I’m writing in an opened space.
I got the clarity that I was seeking; the moment that I so strongly wanted all last week, and so much more. I was afforded the thoughts that were jumbled or willed away by the happenings of life.
The thought of this seems weird. At 10:16 tonight, it’ll be more than a notion.
I was just holding her on my hip.
Hell, I was just carrying in her my womb.
I was just taking her off to her first day of school.
I just bought her Junior Debutante dress.
I was just explaining the intricacies of being a female and all the weight that, that carries.
And now, my little, semi-sweet, chocolate, pudding is suddenly at the age where independence is hers for the taking.
Life will seem grand through her newly freed eyes. She’ll enjoy it on levels that mommy no longer will be able to supply.
That frightens me.
That makes me happy.
It was during the sixteenth year of my own life, when she came to existence and I pray, preach, and scream for her not to have to write this same post at thirty-two-years old.
Though now, I can count her as a blessing because having another child is nearly medically impossible for me, but who knows things could happen…but it won’t bother me any if they don’t. Because of her early presence in my life, I was afforded something that many women with my disorder won’t be. I got to experience childbirth.
Then it didn’t seem all that fantastic.
Now, I’m thankful.
Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!
My pretty, little, darling, will be off to college soon and I’ll be—for the first time—an uninhibited woman free to do the things that being a young mother hadn’t afforded me to do. You know the stuff like just up and moving when I please, kind of just do whatever the heck I want to do without being considerate of someone else’s feelings.
I don’t think any mom can do that…so I digress, but at least I’ll get the chance to live alone.
The thought? At one time sexy to me.
Now? It’s scary.
I’ve lived my life for her and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
She is my everything. EVERYTHING.
The reason to breathe, the reason to love, the reason to believe, the reason to keep going…when I’ve wanted to stop.
I miss her already.
I want to hold her tight and not allow her the freedoms that she deserves.
I want to protect her from the world that she’ll now see through new eyes.
I want to keep her the little baby that held on to me for dear life when strangers were around.
I want to keep her the little one that said, “Don’t worry, mommy. We’ll be okay, huh?” with bright-eyed optimism that said I could and would fix everything for her with just a simple band-aid.
I want to protect her from the heartbreak she’ll experience.
I want to protect her from the failures that she’ll take personally.
I want to protect her from the mistakes that she’ll make and more importantly, I’d like to protect her from herself.
She’s wonderful, adventurous and has no care in the world about being herself.
She calls herself the Black-Hippie. Which, yes. All complete yes.
She’s awesome, dope.
And really, those of us born in the 80s know that being dope is a very important part of life.
But, that’s scary to a mom that wants her to be the same little one that thought that a band-aid could fix everything.
I’ll have to let go.
I don’t like this idea.
I’ll adhere to the rules.
She’ll be off to live her own life very soon and I’ll have to begin…again.
Yeah, I miss her.
Happy Birthday, Baby.
I love you, lights out!
Tonight I’m heading to the Battle of the Bands between the high school that my kid attends and the high school that I attended…ironically enough, she also attended this school.
In a much different capacity.
During the fall of 1997, curiosity in all its splendid glory, literally killed the cat (pun intended).
I had sex.
During the spring of 1998 I had a daughter.
During the summer of 1998 I turned 17.
Yeah, go ahead do the math (add ‘em up).
So, yeah, she was at school with me…not everyday silly, but I marched in the band that they’re (my kid’s school) battling against this year. My mother was the PTA President and the Band Booster President, very active in school, and even though, her daughter, who played sports, instruments (yeah plural) in all bands, and was a pretty good student got pregnant in the 11th grade, she didn’t hide her face. She wouldn’t let me hide mine either, or my baby for that matter, which meant, at the PTA meetings my babe was up there by mother and during the band competitions much like the one tonight, she (my babe) was decked out in Green and Gold garb, beside my mom and the rest of my family cheering her mother on. I’m not ashamed. I’m not very proud of the ill-thought out decision (my kid isn’t a mistake, her mother didn’t make the best decisions at the time), but I’m not ashamed. Around about now, she’s looking like a blessing, because the sheer fact that she’s even here, is a miracle in and of it’s self. I have PCOS and tried several times to actually get pregnant.
The feat? Undoable.
So no, I’m not ashamed. At all.
As mentioned in previous blogs, I’m one of the few fortunate ones to have had a support system that allowed me to finish school, go off (out of state) to college, complete undergrad and post grad studies, and you know, just live like I was normal.
