One Day

I realize with overwhelming sadness that “one day” has never come and probably never will. This realization intensifies as I sort through mementos, deciding which items I will take to my new apartment to stow out of sight for dust mites to enjoy, and which items I will bid farewell to once and for all.

While excavating, I came across a number of keepsakes I had set aside over the years with plans to one day get back to them for whatever reason; and, needless to say, I never got back to any of them.

As for the mementos, I wonder if my first born remembers the love letter Kellie gave him one month after his 11th birthday;

Love Letter-Santinoand I doubt that his almost complete set of baby teeth will ever serve a useful purpose in my life.

 

I don’t know if my second born will ever have children of his own to show off his citizenship award “Presented this 21st day of June, 1988″

Citizenship award-Bullet or if I will ever re-read the hundreds of greetings cards I’ve held onto for so many years.

What I do know is that I cherish all those memories.  I smiled when I re-read the sentiments I penned inside a birthday card given to my now college sophomore, who must have been a toddler at the time judging by the puppy sitting in a little wagon pictured on the front of the card.

Birthday card-Bruiser

The card caught my falling tears and my smile slowly faded as I reached for the latest keepsake, which I contemplated relegating to the growing stack of obituaries; but the idea seemed cold and uncaring; so I kissed the lifeless piece of paper that enveloped mom’s eulogy before placing it atop the stale pile that lay before me.

I thought about how I’ll do something special with it one day, but for now nothing comes to mind; nothing except I miss my momBullet3a (23) and I miss the days when my children were young.

But holding onto these mementos will keep all of them forever young in my heart; so there’s a purpose, after all, for all these mementos. If I never do something special with them on that ever elusive “one day,” they have already done so much for me.

The Unsuitable Suitor

Today he wore a dingy long-sleeve dress shirt with what appeared to be a dyed-on vest with matching dyed-on tie. It was a bit clownish, but at least this morning he appeared less disheveled than most mornings. He spoke in his usual hushed tone when he passed by my table as I went about my morning routine setting up my outdoor office.

“Mumble jumble, mumbo mumble, jumble, mumble,” he said donning a confident smile after I complimented him on his attire.

“Can you speak louder; I can’t hear you over all the traffic” I said… trying really hard to hide my impatience with his mumbling. “Why do you speak so low, anyway?”

He leaned in closer and gave his usual response, “Because I don’t like to yell.”

“Well, it’s not like you’re yelling really; you just have to speak louder if you want to be heard over all the traffic; it’s really noisy out here with all the horns, sirens, and roaring engines; plus, I don’t want you all up in my face trying to talk to me.”

Then attempting to speak louder he responded with an equal measure of cheer and confidence, “Mumble jumble, mumble jumble, mumble jumble…”

From the little I could make out in his slurred whisper, he said what sounded like, “I find myself becoming more and more attracted to you; you’re so pretty. Can I call you sometime to talk? Sometimes I just want a friend to spend time with.”

Well sometimes I’m too nice for my own good; but because I have now learned everything I need to know about how my kindness is often mistaken for weakness, I’m putting a stop to that destructive behavior of mine… especially considering I no longer have enough ass for my kindness to come back and bite. But old habits are hard to break, so the nice person inside of me (the one who never wants to hurt anyone’s feelings) responded to his request for a friend to talk to.

“I’m married; but… ”

I ignored his attempt to interrupt me and continued…

“I don’t mind talking to you when you pass by each day; but you are going to have to speak louder if you want me to hear you; I don’t want you all up in my face when you’re talking to me… what’s the point of talking anyway if no one can hear you?”

The idea that my initial response might leave this man with the impression that my relationship status is the only thing standing between us did not sit well with me, so I added with a bit of indignation, “even if I weren’t married, what makes you think I would want to spend time with you?”

My response angered him and he walked off grumbling something about the many women he has at his disposal.

I began to tell him how happy I was for him in that regard; but the sound of my voice was no match for the noisy street as he shuffled further from me… heading, no doubt, for the neighborhood liquor store for his morning drink.

