Protected: it’s funny, you know

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feeling that feeling again.

(yet another stream of consciousness)

you know the one.
where you’re disillusioned with just about everything, don’t feel like pretending anymore, & can’t even fathom maintaining the facade? that feeling. that if-you-don’t-get-the-fuck-outta-my-face-with-that-bullshit feeling. that feeling that leads you to believe you’re gonna come out on the other side of the coming week with fewer friends, more enemies & twelve new ways to tell someone to kiss your ass.

i’ve already written an imaginary resignation letter
already invited someone to put me on their personal do-not-call list
& next up is everyone’s favorite: family drama.
i’m not gonna go into great detail about it here, because the more i discuss it the more incensed i become. basically, my mom has decided that it’s my job to pick up the slack for her shortcomings — which are not major in the grand scheme of anything but mean everything because she’s trying to impress people — & i’m not really having it.
& it’s all culminating in my apartment.
i did not invite ppl over for thanksgiving (aka slaughter some indigenous ppl & call it a pilgrimage), yet the tired & huddled masses yearning to be fed are coming to apartment 3f like it’s times square on new year’s eve.
i’m between leaving and just locking myself in the bedroom & not allowing anyone passage through the bedroom into the bathroom. can’t decide which just yet. because i’m too busy being mad.

it’s a lot deeper than what i discuss here; my family is still my family, & if i were to type the whole sordid tale y’all would be paying for my shit as a .pdf on lulu.com.

but suffice it to say:
this time of year always kicks up shit for a lot of reasons
& every year i strive to be better at handling it. not functioning through a fog or haze
but more lucid, more transparent because that’s how i wish to live my life overall
& it seems like the freer i get,
the more ppl try to pull me back into that shit
lie to make it look better
fake it ’til you make it
don’t say anything inappropriate until after one year passes and the comfort level increases
be everyone’s helpmeet
don’t be so aggressive
. . . fuck that.
fuck the fronting
i’m not here for that
i’ve spent the better part of the last 10 years trying to find myself under the layers of shit other people have put on me, and now, because you want to impress someone else with some imaginary cosby-esque family that doesn’t even exist, i have to participate?

i can’t do it.

ppl start acting crazier the closer it gets to the winter solstice.
i personally don’t give a shit how much you’re going through, just don’t make it my job to deal with.

next year, i’m going into hiding at thanksgiving and not coming out until after MLK day.

oh, hell no.

wtf?

i’m kinda, like… flabbergasted.

please feel free to engage me in discourse in the comments, okay?

there is so much wrong here. so much.

i’m not a huge fan of

the studio version of jill scott’s “hate on me,” because it sounds kinda overproduced . . . & sort of um . . . canned, if you will. but she sang it at the black lily closing show in may & i loved it. maybe it was ?uesto & the band, maybe it was because amy fucking winehouse had shown up. or maybe because i know just wtf she’s talking about in the lyrics. my sista said if i gave you diamonds/ out of my own womb/ would you feel the love in that/ or ask, “why not the moon?” can we pause, reflect & breathe on that for a moment, please? i mean, damn. there are some folks on this earth who will tear every last tendon & bit of muscle from your bones & seek more if they believe you’ve got more for them to take. there are sometimes instances when ppl will show you precisely how ridiculous they are, & it’s like katt williams said: “you mad at breakfast? nigga, you gangbangin on bacon?” pissed, desperate. grabby & needy for no reason other than their own exaggerated sense of entitlement & sadly inflated ego. tearing apart everyone around them in the name of being whom or what, i do not know. but they do it; & think that shit is peace. isn’t.

the thing is, we are all humans
& we all have our moments where we have to think critically about others & by extension ourselves (i hope we all think critically about ourselves at some point or another). not to take away from or tear down anyone, but to really see who we are & what it’s hittin for. head on. & truly, i think that within such processes, we kinda gain a clarity. a perspective that shows us a little better how we simply aren’t ever really in a position to shit on someone else’s situation. yes, someone may be troubled or misguided or whatever. but is that really a reason to decide that they’re undeserving of your keeping your nose out of their shit?

