Friday, March 31, 2006

i gotta get up early in the morning...

actually, i didn't have to get up, i was just up. at 4 a.m. in the fucking morning. shit...

maybe i was still hype over the independent hip-hop fest i attended last night. the vibe in there was tremendous. as soon as i walked into the door of the loft, my eardrums were immediately assaulted by the thrumming of a heavy base being pimped over by a voice. his voice.

"throw ya hands in the air if you a true playa..."

shit, my walk evolved to a strut as i lifted a hand into the air, closed my eyes so as to better immerse myself into the moment of nostalgia, and started nodding to the beat. DAMN, but it was good to be in it again. to be all up in a spot where the music flowed as freely as cum continuous after a concentrated clit stroke. hell, my clit was throbbing in anticipation of the auditory orgasm i was about to experience.

i walked up the stairway to the entrance into the spot and paid the attendant. the weed smoke was thicker than the thighs of voluptous stripper and just as high inducing. i breathed it in deeply, remembering the times when i hung out with my boys and vibed while they smoked 'that good ish' (nah, i was never much for smoking the ganja but i didn't have to cuz i got off on the contact, feel me?). the room was cavernous and dark, except for the lightning being sparked from the turntable by the dj. i don't know how that mothafucka did it, but suddenly the biscuit drowned in gravy voice of biggie was devoured by the mouth of another beat and another voice took stage...

"it ain't hard to tell, i excel, then prevail
the mic is contacted, I attract clientele..."

the cats in the room all started yelling loudly, like they hadn't heard that shit since nas first dropped it in '94. there were only figured shadows around me, but i didn't need to see them to feel the elation, the fucking celebration of the foundation of hip-hop. we all started screaming out the lyrics...

"my mic check is life or death, breathin a sniper's breath
I exhale the yellow smoke of buddha through righteous steps..."

...and i was remembering brooklyn, summer 1994, sitting on my granny's stoop (folk from the ny know what i'm talking about), being introduced to nas for the first time. it was hot and humid and the sun was burning us like a pussy after catching the clap. the park across the street was packed with folk, some sitting on benches playing checkers on concrete tables, some smacking the handball ferociously against walls graffitied with declarations of brilliance's presence, some jumping through the fast turning ropes of double dutch, some sending sweet arcs of black striped orange balls through the air to fall true through hoop rims (you had to imagine the swish cuz they didn't have nets on basketball rims in the hood). their noises were all joyful like the voices of a church choir praising god for the gift of that one more minute of life.

having just gotten there from atlanta where the weather was hotter but lacked the electric current running through the streets of bedstuy, i had been eager to imbibe of the vibe of my old neighborhood. i hadn't even been out there ten minutes before the sweat from my body was forging sticky paths all over my chest, pasting the cotton from my shirt to my skin like paper mache. kwame, the cat next door, had just dragged out his portable cd player, the orange extension cord pulled taut as he tried to move it closer to the right edge next to where i sat.

"nik, you gotta hear this shit," he exclaimed, his movements were fast as he excitedly turned the speakers so they were facing me. i had begun fanning myself with the day's copy of the new york daily news hoping to cop a feel on a full-bodied breeze, but was instead left holding the anorexic ass of a paltry puff. i sighed deeply.

"it's hotta than a mothafucka out here!" i gasped. (yeah, i was probably overly dramatic with it considering i had just left a place where it had been 95 degrees for about two weeks straight, but is hot damnit.)

kwame stopped what he was doing and looked at me.

"don't be a punk, nikki," he replied, shaking his head in mock disapproval. i started laughing at the look on his face and watched him as he jumped over the wrought iron bars lining the side of his steps and landed in front of me. "just listen and quit with dat whining shit."

"i wasn't whining, you bastid," i replied as the smile cracked my face through the sweat streaming from my temples, "i was stating the fucking truth."

he laughed before turning to the cd player to press the play button.

"yo, just listen to this kid. this nigga is ill," he said as he turned to me. "he right out of queensbridge."

"for real?" i asked as i thought of the cousins i had living in the same projects. shit, they might actually know this kid. shit I might actually know this kid. i had been over there every summer for years! suddenly i was interested in listening to the kid who i knew i knew cuz everyone knew everyone in queensbridge.

then i hear the sound of subway trains and an echo of a voice...

"street's disciple, my raps are trifle
i shoot slugs from my brain just like a rifle
stampede the stage, I leave the microphone split
play mr. tuffy while I'm on some pretty tone shit
verbal assassin, my architect pleases
when I was twelve, I went to..."

then there was some brothas talking and i got the blank face.

"BOORRING." i yelled to him in doorbell notes.

kwame laughed.

"fuck you, nikki."

then he reached over and hit the next button.


the piano sounded like it was being hammered with a fist as the repeating riff blasted through the speakers like blood splatter after a barrage of beat downs. it was aggressive. it was demanding. it was...

more cats talking.

i looked at kwame and was about to open my mouth.

and then...AWWWWW SHIT.

"rappers i monkey flip em with the funky rhythm i be kickin
musician, inflictin composition
of pain i'm like scarface sniffin cocaine
holdin a m-16, see with the pen i'm extreme, now
bulletholes left in my peepholes
i'm suited up in street clothes
hand me a nine and i'll defeat foes
y'all know my steelo with or without the airplay
i keep some e&j, sittin bent up in the stairway
or either on the corner bettin grants with the celo champs
laughin at baseheads, tryin to sell some broken amps
g-packs get off quick, forever niggaz talk shit
remeniscing about the last time the task force flipped
niggaz be runnin through the block shootin
time to start the revolution, catch a body head for houston
once they caught us off guard, the mac-10 was in the grass and
i ran like a cheetah with thoughts of an assassin
pick the mac up, told brothers, "back up," the mac spit
lead was hittin niggaz one ran, i made him backflip
heard a few chicks scream my arm shook, couldn't look
gave another squeeze heard it click yo, my shit is stuck
try to cock it, it wouldn't shoot now i'm in danger
finally pulled it back and saw three bullets caught up in the chamber
so now i'm jetting to the building lobby
and it was filled with children probably couldn't see as high as i be
(so whatchu sayin?) it's like the game ain't the same
got younger niggaz pullin the triggers bringing fame to they name
and claim some corners, crews without guns are goners
in broad daylight, stickup kids, they run up on us
fo'-fives and gauges, macs in fact
same niggaz'll catch a back to back, snatchin yo' cracks in black
there was a snitch on the block gettin niggaz knocked
so hold your stash until the coke price drop
i know this crackhead, who said she gotta smoke nice rock
and if it's good she'll bring ya customers in measuring pots, but yo
you gotta slide on a vacation
inside information keeps large niggaz erasin and they wives basin
it drops deep as it does in my breath
i never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death
beyond the walls of intelligence, life is defined
i think of crime when i'm in a new york state of mind..."

i was right there in that fucking stairwell in queensbridge, the stench of urine flooding my nostrils as the stark light from the artifical bulb showcased the enameled walls like gritty teeth gaped in a menacing smile around me. i was right there next to him when we walked over to the bench in the middle of a concrete landscape surrounded by tall brickhouse bitches with glass eyes reflecting the blank stares of their lost souls. i was sitting there looking at the same shit he was looking at, either nodding in agreement with a "no doubt, son" or shaking my head in disgust with a "that's fucked up, kid."

and i was there with nas in queensbridge until that cd was over.

it felt like i had just read a book only the words were planted in my mind without me ever seeing them. all i saw were the images. all i felt was the pain and hope and bravado and genius and arrogance and guilt and fear and most profoundly that, that fucking be heard, to be valued, to be accepted, to be understood, to be feared, to be lauded, to be respected.

the demand to just fucking let a nigga BE.

i didn't say a word when the final song ended. in fact, i didn't even realize the cd was done.


i was sitting there lamenting with him about life being a bitch while puffing on a spliff.


i was standing there in the park with him when he poured his heineken brew to his deceased crew on memory lane...


i was there when he fucking represented.

"nikki! SHIT, KID!"

kwame had to shove me hard to bring me back. i looked up at him and remained silent. it was like the quietest moment i had ever experienced in new york. i tell you, i didn't hear SHIT.

and then my mind started reviewing all of the words, the delivery, the tracks behind it all. all of the images rolled back through my mind like a rewinding movie, the sounds playing backwards in a screech reminicent of sqeaky breaks on a fast-stopping mac truck. the emotions i felt just continued to build. i was excited. i was elated. i was...overwhelmed.


that cd was fucking brilliant.

