Archive for the 'lawyer' Category

19
May
11

because you’re never too old to be permanently scarred…..

so….this week, twitter was all awash with this accent challenge….i didn’t do one…butttttttttttt, it *did* give me the idea to record me reading an entry….why? because i’m a narcissist. if my voice annoys you too much, the published entry is below……..but…i *do* do voices…

ps..y’all know i’m not web-wise….there’s this annoying whistle in the background….but, i couldn’t record it over again….apparently, my entries are long as FUCK. who knew?

agnes final sound ii

I am fairly well-versed in the language of me.

That is to say—I get me. I get how I work; how I “do.”

I spend a great deal of time keeping to my own counsel.

You aren’t going to enlighten me on too much shit concerning the body of work that is me.

That said, a rather large part of being an adult—a well-socialized adult—is one’s ability to be receptive of criticism; particularly criticism coming from those that wish you well.

Right.

So my mama thinks I’m stuck up.

I’m not going to elaborate on this, as it’s ridiculous, but, that’s what my mother says—I’m stuck up.

Now, as the only child of a Southern Black woman, I, of course, trained myself, at an early age, to distinguish between sage wisdom and unfounded-potentially-hurtful shit.

But I lend considerable weight to anything my mother tells me.

Some of her advice gets thrown out with the wash, but never ever before I’ve turned it over in my mind and examined all the angles.

*****
I had been at my parents’ house an entire thirty-six hours before my mother accosted me with her most recent allegation of sadditty-ness.

I was certain the arguments my mother used in support of her assertion were fundamentally flawed, but, her accusations loomed dark and foreboding; eagerly awaiting any concession, or breakdown of my resolve—prepared to play vulture to my carrion.

Sunday morning came, however, with little to no incident.

And the day had started out pleasant, enough. My father, recuperating from surgery, had suggested that we skip church in favor of a restful morning at home. My mother, eager to tend to her flowerbed, had whole-heartedly co-signed.

And it was quite nice, actually. My father had ultimately found sleep in our den. My mother, sun-weary, napped in the chaise longue beside her bed. And finally convinced that our three dogs were no longer trying to murder each other, I, myself, was nearing slumber.

*****
The dogs heard her first.

All three had been tucked away with me on the third floor, but they’d heard her. One after another they went barreling down each set of staircases, barking in righteous indignation at the audacity of someone entering our home, uninvited.

But that was how Cousin Agnes always entered our home.

Just walked the fuck in.

What you should know about Cousin Agnes is that she is my father’s cousin. Like, fifth or sixth. I don’t really know as I prefer not to dwell on any genetic predeterminates that legitimately bind us. Cousin Agnes isn’t so much a relative, as she is a threat you wield over the heads of misbehaving children (e.g. “Keep it up…I’ma sit you over at that table with Cousin Agnes and ‘em.”)

While Cousin Agnes isn’t necessarily an unattractive woman (as I’m sure her five previous husbands will attest to), a cursory overview of her will let you know, straightaway, her elemental truth; a truth that will be confirmed the second she opens her mouth—

Cousin Agnes is hood.

Real hood.

Malt-liquor drankin’, misquoted-Bible-verse-interspersed-with-her-profanity spoutin’, hootie-hoo my dude we-fittin-to-go-to-the-grocery-store-and-cash-this-good-check-so-we-can-buy-us-some-stretchy-clothes-

Hood.

And she’s like, sixty.

Matter of fact, in my sheltered childhood, Cousin Agnes was my first indication that old people could actually be hood. I think I thought that hoodness was some shit that you eventually grew out of. Cousin Agnes destroyed that illusion for me.

Now, the most important thing you need to know about my Cousin Agnes is that she’s a whole lot of woman.

She’s tall—about 5’10, and stocky. Not obese or any other descriptor of gratuitously fat—just stocky.

But check this—

She seems bigger….on account of her voice.

Like, think Jim Carey’s “Vera” on In Living Color.

Cousin Agnes likes to call it “husky.”

But, on everything, I swear that shit sounds like she waits til low tide to emerge from the Deep, and feed upon the small children of aboriginal island-dwellers; like, twenty years ago, unbeknownst to the world, Cousin Agnes managed to get her hands on some deceased Andre The Giant DNA, and through the miracle of modern medicine cultivated some Andre The Giant stem cell in a petri dish until her clone Andre The Giant baby reached the age of maturation, when she promptly murdered him and used his dissected testosterone sacs to line the walls of her larynx—

Like….no bullshit.

‘Shit’s that deep.

Anyway-

Cousin Agnes was standing in our kitchen, nearly beside herself with fright at the onslaught of our raging dogs. I greeted her, warmly, and calmed the animals, offering her a drink and a seat. She refused.

“Uh uh. Where yo’ favvvva at? I wanna see yo’ daddy? Where yo mama? Where yo mama?”

I tried to explain to her that they were both asleep, but she was having none of that, and insisted I take her to my dad.

Begrudgingly, I led her up the back stairs, and nudged him awake.

As my father begin to engage her, I started to walk away when Cousin Agnes called after me: “Go get yo’ mama too! Wake huh up! I wanna see yo’ mama too!”

I bit my tongue, and walked in the direction of my parents’ bedroom. I reluctantly woke my mother, and let her know that we had company…and that that company was Cousin Agnes. I then beckoned the dogs to me, informing my mother that I would be upstairs.

That’s when I caught it.

My mother’s look.

She hadn’t uttered a syllable, but the narrowing of her brow said it all. Stuck up.

I met her gaze in silence, the unspoken language of her challenge clear. Turning stiffly back to the direction from whence I’d come, I returned to the den, three dogs in tow, my mother not far behind me.

Everything was going fine—well, typical of any Cousin Agnes visit—

I offered up commentary when I managed to manipulate my way through the veritable sea of her verbal ratchetry—

Through a series of well-applied pinches to my forearm, I trained myself not to laugh-outright, or visibly cringe at the cascade of horrors flowing from her mouth.

And things were going smoothly—and I was proving my mother wrong….when it happened.

Somehow my mother and Cousin Agnes had stumbled upon some salacious piece of gossip concerning a man they both knew who had left his wife for another woman.

My mother received the information with no real problem, but Cousin Agnes could not seem to get over the injustice of the man’s lover not being up to her apparently exacting physical standards.

Over and over she slapped the tops of her thighs with her heavy, open palms, protesting, “She ain’t even cute, doe!!! She ain’t even cute!!! Look, doe!!! She ain’t even cute!!!”

My mother, in her gentle voice, and I thought, rather patiently, tried to explain to Cousin Agnes—who now sat comfortably amongst our couch cushions like some retard giantess—that sometimes, appearances counted little in matters of the heart.

And even as my father and I nodded in tacit agreement, Cousin Agnes remained undaunted. “She ain’t even cute, doe!!!”

My mother was shaking her head in casual resignation, when Cousin Agnes perked up. I could nearly see the light-bulb go on in her thicket of unkempt, ratty braids, and my gut warned that I should fear it.

“But you know what doe,” she began, “Dat guhl is younga dan him doe…She is younga dan him.”

No one commented, and she continued. “And you know how dem young guhls like to do…they know what men like and they be givin’ it to ‘um…Dey be givin’ it to ‘um.”

