Friday, December 31, 2004

No aquaintance forgotten... Hello 2005

2005 Posted by Hello

Another year whisking by like the high winds that we experienced last week in Cali.. Over turned trucks and trees blown down, reminiscent of all the passion and velocity of time and experience. My life remains full though not always with the things that I dream about. I guess I remain at all times in learning mode and trying to figure out the most sincere steps to getting to my imagined promise land... A place where I find myself holding copies of two novels I recently completed, one of them being a very special story that was inspired by a very special woman. The title alone, a tribute to her as well because we ended every email... that way...

The promised land is also about family and spending more time celebrating that sort of love. It's never done enough and in my eyes is taken for granted, day after day... Time and forever just dont exist any more... The only thing that lasts forever is what you feel for those who made a great impact on your life. That impact can be negative or postive. I've had both.

I had two conversations in the last two days that stand out for me. If the promised land were an island, these two voices would represent a beautiful sailboat taking me there. The first voice was familiar to me though we talked non-verbally; the blessing known as instant messaging. This voice lifted my spirits. It reminded me of good times and similar hobbies. This voice has impacted my life and even though there's been some not so good moments, the moments have been mostly good. This moment left me hoping. Not so much for anything deep as the depth of our friendship flows in ways that are accepted and sometimes ignored but that's alright... The hoping is merely the chance to share what I've seen. Visions and blessings like the beautiful country side that I've told her about on many occasions or those special moments when the heavens open up above. I usually see that in Louisiana. I've always dreamed of witnessing her reaction as she sees it for herself and then her voice when she tells me about what she's experiencing... That would be the ultimate in cool... Maybe it'll happen...ahh, who knows... Right now it's just a daydream, which is good enough for me.

Speaking of voices... I heard a new voice... a different kind of voice. I could tell she'd been curious to speak with me and to hear my voice; my thoughts. She was so nervous. She scratched... She sat on her hands. She put her hands inside her shirt. She didn't know what to do. It was cute and a nice feeling to know that somehow, she wanted to bring down that invisible barrier which separated us. I had no reservations whatsoever about welcoming her into my space. I was happy to see and hear her communicate with me. I spoke softly and made sincere eye contact. I listened to every syllable of every word that she shared with me. Her twitching ceased. She relaxed her hands more. They only moved when she reflected on her culture and shared with me a memory on the differences between here and where she comes from. I told her to hold on to her tradition while at the same time be open minded enough to learn from and enjoy her own experiences each day. I'm not sure she got what I meant but I like her curiosity and enthusiasm. She loves someone that's dear to me and I pray he celebrates the differences that his young lady brings to the table. She's got a good heart and she could be a great partner in life, especially if he's receptive to her own way of shine. In essence, allow her to be the individual she is even if that means she talks a lot... (smile) That's a part of who she is and in her case, it's a good thing...

2004 was an interesting year. I'm trying to remember how it all began but I can't. I cant even remember where I was last year this time. For me, that's not a sign of age so dont start saying a brotha is losing it! (Smile) Nah, for me this is a sign that my year was filled to the brim with experiences galore and it truly was. Once again, good and bad...I probably spent too much of my year hating a certain person from my past but I believe in honest feelings and those were honest to the fifth power. And even though I sometimes diffuse the hatred, I'm not so sure that it disappears completely. That wound was cut deep but thankfully, it hasn't stopped my life from being a good thang.

Once again this year I went on one of my travel journeys. There's several pictures and words in this blog that document that experience. It's an incredible feeling to go back into the country where my ancestors lived and continue to love from above. I can feel their spirits constantly. I remember brushing past a middle aged woman in Opelousas, Louisiana who said to me "powerful spirit young man.." and then when I said "huh?" she just smiled. She didn't repeat herself but in truth, I did hear her. I guess I just wanted to hear her say it again. Then I remember pumping my gas and a white man saying to me just before climbing into his truck "you a long ways from home, ain't ya?" He'd noticed my license plate. Someone else actually answered the question for me. This black man said "nah he ain't!" and then he tipped his hat and returned to pumping his own gas..

It's been an interesting year... I've gotten to know people that I didn't expect to meet and meet people I didn't expect to know... I've done some booksignings though not nearly enough. I met people that looked at me different because I carry the author before my name. A book with my picture on it..whew.. It's crazy cool.. Memphis was where a woman asked me "how you know what a woman feels?" I dont think I did a good job of answering her.. My mind got all jumbled from so many thoughts blending together. Of course after she walked away, the answer hit me but I can't remember it now... (smile) I think I came to some kind of brilliance about me not exactly knowing but more so having that special talent of simply being able to listen. Listening with sincerity is a beautiful thang.. An unselfish act that escapes certain folks.. I could name a few...

