Today is my pa’s birthday and he would have been sixty one years young (hence his nickname for himself: Dear Young Dead). I am not sure how or when one stops counting years that a loved one would have had in the event they were still living but I’m not even sure I want to know that information. My Pops was cool on birthdays. In fact, he only thought them great for his loved ones. Every year I would get some type of teddy bear, mostly from Build-A-Bear and I couldn’t even tell you when this started. I don’t even know if that’s what he got my brothers but I know that me and my bears are having a hard time today.
I woke up deciding that I would be the person he would want me to be today: happy. But somewhere along the way, possibly between coffee and flossing, I wanted to call his number and sing “Happy Birthday” off key like I used to. But I couldn’t. My brother and I joke that we like to text each other most during the hardest times. So I’m working up the nerve to text him right now. I can’t even call my dad’s girlfriend anymore because I breakdown when the phone starts ringing, knowing that her voice will be wavering too when she finally answers. My mother seems to have a hard time all the time so I find zero solace over there. I have my Girls with Passed Fathers crew but we all just hold the phone and nod in silence, knowing there’s not much you can say on days like this. We do try to lovingly mumble a few words like “ohh honey!” but then that’s about as far as we can go because, for once, we are stumped.
I went running this morning. I decided to start trying to do that some time before my dad died when I was in LA and was missing him so I needed something else to connect me when the phone wasn’t enough. I used to ride my Pink Panther bike beside him as he jogged around his cul de sac in Southfield. Once I tried to run with him and almost died. My lung almost came up. I’ve gotten better though I can only do sprinting intervals on the treadmill but I’m up to 6.4 miles an hour which is something I never thought I would reach. Sometimes when I want to quit, I see my dad, sweating like he was in volcano, wiping his forehead with a wet washcloth and picking his drenched Adidas t shirt from his body as he slowly chugged along down the street. Today I figured I would not lay in bed longer, just in case he wanted to run through me.
On the way from the gym, I saw a dad with his son riding on his shoulders and I got a little jealous. I am, of course, too damn big to ride on someone’s shoulders but I did get reminiscent from the view up there. Remember how you thought you were as tall as a building when you were riding on shoulders? Remember the delicious slight feeling of danger lest you lean back to far? Remember knowing you’d be caught so there really was very little danger?
My dad was my dad before Thomas Turk completely got fired from the job. When I was four and my parents had really just started dating, I knew I loved my dad early in when he was the first one of my mom’s boyfriends to ever take interest in me and my “Dukes of Hazard” obsession. Then one day he picked me up from school and I ran straight to him shouting “Daddy” in my alphabet sweater and he did not flinch. He just laughed and picked me up. Deal sealed. I did visit Thomas Turk after that but I really don’t ever remember him being around so much as my stepmother, Sandi, was the one holding fort down in Azusa, California since her family paid for Tom to run his store in the mall. Clothing store. Of course. Men’s clothing. Of course. Weird knowing half your DNA comes from a dude named Tom. Anyway, Sandi had a daughter named Tanya, my sister. She was adorable and biracial and unable to complete sentences. Inevitably, the failures of Tom would lead to he and Sandi divorcing and Sandi going on with her life, taking my sister with her. The only connection I ever desired from that bloodline is my sister. I thought it would be cool to have one since I was raised an only child and what could be better than doing all the Barbie voices yourself? Having a sister to do them! Except it never worked out that way. Sandi stopped sending her famous long letters, her borderline obsessive monogrammed trinkets, her photos of what happened when I didn’t visit. After Tom missed my flight and didn’t mention it to my parents the last time I went to see he and the gang, my mother and father decided that he wasn’t really responsible enough to let me visit anymore. No worries for me. I was six or so and had discovered racism while living that summer in Azusa. Even back then I knew I could do without racism. But then I didn’t anticipate not ever hearing from Sandi again.
When I got older, the story I heard is that Sandi and Tom started having an affair when my mom was still married to him. My mom had a nervous breakdown so she took me and we moved to Cleveland, into my grandparents house. The divorce papers Tom served her were received by my grandfather who never liked Tom in the first place. My mom broke down further. There were stories of committing her but she likes to say that the responsibility of me brought her back amongst the living. I used to think that was one of those Winfrey Tall Tales her family is known for but when I left to go to college and she went even crazier, I think she just might be telling the truth. My dad was kind and used to say that she just had a tougher time than most people. Back then I would think, “No Dad, Nelson Mandela? THAT’S a tough time.” But I never said it out loud.