"THAT WAS THE SHIT!" i exclaimed as i started jumping around like a maniac. i can't even explain this shit to you. all i can say is that when music moves me like that, i gotta jump for joy like i just felt the holy ghost or something.

kwame was staring at me like i had lost my mind but i really didn't give a fuck. i had just experienced something rare and fuck it, i was gonna savor that fucking moment. then i noticed a crowd had gathered around us as other cats from the neighborhood had stopped to listen to the urban griot spin tales.

nasir jones has a way of gathering souls, wayward petals blowing in an aimless breeze before he plucks them from the air and pulls them together to form flowers, then bushes, then meadows of beautifully burgeoning black folk.

and i was feeling it again last night at the hip-hop festival. nas, biggie, brand nubian, poor righteous teachers, main source, kool g rap...all of them made an appearance last night from the speakers if not from the stage. by the time the new guard stepped up to the mic to continue the tradition of the independent spirit of hip-hop, i was ready to be taken away again.

i wasn't disappointed.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

i am reflection, i am reaction

i'm in a place right now where my self-introspection is at an all-time high. i know this is because of the things i'm going through at the moment. i just ask you to bear with me as i attempt to make sense of things.

this post is inspired by t. casanova's post confessing to his various vices. in it, he admits to being spiteful. now while normally i would have called that shit out for what it was (namely, he was being an asshole and that shit ain't cool), i stepped back from that statement and instead chose to look at it from another angle.

spite: n. malicious ill will prompting an urge to hurt or humiliate.

we have all done something out of spite towards someone else. however, is this behavior a reflection of our character as a whole or is it just one aspect of us? is this behavior in response to something someone else did to us or is it totally unprovoked?

reflection of a whole

the way we word things when it comes to describing ourselves is a revealing indicator of just how we see ourselves (and others for that matter) at that moment. have you ever made little statements to yourself when you were feeling down? on days when i'm feeling down on myself i say shit like

"i am spiteful."

"i am fat."

"i am insensitive."

"i am mean."

because at that moment, i feel as though that adjective represents me totally, defines me completely. at that time, there are no other adjectives superceding that one. when i look in the mirror, i see that word carved into my forehead. i see it written in lipstick across my chest.

when i'm feeling good about myself, the wording changes. it's not even just about me saying shit like

"i am beautiful."

"i am smart."

"i am loving."

it's also in how i re-word the other shit. i'm no longer selfish. i'm a person who can be selfish at times. i relegate the shitty stuff to part-time status and give the great stuff full-time status. i can acknowledge that while at times i can be selfish, overall i'm still a good person. i believe that because my actions in this world reflect that.

reaction showing a partial reflection

a couple of years ago while i was on vacation, one of my co-workers tried to have me fired. when i got back from vacation, i was pulled into my supervisor's office and grilled about some missing office supplies. of course i was innocent, but the incident left a permanent breach in my relationship with my boss and created tension and mistrust around the office. in response to what she did to me, i went into her office, hack onto her computer, printed off incriminating email and deleted many of her important files. because she had no back up of her shit, she was fucked up for MONTHS. and no, at the time i wasn't sorry i did that shit.

but as i look back on what i did, one thing is very clear...i allowed her shitty behavior to dictate mine in such a way as to reflect her character, not my own. that doesn't make what i did any less malicious or straight up wrong. however, i recognize i gave her the power to make me respond in such a manner. i acknowledge that ultimately, i made the decision to fuck her shit up, even if i was provoked. i also acknowledge how she played me like a fucking puppet because i did that shit in reaction to what she did. i acknowledge i was hurt by her actions and that hurt made it easy for me do that shit i did cuz i felt as though i had been personally attacked.

but does that make me a malicious person? does that make me a spiteful person? HELL nah. i think the difference here is that i was reacting after being provoked by her behavior against me. i wasn't trying to deliberately hurt her for no reason. her actions hurt me and therefore, i felt the need to hurt her. i committed a malicious act. it doesn't make me malicious. if i accept that term to define me, then i'm saying i'm mostly malicious and that anything i do from this point on that hurts someone is justified, cuz hey...i'm malicious.

so no, i am not malicious. however, the incident showed me i was an immature person incapable of stopping someone else's shitty behavior (and their own issues of insecurity) from provoking me towards stooping down to their level.

'i am' is the beginning of the statement we give to define ourselves to one's self and others. whatever adjective we place after that becomes interwoven within us, it is what sweats from our pores, what leaks from our mouths, what determines our actions. it is the word we use to justify our behavior, both good and bad. it implies we will actively seek to be an accurate reflection of the definition of that word because it is the word we believe ourselves to be.

so now when i describe myself to others, i think about whether or not i want the adjectives i use to be a reflection of the whole me or just part of me. i think about how i see myself, really see myself, and what my actions say about me.

i am beautiful

i am intelligent

i am sexy

i am compassionate

and yes,

i am capable of malicious behavior when provoked, but that ain't who i am.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

barometer for beauty

i had an interesting conversation with a friend last night regarding the necessity for pain in a person's life. he argued that without pain, we wouldn't recognize and/or appreciate beauty if we were to see it.

i know my writing holds a certain depth and texture directly related to the painful experiences i've had throughout my life. i believe that when a person reaches bottom, he or she has nothing to see but the darkness, and therefore is left to engage the other senses in order to find a way out of that gloom. with my fingers i touch the walls of my cell, noting the uneven and slick surface, cold from the lack of sun to cut through the shadows. with my ears i hear the silence, a sonic vacuum absorbing sound so that i can listen to the voice of my own thoughts as it unfurl a crackled mental map giving me direction on how to find my way out. with my tongue i can taste my fear, my desperation, my determination, an acrid combination meant to leave me dissatisfied so that i find nothing appealing about my stay within those depths. with my nose i smell the remains of other decaying souls in other cells, signifying the defeat they have chosen to accept instead of the challenge they could have chosen to tackle. with my sixth sense, the most important sense of proprioception, i am attuned to exactly where i am within the darkness. i feel each cell, each membrane, each organ, each limb of my body, as i refuse to lose myself, thereby making it impossible for me to leave.

these senses can be honed within the inky blackness that can be anguish. however, there is also the possibility of anguish overtaking one's soul. it can become that killer tsunami that destroys everything as its waters crash through the standing structures of one's sanity, leaving a wasteland absent of life in its wake.

and that is why i think while pain has a purpose, it is not necessary as a constant reminder of wonderful things within my life.

pain in itself can be beautiful, but only if it changes the spirit in such a way as to encourage continual growth, continual establishment of a foundation strong enough to sustain against natural disasters bent on destroying it. the pain found in life experiences can be seen as either lessons or punishment. if they're seen as lessons, one's mind is open to learning from that experience and using that knowledge towards making sure choices made in the future won't precipitate that kind of experience again. if they're seen as punishment, a person is likely to see his or herself as one who is undeserving of happiness, one who is supposed to suffer because that's how god intended.

i can't accept that.

because if i accept that, the times i was molested and raped are punishment for me being too naive, to unwilling to believe that people can do bad things. if i accept that pain is punishment, the death of my father is punishment for me being a bad child. i choose not to see these occurrences as punishment. they are the moments planted within my soul, but what sprouts from the soil depends on what i feed it. if i shower it with nothing but bitterness and anger, it will grow into vines, choking the good from me. if i shower it with love and the sunshine from a positive mind, it will grow into a meadow of flowers absorbing warmth, creating energy, manifesting into strength. i think i prefer that outcome...

i admit there is much within my life i notice now as a result of my painful experiences. i see the low sense of self-esteem curving a little girl's posture, making her smaller so that she can disappear from sight. i hear the need for love and acceptance in the frustrated cry of a little boy, even if he's only crying because he just lost to me in tekken tag team. i touch the suffering emanating from a woman's form as she frets over whether or not to remain or take flight, to sacrifice or to save herself. i taste the want for uplifting and support when i kiss upon the skin of a man. i smell the desire for engagement and investment and empowerment within my community when i do volunteer work.

and most importantly, i am keenly aware of my place in the world and the importance of preserving my space.

i thank god for those senses, for they have helped me to make sense of my life.

would i have gained this insight without the pain? i'm not sure, but i do know this...

i am...because of, not in spite of.

