now she's stuck being a spokesmodel for the tackiest wig company alive. Oh and judging that bootleg reality talent show on TV.

I am in love with Mark Cuban. Because he is rude. And honest. And it is soooo friggin' refreshing. After the Mavs lost the finals (GOOOOO HEAT!!!) he was irreverant, short and just plain rude to reporters that asked him stupid questions. After the dumb bitch sports anchor that I hate asked him, "Mark do you consider this the worst loss in franchise history?" He replied, "Oh come on. Ask me a real fucking question." I heart he. WTF?!? What kinda question is that? The franchise he single handedly helped rebuild just lost their 1st championship run. Why would you ask him that? All through his interviews, he stayed ornery, irritable and mean to the idiots n the press. And I heart he.

I wonder if Tori Spelling can actually make a career for herself now that her daddy has passed. Although So NoTORIous is a guilty pleasure of mine, it's impossible to really fathom her having an ACTUAL career that isn't on an Aaron Spelling produced show.

Why can't Christina Milian catch a break? Def Jam dropped her, Nick Cannon fucked her over, she's dating the wackest man alive. I wanna hug her.

10 Reasons Why Moving to Houston Sucks

Shani impressed upon me the importance of making lists to organize what I'm feeling so I figured there was no better way to explain how much me moving to Houston sucks than to organize it all in a list. Here goes:

1. Houston is HOT. Very fuckin' hot. All the time.

2. Houston is very country. And not the friendly, laid back kinda country I'm used to but rather of the racist, redneck variety. Boo.

3. Joy does not live in Houston. But rather in Atlanta, which is where I should be. I, like she, was under the impression that I would only have to be without her for 4 years for college. Sucks.

4. My mother lives in Houston. In the same house where I will be living. Not a good combination.

5. Did I mention the hot?

6. I don't know anyone in Houston. Not. A. Soul.

7. I don't have a job in Houston. Because see #6.

8. God it is FUCKING HOT there.

9. I'm fairly certain that I might have to ACTUALLY kill my own mother with my bare manicured hands (which are a delightful shade of pink that might actually meet my mother's standards of what is ladylike.)

10. Houston is not Atlanta.



The End.


There are more but I'm getting more depressed with every numeral.

Snapshot

Ana wouldn't let me sit in the house Friday and mope about the current state of my miserable life so she invited me to a fair. You know, one of those travelling fairs that sets up in a large parking lot somewhere that is not at all stable. I, of course, refuse to get on any rides but somehow she, Chris and Erica convince me to get on some spinning contraption that looks like it might fly away at any moment. While trying to keep my stomach from finding it's way into my throat and choking me to death, it occured to me that I was actually enjoying myself. Up there yelling and laughing with the three of them made me realize that this is truly what I'm gonna miss about my life here in DC; these random adventures we find ourselves on, doing things we said we'd never do.

I wish I could take a snapshot of it and freeze just that moment. Have some tangible, physical evidence of the moment so I'd never forget it, so the colors would never lose their vibrance.

This is what I'll remember when I'm gone. A couple tears, lots of laughter and giggles, someone to call when I needed someone to talk to, someone to hang out with, someone to design my myspace page for me. (LOL) It isn't much, but for someone who isn't very close to family, it's all I have.

And somehow, it's enough.

Men Tales

Here are the stories I have heard about various relationships this weekend...

* Through a friend of mine, I learned of a woman who spent 8 years with a man, only to have it fall apart late one night, leaving her homeless and confused. She moved to an apartment a couple of blocks from him, finding a place that she could afford that was still convienient to her job. 8 months later she began dating a new man, wonderful guy, treats her like a queen, best sex she ever had. Enter the ex... coming by at all hours of the night, calling thousands of times a day, threatening her and whoever she might have been spending time with. He knows what her new man's car looks like, keeps track of whenever he comes over and spends the night. Clocks her every move, and is now threatening her newfound relationship...oh and her life.

