Sunday, December 27, 2009

Some New Years Resolutions

My year this year has been quite a ride. I like to look over my past blogs to see where I have been. I have accomplished a lot this year:

1. My divorce became final.
2. My divorce became final and I stopped being bullied by my ex-husband
3. I learned how to spend time with myself and actually enjoy it. If you get on your own nerves, how can you expose others to your poor company!
4. With my partner in business as well as in friendship, BrownGirlsWe is finally off the ground.
5. I have reignited my love for what I do. And have become even more ambitious in terms of my "day job".
6. I stopped being afraid to submit my work (writing).
7. Discovered I really have nothing to be afraid of and got some good feedback and advice from a great literary agent.
8. I met a few cute boys.
9. I stopped being afraid to let people in and I have met and befriended some really great people.
Word to Toni Minor and Kathryn Conner!
10. I have learned to keep my hormones and expectations in check. I sure hope my hiatus works out, word to Fred Sanford!

So for 2010 I have a few resolutions:

1. I will finish my book proposal.
2. I will submit some other work to other publications (even if its just to the City Paper and local market magazines)
3. I will become a more articulate self advocate at work.
4. I will begin my day in meditation and prayer for at least 3 minutes.
5. I will be unafraid of real relationships with men and unafraid to let the relationships go if they no longer want to be held.
6. I will love with my whole heart and be unafraid of getting hurt.
7. I will not rush or be impatient. (this will be really hard)
8. I will drink more water.
9. I will brush Arna the wonderdog more frequently so he doesn't get all tangled.
10. I will be the best me possible everyday.

So its a hefty list. We'll see how well I do.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Last Night a DJ Saved My Life or Super Lesbian to the Rescue!

"Kenny Loggins is fucking dope!!!! Seriously"
That is a text I got at 1:42 Saturday afternoon from my best friend Brandi. She was driving the long 8 hours back from South Carolina clearly deep into song 3,124 of her 6000 songs on her ipod. Kenny Loggins? Really? Well to each his own.

I texted her back to see what time she would be home and to text me when she got in. I wanted to be sure she got home safe. She texts back asking if we were going to go out when she returned. Now let me just say that brandi shelton be playin with a chick's emotions. She knows good darn well she is not going to feel like going out after driving back from her folks house. But I haven't been out dancing in so long I jumped at the opportunity and crossed my fingers that she wouldn't back out when she got home. So I jumped on the internet to the hub of my entertainment information, facebook of course. I found out that DJ Jahsonic was going to be at Eighteenth Street Lounge. I first saw Jahsonic at Marvins on the Monday of Bassey Ikpi's birthday celebration Part Deux: The Eatonville and Marvins Edition. He played a mix of soul, R & B, classic hip-hop, and rare grooves. I woulda sweat my perm out if I had a perm! So I knew ESL was the place to be if he was going to be spinning there. And since brandi was currently pumpin the Kenny Loggins, I figured she would appreciate the variety.

I figured out what I was going to wear. I got these new jeans this weekend and with all the turkey and mac and cheese I ate this week, my ass looked PHENOMENAL in them. And I say that with the most humility I can muster.

So the night was so much fun! We got in and because of the crowd or management or both, Jahsonic was playing some housey, no lyric music. But we got in for half price (gotta appreciate that dredloc'd family hook-up), so we were going to have fun regardless. We head straight to the bar and decided it was going to be a Jack and Gingerale kind of night.

So much fun happens with my man Jack! So after a couple of cocktails we find a place to sit and take in the sights. Right at that same time Jahsonic starts playing the hell out of some music boy! Prince, Eurythmics, Run DMC. Everybody was jammin'. Brandi and I start dancing and singing. And because I must have "I date white boys" written on my forehead, random drunk ass white boy comes up and starts talking to me. As of this writing I have no idea what he was talking about. I know he said that he was Irish and thats why he was drunk. He kept saying how I was gorgeous, and that he didn't know how to dance. Yeah word to Plies. Just a P.S.A. public drunkenness is not cute.

Just as I had taken as much hugs and slurred words as I could from this dude, I take the opportunity to give Jahsonic the side eye to remind him about my song. He gave me a head nod and a hand shake and kept playin what he was playin. I should have known, the deejays I know hate it when you request songs. Side note: Jahsonic has the softest hands ever. What kind of moisturizer you use, son? I get back to my spot and I see brandi looking all pissed that I left her with the drunk dude. His posse is leaving so he tries his hand a little touchy feel feel before he goes. Um, no dude. not having it. Here's a hug for you and a hug from brandi, now get to steppin.

We keep dancing and decide to go to the other side of the room, just in case drunkey mcdrunkerson comes back. We get to our new spot and brandi tousels the hair of this dread as she walks by. Well, needless to say thats who she was dancing with for the rest of the evening. Me, I danced with the sweater vested, tie wearing Trini who was a good 3 or4 inches shorter than I was. Its not a problem. I'm pretty tall for a girl. So I'm used to being the same height or a smidge taller than dudes. But catch this. He uses the most fabulous short man pick up line ever on me. After we were dancing for a while he says in my ear, "I see you're not too tall to have a short conversation." Wow. No words. I don't know why I thought that was awesome, but it was. Like Brandi says, I'm a soft touch. We danced all night until the lights came on. I don't think thats happened since college.

Anyway night over, we race back to the garage where we were parked to retrieve the car. It was 2:56 and the garage closed at 3am. We get in the car and head back to Maryland. We get a couple of blocks and brandi says, OMG I think we're running out of gas. I look at her gas guage and it says she still has a quarter of a tank left. I said, "you can't be running out of gas. the guage says you still have some." Then I feel what she's talking about. The car isn't moving as she is pressing on the gas. It won't get beyond 2nd gear. We pull over to the side of the road. Ever the voice of reason, I say,"I think we can make it. Can't we make it to a gas station?" Okay not the best advice but to my defense I was 3 1/2 Jack n' Gingerales in.

Brandi decides not to risk it and instead moves into a parking spot on the side of K street. Okay here is the moment that all single girls dread. You're stuck on the side of the road, who do you call? I was for sure not going to call my Dad or my brother. Because even though I knew they would come, I sure as hell didn't want to get the lecture on the way home. So I called the only male person I know that would probably come and get us without to much of an attitude. And I say male, because I still am under the impression that there is certain things that are just male duties. Like taking out the trash, killing bugs, putting together furniture, and tonight: rescuing damsels in distress. So I call him, and: no answer. I text him: no answer. Brandi closes my phone in disgust and makes her phone call. Not a dude, but the next best thing. Someone you think of when you think of someone handy, take charge, and down for whatever at after 3am: a lesbian.

Yes, she has a name. No I'm not going to tell you. And she is much more than a lesbian she is brandi's home girl and clearly reliable. So after a phone call to wake her up and to let her know our situation, she is on the way to pick us up. And she arrives shortly later like an angel in a knit cap, blastin' Tupac's Thug Life in the car. She drives us home and kicks our drunk asses out when we get to the house. Yaaay, rescued! The next morning my would be knight in shining armour called to make sure we were ok. He had missed our call and slept through the text. I was glad he called to check on us. But happier that we were able to handle it ourselves.

The moral of the story: ladies, you don't need a man to bail you out of situations, all you need is a handy lesbian with access to a car.

Or Triple A, whatevs

Friday, November 27, 2009

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner! Thanksgiving 2009

I'm writing this knowing this will only be funny to my sister, brother, and other family members who were actually there to witness the hilarity.

So I roll up to the house sans children. My first Thanksgiving without the children. But one thing about family, they have a way of wrapping you up in their love and make everything alright.Anyways, I noticed my grandfather and his wife's car in the driveway. Great! I know there will be wine. His wife brought her son with her. Both puerto rican, they go back in forth in spanish. And she gives my grandfather the side eye every time he pours a glass of wine. She told him, "I can see the wine in your cheeks!" What the hell does that mean?

My mother has a very good relationship with my grandfather. He's not her real father, but the only one she knows. They have an awful abusive history, but as I said families have a way of letting time make everything all right. Its like they share this terrible secret, and they have to be nice to each other because you have to trust the keeper of the secrets. Bleh, this isn't funny at all.