When I moved out to Cali, one of my goals was to find my sister. That was going to be hard given Sandi’s new husband had adopted her. But Tom reared his crazy head once and gave me their new last name. Because I’m the worst pack rat ever (well, not ever because the city has never had to come in but Scott can tell you that I have hard time putting papers and stuff in the garbage), I couldn’t find Tom’s email until a few days ago. Now, with the advent of Google, I got excited and Googled her. Sandi Lehnhard is now a librarian at some Christian school in Ontario. She and her husband Steve won a trip off of Rick Steves travel site once and I got to read all about their winding trip through Ireland. There is no mention of my sister. I emailed Sandi but haven’t heard back. My sister is barely Google-able. She’s twenty eight now and probably wouldn’t be so interested in Barbie voices. That might be just as well because I have no idea who she is and blood doesn’t make you close automatically. This has been obvious to me since my dad and I chose each other because that opened to door to so many family members I have that have nothing to do with my blood. Without my dad, I wouldn’t have known the joy of choosing your family. In fact, the renewed desire to find this mystery chick who knows less about me than that trainer at the gym who keeps stalking me for a session might have something to do with the fact that there isn’t anyone who can bring him back. That’s a fait accompli.
I’ll leave you with this as welll as great picture of my dad and my brothers because I realize today also that I sure don’t have enough pictures of me and him:
As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary- Ernest Hemingway.
Larry Ray Robinson and the boys
I can be as cynical as the next young black person about voting upon our discovery of the Electoral College (Google some shit) and what happened down in Florida when Bushy aka Alfafa beat Waldo aka John Kerry. But listen, there is something beautiful in this visit that Barack did to this barbershop in South Carolina. Beyond the man, it is the people. All this talk about who’s in the political bed with who and the dirt being slung across the faces of those who are really feeling the pinch should really amount to doing what you believe. Everything else is misc.
I know the air is stuffy in church. Believe me, my grandma handed out gum not because our breath stank but so we could stay up sometimes. But if your wife is running, you better pop a can of Red Bull and get the holy ghost correctly:
I know I’m talking a lot about Scott and my new relationship now but I promise two things:
1) I won’t make you vomit with the stepfordness of it all. Even if I feel stepford, you will not know. Ha.
2) I do NOT think I’m an expert. You know those people who achieve one or two things in their lives and then all of a sudden they feel like they could be on a panel? That ain’t me. I don’t know how I got to be able to write, fall in love with a good man when I wasn’t looking, put my jeans on every day, don’t fall out from grief over my dad, navigate the poor pedestrians of this city without going crazy or be nice to people who are nicenasty or mean to me.
I’m not sure how people get shit done. I thought maybe if I moved back to New York, the muse would take me away like Calgone. And he/she has. Except he/she likes to party all the time and between this one and, well, life, I’ve found that there aren’t enough hours in the day. I have fantastic two pager pieces that require me suffering through that mountain of literary bullshit that sometimes turns into creative genius and other times just acts as a nice Raider’s Of The Lost Ark bridge until I get to the next good part. I need some more time in the day to cross the bridge.
Except I’m enjoying living lately. This weekend, Scott and I had big plans of purging and putting up shelves. Friday we fell asleep after an emotional week. Saturday morning I got to tear up even MORE paper (my fingers can tear in their sleep, I swear) to throw away. Some of it was Yaze’s old stuff but I tear because I am afraid of identity theft. Then there were pictures and old writing and napkins with poems and programs and hair (my old dreadlocs, that might freak you out but I’m scared somebody might grab them and put a spell on me - don’t say it can’t happen until it doesn’t)all trapped in bins. My back hurt, I got cranky, the Vets didn’t show up to pick up the clothes and Scott decides that he needs to go to Pathmark to buy a lot of stuff I haven’t had since I was ten (they still make canned corn by the way - who knew?). And then he told me that I was sexy. And all the cranky melted. Not just because some guy told me but because it was a guy in the trenches with me who understood that my life is doing a regular roller coaster (Steve Martin in the “The Parenthood” was on this morning and boy does his grandma give a good albeit cliche roller coaster life monologue) and he just wants to soften the down part and soothe the up part.
