Tuesday, December 1, 2009

And Finding it Again (part 2)

this is a continuation of this. Catch up first. Don't worry. I'll wait...


"What's wrong?"

His cheeks are flushed, broad ribbons of salmon whipping back towards his hairline. His eyes are wild, from my outburst or my bra, I'm not sure.

But truthfully, I can barely even focus on that shit right now.

"Oh. My. GOD" I say, trying hard not to stare.
"What?"
"I thought..." The end of my thought trails off because I am one hundred percent aware about how ignorant I am about to sound.
"If you are thinking right now I am not doing something right."
"No, its not that. Definitely not that. It's just..."

He looks at me curiously, his chest billowing with the effort of his breathing.

I say in almost a whisper, "I thought white boys weren't supposed to be so much with the well endowedness." I look down. "So what the hell are you doing with that?"

I hurriedly think back to our conversation the night we met...

Pointing to my head I say, "No guy in his right mind hits on the girl sitting alone at the bar and not socializing. Not unless he's a masochist. Or has a REALLY big dick."



He raises his eyebrows at me and smirks. It takes all of my god given self-control to not let me eyes wander down to the zipper of his dress pants.

 
Jesus. I been hoodwinked!
 
He laughs at me. Outright laughs like I'm headlining with Kevin Hart and Kat Williams.

"I never told you that."
"Yeah, but that's what we were always told. Black girls got the game fucked up! I have to tell my people!"

We laugh hard until we can't breathe at how ridiculous I am at the most inopportune moments. Somehow, we both end up collapsed in a heap on the floor, our backs against the plush carpet. I may or may not have been even more turned on by the fact that even his damn carpet smells clean. I mean, come. ON.

He tosses his words up at the ceiling, but speaks to me, "This isn't a good idea is it?"
"No, it isn't."
"I'm not ready."
"I'm not ready."

We sigh in unison, a frustrated orchestra harmonizing in flat notes.

"I fucking hate being an adult."
"Right? I missed the days when I could think with my dick and not care about the consequences in the morning."
"Me too." He raises his thick eyebrows at me. "Well, you know what I mean," I respond with some vague gesture around my lap.

We lay there silently, no doubt recalling all the relationships long since buried only to claw their way back to walk the earth at the least opportune time...

Like, you know, when my jeans are on top of his dresser?

"I like you," I tell him in a small voice, with all the bravery in vulnerability I can muster.
"I like you too. Alot, actually."
"Well, duh. I'm awesome," I retort, with a Kanye shrug to punctuate. He punches me in my arm. "But that's the problem."
"It really is. I'm not ready to like anyone."
"Me neither."
"This is all part of my pattern," he says self consciously, and I can see where he has gotten smaller in his admission.
"How so?"
"Well this is what I do after breakups. I call myself sleeping with a girl too soon just to get over the last one. But I never pick just the jump off hoes. I always pick some great woman that I end up falling for. And then I am in a relationship with her before I got over the last one."
"Oh my God me too! The sleeping with people too soon I mean. Surely I woulda just started fucking you and then left you all high and dry with little to no remorse about the situation when you started really liking me."
"Ouch La!"
"I know right. But I'm not that girl anymore. That is a definite breakup pattern of mine that I would like to break."
"I understand. But did you have to break that shit now?!"

We laugh some more, the warmth of still being able to share a laugh wrapping tight around us. For a minute I worried that I wouldn't be able to laugh again with him.

And ready or not, that hurt.

We lie like that for awhile, quiet but comfortable, his hand on my hand in the space between us. Not quite holding my hand, but still covering me, warming me, comforting me.

"I should go."
"No. Stay. I promise not to try to take advantage of you again."
"Well that's the problem! I so want you to." He laughs at me.

But nigga, I'm serious.

"You should stay. It's late. And I could use a friend. This girl I really like just rejected me and laughed at my dick." He gives me his best puppy eyes and a pout, the dimple in his cheek caving in like scooped ice cream.

"I can be a friend."
"I can too."

He throws me a tshirt and a pair of too big basketball shorts, along with a pair of the funky, fuzzy socks his collects before we retreat to his couch, talking and laughing, playing Wii, and cleaning up his kitchen. When we realize that the sun is coming up, we head back to his bedroom after a bit of argument, both of us huddled safely in our corners.

Except for his feet. His feet find mine and rub them softly, smothering them with warmth.

I once mentioned off handedly the fact that my feet always get cold and that I missed when I used to have someone to sleep with to do that.


Fucking being a grown up.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Losing my Head

I love Peter Parker's place because it is immaculate. And I don't mean that kinda immaculate that denotes him having something to hide. I mean that kinda clean that is lived and comfortable with just a slight bit of anal.

You know, like mine.

And it always smells good. Like the cologne he wears and the soap he uses, wrapped in a layer of baby powder and some kinda spice.
Yum.

Right now though, the house smells like whatever he has simmering on the stove. And despite the fact that I have some home training, my mouth fills with saliva at the smell of it.

He's cute, leaning over the pots and pans, his sweats flushing against the curves of his ass, stirring and tasting, dancing to the music coming from the stereo system. I think I like watching a man cook. It's something like an aphrodisiac.

Did I mention I go hard for men in sweatpants?

**shudder**


"Hey you," he says, kissing my forehead with his hands, warm from cooking, molded to either side of my face. "I've missed your freckles*."

He gives me a spoon to taste, some sort of lemon based sauce flooding my taste buds. It's good. Damn good. So good in fact that I take the spoon from him and lick the rest of the broth from its surface.

"Damn you are hungry aren't you?"
"I told you. I haven't eaten all day."
"Well if you give me maybe five more minutes, I will feed you."
"Five minutes is all you get. After that I start raiding your kitchen for Oreos."

His place is laid open like a field. You can see directly from the front door all the way back to the door that I assume is his bedroom. I have explicitly made it a point not to venture back that way. I am master of the couches up front.

The apartment is nice, masculine but still comfortable, impressive without trying too hard. I expected it to be all leather couches and dim lighting, but its far more electronics and family and friend photos.

He keeps being more than I expect him to be.


Within his promised five minute timeframe, he's bringing the food out to a tiny table on the balcony and pouring me a glass of wine.

That's a lie. I'm having Bacardi, lol.


Sitting outside overlooking the highway, the air just starting to turn crisp with fall, we laugh and talk and drink like we have all the time in the world. It's nice to stop every once in awhile and just be. I am slowly but surely learning how. It's nice to be around someone who has already mastered the practice.


Before I know it, our food has long since disappeared, we are on bottle #2 and the temperature has dropped more degrees than my nipples are comfortable with. Before I can even ask, he wraps us in a blanket, pulling the bottle underneath the layers with us, and continuing our conversation seamlessly.

At some point, he moves me to sit between his legs, half leaning on his chest, the heavy ropes of muscles in his legs intertwined with mine to keep me warm. I feel the weight of his arms around my waist, his chin still resting easily in my hair despite the fact that he is half leaning, his height just that much greater in comparison to my own.

"I like your hair straight," he mumbles into my ear, sweeping the mid-back length fall of strands over one shoulder, his chin hooked into the curve the opposite one makes when it reaches my neck.
"Oh, that's right. You've never seen it straight."
"No, I haven't. I wouldn't have guessed it was so long. I think I like the curls better though. They're more fun to play in," he responds, raking his fingernails from my temples to the nape of my neck rhythmically.
"In a minute you are gonna put me to sleep."
"I wasn't planning on doing that until much later."

The change in his voice isn't lost on me. Where he was once all fanciful loops and pastels, he is now geometric shapes and primary colors.
I mean that to say, he is very serious.

I falter. Not having expected this of him has left me without my usual wit to defend myself. My back stiffens against his torso.
"Don't," he says, the soft curves of his lips grazing the thin skin of my ear with butterfly kisses with every word he says. "Stay with me. Tonight. Stay." It's just barely above an inaudible whisper, but it is unmistakably more command than request, his teeth dragging along planes of my neck. Goosebumps erupt across my back, a universe of constellations erupted from the energy of his hands on my skin. He moves his hands through my hair to lean my head to one side, my throat completely vulnerable to an assault from his mouth.
I imagine he can see the pulse of my heart beating underneath my pale skin.
"Just... stay."

His hands have found the skin on my back, easing slyly up the track of my spine, scratching lightly on the descent.

I. cannot. breathe.

"Peter I-"

He turns my head so fast and covers my mouth with his I think my neck might snap. He's kissing me, talking to me, murmuring in my mouth and I am slowly losing my composure, letting his kisses mold me into whatever shape he wants.

I'm not even entirely sure who's effort is involved in turning me around or even that I have moved until I find my hands pressed to his chest, kneeling between his long legs, every bit of my position lending itself to surrender.

