Saturday, December 27, 2008
And yet somehow, some way, like gravity, we get pulled together. Objectively I can say that this universal pull is weighted evenly between the both of us. We are intertwined explicitly, probably forever.
Poetic shit like that.
Except our shit is less Love Jones and more Two Can Play that Game now. A ridiculous set of foolishness that you watch when nothing else is on, but you can't help but shake your head at because you know it could be, should be, better than this.
It used to be.
"Keep it. It's yours. Ours."
"It will be there when I'm not."
"That sounds strange."
"You not being there."
"I know, right?"
"It doesn't seem right."
"It isn't. I've loved you almost as long as I've been alive."
The mere demographics of the city, the specific niches in the city that our shared interests inhabit, almost guarantee that we will run into each other even if we avoid each other, like we used to try to do. We are still so inexplicably bonded that it seemed (and still seems) the universe was always conspiring against us, throwing us at each other full force, even when we were running as hard as we could in opposite directions.
"It's crazy how I know you're around before I know you're around."
We'd try, mostly in vain, to keep our distance. But it was inevitable that we'd see someone we once knew when we were We, and with the mere mention of the other's name, that delicate illusion of an island would be shattered. If we were very unlucky, we would be caught completely unaware by our running into each other; we'd look across the room and catch eyes at the same moment. The hair on the back of my neck would stand up straight and I'd know he was coming long before he ever put his large hand on the small of my back, slightly lower than where someone would who isn't as intimately familiar as he with my form.
Blood is hastening it's descent to my head, pooling and whipping ferociously in my ears. I am gasping for air, the pressure on my head mounting with every inch I slide backwards. I feel like I am being choked but his hands aren't around my throat. I feel his hands, large enough to hold an ample thigh in each one, radiating heat through my skin. He's talking to me, no language I could write but we are beautifully fluent. He rides me like a melody, I'm singing the notes and he's laying the track, each sound symphonic in a way unique to Us. His flute beckons me, pied piper to each vertebrae of my spine, arching indiscriminately, drawn to his melody, matching his beat.
We tumble, a blur of blue sheets and multi-hued limbs, his long legs supporting my own, my knees burning. I feel his hands on my hips, up my back, lifting the long hair matted to the center of my spine, twining it around his fingers, pulling. He's wrapped around me, close, his teeth on my ear.
"Tell me you love me."
I think we started reaching out to each other just to alleviate the tension, the surprise of not planning. We both enjoy control, the least of which should be within our power is the wrangling of the memories that are still too vivid, still too alive to all the senses to not be damn near debilitating.
It's easy to forget, when we retreat to our separate corners of the world, that even though we are now just me and him, we used to be Us. It's easy to shrug it off as childish dalliance. To shake our head at who the other has become in our absence. Intellectually, we know we are so far from Back Then.
"Sometimes I still think about us. I mean it's been so long, but I do."
"You don't? Not ever?!"
"No. Not really."
"It's just... it was so long ago. I've moved on. I don't see us together ever again. I don't love you anymore."
"I'm sorry... you what?!"
"I don't love you anymore."
I think I always thought that eventually we would be just memories. In many ways that has proven true, but, verily, we are part of a living history, an alive and breathing thing all unto itself. Impossibly, inexplicably, irrevocably intertwined.
We always come back to this.
"We were good together, once."
"Whenever I tell anyone how long we were together, they can't believe it."
"Yeah me too."
"It was good with us, right?"
"Yeah, it was. We were good together. Back then.
"Yeah. I think about it. I think about it alot actually."
I am, just by the sheer nature of my being, the type of creature that likes to pretend that I burst fully formed on the scene, no past to define me, no memories to haunt me.
I'm a liar to myself, that way.
"I know some things that...we...need to talk about."
"Ok. What do you want me to say?"
"You could say it isn't like I think it is."
"It wasn't. Isn't."
"Or you could just tell me you love me."
I recognize the inevitability of history, it's inherent need therein to be remembered and documented and shared. To be dissected and decided and to eventually, hopefully, become a part of your emotional landscape that still creates a beautiful terrain that you are familiar with. A place that all those that travel to that land afterwards can easily navigate.
Or, you could be us.
"Shawty you what?!?!?"
"Oh, like you even surprised."
"I mean, I'm not, but I am, you know? Shit."
"It was so obvious to everybody else."
"Yo' ass didn't know."
"That's real talk."
"Well, goddamn. You taking this shit a little bit too far, ain't you?"
"Is there anything wrong with yo' ass."
"Come on now. Let's keep it trill; ain't nothing the fuck wrong with me."
It doesn't matter the evasive maneuvers. We are always found because at the end of the day, we are always us, gravitationally attracted to each other, the polar ends of a magnet still complimentary. We still find each other, fit together like Back Then, even though we are no longer who we once were, are more than We were.
"I hear you're in my city."
"It's more my city than it ever will be yours nigga."
"You been gone too long."
"Shut the fuck up with that bullshit."
"Fine. I heard you in Our City."
Yeah. Here we are.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I defy you to convince me that you didn't spend the entire 2 hours of Ironman as distracted as I did. DEFY.
And the man who started it all...
Seriously, Mr. President? That's how you feel?
And though he is not 40something, but in the spirit of age inappropriate crushes..
Oh, Joey. **swoon** Yall know I love him.
Who did I miss? Let me know in the comments.
I am out of town for 2 weeks! I haven't decided yet if I will blog or not... depends on how sober I am. Have a happy and safe holidays everybody! Love ya :-)
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 16 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 16 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you!
1. I am almost scarily clean. Clutter makes it harder for me to think and since my very existence depends on me being able to do just that and overdo it, I keep everything neat. But not just neat. We're talking everything arranged in right angles or by height, or separated by color or type or shape or the order in which I use them. That's right, I'm THAT guy. Bob is gonna hate living with me. :-(
2. When I was younger I wanted to be Jessica Rabbit... literally.
3. I often make up words... and use them so often that I forget they are not in fact real words. I have had to retire my La-speak, and pull out my King's English for job interviewing and such, and often I find myself wanting to say things like 'skepty' which has become a shortened version of 'skeptical' in order to be joined with other words and phrases; i.e. 'giving u the skepty eye'. I don't think that my potential employees will find this practice an indication of my ability to think outside the box.
4. I didn't get my license til I was 21. Mostly because when I was in high school, instead of getting my permit at 15 and then my license like everyone else, my mother had the bright idea to send me to defensive driving before I got mine. Which woulda been fine except we were broke. And I was taking 8 classes (2-3 of which were Honors or AP), in no less than 6 clubs and after school activities, and worked 2 jobs. When the hell was I gonna go?! Luckily I went to college in a city where a car wasn't absolutely necessary, but to this day I maintain that "I want you to take defensive driving" is really just Hebrew for "I wanna know where you are at all times and this is the best way I know to control that."
