Musicking : "Guess Who I Saw Today" - Chante' Moore
"From Pain to Joy" - Betty Wright
"Chain of Broken Hearts" - Lisa Fischer
I parked my car and noticed that I was already late for work. It was a smooth drive from Savannah, minus the construction near Darien, GA, but stopping to get something to eat at a Taco Bell/Pizza Hut/KFC didn't seem to be the brightest idea, considering it added twenty minutes to my travel time (hence me being late for work). I ran into the apartment, grabbed the first pair of khaki pants and red shirt that was visible, and darted back to the car. I hadn't noticed the wind picked up until it tossed my dreadlocked ponytail onto my right shoulder. I chuckled at the thought and then entered my car. My routine set in: insert key, turn, release after ignition starts, scroll through Zune to play something decent and listenable, put on seatbelt, adjust AC, look down at my phone...
And in between looking at the phone and putting the car into drive to speed off, I looked up; not one of those random look-ups, but something forced, more pronounced than usual, as if someone called my name thisclose to my face. I looked up...
I saw him.
I stared for a moment, not really believing my eyes, and not really wanting to. I had to stare for a moment, as if my eyes needed to focus on what I was seeing, like being stranded in the Sahara and seeing a mirage of water ahead. I squinted to change focus, adjusted my glasses, anything, just to make sure I wasn't completely crazy.
It was him.
I wasn't sure how to feel, I didn't know what to say, I didn't remember anything I ate or what song I was listening to...I just blankly stared. He motioned at me, no, more like beckoned, as if he was calling me to get out of the car and at least speak, especially given that we made eye contact. Laughing at myself for knowing him more than I know myself, but cursing myself at the notion of actually getting out of the car, I put the car into drive and sped off. Of course, instinctively, I looked in my driver's side rearview mirror and the inside rearview to see if he was still standing there, which, much to my chagrin, he was.
I was in shock.
There he was; a man that I despised to no end at one point, decided to forgive, only to despise again for leaving me without calling, texting, emailing, Facebooking, MySpacing, Hi5ing, Tagging, Classmating, ANYTHING, just upped and stopped calling. Sure, the words "I love you" were said far more than once between us, but did I really mean it? I mean, the one man I could EVER love more than I love myself just upped and stopped calling and upped and stopped texting, whom I haven't seen in SOOOO long, just upped and stood in my parking lot out of the *bleep*ing blue sky?
I wasn't having it.
I can't remember what speed I was driving, I just remember hearing the flashing lights and sirens and wondering if they were behind me. I looked ahead and noticed that they weren't in front of me, so I was cool. At that moment, reality set back in; I was late for work!! I blasted the melismatic sounds of Betty Wright (I never noticed how much PREACHING she does inbetween all those vocal stylings) and felt the wind strongly punch my face, as if it was determined to get through me. I remember my tires screaming for some sense of mercy as I lurched the car in different directions, just to be less late for work than I could be. Parking spot, open door, exit, lock door, enter building. This routine was starting to get on my last bit of nerves, I kept telling myself.
Entering a less-than-chaotic store calms my nerves, that much I remember. I went to clock in for work and my mind goes back to my apartment parking lot and wondering if HE would ever decide to show up to my store. I recall him coming to my store once, a few years back. Not really knowing how to introduce him and not really wanting anyone to really notice our interaction, even though I'm sure they all did, even the bold few who decided to come speak. Only those closest to me got the REAL introduction; all others got the rushed change-of-subject sentence. My mind takes me back to that awkward time and then back to the present day, hoping that history does not repeat itself.
The goings-on of the day goes on, and eventually, it's time for my lunch. I have the pressure on my chest or heart or emotions or something, something that I really didn't want to talk about but definitely needed to. Instead of my usual routine of heading to McDonald's and praying that my parking space is still there upon my return, I decide to grab a pizza from the "food court" as it's affectionately called, and then go to the car to eat it and be away from the store. I get into the car, fiddle with my Zune and land on Lisa Fischer. I set the song and push play, and look up to see him standing there.
Him. Standing there.
I think of all those stalker movies and how the stalkee always seems to get injured or killed while trying to flee their stalker, and then I wonder how fast I can put the car in reverse and pull away, or at least hit some random cars to draw attention to the scene. Does he have a gun? Is he here to exact some sense of revenge for all those hurtful things I said before? "It wasn't my fault; you left ME!" I was thinking of saying if the approach seemed ominous. I sat there and watched him come closer to the car and then that beckon again. For some reason, the call was answered; I rolled my window down, just enough, and he peered in.
"Can we talk?"
Not wanting to attract any unwanted attention and feeling the waterworks begin, I obliged. He sat in the passenger seat, looked at me up and down, and hugged me. Not one of those I'm about to stab you in your back hugs, but one of those loving hugs...and then I felt the love all over again, the love I had longed for all those years ago, the feeling of him being there beside me and not letting the world and words of the world get me down, the love of it being just me and him against the world, no matter what the world was thinking or saying otherwise. It was at that moment that I didn't care who knew that I loved him, who saw me hug him, or who heard those loving words flow from our mouths to each other.
We loved each other, and that's all that mattered.