At some point he grabs my hands, pulling me up from the balcony floor, walking me backwards down that long hallway I have made a point not to walk. I am protesting, but weakly, his lips devouring my feeble attempts at sensibility before they can barely make if off my lips. My back finds the door and he pushes me hard against it, holding me there, looking at me. I hope this means he will stop long enough for one of us to regain our composure. I open my mouth to speak.
"Don't you fucking dare."

He lets the door swing open behind me unexpectedly, pushing me firmly towards the bed. He closes the door hard behind him.

And I know he's not letting me out of here.

Before I know we are just limbs, arms and legs tangled like ivy. Somehow my shirt has gotten off. I don't remember him even touching me to take it off; I assume that he just somehow mentally convinced it that it wanted to leave the premises and it abandoned me on its own.

He kisses like a warrior, all ferocity and passion, no pretense or idle obligation. He is talking to me and I am so very focused on catching ever word he's saying.

He takes a step back, lifting his t-shirt over his head deftly with one hand, my hands simultaneously circling his waist. Sliding my fingers between his skin and the waistband of his boxers, I eased down his sweats and boxer briefs in one smooth motion. And-



"OH SHIT!!!"






(to be continued...)





*Note: He swears I have freckles. I swear I ain't that light motherfucker.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Introspection

I used to wear a cross around my neck.

Nothing fancy. Just a simple, silver creation that I really liked. To my recollection, I wore it everyday. Actually, if I am being truthful, I don't remember ever taking it off.

Until of course I took it off.

The cross went the way of my faith; I don't remember it being a conscious decision, just a slow winding down into permanent separation until one day I put it down to never pick it up again.

I was raised in the church. Despite being barely out of toddler years, I remember the small white church my family went to in a small town outside of Atlanta. It was my grandmother's church; it became our church because it was hers. It was where our family gathered every Sunday under her watchful eye.

I don't remember the services. I remember the feeling. The antsy impatience of a child. The singing and shouting circling the low ceilings of the old church. The instruments, loud and raucous, seemingly pushing the walls back a bit further from the lone crimson aisle dividing the pews. Shying away from the hoots and hollers and screams from the pulpit. Being more than mildly curious as to the origin of the strange language and dance of speaking in tongues. I remember picking up heavy hymns and navy bibles, pretending to read them because that's what I saw everyone else doing around me.

And isn't that what you are supposed to do?

I learned the language of assimilation early. In the uproarious services of my grandmother's old school Southern Baptist church; in the quiet dignity off mass in the dark caverns of the cathedral where I went to school. I learned to sit and stand on command, to speak and sing as a chorus, to be quiet in reverence or in fear.

Whichever was most appropriate.


Even as a child who didn't really get to be a child, I recall feeling like an Other. I remember my discomfort at some of the rituals and rote ramblings. I can sharply recall sitting through countless ceremonies and sermons with questions freight train-ing through my head that I'd been conditioned not to ask.

I remember the guilt for even having questions at all.

It was a long and twisty road, from childhood to adulthood, many vital milestones marked with some sort of entanglement in religious rite or ritual.

I learned them. I remember them to this day. But I never quite felt a part of them.

But that doesn't really matter, right?

As an adult, I find that my belief in God is no less potent than the last time I remember standing before an altar. But as an adult who is a member of more minority groups than I care to mention, I find that I often can't stand on the steps of a church without the very visceral instinct to run.
Fast and hard.
That way.

Like my faith, I keep thinking that one day that cross from my childhood will turn up in a box somewhere. Long stored but still flawless, unwarped by time or offense. I keep expecting that one day I will open the lid to something that even I had forgotten I had packed, and it will be there.

Just like I left it.

And I will be able to out it on, settling nicely onto the skin it once occupied, complimenting the things that have grown and matured on my epidermal landscape, but still present.

It hasn't quite worked out that way.


As with most things though, I presume nothing is ever where you left it. And in order to find your way back, you have to wind your way backwards through your own personal forest, taking note of the markers on the trees and considering other paths you could have taken...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Address

For as long as I can remember I have had a thing for buildings. Not necessarily the architecture, but more so for the lives, the stories contained inside the construction.

In my mind, each house is a curtain to be lifted, revealing the show inside. Each home its own stage, replete with all the trappings, each front door the portal to whatever lives are contained therein.

When I was younger and attending a tony private Catholic school on the north side of my hometown, I remember riding through the streets with my face pressed up against the window, looking at the houses and mentally painting the stories of the people inside. Were they married? From the South? Did they live alone? Did they have a dog? A pool? Did they like the color purple? Were they good at math?

As a child it seemed just the fanciful wonderings of a highly creative kid prone to daydreaming. Now that I am older, only slightly wiser, I mostly see it for what it is.

I was a kid always looking for home. I never really had that particular place where I felt safe or welcomed or comfortable. I always thought that everyone had a kind of homestead; that house that, even if it was a grandparent's or friend's, where you felt some sort of peace. Where you knew you could always go to when you needed to just be ensconced in warmth. As an adult, I recognize that isn't really the case. But it never stopped me from wanting one anyway.

I moved around as a kid, luckily not as much once I reached puberty years. But for a time, we never had a house either. We did eventually come to rent a place on the southwest side of the city that I affectionately referred to as The Dollhouse. It was great. And comfortable. But still not really our own. We moved out when I was in college 800 miles away. I didn't even pack up my own things. As strange as it sounds, I always wished I'd said goodbye.

All my life I have been searching for my own space in the world, some physical manifestation of home. I certainly have amassed a small army of people who love and adore me despite knowing me wholly. But I still would like that place to call my own. I don't even really want a house per se. Just...

Home.

I've always wanted a place to send my magazines to. A carved out place so that I wouldn't feel a dull pain low in my belly at the sight of blank lines on a form asking for a permanent address. Maybe a stain on the carpet from that time the dog knocked over a bottle of red wine. Familiar perches and pictures and pipes and planes that I know intimately. It's silly, I know, to put so much stock in a structure. But for little La, it's still a very fervent desire.

I'd like my own curtains to my own stage, holding the theater of my life.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lose.

I am a girl who loses.

So by definition I am a loser. But not the kind that doesn't win things. More so the type that just loses things.
People.
Faith.

And sometimes I am still reeling from the loss of one thing when another fatality happens suddenly, so fast in fact that I am still stumbling from the previous loss, far too consumed to deal with the present one.

My life has been an exercise in One Thing After Another. In the interest of perspective, I remind myself daily that I am not alone on this path to the inevitable Next Thing.

But I still reserve the right to be tired.

Because I lose things. Sometimes in the most spectacular fashion.

It is part of the reason I haven't been around here much. When I have good or funny and introspective things to say, I try my best to write them, to put words to my exuberance or mirth or growth. But sometimes, often times, the words I love so much fail me.

It's one more thing that I have loss.

I am not in the business of complaining. I am too tired for it. I am mourning so many deaths so often and totally that I can't fathom adding the exhaustion of rehashing it on top of it all.
Nor do I believe in putting all that doom and gloom out into the universe.

So I am here. Around. Living and, if I am to be honest, mostly well.

But still I lose.
Optimism.
Dreams.
Faith.

And I miss them.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Being a Big Girl

...Apartment 204.
That's how Peter Parker's text ends. Before it is a long string of directions that, despite having lived here for 3 years now, I have to admit I am woefully unfamiliar with.


What is this directions to?


My place.


Back story...


Even though I am enjoying single life and all it has to offer, not all of my friends seem to be frolicking in the Jack Daniels fun with me. In fact, many of them are being institutionalized.

No, no, they are not making the mistake of going to Hampton. They're getting married, that is.

To date, I have attended three weddings, been invited to seven and have two more on the calendar before the year is out. By 2010 I should have pretty nicely performing stock in Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Generally, I take a wedding for what it is; the opportunity to get drink, eat and be merry on someone else's dime, and still have the choice to retire to my own bed to sprawl out as I please or choose to invite one of the groomsmen home to spoon me.

I take my choices very seriously.

But every once in awhile, a very rare occasion occurs. A wedding I am actually excited for.

You know, one where the couple might actually not get divorced?

It's as elusive as the goddamn yeti. So when it comes, I am all in.
This particular wedding was one of those such occurrences.


As is customary, I bought presents, a new dress and 4 inch heels and invited my Favorite Gay Boy to do my makeup, be my arm candy, and talk about people with me at the reception. All was in place.

Until of course the Sunday before the Friday wedding. FGB texts me of a job he is flying out of town for...
On the Friday morning of the wedding.

Sonofabitch.

So here I am, all new dressed and no date to go.

There is a reason I ask FGB to accompany me to these things. Because when you ask a guy you are even remotely involved with, even if the involvement is only in his mind, he spends the whole damn wedding tense and paranoid waiting on you to turn to him with googly eyes and start mentally planning your own wedding to HIM.

To put it frankly, I'm not that chick.
And that particular brand of bitchass don't go with my new 4 inch heels dress.

After much deliberation, and consultation with both my female and male friends, I decide to ask a friend of mine. Immediately he gets his Savion Glover on.

