Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Televised Demise

This whole Ter.rell Ow.ens thing struck a major nerve this morning.

So you know how he broke his finger in a game, had surgery like, the next day, and then was taking some pain meds for it. Last week Coach Parcels said he was having a bad reaction to them.

So apparently his publicist was with him last night and he took the whole bottle of pills, and she tried to pry the last two pills from his hands.

The publicist tried to spin the story initially. (PS...I'm a publicist. It's her job to lie.)

As I'm typing, the Dallas Dept is holding their press conference (which is terribly uninformative, by the way).

Imagine being this low (IF TRUE), and then having it broadcast worldwide.

Three summers ago I got a call from a kid who grew up across the street from me.

"Wise, um, The One's dead."

They found his body in the river in Alb.any. Ever the journalist, the first thing I did was call the AB.C News affiliate there to confirm the info. Suicides are not usually reported, but they were able to tell me that none of the three floaters that turned up in the last few days had been identified as black males.

Three days later I was back on the block where we all grew up... where I fell in love with The One at the tender age of 6...the corner where I'd go out and meet him at his bus stop before school at age 12... where I'd sit on his lap as puberty raged...where the processional led his closed casket to his final resting place.

I hadnt spoken to him in a while, yet I still loved him with the affection of a preteen. I had had a dream about him literally 2 weeks prior, and then emailed him and his brother to say what's up. Was terribly disappointed when the email came back to me undeliverable.

I guess he had already begun to withdraw from the world by then, and now he's gone, of his own volition.

A guy who was in my 9th grade Spanish class didn't show up for school one day, and by the end of that week we were all lined up at his wake. He chose a rope.

This woman stopped my boy Flavius in the grocery store one day a few year back. She recognized him as one of her son's old classmates. She said he had been gone for a few years now. He chose a gun.

In college one of my closest friends at a different school told me about the day he slept for 27 straight hours. The pills didn't take.

(IF TRUE), the shit hits close to home...on a level beyond a police report or breaking news flash. On a level that makes me know that all of Ow.ens' antics were indeed for attention. But I wish for once he could live outside of the news. I don't wanna hear about it, cuz it's none of my business. But if I watch tv or go online, I'll be force-fed all the spin and speculation.

But imagine what it must be like for him to recover from his own demise on TV.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Relax Ya'self

Saw Tribe Cal.led Quest back in action last nite...

Soul satisfied and panties wet until further notice.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 and The Women Who Invite Them

This...I imagine, is how muhfuckas get slashed up in their own home...

Jeffery has a unique perspective of the world. At 6'7", he encounters few people who can look beyond him, and his demure charisma captures what little attention his daunting physical stature doesn't.

His easy smile is misleading. He's neither happy nor lucky. By 8 years old he had a nicotine addiction. By 16 it was weed...that was around the time Jeffery Sr, his pops, passed away. A graphic headstone inscribed with "RIP" adorns the inside of his forearm.

His easy smile is distracting. The Black btwn those Africanesque lips hangs at an impossible angle, and unfortunately hides a smile worthy of private-practice pride.

Those lips kiss his girl every morning when he arrives at their job. They pucker again when he leaves for his GED courses. A few weeks shy of 23 years old, he is just now accomplishing the task of a young man five years his junior. But that paper will validate a life of education that has stretched well beyond any school yard.

At 18 he was with a woman with 5 kids...because he loved her, and them.

He was a decent defensive end on the high school football team. Had a bitter out of school rivalry with Carmelo Anthony back in those days.

While Melo shot 3s, Jeffery was shooting .38s.

He doesn't throw the word 'thug' around loosely. He will, however, flash a few Blood signs.

Today smoking is his last hurdle to climb. He allows himself maybe 4 Newports a day, or a Black, like today. No weed. No liquor. He understands the power and lure of addiction.

"I've done every drug known to man."

Weed. Coke. Her'oin. PCP. Acid. Got caught up with the shit he was dealing. Got caught up in the pain of losing his father. Of the gutter he called home in West Baltimore ("Bawduh'more").

Went on his last drug binge when he was eluding the jakes. Cuz his girl was so shook that he would get 20 years that she aborted their unborn child.

Fcuked him up.

Got caught. Locked up. Got put in a halfway house. Has to be home by 9. Curfew. That was only a year ago.

Went to a job interview today. More dough. More in line with the law enforcement career he seeks. It went well, except he only managed to type exactly half the required wpm. He did 20. Never took a typing course.

But he'll be out of the halfway house on Oct 3, after 6 months there. That day he goes back to court, hopefully for the last time. Coincidentally, it's also the day he was born. He's looking fwd to going back to his family, to spending more time with his girl. To starting over.