My heart feels for his plight, no matter how much this world discourages me to feel, so I bit my tongue to avoid spitting the words that were dancing on its tip. Although his boldness certainly tempted me to say, “Dude! You’re not my type! I like a man with a complete set of teeth and access to a daily shower. And although the sky makes a beautiful roof; I’d much rather my man live under one with tiles. And though I’m not pretentious and truly believe that no car makes a man, I still prefer a man whose wheels are motored by an engine; because while Grocery carts do serve a purpose, they don’t make the best vehicles for nights out on the town. PuhLeeze leave me the hell alone!”Suitor

Zen and Piss

Laboratory-TestingI recently had to take a urine test for a pre-employment drug screen, which as you know requires one to empty a sufficient amount of urine into a cup.

Well, I don’t know about you, but when I have to pee on demand, I just can’t do it. Don’t get me wrong; I can pee all day long at home. All it takes is a teaspoon of liquid and BAM, one gallon of pee, no problem! But not when I have to make an appointment to pee… no way; not even downing a gallon of water will yield a teaspoon worth of return on that investment.

'These drug tests, they're be absolutely confidential, right? I don't want any rumors spread about me.'
‘These drug tests, they’re be absolutely confidential, right? I don’t want any rumors spread about me.’

So knowing this about myself, I prepared accordingly and drank several gallons of water before heading out for my 2 p.m. appointment with LabCorp.

Now, being a person who values everybody’s time, I arrived for my appointment five minutes early, signed in, and took my seat.

Upon my arrival, there was only one person in the waiting room; and before I even sat down, he was called to the back for his test. So I thought, “Cool, this should take no time at all… now I don’t have to worry about my 30 minutes running out on the parking meter.”

Curbside meter parking had already cost me $1.50 when it should have cost only 50 cents since the meter did not allow more than 30 minutes parking to begin with… which is basically15 minutes of parking for 25 cents; but I’ll tell you later why it cost me $1 more than it should have.

So back to what I was saying, I signed in, took my seat, and waited patiently for my name to be called. After sitting and waiting for several minutes, two other women arrived and signed in, one after the other; and one of them was called to the back shortly after conversing with the lab tech at the front desk. As I sat there chatting with the woman who had already sat down, I wondered why the last woman arriving was the first one called, especially since I had arrived before her; but I didn’t sweat it since I did not yet feel the urge to pee.

I did notice, however, that everyone except me had been asked during their sign in if they needed to drink some water; so I decided maybe I should drink some too… you know, when in Rome…. Plus, I wanted to be sure I could pee a sufficient amount when my name was called since the chatty woman had warned me of the perils of not peeing a sufficient amount on the first try; and I did not want to risk coming up short and having to start the process over.

Then, after ten more minutes had passed, the second woman was called to the back! At that point I was ready to call foul on the situation because I was there before each of those women; and I had been waiting now for close to 30 minutes. Besides that, if my calculations were correct, I had about five minutes remaining on the parking meter before I would be ticketed. So I approached the desk to summon someone who could tell me what the heck was going on; and by the time the lab tech returned, another precious minute was lost… inching me even closer to a $45 parking fine.

As the incompetent, inconsiderate tech approached her desk, she saw me pacing on the opposite side, and my expression must have alerted her to my impatience because she graciously asked if I was ready. I told that hoe, “Yeah! I’ve been ready!” She then started to tell me my wait wouldn’t be much longer; but I cut her off and asked her how long the process would take once I was taken to the back because I was running out of time on the parking meter. She stated it would take about ten minutes, so I told her I had to add money to the meter before starting the process. She then excused me with an apology and promised to get me to the pee chambers as soon as I returned.

I then ran out to my car, not surprised to find the meter had expired but quite relieved I had found no ticket under my wiper. Having been assured the test would take no more than 10 minutes, I inserted my remaining quarter, buying myself another15 minutes of parking,

As I alluded to earlier, when I first arrived for my appointment I had already lost three quarters in one meter before realizing the darned thing was broken. But fortunately for me someone was leaving the meter on the other side of the street, so I waved for the driver’s attention and asked him to hold the spot until I could get over to the meter he was leaving . I then hopped in my car and whipped around to the opposite side of the street, trying to get there before the meter was taken by the driver who had just rounded the corner and spotted it.

