Tuesday, October 30, 2007

God Bless the Child

I am my mother's child.
But I got my demeanor from my daddy.

None of that was more clear than today.

Whenever I talk to my daddy, it always makes my day. Every time. Without fail. Our conversations are few and far between as a. we both hate talking on the phone with a burning passion and b. we work conflicting work schedules (I'm working when he's asleep and vice versa.) But when we finally drag each other onto the phone, he always makes me smile. He's silly. As hell. Which is funny because he looks a little intimidating like an extra from the Sopranos. But he's a teddy bear. And he's a little crass. (Which is probably where I get it.) He's kinda lacking in social skills (again, hello?). But he's kind. And he's sweet. And he's my daddy. However, none of this is the point of course.

My daddy is all those things but he's also fairly stoic. And not in a typical dad I-never-even-give-my-kids-a-hug kinda way. He just isn't easily swayed or affected. Much like myself. He isn't all that emotional. I've only seen my daddy cry once, and it was my fault, so I felt especially guilty about it. The older I get, the more I notice that his humor is often a deflector to any probing you may attempt (How's my little brother?), the degree of ridiculousness determined expressly by exactly how personal the question is (Daddy what do you wanna do with your life?). As I've gotten older, I recognize it as a defense mechanism. But I also think I may have internalized a great deal of it at a young age. Which is strange, seeing as how my daddy wasn't around alot when I was younger. (Maybe taking on his demeanor was a way to feel closer to him when he wasn't around? I might be getting a little too Freudian for my own good.) What I recognize as well, is that it isn't exactly serving me.

Sure, not having a hothead temper like many of my family members is probably the only reason I'm not in jail or on the block today. And yes, being a little bit more difficult to rile up is probably why my mother and I haven't killed each other yet. Being non-combatitive is probably the only reason I have such good friends or have accomplished anything in my life. So part of it is probably a good thing. But where do you draw the line? Where does my intense dislike of having to have the we have to talk convo start to hurt rather than protect me? When does deflecting the probing and difficult questions with humor to soften the blow start to alienate me from the people seeking to fill the exact voids I feel I have in my life? How does the instinct to be stoic find a balance between both levelling even the rawest emotions and not cutting you off from emotions all together?

I've become particularlly skilled in the art of holding back, of being emotionally distant. Not neccessarily out of maliciousness, but just because the other side is so dangerous to tread.

I acknowledge, when I want to and very rarely, that I've been through alot to be so young. I can also say without blinking, that many lesser people would have crumbled under the pressure of my life at some point during the 23 years I've lived it. But I haven't. I'm not. I'm happy. I'm blessed. For the most part, I'm fairly well adjusted. So what if what has gotten you through the darkest, lowest times of your life is maybe what's holding you back from reaching the apex of your experience?

"Daddy, would you say that you're happy? I mean, if you passed away
tomorrow, could you look back over your life with no regrets?"
"I don't think I could La. But I could be happy that maybe I
laid the groundwork for you to have that kind of life."

Yes, my daddy is fantastic. And being his daughter is what has simultaneously condemned and saved me.

"You know you are just like your mama right?"
"I am NOT."
"Well you look, you walk, you talk, you laugh, you sound, just like your
mama. But your heart and your head is more like me, I think."

And I think I got the good parts.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I am completely lost in the hands in my hair. Enamoured with their every twist and tug, each strand sliding through outstretched fingers like water. Fingertips gently massage my scalp, pull my hair back to send kisses to the nerves in my neck, then return to their gentle kneading. My own hands feel so empty, despite the skin they're holding, because it's not enough to fill this void I'm experiencing, this insatiable desire carved out by extended foreplay stretched for days, for weeks, until just the thought of it has stolen my focus for hours at a time.

I feel drunk, my senses simultaneously dulled and heightened, my motor skills stunted, but my reflexes still sharp, evidenced by the quick jerks every stroke induces. Each touch, every kiss is a baptism, fresh water engulfing me, washing away all my previous sins, rebirthing me in the eloquence of these fingers, these hands.

I'm soft. Trembling. Barely remembering that it's necessary to breathe, each inhale and exhale a concerted effort, no longer a natural instinct. Each breath labored by desire so white hot that sweat is raining from my pores.

Soft fingertips on the humid skin of my back, sliding in calculated lines down my spine. First just the pads, then the whole palm, pressing firmly, torso against torso. Just that quickly my skin has gone from hot to cold and I'm shivering, chills racing up my spine and exploding through my brain. My thoughts are casualties. Rendered silent by pure physical instinct, by the entanglement of arms and legs, of breath and hands, the sensation of sliding deeper down into desire so deep, so cavernous, so wide, that light has recessed into merely a memory.

Right now I'd feel guilty if my lips ever said another name.

Whispers in my ear. A potent combination of curses and commands that make my limbs twitch and contract. Before I know it, I'm on my back, wrists gripped together and pressed into the sheets. Kisses rained on my forehead, my lips, over my neck, my breasts, my stomach, my thighs. Tiny nibbles on my bottom lip. Gentle sucking that easily becomes more urgent. My own voice is foreign to me, a coarse whisper of moans and unintelligible mumbles, my breath still tangled mercilessly in the cage of my throat. Warm breath on my skin. A soft kiss. The generous offering of tongue, a deeper parting. I'm struggling to maintain some kind of composure, my eyes filling with tears because I'm so damn overwhelmed because everything about this touch, this skin, is just perfect. I'm fighting it, fighting giving in, letting go, and flailing in vain to keep a hold on my last wisps of sanity. Well placed pressure, one hand on my hip.
And I'm gone.

