Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Sunday, September 25, 2005
there was blue lighting throughout, whether to make everyone look better or to create a sense of closeness with everyone there, i'm not sure. low lighting always has a way of heightening my senses, making my skin prickle with awareness of all bodies near me. this is how i felt as i sat at the table, studying the people who walked by. one thing i noticed off of the bat was the fact that there were alot of attractive brothas there. in fact, they outnumbered the women about 2-1, which is a rarity in a city where the women outnumber the men 10-1. then you add in the fact that there is a large gay male population and then the numbers jump to 15-1. needless to say, the single sistas in atlanta have it tough.
i ordered a corona and leaned back in my chair, crossing my legs as i tried to get comfortable. my mini-skirt rode a little up my thigh and as i felt it, i looked down and grabbed the hem to pull it down.
"don't do that," a deep voice implored. "i was enjoying the view."
i looked up and noticed it was the same brotha i met outside. inwardly i sighed. outwardly i looked him in the eyes and said nothing while i tugged the hem down. after a minute of silence, he realized i wasn't going to say anything.
"would you like a drink?" he inquired as he smoothly sat down in the seat across from me. i frowned. frankly, i don't usually allow men to buy me drinks. it seems like there is some unspoken promise that goes with it, like his purchase of a drink means i'm obligated to spend time with him. fifteen minutes per cheap beer or wine, thirty minutes for premium beer or mixed drinks. god forbid someone break out the krystal or moet. that means a sista gotta fuck him AND his friends. a nasty shiver raced up my spine as i shook my head to clear it of the image.
"no. thanks for the offer though," i replied.
he sat back in his chair like he was getting comfortable. he continued staring at me as he hooked his right leg off his left knee. his gaze was rather intense, as it slide from my eyes to my chest to my legs and back up again. i decided it was time to put this thing to an end. i broke the eye contact and turned my body so that i was facing candice on my left. she and i made small talk, primarily comments about the brothas walking through the front door of the club, while the guy to my right remained silent. after ten minutes, i could still feel his gaze on me. okay, now this is just getting creepy. i turned to him.
"aren't you going to walk around and enjoy yourself?" i asked, hoping he would get up and leave.
he hesitated for a second, then answered "no. i'm enjoying myself right here." he leaned over and placed his hand on top of mine. i snatched my hand away and glared at him silently.
"no need to deny what's happening between us, luv," he said, not in the least bit discouraged. "it's fate."
i turned and looked at candice, who was looking at me with that "this brotha is creepy" look on her face.
"wassup mark," says a voice from in front of the table. candice and i look up and see a familiar face. omaretta. candice's neighbor and one of the few people in the world i know and don't like. she's an older sista, somewhere in her 40s, with shoulder-length hair and a slim frame. she's also obnoxious and arrogant and the exact opposite of the kind of sista i want to be when i reach her age. she was staring angrily at the guy sitting next to me. oh shit, i thought.
"wassup omaretta." he replied indifferently. i looked at her and murmured hello, sensing the tension that had suddenly engulfed the air around the table like flames. as omaretta continued staring at mark, i invited omaretta to sit with us. she declined. i then decided it was time for a bathroom break. i stood up and told candice i was headed to the bathroom and she quickly got up. we both told omaretta and mark we'd be back, then left the table holding our breaths. as we entered the bathroom, i let out a deep sigh and looked at candice. she looked at me and suddenly we both burst out laughing.
"what the fuck was THAT all about?" i asked in between chuckles.
"that's the guy omaretta's been telling me about!" candice answered.
"yup!" candice could hardly speak at this point as the laughter threatened to erupt within her again. "that's the guy she's been *nose open over for the last three weeks!"
"oh shit." i frowned and looked into the mirror, staring at my reflection as i tried to come up with a plan to avoid them both for the rest of the night.
"and not only that," candice continued on, obviously getting alot of joy out of the situation,"omaretta told me she had put the pussy down on a brotha so well, he was nose open, too!"
i pondered that a sec. "so she's already fucked this guy?"
"oh well." i'm not the one to judge. i'd had a number of experiences like that in my single days. however, i wasn't sure how omaretta would act towards me once she knew mark had been persistently trying to talk to me since i got here. i turned to the mirror, ran my fingers through my locs to pull them away from my face, then turned to candice. "you ready?"
we walked out of the bathroom. i had already decided i wasn't going to sit back down, so as i tried to walk past the table i told omaretta i'd see her later. she placed herself in front of me.
"no," she stated quietly. "you'll see me right now."
oh shit, i thought.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
"wassup rasta queen," he said, his voice almost as dark as the night sky. his jamaican accent was thick as grape jam spreading across my toasted senses.
"wassup," i replied, as i looked him up from top to bottom.