Monday, March 27, 2006

you gonna hafta sleep in ya car, money...

"hey, this is hassan. this has been a really horrible day. i've been bumped from my room at the days inn..."

so basically the first time i hear a brotha on my phone (he left a message), he's talking about a really shitty beginning to his visit to my city. this is gonna go really well...

by the time i made it home, i was hesitating about even calling him back. i mean, if he's in a really crappy mood, do i want to talk to him? HELL NAH. then again, he needed to let off some steam after that whole debacle, so i went ahead and called him back. yeah, i got an ear full about how fucked up the hotel situation was in atlanta, which ultimately had a brotha taking up temp residence in a 'contagious coochie cottage'. i call it that because it was located right on the stripper strip of cheshire bridge road. anybody from the atl who knows about atl knows about cheshire bridge road. there is literally a strip club every one hundred yards or so, and in between the strip clubs are prostitutes roaming the streets selling their wares. where do you think they go when they've found their 'john'? uh yeah...hassan's motel, that's where. i was envisioning black light stains of encrusted cum on the dirty carpet from where guys pulled out and sprayed everywhere, the clouded saliva stains from really sloppy blowjobs haphazardly printed onto the bedsheets, a dirty g-string with skid marks dangling from the bedpost, and used condoms, crunchy and yellow, slung into the dark corners of his room. brotha was basically taking up occupancy in the herpes-infested vagina of a crackhead. *shivers*

of course, hassan wasn't comfortable AT ALL. he was supposed to be here until monday but that motel situation put a serious crimp in his mood and he was ready to bounce after one day. i don't blame him, although i told him after the ncaa regionals were done (sunday was the last day), he could get a hotel room at a more quality location. after he lamented for a minute about the motel, we decided to meet for a late lunch. when i got to the motel to pick him up, he was standing in the parking lot.

so we hug and he gets into blaque betty. uh, that's the name of my car, not the name for my vagina, so you nasty asses can get your minds out of the gutter.

we head to coco loco and get a table. the conversation flowed nicely. he's a cool cat. i think we spent about a good hour sitting there talking and eating. then i drove him to the apache cafe where he was gonna be attending the chuck d album release party later that evening. i drive him back to the 'triple c' and we sit in the car and talk for a while. there were some really strange sights around us. one caucasian guy, a bit bloated from much drink, was pacing back and forth in front of my car, obviously waiting for someone. hassan and i kept stopping the conversation to look at the cat cuz frankly, it was dark at that point and liquor makes folk act a fool. a white guy jumping on two black folk ain't no thing when he's got liquor in him.

he eventually disappeared. we talk some more. behind hassan's shoulder i see three guys walking in the direction of my car. three really tall caucasians, older, and dressed in full village people attire. i guess all three decided to be the biker/leatherman cat in the group. yeah, i stopped whatever i was saying in mid-sentence and watched them walk by, my eyes wide with shock and surprise. yeah, i laughed at the image, but only cuz those outfits were hella tight. i mean, i think those outfits fit those twenty years and fifty pounds ago. they walked with pride though, so i couldn't be mad at it.

hassan and i talk for a while longer and then it was time for me to bounce. a few observations:

1. hassan is just as nice, intelligent, gracious, funny, and gifted with the lyrics in person as he is on his blog. he's also got a sexy chicago accent to go with his 'spoken word artist and mc' voice.

2. coco loco's plantains aren't as good as they used to be. not sure why, though.

3. hassan's motel didn't look all that bad when i got up close on it. it had floor to ceiling glass in the front of the room next to the entry. then again, that was a peepshow waiting to happen.

4. i had to rename hassan's motel 'contageous coochie and cock cottage' cuz i saw more guys there than women. you deduce from that what you wanna.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

nikki - the blogger social butterfly!

this was a busy weekend for me! not only did i meet three bloggers, but i also got to pick their brains somewhat (they're all writers). talking to them really gave me the courage needed to consider putting my own book together. thank you for that.

on friday i hung out with princess dominique, marcus harris, meko, tia, collette, and ej at barley's billiards off of peachtree street. i live literally down the street from the place and yet i didn't even know it existed. well, i know now. it's black-owned and on friday it has a live band performing all night. let me say this...the place was PACKED. not only that, but it has some of the best kept pool tables i've seen in a long time and i plan on stopping by just to shoot some pool. shit, i might be headed there TODAY.

special thanks to tia for picking up the tab for the ENTIRE TABLE. i'm not sure how much money was spent, but i know it wasn't pocket change. i made at least two new friends that night. meko had me cracking up about the men of atlanta (she's single and beautiful and STILL can't find a decent man in a city supposedly full of quality brothas). meanwhile, tia was beautiful too, fascinating me with stories about her childhood and her various adventures in atlanta as a single mother. collette had all kinds of stories about her life as a flight attendant (one day she just up and quit cuz the mothafuckas were getting on her nerves).

and then there was dominique and marcus. they were in town to promote marcus' new book of poetry, songs in search of a voice. let me just say now that you gotta get your hands on that fucking book. i'm gonna devote an entire post to that one cuz i can't say everything i wanna say in this post. too much...just too much.

anyway, i wasn't able to talk much to dominique but that's cuz i was surrounded by so much good conversation. marcus is one of those cats who is witty yet unassuming. he invites one to be comfortable around him and basically spill out ever facet of his or her life to him (he betta be glad i didn't cuz i would have just traumatized the brotha). he kept calling out my name and pointing to the television screen where uconn was playing washington. i think he wanted to see me lose my mind by jumping up and down frantically as i wished for uconn to lose. he didn't get to see me make a spectacle of myself, but he did manage to one-up me.

"i bet you order another glass within the next five minutes," he said with a grin on his face.

this dude is challenging me? no this mothafucka didn't!

"all i want is one glass," i replied to him, a defiant glint in my eye.

"we'll see..." he said a little cynically, but with the grin never fading from his face.

i had already finished my first glass when the bet occurred, so i figured i was good. then i looked up to the television and saw how close the game was...

oh shit, if uconn loses this shit, t will have no teams left in the tourney! i'll win that fucking bet for sure!

the waitress came around and asked if we wanted anything else. i didn't even realize i had ordered another glass of merlot until afterwards...

"nikki," marcus yelled over the live music.

"what!" i responded, my eyes still on the television screen.

"uh, you just ordered another glass of merlot!"

i glanced at him absentmindedly, not comprehending what he said at first. when i saw his grin widen to grand canyon proportions i realized what i had done. i glanced frantically at the clock on my phone.


four minutes, thirty-nine seconds.


one bet lost, but damnit. i ain't losing the other one.

once the game was over (uconn pulled that shit out at the last minute, da bastids), we got up to take a group photo. that's when i noticed him. dark-skinned older cat sporting a full blown suit right down to the matching vest. he was staring at all of the women at the table. because he was at the table next to us, we had to scoot past him (i.e. stick our asses in his face) in order to get around the table. the bastid made a point of keeping his face right thurr in the crack of our asses as we made our way past him. no, that shit wasn't cool.

we were standing to take the photo and he was looking at us with a grin on his face similar to gargamel looking laviciously at scattering smurfs, his eyes all glazed over with an inherent evil. right before tia started taking photos i glanced over at him.

"uh, you can stop staring at us like we're dessert," i said derisively, "you've got an entire table of guys to devote your attention to."


shit...that photo was a do-over cuz meko's to my left snickering like muttley and i've got the "angry negro bitch checking some dirty old man" look on my face, my head turned towards the 'man' in question.

it took a minute for meko to stop laughing, but when we finally got the photos taken, it was time for marcus and dominique to leave. after they departed, me, tia, and meko decided to stay and check out the sights. first order of business was to check out all the fine brothas in the back shooting pool...conveniently situated in the same vicinity as the restrooms. tia had just returned from back there and eagerly shared her findings with meko and i.

"yes, the brothas are aplenty! they're EVERYWHERE back there!"

suddenly a sista had to pee.

no really, i had to use the bathroom...conveniently situated in the same vicinity as the fine brothas.

"so meko, i have to use the bathroom, don't you?" i said slyly, my eyes saying "girl, you know we gotta check out the brothas in the back!"

she looked at me and started laughing.