Hours later, I've fallen asleep and waken up again, the night still silent around us, the bed still warm from our skin. With every inhale, our intertwined scent rises liberally from my skin. I disentangle myself slightly, but not totally, wrapping my arms around myself, to take in the totality of this very second right here. I can't help feel, of course, what might be the eventual fatality of it all, and the weight of it pushes me deeper into the safety of the covers. I shake it, but not completely, just enough to resign myself that maybe it isn't important, that all that matters is that for these few secret moments, the world is still for us, and maybe that's what we both need.

Arms reach for me and I fold myself into them, so open and raw, exposed to my core and deliriously thankful I'm the only one conscious. It is then that I give credence to the fact that one of us might already be halfway out the door; I just can't decide which one.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Where We Stand

First, catch up on the jump off...

weeks ago...

He puts his hand on my back to guide me through the mash of tables and patrons in the crowded room until we get to our table. He's close to my back, speaking intimately into my ear as I slightly turn my head to respond. His big hands lift the chair easily from the floor, pulling it out for me, then scooting in back up to the table when I sit down. He takes his place across from me, passing me a menu and as I look up to address him, I catch eyes on mine from a couple tables away. There he is.
KB. KB and... Barbie?

We sit for the longest time, held transfixed by the absolute absurdity of this moment, and at the same time, both of the occupants at our respective tables feel our gaze focused beyond them and turn to see what is holding our attention. The man at my table looks to KB, slides his eyes up and down his heavy frame and then puts his eyes back to the menu almost as quickly as they left. Conversely, Barbie eyes me, a flash of recognition in her light blue eyes, slowly taking me all in head to toe. I lean back so she can get a better look, my lips curl up at the edges in what might look like a smile to an observer but I know she feels my sneer. He says something to get her attention and her eyes snap back to him, but I can tell from the goosebumps that have risen on her skin that she's shook.
Oh, yes. I'm THAT close.

We order drinks and settle in, our laughter rising high above the table, losing ourselves in conversation and thoroughly enjoying each others company. He covers my hand with his and I smile at what he's saying, so big I'm sure you can see every last tooth and bracket in my head. We dissolve into laughter again and I feel my phone vibrate in my purse on my lap. I send a quick message back to the East Coast, one that has made me smile even larger and before I can put my phone away it vibrates again. This time from much closer. A few feet away even.

aren't you going to introduce me to your date?

I look up and catch KB watching me, make a point of giving him a raised eyebrow and showing him that I'm putting my phone back in my purse. I feel it vibrate again.

ignoring me...?


Our entrees come and I go to wash my hands. When I come back out from the bathroom, there is KB, leaning against the far wall in front of the door like a scene from an awful C-list gangster movie, a designer imposterTony Montana with his tie losened around his neck and the shirt sleeves on his button down rolled up.

"He's like damn near triple your size La."
"They do say everything is bigger in Texas."
"Is it true?"
"I dunno, text me around 2am after a couple more cocktails and I'll let you know. If I'm not asleep that is." He laughs at me. "I didn't know Barbie was allowed to drive her dream car to see anyone but Ken," I say to him in reference to the mound of plastic at the table with him.
"You calling her Barbie because she's white?"
"No I'm calling her Barbie because if she gets too close to the candles on the table, it's quite likely she'll melt."
"Are you hating Lala?" I look down into the recesses of my low cut dress. "Naw baby, I'm good." We burst into loud laughter. He wraps his arms around me, hugging me so tight he lifts me off the floor.
"How have you been girl? I know you're busy as hell with the new job."
"Good, good. Just running, getting my life in order, trying my hardest to balance work and play. You know how it goes."
"Man do I? I've been all over the place. I think I'm gonna be spending alot more time in and out of San Francisco."
"So that went well?"
"Yeah man. My boss is very happy with me right now."
"Oooh that sounds good. How happy?"
"Happy enough to give me that promotion I've been gunning for along with the ridiculous raise that comes with it." Our laughter lifts over us, loud and wrong in comparison to the ambiance of the resturant.
"That's good KB. I'm happy for you."
"I have to admit part of it was because I stole part of your idea."
"Then when you get that raise I will be expecting something shiny with a ribbon on it to thank me. Preferably something that comes in a blue box." He chuckles at me.
"Done." He pauses. "You look gorgeous as usual."
"I DO, don't I?"
"Jesus La." More laughter.
"Thank you, I mean. I'll work on it."
"I should get back."
"Yeah me too. And tell Barbie once she hits puberty she'll totally grow into those things."
"You are just awful girl."
"Seriously, what is she, 12?"
"Hush woman," he says, giving me another quick hug and kissing my cheek. "Buy you lunch next week?"
"Yeah, call me in my office." He walks away and I smile at his back, still softly chuckling to myself at our conversation. I reach my table and sit down. My date eyes me suspiciously.

"Girl I thought you had fallen in."
"Nah was just touching up my makeup."
"Mmhmm. And your delay didn't have anything to do with that big beautiful man who damn near broke his neck to run down that hallway after you when you got up to go?"
"No child. Well... aiight a little."
"Giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirl," he draws out better than any of my girlfriends, "who IS that man? He is like the freshest melted chocolate in Gucci loafers I've ever seen in. my. LIFE."
"That's KB honey."
"THAT'S him? Girl are you HIGH?!?!?!?! I'd be going out of my way to turn that man out so I could spend the rest of my fabulous life with him." He pauses. "You sure he isn't the least bit... curious?" I raise my eyebrow at him. "I'm just sayin'! You turned him down. Don't hate on the rest of us," he chuckles, trying to discreetly position himself to get a better look. I kick him hard under the table.
"If I bruise from them damn stilettos when you know I'm wearing shorts to the club tonight, that's your ass bitch."