"Can I let you know by Tuesday?"

If this were a sitcom, this is about the moment where I would side eye the camera.

Since this is not my first rodeo, I know better than to wait around. Rather than trying to find another last minute date for myself, I decide to go alone. I won't break. (I don't think, though I must cop to being a going-at-it-alone virgin.) At least then when I am swapping drunk stories with my friends at the table at the reception, I don't have anyone I have to turn to and explain the back story.

On Tuesday, the inevitable sheepish text comes...

How important is it that I go on Friday?


To keep it 100 it's not important at all that YOU go.


It's just I don't do weddings...


It's fine. Really. We're good.
And unlike most women, I am not being passive aggressive. I actually mean it.

But then, for some reason come Friday evening, when I am running around like Madoff at a stockholders' meeting trying to make it clear across town in rush hour traffic in time for the sunset wedding that SEEMED like a romantic idea before factoring in Houston traffic and bugs, I get another text.

I am really dragging ass getting ready. But I don't wanna let you down. Do you mind if I don't go?

*snatches needle off the album*


Err?
Didn't we already discuss this days ago?
You're a wrap.
You're Mike Vick circa 2007.
You're my favorite chicken gyro at Niko Niko.
Michael Jordan the 3rd time.
Isaiah Washington's career.
You're Kim Kardashian if ass and sex tapes ever go outta style.


It's cool. I already made plans with another date.

I hadn't of course. But this is poker. I don't make it a habit to show my opponent my hand.

All the while I am texting Peter and giving him the blow by blow. He's entertained but shaking his head. He texts me and says...

You really don't care?

You're new here. I don't believe in monkeys.



It's about this time that I get the text....
*      *      *      *      *


I am at first equal parts grateful and turned on. Grateful because I won't have to be the 7th wheel to all my friends' coupledoms. Turned on because I do so love when a man takes charge and tells me what to do.

I kinda go hard for that shit.

I tell him I will pick him up as soon as I find my damn shoes.



On the drive I start thinking. Which is never good. But necessary nonetheless.

Do I really wanna be that girl? You know, girl who can't go places by herself? I'm running late anyway. Do I really wanna go outta my way to pick him up? Am I really that desperate to have a date that I would actually miss my friend walking down the aisle just so I would have someone to giggle in the buffet line with?

I. Just. Can't.


I'm not coming.


You don't want me to come?


It's not that I don't want you to come. It's just that I don't need you to come.


Is it because you are afraid I will show up in an all plaid suit and docksiders?


LMAO! I am nothing but confident in your ability to dress like you have both sense and the desire to get laid.


Well I would like to think so. What is it then?


Sometimes a girl just has to man up and go places by herself.


And so I do. I would be lying if I said there wasn't a moment when all the couples took pictures at our table at dinner and I was literally singled out when I wished I wasn't there alone. But the fact of the matter is, until I decide otherwise, I am not a plus one. I am just a one.
And if I am going to be as grown as I am always saying I am, then I have to be ok with that.

So I smile for the camera. I take the photographer’s compliments and his card when he tells me I should consider posing for portfolios. I take the hands of my girls and dance under the tiny stringed lights to a song we requested just for the bride. I take my tired ass home when dancing on stone floors in heels gets to be just a bit too much on my rapidly getting older knees. I take the long way back to the house, and stop by Peter's. I take the drink he gives me on his balcony, my face tilted to the stars. I even take his amusement and mix it with my own peace when he asks me what I am thinking about.

"Nothing. I'm just taking it all in."

And I didn't even break.

Monday, October 5, 2009

One Night, Two Dates

I have never been here before. But it’s quintessential me. It's all no sign outside, hole in the wall, only certain people know about it and not in a VIP kinda way. Peter obviously has been here more than once, because the bartender and waitress greet him like he's the king come home. I am watching him, his easy, affable way with him. And I like it.

No seriously. I like that shit.

The thing is, I am Girl People Gravitate To. If you have a sudden urge to spill your guts on a plane, your subconscious will seek me out. I am center of attention, story telling, drink making, laughing too loud, cooking too much food because I like to entertain girl.

And I like the idea of having someone to hold court with.

"La, do you want something to drink?"
"Stoli peach and grapefruit."
"You have been mixing liquor all night; tequila, Jack, now Stoli. Are you sure you aren't gonna get sick?"
"Boy, stop."

He orders my drink, some appetizers for us, and jokes a bit with our waitress before he turns his attention to me.
"So. Tell me who you are."
"Who I am? Like, you want my Social and shit?"
"No, girl. I mean like who you are. What you stand for. What you know. What you've seen."


And so I do.
Just like that.
Which is rather unlike me.

He's a great listener, breaking in when he can't hold in his commentary, pulling my card when I am being purposefully vague, making a joke when the subject turns a bit too heavy.

Seriously. This nigga- errr... man, is something like amazing to talk to.

"Your mom is a minister? And she didn't flip the fuck out when you told her you were dating a girl?"
"She didn't. She was so great about it. I think she knew. She was kinda fishing. I mean, I never tried to hide it. And at that point she had already seen Bob and I together. My mom is pretty but she ain't dumb."
"Wow. That's great.”
“Yeah it was. I was lucky. I wish it was that easy for everyone else.”
“When my best friend came out to his mom she literally threw him out into the street."

If this were a movie, this is where the record would screech to a halt.

"Your best friend is gay?"
"Oh. Yeah. He's been my best friend since Transformers and Thundercats. He came to live with us when his mom put him out."

Wait, wait, wait. He’s beautiful, he’s funny, AND he has a gay male friend? Is it possible he is MADE FOR ME?!?

He takes out his beloved i.phone again and shows me a picture of the two of them, double fisting beers, arms around each other, grinning like they just won someone's Mega Millions. David, the best friend, is handsome. It's almost sinful. He reminds me almost of Gay Husband but he's much thicker.
Much.

And also, black.

WTF?!

"Ok," I start, completely cognizant of how ignorant and/or racist I may be about to sound, "I have to ask. Your ex is black. Your best friend is black. I heard you blasting UGK when we stopped on Gray. You do know that you are a white boy right?"

He laughs at me. HARD. And I don't appreciate that shit. I asked a semi valid question.

"I'm just sayin'," I say to his guffaws, "I don't wanna be a part of some strange fixation you have with black people."

Without bothering to answer me and still chuckling to himself, he picks his phone up from where he had to place it on the table when he was dying laughing at my expense. He holds the phone out to me.

"That is my mom. And that guy with her, is my step dad."

I take the phone from him to get a better look at the picture. His mom is a stunning, leggy brunette with the same blue eyes as Peter. She is impossibly fly in her skinny jeans, towering heels and what looks like it might be a Chanel jacket.

In the picture, both of them are laughing heartily at some joke the picture taker isn't in on. But their intimacy, their affection crackles off the screen. His stepfather is looking down at his wife, even in her heels, his beautiful locs falling into his face, his smile stretched wide and white like snow against the terrain of his dark skin.

"Your stepdad is black too?!?!?" He laughs at my shock.
"Yep. I am well aware of the fact that I am white, La. But I also know where, and most importantly WHO I came from. My stepdad has raised me since I was little. His family has taken me and my mom in like their own, even when our own family couldn't or wouldn't be there for us. So no, I don't have some weird fascination with black people. I am not trying something new or different or talking to you on a dare. I'm comfortable with my life and the people in it. Are you?"

I'm speechless. Not only has he politely just cussed me out, but his sincerity is palpable. He is certainly not of the I-can't-be-racist-cuz-I-have-a-black-friend-and-once-gave-to-the-NAACP variety.

"I am."

By now the waitress has bought our food, and we settle back into easy conversation and laughs, punctuated perfectly by slight invasions of my space that he doesn't think I notice.

His cologne is magnetic.
His voice, low and warm in my ear makes the nerves in my back tingle at him in my space.

At one point I am talking and he reaches over to tuck a wayward curl back behind my ear that has fallen into my eyes. The pads of his fingers trace the rim of my ear, lightly down my hairline, across the sensitive skin on my neck.
My nipples take notice.

"So tell me," he says like he's known me since Skip Its and Skittles, "how you came to be single. We are on our second date. You're not being emotionally slutty."

His smile is absolutely disarming but I am no less aware of the fact that I don't wanna be That Girl.
"It's like this," he continues, his big hands kneading the knots that have clenched in the back of my neck, "your heartbreak is you. It's a part of you. It's a part of your life's landscape, a part of your skin. And I am very interested in getting familiar with the lay of your skin."

Shit.