I spent a lot of time aware that I wasn’t. I left my kid with my parents for two years, (but she may as well have not been left, because during marching band season (see previous blogs, etc., blah) my mother was there every weekend with my kid routing me on, like she always did. When the season was over, (when I wasn’t off somewhere being even faster than what I was (see previous blogs)) I was home being a mom. In-spite of those things, I didn’t miss out on much, my life is comparable now, to that of any thirty-two-year-old woman.
The exception? My FIFTEEN-year-old daughter.
Tonight, I’ll be heading back into that same gym, where my spat covered feet marched, where I played basketball, where my senior convocation was held, where I watched one boyfriend or another wrestle, where my friends and I laughed and played during Gym class, where life seemed sooo much different then it is now…and my soul can’t help but to look back and wonder how I got over.
Not too many teen moms make it to the point that I am in, in life. I’ve been afforded luxuries that they don’t get. You know, post high school education, other luxuries in life that have afforded me at the age of 32 to buy my newly, Learner’s Permitted Daughter a car, that ain’t (that’s right, you heard me) run-down (or in the words of 80’s babies, a hoo-ride or a hoopty), live in a nice home, in a nice neighborhood, and have a little money in my pocket to be able to switch careers to do what the dream is. In-spite of the humongous mess my life could’ve been, it’s turned out pretty great. And tonight, as I step in the gym, I’ll be even more thankful to the woman that will be sitting next to me, routing on that same baby that once sat next to her, routing me on.
Thanks, MOM! I love you and I appreciate and am thankful for you and my kid, more than either of you could ever know!
Vive Sine Paenitentia
Res Ipsa Loquitur.
Note: Refer to the unedited part of the tagline to this blog.
So…where did I leave off? Oh yeah. College, second semester freshman year.
So yeah, I asked did he want to be my boyfriend and he, without thought, or hinder, said “Yes.”
See, now here’s the thing with that yes. While I was pretty happy to have my best-friend as a boyfriend, this same best-friend, had another male friend, whom I had…let’s say, dated. We didn’t really date, and seeing as how someday a lot of people will read this and no doubt judge me—if I were to be completely honest—I’m calling it dating, and if you chose to draw your own sassy conclusions from the words in between lines, then that’s your stuff. I’m going with dating. Yeah, so we dated. Did I say date a lot? Yes? Then good, you get it, we dated. Dated! Anyway, with him having a friend that I dated, it put him and the friend in sort of a bind, but my best-friend, being the good friend that he was, decided that after saying yes to me, he would check with “dated-guy” just to be sure. According to my history, “dated-guy “said, “He did not have a problem with our—best-friend and I—new relationship.
Right after we made our relationship official, we ended school for summer break. Both of us coming back to Virginia, to do what most college students do during that time. We hustled. I worked at a day care, he worked at some distribution company, which had him working strange hours into the wee hours of the morning. OR. SO. I. THOUGHT.
Our summer went off without a hitch, we had a few dates, had a little fun, and made a little money to take back to college with us. I went on vacation with my family, and he went on vacation with his. OR. SO. I. THOUGHT.
Oh…wait, I forgot an important fact, before the THOUGHTS or wee-hour schedules, or the summer vacation, we took a step in our relationship not more than a month after making it official, and made it waaaayyy official. OR. SO. I. THOUGHT.
That time spent officalizing—Shut up that’s a word—our relationship, was probably the most special, most meaningful, most passionate time that I’d endured. You know, at the ripe age of nineteen, and honestly, ‘til this very day, I wouldn’t have changed a moment of it. Wait. OR. SO. I. THINK.
Nearing the ending of our summer, I couldn’t fathom the idea of leaving him to go to separate schools that were two hours away from each other, but then, there was a silver lining. I was finally allowed to take my car to school. WOOHOO! I would just drive to see him on the weekends that I didn’t have a football game (see previous posts, I was in marching band), this would be just fine. OR. SO. I. THOUGHT.
