budding bohemian

The first time I felt terribly alone in the world I was about eleven years old and I was standing in The Children’s Place clothing store surrounded by orange, pink, and yellow chunky bracelets, black and white polka dot skirts, shiny black patent leather shoes, colorful striped socks, and plastic ruby red necklaces.

I was shopping with my cousins, my mother’s sister’s daughters. We had a sleepover the night before and they’d decided to go the mall and shop the next day.  I was excited to sleep over with my female cousins because being the only girl in my nuclear family I didn’t have any sister’s to hang out with at home.

As I stood under the recessed lighting in the sparkly mall store I felt the urge to shop.  My cousins were buying them back-to-school clothes.  I looked over and my cousin Michelle was trying on a brown chunky necklace and a cinnamon top. “Does this look good together?” She asked me.

I shook my head and smiled.  “Yes…it looks great.”

I was smiling but inside there was a prickly gloom under my skin.  I wanted to be girly and try things on too. Though I was with my cousins and my Aunt, I wasn’t “in” the way I wanted to be. I couldn’t buy anything. And since I couldn’t buy, I didn’t want to act delusional and browse.  My Aunt, who was known back then as being scrupulous with her finances, was on a strict budget and would not veer from that path just placate her tag along niece.

It wasn’t that I expected anything; it was just then, in that moment, I realized that I was different.  I felt separated from my cousins, my family, and from being a normal girl.

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If I didn’t fit in with my cousins, then who could I fit in with?  Most economically disadvantaged youth joined some type of social segment to keep them afloat.  As a kid I searched for a group to validate my existence and make me forget about poverty. There was the weed heads that skipped school and spent their days searching for money to buy more weed.  There were the open girls who were desperately trying to find a father so they slept with boys looking for love and attention.  There were the fighter girls who thrived on overly dramatic displays of anger and wild fist fights. There were the klepto-girls who loved to steal high priced items and then brag about conquests.  There was a smart crowd at my school, you know, the Honor Roll kids who took their education seriously. But I wasn’t on Honor Roll and unfortunately I didn’t feel like I was smart enough to hang with them.  None of those groups fit my personality.  And none of those groups appealed to a deeper truth hidden inside of me.  So there I sat, left out in the cold alone.  No group to call my own. There under the bright lighting of the mall store I felt like I belonged nowhere.

I followed my cousins out of the store that day with my head hanging low.  I sulked behind them as we waded through the mall.  They clenched their bright bags and talked excitedly about their new outfits meanwhile I felt like an empty handed alien along for the ride.  Walking through the mall with them was the walk of shame.  I felt like people were looking at me and wondering where my bags were. Why didn’t I shop like the other young girls?  Why wasn’t I smiling?  Why was I different?

 

I have contemplated many ways to fit in.  I didn’t know it then but back in my youth I behaved somewhat like an anthropology student.  I hung out with my different groups auditing their behaviors and testing the waters. I guess it’s just part of growing up and experimenting with different things.  I knew what the weed heads did because I was around them when they did it. The open girls loved to talk about sex and love and thought that both had equal meaning.  The fighter girls were plotting their next brawl while the Honor Roll girls were busy being ogled by adults.

I didn’t like any of it but what else did I have? That’s when I looked to books for comfort.  I started reading to escape the world that didn’t include girls like me.  I didn’t steal, or fight, or think that a boy loved me because I could give him an orgasm.

I was poor.

Check.

I was black.

Check.

I was female.

Check.

But what else was I?  I know at age eleven one is not supposed to know who they are but at least one is supposed to have some sense of fun, community and connectivity to a group. And forget about playing a sport, an instrument, or enrolling in a dance class.  I didn’t even know what an extracurricular activity was when I was a youth.

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I don’t need a gun to protect me

Oh, America and guns. What a pity. I feel for those who cling to the 2nd amendment thinking that it would be a betrayal of America’s legacy if we alter this erroneous right.  All legacies don’t need to be upheld.  This country is built on murder and betrayal. Why are we proud of that? Just as we are expanding our thinking of racial tolerance so should we deepen our scope and liberate ourselves from our country’s sadistic past.