* I also have a friend who has been seeing a guy for about 8 months, a man who said he loved her and wanted to marry her. They wanted the same things, the same life, had begun planning for it together, even started planning a vacation together. Only he neglected to tell her that his relationship with his girlfriend was not as over as he allowed her to believe. Did I mention they all work together? And the girlfriend tracked my friend down, sent her a viscious email, and helped spread some not so nice rumors about her around the company. And then he called my friend...not to explain...but rather to ask my friend to lie to his girlfriend so he could get back with her.

* Girl meets boy. Boy pursues girl extra hard. Girl doesn't give boy time of day. Boy keeps trying. Girl caves in. Girl and boy move in together. Girl comes home from work one day to find boy in bed...with another boy.

These are just snippets of the relationships that I have heard about this weekend. And it leaves me to wonder...is this what I have to look forward to in a relationship? Is this what I've been missing? Why does anyone do this to themselves for it to just fall apart this way?

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Untouchable

"You know you broke my heart once."

This is what he tells me. I'd say I'm shocked but I'd be lying. Apparently I've built quite a reputation back home for being a heartbreaker. "The Untouchable" I believe one of them called me.

I'd say that this is the third time I've had this conversation with someone from my past...

In the last year.

I used to feel bad when I'd have this conversation; when men would tell me how they'd been stricken by me, only to find me emotionally unavailable. Its about this time, that I tell them I don't want a relationship, that they hear "do you accept this challenge?" and eagerly sign their names of the dotted line of 4 weeks of survivor style tests.

4 weeks. This is about the average lifespan of a crush for me. About the time it takes, apparently, to crush a heart.

I used to feel bad. As I've gotten older, I don't anymore. Had I led them on, allowed them to believe that it would be more than what it was, then maybe I'd feel guilty. But I never did that. You took on a challenge that was never extended to you. I never told you to try to win me over. I am not most women. No does not mean yes. No means take what I am willing to give you or leave me the hell alone. As far as I'm concerned, you broke your own heart.

So I am the heartbreaker apparently. The Untouchable. Kinda a cool legacy to leave behind I guess, a kinda boys only club I've been accepted into. I wish I could say I felt sorry, but that wouldn't be true. I wish I could say that they were probably all lovely young men I would've been lucky to have. That would be a lie as well.

I will say this: I am not sorry for the way I've lived my life. I've never made excuses or apologies for anything I've done. I will not start now. My life is my own to live it as I see fit, and I've never closed a door behind anyone that felt they needed to walk away. I've never held anyone captive, never had to, there was always an exit available. You just never chose to take it.

And I will not apologize for your choices.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Part 5

My water breaks all over my favorite pair of expensive shoes. Before I know it, someone is slamming me down in a wheelchair from behind, pushing me huriedly down the long stark stretches of a hospital corridor.

Someone grabs my ankles and and another underneath my arms and lifts me roughly onto a white bed before I can tell them I can do it myself. Multiple hands reach towards me, each ripping off an article of clothing until I am naked and cold, goosebumps rising over my exposed flesh. A doctor appears at my side as the pain in my belly worsens. He tells me its time to push and I try to tell him that I can't, something is wrong, I feel it. He doesn't hear me. I shake my head furiously as he continues to tell me to push. The pain worsens. I scream at him, at the nurses, at the other people in the room who won't come to my aid but just stand around like sick voyeurs, entertained by my pain. He keeps telling me to push and I'm yelling, I feel the sound reverberating in my throat, the skin growing ragged and raw from the effort. He tells me again that I have to push and the pain low in my abdonomen grows so great that I know no matter what is wrong I must push now.

I give birth to a thousand shards of glass, each one tearing me from the inside in its own unique way.


I sit straight up on my side of the bed. Sweat has made wisps of hair stick to my face and neck. I am hot all over and my heart is racing. I bury my head in my hands. This is the way it's been, a couple nights out of the week, for about a month or so. These crazy dreams, more vivid than oil on canvas. I sigh and look to my right. I didn't wake him.

