Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"No I'm not colorblind, I know the world is black & white..."

Describe your ideal position or career objective.
Who really does that? I mean, who really asks this type of a question on a job application? Well, an employer that's trying to get to know what you want, I suppose. But how can I realistically fit my ideal career position objective in the little white box they gave me? First off, that's way too many words. Just seeing it caused me due panic, like when he asked me what my goals were for the next ten years. I hate questions like that. Does that question really even represent what I want, or what I think I'm supposed to want?

When I was in the tenth grade, and my teacher asked us to make goals, I remember what my plans were: within five years, I thought I would be maintaining a 4.0 GPA at Spelman College, and within ten, I planned to be doing my residency at someone's prestigious hospital in someone's trendy little town, while still managing to shove a poetry book publication in there somewhere. Considering the fact that my plan was chronologically unrealistic (and so telling of my fifteen year old vision), I'm so glad it never happened. It wasn't meant to, of course, but my point is, the entirety of that "goal" I set up for myself was based on what I had come to believe I was supposed to want. At that time in my life, the desire to attend an HBCU was already fading, but not faster than my desire to be a doctor. I thought I wanted to be a doctor for the opportunity to work with kids, but after working for a summer in my doctor's office and discovering that all sick children do is A). vomit, B). cry, C). vomit, I realized I really wanted to be a doctor for all the wonderful prestigious-ness.

the Beemer. (which at the time, I imagined would be silver.)

the white lab coat with my name emblazoned on the front lapel pocket, with the stethoscope hanging out of that same pocket.

the name. the way it would make my fucking name sound. (Dr. Malorie J. Marshall-insert last name of my prestig-y husband.)

In reality, I don't want to work in anyone's office, and I don't want anyone's kids throwing up on me. (at this point, I'm not completely sure I'll ever be ready for even my own kids throwing up on me.) I just wanna travel--to see as many sunsets as I can before my clock's ticking stops. I just want to roam without being afraid of what's gonna happen to me. I want to sit on a rock on the beach in California and watch the surf. I want to ride the subways in New York (again) except this time, write the whole time, bumps and stops accounted for. I want to run through a field in Italy with wild abandon... you know, that kind you see in the movies that looks like it feels so good.

I just wanna write. That's it. I wanna write until my fingers cramp the fuck up and I can't stretch them across the keyboard anymore. I wanna write until I've drained all the ink out of all my pens and I can't find any more. I wanna write about every man I ever love, fuck or like. I wanna write every time an idea flashes across the reader board inside my mind.

I just wanna listen. I want to hear people's stories and share in their pain, in their darkness, in their realizations. I want to commiserate over the hardships of life, and revel in the acknowledgement that life is not hard, and it is not easy, it simply is. I want to hear the things that people don't want to say. I want to hear the truth.

I just wanna love. I've always wanted to love. I have loved. I still want to love. I want to love fiercely loyal. I want to love so much that it hurts...and feels good. I wanna love so much my heart just bursts with joy. I want to love selflessly. I want to love the entirety of someone, someone good, someone real, someone right, someone for all time. I want to love someone and get married; have their our babies. I want to love someone so much that I never get bored with them, and I never come home from work and nag them about stupid shit like where my air freshener is. I want to always smile when I see them. I want that Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee treatment: until death do us part.

So, after three years in college and more than a half of a year in the "real" world, I still don't know what my "career objective" is. Well, I do. But it will never fit in a little white box, and it won't make sense to most. To most, it makes me look lacking in ambition, too romantic, unfocused, maybe even childlike.

But, fuck what you heard. I want to travel; see as much of God's magnificent Earth as I can. I want to write, about any and everything I can. Above all, I want to love until the end of time. The end.
My career objective is to be a doctor/be a teacher/garner my Master's degree/relocate to the North/move overseas for a year/be a supervisor impact someone's life. If even just my own.

