Monday, July 28, 2008

Mas Palabras

October will mark three years as a Maryland resident. Yet, once a week, there is a female behemoth that will attempt to share a subway seat with me. My behind will not invade the seat next to me, but I take up every square inch of my alloted (and purchased) seat. If you do stunts for Bruce Bruce, you can't sit next to me. Keep it moving, Leviathan.

I can drink like a fish. There's not even a story there; just. . . hot damn.

Every time a person says they "heart" something, Abigail Breslin is beaten with a sack of nickels. The same goes for "vajayjay." It's just stupid. Cut it out.

I've had it with men complaining about getting the shaft for Fathers' Day presents. You can stand up when you pee and you get the big piece of chicken. However, if that's not enough for you spoiled babies, you also don't have to undergo the horror that is the bra fitting. I won't go into the gory details, but I will say that afterward, I refused to purchase the bra strictly on principle. It would have been too much like paying for inappropriate contact, and I'm just not "there" yet.

You ever sit around and wonder who makes the rules? I do. Por ejemplo, lately, I've been thinking about marijuana and coffeeI'm not running for Prez, so I'll keep it real: once upon a time, I used to blaze up on the regular. When I decided to stop blazing, that was that. Had other things going on in my life, and weed didn't fit. Done. What happens when you smoke weed? You want sex and the occasional hot pocket. Marijuana is an illegal substance. I am a dyed in the wool coffee drinker. I have a few cups on the daily. When I try to quit coffee, I get migraines, the jitters, and I stay thisclose to homicide. What happens when you drink coffee, you become hyper and pretty much annoying as all hell. I have quit and restarted coffee more times than I can count. Coffee is a legal substance. Just putting that out there.

This past weekend, I had to take a drive to Queens, NY. You know how you see a place in a movie, and you think it's an exaggeration? Not so for Queens. You saw coming to America? It was pretty much like that. Queens is JACKED UP. However, I saw a site where they are building luxury condos. I have also cast lots on which mom and pop operation they were going to shut down so that they could build their Starbucks (or whatever godless, souless entity that is replacing the 'Bux now that the company has hit the skids.)

Am I the only person that finds it strange when a person needs to be walked through filling out a form. "Where it says name. . ." I just can't quite get with it.

Last week became very interesting, very quickly.

And I'm spent. . .

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Words of Wisdom

I guess it takes time - more time than anybody wants to imagine - to sort things out, inside, and then try to put them together, and then try - not so much to make sense out of it all - as to see. Maybe that's why what seems to be past begins to be clearer than what seems to be present.
-- James Baldwin Just Above My Head

When I need my mother most, she comes to my dreams. I remember holding Finge, counting his toes over and over again - Smith toes, like hers (onetwothreefourfivesixseveneightnineten). She wanted boys in the family. She would have loved this boy, I thought to myself, she would have wanted to hold this boy - she would be holding this boy at this very moment. One of my first nights home, she was in my dream. She told me that she taught me everything I needed to know in order to raise a good son.

When I left my marriage, I of course, questioned myself and felt like a failure. She told me the only failure is in sitting idly by as a spectator to your own destruction.

Sometimes, when I feel like I can't do right, I have dreams where she is sitting on our old couch, ratty as it was, she pats the cushion urging me to sit next to her. Sometimes she advises me; sometimes she tells me stories; sometimes she just lets me curl up and cry while she massages my scalp.

The thing is, I don't believe I'm having supernatural or out of body experiences. I don't believe that her "spirit" is coming to me. I believe that her presence in my life was one so powerful, I had to sort it out. The things she says or does in my dreams aren't "new" things. The dreams are indicative of her handprint on my life. The signature of the artist.

I guess I can't say that I have a real "reason" for this post. However, I was hard pressed not to share.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Love and Affection

I can't remember if I posted this movie before; maybe I just posted the link. However, it is one of my favorite short films ever! I guess it will give you a glimpse into the fact that I truly have some problems. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Title Irrelevant

Monday, July 14, 2008, would have been my mother's 57th birthday. She died when she was 43. Shortly after giving birth to her fourth child (she lost her third due to miscarriage), her host of health issues surfaced. She spent a month in the hospital. I was six, younger than my Ladybug is now. I remember her letting me get in her hospital bed and eat her ice cream. That is who she was. Her predicament was irrelevant. She wanted those around her, and her children especially, to be comfortable and at ease. During the year of these events, my mother turned 32; this year, I turn 32.

It's easy to diefy a person when they're gone. You remember all of the good and none of the bad. That's not the case here. My mother's foot had a permanent addresss in my behind. Sometimes, I still maintain that she was extra, but she also knew I was full of nonsense and shenanigans. She had no intention of allowing me to turn my life into shit on her watch. I went to great lengths to attempt to be a "bad girl," but my mother fought that. Ferociously.

What impressed me most about my mother, was that she didn't just fight for me because I was her daughter. She did so because I was a human being, and she desired happiness and success for everyone. If you were to speak to anyone who had the pleasure of her company, they would echo that sentiment. Her funeral was filled with countless people, crying as though they had lost their best friend. Young people, who on any other occasion, would have assumed the stance of stoic ambivalence, breaking down as though they had lost their own mother. But that is how she touched people. When she talked to, laughed with, or counseled you, she was your best friend. When she hugged you, she was your mother. There was never an ulterior motive to her kindness. She was a kind person, because that's how she believed she should be.

