Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Death Of Gil Scott Heron or Why I can't get out of bed this morning

I don't know why I can't shake this weird feeling in my stomach.

I am not sad really. Not suprised at all, but I'm just feeling altogether strange.  My teeth clenched for hours. Woke up with my whole face hurting.

When I was young Gil Scott Heron music was played in our apartment.  I remember my dad playing his music. He had his album. The one with him with the funky shades looking straight at you.  He used to tease my mom about the revolution not being televised, when she was particularly caught up in some tv program.  He said the same thing to us..."The revolution will NOT be televised, so turn that tv off!"

I remember thinking that I didn't particularly want to see the revolution anyway.

Any picture of my sister and I that my dad took were of us with our fists in the air. We had no idea why he made us pose that way.  But there we were two little girls, 6 and 8 with one fist in the air, saying cheese for their daddy.

Fast forward to middle and high school.  I had caught the writing bug and was writing all sorts of lame poetry. In high school I refused to stand for the pledge of allegiance.  I was sent out of the room one day when we were in a different homeroom and the teacher took offense to my own private revolution.  Told me if I didn't like America I should "move to Russia". I told my dad and he said that that was ridiculous, you can love your country but hate what its done to its people.  You can want it to be better, without having to move to Russia.

Now that I think about it, that same teacher was forced into retirement years later after calling someone a nigger.  (For my BHS folks, Remember Mr. Replane)

Anyway Gil Scott Heron and my father were part of my revolutionary development.  He is the reason why I scoff at some of these wanna be revolutionaries, who look for all the conspiracies, spit venom on the mic, railing against the machine.  These so called revolutionary artist who reject love and reject patriotism and reject God because thats the revolutionary thing to do.  Gil Scott Heron was a critic of this country, but he loved his country.  He wanted it to be better. He wanted us to be better.  He wrote from his heart.  It was straight with no chaser . . .
Gil Scott Heron was also a musician.  And it has always fascinated me, this concept of mixing aritistic media to create one piece of art. Its why I try so hard to be good at trying different kinds of things.  Its why I write and play violin and want to learn cello and act.  I guess its like that part in The Color Purple..."it just wants to be loved"

No one is shocked that Gil Scott is dead. As with many artists, their desparate expression of their art is often not enough to quiet the voices, heal their wounds, not enough to make people understand . . .Its the addiction, the addiction, its like a pool you dive in to feel free, a pit to wallow in, to say goodbye for a while only to resurface after being hidden long enough to fight the pain just a little longer.  Its how you gird yourself agains the tragedy that is this world.  It's hard to be brave, sometimes impossible when you brain and heart allows you to feel things so acutely.   The gift and the curse . . . it is also that trait that makes the artist create so honestly

Many of us have worked through our own demons.  But I have my own revolution to fight. And I know that raising my boys, loving my family, and making a difference is the revolution that I must fight and win.  I am writing and creating and acting as though my life depended on it.  And really it does . . .

Monday, May 16, 2011

A bird in hand can get pretty messy Or If I was your girlfriend

Weight: 145 lbs. (I really need to start doing something if this happiness continues)
Drinks:  Jack Honey, mmm good.
Food indulgences:  hmm, none, I swear . . .
Meds: none

So I blogged a while ago about my changing my last name back to Gray, but I have been thinking alot about the power of the title one is given by another.  I have heard many people say that a relationship is not dictated by a title.  "I don't need a piece of paper to say we're married", or "I don't need a piece of paper to say i'm divorced" (psshhh)  I have also heard many reasons not to post relationship status on facebook.  All of which I get, really I do.  However, I do believe that there is power in the title you give someone.

For example, the word wife, husband, boyfriend, boo, jump-off, side-chick, girl I see sometimes, BFF, etc all come with a certain amount of security and expectations that come along with it.  Let me explain my situation and perhaps someone can shed some light on the sitchiatshun:

I'm dating a guy.  He's cool. We hang. I like him alot.  I like him to the point that I have not seen other people and turned down dates so I can see him.  He is NOT my boyfriend.  I have been advised that I should just enjoy this for what it is and not to put any expectations on him.  Just let it be . . .and I"m trying really I am . . .