Those of you who know anything about being in the marching band at a Historically Black College and University knows that marching band is a way of life, a culture, it’s everything, and so…there’s no free time. Plus, I didn’t have gas money and I damned for sure wasn’t going to ask my parents for money for gas to go see a boy. What? So I could hear, “We didn’t send you to college so that you could go see men, we sent you to get an education that had better pay off.” Listen, my mother, is very articulate, but that sentence isn’t even remotely close to anything that she would’ve said. Had I asked for gas money to travel from the Albemarle Sound of Carolina to Raleigh, there would’ve been expletives that made you cringe, so I didn’t even bother to ask. I snuck. I snuck and I didn’t get caught. OR. SO. I. THOUGHT.
Yeah, so I did go to see him, drove my red 96 model two door Toyota Corolla (it was 2001 at this point) to Raleigh, under the guise that I was going home with a friend for the weekend. That was the truth and a lie. I did go home with a friend, I just didn’t stay there with her. I stayed in a hotel room with my boyfriend.
ASIDE: Listen, mom, when you read this, I just want to say, I’m sorry. I never meant to deceive you, but see, here’s the thing, I was dealing with crazed teenage hormones, and all kind of stuff that made me feel kind of funny inside. So yeah, the excuse/reason, legit. I love you.
So that weekend, we spent it held up in a Comfort Inn in Raleigh, experiencing the epitome of being in an adult relationship. OR. SO. I. THOUGHT.
When making the plans to go there, Dee (Yeah, that’s what we’re still calling him right?) said that he had a hookup from a boy who could get us the room for cheap. No problem, right?
Wrong. Wrong on so many different levels. Anyway, so, I had to pay for the room (I think that’s how it happened. Listen, as this story goes on, this part won’t even matter and “Dee” if you paid for it, my bad, but seriously, you, you can tell me to change this around? Get outta here). Anyway from there, we went on to have a lovely lunch at Burger King, dinner at some place cheap or another, and then back to the adult version of our relationship. OR. SO. I. THOUGHT.
Anyway, when our weekend was done, I drove to my friend’s house, picked her up, and we headed back to the Albemarle sound. We had been back for about three weeks, when I realized…Oh No, I’m a girl, I’m supposed to have a period. Hmmm…whatever could be the problem? Oh no, I’m a girl, I’m supposed to have a period. Damn, I know the problem. And according to Clear Blue Easy, I was destined to have eighteen more years worth of problems.
It was not to be.
I vacillated between a feeling of loss and a feeling of relief to a feeling of anger. It was the most hurtful and confusing time of my entire nineteen years on earth that far. Those of you that are close to me, know that I’ve been plenty confused and hurt before, but came out of that lake of shit, smelling like a rose. This time…I just stunk. The day that I called to tell him about what happened, was the day that he didn’t pickup. As a matter of fact, he hadn’t been picking up his dorm room phone regularly since the previous week. Which made me wonder. But then, he was at school on a sports scholarship, which required strict regimes and demands, so I let that go. OR. SO. I. THOUGHT.
After him not picking up for a week, my best-friend and I went into the computer lab at our school, because using the clunky COMPAQ in my room drove me nuts, because seriously, it was just too slow (Internet wise). Anyway, we went into the computer lab with the sole purpose of emailing him, but then, something clicked and I remembered that I had his password to his email—he gave it to me willingly, you know we were best-friends nothing to hide—so she and I both decided to check his email. Wait! Don’t judge me. We checked it just to see if he was okay and such. You don’t believe me? Whatever, that’s your stuff. And what I’m about to type is my stuff, and it still makes me nauseous until this very day. I mean stupid sick! We logged on to his email, and my best-friend (girl bf from college) said, “You sure you want to do this?” with the skepticism of a real best-friend, but a nosey bastard at the same time.
I said, “No” and then I opened it.
The first email was from, his ex-girlfriend. OR. SO. I. THOUGHT.
So the day that I called him to let him know that we had created a child together, however, my body was not equipped to carry it at the moment, and so, subsequently, we had lost a child together, I had the wonderful knowledge of knowing that; all those long hours that he worked at the distribution center, yeah, he was with her. The family vacay’s that he went on, yeah, he was with her. The day before we made our relationship waaaaayyy official, he had called her to talk to her. Why he hadn’t been picking up my phone calls for about a week or so, yeah, he was talking to her. So, as you can see, my THOUGHTS were clearly FUCKED UP. Silly me…and yet that’s only the beginning of my stinking think.
You’ll never believe the conversation that happens next. Until this very day, I still can’t believe it…but then…maybe I can…OR. SO. I. THINK!
Vive Sine Paenitentia
Alas, I do. Which is good and horrible.