Then we have a good fight because men are cranky when you wake them up from naps and I had to because we were going to se….TRINIDAD VS. JONES! I’m new to boxing. Last time we saw Cotto vs. some body black and the Nuyoricans went wild when their man beat the black guy and we all decided to pretend we were Puerto Rican to make sure we got home safe. Kidding. Kinda. This time, after telling me that fighting doesn’t mean he doesn’t love me (it’s new, guys, I don’t need a lot of reassuring but you don’t know early if there’s a back out clause in some body’s love for you so I never get too comfortable), we got into the fight with our friends. I love when men get together and talk sports. I love it when women are around to smirk and laugh at what they say. This is not to say I don’t like women who don’t know sports. On the contrary. I just like men to be the show sometimes so we women can sit back and see what the hell comes out of their mouths when they get a rhythm going. After four million mini fights prior (okay, Scott, we could’ve slept in an hour or so more), we get to Roy and Tito in the ring.
Sidebar: we saw Dog The Bounty Hunter and his wife arrive. That’s a lot of product in that bleach blond beach straw there boy. We saw Don King whom I’m told was the reason Tom and Patrice Turk went to Cali some thirty four years ago, thus me being born there. But I have an issue with the Winfrey Family Tall tales. Sometimes they lie. Also, apologies to all of you who came out in your furs, your knee boots, full make up, gold chains, baller hats, stink pink gators, etc. since I was just in jeans. I just can’t ever think getting dressed for a fight could compare to the one time, barely able to tell my colors from each other, I helped my mom get ready for the Hearns vs. Sugar Ray Robinson fight in Detroit so many many many years ago. All else pales.
Roy Jones is fun. Through the man rattling, I hear that he was in the Olympics, that he had to bulk up to fight this guy since everyone else in his previous weight category was no match, that he has some almost grown sons, something about Michael Vick needing to go to Oakland and a lot about some people I don’t know. Roy Jones was fun. He danced. He pounded his chest. He was entertaining. Some of the guys around us said he was TOO entertaining but I had a ball seeing him include us into his fight. Nothing would ever compare to seeing somebody like Muhammad Ali, I’m sure, and I regret not being born a little earlier to see it. I also couldn’t help but wanting to time travel for five seconds (before they found out what color I was and tried to lynch me) back to the 30s where the fights were held in a small white box with seemingly millions of dark masses focused on that bright small area and the crowd roaring.
1) Why do we have two anthems singing if one opponent is from Puerto Rico and the other is from here? If you don’t need a passport to get there, why separate?
2) Do people give a shit about ring girls now? I’m wondering cause I do remember my mom wanting to be one back in the day…wondering about the future in number holding.
3) How come Roy Jones has a rap group of his very own to introduce him? There were more people in that ring then the Garden. Okay, maybe not really but it did seem like it.
Roy won. He didn’t hit much but when he did, poor Tito’s knees buckled. I have to hand it to Tito though. He sure did hit with consistency…like an annoying little brother. Everyone watching though was wondering if there were enough hits for Roy at the end of the day to win. He spent too much time dancing, the said. Well, Roy did inspire me. He had enough hits at the end of the day. I felt inspired.
The next day we attempted the shelving but first rearranged the living room. Whereas before when I moved here, I unpacked like a demon to make this place comfortable for somebody who wouldn’t show for the long haul and also didn’t really notice the hard work when they came to visit, this time we rearranged slowly. Now it looks like a living room. Some people are better at some kind of feng shui that I am not. I am a pack rat and clutter bunny. With great guidance, Scott was able to show me a few tricks that would make life a bit easier. But he still won’t do dishes. You can’t have everything.
When we get to the closet, it’s night time and the dumb drill won’t go very far in the wall. I curse The Container Store people and their “It’s easy” reassurances. Scott laughs at me and makes me see all the stuff we did do in the day. A living room, a rearranged bedroom (we tried to have a plan B but ended up with a better functioning bedroom) and several bags of shit out of the apartment. He wouldn’t let me keep all the grumpies I wanted to keep for the day. There had to be enough acknowledgements for the stuff we did do or else I was being selfish. It is really new, I must say, looking at someone who is macho and stubborn tell me that we need to be happy with what we’ve done. I expect it always to be the other way around. I’m the cheerleader but I guess it’s true: save the cheerleader, save the world. Ha.
So with all that, life is happening and so the typing doesn’t happen so much. And then you get these long rambling blogs I post (thanks for all the compliments on the last one! That was a hard one to post!)because I don’t have enough literary glue in me to stick these kind of words to some fiction to make them work. Not right now. There’s some process they have to go through first.