"Well, it's simple really. There was no big blow up or drama. Essentially, I guess the problem was that I believe too strongly in living authentically. You asked me who I am. Well, that is the very foundation of my personal constitution and she did not compliment that. Sure, she's come to terms with her attraction to women, but she was always sneaking around and hiding it and lying about it. And she felt NO kinda way about being deceptive. I always used to think in the back of my mind, if she feels no kinda way about lying to people she has known longer than I have been alive, then what's REALLY keeping her from lying to me when it suits her? To me, that's just as bad as the men who think they're not gay just because they're a top. It is absolutely delusional. And after damn near two years, I was tired of being a player in the farce.
I mean even more so than that, the shit was hurtful. Do you know how many times I pretended to be her friend or her roommate when her friends were around? Or how many times we stayed in since it was the only place we were allowed to act like a couple or all the places we couldn't go to avoid running into someone she knew? And God forbid we did go out. It was like two cousins hanging out. If you didn't know us, and know that we were together, you'd never know. I mean, do you know what it's like to have to stop yourself from wanting to hold your significant other's hand in public because you're not supposed to exist? I felt like a mistress or something. I felt like I was helping her cheat on who I am with who I had to be to be with her. And all I wanted was just to exist.
I think the worst part is that I participated. Knowingly. Willingly. I knew better. I have always been very clear about who I am. I knew better. I'm just fucking hard headed."

I don't notice that I have progressively gotten louder the more worked up I get until I look up. Peter is looking at me, soft around the eyes, his hands on my thigh. It's the waitress that is looking at me like I just punted a puppy behind the bar.

"So, um, yeah, anyway, who's on your fantasy football team?"

I'm met with silence. And I am sure I have said way too much. I'm already plotting a way to make a graceful exit when he busts out laughing.

This motherfucker is laughing at me?!

"Damn La," he says between chuckles, looping his long arms around me, "you just looked so..." He trails off looking for the right word as I continue to shoot him looks of death.
"Shook."
"Blow me."

I sip my drink, more relieved than a mistress with a negative pregnancy test that he broke the tension with a laugh.

He tucks me underneath him like a doll, the top of his head in my hair.
"I'm sorry La."
"Thank you."


Funnily enough, those three words were all I had been waiting to hear from anyone I'd shared this pain with.
Somehow, he knew.

As though I never said anything emotionally slutty, we go back to our easy conversation and laughs until the lights came up, signaling that we have overstayed our welcome. I pay our bill, against his protests, and follow him outside, maybe or maybe not sizing up his ass in his dress pants.

I can neither confirm nor deny.

At my car, he opens my door for me and watches me get settled inside, standing with his hands resting on the door and the roof.

"I am not supposed to be dating."
"I'm not either."
"But I would like to maybe not date you again sometime."

I smile at his awkwardness because it is so. Damn. Cute.

"I would like that."

He hands his phone to me saying, "Put your number in there."


And I would be lying like Bill Clinton at a perjury hearing if I said I didn't like when a big ass man tells me what to do.

"I will call you," he tells me, dropping his phone into his pocket and then leaning into me. He's inches from my face, watching me, gauging my reaction, careful. He uses one long finger to tilt my face up to the angle he desires and kisses my chin... my nose... my forehead... my hair... before reversing his path and pressing his lips to mine. He's soft. Gentle. But authoritative, parting my lips with his tongue, holding me in place with a single finger. Somehow, he has managed to stay minty throughout all the rounds we have had. Before he pulls completely away, I gently catch his bottom lip in my teeth, pulling lightly, before I move out of his personal bubble,

"You just had to have the last word didn't you?" He's looking down at me, that damn smirk from back at the bar across his mouth.
"I like having the last word."
"Oh we will just see about that." He smiles at me all big like a kid and his dimple shows. Again I am struck with the urge to kiss it.

So I do.
While raking my nails through his hair.
I am nice enough not to comment on the fact that it makes him shiver.

"I'll call you tomorrow," and with that he closes my door, motioning for me to lock it, and strides to his car. I watch him walk away, simultaneously impressed and turned on and wistful.

A white boy on that act right. Who knew?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ebony and Ivory

I adore my friends. I really do. But I don't see them as often as we all would like because I just cannot go out and get shit faced every weekend.

I do that shit at home.


But because I love them, and indulge them every once in awhile, I found myself running to meet them after work at happy hour and an undisclosed hole in the wall Mexican place with cheap drinks and a great salsa band.
What I meant was, cheap, STRONG drinks. Hence, my presence there.

I'm all about priorities, people.


About two hours in, I am holding my liquor quite nicely and my girls are loaded, out on the dance floor and making out with random guys they would never look at while stone sober. But that's what makes the pictures I am taking with my Black.berry funny.

I am sipping on margarita #6 #3 when I feel someone's warm breath funnel into my ear.

"You look like someone I know."
"Do I look like someone whom that line might work on? Cuz if so, I need to go home and change my face."

He's minty, and his cologne smells like Eau de Throw my Panties at Your Face so at least I don't so much mind him in my space. I turn to face him and have to damn near lay the back of my head back on the bar to make my way up to the top of his head.
This motherfucker is big.
Damn.
I do love a big man.
"That was pretty bad right?" he says to me, and I can see him flush a muted shade of cherry that I find amusing.

"It was a bit like watching kittens drown."
"Forgive me. I haven't hit on a stranger in years. I'm newly dumped."
"Ah. Me too. All is forgiven."
"I'm Peter Parker."
"I'm La."

I motion to the unoccupied bar stool next to me, and I am very interested to see if his massive weight turns the poor stool to kindling.
This man is that. big.

"So how long were you guys together?" he blurts out awkwardly, almost despite himself.
"Two years. What about you?"
"Four years."
"Oh wow. You win. I'll buy you a shot. You drink the Gentleman?"
"I do but I don't know many women who do."
"You apparently don't know many women from the South. Where are you from?"
"Los Angeles." I make a face. "Did you just make a face at LA?"
"Yeah I did. But only cuz I know my big sis, who is an LA native, will feel it wherever she is and hit me in the back of the head for it next time I see her. I love LA."
"Me too. I miss the weather mostly. I've been considering a move back."
"Cutting your losses and running for the hills, huh?"
"Yeah. I'd rather go lick my wounds on the beach."
"I'll drink to that."

So we do. Out of the corner of my eye I am watching him slyly, taking in his short Ceasar, the definitive set of his jaw line, the deep dimple to the corner of his mouth that I have more than a slight urge to kiss.

"So. Let me guess," I say before he can catch me looking. "The breakup is fairly recent. You've been keeping to yourself trying to heal, your boys are having none of it so they dragged you out and told you to take someone home."

He laughs at my astute observation.

"That's it exactly. How did you know?"

"It's not my first rodeo. I am fairly fluent in the language of heartbreak. Besides, my girls did the same thing to me," I say pointing in their direction. "Plus, I'm really good at these things. I know that you hit on me because you knew I'd turn you down, but at least you could tell your boys you tried. Right?"
"Wow, you're good."
Pointing to my head I say, "Not just a hat rack my friend. No guy in his right mind hits on the girl sitting alone at the bar and not socializing. Not unless he's a masochist. Or has a REALLY big dick."

He raises his eyebrows at me and smirks. It takes all of my god given self-control to not let me eyes wander down to the zipper of his dress pants.

"Most of that is true. It's been barely 2 months. I'm not dealing with the break up as quickly as my boys would like. However, they've failed to factor in that their longest combined relationship is 3 months."
"And that was probably just with girls who wanted to pretend they had morals so they made them wait to hit."
"Wow! You're outta control."
"You know I've heard that. If people don't stop saying it I might start to believe its true."
"I bought a ring." He blurts into the margarita that has just arrived for him. He's so damn adorable and awkward right now I just want to give him a hug.

"Lemme see."
"How did you know-"
"Cuz you're still hurting. So you're still holding on to anything that gives you hope that everything you built that she threw away wasn't just a mirage on the sand. So I'm willing to guess you either still carry it with you or you have a picture."
"Damn you ARE good. If you're this good with men why did u get dumped?"
"Because I wasn't with a man. And women are like geometry. I'm not good at either but I certainly gave it my best. Once. And only once. And no more now that I don't have to anymore." He laughs and pulls out his phone.

"Here's the ring."
"Goddamn. I'm marry you. This ring is gorgeous." He beams with no small amount of pride.
"I spent 6 months learning about diamonds and settings and metals and designing the whole thing myself."
"Where on EARTH did she find you?"
"At a club."
"BullSHIT."
"Yep."
"Wow. Guess I gotta throw my prejudice against club dudes out the window." He uses his thick fingers to scroll through a few pics.

"This is her."
"Wow. She's gorgeous." He looks pained for a moment. "But obviously a moron," I continue. She really is quite exquisite. Flawless chocolate skin from which a thick curly mass of ringlets sprout, perfect cheekbones, full lips, nice rack.