"yes! it's time to go to the bathroom!"

we got up and made our way towards the back. now the way the place is set up, there are a bunch of tables in the front where we were, so there was alot of weaving and stiff walking as i tried to prevent my ass from smacking some poor unsuspecting patron in the face. once we were past the maze of tables, there was a long room with pool tables lining each side. the bathrooms were at the end of the room and the walk to the bathroom? oh, that had to take place right down the center of the fucking room, kinda like a catwalk only i ain't tyra (although i am too funky for them...)

we start walking.

actually, it was more like meko was walking and i was damn near running.

"hold up!" meko whispered quickly, "slow down so the brothas can see the goods!"

i slowed down my sprint, laughing at myself for the moment of nervousness. i glanced around the room from left to right, looking at the guys either leaning over tables taking shots or standing with pool cues in their hands.

oh my!

it was like walking into a black mens r'us and being able to have my look at every possible version of black man ever created. tall, short, dark, light, fat, thick, skinny, ugly, passable, handsome, straight up stunning...they were all there representing. i felt like i was a kid again, looking through the sears wish book, salivating at the easy bake oven on page 355 right before my eager eyes landed on the barbie dream house with matching car on page 356, right after i had already had my heart attack from seeing monopoly, life, AND chutes and ladders all on the SAME PAGE...354!

"i don't want to go home...i'm a mens r us chick..."


anyway, a bunch of cats to my right stopped what they were doing and started staring at us. then i hear this rising sound of masculine discussion as they talked among themselves, their eyes never leaving us. then one of them, this tall, thick brotha dressed casually nice, sporting a baseball cap turned to the back, did 'the nod' thing. you know 'the nod'...the one that says "wassup, luv. i'm digging what i'm seeing." you know, THAT nod.

i grinned shyly back at him, the dimple in my cheek deepening as we continued making our way to the restroom. i mention the dimple because it always makes a stronger appearance when nikki's basking in the glow of male attention. it's like the dimple knows it will be the deal breaker, the final piece in the puzzle confirming nikki's beauty, cuz what brotha doesn't dig dimples? only the crazy ones and nikki don't do crazy.

anyway, so after the long walk down the catwalk that seemed to take forever, we finally make it to the bathroom. and proceed to burst out laughing. the tension from making that walk was immediately released. you know, just cuz we women know we're beautiful doesn't mean we're necessarily comfortable with the idea of walking down an aisle while surrounded by men who have nothing else to do but check our asses out. i mean, everything is scrutinized. i felt as though brothas could see right through to my areolas!

after laughing some more and talking girl talk (you don't think i'm actually gonna tell what was discussed, do you? some shit i keep private you know!), i used the bathroom (TOLD you i had to go) and washed my hands. we checked ourselves to make sure the clothes were properly placed (nothing worse than heading past a bunch of guys with your underwear hanging out...especially if they're granny panties), then began the long journey back.

this time around, i was acutely aware of some of the discussion taking place around us. i heard softly exclaimed 'damns' from time to time as we made our way to the front. we were both smiling cuz we knew why the 'damns' were breaking around us. meko and i made small talk between us, casually observing the brothas around us as we sauntered back towards our table. i made a sweep of the area with my eyes, making sure not to connect attention to any one guy for long (i was in the mood to look but not in the mood to engage, feel me?). once we got back to the table, we started laughing again. our eyes widened as we stared at tia. she just looked at us with a knowing grin.

"what i tell you?" she said.

"you were right!" meko exclaimed, "there were brothas EVERYWHERE!"

"uh, i think we should make this place a new habit," i said with a devilish look on my face. meko and tia nodded enthusiastically in agreement.

after sitting around for a little longer, making conversation and listening to the great band performing there, it was time to leave. we all exchanged information and walked out to the parking lot where we parted ways. amazing how i'd only just met them but it seemed as if we'd known each other for a while. it got me believing i could start hanging out with more sistas in the atl. i never saw THAT shit happening.

SHIT. this post became longer than i thought it would be. i'm gonna have to write about meeting hassan later. in the meanwhile, i gotta call out someone...

GEORGIAPEACH. i was looking for your ass on friday! what the fuck happened to you?

Friday, March 24, 2006

ten things i would like to grow on

in light of my most recent post about the perfect lover i felt it necessary to write a list of things i need to work on in order to make myself a better mate for someone else. i mean, how da hell can i have expectations when i myself can't meet them?

so here goes...

ten things nikki needs to work on in order to be the kind of woman worthy of not only self-love but the love of a good brotha (the RIGHT good brotha):

1. listen
i have to stop being a sentence ender and concentrate on what a brotha is telling me. that means reigning in my impatience. there are secrets being whispered within the silence between the spaces of his words. if i listen closely enough i can hear him telling me what's in his heart even if he doesn't use the traditionally romantic words to do it. he has to feel as though he can communicate anything to me and if i make a point of actively listening, he will.

2. stop over-analyzing everything
i have a tendency to read too much into how a person acts. sometimes it's really not all that deep. i know i do this because i want the comfort of having an answer as to why a person does things, but the fact of the matter is that i have to find comfort in not having all of the answers.

3. rid myself of the fear of loving someone with my whole heart and believe in the power of love
recent events have brought to light the fact that i have difficulty being vulnerable to someone which is ironic considering the fact that i would want a brotha to be vulnerable with me. he would be taking just as much of a chance as i am and i have to acknowledge that. if i feel it, i must remain with it until it runs its course, but i can no longer run away from the unfamiliar. i have to learn to trust a brotha with my heart and not assume because he doesn't show his feelings as i show mine that a brotha doesn't care or isn't willing to love me.

4. continue to build my sense of self-esteem and self-worth
i don't know how many times i've pushed folk away because i was too afraid the person would reject me after knowing me too well. i have to believe i am a good person and i can bring light into a person's life. i have to believe in my own abilities and my strengths and be aiight with my weaknesses because i'm a lifetime project of growing. i have to accept myself. i know there are sistas out there who are more beautiful, more intelligent, more of alot of things than i am. i have to be cool with that because no matter who i end up with, he's gonna see those same sistas i see and i have to feel confident enough about what i bring to the table to know he will still choose to be with me.

5. let him do him
being together doesn't mean he's gonna be exactly like me. i can't make a person think like me. i can't make a person feel like me. i have to do a better job of stepping back and just letting a brotha be. how do i expect a brotha to love me as i am if i can't do the same for him? i have to uplift him, too.

6. release
i see that i tend to want to control the outcome of everything in my life, when i know that's just not possible. i can't make a person agree with me all of the time or want the same things as i do or go about solving a problem the same way. i have to just sit back and let things happen as nature intended, even if it ultimately means the outcome isn't what i wanted. i have to develop patience and allow for things to unfold in the way they're meant to unfold. a life worth living isn't rushed. each moment is savored, even if it ends up taking more moments than i'm used to in order to get to the finale (if there even IS one).

7. recognize his needs and respond without passing judgement
it really ain't all about me. just as i have challenges, so does he. because of this, i have to be aware when he acts in a way that comes as a result of his life experiences. he might need a little extra attention or a little extra space. i get the same way, too, and if i wish for him to give me what i need when i need it, i have to be willing to do the same.

8. communicate forthrightly without fear of him leaving
the more that's on the line, the more i clam up. if i don't think he'll understand, i won't say anything. if i think what i'm gonna say is gonna hurt his feelings, i won't say it. now this isn't to say i need to disrespect his feelings by saying something spiteful. it means i have to do a better job of communicating in a blunt but considerate manner when it comes to the relationship and my feelings. that's the only way a relationship remains strong, if there are no misunderstandings about what's expected of each other. a brotha really shouldn't be expected to read my mind.

9. be more about action and less about reaction
i can no longer see his behavior as a cue to how i should behave. in other words, if he's not putting forth energy towards the relationship, that doesn't give me license to be the same way. i have to always remain true to myself and my feelings in a relationship. if i love him, it means i will do things for him because i love him and not because he does those things for me. i also cannot assume his changing behavior is a result of him loving me any less (not saying it couldn't be, but i should at least be an optimist until i see the signs letting me know the relationship really is ending).