i don’t mean people who maim bunnies or kidnap elderly women or pee on teenage girls on videotape and then blame the shit on their brothers. i’m talking about your homegirl who’s trying to finish her master’s degree & make herself a better person at the same time. i’m speaking of anyone who’s just living her or his every day life & is most likely progressing with it. nothing wrong w/ wondering about why your people are in the mess that they are. there’s no shame in venting about the one friend you have who continually places her or himself in situations that always require mediation or some large amount of financial assistance. you can wonder all those things — i think it’s normal, to gain the best perspective possible on how you may or may not fit into all of this.

but if you’re just plain pissed at someone’s existence on this planet & instead of ignoring them you’re seeking out reasons to talk shit on them, then perhaps you need to go rap w/ dr. phil or somebody. cuz that’s just ridiculous.

straight vampires, yo.
leave that shit alone. some of us work to get where we are, while others just end up there serendipitously. either way, i’m not in a position to judge.

i’m not afraid of/ what i got/ i paid for . . .

i’m back to

where i was about three weeks ago. only my thought process is fueled by a conversation i had w/ some sistas the other night.
i know there are systems in place to stop us dead in our tracks. literally, even. i know that it’s sometimes so impossible to even see the top of that mountain made of disappointment, disaster, dreams, & desperation that climbing that motherfucker seems like a really sick joke. baby, i know what it’s like to have someone smile in my face & wish to hell that they could call me a nigger but instead just say “sweetie,” “honey,” or “girlfriend.” & i used to ache to know what it must have felt like to be acquainted w/ folks like my self, not just folks who looked like me. that ache grew.
the resentment, the annoyance, & the overall feeling of being fucked up in the game . . . those things were winning. i wouldn’t let them, though. & i won’t now.
because if i look myself in the mirror & decide that every fucking moment of my life is a war — a war that i don’t even think can be won — then i may as well pack it up . . . particularly if i come out the front door swingin on everyone i can w/ my machete or cutlass.
by virtue of biology, i am a woman. by virtue of biology, i am black. & by virtue of biology, we have become targets. we remain targeted now. everyone with a lick of sense & deductive reasoning skills knows about the prison industrial complex, COINTELPRO, the big tobacco plots, & everything else on this entire planet which has been put together to snuff the poor, non-white, &/ or female.
yes, baby, i know.
but for me, that venom cannot be turned in on myself
it will not be the weapon i use to slash every hand that reaches out to give to or help me
i will not blindly love what looks like me exclusively because of that fact
it is not okay to hate
ever

cuz if they do it to us, & we do it to them, exactly what the blue fuck is that gonna get anyone?

it’s not gonna give us any of the shit that’s been taken from, beaten out of, drained from, or confused about us. we will not get back yoruba, igbo, twi, akan, hausa, fongbe, kiswahili, xhosa, or any other tongue. our wombs will not take back in the children of rape, nor will they serve as a place to hide the children that we don’t want to be a part of this shit here. hate will not extract what makes you lighter skinned, her hair wavier than it is anything else, that baby’s eyes bright green, what made malcolm’s hair red . . . we can’t undo it. mahatma was NOT playin one bit when he said that an eye for an eye would leave the world blind. cuz if we hate on them, & they hate us some more, & we all go back & forth when will we have time to love ourselves? how do we build ourselves up if we’re wasting energy tearing someone else’s shit down? believe it or not, there has to be room for everyone . . . if you believe in a creator, then how could you not think so?

