fronting: an undoing.

peeling off, peeling out, laying the dumb shit to the side.
seeing myself, wholly, in bright light
not allowing myself to be lost in the crevices between what he says, what she says
slipping through cracks that seem more like caverns
i am no longer willing to be held hostage by image or ego, whether mine or someone else’s
coming undone has never been so dope, and i love how it feels
i have started to embrace la loba within.
and for the first time, in a long time, i don’t feel the overwhelming urge to tattoo or pierce, to cut my hair or get my eyebrows waxed.
i’m fine how i am, where i am
because i’m meant to just do what i do
there’s nothing to stop me
no one to slow me down

the only one in the way of this is me. and i’ve decided to move on over.
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grow up pretty. get a good man.

do something about that skin
try to find a style that makes your hair grow long and pretty
don’t get seconds on that, you know you need to lose weight
sit with your legs closed, especially in skirts and dresses
learn how to walk in high heels
there are nice boys at church
if you never stop sucking your thumb how are you ever gonna smile pretty?
don’t be so aggressive
you talk too loud
why are you always talking?
don’t correct people, it makes them feel inferior
you should wear more dresses
you need a girdle
we aren’t the kind of family that advocates that; we’re christians
why didn’t you just finish college?
you’re too smart to be anywhere except school
okay, when are you gonna have babies?
why are you living there?
what’s that food you’re eating?
when are you going back to school?
you don’t live here, you can’t do that
you can’t afford that, can you?
why would you spend $12 on breakfast? you too good for the cart or mcdonald’s?
i didn’t know you spoke spanish, you just be spittin that shit like [unintelligible]
can you tell me where to find a poetry reading? why not?
why don’t you smile more?
girls don’t dance with girls around here, no matter what
no, i know what you’re trying to do
my mom said you’re not as cute as you think you are
do you sing? why don’t you sing something?
why do you always have to be right?
why don’t you fight back?
why don’t you have a man?
are you gay?
_____ is weird; you probably know him/ her.
turn the music down, nobody wants to hear that foreign shit.
who ever told you that you can have whatever you want just because you want it?
do you and your sisters really all have the same father?
why are you so preachy?
you can make money being a doula/ midwife/ crafter?
you’re high maintenance
you’re weird
you’re spoiled
you must come from money w/ an attitude like that, cuz if you don’t . . .
i don’t know where you get these airs from
why do you switch so hard when you walk?
you know you want this dick, girl
i’ma pray that god changes your mind about that
happy birthday (via text, when i call you all the time)
you sure you gonna wear that?
you always got some weird — no, i’m sorry, different — shit on
you talk in circles. all women do, actually
you use your feelings to navigate the world; that’s illogical
don’t do that, that’s not what nice girls do
what do you mean you don’t believe in jesus?
you gave up on moving to new york, didn’t you?
get outta here w/ that boho shit
you don’t know a good thing when you see it
what made you think you could fuck him too?
i mean, you could be my girl if you . . .
oh, no, we’re not exclusive . . . where’d you get that from?
you’re trippin, this could never happen
why aren’t you writing?
what are you writing about?
stop writing about me
you’re phony
you’ll never have a man
can’t you just be normal?
when can we expect payment?
you aren’t any different from anyone else, get that idea out of your head right now

this post is the result of attempting to empty my head of any and everything that’s ever stuck to me and made me feel like i’m not a divinely blessed being. may every last bit of it be removed from my mind and set free on the wind, never to return to me.

i did it because it felt good.

i ate that whole container of hummus
devoured that bottle of cheap ass white wine
walked around my apartment in just a pair of heels — by myself
watched some porn
flirted endlessly with no desire to take it further
bought that pair of lace panties
cut all my hair off
slathered myself in coconut oil
stayed in bed an extra three hours
packed a bowl & smoked myself silly
enjoyed a sandwich with two kinds of meat and a cheese on it
wore a skirt w/ no panties underneath
copped a pair of sexy shoes for no apparent reason
fucked around w/ your homeboy
got some extensions put in my head
drank a whole pitcher of lager & three shots
danced w/ a girl
gave out a fake name @ the club
went bonkers on the clearance rack
got my nails done
kissed a baby
smiled at strangers & said ‘good morning’
started a blog
spent 30 minutes in the dressing room & didn’t buy shit
ignored that phone call
had a glass of wine w/ lunch on a monday
wore jewelry that didn’t match my outfit
left work early to go on a weekend trip
pretended to be younger than i am
lied & said i was older
downloaded an album
wore some crazy looking outfit
called someone a dirty name
got nasty on the mic
played dumb
snickered when someone got fired
called out sick just so i could have sex all day . . .

my inner child needs a hug.

