Finished Baldwin. Coming Home.


I’m leaving London in a few hours. I’m going to cut my hair in a day or so. Most likely back to the low ceasar. Marian Mereba, Burnell Taylor, and Paolo Nutini are on repeat in the Beats by Dre I purchased at the market in Marrakech for $15, and I’m unsure if they actually sound the way they should sound in Beats by Dre, but I won’t pay a dime more to find out.

DeMarcus, my insane but amazing educator friend, loaned me Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin for my travels, and I said I wouldn’t return until I finished the book. Tonight, sadly, headed back to Clapham Junction, I finished it. Before finishing, I had amazing conversation at Ritzy about selfishness, language, universities, age, and youth with a beautiful woman from Ireland, listened to an amazing jazz performer in Brixton at The Effra, and had what is undoubtedly the most fantastic savory crepe I’ve ever had from a place in Brixton Market called Senzala. The owner, Claudia, sat and we spoke about her home country, Brazil, her desire to visit a warm place soon and New York.

I sat on a terrace in Marrakech, Morocco drinking a lemon milkshake thinking how ignorant it’d be to say “life is a struggle” at that moment. Life is good. Life is this amazing thing I’ve shaped, fashioned, and attempted to capture through so many lenses; this thing I’ve begged others to give a shot. They don’t listen. They become obsessed with the lives of others, mostly celebrities, not knowing they’ll wake up one day wondering what they’ve done with their own. I’ll know. I’ll always know.

“I wish I could do what you do and just go,” they’ll say.

“I wish you would,” I’ll reply.

Ahh well. I’m just washing clothes, packing, looking at these gifts I’m bringing back, and feeling some kind of pre-depression about leaving this place. I’ll be fine when I lay eyes on the kid just days before he’s 10.

4 thoughts on “Finished Baldwin. Coming Home.

  1. one of my favorite books. the language of it is so strong, so seriously beautiful. and the name hella is just about the best name of any character in any book. I bow down before james baldwin and strive to write something that holds that kind of truth.
    a heavy heart is the best gift to anyone trying to write. make the best of yours.

  2. I was trying to remember where I saw your post about a lemon milkshake. Glad I found it. Anyhow, this post inspired me to make a lemon milkshake and I did so at home and it was soooo good. I would have never thought of a lemon milkshake. I know you enjoyed it.

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