In the next moment, my whole world would come crumbling down at my feet.

Cousin Agnes looked first to me, saying: “You know how dey do…” then looked to my father, saying, “Excuse me Jay-rome,” then half-cupped her left hand, covering the left side of her mouth, but absconding nothing from view. Her gaze returned to me as she made her open mouth into an oval, and proceeded to bob her head backward and forward.

I whipped my head away, pretending that I had not seen, what my racing mind was telling me I had. “Cousin Agnes!” I cried out, in pleading—

She didn’t give the FIRST FUCK…

Cause she did it again….

Simulated oral sex in the den of my parents’ home—the home my parents had lovingly built from carefully-spun dreams——on the Sabbath…A day the Lord God Himself had admonished us to honor; to keep holy. She simulated oral sex in front of BOTH of my parents…my mother AND my father…..

And she had done so, whilst looking directly at ME…looking directly into my thirty year old eyes for confirmation, for acknowledgment.

My father sat so quiet, and so still, but my mother wore a look of confusion on her face. I like to pretend that she was in a sort of fugue state—like her body had gone into shock to protect it from the trauma her whole being had just experienced.
But Cousin Agnes wouldn’t let sleeping dogs lie, cause she took their quiet as indication for her need to clarify.

AGAIN, looking to me, she called out my name, and said, “Fooler knows….BLOWJOBS…”

I’d liked————————to have knocked———————alla the shit in that room——books on shelves, trophies in cabinets, crystal in curios, chess pieces on chessboards———-I’ddddddddddd liked to have knocked allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllla that shit down………………..

BITCH….WHAT in THE FUCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKK are you looking at me for?

WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY in the MOOOOOOOOOOOOOTHERFUCK are you looking into MMMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYY eyes, saying words like “blowjob” to my parents??????

Why?

Why?

And I was concerned, like, on a multitude of levels.

I didn’t know if she looked at me and saw like, some kind of neon halo of dick residue all up and around my person; I didn’t know if I’d been traversing this land, all these years, with the faint echoes of blowjobs-past nipping at my dick-sucking heels—-Why had she chosen me?

And what had she wanted from me?

Was there some expectation of high fives; of chest bumps? Were my parents gonna stand on either side of us as we formed a soul train line and did the give-head dance around my mother’s art collection?

I didn’t linger long in my mental landscape of uncertainty.

At THAT moment, I realized I didn’t give a damn what my mother thought of my temperament if it meant enduring one millisecond more of the indignity that aged broad had brought to my home.

I picked up as many of my dogs as I could carry, and ZackGalifianakisWalked my sweet ass the FUCK out.

Cousin Agnes bellowed after me in her hobo-baritone, but I did not look back.

I did not look back.

27
Apr
11

my very near surrender to love, and how one lone, bitchass apple spoiled the bunch…

I was awash with love, today.

I’m fresh off a weekend with my linesisters and their extraordinary husbands and boyfriends; fresh from the nuptials of our 9 to yet another extraordinary husband.

I was awash with love.

And it is, perhaps, for this reason, that, in an about-face from my traditional measured dose of snark, I afforded my mother some contemplative sincerity when she inquired about my love life.

Still, despite my best intentions, I had nothing new to offer when she asked for the one millionth time, this life, “What are you looking for in a partner?”

I had no clue.

And why should I?

I’ve been unwavering in my praise of previous romantic interests.

They’ve all been great people.

Sure, Matt wasn’t nearly as cautious as I thought he should be when it came to open, public display of his baby-Negro chest hairs from generously unbuttoned shirts.

And Eric’s excessive use of faucet water during these eco-conservative times certainly earned him a questionable frown or two from my general direction.

But, for the most part, I was a woman of few complaints.

I could ask nothing more from a future partner than I’d already been lucky to find in ones past.

Not until I’d finished speaking with my mother did it dawn on me that she’d asked the wrong question. All of this time, she had been asking the wrong question.

This was not about what I was looking for in someone else.

This was about what was—what is—lacking in me.

Frankly stated—

A desire to put another person’s needs before my own.

That variable, that lone compulsion, so entirely absent in my own selfish heart, rang out so true and so sound in the shared whispers, shared laughter, shared glances, shared touches between my linesisters and their mates.

But not within me.

Rather, mine is an only child’s well-constructed cynicism.

I’ve dedicated years to this doctrine of self-reliance, unapologetically putting my own self first. I’ve expended countless hours proselytizing the responsibilities one has to herself, and only herself; how we enter this world alone and die alone; how we must comport ourselves accordingly in light of this stark truism.

But, when you embark upon a relationship, you are vulnerable to the elements. You are expected to forfeit this mentality. You must conceptualize an appropriate model of trust, and incorporate it into your sensory framework.

Enter my reticence.

This act of forfeiture—this veritable surrender of guard—is far too high a price for my risk-averse pocket.

But, in a perfect world, where all conditions are met, and a suitable, trustworthy partner chosen—you relax.

You disable your selfish.

You put your partner’s needs first, and he/she yours.

And there are no worries, for each of our respective fronts is covered. Each of our respective sets of needs met.

In the face of my epiphany, I was forced to consider all of it. And I did. I tossed it all around; I moved the mountains of my mind and forged every briar-laden pass my overly-analytical psyche could conjure, until I reached a conclusion:

Yeah.

I don’t wanna do that shit.

Like, not at all.

And let me tell you why….with a story…because, you know….that’s my way.

******

Jack Jacobsen had hired me to be his attorney.

He was neither a defendant in an action nor a plaintiff. Rather, he was summoned by the Commonwealth to be a witness in a criminal action against his wife (don’t bother to question the basis of this or worry your precious minds with concepts like “spousal privilege.” Just trust your narrator when she informs you that there was no such protection in this case).

You’ll also have to trust me when I tell you that his wife, Molly Jacobsen, had done nothing wrong. An unfortunate set of circumstances, and a naïve faith in the police and municipal government had landed her on the wrong side of the law. Be that as it may, no crime was afoot.

So, Jack Jacobsen had hired me to be his attorney—to apprise him of his options and represent his interests to the Commonwealth’s Attorney, and if need be, the Court.

Essentially, Jack needed to know the ramifications of not testifying, and wanted the prosecution to be aware of his position that his wife had committed no crime, and that he would never say she had.

Upon meeting Molly and Jack, my sympathies immediately went to Molly. She was clearly fragile and overwhelmed by the situation she’d created for herself and her family. The both of them were in their early fifties, and only married for a few years. The thought occurred to me more than once that the two were castoffs, hopelessly destined for a life of solitude ‘til finding their other misfit counterpart (which I’d suspected had happened through the miracle of match.com).

Jack was all fire and bluster, and given to lengthy speeches about his commitment to family, and dedication to his wife. I watched, time and time again as his eyes brimmed over with hot, fast tears, as he became swept away by the conviction of his own oratory. He used powerful words like “Gestapo” and “attack” to describe the prosecution’s relationship with his home. He was adamant about his decision not to testify; to not be his wife’s condemner. He repeatedly drove his stubby index finger into the rich mahogany of the conference room table to emphasize his willingness to defy the Commonwealth, the world, even God if it meant preventing undue harm to his wife.