We whisper about KB like we're in middle school, trading conspiratory giggles and trying not to make eye contact.

Of course my date was gay.
My life isn't that perfect.

Monday, October 22, 2007

All You'll Get From Homecoming

I'm not even gonna bother with even attempting a recap because, real talk, do I ever finish them muthafuckas? But I will give you a list of things La has learned this weekend that will hopefully help you in all your future homecoming/life endeavors.

1. You need travel patnahs.
Someone said it this weekend, and I now firmly believe that shit to be so sincere, "homecoming is best when celebrated with one, maybe two people." This shit is real fuckin' talk. Over the last few years, the droves in which we've ascended on homecoming has now dwindled to a core group of people we hang out with. And even now, that number continues to get smaller. I think alot of it has to do with our personalities changing and our interests becoming different. The important thing about travelling for any reason, with anyone, is that they share your vision of the trip. For it to be completely successful and enjoyable for all, everyone needs to have a clear understanding of the goals and objectives and overall tone of the trip. Which leads me to...

2. I need friends who share my interests.
Or at least my interests in certain arenas. I am multi-dimensional. Ideally I'd love to find someone to go to the Texans/Saints game with and then who would accompany me to see the Houston Ballet's performance of the Nutcracker the following Thursday. Of course, it is essentially impossible apparently to find all the qualities I am in one other. Which is cool. But when engaging in activities such as those which Howard Homecoming implies, I need someone who shares my interests in such settings. I'm loud. I'm (inconsistently) sociable. People know me and most importantly, people like me. I like to drink. Alot. I like to try new concoctions, and I'm famous for charming up bartenders and running up a ridiculously high tab and paying pennies for it. Every once in awhile, I like to go to the club. And when I do, you WILL notice me. Why? You see that girl right there? In the middle of the floor, her hair pulled back into a ponytail because she's hot, laughing and dancing to every song the DJ spins? That's me. And I'm gonna need some partners in crime. You know that schedule you like to keep when you're outta town? Yeah, La hates that. When I've got the away message up on my everyday life, I wanna do whatever I wanna do whenever I wanna do it, however I'd like it to get done, and not neccessarily on a time table. But that's just La. I roll that way. And I've grown up now enough to where if I can't find anyone to roll with, I'm ok with rolling alone.

3. Gay men make my life complete.
Seriously. Most of my weekend was spent with some of my favoritest kidz and I thank God everyday for them. They are hilarious and intelligent and raunchy and extra and affectionate and witty and loud and ridiculous and fun and thoughtful and spontaneous and tragic and dramatic and fabulous. Sunday I LITERALLY laughed so hard I was damn near hoarse and had to talk at considerably lower decibles than my usual raspy alto. I LOVED every second of it. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. I've always had a pretty consistent base of gay male friends in my life because it's not like being in theater and working in retail affords you alot of straight boy options. But I adore them. And not even because they will help me pick out bras that make my boobs look spectactular in a far too low cut shirt and I don't have to worry about them scheming ways to hit it later.

4. A well placed bottle of gray goose makes all life's ills better.
No bullshit. Again, if you aren't one of those people whom I referenced in point #2 this goes over your head. And that's fine. But for me, nothing says thinking of you like a personal bottle... or the way too expensive champagne you buy to toast to nothing... or mimosa with brunch... or mojitos with lunch... or martini's with dinner. (Driving the cute bartender to distraction by doing that thing you do with the olive is optional)

5. Groupies will go crazy over a celebrity in the club.
Lord I swear all groupies should either be rehabilitated or shot, and since I don't believe in hoes becoming housewives, somebody load a clip. We went to Love Saturday (arguably my fav club in DC) when Diddy was throwing a party. Up on the 3rd floor, while I'm on the floor doing my best to sweat my hair out, Diddy decides he wants to grab the mic and address the audience. Which is cool. He brings out Omarion and Bow Wow (whom I'm convinced are fuckin). Which is even ok despite my intense dislike of the lil one. My issue? The fact that the little bit of air we did have was suddenly overtaken by groupies screaming and clamouring to take pictures with their phones and shit. Then of course comes the choruses of "Oooh girl what I would DO to him"s and "DAMN he is so fine!!!" Really? Omarion "Baby Hair" of B2K is fine? He's fuckin' THIRTEEN YEARS OLD you grown ass bitch. Over there. Sit DOWN.

6. High conversations will be the deepest, most thought provoking, funniest convos ever.
Oh you don't believe me? Take these 2 gems provided by one of my friends after what must have been a particularly potent cipher:
"I don't fuckin' believe in dinosaurs. Not one muthafuckin' place in the Bible have you ever heard of any goddamn dinosaurs."
But wait. There's more...
"You know, I bet if you took an ounce of weed and threw it in the air in space, everybody would get high." WHAT NIGGA?!?!?!?!?

7. Hood anthems set any party off right.
Maybe this is just for me and it completely depends on what you like. But I must admit that at the opening sounds of "I'm so Hood" and "Hood Figga" in the club I was damn near reduced to that hood chick in the club you see that has taken her shoes off to dance to a song.