In an effort to let the approaching driver know I already claimed the spot, I pulled alongside the car parked in front of the departing car and quickly put my car in reverse. I then backed into the spot as soon as the parked car pulled out. I watched with concern as the newcomer made a U-turn and pulled up to the broken meter; and I exited my car as quickly as possible so I could warn that driver about the meter. But unlike me, that driver noticed right away that it was broken and escaped before being robbed.

Then I tended to my own business and, like a little old lady, dug into my purse in search of more change. I inserted three quarters into the new meter before realizing the allotted time never exceeded 30 minutes. I then let out a Marge Simpson moan, disgusted by all the money I was losing to the meter; and I dashed off in search of the lab, which was hidden within a maze of offices in a complex that had 15 addresses on the directory but no map to shed a clue on where exactly any of the offices were located.

When I stumbled upon LabCorp for the second time in the span of 40 minutes, I was immediately escorted to a back office, where I was given instructions on how to pee in a cup and warned if I wasn’t out of the restroom in four minutes with warm pee, it would be thrown out. 63

Are you kidding me?!!! So now this woman thinks I ran outside to get some warm pee from someone so I can pass the drug test?! Ain’t that a bitch?!

She then tells me to take off my sweater and offers me a locker to put my purse in for safekeeping. I thought, “Bitch! I’m not worried about anybody taking my purse, the damn parking meter already took all my money!

So I left my sweater and purse on a stool in the back of the room and went across the hall and into the restroom, where I found what looked like a crime scene, with tape strewn about the dinky space blocking the lone window, the sink, and everything in between.

Now, I can understand blocking the window just in case someone is perched outside the building clinging to the second story window, waiting to hand someone their drug-free pee; but why is the sink blocked off? Why can’t I flush the toilet? And why am I not allowed to wash my hands?! Damn! All I’m trying to do is pass a drug test so I can get a job signing folks up for cell phones.

The entire ordeal was just crazy! And I know I’m being tested because that’s what happens when you try to stay positive and focus on self improvement. Just last week I decided I’m just going to focus on me and work on becoming the best I can be; but I swear I don’t know how I’m ever going to get there when people AND parking meters are out here trying to bring out the worst in me?!Ohmmmm

Senior Grilled Talapia

So, I arrived for class an hour early tonight to go over the figures on the final exam one last time with a couple of my classmates; and since class is conveniently located in a meeting room at a Denny’s restaurant, I decided to order a bite to eat while I waited for the others to show up. As I perused the menu trying to decide what to eat, I noticed all the dinner options started with the word “Senior” and I wondered what the heck a Senior Grilled Tilapia was and how it got to be all senior and everything.

DennyThen I realized I was looking at the Senior Citizens’ menu with discounted prices and thought, “Oh, silly me, I’m looking at the wrong menu.”  And just as I was about to flip it over to the other side where the prices are shown for youngins such as myself, I noticed it said 55+; and I was like,

“Hey, wait just a doggone minute here! I’m 57 years old and I ain’t no damn senior!”

Of course, at that point I lost my appetite because I was completely devastated by such heart-wrenching news.  Me, a senior?!  First off, how in the world did I manage to live almost three years as a senior citizen and not even know it? Second, who gets to decide this stuff anyway? And third, I need to have a word with whoever decided I’m a doggone senior citizen!  Hmph!  Last I heard I was a MILF.63

Learning taxes is taxing

apeI have never been so confused in my entire life… Except for that one time when I got lost going around the block. But I have an excuse for that one. I was caught in such a heavy downpour that my wipers swishing across my windshield at top speed still could not clear my view. And on top of being blinded by all the rain, somebody switched the street signs before I made it all the way around the block. One minute I was driving down Jefferson and next thing I knew I was on Wyandotte crying like a 2 year old wondering where the hell Jefferson went. But tonight! Oh, the confusion doesn’t even compare. O M G !!! Profit and loss, capital gains, sale of stocks, Schedule D, Form 8940-something. Man! My confidence was so shattered when I left class, I now wonder if I’m even qualified to mop floors without getting step-by-step instructions AND some on-the-job training. I have a lot of studying to do between now and January ‘cause right now, it is not looking too good for me y’all.  Just in case I don’t make the grade doing taxes, I have found my new instructor.dog