I put my back to the wall to soothe my burning skin and draw my knees to my chest. Hopefully, he hasn't felt my movements because usually when I spend the night and I can't sleep he wakes up and decides it's his responsibility to put me to sleep. Which is always good but right now I don't need sex. What I want, what I need, is beyond sex. And I don't know how to explain that without seemingly overstepping the boundaries we've set. The boundaries that we have to maintain if we have any hope of this not getting even more convoluted and messy.

I start to think about threesomes. The most successful threesomes are those that have boundaries, limits so that the parties involved don't find themselves unneccessarily jealous, slighted or at worst, thrown away for the other. He and I have talked about having a threesome but it never quite happened. But really, is this not a threeome we're already engaged in? He, me and she. Or more acurately, he, she and me. Well really, they and me as I am the trespasser here, walking forbidden ground I'm not welcome on.

I've never met her. Don't know her name or anything about the five senses of her. But I think about her often, sometimes at the most inopportune moments. When he's inside of me I'll think to myself, does he look at her like this? Does he touch her like he does me? That little thing he does, does he do it with her? Does she respond like I do? Does he ever feel guilty?

There are a million questions that I'll never ask. This too is an unspoken boundary of this semi successful threesome of ours: don't ask and I won't tell you what you really might not wanna know anyway.

Aren't these kind of emotional threesomes far more treacherous? I knew of her when all of this started. I knew their situation, he never lied to me about it, never kept it from me, told me about her in the very beginning. Does she know about me? Make that a million and one questions.

I watch him sleep and I tell myself that what he says he feels for me is genuine, extraordinary, special to only us and who we are together. Somewhere, in the back of my mind though, I doubt this. It couldn't possibly be the way I invision it.

How did they meet? What drew him to her? What drew him to me? Is what he feels for the both of us the same? Then I question myself; if it were does that lessen it? Does it render it false? Does any of this really matter? You have to leave him anyway.

I wonder how many times she has watched him sleep.

In my saner moments I hope that he has told her nothing about me, that he's spared her this emotional purgatory. That he hasn't given her enough details for her minds eyes to drag her naked across barbed wired when she pictures where he could be and what we could be doing.

In the less balanced moments, when I am far more spiteful and jealous, I hope he's told her everything about me, enough so that when he's away it drives her crazy, as it does me. So that when he's with her she sits up at night, watching him sleep and agonizing over all the questions I'm debating.

But I try not to be that person.

Mostly, I am this person. Silent, observing him when he is uncovered, vulnerable and at peace. I am the girl who is silent, who says a million things but never says anything that is important. I am the girl who loves too hard, when I shouldn't, when none of this is right or healthy or sane. I am the girl who can't sleep because she is lying next to a man she is crazy about, and that loves her but his heart is somewhere else, with someone else, property that is not mine. I am the girl who sits silently in dark corners, knees drawn to my chest, singing old blues songs in my head.

Ne me quitte pas...

The more I think about it the more I realize I've been in a threesome for a year. Me, him and this woman I've never laid eyes on, never put a name to, never discovered anything about the five senses of her. There have always been three people in this bed. We've already had our threesome.

I scoot a little closer to the wall to make more room for her, closer to him, as she should be. I am the stranger in this bed and I am sleeping in her place.

New Music

While most people look forward to summer for the warm weather, less clothes, and blockbuster movies, I look forward to the new music. Most artists come out with abums around summer time, some as early as spring break, because one of the best ways to launch an album is a great club banger or street anthem people can blast in their cars. Since I have so much time on my hands being an unemployed recent grad and all, I'm loving all the music my friends who work in radio are sending me. CDs and singles I think you should look out for:

"De ja Vu" Beyonce's newest single. Sounds like nothing you heard on Dangerously in Love. (Thank God.) Even though she stuck to the predictable formula of putting Jay-Z on a lead single that, musically speaking, might otherwise prove not to be commercially viable enough, it's till pretty damn catchy and will be something girls will love all summer just like "Crazy in Love". Let's see if she comes up with a signature dance to this one.