The definition of an amendment is to alter or update. Our country updated in the right direction with the 5th Amendment giving voting rights to all and the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. It would not be so atrocious to “update” the 2nd amendment as well.

I am not against guns. I am against Gun Violence.

gun

Protect Yourself

When I think about the Protection Argument in gun control it makes me roll my eyes. Really?  So if some dude breaks into my house in attempt to rob my family I should go to my lockbox take out my pistol and pursue this man. If he is armed and returns fire, I’m suddenly in a war zone having a shootout with a criminal.   Pass.  I’m not killing no one.  This is stuff of the movies.

I want to live. But I do not want to kill people to save my own life. I do not want to live in a war zone. If I wanted to go into battle I would have joined the army.  If it is my time to go…then, guess what? It is my time to go. I’m not going to create a warzone in my home trying to fight off some mad man.

My unwillingness to tote around a firearm doesn’t make me a cowardice it makes me brave. Some might say that it makes me stupid….well, I’ll be that…but hear this:  I do not need a firearm to provide me with a convoluted sense of power. You have a gun that will most likely be used in suicide, theft, or crime of passion…not “protection”.

Think of it like this…would you really want a person who thinks like me to possess a gun? Really? I hope your answer is no, because I certainly wish that you didn’t have one.

I don’t need a gun to protect me

Oh, America and guns. What a pity. I feel for those who cling to the 2nd amendment thinking that it would be a betrayal of America’s legacy if we alter this erroneous right.  All legacies don’t need to be upheld.  This country is built on murder and betrayal. Why are we proud of that? Just as we are expanding our thinking of racial tolerance so should we deepen our scope and liberate ourselves from our country’s sadistic past.

The definition of an amendment is to alter or update. Our country updated in the right direction with the 5th Amendment giving voting rights to all and the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. It would not be so atrocious to “update” the 2nd amendment as well.

I am not against guns. I am against Gun Violence.

gun

Protect Yourself

When I think about the Protection Argument in gun control it makes me roll my eyes. Really?  So if some dude breaks into my house in attempt to rob my family I should go to my lockbox take out my pistol and pursue this man. If he is armed and returns fire, I’m suddenly in a war zone having a shootout with a criminal.   Pass.  I’m not killing no one.  This is stuff of the movies.

I want to live. But I do not want to kill people to save my own life. I do not want to live in a war zone. If I wanted to go into battle I would have joined the army.  If it is my time to go…then, guess what? It is my time to go. I’m not going to create a warzone in my home trying to fight off some mad man.

My unwillingness to tote around a firearm doesn’t make me a cowardice it makes me brave. Some might say that it makes me stupid….well, I’ll be that…but hear this:  I do not need a firearm to provide me with a convoluted sense of power. You have a gun that will most likely be used in suicide, theft, or crime of passion…not “protection”.

Think of it like this…would you really want a person who thinks like me to possess a gun? Really? I hope your answer is no, because I certainly wish that you didn’t have one.

lure of the vampire

Twilight’s Edward Cullen isn’t the only handsome charming vampire.  There are millions of them.  The type of vampire I speak of doesn’t suck blood or live forever.

Pooch-Hall-[1]

tempting…

Although these warm blooded creatures don’t feed on blood, they do however hunt humans and charm them accordingly.  These vamps are suave characters that dress well and put their asymmetrical faces to good use.  The appeal of a glistening bicep, shapely legs, and doughy eyes hypnotize the prey making these creatures irresistible.

 

These anthropomorphic vamps have a hankering for the jolt that human emotion supplies to the ego. We walk around forming, breaking, and enjoying relationships all the while feeding off each other’s energy.  Vampires suck the joy out of the joyful and the peace out of the peaceful. Vampirism perhaps explains our human inclination towards good and evil. Darkness and light. Black and white. Pure and soiled.