"She was. Is. Beautiful, I mean," he stammers, and I notice that he can't quite bring himself to look at the picture.
"I'd smash."
"She'd prob let you. Hence why we aren't together anymore."
"Oh shit. She just figured out she was completely into chicks?"
"She always kinda knew. But she played it down a lot. I just thought, wow I've got a cool ass girlfriend. We'll have threesomes! She and her family are really conservative and Catholic. I think she was just scared to come out. Then she met this woman at an art show. And then she wasn't scared anymore."
"An art show? Could that be more dyke-y? Jeez."
"I know right?"
"I had the opposite problem."
"What?"
"Two years in some of her friends still thought I was her homegirl and/or roomate. None of her fam even knew I existed."
"Ouch."
"To say the least. Sometimes you just wanna exist, you know?"
"I don't actually. But I can imagine."

He's given his eyes back to the picture on his phone; what looks like an intimate picture of them still in bed, his arms around her from behind, her leaning into him with her eyes closed, a contented look on her face.

"So," I say, because I am sympathetic, "tell me about her."

He does. Throughout his entire story I find myself both jealous of her and very in awe of the kind of man he is. And then jealous of her a little more. I'm adding up all my collective relationship failures in my head as he's talking and I am pretty sure that I have only one ex as great as he seems to be.

His story winds to a close and though he looks a little pained, I can see that he also feels relieved.
"Better?"
"Yeah. I have never sat down and just said all of that before. I feel..."
"Lighter?"
"Precisely. Thank you."
"I'm a pretty good listener."
"You really are. I am surprised you didn't get up leave."
"Well I was gonna but then I realized that my car key's are in my homegirl's purse so I figured I would power through."

He laughs, long and hard, like he hasn't laughed in awhile. It makes me smile, not only because I find myself kinda digging his laugh, but because I know what it's like to need to so desperately and have nothing to smile about. I like to pay it forward.

"So now tell me about your break up."
"No thank you."
"Oh no. You not gonna have me spilling my guts and you don't."
"That's different though."
"How?"
"Just because you were all emotionally slutty the first time we met doesn't mean I am gonna put out that easily. I'm a lady."

He looks at his watch. "I tell you what," he says to me while motioning to the bartender, "if you come with me now we can go on our second date and you can tell me all about it then."

By this time, he has paid both our tabs and gotten off his bar stool.
"You coming?" he asks, his hand held out.

I hesitate. I don't know this guy. There is no way I am going to date him because he is fresh out of a relationship and so am I. So what is the point of going anywhere with him?

But he's funny. And he made smooth reference to James Baldwin without blinking.
And he's just... so... big.

"I'm driving my own car."
"Thank God. My truck is a mess. And I am pretty sure you are too tiny to get up in it."
"Shut it. I'm following you."

He takes my hand and that is precisely what I do.


And that's how La went on 2 dates in one night with her first ever white boy.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Innocent Enough

January 2007



-----Original Message-----
From: La
To: Bob
Sent: Sat, 13 Jan 2007 2:27 AM

…Goddammit, why can't you be goin to sin city the weekend of April 5th, on MY b-day weekend like the rest of us? Geesh. Change your plans!

From Bob
To: La

Hey girlie...long time.:) You going to Vegas for real? Last year we changed dates like 3 times so this year, since my bday is on a saturday, I copped my ticket EARLY so as not to give my friends any room to try to shift and cause confusion. lol

So i say all that to say...you change your date! :)


From: La
To: Bob

*shaking her fist* damn you and your preplanning! LOL I'd love to change the weekend we go but unfortunately I can only get one weekend off a month and that's it. So you'll have to go twice, lol.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rockferry

North Avenue Beach- Chicago, September 2009



My skin feels damp. For a moment, despite the fact that I know better, I think that I might be crying despite the fact that I have yet to cry. I realize with relief, and maybe a little frustration, that it is merely the dampness hanging in the air that has evaporated off the water.

I am cold. Shivering, actually, but I refuse to ball up. I let the wind hit me at all odd angles, and watch the goosebumps rise like waves on my arms. I want to just feel it.
Or feel something, really.

The longer I sit here on this hard ass bench, the rougher the waves get. They swell higher, crash harder, cresting and falling over those in front of it before they can break on the shore.


It seems an appropriate metaphor; sitting and watching helplessly as something so beautiful turns so ugly and angry.


I try to call my big sis because I know I need to hear what I know she is going to tell me:

"...It hurts me to think my normally warm and vivacious La is feeling remote and cold. There is one thing, though... I don't want you to become habitually numb. I don't like it. I would rather see you cry and curse (in moderation, of course) than become this cold, remote, heartless woman. We are too much the same and if it can happen to you, then it can happen to me - and we can't have that."
Cuz, you know, stuff about me is about her :-)


But we keep missing each other some kinda way. Maybe this is the universe's way of telling to me to sit with it on my own for awhile.
So I do.

I root around for some remnants of the rituals I usually go through when mourning the loss of love.
And find nothing.

I look around for some feeling other than resentment; some small scrap of fear or sadness or anger or resolution or peace.
Nothing.


So I just sit with it. I watch the waves. I watch the people. I twirl my small fingertips in the sand. I ignore the cold.

Because really, that is what I do.


At the end of the rickety pier jutting out into the middle of the water, I try to make sense of the patterns of the waves as they reach for the shore. There is a definitive rhythm, yes, but no rhyme. Beauty in chaos; such is life.

I imagine jumping in. Not in any melodramatic Ophelia type of way. More in exploration of the tenets of baptism; in hopes that when the top of my curly head breaks the surface again, I will be washed clean and renewed. Revived. Ready.


There are no melodramatic bouts of hopelessness. Maybe some bitterness, but I've gained enough years on this side of the womb to know that it will pass. I will not die. I will not break. There will be some bending, sure. But I know I will heal, in some way. In as much as at least the scars won't be a part of my everyday ensemble.

The difference this time, I think, is that I am interested in totality. Not just getting over things, but truly being done.


I have certainly tried the other way.
 
 
If you are looking with the wrong eyes, it seems like waves have no origin. But there has to be some sort of occurrence, some sort of phenomenon, to move it towards the shore. There is no movement without a catalyst. So I start to trace back how I got here...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Set Up

I am not particularly smart.

I mean sure, the last time I took an IQ test I tested off the charts. And yes, I'm fairly well read and can hold a conversation about anything from Stanislavsky to Star Ship.

What I mean to say is, I'm not people smart.


I can read people fairly well. I have a keen sense of personal energy and all that new age bullshit.

I guess though, the real problem is, I don't listen to what I perceive. Because I want so badly to be wrong sometimes. I know that most people would kill to be as accurate and precise as I.
But for once I'd like to be proven wrong.

I'd like someone to prove to me that they are what they seem. I'd like to rest assured that feelings don't have to be unreliable. That there are some things that are sacred, solid.

I'd like someone to prove to me that love is enough.


The problem is, of course, that I am always right.

And I don't believe any of those things

I have learned though, when to say when. I wasn't always great with it, sometimes I'm still not. Sometimes it takes me longer than is good or healthy or sane.

But when I say uncle, I mean it.




This is a story about saying when. Even if you're two years too late.



Like most stories, mine at least, this one is makes the most sense if you start at the ending...

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Rebirth

At first, I was going to get rid of the archives.

Seriously.
I was gonna toss every single entry like emotional trash, proverbial spring cleaning, if you will.

Because everytime I re-read them, and I do re-read them more than I will ever admit to anyone who isn't a mental health professional, it's like tearing open old sores with my fingernails, watching the tears I cried bubble up over the jagged skin not quite healed together prettily.

I'd be lying if I said I was over it all.
That I'd dealt with all of it appropriately or totally.

But then I thought, they're my scars. They're my stories.
They belong.

So forgive me if I don't regale you with tales of my day or the books I'm reading or the joys of cheese stuffed chicken. If that's what you're looking for, this is not the place for you.

And if you'd like to judge me for my content...

Fuck you.

And welcome.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Black People's Version of Wealth Building

It would take something this ass foolish to get me back to blogging. Please see video below. Don't worry. I'll wait...




What in the extra coontastic hell?!?!

Son, there are far too many things wrong with this video.

In case you ain't heard Soulja Coon, we are in a recession. And you are 13 years old. And you have no discernible talent to last you in this music game once you and your fans grow up and realize that the word 'swag' is deader than Elvis and therefore should not ever be turned on. So in the interest of your future, you should be saving that money. Because in a few years you will be hosting Tupperware parties in your mama's basement to make ends meet and this black diamond remote controlled chain with matching bracelets will seem like a dumb ass idea.

If you have an ounce of sense in your little pea head, which I am not so sure about.

Yes, I heard he got it for free too. And I am not buying it. And even if he did, it is such a stupid and unnecessary display of tom foolery, that I simply cannot stomach it.

I thought we were beyond the 90s era of ostentatious rap?

The sad thing is, this is so very indicative of the idea of wealth building in the black community. Get a grip, or in this case, an "advance" and don't put any of it into savings, don't invest it. Blow it on supporting companies and people who DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOU. Increase their net worth while blowing your own.