"Promiscuous" by Nelly Fertado. When I 1st heard this single a few months ago, I instantly recognized Nelly's voice but was so disappointed in her choice. Was this the same kinda off kilter "I'm Like a Bird" singer cooing to a Timberland beat? However, the more I hear it, the more I like it. Its catchy without being too stupid, and resembles the kind of coy exchanges you might hear at the begininng of a flirtation when one person is trying to impress the other. And the advanced tracks I've heard from Get Loose are really nice.

"Ain't no Other Man" The Voice is back with this new Christina Aguilera single featuring big horns blended over a semi-hip hop track that make a kinda new age big band sound. I wasn't too sure about how her new concept ablum was gonna turn out (a dual disk concept album with 1st disc being newer hiphop fused jazz and big band sounds and the 2nd being more jazz singles Back to Basics), but she sounds better than ever and if this single is any idication her album will be even better than the current classic Stripped.

"U and Dat" I'm almost ashamed of myself for liking this song considering it's content, but it's so DAMN CATCHY and it features one of my favorite underrated artists of all time, Kandi from Xscape. So while I'm not exactly a huge E40 fan, and I'm even less fond of T-Pain, this is a pretty great club song.

"Drive Slow Remix" Ok I'm more than slightly biased because the remix features T.I. but is a pretty great song that was good as an album track but made great by Kanye's added strings in the background and a little chopped and screwed section towards the end.

"Mr. Me Too" The Clipse come back with this Pharrell produced single that lack the lyrical prowess they've shown on past tracks but more than makes up for it with funny one liners and a dry delivery about posers and fakers.

"The Mighty O" Again I'm sure I'm biased because they're from Atlanta, but this track sounds like classic Outkast. It's catchy, a little off center from what you usually hear, and features extra long verses from both Big Boi and Andre 3000 that are heavy with lyrics you have to actually LISTEN to but manages to avoid getting too drowsy with the use of funny one liners and plenty of southernplayeristiccadillac type swagger that long time fans will recognize. They sound a little less Speakerboxx/The Love Below and more ATLiens, but it's a welcome bridge between both albums.

"Buttons" Again really, ashamed of myself but the Pussycat Dolls have made this DAMN catchy song that is saved from sounding too cheesy with a guest appearance from Snoop Dogg. It walks the well trodden line between being sexually suggestive and still fun like a Britney Spears song, but the Indian inspired Scott Storch track gives it a little more grown up sex appeal.

I think that's it for my mini-Rolling Stone style reviews. Got any you wanna add to the list?

Friday, June 9, 2006

Part 4

The red numbers on the clock are glaring at me. We've been locked in a staring contest for some time and by all accounts, I'm losing. 4...5...6. What an odd time. All the numbers are in sequential order. I shouldn't even be awake enough to contemplate this.


But awake I am. And I am certainly contemplating. Maybe contemplating is too much of a fancy, pretty word to it. I am stressing. I am agonizing.


If my heartache were water it would fill this room and drown me.


I flip the covers off me. For the last four hours I've vacillated back and forth between being hot and cold. My skin reflecting my emotions I guess.
Don't call.


I'm trapped here by my thoughts. Every time I think I'm drifting off, a new one occurs to me bringing with it fresh pain, and my eyes snap open, my heart dancing wildly in my chest. I'm gonna die here, in this bed, alone, clutching a teddy bear. I never thought it was possible to die of a broken heart but I may be about to prove myself wrong. I should have believed far sooner than now, at this moment, lying here dying of emotional cardiac arrest.