And oh my goodness..2004 represents the first time that I flew more than a couple hours to get somewhere! Hated it! (smile) Actually, it wasn't too bad.. The flight was smooth but the seating was crazy uncomfortable!! My knees were so messed up on that flight but once I made it to where I was going, I really enjoyed myself. I went to Baltimore for the first time. It was cool... I walked around..Loved the architecture of the buidlings downtown..Very cool.. Other long flight experiences included a trip to Memphis but that was a better, more roomier plane and them good folks thought I was a San Antonio Spurs basketball player so I got even better treatment.. It was nice...

2004, I enjoyed LA more than I have in the past... I guess I investigated it more.. Took in a lot more sights, sounds, voices, and experiences. Found common bonds between folks looking for an escape from the angry gotta get where I'm going mentality that's passed from people to people in this city. I also went deep into various hoods and found enjoyment....positive stuff... Even the negative was fascinating but I never indulge, I just document in my mind and allow it to influence and inspire.. I feel so blessed to be able to go from a country experience to a city one and enjoy both, equally. It takes some adjusting each time but it's good and necessary...

Funny thing, I can remember a moment during 2004 when I did some serious house cleaning. I'd finally gotten the courage to throw away old memories, pictures, a t-shirt, a stuffed animal and other knick knacks that I didn't want to claim and still never wish to claim, ever again... I succeeded and felt good about it but then I stumbled upon two cards given to me back in 2001. I found no reason to throw those away. I smiled because one card and envelope still carried a few old dried up rose petals. The second card only contained the cute words that touched my heart back then. It's really amazing to me how from July 2001 to January 2005 the perfumed scent on both cards has remained. All I could say was "wow!" and then I sniffed a couple times just to visualize the woman who picked out the words inside and wore very proudly the beautiful scent that I could still smell...Keeping those cards was mandatory to remembering one of the most special times ever in my entire life. Fast forward to today as I claim this lady as a dear friend of mine, a "true" friend and she's real cool because she reads all my shhhh...eeeet!(smile)

2004 I still got them angels keeping me lifted aka friendship, prayer and support from Missy Jenkins, Shelia Goss, AN-gela Schmidt, Mia Sims, Monica Baker, Kim Roseberry and the neverending light from a powerfully deep source named Cherryl Floyd Miller... Oh..and my little big sister who I send out daily smoke signals to, praying she'll surface so we can talk for a couple hours and I can feel okay again... That be Jamise L. Dames... 2004 also brought a fabulous new sister in my life by the name of Carla Barclay who always be threatening a brotha by saying she and her family gonna feed me the best darn southern/Texas food in the whole wide world!! I'm looking forward to that as well as meeting her mother and husband who probably got some stories I'm dying to hear... Plus I got this cool friend who sounds so country I figured she lived in the deep south. I didn't know folks from Virginia had so much southern soul inside they veins! (smile) I'm speaking of my good friend, April (A.J. JD) White... She funny...I also met this very down to earth cool lady named Sammie. She carries with her a powerful story of survival, tragedy and more survival. She's faced challenges that I can only visualize when she shares her journey because living it? I ain't come close but I'm blessed to have her as a friend. Yeah... 2004 was cool in that it showed me that good people always float to the surface and reveal themselves in your life when you too, are good... I've seen examples of what not being good is about and I dont want to be like that....or her... I know I'll have my moments... Shoot, I even sometimes get tired of people but my "goodness" (the real ME) shines through... I even reach out to folks who act like they hate the ground I step on even though they dont even know me...(smile) That's my nod to a woman who wastes time being angry and probably screwing up all that inner glow which keeps the outside blessed with shine...(smile) I woke up today and read something online which said to think each day about how you can be a blessing to someone. And I say to that, I'll try... Though actually, I think I do that unconsciously anyway....well, sometimes... (smile)

And now here comes 2005....whew... what's next God? But first at 11:59pm on December 31, 2004 you'll find me closing my eyes for a moment and saying a prayer no matter where I'm standing or sitting... And then, I guess it's on... And hopefully it gets better.. And may the downtimes be just as valuable as the good times...indeed, that's an unselfish act known as paying attention to the lessons in life... I look forward to mine... And I'll end this by mentioning that today, just before the new year forces it's way into existence, I received a super fantastic blessing in the mail... A beautiful book of poetry... A book of LIFE or better yet "light!" And I can hear my alter-ego saying to myself "get to the point, man!!!" (laughing) Well, this masterpiece is called CHOPS by Cherryl Floyd Miller. Whew.. It came to me right on time because along with that prayer that I'll say before the new year, I wanna be able to read this book in preparation of the new year and long after it stops being "new..." But anyway, this quote found me as I was reading a poem inside this book. The poem is called "To Swallow It." And the quote I will end with....

This is written word flying
into opus,
time darting into cantabile,
genetic song.


A __ (The Wind)
V. Anthony Rivers III

Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas Letter

Christmas Letter Posted by Hello

Mama ask me to write down three things that I wanted and then give it to her. She say she need it so she can send it to Santa Claus. I dont believe her about Santa. He never visit us before. I know because the last two years I sit up all night and wait for him. Mama dont know. I usually wait till she fall asleep and then I just sit, watch and listen.

