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.
I wanted to win.
It’s stupid and childish
I know, I get it.
And who fuckin’ cares, right?
But Got Damn It.
It was in the bag!
All bets were off.
On the tip of everyone’s tongue,
“And the winner is…”
Like synchronized swimmers, ME!
What. The. fuck.
Who fucked up?
Who’s to blame?
Where did I go wrong?
Continue reading “shoulda been me”
Writing from the car
Sun is shining the weather is sweet (queue music)
I am parked among the wealthy, the exuberant, the luxurious.
Why does this always feel so foreign to me?
Oh, that’s a bigger question for another cocktail.
I have a few minutes, and the only thing I want to do is – touch
Hand to heart
Close my eyes, and
Anchor into me.
Can materialistic overwhelm disconnect you from you?
They say it’s true.
I say that it does.
I find myself unchained and segregated, searching for my anchor.
Physical proof of value and entitlement
The statues, the sprawling greenery, the dream of…
The world loves this shit and I am torn and yet curious by it
Why isn’t it easy?
I look at my basic car
My simple keyboard that connects to my, yes, luxurious phone
I look at my leather bag, authentic jewelry, Nike shoes, American citizenship, and on.
When you look at me, my life is not far off from that.
The abundance I take for granted
I toss to the side as I look for the next
Hey there, 6am
Your atmospheric yawn,
changing the backdrop of cobalt blues
to oranges, reds, and flaming yellows as our glorious sun wakes.
Oh, auspicious time
Celestial by nature
Your possibilities are endless
Miracles of the street-level kind
Oh, 6am masters,
I welcome you.
Here is the gift of another day
An invitation to witness the subtle, the marvelous
Oh, vulnerable eyes, stay awake!
Glorious mind, don’t lose sight.
So precautious in these challenging times
Mind, you are Distraction’s favorite feast;
Like a royal elephant,
that loses itself at the sight of a rodent,
don’t be swayed, old friend,
remember your strength.
The jungle is thick and relentless
Remember this here, the sweetness of 6am.
All at once,
Hours of waiting and staring out into the tarmac abyss.
(apparently that gives the brain a break)
My eyes seem to drift into the thoughts and experiences the heart and brain have not processed.
Coffee (which I don’t drink) in hand
Bread (crumbs everywhere) on lap and in mouth
Peanut butter (hard to come by here) wedged between teeth.
I look around at my fellow travelers, and think about my innards.
Body rested and yet tired, all at once.
Funny how duplicitous life can be.
I yawn, my eyes like oil paint.
What does it mean to get to know a country?
Is it the food, gifts, tour guides and destinations?
Is it spending quality time with the locals?
Sitting in a park, map and camera away, and observing?
Is it – click! – social updates of Look at me! moments?
Can you say you’ve had your fill?
These worldly experiences speed past like the abruptness of an alarm.
And do you return?
Vidal, our driver, asks us as we approach the Departures zone.
Please say you have,
It’s a long way back.
How time flies…
Last year we had an extraordinary, out of the ordinary, holiday season. Check it out below:
No holiday food.
No other homes.
Lots of invitations.
This year we are at home.
This year we welcome a new member to the family so simplicity is key.
This year things are unconventional.
Am I sad? Probably not.
Am I missed? Probably not.
Am I forgotten? Probably not.
Continue reading “it’s been a year…”