I've never been big on love stories. As a child I watched Disney movies for the songs, not because I believed that this love thing they were experiencing could happen to me. I never had the luxury of believing in fairy tales. As a child I quickly abandoned their flights of fancy in favor of realistic stories; books about the Holocaust, about the slave trade, about the Mexican Revolution quickly filled my shelves. As I grew older I read love stories, but mostly those that were melancholy and bittersweet, usually where one had to die for the other to realize there was genuine love there. I used to dive deep into the minor chords of blues and jazz records, letting the notes meet above my head in a harmonic mash of minors and majors. Sarah sending in the clowns and Billie welcoming heartache every morning. I wanted never, ever to feel the pain they bled through the notes, to just be an observer in the back of a smoky club while they cried to the music. I married myself at twelve years old to my career and promised I would never be a beautiful woman pacing the floor, all dressed up with nowhere to go, watching the door, waiting for some man to come that would never show his face.


But now here I am.

Don't. Pick. Up. That. Phone.


This is not a blues song, no beautiful sheath of silk strewn around me like rose petals. I'm just some silly woman waiting for some selfish man to call me. It's not pretty like in a love song.


The question I struggle with most is simple; why?
Why send him if I cannot have him?

I question whoever is listening, because at this point I need answers from anywhere.


I sing a few bars of Nina Simone to myself and watch the sun sneak under the blinds and across the wall. I don't bother to wipe the tears that fall into my hair. For what? There will be plenty more.


I contemplate the legacy I would leave, if this were my last day. Would I be just some foolish woman, prisoner in this bed, walking around broken because she loved too much, too hard, too fiercely when she should have run screaming in the other direction?
That is not enough for me.


This is the struggle I'm having with myself. Is it enough to just love someone when nothing will come of it? Is it enough to just know someone would be great for you but it will never be? Is this where I take to paper and write the melancholy love song that some little girl will sing in her room years from now?


Maybe later. Right now I'm crying. And I never cry. I'm crying for the girl I used to be, before all this. Crying for the woman I fear I'll be after this. Crying because no matter how many books I read, poems I ingest, songs I sing, I will never be any better at goodbye than the first time it broke my heart.

Beloved

I was so ready to be done with school. I was over Howard, over being a student, over walking across the yard to go to class, over going to class period. I was so ready to be done with it all.

And I'm glad it's over.

What I did not truly account for is how much I would miss certain people that I didn't necessarily realize had become such a big part of my everyday life and general keeping me sane rituals.

There are a few people.

But mostly I miss Shani.

I adore her. I've never met another human like her. She is kind and generous and heartfelt and genuine. She is intelligent without being demeaning, funny without being corny (all the time), and caring without being nagging. A precarious balance that few humans manage with such grace and poise. And her hair is always so shiny! LOL

I love her. I hate the way she came into my life, we both do I think, but I'm glad it happened the way it did. We cut straight through the superficial getting to know you bullshit and cut straight to the heart of each other. She is one of very few people who knows my heart that I so carefully keep hidden. She took the time to get to know me, has seen me at my worst, at my ugliest, at my lowest and most dispicable, and she still loves me, still tells me I'm beautiful. I don't know why. But this is who she is. And I adore every inch of her.

Mostly, I worry about her. Because I love her. And because I want nothing but sunshine and roses for her. And while I realize that this would lead to a mostly boring existence for her, it is in my heart to want to protect her from the things and people in her life that might hurt her. And I worry so much. And I can't just catch a shuttle and see her and look her in her beautiful brown eyes and see if she is lying about being ok. I want Thai food, but I can't bring myself to go the place she first took me for my birthday. I drove by our beloved mexican place where we'll curse and cry over mojitos (for me) and swirly margaritas (for her). It made me sad because I wanted to go by and pick her up so we could go and talk about life. I want to see her, to hear about the pretty shirt she bought, to argue with her about whether or not she neeeeeds cowboy boots, talk about our mothers, trade our special dry intelligent humor while somehow still managing to discuss some world issues that we don't always agree on, but we always can talk about. But she is not here. I can't see her, and while I talk to her on the phone, text her often, it is not the same because Shani gives some of the best hugs in the universe and I cannot get one and I need one. And because I feel in my heart that she needs a hug as well and I cannot get to her to give it to her. I feel like a bad friend. But mostly, I just miss her.

