Friday, April 28, 2006
"The beautiful thing about living is paying close enough attention to have memories..."
I remember when she first misunderstood me... Dad thought I had a crush on this older lady.. A beautiful woman named Janice who used to come by his record store on Alameda Blvd in Houston, Texas. She'd come by especially on weekends and make me smile real big. I was in the ninth grade at the time and I'd see this lady walk in and be like "whoa!" before it was cool to say, whoa! She'd have on tight jeans and I dont even know what she'd be wearing above that. My eyes usually traveled from her jeans to her face... Her skin tone was soft chocolate. Her eyes were either dark brown or black and her hair was always lookin just right. Janice had a slightly southern voice.. She reminded me of some actress but I could never put my finger on who. It didn't matter, she was fine...
Janice used to always joke with my father about taking me home with her. Images of an older lady taking advantage of me had my mind doing cartwheels and thinking "damn, is she gonna do something to me? I dont know what to do or say if dad ever says it's okay.."
One day, my father gave the okay and I went home with Janice.. I was nervous the whole ride; answering her questions with yep and nope... Janice would smile or laugh. She'd call me cutey. She'd ask me about my life in Cali because at the time I was just visiting my father during the summer time. She asked me if I had a girlfriend. I shook my head, no. She'd laugh and say she didn't believe me..."a cutey like you has got to have a girlfriend." I shrugged; a response I'd give way into my adulthood with the way ladies be trippin..
When I stepped inside Janice's home, I felt different. I wasn't nervous. It was cool. She had a really nice place. Seemed like she had it fixed up especially for entertaining and having fun. There was a nice looking pool table in her family room. She was a single lady, late twenties, no kids and had a real cool vibe about her. She was a tease too.. She told me to relax and then she kissed me on the cheek... She laughed and asked me if I wanted something to drink. I said to her "dad told me I can have wine if I want to!" I was trying to sound older. Janice said "is juice okay 'cause boy you dont need to be drinkin no wine!" I smiled and said "yes, thank you..."
Funny thing, once me and Janice settled in on the couch, sipping our orange juices and snacking on some pizza rolls, we got lost in some cool conversation. She had me really thinking about school and making sure to do the best I could. She told me that she would be real disappointed and she'd laugh at me if I brought home a bad report card. Something about her saying that made me feel like that would be worse than anything my father would do to me. As time went on I used that as motivation to hit the books in a serious way and when the semester ended in school I'd gotten the best grades I ever had. I wanted to repay Janice though she never knew why. She and my father misunderstood my gesture.. I bought Janice a beautiful diamond ring simply because her talk motivated me to doing my best. She was confused by my gift and from that moment began treating me bad, ignoring me and acting as though I got on her nerves... My father tried to lecture me on what it meant to have a crush on someone and how it can make you do things you shouldn't. He said my money was wasted but I didn't think so. Looking back, it appears that that was the first sign of my giving and being grateful when a woman blesses my life in some kind of way... It was also my first time being misunderstood because of the way I give and in return getting hurt as a result of being so giving.
I dont know what Janice did with the ring except that I'd never seen her wearing it. And then a year later something tragic happened. Janice died of a heartattack. I was again visiting with my father at the time and this happened just before I was to return to Cali. Before I went home, I said something to my father which caused him to pause; catching him off guard. I told him "I never had a crush on Janice. That ring was just my way of saying I appreciated her and what she meant to my life." Then my father mentioned how he didn't sleep well that night after hearing about Janice's death. I told him "I slept just fine." And despite what she thought of me, I never stopped treating her nice...
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
This incredible woman always makes sense to me. Her beautiful voice, the songs she sings, the music she produces....always amazing. However, these words below dont come from any song, they come from her thoughts when speaking on the subject of love. I couldn't resist sharing this with anyone who happens by my creative world here on the blog... Take a peek, enJOI, and feel what this woman says...
one thing i've learned about love in my 30's as opposed to love in my 20's is that my needs and desires have shifted and become A LOT more specific. i could accept and roll with a lot of generalities before. my patience was broader. my ability to "let it ride" was greater. i had a deeper desire to be with somebody and stay with them. simply put, most of what turned me on in my 20's turns me way off in my 30's.
