Monday, November 21, 2016

Fine.

The truth is, you need an ordinary girl.

You need someone beige. You need a girl who takes vitamins everyday and is in bed every night by 11pm no matter what. A girl that doesn't have a taste for whiskey and lights candles every time you make love and loves a "we." "We loved the movie." "We think that..."

You need a girl that's comfortable. Who's never been in a fight and doesn't raise her voice and doesn't conjugate her curses. A girl that thinks heels over three inches are extra and cooks dinner every night because she never works late. Someone put together by the threads of Supposed To Be. You need a girl not pestered by the itch to run barefoot across every inch of the world.

You will have a fine life. You'll have a perfectly ordinary courtship, and you'll follow a predictable course towards engagement and marriage and you'll have two kids and a dog and a cat with a bell on its collar. You'll lead a perfectly peaceful, ordinary life. It'll all be fine.

How much of both our time did I waste for wanting you to not settle for fine?

The truth is, I have too often not risen to the occasion of myself. I have too often draped myself in the cloaks of softer, quieter.
Fine.

But I am not fine.

I laugh too loud and fight too hard. I cannot manage a low key entrance and instead show up to trumpets. I like my sex rough and dirty and my love right at the apex of peaceful and passionate. I drink too much bourbon and say too much when others have slunk into the safety of silence. I demand space be made for me in the rooms I enter and I don't know how not to be relentlessly ambitious. I work long hours and I stay up too late. I want the world and I go after it; I will not settle for whatever serendipity drops in my lap at its leisure.

I am fire and I am light and both can burn you if you aren't careful. But the truth is, you were never built for keeping me or caring for me. 

And that is no one's fault.

You need a girl content to sit in the front row cheering you on, and I am the main attraction.
You need a girl who will carefully string her life up around the corners of yours, ecstatic to join a life you've already designed rather than build one together, where I demand an equal, a partner, a star that makes me a supernova.

You will live a good, perfectly fine life.

I cannot be fine. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Change Gone Come

The funny thing about your life changing is that you often don’t see it until it’s happening.

There are some big changes that sometimes you get to plan and prepare for, sure. But when you’re me, life changes have been running in the background when you weren’t paying attention and weren’t expecting them. And then in a second, they jump out into the forefront like, “Blaow! Taddow! Watch out now! It’s the little one, and I’m not Bow Wow.”

(An aside: I find there is a quote from Lil Kim or The Wire that I can apply to my life on an almost daily basis. And Stepbrothers.)

I just got my life settled.

That is what I keep telling myself as I sit in front of my email, my mouse hovering over the send button on an email that will literally set in motion the next phase of my life.

I just did this. And I just got my life settled. I can’t. What in the actual fuck?

All of that is true and none of it matters. And when I can’t even think rational thoughts in complete sentences anymore, I just settle for holy shit, holy shit, holy shit. 

This is happening.

The truth is, I’ve worked for this. I’ve paid my dues. I have worked my ass off, and made moves. And after years of circling it, and knocking at the door begging to be let in, the universe is finally opening up to reward me with everything that waits on the other side.

And I am terrified.

After so long of thinking this might never happen for me, of managing my expectations even when the opportunity presented itself, sure it wouldn’t work out, now standing on the precipice of it all I cannot stop panicking.

Because holy shit. 

I hit the send button, my heart leaping up in my throat as it goes. That’s the first domino. This is happening. My whole life is about to change. 

Holy shit.

Let’s do this.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Cake

#NaBloPoMo

Ever since my auntie died, I've been obsessed with my family's recipes.

Maybe two days after she passed, I tossed my entire apartment, dumping out every drawer and file, searching for the scrap of paper I'd scribbled her gumbo recipe on one random afternoon I'd called her to ask her for the steps. 

After every place I couldn't find it, I lost it a little more, sure I'd tossed it in a fit of compulsive cleaning, arrogantly assuming I could call her and get it again. When the last place it should have been was turned upside down, I cried myself onto my kitchen floor, chastising myself for being so stupid, for throwing it away, for throwing her away, so carelessly.

I hate that I never learned to bake my grandmother's peach cobbler. I can't remember it enough to recreate it, just standing in the kitchen while she made it, the yellow painted walls sweating in the heat of her old oven. I remember flour on my nose, and dipping my tiny fingers into her mixing bowls. I remember the way the crust seemed to disintegrate in my mouth, the peaches ripe and sticky sweet. No one in the family makes it, and that little piece of family history died with her.

And so, when I found myself sitting at a Formica kitchen table emblazoned with yellow flowers I hadn't sat at in 25 years, in a town everyone is too fancy to call Scottdale anymore, I listened to how to perfect my pound cake. How to get the Crisco and butter in perfect balance, how to perfectly brown the outside while keeping the inside moist. I furiously scribbled notes in my mind, listening to the instructions peppered in with anecdotes about church and community and civil rights. 

I found my auntie's recipe. And one day I'll get up the nerve to cook it for the people I love, sharing her with them. I'll keep trying at my grandma's peach cobbler, until it's perfect. Along the way I'll cook the things I love, the things I've created on my own and the things I picked up from them somehow without ever being taught. 

I cook their recipes. I sing their name. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Danger

Here is one of the most ridiculous things about me.

Whenever something good happens to me, I wait for everything to fall apart. 

And I don't just mean I think things will take a turn for the worst. I mean I wait for my life to flame out in spectacular fashion.

When I paid my car off, I spent MONTHS anxious that I'd soon total it. 
If I come into money, I am certain it will somehow be stolen.
If I get a new job, I wonder if I'm suddenly going to be stricken with some form of aggressive cancer, leaving me unable to make it to my start date.

In short, I am fucking ridiculous.

I don't know exactly when this became a habit. It seems some extreme form of the motto by which I live my life; if you stay ready you ain't gotta get ready. And so I am always looking for the boogie monster under the bed.

The problem is of course, like with most things, when you go looking for something, you almost always find it. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Lovers Rock

(The one where I try my hand at #NaBloPoMo and see if I can stick with it.)




I come to bed, my hair still mildly damp and dripping down the thin material of my t-shirt. For a split second, I entertain the thought of wrapping it in a bun, but I know it's just going to become mussed in this bed anyway.

The sheets are cool and smooth, and slide across my freshly waxed legs with ease. I run them back and forth on the slick surface a few times, before bringing my eyes up to the other side of the bed.

I can't remember the last night I slept alone.

I turn on my back, restless but trying not to move, my mind hurdling and jumping somewhere off in the distance.

Just when I've managed to start slipping into sleep, I find myself wrapped up in a cold embrace, snuggling into its familiarity.

My fear spoons me like a lover, wrapping tight tentacles around my limbs and anchoring me to the spot.

Tomorrow I think to myself. Tomorrow I'll be better.

For now, I just sleep.