5. I skipped more class than should ever be allowed in both high school and college. So I see how well that whole thing above worked out for my mom. It all started my 10th grade year when I realized that I could get away with stuff because my teachers liked me and the coaches and resource officers patrolling the hallways in between classes always assumed I was in the hall for a legitimate reason. Pretty soon, I stopped going to classes I didn't particularly wanna sit through, instead opting to go to the library, or go sit in on another class of a favorite teacher. In 11th grade, I was vice president of my class so I had the excuse that I was handling "class business". And my boyfriend was a senior so we spent his senior skip day at his house. Senior year I all but stopped going to class except to take tests, instead opting to go pick up an extra dance class or voice lesson. Unfortunately for my professors, this trend continued throughout college, although I did go with a bit more frequency (when I had to).
6. I have excellent gaydar... now. Despite a number of high profile failings, one in particular, my gaydar is now the intuitive equivalent of a finely tuned Bentley. I am happy to report that since we worked out the last of the software kinks, I have yet to be wrong. I can pretty much pick a homo out anywhere... yes, even via blog. I see you niggas.
7. I used to be deathly afraid of hospitals. Like, to the point where I could only make it a few feet within the door without hyperventilating and passing out. Once, a friend of mine (also deathly afraid of hospitals) was in the hospital so I spent the night camped out on the grass beneath her room window, talking to her before her surgery.
8. I have semi good reason to fear that there is something very seriously wrong with my health... like, if I ignore it could possibly kill me. I refuse to go to the doctor.
9. I once had the opportunity to move to London a few years ago. I can't believe I didn't go. I think about it at least once a week and feel like shit because of it.
10. I am good... at everything. No bullshit. With the exception of parallel parking, which has thus far eluded me, even the things I don't already somehow know how to do, I can pick up and master fairly quickly. I cook things I have never cooked before with no recipe, I can play most sports really well, I read superfast, a million other things that I do without trying and do well. You can feel free to hate me but...
11. I am deathly afraid of doing most of the things I really wanna do because I fear I might actually be as amazing as I think I am.
You don't get it either, huh?
12. I secretly think I am Britney Spears. Ok... not in real life. But I have come to realize why I always cut her so much slack; I have lived a mostly tightly controlled, proper life. I have done and said all the things I am supposed to say and do, been the model student/leader/girlfriend/daughter that I was taught I was supposed to be. With a few notable exceptions, I have always been fairly responsible, and downright wise beyond my years.
And I am SO SICK of the shit.
I find myself wanting to rebel in all sorts of outrageous and extra and foolish ways, only because I haven't before. You know those years everyone has where they spent all their time doing whatever they pleased, worrying little about the consequences, satisfying all their whims, living life, you know, just generally acting their age?
I've never had those.
And I fear my window to do so is closing swiftly. And so, to avoid having some kinda Britney style, head shaving meltdown or a hell of a mid-life, I feel like I should get all of those things out of my system that I haven't truly done before. That being said...
13. Going to Madrid and Paris for my 16th birthday was one of the best moments of my life. Graduation was another. But this tops them both. Isn't that sad?
14. I am OBSESSED with gadgets. I am always searching for the newer, better version of the thing I got a year ago that I absolutely HAD. TO. HAVE. Which is why I really need to work for Apple, ASAP.
15. I always make friends
16. With the above being said, I am AWFUL at networking. Or at least I am in environments and at events where I am supposed to be networking. I hate it. It feels so forced and pretentious. Can't I just keep the drink and lose the pretenses? Bah.
I ain't tagging nobody, but if, like me, you are at a loss for anything substantial to write about (and if, also like me, you can't seem to be able to finish this list), feel free to steal!
Friday, December 12, 2008
I have been doing a lot of reflecting lately, so I had prepared myself for this beautiful post answering the first of these questions, but then something else pulled my focus. So walk with me for a minute...
Lord knows I try my hardest to disagree with everything that comes out of Diddy's mouth. More often than not, every single thing that nigga coon says is in direct conflict with A. How intelligent I am and B. How intelligent I have to believe he is. So I try to dismiss it as pure coonery and tom foolery.
But maybe he was on to something when he was discussing the epidemic of Bitchassness.
Lately, for some reason, I have been astounded by reports of widespread Bitch Ass Nigga Syndrome from my friends, co-workers, random bloggers, the news, people I eavesdrop on. It is beginning to become quite a serious condition that is affecting all of us. And in the spirit of national unity that my president has inspired, I think we should all do something to help. I have devoted more than a few posts to extreme cases of Bitchassness. I consider this doing my part, raising awareness of the early warning signs.
Such as this one...
If the guy in the office who is smarter/more attractive/more driven than you gets praise, and you spend the next hour on the phone in your cube whispering feverishly and then whining until 5pm when I clock out... you are a bitch.
And since you asked, like only a pussy would, HELL YEAH I'D LET HIM HIT. Have you SEEN this dude?!?
You ever fucked with a real dude? I don't mean that in the literal sense. But I mean, have you ever dealt with a truly REAL ASS NIGGA? Personally, trill is an attribute like swagger that, like air, I simply cannot do without. Lord knows I've dealt with a bitch ass nigga a time or two in this here life, but I have also had the distinct pleasure of being involved with some who registered off the meter in trill.
Remember back when you could take niggas at their word? When even the grimiest most criminal dude had some kinda honor to himself as part of his constitution. Remember back when niggas didn't do things like...
... leaving packages of things she left at your place on her doorstep and busting windows out of cars... like a bitch?
What in the bitch nigga hell?
Remember how when a dude was through with you, he actually came out his mouth said he was through rather than acting like an ass til you said it was over...
... rather than calling and crying at 3 o'clock in the goddamn morning on a Tuesday because you cheated on her and want her back?
Remember when a man's idea of grooming was making sure he kept his nails cut short so he didn't scratch you when... well, just so that he didn't scratch you?
... Instead of coming and getting a milk bath soak and body wrap with me.
Oh my God do you remember when dudes could LAY IT DOWN? And I don't mean they were simply just good in bed, I mean all out-sweat-out-your-hair-pull-a-muscle-in-your-back-I-have-absolutely-no-choice-but-to-pass-out-because-I-am-so-completely-worn-out-but-I-cant-wait-to-tell-my-best-friend kinda dick. Just a little note... if you're complaining about having to cuddle with your girl after sex, you have no one to blame but yourself because if you'd fucked her til she PASSED THE FUCK OUT then she wouldn't need to cuddle.