For some reason, people period, but to a far more detrimental extent black people, equate success with things. Not with longevity. Not with business accoutrement. Not with the size of their investment portfolio, but the size of their Big Ass Chain.

Get the fuck outta here.

So many complain about "The Man" and how "The System" is designed to keep us subjugated, but we are buying into our own financial demise, one gaudy ass Ed Hardy shirt at a time.

Let's keep it 100; money is power. Not in the traditional sense that it automatically commands respect or lends relevance *cough* Paris Hilton but in that it is a means to an end. Said end could be a multitude of things based on your own personal goals, but there is no way you can amass any kind of power if every chance you get you are pissing away what little money you have on European cars you are barely old enough to drive.

I can't stomach this particular brand of coonery another second. Not even because it is so incredibly wasteful. Mostly because it is so patently ignorant that I can't believe that this false illusion of self worth is still bought into. Things do not make you worthy.

And for the record, neither does half ass talent and a best selling ringtone.

Things are not power. They are items...
...which can be seized by the IRS and sold at auction if/when necessary.

Obnoxiously ridiculous chains are not status symbols...
...merely just another sign that we are even more oppressed at our own hands than we accuse others of perpetuating.

They don't make you relevant. They don't lend you talent in the face of obvious musical ineptitude. They aren't even cool.

Grown ass men don't need to wear big ass chains to justify the size of their balls.


Try it sometime.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sense Memory

Heartbreak has a sound.

But it is muffled, faded. An echo of past laughter long gone silent, but still ringing in the long, dark corridors that you now travel alone. It whispers on the wind, reverberating deep in your mind's eardrums, imprinting your brain with the familiar melody of love, as it was.



It has a smell. A mélange of the meals you shared, the mingling of their skin on yours. It smells like the air right after it rains, heady and suffocating, slightly stale, like things that are slowly going bad.


There is a distinctive taste, salty and melancholy, dry tracks of tears that have made their way past the parting of your lips, fusing on your tongue with the flavor of the kisses you swear you can still taste.

It paints the places you once loved with its pallor. It becomes sight slightly muddled, no longer rose colored, awash in sepias and grays. It is a hidden image, looking inside every interaction you see for the telltale signs of inevitable loss.

It's like water on your skin, its touch cold and clammy, weighing you down. Its molecules still linger on the air around you, enveloping you again in the weight of it just when you think you have wiped yourself clean.

Much like love, heartbreak assaults all the senses, taking them over, arresting their function for their own desires. Crippling you beneath their powerful manipulation of your emotions. It is your senses in retrograde; where love once heightened them, they are now but a shell of their abilities, slave only to the memories ingrained in their very functions.

I've known this kind of assault far more times than I care to recall.

And yet each time, the wounds rupture anew, splitting wide open, blossoming scarlet just under the skin, mostly out of sight but still painful to the touch.

Each time, it never hurts any less.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Frequent Flier

I have done a significant amount of travelling.

Not the literal kind, though I have done that too. The metaphorical kind. The lyrical kind.

The love kind.

I am as familiar with the terrain as I have ever been. I have been all over Emotionally Unavailable Alley. All up and through It's Just not Meant to Be. I've dragged myself over the broken glass strewn across Brokenhearted Boulevard time and time again to get back to Safely Single.
I don't even need a map anymore.

I even liked It's too Hard to Let Go Even if it's Best so much that I went back...
Twice.

I have an insane number of frequent flier miles. I know all the rules and the customs, even recognize some familiar faces. I know all about the taxiing, the gathering of power until takeoff. I know how to just chill in my seat until we've passed the turbulence, until we reach cruising altitude.

I know all about the inevitable crash landing. At this, I am a pro.


Under my bed is a box. Simple in it's design, it is wholly unremarkable. But the life it contains inside is remarkable. In it are the remnants of every trip I have ever taken, tokens and scraps of these miles I have travelled. The box is a stronghold of sorts, though it looks like no safe you have ever laid eyes on. It protects those memories that have shaped me. From the elements; from myself. It holds onto all of those things I can't bear to hold in my hands.

Because I still have to go pick up my load from baggage claim.


Sometimes I wonder, what if I had missed that flight? What if I had flown another airline? What if I hadn't been two hours early or ten minutes late?

That is the kind of thing you cannot store in any box.


No matter how many times you cash in your frequent flier miles for some indiscernible perk, the
trips are always there, a part of your travel history, a stamp in your passport if you have been taken that far.

Just because they are over doesn't mean they go away.


I travel, I fly, I guess, because it is in my nature. It might not always nurture but it is natural, I suppose. I've learned so much about the world, but it never quite seems to be enough to satisfy my need to explore the next uncharted terrain.

But really, I am tired. I miss home, wherever that is. I miss that sense of relief that comes from dropping my baggage at the door, wandering familiar earth unrestrained. I long for stairs that creak a recognizable symphony under my weight. And the particular hue that my own sheets turn under early morning sunlight. I miss space where I am free to exist as I am, not as I should or could be, if only...


In many ways, I will miss the routine, the familiarity of a journey that I have become so familiar with. But I have done so much travelling.

And where do you go when there is nowhere left but away?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Reflection

As I have found myself moving solidly into grown womanhood, I have been doing quite a bit of self reflection lately. It's actually been pretty good for me. I have been able to settle and rectify alot of things in my mind, put alot of old issues to rest, and make some really good ground on dealing with some that are still present.

A few days ago, The Notorious B.O.B. says to me, "You consider yourself a good judge of character. Maybe you should rethink that."

At the time, the shit offended the hell outta me. Of course I'm a good judge of character! I wanted to yell. I dated your ass didn't I?!

But, again, having transitioned into grown womanhood, I decided to sit with it a moment, really turn it over and consider if there was any validity to this statement.

I was still sitting with it when I received a text from First Love this morning...


Back Story...

First Love and Almost Fiance coincidentally share the same forename. And, while it made it easier to remember who's name to call in bed, it has created multiple entries of said name in my cell phone. I have also had both the pleasure and displeasure of working with and befriending 3 more people who share this same, extremely common first name. So there are 5 entries of said name, or some variation there of, in my cell.

I say this to say, in a drunken haze one night around 11pm, I mistakenly texted a message to First Love that was meant for another person. Said message was nothing vulgar or ridiculous. I believe it said something like...


"Hey I just got your message. I am gonna go pick up Abe and then just meet
us at 300."



Something like this.

For clarity's sake, I also have to reiterate that, while there is a 300 in both Houston and Atlanta, I live in Houston, he lives in Atlanta, and in 13 years of friendship, we have not shared a friend named Abe.

The night goes on, bowling and drinking ensues, and I am not at all aware that the person I meant to text didn't receive my message because he shows up at the venue and buys me a Jack and Coke.

(We heart him.)

The next morning, still quite drunk and very asleep, my phone rings multiple times. On time, lets say 4, I finally get my bearings enough to realize that it is not in fact a part of my dream involving me and Idris Elba and I answer.

On the other side of the country, First Love is throwing a bitch fit.

Being again, drunk and asleep, I don't quite put 2 and 2 together. He is bitching and I am drifting in and out of consciousness. I gather that he is bitching at me about texting him. I figure that it's because his broad was with him at the time. I apologize for the mistake.

He hangs up on me.
I take my drunk ass back to sleep.

Around 3pm when I finally wake up, bits and pieces of the convo start to drift back to me.

What in the bitch nigga hell?!?!?


Sir did you really call me from 800 miles away to question me about a text that was obviously not meant for you, all because your chick, who is damn near 40 fucking years old, likes to conduct her relationship like you're high school seniors?

WHO STILL GOES THROUGH NIGGAS' PHONES THESE DAYS?!?!


I contemplate, for a split second, calling him back and cussing him out for calling me with this kinda foolishness early on a Sunday morning, but I'm hungover, dehydrated and most importantly, grown.

I bitch about it to B.O.B. for a second, then put it out of my mind.


Back to the present...


I am at my desk knocking out some paperwork when I get a text. I get all excited when I first read the name because I think it's Almost Fiance, although, realistically, clearly he ain't carrying around his Black.berry in Iraq and texting niggas. I realize it's First Love.

Hey it's First Love. Thought about you and didn't realize that I didn't apologize for blowing up. My old lady was tripping and I took it out improperly, forgive me.

La wants to say...

Look what I need is for you to quit dating these crazy and insecure bitches that can't handle the thought of me even though I live 800 miles away, we haven't been together in 7 years, and I don't particularly care for the man you've become. And if you can't seem to do that then at the very least don't bring that kinda foolishness to me.

Trying to earn her grown woman stripes, instead La says...

I understand that it must have been hard for situation for you but please don't let it happen again. I do not appreciate being involved in your relationship drama over an obvious mistake.

And I get back to my paperwork, because I think this will be the end of it.

Instead I get a text that says...

Whoa, maybe to you, but the mistake wasn't THAT obvious. I wanted to show love because we are good like that. I still feel the same, I was just rude about it. Nevermind.

