Thursday, May 31, 2007

thankful thursday

time for a moment to acknowledge being thankful for:

god for straight keeping me here.

mom and the relationship between us that's finally filling that hole in my existence i didn't even realize was there.

those moments when the words unfurl from my fingers without coaxing of any kind. i still don't understand how it happens, but i'm glad for it.

ella fitzgerald, duke ellington, and the live version of let's fall in love. she blows those notes right through my marrow.

a sun that continues to rise everyday even though its shine sometimes reveals dark souls

jaygee for inspiring me to step into my thoughts one at a time and reacquaint myself with how i've furnished them. beautiful writing, brotha.

those who recognize that while debate is necessary in the exchange of ideas, ultimately it ain't fated to fix shit. only action does that.

a comfortable bed on a warm morning where i could breathe despite the smoke from the wildfires clogging up the air.

light traffic on the way to work today, which allowed me to truly enjoy listening to my ray vau.ghn.

the ability to forgive. it really is the greatest gift i could give to myself.

all the readers old and new who continue to drop by. you taking the time to stop through and read me is one of the best blessings i receive each day.

so what are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

you da one...

i want you.

i hope you have no idea how badly i want you.

i keep my ardent eyes cloaked in indifference whenever you're around, forcing remoteness to control my perusal of your anatomy even as my desire takes digital images of every inch, pocketing your perfection to later put up in the shrine of you in my mind.

"you're staring, nik" you'd said to me last week while we were hanging out at the park.

"nah, i'm just woolgathering, luv" i'd answered, having purposely placed my attention elsewhere so that you couldn't find the boldly rendered illustration of my willingness to surrender on the canvas of my visage. i raised my face towards the sun, hoping the direct heat woul dry the pant faster.

"well that guy thinks you're staring at him." you answered, unaware i was trying to dress 'that guy' in your appeal so that i could finally stop whatever the hell this was affecting me. unfortunately for him your allure is tailor-made. i mentally snatched it off of him in frustration.

"shit," i'd muttered as i glanced up at the magnolia tree branch above us and wished i could lynch this attraction, just wrap a rope of common sense around it's throat and strangle the fucking bastid until it's neck was snapped by the gravity of the situation.

then i'd turned to you and laughed, stashing my need deep inside the sound, a forced carefree guffaw veined with infinitesimal cracks borne of a crumbling composure. you'd looked at me carefully, as though the sound was leaking something you couldn't quite make out. i'd prayed you wouldn't poke your sharp discernment through it and shatter it into fractured weeping.

i'd averted my eyes. it's best to keep the windows closed.

cuz i want you

but i ain't ready for this

Friday, May 25, 2007

repost - collab series...craig who?

[i had to repost this because i'll finally be picking this one up next week so i gotta get folk caught up...have a great weekend everybody!]

part one of the series...

flava in ya ear (remix) - notorious b.i.g., craig mack, rampage, ll cool j, busta rhymes...betta known as "the song where biggie murdered craig mack on his own shit"

"Baaaaaaaad Boooooooy...Come out and plaaaaaaaaaaaay...
You know we had to do a remix right?" - SHUT THE FUCK UP PUFFY

damn, but that boy almost ruined yet another song with his unnecessary appearance on the shit.

then that beat dropped twice...

"Uhhhhhh, Uhhhhhh,"

and then frank white dropped this little gem...

"Niggas is mad I get more butt than ash trays..."

and the shit became an instant classic before biggie had said another fucking word. in fact, not only did it become a classic, it became BIGGIE'S classic. think about it...when craig mack came with the original, talking about some uniblab shit, it might have seemed clever at the time, but when that remix dropped and biggie said he got more butt than ash trays, you know you was like "what original"? with a flick of the spit, biggie stole craig's shit.

it was like eminem fucking up jay-z's shit all over again. (although for the record, jay-z's verses on renegade were tight...just not as tight as eminem's...)

the production was perfect. the beat layered with a few notes was as simple as it gets, just spare enough so the listener could really hear the luxurious lyrics being layed down on the track, the silver platter on which the feast of urban flava was displayed, a cornucopia of carefully concocted courses for the conscious to consume.

"'re wack to me,
Take them rhymes back to the factory,
I see,
The gimmicks...the wack lyrics,
The shit is depressing...pathetic...please forget it,
You're mad cause my style you're admiring,
Don't be mad...UPS is hiring,
You shoulda been a cop...fuck hip-hop,
With that freestyle you're bound to get shot"

it was almost like brotha was talking to craig mack.

and speaking of him, was it just me or did you also notice how craig mack was relegated to second-class status on his own shit when he was forced to come in after biggie? i mean, if it's your remix, at least let a mothafucka hear your voice at the beginning so i know it's your shit. either hit me at the beginning or the end, so i know you were the finale, which means you were the cat everyone was waiting to hear. meanwhile, the song went straight from puffy's inconsequential chatter to biggie's venomous verse to...

"AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH here comes the Mack!

Word up don't rap no crap you bore me,
Wanna grab my dick...too lazy...hold it for me,
I'm straight that great plus the heads straighten dreads,
I'm everlasting like the toe on Pro Keds..."


it was one of those moments where i wished my cd player had a fast forward button. if you think about it, this remix was basically how puffy played craig mack during his tenure at bad boy records. puffy was the pimp and biggie was his prize bitch. biggie fucked while craig mack sucked.

for real though...what the fuck did he mean by

"I step on stage girls scream like I'm Keith"

keith who? keith richards? keith sweat? keith murray? keith david? david keith? i mean, i'm gonna scream differently for keith richards than i would for keith sweat.

i have no problem with the lyrics making no sense if the delivery makes me forget it (see ll cool j later in this post), but it sounds like the listener is supposed to know of which keith he speaks. mack's delivery was aiight, but not good enough for me not to wonder who the fuck keith was.

i think the next cat was supposed to be the next 'big thing'. rampage's first misfortune occurred when he named himself after a woman's clothing line. i hear his name and instantly want to go shopping for a new mini-skirt. anyway, he did a good job with his appearance in the video. really, the only thing i remember about his appearance was how everyone was acting like he was gonna blow up when his shit dropped...and how it didn't hit.

and then there's ll cool j's contribution to the collab. aiight, remember this song came out right when ll was really making moves on the charts with hit after hit. he was at his most successful, most sexy, and everything that dropped from his lips was considered genius at that time. he wasn't yet todd smith...he was still that sexy mothafucka from farmer's with a mouth that made a sista wish her pussy lips were permanently fused to it.

maybe that's why he didn't say one comprehensible thing in his verse. he had somebody sitting on his face.