8. If you stay up til about 6 or 7, you can catch all the people coming back from creeping and sneaking.
HA! NOTHING is better than the Parade of Shame. Don't act like homecoming ain't prime time for random hookups. Hell, staying up and chilling on the Yard around this time when we were still at Howard proved this exhibit to be quite hilarious, but for homecoming it is turned up a notch. You know how it goes. Just go post up somewhere, the lobby of your hotel, the hottest after hours spot, and watch that chick that walks in with her hair still combed but just a lil... played in and pulled. Or take a second to check out that two sitting in the corner, huddled over their table, their convo barely audible, eating like they haven't eaten in days. Yeah. You know what was up with them just probably about an hour ago. I live for that shit.

9. You cannot judge someone by their homecoming persona.
You really shouldn't be judging anyone, but homecoming isn't a good time to make decisions about anyone. I am sure my scandalous ass club outfit that actually required the purchase of a special bra to compliment the ensemble because you would be seeing so much of it would lead many to draw incorrect conclusions. Just like I can't assume the chick I heard getting banged in the bathroom at Love was a hoe. It's just homecoming. People sometimes get a little (too) extra.

10. If you spend all weekend texting, you WILL get talked about.
Without fail. My peculiar phone activities were well documented and discussed. Just a note, if you're trying to keep your shit from nosy ass friends, put a code on your phone so when your friends try to creep your shit to see who you've been talking to, they can't access any info. Follow this with a cuss out when you recognize what they've done.

11. Sometimes the best revenge is knowing you could have done something vicious but chose not to.
And subsequently, it shows alot about your character as well.

12. You really need not try to break in new heels at the club.
I tell myself this all the time. I never listen. I will be sidelined in flats and Forces for AT LEAST a week.

13. Bitch is quite possibly the most versatile word in the English language.
Seriously. It's a sentence unto itself. It's a period. It's an exclamation point. It's an adjective. It's a verb. It's a stroke of red across an otherwise black and white sentence. I use it quite frequently. And all in love. Unless of course you're the bitch I cussed out in Adam's Morgan.

14. The key to anything can unlock alot more than a door.

15. You never miss the life you built for yourself until it's not yours anymore. *sigh* And thus commences the begininng of loser week...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Girl Talk

Our long weeks have found us convened in Mari's living room, random limbs strewn among open Chinese food containters and bottles of wine. Mari, Ella, Butter and I fill each other in on our lives bullet point style, hitting the highlights between small sips of wine. We talk over each other, almost every sentence punctuated with curse words, laughter or a round of sistafriend mmhmm's. I pull the legs of my Howard sweats up above the knees, sprawl out on my back on the couch, my phone on my stomach in case it vibrates, letting loose the ponytail on top of my head. We gesture at each other with chopsticks and forks, our loud laughter bouncing off the walls of the aparment.

After the food is forgotten and the cork has been popped on our third bottle, we proceed seemlessly into the Real Talk portion of the evening, sharing war stories amidst a chorus of "girl you GOT to be fucking kidding me"s.

"Oh my god!" says Butter, throwing her hand to her head in mock mortification. "Mari do you remember The Clapper?" Apparently she does because she bursts into laughter so great it takes her body to the floor.
"Yes! He was roomates with Soon to be Gay, right?" she replies, her face still slightly contorted from her laughter.
"I'm sorry," I butt in, "but... The Clapper? I'm gonna need more information."
"It was this dude that Butter was DYING to get on-"
"You say that like I couldn't get that shit."
"- and dude was having none of it. So Butter is forever hanging around dude-"
"I SERIOUSLY don't appreciate how you making me sound in this story-"
"And finally him and his girl fall out. Butter finds out from one of his boys- wait didn't you fuck him too a couple months later?"
"Oh YES ma'am. At the movies I think."
"Damn!" We all fall over laughing. "Anyway, B finds out he's gonna be at this birthday party somewhere down in the Village at some club. So THIS bitch," she says jabbing her short fingers in Butter's direction, "gets, well, I would say all dressed up but truth is she's damn near naked in one of those tight ass Robin Givens in Boomerang dresses, right? She finds this dude, does her thing, they go home and get it poppin' real lovely as it sounded through our shared wall. They start kicking it. Like, the second time they were together-"
"Aiight lemme take over before you fuck up the punchline. So first time we fucked, it was just crazy cuz we were both so fuckin' toasted, like no bullshit. So the 2nd time we go at it at his place, completely sober. Now lemme go 'head and admit," she pauses for dramatic effect, "my dude's dick game was ON POINT." More laughter from the peanut gallery at how fucking OUTLANDISH this bitch is. "We go at it for like 2 hours or something, yo. So after I cum for like, I dunno, the goddamn 5th time or some shit, before I can even stop twitching good, this nigga jumps up out fuckin' bed and starts clapping. Like, I shit you not. Clapping. I'm talkin' straight up Will Smith in the last scene of Pursuit of Happyness type shit." By now, we are all doubled over in laughter, tears streaming down our faces. We laugh until there is no more laughter, just dry heaves and short breaths as we try to compose ourselves.
"But NO one," offers Mari, "tops the guy who LITERALLY burst into tears after we had sex."
"Whaaaaaaaaaat?!?!" I screech at the top of my lungs barely finished before I dissolve into fresh giggles. "WHERE in the FUCK do y'all MEET these niggas?"
Mari says, "It was this guy I was sooo in love with right after junior year in college."
"Which one was the Cryer?" Butter asks.
"The guy from Philly with the locs and that one dimple in his cheek."
"Ohhh I remember that. Giiiiiiiirl..."
"I know, right? Anyway, we had this CRAZY connection, like we'd just sit up and talk for hours. Just debate and talk and kiss and it was just so goddamn perfect."
"I loooove that feeling," I coo from the couch.
Mari continues, "This went on for months. I was so incredibly crazy about him. We still hadn't slept together. It was like the longest 3 month foreplay EVER. It was just crazy intense. One night we were at his place, and he kissed me and the clothes just started falling off. We make love, and it's sooo good and sooo intense, so beautiful..." she trails off, staring off into space the way you do when memories are whispering in your ear.
"So?" I prompt her, by now so fully involved in this story that I'm sitting up.
"Well, after what seemed like forever, he finally came. I remember distinctly holding on to his back and feeling his muscles contracting under my finger nails. Afterwards I put my hands on his face and then suddenly I feel something wet on the back on my hand. I'm like, did he drool on me? Which, because I was totally infatuated with him beyond reason, I can play off like kinda cute at this juncture, like aww I made him drool. It takes me a second but I realize... nigga is CRYING. Like, HUGE fuckin' tears. Before I can ask what's wrong, he is full on sobbing with his head between my breasts like he just watched his puppy get shot in the face. I am laying there underneath his massive body, naked and completely trapped and this guy is howling on top of me. I'm like what the fuck?!?" We are all dying with laughter.
"No wonder you started fucking chicks!" says Butter in between gasps for air, and we all break down into another fit of loud laughter. Then Ella gets in on it.
"That's better than the chick I dated before Mari."
"What was wrong with her?"
"Lets just say that between her tongue ring and my dislike of Brazil, thing got a little... painful." More howling from the audience. Jesus Christ.

