Don’t Call 611, 311 Or Even 911. This Is Simply A Job For #1

It’s been a few days… I hope you have been very well. Don’t know what you’ve been up to, but I have been chasing my damn tail between work and school. I feel as if in a perpetual state of catch-up; sigh. So, in an effort to help myself and to prevent this condition from lingering any longer than this weekend (when I sit down to implement the practical changes necessary), I spent this past week alcohol-free (yes… no nightly Corona, “celebrating life” for me since last Friday), drinking more water, integrating a daily Probiotic (keeping my shit (no pun intended) regulated) into my regimen and, doing my utmost to pay attention to not only when I eat, but what I eat. Isn’t that impressive?!? Listen, you should absofuckinglutely (nope, did not cut out cursing) be proud of me! No beer?! Water?!? Eating hea…. No beer?!?!? Hahaha.

It’s a fact – the way most of us live may resemble the inside of a pressure-cooker or even a crock-pot (yup; a slow simmer until, well, we’re done) and, quite frankly even as we may have been able to handle the pace, the heat, the load for quite a while, even drawing admiration from those around us for our strength, determination and fortitude, we are still imploding/doing damage. The reality is, even the strongest of materials begins to erode after relentless, continuous, persistent pressure or friction.

A few posts back I mentioned experiencing some emotional turmoil and the manifestation on my physical self. Once I recognized what was happening it became my responsibility to either make the decision to let it continue or implement the steps, the procedures to handle it. What I do best is handling things. Thankfully I am very rarely daunted by challenges, responsibilities, hard work or change.

Listen… I will not sit here and write to you that all has been fixed over the past few days – I will never compromise my integrity by lying. But I will say this, “mentally, knowing that I have begun the work of paying attention to myself, have implemented steps to boost my physical health has done wonders!” It’s kind of like the relief you feel if driving along one day you get a flat tire, know exactly how to change it but alas, you forgot to put the spare back in its well, call AAA and they say, “we’ll be right there!” Peace of mind knowing help/the cure is imminent.

Will keep yall posted on any great advice I get (and can attest to its working) along the way and will certainly update on my shenanigans. In the meantime, please please please take the time to sit still, listen to your mind and body, hear what they’re saying to you and do something about any complaints they may have. Take care of you with the same diligence, vigor, single-mindedness, determination, focus, anality (just made that up) with which you take care of boo/boux.

Love.

Sincerely, Fury.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…” okay, true enough; I get the theory of that. What may appeal to me may just make you want to throw your lunch; get it. And certainly it is way too early on a Monday morning for me to get into that debate. However, let’s address this… I am finding too many of you prone to flinging words around that only prove how lazy and unimaginative (never mind, wrong) you are. I mean, am I truly the only one who when someone describes someone as beautiful or gorgeous, looks around and beyond to try to find just whom they are speaking of? Who merits such accolades? Let’s do this because I am quite used to and comfortable with “pushing the envelope” so far that when it falls, hopefully the truth comes tumbling out J

There was a time for yall and still is for me when words like “beautiful” and “gorgeous” were reserved for those among us who stopped traffic, made a room shift on its axis, caused your breathing to stop. However nowadays, as with so many other things, people are wringing the life out of how special it used to be. And this, even as I grant that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Listen, I get that many of us seem to be on a quest to make others feel good, to uplift spirits and build confidence/self-esteem/morale; but how can any of the intended be lasting if clearly untrue? There is a quote that says, “I rather you hurt me with the truth than mislead me with a lie…” Gnaw on that.