Skeevee [mmmmmm] delicious,
Gimme coos coos love me good,
Uhh damn,
Hollis to Hollywood but is he good?,
I guess like the jeans...Uhh,
Flava like praleens,
Sick daddy iaaamean?"

no baby, i don't have a fucking CLUE what you mean, but you said that shit so sweetly, so sexily, so sensually, like you were fucking me doggie-style while you said those words, like you were licking on my lower lips when you said "mmmmm delicious". frankly, ya fine ass could have been speaking in yiddish and i still would have thought you were talking to me in dirty french.

actually, he cleverly dropped a couple of references to his popular songs at the time "hollis to hollywood", "jingling baby". wait a sec...that was more like blatant advertising, like product placement of tampax tampons in a chick flick, only his flow was a flood and bled through the dome, scattering a sonant splatter upon brain matter. he could get away with bullshit lyrics because the sistas were fantasizing about being fucked by ll. picture craig mack saying some shit like that. who is really fantasizing about craig mack being in between her legs talking about "mmmmm delicious"? i mean, mack has some nicely thick lips and he might actually be able to handle his biz down there, but the package isn't necessarily conducive towards a sexual fantasy.

by the time busta rhymes stops through with his frenetic phonetics, my mental clit was still reverberating from ll's lascivious licks, so i really didn't even hear him. turns out that's a good thing cuz yet again i was forced to babble my way through his shit.

"Hey...HEEEEEEYYYYYYY..Hey!" babble...
"Hey...HEEEEEEYYYYYYY..Hey!" babble...

more babble...then

"Now...don't you get suspicious,
Grant your wishes everytime,
Breaking dishes when I bust a rhyme..."

and more babble right up into the chorus.

which just goes to prove my theory about busta not making sense on a collab = instant classic.

actually, the more i read the lyrics for this shit, the more i realize biggie was the only stand out performance in it. however, the combination of one stellar verse mixed with a bunch of average lyrics and a couple of well-done deliveries, grounded by one tight ass riff, made for a classic collab.

either that, or it's really just about frank white. i'm cool with that assessment, too.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

repost - mack daddies don't get old, they just marinate

[i'm reposting this as i get a grasp on work. it's from a little over a year ago. you know, i wonder what happened to this cat...]

today i'm walking into the grocery store and i reach down to pick up a "only in here to get a few things" basket when i i hear this cheery baritone voice to the back of me. i turn around and glimpse an older black gentleman waving goodbye to one of the employees of the store. i didn't see much of his face, and really wasn't trying to, as i wanted to get in and out of the store, so i turned quickly after grabbing my basket and headed inside.

later, as i'm driving home, i notice an older man walking up the steep hill in front of me. he was rocking a gray-haired afro, a dark blue windbreaker, faded jeans and what looked like brand new, ice white sneakers. he had somewhat of a limp to his step and was moving with care, a couple of plastic grocery bags held in his right hand.

now i know it's not safe for a woman to stop and offer a ride to a stranger, especially a male stranger, but this guy was struggling and i couldn't let a brotha go out like that, so i pulled up beside him and rolled down my window.

"you need a ride sir?"

he turned to me and his face broke into the kind of smile that made me think the sun was envious of its shine. i mean, that had to be one of the most genuine and beautiful smiles i've ever seen on a human being. his teeth were gleaming white and straight, and he had a dimple in his right cheek. this old dude was handsome.


he walks to the door, opens it, and gets in. i pull off and he starts talking.

"you live around here or are you just visiting?" he asks.

"i live right around the corner, sir." my parents always taught me to be respectful of my elders. meanwhile, he was having none of that...

"oh, don't call me that!" he exclaimed, his voice colored with chagrin. "my name's john. call me john."

"okay sir...i mean, john."

as i continue driving, i cast furtive glances his way, wondering if i made a mistake by picking this guy up. i mean, he looked harmless enough, but so did ted bundy. what serial killer do you know wears a t-shirt with his favorite occupation emblazoned on it in red letters? i immediately started berating myself for underestimating a brotha just cuz he's older and reminded me of one of my uncles.

meanwhile, john gathers his bags in his lap, all the while giving me his life story.

"i've been retired for two years now...thirty-four years working for i'm just cooling my heels and taking it by myself with no woman and no kids..."

he's staring at me with "the look" on his face. you know the look i'm talking about. the "you look good enough to eat...with your legs on my shoulders while i do it" look.

and that's when i realized that mack daddies never retire.

from there, i was mentally scrambling, trying to figure out what i could say to him to let him down while preserving his pride.

"wow!" i exclaimed uncomfortably, "no woman, huh?"



"make a right up here at the light, then a left at the first street on your left."


"i'm sixty-four years old and i've never been married." he restated.

i just look ahead, making sure i followed his directions.

"so..." he starts, "do you have a man to keep you warm at night?"

mack mode in effect, i think to myself. i glance at him quickly.

"yes...i've got a man."

"is he good to you?"

why is that always the next question? are brothas always looking for sistas to rescue from bad relationships? i mean really, what is he gonna do if i am in a bad relationship? go and kick the brotha's ass? is he gonna "make it all better?"