The last conversation I had with her was over the phone. I remember the conversation on her end seeming rather forced. What, really, do you talk about to your 17 year old kid when you know that you're dying? I offhandedly mentioned something we could do when she got out of the hospital. She began to cry. For years, I thought it's because she knew she was dying and she was afraid. I will not say that my mother was a superhuman being with no fear of the unknonwn that is death, but I only believe that played a small role. However, the first time I held Finge in my arms, I knew it was because she couldn't bear to leave behind her children. Even at the very end, she was worried about us.

Since I was the oldest, I did the most as far as helping my mother was concerned. I remember once, being home with her, going through our daily routine of cleaning, general care and such. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and tearfully apologized for me having to go through "all this" when I should be having fun. The same woman who took care of me in a body cast; the same woman who would stay up all night sewing just so that her four daughters would have new, pretty dresses for church; the same woman who declined countless wedding and party invitations because, according to her, "I have four girls - that's a party in and of itself." This woman was offering me an apology for doing for her what she had done for us our whole lives - a thousand fold.

My father picked her final dress. I can only hope, with every fiber of my being, that it has disintegrated into nothingness. It was a pink contraption with matching lipstick. My mother LIVED in technicolor: oranges, bright yellows, bold purples, red (never enough red), fuschias and teals. No pinks. Not ever. For the better part of two years I watched my mother with an unparallelled sense of sadness. I couldn't change her loss of health. I couldn't change her loss of spirit. I couldn't change her loss of life. I couldn't even change that stupid pink dress. But I could change her lipstick. Radiant Red was her color; Fashion Fair her brand. I didn't see any reason for that to change. My cousin produced a tube from her purse and we changed it.

Finding an appropriate ending for this post is so difficult, because, how do you wrap up in a few paragraphs, someone who had such a profound effect on everything that you are? It dawned on me that, in a couple of years, my mother will have been gone from me longer than I knew her. Despite that, I still carry her with me every day. I look at Finge and know how she would have spoiled him rotten (she wanted more boys in the family). I laugh when I think of how she would have dressed up Ladybug and let her play with her wigs. When I am at my lowest, and most lost, she shows up in my dreams. So no, I can't form a typical "conclusion" on this post. I can just promise you that there will be another.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Mamba's Musical Moment

Paul Simon: If you don't know, you better ask somebody.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Dirty Bastards

This morning started out 7:41 (my alarm goes off at 7:00; yes, I did hear it). Whenever I picked out my afro on the left, the right went flat, and vice-versa. I have also been exceedingly busy, so I haven't done laundry since the Carter administration. I still have clothes left, but everytime I would pull out an outfit, if the shirt was good, the pants that I intended to go were not, if the pants were clean, I didn't have a shirt to go, etc. So finally I pulled something together that involves one of my last clean pairs of slacks, and a shirt that is decidedly "clubby."

This SHOULD have clued me in that the workday would be a little left of center. As I get off the train and proceed toward the platform exit, I notice someone on the floor in my peripheral vision. I turn and see that it is a woman, no more than 24 years old, stretched out, and alone on the floor. I am in a crowd, no one is stopping. So I stop to see if she is okay and needs help, and she tells me that she can't breathe. I go to get the station manager, and I notice that a woman is actually returning with him. Which makes me feel better, because that means someone stopped and this woman has clearly been on the floor for a while. However, when I look at the face of the woman who brought assistance, I realize that she was on the same train car as I was. The number of people who had to have passed this woman prior to my

I know people in this day and age like to believe that the sun rises and sets shining on their asses. I find myself becoming increasingly disgusted with the way individuals treat one another (stay tuned for the upcoming weekly installment "Men are from Maine, Women are from Compton"). This, however, takes the proverbial cake. There are four station managers in the Metro Center platform (one at each exit), as well as a minimum of two sales attendants. This means, if you need assistance, and one is preoccupied with, say, a woman literally collapsing out of her chair, you have five other people to assist you. However, for the five douches that walked up to the station manager at the 12th Street exit, collapsing woman or not, they wanted immediate assistance.

I will say this: New Orleans is dirty, ignant, backwards, and you MIGHT get stabbed. Yet, with all of that, when there is a person in need of help, there will be no shortage of people ready and willing to help. I find that when people don't have much, they are a lot more giving and concerned about their fellows. When you know what it's like to be in need, it seems that you're more likely to fill a need when you see fit. Maybe that's what's wrong here - people have too much. Maybe they don't know what it's like to be in need, or to be desperate.

I have seen more people be outright inconsiderate, then justify it because they don't feel it's adequately appreciated. Human concern is FREE. If you open a door, and a person doesn't say thank you, did only do it because you were expecting a parade? If you say good morning, and it's not returned, is that person automatically a bitch or an asshole? I'm a surly mofo, but I know that even the nicest person can have a day where they aren't "on." What does it cost for me to be the person that I AM, not because it will be acknowledged, but just because? Not a damn dime, that's what.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Mamba's Musical Moment

Amy Winehouse has tremendous talent, but let's not go crazy. She is NOT Janis Joplin.