On to the next. Okay, time to eat! My sister and her kids arrived with her parts of the meal. There was a flurry of work and movement before it was time to eat. I arrived with my fork and my apetite. And I of course sat on my ass the entire time. My neice and I conspired to get the turkey legs. My brother and my other neice always "call" the legs. So I let it be known that no more will the fair skinned Grays monopolize the turkey legs. I always try to make everything racial. Its funny because my neice is biracial (black and white), my mother is biracial (black and mexican) and my brother mysteriously light skinned for no particular reason. And of course my grandmother is puerto rican. So its the friggin U.N. up in this piece, but like my brother says, "we're all niggas". heeheee! He actually said that.

So the topic of conversation was about my sister who had invited her old high school friend over for dessert. Okay, a little back story. My sister dated this dude in high school, they reconnected through facebook. He started calling her regularly and came to visit. Holly realized that he wasn't as stable as she had hoped. He is pre-occupied with race (told holly about his black nanny who he was trying to get in touch with). He is socially awkward and often scripts future conversation. And we're pretty sure he's already planning his and holly's wedding.

Eventually, Holly left to go pick up said wack job. While she was gone Andre and I (step grandmother's son) kept talking about what was going to happen when he got here. We talked about scenarios where he accidentally might use the n word and then we would have to give him the beat down and toss him out. then Derek realized that we couldn't say the word either, cuz thats just awkward in front of white folks. And to let you know Derek is addicted to the N word. This is fitna be hilarious.

So Holly and strange boy arrived. I say strange boy really loosely cuz dude is 40 years old and looks damn near 50. Let me paint the picture. Picture a partially balding Dr. Evil in a 3 piece suit. Derek and I kept doing the scene where Dr. Evil tries to do the macarena (duka duka duka duka oh oh oh). He says as soon as he arrives, "Wow, here I am in the Gray household after 20 some years!" Like he's been waiting to be back in all 20 years. He says the same phrase like 30 times. "here I am back in the gray household after 20 years!" He sits himself next to Hannah and begins to tell her how she should consider going to college in Georgia because he lives there and he could be her benefactor of sorts.

Hello I believe I"m in the twilight zone!

Then he says, "you know I knew all of Martin Luther Kings speech by heart! But Holly didn't want me because of that. She wanted me because I was so cute and charming." At that point I fall out on the floor. Then he also proceeds to tell my niece that she is so exotic looking. And then to complete the awkward white guilt statements, he says, "my family and I have always color blind, saying a racial slur would be the only thing we would get in trouble for." At that point my brother comes over and whispers, "nigga, nigga, nigga" in my ear.

So here we are in the Obama era. Several races represented together in one family. And one awkward white boy, who makes the topic of conversation how different we all are and how he's totally okay with that. And it gives me the feeling that if someone would ever accuse him of racism, he would point to the fact that he was in a negro home for thanksgiving and how he was completely accepted as one of the family.
Man, I love Thanksgiving.

Oh and just a few other tidbits:
I spiked the holiday punch with vodka
Grandmother's son used to have a gold tooth which mysteriously disappeared, and my mom wondered if "he mighta sol' it"
Derek and I did the two step, poorly
My aunt pat did nothing funny whatsoever (darn) and came with a new set of teeth (fabulous)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name

I dropped my married name off of my facebook last week. A small thing. But kind of a big deal for me. It was precipitated by me spending a good part of my morning with my former in-laws as we were having them take the yearly grandchild christmas photos. My mother-in-law does this every year. I appreciate her because most of the formal pictures of my kids, she has arranged. But it was awkward because just prior we had some back in forth that was kind of negative. The photo session went fine though. A little awkward but fine.

After the photo session I went to my parent's house which is the norm on Sundays. I felt so at home there. I laugh so much there. When I am there I am indeed a Gray. As I was leaving, I felt so overwhelmed by the joy that my family has when we're together juxtaposed to how awkward I had felt earlier, I decided then to change my name back. It was clear that I was no longer a Codrington.

One of the reasons I had kept my married name was the children. I didn't want them to think I was divorcing them along with their dad. Also, I felt self conscious being by myself with these two boys, I was afraid of the judgement I might face if people thought that I had children out of wedlock. Like I wanted to wear a shirt that said "I am divorced, not a single mom". But the reality of it is, I am a single mom. I am divorced and I am raising these boys alone. Part of me wants to change the boys last name too. But I know that is just selfish Michele talking. They are as much a part of him as they are of me.

So this is me. Celebrating little victories.

So hmm, what else is going on. Not much. I have two half written stories to finish. I haven't been in a very quiet space to finish them. Perhaps during the Thanksgiving break. I am enjoying where I'm at right now. Got in a comfortable groove of working, playing, caring, and creating. Try to do a bit of each thing every day.

I have been speaking alot to Fred. And by speaking I mean facebook chatting. Since he is far that is probably the only kind of communication we will do. At least for now. I don't know about him. But I am interested in finding out about who he is. He hides alot of himself. Its just a feeling that I get. I dunno. Maybe thats how people are meant to behave in the beginning. I kind of have gone the opposite route. I put myself so far out there, just so I can be proud of myself that I'm not self conscious about it. Its a way for me to win a bit. Because not so long ago I was embarrassed by every move I made.
Sometimes I get envious of folks who get to go off to different places. My responsibilities keep me pretty much stationary. But the one thing that this little life of mine has taught me, is that every day that I get up and move and grow is an adventure. I am responsible for two other lives besides my own. I almost was evicted, I was unemployed, I was employed again, I was married, I was divorced, I've moved on my own, I started playing the violin again, I write, I cook, I create. And on really wild days I laugh and I laugh and I date and I kiss. I drink mimosas, I play scrabble, I grab boys' natty hair, I have sex, and I bought a bed. This coming weekend I'm going to get new needles and yarn to start a new knitting project, and I've ordered some art supplies because I've decided I'm going to try my hand at collage and painting.
Quite an adventure I am on. Yes, I am happy with this life I am building for myself. And I'm excited to see what tomorrow will bring.
Michele Lee Gray: Mommy, writer, educator, sister, lover, friend, somebody's child, adventurer . . .

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Change of Waiters (my afternoon at busboys)

The change of the waiters. One comes and delivers the check and says that if you want anything else there will be another waiter. Oh first waiter that I didn’t get a chance to know, have a great rest of your day. You got plans this evening? Nah, me neither. Oh hello new waiter I’m sure you will be much better than first waiter. Long day ahead of you? Yeah the grind can be hard. Wait new waiter, I actually do have an order. Hello, new waiter? Okay new waiter sucks ass. Where is old waiter?

Checking internet, checking . . .okay internet still doesn’t work…so I actually may get done some writing…yeah I have nothing to write about. Okay new waiter you could at least look in this direction. I’m sure you think I don’t want anything. Since I just finished scarfing down a turkey burger that old waiter brought. I am sure my thoughts of racism are only springing up because I watched the KKK documentary on the History Channel before I left home. I mean you can’t be racist and work for busboys. I’m sure it’s like a question on their application or something. Old waiter never brought back my change. Okay old waiter, I wasn’t actually going to give you a tip since it was the host that took my order. I want to at least have the option of not tipping you. Dammit…

Okay I’m gonna get all negro on their asses. Maybe if either new waiter or old waiter could come take my drink order I would be more mellow. So here goes. Excuse me new waiter? Do you wait in this area? Can I have a vodka gimlet? And tell old waiter, he hasn’t brought my change back. Thanks.

Old waiter brings me 5 bucks. Clearly he doesn’t know what I ordered. So the moral question? Should I scoop up the extra 2 bucks that he left or be honest and just scoop up my 3 bucks. I really don’t want him to think I am tipping him for not taking my order, not bringing my food, nor not bringing back my change. So I think the moral decision would be to scoop up all 5 bucks and give it to new waiter. Although new waiter doesn’t seem very um, waity. I may have to chalk the extra two bucks up to the vodka fund.

Fred Sanford is very mysterious. Not real Fred Sanford mind you. Fred Sanford my poke buddy on facebook. Who are you Sanford? Why do you look like fred Sanford yet I think you’re the cutest thing ever? What do you do exactly? And why are you always at meetings? What are you meeting about? Jeez. I am at busboys come tell me all the answers please. I am sitting on the couch next near the front. Look forward to talking to you.

