Lost & Found

“Come upstairs and I’ll show you where all my, Where my demons hide from you, Just look at who I have become, I am so ashamed you were the one that made me feel the way I do, You broke me, And taught me, To truly hate myself, Unfold me, And teach me, How to be like somebody else, You’re lost and found, Fallen out, Broken down”—Lianne La Havas

I don’t even know why I’m writing all of this. It just seems that with every pound lost, my whole body wants to be lighter. My spirit cries: “Give Me Free!” I don’t want to gain again. And it’s not because I love food. It’s because food makes me unattractive. A state of being invisible where you’re hurt by actions, not words—sticks and stones and all that other playground logic.

Sometimes I even wondered if I pushed them to cruelty. Something innate, generational: a particular scent that entices men who create victims. Watching my mother fight nightly with the Millionaire, verbal to physical altercations where bruised bodies connected with broken windows. Those same hands: a different color, wrapped around my sister’s throat. Bones that shatter. Marks that fade.

And here I am grateful that the ones of many never hit me. Never challenged me with their fists. Because I fight back. But only so hard. Something about a balled hand, even in jest will sound the alarm, a battle cry of a wounded warrior.

I hate saying that I’m a product of divorce, paltry words to describe the relationship of my biological parents and what ultimately led to their separation: a confluence of fucked up and power lust. A prodigy of their regrets as I created my own.

I don’t have a lot of my memories—too much blockage, too much repression—I do know happiness wasn’t a central theme in my household.  Knowing them, happiness isn’t their strong suit no matter who’s around. Something is always wrong: not enough money, not enough time, not enough energy/resources/opportunity, life is hard; too many directions pulling them away from each other. They have perfectly perfected the imbalance of wanting to live and needing to be needed.

While they stayed together, they stayed together. One minute they’re fighting, knocking over dishes, knocking each other around. The next moment I’m tracing the shattered window pane, slivers of glass cutting my fingers, my mother making coffee like nothing ever happened.

And that’s still how we live, treading over troubles, burdened by the past, unwilling to acknowledge the thunder claps, the announcement of an upending storm. When walking in the forest you can either choose to hear the crunching of leaves under your boots or tune your mind for approaching predators.

The lack of openness, of narration, led me to eat what I feel. Any time something was wrong or something hurt me only the scale reflected my struggle. Now with this weight loss I’ve had to let a lot of things go in order to rediscover my body before blemish. I’ve had to concede to a negative perception of self worth and beauty. Had to stop seeking to fill internal voids by helping others, by being for others what no one has been to me; dawning a cape at the mere hint of distress, when really I stand in need of a champion.

You have to be a part of your own rescue.

Life aint no crystal stair, yet here I am spending my days cleaning dust off the speckled glass peering into the artfully positioned, broken pieces underneath. The storage unit under the staircase locking away all of the damage from view.

I have such a forgiving heart. More of a talent really. It took me such a long time to forgive the Millionaire and after that it became so freeing. Ah, release.

But I have the worst time forgiving myself. I hold. I harbor. It’s always my fault. Let me hide it away in some shelving unit underneath the companionway, these instances which have disfigured: Erik’s mask a band-aid.

I have a hard time saying that the mistakes in life are really the experiences that help you grow. I even go so far as to blame myself for the evil in others. As if I could have prevented certain occurrences and those that I couldn’t I deserved.

I remember the day MYD raped me. I remember we were cuddling and he wanted to have sex. I remember saying no. I remember turning away only to have him pin me down. I remember my hands held over my head, my face turned away, tears streaming down cheeks, thinking about black chalkboards. I can still hear his final huff, the weight on top of me, the pressure of his hands on my wrist loosening as he used that connection to push off me. I muttered: “Are you happy now?” Still facing the wall, turning my body to match the position of my face. I remember his sigh. How he said “you shouldn’t cry so much, if you don’t stop crying I will leave”. The stream never ceasing, he got up and left. No goodbye, no apology. Ever.

