More than we’d like, we are always reminded of our station via a multitude of bullets. Let us add these to the wonders of the world and make change.
There was a time when I was Michael Jackson fan (and it was bad…parents, check your kids’ symptoms because had there been a Stan Intervention show back then, I and my broke down single glove would have been hooping and hollering not to have my Right On posters of the Juicy Jheri Gloved One taken away), that I would have actually considered buying Michael Jackson presents. If Tootie made Jermaine the clay bust that got melted in the water by security (check your Facts of Life knowledge), then why wouldn’t I go the distance and buy, gulp, Michael’s children some Pampers and a rattle? The only problem I would have foreseen was possibly that some other woman got his Thriller juice instead of me.
However, I’m grown now. Puberty cured me of the Stan crazy (gave me some other issues but that’s another blog).
If you can explain why oh why these dumb ass superstars (sometimes I use that term LOOSELY - that means you Tiny the Escape hobbit) ask their fans to buy them baby shit on top of buying their broke ass CDs (mainstream music sucks enough to blow the Titanic back up to the surface nowadays), then I might even add you, Dear Stranger, to my wedding Evite list someday. If your 2.0 remix, Faux Idol, doesn’t generate enough cheddar to get your kids some Happy Meals and A&D ointment, I suggest you join the legions of heroes down at the job bank.
Rethink yourselves, please. Thanks.
This blog wasn’t supposed to be an ode or anything. It was supposed to be about time warping on the internet having just found my high school alumni class has a website and we all look the same. But it’s turned into an “adios” because I’m headed back to LA with Scott. I’m humbled since I’m with someone who’s willing to change their entire known comfort zone to move with me somewhere brand new. It’s a blessing to have someone behind you just because they believe you can do anything you put your mind to, even when you don’t always believe that. New for me. So in true T. Tara fashion, we have an apartment already (the internet is the bomb but more about that later) and movers coming in the next few weeks. This time doesn’t feel so ripped from my comfort zone like when I left New York last time. My friends and I feel like family reinforced so there is no out of sight out of mind tricks I’m playing on myself this time. It is also quite awe-spiring that I’m with someone willing to give up their entire life as they know it to join me in a new one. However, I’m experiencing a lot of “firsts” with Scott so this doesn’t seem so farfetched in a way. Blessing de rigueur.
Permission to change my mind
I know I wrote a lot about my need for New York and missing home, etc. but a few things happened a long the way that changed things. The biggest is that I’ve allowed myself to say I can change my mind. I realized that I have a hard time giving in to that. Maybe it’s some wack debate training I had in high school or something where they teach you not to waiver. But life, as we all know, is different. And, as far as I know, we get a single shot at it so mind changing should be par for the course in order to seek the best in yourself. Can you imagine staying on the course you set out for yourself in like kindergarten just because you didn’t want to waiver? Jeez. What kind of mind trick was I doing to myself?
Anyways, things that have changed:
-the weather is not so much for me. That’s lame I know but listen, I grew up in Michigan and spent ten years in New York. Once you hit sunshine 365, you get spoiled and your blood thins. It’s a T. Tara Turk as Madame Curie fact. What’s the point in having fat on your thighs if you’re still cold? I see none. Also, as I get serious with Scott, I’m really not trying to be pregnant in the cold or the extreme heat (y’all New Yorkers know what I’m talking about - summer is out of control here).
-personal space. I need more as I get older. In the past month on the train I’ve had the following: an umbrella bust my clavicle, an old lady bash my shin with her bag (which I’m sure had a body in it)and a pregnant Meka-baby (that’s Detroit for chickenhead)curse me out because her bag bumped me. There were several smaller incidents but these are the ones that make you want to stop and throw your hands up in the air and look to the sky.
-apartments. Okay so I loved my apartment from Grad school until the day I left for Cali. It was eclectically mine. It housed many fond flings and delicious summer afternoons with a breeze blowing that made my heart skip a beat. It was my first real grown up place. I acquired a library, I cooked for boys, I redesigned my loft bed to be a She’s Gotta Have It-type of lounge luxury, I learned not to have value over material things given dogs don’t, I’ve moved into it myself, I’ve painted funky colors…and now, well, after having lived in first 800 sq. feet, then 600 sq. feet then 1200 sq. feet in LA, this apartment is TINY! Tiny and filled with holes and a fat mouse that freaks me out. I can’t find any sunshine and I’m tired of looking at a brick wall. It was a blessing and still is one since it became available to me when I needed it but the time has come (especially since the damn building is going condo and I wouldn’t buy that apartment if you gave me the money to do so – unless it came with a free demolition to start over) to break out. I live with a man who’s plus six feet and has more clothes than Banana Republic. The space we need is not in our means here in New York. I do appreciate the thigh workout from the four flight walk up though.