From our first handshake, and my inhale of his stale, tart breath, I’d sized Jack up. I’d known that he was all false bravado, and feigned masculinity. I would help him, certainly. I would attempt to shield this family he claimed to be the sworn protector of. But I would unveil his inner bitch, too. And I’d take pleasure in so doing.

So I’d sat quietly in that conference room amidst the boom and thunder of his voice. I’d sat, slightly slouched, legs crossed, chin resting on my thumb, index and middle fingers pressed comfortably to my temple. I’d let the sonorous timbre of his voice ricochet between the walls that housed us, my face impassive, unaffected by his demonstrative changes in inflection.

And only when he’d cried his last tear; only after he callously (though guised as reassuringly) rubbed the back of his lady-love and declared himself the last good man; only after he’d dulled the finish of the table with his tiny, closed fists while volunteering himself up as a lamb to the slaughter—only then did I speak.

“I understand and respect your position, “ said I. “I appreciate your willingness to convey how sincere your affections are with regard to your family. My job is to protect you. Not your wife. I am here to advise you.”

He interrupted, then, as I’d known he would. “MY job is to protect my wife. I will protect my wife at all costs. YOUR job is to help me understand how I can protect my wife.”

My face remained unchanged, but I was all smiles inside. I began, again.

“Very well,” said I. “I will communicate what you’ve shared to the Commonwealth’s Attorney. It is possible that she will consider your unwillingness to testify, and re-evaluate her desire to pursue an action against your wife.”

“And if she doesn’t?” Jack demanded. He was playing right into my hands.

“You are under subpoena. If she doesn’t, she will insist you take the stand anyway. If your aim is to protect your wife, you will do so and respectfully decline to answer any questions,” I calmly replied.

“Then that’s what I’ll do!” he asserted. He looked dramatically into the eyes of his wife, just then, and softly repeated for effect, “That’s what I’ll do.”

“At which point you’ll be cited for Contempt of Court, and face a maximum $250.00 fine, and up to ten days in jail,” I stated plainly. Gotcha bitch!

Jack’s face jerked back to mine. “What?!”

I watched as all the blood drained from his face, and the fire fled from his tear-filled eyes.

My eyes never straying from his, I said, in even tones, “Molly, why don’t you leave us, now. Have a seat in the waiting room, and we will be with you, momentarily.”

Molly’s shoulders slumped under the weight of her guilt, as she shuffled from the room. There had been a palpable shift in power. I pulled my chair close to the table, and sat upright for the first time since our meeting began. I gently latticed my fingers, and placed them before me, waiting for Jack to speak. I knew he would not long keep me. Weak men grew quickly uncomfortable with silence.

He didn’t disappoint.

“Ms. Fooler,” he began, “I want you to know that I love my wife.”

I said nothing.

“You have to know that I do not want to testify against my wife.”

I held up my right hand to indicate that I would hear nothing further. “The time for talk of what you want is done. That is over. Your wife is no longer here. The time has come to speak of what you will do.”

Breaking my gaze, and looking down at the table he had pummeled in fury only moments earlier, he whispered demurely, “I cannot go to jail.”

I picked up my pen, and opened the file folder that had lain, untouched, before me throughout the entirety of our meeting. “Then let’s discuss your testimony.”

*****

Molly Jacobsen has no idea what was discussed in that room.

She left, confident in her husband’s commitment to her; certain of his willingness to put her needs before his own.

And he fucked her.

My mother will have to forgive me if I hold fast to my own self-reliant, survival ideology for a little while longer.

*Quite naturally, the names have been changed to protect the…..well….to protect myself.

24
Jan
11

because my linesister used “longsuffering” in a sentence, today…

“…because I’m a wild animal…I’m trying to tell you the truth about myself…” –Mr. Fox
In my mind, a relationship is a contract.
Any type of relationship, really—-be it casual, serious, platonic, or romantic.