So my darling wife, please take care of yourself as I would were I there to do it. Because you are, by far, one of the smartest things I have done with my life, and I would be heartbroken if you were. Please call me every once in awhile and let me hear your voice because I will miss that too. And when things get difficult please remember that there is someone, somewhere, wherever I will be, loving you, missing you, and adoring every inch of you.

I Love This Game

I was sitting at ESPN Zone watching Game 1 of the NBA Finals and with the opening montage of the greats that have stepped foot on a court, and the younger stars that I have truly grown up on, I felt my heart kinda tug a little. Every since playing point guard when I was younger, I have had such an attatchment to this game. I love sports period, but basketball does something for me. To see the heart and passion and love of the game so many players have without them being hidden behind pounds of equipment is just amazing.

I remember when I was in high school I got the opportunity to go to a Sixers game, one of AI's first when he got in the league. My mouth dropped open early in the first quarter and stayed that way everytime the man stepped on the court. He plays so hard, with such passion that it is electrifying to watch. The same with D. Wade. He is such a physical player, plays with such heart, his love for the game is so evident that it can't help but to draw you in. And Shaq is clearly the most dominate player in the league. 7 feet, 325 pounds of sheer power. I love to watch him run over players on the court. I love Mark Cuban, even though I hope his team loses. To see an owner who loves the game, who is vocal, didn't just by a stake in it to make money but who stands on the sidelines in a jersey and jeans and yells at the refs as though he was a coach...well it makes me smile.

Really this is the greatest game ever played. And everytime the season starts up, I am reminded of it. That is all.

Oh and P.S. ESPN Zone has TVs mounted on the ceiling over every stall in the bathroom. I will have this feature in my house. No TV in the bedroom, but definitely one in the bathroom.

Thursday, June 8, 2006

You're It!

Since I am guilty of leaving a comment on one of my favorite blogs, here goes my questionaire. One of the best I've ever done I've gotta say.

1. If you could be doing what you really want to be doing for a living, what would it be?
a singer, actress, director, actor, entreponigga, owner of AIDS hospices in Atl, NY, and San Fran, director and teacher at my own performing arts school in Atl...all at the same time of course lol

2. If you could slap the shit out of any famous person, alive or dead, who would it be?
Goddamn Paris Hilton. Have you seen her new video? Could she give Gwen Stefani her swag back please?

3. What's the dumbest decision you've made in the past 5 years?
Well, that's a trick question. To answer it I'd have to admit I was wrong about something. This will not happen.

4. Give up one for a year: (good) sex or (good) music.
Oh goodness. Well, I gave up sex for a year. And I suppose since you said GOOD sex and not GREAT sex then the sex. Music gets me thru my life

5. Dudes, would you rather have a big dick or a great sense of humor? Ladies, nice tits & azz or common sense?
I've got the tits and ass but the common sense gets me further. I hate stupid people, but espeically airheaded black women. Wrong, yes, but still true. I can't help but look at stupid people and think...considering the emptiness in your head, shouldn't you float away at any minute?

6. So you've been invited to an all expense paid Blogger Prom in The Bahamas. You're sitting at the bar on the beach. Which blogger do you want to join you for hours of good convo?
Shani cuz our conversations never fail to be hilarious and brilliantly insightful at the same time, Joy cuz she's the left side of my brain, Duck b/c she seems extraordinarily interesting and talented and we seem to have alot of the same interests, Serial b/c he's gotta have the best stories and I refuse to believe he's as shallow as he seems, and Olu because he's the perfect mix of genius and humility. Also, he's wickedly funny.

