Archive | August, 2013

Triage.

12 Aug

My needs have not been met.

I feel like a jerk for dwelling so much on the fact that a big part of the life that I dreamed about may not come true, which is weird, since I haven’t even had two weeks to process it. I suppose I feel this way because I’ve been under the impression that I’m to just suck it up and move on when it comes to the little tragedies and heartaches I’ve faced.

It has started to dawn on me that I’ve been trying to function for years and basically failing and beating myself up about it. I just couldn’t understand why I couldn’t simply be normal and thin and do laundry and put on makeup and make my bed and pack a lunch and be on time and take showers and not scream at my parents and stop fantasizing about killing myself until I finally realized that I’ve been wandering around throughout life for the last decade plus three years with a gaping, festering wound that hasn’t been properly dealt with while adding other wounds around it that don’t fully heal and it truly is a wonder that I’m anywhere at all.

I’ve tried to make people understand the screaming void I feel inside, going without any sort of physical intimacy or love for more than a decade. And it isn’t just about the lack of sex. I see single people who’ve gone without sex for a very long time but have children, and perhaps I’m making a huge and incorrect assumption, but I don’t believe that they suffer in the same way because they can hold their child and kiss their child and feel that incomparable parent/child love and know that they are needed and wanted. I imagine that this is not the case for everyone, but it is still something that I do not and possibly will never have.

To never have been held out of romantic love, to go without feeling someone’s lips against mine, a hand in my own; to not feel the pleasure that another’s body can bring mine and to not know if my body can do the same, to continue to go on without these common human experiences year after year after year and to be expected to feel okay and to function normally? I’m starting to figure that that may have been an expectation too great for me to meet.

Perhaps it would be different if we were talking about three years instead of thirteen. Maybe if there had been a kind and gentle lover or two for me to look back on and fondly remember instead of one man-child whose pleasure was derived from the pain he caused me.

How do I make anyone understand what it does to my feelings of self-worth to admit that the only man to see my naked body mocked it? The only words he uttered were meant to criticize and deliver his displeasure? “Find your beauty from within!” everyone screams! “No one is going to love you if you don’t love yourself!” “There is more to life than sex and relationships! By the way, did I tell you all about the fabulous sex I’m having in my feminist, kink-positive, poly-amorous relationship?”

I would just like someone, for once in all this time, to acknowledge my wounds. I don’t want to be handed anymore band-aids or children’s Tylenol in the form of “Well, let’s redo your Match.com profile!” or “What you need to do is organize your closets.” I need wound care. I need stitches and sutures and cauterization. I need major treatment.

I don’t want to hear that no one knew what was going on; that they couldn’t have helped me because I didn’t say anything. The Ambrosia most people knew died 13 years ago and a zombie has been walking around in her place. I don’t know if there’s anything that can bring her back. She’s probably a long lost cause. But I’m here. Try with me.

When I was around, I don’t know, 22, 23 years old, and the wounds were far more fresh, before the gangrene had started to set in, I went to a counselor on my college campus. A black woman. She’d understand me. She’d see the blood, the tears in my flesh, how the wound wasn’t clotting even after two or three years. I don’t know how far how I got with my story. I was telling her about Christmas, about the gifts he’d demanded, and how I’d nervously driven all over the state to make sure I found each thing on the list, worried about what psychological trauma he’d inflict on me if I failed. I might have even told her about my visit to the emergency room in the middle of the night that he wouldn’t take me to. “If you’re gonna go, you’re going alone” he’d growled. She’d rolled her eyes and thrown her hands up in the air. “He was a 19 year-old boy” she interrupted. “That’s how 19 year-old boys are. I mean, really, what did you expect?” That I years later dated and was rejected by her son only added insult to injury.