He's a contemplative thug. A polite, smiley gentleman. A giant who swears by telling a woman's age by examining the depth of lines in her palm. A man with the curiosity of a child sneaking a Newport at 8, and the insight of a war-torn veteran. Honest to a fault. Introspective, determined, and confident.

Jeffery is my neighbor. We met a few weeks ago as I was on my way to my whip, and then again the next morning as he was on his way to work. That was when he showed me the gang signs...and the smile.

I saw him again today for the first time in a while. He was smoking and drinking water out on his stoop. We chatted for a while, him asking how my day at school was, me asking him the same. He told me most of his personal details sitting on a crate in my kitchen (I aint got no chairs yet).

Um, Wise...that IS your name right? You appear to be of at least average, I it is with all due respect that I ask... WHAT IN THE HELL WAS A REFORMED GANGBANGING, SLANGER DOING INSIDE YOUR CRIB!?

Well.....[back outside on the stoop, as my legs were growing weary from standing]

"You good with a screwdriver, Jeffery?"

"Yes, I'm pretty good, why?"

"Cuz I went to I.kea on Saturday and got this big dresser, and to hell if I can't put that shit together by myself.""You wanna take care of it right now?"

The answer... I need someplace to put my shit. Tired of living out of suitcases! [back story...I just relocated to Bawduh'more to pursue my Masters. For those concerned readers, I do not live near The Wire nor The Corner. I live on a quiet block a few blocks from JHU, ie - amongst white folk...and apparently, a halfway house.]

So Jeffery came over right quick, about an hour before curfew, and put my shit together. I have friends I could have asked, but I'm the 'I can do it myself' type who knows even your best friends dont really wanna do the shit you dont even wanna do for yourself.

He was on his best behavior...tho an Amber alert did flash thru my mind when he asked if I knew Prince and 'Preme...some ole drug nggas from NY. I let him taste this Rachel Ray shit I made last night...chicken breast and pesto and green beans (Jameil, you gotta try it!). He politely finished it and said it tasted "different." So I made him some turkey cheeseburgers (sans the bread...I'm low-carb, yo).

And I gave him my copies of B-More Careful, and The AutoBio of Malcolm X. Turns out he's Muslim. He's partial to books about war and ancient leaders like Hannibal.

Who do I think I am, a fake azz social worker??

Naw, just an independent girl and marginal carpenter. A girl who wants a place for her panties.

A girl, who could have very easily ended up cut in half.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sept. 3 Ink

Hey I forgot to show y'all something...

Remember the dramatic 5-parter, where I made an emotional reference to a wayward would-be "The One" negro about a tattoo I was planning to get?

Here it go... Got it on 9~3~06. It's on my shoulder blade, on my back. Visible only in tank top weather. Or winter hoochie mode. Or waist-up frolic.

Got it in the Village from some tattoo A-rabs. Was I nervous that he might accidentally write 9~1.1~01? Sure. But it all worked out in the end. Took 15 minutes. Shed some tears. Then went out with Gay Bartender (who helped pick out the font), her girl (who has a sick tat along her shoulder), and Curly (who held my hand the entire time) and got hammered.

Per usual, my siblings are hating. Mom loves it. Dad does too. :)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Yo Homo

So I'm at this CBC party in DC the other night. I make it there at the tailend of the open bar ("Excuse me, sweetie, can you order me a vodka/cran while you're up there, pls. Thanks!"). PERFECT, cuz they played me at the door, pretending that the email invite made any mention of the fact that the party was $10 without the printout. Nice hustle.

So they owed me the drink anyway, and they gave me a decent gratuity in the form of dope music. I'm impressed. I've not been out in DC much, so I wasn't sure if I should expect Chuck Brown to appear from behind the DJ booth...if you'd need to remove your shoes, relinquish any liquid and gel from your purse, and walk thru security...or if it would appear as if I was at an E Lynn Harris book release party.

If anything, it was more like the latter.

I wish I had brought my boy of my oldest friends, who also happens to live right outside DC. Oh and he's gay...but not like Marce.llus from Big Brother Allstars gay...more like, Grant H!ll gay.

So I was feeling the's been a while since I've been to a good buppie set. I'm just now growing out of my 'I-prefer-dudes-in-suits-' phase, but I still get all tingly when surrounded by Brooks Brothers brothas. Nice looking guys with nicely tapered goatees and edge ups. Shiny azz shoes. And the women were not to be outdone in their impossible heels, fly azz wraps and twists and locs, and well-moisturized knees.