7. Which blogger would you most like to cuddle with on the beach? (And don't defer to your current significant other either. Infidelity won't count against you. Duh.) Um...I guess John. But mostly because I cuddle with him anyway because I know he'll start playing in my hair. And I'm used to it. And it's not romantic. And I don't know you other people LOL

8. You're going on a 5 hour road trip...which 5 CDs do you bring?
*Nikka Costa "Everybody got Their Something"
* Stevie Wonder "Songs in the Key of Life"
* Christina Aguilerra "Stripped"
*T.I. "I'm Serious"
* the Dave Chappelle Block Party Soundtrack

9. Would you rather bury your children young or have your children bury you young?
Oh goodness. I would rather have them bury me I guess. Even if I couldn't live a full life I'd like them to be able to.

10. What's your biggest insecurity?
That I'm not talented enough or disciplined enough or hardworking enough to accomplish the things I want to. (see #1)

11.What's the first blog you read every day...or however often you read them?
Noelle's b/c hers is at the top of my list. I try to read them often but usually I check on Jameil and Shani if no one else.

12. When's the last time you peed your pants?
5th grade, my teacher wouldn't let me go to the bathroom so I didn't quite make it to the bathroom when I finally broke into a run down the hall

13. Which was better, your first kiss or your first pay check?
gotta be my first kiss. My first paycheck sucked up one side and down the other. But my first kiss was soo good I had to lift my leg up. Like Ana said. (Read Movie Kisses) Really the first kiss with anyone really. There's always that anticipation of what its going to be like, the awkward moment before you find that rhythm that's all your own, learning a new taste, a new tongue, new set of lips... mmm mmm mmm. Viva la first kiss!!!

14. Do you have kids? Want kids?
Don't have any but I'd love to have some. Don't really think it's gonna happen for me though.

15. You get dropped off at home after the office holiday party by your bitch azz boss that you can't effing stand...you exit the car and he peels out, runs a red light at your corner and rolls up an unsuspecting midget. The next day the midget watch groups are on TV outraged at the heartless hit and run, and are calling for any witnesses to please come forward...that half dead midget has a family at home waiting on C-mas presents. Would you take $1000 hush money? $500? $100? A six pack?
LMAO What the hell kinda question is this?!? HAHAHA I have no idea

16. Live the rest of your life without your eyebrows or your fingernails?
eyebrows. you can draw those in

17. What makes you angry?
that boy I can't stand who gets under my skin, that boy I still love to death that gets under my skin, my mama who gets under my skin, stupid people who are proud to be ignorant, fat people in spandex, whining

18. What makes you horny?
thunderstorms, "Imagine that" by R. Kelly (6 min sex set to music. Try it.) or "Ask Yourself" by Raheem DeVaughn, kisses on the small of my back, taking a bubble bath and sliding into clean sheets, driving really fast, watching black men play basketball

19. What makes you nervous?
auditioning, giving people advice, going home, flying

20. What makes you smile?
funny text messages from Joy, unexpected phone calls or IMs from a crush, new shoes

So if you read this you have to respond. Do it on your blog, in the comments, on Myspace, whatever. But you better do it! YOU'RE IT!!!

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Part 3

I can't stop tapping. I'm tapping everything. I am fairly certain the man sitting across from me thinks I'm crazy. He's talking, and I'm tapping. Everything. My silverware, a pen, my nails, my foot. This incessant tapping must be driving him absolutely crazy but he just keeps going on with a smile on his face talking about the Heat.
Who cares? I wanna ask him. What does this say about you? Who you are? What you want from life? What does this say about the man you are? Your character? Your hopes and dreams?

I contribute a one-syllable word or two to the conversation and now he's back glued to the game on the big screen and I look at my watch. Not at all discreet. I just want this to be over. There is, of course, no such luck that this will happen as we haven't even been served our drinks yet. As he talks I contemplate random things; is it time to wash my hair again? If I pass my hand over this candle, will it burn my nail polish? Did I turn off my alarm clock this morning? I need to call Joy. Oooh we should go to the semi-annual sale at Victoria's Secret when I get home.

I don't know what my problem is. I should be very happy, very into this. He's a nice guy, funny, likes sports. So why am I not into this? He's an ok guy. A little wack, but not terrible.