"yeah, he's good to me."

his face fell in disappointment.

"see where that white car is?" his finger pointed past the dashboard. "my house is right there."

i continue driving towards the car, wondering to myself why a sixty-four year old man actually thought he stood a chance of catching the coochie of a woman half his age. i mean really...if i were the sixty-four year old woman catching a ride home with a man half my age, would i stand a chance? funny how that double standard works.

"where are the single women around here?" he asked me, frustration threaded through his questioning gaze.

now i could have said "they're at the clubs" but does he really need to be at the clubs? how did he expect me to answer that fucking question anyway??? i just shrugged.

as i pulled up next to the white car, he grabbed for his bags and opened the door. before getting out, he turned towards me and grabbed my hand. he placed a kiss on the back of it and looked up into my eyes. i froze.

"too bad you have a man." he said softly, the baritone of his voice vibrated off of my skin.

then he let my hand go, stepped out of the car, and walked towards his house.

i just sat there. shit, but the lips that had just kissed my hand were warm and firm and for a second there, i felt a sexual shock to the system.

on the drive home, i wondered what a sixty-four year old dick would taste like.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

he tried to call dibs on the pussy...

aiight, it's a wrap. i'm gonna have to cuss this fool out in front of his peoples.

i've been professional.
i've been accomodating.
i've been friendly.
i've been firm.
i've been succinct.

i've been everything i thought i needed to be in order to let him know i wasn't interested. meanwhile, he said he'd accepted my answer, but his actions are telling me a different story.

case in point - it was last wednesday and i was walking into the hallway in front of my office with my co-worker art. art, an older caucasian gentleman who also happens to be a really cool dude, had just taken me out to lunch and we were shooting the breeze when i looked up and noticed african dude kingsley (from here on known as a.d.) was standing in my office evidently writing out some kind of note to me. a.d.'s friend was standing just outside of the doorway and art paused to greet him as i squeezed past a.d. to get into my office.

"oh, i was just writing you a little note," a.d. said as he saw me sit down. he handed me a sticky sheet. glancing down, i read what he'd wrote.

kingsley was here to see you.

i look up and he's wearing the crooked grin. you know, that grin that reminds one of a painting that's hanging just slightly askew on the wall. i wanted to tilt his face to level that smile, but i knew touching him would be a big mistake.

"cool." i replied as i placed the note on my desk and went into my 'i'm too busy to talk to you right now so get the fuck up outta my office' move. for those of you unfamiliar with this highly effective strategy for ridding yourself of office pests, i'll lay down the steps for you:

1. furrow the brow and look around your office, pausing for a second or more at the piles of paperwork strategically placed around the office. in this case, i always make sure i've got a stack of something next to my desk as a prop.

2. say something like "man, i've got so much work...". be sure to do it with a hint of both determination and frustration in your voice. this balance is important, cuz if you look too frustrated you'll come across like you're overwhelmed and underskilled, which is never a good look when you're at the gig.

3. look at your monitor with intense concentration. make sure you've got something complicated and hard to discern on the screen cuz you've gotta make it seem like not only do you have alot of work to do, but that work is gonna require all of your mental faculties, thus making conversation with someone impossible. in my case, i usually keep a window of programming code open. nobody around here knows that shit.

4. during the first three steps, do not acknowledge the person's presence in your office. you want him/her to feel as though he/she's interrupting you while you're in the middle of something.

now 99% of the time, these are all the steps you need to get someone out. meanwhile, i don't know why i even bothered to go through the moves with a.d.

"so you were on lunch?" he asked as my heart sank at the realization i had to step up my tactics.

5. answer only in monosyllabic words, preferably 'yes' or 'no'.


he stood there watching me. silence swirled around the room, occassionally punctured with the sound of my fingers on the keyboard. i waited for him to start his exit.

"you went to lunch with him?" he asked, sounding irritated. 'him' being art. i continued staring at the monitor before me, trying really, really hard not to roll my eyes.


"where'd you two go for lunch?"


"'uncles'," i finally answered after internally debating if i should just kick his ass out for forcing me into answering with a word more than one syllable long.

"where's that?" a.d. asked, determined to squeeze more out of this exchange. i finally looked up at him with barely veiled patience. SHIT. now he got me using SENTENCES...

"it's offa 14th street," i replied reluctantly.

"oh YES. i know of that place."

i turned back to the monitor. at this point, art had stepped into the doorway of my office, intent on continuing the conversation we were having when we were interrupted. before art could even open his mouth, a.d. was talking again.

"i heard they make great sandwiches."

the sigh escaping me was loud and long and i was barely holding on to being civil. i could feel art's eyes on me as he took stock of the situation.

"i'll talk to you later, nikki," said art after a moment, uncomfortable as he glanced up at a.d. and noted the proprietary look on his face. i was looking at a.d. too, and getting angrier by the second.

"aiight, art," i grounded out, "i'll talk to you later."

a.d. remained standing there, watching art leave before turning his attention back to me. i was squinting my eyes, thinking about how to end this conversation as abruptly as possible without causing a scene.

"i thought you didn't take a lunch," his words, woven with accusation, blanketed the space between us.

"i generally DON'T," i replied with a defensive stab through the blanket, "art kept asking though and i figured it better to just go than to keep saying no."

oh boy. THAT was a mistake.

"so all i have to do is wear you down..." he concluded, a smirk on his face.

"but art is STRICTLY a friend," i added quickly, "he's not trying to make moves on me."

a.d. raised an eyebrow.

"you don't know that," the smugness in his voice making me bristle. damn, can't a man take a chick to lunch without having designs on her?!? and come ON...ART? i can't even imagine it when i'm drunk.

"dude. you're seeing things," i replied disbelievingly before adding on the sly, "and how's your wife?"

a.d. looked perplexed at the shift in the conversation. then he slit his eyes and replied with a knowing grin.