after heartbreak and dissapointment became such a huge part of my everday living, getting beyond these weights molded me into another kind of creature.
am i jaded? sometimes. am i better? absolutely. do i still believe in love? you better fucking believe it. do i have the uncontrollable desire to love and be loved by that special someone? not really. my focus is not there anymore. my focus is on my daughter, myself, my relationship with my creator, my career, my health, my light. if someone comes thru and fits without struggle into that picture, in a comfortable, easy way, they can stay. but how i feel and what i need has become paramount. i mean, unflinchingly paramount. i have become neccessarily selfish. and you know what, that's ok. having developed this new quality will allow me to love smartly, deeply, honestly, passionately, and whole.
i'm confident of this.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Okay..I wasn't planning this at all but I have to follow up on a previous post concerning the "Seattle Chick" because this is beyond funny and just plain stupid. SHE CALLED ME TONIGHT AT WORK! She called to confirm whether or not I received her message last week when she said I couldn't call her, email her, ever again.. cutting all ties..etc etc.. I never responded to the voicemail because uh ra...her message said not to call, email, etc etc ever again... duh? So yeah, she calls me tonight and says she wanted to make sure I got her message. She sounded all non-chalant like this was business or something.. My guess is that she did it for her man who was probably listening in on the other line. And I might understand this if I was a threat to their relationship but I ain't seen this chick in person in more than five years!! I might also understand if we lived in the same city but we don't! I'm in LA, Van Nuys to be specific... If she put on the show tonight for her man, he's got to be THE MOST insecure dude on the planet and at the same time, I take great pleasure in that I must've left a strong romantic imprint on this chick! Ha!(five years ago, seeing her only three times) I can't help but laugh because this is classic... She and her insecure man have too much time on their hands to worry about me but I guess I'm just too fabulous for words...*smile*(laughing at myself now)
Let me leave you with this final fabulous thought... LOVE maturely... and with that said, you should be confident in the love you give and who you give it to.. Don't be a fool trippin off of someone's past.. If you're worried about that, you'll be frustrated and worried forever... In the case of Seattle chick and her insecure man, he's worried about a brotha who's physically thousands of miles away from them and probably a BILLION miles away mentally because it's a RARE occasion when she's even in my thoughts. He needs to worry more about those hundreds of men she'll come into contact with each and every day in passing though if he should ever wake up, become secure in who he is and as I said, love maturely, confidently, he wont care one bit about anyone in passing or anyone from the past because he's representing himself as a real man. I can't see how Seattle chick and insecure man can both look each other in the eyes without feeling stupid... I guess stupidity for them is a confidence builder and thus they both represent themselves as assholes.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Friday, April 21, 2006
It's been a blessing to hear from various people about the book. The story seems to be pulling at the heart strings and inspiring real emotions.. I love that... especially the tears.. Ha! I wanna thank Amberlisa in Virginia for her kind words and interesting criticism. Angela in Long beach for relating to the story and representin on the Westsiide! *smile* Jody in Hawaii for finding all sorts of connections with the characters in very emotional and uplifting ways despite any sadness that may have occured. J'me in Inglewood for lovin it and tellin loads of friends about it. Marsha's grand daughter in LA for connecting with the story so intensely, you had to put it down for a day or two.. And Ziggy in LA for lovin the story and escaping to the jungle to revisit old beautiful memories.. Thanks to all of you... That's what its all about...
Another brick thrown at my heart...but it missed... I'm still standing despite the sting it caused momentarily... That was some ill shit to hear heartless words coming from a woman who I've shown nothing but praise, admiration, and gratitude for simply being a friend... It's a trip.. It's been something like five and a half years of knowing her.. two months of which in the beginning had romance in the air but she ended that part of the journey. That turned into a blessing because friendship despite the initial disappointment felt much better... She definitely wasn't for me on a romantic tip.. But again I say it's a trip to travel through memories when words were first sent to me looking like this... "I dont need starlight or moonbeams or flickering candles to feel romantic....all I need is you..." And then when I wasn't needed, I heard sermons about the importance of life long friendships, call me whenever you need to talk...I wanna see you always do well.. You are a special man... And then maybe a couple years and several months later I heard words like, I have somebody now so you can no longer call me but emailing is fine.. And then on Thursday it's, you cant email me, call me, no contact of any kind...I'm cutting all ties....thank you... And I laughed but it stung too... I think how our friendship most recently consisted of maybe five emails per year and one phone call... She lives in Seattle so its not like I'm bothering her or desire to show up at her door for lunch. I shake my head as this recent change in my limitations of friendship with this chick from Seattle is her response to an email I sent four days ago letting her know I have a new book out... She always told me in the past to let her know when I had something new available... so I did with no concern as to whether or not she'd even answer my email. If she ever did, cool, I would've been very appreciative and I'd hope that she'd say something brilliantly simple like...ummm... "congrats on the new book! I'll have to get a copy one day..." Some normal shit... But folks aint normal no more.. People throw away people like used socks or old clothes taking up too much space in the closet.