Okay, here we go… it is high time we revert to the time where there is credibility behind our words; when we challenge ourselves to specificity and stop resorting to verbal fatigue. If someone gets their hair done and you like it, say so – but by no means should you throw out a “gorgeous” when all looking (and even the person it is directed at) know that shit is far from applicable! Because someone is wearing a beautiful dress does not automatically make them beautiful – it’s okay to solely compliment the garment. Listen to this – there are multi levels – there’s beautiful, there’s stunning, there’s striking, there’s attractive, there’s good-looking, there’s pretty, there’s cute, there is gorgeous; then, there are the terms to describe the way someone dresses, carries themselves, moves, speaks – fly, classy, sexy, intriguing, sensuous, alluring… you get the idea, yes? Stop being so god dammed lazy by ascribing “beautiful” to everyone who you may find remotely pleasing or well put-together.

Someone called me “cute” – I am many things “cute” is not one of them. So, I corrected them by challenging them to truly look at me and think about what’s in front of them, push themselves to be more person-specific and not resort to compliment-lethargy; it is insulting. Truly. I would prefer to walk through someone’s life without causing any (outward) reactions than to be inappropriately acknowledged. Sigh. Listen, I give compliments often, of course I do; I live in one of the most exciting, eclectic, diverse cities in the world and it’s chock full of interesting people doing their thing. But when I compliment, I further honor the recipient by choosing my words appropriately – if about the clothing, I stick to that, if the hair/bag/shoes, I find the words that focus there, if a smile, I compliment the smile; got it? I refuse to lump one attribute into one big pot and shake and hope it infuses all else. A stunning smile does not always make for a beautiful face.

This is not about beauty. This is about our taking the time to ensure our words honor us; that those we share our words with can determine we are to be trusted… because of their truth. I mean, I don’t know about you, but someone who tells me an obvious lie, who blows smoke up my ass by ascribing to me a compliment that is clearly ill-fitting, will be someone I anticipate is prone to embellishments, falsehoods and exaggeration. For me in all things, appropriateness and truth. Some of yall are taking this “beholder” thing way too far!

Before I go let’s just address this – some people say all babies are cute/beautiful – that is one of the biggest piles of poop in a baby’s diaper I have ever heard! People, there are ugly babies; and I promise, that is okay. Maybe what most are confusing is this, “all babies are a blessing” but tell the truth… haven’t you seen some, if not downright ugly, some funny-looking babies? I am clearly not advocating you tell the parents their child should be kept locked up and certainly off of Facebook until they hopefully “come into their own” but what I am saying is it is okay to acknowledge other things – the full head of hair, the eyes, possible cute button-nose, how alert he seems to be, how well he’s sleeping, how much he weighed… you don’t have to lie. I mean, I refuse to believe that even as parents’ hearts are bursting with the joy of bringing a healthy baby into the world, they are so blinded by the reality that well, he’s no Gerber-baby.

Let your words have integrity.

Update:

r-i-p-carey-gabayCarey Gabay has died. May he now rest eternally in peace. I pray for his loved ones the salve for their grieving and broken hearts. I send them my strength to help through the long days and the dark nights ahead. I ask the Universe to be gentle with their grief and kind with its healing. For them I wish for a baby boy that looks just like his father or a little girl who is told she would have been the apple of his eye. I send them my deepest condolences and my heartfelt sorrow that this is now a part of their life’s story.

For those that murdered him – I beg this world, this Universe to bestow on you a justice that is felt ten times as strongly as his end was. I ask it to inflict on you a reality that reminds you every single day of the pain and devastation you have caused. You personify the reasons people look down their noses at us, cross the street when they see us coming, follow us around in stores, don’t hire us, don’t stop their taxis and refuse to go to our neighborhoods, profile, frisk, call us “thugs”, shoot first – ask questions later, date outside the race, make me ashamed to identify with you.

My God!

Labor Slay Parade

Sadly it was announced today that Carey Gabay who was shot in his head on the morning of the Labor Day festivities has been declared brain dead. Very much like when I heard the news of Kyle Jean-Baptiste’s death after falling from the fire-escape at his mother’s apartment, this bit of news has deeply saddened me.