Last year I remember how I sat near my bedroom door. I could see the living room from there. I figure that if I hide, Santa wont know I'm watching. He aint showed up, though. I kept my eyes open even as it get light outside. Mama get mad at me last Christmas day because I was falling asleep while she serve me breakfast that morning.

This year when mama ask me to write what I want, I say okay but she have to ask me more than once before I did it. I overheard mama saying to somebody outside that she didn't know how she was gonna get me anything because something happened to her at work. She said she worried about surviving because she might not get paid. I think she got hurt or something. She walk funny like it could be her back or her leg. When I heard her talking she kept saying "if it's God's will, something will come of this..." I dont know what she mean by that. I just felt really bad because it seemed like she worry so much about doing something for me. I dont want to be a burden to mama. I dont want her to not have the things she wants. That's why I couldn't write three things down for her... I wrote something else instead...

Dear Mama...

I dont believe Santa drop by our house this year just like he aint come last year. Maybe Santa dont like people like us and maybe he ain't a man that feel sorry for people who dont have a lot. Santa only show up to happy homes. He dont come to places like where we at. We dont have no chimney mama, we got bars on windows and trash in the street. Santa aint coming here. Mama I know about you being hurt and I know you have a hard time with me. I figure maybe I go somewhere else so you wont worry so much. I listen one night to this man on tv. He a preacher or something. He say that in heaven loved ones is always safe. You always want me to be safe. You tell me this everyday when you wish for a better place for us to stay. You always say daddy in a better place and then you say a prayer and smile. Maybe you do this for me too, mama. Say a prayer and smile... That's only two things, mama... That's all I want...

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Creatively Me... Posted by Hello

Friday, December 17, 2004

Wendell's Juke Joint...

Wendell's J.J. Posted by Hello

Lightnin strike one Sunday evening after I come home from church. I believe it happen cause of a lie I done told. I wanted to keep a dark secret hidden from my kin and other members of the Missionary Baptist church that I go to. They praise me cause they seen me as a saved man. They sing out to the lord when I get to playing on the piano and leading the choir in song. They dont know I goes home where my guitar keep me company most nights. I plays it without amplification cause that just bring the devil quicker to my home if'n I do that. I just strums it hard so that I can hear what I'm doing. But then at night, especially on wednesdays and sometimes friday's, I goes to Wendell's Juke Joint and plays till I get tired. Sometimes that don't happen and I ends up playing till nobody left standing or if they is, they just propped up against the wall but they eyes is closed. Folks drink hard at Wendell's and I play even harder..

Wendell pay me okay. It ain't much money but that don't bother me none. I just love to play and besides, he give me a drink or two and that ease my nerves a little bit. Maybe that liquor I drink just kill them feelings I be having some nights. They the kind of feelings that have me slippin quietly into church come Sunday morning, worrying about who might know my secret. So far, nobody knows or at least nobody telling me they know.

Aint nothing like feeling the power of my guitar. Wendell got him some kind of amplifier that just be buzzing but once I plug into it, I makes the sound fill up the room. I strum my baby hard. I pound on it to keep the beat and tap my foot. I sing as loud as I can and sometimes when the mood is right, everybody join in and it be like one big band up in there. When that happens, I dont even have to sing that much cause folks be kickin up such a ruckus that they do the singing for me. It's sort of like being in church but at Wendell's, I know we aint really singing for the right reasons. I know cause I be lookin at them ladies in the juke joint a little different than the ones rejoicing in the name of God.

But like I say, the lightnin struck one Sunday evening. It come out of nowhere and it hit the tree standing next to my house as I was playing a little song on my guitar. I was singing about a friend of mine whose wife took ill and couldn't please him no more. He tell me so. I laugh while I'm singing it and laughing at something at the expense of somebody else only make the man upstairs give you your own set of problems. He give me something to worry about and deal with just to see how I'd handle myself. That tree catch fire and then my house begin to burn too. Ain't nothing I could really do except try and save whatever I thought I'd need. I ain't really had much so all I took was some clothes and my guitar. By the time the fire get put out, my house was still standing but everything inside was burnt. I had to stay with some kinfolk for a while and keep my guitar hidden. Months later, I went back home and seen that that tree grow right back to the way it was but my house ain't changed one bit... It was still standing but that's about all it was doing, just like me. Standing and waiting to see what this foundation gonna amount to...

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Grandpa Had The Same Love...

The Leaders Posted by Hello

Grandpa used to tell me that there was nothing better than a man having horses to take care of cause each one will grow into something special with their own personality. I found that same sort of love over the years. Horses have a kind of calming affect on my spirit. I can almost relate to them as they stand strong and communicate through gestures and deep eye contact. In Cali I frequent the equestrian center but there's nothing more special than to see horses out in the country where they can enjoy their freedom.