I wished it away. Pretended it never happened. Willed myself not to remember the next time I welcomed him in my arms. Because it wasn’t the first time. And if it happens more than once, you deserve it right? You ask for it. I always thought if it happened again I would be a fighter, I would stick up for myself. In the height of that incident, numbed by recollections of a certain foster home, of a specific closet, of other nightly visits where I turned my face away. Flashbacks that freeze my body at the peak of warmth. Images that shadow my steps though I can’t place the imprint in the sand.

It seems I always fight for the underdog but never for myself. The odd hound barking on the heels of every failed relationship. See I tend to pick men that latch on to my kindness, that leech off my nurturing spirit while trying everything in their power to break me. And I’m ashamed to say that I let them. Something in me for so long screamed that I deserved it. I couldn’t see that it was deplorable treatment.

I spent so much of my youth being angry, hateful, hurting others in response to my own internal turmoil that I would stride toward the path of abuser in order not to be a casualty again. Growing up, I transformed the lashing into self-loathing, an air of meekness to atone for my sins. Ordered a new welcome mat across my body for anyone to wipe their feet, working so hard to heal them in supplication that I ignored the need for my own recovery.

I have to be my own hero now. I can’t take on your burdens. My shoulders are far too weighed down.

This is the first time I’ve ever said this. The mess of my brother’s death has turned me into a cesspool. And now it’s so clear. Clearer than it’s ever been before. Right now, this moment, it has to be all about me.

I’m not asking you to carry my baggage, or even help me unpack. Even a career porter wouldn’t know what to do with all of the suitcases I lug. Over time I will push you away, claim self preservation. In reality do you really want to see how far down the rabbit hole goes? Yea, I didn’t think so. Listen when I say I’m broken, believe it. At least you know where my demons hide.

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Can we talk?

“And I’ve dreamed of you ever since, Now I’ve built up my confidence, Girl next, next time you come my way, I’ll know just what to say, Can we talk for a minute, Girl I want to know your name”—

I’ve reached a new level of fed up with dating. I go out on Saturday to the Reminisce DC party. Great time, lots of dancing, awesome DJ. As I’m leaving the club, I return back to ask a question to the security personnel out front. As I typically do, I adopt an accent when I’m uncomfortable. It catches the attention of one guard in particular. He proceeds to hem me up, telling me my face is gorgeous but my accent makes me beautiful.

In a last effort to be “open” to possibilities, I give him my number. He promises to text and walks off. I wait for @NicknotNikki as she flirts with another one. A woman leaves the club. He guffaws with his cronies then proceeds to follow her, another victim to hood boy charm. He’s on that Wale, Let me just talk to you for a moment and enjoy the luxury of like not knowing each other for a minute, swag. And I kick myself.

Not just because I gave him my number in this game of digits but because I wasn’t even the Grand Supreme winner of thirst. He saddled up to me, sniffing out an available spot to piss on, but he chased after her, focused on his intent and intended. And so blatantly. I wasn’t even 4 feet away from him, when I saw his arms flail in abandon and momentum to catch up to her brisk pace. Oh you rude…

Sunday ambles on and I don’t hear from him. Mind you @NicknotNikki exchanged numbers with two men on Saturday and they text her repeatedly which led to calls about when they were going to meet. She even met up with one Sunday night. As I rationalize the difference, I understand that their mind stayed on Nick while I was an afterthought once the others failed to nibble on the bait he dangled. Don’t believe me, here’s the text that woke me up this morning:

Hey I don’t remember what you look like but your name is my phone, wanna send me a picture to jog my memory?

What all the fuck?!?!

What kind of ‘I only use 1/3 of my brain power, so you’re really not that important’ message was that? Mind you, I haven’t had my coffee yet, and even worse the whole vibe turned me off. I’m tired of being someone’s second option, like could you possibly work for me?

I respond back: Sorry, you have the wrong number.

