why not?

She doesn’t say thank you.
It’s mindbloggling.
We took her to the moon and back, showed her the stars; live music, delicious eats, Nature, space, room to breathe, ears to listen, shoulders for padding — we have been the best hosts.
And yet.. no thanks.

How about:
Thank you for buying dinner.
Thank you for making me tea.
Thank you for driving me around.
Thank you for the company.
Thank you For. It. All.

I’m watching myself retract from her.
I’m watching myself not wanna care.
Something so simple.
Three words that make all the difference.
And yet.
Why am I so attached?
Why do I need that gratification? And so immediately?

I let it go for some months.
Let this new light fester.
And then..
Out of the blue, she reached out and asked what I wanted for Christmas
To say thanks for making her first West Coast visit one of her favorite memories.

I died.

dip your toe

Dip you toe

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.

[she smokes]

Continue reading “dip your toe”

four, five, eight

four, five, eight

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 OUT.

shoulda been me

shoulda been me

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.
What changed?
Who fucked up?
Who’s to blame?
Where did I go wrong?

Continue reading “shoulda been me”

God forbid some shadow

God Forbid Some Shadow

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.

FADE OUT.

An Open Letter From an Apathetic Customer

Mona Lisa

So you have an idea? A new product you’re launching? Something you want to sell me?

That’s wonderful! Tell me all about it…

No, just kidding. I don’t actually care.

You see, I have this thing called a life. I woke up this morning with my own set of dreams and responsibilities.

I didn’t wake up and start looking for you.

You’re an interruption. A distraction, at best, from my momentary boredom.

In fact, at this point the only reason we’re still having this conversation is because I shifted it from you back to me.

I do that a lot.

I like me.

I’m literally my favorite person.

Which is kinda funny when you consider all the mean things I say about myself. I’m complicated, but that’s a longer discussion.

Would you like to have that discussion?

I guess not because you’re still talking.

Wait, what’s that you say?

Your idea could change my life? Your product is the best in its class and you started it in your garage?

Wow, you’re just like me!

I have ideas, too, you know?

And I’m going to get to them one of these days. I’m just soooooooo busy. And bored.

I like that we’re similar. I like that we want the same things. But you seem to have what I don’t, and that makes me sad.

Continue reading “An Open Letter From an Apathetic Customer”

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.”