La REALLY wants to say...

SIR. Don't apologize to me like you are doing me a fucking favor. And when, in the history of us knowing each other have we ever shared a friend named Abe? And when have I ever come to Atlanta without first giving you a head's up? And why in THE FUCK is it ok for you to wake me up on a Sunday morning being rude because your chick is acting a fool, but I can't tell you I don't appreciate it?!

Instead I say...

If we were "good like that" you never would have called me early on a Sunday morning and been rude to me. As I said then, I apologize for the mistake. And don't let it happen again.


Now, to me, I have twice been calm and deliberate, very clear about both my apology and my displeasure at the way I was spoken to. And TWICE I have said so in such terms that could completely dead this conversation.


And so I think that's the end of it.
Except not.


I then receive a 3 page long text as follows...

Confused... if you text someone on mistake and they communicate to you that it's a problem, that's not the time for self defense. You express your intent and don't let the shit happen again, simple. I valued our friendship and am big enough to look at things whollistically. You are obviously somewhere else with it. But that's ok too. Me the bad guy, don't think so. Have a good one.


Err?

In this edition of La Wants to Say, she decides to show her ass...

First of all sir, whollistically is not a word. I cannot endure such abuse of the King's English in an attempt to sound intelligent. Actually, no, first things first, we are NOT friends sir. We are people who have known each other since we were 12 and used to date. Let's be clear. And whether my texting you was a problem or not, which I apologized for then, you do not call me on the phone that I pay for being rude and expect it to be ok. It was in your best interest that I was asleep and still drunk, otherwise I woulda surely cussed you and your silly broad out for that childish foolishness. Don't call me with drama. Pull your balls outta your ass, man up and handle your relationship business at home. Tell your bitch to act like the 40 year old she is and not a high school senior and dead the issue. And by all means, if you cannot be man enough to do that, please give me her number and allow me to do it for you.

Instead I say...

You too.



WTF?!?!

I simply cannot deal with the Bitch Nigga sneak attacks that these dudes are out here perpetrating.


And looping around to my initial point, how is it that I have managed to accumulate a roster of such bitch ass niggas? Maybe B.O.B. is right; maybe I simply am not the judge of character I thought I was.


So tell me, men especially, am I just not seeing his point of view? Did I miss the point? Is it generally ok to bitch up like this when under fire from your insecure ass broad and pull this kinda high school "call her while I am standing right here listening to what she says" bullshit?




(p.s. I am EXTREMELY interested in knowing wtf he tells this hoes about me, because ALL his chicks hate my ass, lol)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Almost Always Counts

Sometimes the internet is the devil. Because of it, have I...

a. bought $50 worth of hair products
b. entertained the comedic timing of porn starring Asian girls
c. given I.tunes half my paycheck
d. plotted spending the next paycheck at I.kea
e. been found via face.book by that Harlem cutie who couldn't hold a convo worth a damn but knew how to...


So anyway...

If you guessed all of the above, you are correct.

But sometimes the internet is not the devil. Like when it allows me to get in contact with someone who would otherwise be too far away for me to chat with.

Say if they were in, I dunno...

Iraq.


Like Almost Fiance.

Again.


Geesh.


I would like to pretend that it isn't as hard on me now as it was back then as we are no longer We. But the truth is, I have known this man for seven years. I know his mama and his sister and his grandmother. I've seen him naked and held his hand and cooked for him and travelled with him and slept in his (hairy) arms and watched football with him and talked to him for countless hours on end. Even if we rarely talk, it makes me feel some kinda way to know that I can pick up the phone and call him whenever, which is why it makes me feel some kinda way that right now I can't. And it makes it decidedly harder to commit to an unflinching optimism for President Obama and his policies on the "wars on terror" when you are still getting messages that someone you know and love is doing a six month tour in Iraq. (Seriously though, Air Force, why can't you ever send his ass to like... Greece? We ain't fighting nobody there or something?)

The thing is this; we are no longer We. But he's still my favorite ex-boyfriend. And I still know his mama. And he is the only ex to speak of that I can talk to like the friends we once were before he seduced me. (My story and I'm sticking to it.)

And I want him home.


At work, I am surrounded by some ex-military men, some war veterans, some Republicans who would kindly risk a million more soldiers for the chance to find Bin Ladin, some Democrats who don't understand that there is no such thing as world peace, thereby necessitating the need for a strong military. They debate all the time about the two wars we are fighting, what they would do if they were in power, what they believe, what the military needs to do... blah blah blah.

But I can never quite bring myself to join in. Not because I don't care. Not because I am not just as passionate.

But because this is not a general discussion for me. This is not an intangible scenario of what if. This is not a meeting of ideals and ego.

This is a friend. This is family.
He's 24 fucking years old. He'll be a daddy in December. He's his mother's only son. And the only man alive who has ever bothered to remember my favorite flower.

So forgive me if I can't quite grasp your talking points.


Talking to him made me feel better. No it's not easier now that we are not We. It's still a question mark, looming but unspoken, of whether or not he will get home safely, no matter how good I know he is at his job. It's six months where I won't be able to stand watching or reading the news. 180 or so days where if I hear from someone we both know that I haven't heard from in a long time, or see a number I don't recognize pop up my cell phone display, I will get nervous.

Because that is who I am to the We that we are now.

Sure, sometimes Almost Fiance can be a dick. And yes, he was always a bit too enamored with how attractive my sister is. And true, our breakup hurt and he's a perfectionist, and there are no more romantic feeling between us anymore and we bicker and he's a Redskins fan for whatever inexplicable reason, but I almost married him.



I almost married him.



And I know his mama. And his smile. I love his friends. And I have memorized the way he drives. I believed him when he called me beautiful. I love his little sister like my own. I've talked to him for hours without realizing it.

We are We, even if no longer in the romantic sense.


And I want him home.

*sigh*



I dug this up out of the archives. I can't believe I never posted it.

New Years Eve 2007

I'm nervous.

Which is hilarious in and of itself.
I'm not sure why. I have no reason to be. None whatsoever. This is not unlike a million times we've done this.
Except it kinda is.

I fuck up the directions. Even with the help of the new navigation system The Notorious B.O.B. got me for Christmas after taking extreme pity on my lack of ability to decipher directions in the vast wasteland that is Texas. I can't even listen to random white woman's computerized voice telling me where to go? I don't know my right from left now? I haven't

If I really sit and think about it, I can recognize that I'm only nervous because I am always nervous before the first time I see him after a long absence. Because our friendship is dear to me, because I always worry that time will have corrupted what was always, fundamentally, a crisp and strong connection before life got in the way. I'm nervous because our friendship means alot, and I would hate to happen upon one of those instances wrought with tension that is usually the precursor to even more extended bouts of separation that eventually lead to eternal silence.

But I don't have time to contemplate all that because I see him driving up. Granted, I can't really see him but I recognize his fast-for-no-logical-reason-other-than-I-can driving skills. He pauses briefly in front of me, long enough for me to put my car in drive and follow him through the gates onto base. He parks and jumps out and he's still the Almost Fiance I remember. He's smiling that cute smile at me. I'm immediately comforted as I sweep him over head to toe... and realize he's in basketball shorts.
"Uh you do realize it's goddamn December."
"This is not cold."
"I guess if you're not auditioning for the role of token nigga eskimo up in Alaska this ain't shit," I mutter under my breath as I climb outta the truck, thankful that he didn't hear me because surely I would have been setting myself up for failure.

We laugh and we joke all the way inside as I give a blood sample and a lock of my hair to the person working the desk so she'll allow me onto base, and we go on about our way.

"I haven't planned anything for tonight. And it's cold. And you wanna go down to the Riverwalk."
"What?!? YOU didn't plan anything for the evening?!?! Who ARE you?!?" I ask all incredulous.
"I know right. I was gonna make us reservations for dinner on one of the river boats, but it's fucking freezing."
"Yeah... about that..."
"I said I didn't."
"Good job, Almost Fiance."
"You women are never satisfied. Which shirt?" he asks me, holding up my two options. Knowing he's gonna be contrary than whatever I say, I respond, "The gray one."
"I kinda wanna wear black," he says hanging the gray one back in the closet.
"That's what I wanted you to wear too." He looks at me, his lips slightly parted, ready to ask me something and I cut him short. "Six years, Almost Fiance."
He smiles and starts to iron.

While he's getting ready, we talk and laugh and joke, probably far too loudly for whoever lives next door. At that point, I find myself so incredibly silly for being even the least bit nervous.

In the cab on the way downtown, we come across the most socially inept cab driver on earth. When "Hood Nigga" comes on, he turns it up amidst his exclamations of, "Yeah homies!" and throwing up faux gang signs. And while Gorilla Zoe is in fact MY.SHIT. I refuse to so much as push my lips up into a smile. Is he serious? And then he regales us for about 10 miles with his stories about some foolishness that the military gives you to eat and the explicit details about what it did to his digestive processes. Oh for real? Mmhmm. That's tragic.