E speezy, why are you so cranky? Why do you get mad and stop talking to negresses then deny that you’re mad? You should try taking interest in somebody for real. Maybe not me, but somebody. Take a chance and stop being so weird and moody and complicated. Just relax and go with the flow and make some effort. Maybe someone will make some effort with you as well. Let me text him and see what happens. “hey you. How is ur day going?”

Nigerian, why do you continue to text me at the most random times? I am glad I cross your mind sometimes. Do you want to just get married and work out the details later. I’m sure we would have as good of a chance as folks who date for years then get hitched. Your friend has been flirting with me. I may do it to him. It will completely be accidental you understand. But by then I know it would be completely out of the question with us. So you might want to get to getting over yourself and give me a call to profess your undying love to me. I’m at the busyboys, reception is not to good here, so you might want to just come by. I’m on a couch near the door. Look forward to talking with you.

Texted Laura to come have dinner with me at Eatonville. I owe her 40 bucks. I hope she doesn’t ask for it because I’m about 40 bucks short.

OOOH Dead Giveaway by Shalamar is on! Woo hoo. It’s just a dead giveaway. Dead. Giveaway.
Uh oh. Speezy just texted. Let’s see . . .”Hey there. Day is great.” Eh. Okay he is safe for now. For now . . he didn’t say anything after that, so he is still on the verge of woman scorned revenge.

Confirmed dinner with Laura. It will be a nice night. It would be great if my main homie could come join us. I think she and Laura would hit it off. She has plans though with Mrs. Lonely Heart. I actually support those plans Mrs. could really use some bright spots right about now.
OH wait I take it all back. Speezy just texted that he is with his daughter. Okay the hit is off. I want to kiss his face.

Busboys should really stop advertising free internet. This thing hasn’t worked the last two times I was here. Let me pull a host aside to tell them to push the reset button on the internet thingie. Okay one more drink and that’s it. I must have enough for dinner later. The check I deposited hasn’t cleared yet. Probably not until Monday. I should start asking for support in cash. These checks are a drag.

Omg. I just saw a girl come in with an orange cross colours-esque overall suit. Overalls? I mean really… What are you, an out of work Electric Company actor?

Girl that looks like Ramona walked in. I miss her so much. And that’s all I have to say about that.

Okay, let me stop frontin like I don’t need to be on the internet. Off to find a connection . . . (think about it, think about it, . . .)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

For All of Us

I finally saw Whitney's interview with Oprah. Saw it over my sister's house. It was a wonderful interview and I enjoyed her performance on part 2. It made me think how many strong women I have in my life. It made me think about how strong I am. Whitney goes through what many women go through. When she sang the song with the line "I am not built to break" I thought, "of course you're not. Neither am I". Then I looked at my sister and thought, "Neither is she." I thought of my mother, I thought of my best friend. None of us are built to break. We as women need to remember that. When we are the middle of it, whatever the "it" is, in that moment, we need to remember that.

I thought if someone had interviewed me after I asked my husband to leave, and someone were to ask me about how I was strong enough to do that, I think my answers would have been so similar to Whitney's. It made me think about how similar we all are, and how its a shame that some of us have to go through so much to find out how extraordinary we are.

Last night I was on the computer reading @fattybella's tweets. Something tells me things are not all good in the hood with her and Jay Electronica. She is hurt, but she will be fine. We want to love so much and so much we want to be loved in return. We sometimes forget ourselves in the love story we create in our heads.

I want Whitney to learn to love again. To be fearless when she finds someone that makes her heart flutter as much as Bobby did. That is the hardest part I think. Talking to co-workers about the interview most of the sentiments centered around how "regular" Whitney is. I think many women identified with her. But Whitney is not regular. Whitney is extraordinary. Her mistake was trying to dim her shine. So many of us are extraordinary and even though so many women go through the same thing it does not make it any less extraordinary. The strength it takes to muster to save ourselves when everything in us tells us to sacrifice ourselves for those we love is extraordinary.

I've been asked how I could just up and end a 13 year relationship with the father of my children, my husband. I don't really understand the question, because in my mind it was him or me and I chose me. simple. simple yet extraordinary.

So here's to all of us. All of us extraordinary women who are not built to break. Here are a few of our stories

I fell in love with the funniest, most talented, beautiful man
Because he hid his faults, I never really got to know him.
I had two children for him.
He tried to dim my shine because he didn't fully understand the magnitude of his own.
I left him before I was broken. And I never looked back.
I'm so looking forward to loving again...greater is he that is in me
Michele Lee Gray Codrington was not built to be broken

My sister fell in love with a man
she married him and divorced him
He also kept secrets.
She lost her job and almost lost her home
She rebuilt her life and is now dating more than I am
Holly Gray-Brown is not built to be broken

My mother is the daughter of a heroin addict.
She never knew her father
She had to raise her brothers and sisters on her own when she was just a child herself.
She married her highschool sweetheart and had 3 beautiful and flawed children
Brenda Mae Gray was not built to be broken

My grandmother was pregnant at 15.
Abandoned by the baby's father when she was not yet showing.
She became addicted to heroin and an alcoholic
She fell in love with her savior.
6 of her 7 children were addicts.
But she survived and so did they
Geneva "Gloria" Jones Hampton was not built to be broken

Friday, September 11, 2009

Moody Boy Fan Club

It just started out by getting random texts. Once I got a phone call just when I started my new job. When I saw his name pop up on the caller id it really surprised me. What does he want? Then it was the year anniversary of his mother's death, and I remembered. I wanted to let him know that I remembered. I do think of him sometimes, but on the whole I've pushed him to the left side of my brain. But still sometimes I think of him. I wonder what he's doing, how he's doing, wondering if he sometimes thinks of me, wondering if those thoughts are pleasant.

I used to think we would make a good team, him and I. Part of me still does. But a couple of years ago, I believed it completely. It was one of those "with every fiber of my being" beliefs. I was so flumoxed when he didn't see it. It was like everything I knew was turned on its ear. Like I was dropped into a labyrinth and hadn't dropped any bread crumbs to lead me out. It confused me to the point that I stopped feeling comfortable with myself, especially around him.

It's hard to be in a situation where you know something is true, but no one else believes it. So my main mistake is trying to convince him of it. That is the worse position in which anyone can put themselves.

They say women are attracted to men like their father. My father is or was the grumpiest, moodiest man on the planet. and that is who I find myself most attracted to. In one word, "curmudgeons". A friend of mine can be really moody. He sometimes says slick shit out of his mouth to me or to other folk. I can tell when its mood related and when I see it, all I want to do is mush his face between my hands and give him a big kiss right below his eye socket. (thats one of my favorite kissing spots. There, and in the area right below the ear). I wanna be able to give him a big nuzzle and let him know that everything will be okay and to let him know that I'm not afraid of his grumpiness. I mainly just find it amusing. (as I said, next to my dad, these dudes are cream puffs).

But one thing the Nigerian has taught me is that sometimes a nuzzle and a sloppy kiss doesn't always cure what ails you. Sometimes its a "here I am ready to love you, and you're pushing me away, and that is in no way cool. I understand, but you need to get it together, if it is me that you want. And maybe I am not what you want. And thats okay too. Maybe you can get it together in order to ready for what I have to offer. Maybe you never will be ready. And it is no one's fault and no one's deficiency." I realized that I am in need of some of that unconditional love shit that I am always so willing to give out. So yes, that's what I need. And I realize (albeit late) that love is easy, its relationships that are hard, and no one should have to convince someone they are worthy to be loved. That's the part that should be easy.

So I was finally able to let go of the Nigerian. I realized that I was taking on too much responsibility for that not working. My fearlessness might've been a bit much, but his cowardice was just a plain drag. So now that we've been communicating again, I'm reminded about how much we have in common. I'm reminded about how nice it was to talk to him. And in my more hopeful moments, I think , "wouldn't it be something if now we both got our stuff together at the same time." He being him and me being me, and if by chance we find each other . . .

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Slow Roll

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. I promise! Any similiarities of characters to actual people are completely coincidental. I swear . . .