Though I don’t want the focus to be all on him, I do want it to be understood how hard it is to feel normal and unbroken when the last relationship you’ve had and the only physical intimacy you’ve known is with someone who was so cruel to you, no matter their age. I can’t believe it took me this long to figure out that this has been the black cloud I’ve been under for so long. And every time someone said that boyfriends and sex were overrated and that I didn’t want one anyway and did I really want children and that I had to focus on loving myself and that I wasn’t trying hard enough to meet people and maybe it was because I went natural or put on weight or didn’t smile enough or lived in the wrong city, they dug their dirty finger deep into my wound when they should have wrapped their arms around me and said “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. It’s not your fault. You need to heal. You need to rest. ”

In the meantime, does it mean that while I heal, I must still go without physical, emotional, and sexual intimacy? Do I have to continue to starve? When you starve a thing it dies and I’m afraid that my ability to give and express love and intimacy is in fact dying.

In the meantime, while I heal, can I be brought back to life?

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The all black everything of my dreams.

11 Aug

I know, dagnabbit, I missed two more days on this 31-day journey. Friday was an awful day. Just. . . terrible. I’m pretty sure my therapist was trying to dump me during my session with him that afternoon, shortly after I told him I learned that I probably can’t have children. So that was fun.

I was going to write about that, but my last post was pretty damn bleak. I was inspired to write about something lighthearted after re-reading a book I absolutely adore on Saturday. I decided to gush all about it in the hopes of convincing those of my followers that aren’t spam bots to read it and then I decided I would create the cast of my dreams in the event that I someday stumble upon a few million dollars and immense power and influence in Hollywood so that I can then have it made into the movie it absolutely needs to be.

The book in question is “32 Candles” by Ernessa T. Carter. I stumbled across it the year I turned 32 and was struck by the book’s hot pink cover and silhouette of a woman with an afro. I’m a bit of a book snob and had given up on finding anything classified as “urban” or “African-American” fiction or super popular “chick lit” (outside of the Bridget Jones series) that I’d actually enjoy, but I gave it a shot. And OH MY GOD am I frickin’ so glad I did. I stayed up all night and devoured it in one sitting. I wept and laughed and swooned and blushed and shouted and just had my edges snatched and got my ENTIRE life. I found the author on that social networking site when I was still on it and Ms. Ernessa was kind and gracious and funny and we liked the same things and she answered my questions and holy shit, that just made everything better.

“32 Candles” tells the story of Davie Jones who we meet as a little girl in Glass, Mississippi. She lives with her alcoholic, abusive, neglectful, but beautiful mother Cora, who only came into Davie’s life a year before when Davie’s beloved grandma died. Poor Davie has a horrible childhood and finds her only bit of light and escape in the movies of John Hughes and Molly Ringwald, hence the title of the book. Fast-forward to her time in high school: Davie hasn’t spoken in ten years after an especially viscous beating from her mother and goes unnoticed at school, which is a welcome change from the constant teasing she’d undergone, which included being called “Monkey Night” since kindergarten. Why the strange nickname? Well, both the kids and adults in town have declared Davie to be “ugly as a monkey and black as night”. Ugh. Enter in the Farrell family: rich, light-skinned, and the owners of the Farrell Fine Hair Company which has a factory in Glass. The three Fabulous Farrell children – James, Veronica, and Tammy – attend the local public high school and Davie immediately falls in love with handsome, popular, and surprisingly kind James. Veronica is the ultimate mean girl and after finding out a secret about Davie’s mother, decides to make life a living hell for Davie. Davie runs away from Glass after Veronica pulls a cruel prank on her and reinvents herself in L.A., forgetting all about Cora and the Farrells – until she literally runs into James again shortly before turning 32. AND THEN EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE AND WONDERFUL AND HORRIBLE AND BEAUTIFUL AND OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK AND IT NEEDS TO BE A MOVIE.

One of the things that is so amazing about “32 Candles” and Ernessa T. Carter is that she writes a story about black characters and the black characters are diverse. Some of the black people are rich. Some of the black people are poor. Some of the black people are straight. Some of the black people are gay. Some of the black people like movies that don’t have any black people in them. Some of the black people like to travel to California wine country. Some of the black people sold drugs as teenagers. Some of the black people went to Princeton. Some of the black people have two perfectly nice parents. Some of the black people have one terrible parent. This shouldn’t be amazing, and it isn’t, if you are a black person, or have ever known more than one or two black people in your life. But thanks to TV and movies, (Tyler Perry, I’m looking directly at you) you’d think that there is only one kind of black experience in America and only one kind of black entertainment that black people enjoy. Ernessa T. Carter pooped all over that with smart, funny writing and interesting, complex characters that still spoke to things that are specific to the black experience, like natural hair and the never ending issue with complexion, i.e., “dark skin” vs. “light skin”. SHE IS AMAZING.

