’til you’re ready

'til you're ready

I thought I was over it.
It’s been years.
But, it’s not like it’s been years and I didn’t do shit about it.
No, I processed.
I grieved, lost my way, found the map and got back on the path.
(like a machine?)

I don’t want to cry, I tell her.
Like she’s expecting me to.
“That’s ok! You don’t have to. It’ll find its way up.”
(my jaw tightens)

No, but that’s the thing.
This ain’t my first time at the rodeo.
I’ve balled, girl.
Slobbered, face distorted and all kinds of ugly.
(I’m getting tired)

Continue reading “’til you’re ready”

the great unknown

Mohammed Ali

FADE IN: woman and man.

She: I was in a Uber car, well, really Lyft but you get what I mean. Jamal, my driver, 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 gulp of my piping hot apple cider, burning my mouth. And I pretended I didn’t hear him, 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]

I know damn well who I am. Why is it hard to say it, “Who me? Oh, sure, I’m an artist.” Or, “What do I do? I do greatness. I am greatness.”

Mohammed Ali would say “I’m the greatest,” so why can’t I?

[she laughs]

Continue reading “the great unknown”

good will

good will life changes

FADE IN:

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.”

mute but screaming

mute but screaming

FADE IN: two at lunch.

She: It’s like the texture of smoke.

He: Right.

She: You can see smoke even though it’s translucent.

He: K.

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.

FADE OUT.

taken

taken

I breathe.
It is tense, concerned and contracted.
It’s early, the air asleep.
We got broken into. The garage.
Jackie thinks, bonus! everyone’s up.

Dude, I don’t want to take you out for pee.
I don’t want to pick up your poo.
I don’t want to feed you.

I want to breathe.
Give me a second.

What the fuck happened?
How?
What?
When?

Holes in the skin, I feel violated.
Like a car crash.
Thank God it wasn’t the car.
Valuables, inventory, a guessing game of what was.

Jackie’s diarrhea is at the ready.
He paces in circles, tail anxious.
Come on people, he wants to say.

Stupid us.
It’s on us, all of it.
Hard not to point fingers.
But who fuckin’ cares?
Damage is done.
The lesson came too late.

Diarrhea out. Next step: food.
Jackie circles us expecting the normal routine.
As, well,
We stand like fixtures
Scratching our heads.
A fog in the brain.

third eye business

outta whack

FADE IN: friends over tea.

A: She said my chakras are outta whack.

B: All of them?

A: No, the one’s that count.

B: They all count.

A: The fuckin’ crown chakra and my third eye. My third eye, man! That’s the whole enchilada right there.

B: How bad?

A: Well, the crown is half closed and the third eye is completely shut.

A: Let me repeat myself: it’s fuckin’ shut.

B: Wow. That doesn’t sound like you.

A: You’re telling me! How the fuck do I open it?

B: Wait. Do you believe in that stuff?

A: Well, if you tell someone they’re shitty at something, it gets them going. Especially when you’re talking about the third eye business.

B: But what does that mean to you?

A: Fuckin’. I don’t know. Like God sits there or some shit. It’s serious business. God, I had a feeling, you know.

B: Come on.

A: I’m not fuckin’ playing. I had a feeling, it’s like I new it all along.

B: Okay, so what else did she say?

A: She told me to do this: [raising arms and speaking to the sky] “I SEE.”

B laughs.

A: [Laughing] Daily. Do it with me. [Arms stretched] “I SEE.”

B raises her arms.

A/B: I SEE.

 

FADE OUT.

 

you’re not alone

justin-bieber-by-david-black-for-complex-1.jpg

He’s just too much. It’s like I’m living with a teenager. And it’s really ethereal; he gets on your nerves in this really subtle, papercut way. Tiny actions that add up.
He doesn’t pick up after himself, he leaves the water filter empty, he puts his dirty runners on the couch, he never washes the dishes, he comes home past 2am drunk every night – you can hear him staggering into bed, reeking of cigarettes.

That part? I can tolerate that.
Hard to believe, but it’s true.
I can tolerate all of it.

It’s the subtle shit that makes me want to blow my brains out.
He never asks me how I’m doing, he never asks how my day went. He walks into a room, interrupts a conversation and starts talking about the failed connection he just had with this woman and that.
But get this.
He doesn’t see it as a failure; there’s a kind of delusions of grandeur happening. Time and time again, women have shown in their very mercurial, catlike, non-confrontational ways: they’re not interested.
So, why don’t you get it?
They don’t write back. They don’t call back. They ignore you. Broken promises. They say thanks but no thanks by not saying it.
Well…
That part would make me wanna blow my brains out too.
Women suck at communicating with the opposite sex. Period. Continue reading “you’re not alone”