She looked in the mirror. Casually pushed her hair aside and begun washing her face. Smiling to herself as she used the scrubber on her pronounced cheek bones. Funny how the simplest things she found joy in now. It had been several months since the separation and she had been on one disaster of a date after another. Then she met him. He came just at the right time. Just like a Prince Charming come to save her from the big bad wolf. At least that’s how he made her feel. She worked so hard all the time. Taking care of everything; her boys, her house, her car everything. He came and she was finally able to not worry about anything. Even if it was just for an afternoon. He took care of her. He fed her, kept her company, and gave her body what it needed. And she didn’t have to worry about a thing.

She rinsed off her face and patted it dry. Put on a little moisturizer and some lip gloss. Pleased with the result, she finished getting on her pajamas. She was going to see him tonight. It had been almost a month since she last saw him. He had been very busy with work and she knew he was kind of moody. She told herself to be patient, but it was really hard. They communicated almost every day, instant messenger mostly. It was so refreshing having conversation with someone she didn’t have to speak down to. She was a very smart girl. Like seriously. IQ 3 points from genius. It helped her only at work and as she played along with jeopardy on tv. No real advantage being so smart. And she was sure the 3 points away from genius kept her from understanding the point of Sudoku. But the thing it was most useful for was keeping people away. Most people found her strange. Humor above most people’s heads made would be associates look at her sideways. Yes, she was a very strange girl. And while that was alienating, she found comfort in her oddness. But he, he kept up with her smartass comment for smartass comment. He even got her Ralph Kramden reference. She was so impressed that her boom pow wasn’t met with a blank stare. The only person who got her as much him was the Nigerian. And it was a shame how that turned out. When he said, “to the moon”, she almost licked the computer screen. So delicious this boy was . . .

She sat down and turned on the TV. Watching video after video, waiting for him to call. He said he was going to call after he finished at the club. It was right around the time he was to call. She began to be nervous. She wrung and wrung her hands around each other. She looked down. Her hands were red. She was so glad she stopped taking her meds. As anxious as she was feeling now, she was grateful that she felt anything. On the medication, she hadn’t felt a thing. The apathy almost crushed her. She understood why she needed to start the medication in the first place. It was all the Nigerian’s fault. Why couldn’t he fall in love with her like he was supposed to? After the scene she had made at the club, she thought he would never speak to her again. Some people were so stupid. When he called her again and wanted to see her, she knew how it would end. He just needed her to end it. And she did. She did just what he asked her to do. She looked down at the phone again. It was 2:40 am. Her head started to pound. She turned the channel to another video channel. It was Maxwell. It reminded her of the time he came over. Maxwell song after Maxwell song. Like he had called the station and planned it. When he was on top of her, holding her face to close to his, it was like he was asking her to see inside him. His hair much longer than hers. Strong locs. Falling around her face. She didn’t know where hers ended and his began. They fell into her mouth and eyes like she was swimming inside him. It made her want to crawl inside of him and hibernate herself through the rough patches. And she was going through a very rough patch.

“Slow Roll” by Kymani Marley came on VH1 soul. Yes, this had to be a sign. Speaking from the TV to her.

She looked again at her watch. 3:15 am. She was losing time. That hadn’t happened to her in a while. Not since . . . Well at any rate, time was flying faster than her brain could keep up with. She reached for the phone. She should call. What if he was lying in a ditch hurt somewhere? She resisted the urge to dial his number. She thought it might seem crazy to call him. He said he was going to call, so she was sure he would. She got up and mixed a cocktail. A vodka with a splash of lime juice. That should calm her. After she took a sip from her drink, she opened the silverware drawer and retrieved her paring knife. She took the sharp end and pressed it against her thigh. She pressed and pivoted the blade to the side. It pierced the skin and blood came slowly out. It provided such a sweet release to her. The sight of the blood and the feeling that with the blood, her anxiety was being forced from her body. She stared at the mess she was making. It was spilling onto the kitchen floor. She didn’t want him to think she kept an untidy home. She cleaned her wound and applied a bandage or two on the slice on her thigh. She grabbed a sponge and cleaned the spot on the counter and floor.

3:30 am. Her phone rang. It was him. He said it was taking a long time for him to get his money. He said he would try to catch up with her tomorrow. She told him that he was always on her mind and that she couldn’t wait to see him. It didn’t matter what time it was. He told her that it was okay, that she would see him tomorrow, maybe. She said “okay” and hung up the phone. “maybe” that word stuck in her head. “Maybe” see her tomorrow. “How dare he?” she thought. She felt her ears getting hot and her head began to pound louder than ever. She began to pace the room, wondering what she should do. She only could hear buzzing. The buzzing . . . just like when she went to see the Nigerian for the last time.

She slipped on her slippers and grabbed her keys. She opened the door and stepped into the air heavy, wet and hot. She opened the door to the car and got in. Turn the ignition and backed out of her space. On the way down the parkway, she began to cry. She remembered when she went on a similar mission just a few months before. It was winter then. He called and asked for her to come to see her. It had to end, he had said. He tried to be so nice and accommodating. It made her sick how he was trying to talk to her as if she was stupid. How he tried to talk to her in that calm tone that people use when they are trying to reason with a crazy person. It was so infuriating. He just wouldn’t understand. But she would make him understand. And he finally did understand. The last look on his face was that of complete recognition. But of course by then it was too late. She would make this one understand as well.

As her car raced down the highway, she peeled the Band-Aids off her leg. She pushed her fingertips into the soft spot she had made earlier. The pain felt so good. It made her feel so alive. The pain and the wind pouring into her car through the open window made her feel like she was more awake than she had ever been before. She double parked her car outside the club. She still heard music pouring out the windows as the last of the partiers were spilling out of the doors. When she got out of the car, she could feel the stares. Someone grabbed her by the arm and said something about her bleeding and if she was okay. She could barely hear above the pounding in her head. She shoved him off of her and headed toward the stairs. She began screaming his name. If she saw his face, she would be okay. She just needed to see his face. Finally, she saw him at the top of the stairs. He had a look of disbelief on his face. She wanted to wipe that look off of his face. This was his entire fault. She thought if had just kept his promise, if he had just kept his word . . .

Everything began to go gray. She was losing her sight, just as she had lost time and her hearing with this anger that was replacing all of her senses. She felt weak. She felt her legs as they began to shake. They were completely wet. She didn’t understand why they felt so wet. She tried to climb more steps, but by then her legs were useless. She closed her eyes. He really didn’t know what he was doing being so nice to her like that. He really had no idea what he had started. But she was sure he would understand now . . .

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Casual, Not Clumsy

134 lbs. (getting a little nervous that project fab thighs by August has gotten a bit out of control)
Jack and gingerale (new drink very tasty)

So as a newly single woman I have been hitting the dating scene. I have a few observations about human behavior that is just fascinating to me.

I remember when I was young I told myself I would never have sex before I got married. Then when I got into college I told myself I would never have sex unless that person was my boyfriend and I loved him. Later into my college years, I decided that I would only have sex in a relationship. Then my next to the last year of college I met my husband and that was that. No sex except for husband.

Now that I am divorced with two children, I've been trying to decide when is it the appropriate time to have sex. But the reality is when you have sex with someone you're giving them a piece of yourself and you can only hope they treat it well.

Let me explain.

The term "casual sex" comes up often. Most define it as sex without strings. Sex outside of a relationship. Most believe that women can't handle casual sex. But I believe its the opposite. Men often are so egotistical in their thinking. Their ego pushes them to push their sex partners away so the woman won't "catch feelings". Then the woman feels awful and used when the said pushing away starts happening. Then the men take the woman's anger as confirmation that women can't handle "casual sex". However, if one understands that when you have sex with someone you give a piece of yourself away, then the issue becomes clear.

Sex is intimate. Your partner sees you at your most vulnerable. You are naked literally and figuratively. Then it is over and they walk out with a little piece of you vicariously perched on their shoulder. The hope then becomes that they don't drop, destroy, or otherwise disrespect the little piece of you that they have. But you know men, they are maaad clumsy.

And the little thing you gave them is often mishandled, disrespected, and malnourished. Leaving you feeling so sad and embarrased and forlorn. But there are some men who understand, respect and take care. So as not to be clumsly and mishandle what they have been given.