But alas.... Seattle chick gotta do what she gotta do though in my opinion it wasn't necessary... She left me stunned for a moment. I listened twice to her message. I utttered the word, Bitch one time... An angry glare covered my face and I felt like once again I was given more fuel for the pain in my next story. Something to place inside a characters heart and let them work it out or not.. but, I will in some kind of way... I'll store it some place and use it because I am a writer and that's how I do most times... put away the pain for another day.. You wonder why brothas walk around angry and not smiling... Perhaps they know a B%*...I mean, a chick like Ms Seattle.. And then as my day went on, I bought a couple shirts at my number one favorite store in the Fox Hills Mall. It's a big and tall shop that's got the bomb clothes.. The best place to go because I'm loyal not only to true friends but also to places where I shop. That felt good because I'm a sucker for some cool shirts and then on my way out as I walked through one of the other stores there I saw two elderly ladies, standing in front of a mirror trying on church hats.. They were laughing and just enjoying themselves.. One lady put on a white hat with all this netting and everything else you could imagine. It was bigger than her head and face put together but she loved that hat! She was smiling and when she saw me watching she said "what you know about that!" I just smiled but what I saw in those two ladies were true queens and I have no doubt they saw a similar reflection in the mirror.. Imagine what Seattle chick sees in the mirror when she looks at her reflection... Nah, she probably dont care. She's been an asshole for a minute now so she's proud of her glare... And I say to her, your wish is my command as I've always ventured beyond the call of duty with my respect for you...of you...and now... you...no longer exist...
Saturday, April 15, 2006
The river dont flow in the same direction much... Life got pebbles that re-route determination.. Life got branches you swing on through trials and tribulations...Life got tides drifting in and out... Frustrations like booty you cant have so you scream and shout.. You find ways to measure what feels good to you... Magnified by dreams no bigger than your shoes... You fill them with wisdom, hopefully and you walk where steps have been taken before yet you find a way to make them your own... Put that stamp on it that says you were here and for a quick minute you made your shit....home..
Monday, April 10, 2006
Saturday night I was in heaven and she was beautiful as ever. Sunday I had a vibe that wouldn't quit. Special thanks and shoutout to the woman named Vicky who approached me at Starbucks just to tell me I was beautiful. I'd like to think that had to do with the reflection of my soul more than anything else but either way the compliment was much appreciated and kept me lifted for the rest of the night.
"Love with your heart, define with your soul..."
I was hanging out today at Leimert Park where I witnessed a beautiful example of the so-called generation gap. The two faces you see above are the examples.. This little boy is definitely gonna be a heartbreaker and the man with his long dreads and a body full of wisdom probably got a serious story to tell. Today he was riding deep in the rhythm of the drums he was playing and the little boy danced in a circle along with some other little kids... Special shoutout to my sista Kim Roseberry for taking the shots so I could put it all together and make some magic for everyone to see and perhaps feel...
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Check it out... I'm representin the point of view of a husband in this article which I was blessed to be a part of for Bahiyah Woman's Magazine Online(www.BWMmag.com). In the article I'm responding to the wife wanting to know what's really goin on! Take a look... But don't get it twisted I'm not married! So, all the hundreds and thousands of ladies sending me emails, letters, cards, photos, and everything else, please continue to do so, aight! *smile*
DEAREST HUSBAND, DEAREST BEAUTIFUL
By Sharon ‘Shaye’ Gray, M.P.A and V. Anthony Rivers
I cannot believe we’re back here. Again.