Alright, alright, so here are the actors that I want to play the most important characters and who I think you should picture when you’re reading the book WHICH YOU SHOULD HURRY UP AND GO READ BUY RIGHT AFTER YOU’VE READ THIS POST:

Naturi Naughton as Davidia “Davie” Jones: Initially I was thinking of Keisha Knight Pulliam, but Davie has to be able to sing. I don’t know if KKP has the ability, but Miss Naturi certainly does. She also proved in 2009’s Notorious that she can act and she’s beautiful and look at her skin and just wow.

Taraji P. Henson as Cora Jones: Cora’s described as not being light enough to be called “yellow” and not dark enough to be thought of as plain, and beautiful, but cruel. I just sat through “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” because I couldn’t find the remote and Taraji’s mean, tragic drunk character in that movie was pretty damn convincing. I know she could do wonders with the better writing and characterization that Ms. Carter’s Cora would offer her.

Aubrey Drake Graham as James Farrell IV: Shut up, I don’t care, I love him. The minute Davie began describing James and how he was like sunshine, I immediately pictured my baby  this guy. He’s got the acting chops, he’s light-skinned, he’s a heart throb, he’s rich, he’s tall, he’s muscular, he’s arrogant, he’s sexy, he’s romantic, he’s insecure, he’s charming, AND ERNESSA TOLD ME THAT SHE COULD TOTALLY SEE DRAKE AS JAMES AND THAT SHE LOVES HIM TOO SO THERE.

Paula Patton as Veronica Farrell: She is a bit older than Aubrey and Naturi, but she is my Veronica. I always felt like Veronica’s behavior and personality made her come across as the older sibling anyway. I can just hear Paula’s raspy voice uttering a chillingly nasty “Hey, Monkey Night”.

Tessa Thompson as Tammy Farrell: Tammy is the far more harmless of the Farrell sisters and I think Tessa Thompson has a natural sweetness in her face that can convey Tammy’s sympathetic role in the story. And she and Aubrey can pass as siblings!

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Nicky: Super tall? Check. Super muscular? Check. A smart ass? Check. A father figure? Check. Funny, perhaps without meaning to be? Check. Good with the ladies? Check. Rick Fox was a close second, but in the end I had to give it Dwayne.

S. Epatha Merkerson as Mama Jane: Nicky’s aunt and Davie’s savior and surrogate mother, S. Epatha would be perfect as the tough talking trucker with the rough exterior hiding a loving heart.

Okay, so those are the main characters, but I am having way too much fun doing this, especially after such dismal posts and real life stuff. I am in the middle of my re-read and and some secondary characters are getting their time in the spotlight, so perhaps tomorrow’s post will be a continuation of my creating the cast of my dreams. Aren’t they beautiful? I need some more brown and deep-brown actors and actresses, though.

Anyway, GO READ AND BUY THIS BOOK. Please. You will not regret it. More dream casting tomorrow.

Retrospect.

8 Aug

I was struggling with what to write about tonight. I decided to take what was originally an answer to a question I received on Tumblr about what my first “real” relationship was like and repost an edited and expanded version of my answer below:

I’d had lots and lots of boyfriends before I met He Who Shall Not Be Named, but I “lost” my virginity to him. I was away at college and we lived in the same dorm, so that added an additional “grown up” element to the whole mess because no parents were around.

I was 19 when I started dating him and 20 when I lost my virginity. I’d grown up in a very religious household and really wanted to wait until I got married to have sex. He basically threatened and coerced me into having sex with him. There were elements that I realized years later that were kind of rapey. But once he “talked me into it” – by quoting Telly’s lines to me from the movie “Kids” which I realized with a sickening clarity while he laughed as he made me watch it after one of the first few times we had sex – I continued to sleep with him because I thought I loved him and wanted to keep him interested in me.