Let us be aware of the vampires among us.  Let us resist their charms and cultivate healthy relationships that don’t suck the positivity out of our bodies.

Top ten things that I don’t understand

 

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10.       The money obsession.  Yes, we all need it to live but killing for it? Too much. Money is very much the God of America.

9.         Sleeping with a married person. When you’re not together, don’t you wonder what your lover is doing with their spouse?

8.         Why people match first and last names. Seriously, why would a William Williamson exist?

7.         Why 90% of all rap and hip-hop songs are about strippers.  I guess if you want to date a rapper you have to be a stripper.

6.         Why people like to be scared.  Haunted house? No way. A gargantuan roller coaster? Absolutely not. I rather not feel like I’m about to die.

5.         Why healthcare is so expensive. I can’t help it that I get sick or have an accident – these are inevitable occurrences. The healthcare industry should be all about saving lives, not stealing money from the population.

4.         Why don’t missing black women get the same media exposure as missing white women? Are black women never missing?  I think there are some, we just don’t know about them.

3.         Voluntary prostitution (is this a thing?)  I can’t even imagine collecting a fee for the use of my body. I guess this life is not for everyone.

2.         Binge drinking.  Enough said. Beer is tastes like well water.

1.         Clubbing. I do not get the appeal of standing in the darkness with a hundred other people not being able to see or hear anything.  Although I don’t understand how gyrating in a room filled with body heat is pleasurable, I guess I can see the excitement in it. Okay I admit it…I’m just a nerd.

The Dance of Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy deals with hiding the truth of what you’re portraying.  Hypocrisy is aggressively condemning extramarital affairs while maintaining one yourself.  Why the hypocrisy?  Why the lie? Why claim to hate gays but be gay yourself?  Why condemn promiscuity but sleep around yourself?

Hypocrisy explains the dual longing that we all have in us.  It goes back to the good vs. evil talk.  Humans have a compulsion to explore both sides of the coin.  The Bible talks about a heaven and hell, God and the devil, Good and bad.  Our lives are made up of yin-yang matches that form a whole.  Masculinity is usually matched with its opposite, femininity.  Even in same sex couples one person usually embodies more of one trait than the other making the set balanced.

The dictionary defines hypocrisy as having the pretense of virtue. Virtues are commonly linked with religious beliefs and or lifestyle choices.  Hypocrites generally take on a persona or speak negativity about a position that they secretly indulge in.  When one condemns an act and then commits the same act they’ve just condemned, they have just committed the offense that earns them the title of hypocrite.  Having the audacity to pretend that you’re against the very thing that you indulge in is the confusing part of hypocrisy.  The lie laced into hypocrisy is what causes the outrage.

secrets...

secrets…

So why lie?  Why pretend that you hate something that you secretly love?  In high school, I tried for awhile to be a hypocrite.  I joined a tough girl group that worshiped street life and thuggish behavior.  The group leader, Rhonda, hated black kids who acted smart.  Doing homework and getting good grades was Rhonda’s pet peeve.

“Look at that nerd.”  She would say about a young black girl sitting at an opposite lunch table reading a book.

“Yeah…” I would agree with Rhonda pretending to be more appalled than she was.  “Only nerds read boring books.”

Then I would go home and read books and find myself enjoying them.  I would sit behind the closed door of my bedroom and indulge in literature, introductory psychological theories, and scientific investigation.  I had a hunger to learn but at school in front of my friends I had to pretend like I didn’t.

 

I realize that I was on the wrong side of the typical hypocrite creed.  I pretended not to have virtues and common sense while most hypocrites pretend that they do have virtues and common sense.   I hid my secret passion for books and learning because I wanted desperately to fit in.  Rhonda would have called me a stupid dreamer if she saw me taking an interest in literature and learning.  Black kids living in poverty had no business trying to indulgence in stuff like education.  My experience taught me that trying to “fit in” is the starting point of hypocrisy.