The intrepid of my spirit is broken. Beaten. Worn. The path of yesteryear seems to be resilient which in design may be of conscious as it relates to our present.
I’m suffocating at this crossroad.
Where do I stand? With you? With us?
If I may... take a moment to translate your daunting actions, it would create a stream of tears, derived from carelessness, lunacy and selfishness. How am I to understand...to grasp what I mean to you when all you’ve given me are caution and stop signs of the most obscure nature?
Am I living a boondoggle of neverland meets neverwill?
I digressed...before I can shift the blame or even search for a culprit, let me enlighten you…brush an air of understanding, for you, to my mindset.
I love you.
I will always love you.
You see, I’m perplexed at this interlude so I decided to take a moment and ruminate, ponder... truly, truly reflect... on ways to approach such fragility of one’s heart—mine, in particular. If I may, I should. Therefore, I have.
Absorb my words with the trueness in which they were obliged. Know the essence of my being as it relates to our union. Transcend your ‘I’ and translate our ‘us’, then mystify me as you had once, long ago and enlighten me...about our future and us.
Your Wickedly Unglued Wife,
The only thing I can claim myself guilty of is trying too hard to constantly be your hero. I'm a stubborn man so at times I get disappointed in myself that I can't continue the pace of love and romance, similar to how I did when pursuing you. Do you remember those days? I hope it brings a smile to your face.
Believe me when I say, I have no desire to go anywhere else. I wish not to be another woman's man. I love being your husband and I adore you. I've had moments when I've taken for granted the blessing of being able to wake up next to you each morning. I'd rollover in the opposite direction, get up, go to the bathroom, start getting ready for my day, make my own coffee and later kiss you on the forehead as I say goodbye. That's the picture of a man in a hurry. A man not taking a moment to count his blessings. A man who forgot about the warmth and the escape from the world feeling he'd get whenever he'd rollover into your arms. Remember how I used to joke with you about your body temperature being so toasty in the morning? I hope this too brings a smile to your face...
You know how they say the pen is mightier than the sword? Well, two things that you said struck me in a powerful way. You asked that I look beyond myself or as you put it "transcend your 'I'." That's a beautiful statement and one that rocks the foundation of selfishness that I've been guilty of lately. Yes, I admit it to you, right here and now. I've taken you and us for granted and thus descended, if you will to "I." My motivation for many things in life has suffered, most importantly my purpose. But alas, things happen for a reason and remind you of where you come from if you're brave enough to listen.
Recently a friend of mine shared a song with me by an artist named Joi that awakened my mind and spirit to that which I've taken for granted. In this song, there's a line that goes "as long as you think you woke your ownself up this morning I can not love you- that's the truth." I've been walking around in a selfish mindset that made me forget about you as well as the powers above that created the path, which allowed me to find us. When I look at you, I see my soul. Moreover, when I think about the possibility of being without you, I'm no longer whole. That's not an option I need in my life and I pray you'll pick up the card of forgiveness that I've placed on the table before you right now... My heart, my soul, my love continues to be yours and only yours- forever.
By the way, that second powerful thing that you said? I wish to say it to you- I love you...
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Monday, April 03, 2006
Saturday, April 01, 2006
March 31st was my birthday....331 Style.. I can't say that I really celebrated it but it was a nice day. It started off with a fabulous hug from a good friend, Alisha Dewitt, Mom's coming through with a delicious cake, lots of phone calls from true friends near and far, a call from a former special somebody, and a beautiful hug from a real life fantasy. So yeah, it was a decent day though I'd probably trade it all for that one dream that's never truly been fulfilled.. I'm talkin bout waking up to a day where I get spoiled by one special somebody. Someone that makes me her priority, puts some thought and creativity into making me feel like this is truly "My" day.. But that's aight...it was still a good day..
Special mention: I was pleasantly surprised by a really great cinematic treat today. A movie that I never expected to be all that...but it was... I'm talkin bout ATL-The Movie... awesome story! Kudos once again to Antwone Fisher! Wow!
Happy Birthday once again to me as a new day has now begun, April 1st. I'm wondering is there some kind of subliminal message in the fact that the day following my birthday is called "April Fools Day." Humph..