You and I agree to embark upon this relationship journey, and we make promises to hang in there when the road gets bumpy in exchange for the assurances we give each other when first we determine to be with one another.
Now, at common law, in order for a contract to be viable, there must first be a “meeting of the minds,” and “mutual assent.”
All of that is really just fancy talk for, “everyone’s laid their terms on the table” and “everyone agrees to all of those terms.”
Now, when something gets fucked up, the maligned party typically makes some allegation of breach—that is to say, that someone has done something in violation of the contract.
And while people breach contracts all the time—the ability to be casually dismissive about the oaths we make to one another is as attractive to mankind as shit is to pigs—upon closer inspection, one often finds that the failure was not in the contract execution at all. Our failures are generally at the outset. We can’t get the “meeting of the minds” part right.
This is especially true of relationships.
So I’m gonna start putting my dealbreakers out on the table at the beginning. Apparently I haven’t been clear enough these last 30 years, but I’m all about self-improvement (not really. Take that down and count it as Number 1: “hates self-improvement.” Feel free to make “lies about liking self-improvement” Number 2).
I’ve taken the liberty of compiling an exact list of my neuroses for your viewing pleasure. If you hate me after having read it, take heart. Now you know we’re not compatible and voila! Meeting of the minds.
*****
I don’t wanna be too accountable for anyone’s feelings and emotions. I am shockingly insensitive when it comes to other people’s feelings and emotions. Note my adverb choice, there. As in, the shit surprises me, even.
I need to be able to come and go as I please. Without question or comment. But, more importantly, without your insistence on tagging along. I’m well aware that you’re available to accompany me. Unless I indicate otherwise, you are not invited.
I don’t want you to talk too much in my house. I live by myself. My dogs and I typically move in silence. While this is generally true of any time you pass, here, it is most especially true when my shows are on. If you are confused about something that you’ve seen or feel as though you are not current with the plot, kindly hold your questions until commercial break when I will happily answer roughly three of them. When queries exceed the three question maximum, you are welcome to my ON Demand cable services, or wireless internet, provided I am using neither at the time. Good luck with that, by the way.
While we’re on the topic, don’t ask me too many questions. Period. I talk a lot. In all likelihood, you know all you need to know. My belief that you’ve asked one question too many or asked something inappropriate for our particular intimacy level will be evident by the silence with which I greet said question. At this point, don’t bother repeating yourself. I heard you just fine.
If you don’t know where something is, ask me. Don’t go opening drawers and leafing through my shit.
I’m a southern black woman. Stay out of my kitchen. You may use the microwave, take food from the cupboards, and go in and out of the refrigerator. If you need something prepared on top of my stove or in my oven, ask me to use stove/oven, and I will get up and prepare whatever you need for you. If there are dirty dishes in my sink, simply place your dirty dish with the other dishes. If there are no dirty dishes in the sink, wipe your dish out and put it in the dishwasher. DO NOT—DO NOT take your bowl to the sink, run a little bit of water in it, and leave it there. What.THEFUCK.is.that? If you recognize that your dish needs washing before putting it in the dishwasher, wash that shit then and there. If you don’t wanna wash it, just leave the shit in the sink and let that food cake up dry. I can’t rightly call it, but there is something so patently disrespectful about running that little bit of water in that bowl. It’s like you’re insulting my intelligence. Like you want me to think that you’re courteous enough to recognize that the dish needs extra washing, so you’ve run the water, but in reality, you don’t wanna wash the dish and really don’t give a damn. On everything, don’t you dare run a little bit of water in the bowl and leave that shit in the sink.
When I say that I cannot do something, that I do not want to do something, that I do not like something, that I do not have time for something, do not contradict me. Assume that, at 30, I know what I mean when I say it. For example: Johnny2Thumbs: “Let’s go out, tonight.” Me: “I can’t. I have to relax my hair.” Johnny2Thumbs: “Didn’t you just relax your hair a couple days ago?”  Inquiries like this fall under the aforementioned “inappropriate” category. Don’t worry about when last I relaxed my hair. What is going on in my scalp ain’t none of your damned business. Again, such queries will be met with silence. Again, don’t bother repeating yourself. I heard you. I assume my silence is preferable to the “What the fuck did I just say?” the South Hampton Roads in me inclines me to respond with.
Don’t tell me what to do.
Know what?
Scratch that.
No, really. Go ahead. Tell me what to do. I’m curious to know whether it will turn out the way you expect it to.
If you expect to have sex when you come over, you damned well better get here when you say that you will get here. If you show up at 1 when you were supposed to be here at 8, just forget it. By 1, I’ve already given away that sex you were supposed to have at 8. Even if I’ve only given it away to myself.
Unless I love you…and I mean, have articulated that I love you while good and sober, do not yell at my dogs. They’re a bit rowdy, so I will turn a blind eye to the occasional stern chastising. But don’t yell at my dogs. If you don’t like dogs, that’s fine. DC is a big city, and I bear no delusions about being indispensable. I appreciate your time, but me, Topher, and Cooper would be much obliged if you’d roll out. We don’t want your kind here.
If you have a problem with me, I better not find out via your status message on facebook, twitter, or gtalk. Cause me and my friends are gonna label you a bitch. Then we’re all gonna EL.OH.EL.
Generally speaking, rejoining a comment I’ve made with “So what you’re saying is,” is more often than not, a critical misstep. I know, from experience, that this is the part where you take something that I’ve said, and bastardize it completely, so that it doesn’t even remotely resemble what I actually said. More to the point, I know that you know I didn’t say whatever you’re about to say. You’re about to get cute. And by “cute” I mean “ridiculous.” I manipulate words for a living. This is probably going to get embarrassing for you pretty quickly.
There is really no point in yelling at me, or getting an attitude with me. There is nothing weaker in my eyes than a hysterical display of emotion. You don’t want to be weak in my eyes. That’s when I get uncontrollably disrespectful with my behavior. I mean it. Uncontrollably. I couldn’t help it if I tried. This, in turn, will make you even more upset, prompting another outlandish display of emotion, furthering my downspiral into a bottomless pit of disrespect. This shit is impressively cyclical. More to the point, I have an awful temper. I have lost it approximately 5 times since 2002 (up until that point I lost my shit with a frightening degree of regularity. Pledging puts a lot of stuff into perspective). So, whatever you’re going on about will, in all likelihood, fail to bring my temper out. If you do manage to bring it out, you will bear witness to the most radical display of hatefulblackbitch you have ever imagined, which will, 8 times out of 10, be immediately followed by the dissolution of our friendship. I don’t pass time with people who bring out the worst in me. Finally, if you are prone to sulking, I will grant you one “What’s wrong?” If you say “Nothing,” I expect you to perk up. If you don’t, and we are at your house, I will leave. If you don’t and we are at my house, you will leave. I’m not going to sit idly by as you work out all of your emotional complexities. I am not the Glee Club. I’ve never been in Glee Club. I didn’t even know what the fuck Glee Club was until Fox educated me with a show. I love that show.
If there is something special/different/crazy you need to do during sex, we need to discuss it, first. I don’t like surprises when I’m naked. I’d wager most women don’t. Don’t try to put anything in my butt. This is non-negotiable. Anything. Like, in the world. Nothing. Don’t go in my butt. I’m not kidding. Call me sentimental, but, *whisper* I’m saving it for my husband. I want my first butt time to be with someone special, who I choose to cleave to for all eternity. Or, worst case scenario, someone from whom I can expect to derive half of all disposable income should this shit go terribly awry. If I’m not married in 15 years, we can revisit this one. I’ll likely be giving away butt sex to anyone who will take it at that juncture.
If you have some expectation of monogamy, you better call that shit like “Shotgun!” Don’t assume anything with me. I’m shady as they come.
When I tell you that I am shady as they come, I’m not trying to be cool, I’m trying to be honest. This will seldom happen due to previously disclosed shadiness.
I do not advise writing me poetry. I’m tragically immature. My linesister kicked it with this boy, once, while she was living in New York, and he used to write her poetry while he was on the train, on the way to her house. That was six or seven years ago, and the shit has not ceased to be funny to.this.day.
So that’s it.
The heart of me.
And if you can’t remember anything else I’ve said in this whole list, please, please don’t put a bowl in my sink and then run water in it.

06
Oct
10

(White) brothers in arms…damnit, Barack.

It was with carefree abandon that I greeted my two law school friends, Matt and Patrick, for a night of debauchery when Matt arrived in town for business last weekend.

Let me begin by telling you how overjoyed I was to hang out with them. I had not seen Matt for years and years and years, and watching him so easily interact with Patrick took me back to our first year of law school.

It had all the makings of a perfect night. We were in the company of Matt’s best friend/brother-in-law, Derek, Derek’s girlfriend, Jill, and were ultimately joined by Jill’s friends, Mike and Marie.

And a perfect night it was.

We happily threaded in and out of various Old Town bars, drinking, eating, laughing—each of us attempting to best the others in jibes and candor.

Now, as is the custom with most blacks my age, educated in predominately white settings, there have been many occasions throughout my life when I’ve been the lone person of color in a particular environs.

Naturally, the passage of time, and a change of geography has tempered both the frequency of this occurrence, and my perspective when it arises.

At 29, confident in who I am, and frankly, accustomed to the practice, I barely give any such situation a second thought. Generally, when I’m around people I don’t know well, or people who I suspect have had limited intimate interaction with minorities, I brace myself for the eventual, “Can I touch your hair?” or “My father marched with MLK on Washington,” I’m-not-a-racist awkward conversational subtext.

However, I felt no need to armor myself against such racial weirdness on this special night. These were my boys. We were well aware of the non-existence of any singular issue of socio/political/economic importance on which we could all agree. I celebrated them because they were so radically different from me. Our friendship was a clean space. A safe space. Entirely free from the bullshit that complicated my everyday life.

So I let my guard down.

Yes.

I let my guard down.

And by night’s end, I would pay for it with a piece of my soul.

Everyone’s bloodstreams were ripe with spirits by the time we entered 219, a cigar bar closer to the water.

Already euphoric from the company, the smell of cigar smoke tickling at my nose and the rich timbre of Delta Blues coming from the live band nearly sent me over the edge.

We all assembled closest to the musicians, the guys pushing together a table and a booth that we might gather more comfortably. Marie and Patrick sat across from each other, with Matt next to Marie, Mike next to Matt, Me next to Mike, and Jill wedged between me and Patrick.

I hope you paid attention to the seating chart.

It’s important.

Mike and I were taking turns attempting to talk over the music, we were all drinking various bourbon concoctions, and I was trying desperately to appreciate the merits of a cigar I was not supposed to inhale.