"she's doing fine."

it was time to wrap this shit up.

"good for her," i said, turning back to the computer, "i really need to get this work done."

he stood there for a moment, staring at me with goodness knows what look on his face. then he leaned over and focused his attention on my phone.

"is that your office number?" he asked innocently. i saw him checking out the digital face on my phone where the office number was displayed. aw SHIT. now i could lie, in which case he'd call it and confirm the lie, or i could just tell the truth. i figured i'd give him a little bit of both.

"yeah," i answered in truth, then added the lie, "but i don't take personal calls on it."

he looked as if he didn't believe me. at this point i really didn't give a shit, cuz the man was acting like he had dibs on the pussy and i had to check him before his behavior got more out of hand than it already was.

"look..." i began as i speared him with a determined look, "you really need to stop trying to make this situation more personal. you're married, which means you're off limits to me. there are plenty of sistas out there willing to get down with you regardless. you should focus your attention elsewhere."

he looked on calmly as i went through my little speech. once i was finished, he planted that crooked smile on his face before responding as he backed out of the doorway.

"i only want to be your friend," he said placatingly, his hands in the air as a form of truce, "but i'll give you more time to think about it. bye, nikki."

i shook my head in disbelief. once he was gone, i had to acknowledge that the situation now requires a heavier hand. this shit is bordering on stalking for real.

any suggestions on how to fix this? i'm REALLY partial to cussing his ass out in front of his co-workers. i generally don't go for such dramatics, but i'm thinking this is the only way the brotha will step back.

Monday, May 21, 2007

dear blog crush...

reading your blog is like engaging in an optical orgasm of literal imagery, casting quivers of yearning across my experience. your metaphors are sensual and diaphanous, lace edged intent covering my consciousness like satin panties pulled close over pussy, bare of pubic hair. i luxuriate in the warmth of your tightly woven stories, your fantasies enfolding me in a cocoon of craving from which i later emerge, transformed from an insect empty of sensation to a butterfly who's wings are made more beautiful by the intense pigmentation of your emotions.

at times i find myself lingering within the libation of your imagination, sipping from your similes until i'm drunk on your liquered 'likes', laping up the remnants of your lush language of longing like an inebriated labrador looking for that last drop of elixir.

can i be intimate with your thoughts?

i would love to be intertwined with your mind in a bed of inspiration. i'd take your erect intellect between my eager efforts and milk it until it exploded, coating my cerebrum with the seed of your ideas. your ejaculation would only intensify the strength of my creative outpouring, taking me to heights of insight i've never known. afterwards we'd spoon, thoroughly exhausted after a night of nonstop intercourse between artistic intellects culminating in sheets drenched in brilliant concepts.

you know you want it, too.

so stop playin...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

what you won't for [insert reason for doing stupid shit]

i had been standing outside of his door for two minutes trying to figure out what the fuck i should do. before that, there was:

10 minutes of walking through pitch black to the bus stop.
7 minutes of waiting on the bus.
24 minutes of riding said bus to the train station
36 minutes of riding the train before finally getting off at the station closest to his apartment
15 minutes of waiting for the bus i didn't realize wasn't coming until i finally broke down and checked the bus schedule and finally
53 minute of walking 3 miles to his aparment where i gasped my way up three flights of stairs before landing at his front door.

i spent those two minutes gathering in my wayward breathing, allowing my body to cool down, as i scrubbed the yearning from my countenance and contemplating how i could explain my presence there to him.

"i got worried when you didn't pick up your phone and seeing as you said you weren't feeling well, thought i should stop by to make sure you were okay..."

"i was on my way to a friend's house and figured i would stop by and check on you seeing as her spot is in the same neighborhood..."

"you didn't pick up your phone, and you know how active my imagination is. i thought maybe someone had broken in and attacked you or something so i decided to stop by to make sure..."

lame. all that shit sounded lame. meanwhile, the truth was even lamer.

"uh, when you cancelled our date i grew desperate enough to take a bus, then a train, then walk three miles to your apartment just to see you."

i considered the pathetic nature of my actions as i glanced around the hallway. the lighting was a congealed yellow streak of phlegm coughed up from sickly bulbs leaning listlessly from their perches. the walls were discolored and filthy, large pieces of enamel paint having been venomously scratched from their surfaces like skin off the face of a rape assailant. squinting my eyes, i made out a roach meandering on the floor like it was in no hurry to get where it was going. i furtively kicked it down the steps, not because i was in a magnanimous mood, but because i was grossed out by the thought of insect innards on my shoe. the air was heavy and moist, the stench of cheap booze and cooked cocaine and urine clinging to me as if i'd just been licked by a lush with a crack habit and a weak bladder.

i grew more uncomfortable by the minute and knew i had to make a move before i scared myself into leaving. stepping up to the door, i inhaled deeply to calm my nerves, raised my hand to lift the door knocker...

and stopped midway as i heard feminine laughter coming from inside his apartment.

i immediately pulled back my hand and stood there motionless and hopeful i was insane, because insanity would explain hearing voices.

then i heard his deep chuckle follow on the heels of her giggles.

i began trembling, my heart racing as the truth was stuffed down my throat. i was choking with it.

i was right. he'd lied.

i guess a part of me had felt he'd lied, which was why i was there in the first place. when i'd spoken to him earlier that evening, he didn't sound ill. he sounded like a guy who was taking the first steps towards severing a relationship...

"i'm gonna have to cancel our date tonight, luv," he'd said solicitously.

"but why?" i'd asked, stepping on the dejection crawling around in my voice.

"i'm just not up to it. i've been feeling ill all day," he'd responded, throwing in a cough for good measure.

"you know, we don't have to go out," i'd replied eagerly, "i could come by and take care of you."

then there was the barest of hesitations, almost like a second had hiccuped.