9:12 pm

you're so damn reliable, it makes me want to punch you in the throat,
you're just so always there.
i have to fight against myself and the history
of my ill-fated pursuits of "relationships"
(i call them fucking, but i'm just being unfair)
because i'm so used to men not being there,
just leaving when they are good and ready,
of them not calling back
and fucking with me when they wanna,
well, you know.
you're so reliable,
part of me still waits on the other shoe to drop,
still scared that as soon as i finally get comfortable,
it will all end,
though the logic in me knows that's not true,
because to be fair,
those fucking relationships from before
didn't stand the chance i tried to give them.
(like breathing life into a casket.)
it's just such a new thing
to know i can depend on your messages
and your sweet words dipped in logic
and your smile to brighten the darkest night.
you're just so fucking reliable,
and the only thing i know
is that i hope it never changes.

It still lives...

It was approximately 12:12 in the afternoon. I was in line, at the drive-thru, at McDonald's. Despite being broke as the worst joke, I gotta eat. I was smiling, singing along to the radio, thinking about *him*, when I heard one of my least favorite sounds.

I heard the sound that locked tires make against asphalt. You know, that sound you hear that causes you just pause, waiting to see if you hear the boom of a vehicle making contact with something solid. Today, I heard that boom.

I followed the sound of the screeching tires and looked up to see a vehicle crossing OBT traffic to land on the sidewalk; the butt of the vehicle hitting the tree on the sidewalk. A plume of smoke/dust rose from where the car ceased to move forward, and the impact of the car against the tree caused a flurry of white, tiny blooms to drift gracefully from the tree to the ground.

Shocked at having just witnessed an accident, I barely remembered the food I wanted to order, while the car in front of me promptly made a U-Turn and left. I pulled up to the window, my head still turned around toward the scene, and I crossed myself, as I always do whenever I see any intimation of an accident. I quickly recalled what food I wanted to order, and my smile was replaced with my jaw's clenching. Quickly, I had been reminded of how fragile life really is; of how one second everything can be as it was, and in the next, everything is determined to never be the same.

As I left the drive-thru, having to drive by the scene of the accident, I wondered, should I have called 911? Is there anything I can do? I was making my wide right out of the parking lot when I saw that blue minivan that was originally in front of me in the drive-thru. They had pulled across the street and the passengers were assisting the driver of the accident vehicle, who was standing outside on the sidewalk. I heard the welcome wail of sirens, and saw that 911 had already been notified.

Without realizing I was withholding air, I exhaled, thankful that everyone was okay, and that it wasn't that person's day to go. Like the accident that Christmas when our van crossed two lanes of moving traffic without being hit, I thanked God that the vehicle made it across three lanes of the Trail's traffic without even a scratch.

As I drove by, watching that vehicle sit so tranquilly under the sidewalk's tree, as if it was meant to be there, a greater thought prevailed: although life is fragile, humanity still exists. Although it may sit quietly in the shadows of everyday life, it simply waits for one of us to rediscover it, and use it for all its worth.

"...tick tock tock, tock tock tick..."

If you love it, let it go, and if it comes back to you, then you will know it was meant to be.


his heart has no anchor,
his life has no one place to rest--
he is free, and he longs to ride with the wind,
onto a new place, a new adventure, a new experience
to add to the collection of magic he's already witnessed.
it is a time bomb,
knowing that he's looking toward escaping to air
with a renewed sense of purpose
and freedom.
but selflessly, i support him
and want, above all, not to anchor his heart,
but for him to be with his wind,
experiencing all that life has to offer
regardless of whether i will garner the distinct pleasure
of being there...
...or not.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WTF Version I: Lil' Kim

Okay, so can I say it? Can I?

What the fuck happened to Lil' Kim?

This picture of course is old, from the 90's... I mean, I wasn't nearly old enough or rap-literate during the time when she came out, but she was so pretty. And her natural beauty combined with her brunt lexicon made her GOLD! I mean, I think it's sexy as hell that she could be so pretty and rap so hard... seeing Naturi Naughton (wow, am I the only person who did not realize that this is the chick who was replaced from 3LW?) portray Lil' Kim with that soft, innocent looking face but nasty tongue reminded me of just why I heart people with an edge so much.

I mean, I think this (her transformation) begs the question about standards of beauty in this damn country.