10. love myself unconditionally
i have to know i'll be alright if a relationship ends, even if i've put myself out there totally. by loving myself without reservation i gain the knowledge and courage necessary to love someone else the same way. i have to take active steps each day towards being the person i want to be while also loving myself at every stage of the journey.

ten attributes of my perfect lover

olawunmi decided to tag me because he hates me. he really does. i mean, how else would you explain how in light of recent events i would suddenly be asked to make a list of the attributes for my perfect lover. it's almost as if he knew i was about to make a transition into another phase of my life and needed to clarify what i would want in my mate.

ten attributes of my perfect lover that would guarantee a brotha would never get rid of me unless he murdered me and even then i'd haunt that bastid for the rest of his life:

1. must be open.
open to change, open to grow, open to spiritual assessment, open to self-introspection, open to obtaining knowledge, open to the possibilities, open to love and the vulnerability it will create within him. this doesn't mean i don't want him to be strong in his beliefs. i would like for him to be aware of what challenges him and be willing to evolve in a way where those challenges will not hold him back from what he is destined to be and do. this means i would like for him not to resist what life brings to him for the sake of remaining unchanged, and be willing to assess life in a way that does not make him a stagnant spirit.

2. must be honest.
he will tell the truth instead of lying, even if the truth will create conflict between us. he will acknowledge those aspects of his personality that aren't necessarily positive because he recognizes the importance of sharing all aspects of himself with me, knowing that i will understand (most of the time anyway) that he is a fluid human being and with that means there will be times when he might not make the best decision for himself or us.

3. must be proactive.
passiveness is the one thing i simply cannot tolerate in a mate. it proves to be the root of most problems in a relationship because passiveness means a brotha won't think outside of the box, won't consider making plans for us without encouragement from me, won't engage within the community unless i suggest it, won't begin an uncomfortable discussion unless i start it first. people who find happiness in their lives actively seek it out and don't wait for it to land in their laps. he's gotta recognize that a partnership with me means i'm willing to defer to him at times because i trust his judgement and therefore, he doesn't have to wait for me to give him the 'okay' or for god to 'bless' him with rewards without effort on his part. he won't be afraid of making mistakes because he recognizes it's part of life.

4. must be actively compassionate.
he won't be that cat who only pontificates about the issues facing the poor and black communities. he won't focus on the negative things that 'black folk do'. he will care enough to be an active citizen within the community, whether through volunteering or community activism or whatever other way he sees will assist in the endeavor of empowering folk who believe themselves to be powerless. that is my mission and i want my partner to be just as passionate about it as i am.

5. must not let me get away with shit.
he has to have a certain amount of insight into my behavior and motivations and be willing to call me out on it when he sees i'm behaving in a way that's contrary to the relationship or myself for that matter. he will see through all of the bullshit i throw in his way and tell me that's exactly what it is...bullshit. he will push me when he sees i need that push. in other words, brotha will really understand me, really 'get' me and not be afraid to check me when necessary.

6. must love music and the written word and sports.
i love these things very much. they are a major part of my life and i would like for my mate to share in that love. i love live music and going to spoken words and book readings and plays and sporting events. i love talking about these things alot, too. this brotha will want to share these experiences with me and will find as much enjoyment in them as i do. if he's a writer, that's a plus. we would challenge each other in our creative endeavors.

7. must accept me, imperfections and all, and love me not in spite of them, but because of them.
i'm not sized like tyra banks. i'm not patient like mother theresa. i'm not a very neat person. i don't think my living space has to be showplace clean at every moment. i fart, i curse, i get loud (especially if i'm watching sports), i'm opinionated, i'm sarcastic, i'm competitive, i'm lazy at times, i'm forgetful, i'm uncommunicative at times, i'm stubborn. i'm also working on some of those things but others are just a part of my emotional make up and aren't necessarily bad things. he will see this and love those things about me.

8. must be passionate and confident with his sensuality.
what he loves, he loves with all of him and is willing to show it. he will enjoy the intimacy that comes with making love and be unafraid of expressing himself sexually. he will be creative and romantic and responsive and intuitive and willing to adjust in order to make the experience rewarding for both of us. he won't be afraid to tell me what he wants and how and when. he won't have a problem with me coming to his job during his break and taking him to the car and sucking him off and he would think of similar spontaneous intimate moments for to spring on me.

9. must be willing to do the little things to make our relationship work.
this includes romantic gestures done on any day but holidays, open communication at all times, and a willingness to do the things that will ensure our relationship continues to grow stronger and never becomes stagnant.

10. his love must uplift me.
i will find solace in it, joy in it, pain in it, security in it, motivation to continue to grow in it. i will be my most beautiful self when i'm cloaked in it. i will be my most confident self when i'm immersed in it. his love will be the pinch of seasoning tossed in to make my life the tastiest it's ever been. his love will be the fiber and nutrients essential to assisting me in ridding myself of the shit that might bog me down. his love will fortify my spirit with the strength i need to wake up each morning emotionally and mentally more fit than the day before. his love will be a direct reflection of my love for him.

aiight. now i'm tagging folk:

naima, kween, aquababie, ladynay, unsaid, t. casanova, zed, west, chezniki, michelle, honey libra, insanelysane

Thursday, March 23, 2006

the time has come


what an ugly word for something that could prove to be the most liberating thing i ever experience in my life.

but then, words are given the power by us. we determine how to interpret a word. we determine if a word will make us fluid or finite.

so 'separation' isn't an ugly word. it's the most beautiful word in the world.

what will separation mean for me?

it will mean a time for serious introspection, a time to be by myself as i try to gain perspective on my life and my purpose in the world. it will mean being able to focus on building me up from the inside, on giving my mind and body and spirit the nourishment they need in order to make me stronger as i face the days, weeks, months, years, decades ahead of me.

it will mean finally falling in love with me.

i can only hope it means the same for him.

new blogs to check out

this idea came after i found so many wonderful blogs over the last couple of days. seeing as many of them are brand new in blogworld, this is my opportunity to give them shout outs. i hope you check them out cuz they're really awesome blogs!

okay, i just checked jay's blog today and realized he just posted a photo of his girlfriend's titties on it. LOL. uh, yeah. so anyway, he also has beautiful photos of OTHER globes, like the moon and stuff. he's from london, so expect to see many posts about football (euro style of course), but he also drops posts about socio-politics and self-introspection. you know those are two of my favorite subjects!

sangindiva blew me away this morning with her vocal stylings. no, i ain't exagerrating. she really IS that talented. when i say american idol still hasn't tapped into the real talent here in america, i MEAN it. her acapella version of the american anthem is TOP NOTCH. her voice reminds me alot of tamia, which is good cuz tamia can sing. please listen and let her know she's got the skills.

i'm not even sure how i found this sista's site, but i'm so glad i did! lena is not only a wonderful storyteller, but her posts are so candid. she speaks of her fears and triumphs, her love and loss, and her challenges. i just wish the sista would POST MORE OFTEN.

i found this gem through t. casanova's comment section. unsaid hooked me with her true story about how she found and fell in love with her soul mate. what sista (especially THIS sista who is all into romance novels) can resist that? it was told so beautifully, written in such a way that i felt as though i was right there with her! she also just recently self-published a book of poetry. i purchased it last week and i have to say the sista is lyrically gifted. she has a sampling of it on her blog. i encourage you to check it out for yourself. oh, and the guy she was talking about in her love story? he's got his own blog telling of HIS side of the tale.

my girl mwabi always drops the dime on television shows, but the best part of her blog is the straight up honesty she puts down about life and relationships. recently she did a post about how the hampton business school was making its students cut off their dreadlocks because corporate america wouldn't have it. she and i were of the same accord on that particular issue (basically, black folk should rock locs if they wanna), and she actually got me to watch project runway! i never saw THAT happening. she just recently moved to a new blog spot, which is in the link.

okay, i admit it. i know this sista offline, so perhaps my deduction that her blog is brilliant is a bit biased, but i don't care. naima simply amazes me with the level of intimacy she brings to her posts, especially the ones about the guys in the ny. she is my sister in spirit and i love her dearly!

speaking of brilliant, rusatta is another sista i know offline. now her blog is straight up on the "let's get this world fixed folks" tip. she's opinionated but not preachy, and i love reading about her antics on wallstreet with her boss who doesn't seem to have a clue.

thatnypoetgirl is going through some serious shit right now with her relationships and it has been absolutely fascinating to read. if you've ever been in a situation that has sapped you of your self-control you know what this sista is going through. her poetry is tight, too.

until i started reading these guys' blog, i didn't even realize there was such a thing as "black man happily married". closet-owner and sarccastik actually got me believing not only in love between black folk, but also in fidelity among black men. i ain't mad at it!