After thirty minutes or so had passed, I went upstairs to find the bathroom, locking myself inside a stall to check my messages.

Okay.

That’s a lie.

I went upstairs to fuck around with Twitter, okay.

I left my party, briefly, to go upstairs and tweet, okay?

Endeavor not to judge me, there’s a story to be had.

So, right—

I was leaning against the wall of the stall, tweeting my little tipsy heart out when a fearsome knock interrupted my thoughts.

Realizing that I was hogging the space, and unable to properly assess how long I’d been inside, on account of my near drunkenness, I opened the door, and quickly prepared to offer the offended knocker a stream of apologies.

Before me stood a middle aged white woman, slight of frame, with long, brunette hair. Her brow was furrowed, and a concerned look adorned her face.

“I’m so sorry,” I said. “Do you need to use the stall? I’m just using my phone. I’m so sorry.”

She rushed to answer. “No, I don’t have to use it. I just wanted to make sure that you were okay. I followed you up here.”

I paused, momentarily, not entirely certain of what she meant, or why she would have had cause to follow me anywhere, but, I disregarded. “Oh, no. I’m fine. I just wanted to check my messages.”

She began again, appearing to struggle with her words. “I mean….it’s just…I mean….are you sure? Are you sure you’re okay? I’ve been watching you all night, and I’ve been so worried. Are you sure you’re okay?”

Her choice of words struck me as odd. Had I stumbled? Was my speech coherent? I wasn’t certain, but I wanted to assure her of my okayness, and be the hell about my business. “Really, I’m fine. Truly.”

I attempted to move past her but she was unwavering, resolute in her stance, not moving at all. “My boyfriend told me not to come up here, but I’ve just been so worried. I see you with those guys and it just takes me back to college and I’m just so worried about you. I need to make sure you’re okay.”

Okay bitch. What.The.Fuck.

I looked at her quizzically. “Um, I promise that everything is okay. Really. I was just—“

“Because I see you with them, and I see them giving you drinks, and I just need to know that you’re okay. I keep having these flashbacks to college,” she interrupted.

This woman is crazy.

I tried to begin again, “I don’t really know what that means, but those are my friends, down there, and everything is okay. I promise. Really, I’m fine. I appreciate the concern, but I’m fine.”

She waved away my assurances. “I see you with them, and I just worry, you know? I worry because I see you, and I see them, and you know…you’re…you know…and they’re…..and you’re…..and I get these flashbacks to college….and you’re….you know…”

And that’s when it hit me.

I couldn’t believe it.

I relaxed my stance (I had been considering the chest-bump-shoulder-push-hood-maneuver).

“Because I’m…….black?” I asked, gently as I could.

She lowered her eyes. “Yes. Oh my God. This is so awkward. My boyfriend told me not to come up here, but I was so worried. And those guys were giving you drinks and I didn’t know if you were safe, and I kept thinking that they were going to hurt you…and I didn’t know…” she rambled.

I tried to remove as much condescension from my voice as possible. “I’m fine. I went to law school with those men. They’re old friends. They’re not going to hurt me. Everything is fine. I promise you.”

Her face scrunched up. “Law school?” she asked.

“Law school,” I repeated.

“How old are you?” she asked.

“Thirty,” I answered.

She began to sniffle. “Oh, God! I’m so embarrassed. You all look so young.”

“Those guys are older than me, actually,” I said. “They’re both married, and are actually amazing people. So, everything is okay. I promise.”

I could see her face flush as she came to realize  how much of her ass she’d shown. “I just….oh! I just saw you, and I saw them, and I thought….oh! My boyfriend said not to! Ohmygodpleasedon’ttellthemwhatIsaid! Please, please!!!”

I just looked at her, not knowing whether to pity her or to laugh. “I won’t tell them. But I should go. They’re probably wondering where I am.”

“Okay,” she said, finally moving aside, and relenting. “You’re sure you’re okay, though?”

Un-fucking-believable.

Nevermind the fact that there were two other women in our party.

Nevermind the fact that I was jovially laughing, having a grand ole time.

Nevermind the fact that I was a grown ass woman who assured her, repeatedly, that I was okay.

I was just a black girl in the company of white men.

And everyone knows that can only be a formula for one thing—

AWWWWW cheea….

Raping and pillaging like a mu-fuckkka!!!!

Listen up, Caucasians.

I’m from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Home of the Stonewall Jackson Shrine.

Home of the why-don’t-we-have-Confederate-History-Month?-stream of logic.

I don’t need your help on the I’m-not-sure-if-we-can-entirely-trust-Whitey bandwagon.

I’ve got this.

“Post-racial America” has y’all turning on each other, and I’m not ready for it.

Please have a meeting, and address this as soon as possible.

And to my mystery would-be-good-Samaritan:

I don’t know what in the holy fuck Klan-sponsored college you went to, but DEMAND financial reimbursement.

IMMEDIATELY.

12
Sep
10

“songs by the Little River Band” or, “how a Mexican and 12 pack of cheap beer inadvertently changed my life…”

I resigned from my job, yesterday.

When I was a child, I always thought that resignations were the distinct province of older white men who worked for fifty years at important companies, and were rewarded at day’s end with a signet pen and a bottle of aged brandy.

As an adult, I, of course, realize that a resignation is what parents have when they accept that their nearly 30 year old daughter prefers a boozy night out to a domesticated night in; or, in my case, what one says to her wonderful boss to mean, “I quit this bitch—only not today,” whilst walking out on a perfectly good job in the middle of a recession.

But more on that, later.

Though I didn’t realize it at their respective times, I bore witness to two events, this week, which ultimately proved the catalysts for my untimely bow out:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010. 7:45 pm. Alexandria, Virginia.

I decided to take some work home, and had parked my car curbside to easily transport the box of files I‘d, in all likelihood, ignore. Upon my return to the office, I heard a rustling noise from the far end of the hallway.

There he was.

The short, gold-toothed man of the cleaning crew.

Now, sadly, like most members of professions who occupy fancy office spaces, I’d never taken particular note of the cleaning crew or Gold Tooth; never offered Gold Tooth more than a smile, and a general “hello/goodnight”  in the two years time that I’d worked at my firm. I didn’t know his name, or if he had children. I didn’t know if he enjoyed his job;  if he’d drawn a correlation between my fondness for late night Thai takeout and my ever-expanding hips while dispensing with the trash.

But all of that was forgotten, as I stood there, in that new moment, immobilized, watching him with avid fascination.

He was attempting to prop open the glass door of the business at the end of the hall.

Only, he wasn’t using a doorstop.

He wasn’t even using a brick, or heavy box.

He was using……

a watermelon.

Actually—

He was using two watermelons.

Or attempting to, rather.

You see, he’d get the door open and pushed to the side, and secured with one watermelon.

Then, he’d rush to get the other watermelon.

Only-

By the time he’d gotten back to square one with the second watermelon, the door was slamming with the first watermelon.

And it was slamming with force, too.

Like, it was sending Watermelon One rolling all the way down the hallway.

Then Gold Tooth would let out a curse, put down Watermelon Two, go rush off after Watermelon One, and start the whole thing all over, again.