i must ask this, because i like where i live
i love my people
& i’ve been in that position before where when i say i’m DAMN good friends w/ white women, i get that sideways look. & i have to brace myself for the cries of ‘traitor,’ or worse yet being shunned or pitied because i’m ‘confused’ about who’s really got my back & who doesn’t.
cuz the same sista i want to help with her parenting skills already thinks something’s the fuck wrong with me since i don’t dress like she does. the sista who has the same nappy hair i do, the same ntozake shange books i do, respects the gangsta of kathleen cleaver the same way i do . . . she’s still poppin shit because she don’t think hers stinks. because she’s taking in superficial things about me & deciding FOR me what i should/ shouldn’t be a part of. what part of the game is that?
& the biology isn’t enough for any of us anymore. we don’t respect each other by virtue of blackness, because we are not all in the same neighborhoods by virtue of such. we are all over the place because legally, we could be . . . & the status shit is SERIOUS in these streets right now. fuck the white folks gentrifying all over the nation, niggas is fightin niggas over what some niggas appear to have, be, do, want, or feel. & that, my dears, is fucked up. screw standing up for anyone who’s willing to cut your ass down — black, white, yellow, peach, beige, blue-black, brown, red, or other. i will not, under any circumstances, support destruction of others by virtue of my own dislike for how they carry themselves. not unless it’s fully crucial to my survival.

i know what you’re talking about, but maybe you’ve never experienced what i have.

i was born fighting,
i will die fighting
but in between, i will choose my battles.

i’m so desperately angry right now.


so much so that i’m not sure i can stop myself from riding past this sista’s house & dragging her punk ass bitch of a so-called fiancĂ© out of the house by his ears so i can jollystomp the bullshit out of him.
i’m not sayin she’s a perfect angel in all this. i’m not gonna even presume that she hasn’t got her shit with her. i think, though, that she’s been beyond wronged.

it goes like this:

about 4 years ago, sista meets brotha @ an open mic night. sista & brotha start seeing something of each other, living together in maryland someplace & generally getting serious. brotha & sista get evicted from their place in maryland someplace, so sista comes back to philly to her dad’s house. the two continue to see each other when they can, whenever brother is in town working. brotha & sista get pregnant. brotha moves into elderly dad’s house w/ sista. there are arguments, because neither of them is working. brotha plays trombone when he can get a gig for whatever bands he can. . . & by this point, the lily is defunct so he doesn’t even have his house band gig. it’s tight. there are the usual arguments that can be expected when things move way too fast & folks get surprised by whom it is they’re really dealing with.
baby girl is born, healthy & happy.
there are still arguments, dysfunction, & stressful situations of all kinds.

fast fwd to late 2006 . . . sista is pregnant again! after a miscarriage earlier in the year, even. she is thankful for the life growing inside her, but stressed. she’s working & trying to keep rent paid . . . brotha still isn’t working steadily. it’s still tight. brotha already has 2 kids aside from baby girl. brotha doesn’t want any more kids . . . but brotha likes sex w/ no condom since they’re in a committed relationship. so there are more fights
more arguing
more drama
lots of accusations
(even a stabbing!)
& a very confused, frightened, overwhelmed 2 year old.

brotha still isn’t working.
sista is on TANF (temporary assistance for needy families, aka welfare) once she’s too big to work.
brotha still isn’t working.

sista gets bigger weekly, goes to all her appts w/ baby girl in tow when possible, & does all the housework.
brotha complains & still isn’t working.
her father dies.
brotha’s mind seems to be elsewhere. anywhere but where he is at the moment. maybe he’s depressed. she doesn’t know, nor does she care; she doesn’t have time to be depressed. baby girl is a lot to keep up with. baby boy soon come. no time to be depressed, no time to be sad. gotta move, move, move, move . . .
one day about a month ago, sista & brotha get into an argument because he thinks she’s lazy and making up stories about being tired/ unable to pick up the house . . . & that she must be crazy if she thinks he’s gonna walk to and from the market in all that heat w/ a 2 year old
so she gets mad and asks a friend to come get her, take her, baby & the groceries to her mom’s. because she might stab him again, and not miss the crucial bits this time.
they’re arguing when friend pulls up . . . baby girl doesn’t know if she should go to friend’s car because friend is calling her . . . or if she should stay and try to keep mommy away from the fighting.
it’s getting nastier by the minute. finally, friend puts the baby in the car & helps sista w/ her bags.