During my most recent trip to Texas, I found this beautiful piece of land off of highway 259 between Mt. Pleasant and Daingerfield. The land had rolling hills and was surrounded by gorgeous pine trees. I pulled over to take a picture of this very scenic display that mother nature had going for her. I was putting my new digital camera to good use, snapping shots in all directions. I took the first picture, which showed the whole panoramic view and then the second shot was a close up of the wooded area where the pine trees stood so tall. As I was focusing for the third shot, I noticed a few horses appearing almost out of nowhere. They stopped when they'd seen me and just stood there, probably wondering what the heck is this person doing over here. Their curiosity only lasted for a quick moment because they went back to eating grass and didn't really worry about me. I kept walking through the beautiful dark green pasture. I took a couple pictures of the horses grazing. After a while, more of them appeared and that sort of blew my mind to see so many in one place. They all looked very healthy and strong. I couldn't imagine them to be anything less in such a beautiful place.

After I'd taken many pictures of the area and of the horses, I headed back toward the car. I was parked on the side of the road just outside the fence that surrounded what looked like over one hundred acres of land. When I reached the fence, I decided to just lean against it for a minute and watch. I was in no hurry to get anywhere. Once I did that, I noticed two horses approaching me. Funny thing, I thought to myself that these two must be the leaders of the pack because they looked older and they seemed daring enough to check me out up close. The others just kept eating grass and occasionally looking over at me as they chewed.

The two leaders approached with caution. They stood there perhaps waiting to see what I'd do so I took a couple pictures of them. They were beautiful horses. And then eventually the dark brown horse came close enough for me to reach out to him. Once it could sense the calmness of my spirit and the admiration I had for it, that horse showed me much love. It was as if he stood there trying to communicate with me. That horse let me know that he was the elder and the other horses were his family. The horse that stood behind him made me laugh because he would never keep any sort of eye contact with me but would always keep looking from side to side as if he were a nervous bodyguard. It was funny but even he calmed down after a while.

Soon after my little visit with those beautiful horses, my stomach started to growl from watching all of them chow down on some delicious grass. No, I didn't join them for that but I did drive into downtown Mt. Pleasant to pick up some hotlinks, crackers, and some peach cobbler; a special delicacy in east Texas.... Yum... Yum... It was a good day...(smile)

Familiar Trappings Of Yesterday

All 2 Familiar Posted by Hello

Damn, it's a trip how I can find so many that look like her. Her, meaning the one who tossed away my heart one early morning while I still had sleep in my eyes. Strangely enough, nothing in my eyes could keep me from making sacrifices to do for her, though she would later claim that nothing was ever done on my behalf or in other words "I ain't did shit for her!"

The memories left behind from so called doing nothing reverberate in that place within me which turns love to hate and admiration to retreat. I say retreat because like I said in the beginning, it's a trip how I find so many that look like her.

One weekend I spotted a smile pointed in my direction. The image was a little blurry because I was trying to maneuver through a busy westside parking lot in LA. Ralphs had customers pulling up nonstop which meant I needed to keep an eye out for folks backing up, kids running everywhere, and shopping carts mysteriously creeping along. One of them cars had that smile I was talking about. She waved and then when her hand moved out the way, I was able to get a glimpse of her face... "Damn!" I kept going...

Aurora looked lovely on stage and I hadn't been to this club in over a year. I know her name only now because after she shook her bootie and put on a lively show, she came around to thank all the fellas throwing tips her way. I was one of those fellas. Something about her had me thinking old times. Her body, her complexion, her hair, the way she walked and the way spoke softly in my ear when she hugged me.

"Damn..." I shook my head.

Aurora said to me "enjoy the show and I'm gonna come back to you a little later to see if you're ready for me..."

I nodded my head to acknowledge the possibility of something lovely about to happen between us but after she walked away and I'd seen her disappear into one of the back rooms, I was gone...

Yeah, I get a lot of similar smiles winking at me and in all seriousness, I only joke about it bothering me. If it's to be then it's to be... Hate dont last forever but love does, especially from a man who truly knows how to give it, non-boastfully and always sincerely... And maybe one day, God will give me the power again like he did on that special day with "her." I can't imagine that ever happening again, though. A perfect day for a proposal when God blessed me with the power to control time... and thus... I was able to make that day and especially that moment, perfect... I really struggle to see that happening again, though I guess it could. I'll just make it different and better!

Louisiana Spirit

Louisiana Spirit Posted by Hello

I had been traveling throughout Louisiana for pretty much one week, non-stop. Every mile that I drove had me amazed by the beauty and even mystery of this state. I'd gone from town to town, rather than the typical big cities that most immediately associate with Louisiana. I didn't go to New Orleans, Baton Rouge or Shreveport. I went to places like Natchitoches, Grand Cane, Opelousas, Alexandria, and a place called Thibodeaux where I found beauty and mystery all rolled up into this one woman that I'd seen coming out of a small church. She wasn't really dressed up. She was dressed casual but then again, this was a Saturday when I had seen her so maybe her visit to the church wasn't really a formal gathering but more of a personal thing.