Hunger

faced memoriesfaced memories2I don’t remember exactly when I died; but I’ve been trying to recall when I last felt something and didn’t have to fake my emotional response. I search my memory for things that made me laugh or cry… or even broke my heart… my memory bank is empty.  I wonder if I ate a corned beef sandwich, pickle on the side, heavy mustard would I remember what life used to taste like.   I hunger for happier times.

Wasted Love

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we seem to love our family members and close friends, those we have shared good times with, and those who have touched our lives in a memorable and positive way; but we are never really moved to say or do anything about it until they are gone.  That’s when we send flowers; that’s when we express sentimental feelings, and that’s when we tell everyone else how much we loved the person who is no longer here.  What a waste of love and sentiment. We need to reach out to those we love in the here and now because we just never know when the time will come or when the chance to show love is gone forever.  Don’t send me flowers when I’m dead and gone; I can’t smell them then.  I need to smell your love here and now.

Rose3

Mrs. God

!!! Big Announcement Everybody !!! 

It has been revealed to me that I am married to God.  Know how I know? ‘Cause every time somebody needs money, all they have to do is call on the hubs and ask for it; and he’ll say, “How much do you need?” Then before I know it, he zips off to the money tree and wires cash to the party in need. money treeOnce his hard-earned cash is received by the solicitor, it magically becomes a blessing from above, and all praise is given to God.

“Praise the Lord” they say, “God is good!  He may not come when you call, but He is always right on time. Thank you Jesus!”

So for those of you who have been wondering what God looks like, let me tell you…  His skin is medium brown and His hair is styled like a 1980s Jheri Curl.  I keep telling Him to let me cut that shit off but God don’t listen to no damn body; and He stopped talk’n a few thousand years ago!  Oh, and just so you know, we do have a son but his name ain’t Jesus and he was not immaculately conceived.

I’ve been thinking, with me being so close to God and all, I’m either His unglorified apprentice or his sacrificial lamb, ’cause nobody ever thanks me for my part in all the giving going ’round up in here. Maybe they don’t care or maybe they just don’t know, but God has a mighty appetite for a particular fruit-bearing pleasure and somebody’s got to keep Him in a charitable mood.  Hallaluja!

Empty Nest

feeding pigeons

He used to be my running buddy and I was his favorite girl.

He would pick flowers for my hair whenever we went outside to play.picking flowers We were inseparable.

As he grew older, not even pretty little girls could come between us… pretty girls

He’s now a senior in high school and will be off to college before I know it; and my nest will be empty. I don’t know what I’m going to do without him ignoring me all day, but I’m sure I’ll manage.

 

 

Anyway, meet Leon, Jr., the last of My Three Sons. The future neuroscience major with several universities “eyeing” him… though his eyes are on UC Berkley; and he might even have the grades to get there.Senior

September 16 Will Always Be His Birthday

Tino and Shane1So many years ago, so many memories. My son Tino on the left wearing #55 shirt, with his cousin Shane on right.  They were the best of friends while growing up. Shane would have enjoyed his 40th birthday today if he had not been stabbed to death at the tender age of 23. He would be so proud of his beautiful family today. Also pictured here are his son Shane, Jr. Shane Jr. in photo on right and daughter and his precious granddaughter below.

 

PocketsShana

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday for the years we are counting in this lifetime, Shane; and wherever you are in your next lifetime, we all miss you.