I find people are so afraid of feelings. Afraid people will feel for them, afraid they will feel for others. It's really quite simple. You shouldn't be afraid of feelings. They are what make you human. And the honesty is the antidote to the fear of unrequited love. If you don't have the same feelings as the other person, tell them so. Be their friend. Be human. Remember you have something of theirs that is perched precariously on your shoulder. Don't be clumsy. Because however casual the sex is you are still giving a piece of yourself to another person and that should be respected. And I expect more from someone I have given that to. And though it is often these expectations that get me into trouble, it moves me to be discerning about who I choose to give a piece of myself to. So casual sex can only happen if I know what the other person is capable of. You have to trust them. However non-committal, sex means something and it shouldn't be treated clumsily.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My summer vacation

134.6 lbs
Made a wonderful cream of shrimp soup
various cocktails but gimlets mainly

So my summer vacation. I'm actually already back to work. It's going pretty well so far. I think its always a challenge for me to deal with people I don't like as people. But I am working on just focusing on my work and striving to make some of my dreams come true. I've decided that I want to work for myself. I want to write, I want to train teachers, I want my days to be different every day. My job is a good one. It accesses my strengths. But I do want to write more. My divorce is final. I'm raising my boys. I want to start making choices that will improve my life in the long term. My abundant life is waiting for me, and I think I'm brave enough to go for it. (man that paragraph was a mangled mess, but whatevs)

My boys have been with their dad and the live in girlfriend in Florida. He finally had to admit to me that he had one, since the boys were going down there. You would think he would be less mean now that he didn't have to have secrets or couldn't get mad at me because I continue to date. But for whatever reason he still has mad attitude all the time. But I really am done caring what his deal is. Be happy dude. I am...

Since I've been on my own for the past week or so, I did some things that I don't get to do as often. I have been spending time with my friends. Just happy hour and eating and book store visits. It makes me realize we're all going through something. Friends should be there for each other to share and support each other. I used to feel like an alien. I used to feel I was this strange girl that no one could possibly understand. Through my interactions with others, I realize we all are so strange. But if we are all strange, it kinda doesn't make us strange at all.

Brandi told me the most hilarious stories about the most dysfunctional crazy people. I laughed so hard. Not at them. Not that I think that I'm better than they are. But people, including me, are so crazy and funny and fallible and beautiful. I saw F that night. Dancing and having a good time. It made me happy. I saw Brandi's Maggie Moo that same night. Hung out with him and his friend. I met a boy that night. Went on a date with him the day after. He was a disaster. But I got a good meal. He only tried to call a few times after that, then got the message.

There is this dude. An acquaintance of mine. I've seen him out alot. We flirt a little. I told him, or rather brandi told him and I confirmed, that I needed a summer fling. He came over the other day. I won't give all the details, because I've been working on my delivery so I can have a great story for brandi when she comes home. It's going to be the most hilarious, sexy, greatest story ever. But he came over. Cooked me food, brought me drinks. We ate and drank and laughed. He seemed to be more himself than I had ever experienced in person before. We watched tv and were close. AND he bought me Chipotle. Did I mention that is my favorite food ever? It was a really good day. He was so nice to me and I appreciated his company. He took my picture while I was laying on the couch. I can't stop looking at the picture. I looked so relaxed. I think he may be a good friend to have. Helpin' a negress in her time of need and what not...

He made me want to buy a bed...I don't have one by the way. If anyone knows where I could get a bed for cheap, I'm in the market . . .

My summer vacation consisted of birthday parties, cougar pouncin', summer flingin' and laughin' and joblessness and working and anxiety attackin' and love in the afternoon . So even though there was no beach, shopping or traveling, I think it was a pretty good time . . .

Monday, July 20, 2009

What a difference a year makes

Last year away on business, I fell out of the shower and bruised my ribs and spleen.

This year away on business, I burned my hand on the iron.

Last year I ignored my pain for a while and ended up in the emergency room, and had a bruise that eventually faded, at least on the outside.

This year I ran water over my hand and it barely left a mark.

I have learned that I know how to take care of myself.

While I was away last year, my dad's kidney functions got low enough for him to start dialysis. His kidney failure was causing heart failure which landed him in the hospital. Last year I was terrified of losing him.

While I was away last year FL lost his mother. She had been sick a long time, then she died. I was sad for him. I worried about him. I was afraid for myself.

This year my dad goes to dialysis 3 times a week. After a rough start, he has responded well to it. He looks better, has gained much of his weight back. This year I'm still afraid of losing him. This year I treasure the moments I have with him. Even when he's cranky.

This year FL has spent without his mother. This year he has tried to be the one to handle the problems with his siblings. This year I haven't spoken to him much. So this year I'm not sure where he's at.

I've learned alot in a year. Things have moved and grown and stayed the same. I feel very different. Less vulnerable, more in control. I'm more satisfied with me and less desire to control and be satisfied by others.

I am much happier being who I am and letting others be who they are and leaving the rest to inclination.

Sojourner, Sojourner

4:19 am: Driving to drop the boys off. They're dozing in the back. Shoeless, wearing the same clothes they slept in. I wanted to disturb their sleep as little as possible. Not sure why he is making me do this. He's so frustrating sometimes. I wonder if he'll even be there

4:50 am: The lights are on in the house. I"m carrying the littlest boy up to the front door. It opens and my mother-in-law ushers them inside. "Just lay donw there. We're going somewhere." I bring their suitcases into the house and set them down in the foyer. "We have for them here," she says. "They don't need that."

"They'll be here for a whole week, you don't need anything?"

" No, we have for them here."

"Not even their shoes?"

She looked down at their bare feet.

"Yes, their shoes."

"They're in the bag." I bend over to unzip the bag. I pull the shoes out.

"So you don't want the bags at all?"


"I sure wish someone had told me that before I packed them," I mumble.

4:56 am: I walk back to the car. She runs out to ask about Justice's medication. I reach into the glove box, pull out a bottle. Shake it to be sure its not empty. Finding some left, I hand it to her.

"And this is for . . .?"

"For his wheezing, sneezing, and itching. Just give it to him daily especially if he will be outside a lot."

I roll up the window and drive onto the airport.

5:57 am: Hop in the airport shuttle from Economy Parking to the terminal. My early flight kept anyone from dropping me off. And I'm here extra early becasue I had to drop the kids off before 5 am. He wasn't even there to meet them. I wonder if he'll see them at all this week.

6:43 am: Through security. Eating a $7.50 panini. Should've stopped at McDonalds. For $7.50 it should talk and dance and tell my fortune.

7:46 am: other folks from my school start to arrive. Chatting with the H.O.S. (Head of School). She is really laid back and open. I'm feeling better about this job. Looking forward to getting into Charleston and relax a bit. H.O.S says she thinks there is a pool there. . .

2:36 pm: H.O.S and I relaxing by the pool in Charleston. The rooms aren't ready yet. We got lunch. $10 bucks with tax. The south is really good on a sister's budget. When my room's ready, gonna lay in the bed and watch TV. We're meeting later for dinner. I wonder where I could get some flip flops . . .

Monday, July 6, 2009

Climbing Out of the Bell Jar

133.8 lbs
fab chinolatino wontons (made from scratch! yay me)
grown up lemonade
completely med free

So I've gained and kept about 10 pounds. I'm very happy. My clothes fit better and I'm so pleased with how my body is shaping up. It leads me to wonder, why now? My hypothesis for my weight Loss has always been my anxiety and my elevated heart rate (SVT check it out on wikipedia). So I thought that being on meds would help me gain weight, it didn't. I've been off for about a month and after a couple of bad panic attacks, I've been symptom free. I'm learning how my body feels when I'm getting so amped up. I think the absence of the weird, anxious behaviors that the meds got rid of, made me vigilant and more aware that they exist. So I'm grateful for that.

So off meds and life has been as stressful as ever. Being out of work for a month has caught up with me. I'm a month behind in rent. I just started getting paid from my new job. I have to make a payment plan with my landlord to get up to date. So stress and no meds yet I've never looked healthier, odd.