I continued to watch her. I sort of wanted to take a picture but then again, I didn't want to offend her if she happened to spot me. She just seemed so at peace. The way she stepped down the stairs, exiting the church. She had a slight smile on her face, her hair was long and her cheekbones were high. She pulled her hair to the front as she walked so that it would lay against the front part of her shoulder. That's when she spotted me. Maybe she could hear me take a deep breath, which was about as loud as the thoughts traveling through my mind... I was high off of watching her; she was so fine.

"Bonjour 'elegant homme!" The woman said.

She laughed to herself as she walked in my direction. I didn't believe she would walk all the way over to me so I stepped somewhat in her direction too. Maybe we would meet each other halfway. I wasn't really sure. The lady tossed her hair in the wind and smiled.

She said "longue voie de la maison?"

I was like "huh? I'm sorry...I dont speak..."

"I know," she said. "I'm just teasing but actually I just said, hello handsome and that you're a long ways from home."

"Handsome, huh?"

"Oui...You've been called this before, no?"


In my mind I was twisting all my words while trying to figure out what to say. I didn't want to give this beautiful woman the wrong impression. Make her think that a brotha from California is some cocky dude trying to talk to her though actually, I would've been content with just watching her from a far.

"Are you enjoying yourself? I noticed your nice car over there. You're from California?" She asked with her beautiful accent.

"Yes, I am. I love it out here in Louisiana. I always come here though I've never been to Thibodeaux before."

The woman laughed and sort of covered her beautiful smile. It was as if she were trying to catch herself from laughing really hard.

"What?" I asked.

"It's just your pronounciation of Thibodeaux... It's okay... Sorry I didn't mean to laugh at you..."

The woman smiled and moved closer toward me. How could I possibly be offended by anything she'd say with a smile and face as captivating as hers. She extended her hand to introduce herself...

"Mon nom est Stephanie" She said.

"Nice to meet you..."

And then just as quickly as she'd introduced herself, she had to excuse herself. Someone in the distance called out to her. It was an older gentleman. Stephanie gave no hints as to who was calling her. She just smiled and shook my hand again.

"I'm sorry... Maybe we'll run into each other again since you come here often..."

"Maybe so, Stephanie...Take care..."

"Vous aussi..."


"You too, Mr. Handsome... Bye..."

I turned to walk back to my car but before I opened the door, I took one last look in the direction where Stephanie and I stood. It was kind of strange because I could see her still standing there but she wasn't really there. It was like her spirit remained standing there, watching me. I got into my car and drove off with yet another memory to lean back on whenever I needed a reason to escape. And living where I do, there's always a need for escape...

Sunday, December 12, 2004


Timothy Posted by Hello

Mama going away to Dallas. She says she need to so she can find work that pay her good. She say she send for me when she able to but I just shrug my shoulders cause she crying when she say it. I always remember how Grandma say that sometimes tears hide the truth and as much as mama was struggling to say what she say, I could tell she was just trying to make me feel good. I didn't cry. I'm a boy so I ain't supposed to cry though I did wipe my eyes later when no one was looking.

Mama took forever to get herself ready. She kept talking and going on about this and that. Telling me to mind Grandma and how to act in school. She say it's important that I get an education so I wont have no troubles later on. She say she want me to be a good man in this world and be able to walk proud because I've got an education.

"Always do your homework..." Mama say when she look at me.

That was about the only time she stopped packing and looking around to see what she forgot. She must've done that for hours and I sat there watching while trying to get used to the idea that I wouldn't be seeing her no more. It hurt me a little bit to watch though I didn't know at the time that that was what I was feeling. I mostly just felt confused.

After a while, some man pull up in his car and knock on the screen door. Mama scream out that she's coming and then the man just stand there on our porch. He didn't see me on the other side of our screen door but I just watched him. He lit a cigarette and stood there, blowing out his smoke. Mama was still grabbing things and stuffing clothes in boxes while the man stood outside waiting. He seemed comfortable until he finished smoking.

"Hey, we got to go! You know it's a long drive to Dallas!" The man yell through the screen door.

Mama say "I'm almost done, just let me do this one last thing..."

"How many bags you got in there? Why am I standing outside here, I been in your house before..."

The man pull at the door and look surprised that the screen was unlocked. Then he step inside and look even more surprised when he seen me. I'm kind of scared because this man look at me in a strange way. He dont even say hello. He just kind of nod his head and then walk further inside. He looking for mama but at first he dont say nothing, I guess because he seen me. I dont say nothing either. Mama walk into the room and seen how me and this man just looking at each other.

Mama say "Timothy this is Travis. Say hello..."

I dont say nothing but the man say my name and then he smile. He all dressed up in a suit and hat. It's a light brown suit with a fancy tie and a clean white shirt like what some men wear to church on Sundays.

Mama go back to what she was doing. She doing things so fast like this be her last opportunity to get what she needs. The way she look to me is like she ain't coming back and I feels it too. Then mama come back into the room where me and this man she call Travis is standing. She look at me and smile. She out of breath from so much running from room to room.