Last week I was going to see him.  Made plans and everything.  I get a text from my BFF (James Dean).  I of course say no, because I would rather see Darnell (aka beau, i think that names dumb so i've made up a new alias) and also because we have made tentative plans.  However, the plans fall through, I end up hanging alone, and James is now put off because this is the 2nd time i've not been open to him coming over.  So I'm pissed.  I have the right to be, because, come on dude we made plans and you are breaking them.  And as you might expect from my dating/marital history, breaking a word is something that I HATE!  but also, I am uncomfortable because we are just dating, he is not my boyfriend, and during this period I know that it should be "all good" and I should do what I can not to make a big stink about it.  I mean if we can't get along now . . .

And certain family members think its absolutely wrong for me to continue to see James (even though he is super cute and the coolest dude evah) because I know its not going anywhere and I know I am relegated to "girl I see sometimes" to him.  If I was Darnell's girlfriend, I wouldn't think twice about turning down James' offers.  But doing so, makes me feel like I'm being dumb.  Especially if Mr. fall asleep and break a date is still dating other people.  Moreover, if I was Darnell's girlfriend, I would feel more comfortable giving him the full wrath of my displeasure.  There is a security in the word girlfriend.  We can argue and still be fine.  But in my effort to make things all good, I settle for just being brief on the email and acceptance of "im sorry, I'll make it up to you".  I guess i'm just afraid of letting it loose.  But is that kinda like a "bait and switch"?  

I mean remember what I went through with the Nigerian? One argument and he's all "I don't think we make sense together". 

But I need to have at least some expectation for someone who is choosing to be in my life regardless of the title.  But goodness I like him alot and I'm afraid that he will fall short of the expectations that maybe I shouldn't put on him in the first place.  I guess I am not as full of faith and optimism as I thought.

And I have no idea how to continue dating other people, but moving forward with someone else.  How to do that without feeling like a jezebel.  In other words,  a bird, in hand is worth two in the bush, but when you ain't got nobody in hand,  how do you maintain a bushful of birds?

In short, I have no idea what I'm doing.  And maybe thats okay...and I would like to be a girlfriend, but i'm pretty sure that will lessen my dating options.  Just joking, mostly.  The real question is do I want to be a girlfriend or do I want to be his girlfriend...I guess time will tell.  But patience isn't my best quality

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Life of a Single Mother on Mother's Day

Weight: 147 lbs (shut it)
Drinks of choice: Jack Daniels Honey and Firefly Sweet tea vodka
Medication: none

I decided to pick up my blog on Mother's Day.  I am journaling about my day so far as I think some things have happened which illustrate nicely what its like to be a single, divorced mother on Mother's Day. It is sometimes hard and frustrating, but most times hilarious and wonderful.  Ok here goes

12:14 am:  Come home from a night with Beau.  There was an event we went to earlier.  A kind of nerd prom with food but no liquor.  But I brought my flask so it was okay.  Kids with Ms. Nike (the overnight sitter who has changed my social life;  don't think I ever blogged about her).

12:30 am Sitting and talking with beau, sippin a little something.  I like him.  Of all the random dudes that ogle my facebook photos, e-flirt, and proposition me, he is the one that follows up, that shows up, and man's up.  Honest to say what he wants and what he doesn't and who I am sure if he didn't want something I was offering, would tell me so.  Our conversation is easy. He knows The Nigerian.  that  made me nervous.  What I like about beau is his optimism, I didn't want The Nigerian's ardent pessimism and emotional laziness to rub off on him.  Thinking of that nearly gave me an anxiety attack.  But I texted brandi and she talked me down.  If he is that easily swayed I don't want beau anyway.  And its best that I just enjoy him now as he is.  worrying will just waste the time I'm with him, and I really don't want to do that.  Because I enjoy him, yes indeed I do.

1:00 am Um enjoying, enjoying or um, none of ur gosh darn business

2:00 am: sleeping and waking intermittently. Beau is very different from James Dean.  James Dean can and does sleep curled up in my arms or me in his. always touching, which is nice and I've learned to like.  Beau just wants to sleep. I can dig it . . .