"wouldn't you like to know," he said with deliberate sensuality. i thought to myself how forward the brotha was being when i'd only just met him. sure, he was sexy enough, but it's not like i'm not married and not complete stranger.
"actually, i wouldn't like to know, but thanks anyway..." i countered, before a quick sidestep had me walking away from him.
"i see," he paused, and i felt his eyes burning into my back. "you're playing hard to get." another pause. "that's okay, because i like to work for what is mine."
after hearing that last statement, i turned around, brow lifted in both inquiry and challenge. "is that so?" i looked into his eyes pointedly. "don't waste your efforts and my time working for something that most definitely isn't yours..."
"yet." he had the timing down on that particular interruption. he tilted his head and continued to stare. "you're not mine, yet, but you will be."
i lifted my brow again. i thought to myself yeah, this brotha was most definitely forward and most definitely sure of himself and i am most definitely stepping the fuck away from him and this conversation. i didn't bother answering him as i turned around again and walked towards the club entrance. before i get to the door, i looked over to the sidewalk on the right and saw a form silhouetted against the artificial light coming from the glass behind him. i noticed right away he had locs like mine, although his were longer and thicker. when i made eye contact with him, he yelled out "cum 'ere rasta gurl!"
i wasn't ready for yet another confrontation so i ignored the request and turned to the bouncer at the door who asked to see my i.d. after showing him the confirmation i was old enough to be stalked by the men in the club, i turned to the person at the front window and paid the ten dollars to get into the place.
as i step into the door i thought to myself "what could possibly happen next?"
what could, indeed...(pt. 3 next)
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
see, she wanted to go out. i couldn't come up with any kind of excuses and frankly, the idea of getting out in the georgia sun was sounding more and more appealing. the tentative plan was to get lunch and then just hang out. here's the thing with candice and i...we're both leo women which means we both have the understanding that we're beautiful and irresistable. we're not vain, just sure. however, we're very different beyond that. candice is what i'd call a ghebuppie diva. she's that black urban professional whose idea of having street in her is having a drug dealer fuck her doggie style. she's both snobbish and down to earth. i can't explain how this is possible, but it is. she never goes outside of her house wearing anything like jeans and a t-shirt, only slacks, blouses, and heels. her outfit is accompanied by matching accessories, including the earrings, purse, necklace, and shoes. she never goes without her lip gloss, as it accentuates her full lips. she never wears sweats unless she's working out and even then her sweats look brand new all of the time. she doesn't mind wearing a wig every now and again, has had cosmetic surgery, and gets her eyebrows threaded. she's got at least a hundred pairs of shoes.
anybody who knows me knows i'm the exact opposite of all that. mostly all i wear are jeans and t-shirts. the only reason i have a purse is because candice bugged the shit out of me to get one because she was tired of me walking into the clubs with my slingback bookbag. when i wear dresses or skirts, i'll wear heels. i generally save that kind of outfit for when i'm going out, though. i never wear matching accessories because that's too much work, rarely if ever wear lipstick of any kind, and wouldn't dare cover my locs with a wig. i've got about ten pairs of shoes, and three of them are athletic shoes.
how da hell did we end up friends? i'm not even sure, but she's my best friend and we share everything (except men, of course.) our sensibilities are different in that she's more of a conservative southern baptist belle, while i'm more of a progressive northern nondenominational bitch. somehow it works, though.
anyway, getting back to saturday...we head out with the intention of getting some lunch. she wanted to go to the mall. i most definitely DIDN'T. i hate malls. it's the equivalent of someone hanging their smelly and stained underwear on a clothesline they put in the front yard so everyone who drove or walked by could see the shit stains. of course, candice not only wants to go to the mall, but she wants to go to THE mall. lenox mall, the most famous of malls in georgia because it boasts the reputation of having been the place where stars are discovered. it's also the place where many famous folk go to shop. the last time i was there, i saw doug e fresh in the macys with his wife. he was standing outside the dressing rooms in the lingerie department. meanwhile, once i discovered who he was, i dropped the 38DD bra i had in my hand. not that i was embarrassed by the fact that i have big breasts. i was appalled at the idea of the guy who was responsible for "the show" bearing witness to the act of me buying a bra. of course, i still had a pair of pristine white granny bloomers in my hand. that didn't register until i saw him look at me before glancing to see what i had in my hands. when i looked down and saw i was still holding onto the granny panties, i grimaced. then i remembered that many black women have phat asses that sometimes need full coverage. i looked back up at him and grinned that "you know i've got a phat ass so i need big panties" look on my face. he responded with a grin and a wink. then his wife walked out of the dressing room and i realized she had a phat ass too, with some granny panties in her hand.
you damn right.
