Tag Archives: Life

Emma’s First Florida Christmas

(Note: If you are new to my blog, read these two stories first; Slow Pirouette for the Dancing Girl and The Baby Powder Incident.)

Caption: Christmas with my first foster mother, 1 year old.

Caption: Christmas with my first foster mother, 1 year old.

Caption: Christmas with my first foster mother, 1 year old.

Twenty years ago this Christmas, I had recently moved to live with my grandparents in Florida. I left my foster home with Pearl in Boston with just the clothes I had on. I arrived at a house on the water with gardenia bushes out back with no toys and nothing to wear. I was starting over in the Sunshine State. I turned eight the month before Christmas. Continue reading

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Energy (free write no. 2)

“Hot damn ho, here we go again.
Light as a rock, bitch. Hard as a cock, bitch.
This shit knock for blocks through hardtops
in the parkin’ lots, where my nigga Rock like to spark-a-lot.
My Brook-lyn style speak for itself.
Like a wrestler, another notch under my belt.
The embezzler, chrome treasurer,
the U-N-O competitor, I’m ten steps ahead of ya.”

– Lil’ Kim, “Quiet Storm” remix w/Mobb Deep.
(For more on what this song means to me, read “Music Coursing Through My Veins”.)

There is an energy that connects all of us and everything we come into contact with. If you can get close enough to touch someone, you can change them just by being that near to them. Call it magnetism or attraction – what you want is drawn to you in direct proportion to how much you want it. The fact that I need a name for it prevents me from trying to talk about it, so the lesson or the message eludes me. But other people who have this knowledge and ability know what I’m talking about without needing a label. Continue reading

November 2: My “Juicy” Journey

“Those who are born on November 2 are usually busy with some sort of transformation. The changes which they effect are both in themselves and in the environment around them. They are characters on life’s stage who change the action of the drama just by their presence, for better or worse.

The transformations wrought by November 2 people can go very far indeed; the structure, direction and purpose of business organizations or social or religious entities can come under their sway.

November 2 people generally arrive at a crossroads, often at age 28, 44 or 56, when they must drastically redirect the course of their lives. Should they be able to effect an internal change, becoming aware of their needs and ever more determined to realize them, then the chances of them succeeding on their path are great indeed.”

Gary Goldschneider and Joost Elffers, “The Secret Language of Birthdays.” Continue reading

The Rule of Thirds/A Memory, Photographic.

I have a photographic memory. It’s flawed, but remarkable nonetheless, at least to me. People ask me several times a week, “How did you know/remember that?” The answer is always because I saw it or read it once, somewhere – scrawled in the borders on the page of a book or driving by a billboard. I can’t remember birthdays unless I write down the date on my agenda or unless someone shows me their license – tying the letters of their name or their likeness to that important string of numbers. Continue reading

Black Girl Gone Wild (Photo Blog)

I went camping (for only the second time in my life) this weekend with my best friend April and my former roommate “Double-0” and I can tell you three things:

1. Camping is for White people.
2. Camping is for White people.
3. When camping with White people, drinking makes the experience infinitely more fun.

This is what I packed into Double-0’s car. April went up early to set things up for us since we had to work.

camp1

Continue reading

The Importance of Being (John) Ernest

Prof. John Ernest with me and Kristin at our college graduation

Prof. John Ernest with me and Kristin at our college graduation

I went to college with a mission: I wanted to learn more about Being Black. Problem was, $10,000 of my scholarship money for New York University had fallen through on the day of my high school graduation. I wouldn’t be attending school in the diverse Mecca-lekka-hiney-bro Melting Pot known as NYC.

Nope. The University of New Hampshire would be hosting my education in Being Black. It was as unlikely a place as one could find for increasing cultural awareness. There were 78 Black students out of 13,000. If you were counting me, there were only 77.5 Black students. We do what we can with what we have, though, and what I had was a course catalogue listing a 500-level course for Introduction to African-American Literature.

Any time I’ve ever wanted to understand anything, I’ve turned to books. From cooking to interior design to tarot card reading, if there was anything I’ve wanted to understand, I just buried myself in every chapter and verse I could get my hands on. I thought if I could read about other Black people, their history, what they had been through . . . maybe I would understand a little bit more about myself. Continue reading

Impossibly Peach, Ripe and Juicy.

This post was originally Published April 3, 2006

I wrote this story in an e-mail for a co-worker back in December 2003.

Background on the story: During the summer of 2003, I was biding time waiting for a job in my field to open up and not wanting to get a “real” job only to have to leave it when my dream position opened.

I painted houses. Exterior. 34-foot ladders. 85 degree weather. Often by myself. One time, I was working by myself on the second story of a house in Merrimack. I’ll wrap up this preface by saying that the ladder came down on the wooden deck with me on it. The corner of a garden style window basically impaled my abdomen on the way down and I had to get 13 stitches. I now have a pretty scar on my belly. (But at least I got a friend out of the deal. Thanks, JD.) Needless to say, I wasn’t thrilled to be getting back onto ladders for the rest of the summer. The story below took place a couple weeks after the accident. Continue reading