FADE IN: a woman at the mic in a bar.
I just woke up one day and thought, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” It hit me like a ton of bricks. I wanted to kill my supervisor, is what I wanted to do. And the only reason why I haven’t already done so is cuz I can’t drive my new car in jail.
Yup, I shop.
I’m a complete consumer and I described that as poverty deprivation.
“I need that because it’s going to do something wonderful to my life,” or “Ooooooh, that’s shiny” or “Oh, I know that’ll come in handy one day.”…. and then that shit just sits there. The Amazon Echo Dot? Don’t get it. Waste of your time and money.
What I want is travel and to do things that don’t pertain to products.
I want experiences.
I want to face fears and follow my gut.
I want the Unknown, even though it scares the Holy BeJesus outta me.
But right now
I can’t because I’m always in poverty deprivation, buying and buying and buying.
There’s a calling inside of me.
I can feel it.
But the not knowing makes me cling to what is tangible, the little things that bring little comfort right now, and eventually finds itself in my garage.
In a box. With a box, within a box.
I’m 50 years old.
Someone is pressing fast forward on my recorder, man.
I feel a calling.
A tiny voice,
And I wanna bring that to life.
I need to think outside the box.
Get out of the garage inside my head.
Step away from my computer, and outside my door.
Take some Unknown steps.
Yup, that’s me.
Name: Christina A.
Occupation: Retirement Consultant.
Location: Glendale, CA.
I never thought to ask for a raise until I was in my 40s. It blows my mind cuz I gave 12 years of my life to that company. I learned a lot, don’t get me wrong; I’m still using some of those skills in my work today.
When I finally did a money awareness course, it dawned on me like a piano dropped on my head, that I had some major issues around money.
To begin, my family never spoke about money.
I mean, are you kidding me?
My father, may he rest in peace, had his some heavy shit around money.
I remember this one time when I asked him how much he made –
I mean, I might’ve just said, “How many times do you masturbate a week?”
He never answered me.
In my family, we never spoke about 2 things: sex and money – and we would probably speak first about sex before money.
In the early days of my company, I would write “Maybe you could send me the money you owe me / your invoice has been probably overdue by 30 days, blah blah.
Maybe, can I please, do you mind, that kinda shit.
To this day sometimes I catch myself writing those words.
But God created the delete button, and damn am I grateful.
FADE IN: Two women, one smokes.
A: I was in a Uber car, well, really Lyft but you get what I mean. The driver, Jamal, asked me what I do. I said nothing. No really, I said, “Nothing,” all nonchalant and shit. He took a second to understand, much like me, really, I mean who says that?
I said nothing. Ugh. What kind of despicable human, am I?
A week later, I’m at this yoga retreat and someone asked me again. I was just about to answer Nothing, when I stopped myself and took a sip of my organic hot apple cider, and pretended I didn’t hear them. Or maybe I pretended to react like I was still thinking about what we just talked about. I looked stupid, is all. Well, if I’m not sure what your intentions are I’m going to blow you off.
[beat, she smokes]
Why do I do that? I know damn well who I am. Why is it hard to say it, “Who me? Oh, sure, I’m an Artist, with a capital A.” Or, “What do I do? I do greatness. I am greatness.”
[she laughs, and smokes]
You know, Mohammed Ali would say that, “Who me? I’m the greatest.” So why can’t I?
B: You can.
Continue reading “dip your toe”
FADE IN: Anne Ferney (18) and Jaquila Gilmore (16) drinking Dr. Pepper:
A: And that’s when her mom started rattin’ around Wilkinsburg going around to people’s houses, “Is my son here?” I am, like, oh my god, I don’t want ever for our family to experience that. You could see in her face that she was scared.
J: My dad. First, he’s the first one to call me. And then my mom called me. And then my best friend called me and, I didn’t know what happened.
A: The news keeps sayin’ they had an Automatic AK and I’m just thinking it couldn’t be an AK cuz they kept hearin’ the shots go off so you know he kept pulling the trigger.