The Taxing Class

So I completed my first day of tax class and I learned quite a bit… about myself anyway. Right off the bat, I learned if I nod my head in agreement every now and then, I’ll look like I’m paying attention. Then once I got the hang of that, I learned if I try to stop blinking for longer than 10 seconds my eyeballs will start burning. After about an hour of doing that, it got as boring as class so I moved on to something else to help pass the time. I stared out the window and started counting cars and that’s when I learned I can actually fall asleep with my eyes open. I know I dozed off a couple times while attempting to get through one paragraph of filing rules. I recall my head slowly falling forward and then suddenly snapping upright just when I heard the teacher talking about earning potential. I believe she said Liberty Tax will pay its employees $13.75 per hour just for standing on a corner in costume spinning a sign. I don’t know why she looked at me when she said it, but I thought maybe she had sized up my potential somewhere along the way. horshackAnyway, that’s when I threw my hand up in the air and in my best Arnold Horshack imitation shouted, “ooh ooh, I can do that

Happy Birthday To My #2 Son

To my second born on his special day… No matter how many years have passed, you will always be my rambunctious little bullet who could hang with the big dogs and never take any bull no matter the difference in size.  Short distances and busy schedules might keep us miles apart, but you are always in my heart as well as my thoughts.  Wishing nothing but the best for you always.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BULLET!

Gratitude

1. Even though I didn’t grow up in the best of conditions amid all the turmoil of the 60s and the domestic violence taking place under our own roof throughout my childhood, I can say that I am truly blessed to have a mother who was willing to die to keep her 7 children together. Her parents offered her shelter in the early years to escape the brutality; but like the signs of the times, their invitation read “For Whites Only,” so she stayed with her little black babies and took the abuse instead of running for her life. As a child I often worried she wouldn’t see me into adulthood; but she is a true survivor, and I am blessed to still have her in my life. I know she is tired now; and I really should call to let her know how much I love and appreciate her.

2. I have to dig deeper to find something to appreciate about my father; but since I’m taking time this week to focus on the positive, I will give it my best shot. My father was funny but brutally sarcastic; and he was smart and a very talented musician. He loved Jazz and played Sax in the local night clubs in Detroit. He had lots of friends and it seemed people knew and loved him everywhere he went. When I hear the song “Nobody Wants You When you’re Down and Out,” I think of my father because he seemed only to come home when he was down and out. But two of my fondest memories of my father would be the time he bragged incessantly about a story I wrote while in Jr. High about Li’l Abner and Pink Lemonade raining from the sky. I remember how he paraded me out in front of anyone who stopped by just so I could read that stupid story to them. He made me feel proud, so I guess that’s good. The other fond memory is that he made me practice typing for an hour each day after school once he saw how quickly I learned the basics. He saw promise and wanted to develop it, so I guess that’s good, too… especially since I eventually earned a living typing. I no longer think so much about how far I might have gone in life if my father had been less brutal and more present & generous with his love; but I at least felt a brief spark of fatherly love; and for that I am grateful because there are so many children who have never felt even the slightest twinge.

3. I am grateful for the love of my sisters and brothers. We were all very close growing up because as outcasts and black sheep, we were all we had. With our own children, we all followed the example of my mother and did the very best by our children, giving them a better life than we had growing up. And I can honestly say, if we were deprived of all else in life, we were never short on love; and for that I am truly grateful. I love my mother, my sisters and my brothers with all my heart and I miss being a part of their daily lives.

2. I am grateful for social media because it made it possible for all of us to connect with distant relatives as well as make new friends and reconnect with long lost ones. It has also made it possible for us to exchange ideas and share experiences with people all over the world… people who we otherwise might never have met. I hope this wonderful invention will eventually teach us that we are not that dissimilar from one another. We all love our children and our families; we all feel joy and pain, laugh and cry and desire peace and happiness in our lives. I have forged friendships with quite a few people whom I have never met and I have grown to love and appreciate so much about them. I hope to one day meet some of them and, if not, I will always have them in my heart.