mochagirl is a black canadian representing to the fullest. her most recent post was hilarious (any woman out there will relate to her as she listens to the b.s. that cat was dishing). she's into music of all kind and her posts are almost always insightful with some humor dashed in for good measure.

so those are the blogs i've just discovered. i hope you find them as fascinating and engrossing as i have.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

rest in peace, professor x

one of the founding members of revolutionary hip-hop group x-clan has passed on. professor x, most notable for the most famous line from any x-clan song: "VANGLORIOUS! THIS IS PROTECTED BY THE RED, THE BLACK AND THE GREEN WITH A KEY SISSIEEEEEE!" (Sissy!)" died on March 16 of complications from spinal meningitis.

i remember seeing them as one of the acts during famu's homecoming in 1991 to promote their album to the east, blackwards. i had discovered them just that summer on the recommendation of my boyfriend at the time (the most militant the brotha would ever be), so by the time the concert came, i knew all of the lyrics by heart (don't ask me to recite them now, though).

but i gotta admit, the cat who impressed me the most was professor x. brotha had a strong presence on stage and there really was no ignoring him. and when it was time for him to drop his line, everyone in the stadium got hyped and we'd all scream at the top of our lungs...


brotha helped me to expand my vocabulary, fo sho. i would use that phrase for all kinds of things, from cussing brothas out to telling off a white person who had the balls to try to call me nigger (mind you the cat looked at me like i was crazy, but then nothing is scarier than a crazy black heffa).

this group helped me re-establish my faith and pride in my culture. that don't make me anti-white, just pro-black.

thanks for the memories, professor x.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

random thoughts

is he fucking her?

how come brothas always try to make up for negligence after a sista say she bout ta bounce?

why can't he recognize when it just ain't meant to be?

i need some new bras...and some new underwear for that matter.

why can't i make myself work today?

is that bitch still trying to get me fired?

i really hate her ass.

you know, no matter what new sista comes into the picture, the exs always have the upper hand.

i'm cool with being friends with guys unless i want to fuck them, then i want us to be lovers.

robert mack's post about receiving a stellar blowjob got me wanting to suck a dick right about now.

his need for attention borders on being unhealthy.

knockout zed masturbates more than i do. that means a mothafucka masturbates ALOT.

i really gotta stop thinking about him. this shit is getting ridiculous.

man, but his lips look so fucking kissable.

the last guy to write love poetry about me was my elementary school boyfriend. that's kinda fucked up.

i am so ready to get the fuck up out of my situation.

shit! he's such a good brotha though...maybe i should reconsider.

nah, we can't stay together but i fucking hate the idea of hurting him like this.

how come it's so fucking hard to let a brotha know it just ain't working out?

gawtdamnit, i miss sucking dick.

damn, i really need to call that sista back about the apartments.

does he even realize he watches speedvision and car shit as much as he does?

how is it a sista can be in a relationship and still feel alone?

i gotta start focusing on me again.

i don't even know why i'm tripping like this. it ain't even that deep. for real, it ain't.

really, it's not nikki.

think about it...there are plenty of folk in the world who you could connect with significantly if given the chance.

i wish my brother wasn't suffering so much.

i really want to move back to new york.

mindfucks have way more potential for damaging a sista's spirit than physical fucking does.

i thought honesty meant full disclosure? when did we start dancing around shit like there was something to lose? there ain't nothing to lose, right?

even if he's fucking her, i can't do shit about it.

but i can damn sure do something about me.

today is supposed to be an important day, so why do i feel like i want to throw up?

just because you want something doesn't mean you get it.

i think i'm becoming more and more cool with that now.

i swear i'm surrounded by a bunch of college-educated racists.

if i step away now, i think i can salvage my pride.

this is all gonna make one helluva good book one day.

my brackets might be fucked up, but i'm still not the dallas cowboys. terrell owens? lawd.

if that little fucker messes up my team i'm traveling to dallas and kicking his ass.

cocoalounge might be the new spot to drop some poetry. then again, i gotta admit alot of that shit is corny as fuck.

he knows i'm different so why he trying to treat me the same as the rest?

Monday, March 20, 2006

little man

sometimes i look at him and the pain is so great i want to cry. i want to cry even though he's not mine. he's not my child, and yet he is.

he is what she could have been.
on the day he was born i wasn't there. i was too busy grieving the loss of my own child and my decision to terminate her physical existence in my life. i had named her brianna, even though i had no idea if the image from the ultrasound was that of a boy or a girl. it had been too early to tell.

i was
barely old enough to be a single mother
barely old enough to be a single adult
barely old enough to be

or so i had convinced myself.

she was
never born to be an infant
never born to be my saving grace
never born

she never resided outside of my body, but she was birthed within my mind.

i knew she was a girl. i just felt it, like placing my hand upon my chest, feeling the drumming from my heart and knowing the next beat would come after the the one i just missed and another one soon after that. i knew she was a girl, and so i named her brianna. brianna danielle. her name was longer than her living existence had been within my womb, my multi-syllabic tribute to an embryonic spirit whose life had been monosyllabic in length.

so when he was born (about a year and a half after she would have made her entrance into the world), i was still writing brianna danielle in my diary over and over again, trying to conjure up her form in the letters shaping her name. i fooled myself into believing i had actually found her brown eyes in the 'e's, rounded and drooping after drinking from my breast. i envisioned her smiles in the 'b' and 'd', fully curved and toothless and wide, her sound was animated exclamations of developing delight found in the punctuated 'i's, her fetal position within my arms bowed softly like the 'n's. the 'r' was her little nose (most likely gotten from her father) protruding minutely from her face, her unusually long legs bulging with baby fat were the 'l's (also from her father no doubt).

when his mother brought him over to my parents' house for the first time, i initially stayed in my room. it was just too hard for me to go downstairs to see her baby, to acknowledge the fact that she'd had the courage to do something i couldn't a single mother. she'd had even less support in her life than i'd had. her baby's father (my first cousin) was already living with another girl who was set to have a baby right around that same time. her mom and dad and sisters and brother were hard on her about her letting such a 'dead-beat nigga' knock her up. she didn't care. she was gonna have that baby anyway.

and then there was me, twenty to her twenty-seven, girl to her woman, coward to her courageous, collegiate to her cashier, can't to her can...i was so much better than her because i didn't have a baby to hold me back from getting my college degree. it was such a smart move for me to choose college over a child. i mean, there weren't that many single mothers who were able to go to college and get their degrees, right? no matter that i almost flunked out of school when i returned from cancelling my child like a check, proof of my unwillingness to pay for her life with my collegiate career. no matter that i would leave famu before finishing. i ended up being neither a mother nor a college graduate.

i was curled up on the bed in my room with my pillow over my head so i didn't have to hear the faint cries of her newborn son wafting through the hallway before slipping underneath my bedroom door. it wasn't even a cry, so much as a series of little mewlings, like he knew he didn't have to make much noise for me to hear him. i heard his little sounds despite the pillow and the closed door and the distance of a hallway, a stairway, and a couple of rooms separating us. how could i not? i was supposed to be haunted. it was my punishment.

"nikki!," mom yelled from the family room downstairs, "come down here and meet your new cousin!"

NO! i'm not ready, mommy. i'm not ready!

i tightened the ball i was folded into, clutching the pillow even more closely around my ears.

a couple of moments passed before there was a soft knock on my door.

"nikki?" i heard my mom's muffled voice right before the door opened and she walked into the room. she hesitated before speaking to me, my back facing her, the pillow covering my head.

"i know why you're up here," she said, "but you can't keep running away."

i sighed, my eyes squeezed shut as i felt the tears burning my eye lids. taking a deep breath to keep the tears at bay, i tried to gather a semblance of control before i spoke.

"i'm not running away."

i felt the bed dip as she sat down at my feet. she placed her hand on my leg and started rubbing it slowly.

"yes you are, baby."

no i'm not damnit! well...just a little bit...