Present company included.

So I'm standing surveying the crowd, which at this point is mostly congregated along the walls, at the bar and along the couches on the fringes (chicks always have a monopoly on those seats for some reason). That's when I notice the generous gay/straight ratio. Obviously the rainbow numbers are particularly high in DC and in GayTL, so it makes sense that there can't POSSIBLY be enough exclusively gay spots in all of DC to accommodate all the gays. This overlap makes sense. But I'll tell you what doesnt...

[Hold up...quick I'm noticing the gays, these two guys walk up near me both double-fisting Coronas. Apparently they each bought one for the other without knowing that the other had bought one for the other. Get it? I should mention these men appear straight. So I say to the one closest to me... "I'll take that off your hands," and he hands it to me. I laugh and decline. He insists. I decline. He turns back to his boy, who is eying me, then turns back to me maybe 5 minutes later to chat. I say, 'Were you really going to give me that?' He says, yes. I say, 'Well, what's your name? I couldn't possibly take a drink from a guy without first being properly introduced.' His generosity completes my self-imposed 2-drink maximum.] what doesn't make sense about integrated social gatherings is the well-dressed man who steps to me later that evening.

"I was on my way out but had to come and talk to you. I don't want to be presumptuous, tho."

Wise... "How could saying hello be presumptuous?"

Suit... "That's not the presumptuous part. I wanted to ask you how you manage to look so damn fine tonight?"

Now y'all...I'm a girl, so even if it was corny, I was still flattered. I indulge him, despite wanting to immediately refer him to my boy Flavius.

Wise... "I would love to tell you that I worked hard at it, but I didn't."

He laughs. Thing of it is...I look aight, but I ain't in full head-turning mode in the LEAST. Ok, yeah, my plaid capris are adorable, my heels make my legs look really long, and if I had any cleveland it would be on full display in my collarless button down with the low, open neck. But my hair is all pulled back, I'm wearing glasses, and I'm carrying a small computer bag (sans the laptop, but I am coming straight from a biz meeting). OK, it's fly and leather and Kenny Cole, but the point is, there are plenty of women here who actually do look like Miss Negro Universe.

Suit... "I been noticing you all night and I am LOVING your style..."

Wise: "Is that a Congressional pin?" ...trying change the subject, and giving him a subtle hint that I'm not comfortable/impressed/in the mood for his attempt at hollering.

Suit... "Does it matter? Or is it what I'm about that's not on my lapel that matters?"

Wise..."To be completely honest and frank, I could care less, except that my attention is currently occupied by my vague curiosity. It's dark in here, but I think it's cute."

Suit laughs..."See I could tell by your style that you were down to earth like that. I would love to get to know more."

Wise: "Do you happen to have a biz card?" ...I was hoping to avoid giving him one of my last cards.

Suit..."You know, due to the nature of my biz I don't usually give out my card, but I can give you my number. Here, give me your phone."

Shit! I was trying to get better at this. As you all know, it's well-documented that I'm a chronic drunk dialer. But since I'm nowhere near sloshed, I put in his number but never press TALK. But he's a spry lil son of a bitch, and he quickly reaches over and puts his thumb on the button, then holds my hand on the phone to allow it to ring a few times. Shit.

This would have been fine, not a problem had I just been holding my biz phone and not the personal Bat Phone. I always let that shit go to voice. And even then it may have been cool to keep in touch if for no other reason than to be put on to other free booze opportunities. [I know they be gettin getttin fcuked up on The Hil!]

But this dude was so blatantly gay... but like, not Brian Mc.Knight of Hill Har.per gay...more like, Little Rich.ard gay. Complete with the lisp!

What in the hell? Is this the gay man's rugby... to try to pull unsuspecting straight women in integrated social situations? Will he go back to the down low den and put another notch in the playbook? [And how did he even make it into the sect? I thought you had to look straight to be considered DL] Or did he detect a dick-sucking gleam in my eye?

Whatever the case, I'm not unsuspecting. And I don't find Little Rich.ard attractive...nor particularly entertaining [only when it's the real LR and he's on tv and making no intelligible sense].

That's the last time I go out in DC without gay backup. Cuz I'm a confirmed chick magnet.

* [ anyone else obsessed with the show Celeb Duets ??]

Disqus for She's Just Not Feeling You...

  • So...Wise??

    My photo
    Our Nation's (HIV) way of Harlem, NY and Upsteezy NY
    I'm older than I look, and stupider than you think. But I'm quite proud of my sharp eye for The Ridiculous, and by Ridiculous, of course I mean Me.