If I am to be honest with myself it is because I don't wanna be here. I know where I wanna be. I wanna be at someone else's place, curled up on the couch, watching the game and talking more shit than should be humanly possible. But that's not where I am. And I shouldn't wanna be there at all. It's all so convoluted. But at that moment, I am so sad for what I cannot have that my eyes well up with tears. I try to quickly blink them back but the burning sensation that accompanies them makes it impossible to do so discreetly.
"Are you alright?" he asks me, genuinely concerned and I'm not entirely certain if he's worried or just freaked out by the crying girl in front of him.
"My contact, you know, um, its doing, doing, the thing, the thing where- I need to go to the bathroom."

Oh, Jesus. Did I really just say its "doing the thing"? I'm like a bad episode of Hell Date. Girl who Cries for no Reason at All.

I get to the bathroom and wipe my eyes furiously with the back of my hand. I look at myself, all made up and carefully coifed, wishing my face was bare, my hair in a ponytail, in sweats and somewhere else with who I want to be with.

Stop this! I chastise myself in my head. You are on a perfectly wonderful date with a perfectly wonderful man and you WILL NOT keep thinking about that man that you CANNOT HAVE. DO YOU HEAR ME? YOU. CANNOT. HAVE. HIM. So stop with this stupid shit.

Feeling appropriately disciplined, I try to fix my makeup. When I put my hand up to my face I realize its shaking. I'm trembling from head to toe. STOP. THIS. NOW. I take a couple deep breaths and for a moment I swear I smell Burberry.

I walk back to the table, game face on, and ready to give this guy the spectacular first date with the fun, funny girl he thought he was going out with in the first place. When I reach our table, I notice my drink has been put in front of my seat. I pick up the glass and toss back half of it before my butt ever meets the chair.
Just needed a little liquid courage first.

I apologize for the tears, conjuring up some lie much better about my contacts which doesn't include the phrase "doing the thing." I flash him my most charming smile just to further placate him and I finally join in the conversation. For a good 30 minutes I am all giggles, witty comebacks and intent eyes on the game. And then all of a sudden the fight leaves me. I don't want to be here. But I can't be where I want to be either, where I should have never been there to begin with. Emotional purgatory; everywhere and nowhere at once.

Hours later I am home and I long to hear his voice. I send him a text, hoping its breezy and noncommittal, not too vulnerable.

I'm too convoluted inside to adequately assess if this has achieved my purpose. I lay down in hopes of finding sleep but my mind is wide awake with the possibilities of where he could be.

How could I not be insecure? How could I not wonder? How could I not doubt.

This is insane.
I roll over and check my phone one last time. No text, no IMs, no nothing from him. I sigh on the inside and turn off my phone. It's a damn shame I have to do this to regain a little sanity. But I know I'd better start my detox program now. I need to get control of this.

We only have 12 days...

I fall into a fitful sleep, slapped awake by a dream, the images of which I hope to never see in real life because it might hurt me so much that it actually kills me. Before I know it I am sitting outside chain smoking, furiously writing pages of prose and letters I know I'll burn before they ever reach an audience. After awhile, the writing has stopped, and I'm drained of everything I had to say. For the moment. I take a hard drag on the cigarette and I shake my head at myself. I haven't chain smoked in years. I stare at myself in the shiny surface of the lighter in my hands and I don't recognize me. I look old, tired. Defeated. I knew eventually I'd lose the war.

The sun is starting to rise and I wonder what they day will bring, if the next 24 hrs will be like the last. I am calmer mentally and I begin to plot an escape route.

It must be flawless.

There are things I say to myself then, in the silence of the early morning with no one there to bear witness to that which I will never dare repeat. Truths that I speak unto myself that I will never again give breath to. I realize then that loving him is much like the cigarette I'm smoking; addictive, temporarily pacifying, satisfying, but still possessing the ability to burn me to the touch. And it's also killing me slowly.
I can feeeeeel you thinking about me. Quit it! Lol Miss you...