3. I am grateful that I have finally learned to love myself. It was a long and difficult road to travel before finally reaching a place where I could believe that women have value or that a man really can love a woman and not just consider her a punching bag. Witnessing abuse and feeling rejection early in life creates an indelible stain on one’s soul; and while stains are sometimes difficult to remove, they do over time become so worn and faded that they are no longer noticeable; and that’s when they are as good as gone. When the father of my first born walked out of my life during my pregnancy at 17, I had to work hard to understand that it was not a reflection or rejection of me; and that it had only to do with where he was at that stage in his life. We were young and careless and we were not the first to find ourselves in a situation for which we were not prepared. I was so happy when my son finally met his father for the first time in 2005 at the age of 30; and I’m even happier that they are getting to know one another and are building a father-son relationship after all those years apart.  I am filled with gratitude and finally exhaling…

Typical is Not Romantic

stargazersIf a woman tells you that romance for her is gazing upon the darkest night, marveling at a star-filled sky, don’t give her a rose and expect her to be appreciative of your romantic gesture when all you have told her with that rose is you have not heard a word she has said.Wilted Rose

 

 

 

 

Honor those you love whenever and however you choose with spontaneous gestures of love.  It means so much more when it’s not someone else’s idea.

love2

Two Lovers

stereoI remember we had one of these in our house in the 60’s and I used to like writing down the lyrics of my favorite songs. Sometimes I didn’t quite understand a verse, so I would have to keep lifting the needle and placing it in just the right spot to replay the verse I was trying to hear.  I had no idea Mary Wells was talking about one man when she sang, “I got two lovers and I ain’t ashamed, two lovers and I love them both the same.”  I couldn’t wait to grow up and get 2 or 3 of my own.  Boy, was I disappointed to learned I got it all wrong.  Two different lovers is much more interesting than one with multiple personalities.

Gilgamesh, The Original Flood Myth

Gilgamesh“I will tell you a secret of the gods [plural, meaning more than one god], Gilgamesh. I will reveal to you a mystery. Shortly after the flood had been decreed for mankind by the great gods, Enki advised me to tear down my house and build a boat, to abandon possessions and save myself. Into the vessel was to go the seed of all living creatures.” (Ancient Sumeria, circa 2750 – 2500 BCE).

The story of the great flood was first written 1000 years before it was plagiarized and re-worked into the Christian Bible. It is a Sumerian poem about a King who was grieving the loss of his loving friend and decided to embark on a search for eternal life. The poem is called The Epic of Gilgamesh and in this poem, Gilgamesh, the King of Uruk, told of wild adventures he encountered along the way that can only be interpreted as make believe… quite like the superhero stories told in our time for entertainment. Can you imagine how primitive it would be if 1000 years from now, the new inhabitants of this planet unearthed some ancient writings about Clark Kent and decided it was a story that should be put in their book of divinity? Think about that for as long as it takes to realize it’s not enough to blindly accept as truth everything you’ve been told. Instead you must research origins… that is if you want knowledge.

Fairy Tales

fairy_tales3Once upon a time around, 6,000 years ago, God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light… and God called the light Day and the darkness he called Night. Then one Night when all the townspeople were sleeping comfortably with their myths, along came a big bad telescope named Hubble which dared to reveal that beyond the vast ocean of twinkling diamonds in the sky there stood the beautiful queen Nebula. nebula

Unlike some of the older women of today, Nebula is not vain and she simply refused to lie about her age. She admitted she’s been around for approximately 13.82 billion years. She also revealed that because she needed to spend some time cooling off, she had to wait about 9.13 billion years before she could give birth to all the stars in the cosmos. And because she so loved the earth and all its inhabitants that had not yet appeared, she sacrificed one of her billion begotten sons so that we may eventually have life here on planet earth. The son she so lovingly sacrificed was not her oldest but he is approximately 4.57 billion years old and we call him sun. sun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sadly enough, there was a time not so long ago when her mysterious “son” was revered as a god; sun god but that was before it was discovered there were too many others like him for that to be true. So the people eventually created an invisible god that could never be seen and could never again be disproven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

bibleAccording to some ancient texts, this new god can be very jealous, egotistical and maniacal; and the people were warned of his intent to infinitely torture anyone who says an unkind thing about him. The thought of such torment quite naturally caused great fear among the people, and many of them have willingly imprisoned themselves within the confines of their cultural beliefs vowing never to step outside to seek knowledge of any kind.