J: How you actually know that, just blew my mind but OK.
A: It sounds like first person let their clip go and the second person let their clip go. They say eight people got shot. Cuz first on the news they say, “Ok, four people got shot.” The next thing you know five people comin’ up dead. I’m like, yo, they just changed from four people shot, five people shot dead, eight people shot, like. And then they brought the little baby out, like, there was kids in that house. And one of the girls was pregnant. Basically, it was six people that died. If you want to be technical.
J: I don’t know who she is, but she was pregnant and she was shot. I’m like, this is cray-zy. I gotta get out the hood, cuz this is too much.
A: My senior year, I’m tryin’ to go to Florida cuz you can graduate with a trade.
FADE IN: neighbors staring into the sky.
…And, and I hate to be the bad guy [he leans in] but which neighbor has the brightest outside light? I mean. Come on! It’s brighter than a reading lamp. I told the girls, you know, they’re really sweet but they forget to turn it off all the fuckin’ time. They have guests over tonight so I’ll have to wait. But, man-oh-man. I wanna sleep, you know.
When I moved here 20 years ago, there was darkness. The ol’ school kind. The stars were everywhere, you could see the stars from the ocean. It was beautiful. Now with the whole technology thing, it’s like everybody wants light, God forbid some shadow. There are only 2 spots at the beach that stay dark if you want some star gazing: on the left after the parking lot and the Whaler where the pathway stops; and on the right, at the second parking lot near 23rd. Das it.
It’s slim pickin’s now. Those are my hiding spots.
He looks up.
Yeah…I miss staring into the night.
They look up.
You know, I put a chair in the heart of my garden just for star gazing. Its beautiful. It’s been a while since I’ve sat there but das cuz when’s the last time you’ve seen stars?
We look up again.
I’m sure Orion is somewhere up there.
Good Will Donations Center:
“It’s getting really bad out there now. I was on the 405 the other day, this truck was right up my ass. And, you know, I can get heated sometimes, my emotions can get the better of me. So he’s pushing at me. I ease the break a little and it shocks him, it causes him to hit his brakes even harder and step back a little. He looked furious. But you know, who knows what kind of guy he is. He can have a gun on him, you know. These days, you don’t know who’s behind a wheel and what they’re thinking, what their story is.
Two Thanksgivings ago, we lost our cousin to a shooting. He went with my other cousin to get a special ingredient for my mother’s turkey — it’s gotta be a specific brand, you know, the best of the best that truly saves the dish. So he goes to a supermarket that has a line of people waiting out front. And some guy runs right up and shoves himself in line before an older woman. This guy just pushes his way in, no acknowledgment of his behavior, nothing. My cousin tells the guy, in a gentle way ’cause he was always gentle like that, “Hey man, don’t do that. She’s an older lady and has been waiting in line for a while. Come on, man.” Now this guy goes into the supermarket, gets what he needs to, goes back to a car full of other sketchy guys. They drive around the supermarket maybe a couple of times until they see my cousin walking to his car. They drive up to him, wind down the window, bang-bang!, shoot him two times.
How can someone get over that, you know? It haunts me. But it also stops me from firing up as much these days, you know. My mother always told me, ‘Mijo, be patient. Let them do what they gotta do but don’t let them get to you.’ She was right. And I’m trying you know. I really am.”
FADE IN: two at lunch.
She: It’s like the texture of smoke.
She: You can see smoke even though it’s translucent.
She: That’s how it felt. It’s there but not.
He: Dark but translucent.
She: Uh-huh. I guess that’s progress, right?
He: I would say. It was way worse before…
She: I know… I still feel the darkness, though.
He: I’m sure that doesn’t go away. I mean, not right away.
She: It can get scary.
He: So, why don’t you call me?
She: I wanted to but for some reason, I couldn’t.
She: Weird how that happens; we’re mute but screaming for help.
He: I get it.