"i'm alright, nikki," he'd said, "i'm just gonna hang out at home tonight. i'll give you a call tomorrow and we can plan something then."

"but i really don't mind! it wouldn't take me long at all to get..."

"don't come over, nikki." he'd interrupted me, his impatience staining the exchange. "i don't want company when i'm not feeling well."

"i wouldn't get in the way, really," i'd continued to press, ridiculously oblivious to the desperate sound of my words.

"NIKKI," he'd said, a step away from yelling, "i'm a grown man. i don't need someone over here to take care of me. i've got this."

after feeling properly chastised, i'd relented...long enough for my doubts about the truth of the matter to surface like insect bites on my skin. my desolation clawed at them until they'd bled determination and i made up my mind to go over to his place.

and now i had confirmation.

i stood there wrapped in a silence beaded with the faux baubles of her blather and edged with a ruffle of his chuckles, the silky threads of maxwell's voice embroidered in swirls of seduction upon it. it felt like a burlap sack against my self-control, abrading the flimsy surface into a landscape of fractures. i held on with all i had, determined not to make an ass of myself by banging on the door and making my presence known in the worst kind of way.

instead i counted to ten as pieces of their conversation pierced the door and further weakened my hold on my anger as my mind ingested the barbs.

me: "one..."

she: " she believed you?"

me: wha? "two..."

he: "she'll believe whatever i tell her..."

me: what the fuck?!? "three..."

she: "damn. that sista sounds weak. too weak for you."

me: no that bitch didn't say that! "four..."

he: "yeah, she made it too easy for me. all i had to do was wash her feet one time and she was giving up the pussy the same night..."

me: oh my god. why'd he tell her that? "five..."

she: "oh shit, todd. i see you haven't changed one bit..."

me: who IS she, an ex or something?!? "six..."

he: "the women here in the atl don't need much. a nigga do a lil something different and they lining outside a nigga's door happy to suck his dick."

me: shit shit SHIT. "seven..."

she: "that's messed up. you couldn't get away with that shit in baltimore. washing a sista's feet is what you're SUPPOSED to do up there..."

me: please! you bitches be going through the same bullshit up there too! "eight..."

he: "you should have heard her earlier...basically begging a nigga to come over. she sounded so pathetic. that's why she's at home and you're here. you northern women keep a nigga in check."

me: but she AIN'T at home you fuckin BASTID! "nine..."

she: "that's right, todd. don't you EVER think you could treat me like that."

me: i never thought i'd be the kind of sista to let a brotha treat me like this...

i stopped counting before i got to ten. slowly, everything came into sharp focus around me. it was like i woke up from some kind of dream where i was this desperate, love-starved female standing in front of the door of a guy who'd washed my feet once, fucked me five times (not including the dry fuck i'd just received in front of his door), and basically found his way onto my pedestal without any effort on his part.

only it wasn't a dream. it was a sad fucking reality.

i stood there for a while, waiting for the conversation to end, knowing exactly what would happen afterwards. when at last the two of them stopped talking, i turned away from the door and made my way down the stairs. was i limping? it felt like i should be limping or crawling or something because my body had been blasted free of any feeling other than the jagged debris of bitterness and it pinched every nerve, squeezed every muscle, reminding me i wasn't gonna go numb anytime soon.

i wish i could say i immediately 'snapped out of it' and kicked that cat to the curb. actually, it was about a month before i'd finally had enough and cut him out. i'm not even sure what the final straw was, but looking back years later, it's obvious the final straw should have been that night. i can't imagine ever allowing myself to be treated like that again, but i wrote about this to let folk know that the self-awareness i have now is rooted in moments like those. that vulnerability is a part of me and it doesn't ever disappear. i just do a better job of protecting it.

remembering those times keeps me humble and prevents me from EVER looking at a sista and thinking i'm better than her because she settles for a situation that's not good for her. she got her road to travel just as i do. i just hope she eventually finds herself in a better resting area.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

the mother of all 2

i'm not sure how long we were sitting there dialing his number. i was numb to sting brought on by the cramps in my fingers, numb to everything except that fear. i had just put the phone to my ear to listen for the ringing when a call came through on the other line. i pulled it away from my ear to check the caller id.


relief was a palpable thing cloaking me like cape as i clicked over to answer the call.


"nikki?" he sounded perplexed.

then i remembered i was calling him from mom's phone.

"yeah, it's me!" i replied, still giddy i was hearing his voice. by this time mom was looking at me with a weepy smile on her face as she released a pent up breath.

"how's it going?" he asked, like nothing was wrong. i scrunched my face in confusion.

"i'm aiight. how are YOU doing?"

"i'm doing aiight."

i waited a second to see if he'd add anything. when it was obvious he wouldn't, i spoke.

"and uh, what's this about you having chest pains? you gonna see the doctor?"

"i had chest pains yesterday. i'm not sure if i'm gonna see a doctor or not."

"but why not?" i exclaimed, "you know heart disease runs in our family!"

"i don't know...after all this stuff with granny i just realized how lonely it would be without you and mom around," he said softly.

"and why wouldn't you go get checked?" i asked with exasperation.