After we settle, the attention turns to me.
"Aiight La so tell us one of your bad sex stories," Ella says, running her fingers through Mari's hair in her lap. I stutter start through a couple mumbles.
"Oh NO MA'AM bitch. Don't be keeping shit!" Butter yells at me while throwing her balled up socks at my head.
"It's just that," I begin, *undiscernable mumble*.
"What's that now?" Butter says. I sigh.
"I've never had bad sex." The universe's DJ snatches the record off the turntable.
"You BITCH!!!" Mari screams at me, her mouth agape. "How in the FUCK is that possible? Everyone has had bad sex." I shrug.
"I've had alot of sex, but not alot of partners. There has been sex that wasn't exactly what I needed or wanted at the time, but never just outright bad." I shrug again. "Y'all oughta stop being hoes." I duck and cover under the immediate assault of incoming pillows and other flying objects.
I say, "Real talk though, I always kinda wished I was the type of chick that could sleep around."
"Why?" Ella prompts.
"Seems like those chicks have all the fun. I mean take for instance Butter-"
"WHAAAAAAT?!?!" she yells at me, looking around for something else to throw.
"Come on Butter lets get serious. You gets it in bitch."
"I mean yeah, but you ain't have to say it all like that." Everyone in the room gives her the Bitch Please look.
"Anyway," I continue, "I mean, on the surface, it seems like the life. Beautiful men, still got your own space, your own life that revolves entirely around whatever makes you happy. I mean, have you ever even had your heart broken?" She shakes her head at me. "See? I'd trade a couple instances of bad sex for that feeling." The room is silent for a second, each one of us reliving past heartache, excavating old gravesites of loves long since buried.
"Shit," says B, "y'all be on that love bullshit." We fall over laughing again.
"Well what's up with you and The Ex?" Ella asks me, her voice soft in the middle, ever the romantic of the group. "You guys still speak?"
"Yeah. Some," I reply, my stomach clenching in knots. "You know how they get after the breakup."
"What do you mean?"
"You know the drill; the apologies, the promises to change, the begging for another chance. The talking about future plans..." I trail off, distracting myself in the smile that the text I just received gives me.
"Future plans? What's he saying?" Ella pushes were most other mere mortals would just back down. The question solicits a hard sigh from me.
"He wants to move. Here. Or at least closer. Move in together. Get a couple more dogs. Destination wedding in Puerto Rico. He's been," I clear my throat, "looking at rings," my cynicism not even slightly masked.
"And...?" Mari asks.
"And when he told me I had a goddamn panic attack." Everyone laughs at me.
"WHAAAT girl?!?!" Butter screams at me from the corner.
"A panic. Attack. Like, for real. I broke out in hives, I started to sweat, couldn't breathe, felt like this huge pressure on my chest. Started to hyperventilate." Silence covers the room.
"Well," Ella begins, "THAT'S not what you want." More laughter.
"So what's the problem mami?" from Mari as she gets up to refil her glass and mine.
I try as best I can, "You know how when you salsa with somebody-"
"Wait, what?" Butter cuts in. "Yall two wetback bitches stay referring to some shit we don't know nothing about." Pillows at her head.
"Anyway," I continue, "its like when you salsa with someone you've never partnered with. In order for the dance to work, to make sense, someone has to give up control. Traditionally, the man leads because it just makes the dance work. But you've gotta trust him to lead. You have to be able to trust that when he lifts you up over his head, he's gonna return you back safely to the ground. That when he dips you, he's not gonna let you fall. That no matter how many times he turns you, he's gonna be there to hold you up when you get dizzy."
"What's the point La?"
"I don't trust him to lead."
Ella, like a romantic comedy on repeat says softly, "But he's at least talking about it."
"And what? Its just talk. That and a quarter won't even buy me a piece of gum. Words in and of themselves are not powerful. It is the intent behind them that holds the power."
She asks, "If he asked you, maybe not right now, you wouldn't do it? I mean you guys were together so long and you went through so much together. How could you not say yes?"
"The same way he could walk away from it all." I pause and try to explain my heart. "I don't want to just pretend nothing happened because now he says he wants the things I wanted 6 months ago. That's not what I want anymore. I'm just not there anymore. I had a GODDAMN PANIC ATTACK Y'ALL. Does it sound like you should start looking for dresses?"
"Do you feel bad about it?"
"Girl please." We all dissolve into laughter again, high fives and hand claps given.