Granted, everyone has the right to free will, and these people are grown, so it's not like someone forced Lil' Kim to do what she did, but... did they?

Just like with Michael Jackson, what in the hell would possess these genetically blessed individuals to take what good looks they have and mutilate them to.... that? To big, misshapen cheekbones, pasty unnatural skin tones, and breasts way too large for the frame they sit on?

I think Violetta Wallace said it best. Homegirl must be trapped. Say it ain't so, fellow Cancer, say it ain't so...

Back to my English-y musings.

thursday's joy

We lie, approximately thirteen miles away from each other,
you, enshrouded in the darkness of your bed,
myself, sitting upright near the promise of the light.
Our voices cooed in the silence of the night,
as if we were the only two awake in the world.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Going the natural route, Part II

As I said previously, the relationship between a Black woman and her hair is a very poignant one. My relationship with my hair has had more ups and downs than any of my romantic exploits. I cried when I lost some of her after I put those naughty microbraids in; I hated her for a while and covered her with sew-in weaves and terribly orchestrated ponytails; I loved her when she was soft and shiny and caught everyone's attention... you see my point.

My desire to go natural is more so because of the fact that I feel too many Black women are rooting their existence in what is acceptable. Hell, too many people in general do this, but we'll stick with women, and Black women in particular.

When I thought of going natural, my first sensation was excitement. And then after sharing my idea, I started to think of why I couldn't go natural. For all of the superficial, foolish reasons I came up with, for the most part, all of my reasons consisted of variations on what I was and was not supposed to look like. (Just when in life are things actually how they are "supposed" to be?) And what in the hell does that mean, anyway?

As I've grown older, I've realized that, for as much as I wanted to be this non-practical, non-conforming artist-type, that I, in some respects, am actually rather practical, and I practice conformity (just like the majority of people).

Artist-type aside, as people in the world, we will inevitably face conformity to something. You can't just go around running red lights because you want to be a vehicular rebel, for example. I mean, you can, but that's pretty dumb. But, I found I was conforming to the wrong standards, and for the wrong reasons.

I can't do this because it's going to make so-and-so upset. I can't do this because then he'll think I'm less of a lady. I can't write about this because people will think this of me. I can't do my hair like this because so-and-so will say this about me.

Notice how it's always about what someone else thinks/will say/will feel/will do? What about what I think, wanna say, wanna feel, wanna do? Why is it that with so many things in life, we completely disregard how we feel, while placing the sole burden of our concern on what someone else will feel?

I used to think my beauty would somehow be reduced if I went natural. Like the weight of my value was in the straightness of my hair. That was foolishly erroneous of me. As I should have always known (I promise, I'm making up for the lost time), my beauty is in me. When my looks fade, if my hair was to fall out, even if my teeth fell out (let's hope that never happens, though, lol), my beauty will still be able to radiate from inside of me. Because that is where beauty really is. Inside.

Who cares if all the models in the magazines are always real light-skinned with "naturally" curly or wavy hair? Who cares if even the dark-skinned models get placed in these ads with these terribly off-color/off-texture weaves? Who cares if I spent $120 on a Chi flat iron my Freshman year of college? I want to see my natural.

After I washed my hair a week or so ago, I saw the curl in my edges, just resting so nicely against my hairline. And I was so excited. I had NEVER seen that before. And it made me happy.

So, *speaking to my naps/curls/kinks--whatever they are to be revealed as!* I think this is the start of a beautiful relationship :) And I must extend my deepest gratitude to fellow Blogger black girl with long hair, whose blog I stumbled upon this evening by divine accident, and who unintentionally encouraged the thoughts I was trying to bury in my conscience.

Here's to a new day! And the hair I was separated from in childhood :)

Going the natural route, Part I

My first thought before I started writing this blog was, well, does this really go with all of the other posts on my blog? The rest of them are all poetic and about relationships, and this is about hair...

*Yuck!* I can't wait until I shed that final layer of giving a fuck about what other people think. I'm getting there, slowly but surely.