Listen, aside from the fact that this epitomizes the height of senselessness – the reality of his being only forty-three, married (to a Trini, no less), expecting their first child and out with his brother to enjoy what should have at most been a foot-note on yet, just-another-day-in-the-life-of-a-man-living-and-loving-in-New York, has instead transformed into what looks like the opening sentences of his eulogy.

Don’t know about you all, but my black ass is tired. Truly. I am down to the bone weary of the foolishness we are forced to tolerate, simply by virtue of being a human being with the fortune/misfortune of living… at least for now. This man is the victim of the on-going dispute between two rival gangs. Idiots with lousy aims that ended life as they knew it for this man and those he loved and who love him. Now, these fucking idiots are carrying on their small-minded, uneducated, wastes of lives, while Mr. Gabay’s family is trying to come to terms with when to unplug him from the machine that is keeping his body here.

Today, today I do not want any of you people who are so quick to want to point out how unfairly we black people are always being treated by “the white man” to say one word to me! Truly. I can do without the fucking rhetoric! The bullshit excuses that “we are the way we are because we have been so persecuted, so down-trodden, so discriminated against!” Yes I get it… because our lives have been so very brutalized, our heads have been so messed up by the treatment we have gotten and continue to get, it absolves these fools of the act they committed against, oh shit get this… a black man! It’s not their fault though – their actions can be traced back to and can be laid at the feet of the all-powerful “white man”! Idiots! Not today!

I’m doing my best to try to remember a murder at say, the gay pride parade – you know, where all the truly weird, unnatural sinners are? Trying; but got nothing. Somehow though, every damned year that all us black folks get together somebody has to die! No, let me rephrase – we need to kill another of our own! But they’re the sinners!! And Father help us all if they were to cancel this damned parade (as they should)! I could hear the outcry now – all the foolishness about discrimination, racism, subjugation of our culture, heritage, blah blah, fucking blah!

I am sick and tired of the deaths, the killings, the murders, the hypocrisy. How about we learn to treat each other well, respectfully first before we call on anyone else to do so?! Know that, …speck in your own eye quote? How about we shut the fuck up with all that #blacklivesmatter business we spout to the “white people” and we adopt this – #respectyourown; because the truth is this – #blacksmakeblacklivessplatter

I am joining his family in grief; I pray for them the strength to endure. I ask God to grant his wife a safe pregnancy and delivery.

I pray for us all…

Cheers!

20150717_162556-1It’s simple really – today I’m wishing you all that you wish for yourself… and then, just for the fuck of it, just a little bit more.

Have an amazingly beautiful, peaceful, love-filled, successful, goal-oriented, kick-ass, sexy, stimulating, safe day yall. And tomorrow? Let’s address it 😉

Me.

Somebody Asked Me If I Knew You…

I have been keeping my emotional self wrapped tightly around me lately; too much has been happening – with me and those I care about. Experience has taught me that in these moments, because the emotional demand is so high, one can either expend as required (immediately) or hold in reserve in order to ensure sustainability; I have learned the latter is the wiser course of action.

As you know, school for me resumed on August 27th and like a baby at day-care, I immediately got sick; picked up a flu-germ somewhere along the journey. Thankfully I am on the up-swing with that. But as you know, having your physical health barriers attacked opens the door to your mental health being compromised; or as a friend pointed out, this could certainly be a “chicken-egg” scenario. My point is however that the past three weeks have been a study in an attack on my physical and mental immune system; for the one the cure was easier – thankfully our world has created a multi-billion dollar industry geared toward a myriad of choices – medicinal, homeopathic and natural from which to choose. The other cure can prove to be a bit trickier…

It’s a bit ridiculous for me to actually state the words, “I am a communicator” right? I mean… d’uh! I believe most of life’s beauty begins with the transference of words and the demonstration through actions; as well as much of life’s ugliness and misunderstanding can be resolved through effective communication. I have lived the reality that it is through (mis)interpretation that many unfortunate conclusions manifest; situations that are not given the attention and clarity they deserve. So yes, I am a communicator and, I constantly work to achieve the title of an effective one. Of everything I pride myself on and hope to be, this is at the top of my list. Truly.