I was a MESS myself when we were dating: suffering from untreated depression, totally directionless in college, my dad was fighting cancer. I feel like he preyed on my weakness. He’d isolate me from my friends and family and tell me that they didn’t understand me; only he did. He told me things like “Love is an illusion” and other nonsense that basically meant “I am going to cheat on you often and generally treat you very badly.” Other girls would come to his dorm room, where I was practically living, day and night. He even tried, and failed, to set it up to have me and his ex-girlfriend fist fight over him in front of our dorm for the entire student body to witness. He did this by forging letters, arranging secret meetings. He thought he was in a Nazi spy drama.

He’d tell me that I was spoiled and “bougie” and that I needed to “learn my place”. He thought it was funny to hit and pinch and slap me to the point where I was crying from the pain. He hit me twice out of anger, once in the face. He threw me down the porch stairs in front of his house during an argument. When he bit a chunk of my flesh from the back of my hand to keep me quiet during a movie I was having a hard time following, I simply wiped away the blood and obeyed. He wanted me to do “wife” things like cook for him, clean for him, take care of him when he was sick. When I did them, he’d ridicule me and tell me I did it all wrong and that I was worthless. If I did something “right” he was surprised.

I’d pretty much shut out everyone from my life at his recommendation (translation: orders), but when I’d try to talk to him about how deeply depressed I was, he’d laugh and say I was crazy, that I was one of those nuts that wore aluminum foil helmets and heard voices.

Basically, he was cruel, he was a drunk, and he loved the way he was and did not love me. He showed me who he was right from the beginning and I chose to ignore it, thinking things with me would be “different”. I’d change him. He’d love me. We’d live happily ever after. We did not. I did not. He broke up with me over the phone; he’d simply tired of me just shy of a year. I’d served my purpose. He had no use for me anymore.

From what I gather, he’s doing just fine. I haven’t seen or spoken to him in 13 years. He was in the military, I think, and may now be a cop, maybe even for the NYPD. He has a child. If I remember correctly, these were things that he really, really wanted. He got what he wanted.

I wonder if he ever got what he deserved.

I’m full of shit.

7 Aug

The more polite, scholarly way to say that is there is a great disconnect between what I say I want and what I actually want.

I suppose I’ve always been that way. I desperately wanted siblings or for there to at least be children that lived in my neighborhood when I was growing up, but if that happened, then those other kids wouldn’t let me play “Orphanage-World War II Rescue-Glitzy Musical-Dramatic Death Scene-British Street Urchin-Let’s See if We Can Catch a Frog We’re Too Scared to Actually Touch”. So maybe it was better that I spent a lot of my time alone because I got to do whatever I wanted.

Now I’m an adult female type person that says she really, really wants to catch the eye of a man that is a suitable substitute for the rapper Drake. There is a part of me much larger than I’d like to admit that thinks I might actually have a chance at catching the actual Drake’s eye and whatever STI he may or may not be carrying when I attend his concert in October. I’ll be in the seventh row, I have a vagina, big boobs, a butt that is/looks big depending on the outfit I’m wearing, an okay face (if you like Bruno Mars), and Rihanna-ish hair. I seem to meet his general criteria.

But the thing is, if I’m to believe Black urban gossip blogs and Instagram and twitter and tumblr and the amount of times I’ve been pushed out of the way in nightclubs, I don’t actually want Drake or any guy who thinks he’s anything like him. If I’m to pay attention to the discomfort I feel when I watch twerk videos on YouTube or try on bodycon dresses or wear lots of make-up or try to take selfies or pretend I care about designer shoes and handbags, I don’t actually want Drake or any guy who thinks he’s anything like him.

I set an alarm to remind myself to watch the televised announcement of the 12th Doctor on BBC America. I’m upset that I still haven’t been able to get my library card since moving, but relieved that my voter registration was taken care of. My favorite article of clothing in the whole wide world is the cardigan; I was going to wear what I think is a sexy dress to the concert, but I was thinking that maybe I’d wear what I wore to work today because I felt cute and sexy in it: a cropped cardigan, baby-doll top, and skinny jeans. I walked out of a top designer outlet in disgust at the ridiculous prices. I have no business setting my sights on a rapper.