He doesn’t take the hint so in a rapid series of texts he tells me that he found my number in his phone and he’d not sure how it got there. Then he sends me a picture of himself to bring all things to my remembrance. As persistent as he is I tell him the name in the phone isn’t right, that I’m actually Kierra.

Rico Suave is thick as Noah’s wooded ark. He says:

I don’t mean to bug you; if you got my picture then you know who I am. If I don’t look familiar than it will forever be a mystery of how I got your number. You sure you don’t want to send me a pic?

In my mind, I’m like Naw Nigga I don’t even want this phone number anymore. Just take all of it and move your hound-dog tendencies right on over to another lawn.

Though nice guys finish last, they do finish. The inverse, however, isn’t true. I’m starting to recognize that men don’t want nice women. It doesn’t blend well with their woofish inclinations. They want the woman who’s lost all of her nice after being drug through the pine needles of men’s intuition so that when they date her they can howl how women don’t know what to do with a good man anymore. Nigga please. Miss me with that bull dung. Fling it on someone else’s rose bush.

You know what the problem is? Men of a certain maturity have this false perception of perfection. They build her up, hunt her down, grab her by the haunches then realize that this object of perfection isn’t really perfect for them. They blame it on the woman time after time. It was her flaws that broke us up, while failing to grasp the two to tango trope.

Anyone else as tired of this game as I am? Spinning your wheels in Monopoly, the closer you get to finishing the more the rules change, or the pieces are misplaced, or the bank runs out of money. Someone has to forfeit, and it might just be me.

I miss the beginning stages. The intrigue. The phone conversations that last for hours. The heightened anticipation when you know you’re going to see the other person. Little things that add up in the long run. I don’t even want to be in love, I would settle for a steady stream of like at the moment.

Is that too much to ask?

Don’t Stop Believing

“Some will win, some will lose, Some were born to sing the blues, Oh, the movie never ends, It goes on and on and on and on, Strangers waiting, Up and down the boulevard, Their shadows searching in the night, Streetlight people, Living just to find emotion, Hiding somewhere in the night, Don’t stop believin’,
Hold on to that feelin’ “—Journey *pre-dated post 10/8/12*

The semi-finalist list for the annual Black Weblog Awards came out, and sure’nuff my name (blog) was not on it. I could say that I feel some type of way about that *mouf pop* but I honestly don’t know how I feel. Do you ever want something and not know why you want it? That ache on the back of your tongue for something sweet even though your stomach signals it’s full: There’s my response.

I feel like I won’t get the type of recognition I want until I understand why the accolades are important. Do I need other people to validate that I’m a good writer? Why do I write? Though I want to tell my story, I really want to make a connection; dot to dot to dot I want to build three sides and let my readers close the box writing their initials on the inside.

It may be a tale of woes, but we all share the same challenges. Maybe it’s the communal space of acceptance that allows for success.

What I won’t say is that it doesn’t suck—because it does. Losing in any form sucks whether it’s significant or not. But the words won’t stop, the music still speaks to me, the thoughts still need release.

As I take down the widget from a wright-hand panel, erasing html code without replacement, I think of dreams deferred to another year. Another 12 months of head-down grinding, brief squints up from the pad to focus on other opportunities. A Thomas the Tank approach to writing: thinking you can, chugging uphill though you want to slide down, thankful for every clink forward.

The finalists are still out there and they still needed support. I don’t want to cast favorites, but I voted for some good writers out there exhausting their voice. Even though voting has ended, check out the work listed on Black Weblog Awards and support the hard work of those striving toward a goal.

Special thanks to those that nominated my blog, and paid the entrance fee. Thank you for getting my foot in the door and more traffic to my doorstep. Thank you for all of my friends and readers who voted for my blog and spread the word. Thank you for continuing to follow and subscribe. Thank you most of all for your patience as I try to figure out what I want to write about, even though my notebook is full of possible posts.

I appreciate the love!