Lastly, today, I could a pinch more of good news. Harlem World and working with Kenji in that project isn’t happening anymore. He got shafted. But he is offering to work with me on crafting my column and shopping it. The sucky part is that I really did want to parlay the column into a strong marketing plan for self publishing my novel. Back to the drawing board. Except there’s plenty enough life in the day, moving around and causing me to get a little dizzy sometimes.
This week is Daddy-O’s birthday. On the 24th, please give a shout out to my papa.
Like most people who pretend not to like gossip, I have a few sites that I check more than my bank balance. Dlisted.com, crunktastical.blogspot.com, bossip.com, people.com and of course perezhilton.com. My bank gets more clicks than Sandrarose.com but that’s okay though because her site doesn’t go too long without seeing me on the regular.
Everyone is talking about the break up of Eddie Murphy and Tracey Edmonds. Lots of speculation is circulating on Eddie’s possible DL status, Tracey’s refusal to be bitched out by him in public, Eddie’s demands that Tracey come to the breakfast table DRESSED (out of all of those things, this would be the ONE impossible feat for me if I was interviewing for that gig. My dad’s coffee maker is the only thing that can get one of my eye’s open in the morning and that’s only if that machine is brewing! I wonder if Eddie comes to the breakfast table DRESSED and made up….). I have no idea if any of this is true. I don’t even know if Johnny Gill really lives in his house like “Charles in Charge.”
There’s only one thing I know for sure.
We will never hear the real story. Or even the funny kinda real story. You see, I think we forget that Eddie used to be a stand up comedian. In fact, his stories of “goonie goo goo” and “mama burgers” may have melted into his attempts towards being like Bill Cosby in “Leonard Part 6″ (eeek! talk about punishing kids for buying sneakers…put that bad boy in the DVD player and everybody will go run and do homework instead)save for a few funny exceptions like “Boomerang” and “Bowfinger”. At least we knew when Richard Pryor set himself on fire, he was about to hit the road and tell his story way better than “Entertainment Tonight” ever could. That sure doesn’t happen now.
This leaves me with a burning (well, simmering) question: why is Eddie running from stand up?
I heard it’s a very hard thing. It even made Kramer dude turn into a crazy racist rambling idiot who had possibly sipped a Jonestown kool-aid cocktail prior to hitting the stage. And you do have Chapelle and Dane Cook doing desperate marathons like Jane Fonda in “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” I mean who wants to laugh for twelve hours straight unless there’s a larger problem we’re trying to avoid (and no, that problem is NOT the “Cloverfield” monster or Unfitney and Pap Lover)?
I for one miss the days of sneaking up to the attic and listening to Richard Pryor, Moms Mabley and Redd Foxx records, while my cousin Renee sat guard (she didn’t speak full sentences yet anyway). We have nothing really to replace that. Nobody gets dressed up to go hear anybody do comedy like they used to when Richard hit the stage. Eddie gave us hope and we even applauded his red leather suit while he did it. What happened?
With the rise of his movie career that seemed terribly suspect some how in his desperation to give Sly Stallone a run for his testasterone money, he broke up with stand up. I could care less about Tracey “Babyface Barbie” Edmonds because she’s totally going to be alright. I don’t really foresee any burning mansions or vindictive films about a suspect actor/comedian with a strep throat laugh coming to the screen anytime soon. It is Eddie I worry about. Once a man invents “Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood” and does a whole event around who shot Buckwheat, I am concerned when his biggest funniest feat is trying to convince us that he is actually okay with this sloppy show of a marriage bust up. I was more convinced with him being the white guy on SNL.
I told somebody yesterday that I don’t often post blatantly about my personal life and that’s true. If you’re a close friend, you probably can read between the lines of my “commentaries” like you had t.tara glasses on. But today will be different. Today is a day I feel like popping the cork because a lot is going on and, well, a writer should be somebody who bleeds their business every once in a while so we don’t appear to be intellectual hypocrites who dissect everybody else’s work but our own (isn’t that right, Scott?).
Anyways, some of you know that Yaze and I broke up back in November after a long time in coming. Starting off with the fact that we both kept asking each other to be two different people even though there was love there, it also didn’t help that we were in different stages of our lives. While I hit the 212 ground running, he was still chillin in the 323 with varying time lines of when he was going to join me here, grab the mics at the clubs here and fulfill his dream of being a singer/songwriter while I wrote the play de resistance after the NYC muse seduced me with her subway aka iron horse charms.