And you mean to tell me there are still niggas in the world that don't eat pussy?
Sir, please go outside and kill yourself.
I am missing men the way they used to be. The ones that didn't take no shit, but didn't have to be overtly aggressive to prove the size of their balls.
The ones that recognized that providing for his family was mandatory, not an option.
Ones that realized that loving a woman with everything they have was a badge of honor, not a flash of weakness.
Men that know how to use a power drill and grill a steak. Men that play hide and seek and set bedtimes. Men that knew how to be self assured without being arrogant.
Who don't talk to me while the Cowboys are playing.
Who wouldn't know cashmere or mink if you wrapped it around a stripper while she gave him a lap dance.
Who recognize that talking louder or more doesn't mean you're saying anything worth listening to.
Who didn't get angry with their partners for trying to get their lives together, instead figuring out how they could get their shit to follow suit.
I miss men who didn't snitch.
Who didn't gossip.
Who knew how to be their mother's son without trying to turn their mother into their wife.
So why is it that we have to settle for this new breed of bitch? We didn't sign up for this shit. Why it is that you, in your childish pursuit of passive aggressive no fault emotional cheating, can't stop pissing her off but yet you can't deal with her being angry? Get off the fence. Your balls have got to hurt from straddling it so long.
I think the issue is that for too long, women have been the ones complaining and reporting these instances of Bitch Ass Nigga Syndrome. I would think that more real niggas would be complaining about it; after all you are the ones that end up looking bad. Or are you too much of a dying breed, too concerned with fighting off extinction that you don't have time to speak out?
I'm not sure what the case is. However, I certainly do wish that there were more men hollering present when the real nigga roll is called so less women were hollering about dogs.
If nothing else, do it for me. I can't stand these whiny bitches any more than you can.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
But I'll be damned if my little brother isn't trying to prove me wrong.
Last night as I was pretending that I didn't have insomnia, my little brother texted me to tell me he was having yet another major surgery this week (see how I'm glossing right over that? See the glossing? **covering my ears** la la la la la la la la la la la laaaaaaaaaa) and we started texting back and forth for the better part of three hours or so. It was probably the best conversation I have had in a very long time.
Somewhere around around three, I texted Joy...
Um... when did this child get to be so SMART?!?!?
It was quite a beautiful thing to recognize that my brother is no longer the impressionable kid who may or may not have let me put him in the dryer just to "see what it was like". Sure, I hope against all hope that he still thinks I am the coolest thing since Scooby Doo in technicolor, but I realize that he is his own person, with his own definitive ideas.
He's like, almost a grown up.
So after I have a slight anxiety attack, and then sob into my pillow that is already damp from the tears I'd cried earlier, I decided to indulge him. I tried to measure my words so that I could give him advice or spur him to say something without him feeling like I was judging or being overbearing. We talked about everything from video games to college to religion. At one point, after he'd made a particularly vague point about God, I asked him to clarify his position and
I don't really believe there is a god as in only one superior being watching
over us and having all the power in the universe... I'm more on the positive and
negative energy kind of thinking, as in the way we use those energies affect our
lives... to me there is something like God but it isn't necessarily a being; its
the universe and the way the energy within makes things happen.
I'm sorry... WHAT SIR?!??!?! Did I mention my brother is 19 years old?!?! Granted, I don't necessarily share his view, but I WISH I could have articulated my religious beliefs that well at his age. And as if that wasn't bad enough, he went on to talk about religious doctrine (specifically Christianity) as it relates to slavery, stem cell research, abortion, separation of church and state, slavery, civil rights, The Crusades, terrorism, segregation, the historical accuracy of the book of Revelations, and masturbation.
Oh my God. My little brother said masturbation.
Even more interestingly enough, we discovered that we both have very different ideas of what it was like for us growing up together, but separate. As we talked, it was nice to be able to fill in the blanks for him, to be able to gently correct some of the inaccuracies he'd been told. It was nice to be able to talk about what it was like for me growing up, and have the person responding be someone who was a part of that living history. I recognize that he is at that age now where he will either find out or need to be told some of the things that were kept from him because he was a child. But I enjoyed just getting inside his head a little, I appreciated the honesty. Who knew we both thought that we both thought the other was better liked?
I am incredibly in awe of how smart he is, how funny and opinionated, and sure of himself he is at 19. Hell, at 19 I was a drunken, reeling, emotional mess, despite my other positive qualities. Who the hell raised this kid? lol
As I sit at my desk at work, surrounded by pictures of him from shortly after he was born, all the way up to high school, I can't help but smile at this new picture I have of him as it exists; an incredibly intelligent, astute and handsome young man who is rapidly outgrowing the childhood that I treasure. Sure, it's bittersweet, but it's kind of amazing to witness as well.
Monday, December 8, 2008
"Need was like a weed, a virus, a mold. Once you admitted to it, it spread
I wish I were more like Joy. She thinks that love should always win. Though I can't bring myself to cosign, I have always believed that there is a particular strength in that mindset, a certain hopeful fearlessness, that very few people have the cajones to posses, let alone govern their lives by.
Least of all, me.
See, I am less familiar with the land of Faith and more comfortable in the land of Real; people lie. They cheat. They steal. They fall in love. They get married. They get divorced. They spend the rest of their lives hating themselves and the other for ever loving the other. Real people have regrets. Things fall apart.
That isn't to say that I believe that Joy is anyway immune or naive to these things. No, instead she possess a certain balance, if you will, that I cannot seem to ascertain myself.
And kinda don't want to...?
I have never been particularly comfortable with having needs. Or rather, certain needs. The need to eat? Of course. Sexual needs? I'm all over that. But my life has been engineered and lived in such a way that has taught me the inherent danger in needing certain things, in needing someone.
Personally, I'd rather not.
"Need was like a weed, a virus, a mold..."
It kinda takes over you, doesn't it? Needing? Not to be confused, of course, with needy. But it always seemed to me that the danger in needing was not necessarily the possibility of being disappointed; any and all interaction, even that of a non-emotional nature, bears the possibility of that. And moreover, it's simply just stupid to think that avoiding interaction with people will protect you from disappointment. That isn't gonna happen.
But rather, the danger always seemed to me what happens after a need isn't fulfilled...
How do you deal with the possibility that your needs may not be being met by the very person that you need? And how do you reconcile that with the fact that not only has the need not been met, but you still need it?