Res Ipsa Loquitur
Also for the shit that I should’ve done a long time ago, well…I think you get it by now!
I was eleven when I first met him. I was eighteen when I first kissed him and I was twenty-eight when I finally left him.
FINALLY LEFT HIM.
Between eighteen and twenty-eight, there were several breaks, retries, and more breaks, but none of them took.
Not even the retries.
Nor the Breaks.
The first year after my break-up, I convinced myself that I loved him too hard. That’s why I didn’t leave before our ten-year tenure. The second year after our break-up I finally came to grips with the fact that love was never in the equation. I didn’t love myself enough to leave him and I didn’t love him enough to really give him a chance. That relationship and all hardship embedded lasted way too damn long.
Way Too Damn Long!
I realized that what I’d pacified myself with during our time together, the statement about about opposites being attracted to each other was a bunch of BULLSHIT! Opposites? You ask. Yes, opposites.
He was a Tupac fan. I was a Biggie Fan.
He was a Nas fan. I am a Jay-Z fan.
He was a Pippen Fan. I was (AM) a Jordan FANATIC.
He was a UNC-Chapel Hill Fan. I was (AM) DUKE BLUE DEVILS ALL DAY AND TOMORROW!
He was an Atlanta Braves Fan. I was a Chicago White Sox.
He was a Huge Redskin’s Fan. I am a Huger JETS fan. (Don’t Judge Me)
He liked old school music and cars. I’m an eighties and above type of music lover and none of my cars have been older than five years.
He was a smoker. I am NOT.
He was a drinker. I am NOT.
He was a cheater. I am NOT…well listen, sometimes things happen. Yeah, I need your judgment. *rolls eyes*
He played a Brass Instrument. I play woodwinds. <That’s true. I’m clarinetist and a Saxophonist.
He didn’t like words. I need words to breathe.
He didn’t like to read. I can’t live without it.
I could go on, but I hope you got it by now. We didn’t match. Opposites were a sever understatement in our case, but I needed something to hold on to, to answer the question of why I was staying with this man. And the answer three-years after our demise, is that I value friendships…but sometimes you have to know when to fold ‘em.
It took a while, but I got there.
But I didn’t arrive there by myself…I was forced there. And here’s how it happened…
For the sake of diplomacy and because one of these days a lot of people will read this and I wouldn’t dare throw this man under the bus like this because I do believe in redemption, anyway, for that sake, we’ll call him, “Dee.” And for the sake of full disclosure and because I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain, we’ll call me the Uncaught Recidivist. You can put a Ms. in front of that if you please.
Dee and I met when we were in the sixth grade. We became instant friends and then later the best of friends. Dee confessed then, with a boyish charm and a wonderful smile that I still find endearing which is a trait that he’s known by in our circle of friends, his want to be with me (as more than friends) early. I politely declined. As far as I knew, friends didn’t date friends. That was a rule that I held near and dear to my heart throughout middle school and high school.
And then there was college.
Well at least the summer before we went off to college.
My memory is rather fuzzy on how this next part came about, but anyway before going off to college we kissed. I remember the kiss doing something to my insides and then walking away feeling like…Holy hell, I just kissed my best-friend and also, in the spirit of full disclosure, I’d felt a tingle in my nether regions that I previously had never felt before…and I’d like to remind you that all we did was kiss.