I think I'm learning to take things as the come and discovering that bad things, inconvenient things, scary things . . .

I wrote the above while I was waiting for a training to start at work. I had to leave to go to housing court and the following writing was done describing what happened on my way back.

I kept running the numbers and dates in my head and wondering if my landlord would accept my terms for payment in getting caught back up. Over and over the numbers and dates: $1330 behind, $1630, $1630, then $930. July 15th, July 30th, August 15th. As I kept repeating the numbers and anticipating how the conversation will go, my heart started to beat fast. I knew what was coming. My eyes started to go dark. I inch my car to the shoulder of the road and pressed down on the break. by the time my foot had pressed completely down, everything was dark. It lasted a couple of seconds I could see again. I kept driving and went on to work.

This past weekend I went to my parents house and weighed myself. 131.7

I refuse to go back on medication. I need to learn how to control these feelings in the moment or at least wait to perseverate on the bullshit until I park my car. This is going to be a process . . .

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Puberty, Bum Kidneys, and The Man in the Mirror

How can a person just be alive and then in the next second be gone? This is what bothers me so much about death. Here one day gone the next. So horribly strange and permanent. Michael Jackson died Friday. I did not cry. I was not saddened by his death. I know Michael Jackson's body of work. I did not know him. I was shaken, though. I was shaken because he was such a big part of my brother's life. 6 months ago his real best friend died, now his imaginary best friend died.

When my brother was 6 he was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome. Its a kidney disease that causes kidneys not to filter proteins properly. He was hospitalized for it when he was first diagnosed and continues to go through the cycle of being in remission (no visible symptoms of the illness) and out of remission (body fully compromised by the illness). My brother is a huge Michael Jackson fan. He is more than a fan. During his illness, Michael Jackson's music was his escape. After my brother got out of the hospital, he performed for his elementary school talent show. He sang "Man in the Mirror". While he was singing, my whole family was in tears. This is a kid who was just in the hospital and now was brave enough to sing in front of everyone. Despite his changed appearance his illness caused, he was fearless enough to sing. And he sung Michael Jackson. To this day his old teachers and school friends remember that performance.

So Michael Jackson is only important to me because he is important to my brother. I am grateful for the escape that Michael's music provided to him. My own connection to Michael Jackson's music is limited to the Michael Jackson's poster my sister and I had on our wall. The one with him dressed in white with the yellow cardigan. He was so cute. I loved staring at that poster. I will spare the details, but suffice it to say he catapulted me into puberty. However, in the Michael Jackson v. Prince debate, I was a Prince gal. Did I mention I was going through puberty? It was an easy choice.

My brother has every piece of music, every concert tape, video, magazine article, book, program that Michael Jackson has ever created, posed, or participated in. Yesterday we watched some of those recordings. We watched Motown 25, his anniversary concert, Oprah's 1993 interview with him, and Moonwalker. We also watched a couple of scenes from The Wiz. The depth of his talent is staggering. Watching all of that made me realize how we will probably never experience a talent so complete as Michael Jackson's. Also, the Gray Sibling Michael Jackson memorial day was another opportunity for us to get together and laugh and reminisce and be Holly, Michele and Derek: Lewis and Brenda's kids. Finding laughter in tragedy, beauty in ugliness, and bravery in the face of the fear of illness.

It is ironic that 22 years ago my brother with swollen face and puffy eyes sang in tribute to Michael Jackson, and yesterday my brother again out of remission with swollen face and puffy throat celebrated Michael Jackson's life after experiencing his death. It was very odd that it happened the way it did again linking Michael Jackson with my brother's health. But I was again grateful to Michael Jackson for providing our escape and a space and place for us to gather again in tribute.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The truth and nothing but the truth

129 lbs
no drinks
still eating with some sense
completely off the lexapro

I have a confession to make: I lie
I lie mainly to myself. If I lie to someone else its to protect me from the lies I've told myself. If I lie to you it means I don't plan on being in your space very long. The lies I tell myself are pernicious. They are harmful lies that eat me from the inside out. Part of this blog is to help me be more honest with myself. I am discovering that the truth of what is is not as scary as what I imagined.

The old adage about weaving a wicked web is very true. Lies are complicated, especially the ones we tell ourselves. They don't start out complicated but they get that way. Most of the poor choices I've made is from one main lie I told myself, "I am not good enough". I'm a good liar. I believed that lie with my whole being. It led to the fear that others would find out that I am not good enough. That was the biggest secret of all. I had to make sure that no one would find out that I am not good enough.
My belief in that lie led to many decisions I have made.

Because of that lie, I got married. Because of that lie, I don't let people get to know me. Because of that lie, I quit a job. Because of that lie, I once got fired. Because of that lie, I took jobs because of the title. Because of that lie, I don't let people get to know me, and keep them at a distance. Because of that lie, at one point I quit acting, playing the violin, and writing. Because of that lie, I was sad if a man didn't love me right away.

So yes I lie. But mainly I tell that one lie over and over again. "I am not good enough". It leads to more lies. Once I stop telling this one lie the others disappear. There would be no reason to lie anymore.

As I am learning to disbelieve this lie it is restoring my faith in marriage, it is restoring my faith in other people, but mainly it is restoring my faith in me. And that's the truth.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Transformers and Chocolate Milk

As I lay here in the spot where you were, now left cold, I inhale the smell of of you. Your hair though untwisted, smells of somone's care. I feel like I've lived a lifetime more than you, yet I've never experienced a touch in the small of my back, fingertips in my roots, nor glimpses of me in someone else's eyes.

I want you to come back and maybe next time I'll show more of time.

But for now, I will inhale you in the spot you left, now gone cold.

Friday, June 12, 2009

You just ran across my mind

129 lbs
no drinks
no pills
and eating with some sense

Just watched that video by Jill Scott. "Cross My Mind" and then you did, cross my mind that is. wondered what you were doing, how you were. Thought of texting but thought better of it. talking with you, hangin with you although infrequent, was so much fun...I used to picture us together. I haven't pictured me with anyone since. But I know thats not what you want or wanted, so I burned the bridge so I wouldn't hope anymore.

but you crossed my mind, and I hope that sometimes I cross yours.

My period is coming anyday, so I know this will pass. Its probably just hormones . . .

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

When Someone Shows You Who They Are . . .

When someone shows you who they are, believe them. I'm getting better at that as I get older.

I went out with this guy. We planned to meet up at the IHOP just to shoot the breeze. He ordered food, then stuck me with the bill. He apologized and said he would pay me back by the weekend. That never happened. Later he borrowed ten dollars and I haven't gotten that back yet either. So its funny that he's always talking about how people should be more giving. Now I kn0w its just so he can take more. Yes, I know who he is. I believe him. I could use that money right about now.

But of course he has good points. He has the cutest dimples, he is a musician, and has ridiculously awesome head game. But I know who he really is because he showed me.

The next one is dishonest. Not maliciously dishonest mind you. Just youth driven dishonest for no reason. Silly little things like broken dates, no phone call when he says he will call. Dumb stuff, but it tells me something. Once we made plans to go out. He called after being 2 hours late saying he wasn't coming. Clearly he doesn't get that a mother of two has to make serious arrangements for a night out. So now I know never pay a sitter to go out with him, he's not reliable. Another time he was going out of town. I asked if this meant we wouldn't be able to go out friday. He said he would be back by friday. But I knew that he wouldn't be back in time. I didn't even plan on hearing from him and I wasn't disappointed. He gave me a call Saturday saying he'd call Sunday for us to hook up. I didn't even let him know that I would have the kids on Sunday, because I knew he wouldn't call. And he didn't.

But when we did hang out that time, he was so funny and I felt so comfortable with him. And he touched my hair and feet, which drove me half crazy. But I am not going to bet the farm on anything he says because he showed me who he is and I believe him.

So the things I need in a mate
  • a friend, like a homey that is cool enough to kick it with my peeps and me to kick it with his
  • someone who loves me for me, who lets me show who I am and loves me because of and in spite of what is seen
  • someone who is creative
  • someone who is honest and tells me what I need to know despite the consequences.
My parents have been married for 41 years, they have showed each other who they are and chose to stay and build a life together. After 41 years they are there for each other. A couple of weeks ago, my mom came down the stairs with hickeys on her neck. (hee hee) Her leaning into me and saying, "uh-huh girl, he's back!" When people say marriage doesn't work or is unnatural for people to live their lives together, I reject that. Marriage doesn't work because when people show them who they are, they don't believe them.