Do not litterNeedless to say, the people did not live happily ever after.

 

 

 

 

The End

Heaven

pool
I visited heaven today. I was in the pool all alone floating on my back, listening to the water gently splash as my arms moved in small circles with just enough effort to keep me afloat. I lay there silently, not a care in the world as I soaked in the expanse of blue above me. Thin mists of clouds watching over me as I watched them, each of us wondering what Divinity created the other. The sun kissed me all over as gentle breezes caressed my skin. I’m pretty sure I was in heaven because that felt like heaven to me. And in that moment it became very clear to me that no one can define heaven for anyone else because if heaven is not what you want it to be, then how can it be heaven?

My Children’s Laughter

Throughout my life I’ve heard many beautiful things. I’ve heard music that made my heart dance, poetry that made it melt, professions of love that made it skip a beat, and sounds of nature that brought serenity to my soul; but never in all my years have I heard a sound more beautiful than my children’s laughter when they were young. I miss that sound and I’m so thankful for the memory still ringing in my ears.

laughter

My New Wheels

When I was in my early 20s, I was in a relationship with a mechanic. He was a pretty good mechanic too; he was working at a Ford dealership in Detroit when we first met. Now, the one good thing about dating a mechanic is you always have something to drive even if it is a little beaten and worn. I remember the first car he gave me. It was a fixer upper and had certainly seen her better days but she purred like a kitten… well, maybe more like a cranky old cat but, still, she purred.

After about a week of driving around town in my spanking brand old car with no problem to speak of, one night that old girl just up and died on me! What made matters worse, it was dark and rainy, and I had our young son out there ripping and running with me. So in a panic, I called that trusty lover/mechanic of mine and cussed him out for giving me such an unreliable old jalopy to ride around town in.

Eric had an easy manner and didn’t let my frustration throw him one bit. Instead, he calmed me down and assured me everything would be fine. He then threw a slew of questions at me to try and figure out what the problem might be. Everything seemed to check out based on my answers so he was momentarily stumped until he asked his very last question, which went a little something like this:

“Renee’, when was the last time you put gas in the car?”

My response: Gas?!!! Uh, never.

Ain’t nobody ever told me those things run on gas. Shoot, I grew up watching the Flintstones and I was just glad somebody came up with some kind of magical technology that prevented me from wearing down a good pair of shoes.Fred Flintstones

Brother Can You Spare a Dime

Brother can youI really wish people weren’t so willing to believe all the lies they hear about poor people lazing around and living it up at the expense of tax payers. I grew up poor, and tax-funded social programs helped my mother feed, clothe and shelter her 7 children with barely enough food left over for her to eat. With the meager monthly food allowance my mother received from the government, we still had a lot of hungry days; and sometimes our only meal was the left over bread and donuts from the neighborhood church at the end of the month. Take it from someone who knows, there is nothing about getting the bare minimum from the government that makes people want to stay poor or helpless. What the government did for us with those social programs is help to keep us alive, and it gave us an opportunity to better ourselves and not have to stay in a hopeless and helpless situation just because we were born into it. Many social programs help innocent children, the elderly, and underpaid workers. It would be great if corporations like Wal-Mart paid their workers a livable wage so tax dollars wouldn’t have to supplement their wages too. The problem with our economy is not social programs; the problem is capitalistic greed, technology and outsourcing. If people are not bothered by the fact that their tax dollars are subsidizing billion dollar oil companies, why in God’s name are they bothered by their tax dollars helping children and seniors?