I will cop to resentment (of myself mostly) when I feel as though there is something I need that I cannot somehow satisfy myself. And while I recognize that being a completely self satisfying creature in and of itself is improbable, if not impossible, I still feel that way. But what I resent even more is catering to the needs of others, no matter how unhealthy or hurtful, and still not having my needs met.
I resent that shit.
So much so in fact that it makes me question why I even bother.
I recognize, in my more objective moments, that I bother because it is my nature, because it is human to desire to be both needed and to need someone else. I know intellectually that I try because I am a good person, because I am, by the design of life experience, a nurturer who wants more than anything to provide a place where the people that I love can feel free to be themselves, no matter how ugly themselves may be at the time. That is important to me. It is a part of who I am. And maybe I have no always done enough to maintain a balance in this endeavor, but it's a part of me. And one that I am proud of.
I know, even more than that, I try because it matters to me and it's important.
But some days I just wanna be like, fuck it.
At this point, I can't think of much I have to show for it.
Unless you count my weight in gold in the currency of resentment, of course.
"Once you admitted to it, it spread and ruled."
Admittedly, I have always struggled with a deep seated fear of admitting to needing someone or something. Mostly because, when I was younger, I believed that doing so gave someone else a certain amount of control or power over you that I have never been altogether too comfortable with relinquishing. I recognize as I get older, that this isn't really the case unless you are dealing with a controlling and superbly flawed individual. (Which I have been known to do.) But rather I find, that in the instance of gambling on the possibility that the people in my life can somehow serve the needs that I expect them to, I am losing far too much. I keep losing the gamble.
And I can't afford that shit.
I wish I were more like Joy. Not in the way that I wish we were more similar, but more so that I could bring myself to believe that the gamble was always worth it. Because I don't.
And more and more, I start to believe that I am right.
Love always wins...it's the lovers that sometimes lose.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
First things first... thanks for all your well wishes about my brother. He is out of the hospital and home and doing well. :-)
I am all over the place and trying to come up with a real post for you guys but you will have to deal with this randomness like...
I spent my Thanksgiving in Vegas/L.A. What did you do? **batting my eyelashes innocently**
I finally got a new camera. I am pretty sure that it is all I need in this world to survive... that and some more Roscoe's. Jesus. SOOOOO good, lol
Speaking of LA... I got to meet mia. She is every bit as gorgeous, fantastic, warm and funny as I thought she would be. It's ok to be jealous. We understand.
We also went to see BBD at the House of Blues on Sunset.
I'll hold for your jealousy and hatred...
If BBD comes to your town on tour (because, oh yes, they are TOURING) then do yourself a favor and GO!!! It was a damn good show. Probably the best I have seen since Stevie Wonder. Pics and a video of Poison will be posted later.
GO SEE THEM!!!!
Why is it that I get so completely swept up in the last scene from The First Wives Club when they are singing "You Don't Own Me"? It's gotta be one of my all time favoritest scenes from a movie. So much so that I have the song on my ipod. And may or may not have busted out singing it in the middle of LAX... complete with choreography.
Anywho, forgive this lack of a real post. I'll work on it... maybe. Or, I'll tell you that I will but instead will settle in for a Clean House Marathon. Either or.
So far my holiday season doesn't suck horribly. Let's hope it sticks!!! lol
I just saw this video on Perez Hilton and nevermind that I agree with almost every point that is made, the most important thing is...
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! THIS SHIT IS FUNNY!!! LOL
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
"Hey La. I gotta talk to you about something."
I can hear the trees whipping by my car. The air they slice through breaks to either side loudly, telling me I am probably driving far faster than I should be. But my body feels heavy, and subsequently, the pedal is closer to the floor than it would be if I were in my right mind.
From behind the bars of the crib come little squeals, staccato and quiet at first, quickly escalating to a rolling forte, waking me from my sleep. I crawl over the wide expanse of the mattress, pulling myself upright at the carpeted floor. At the crib, I pull the small step stool from underneath and mount it, releasing the catches on the bars as I go, sliding them down enough so that I can reach in. His tiny red face calms slightly, his mouth still poised in an open 'O', ready to start howling again at a moments notice. I run my tiny fingers through his soft tuft of curly hair and murmur to him quietly. His tiny hands grab at my fingers and he kicks in glee. Bracing myself against the side of the crib, I lift him in my arms, the entire length of his body stretching more than half the length of mine. Even as an infant his size belies that he will one day be taller than me, despite him being almost 6 years my junior.
"What?!?!" I screech, swerving to barely miss a truck I am about to sideswipe because I drifted into his lane. "What happened?!?"
I walk both of us as best I can back to my bed, laying down and curling my tiny body around his even smaller one. I burrow him into the recess of my torso, singing and talking to him softly, letting is head rest against my chest so he can hear my heartbeat. Before long, he has drifted back off to sleep and I, after one final inhale of his baby scent, follow off to sleep behind him.
"One of your brother's lungs collapsed."
He falls while going for a layup, scraping his knee on one of the ragged boards on our porch. I swoop him up and carry him inside, cleaning his scrape while simultaneously correcting his form. I finish it off with a scooby band-aid because, like his big sister, he likes Scooby.
"They found fluid on his lungs so they are draining it..."
Behind me he wrestles with his long and awkward limbs that his trunk has not yet grown into, trying to ascend the ladder as effortlessly as I just did. We sit up on the roof watching the sky and listening to the insects chirp from the grass below. He tells me he wants to be an astronaught and I immediately begin trying to figure out how to get him into MIT.
"They are going to keep him for observation a little while longer..."
He launches himself towards me in an unsteady stagger, grinning his toothless smile and reaching for me with his fat arms. Barely a foot away, he hesitates and starts to plummet to the floor. In a flash, I catch him in my arms and hug him to my chest. "You walked baby!" I murmor into his hair and he giggles, trying to wiggle himself as best he can into the space between my chest and arms.
"They aren't sure what caused it exactly, maybe how thin he is. But they are watching him..."
The blue of his shirt ripples behind him as he runs, trying in vain to out run our huge golden retriever before getting tackled, his laughs carried high on the wind. That sound touches me so deeply it makes my heart leap into my chest.
"They want him to put on some more weight..."
He holds my hands firmly in front of me, steadying me, determined to teach me how to skate on rollerblades.
"The doctors are going to try to drain the fluid so it doesn't happen again..."
We ignore the begininngs of purple sunlight cresting the window sill and instead concentrate on the colors on the screen in front of us. We're both jerking and jumping, trying to supress our outburst of glee, lest we wake his parents. After another minute the screen bursts into confetti and his arms shoot up in the air. "We beat it!" he says, the sunlight catching his braces.
