Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sip, Seek: A Short Story From Nowhere

A roaming imagination becoming words on a page:

Sip, Seek.

I didn't want anymore of my drink. My tummy was mostly unlined and mildly unstable, but I took a long pull of whatever was left of my long island through a lightly nibbled straw. I winced and forced it down. I felt that. Truth be told, I'd felt it when the tops of the ice cubes were still kissing the rim of the cup. I can thank the first tequila sour for that.

But I felt it work the way I needed it to as I looked down across the bar at my reason for the $12 purchase. Past the flirtatious bartender whose breasts seemed to spill over the top of her crop top and onto the tray with the lemon wedges, orange peels, olives and cherries. Past the damp dollar bills lined up on the counter for her by smiling gentlemen whose eyes never quite made it up to hers. Past the slurring woman who was too weak to push her hair from hanging over her face and too drunk to verbalize that she just needed some water. To him. The one with neon lights glowing on his caramel skin that I could even make out in the dimness. Him with the sleek, black rimmed glasses and the tartan shirt, top button undone, exasperated from the dance we had about half an hour prior. I saw him when we first walked in and couldn't look away. He was quiet and scholarly-looking like a Hillman graduate, but he was here, so I knew he knew how to have a good time when out of his work clothes. That was early in the night, around 9 o'clock. As Friday night patrons packed in, the space between bodies grew smaller and smaller. Somehow, I ended up beside him, taking in how fine he was to myself, then using my eyes to pass the message to my homegirl. She looked over to him quickly, then back to me, nodding her approval. I turned to adjust the purse on my shoulder when my elbow bumped clumsily against his. "Oops! My bad," he said to me with a smile. I coyly mouthed back an "It's okay." Our eyes lingered in the remnants of our awkward laughter. I wanted to say more, but how? What? I began to part my lips, but nothing came out.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Black & Excellent in 2013: Ungraspable Phenomenon

Ah, to be black and excellent in 2013. It's been quite the conundrum for folks. No one truly knows what it means. Well, except black people, but what do we know? Our thoughts don't count for much anyway.

To be black and excellent is "surprising" as we've seen from a handful of mainstream outlets (eghem, USA TODAY). The Best Man Holiday -- which included a crapload of seasoned black actors and actresses (and a hint of vanilla swirl) -- was instantly deemed race-themed, and therefore a different, lower rung on the entertainment ladder. It was such a shocker to see a black person direct an excellent film (#2 to Thor) about people being excellent and funny and tear-jerking and everything that a functional human can be, but that all just happen to be black. The film didn't happen within the chambers of an NAACP meeting, nor a protest, nor a vigil for a slain teen. It was family, Christmas, sex, success, struggle and forgiveness. I wasn't aware those themes came paired with a melanin count requirement. My sincerest apologies.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Photo Therapy: A Day With Nia

This weekend was like therapy for me. By the end of it, even though the frigid outdoor temperatures had my thighs and the tips of my fingertips numb, I was warm and tingly inside because I got to reconnect with my real love for the weekend.

Photography, honey.

For an entire Saturday, I got off my behind and left my borough to put Roscoe Flash (my beloved Canon camera) to work.

Monday, November 4, 2013

What Would I Do If I Wasn't Afraid?

"What would you do if you weren't afraid?"

Clearly, Spencer Johnson (or Sheryl Sandberg, whoever to you) knows the contents of my heart and managed to mold it like dough into quote form.

During the idle moments of my day -- which I now have a lot of since I started a new evening position -- I loop this question through my mind. It may not always be in question form; it's just become a normal thought process of life, a byproduct of an everyday action. When I catch up on news and blogs, I think it. When I play stylist in my wardrobe, modeling outfits I dream up and imagine on Wherever-In-The-World Fashion Week attendees donning, I think it. When I start writing the first few sentences of a new essay, I think it. When I nod off on the subway, I think it. All whilst conjuring up (semi-) empty promises to one day act on the thoughts I have.

It kinda sucks. I'm both a Pisces and a writer, so my creative mind tends to roam freely, but this inexplicable fear dwelling within me is bottle-necking so many things that could be. It's a problem. What the hell do I have to be so afraid of?