Mama say "did you speak to Travis, Timothy? Why you so quiet?"

I look at this man and then I look at mama. I ask her "is this man my daddy?"

Mama kind of laugh but she seem uncomfortable by what I say. She take me in another room where she can talk to me alone. She talk to me like she dont want that man to hear what she say. She hold me close and look into my eyes like she wants to make sure I understand what she gonna tell me.

"Timothy, Travis is someone... well, he's someone dear to me and I will be staying with him in Dallas. When I get there I'll call and give the number to Grandma. I'm just a phone call away, sweetheart."

"He not my daddy but you going away with him?"

"No, he's not your daddy. I have to go Timothy because like I said, I have to find better work. Ain't nothing out here for me..."

"I'm here mama and Grandma is here..."

"You'll understand when you're older but that's why I want you to do your best in school. It'll be okay. I have to go, okay?"

Mama stood up and walked away. I just stayed in that same spot and watched her and that man gather her things and go outside. The man was complaining about how much mama bring and she just kiss him and look all happy. Mama dont want me no more. That's what it feel like to me. I just stand there. The house feel colder cause mama take so much with her.

After they finish loading up the car, the man get inside and start the engine. Then mama walk up to the screen door but she dont come inside. She yell out to me like she just leaving for a little while.

Mama say "okay Timothy, I'm gonne now so you be good! Make sure you lock up the house real good when you go over to Grandma's, okay?"

I didn't say a word. I was confused and didn't know how I was supposed to feel. I just know I didn't feel right. Mama was leaving me behind and expecting me to find my own way to Grandma's house because that's where I would be living.

"Timothy?" Mama called out.

I peeked my head out to look at her. She was standing outside on the porch and had her head down as if she were listening out for me. I stayed quiet.

"Suit yourself, Timothy. I have to go so I'll call you later, okay! Bye..."

I heard the car door slam and then they drove off. I walked to the front door just to see if what I'd heard were true. Mama was gone and I was alone in a cold empty house. That's when I did what I wasn't supposed to do. I cried but I wiped my tears before they could be seen. I dont know why I wanted to hide them. Nobody was around. It was just me. I didn't go to grandma's right away like mama said. I just stayed inside the house. I sat on the living room floor and watched daylight turn to darkness. I was hungry but I didn't want to move away from looking out the screen door. I guess deep inside, I was hoping mama would come back. Like maybe she forgot something but wasn't nothing left that was worth taking, including me.

On The Bus...

Imagination blessing my mind all times... Posted by Hello

I was riding the bus the other day. I brought my journal, thinking I could capture some thoughts while traveling from one end of the city to the other. Actually, my flow was on point for most of the ride until I felt the presence of someone looking over my shoulder. I caught a glimpse of her from the corner of my eye. I saw her reflection in the window to my right. I froze up. I wasn't sure if I should turnaround. She seemed so close; almost as if she were smelling my hair. She was that close. I tried to keep my mind on what I was writing. My hand got a little nervous. It started to shake a little bit so I tried to play it off by acting like my thoughts were really too deep to write and think simultaneously. I needed to imagine it all the way through before I put pen to paper. Then a breeze lifted the scent of this lady behind me into the air, brushing it right past my nose. For a split second I had to close my eyes. I wanted to commit her scent to memory. It was sort of like smelling fresh flowers and the ocean at the same time. I memorized it and before I knew it, my mind had wandered and I could see myself and this young lady on a tropical island somewhere. She'd be coming towards me with her stretched out arms and smile just as wide. She'd say my name and make it no secret that deep inside those arms was my first taste of forever. Perhaps she'd make me feel like it was something I couldn't do without. Something that I wouldn't have to question and become cautious because of past situations. She already seemed like a better alternative than before and so much better than now. Or should I say, my real existence and not this unconsciousness that I find myself floating so deeply inside giving me a sensation similar to a wet Angela Bassett kiss or a slow grind against Sanaa Lathan's shapely behind. Oops! My mind getting away from me, I know... Ha Ha!

When I shook out of my daydream, the scent that I'd drfted away on was gone and the reflection in the window had disappeared. I looked around and new faces had surrounded me. The lady was gone and the blank stares just flatlined my imagination... But I still got me and I can still visualize somewhere beyond the wall that's become my comfort zone that love and consciousness can embrace each other like something I used to do on the regular when I had......somebody!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

A visit with Zenobia

Zenobia Posted by Hello

Every once in a while characters come back to me and remind me that they still live within me. Still waiting to breathe on pages that others can see. Still waiting for the light to be shined on their journey, which in the case of this special woman is a very spiritual one. Zenobia lives, loves and breathes within the pages of my novel, "Until Again." I'd like to revisit her for a moment and share this with anyone watching... Check it out...