I feel like if I were a better, more exciting, more normal Black woman, I’d be sexy and fashionable and good at taking my own picture and then I’d have a sexy, fashionable boyfriend and have sex and be normal and wouldn’t have to have a blog or care so much about things and I’d finally lose weight and be beautiful again. The end. I feel like my life was very much headed in that direction many years ago. If I’d stayed on that path I’d maybe be a popular Instagram “model” and figure out how to take those pictures where you stand to the side to show off your plump ass and how flat your stomach is and pout your lips just so and get, like, 1,000 ‘likes’. But instead I got fat and depressed and didn’t have a choice but to work on my intellect, but I’m lazy and not good at math or science so I only got so far.

My problem is I still want what 19 year-old beautiful, thin, popular Ambrosia was entitled to in a man. I’m afraid of ending up with what 33 year-old uglyish, fat, lonely Ambrosia deserves, which is apparently nothing, or some tragic Al Roker/Wayne Brady hybrid. I want sex and excitement and danger and also thoughtfulness and stability and a face I think is so handsome and biceps that are strong and a belly that is smooth and cute and a booty and intelligence and so much laughing.

I’m just really terrified of settling for the first nice man that takes me on a date. It’s back to that whole childhood want again; I desperately want to be loved and desired, but if it’s by the wrong guy that would be so terrible. So I set my sights on an unobtainable celebrity and focus myopically only on meeting 6′ tall Black men of a certain complexion with facial features that have to be just so in order to avoid dealing with my overwhelming fear of either ending up alone or with some Nice Guy that I’m not attracted to, don’t love, but that there isn’t anything actually wrong with and TIME IS RUNNING OUT.

I know that this post was all over the place and perhaps poorly written and awfully hard to follow, but I needed to attempt to get these thoughts and feelings out. And now I have. So I am a little less full of shit than I was before.

Short and sweet.

6 Aug

My thoughts after watching 15 minutes of “T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle” for the first time:

T.I. and Tiny’s marriage gives me hope that someday, I too will find a handsome, charming, successful man that will love me for my. . .  personality?

 

I know, I know. I’m goin’ ta hell.

Shut up, I probably can’t have kids.

5 Aug

A sexy, blonde, white woman’s story is not exactly what I was hoping for when I googled ‘single over thirty infertile i cry i lie down and i cry’.

I forgot to post something yesterday. And I missed the first day of the month. I am absolutely challenged by following the parameters of this blog challenge. Get it? ‘Cause it’s a blog challenge? And I’m challenged by it? Shut up, I probably can’t have kids.

I should have t-shirts and buttons and business cards made that say that, that way when I inevitably screw up I can just hand people a card or point to the t-shirt or shiny button I’m wearing and silently frown at them, daring them to judge me with their judgmental, fibroid-free uteri and sperm-filled penises. Gross.

When my brain got the message that my hopes of conceiving, carrying, and birthing fat, brown, sweet-potato pie babies were most likely dashed, it immediately decided that the most logical response was for me to stop all efforts at grooming and personal hygiene beyond what could be accomplished with wet wipes. I can imagine my brain shouting orders to the rest of my body like the foreman of some never to be completed, poorly planned construction site:

“All right folks, let’s shut her down! Get those armpits funky and furry! Do not send any additional blood flow to the limbs! That could encourage her to get up out of the bed and/or recliner! Make sure those pupils focus in on the satin bonnet and not the Denman brush and Aussie Moist conditioner! What she can’t see won’t hurt her. Olfactory department, you’ll simply have to get used to the smell. It’s what you were designed for, dammit. I’ll increase her cravings for Oreos, that way any efforts to brush her teeth will be absolutely futile! Why bother, with the beautiful black crust that’s gonna form on her molars? It’s gonna be magnificent, boys! Magnificent!

Don’t worry; I had to go back to work today, which meant I had to shower and brush my teeth for the good of mankind. My brain tried to fight it, though. I could smell my armpits trying to karate chop against my organic raw shea butter soap as I scrubbed away at them with the wash rag. I poured a little extra soap down the drain in their memory. They lost the battle and the war. Damn.