As God is my judge, I watched him go on in this fashion for no less than two minutes before sparing him one last look, and a confused shaking of my head.

Enter life’s lesson number one:

Contrary to popular belief, most shit doesn’t make sense.

Our thinking that there is a determined model of how things are supposed to be is not a product of empirical fact as much as it is a general rationalization of something we’ve grown accustomed to seeing.

Thursday, September 9, 2010. 9:30 am. Alexandria, Virginia.

I was getting coffee at my neighborhood 7-11. Having been up since 7, dealing with the legal problems endemic to a society that permits marriage between two idiots but not two men, I wasn’t in the best of moods, and didn’t bother to look up when the usual band of ne’er do wells attempted to woo me with their early morning bird-doggery.

I was determinedly fixated on the perfect cup of Colombian roast, waiting impatiently for a fresh pot. As I stood there, staring angrily at the stainless steel java station, this loud woman entered the store, jovially greeting everyone with her raspy time-worn voice. Her movements were all at once shuffled and fast, blurry, but noticeably clumsy. She was about 55, and wore a dirty tee shirt and mom jeans, and a wig I would have easily described as the worstwigever prior to my move to DC (whose intimate familiarity with tragic wiggery has given me a newfound appreciation for the hair Afghanistan* that sat atop this woman’s head). Today I realize that hers wasn’t the worstwigever. It was just peasely/natty/nappy as FUCK.

Her outside voice belied an ease with the “s” consonant of which I took particular offensive note. I looked up to identify the source of my audio derision. There she stood, next to me, happily pouring old coffee into a cup and flooding same with milk and sugar; loud talking all the while, in a manner of speech marrying Daffy Duck with runaway slave. She had approximately four teeth in her mouth. 

Directing her conversation to a passerby I assumed she knew, she said, “I’m just trying to run these quick errands. Git these quick thangs. You know I gotta pick Mama up from her dialysis.”

I glanced over at the “quick thang” she was toting with her. It was a 12 pack of Natural Light.

She amicably chatted with the person at the station, making certain to mention two more times that she was in a rush to “pick Mama up from her dialysis.” It took everything within me not to roll my eyes or groan as I stood there waiting for the coffee I was certain would save some unexpected person from an unmerited curse out upon my entry to the office.

I nearly did a praise dance when I’d finally secured a cup.

Recalling that my assistant had asked me to bring her a pack of gum, I debated ,briefly, about what  flavor she’d like before remembering that she was my assistant, and I truly didn’t give a fuck.  Grabbing a packet of Big Red, I approached the cash register only to find myself behind the loud talking lacefront offender.

I once more fought the urge gouge my eyes out as she requested a pack of Parliaments and deliberated with her friend about which lottery tickets to purchase.

The doors opened, again, and the loudtalker eagerly greeted the new patron.

“Cousin!!!” she shouted (or said in a decibel natural to her).

“Hey, gal!” the woman replied.

The new woman appeared to be cut of the same cloth as the loud talker, and she inquired about Loud Talker’s comings and goings and the health of her mother.

She began, “Girl, what chu doin’ in here? Girl, look at you drankin that beer this early. I ain’t gon’ say nothin’. You know I ain’t gon say nothin’. How’s yo’ kin? How’s yo’ mama?”

Quite naturally, Loud Talker obliged her with the information she had been supplying the whole store, about her need to quickly complete her errands. “Chile, go on! You know I ain’t drankin’ this water beer, chile. If I was drankin’,  you know it’d be the bull, girl. You know I only mess with the bull. This here is for Miss Dena. You know I gotta hurry up cause Miss Dena gets her dialysis on Thursday, now.”

That’s when it hit me.

Miss Dena = Mama.

Mama = Miss Dena.

Loud Talker was in a rush to pick up beer for her old ass mother who she was also picking up from her dialysis treatment. At 9:30 am.

Enter life’s lesson number two:

There comes a time-

in every adult person’s life-

when you

just

have

to

STOP

giving a fuck.

Sometimes, the only shit that matters, is that shit don’t matter.

On Friday, September 10, 2010, at 7:15 am, I walked into my beautiful, wonderful boss’s office, looked him dead in the eye, and rejected nearly thirty years of indoctrination in favor of my own personal road less travelled.

It didn’t make perfect sense.

It didn’t have to.

I’d stopped giving a fuck.

*Afghanistan—Aff.gan.i.stan. n. A country in the Middle East bordering Iran and Pakistan; a generally fucked up situation.

29
Jul
10

see…if you’d gone to law school, you’d know that *the law* doesn’t matter…

I spend a lot of time in law libraries.

Not doing the law.

Generally, dicking around on facebook or twitter.

But, not yesterday.

Yesterday, I was in professional mode. I was doing some last minute research on an opposition to a motion docketed for 10:00 am that would most assuredly get me laughed out of court. That’s how bullshit it was.

As I’m not so much a fan of being laughed at (with, certainly; at, not at all), I was in full on meangirlmode, and was diligently trolling Westlaw looking for that eleventh hour “Aha!”

Which is why I didn’t pay any mind when the law librarian approached me with a clipboard, requesting that I sign in. Granted, I’d never signed in at a law library, before, or at any library for that matter.  This particular law library is manned by a rather peculiar woman, however, so, I tossed the newest element of her increasingly regimented system of management into the lot with the rest, and went about my research.

Fifteen minutes into my stay, a ruddy-cheeked handyman entered, and made inquires about “further security.” I was beginning to get annoyed by the constant stream of distractions, but persisted. I was certain my irritation was registering on my face.

“No sightings of your derelict guest, yet, huh?” he asked the librarian.

I exhaled deeply. Finally getting it, the two took their conversation into her office.

I let myself relax, resigning myself to the humiliation that was forthcoming. I had settled on one final search term when I caught whiff of something God-awful.

The woman’s odor preceded her entry into the library.

Like, imagine the most horrible smell in the world. Like, chitlins and sour milk and rotten eggs and day old sunbaked cod and pickle juice and tartar buildup on unbrushed teeth and like—booty. ALLA that.

Strutting in, proud as you please, the rail-thin black woman was about 27 or 28, wearing green highwater pants, an oversized tee shirt, and carried a rather large bag. Like, the size of a bag in which one might house all of one’s worldly possessions.

She sat at the carrel directly across from me, and seemed not to notice the “Fuck,” I mumbled under my breath.

I continued typing.

Not two minutes after the woman had sat down, Deputy Rodriguez, who I’ve never seen beyond his post on the first floor of the courthouse, approached her.

“Ma’am, you have to leave,” he said.

Sitting upright, her spine straighter than ever, the woman answered in a high-pitched voice, “I don’t have to leave anything.”

I kept typing. “Here we go,” I said to no one in particular.

Deputy Rodriguez, in a tone that seemingly brooked no refusal, administered his directive once more: “Ma’am, you have to leave. You’ve been banned from the library.”

“You can’t ban me from anything! You can’t ban me from anything! I’m checking my email!” She yelled.

“Really, email? She doesn’t even have a house,” I noted, aloud.

Rodriguez ignored me. “Well, ma’am, perhaps that’s why you were banned. You’re not allowed to use email, here. This is a law library. Now, you’ve been banned. Let’s go.”