So there’s that. I have laid my shit out there in an attempt to use it to highlight and address some of the issues we may all face but may be too shy, ashamed, in denial, unaware, embarrassed to admit or speak of. I am none of those things. Remember? “Making My Mess My Message…” Not to say there have not been those spaces in my life when I have behaved in ways I regret or wish I could have a “do-over” – there absofuckinglutely have been those! What I am saying however is that I have taken a look at them, apologized when necessary, done my best to make up for, asked forgiveness – from those I offended and from myself – learned my lesson and corrected my future behavior. Then, I have moved on… a better woman – for having been allowed the opportunity to behave like a jack-ass and redeem myself.

But here’s something we’ve never spoken about – abandonment. The physical kind that could then manifest itself emotionally. How are yall with that? Do you even know? And if you can admit to yourself you suffer from a tad of that, are you yet in the place where you are brave enough to admit it out loud – to either your family, friends, partner or therapist? Don’t laugh… this is one of those issues, those ailments that affect so many of us, yet is so misunderstood, so very misdiagnosed. The reality of this world now (hopefully future worlds will do better) is that, for one reason or the other, too many of our families are fragmented. Too often the word “single” prefaces the word “parent.” And, even as there are wonderful recountings of children who rise up and go on to achieve their fullest potential in spite of, there are sadly even more where the recounting is tinged with strife, with failure, with devastation.

Abandonment. The problem with the word is that more often than not when used it is coupled with, ‘issues” and, very few people are happy with being looked upon that way. The truth is however that it is an “issue” – it is a freaking epidemic (give me my props for saying “freaking” as opposed to its more graphic first-cousin)! Having feelings of fear of being left can be debilitating; it can and often leads to self-fulfilling behaviors. Oftentimes unconsciously. Listen, I am not speaking through my ass here… I have had serious abandonment issues. I vacillate between being afraid I will be abandoned and being the one to abandon… before it is done to me. See why it’s called an “issue”?

I have been keeping myself wrapped tightly around myself lately because one of the ways someone with my particular issue learns to deal with it is to learn to depend solely on self. See, if there is no external dependence that nullifies the possibility of disappointment. If you don’t expect someone to come (and I am not necessarily speaking of partners here – this also applies to family and friends), then you’re not afraid anyone will leave. Get it? It’s like not having condoms at your bedside – it either denotes you’re confident you’re in a monogamous relationship or you’re just not having sex – so, no need for them.

The good news is, feelings of abandonment can be soothed. There are people who can help – by listening and helping to identify the source and in leading you to resolution. Promise. What they cannot do however is erase the reality of the occurrence(s) that have manifested the feelings; those remain. The reason I point this out is to prepare you for the reality of the continued fluttering in your stomach that may signal the appearance of a past ghost; the speck of red in front of the dormant bull. Natural, normal, common. What you will learn to do though is recognize and acknowledge the feelings – maybe even be comfortable enough to share them out loud and leave them where they belong – in the past, ascribed to the actions and behaviors of others – not appropriate or beneficial to and in your future.

I have a friend – well, I guess it more appropriate to say, “I had a friend” who one day simply disappeared from my life – without warning, conversation or explanation. I attempted to communicate – because our friendship I thought was based on that – our ability to speak the truth, in spite of what it was. I was wrong and it hurt(s). My teachings with regard to this issue of abandonment have taught me something else however and it is this – not everyone is able to communicate as openly, as freely, as honestly. Oftentimes people simply do the best with what they have and part of respecting them is to not judge their “best” either by your standard, your need or your past. Sometimes people don’t necessarily set out to leave you; sometimes they just need to leave…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love’s Got Everything To Do With It!

Now, yall know it must be important for me to disturb your evening, right? I mean, in the year+ since we’ve been this intimately intertwined, I think I have done this one other time. I am not sure how your passions manifest themselves, but for me, when I need to write, when I need to communicate, when I need to share… well, I simply must.