"because i could be the only one left. i sit here and watch you and mom not take care of yourselves and wonder why i should care about my own health."

i was nonplussed. at that point it was obvious to me my brother had been suffering more than i realized. we ended up talking for about two hours, his words etched into my brain like carvings of misery.

afterwards, i sat there and thought about what he'd said. part of me was upset because it felt like emotional blackmail. i mean, how can folk justify not taking care of themselves because the people around them aren't living their lives according to what they want for them? a person make the choice to live her life the way she lives it and no amount of prodding from someone else is effective unless she wants to make changes for herself.

part of me was extremely sad for 'swad, wondering what kind of fear he lived with that would make him even think such a thing. i decided to write him a letter telling him of my concerns. he was there to watch granny die and he's been there to take care of her home afterwards. he's been immersed in grief for months and he really needs to get away from all of it. i only hope he's able to do so soon.

mom and i spent most of the remaining day just hanging out in her bedroom. we talked about how strange it was not to have granny around. this was the first mother's day without her and we felt the loss keenly. granny's voice, a combination of smoke and strength, still echoes in my mind like a bell gong, going off at those moments when i summon her image to memory (which has been every day). granny was there in the room with us as we talked about how much we loved and missed her. i really wish i could just hug her, just feel her warmth and love surrounding me.

around the same time mom and i and granny were in mom's bedroom, my father was downstairs cooking dinner for us. when he called us down to eat, i was excited cuz the food smelled so good. mom and i made our way down to the kitchen where dad had laid out steaks, garlic noodles with vegetables, and corn on the cob. i was excited about the prospect of eating. meanwhile, mom was looking at the steak with that 'this negro done fucked up' look on her face. i sighed and grabbed a plate.

as i sat down to the table with a full plate, i noticed just how dry the steak looked. it resembled a brown brick with a spash of a1 sauce on it. i glanced up at mom.

"that man messed up my meat!" she whispered vehemently.

"mom, it's not that bad..."

"i knew i shouldn't have let him make these damn steaks," she continued furiously, "that man has ruined my meat!"

i didn't answer as i took my fork and speared it into the shriveled brick. with the knife in my hand, i began trying to cut it. thirty seconds into the endeavor i realized the knife had barely put a dent in the surface of the meat.

"mom, are your knives dull?" i asked. she looked at me and rolled her eyes.

"NO, it's not the knives! your daddy has burnt the steaks."

she was staring at her own plate probably contemplating how best to discard the food without him knowing. i picked up my steak and hit it up against the plate just to see how hard it was. when it hit the plate it sounded like i'd just dropped a rock on it.

"you might as well just break the damn thing," mom whispered, still pissed.

we discarded the knives and tackled the steak with our fingers. after expending much energy breaking the meat apart, i plopped a piece into my mouth and started gnawing.

"so what do you want to do for your birthday," i asked mom, as her birthday was in two days.

"i don't know," she stated, "but this man has totally ruined my MEAT."


"and have you tasted these noodles?"

"they do appear to be a bit soft..."

"they're overcooked, nikki." she was getting worked up now. "he's ruined the noodles too."

i sat there gnawing on the same piece of meat i'd had in my mouth for the last minute, unsure if i'd ever get to swallow it. mom was working herself into a tizzy and dad was in the family room eating his dinner and watching television, oblivious to mom's discontentment. i was wishing i could be oblivious to it too...

after finally swallowing the piece of meat and chasing it down with a glass of water, i abandoned the unrealistic notion of eating the steak and decided to stick with the safe alternative of nibbling on the corn. mom was still mumbling about her food when dad came into the kitchen.

"thanks for the wonderful meal, honey," mom said to dad sweetly.

"yeah, thanks dad," i added.

"you're welcome."

dad returned to the family room and the mumbling started again. i shook my head and laughed.

later on, mom and i were back upstairs, watching the series finale of 7th hea.ven. mind you, neither one of us had even watched the show since the 90s, but it was the ending of an era and we felt compelled to see how it would play out. there was a scene where 17 year old ruthie was telling hot dude martin she was in love with tbone. this after martin had told her he wanted to date her.

"oh, that's ridiculous," my mom said disgusted.

"i know! there's no friggin way i'm a 17 year old choosing to be with the skinny pale kid instead of the hot guy!" i shook my head in disbelief.

"you know, they're trying to say a person should be chosen for what's on the inside, not what's on the outside," mom stated, "but that's some bullcrap. 17 year olds don't care what's on the inside. they want the guy to be hot, and that guy's hot."

we both laughed long and loud.

after the show ended, we spent more time talking and laughing some more and spoke to some family members on the phone. it was one of the best mother's days ever. just spending time with mom and talking and sharing. that's really what mother's day is about. i learned it really isn't about showing appreciation with gifts. it's about appreciating her by spending time and really listening to her and letting her know i love her not only cuz she's my mom, but because she's my friend and a wonderfully flawed human being.

Monday, May 14, 2007

the mother of all 1 (yeah, i know...but it was too long)

nikki's bedroom, atl ga, mother's day 2007, 10:03 a.m.

my eyes were feverishly swallowing the last drops of sleep being squeezed out of the morning when a shrilling ring cut through the silence and snatched the cup of slumber away from me. i fell to the floor, dragging the blue cotton sheet with me as i crawled to the phone to answer it.

"hello?" i croaked, my voice a cigarette burn on the ear drums as morning breath hovered like a nuclear cloud around me. i sniffed, cringed, then reached behind me to open up a window.

"hey, nikki?" a male voice inquired.

"oh," i yawned as i gathered the sheet around my naked body and sat down in my computer chair, "hey dad."

"you coming over to cook breakfast?" he asked without preamble.

his words knocked on the door to my conscious, but i was too tired to let them in.

"what?" i responded, imploring his words to let themselves in.

"," he enunciated carefully. i sat there for a minute, finally cracking open the door to my brain just enough for the words to slip in. OH.

"that's's mother's day," i replied slowly.

"uh, YEAH," his sarcasm spat back. i rolled my eyes, my common sense roping in my smart assed retort before it could buck it's way through my teeth.

"then i'll be there," my reply on the tail of another yawn.

"what time will you be here?"

glancing over at the clock on the wall in front of me, i did a mental calculation of the time i would need to get everything done. let's see...

gotta wash my ass
dress my ass
get gas
stop by the west end to pick up a gift and buy cards and THEN
drive to the 'rents house

"uh, give me about an hour." (why yes, your honor. i know i was being a bit optimistic about the time i'd needed, but i swear to you i had the best of intentions...)