A kiss had done that. The next day I felt all sorts of ways, but the one feeling that I wasn’t expecting to feel was guilt. What the hell had I done? How had it got to that point? But then, I remember feeling that it was so fucking perfect. That kiss was the kiss that little girls dream of. It’s the kiss that has been forever relayed through emotional rhetoric in every romance manuscript that I’ve ever written. (See Previous Post for that explanation) Trudge with down memory lane, won’t you…
The moment was perfect. There were creatures of the warm summer’s night cheering us on in the distance and near as we stood outside of his parents’ home in a quaint suburb of Richmond, Virginia. Though I had been to his home may times before; this time was different. I could feel it. My skin seemed to warm with the realization. My breasts felt it. They were heavy with anticipation. All I could think about, all I could feel, was that in this moment, in this time, something was changing with us, and I wanted to, I honestly wanted to fight it off with all of my might. But, I knew that it would’ve been to no avail, I was to be no match for him. How ironic that he was the Athlete of the Year. He wrestled, played football and baseball, so there weren’t many that were a match for him. It was sheer irony, I decided in that moment, that I would even dare to try. He smiled at me. The smile nearly predatory, but not quite enough to make me cringe. It was a smile that indicated everything he’d planned to do to me. A warning smile. That’s what it was. I smiled back, not nearly as bold as he, not nearly as assured as he, but I smiled nonetheless. It was my please-do smile. I knew what he wanted, I knew what I wanted, I knew what he needed, and I knew what I needed. What I didn’t know was why. Why was this moment, the perfect moment for this to happen? What had changed, what had happened, what was going to happen. My thoughts roamed as I searched my tousled brain for protocol of such a thing. Sure, I had been kissed before, many times over, but I had been asked, I had been coaxed, I had been urged. Now, all I had was a smile. A warning smile. Did I need to say something? Was I to make a statement of some sort to give him the go ahead he needed? What was a young woman to do in this particular situation? A young naïve woman, that stand before this young man, that was highly assured of himself, and what he wanted out of the situation. Fortunately, I was spared the burden of more thought. I had the right to remain silent and I obliged. He walked closer to me, he had been standing at a good distance away, and when he was within arm’s reach. Smelling distance—and damn, he smelled good—I could feel the heat from his body flow into mine causing me to feel even hotter. My lips parted of their own volition; perhaps it was to catch a quick breath, because as I felt myself sway a bit, I knew I hadn’t been breathing. I righted my actions quickly and then gasped. He pulled me around my thick waist with one of his strong hands and arms. I was flush against his body and felt everything about him that spoke to being a male. I was shocked and I jumped accordingly so. He was calm and didn’t move. He held me tighter and looked into my eyes a second more, and then he kissed me. When I felt his full lips over mine, the probing tongue urging my mouth apart wider, I relented and relaxed in his arms, and gave in to everything he’d ever wanted from me.
Seriously, I just relieved that moment, and “Dee” if you’re out there reading this, I really want to thank you for that moment. It was perfect. Simply perfect. Anyway, back to the point, that kissed changed everything in me. That kiss made me a woman in every since of the matter. That kissed, changed our lives forever. And, that kiss was the demise of our friendship. As stated the next day, I wasn’t expecting to feel guilt, but I did. I wasn’t expecting to feel grief, but I did. It wasn’t because the experience was so terrible, but it was because I knew I had lost a best-friend. After something like that, one couldn’t go back. There was simply just no way.
But, I did try.
When he called to see if I had gotten home safe, I answered his questions with affirmatives and spoke nothing of the life-altering kiss. I could tell that he had questions, I could tell that he wanted to say something, and I’m sure he could hear the hinder in my voice, but I wouldn’t. I couldn’t allow him to query, I couldn’t allow myself to query.
And then the sun came up.
The grief mentioned.
The guilt mentioned.
The mood mentioned.
All awakened me as if they were the rooster crowing for the earth to rise. I spent much of that day in despair and elation. I knew what the fuss was about! I knew why kissing meant so much to some people. I knew what it felt like to be wanted for not just my body, but to be wanted in general.
And I hated it.
I hated with a vengeance that rivaled the Devil. I hated it with all of my might and heart; because I wasn’t suppose to feel this way with a best-friend.
Thus, I shoved his friendship away…at least I tried.
We had made plans to spend some time together before the summer was out, but they were nixed by corresponding car accidents. We both totaled our cars within days of each other. I like to fashion that as divined intervention. Oh, and did I mention, I had a semi-boyfriend at the time? So yeah, I would’ve been cheating on him and no good could come of that. NO good! Kiss withstanding. So, we didn’t see each other until the day before we were all to leave for our respective colleges. That night we (a group of our friends) had a going away gathering at a local restaurant. We said our goodbyes, took our pictures, and wished each other well. At the end of the evening, Dee and I found ourselves alone again. This time there were to be no moments, no nature’s creatures cheering us on. Nothing. Just pure unadulterated awkwardness. We tried smiling it off, laughing it off, pretending like things were just the way they were before we kissed, and it worked. Barely. The next day, I was off to my respective HBCU and he was off to his and our new lives begin.
Without each other.
During the spring semester of our freshman year, the boyfriend that I did have and I split and without thought, without reservation, without sanity, I called “Dee.” And said. “So, you want to be my boyfriend or what?”
His reply. “Hell yeah.”
And that’s how it all started to end…stay tuned.
The best is yet to come
For now, however;
Res Ipsa Loquitur