-the city, she’s changing. New York, like everything, is changing. I didn’t realize that it could. In my mind, this would always be the city of my young adult (still read “youth”) experiences. I thought that it would still be the city that housed Jessica’s apartment on Willoughby, home to many “grass roots” Kwanza celebrations and wayward artists, Marcella’s massive East Harlem apartment with a lush-lashed Ari joining us as we cut out pictures for our New Year’s wishbooks bouncing to the sounds of Hotel Costes and drums from DR by way of Africa coming in from the street, Marcella, Ari and I driving around the city like madwomen on a mission singing Teena Marie, the Indian spot where I fell in love with DL and then got my heartbroken when he dodged our friends passing by coincidentally because he didn’t want them to know we were together, seeing a one night stand on the train and pretending that my book (I was reading something I HATED I remember) was the most interesting thing in the world, dating a man old enough to be my father and unable to wrap my brain around why he couldn’t commit to me, hearing Ben practice his saxophone from outside my window since he lived around the corner and waiting for him to finish so he could make me a meal (Ben, you’re cooking at my wedding), playing midnight football with Ka’ramuu in Prospect Park, carrying a Christmas tree with Bea (and she’s maybe five feet to my five three) down 125th street, my school friends taking me to a restaurant in the West Village when I turned 21 and didn’t get carded but did get to have escargot for the first time, walking with my old co-worker Rich through Union Square and hearing a bum call the pigeons “New York chicken”, discovering the Kelly sisters didn’t have it in them to be my friends when I moved in with them, Yvonne and Sandy taking me to Wigstock my first week in the city, Jasiri showing me how a grown man asks a woman out on a date and becoming my brother later, being involved in my first gun point robbery at Sette Pani and being the only one to get a good look at the gang because I was sooo nosey (should I be putting that down? I doubt that guy has internet access but he does, “Just kidding, Mr. Robber!”), grabbing Eve coffee at Starbucks almost every morning and catching her IM with DL (as me) and call him a name, Eve’s daughter telling me that Pocahontas and her tribe eat on the floor because they want to catch food in case it drops, Kevin Carroll giving a bunch of us a ride home and making me laugh so hard that I decided to make out with him, Maritri finding the best chocolate randomly and getting kicked out of EJ’s because we were too loud, Jen and I dancing like Soul Train dancers at the Showtime holiday party without a care, giving my Dad my tour of Harlem.
There’s more but that’s my old city. It exists. Just not here amongst the Red Lobsters, Bubba Gump Shrimps, the new money college kids that aren’t interested in rebellion, the move to make this city an outdoor mall, Trump Towers as a chain, congestion fees, skyrocketing metro cards…there is a new city. And I have great memories of this one in this short time. Moving Ari to college in UHaul (man, that made me proud), making Maritri’s Monday night gigs my second home in the summer, Yvie and her boys crawling into my heart and settling there (specifically when a three year old GoGo, at the Sonia Sanchez reading in Central Park, turns and says to his father, “Isn’t this a great show, Corey??”), Omari’s 13th birthday party which was a loving soulful reunion of the wedding that drew people together years ago even if it didn’t last, rediscovering Kyle over sushi and loving that he has dad swagger now but the same beautiful soul as before, seeing Jean’s baby and actually enjoying the part where I got to play with him (you know some of us without kids just pretend we like your kids, parents. Sorry to tell you that but I’m sure you remember pre-kids yourselves), adoring Alexis and Shanda over dinners in places that Alexis chooses so lovingly and carefully out of the shear joy of our connection, Charlynn and I claiming Son Cubano as our own and then going on an amazing parallel journey of falling in love with our men together and, one of the highest blessings, praying to my father for guidance when Yaze and I broke up and finding the most amazing man right next to me. Scott has become a dream I didn’t know I kept having. Just when I thought I had seen the most romantic sides of me and this city, Scott appears and opens another door. I could list all the stuff that he has contributed to my new memory of this city but it’s long (ha! Like the above isn’t. So maybe I’ll give snippets: starting a date at 1pm and ending at midnight – talking and walking the city, being grabbed and pulled close on the subway, freezing together at a Yankee game, bathing together in a claw foot tub, being pulled back to bed in the morning for a “few more minutes”, having a Christmas crowd melt away at the 42nd Street Toys R Us just because he is calm, my hand being touched gently at every point in this city. It is unfair to list these things because when you are in love and are loved, I am sure sun shines on the very act of breathing).
So I’m allowed to change my mind. I’m allowed to think that perhaps the bigger picture isn’t an old me struggling on the train with a cane and watching new residents not offer me a seat. I’m allowed to know that I must visit this city and love it that way because, well, most relationships don’t last when you are day to day so why should a city be any different? I am allowed to reveal that I missed a time period more than a place, people more than a 212 area code and a young me as opposed to that present me that moved here, feeling unloved and unsuccessful. Now I feel like I can be me wherever I am and that me chooses some warm weather and birds chirping year round. It’s okay. LA isn’t bad for me anymore. It’s not superficial or desperate. It is a place that will afford new memories and give me flashes of subconscious things I enjoy (like remembering the intersection of 3rd and LaBrea for no reason). My old boss Sean said that he could live anywhere and when he said it to me, I knew that he was right. I think I had to leave in order to discover that about myself. It’s not where you go, it’s how you packed yourself.