I was watching a movie today – in fact two – about relationships. It was unintentional; I was having a lazy day in bed because I have been sick, so I had the television on. Anyway, this movie… as I watched, naturally it stimulated new thoughts, old habits and spot-on parallels, I could not take my eyes off of seeing snippets of my life portrayed by strangers. I got to see what others see and, I sat and processed how they may have felt.

Like I said, you and I have been intimate for over one year now and, we have addressed many things. I trust I have delivered on my promise to never half-step, to be as authentically raw and transparent as I need to be in an effort to honor and thank you for taking the time to read. But as I watched the movie I realized that in as much as I/we have shared, I have never truly touched the relationship of love. My relationships of love. My heart after love. So, on this rainy (in New York) Saturday evening, here we go… let’s address this.

I have been extremely lucky – I have had some amazing love affairs thus far. I have been incredibly blessed in having had partners that have loved, respected, honored and celebrated me. For those of you who started this journey from day-one do know though, I am also quite proud of the fact that I have survived one of the biggest assholes I have encountered, a boy (because I refuse to ever call an abuser a “man’) that made we wonder so very very often how God could have gotten that particular cocktail so wrong, but for whom I now give thanks as his actions are in very big part why I do what I do and who and how I am. But, that is as much air-time as he will get.

Moving on (as I have)…I watched the characters in the movie find, get, keep, lose and regain their footing in the love-department. I chuckled, shook my head, sucked my teeth, rolled my eyes, cheered, laughed outright, prayed and cried. I experienced, as if watching a reel on rewind, my life as I have loved. You know, one of the most fantastic things about getting older (aside from simply the “getting” part) is that with hindsight, knowledge and wisdom, one is then able to look back and critique their actions and decisions. I am able to, without filter, take up the decisions I have made, hold them up to the light of wisdom and experience, turn them this way and that and finally see them – both for what they are and for what I may have thought they were.

Like I said, I have been lucky. And unlike most people, even as my partners are visible only in a rear-view mirror, I do not discount either their impact or importance. I refuse to negate either how successful I thought the relationship for the time and space, or that each still live on in me in one way or the other. Listen… I do not believe in ‘forever’. I struggle with the notion that most humans are capable of liking, living with and loving the same person actively for more than say, ten years. Truly. And, I am being quite generous with that. And this even as I know of and have heard of relationships that seem to have endured for much longer. Notice I said, “seem to have endured.” Take my parents – they have been married now for well over fifty years – so on paper, that shit is quite impressive… on paper. They live in different states and most times, barely tolerate the other. Yet, if anyone were to watch them at a function, one would assume that theirs is a story and life to emulate. And the reality is, there are quite a few people emulating their story; but not the public one that looks great, the true, private one.

Funny enough though, their reality is not what laid the basis for my lack of belief in the fairytale of ‘forever’, I came to that conclusion all on my own. This is what I do believe: we need to all stop buying into the fairytales and become more realistic. We need to begin drafting our own stories, based on our very realistic set of truths. To do this however, we need to face ourselves, remove the IG sepia and other tones and go raw; no filter. For me, “forever” is for as long as we are loving and liking each other… and not one damned minute longer! So, if that lasts two years, ten or twenty, I consider that time well spent and a success! I will be damned if I allow anyone to base the validity, intensity or success of my relationship solely on the outcome. That would be like saying our entire lives were a waste of time, a failure, devoid of enjoyment, success, love and achievements because well, it ended, we died.

I remember being in love… once. Don’t get me wrong, I have loved and I have loved incredibly deeply. But what I am speaking of here is the love that comes in softly, no fanfare, the type that bypasses your heart – that’s just for the “ordinary” people – and goes straight for your soul. The feeling that’s not loud – no jumping on sofas like Tom – in fact, it is quiet, peaceful, steady, it shows up over and again, it feels like everything in your home… yours. I’m talking about the kind of love… shit.