Once I lost my balance, I surrendered completely. I surrendered to the pounding inside my heart. I gave in cause my legs couldn't move another inch. Not even the terror running through my soul could return me to my feet. I surrendered and then God come take me. I'se grateful cause I didn't have to feel the pain that come next. I didn't have to feel Rupert, ripping away at my clothes or the piercing of a blade, cutting away at my flesh.
Rupert was angry. He felt cheated. God come take me before Rupert have a chance to feel like a man. He ain't have a chance to see me fight and scream inside his arms, one last time. God cheat him from forcing my legs open and using his manhood to feel a sense of pride cause he overpower a colored woman.
I'se so grateful to God and then for a moment, I stands over my body and I cry. I think about my life. I seen my life from childhood till now, flash before my eyes. I smile cause I was a beautiful child and eventually, I became a strong woman. Not even Rupert who pound his fist into my lifeless body, over and over could remove the beauty of what I remember. He can't harm my soul. He can't touch my spirit. Nothing he do, pain me no more, not even inside my heart. Only thing I feels is pity for that man.
I watch as his anger turn to tears and his pride turn to shame. I feel sorry for him cause I know that once he walk away from my body, he only return to who he is. His hatred will remain. I know because God show me. He allow me to see what become of a life that hold on to anger and never forgive. Then he show me a life that hold on to love no matter how they forced to live. He take me from that dreary day where my lifeless body lay tortured in the woods. He lift me above the clouds and I feel free. The sunlight warm my soul. I couldn't stop myself from smiling if I tried.
Then I seen more clouds. They began to part right in front of me and I seen a woman, sitting in a room by herself with her head down. She look like she praying. Her skin so dark and wrinkled, especially around her hands. No matter, she still looked beautiful. She smile the closer I get and she become familiar to me. It's my sister, Eula Mae. She look up but I dont think she see me. She act like somebody in the room but ain't nobody there except her. I hears her start to speak. Eula's voice sound so dry like it pains her to get the words out but she did and I'se listen…

She say "Zenobia, are you there? I sho hopes you can hear me…Sis, I tries my best to take care of Atoya. She a beautiful young woman now. You be proud of what she become. She headstrong, yes she is. It's like she done take a little bit from both of us. You know. Like when we was young. Me so stubborn and you so beautiful and smart. She got all that in her. I believe she gonna be alright too. I pray she dont have to go through none of what we went through. I hurt bad since we separated, sis. I hurt bad cause I couldn't be around to protect you like I promise mama. I keep on hurt'n for a long time till I seen Atoya and listen as Neala read the letter you send me. I know then how strong you become and I dont worry as much.
I'se tired now, Zenobia. You might not recognize me no more. I'm old. I been through a lots. I can't hardly see nothing. They done everything they could to me to keep me from running away. Everything… There were times when I wished theys just kill me but I guess they figure I'se be in a better place if'n they did that. Is it better, Zenobia? I dont know why I feel you up there, somewhere but I just do. I feels it inside. All I can do is just pray you alright and live out the rest of my life till God say it's time. I'se tired and lonely but I'se happy cause my heart is full. Can't nobody take that away from me. If you there, Zenobia, I just want you to know that I loves you and I'm doing just fine. Yes, lord, Ima be just fine..."

After Eula stop talking, she disappear right before me. The room she sit in turn to dust and the sunlight blind my eyes. I want to feel sad. I want to cry but I can't. I feel warm. I feel like this freedom start my life all over again, somehow. I need to find what was taken from me while I was alive. I need to find Cudie before I can allow myself to truly rest. I know I'm at the mercy of God but next to him, the strongest kind of love I ever did receive, come from Cudie. Ain't a day go by that I don't remember his smile. Cudie go through a lot just to be with me. He suffer the worse kind of pain from all his beat'ns.

I remember one time when he come to me all excited and carrying some kind of sack in his hand. He tell me we gonna have us a picnic out in the fields. All he bring was some biscuits, one for him and one for me. I'se laugh at him but at the same time, I'se feel as though my heart grow fonder of that man.
Once me and Cudie get to the fields, he take the biscuits out of the sack and hand me one. Right away he bites into his biscuit, which didn't appear to be fresh at all. I was used to fresh bread in the morning, being that I stayed in the main house. Still, I just smiles at Cudie look'n so proud of himself like he done real good.

Cudie get to his knees and he say, "Zenobia, this ain't much but I'se want to do what make you happy. I'se walk forever if I have to, just to see you smile. It ain't much I spose…"
"It mean a lot to me Cudie…" I tells him before he convince himself that he ain't done enough for me.
I remember Cudie's excitement so well that day. I had a time just try'n to keep him from talk'n so much. Then I tells him to lie down, against me. He shy about it at first to the point where I had to pull him down. Cudie one of the strongest colored men around but when I touches him, his body go limp.

Cudie lay against me with his upper back, resting against my inner thighs. I wiped his forehead and he look up at me. He try to smile but I notice him grit his teeth like he in pain. I ask him if he okay and he tell me, he just fine but I know he ain't being truthful. I tells him to sit up and look at me.
"I'm fine, Zenobia. We's spose to enjoy ourselves. I ain't got much time before I need to head on back…" Cudie just kept going on and on cause he know I suspected something was truly wrong. I didn't say a word as he continued to defend the pain that I seen in his eyes. When you love someone, deep as I love Cudie, truth can't never hide lessen you made up your mind not to know someth'n.