In general people lack the bravery to show their real selves and say accept me as I am or don't. And others see what they want to see instead of what is . . .

Love shouldn't be blind. Love can only exist with 20/20 vision.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Justice is four years old today

Justice's birthday is today. He is four years old. He is different than his brother. The story of how he came to be is also very different. I tried to get pregnant for two years straight. I got pregnant so quickly with DJ; I was shcoked that I didn't get pregnant as quickly. Every month I got my period, I would cry and cry and cry. It was like my dearest love was leaving me stranded day after day month after month. I was so impatient for him to come. I felt so alone and so empty.

We had just moved back to Bowie. Damion put in these really strong smelling plug-in air freshners. The smell was sickeningly sweet. So much so I actually got sick. I was sick for a few days. So much so I took a day off from my new job. On a whim, I took a pregnancy test. Finally after two years and three months I was pregnant. The ironic part of it is I had just gone to the ob-gyn to get more birth control pills because I was tired of having cramps and being disappointed every month. I also sensed that my marriage was not going to be resucitated by having another child. Well when you least expect it . . .

I had an awful fight with Damion when I was 8 months pregnant. He broke things. I had to run from him. I cried so hard capillaries burst in my face. It looked like I was covered in freckles . . .a black Peppermint Patty. More than ever I became impatient with waiting for Justice. I so wanted to meet him. Also he was getting awfully heavy and I looked like I was pregnant in my ass more than anything else . . .Anyway, I began to dilate early. I was having productive contractions but it was too early. The doctor told me to stay off my feet to slow things down. The problem was I had just started a new job and really couldn't afford to go on complete bed rest. So I went to work but stayed seated. It was a blast rolling down the hallway in my awesome rolling chair.

My doctor finally broke my water at 38 weeks. The birth was pretty straight forward. A few pushes and out he came. a little over 7 pounds. Justice and I met a little after midnight. He started breastfeeding right away and did so most of the night...greedy bugger.

Justice has been a different challenge than DJ was. While DJ was a healthy baby, Justice had frequent colds, fevers and ear infections. He lost hearing for a period of time before he got the tubes put in which delayed his speech a bit. Justice looks like me but has a temper like his father. So strongwilled. DJ is a mama's boy, but Justice is a fiercely independent kid who gravitates towards his father. I feel like I just got to understand him over the past year. He has developed quite the personality. He loves his brother so much. He repeats everything he says. Once DJ got punished for something and was crying. Then Justice began crying. I said, "Hey what's wrong. Why are YOU crying?" Without missing a beat he said, "because DJ is my very best friend."

Justice loves bread, ravioli, chicken nuggets, and pizza. He loves Mario Bros. He plays Luigi and loves to wear denim overalls. Justice is enamored with his mommy. He loves to play in my dreds and make them cover his face. Justice is naughty. He currently loves to say "poo poo" and "pee pee" and thinks its hilarious. Justice makes up knock-knock jokes. They are not funny. He has a rich imagination and prefers playing with his brother or by himself happily. Justice loves music. He loves Regina Carter's Pavane. He loves jazz. He makes up nonsense words to wordless saxophone compositions. He said that sometimes the music sounds so sad. He also loves soca and likes to shake his "bumpa" to the music. If you say whine down low, he will reply, "whine down so". When Justice speaks he has an accent I can't quite place...

Justice is my baby. My independent, naughty, musical, genius baby. He is brilliant. He knows al his letters and his numbers. But it is more important to me that he knows that his brother is his very best friend, that music sometimes sounds sad, and fun is still fun if there is only one. Justice is my strong, loud complement to the older, pacifist funny man. I waited for Justice for 2 years. He is four years old today.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

When the dark purple falls. . .

20mg Lexapro (up from 10mg)
Shrimp Scamp
2 grown half and halfs (sweet tea vodka/lemonade)

My weight had gone up to 128.5. I was excited until I weighed myself again and it was gone. Must have been the monthly bloat.

Now that I'm coming out of my anxiety ridden/depressive fog, I realize that I am super behind at work and have no real prospects for a job next year. There are major cut backs at work and I don't think my performance as sped guru has warranted staying here in that capapcity. Moreover, I promised myself to find a job which highlights my strengths. I have a few leads but nothing solid, which makes me uneasy.

My divorce court date is May 12th. After that, I will be an official free woman. Mixed emotions... Now that it is finally here it has made me nostalgic about my past, and makes me realize this isn't at all how I pictured my life to turn out. 36, 2 children, no property, pushing a 96 Lincoln. But I am at least hopeful that what I do have, I can maintain BY MYSELF. I am anxious about his behavior at court. I hope he doesn't cry or anything . . .

I am dating again. I tried to relegate the dude to just the physical but he persists. I realize that I am afraid to let it be anymore than that because I am trying to avoid rejection. For someone as confident as I am, I am discovering parts of me that are still so insecure and damaged from my marriage, my past relationships, and general kicks in the shins that life sometimes hands out.

Last night I was feeling pretty low. Job mainly, but also some memories I had been trying to fight back. I reached for my phone to text someone. (That's my M.O. reaching out so I don't have to spend time with sadness). But I decided not to. "No one is thinking of me," I thought. "I'm not going to bother anybody." I put the phone down, turned on my side, and began to cry. Just a little. "No one is thinking of me," more tears came down. The phone buzzed. A text.

"Whats on your mind"
"I could tell by fb status, tweets. . ."
"thats what I do. Hesitant to talk but will put out a fb status or tweet in a minute"
"We'll talk soon"
"Thank you for thinking of me"
"Always do . . ."

I still cried last night. But I felt better to be thought of. But the thought I will begin to depend on such communciation scares me. The prospects of learning to open myself up to someone else again scares me even more. I know it is necessary to move on and even if he's not the one to open up to, I have to be brave. Be brave enough to heal . . .

Be brave little girl . . .

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Attack

128.5 lbs
Firefly Sweet tea Vodka
burger king (boo)

I had an anxiety attack today. Funny it happened just moments after I decided not to get my prescription refilled. I guess I'll get it filled tomorrow.

Driving home from Target. Now that I am far from work I'm getting home an hour later than I'm used to. Today I stopped at target for some things, then the liquor store (where I found firefly) and then at burger king for dinner (chik fil a line was to darn long). Justice was screaming, DJ was yelling at Justice, Justice not in his seat belt. I kept yelling at him to sit back and put his seat belt back on. He kept yelling for more french fries...The rain and me trying to hurry home. Thinking about the dog and DJ's homework that still wasn't done. Then it happened the boom boom boom. It started the palpitations, the dizziness, the awful sinking feeling...

A bit scary happening while I was driving. It was gone in less than 10 minutes. I took my last lexapro in the sample pack that he had given me to tide me over till i filled the prescription. I'm disappointed that I will need to take medication for this. I don't like feeling that I am not in control of my own behavior. Disappointing . . .

My anxiety attacks feel like this

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


no food indulgences
124 lbs.
pear vodka cranberry

It didn't happen when I moved.
It didn't happen when I lugged the furniture in the flat basket at Ikea
Not when a stranger helped me tie the new furniture to the car and had to lug it in all by myself and pulled my back out. Not when i thought about putting together all this crap by myself.
Not when I came home to a disaster area because the dog had gotten out of his crate and strewn trash all over the new apartment.

When I watched Clean House, The messiest home in the country #2, thats when it happened.

The tears came.

2 summers ago. when i was a not so happily married woman. We took the kids to Ocean City, our annual trip. We stayed at a pretty nice resort. We watched The messiest home in the country # 1. Seeing the second show, triggered the memories. Us as a family, us spending time together. Us. The Codringtons. Mother, Father, children.

We are not that anymore, and I miss it. The family part. What I always wanted. what I grew up with. I don't have that anymore. I miss it and it makes me sad.

tears. never cried over the lack of him. I still am not missing him in particular. I'm missing family. the tears are ok. they are important. Important that I am feeling this right now, because I tend to get over involved with the nonsense and the faux drama of the world. This thing that I'm feeling now, this pulling at my chest and downturn of my mouth, this is important and I don't mind feeling it. I've never really mourned . . .

