Show The Struggle Sometimes

Why aren’t we showing the process? I was on the greyhound, then the megabus last night thinking about a few things since the outlets weren’t working, and the wifi was sketchy.

Those people out there only see the finished product. What my brothers Petey Wheat-Straw and Jamail Sills would call “the kream.” They only see the polished, shiny, unbreakable product we’ve offered them. But what if we allowed them to see the process?
Then I spoke with Bayyina Black, and it hit again.

If I showed you all the struggles, and the sacrifices, and veins I metaphorically cut open, would that help in some way? Would it keep a few people from jumping from radio towers in Watts, or blowing their brains over the kitchen counter? I think it would. Those onlookers would find their struggle isn’t at all unique, and there may be someone they could speak to.

And sometimes it’s not about putting it out there for the world. Sometimes if seeing something that looks familiar and reaching out to that. When I pledged, I had a teacher cancel class the moment I walked in. She took me to her office and asked “are you okay?” I told her yeah, I was just going through some things. She said “when I pledged…” and I tried to deny it, but she recognized the struggle. When I walked in class on December 11, 2002 with a Kappa shirt on, she cried and smiled, and that meant more to me than the one million people on the yard who clapped because i knew she understood.

*lost train*

But…show the struggle sometimes. Someone could use it. It may save a life.

Montreal: Like a Grown Child Behind A Hydrant

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The winter nearly killed me. That and the half piece of bacon I thought I’d try to begin the process of bringing swine back into my life. I threw up three days of food into the snow beside the church and moved on the Biosphere. “I’ll come back in the summer,” I said.

Canada oh Canada, I can hear Jonie Mitchell and James Blake blowing. And I waited too long to write this because I can no longer tell what made the trip most amazing. The four people who’d never vacationed together, the surprising events around each corner that had nothing to do with the Jazz Fest I’ve been dying to see since childhood, the psilocybin that turned me into Jesus in the middle of a park or the raccoons and their pretty eyes and small hands, taking nuts from mine. This trip was amazing.

The “learn french” line on my list of goals is slowly being scratched through, and my Sockless Summer list is proving to not be a clump of bullshit I threw together in a moment of inspiration. This is all real. I could live there. I could love there, even in the winter. Sitting on a floor with the heat blasting and ice wine and bourbon not far from reach. This could happen.

There were pancakes and tea each morning for breakfast with Oscar from Germany and 20-somethings who put money on Argentina. There was laughs with Molly and Jean, both from Montreal, and both giving us new thoughts of things we’ve come to know. This was Montreal. Maple syrup hidden in lemon gelato like a grown child hiding behind a hydrant. This was amazing.

A completely blue sky at 4:11am and new close friends who needed to be alone to reconsider what life before this trip was about. That was worth sharing a room with 14 others, and a potentially going broke. “Life has to change,” Montreal said.

And I could live there. An amazing summer in the early autumn of this life. I’ll go back soon.
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Lost Care Packages: Nothing Special

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Family will make you believe you’re self-centered when all you really want is to be acknowledged and appreciated at some point. 

It’s almost like abandonment. Like being told you’re going for ice cream and get left at the fire station for some strange family to come along and adopt you.

I grew up in families and in neighborhoods and in friendships that made it not so easy to share the stories I collected while away from them. They didn’t understand what was happening in the school houses they found hard to pronounce, and in the cities they’d only seen on television. Happy for me, yes, but refused to ask any questions about it out of fear that I was no longer one of them, or my answer would question their intelligence. It wouldn’t.

Abandon: cease to support or look after. I jumped in the car and drove away from my 43,000 people town, holding tight to everything I learned there, everyone I loved, and every place I knew. I held my hand out, not knowing most of those I was reaching for weren’t reaching back.

The first few years I came home excited to share everything, but before opening my mouth, my accomplishments and experiences were trumped with stories of cousins with new babies, new charges, new addictions, and new jobs at the hospital, and perhaps I should look into in case school didn’t quite work out. My stories didn’t seem so important then. We sat around and I listened to plans to get a care package and money together to send to a cousin locked up, wondering if they had these conversations about me, and if the care packages and money got lost on the way to Daytona. I stopped coming home with stories to tell. Just smiles, nods, and “I’m okay. Everything is cool.”

There’s nothing interesting about the kid who left. And no one would look after him. No one would support him.

I’m a writer above most other things. A few weeks ago a friend asked how I deal with the feelings of loneliness that inevitably attack. At this point it’s like that friend who comes around that has nothing positive to say about anything. You deal with it. But I supposed my ability to live with it as a writer came from my decisions to continue returning to shared couches with people who shoved loneliness up my nose.

There’s nothing special about the kid who did something different.

I share my success and failures with the world because there are people out there who understand. Because every so often I really just want a tight hug from a familiar person because I stayed up for three days to meet a deadline, letting a an important relationship die. People out there who, when I tell them a play I wrote won an amazing award and a photo I took was published in Vogue, won’t say “Oh,” then tell me about their neighbor who’s letting her boyfriend stay there even though he’s selling drugs and not on the lease.

Home is where we can share accomplishments and goals and dreams and be understood. This 43,000 people town is where I wash my clothes and get hugs from my mother when I need them.

Cyber BS Update

As promised, for those who care, and those dealing with similar situations: 

Two weeks ago I took all the information I had to the cops, and finalized dealings with my amazing attorney who specializes in Cyber Crimes. I left town for a while, but returned now, and hit the ground running. Received a call from my attorney yesterday saying the important things are back and we now have enough to move forward (shout out to the people who put a rush order on it at the several companies). 

Today we met, went over the findings, made attempts at theories of why’s and what’s and went through the law books, and made calls and sent faxes and secured something tight. Then headed to the police station. 

The first hour was spent educating the officers on the internet, how it works, and a few choice words. What followed was the first officer pointing out something we completely missed (to be shared soon). Now to the most important office! I’m just so very ready for it to be done and over, but will not cheat or shortcut it. Prepared to see it all the way through. Next week should begin the end process. 

side note: The incident I shared with you guys about a similar situation happening to me years ago received closure last week when she emailed me, apologizing for what she did. Easily accepted. Sometimes good people do bad things. 

IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE OR HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT A SITUATION YOU’RE FACING REGARDING CYBER BULLYING OR HARASSMENT, FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME. I’LL DO WHAT I CAN. 

Same S***, Different Friends

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growing up I always wondered what “famous people” do with their friends in their down times.

I grew up and became friends with “famous people” and we do the same things I did with my friends then.

Who needs champagne on yachts all year around. spades, ziplines, talking trash by pools and pho on random afternoons. yeah, that’s what it’s all about.

What Happened To Her, They Asked

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What Happened To Her, They Asked

She grew up and no longer wanted to be as oblivious as the girl her friends believed she was
The girl he had proof existed between Friday evenings and Monday mornings
She laughed and played on swings
She took kissing photos in parking garages and laughed when he asked that she do it upside down
She wiped frozen yogurt and cake icing from her face when he was feeling playful and put her hair in a ponytail when she feared he may push her in the lake
She felt love then without looking
But near the end she looked for it in his words
And he was a man of few

- darnell lamont walker