She was not to be deterred. “I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT!!!!”

I tried to block out the increasingly heated exchange, as time was drawing nigh. “Why does this shit always happen to me?” I wondered aloud.

But, Rodriguez was already assuming his cop-stance, and the woman was at the height of her emotive tantrum,  so no one was paying me any mind.

“I am a resident of the City of _________—“

“Bet that bitch don’t pay taxessss,” I sang under my breath.

“And I have a constitutionally protected right to come into this library!!”

“That right don’t exist at all—“ I rejoined in a whisper.

“SO YOU CAN’T BAN ME FROM ANYTHING.”

Rodriguez exhaled. He was reaching breaking point. “Ma’am, I’m not banning you from anything. The librarian banned you. So you need to either get up and leave, peacefully, or I’m going to remove you.”

The woman was undaunted. Her volume grew. Her voice sounded like nails screeching across a chalkboard. Only they weren’t nails. They were talons. And the talons belonged to canaries. Canaries who were screaming as their talons were being raked across the chalkboard. And then someone threw the canaries into a cage with a cat. And the canaries screamed until the cat ate them. And then the cat raked his claws across the chalkboard.

“According the City Code, Section 8, Part 1, ‘Any citizen or resident may make use of the city’s public venues, and in so doing has the right to peacefully enjoy the premises.’ I am peacefully enjoying the premises!!!”

“This shit isn’t peaceful at all,” I mumbled.

“Ma’am am I going to have to have you removed or not?” Rodriguez’s volume was now matching hers.

“Dude, why are you even asking at this point?” I asked my keyboard.

“SO NOW YOU’RE THREATENING TO REMOVE ME BY FORCE? ARE YOU THREATENING AN ACT OF VIOLENCE ON MY PERSON, SIR? ARE YOU THREATENING AN ACT OF VIOLENCE?? DOES EVERYBODY HEAR THIS? DOES EVERYBODY HEAR THAT HE IS THREATENING AN ACT OF VIOLENCE ON MY PERSON!!!! DOES EVERYBODY SEE THIS?”

I looked around. The librarian was in her office. The remaining space was occupied by only us three.

I highlighted a section of my printed out argument. Cap in mouth, I continued to mark through the paperwork. “I didn’t see anything.”

Rodriguez clicked on his shoulder unit and reached the security main frame. “This is Rodriguez. I’m at Station 4. We’re gonna have to remove one.”

“About damned time,” I answered, still highlighting.

“Ms. Fooler—“ Rodriguez began.

“Just sayin’,” I shrugged before resuming my work.

“YOU AREN’T GOING TO REMOVE ANYTHING!!!!! THREE OFFICERS WERE FOUND GUILTY OF ASSAULT AND BATTERY IN CONVIRS VS. MARYLAND WHEN THEY FORCEFULLY REMOVED AN UNARMED CITIZEN FROM A PLACE WHERE HE LAWFULLY GATHERED WITH OTHER CITIZENS!!!! YOU CAN’T REMOVE ME!”

“Mmm. That’d be great I bet, if this weren’t Virginia,” I offered, again, to my keyboard.

I felt Rodriguez’s eyes on me. “Keep it up.”

“Just sayin’,” I answered.

It took another minute or so before two female deputies descended.

Now, let me tell you this.

I am not a woman easily impressed by anything.

And very little surprises me.

But man, if you coulda seen the scissor kicks on that bitch when those deputies lifted her up out of that chair. Like, she had such precision. Her toes were pointed and she had full leg extension as she fitfully jerked within their collective grasp.

Like, when she gets done being homeless, or out of whatever holding cell they currently have her all locked in right now, she ought to look into being a gymnast or a ballerina or something. I gotta believe that the ability to affect such litheness in movement, particularly when one is struggling against a chokehold, is a rare quality indeed.

Either that, or a career in law.

Cause she was convicted as bitch when she was saying all of that wrong and completely inapplicable and entirely without precedent caselaw.

I thought of that stankyassed woman, whose chitlin and old foot-infused clothes had pathetically strained against her body as she valiantly fought off those deputies—

I thought about the strength of her convictions, the timbre of her voice, the deftness of her scissorkick—

All of these things, I considered, when I approached the court to argue my own outlandish Answer.

I straightened my posture. I referenced persuasive authority. And I debated my points as vehemently as my determined, homeless predecessor.

And you know what—

I lost.

And I looked ridiculous.

Just like that other bitch.

I like to think that we both learned a valuable lesson, yesterday.

Granted, she learned hers in the clink, but that doesn’t mitigate the merit of the teaching.

Simply put, it doesn’t pay to be righteously indignant about some stupid shit.

26
Jul
10

there comes a time in every woman’s life when you have to take stock of yourself and your friends, and determine: “we ain’t shit.”

My weekend in four parts—my adventures with the new housekeeper, the part where I almost unceremoniously murdered six children at the movie theater, my hairdresser’s engagement, and my wildly controversial and bad language-infused dinner with an old law school friend notwithstanding.

(sat) “Clara’s” and “Jenny’s” crib: Me and Michael arrive at Clara’s house.  Clara and Jenny have never been to Lux, and Michael (who hates Lux) is reluctantly accompanying us.  Clara pours herself another glass of wine and asks if we mind her playing Lenny Kravitz to set the mood before we leave. Michael and I laugh at her for two and a half minutes. This bitch wants to set the pre-Lux mood with Lenny Kravitz. She hasn’t ever heard a word I’ve ever said.

(sat) New York Avenue: Me, Michael, Clara, and Jenny are walking to the club. Me, Clara, and Jenny are in various states of undress. A man in a “big body Benz” rolls his window down and attempts to holler at one or all of us. He inquires as to our destination. Clara (for reasons which will continue to elude me) tells him “Lux.” Our suitor then desires to know why we’re “going to that raggely[sic] ass ghetto ass hot ass ignant[sic] ass club.” He was clearly a cut above the traditional Lux-goer; as evidenced by his common ass hood-holla that called to mind Sir Lancelot, and the many romantic variants of the Chivalric Code.

(sat) Lux: My beer choices are Heineken and Miller. I opt for the Heineken. I consider that the beverage’s secret ingredient might be warm Nazi piss compote.

(sat) Lux: A man who looks like Rick Ross tries to effectuate the waist-grab-pull-close maneuver. I spurn his advances. The only man who looks like Rick Ross that is allowed to touch me is Rick Ross.

(sat) Lux:  My linesister and I venture to the 3rd floor. My linesister motions to the VIP section which, in an unexpected twist, has a disproportionate amount of white women within. I consider first, that the women are birds; second, that there must be an NFL player hosting a party inside. I determine to refer to the women as pelicans. You know. On account of them being white birds.

(sat) Lux: My linesister and I are both dancing, one goon, a piece, when suddenly, she cries out, “OhmyGod!!! He’s hard!” I keep dancing with my goon. It’s not like I don’t hear her. I’m just, you know, dancing. She cries out, again, the same refrain, “OhmyGod!!! He’s hard!” I continue dancing with aforementioned goonificence. She then effectuates the super-secret Delta distress signal. Soror down! Soror down!!!! I immediately shove off the hobgoblin trying to impregnate me through my dress, rescue my linesister, forcefully separate her from wildanegrobeast, and push her through the crush of people to freedom. All of my love, peace, and happiness, girl. All of my love, peace and happiness.