I could go on for days about how greed is destroying this country while the poor are blamed. The rich and greedy have so much money, they not only buy political favor they sell their agenda to gullible masses, convincing them to go along with a system that only benefits a few at the top. The purpose of spending so much of their money on propaganda is to keep all eyes on the poor so no one will notice their greed and corruption. The wealthy minority in this country reap all the benefits of our freedom and democracy; they use all the resources this country has to offer; and then they run and hide their money in tax havens to avoid giving back to the very government that made it possible for them to succeed… And they do it because they don’t want to help anyone else… or they don’t feel it’s their responsibility. They are the true takers. They take and they do not give. How much luxury does one man need to satisfy his greed before he is willing to feed one hungry child? Firefighters, police officers, courts, judges, schools, libraries, parks, roads, railways, airports, street lights, bridges, water treatment plants – these are just some of the things we pool our money together in taxes to make this society beneficial for all of us. Helping the disadvantaged through social programs is just one more way to help a society thrive. Imbalance destroys and we’re seeing this play out right before our eyes. A few rich folks at the top, crushing multiple poor and disadvantaged at the bottom; let’s see how much longer we’ll last with this huge imbalance. One thing’s for sure: We won’t be the first great nation to fall and we won’t be the last.

This Thing Called Love

Love
So, I’ve been thinking about this thing called love; and I was wondering why it’s so easy for me to walk into it and right back out if the situation calls for my immediate departure.  I do know that I don’t “fall” in love.  What I do is walk deliberately and consciously in and settle into the comfort of love, then decide to treat you as lovingly as you treat me.  In fact, I’m inclined to believe that it was never any particular “you” that I loved at any particular time.  Rather, it was the way you made me feel that I loved.  Therefore, when any given “you” is no longer willing or capable of making me feel happy or good about anything, then I find it pretty near impossible to continue a loving interaction with you.  I will still love feeling the way you used to make me feel; I will never stop loving that.  And in that sense, my love is forever.  It’s the “you” that I no longer want to be with or to act loving toward.  And if that is the case, then it wasn’t that I loved “you,” really.  It was the way you made me feel that I loved.
Some call me fickle for my way of thinking; but I just think it’s natural to no longer act or feel loving toward someone who no longer provokes those feelings in you.  The way I see it, how can anyone love someone who always makes them sad or mad, or who constantly makes them feel bad or causes them pain more often than not… even if unintentional.  I can still feel a certain human kinship toward anyone, I guess (and I may or may not want anything bad to happen to you, depending on how much you pissed me off during our relationship); but that’s not love.
Maybe that explains why I’m so willing to be loving again with Leon.  He makes me happy and tries to keep me that way.  He treats me with kindness, he’s caring, patient, and generous with me.  How could I not love that?  Notice I said “that” and not “him.”  Well, that’s because I know if he stops treating me the way he now treats me and stops making me feel the way he makes me feel right now, I can and will walk away with my heart fully intact with no love lost… because I will still love the way he made me feel… that love will never end.


Ted Talk

The greats

Imagine how devastating it must be to have the idea of your superiority slowly ripped from your psyche. I suppose it must feel like a band-aid being snatched from a wound as it clings to erythematous skin. That must be the pain Ted Nugent feels as he comes face-to-face with the lie that has festered in his heart for years. Ted hurts because his wounds are exposed to the unbearable reality that a Black man lives in the White House so he cries out in pain his profane, racist remarks that “Obama is a communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel.” Now, as unbelievable as his proclamation is, Ted has to cling to it for his own survival. Ted must keep his yet unhealed wound completely covered because it’s too painful to remove the bandage that has protected his false sense of superiority for so many years. Somehow Ted has managed to hold on to that belief for 65 years despite all evidence to the contrary. But now that a man who Ted believes is his inferior has become the leader of the free world, it’s much too much for him to bear. So, we must try to understand Ted’s sickness; for it is only when we understand an illness can we begin to heal the infirmed or cure diseases of the mind. So let us all collectively extend our hand in peace and say to Ted as nicely as we can: Everything is gonna be all right, Ted. President Obama is not the first person of color to have exceeded far beyond the limits of your comprehension, and this country is better off for it. So please put away your fears and your hateful rhetoric, Ted, and try to find some comfort in the midst of all the greatness that surrounds you. We promise no one is going to take away your gun or your guitar. And we apologize that Jimi Hendrix has set the bar so high that you could never reach it; at least the NRA appreciates you and I suppose on some level you can be proud of that.

Spiced Tea For Your Soul Because Sometimes Chicken Soup Just Isn't Enough