so anyway, back to the story of saturday...candice and i ended up at lenox mall. i hate lenox mall. we got something to eat in the food court and people watched from our advantageous perch at a table located right in the middle of two walkways. one thing i learned from sitting there is that there are more and more women who look like men in atlanta. i saw at least four women who had evidently had either their breasts removed or they'd bound them. they were strutting around with the assumption that if they grabbed their crotches every five minutes, they'd look more like men. the action only made me wonder if they had a vaginal infection of some sort. from my experience, the only time i've witnessed guys grabbing their crotches is when they're either putting it in their pants or taking it out. it was a bit of overkill on the part of the pseudomyns...
we were surrounded by people of all different sizes, shapes, colors, ages, and levels of sanity. the dominant population though was the "looking to be in diddy's next video as either the one of the hoochies or one of the entourage" group. everyone was dressed to impress...impress other folks who were dressed to impress...in other words, regular folks disguised as something spectacular so they could impress others in the same disguise. they walked around with versace bags that held their keychain purchases (cuz that's all they could afford up in the store), their eyes looking eagerly and intently at everyone they passed by, with the intention of recognizing a celebrity. i got a number of those kinds of stares cuz evidently if a black woman has locs, she's automatically a whoopi goldberg lookalike. i sighed before telling candice i was ready to get da fuck up out of there.
i drive her back to my apartment and she picks up her car. we decide we're gonna meet up at her house later before heading to the reggae club. and that's where part two of the weekend began...
Friday, September 16, 2005
evidently i'm in a showtune kinda mood. from what i can tell, i listen mostly to showtunes when i'm at work, probably because i want to escape.
i realized late in the game that i needed to have my flash on in order to actually capture the moon without glare. i wish i could have gotten a closer look at it. i'll be looking to get more photos tonight.
i sat next to him for two hours and i STILL don't remember the cat's name. the sad thing is, he had me laughing much of the time. he is also a member of david's stress management class, although he didn't appear to need it as he was laid back. he told me the story of how his sister created a drink with root beer and vodka. her name for this drink? ALEX HALEY...it took me a sec to get it...oh yeah...ROOT beer...alex haley wrote the book ROOTS...AHA.
his sister is so very clever.
despite all efforts to succeed, my camera was determined to fail me in my attenpt to get at least one non-blurry photo before the week was out. last night i stopped by a local restaurant for drinks with a couple of friends to celebrate a birthday. david is now twenty-seven and almost stress-free. i had expected more folks to join us, but it ended up being rather small. i think david felt bad because many of his friends didn't come, although he has learned from the stress management course he's taking not to get stressed about it. he kept talking about this stress management class for about thirty minutes, with each third phrase being "i'm learning not to stress out about it, though."
in other words, he has now learned how to stress EVERYONE ELSE out. i told him if he said the phrase one more time, if he uttered the word "stress" just one more time, if the brotha even so much as uses a word that RHYMES with "stress", i was gonna kick his ass. his girlfriend kiana was grateful i said something, although she had been hinting at that same sentiment. the only difference is that i got candid with it. only the threat of bodily harm would have stopped david from continuing on about that damn stress-management class.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
is it really that simple? would viewing the janitor and CEO with the same value lens improve relations in american society? isn't that somehow devaluing the individual accomplishments that currently set one person apart from another? also, would universalizing this idea of what is valuable mean forcing everyone to accept one value system, where a man's worth is determined simply upon his existence and nothing else? what would motivate one to become a better person if he or she is already seen as one whose value is equal to everyone else? is it human nature to strive to be better than the next person, as opposed to striving to be and do better just because that's what we're supposed to do?
as i sit here pondering these questions, i can't help but be overwhelmed, primarly because i have always thought it was just that simple. i figured if people recognized the worth of others, the world would be a better place. yet treating a person with respect doesn't mean the person is respected. i treat my boss with respect but i don't respect him. my actions tell nothing of what my heart feels, and there's the quandry. many of us do things that directly contradict what we feel in our hearts. for example, the non-profit organization i used to work for did "good" deeds for the community, but they didn't care about the community. the people of that organization were concerned with the financial gain and the good image they'd project as a result of these deeds. they still viewed the people they helped as nothing more than ignorant "ghetto-dwellers" who needed to be showed how to "better themselves."
action without belief in those actions make them hollow. integrating one's school because the federal government makes you doesn't mean you now all of a sudden view those brown-skinned kids as equals, as human beings who deserve the same chances as you do. sending aid to the victims of katrina doesn't automatically mean that you see those people as human beings who deserve the same opportunities that you do. as i told my friend yesterday, many of those people were poor prior to the hurricane, and their plight was ignored by most of the same people who are helping them now. has the value of these victims of katrina now increased as a result of a natural disaster? are they now seen as the human beings affected by an uncontrollable force that stripped them of all they had despite their efforts to prevent it when before they were seen simply as poor people who put themselves in their situation because they lacked the necessary traits to get themselves out of poverty? is the only reason we can suddenly put a face to poverty and struggle because a hurricane wiped away the darkness and left the images of their faces imprinted upon our consciousness?