(sat) Lux: Michael and I try to determine the thought process that inclined a fellow patron to don a large, wide, floppy brimmed white hat to the club. I suggest that the headpiece once belonged to Shug Avery. Michael disagrees, as the “suicide doors” of the hat’s brim are clearly an indicator of a more modern era.

(sat) somewhere on 6th St:  Me, Jenny, and a very drunk Clara are looking for my car. Clara, who has a beautiful voice, keeps singing, “I’m more than just a numberrrrrr, hey hey heyyyyy.” That’s it. Like, no more of the song at all. Just, “I’m more than just a numberrrrr, hey hey heyyyy.” Jenny and I don’t ask where the remainder of Drake’s song went. Four blocks later, Clara mercifully switches up—to some Marvin Sapp song. Which she sings—in its entirety. Clara then looks at me and says, happily, “God is good!” I wordlessly continue to walk arm in arm with her. She looks at me, meaningfully. “Fooler, I said, ‘God is good!’”  “I’m not going to do this with you,” I say. She stops walking. “Come onnnn, you know the rest. God is good!” I try to inch her forward. “I refuse to do this with you,” I say. Clara is unrelenting. “Fooler—come onnnnnn. God is good!” I sigh, dejectedly. My voice drops two whole disgusted octaves. “All the time.” My participation gives her life. “And all the time?!?!” I sigh, once more, and look out into the street. “God is good.” Clara walk/jigs/church steps the next half of a block. “Hallelujah!” she exclaims. I’d be wrong if I kick this broad in her knees right now.

(sun) Northeast: I tell Michael that I think that I want to have a baby. Michael looks out of his passenger window. We continue ten of the twelve minute ride in complete silence. This silence is interrupted when I inadvertently drive my car into oncoming traffic.

(sun) church, Northeast: The church is really hot. Michael doesn’t want to take off his jacket because he is wearing a short sleeved button down that he’d accidentally purchased thinking it was a long sleeved button down. When it gets too hot for Michael to bear, he whispers to me “If I take my jacket off do you think I’ll look crazy?” I look around at our fellow congregants. The woman directly in front of me has a courtesy-of-my-auntie’s-basement tattoo covering the whole of her chubby forearm. She has brought with her a “purse” that can best be described as a white, pleather piece of carry-on luggage. Three rows in front of us, I watch as the bald head of another parishioner catches a stream of light from a stained glass window. Her entire head is bald. Save her natural, Ed Grimley-style bang… that is blonde. Directly beside Michael is the most beautiful transsexual I have ever seen. She also has the biggest, loud-clapping man hands I’ve ever seen. I wonder why Michael deems it appropriate to disrupt my salvation with his ridiculous questions.

(sun) church, Northeast: The pastor talks to us about taking Christianity into worldly places. He tries to identify with the “young people” and inform us that it is all right to go into Busboys and Poems[sic] if it is for the purposes of evangelism. He tells us that it doesn’t matter if people are in Busboys and Poems[sic] drinking alcohol and looking cute and picking up people, because we shouldn’t be afraid to go into the streets to spread The Word. I spend much of this portion of his sermon considering that I’ve apparently been away from Busboys and Poets too long. My friends go there to eat mac ‘n cheese, attend Alice Walker book signings, and hear spoken word poetry. I woulda been in there way more if I’da known it was the Devil’s hideout for drankin and ho-in’. This absence is easily remedied. Good lookin’ out, Rev.

(sun) Michael’s b-day dinner, Dupont: On more than one occasion, I’ve forbidden our friend, “Monty,” to tell stories, as they are always ludicrous, and, as far as I’m concerned, complete fiction. As Monty’s stories tend to fold into other outrageous fables, I admonish fellow listeners not to make direct eye contact with him, so as not to encourage him, or enable his tomfuckery. Despite my warnings, my linesister disregards my instructions. Monty proceeds: “Did I tell y’all about the lady who went to go get a mammogram and then went missing? She did. My daddy called and asked me, ‘Did you hear about Ms. Mable? She went to go get a mammogram and then up and went missing.’ I think doctors should do better than that. If they can find you when they want you to pay your bills, they can find you when you got cancer. She been missing 6 weeks.” He then folds this story into: “Did I tell you about the woman who never loved her daughter? She never loved her. My mama told me once to take her a plate but to be careful of the chain when walking up the front porch cause she had a whole chain that wrapped around her house. But she never loved her daughter. She stayed in bed all day, never wearing anything but a robe and some baby powder. Yes she did. She never loved her daughter. Never loved her.  And she had cancer, too.  She died.  But not because of the cancer. Because she never left the bed. She sat there  all day eating Tostitos. That’s what killed her.”

(sun) Michael’s b-day dinner, Dupont: My linesister and our friend “Anna” get into a heated debate about Anna’s boss, who is up for re-election. I watch as Anna and my linesister give meaningful arguments, but note that Anna obviously isn’t aware that my linesister is just baiting her. I shake my head, as at the height of their dispute, my linesister, having exhausted all of her educated responses, concludes: “I don’t care. I hate him. I hope he doesn’t win,” like the child that she is. Anna is temporarily stunned. I want to laugh, but I can’t, cause what she said is fucked up. Man, it’s funny, though.

(sun) 14th and K: Me and Michael go to meet up with my friend, “Maya” and her visiting best friend, “Kara.” Maya and Kara are wearing the same dress. On purpose. Maya is fairer skinned and has curly baby hair. Kara is darker than Maya, but has similarly curly baby hair. Having made fast friends with the patrons, they are the toast of the all-white bar where they are seated. Maya tells me that people have asked them if they are twins all night. You know, cause they’re black with curly hair, and are dressed alike. Not that they’re two grown assed women acting like asses. Maya informs me that they’ve told all of the patrons at the bar that they are “fraternal cousins.” All of the patrons at the bar have accepted this explanation. I immediately cast-aside any previously-held reservations about home-schooling one’s children.

(sun) 14th and K: Maya introduces me to Jamie, whose wife has left him for a woman, and Cristina, a haggard looking drunk woman who looks exactly how Sheryl Crow will look when she’s 80…and strung out on heroin. Cristina says to me, “Tell Jamie about how it’s better that his wife left him for a woman, cause it’s not like he’s competing with a man.” I look at a visibly intoxicated Jamie, and begin, “Well, actually, I read last week that it’s actually worse when your spouse leaves you for a woman. Because it’s like she’s completely emasculating you. Like, there’s nothing you can do .” Cristina signals violently to me, and starts mouthing that I’m going in the opposite direction of what she’d hoped. I hurry to fix the situation. “Actually, Jamie, what it means is, that your dick was probably too big for her. She took one look at your huge dick and just couldn’t do it anymore. You ruined her for all men. “ Jamie, happier with my newer answer, lazily smiles, and appears placated.  I briefly consider giving him a little piece on account of his troubles. I quickly reconsider, given his scruffy demeanor and overall drunkyness. I still congratulate myself for contemplating letting him bury his sorrows in my little mocha mons. I’m constantly thinking about how I can be of service to others. I’m a giver like that.




August 2017
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a history of my meanderings….