"Don't worry about him..."
I turn to from the mirror to face him and even though he has a good foot on me, my gaze makes him shrink and appear smaller. "You have to do this for yourself," I tell him, so angry that I am trembling. "No one is going to give you anything. But I will not have you waste all this talent. You are too damn smart for it. I wish I was half as smart as you are and I am pretty damn smart. You will not waste this life, do you hear me?"
"You don't have to come home. Everything is fine."
When I finally make it back to my house, I fall on my knees, sobbing, gasping for air, big, shuddering tears that make my body shake violently. I feel like I am choking. I say the only prayer I can think of in that moment, over and over.
Dios conmigo y yo con El. Su será hecho.
Dios conmigo y yo con El. Su será hecho.
Dios conmigo y yo con El. Su será hecho.
I curl up on the floor and stay there for as long as I can stand.
This holiday season be thankful that you can go home and spend it with your family, even if it isn't always your first choice. I know I am. Life happens faster than any of us can fathom.
I am out of town until next week. Be safe and well. Happy Holidays. :-)
Thursday, November 20, 2008
It's like a song that I forgot a long time ago. One who's melody is familiar but I can only remember parts of it. It's running loops on my mental stereo system.
Do you think we could get this right in our next life?
If lies were rape, I would be more violated than I choose to mention. If deception and dishonesty were outlawed I'd have enough to put you to death. If treading in vague were water, all the non-details I have swallowed would make me choke.
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?
It's when you realize the depth, the width, the length of the deception, the totality of it all, that you realize just how wrong, how unhealthy, how toxic it all was.
I love you and I know you love me. You don't have to say anything.
I wanna vomit but I don't want to waste the energy. Carrying this new knowledge, this weight of everything I didn't know is like fighting quicksand. I'm drowning in it. Just like I did in you, once.
I should have known better.
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, intellectually, that even I, as mistrustful as I am, could not have even fathomed this kind of sociopathic lying in the onset. There's no way I could have even dreamed the lengths that you would go to design your life as you wanted, to depict yourself as whoever and however you felt you needed to manipulate me.
I never would have imagined that all the things I didn't know added up to this.
Don't be scared.
I have travelled so far from where I was. I have evolved so past who we were that I barely recognize me. But still I can't help but feel some kind of enormous pity for a man so worthless, so small, so nothing that he had to lie about his entire existence. I won't even bother being mad.
Unless of course it's at myself.
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 disintegrates and becomes part of the foundation. Maybe I'll come across a surviving scrap one day, after trodden 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.
I should have known better.
And now I do.
Monday, November 17, 2008
"This is crazy."
"I know, but I have to know."
"Are you sure about this? My investigative skills are seriously unparalleled."
"I don't know if I am totally sure, but I have to know."
"Lemme get on the computer and make a few calls. Give me a couple of hours"
"Ok. Let me know."
My friend J is gorgeous. And not like, "oh she's my friend so I have to say she's pretty" pretty. She is a damn near 6 foot, model type. Think a slightly more Black looking version of Cassie's face on Hoopz's body.
Yeah, chick is COLD.
If that wasn't already reason enough for me to hate her, she's incredibly smart and successful, she makes a ton of money, she's almost unrealistically sweet, and one of the most thoughtful and loyal things on earth next to a golden retriever.
I say all this to say, she isn't really the type you woulda wanna fuck over.
Unless of course you're her fiance.
J has been engaged for a year to Mr. Perfect. Well, Mr. Perfect to everyone else. To me he was Mr-I-got-something-to-hide-because-my-shit-is-always-a-bit-too-together. And before you go all buckwild in my comments hollerin' about how women don't know a good man if they see one and prefer someone all fucked up, let me clarify that I am not talking about simply a man with no baggage. I mean he's Guy who has a Seemingly Rehearsed Answer for Everything but Never Says Anything. You know I mean?
So they have been engaged for a year, ever since last year when he made a big show of flying home with her for Thanksgiving, asking for her father's permission, and getting down on one knee after dinner and making her whole family sob at his proposal. They have yet to set a date. And, in the interest of transparency, I will admit that this was mostly her doing.
Or so he would have her believe.
Over the spring this year, they separated for a time. They quickly started doing the whole counseling/dating again thing to see if they could reconcile their differences. They started out with one counselor, but after a few sessions J decided she didn't like her and they switched to another who started helping them through their issues. By late summer, the wedding was back on, the ring was back on her finger and they had set a date for spring of '09. Despite everything, their work to reconcile was all good.
One weekend he went missing. "Coincidentally" it was July 4th weekend when she would be in Chicago with her friends for The Taste and he would be in the city where they both live "working."
Now of course Mr. Too Perfect is far too perfect to just get missing
Over the months since then, they have rebuilt their bond, and started making strides towards the alter. But for some reason, J just can't shake feeling some kinda way about that weekend.
And that's when she calls me.
"I need you to find out some information for me."
"What kinda information?"
"The kind I need to know before I get married."
"I need his full name, where he works, the kinda car he drives and his email address."
I will admit to doing this quite a few times over the years. Sometimes it's as simple as a G.oogle search. If we know some of the same people without them knowing we know some of the same people, I make a few calls. (Even for significant other's I haven't met, it's hard to get around this. I know alot of people. God bless any meccas of young black people up to and including Atlanta, DC, Howard, and NYC.) But in this day and age of technology, there are no secrets. Or at least not for long.
A few hours later, she calls me before I can call her. Her breathing is shallow and anxious.
"You must have found something," she says to me. "Otherwise you wouldn't be taking so long."
"I found something."
She takes a deep breath on the line. I can almost hear her preparing herself.
"What is it?"
"When's the last time you've been home?"
"Home like California or Mexico?"
"Oh God. Like, 2 years ago for Christmas. I haven't been since."
"Oh yes you have. You went the weekend of the 4th. Stayed from Thursday the 3rd to Monday the 7th at the Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas."
"What? No I haven't. I made a reservation there for our honeymoon."
"Well, Mr. Too Perfect stayed there that weekend with someone he called his fiance."
"How on earth could you possibly know this?"
"He wrote a review about it on some travel site. He said he stayed there on those dates with his fiance."
"But no hotel in Mexico showed up on our account."
"That's because she paid for it."
"WHAT?!?! How do you know that?!?"
"I had the hotel fax me a copy of the bill."
"Who is this woman?"
"Does the name __________________ mean anything to you?"
There is silence on her end of the phone. I hear her already shallow breathing come faster and harder.