& an apology
& that new pair of punky brewster sneakers
someone who’ll listen the first time she says someone’s house is on fire across the street
& someone to explain why she has to be nice to or give two shits about daddy & his folk
someone to tell mommy to stop putting relaxers in her hair, no matter how much “easier” it is to style
& a friend who won’t steal her cabbage patch dolls
a real talk about boys, sex, sexuality, & why her uncles keep nudie mags
to know that difference between mommy’s cigarettes & that funny smelling stuff ricky & his friends smoke in the living room
to get to know all of the bisabuelos before they die or have strokes
to learn to jump double dutch
to learn to play chess, cuz checkers is for suckas
& to know how beautiful she is
to know it’s more than, better than okay to be black
to be unashamed of her roundness
to understand that saying no is a tool, & she should do it often

she needs more quality time with momzie
violin lessons
more dance classes
no more wave nouveau
better access to health care
more smart black girlfriends
more books
more space
a savings account
more time to play w/ the records in the basement
a trip to every cultural event and street fair philadelphia ever had to offer
to see her own reflection and smile
to know that she’s loved, a child of god no less than the stars
& most importantly
that she’s gonna grow up to be just fine.

i won’t ever forget it: the beginning of the end.

the time he likened us working our problems out to the way we’d coach each other at free cell.

i wanted to smack him in the face w/ the keyboard at that exact moment, pack my shit, & walk the fuck out. but all i had to my name were some nickels (probably not enough for the bus) & whatever food i’d bought for the week. i couldn’t go back to my mom’s like that. but i felt it in my gut — i felt someone telling me to leave.

lesson #1: always listen to your first mind, no matter how crazy you might look to everyone else.

i feel very protective of my dreams right now.

i’m not sharing with too many folks. that is, i’m not talking to anyone whom i know to be negative or whom i know for a fact doesn’t really know me. i can stare into a person’s blank face every day for nearly 4 years (like i do at work with some ppl) & know that they’ve no clue about how to treat me. & i am, for all intents & purposes, my dreams. whatever i conceptualize, whatever i decide to become, that’s me. that’s where i’m headed if i’m not there already. & if that person should treat my developing self poorly then how can i ever expect her or him to be good to me once i arrive at my destination? that’s got to be im-fucking-possible. i’m not buying that jack-nicholson-as-the-joker smile & hands open only to make mincemeat from my most tender parts.
my dreams are not meant to be picked apart or turned into a frankenstein monster by anyone except me. there will be no opportunities for detractors to take from me or lessen my potency. there is not any good reason for me to take my brand new dreams out of my pockets to show to/ share with any person who isn’t also nurturing a dream. & i don’t mean simply thinking of something to do with the rest of her or his life — i mean someone who is actively putting together the pieces of that one thing they’re meant (or are trying) to do w/ the rest of her or his life. i’m tired of being exposed to folks whose uncertainty about their own places in the world serves as a platform (or a castle tower) from where they pass judgment on everyone else’s situation. that mess is sickening, anti-productive, & a huge waste of my time.
in short, i’m not having this bullshit for much longer. it seems that there’s a grillion ways to take the piss out of the good thing someone else has got going, but not as many ways to push that good thing along. anyone who’s well versed in the pushing along & forward movement is welcome.
all others may fall by the wayside. period. i am speaking power to my situation, regardless of what anyone has to do or say about it.

addendum:
mel, post this on your mirror or something. happy birthday. stay motivated, beautiful, & strong. i love you to pieces.

i can’t call it.

she was like, “maybe there’s something he would like to say to you, since it seems you’ve got nothing to say to him.”

maybe. i mean, okay, i don’t think about or see you for months. then you pop up. like, through zero invitation/ effort of mine, i see you out in the street. i don’t waste my time speaking, because i don’t want to. i don’t wanna shoot you an email like “aaaaayooooooooo! i saw you. can we maybe try again to talk . . . this time w/ zero attitude or posturing?”
i might be she of the fucked up ‘tude for this, but i believe that once i give you a chance to converse w/ me & you turn it down you don’t deserve another chance. not unless i want to be bothered. when this happens, i don’t effin want to. & even months after that, i don’t wanna. i feel like it’s pointless & that it will rectify absolutely nothing for me. again, why consider you? that may be hella childish, but it’s my protection mechanism. it’s all i’ve got when i feel like someone’s kicked me in the shins one time too many. & at this point i don’t know if i wanna be a grownup about it. of course, it’s okay to say i do. & conversely, it’s fine to say that i don’t. but come the fuck on, dude; in the back of my mind the scenario plays out w/ you feeling like you’re the HNIC because i got at you first. i have issues that way; if we’re talking, we’re talking. it shouldn’t be about upper hands or one party standing in a position to control the other. i always felt like that was a big thing w/ you. maybe i was always wrong? this is what needs to be discussed. the mixed signals, the misunderstandings. let’s deconstruct these myths once & for all.
because i’ll be damned if i carry all this shit with me, on my shoulders, for the rest of my life.

this is a call to prayer, a call to action, a request for presence. i want to know that if i walk past you in the street, there’s no funky energy between us. hell, i wanna wish you peace & mean it. so let’s do that.

ashé.

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