"alright. we'll see you in an hour."

three hours later (heh) i pulled up in front of the 'rents house with two pathetic cards and a frown. i had just spent all kinds of time driving down streets with nothing but closed retail stores before i'd broken down and stopped at a grocery store to get cards and flowers. i'd picked up two generic cards from the remaining paltry selection and ended up forgoing the flowers altogether after viewing the bunches of bulbous blossoms bent over like listless lushes they'd tried to pass off as fresh roses.

entering through the garage door, i saw dad sitting on the sofa in front of the television. i immediately went into the kitchen and started breakfast (or at this point, lunch...). then i realized i still hadn't said hello to mom, so i went upstairs to their bedroom.

only she wasn't there.

dread started creeping up on me as i stood there in a puddle of confusion, trying to figure out where she could be.

"mom?!?" i yelled.


i turned around and headed down the hall, checking the other three rooms for her and not finding her.

"dad! where's mom?"

"she's upstairs nikki," he replied from downstairs, his voice woven with impatience.

"i can't find her!"

"she's around there somewhere."

now folk, my parents don't own a mansion. there weren't but so many places the woman could be. i checked the rooms again, then headed downstairs.

"are you sure she's up there dad?"

"she's up there."

"what, is she hiding from me?"



i went back upstairs into her room and lo and behold, there she was laying on her bed as though she'd never left. i ran and jumped on her, kissing her and tickling her at the same time.

"how you gonna play me like that! you had me thinking i was crazy!"

she stared at me innocently as though she had no idea what i was talking about.

"where WERE you?!?" i asked with exasperation.

"i've been right here the whole time," she said matter-of-factly. i just looked at her and smirked.

"whatever, mom."

"you took your sweet time getting over here missy," her words soaking in a bath of admonishment as we hugged and she kissed me on the cheek.

"i know i know..."

"what took you so long getting here?"


i shifted uncomfortably as she looked at me. that's when i noticed her worry lines were in full effect.

"what's wrong?"

she sat there for a minute, her silence poking at my anxiety.

"have you spoken to your brother?"


"i think you need to hear this message he left on my voicemail."

at this point my heart is racing and i'm trying to calm myself. after having suffered four deaths in our family over the last year, it has become woefully easy for me to panic when there's a hint that something's wrong.

she puts the phone to my ear and i hear his voice, sounding breathless and thready, as if his strength was being pulled from him through his pores.

"it's no big deal...but i've been having chest pains and i'm not feeling well...i'm gonna go to the doctor today..."

"CHEST PAINS?!?" i exclaimed as i sat there and contemplated how fast i could get to new york. by the time his message was done, i was already mentally packing my suitcase and buying my plane ticket. i looked over at mom and she appeared close to tears. i spoke as calmly as i could considering i was freaking out my damn self.

"he's probably stressed out. no need for us to get freaked out about this, mom."

"i've been trying to call him all morning but he's not picking up his phone..."

we were looking at each other and remembering february 2006 when my granny had been frantically trying to reach my uncle curt. she'd called him nonstop all day before finally going over to his apartment where she'd found him collapsed and cold on the floor from a massive heart attack. he'd been dead since the day before.

"mom, i know he's alright." i said even as i could feel myself shaking. i grabbed my cell phone and tried to call him. the battery died right as i punched in the digits. for some reason, that made me even more afraid. i reached for mom's home phone and called him. he didn't pick up. mom called him from her cell phone. he didn't pick up.

we sat there, a phone in each of our hands, dialing his number over and over, praying he'd pick up the phone...

Friday, May 11, 2007

'fuck you' friday

sometimes it just gotta be FUCK YOU:

to the person who thinks an email and some false praise is gonna make me delete the past. i don't wish you ill will. meanwhile, recognize that a few months don't wipe away how you played on my pain during a time when i was at my most vulnerable and you didn't give a shit then about what you were doing. what i brought to the table was real and honest and you twisted that shit into something nasty. i'm not gonna fake it like everything is aiight between us now cuz it ain't. let other folk put shit behind them. i ain't there yet. so no, i won't do as you requested.

to the co-worker who tries to slide work onto me like a penis slipping 'tween pussy lips while a chick's asleep. i don't mind being fucked, but i demand i be a willing participant. keep fucking with me and i'm gonna start sabatoguing your shit.

to the driver who almost made me wreck my fucking car a few days ago. i'm not sure if you're aware of it, but there's this wand next to your steering wheel. if you pull it down or shift it up, folk around you will know when you're about to change lanes. USE that shit, cuz i've been in a few bumps already and my car has held up well. don't make me have to take you and your little compact car out of the game.

to the boss who actually had me process spot bonuses for people who did half the fucking work i did last quarter. what, now folk are getting praise for turning shit in late, always 'working from home' even when they know they're needed in the office, dumping the shitty work they don't wanna do on someone else, and blaming others when their shit turns up foul? let me make a mental note of that. next time i complete my projects ahead of schedule, step in and finish someone else's work, own up to my mistakes, assist a person you KNOW hates me with her daily tasks, and volunteer to work a convention on the fucking WEEKEND, i'll remember those efforts have absolutely NO BEARING on my paycheck. you keep telling me it has nothing to do with my skin color, but i'm the only black person in this place and i'm the ONLY ONE who hasn't gotten a spot bonus.

to the driver who thinks he/she can be on the phone while driving. there's a reason new york and other states banned that shit. i'm sorry, but you are NOT a better driver with one hand on the steering wheel, one hand on your phone, and your thoughts concentrated on the conversation. driving slower don't fix it. you creeping on the expressway is an accident waiting to happen. if you that pressed to continue that conversation PULL THE FUCK OVER. what's it gonna take for you to stop that shit? you gotta kill someone before you recognize how dangerous that shit is?!?