After our trip to Europe in July to witness our friends Vince and Shemby get married along the Tuscan skyline, I realized that we probably weren’t destined to be together long. Our trip, which I imagined to be a romantic jaunt through three different cities (London, Paris and Florence), was actually a tense platonic backpacking trip where we actually took real luggage and no backpacks (you try carrying a suitcase up some stairs at a train station in Italy and see if you can still do a Von Trapp dance). Instead of curling up to each other, Yaze romanced “Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Riding” and his Sidekick (that was a nice roaming bill we got later). And I tried to look past the rain in Paris, control my giggles when we stayed at the hotel that was in the original “Truth About Charlie” with Cary Grant, contain my disappointment at not being able to see a show at The Old Globe in London and wonder why I felt like I was completely unattractive to my fiance. Oh and I finished “High Fidelity” because Nick Hornby always makes the medicine go down in the most hysterical way. But you can’t read a funny book every minute. There were great moments. The double decker. The stars and the villa in Arrezzo. The sidewalk cafe in Paris. There was also Yaze telling the whole wedding that Vince, because he was marrying Shembi (and boy was that a romantic wedding!), was in a place Yaze was so not at yet. Somehow I felt like a kid sister in three of the most romantic places I’ve ever seen. I’m not saying that’s his fault but I am saying that’s how I felt.
When we got back to NYC, Yaze FLED to LA and I took my engagement ring off. He sighed a breath of relief (he told me that).
Those few months he stayed there had me really diving into myself. It’s odd because my apartment now is the same one I had when I originally lived here so sometimes I would wake up and have a Pam Ewing moment like “Did I really live in LA?” but most times I was just lonely. And then I got to know myself. I hung out with my old friends (ten plus years is really a sign of commitment. Yaze, you were right because these girls have been with me for a long time) and found a level of happiness in my solitary state. I didn’t wake up feeling tense and wondering which mood my mate would have after I finished my coffee. I was surviving and going to movies by myself and reading lots of books and seeing lots of good music. And laughing.
I would like to thank him and Charlynn for coming to my reading at the Hip Hop Theater Festival. They weren’t that close to me and, let me tell you, when a person comes to your play reading, it’s a big deal. It’s a hard thing to sit through since there’s no movement and all you have is some actors, sitting, reading your words. For me it’s a roller coaster; for an audience member, it’s like a bedtime story. But they sat through it without wanting to kill themselves and that meant a lot. Just like the fact that Marcella comes to virtually every one of my events like a trooper and I still appreciate it as much as if it were the first time.
Back to Scott.
As a self-professed layman, he was really just a cute guy with funny jokes and a strong work ethic before the reading. He was a friend who could lighten any situation, someone I found myself looking forward to seeing. After that reading though, I realized I had a crush on him. Rarely do men in my life come and support my work: I’ll say that out loud (except for you, MKy)with no problem and no shame. Yaze is naturally ambivalent about most things so it wasn’t personal when he didn’t call after the reading to find out how things went or when I’d give him stuff to read and it would sit around for a long time (there’s a great article in this month’s Glamour magazine from the author of the novel “Jarhead” about his slow separation from his wife. The work growing fungus on a lover’s desk is a familiar theme.); it just felt like it was personal. Few of the men I’ve ever dated have taken an interest in my writing. That’s just a fact. I couldn’t tell you why or the logistics behind it but it’s a truth I’ve had to carry for awhile. Scott is different. He had comments and thoughts and ideas about my little play (that still needs a ton of work - but Kamilah Forbes and her direction helped a great deal). A way to a writer girl’s heart is through her scribbled pages.
And we hung out. It was fun. No pressure. He looks at me in a way that makes me feel like I’m a hot blooded woman straight out of a Tennessee William’s play (not the “The Glass Menagerie” - that passion is too understated for my current state - more like Maggie The Cat from “Cat On a Hot Tin Roof”). Our conversations were like a long less traveled road that stretched out into the horizon. It was as if when I prayed to my father upon moving to New York about what to do with my life, he answered with Scott. There is a familiarity in the two men. Strong work ethic. A very simple sense of right and wrong. Tremendous ability to carry responsibility. Honesty. Appreciation of good character and beautiful things. A strong understanding of themselves.