"That was our fucking counselor."
"WHAT?!?!?" I screech, forgetting that I am sitting at my desk at work.
"Yeah. Our first counselor we got rid of. That's her."
"Well, you said you didn't care for her."
"Now I see why."
"There's more, sweetie."
She takes a deep breath on the other line and I wonder if I have made a mistake in telling her. Even though she's angry now, I am sure she will be devastated soon.
"Send it to me. Send me everything. He has to get out of my house today."
I'd like to be able to say that Mr. Too Perfect was a good dude who just made some bad choices. But whether we like it or not, it's the things we hide that detail who we really are. It's our silences, not our words, that shade people's perception of us, add dimension. If the things we don't say are a shade of gray, consider our secrets the long shadows we cast.
The thing about secrets is that they are never really secrets. They never stay in the dark because really, they are not composed entirely of such; darkness is but a composition of light. The thing about darkness, and secrets to be assumed, is that they are conditional. They are subject to outside influence. And whether or not we trick ourselves into thinking so, they are never just ours to keep. They affect us, yes, but they also hold captive those who share our lives. They sense something behind the scenes even when you say nothing is there. They see the large shapes casting shadows, even when they can't make out the distinct form.
They use google to go looking for what you won't tell them because you're blocking their light too.
There are no such things as secrets.
I hope you're listening. Because she is gonna catch you.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
2. Announce that the Inauguration Ball is now a costume party, and come as the cover from the New Yorker.
3. Have Minister Louis Farrakhan participate in anything.
4. Give an interview to Fox News...
14. Greet all press corps with, "What's crackin' lil bitches."
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I've felt you hanging around here.
I see the slight ruffle of bed covers imprinted with the indentation of your body weight. The long silver hair on the pillow next to mine. I see the way you pull your pearls out of my jewelry box. And feel your hand on my back when I can't sleep, rubbing slow circles. I hear you, just faintly, calling me by my middle name.
I will freely admit that having you around made me uncomfortable at first. You've been gone far longer than I prefer, and I have gotten used to referring to you in the past tense. Sometimes, I don't tear up when I talk about you. Now most of the stories I tell of us, of you, tumble forth on hearty bursts of laughter. Every morning when I brush the hair we share, I think of you. When I smile, I always pay special attention to the bow of my lips and think of your smile. When I slip my rings on, I always smile at the crooked middle finger we both possess, and I remember holding your hand.
For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why you were hanging around in the begininng. Usually when you visit, it is so rare and so brief that I've gotten used to feeling you in passing, smiling at the fact that you can't sit still, even in The After. So this lingering, this, occupation of sorts, threw me. I started to wonder, am I doing something wrong? Were you angry with me? Did you have something to tell me? Was I involved in something I needed to get out of?
As time went on, I realized, or remembered rather, that you never asked anything of me but me. So when my bedroom smells like your perfume, it doesn't make me uneasy anymore.
It took me a minute, but I started to figure out that while you may have been here to keep me company, you were also acutely interested in he that I am sure you would call "that handsome yella boy". I see you stopping the TV on MSNBC. (Rachel Maddow is brilliant right?)
I wish you were here so we could talk. So I could ask you about those dark years you hardly ever mentioned, what it's like for you, a child of the Olde South, watching a black man run for the highest office in our land. Often when I daydream, I picture sitting on the floor at your feet in the old Elm Street house, listening to the furnace rumble and whatever piece of hilarity or wisdom the images on the TV would provoke you to say. I imagine hearing stories of what it was like growing up in the segregated confederation, long before you ever fathomed there could be integration, even before four little girls, sit-ins and marches. I'd like to see it through your eyes.
I remember the first time I felt you being a part of this movement. It was right after I'd heard one of my favorite quotes;
"In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope."
That isn't exactly how you put it, of course. I believe your version said, "Hope is not a dream, if you protect it fiercely." But either way, I teared up and heard you in the words.
If I know you as I think I do, I know that you never thought I'd see the day this might happen. You were always cautiously distrustful of the political process, as I imagine anyone who lived your experiences would. But I wish, more than anything, I could share this with you.
Stepping into the voting booth, I felt a kind of warmth I haven't felt in so long. I fought tears and giddy laughter as I stared at the screen in front of me. I stood there for what felt like eternity, absorbing it, letting the moment wash over my skin. I felt my hand, barely my own, lifting, touching, and making it real. For a second I swore I tasted peppermint.
I know, too, that you are disappointed in me, in the choices I have made, the things I am not doing. I hear you fussing. I feel you shaking your head at me. And I know you don't understand.
It seemed for so long that something was missing, some intangible thing that I couldn't put my finger on and couldn't shake. Some something bigger than the dreams you told me I should have for myself.
On the brink of what could or could not be an extraordinary day, I know I owe you, and many more before me, more than what I have been giving. And I promise that I will guard my hope fiercely. That I will become the me that you told me I could be. Because now I believe...
Yes we can.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Are you really suing Obama for using campaign funds to go see his dying grandmother?
Even after the decision was vetted by independent lawyers who said it was perfectly legal?
While I try to convince myself to chalk this up to pure bad timing on the part of ruthless GOP operatives, the glaringly obvious conclusion is that this is just a latest in a string of disgusting and dispicable ploys by Republicans flailing helplessly in their obvious incompetence. Even if I wasn't already convinced that I want Barack Obama to be my next president, this would have put me over the edge. How tasteless, low down and outright heartless. I'd say I'm disappointed, but that would imply that I had any kind of shred of faith left in the decency of the Republican party.
I guess it would have been ok if the money had been spent on 150K worth of makeup and manolos to dress a
Senator Obama, I am not sure how much your last minute plane ticket was. Surely expensive in this ridiculously high transportation market, thanks to Republican mismanagement. Over the course of your campaign, I have donated about $100. I hereby authorize you to use my contribution towards your plane ticket.
I trust that it will be donated to your favorite consignment shop for charity after the election.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I decided to exercise the ability to early vote so I didn't spend all my good sex years in line at the polls. I was expecting to spend a couple hours there, especially considering the foolishness that was the primaries, but to my surprise, I was in and out in about 20-30 minutes, even at the height of lunch hour. (If you're in Houston and in Harris County, go to the Ponderosa Fire Station!) However, part of me wished I'd stayed longer because surely I would have gotten to see more foolishness and mayhem...
10 Things You're Likely to see During Texas Early Voting
2. The woman who comes inside the polling station with A PARROT on her shoulder.
3. A tiny mother of 2 of the cutest, blondest tykes ever... whipping her head around and exclaiming, "THAT'S MY SHIT!!!" when an SUV rolls by blaring Bun B "That's Gangster". Yes. I am in fact putting in my application to be her new best friend.
