had me with the blues so hard youd think i was crippin
In Plato’s allegory of the metal, the philosopher classifies people into groups 0f gold, silver, and lead. You my love are gold. Pure gold. There is gold in your intellectual brilliance, gold in your warmth and humanity. Gold in your transparency, gold in your honesty.Though we are apart, you are never far from my thoughts. In many ways, though we are separated, I keep a conversation with you in my head, You with your light spirit and me with my heavy heart. This distance is great but love is strong and you taught me there’s so many reasons to carry on.There are so many things I want you to know but cannot say. Like the way I cover my face from you in the morning it has nothing to do with you When the sun peeks though the window to greet us with morning, I scramble for the blankets, for a cover to hide my face. It’s not because I don’t believe in the trinity and it’s unfailing grace, it’s because for twenty two years I’ve been taught guilt. For twenty two years I lived in shame. But I don’t feel there’s anything wrong with the way you look at me. There’s a reason ancient Cathedrals never sang songs but only hummed hymns, there’s something sacred about our imperfection, but its hidden behind too many myths.
((to be young and infatuated))
It feels right, being back in the Bay. Back in my little apartment off Ashby, the noisy neighbors, the screaming sirens, synching the fall and rise of my chest with the passing traffic, tire screeches and honking horns. There is something about living here. So raw. Makes everything else seem whimsical.
I went to a training last night in Oakland for the new school I will be directing. Searching for the conference room, I shuffled through Frank Ogawa Plaza- a little over a dozen “Occupiers” remain. They’re holding their General Assembly like a mother still calling her deceased sons phone, still making his bed, unaccepting defeat, hoping one day he will come home. There is a lot of commotion, drinking, bullshitting and babbling from other stragglers in the park, I feel their eyes on me- eyes on white girl dressed nice, fancy watch, smart phone – feel animosity burn into me from my feet up. I drop my phone into my oversized hand bag and tuck my watch into my blazer, scurry a little faster, irritated at my inability to find this meeting room, irritated at their looks.
Two older white women with botox and darting eyes, drift hopelessly through the plaza as well, I take comfort in their gaudiness- we join forces and conquer this abyss called direction – GPS needs to have an “avoid ghetto” route.
The meeting goes well, I am surprised by the amount of volunteers that showed up to work at schools. Lots of good hearted people. Then there are those women who take way too much pride in announcing they’ve been with the program fro 6 years, scoff at naïve questions and feel the need to expand upon every point made by the facilitator- cause they know. People are funny. Whatever though, whatever makes you feel like you’re the captain of the ship.
I’m at home with the girls. Straightening Mashari’s hair while TaShy drifts in and out of sleep on my lap. The oldest one, DayDay, tells me stories about her friends and their relationship drama. How he threw half her clothes out of the house and refused to let her get the rest, arguments ensued and the confrontation escalated to threats of violence. DayDay called the police, but they asked way too many questions, none of which demanded an address. They called again, but the police never came. DayDay says its because they in East Oakland, and what business do the cops have coming to a domestic disturbance call in East Oakland.
Last semester I took a class on Minorities in the Struggle. Our GSI, Reggie, led discussions, he talks calmly and out of the side of his mouth. Reggie talks about privilege like a sinister ghost, a haunting past.. He says the most important thing in life is truth. I am understanding both of these now. White privilege means not having to think about your ethnicity. Your name. the way you talk, your address. DayDay knows the police didn’t come because they were in East Oakland. But the truth is they didn’t come because they were black. The truth is there are several micro factors going into it- saying your name is DayDay – strike one. Grammatical errors- strike two. That frantic, angry tone mixed with the cross streets you just gave- might as well hang up the phone. Even now as I am typing this, red lines sit beneath all the girls names, red as in wrong, hanging below like rotten roots prohibiting the tree from growing. The leaves will never know of this, the branches will always break in frustration, not knowing why.
I know why.
I wish I had the ability to not let people get to me. That would be great. I hate addiction. I hate how it steals people I love and turns them into people I despise. I hate how it robs people of motivation, rationale, ambition and joy.
It is a thief and a manipulator.
Acceptance is a bitch sometimes. I’m going back to the bay today. I’m excited to be back at my own place. Where I can focus on my own life and not stress about everyone elses.People are going to do whatever they are going to do, its easier for me to get to that place where what they say and do do not effect me, when I am physcally not surrounded by them.
I love the bay area breeze, the Berkeley hills, the righteous bridges and constant movement. There is a certain danger in staying stagnant, it makes you think that you are okay where you are. The thing about struggling is that it reminds you, you are destined for much greater.
More girls need to start looking for guys who have goals, ambitions, & crave success, because 10 years from now, “swag” won’t pay the bills.