"i'm not ready for this, mom." my voice was a cracked cloud captured within the pillow before shattering, the shards gouging the skin on my face.

mom sighed and continued stroking my leg. "i know this is hard for you, but you have to get past this."

then the silence flooded the room. neither of us spoke as we both tried to frantically chase after the dissapating sense of calm that had descended upon the house only minutes before. my mom was even more stubborn tha i was, so she just sat there rubbing my leg, waiting for me to make a move. i didn't want to move. i wanted to stay there with brianna. i wanted to read her name and see her face and hear her laughter and feel her lips suckle from my breast, feel her fingers curl around my pinky as i fed her my strength, feel the warm weight of her in my arms. i wasn't ready to see someone else's child. there was only her.

there was only her.

and then there was him. he must have sensed my determination not to acknowledge his presence because he suddenly let out a wail that seemed to shake the foundation of the house.

he kept wailing, screaming at the top of lungs which evidently were the size of a grown man because no newborn child had the capacity to make a sound carrying that much weight behind it.

"see," mom said mischievously, "lamont is summoning you. might as well go down there. he won't stop until you do."

eventually i turned onto my back and pulled the pillow from my head. the screaming continued. i became worried. don't babies have to breathe eventually? will the little guy end up crying himself to death? what the fuck is phyllis doing down there anyway???

i got up and rushed past mom, ran down the stairs and around the corner to the family room. phyllis was holding her swaddled son in her arms, trying to calm him down in the wake of his crying. she looked up when she heard me making my way towards them slowly. i had to force my legs to move one in front of the other.

"hey nikki!" phyllis said smilingly, "come meet your little cousin lamont!"

i'm not ready. i'm not ready. i'm not ready. i'm not ready. i'm not ready.

and then i was standing there in front of them, my eyes on the ceiling as i tried one last ditch attempt to not see him. but i could still smell him though, an enthralling mixture of baby formula and baby lotion and new human untouched by the world. i held my breath. and i could still hear him, his crying down to the little mewling sounds of before. i fisted my hands, forcing myself not to cover my ears.

"say hello to nikki, lamont," phyllis whispered into his ear.

what a ridiculous thing to say to a child! he's a fucking newborn for god's sake. he can't say hello yet!

and then he farted.

hello, nikki!

did he just...

i stand corrected.

my eyes crawled from the ceiling to the fireplace, down the mantle before landing on the moving form within the blue blanket in phyllis' arms.

he farted again.

i said HELLO, nikki!

and then something started bubbling within me. it felt both foreign and familiar, like a new coat made up of old blankets. it was...

a giggle gathered in my stomach, tickled its way up my throat and summersaulted past my lips.


then another giggle followed, more forceful this time as other giggles unfurled within me before merging to form a full out, body shaking guffaw that exploded from my lips with the elation borne from being set free.



and i couldn't stop it. i laughed and laughed, tears streaming down my face in rivulets of relief, as i stood there looking at lamont squirm and let out little hiccups of gas from his ass. all i could think about was my own gas issues and how he was already walking in his big cousin's footsteps. poor little thing.

i didn't even think about it before the words were already out of my mouth.

"can i hold him?"

phyllis had sat there staring at me while i laughing, at first puzzled by the fact that i was laughing so hard at something i guess was inconsequential to her. she glanced past me and i looked over my shoulder to see my mom standing behind me. something passed in the look exchanged between phyllis and my mom. then phyllis looked up at me.

"of course you can hold him."

i leaned over and carefully took him into my arms. it was then i saw his face for the first time. he was a little chocolate chip, smooth dark skin, bright white oval eyes centered by midnight pupils. his eyelashes were long and thick to match the thick and curly hair on his head. his mouth was small and puckered, like they had already taken on the permanent shape of lips sucking on a bottle. he was still squirming in my arms, even as his eyes locked with mine. i fell in love with him at first sight (actually, i think i fell in love with him at first fart).

"hey there little man," i whispered as i leaned in close to his ear.

he belched.

i smiled.

and kissed him on the cheek.

i stayed down there in the family room for the rest of the day, holding little man in my arms, feeding him and talking to him and listening to phyllis tell us about how difficult her labor was. it was still hard for me to be there, but i knew how important it was that i stayed. it wasn't about punishing myself. i knew he was gonna need me in his life. i had to make sure i was around.

that was over ten years ago. in that time, i've watched little man grow from infant to toddler to adolescent. it hasn't always been smooth sailing for us but he knows no matter what his big cousin has his back, even if i sometimes want to spank it because he tries to cut the fool. he has turned farting and belching into an artform, sometimes manipulating the sounds like he's trying to make music or something. i wonder if the kid doesn't make a point of farting and benching MORESO around me, like he remembers the first way he communicated with me.

brianna's spirit is never far from me, though. there are times when i look at him and i think i see her standing next to him, seeking out my attention. no doubt she's got the 'look at me' trait from her mom.

i wonder if she would have got the fart trait to?

Friday, March 17, 2006

do you know?

okay, why the fuck are people trying to pinch me for not wearing green on st. patrick's day? I'M NOT FUCKING IRISH. not to say there aren't black irish folk, but i'm not one of them. i'm straight up negro and native american. nobody in my fam comes from anywhere in ireland. the closest i've gotten to having irish in me was over a decade ago when i went out on a date with an irish guy. yes, i listened to house of pain, yes i've read some f. scott fitzgerald. i've even driven a ford before *shivers*. shit, i've even sang old danny boy at the top of my fucking lungs before (don't ask...u just had to be there.)

but does that make me irish? HELL nah.

so again, why the fuck are people trying to pinch me for not wearing green on st. patrick's day??

what, am i supposed to pinch a mothafucka for not wearing black on martin luther king's birthday? better yet, pinching is some old passive-agressive punk i supposed to pimp slap a mothafucka with a 40 oz bottle of 'old e' for not kicking phat farm gear on martin luther king's birthday? if they don't celebrate mlk day, am i supposed to send my boy ray-ray to their houses to steal all they shit? no?

so why the fuck am i getting assaulted this way?

is this pinching shit some kind of subversive way of 'getting back at that negro bitch'? i mean, al was pretty adamant about pinching me, and while i could have been like "pinch me and i'll be kicking you in the gonads", i instead chose to let the mothafucka pinch me. fortunately, he's the only one in the office bold enough to even TRY to pinch me (i let that mothafucka get comfortable around me after we played tennis against each other for over a year). anybody else try that shit though, and i'm gonna get real stereotypical on their asses. i'm gonna start pulling off hoop earrings, lathering myself up in vaseline, and start launching my fists onto some mothafuckas.

is st. patrick's day just that widespread?

the thing is, everyone here is wearing green, even non-irish folk. there's a german jewish cat here sporting a green t-shirt, a scandinavian carrying a green purse, a mexican wearing a green cap. even the cat from the uk (the folk fucking with ireland) is wearing a green belt! what the fuck?? i mean, who the fuck is st. patrick anyway?

saint patrick was the patron saint and national apostle of ireland who is credited with bringing christianity to ireland.

no...the correct answer is nobody really gives a shit!

and i don't mean that in a callous way. i mean that in a "most of the folk who celebrate st. patrick's day don't know shit about st. patrick" way. most of the folk basically look up the name and location of an irish pub, throw on something green, then go out with the intention of drinking alot of green-dyed guinness irish stout, all in the name of st. patrick's day.

funny how similar that shit is to mlk day when many folk who don't know shit about the man still get to take the day off, all in the name of mlk. i wonder how many of those folk who take the day off to 'celebrate' mlk actually use the day to recruit more members into the kkk...

how about when black folk celebrate july 4 as independence day when our folk were still chattel when that shit happened. i'm sure our enslaved ancestors were fucking ecstatic when america declared its independence in 1776...right up until somebody had the nerve to ask the massa "dus dat mean wez free too?" and he got a couple dozen lashes to the back for having the audacity to assume independence meant freedom for all.

or when those of us with native american ancestry celebrate columbus day when the mothafucka basically called our folk salvages, justification for spain coming back to the continent to begin the stealing of land and genocide against the native americans here. no doubt those folk who truly discovered america would be fucking elated at the idea of a day set aside for a guy who ultimately led to their destruction.

but who cares, cuz it's a day off from work or a night to justify getting pissy drunk, right? really, how important is it to know about the folk we celebrate with a day off, so long as we get to celebrate the day away from work?

that's some important shit to me. i don't know shit about st. patrick, so why am i supposed to celebrate him? frankly, it don't have shit to do with me not being irish. it has more to do with me being ignorant about the man and his accomplishments. i don't know enough about him to celebrate his ass. i mean, he could have smacked around some black folk back then. i'm not saying he did, but it would be nice to know he didn't before i start purposefully wearing green on march 17. until i find out more info about him, i ain't wearing green.

and i dare a mothafucka to come at me today like he or she's gonna pinch me for it.