4. Black folks detailing the many ways they plan to get out of going to work November 5th if Barack wins. This is why they don't want to let niggas have nothing.
5. Little gangster grandmas. I.e. the little old lady who rolled up on my voting location in her wheelchair and, after being told she had to remove her Obama button, put up a fuss before saying, "I'll take it off... but that won't stop me from voting for him." And then fussing at the young man behind her that says he is voting for McCain just because he is a Republican. She says, "I'm a lifelong Republican too, but even I know stupid when I see it." She will be my backup new best friend.
6. The young black guy rolling up in a monster pick up truck... and then hustling around to the passenger side to help an elderly Hispanic woman out. Even better? In line he is voicing his support for Obama, and trying to relay the convo as best he can to his companion in broken spanish. The person in line that he is talking to assumes that she is supporting Obama too, at which point the guy says, "No she's voting Republican. But she still deserves the chance to vote so I brought her with me." Awesome.
7. A random White Man standing on his lawn while people park on the residential streets to get to the polling location that is muttering at all the Black and Brown people who walk by, assuming that they are all voting for Obama. He continues to do so until a rather large Hispanic man yells, "I'M A REPUBLICAN YOU DICK!!!"
White Man goes into his house.
8. A car full of young black girls that drives by the voting location, scowling at the (rather short) line. "Girl let's go get some food and come back," one of them says, before I have the chance to tell them I was in and out in about 20 minutes. We are SUCH an impatient people.
9. Someone swiping the lone Obama/Biden sign posted on someones lawn. People are taking this waaaaay too seriously.
10. People. Of all shapes, sizes, ages, and colors. Voting for all candidates. (I even met an independent). And in this reliably Republican state, that has to mean something incredibly remarkable about this election.
I just hope, that if somebody pulls some bullshit, we don't lose that.
GO VOTE PEOPLE!!!!!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
One by one they step forward, to toss a momento into the gaping black void below, to share a funny or sad or happy story with the crowd. There are laughs, lots of tears, a melancholy energy passed back and forth between clasped hands. Slowly they start to receed, returning to their cars and their lives, silence broken only by the steady downpour. Only two figures stand side by side at the lip of the grave.
"I loved her," says the taller of the two, an unsteady hand pushed through tangled locs. "I loved her."
The other peers blankly at the hole in the ground, not saying anything, barely moving.
"I didn't know her," he says.
My daddy turns and walks away, pulling on the hat he always wears to work, walking swiftly through the rain drops without ever getting wet.
I wake up crying.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Just a little, around the edges, slightly pink, rather than the entire Red saturation that is sure to come.
Maybe you shake just a bit, your extremeties antithetic to your usual smooth movements, each fraction of your greater whole shuddering and shaking, your whole shit just disjointed.
Your breathing changes, the rhythmic steady inhalation you're used to interupted by short, choppy bursts of oxygen that actually makes sounds on their exit.
Your eyelashes are rapidly landing and taking off from their perch on your cheeks.
Your internal themometer shoots up a few degrees.
Your throat metallic, like you swallowed poison.
Your chest weighted.
You're accutely unaware of your nails digging craters in your palms.
Your hair on end.
Your limbs, tingling to move, the sensation crawling just beneath the skin.
And the Red, more prevalent now, inching it's way past your mental velvet ropes, seeping into your facimilies, washing your vision.
The roar in your ears at parade decible.
And then you hold your breath.
And you sigh.
The red goes away, to be replaced by black and white.
Cut and dry. Straight lines.
Raw uncut, straight.
You continue with your show.
You don't believe in monkeys.
Friday, October 17, 2008
On Wednesday I was able to steel myself enough to watch the third presidential debate (I wasn't drunk enough for the second one) and try to remain as calm and irrational as possible. Though a self described liberal, I tried to look at the debate as impartially as possible; to see a rookie politician with thin experience, a hopeful outlook that even I sometimes give the skepty eye to, and a terrible fumble on FISA. To see a celebrated hero who, while I don't agree with much of his politics, has great good during a 26 year career and has more than enough intelligence and insight to show for it. That is the way I tried to approach the debate. To not see Obama's discipline spill over into not attacking when he should. To not see a Republican who would candidly lie about the color of the sky if he could get his vapid VP pick to make it go down easier with a wink and a smile.
And I did.
Until they started talking about the economy.
I tried not to chuckle to myself as McCain, a man who said himself that he doesn't know much about the economy, tried to insert himself as an authority. I tried not to get irritated as he took it upon himself to tell Barack how his conversation with Joe the Plumber (no one ever say 'Joe the Plumber' again) went, and I even managed to swallow most of my anger at Obama, ever professorial, refusing to once and for all get him to just shut up. (Yes I am aware that he must, at all times, avoid coming off like the angry black man, but a nice, articulate, slightly stinging rebuttal would have even gotten my sugar back down and you KNOW black folk don't play about their sugar.)
But I simple couldn't contain myself a moment longer when John McCain called Obama a socialist.
Before I get to that, let's address the fallacy I saw at this point in Obama. Quite simply, he faltered. Where he could have been swift and concise in his denial and subsequent explanation of his plans and what they actually mean, he looked like a deer caught in headlights and painted himself a modern day Robin Hood in asserting beliefs in "spreading wealth around", thus giving substance to an otherwise incredulous idea.
Saying Barack Obama is a socialist is quite an extreme overstatement, the type of which I am thoroughly sick of in this election season from BOTH sides. It is quite obviously an attempt to paint Barack as elitist, unAmerican, and out of touch, attacks from the McCain campaign that, try as they might, have not picked up traction no matter how they present it, how many times they say it, or how badly they believe it. I will consider this the more egregious of those attempts.
Socialism is generally defined as;
a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
Of course in the Republican attack machine they choose to focus on the less known, Marxist form;
in Marxist theory the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.
I believe, despite being a staunch supporter of Senator Obama, that anyone who has listened to his plans with a critical ear, doesn't see a present day Communist though I am certain that's what he's being called in some less informed (read: bigoted) circles.
As someone who has studied all the claims of both candidates, as I believe every voter should do no matter what their party affiliation, I find the claim to be outrageous and indicative of the despicable McCain campaign the last few weeks (unlike some, I believe that up until his appointment of Sarah Palin, he ran a fairly, while albeit not wholly, admirable and above the board campaign. But I guess that doesn't quite rile the base like a good ol' condescending speech mocking someones life's work). Barack's proposal, while certainly not as simplistic as he tries to state it, is raising taxes 3% on those making $250,000 or more a year. (Read the whole thing here.)
