Saturday, May 25, 2013


My mother worked in a fish market when I was a teenager. Actually, she worked many a "odd" jobs, trying to make ends meet. We lived in a housing project, were recipients of government assistance, and got second (or more) hand clothes long before is was cool to be retro or the even cooler, vintage.

Ends never met.

Still, she loved working in the fish market because she got to meet and talk to people. Most of the neighborhood poured through that market at one point or another and she was in her element. Smiling, talking, doing her thing. She even became quite adept at catching, conking, skinning, and gutting, the live catfish that were the market's big draw.

The job didn't last long because none of them did for a plethora of reasons. But, what I have taken away from those fish market days (besides the vivid memory of the first time seeing her kill her first catfish) is the smile she wore. While not an easy time by any stretch of the imagination, my mother took pride in doing what she could to provide for my brothers and me and she loved people. She could (and would) talk to anybody.

Tomorrow is my mother's birthday, she would have been seventy-three. I found this song among her possessions but didn't listen to it until today. I know she is smiling.

Happy Birthday Mom.

♥ ♥ ♥

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dream A Little Dream

She was in white; turban, tunic, and long-ish skirt. The sofa upon which I was laying was also white. Not leather, for which part of me was grateful . . . I think.

I don't know why the white or the turban, for that matter. I don't know why I was there laying upon the white (not leather) sofa with her hovering over me blinding me with her incredibly white teeth or why I only remember this part of the dream . . .

. . . (she) is my best friend from high school. She was also my first crush, my twice married, multiple child having, grandmother thrice over . . she was saying (over and over) that she thinks she'd like to "try" being with a woman and would I be "down" for that.

Blinding. White. Teeth (and turban, tunic, long-ish skirt--not to mention, sofa). Well, shit.

She went on to babble about taking time to work up the nerve to ask me here (after we hadn't spoken in years) to say these things to me . . . that I was attractive (enough) and "safe" since I had already come out as a lesbian. She didn't want to approach any other friend or worse, a stranger. . . she couldn't risk her husband (or kids or grandkids) finding out about . . . anything.

She was sure. She wasn't leaving her life. She didn't want to date. She just wanted . . .

a taste.

Before she was done with her spiel and before I could respond I found myself being hustled out the back door as her husband was charging into the front, through the rooms, into the kitchen. Rooted to my place on the porch I heard pieces of an argument, not related to our conversation . . . well, her monologue. The crack which sounded like a fist connecting with a jaw . . .

woke. me. up.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Alive. Awake.

Jolted. Awake. After fitfully sleeping the entire night. Six AM on a Saturday. That, in and of itself, isn't unusual. The jolting . . . not the norm.

She was there. In my dream. The part I remember, anyway. There, with me . . . alive.

We were at a gathering with family. Her sisters and brother, my cousins, and all. It was present-day, but not . . . somehow.

She was there, with me . . . alive. But, my son and daughter were not. Other family was there beating me up (verbally) for faking her death.

She was there, with me,  alive and telling them it wasn't my fault, that I was only doing what she asked.

They didn't care. The loved on her and beat up on me. How. Dare. I. . . .

The gathering turned out to be a funeral. Soon, all were shushed as the services were about to begin. Why my not dead mother, me, and most of the rest of my family seemed to be the only mourners at Malcom X's funeral  . . well, shit if I know.  

But, she was there, with me . . . alive. Jolting. Me. Awake.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

That's Alright

Just some randomness because I pulling it all together to write, like for real? Not all there, yet. But, "That's Alright". 

1. The story out of Cleveland  makes me ill. And sad. And mad. And then, ill again. 

2. A cousin sends me text messages from time to time. Not, "hey, how are you? or thinking about you." But, "God" notes, blessings prayers and the like. I'm not a believer and while her sister knows, I haven't made my non-believing status common knowledge among the rest of the clan. It's okay though, I appreciate her taking the time to, in her own way, say, "hey". 

3. There was a fire in my building a few weeks ago. I wasn't home but the actor was. He called me at work to say he had to evacuate due to the FIRE What? The What?  My mind spun with questions with no immediate answers.  

4. The fire was contained to a single room in a unit two floors away. It turned out okay for us, but some pretty frantic moments for a time. The family from the burned unit (contained to a single room) moved out and hasn't returned except the check mail and the like. New questions, no answers. 

5. That event was the second time there was a fire in a building I lived in. Neither in my apartment. Both due to an upstairs neighbor's carelessness.  

6. Being burned out is second of my worst fears / nightmares. 

7. The first: Drowning.   

8. A couple weeks after my mother died, her younger sister had a stroke. She was released from the hospital after a few days, two in intensive care to continue therapy toward finding her way back to her . . . self. 

9.  The actor is a play. Two, in fact. A rep. The first opens for previews tomorrow. As usual, the stories he relates during the rehearsal process are an entertaining prelude to the productions. I'm excited. 

10. Tar Baby is today's word.  By the time I became acquainted with the word it had taken on the racial overtones noted in the article.  Tar baby was one of the many derisive nicknames I wore as a kid, contributing to me loathing my dark skinned self, feeling ugly and like sister outsider. I've long sense come to terms with my hue, but colorism remains an issue within our communities and the nation at large. For that reason and more I am loving this song. 

Until next time, Peace.