"The real question is," I say, my eyes fixed firmly on Butter, "who the FUCK are you over there boo loving with so hard that's got you all smiling and giggling to yourself?" Instantly her eyes widen and she realizes she's caught. She starts stuttering.
"I mean it it it's nobody."
"Riiiiight. Nobody got you real fucked up over there."
"Oh don't think we ain't noticed you sending furious boo lovin' texts over there." I laugh a guilty laugh.
"But at least I'll admit it."
"Whatever bitch," Butter murmurs at me and heads towards the bathroom, her phone not so discreetly tucked into her palm. We go back to talking and drinking before we realize B has been gone for awhile, and soft giggles are floating from underneath the door. We exchange looks and I push myself off the couch. I pad across the room slowly and stand outside the bathroom door. I pop the bones in my neck, my back and then my knuckles and allow for a moment of silence.

"Bitch if you don't get your Betty Crocker, Pillsberry Doughboy baking, caking, and cupcake making Keebler elf ass out this muthafucka bathroom you better!!!!"

Butter emerges after a hurried goodbye, redfaced and head hung low.
"You," she says pointing at me, "are a fuckin' HATER La. And y'all," she says, her eyes cutting to Ella and Mari curled up on the couch, "as much as we watch y'all cuddle and kiss and shit, yall could at least be nice about it." She looks at us silently.
"Bitch PLEASE!!!" Mari screams from the couch and we burst out laughing. We reassume our positions, listening to Butter tell us about dude she's feeling, her soft voice barely audible above our breathing. This girl looks positively shook. She finishes her monologue about him and looks up at us expectantly.
Ella says, "Damn girl you sound like you like dude, no bullshit."
"I do," she replies. "It's like, usually, the dude is waaay more into me than I am him, and it feels like there's a certain level of, I dunno, control I guess I can maintain. But now..." she trails off, all of us silently nodding in agreement, recalling what it's like to be feeling someone beyond all rational control on so many metaphysical levels its like losing your mind.
"But you don't always have to be in control, B," I offer gently, knowing she won't take too kindly to full out encouragement of being vulnerable.
"Oh you're one to talk."
"What's that mean?"
"What?!? Have you done or said anything to break KB's heart recently? What's up with him?"


"Oooh yeah, I haven't heard about him in forever, what's goin' on with you two?" Mari asks me all nosy, leaning forward like she's really anticipating the answer.
"Well," I start.

*deep breath...*

Monday, October 15, 2007

But Somedays I Sit and Wish I was a Kid Again


I'm feeling rather nostalgic right now for the days of yore... you know, lemon heads, decorating your locker, Friday night football games. And maybe even before that, back to the days of freeze tag and Transformers and multicolored barretts in my hair.

I know, I know, I'm far too long into this adulthood thing to turn back but DAMN what a nigga wouldn't give for nap time right about now.

Remember when things were simple? When the only bills you had to pay were your tickets to prom and concessions at the movies? When you agonized for HOURS about what to wear on those 2 days a week that you knew you had class with that boy and you had to be absolutely flawless? Remember that one cool ass teacher that every class lead to a random conversation that seemed at the time like it wasn't teaching you anything but now, years later, you recall it's content and smile because it was so correct.

Me and Joy had a convo a few months back talking about how much money we used to have in high school. Ahh the good ol days. We'd kill the mall every weekend, coming home with bags of new gear to rock the following week. I was too sick with it. I didn't repeat the same outfit in a month, even wrote it down to keep it all correct, everything matched perfectly down to my bra and panties and you KNOW my hair was always fresh because even back then I REFUSED to let anybody catch me slipping.
It's hard to believe there was a time when those were my priorities.

And remember your love life? Remember crushes? Notes passed in the hallway, sitting in the stands watching him run around the track, letterman's jackets and sneaky late night phone conversations when you were supposed to be asleep. Remember how fun, how light hearted it was, though at the time it felt so SERIOUS. I remember I used to want to talk to First Love so bad that the weekends I was with staying with my daddy, we'd have a code so I'd know he wanted to talk to me. He'd call the house, let it ring once and hang up. Or he'd send a page to my little red pager (of course it was red) and leave a code telling me where to call him back or just that he was thinking of me, or loved me.

I remember having the biggest crush on this one dude for years. We used to kick it whenever I'd go over to my girl's house because his cousin lived in the same apartments and he lived down the street. We hit it off instantly, spent so many nights talking and giggling and flirting. We'd sit outside on the stoop in the summer, watching all the shit we probably wasn't supposed to be seeing pop off in the hood, talk about any and everything until the sun came up on our conversation. I remember one night we literally fell asleep on the back porch at his cousin's place, woke up, brushed our teeth, showered, cooked breakfast and went right back out there to pick up where we left off, talking shit, eating candy, sneaking kisses that would invariably dissolve me into giggles.
So when did it get so damn complicated?

I know, I know, I'm too far along into this adulthood thing to turn back, and in my more objective moments, I probably wouldn't.