I will tell you I had no idea that this would lead to anything. I just had a crush. He wears suits and nice watches and has conservative ideas. I’m a dreadloc’d, nose ring wearing crunchy granola girl who has pretty liberal ideas about most things, including the name Apple. His type never falls for me. And if I was going to have an artist, I would have stayed with Yaze. So I did not see where my heart was leading.
After my break up, Scott gave it to me plain: he wanted to be with me. You can call me crazy for taking him up on that idea (some of my friends think it’s “a bit soon” - in that voice that sounds very Usher Board) but life is so short. That’s what my dad’s passing taught me. I took this idea of “us” apart and put it back together again and couldn’t find any chinks in the armor that would prevent me from remaining happy. I was giggling like a school girl. The sound of his voice made my stomach drop. I smiled when I spotted him anywhere. I couldn’t stop looking at him. I wanted to know what he thought about everything. We emailed back and forth all the time. I was blushing all the time. He sent me loving texts, told me to my face all the time how much he loved me…I saw no wavering. I just saw his sparkly eyes. As corny as it sounds, I dreamed this kind of relationship when I was a girl. Not the Barbie stages but the one after that where you try to reconcile who you are with your hormones and where you think you belong in life. I had a dance teacher, Mrs. Johnson, who was just like I think I am now - nose ringed, artistic, strong opinoned - and she married a lawyer. I used to think that was the best combo ever. She was probably really fun for his boring lawyer friends and he was probably the proudest person amongst her arty friends. I think I believed opposites attract. This time around I’ve learned that I was only talking about opposites on the surface. At the core, I feel like I’ve found a kindred soul with Scott. We have a lot in common even though we don’t look like it. We like, love and are in love. It’s like winning some kind of emotional lottery.
Things move fast.
Yaze is going to have a baby with a girl he once came home raving about. Let me explain. Because Yaze loves trees and grass (all grass hehe) and the soul and sunshine, he can see the beauty in most people. And then just be ambivalent about it all at the same time. He met a girl through friends and came home talking endlessly about her personality and how she wasn’t being treated very well by somebody else he knew. In the back of my mind, because (as he says), I’m pretty well adjusted (actually he says I’m too well adjusted for him and I agree), I had a flash that if there was no me, he would have asked her out. But then there was a me so nothing happened. Later I would dissect this and be sad that there was a me in the way because he was only respecting what was already at home, not doing some revolutionary act of “I LOVE T.TARA!” No, he was just going with the routine of the girl at home. Anyways, when we broke up, he asked her out and now they will be having a baby, God willing, in August or September. I pray for the baby and am happy that this happened because now Yaze has no choice but to be in control and I was never the girl who could drop her control long enough to see if he could pick up the slack. I was too afraid we would be fucked. I can admit it. But I had reasons. He hated working. Always complained when he was working. Found out how not to work and then didn’t. When I thought of us having a baby, I saw me at the job until my water broke. May not be true but that’s what I saw. I send them love.
But in my own situation, I see that I need Scott around and I have no problem with that need. I can function quite well on my own. I wish I could be that kind of girl vampire of Anne Rice novels who can disappear for months at a time from her loved ones and just ponder. But that’s not me. I’m the girl who relishes love and human contact. I like touching people I love on the hand or by hugging them. We cannot do this when we are dead. It’s a bonus to have somebody near you who makes you feel as loved as you feel for them. The same page. I’ve never landed here before completely. I may have scanned it once but I never took the time to curl up to it like I used to with my Gabriel Garcia Marquez books. I hope Scott moves in by February. We’d said March but we also notice that we may not be able to wait that long. You say what’s the hurry and I say a multitude of things. Death for one. I don’t want to waste one minute of my life not doing something out of fear. I want to go to bed every night in his arms, fingers tangled together, his lips on my ear and I want to wake up to that face saying, “Good morning, you” and kissing my shoulder. I know the newness comes and goes and comes again (my newly married friend Kamilah tells me that) but as long we stay committed to what we know we have, I’m okay with that. I’ve never really been with a man before who demonstrates how important that is to him. I am not competing with anything else in his life and we both stand strong in our committment to each other. No prompting, prodding, wondering, waiting, game playing…this is like, real.
Scott is the man I never knew existed and I am having a great time introducing him to the t.tara that I’ve been putting on a shelf for awhile. It is so funny (such a dumb word - funny - to use in this instance but I’ll switch it after I think about this blog for a minute maybe. I’m freestyling right now) what you find when you aren’t looking. Scott and I talk all the time about not having words for what we’ve found in each other but we’re both committed to spending our lives trying to articulate it.