It’s weird how my brain goes into shutdown mode when things get fucked up, especially because almost immediately after shutdown mode commences, it decides that I want to buy ALL the make up and do ALL the hair and be ALL the Beyonce. Or at least Shangela (and I’m always screaming “Dag, why can’t we be Jujubee?!?”).

Do you remember that episode of “Sex and the City” that I’m not going to bother to link to? You know, the one where Charlotte has a miscarriage and won’t go to Brady’s birthday party and stops taking showers and stuff and gives up on life and then she watches the “E! True Hollywood Story” on Elizabeth Taylor or something and Liz is all “When life is shitty, just put on some lipstick, some pumps, and be like, ‘Fuck that; bitch, I is fabulous.'” That was Liz’s quote, word for word. It’s even on her grave and everything.

Well, Charlotte did put on some lipstick and some pumps, along with this pink dress that was completely inappropriate for a child’s birthday party, which I think is the absolute right thing to do when you don’t and maybe can’t have kids: wear some shit that you should not be wearing to remind everyone that you don’t or can’t have kids to make them feel bad about their lives and/or bad for you because why should all the attention be on some stupid baby that probably can’t even talk or doesn’t even have it’s own blog?

And that is the moral of this story: shut up and pay attention to me, because I probably can’t have kids and did not plan a proper ending for this particular post.

Queen of Southern North America.

3 Aug

The Canadians did not recognize me in my true form.

When I went to Toronto, I was under the impression that the moment I stepped off the plane, Canadian men would begin to fall at my feet and worship me as an exotic queen come to them from a far away land.

Instead, a drunken man who repeatedly bragged that he was retired and had breath that stunk of stale cigarettes violently rubbed my back and hair before vomiting into his beer glass on my second night in town.

A few days later, I played dress up in an H&M. My local store had closed, so I was feeling nostalgic. On my way out of the dressing room, my arms full of clothes, what appeared to be a young adult male gazed at me longingly; his ear gauges stretching his lobes to just the right level of droop; his hair swooped and spiked. He smiled at me, the hoop in his bottom lip gleaming under the fluorescent lights. “Beautiful choices you’ve got there” he cooed. I smiled and thanked him, totally confused as to whether he was trying to pick me up or get me to let him try on the stuff I wasn’t buying.

There was the African cab driver who put his car in reverse to yell something in a foreign tongue and angrily gesture that I get into his vehicle immediately after I got out of a car at a Tim Horton’s. Oh, and the group of 13-year-old boys that whistled and shouted “Excuse me, Miss!” as I walked to the CN Tower.

I was almost and finally recognized as the majestic beauty that I am by a handful of altogether inappropriate and eclectic male suitors and all I had to do was apply and pay for a passport, take a week off work, book a flight, pay for round trip tickets, and arrange for transportation to and from the airport to do it.

 

Gee, has it really been that long?

2 Aug

My last blog post up in this piece was in May. Damn. Sorry, anybody still reading. Well, I’m back. I decided to accept the #31WriteNow blog challenge, which I then promptly forgot about, so of course I’m starting a day late. Story of my life. I have a valid excuse, as I had surgery on July 31st, so there. Feel sorry for me!

A lot has happened in my absence. The Condo of Doom is actually becoming a lovely place. My hair is now blonde. I went to Toronto. I had a spinal tap. I had to go to the emergency room. I had to have something called a blood patch. I had all sorts of procedures involving my hoo-ha. I learned that I probably won’t be able to have children. And I sort of became slightly tumblr famous by writing fan fiction about. . . um. . . ahem. . . Drake.

Yeah, I glossed over lots of ugly bits there in the middle, but I don’t really want to talk about any of that. I’ve had to talk about all that stuff at the one place where I shouldn’t have to utter a single word about my personal life: work. Getting time off requires that we perform a lyrical dance and recite free-form poetry that describes when we need time off and why.

Anyhoodle, you can expect the tales of woe and mirth about my life as an unsexed, lonely, anonymous spinster to return for at the least the next 30 days.

I know you can’t wait.