I'se touch Cudie's arms and he look down. I run my fingers up to his shoulders. Cudie's eyes follow the movement of my touch until I stop beneath his chin. That's when he look deep into my eyes and he lean forward to kiss me softly on the lips. I remember feeling something just come over my entire body, not just on the outside but from deep within. Cudie bring me close and hold me tight and I wrap my arms around him, feeling like I never wanted to let go. That is, until I noticed Cudie's pain everytime I squeezed tighter. I touched his back and felt something strange beneath the shirt he wore. It didn't feel like a man's back was supposed to feel.
"Zenobia, don't, I be fine…"
Even though Cudie tried to warn me, I had to look. How could a woman not want to know what give her man so much pain? So, I force Cudie to turn around and then I pulls his shirt up. What I seen cause me to push him away though I didn't mean to. I looks again at all the deep wounds on his back. His flesh was just torn in places and his skin, no longer beautiful and dark. Cudie tell me that they pour salt in his wounds after they whip him under the sun. He try to make fun so as not to worry me so but my very soul wanted to die when I seen what they'd done to my precious man. Cudie got used to his whippings but for me, even though I'se no longer among the living, I never be used to so much suffer'n and so much pain. What I seen while I was alive make me never want to return amongst the living. Well, at least not till things get better. I'se pray to God that happen one day, for the sake of my daughter, I really do.


Friday, December 03, 2004

A year where admiration plays like sour notes...

As I rest my head on memories of this year that's about to say bye-bye, I find myself disappointed in ways I'd never imagine. That feeling isn't just a woman thang. I have found many a man who have no clue about being true to their word either, but that I can brush off very easily. Yeah, I hold women on a higher pedestal and though I know that no one is perfect, I do believe in certain words that come to my mind.

"One should never ask for what they are unwilling to give in return" and for me it's simple. It's all about effort and sincerity, which I find a lot of people lacking these days.

I often look to the heavens and ask "is there something written on me which says I'm easy?" Someone once told me I was "noble." That same person is on my sh*t list and I've got things to say to that person should we ever stand face to face again.

I've had enormous amounts of compliments from women calling me a gentleman, very kind, very sweet.... "Anthony, you deserve the best!" I'm at the point now where most women's words and compliments rarely reach the intended target. Deep inside I'm usually thinking, yeah, yeah, whatever... But I'll still smile and play the role of being grateful...

I thank God he continues to put folks in my life who balance out the disappointments but sadly, they are not the norm... The world could use more TPT's, CB's, MJ's and SG's. Women who can live today and not compromise the promises of yesterday. Women who dont worry about handing someone else a list of things they want but instead will work hard and sacrifice for not only the things they need but what others may need; most times doing that before they do for self...

I was reading something the other day that was sent to me by CB. This part of it makes me say, hmmm...
The more you seek quality, respect, growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you...the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the front row and who should be moved to the balcony of your life.

And my answer to this beautiful statement is "Yo! My balcony is getting full up in there!"

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Back from my journey and ready for L.A.

Back in LA where life seems all so crazy again... Fancy lights, fancy ladies, pretty skies, and obnoxious drivers... It's a constant debate going on in my soul as I wonder how long I should remain here in this city. It's got it's ups and downs and I have no trouble finding good fun.... BUT... I'd like to have some good fun with meaning. To have a beautiful reason for all this madness like I used to have. You can't go wrong when your motivation is more than just about yourself or so I like to feel and believe. I'm stunned by so many who take for granted being able to come home to someone. Leave the world at the doorstep for a minute and just melt into the arms of the one you're trying to build forever with. I see it at work everyday... Fellas who speak nothing of their girlfriends or wives but talk nonstop about ladies walking by or ladies they want to "do" or "get with." After too much of it each day I become a hollow shell and the words just bounce off of me... I try not to take it too seriously but I still feel like if you have someone then that's the person you need to be celebrating. And if you're looking at others, do it because you're trying to compare them to her though there's no comparison because she (your special somebody) has your heart and soul.... I used to feel that way non-stop about somebody and she was the constant topic of my conversations, thoughts, and future dreams that I'd work towards. She's not any more. She removed herself from that position in my life in a cruel way with heartless words as things came to an end but I guess she had her reasons or motivations. In the end, that only uplifted me to become a better me and though I may carry a tadbit of the anger, I'm doing alright... And though I may be super cautious, life has treated me well... And most importantly, I still believe in L-O-V-E. I see possibilities that I may investigate... maybe. The major hurdle is believing L-O-V-E will find me in all it's celebrated glory rather than me continuing to celebrate it from a far with the hopes that others will wake up and realize... how good it is... I speak now (about LOVE) and forever hold peace in my soul. If I were to leave this earth today, I'd have no doubt that folks could resurrect me through memories; memories of the goodness of my heart...