I was watching these movies about relationships and the mistakes we make – because of stupidity, arrogance, insecurity, mistrust, duplicity, immaturity, greed – I wanted to speak with you. I wanted to ask you, to implore you in fact to take a look at where you are, in relationship or not and assess both yourself and it. If you’re loving someone and they you, if something you treasure, then please… cherish it. Protect it. Nurture the love you have and together, fight for the time and room for it to flourish. Remove pride from the equation; that shit cometh before the fall. Understand what a gift it is when, in a world with millions, shit, billons, someone chooses you to love, to trust and to share with. Remove fear from the equation; learn from what may have hurt you in the past, take the lesson but leave the scars back there.

I gotta go; much to think about. With everything I have in me however, I ask you to do this – when you find your ‘other’ when you recognize the person that was made just for you and you him, smile, reach out, take his hand, look him in the eye and let him know you’ve been waiting and how peaceful you are now that he’s shown up…

Love.

It Truly Is As Plane As Day…

We say we will never forget; and I am certain with this, thousands of us won’t. To date it continues to mark a singular act, a moment in time that forever has changed the landscape of actions – those we are conscious of and the ones we execute unconsciously… until someone points them out – like the immediate heightened awareness we experience at any dip or unexplained jerk of an airplane, like the way a passing motorcade of fire-trucks and police cars, all with sirens blaring can halt conversations (and not because of the noise), interrupt the addiction that keeps our noses pointed toward our supposedly-smart phones, make our stomachs clench and our hearts skip a beat then race, until we find assurance that they haven’t struck again.

So I join you all in the involuntary action of playing out the moments, my moments of that fateful day – how it started for me, the in-between and Lord knows! the end. I continue to sit in absolute awe at the absolute portrayal of hate. To this day I marvel at the emotions that allow for the decisions, dedication and preparations made for years and the subsequent execution of same. I shudder to think of the depth of hate that must reside… no, that amount of hate cannot just “reside” it must own… I shudder to think of the depth of hate that owns an individual enough to demand he unleashes it upon unsuspecting, innocent, unknown, undeserving… strangers. The hate that dictates he sacrifices his own life to achieve their murders.

It is obviously an understatement of immeasurable proportions to state, “the actions perpetrated on this nation on September 11th, 2001 have left their indelible foot and fingerprints on not just the lives of those of us who live, work and love in this country, but it has spread its tentacles and vibrates around the world…” but, I say it anyway. The reason I do is a simple one – residual side-effects notwithstanding, many of us, on a day-to-day basis (that only stops when this day approaches) continue to live our lives as though what happened on that day was nothing more than a little inconvenient bon-fire. And, we grumble at the inconveniences that have resulted – the more stringent security checks – at the airports, the bridges and tunnels, the very visible presence of armed national forces, to name a few. Until today, that is. Today, we are all awash in solemnity and appropriate words.

Listen, these acts of terrorism – home-grown or imported – should never happen; they fly in the face of everything human and humane. But they do. And when they do what we should do after we bury our dead and attempt to pick up the pieces of our lives to move forward, is allow them to shape us; give them the room to change our behaviors… for the better. To heighten our appreciation of and respect for life. Allow the heartache from the destruction to keep its index finger firmly pressed against the artery in us that pumps out tolerance, acceptance, respect, solidarity, goodwill and patience. Let it stay there so it can feel the vibration of it as this flows through us.

You know, after the planes struck and the (figurative) dust settled, as the terror and numbness started to dissipate, a new emotion lived in so many of us – hate. We called for and sought vengeance against those who dared to step on our soil and mean us ill in such a catastrophic way. We vowed to dispense our brand of retribution! How dare they?! So, we went after them; we caught some and still plan on finding and exacting revenge on any more who dare. We let them know that hate will not be tolerated and that no one treats us this way and gets away with it!

I guess we only have a problem when the foreigners treat us badlyblack-ribbon

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