to the folk who think being an asshole is synonymous with 'bucking the system' or 'rebelling against the status quo'. no, what it means is that you're an asshole who doesn't have the balls to admit you just like saying and doing shit to hurt folks feelings. man up to it, playa! you do what you do cuz you get a chubby every time a person sheds a tear because of something you did to him or her. your power is tied into how bad you make someone else feel. recognize that shit. REVEL in that shit. DO YOU. just stop cloaking that shit under some ridiculous guise that you're doing it for someone else's good or that you're here to make sure 'political correctness' doesn't ruin the world.

to the guy who actually has the nerve to think i'd be willing to engage in something intimate with him when he's got a wifey. look, i'm aware there are cultural differences at play here. i even know there are women out there willing to take you up on your offer. meanwhile, i'm not one of them. how you could think i'd put a piece of dick ahead of a sista's feelings is beyond me. i don't care how unhappy you are in your situation. i don't care if she's not satisfying you. i don't care if you're lonely. stop complaining about what's fucked up and either fix it or get the fuck out of it. do not continue to insult me by calling my office faking like you only wanna take me out to lunch when you know you wanna fuck me. I'M NOT THAT SISTA. i'm not that chick who can lay with a dude and not think about the fact he's stepping out on his wife. i'm not that chick who can ignore the fact i'm participating in the desecration of someone's home. i've been nice up until now cuz we work together, but i swear if you keep pressing me i'm gonna be cussing you out in front of your folk.

to all those folk who use that tired argument about babe ruth not playing against black players, thus nullifying his home run record and then try to use that shit to justify why folk should be pulling for bar.ry bon.ds to break the record. no, we shouldn't. hank aaron played against EVERYBODY and did that shit without the use of performance enhancing drugs. he should keep that record. i will not be pulling for barry. he's tainted and he knows it. and no, i'm not just persecuting him. i think all the records established in the last ten years should be wiped from the record books. barry was the cat that got caught, but he wasn't the only one in the cream (literally).

to the folk who think i'm supposed to just vote for bar.ack just cuz the dude's black. get this, my vote is based on character, not color. when i place my vote, it'll be for the one i think is most likely to do as he or she says and if what they promise is most closely alligned with addressing the concerns i have for this country. call me sellout if it makes you feel better, but you sell yourself out when you ignore the issues in favor of handing someone your support just cuz he looks like you. clar.ence tho.mas anyone?

aiight, i'm done.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

ENOUGH already

if i had a quarter for every time a black person called another black person 'ghetto' i'd take that quarter, shove it down their fucking throats, and hope they choke on it.

don't you get it people? 'ghetto' is a fucking PLACE. it ain't who is a person IS. it doesn't make them LESS of a human being and it damn sure doesn't give you the fucking right to call them 'ghetto' with the sole intent on insulting them.

for ONCE i'd like to see a person call folk 'ghetto' with the intent on praising them, cuz there are plenty of good, hard-working folk living there. they're the ones working the jobs you wouldn't work even if it meant being unemployed for eight months cuz it means busting your ass for checks just large enough to pay for a happy meal. they're the ones with the jobs other people think ain't important until the folk ain't there to do it. try keeping the bathroom at your job clean when the janitor decides to quit and see how hard that shit is. they're the ones folk look at and laugh cuz they've got hair other folk think is tacky, sport clothes other folk think are cheap, and have names other folk think are ridiculous.

they make barely enough to keep the bills paid and food on the table, try to keep tabs on their kids when it's impossible cuz they work 80 hour weeks, live in poorly constructed homes in unsafe neighborhoods with subpar schools and non-existent law enforcement, and we're calling them 'ghetto' and smirking like we made a fucking joke. meanwhile, they're making that shit work as best they can. STOP HATING.


i ain't preaching to you. i'm straight telling you to cut that shit out. pride starts with recognizing the worth in folk regardless of where they come from and what they look like. NOT A GAWTDAMN THING comes from dissing folk from these environments. i ain't making excuses for folk. i'm saying there are enough obstacles without this shit going on.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

no, you really don't know...

"I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all. I do not belong to that sobbing school of Negrohood who hold that nature somehow has given them a lowdown dirty deal. Even in the helter-skelter skirmish that is my life, I have seen that the world is to the strong regardless of a little pigmentation more or less. No, I do not weep at the world — I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife." - zora neale hurston

i will never apologize for being who i am, nor will i apologize for other folks insecurities regarding my existence. i'm black and i'm proud and if you feel threatened by that, that's on you. i'm not here to take away from you, i'm here to build my own. i don't covet what you have because i know i'm responsible for getting what i want. i know my own value. i won't let you define me because that ain't your job or your right. i don't need you to validate me. please know my first priority is checking myself and my folk before i even CONTEMPLATE checking you. i don't measure my shine by yours as there's enough light in the world for all of us. loving me doesn't mean hating you, it means LOVING ME.

LOVING the black woman i am with the thick legs i got from my granny and birthing hips i got from my momma and the unadulterated coffee brown beauty i got from africa

LOVING how i rock it loc'd and laugh at those attempting to mock me

LOVING my soupcatcher lips that can strip the flesh from a chicken bone or suck the moan right out of a man

LOVING how i can 'speak to my peeps like dis' or 'expound in exacting vernacular to them like that'

LOVING that i can 'write about folk fucking' or 'compose prose on the comparison of his strokes to the soft petals of a rose'.

LOVING my skin's ability to ward off weapons of destruction, bear invisible tattoos of past hurts encryptions, yet still be so magnificent as to surpass all words of description

LOVING my BIGNESS - my ideas, my aspirations, my laugh, my ass

LOVING the baggage i discard one piece at a time

LOVING the sense of empowerment that comes with knowing that no matter what you say or do, I control THIS ri'chea.

LOVING the rainbow reflected in my blue moods, my red rage, my green experience, my yellow fear, my black thoughts

LOVING what makes me uniquely nikki

and not ONE of you mothafuckas can EVER take that away from me.