But sometimes I miss it. Sometimes I'd give anything to be that little girl, playing basketball in the street with the boys, testing my naive hand at flirting, pondering the perfect outfit to wear for tomorrow and planning the perfect accidental bumping into him even though I knew his class schedule like my birthday. I miss writing my phone number on boys' palms with red lipliner (my signature move) taking my time with the 'L' and positioning it just so to create tingles up his arm. I miss sitting in Joy's room and listening to Fiona Apple and reading magazines, blissfully unaware of the world outside our door as much as a terribly astute 12 year old can be.

I miss diaries and jump ropes and racing to the candy lady on the corner to get hot fries and pickles. I miss when I could crush without breaking and and smile without waiting for the catch. I miss curling my tiny self up and sleeping in the middle of 20 teddy bears. I miss Saturday morning cartoons and feeling like a big girl because I could climb the counters and get my own cereal. I miss simplicity.

And I think that maybe I can get it back. Maybe not in it's childish form, but certainly there has to be some simplicity that can exist in life, in love, in work, if you strive for the balance. That is the hope of the 7 year old sitting in the corner in my head, tugging on her hairbows, and trusting me to see us through.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

So in Summary

"That's courage, integrity... courage again, and not litigious. So there you go."

The unconditional key to my heart to anyone who knows what that's from!!!

The weekend in summary...

1. I ended up only cutting an inch or two off my hair, and getting some layers. It's all swingy!!! And shiiiiiiiiny. It always shocks me how DARK it is when I get my color touched up...
...and by 'dark' of course I mean how pale I am...
...and by 'how pale I am' of course I mean how absolutely Rican I look with all this dark ass hair

2. I MUST get rid of one of my phones. Having one electronic leash is bad enough; but two? Fuggidaboudit. I cannot take this shit. So I'm thinking next month when I indulge myself in my new gold Blackberry Curve (my current electronic obsession) I will also look into getting rid of the dead weight.

3. Just because you are grown, that doesn't mean that butterflies are not still real and very much so a deterrent to anything you hope to accomplish that does not end in a giggle. Oh, and Halmark really does have a card for everything, whether they intended it or not.

4. waxing is the anti-Christ.

5. no sentence should ever be closed with, "that's how I did it when I was a man."

6. the universe sent me my dog to notso gently remind me that I am NOT prepared (nor might I ever be) to have children.

7. falling down the stairs in front of a bar full of beautiful people is not a good look. The only recourse is to hide behind a plant until someone pulls the car around.

8. everything IS bigger in Texas. Praise dance!

9. I should not be craving a shot of Jack Daniels right now. But instead of delving into what said desire might mean for the neccessity of my attendance at certain annonymous meetings, I choose to believe this speaks to a greater desire to spend time with my wife.

10. gay women are just as persistant as straight men. Go figure.

11. I am in desperate need of travelling outside of the country within the next year

12. 5-1. I don't wanna talk about it.

13. no one should allow me to get anymore tattoos.

14. I am also in desperate need of a really good massage

15. some people are sincerely allergic to real talk

16. yes I know I don't NEED thigh high leather boots, but really, I NEEEEEED them to liiiiiiiiiiive

17. when travelling for a weekend, you should NOT be bringing a bag so big that you can LITERALLY sit in. But alas, I am.

Friday, October 12, 2007


I am in a truly horrifically bad mood. Like just... ugh. Today is just so thoroughly bad I need to get a drink, go to sleep, and try for the remix tomorrow.

Maybe I'm just being moody...?

I know I'm not feeling too well, sore throat, body aches, all that greatness. That could be part of it. I've been sitting at my desk for about 2 hours. For some strange reason, all the paperwork on my desk is starting to look like big fluffy pillows. Maybe if I kept a secret stash of Goose in my bottom drawer and just laid down on them for a seconds I could get this party started.

This guy keeps coming over to my desk to find files. This wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that A. He smells like smoke and B. I am utterly disgusted by the prescence of all human beings in my orbit right this very second.

So I'm being quite. God I feel like shit. K (one of the chicks I work with) is trying in vain to make me smile. I would, except it hurts my head.

Is it wrong that my 1st thought was that I need to get my shit together before tomorrow because not only do I need to work overtime, but I have alot of hair, waxing, facial, mani/pedi to get done in preparation for homecoming next week.

Yeah. I'm that sincere with it.

I'm small enough to squeeze under my desk and hide from the humans until 6, right?

P.S. You know what I fuck I HATE? If you call me and I don't pick up the phone and you leave a message... why do you then send me a text? And then a text to my other phone? And then call me again? Wtf is your problem?!? CLEARLY I'm screening. Everyone knows I screen. CLEARLY I don't wanna talk to you at this moment. You're just making it worse on

Monday, October 8, 2007

Fake Ass Holiday and Other Things That Are Making me Smile

I am tired y'all.

But pretty happy about it. :-)

So in the spirit of all things positive, here's a lil look at what's been going on via a list of all the things that are making me smile uncontrollably as of late...

1. Laughing at the things people do in their cars during rush hour traffic. This is the only thing that makes my commute bearable. To date I have seen countless personal concerts, a couple domestic disputes, a few random sex acts, and one guy apparently getting the holy ghost via blue tooth. HA!