I grabbed my pizza and offered him some; he declined. We decided to go back into the store, to where we just sat and talked. Not just "hey, how are you doing" talk, but TALK as if there was nothing that wasn't worth saying. It was a gooooood talk, enough to matter; saying everything and nothing at the same time, just to hear each other's voice. I didn't care who saw and I didn't let anyone interrupt. I just sat there and listened and talked when it was my turn...
I noticed that it was time for me to go back to work and I stood up. I told him I needed to get back to work; he said he couldn't stay, he was just here for a moment. I didn't want him to leave; I wanted this moment to LAST. A couple co-workers looked at us and smiled. One said, "oh, so THIS is who you've been bragging about and talking about all this time; I can see why!" and then exchanged pleasantries. I was PROUD to introduce him to anyone who was willing to know who he was. I was ecstatic that people were embracing him and it felt good to know that people KNEW that I loved him. He turned to go home. I hugged him and told him that I would see him later; he said he couldn't wait to talk to me again. That felt soooo good. He got to the front door and almost-whispered, "I love you Jamaal."
"Are you going to clock in or what?"
I looked behind me. One of my co-workers was standing behind me in that typical, I'm-about-to-roll-my-neck-at-you-if-you-even-atTEMPT-to-get-smart-with-me exasperated look. I turned back around to see no one standing at the door, to which I just stared for a moment. The beeping of time clock commenced behind me and my co-worker swished by me. I sighed, stared at the door one more time, then turned back around to clock in for work. I took one step, stopped, looked up, sighed, and then, finally brought my mind and words together to say:
"I love you too, Daddy."
Happy Birthday, Daddy. I love you. Rest in Peace.
Monday, October 5, 2009
What's up to whomever may read this...
I've slacked on writing my thoughts out a lot more, simply because a) I don't think a lot of people would be interested in hearing my opinions about random stuff, and b) I haven't really made the time to do it. My life is just a mess and I need to get it together! LOL.
If you know me, one thing I absolutely HATE preconceived notions, especially those based upon who I may or may not associate with. I feel like I extend courtesy to people to not judge them based upon who they know or what they wear or how they look/sound/act, so I expect that same courtesy. Unfortunately, outside of my friends and associates, that is never the case. It's amazing, the stories I've heard about me. Just utter ridiculous mess...I cannot fathom that one would have enough time to concoct some random stuff about me or even any judgments about me based upon what others have said. If you have that much time, why not use it productively? Maybe you'd be a lot further in life...
For the record:
1) I have never, ever, in my entire life, looked down on ANYONE. I think people have that misconception because I try to carry myself in good standing. Heck, I'm 6'4"...I have no choice but to look down at you. One of my good friends told me once: "If you think I am looking down at you, you truly believe that you are beneath me." That quote has stuck with me and that's how I feel. It's not my fault that I walk confidently, I speak with articulation, and, I'd like to think, I look halfway decent. But, I don't let it get to my head at all. I just live my life how I want to. Furthermore, a lot of people think that because I may correct a mispronounced word or I give you a "WTF look" that means I'm being nasty or condescending; not at all. I just want so much more for you than you seem to want for yourself. If I continue to let you mispronounce a word or wear mix-match clothes, what kind of friend am I to NOT tell you? Someone who's not a friend won't give you that same help; they'd just discount you from jump.
2) I'm not bourgeious, boozhwah, whatever. I just like to live comfortably within my means. If I'm able to bless someone that has blessed me, why is that an issue? Yes, I have a car, but I have to keep it up just like you. I know from where I come, and Lord knows I'm not trying to go back there (figuratively), but that doesn't mean I go on these lavish spending sprees or rock the latest fashions. If I were able to, I MIGHT, but I don't, so shut up. LOL. I just wear what I think looks good on ME, not what I think you would think looks good. Stop the madness.
3) I try my best not to be judgmental. I have a wide array of friends; black, white, Puerto Rican, Chinese, tall, skinny, short, fat, straight, gay, bisexual, trisexual, ex-cons, future-cons, whatever! I don't have time to put friends through the application process to know if, in the future, they'll be amazing friends for life or just associates for that time period. I just know that I'm a big networker and even bigger friend. I love PEOPLE. I don't care what your past looks like, I don't care who you sleep with, I don't care how much money you have, I don't care where you live. As long as you don't directly affect me in a harmful way, we're cool. I don't boo-hoo when someone deletes me from MySpace or Facebook; nine times out of ten, if you delete me, you should have a LONG time ago, or you're deleting me over something petty and ridiculous, and for that, I don't need you anyway. That said, I'm a friend to anyone.
4) I'm NOT unapproachable. A lot of people think that I carry myself far above those that would like to converse with me, as if I wave my hand to people and say "be away from me". I've never done that. Sure, I may scoff at you and I may wave you off, but not because I'm above you; it could be a myriad of reasons why. LOL. Ask anyone who actually knows me, the real me, and they'd tell you that I am an amazing person once you get to know me. I speak to anyone who speaks to me and I have no hame in doing so. Just make sure if I speak to you that you extend that same courtesy.
All in all, I'm just me; love it or leave it. I'm not here to be friends with everyone and I don't particularly like everyone, and I don't HAVE to. If we click, we click; if we don't, SMD. LOL!!!!