Meanwhile, this bleed is happening because of that love but also because my dad’s birthday is in 13 days (bittersweet since mine is Monday. 34! Wowser! Wasn’t I just five and running to my Daddy-O’s arms when he picked me up from school? That was yesterday, right?) and it was hard to wake up to the fact that I could not call him and tell him I had a man I wanted him to meet. I wish they could have had dinner together so they could talk about life, sports, travel, family…anything. My brother will be meeting Scott in February and he’s close but a girl needs her dad. I know my Dad is here with me right now but as I’ve mentioned before, there is nothing like hearing his voice or going to visit him in Southfield, waking up at noon to coffee, going backyard tomato picking followed by an afternoon drive down Jefferson in the Lexus, all to the sound of Boney James. I can report to you that it may get less, this pain us children of those who have passed feel, but it doesn’t leave. If you are new to this, you may wonder, as I did, whether you will forget the sound of their voices or the smell of their clothes and you don’t. If you do, it’s not for long. Sometimes these things fall on your head like the screw that came out of the blue that I needed for my car (thanks Dad). I told you I believe in ghosts because I really desperately need to know that my dad is here and did not leave me on this earth to vanish completely. My dad would have turned sixty this year. Next year he could have walked me down the aisle (yes, I think that’s where we’re headed - it’s where I want to head with Scott!) and I could have danced with him at my wedding. But I will settle for that dance we shared at my brother’s wedding. And I will picture him on my arm when the time comes.
Also, this morning, on my way to the train, I get an email from my dear friend Tasha, who has faced a few tragedies in the past few months, telling me she’s faced another. The death of her aunt. Tasha is so strong because she has gone through things that I cannot wrap my head around. I wanted to pray for her because I feel like I could do some good doing so. So this is for her.
Finally, Marcella’s mom is back in the hospital and the ambiguity surrounding her illness is such a heartbreaking thing to watch my schwellie (private name) go through. She too is strong and she is also a member of the Passed Father club (along with Jen, Jessica, Alexis and Eve). I wanted to give her strength too.
So the reason for this bleed is because my heart is wide open today. I found it necessary to post love because it seems necessary for us all. Mark Twain said the only way to cheer yourself up is to cheer up someone else. I’m not sure if I’ve cracked any jokes or was especially witty but I gave you truth and I really gave you myself.
I know a lot of you are popping out seeds this year and may be running out of places to bring the kiddies or can’t afford the greenery that Dis and the Crew try to charge. Well, look no further!Here’s a trip that will teach those bad kids a thing or two about the quality of life we have here in this country.
You have to know I’m bullshitting. This is what happens when you start using breakdancing to sell Visa cards on tv.
Theme park’s ’slave for a day’ event
Thursday, January 3, 2008
A theme park where visitors ‘play’ the role of a slave could soon be a reality for guilt-ridden Europeans wanting to come to terms with their ancestors’ brutality.
Memory Village will allow visitors to be bound and tortured at a resort in Haiti, which was a slave nation before becoming the world’s first black republic.
Tourists can play the part of a slave for 12 hours, in which they get a feel for the hardship endured in the Latin American country more than 200 years ago.
They can choose if they want to be spectators or participants. If they take part, they will be given traditional African clothing and then ‘kidnapped’, chained and forced to march to a slave ship in a mock crossing of the Atlantic.
They will then be part of a re-enactment where slaves were taken to market to be sold and later broken down with uktorture in quarantine and put to work on a plantation.
Towards the end of the 12-hour stay, visitors will take part in a recreation of the slave rebellion which eventually led to the establishment of Haiti.
Americans Ron and Carla Bluntschli, who are behind the project, have set up a foundation to get Memory Village off the ground and have already raised enough money to buy half the land needed for their attraction.
Mrs Bluntschli said: ‘Slavery is a terrible wound. Germany is still suffering trying to get over the Holocaust, and this is a Holocaust that happened for centuries.’
The couple, who have lived in Haiti for 22 years, need $700,000 (£350,000) in total to complete their theme park.
Okay, I kept you waiting long enough:
Are you finding current soap operas so boring that you want to pull a Ralphie and wash your mouth out with soap? Never fear! Oyin Drive Thru is here!
Anxious for Part II? Coming soon….