7:00 am see 1:00 am

7:35 am off to pick up the kiddos.  Ms. Nike is a regular church goer and she goes to early service.  I don't want to burn any bridges!  Gotta get those kids. I promise to pay her on payday. She says "of course, that is fine"  Yes, must keep Ms. Nike happy.  Who else will babysit on credit?

8:00 am Driving back to the house.  I listen to the boys' recount their night.  Evidently there were video games and building houses involved.  I like that they like to go to the sitter.  It eases my guilt.

8:15 set the kids up with some snacks and the tv.  I'm still a little tired and want to get a couple hours of sleep.  Let's see if this works

8:45 am Justice says he forgot his video game in the car.  I give him the keys to unlock the van.  Damion Jr. comes to chastise me for letting Justice have the keys.  It's like he feels he is raising Justice with me.  Maybe he is.  Justice arrives back in the house with the video game and my keys.  Justice is becoming a big boy.  I point that out to Damion Jr.  He just shrugs . . .

9:08 am Deejay asks me to cut up the mangos that are in the refrigerator.  I told him to please let me wait until later.  I remind him that its mothers day and I should be able to sleep in.  He tells me he will be back.

9: 30 am Justice comes up and says he forgot the game card that goes in the video game in the van.  He wants to go get it.  I tell him its the last time i'm giving him my keys.  He goes and comes back without incident.

10:00 am:  Justice comes up and lays down in the bed with me. I can tell he's been eating candy.  His breath smells like chocolate.  He wants to take pictures with the phone.  It is confirmed he's been eating chocolate when I look at the picture we took... check the wide eyes
10:15 am:  Damion joins us (it's hard for me to keep putting the jr. but y'all don't know the sr. anyway, so just know when I say Damion I mean my son.  When I say asshole, I mean my ex-husband). Damion gets on my computer.  I ask if there's nothing on tv.  Damion says, well you're more fun.  Yeah right. . .Damion goes on some video game site, Justice continues to play his video game. They just want to be in my space and I'm cool with that.  I remember laying in my mothers bed, not doing anything, not wanting anything besides being in her space.  I drift off to a very shallow sleep . . .

10:43 am receive a text from Fred. He says he feels some kinda way about my facebook status.  I was reminiscing about my time with beau and was missing the feel of him during my nap.  Fred says that he is away and instead of sending a personal msg to him, I sent a status to all my random "snuggle partners"  Now he knows I'm a one woman gal, but I think that it is more comfortable for him to believe i'm just hanging around with a bunch of nobody's because he is away.  If he was ready or available or even said to me that he only wanted to be with me, this wouldn't be an issue.  But that is not the case.  I was thinking of beau and I wrote about him.  You snooze you lose, buddy. 

12:00 noon:  I wake up.  Can't legitimize being in the bed past noon.  Even on Mothers Day.  I get up.  I mow the backyard.  Fix food for the dog and let him outside.  I join the dog outside.  he is playing and I can tell he's bewildered at the fact the grass is cut.  He immediately goes behind the shed to do his business...he's so dainty that way.

12:30  poor some Jack Honey and commence social networking . . .

12: 52  Holly, my sister, facebook chats me.  She doesn't have her kids today.  Hannah is with the grandparents, Carly is with her father.  Yeah she rocks for having an ex-husband who actual visits and takes care of his child.  It's a shame my sons don't have that.  She says she's bored.  She doesn't have kids with her, but I do.  It's always the way.  Everytime I have  don't have kids, I also don't have plans.  It's the Jesus' plan to keep me all chaste and bored . . .

1:15 Holly says she's fitna get dressed and come over.  She evidently has something to tell me that is big and heavy.  "Well, " I said, "Come on over. You know I'm here . . ." 

2:35 pm:  Someone knocks at the door.  Its some kid wanting Damion to come outside.  When Damion goes out, they give each other "dap" or "a pound". Ugh I just... I can't . . .  Time flies like a mofo . . .