so i guess in the end it really isn't that simple. there has to be the belief that all people, regardless of the differences in appearance, financial station, background, etc., are deserving of the opportunity to obtain happiness on their terms. it's an appreciation of what's brought to the table, whether it be the roasted turkey or the rolls, the broom or the billions, because every one of us contributes to the success and failure of our society.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
today in my junky office i realized i needed a moment to breathe. the sun shines beautifully outside my office windows and i can lose myself in the vision of the sunlight reflecting from the glass faces of the skyscrapers. atlanta is really a beautiful city, and i feel blessed to be living here. now all i've gotta do secure tickets to a falcons game. that would make life damn near perfect!
what a sacred process the naming of a child is. i was reminded of how important the choosing is as i watched my brother and the mother of my niece go through hundreds of names discussing how the name had the potential to shape the spirit of their child.
my first name means "very beautiful, graceful". while there are times where i have not looked my best on either the outside or the inside, the importance of the meaning reverberates through me. it is important that i be beautiful and graceful in spirit. i think it also means that i am to also show others the beauty and grace they have within themselves, so that they recognize their own worth. there are so many ways in which those two adjectives can be applied in such a way as to empower all.
my name is the one thing in my life that has not changed since it was given to me. the meaning is the same. the pronunciation is the same. our name is the one thing any of us ever have that can never, ever be taken away from us.
i have hope that somi will do her name justice. she will be the one who recognizes the importance of knowledge, not for the purpose of oppressing others, but for the purpose of giving all the gift of enlightenment so that they can move forth into a world that is better because of their existence in it.
Monday, September 12, 2005
i have a favorite spot where i go to unwind. from this spot i can see the entire atlanta skyline. on this night, i was fortunate enough to be able to see the moon high in the sky, casting its cool glow on the body of the city.
i wonder what goes on in those dark spots. did my camera lens capture the cloak covering a murder? was someone's life ended right before my eyes? is there a woman being raped somewhere in those dark areas?
of course i had to get all morbid about it, but there are few things that happen in the dark that aren't bad, i.e. fucking and um...fucking (that includes kissing).
he was on my mind like a
fucking my thoughts
up with the slow stroking
delivery of his words
each syllable struck up
the incendiary matter of
my imagination with tinder images
of limbs braided into a love knot
of taut skin burned by hot sin
he stoked the embers of my fantasy
with the impaling member
of his vivid illustration
coaxing my creative juices
To flow over the fingers
of his lingering sentences
his keystrokes incited an ejaculation of emotion
that left me bereft of all
but a quivering cleft from where his lyrics
had licked my mind dry
here is my new niece, somay. she blessed us with her presence on wednesday, september 7 at 4:45 a.m. i wish i could have been there to see her in person, but i'll be meeting her in october. i am already hopelessly in love with her.
this is from a recent house party i attended. i hadn't yet had my first drink, which is why my eyes actually look focused!
Saturday, September 10, 2005
out of a lab of over 150, i received responses and clothing from about ten.
on the one hand, i would like to believe the women and men here (none who makes less than $50,000 a year unless they're a black female with locs named nikki), contributed somewhere else. on the other hand, i have witnessed time and again how self-absorbed my co-workers are. i can also say without hesitation that it has nothing to do with skin color. the one other black person working in my department is probably the most self-absorbed person i've ever met in my life. her idea of helping the katrina victims is watching the news and saying a prayer for their souls.
when i was in charge of the charitable campaign fund last year, i matured in mind after the experience. i've always been one of those closet optimists, the kind of person who was vocally cynical, but whose heart was forever optimistic. i have to admit that maybe a brick or two of my optimism crumbled as a result of runnng that campaign fund. i was told time and again about how folks don't need handouts, they needed to get off of their lazy asses and get jobs. cuz of course, having a job will automatically cure one of AIDS, automatically provide one's kids with all of the advantages of the rich, automatically give that same kid a sense of empowerment while he or she continues to dwell in an environment that seeks to sap every last bit of hope and strength of mind from his or her body.
don't get it twisted though...my co-workers never came out and said "they need to get off of their lazy asses". no, they phrased it like "people like that should pick themselves up by the bootstraps and make the best of it." you know, because being poor automatically means someone isn't attempting to do just that. i'm surrounded by folks who believe that being poor is evidence of a person's deficiency and inability to operate in society in a valuable capacity. just thinking about that pisses me off.
then again, i have to check myself. who da hell am i to get mad at these people for being who they are? they're adults who are set in their beliefs and actions and no amount of suffering they witness will change that fact. people have been suffering for centuries and the suffering will continue for centuries to come. all i can do is hope that my actions will motivate someone to recognize the power each one of us has. the power to change the world for better or for worse.