now?
sista has lost her baby.
yesterday, at the doctor’s, there was no heartbeat.
he didn’t go with her to the appointment because they didn’t have enough money for the both of them to travel by bus; he didn’t come when she told him what was going on.
friend was there, instead.
he told her “to get rid of it” before she was even 4 months along.
she was stressed out the entire time . . .
& this sad sack of shit wouldn’t even come hold her hand & talk to her?
he won’t at least pretend?
he tells her he’s sorry & they’ll talk when she gets in?

i’m disgusted
because nobody deserves to suffer through anything like that alone
because he won’t nut up & decide to wear condoms or get a vasectomy
because that little girl lives in a warzone
because now she doesn’t know what to do . . . she was staying for the children
& still wants to stay for baby girl, even though this is the most hateful, volatile, destructive situation ever.

so i’m mad.
i’m vigilant over my womb & my space
i don’t want to ever see days like that. heaven knows i was close. but i’m not going out like that.
fuck the insanity
i reject notions of holding it together because you have babies. get rid of the toxins. period.

whatever you lose in life, you no longer have use for.

i pray for her healing, peace of mind, clarity, & fwd movement. whether they both grow the hell up & get better or not doesn’t matter. i want her to leave that dysfunction behind.

i need to lay it all on my altar tonight, because i don’t want her to be someone on tv. i don’t want her to be latoiya this year or next
i cannot abide by this
i will not stand idly by & watch ppl destroy themselves.

it’s really awkward

being in the precarious place where i am at the moment. i feel as if i’m a pendulum. swinging. all the time, back & forth. sometimes a hand grabs me, & i stop right where i am. other times, i’m moving so fast that i can’t even name what it is that’s happening. i don’t feel fully at rest, even when i’m vegetative on my couch. even when i’m stoned out of my mind, drifting off to sleep . . . i feel that there’s still that back & forth. & i don’t know how i was even set on this path. this repetitious bullshit to which the quality of my life has dwindled . . . i’m annoyed, to say the least. it’s not that i expected some magical shit to occur between ages 21 and 30 to make me into the perfect adult. i anticipated lots of hard work, humble moments, debt accrual, etc. i suppose that i underestimated the impact. the weight. sometimes it’s like the whole world is working against me while i try to get what the universe has in store for me. it’s a very odd feeling.

all i really want is to be myself fully. no apologies, no excuses, no shame. i want to make the money at no risk to my integrity, nor to my sanity. i know that there is abundance to be had. i’m trying to get to that point. i don’t mean just money. i don’t want trappings of a fabulous life. i want to thrive. i want to be comfortable financially. i want to love what i do for a living. at the moment i’m at an impasse. my passions are social justice & the arts. it’s not hard to come across people who’re into both, people who blend both. i want that to be my life, though. my career. i now know what i have to do in order to make it to that point. god, i’m gonna be in school for a long ass time. we’re looking at a minimum 6 years. dual undergrad degree (sociology/ spanish), at least 1 master’s (lincoln university MHS, stand up!) & maybe a 2nd master’s. i need to kick some non profit ass.

but first i gotta work on some recruiting initiatives @ the ‘good city job’ i have. the new division manager wants to utilize my skills, instead of ignoring the shit out of them. i’m geeked. i might actually like it enough to stay if i’m not doing a bunch of dumb mindless shit all day every day for the next 6 months or whatever.

fingers are crossed
eyes are looking upward
feet are ready to move.

i just want to keep at it. this whole being myself thing. it sounds easy enough, but when nearly everything you are/ stand for is the complete opposite of most of what surrounds you . . . it’s hard. i’m a socialist at heart. i’m an artsy fartsy activist type of broad. i don’t fuck with complacency or stagnation all like that. i am not gonna comply just because it’s suggested that i do.

that makes my life anomalous in little ways. but how i choose to express that makes all the difference. we all know folks who stifle themselves in the name of whatever. peace & quiet at home, a high-paying job that they loathe . . . it’s not worth it to me. i’m worth more. always.

i just wanna be honest enough, all the time, to embrace & live that notion.

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