Monday, March 30, 2009

Starting over is a bitch

1 pear vodka cranberry
6 pieces of stewed chicken, Mcdonalds breakfast and dinner
123 pounds (keeping track-Goal weight 140)
1 anxiety attack since last post

So this is my like 3rd time starting over, and it never gets any easier

One of the major issues since leaving my old man was that he would use things that I needed as leverage for taking him back.

I hadn't asked him for anything except to continue paying for my car. The only trouble with that is that everytime i would turn down his ridiculous request to get back together, he would threaten to take back the car. Once he did, came and took the car. He brought it back, but it was a sketchy 8 hours.

So, I had to move out of my 2nd start over house since the mice clearly believed I was encroaching on their territory. Now I am in Laurel. Yeah, i know. So far. I know I won't get any "unexpected drop ins". So sad. not sexy at all.

Moreover, since the car had died, the husband refused to pay to get it fix (or couldn't). He also used this as leverage and drove me back in forth to work for 2 weeks. Then the conversation about why I won't take him back. Then after I refused him, the refusals to give even my mood a lift.

So I did the grown up thing and moved into the cheapest, but nicest, place I could find. I am saving 700 bucks a month. My father sold me his big ole Lincoln town car. It too is unsexy, but I am making the most of it. Yes, being mature can be unsexy. But I finally feel free. I don't need anything of him. I can do for myself.

So starting over is a bitch, but at least I have an extra 700 bucks to buy a couch, a drink every now and again, and possibly some cute shoes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


1 screwdriver
8 shrimp wontons
shrimp scampi w/pasta
several oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

The Standards and Stems blog is gone. It was a really good one. Telling tales of a newer teachers experience in a public charter school in the city. I think his admin found out about it. Made them look kind of foolish. Anyway, its gone. Its a shame. It was really good. I think the blogger should continue to write, but this time don't put the link on your public facebook page for the world (including your students) to see it. DUH!

So its almost 4 am and I am awake. Insomnia is back with a vengeance. blah. Anyway I have alot to do. My dad sold me his car. I have to get insurance for it and register it before he will allow me to drive it. I also have to begin packing. oh joy. The worst things ever.

A lot to accomplish. Maybe thats why the insomnia. I also have a rash on both legs. Very itchy. Not sure what that is from...but all that scratchin is making me itch. or vice versa

One thing I like about the insomnia. I like hearing the boys sleep. Every now and again one of them will chuckle. I LOVE knowing that they have funny dreams. Thats important to me.

Also the Handy Manny truck in the kids room keeps going off. I keep hearing, "lets fix the spark plugs" "you fixed the spark plugs" or the voice of Wilmer Valderamma singing, "Trabajamos juntos!" Ugh. Either it has a short or one of my furry pests has gotten into the thing and is trying to take a spin.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Laurel and the Broken Lease

no food indulgences
2 lemonades with a vodka twist
0 Lexapros

I went to see the apartment in Laurel yesterday. Getting there was a huge production. I spent the night over my sister's. She was going to drop the kids off then take me to Laurel then on her way to work drop me at my interview.

I think I should be clear that I love my sister and she does lovely things for me.

She is also a control freak maniac. She woke up late and was rushing around like crazy person. I suggested dropping the kids off at their father's first since it is on the way to Bowie. She screamed, "Hannah has to go to school!" As if I was suggesting that Hannah be late. So I left it alone. While she is driving she is doing all sorts of things. Checking email on her blackberry, putting on makeup, she was paying very little attention the the road. At one point she took her foot off the brake at a red light and almost rear ended a deer park water truck. I took a sharp intake of breath. She looked up and slammed on the brakes. She looked at me and screamed at the top of her lungs, "WHATS WRONG WITH YOU!" How her almost slamming into a truck is my fault, I have no idea. But that is Holly. And she wonders why I just won't move in with her instead of moving to Laurel. Yeah chica exhibit one: your crazy screaming fits. I spent 9 years getting yelled at, I kinda want to avoid the rage freaks from now on.

Anyway, I saw the apartment. Its very nice. bottom floor which will help when I have to walk the dog. Maybe he can get like those dogs on tv that scratch the door when they have to go to the bathroom. Here's hoping...

Went to my job interview. It went really well. They have interviews the week of the 30th and I think will probably contact me either way after that. I really want this job now. They are building a separate middle school. I would be the queen of my own castle. It seems like a great team of folks with a building full of light. The best thing is that what they need is what I am best at. So I'm pretty sure that 70% of my time will be devoted to my strengths.

After my interview, I went back to work. It kind of felt wack being in that building after being with such positivity for 3 hours...Well must make it through this school year and decide from there.

I'm doing good on the College Hoops. I am just one game out. Looking forward to the second round. That will be when the men from the boys will be separated. Ha! Okay, gotta make a game plan about packing up and moving out.

peace out. hopefully will have something much juicier to blog about next time.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Its been a minute

I'm going to use this blog to be more like a blog. I've been using it just to post some of my writing, which I will still do from time to time, but I will also be more bloggery. Yes that is what you call a compound, complex sentence. It is not a run-on I promise. So I will also keep track of my indulgences a la Bridget Jones. So here goes. Do try to keep up.

7 tacos
1 Sunny D/vodka screwdriver
0 Lexapros (still haven't done follow up with doctor to refill prescription)

St. Patrick's Day! Um yeah thats all I got. I'm not a big follower of the Irish holidays. One thing it does remind me of is that i have 2 six packs of long neck guiness in my refrigerator. I hate guiness. I got it for my housewarming party and i still have a lot left. It taunts me because I don't have a man that would come over to drink it. The move to DC did absolutely nothing for me in the romance department. Well, thats not exactly true, but whatever, I'm still stuck with beer I will never drink. I wonder if beer goes bad?

Oh I'm moving out of DC by the way. The mice situation has gotten too much for me. I don't see them all the time, but enough to be self conscious about ever having people over. Its really gross. I will miss my house. It is so cute and so near eastern market. I really loved saying, "yes, I live in capitol hill." even though it is only east capitol hill and I'm pretty sure the house across the street is a crack den. But I am looking forward to closets that use hangers, having a dishwasher and carpets that were put in after the turn of the century.

I will save my snarky pop culture comments for twitter. You should follow me

I think twitter is full of haters who want to be followed but think they're too good to follow everyone else. A website full of Indian Chiefs and no Indians. HMMPH!

I've been practicing my violin at least twice a week. I am surpised how much I remember after not playing for years. I'm pretty good. I really need a teacher though. It will help me be better and provide me with exercises that work on my fingerings and bow control. okay slipped into violin nerd mode. Sorry.

Tomorrow my friend from high school is coming over to take pictures of me. His photos are brilliant. I can't wait to see what we can do. All girls like their picture taken, makes us feel puuurdy. So, very excited.

Hmm what else? I am really trying to take control of my life. I have realized that I have been just been waiting for stuff to happen. A lot of stuff has been happening but I feel I need to take a more active part. That is part of the reason I'm moving out of DC. Don't like mice and pay too much for a tiny cottage, then move. Unhappy and unsuccessful at work? Try to find a job that actually accesses my strengths. I have some offers and some opportunities that are presenting themselves, I am going to see them through to the end and make a choice that will make me happy. Even if that means staying where I am. But it will absolutely not be in the same position. Special education is all warped and corrupt. I am tired of being in situations that cause me to have to go along with things that are not in the best interest of the students I'm supposed to be protecting. Anyway, I've griped about that before...moving on

Actually, I think I'm done. Going to sleep have to wake up early to catch the train. Did I mention my car died? Not too big of a deal since i'm pretty sure the ex husband had stopped making the payments and was about to be reposessed. My dad has a car he is not using. A huge decidedly unsexy Lincoln town car. I'm going to drive that (hopefully if he lets me) until I save some money to buy something I really want and until I pay down some of my debt. See how responsible I'm being. Remember that as you have the urge to laugh at me as I'm trying to drive that huge boat around town.

Until the next blog