Since this is my blog, and my words, I think I can write about anything I want to, at any time I want to, since it is mine, after all. (this is me having to cheer myself on. It be like that sometimes.) Besides, hair represents a type of relationship also. A very poignant one for African-American women.

The picture on the top is me in May of '08. I loved my hair then. The remnants of my 2006 highlights had grown out and been cut off when I got my hair cut in a short bob in February of 2008. My hair was soft and silky... permed, but still fly. I got so many compliments on my hair. I used to wash it, let it air dry, and then just flat iron it and dry wrap it every night. Spray some leave-in conditioner on my scalp and roll with it.

The picture on the bottom is me in June of 2008. Trust me, the hair is still permed, but decidedly more nappy than the pic on the left (meaning I had gone more than 4 weeks without a perm). The brown is my natural hair color (after many summers in the Florida sun + swimming), and this is one of the chance-y hair styles that happened after I braided/twisted (I am NO hairstylist, that's for sure) my hair right out of the shower, and tried to wrap them in little knots on my head, and let them dry. I took them apart and then ran my fingers through my hair, and that's what I got. I call it a "chance-y" hairstyle because every time I've done it, it's looked different... depending on the nappiness of my hair, how wet it was when I twistbraided it, how I twistbraided it, etc.

Right now, my hair is styled in kinky twists (+ weave, not just my hair), and I am getting ready to take them out and figure out what to do next. I have finally decided that I want to go natural. This has not been an easy decision. A number of years have easily gone by without my recognition.

I remember the first time I thought about going natural, forreal forreal. I was looking through a book on Black hair, with gorgeous pictures littered throughout the text, and I saw a picture of a woman with dreads that were wavy and down her back. They were so beautiful, and I thought, I want that for my hair. So, I did what anyone else would do. I told someone else what I thought. To feel out how the idea was received. I told my mother about me *thinking* I wanted to go natural, and she was less than enthused. This immediately made me feel like that was not the right thing to do, because it did not meet her enthusiam, which made me feel as though it would not meet her approval. It's a hard road in getting to that place when you live your life sans needing the "approval" of others, because that most likely will mean people that you care about, but it's a journey I'm safely on.

Well, I kept perming my hair, because I thought, I just can't have hair that I can't run my fingers through. And then I thought, what happens when I get married and I want to have a pretty style and my edges are all nappy... I know you know how stupid that sounds. (and now, so do I.) Nevertheless, the natural thoughts kept plaguing me. And it seemed every time I thought about going natural, I would cling ever closer to that permed hair mentality. Even though the times I have rocked an afro, I have always loved the energy it garnered (even causing a cashier in Walgreens to stop and have a conversation about my hair and how much he loved it and how not many girls were doing the natural thing!)

At the end of '08, I colored my hair again and found that although the color was bangin' and it also gained many compliments for me, I started to lose that silkiness and look that my hair had before I colored it. My hair was dry as hell, and there was nothing I could do about it. Because I didn't know what to do. I just kept perming it, but with every perm, I thought, I am killing my hair.

The last time I permed my hair was November of 2008. I just didn't feel like it anymore. I felt bad for my hair. I guess that was my final answer that natural was the way of life for me. It started out as me simply being lazy and not wanting to pay for another relaxer, but it was always rooted in that desire to just be... natural. To finally know what my hair's real texture is. I have NEVER seen my hair completely natural. For as long as I can remember, my hair has been permed. But no more. I'm ready to make lots of changes in my life, and my hair is one of them. Instead of being the slave to the perm box every month, I'm ready to be the master of the natural state of my hair, the one my ancestors gave to me.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

as afternoon drips into evening

I've been craving silence for so long. In it, everything is sweeter, like the warmth of steeped tea after a spoonful of sugar.

I can finally hear the way my fingers rapidly hit the laptop keys; the rhythm my hands have created without my permission, but with my full and undivided pleasure.

My bracelets sing the most relaxing song as they clank against one another, and against the countertop; creating a concordant melody with the yellowed silver Oneida and the darkened silver of my rings tapping against each other in friendly competition.

