i’m holding on to those laughs i poured out under clothes lines and raggedy, old basketball hoops and monkey bars. i remember well those days i was eight years old and sent to the corner market to buy cigarettes and beer for my granddad with a note from my grandma saying “dear shorty, he’s buying these for me. thanks, irene jones.” shorty was the name of the store owner.
i grew up, found my way through the alleys and back streets, and became familiar with the hustlers and future ceo’s. i joined drama clubs, ate bagels and flew as far as i could at the time with future dancers, artists, poets and transients. it was the best life i could fathom.
but it’s not where you’re from.
and i’m approximately 2,814.2 miles away from a small spot in brooklyn i shared with dru that last housed my thoughts. there’s a 14 mile difference from the place where i’d sit for hours, biting on a lemon square, sipping on a chai tea latte or green tea frapp, writing some story inspired by some girl i met on the lower east side in a mcdonalds while eavesdropping, or some poem about a b-bop boy from brooklyn listening to music on the train, bopping his to the beat. there’s a creperie on the lower east side, just off the f train where i’d make kathie p. meet me for a banana mango white chocolate and grand marnier crepe with powdered sugar on the top. i was about that life. that hustle and bustle and meeting donte in harlem, and jean in fort greene to standby on kwesi’s shoots, and sandra joe at some bar in the village to get something strong enough to put hair on our chests. the ride in with selam to meet up with linara and eventually with lauren was even worth leaving a paper trail for. yeah, i was ’bout that life.
but i’m 2,814.2 miles away from those places, and i’m about this life now. i’m about turning the sun into my personal daycare provider, and the moon into the only one who has enough energy to stay up almost as long as me. i do the beach now, and i eat healthier. the lattes are less frequent, and i’m beginning to juice things again, like i did in detroit those summers with aaron with the yard sale juicer i bought with aunt ann and grandma katie.
i’m so los angeles. i go to parties in the hills where coke is easier to get than sweet tea (but i’m not doing it). i have a personal psychic who’s right about my life more times than i am, and john and i can talk for hours about aliens, metaphysics, the dead and traveling through our own dna with the help of gurus and shamans. i eat with people who love to laugh as much as i do, and introduce them to a life they never considered: mine. we feed off each other, and eat off the others’ plates on sunset, and share shisha on hollywood at that place where o. simbiat almost burned down the couch. sushi with de-bore-ahh and throat collapsing laughs with jai bernard. this life is about creating, producing and utilizing, so i’m making use of this happiness. it was here i decided i was a filmmaker. it was here i became a filmmaker. i’m about that life, too.
charlottesville – florida – dc (november 23, 2004: the birth of the greatest individual) – florida – charlottesville – seattle – new york – dc – los angeles – new york – los angeles – and many many points in between.
though i remember pork bacon and being “most unforgettable” in charlottesville high school class of 2000 senior superlatives, i am not “so charlottesville” anymore. and i owe a part of that superlative honor to by brother, charles because all i had to do was show up and say i was his brother and i became cool by default.
i am not daytona beach, but i will always be gamma theta and the southern prov. and i will always be there for those brothers (ace: dennis) and friends i MADE (four points).
i am definitely not seattle, though i miss those well fed billionaires.
i am not DC though i miss them ALL (i guess it was no accident that i was accepted into a program that didn’t exist).
i will always be that kid that cooked noodles and baked cakes randomly in doreen and larry wells’ home, but i am los angeles because it is not where you’re from…but where you are.
so, los angeles: here i am. let’s make this time work.