2. Talking to X Factor. I CANNOT TAKE HER. LOL Everyday that I get an email from her or talk to her on the phone is instantly funnier. INSTANTLY. So far, she has made me look at aluminum foil differently, allowed me to discuss my issues with being a mommy, made me resolve to never try and get Thai food in Jerz and convinced me that my life is not the only one where all this random just extra SHIT happens. She's so much. She's so EXTRA. I ADORE her. (Despite her misfortune at picking her alma mater :-P)

3. My black nails. For some reason I decided against my usual french manicure on the hands/pale pink or red on the toes combo. Instead, my nails and toes are painted black. It was a bit of a shock for me as I am A. not used to seeing polish on my nails and B. you know, they're black. But they're SO CUTE. And it's different. And people keep looking at me like, "Oh, black polish on La was so unexpected." Maybe I will keep it.

4. Having natural curly hair. Because truthfully, I'm lazy yall. And having the kinda hair that you can wet, run some mousse thru and then walk outta the house is like God's way of rewarding my occassional hair apathy. Days like this are the days I know that I couldn't truly go back to having a perm. (Ask me again tomorrow.)

5. White Chocolate Mochas from Starbucks. God bless every barista in this world that can make it right.

6. Shoes. I had some shoes I'd never worn and found some other shoes I promptly fell in love with. I went back and exchanged them so now I am the owner of a pair of semi round toe, red patent leather heels. They're my version of "There's no place like home"... except with a lil slut thrown in for good measure. Expect them to make their debut during HU homecoming in a week and a half.

7. HOWARD HOMECOMING!!!!!!!!!! I am deliriously excited. DE.LER.I.OUS.LY!!! I get to see my wife! I get to see my sister, and my Will and all my fav people on earth! I GET TO WEAR OBSCENELY FABULOUS OUTFITS FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN BECAUSE I'M FABULOUS. And hopefully someone will take ALOT of pics, because I am pretty much guaranteed to not remember ANY of it.

8. Phone calls to "tuck me in" at night... that last for 5 hours. *sigh* *BIG smile*

9. Closure. You know how when you look back and you go, "Damn. That's over." And you're really ok with it? I LOVE that moment. And I love that I've reached that moment about a couple situations.

10. My job. I love it. I genuinely like being there. Despite the fact that I am tired when I get there because I've been keeping some late nights (TOTALLY worth it), I truly enjoy the people I work with. And once I come out of my shell a little bit more, they are gonna love me even more. I'm happy for the stability. I'm just happy for the happy. Looking back on it, I realize now that all the things I asked for in my next job, I have gotten. I see the Woman upstairs showin' out!!!

So now that I've started, there are about 3 million more things I wanna write. But on to the real point of this post. The thing that has given me the biggest smile today...

"Fuck this fake ass holiday."

That is the first sentence I uttered this morning, lol.

Real talk, why do we celebrate Columbus day? I mean, I know, it's great if you get the time off, and all that good stuff, but wtf is the point? He DIDN'T DISCOVER SHIT. Not only was it already here, it was already INHABITED. WTF?!?!?! All you did was come through and fuck over the Indians. And you want me to celebrate?!?! BOOOOOOOOOO!!! I REFUSE! I WILL NOT!!! My future kids WILL NOT!!! Even if I hadn't had to work today, I woulda came to work anyway in protest. Just, BOO!.

Now Shani, let's get ready to kick off the weekend with our traditional shot of Jack.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


I'd be lying if I said I wasn't distracted.

I mean, I'm doing work, sure, but only in the interim between the silent chimes of my phone. As I'm typing at my computer, I'm accutely aware of its prescence at the corner of my desk. After a moment, I see the colored ball dance a rainbow from yellow to orange to red to blue, and it strikes me as odd that these are the colors of open flame. Immediately, everything on the monitor is all but forgotten.

I read. Before I can even get to the concluding period, my facade of cool has all but left me. I'm squirming in my chair, my thighs squeezed tight at my knees, my breathing thick. My mouth goes simultaneously desert dry and then fills with saliva like craving something you're dying to eat. I swallow, just barely and suddenly I'm extremely aware of the weight of my hair on my neck. I twist it up and clip it on top of my head. My eyes are mere slants beneath heavy lids and my body temperature has shot up at least 10 degrees. Sweat prickles at the small of my back as I pop a button on my collared shirt.

I type back, each word feeling like falling a foot further down this spiral, and what alarms me is that I have absolutely no intention of NOT hitting the bottom.

I turn back to my work, my breathing still more than slightly choppy, every inch of my skin very much so aware of every stitch of fabric that lays on it. In my mind, I'm unbuttoning each button on my white shirt, loosening my hair from its clip and shaking it loose around my shoulders, unzipping my skirt from behind, peeling it over the curve of my hips before kicking it aside. Maybe I'd leave the pearls and the heels on.

But in reality, I'm just a girl sitting at a desk, mildly interested in typing up the project on the screen in front of her, pretending that the words rolling across her phone have no affect on her, just another random assembly of words, the syntax of which is not any kind of cerebral foreplay to which I find myself thouroughly addicted to.

The lights dance their silent fire in the corner and my breath catches in my throat. Just that quick, I too have gone from yellow, to orange, to red, to the hottest blue, aflame from inside, each letter stroking the outward edges of the fire and fanning it out. Everything it touches turns to ash, an insignificant impediment to the impending explosion.

With every word, I'm damn near engulfed.

After reading again, this time the temperature turned up another 20 degrees, I have to sit back. I'm so hopelessly out of control. I want to maintain my footing, to respond with something equal parts witty and suggestive, but I find myself speechless. I close my eyes, my head hung low, my hair hopefully covering the deep flush that has risen across my breasts and up to my face. I chew on my bottom lip, feeling my heartbeat fall several feet below where it should reside.

This is, by far, the sweetest kind of torture.