"nikki...i see you're not wearing green today...", he/she says as he/she reaches in to pinch me.

"hold you even know who st. patrick was?" i ask.

pause. blank stare at me before answering.

"uh, no."

"then you gotta back up. how i look letting you pinch me if you don't even bother to educate yourself on the cat you're supposed to be celebrating by pinching those of us who don't celebrate him?"

more blank staring on his/her part. i walk away. then turn around and come back to stand before him/her.

"oh yeah, and if i catch you on martin luther king's birtday and you ain't wearing phat farm gear, i'm gonna break a 40 oz bottle of malt liqour off on your head. see, cuz i know who THAT cat is."

he/she gives me a puzzled look before i turn around again and walk to my office.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

short post for the moment

aiight, here's your last chance to get in on the ncaa tounament pick 'em ain't even signed up yet and you want to create a pool? get off your ass and get with it! LOL

group id# 12076
password: devine

some of the folk who expressed interest haven't put their teams in yet. i can understand how my prowess would intimidate you, but i figured you'd rise to the challenge. don't be a punk! LOL

okay, enough with that.

as for the next installment of 'dumping ground', i'm currently being enslaved by rell to finish up on an article to be posted on his blog tomorrow, so i've gotta put any other writing on hold until that's finished. sorry about that. i know i'm trife. :(

in the meanwhile, it'll give me some time to catch up on my blog reading, so i'll be at your spot soon!

Monday, March 13, 2006

dumping ground, pt. 2

dumping ground pt. 1

'they' were the technical support folk recently transferred into the empty space next to the bathrooms. when i saw them setting up shop, my heart sank.


or NO SHIT! if one wanted to get literal with it.

my days in bowel bliss were numbered.

i could no longer just carelessly go the the bathroom for my daily dump, unaware of the time spent in there, uncaring of whether or not someone walked in on me. i had to take care now. the whole reason for having the 'stealth shitting spot' in the first place was to give folk the time necessary to 'drop the kids off at the pool', unhampered by the paranoia of being found out that can sometimes make a person's rectum clinch in panicked protest. this was supposed to be worry free shitting.

i was immediately distressed.

until i found out there were no females in the technical support group. then i was extremely happy because although i could no longer linger in the bathroom like i usually did (cuz with folk in the area, there was the possibility of someone seeing me walk in...and wondering if i'd died in there cuz twenty minutes later i still hadn't come out), i could still take a dump without someone walking in. i had that at least.

but the guys who were part of the 'triple s squad' were fucked. not that we ever acknowledged each other formally, but i knew who was stepping to the spot cuz they'd have newspapers and magazines with 'em as they made their way quickly to the ground floor. i've no doubt they were still funking up the joint, but they had to do it even more secretively than before...utilizing the quick 'drop n' flush' method utilized in times of emergency in the regular john. i felt bad for them.

and then i started hearing quiet grumblings coming from the tech support guys. little snippets of conversation would drift to my ears...

"i don't know who took a shit in the bathroom but the nasty bastard didn't bother to flush the fucking toilet."

"man, i was in there earlier today and it smelled like a room full of rotting corpses. whoever took a dump in there has something dying inside of him."

"why is it our bathroom always smells like someone just took a shit in it? i never do that kind of thing here."

"dude, there ain't that much shitting in the world!"

the tech guys were getting upset because evidently there was some kind of ghost shitter roaming their domain and they were determined to find out who. i contemplated what the necessary protocol would be in this situation. i mean, i could email the guys in my department to let them know somebody was out to catch them in the act of shitting, but does one even word that kind of thing?

"dear fellow 'triple s user',

a little birdie told me the tech guys are pissed off at you for shitting in their bathroom. while normally piss and shit go together, in this instance, they do not. i suggest you watch your ass when you're in the 'triple s'. i'm not sure what the consequences would be if you're caught, but those tech geeks can be some mean mothafuckas so you might find yourself being bitch-slapped with a motherboard or something. don't say you haven't been warned."

nah...that was just a bit too raw. i had to make it a bit more professional.

"dear fellow male co-horts,

just wanted to let you guys know that if you plan on pinching your loaf in the ground floor bathroom, you might want to reconsider baking your bread somewhere else because someone's got their eye on the door and i think they intend to get yeasty on your ass."

no...that was a bit too abstract...

"dear fellow male co-workers,

it would be in your best interest to refrain from engaging in bowel movement activity in the ground floor bathroom as there are people watching to ensure proper use of the facility."

damn. there really was no way to put it. i ended up not saying anything, hoping instead some of them would feel the hostile vibe coming from the tech guys and beat a hasty retreat to our own third floor bathroom.

of course i forgot that guys are clueless.

while the traffic to the bathroom had lessened a little, the guys were still doing their thing, oblivious to the animosity rising to dangerous levels around them. the first clue that something was amiss was when brian, one of the tech guys, was asked to remove a virus from bob's computer. bob was one of the guys from my department and he'd just had surgery on his gall bladder, which for some reason made him shit alot. in other words, he was one of the main offenders.

brian, usually very punctual and efficient at what he does, suddenly had all kinds of pressing matters to attend to before he could get to bob's virus problem. this wouldn't have been much of a big deal if not for the fact that bob was literally twiddling his thumbs for at least a day because his computer was jacked up. meanwhile, brian was doing "more important" tasks like software upgrades and duplicating discs. when bob came complaining to me about the fucked up service he was receiving, i wanted to clue him in to the possible cause, but again, how do you word such an exchange?

"uh, bob...brian's upset cuz you've been taking a ridiculous number of shits in the tech guy's bathroom. i know your recent surgery has created an increase in your shitting activity, but you're gonna have to find someplace else to drop your toxic logs."


"bob...i think brian is probably upset about the inordinant number of bowel movements taking place in the ground floor bathroom. basically, you just gotta stop shitting down there."

no...that wouldn't work either...

"bob...maybe you should ask brian why he's dragging his feet on this."


bob isn't the kind of guy who would actually take the advice of the token negro though, so he stood there for a second contemplating what i'd suggested.

"that idea isn't sound. i'll just demand brian tell me what's going on."

isn't that what i just...whatever, you stupid bastid.

i rolled my inner eyes hard and turned to my computer as he walked away to follow his own advice. while i didn't think brian would let bob know the real reason behind his frosty demeanor, i figured the exchange would at least get the guys to talking. then again, how would one ever breach the subject of a problem of a person's profuse pooping with the person in question?

"brian, i want to know why it's taking you so long to get to my work order."

"well, bob...i figure i'd take just as much time getting to your computer as you do taking a shit in our bathroom downstairs."

"what do you mean by that??" bob asks, surprised at brian's candor.

brian looks at him derisively before responding, "i know it's your stinking ass concrapulating all the fucking time in our bathroom and i damn sure don't appreciate it. you should start wearing a diaper for your overactive colon. either that or start eating less fiber. here, i just so happen to have a coupon for a 10-pack bag of depends..."

bob, an older man with serious health problems, is overcome with embarrassment. he suffers a massive heart attack and collapses, dead before he even hits the floor.

while that would be a tempting scenario, i doubt it'd get THAT candid, although a part of me really, really wished it would.

i would find out later brian resorted to the tried and true method of communicating at work: he told a bald-face lie, and a bad one, too. he told bob he'd forgotten about his work order. meanwhile, brian always carries a printout listing who he's supposed to service for that day. when bob told me what brian had said, i was immediately cynical.

"and you believed him?" i asked him incredulously.

"well," bob started, a little surprised at the token negro looking at him as if he were an idiot (he got that right). his face stained crimson as he noted my behavior, "i have no reason not to believe him, do i?"

he was looking at me as though i had lost my mind. first, i came at him with an emotion other than submission, then i had the audacity to question the word of a white person. i could tell he was thinking back to the time when he could have had me killed for that shit.

and that's when i realized pointing out the fact that brian probably had the printout with bob's name on it in his hand when he told bob that lie would accomplish nothing, except maybe getting the token negro lynched.

and the token negro ain't sticking her neck out (so to speak) for this mothafucka who i can feel looking at me sometimes, wondering how the fuck i got my nigger ass hired.

so i said nothing.

and watched as the uncivil war started unfolding around me, just as my ancestors did.