I can hear the clicking of the house clocks, slow and calming; the bark of a dog reminds me that civilization is not far, but just far enough away from where I am.

The lack of the television's hum is a welcomed void--in it, time oozes by without my recognition: seconds merge into minutes, which fade into hours when the brilliant Florida sun lulls me into a state of comfort; a familiar yet not-often-reached state of nirvana when my eyelids quickly drop a few pages further into that Toni Morrison.

Suddenly, I awake, as if shaken by an invisible hand--no person has disturbed my slumber, and all doors remain shut to my silence. The drooping February sunset has awakened me; my body tells me to re-position myself, to catch every ray I can, as though I will never see it again.

Feverishly, I write against the loss of the sun behind the gray purple clouds, and as the sounds of approaching cars threaten my silence. With each engine noise I tense--and with each passing vehicle, I relax, curving my shoulders back into their poor-yet-comfortable writing posture.

The house snaps with age, the way my father's knees sound off when he walks up and down the hallway. The lack of noise that once frightened me now enlightens me; leaving me with nothing to do but listen to thoughts spoken in my voice; to taste the delicious ferocity of my memories--resting my head on his shoulder while we watched ducks float on a lake; holding hands while walking near houses in which I wish we were making love.

In this silence, I am blessed. My heart feels prone to burst as the words spill from my fingertips, as if from divine intervention; from a place way beyond anywhere I could ever dream or imagine or explain to even you.

I reclaim the old friend of solitude I once abandoned for cheaper exploits--the drone of an unwatched television; the sound of voices I wanted not to hear; the smacking of bodies hitting one another in lascivious angst. I hold my hand out to solitude and invite him into my space with open arms and a grin starting in the right corner of my smile.

The sun is gone behind clouds and home; tinting the remainder of the sky with pinks, oranges, and purple. I sit in the spreading darkness of a quiet room, wishing for nothing more than this moment spent with the sound of silence.

Friday, February 6, 2009

a lifetime in your smile

I don't fuck my friends.

I wish I could say the same.

We should have been friends. Really, we should have.
I don't know how to play nice with boys,
which is why I either:
1. leave them alone
2. flirt and tease
3. fuck 'em
4. love them
5. cross the line

That list is not exhaustive.
I still haven't figured out why I don't seem to want to play nice with boys.
I mean, what's the point?
If I want to commiserate, I'll hang with my girlfriends
(that is really all we seem to do, I swear, and it gets old.)
but if I want to talk, and play, and get down,
I'll roll with the dudes.
(it's just more fun to share physical and mental intimacy!)

I still wish we would have been friends,
which could have been possible, maybe...
or, not.
As soon as I would have got a glimpse of that trillion-dollar smile
and a lick of that intellect-driven arrogance,
I would have been done;
butter in your hands,
like I was before.

But the butter has chilled
and that connection
(maybe I imagined it all?)
seems to have fizzled in the rain
of our separation.
I think I'll always want for your friendship,
long after the summer rain and thunder
of kisses and first-time bites
behind tinted windows

brown foolishness

it occurred to me today,
one year plus one-half of a year later--
thanks to a pointed memory
connecting with a random thought of summer--
it occurred to me:
why in the hell did i care about whether my shorts were too short?

that is, when i met your grandmother, in her house,
the house you claimed you were moving out of.
we were going to the movies
and i was worried that my brown shorts and black top
were too girlish; too adolescent for me to be wearing when meeting her.
granted, we had only been fucking for a couple of weeks
when i did meet her,
but the fact remains, you couldn't see anything but the back of my legs
beneath the place where the hem of my itty-bitty brown shorts stopped,
the same legs you would see in any other pair of shorts,
so why did i care?

instead of caring about how an almost-pushing-forty
supposed great catch
was taking me to a movie
he picked, at a time he picked, at a theatre he picked,
i cared about my shorts.
maybe i was secretly praying
they wouldn't unveil my body's wanting for you;
the fact that while your grandmother slept,
we fucked on doomed sheets.

Unless otherwise indicated, all words here are property of Miss Malorie Registered & Protected