Just as a side note Senator McCain, by your 13 houses and 9 cars standards, $250,000 might not make you "rich" as you so condescendingly kept reiterating while Senator Obama was trying to speak, but if you ask a single mother, or a recent grad struggling to pay off student loans or most people living in an urban community, $250,000 a year IS rich to them
Let's take the example of Joe
Which brings us to the real point of why that whole exchange during the debate bothered me:
Are we really THAT selfish America?
Granted, I recognize that I am not one of those ignorant bigots who believes that everyone who isn't making $250,000 a year or is accepting some form of government assistance is a lazy minority parasite, intent on living off the hard work of others. That's not to say that those people don't exist because I am not that naive nor hopeful, no matter how much I indulge Mr. Obama's frequent talk of hope. But, having had the opportunity to actually know some of those people (that is to say, rather than getting my information from talking points delivered by people who have probably never known struggle a day in their life to people who are so intent on ignorance that they don't even bother to question such a silly assertion), I recognize that this is not indicative of some vast majority of lower and middle class. Whether we like to admit it or not because of what it then implies about us, this country is not one that has an equal or level playing field for all. It is not, by the sheer nature of its history, a place where everyone is able to pull him or herself up by their own bootstraps. That is not to say that they don't try. Or even to say that they are incompetent or lazy. But there are certain factors at work that make that infinitely more difficult than, say, being born to an upper middle class family and then marrying your way into money to support your political dreams.
That all in all though is a totally different subject.
Instead I will use myself as an example.
I am young. I am college educated. I have had only 2 full years in the workforce full-time (9 if you include technically starting to work when I was 15). I have a stable job, at a well known company, I go to work everyday, I have health insurance and I have no children. I am not now, nor have I ever received any kind of government assistance of any kind (unless you count student loans, which I don't because I gotta pay that mayhem back).
At 24 years old, I am over $100,000 in debt.
Now, lest you believe that I am just utterly ridiculous in my spending, about $15,000 of that in in debt that I didn't necessarily have to take on (car note, credit cards). But in order to pursue that elusive fallacy called the American dream, I was told I needed to go to college. So I did.
And that's where it got me.
I pay my bills as much as I can on what little I make, I make arrangements for the rest. I, like just about every other recent college grad I know, have had to defer my student loan payments to the tune of an additional $15,000 in interest because I, like many of my counterparts, got screwed on my student loans. I don't have children to take care of, I don't have a home mortgage that I can default on. I thankfully have health insurance, but it is somewhat expensive for my paltry income. As it stands, I hold down 2 jobs, and I am looking for a 3rd to cover the shortfalls that I still see every month (and it should be said that I make more on my part time job than some make at full time jobs). I have been actively looking for a better paying job for more than 8 months. (Lest you question what I mean by "actively looking" I mean sending out resumes, going on interviews, utilizing the services of headhunters and recruiters.) I work damn hard to take care me and my dog. I very rarely ask my own family for money, let alone have I ever required government assistance. Partly because of my own pride but mostly because I am still finding ways to survive without needing it, and I wouldn't want to ever take away from someone who needs it to survive more than I.
That's what Joe and others like him will pay in taxes a year, a difference in $804.
$52, 682 is more than my entire annual salary, even before taxes.
I am not, outside of having the fortune and misfortune of being born a minority in this country, any of those things that so many people say they don't "want to support". I am not lazy. I am not ignorant. I don't have a household full of kids born out of wedlock. I am not on welfare. I go to work every single damn day.
Would you stand in my face and tell me that you wouldn't be willing to spend $804 more dollars and year so that I can go to graduate school, almost a necessity in this day? Would you tell me that you weren't willing to spend that so that I can get an apartment on my own one day, let alone ever buy a house? So that I could get the loan to start the performing arts school I want to open in my hometown?
On a grander scale, what we have lost in our great country isn't just accountability or work ethic. We have lost a greater sense of community. We no longer want to pay it forward and contribute to the greater good of all. There is far less a greater sense of duty not only to country but to each other than we have ever experienced. We have succumb to the belief that we accomplish our dreams on our own, through our own hard work and perseverance, forgetting the teachers that invested in us, the coaches that taught us life skills, the people who donated their time and effort to help our entrepreneurial enterprises before there was money to be paid, the customers that supported our business before we could even really call it a business. We have somehow convinced ourselves that once we accomplish our dreams, we owe nothing to anyone coming behind us and it is up to everyone else to figure out how to accomplish theirs. This loss of community is more starkly reflected in our minority communities, as many of them were already light years ahead of the decline. But we have lost a sense that all of us, no matter our color or religion or native land or tax bracket are a part of a whole picture, a big picture. We are all responsible for helping each other to the best of our abilities. We all affect each other. If you don't believe me, research how other people defaulting on their home mortgages is affecting your property values or the likelihood that your child can get a loan to pay for the astronomical cost of college.
We are selfish. And for the greatest country in the world to be victim of it's own hamartia is sad. My grandmother used to speak of a country built on the strength of its communities. Simple things like taking food to the house of a neighbor who recently suffered a death in the family. Calling the police if you sensed trouble. Giving what you could afford to spare to the single mother spending time working in someone else's house so that she could afford to keep her own for her and her family. Now, we stay to ourselves, soothing our souls by saying it's not our problem, that we shouldn't get involved. We have somehow not only convinced ourselves that these acts are not necessary or helpful, we have managed to delude ourselves into thinking that it is not our duty as American, as humans to help others that comprise this country.
I am not a statistic or a talking point. I am an American, trying just like most other people, to realize my full potential. There are days when I want to give up, when I think it would be easier to not go to work, to default on all my debt, to let someone else figure out what to do about it. But I never do. Because I recognize that doing so would be to the detriment of more than just myself. I am no island, and neither are you.
If $804 meant that I didn't have to watch my neighbor move his wife and three children out of their home, and sell it for 1/4 of what it was worth, I'd pay it. If it meant I could know what happened to them, that their family had somewhere to call home, I'd do it, even on my current salary. And be not deceived; $804 is a fortune to me right now.
I expect the slights in this campaign season to be many. I expect for there to be false or exaggerated claims made on both sides. No matter the talk of change, it is the ugliest part of our political landscape. Most of this I have learned to tune out.
But to call a man a Socialist, because he calls for every American to contribute to their greater community at large so that ALL can prosper, that is downright despicable.
I, much like Senator Obama, would consider it my honor to help a fellow countryman's dreams come true.