We finally make it to the Riverwalk, stupidly let them give us a table right on the water and spend all of dinner huddling under the sorry ass little heater they have set up outside, which clearly woulda worked, if only the wind hadn't been blowing. Did I mention I didn't have a coat? Yeah. About that...
We decide our only recourse is drinking. So we do.

As we drink and eat, we talk about our lives as we left them, who we've become, friends we used to share. He starts telling me about some foolishness with a previous sideline hoe and then his most recent ex.
"I really thought I was gonna marry that girl, have kids with her," he says.

As he's telling me about her, I check inside myself for any signs of jealousy. It's there, but very tiny, hiding in the corner, barely even visible. Mostly I find myself wishing it works out for him. He's a good guy. He's going to be a great husband and an even better father.

He can't be too bad. I almost married him.

We swap stories, him telling me about his ex and his exploits, me telling him about the Ex and Bob, and all the other ridiculousness that has occurred since Us. It is amazing to me how comfortable it is between us. I'm not entirely sure why I'm surprised. It was always this way with us.

We head home and pass out far earlier than we mean to, probably indicative of our old age. We spend New Year's Day together before I get back on the road. Even in our silences, there isn't a moment where I feel uncomfortable or where our jokes and laughter don't reverberate in my ears, where I can't still feel how the chemistry between us radiates into my bones.

As I'm driving back home, I feel pretty peaceful. It's funny how, when life happens, sometimes the thing you're left with is more profound than all the other things you were trying to build.
A friend.
A refuge.



Love





And because I am just conceited enough to believe you stop by here from time to time to check up on me

come home, ok?

- L.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

GO VOTE FOR MY MAMA! NOW!!!!

Hey blog fam!

My mom was selected to receive a mini makeover with TLC's Clinton Kelly of "What Not to Wear". She really enjoyed herself and she looks GREAT! (and she has some fabulous Michael Kors shoes that she doesn't know yet that I am going to steal, lol) But that was only the first part of the process. She wants to win a head to toe makeover and shopping spree in NYC with Clinton and to do it, she needs your help. Please go to http://www.macysmakeover.com/vote.html and vote for her. The last time we checked she was behind in votes so every vote counts! Please feel free to pass this along to anyone that might be willing to support her. You can find her original email below with a bit more info. Thanks so much for helping her dream come true!!!!

http://www.macysmakeover.com/vote.html


Love,

La :-)


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All,

Some of you were aware that I was blessed to be a winner of the “ Clinton Kelly/Macy’s Makeover America-Austin” on last weekend. Well the before and after pictures are finally posted on the website and I need your votes to win the grand prize to visit Clinton in NY for the full head-to-toe makeover.

All you have to do is click the link below and vote for me, I’m listed as “Vicky R.”! Then pass this along to all of your friends, extended family, and anyone else who would like to support me in this effort and have them to do the same. I currently only have 8% of the votes…EVERY VOTE HELPS! J

Thanks,

http://www.macysmakeover.com/vote.html


Vickie

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Block is Notsomuch Hot

Welcome to this edition of writer's block. In it, I ramble on about nothing because I cannot seem to form a complete, rational, written thought of any kind. So instead, you get this.


X Factor finished the Avon Walk this weekend! Woo! Go congratulate her on Face.book and such.

I haven't been much for TV lately, (with the exception of Keeping up with the Kardashians which, for some reason Kim's ass I am totally obsessed with) but I have been going hard with the music. For some reason, it has taken me this long to completely fall in love with "Rockferry". I've had it, but haven't really been giving it much play. And then this weekend... I dunno, maybe it was my current emotional state, but I am pretty sure this is what love is. One of my favorites, "Stepping Stone"...


You used to call me up from time to time
And it would be so hard for me not to cross the line
The words of love laid on my lips just like a curse
And I knew, oh yes I knew, they'd only make it worse
And now you have the nerve to play along
Just like the maestro beats in a song
You got your kicks you get your kicks from playing me
And the less you give the more I want so foolishly
But I will never be your stepping stone
Take it all or leave me alone
I will never be your stepping stone
I'm standing upright on my own



*swoon* Also, I was listening to Pandora while doing some pretty serious manual labor with my co-workers on Friday (you're right, that's not in my job description) and it was apparently 90s rap day. I could barely work for being so distracted. So now I desperately need to get my 90s rap game together via I.Tunes. Any and all suggestions for downloads should be left in the comments and would be greatly appreciated.



I hate growing up.


And, more importantly than all of that, is this. I've stalked Michael's blog The Cynical Ones for the longest, ever since Shani hipped me to it a few years back. He's an excellent writer, extremely funny and insightful, a little snarky... basically all the things I look for in a blog crush. But every once in awhile he writes something so incredibly great and right on point, that I can't help but envy his talents and honesty just a bit more. Go on over to The Root, read his article there and show him some love.


In the meantime, I will continue to pretend I have something worthwhile to say...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Simmer

Today I wore makeup.

A pretty bronze-y pink that I picked up from MAC as a treat for myself on my birthday (while doing the self pity shopping) complimented by various shades of gold and chocolate brown. The colors blended nicely under perfectly sculpted eyebrows and mascara to give me that doe look. Since it's warming up, I opted for just a little bronzer, neutral colored lips. I looked beautiful, if I do say so myself.


Underneath it though, I was blazing.

I have been for awhile now. Outwardly cool and calm and collected, inwardly seething. Absolutely simmering with fury.

I am angry all the time.
And I have no idea why.


To be fair, there have certainly been valid reasons to be angry; there have been more than a scarce amount of slights and resentments and neglects and arguments to certainly fuel my wrath. But mostly it's just a lingering boil, simmering right beneath the surface, spilling over, scorching everything when I least expect it to rise over the edge.

The only way I know to deal is to stick to myself for a little while until I can get a lid on it or find the cause of it or at least turn down the temperature on my anger.

But it seems like everyday, every slight, everything that just has to become a full on production just because of the orchestration of my life, turns the temperature up 10 degrees.

Goddammit I am hot.
And not in a cute way.


Just writing this, I feel my body heat inching up. My palms are getting sweaty. My heart is beating faster in my chest. I'm clenching my teeth. I feel short of breath. It's like even acknowledging it reveals a draft, lets the air in to bolster the flames.


But I am out in the world so I smile, albeit tightly. I try to be polite. I try to stick to myself. I try goddammit.

And it's not helping.


Underneath the MAC, something is festering, putrid and fluid, splashing over all the contents of my life. On the inside I am seething, hot and humid, barely managing to act like I have any modicum of sense.

Today, I wear makeup.


Tomorrow... who knows?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

25 Things About 25

Here are some things I have learned since turning 25 that I think are important to share with you... you know, cuz I'm so wise and shit.




1. When you're feeling sorry for yourself, you SHOULD NOT go shopping.

2. Tattoos hurt. Especially on thin skin. Since it's been 3 years since your last one, you'll forget this and think you're a soldier, but alas... you are not. You may or may not wind up straddling a chair looking topless and whimpering like a little bitch.

3. Birthdays are not for diets. Or at least not diets that don't involve cupcakes and Mexican food.

4. Boys in basketball shorts are insufferably sexy. If said boys can actually ball, I may or may not entertain putting out at half court.

5. You should always get laid on your birthday.

6. Someone will always find a way to ruin your day if they can. The trick is to get so drunk that you don't care. Also...

7. Drinking is more fun if you do it in the middle of the afternoon.

8. Getting older sharpens your math skills. I.e. Vin Diesel + fast cars = wet dreams.

9. When it feels strange that you've not gotten fucked up and/or gone to the strip club, you've gone over to the bad place.

10. Friends are better when you know how to appreciate them.

11. Just like dick.

12. You know you've grown up when you stop before going shopping to... pay bills.

13. It really isn't them... Its you.

14. You know you love someone when you will share your space with them... And not kill them when they eat in your bed.

15. Blackberries are the devil... dance around the flames.

16. You're nobody til somebody side eyes what you're wearing.

17. Its ok to freak out about a gray hair... If for no other reason than it will prepare you for how you'll react to the others that are soon to follow.

18. Psycho calling/texting gets even less cute with age.

19. Find a good pedicurist... Your days of being able to reach your toes are numbered.

20. On your birthday (especially in the case of #1) you can convince yourself that you absolutely need that $200 pair of shoes or other ridiculous item. You absolutely do not. That being said...

21. I need a meerkat.

22. If you don't want to hear from people you long convinced yourself you didn't know, don't put your birthday on face.book.

23. No, the aquarium ISN'T less fun because you stopped to pay your Cap One bill before you went.

24. Sometimes speeding is good for the environment... or... the... greater good of... humanity. Yeah.

25. Twenty-five feels different than twenty-four. No bullshit.