Monday, January 25, 2010

Let This Be a Reminder To You

On Monday, October 29, 2007, I posted a blog on myspace. And today, January 25, 2010 I revisited that piece...

Today, like a handful of other days spread throughout a calendar year, I locked eyes with a woman. Usually, no longer than a second, this passing glance lasts. But today it was double that. Today seemed like so much longer than before. These two seconds felt like two minutes' time in the span of four steps. See, these eyes are familiar eyes. These eyes, I recognize. We see each other, exchange the briefest glances and that be all.


Today, I wanted to stop her and tell her something. Explain myself to her. See...this woman...I had the biggest crush on, back when Henry and I were roommates. I mean...I didn't so much as blink when I saw her. I don't know what exactly she had on me, but she had it – in a lockbox in her pocket…the one that rests on her right hip.

We used to reside on blocks that were in close proximity to one another. Sometimes we'd share a trolley car ride downtown on our way to work. Sometimes, she'd walk on my block right past the entrance to our building. If I was fortunate, I'd spot her while sitting in the bay window taking in the sounds of the melting pot that was my neighborhood. And if I was lucky, I'd be on the front step when she stepped by and shared the same space as me like a new millennium around-the-way-girl.

I used to get lost in her essence. The poetic motion of her walk rendered me speechless. The flow of her hair on a cool summer's day made time stop around her. It's silly to think about it now, but I know how serious it was at the time.

So back to today…

I wanted to stop her. Really, I did.

With politeness and smoothness, I wanted to apologize for the gazes, say sorry for the stares. And with sincerity in my eyes and just a hint of innocence, tell her that I didn't mean any harm from my schoolboy crush on her.

I want to tell her. I always plan to tell her but I can't. A good friend of mine asked me why when I told her the story. I told her that I really didn't know. Up until today, I was chalking up my hesitance to nerves. But that's not what it is. I don't want the fantasy to die, I think. She's been placed in a special location in the recess of my mind. I only visit that spot when I see her. I spend an hour there for about 30 seconds. To talk to her is to chance that she's nothing like what I pretend that she is. That's a chance that I'm not willing to take – not now anyway…and maybe not ever.


Just when I think that I forgot you
I hear that song that we used to rock to
Just when I think I'm gettin' on without you
Somebody passed and asked me about you

Was in the back of the cab the other day
Swear to God I saw you walking pass the other way
My heart rushed, my face flushed
Tell the driver hit the breaks slow the pace up
Wait up, it wasn't you
Realized it's a mirage I was running to
Damn. Can the affects of love and time
Cause the mind to trick the eye?
I wonder how you gettin' by
And are the stars still in your eyes
But you still just get the five
You break the bank to spend the time
I reminisce of shifting time, to when you was mine

Mos Def (Reminisce - Bilal featuring Mos Def & Common)

Fast forward nearly 27 months and you'll find me in a Thai spot waiting for my lunch order. I'm engrossed in a gmail conversation and while awaiting a response, I decide to look up from my phone and actually seem normal for a change. And while it feels a little odd at first, my eyes adjust to the light and the stiffness in my neck diminishes quickly.

It's abnormally warm outside today. 60 something degrees to be close to exact. The torrential down pours of the morning have taken a lunch break as well. Most women dressed for what greeted them when they awoke...rain. One woman sashays by the storefront window with the skirt and heels on, calves flexing and all with every step. Damn, spring is going to take it's time returning to these parts. This is just an evil teaser. And one woman earned more than the usual casual glance.

She was across the street, walking that same walk that I wrote about more than two years ago. And in no less than 10 steps, she brought me back and reminded me about romance. She reminded me to savor the possibilities. See, so many times, dudes just want to see it through, sprinting for the finish line. And while there's nothing wrong with that - for the most part, I do think more time has to be spent in the steps. How you feel in between point A and point B. Because that right there is what it's all about. Don't wait until the love strikes to start daydreaming. Being in the like is special too. Trust me.

Our connection lies in a life before
For us to meet again was divine law

So I can't describe how deep I dug her

Now only in memory can I hug her

I reminisce y'all

Common (Reminisce - Bilal featuring Mos Def & Common)

Everything I jot on the left reads right.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


(Note: Please excuse me if this piece lacks fluidity. I'm finding myself having to walk away and come back to this. I've never really spoken on such a personal level before.)

I ran through a number of titles for this but could come up with nothing better than Family.

For those of you who don't know, my family is from Haiti. My parents were born and raised in Port-au-Prince. I grew up in Jamaica, Queens and went to an elementary school abundant with Haitian-American kids. I had friends that I would throw around Haitian Patois (or KreyĆ²l)phrases with. We were all like Family.

A long time has passed since grade school but thanks to Facebook, I managed to reconnect with a large number of my Family that I hadn't really seen since we all signed each others' uniform shirts on that last day of our eigth grade year. The smiling faces all looked the same, familiar like Family always does. But now, after the tragedy that struck, I know my Family hurts just as I do. And like them, I watch the footage and see the pain.

My broken by it all. Every child she sees is like one of her own. Every body in the street is like someone she knew personally or was related to...Family. My dad hides his emotions and stays strong for her. When I speak with her, I carry myself the same way. For her. And when we exchange our heart felt 'I love you's' and hang up, it's different story. See, I could always gauge how much hurt my mother feels. When the crime in New York (Queens, especially) was too much for her to stomach, I knew her pain and never told her what I had to deal with on a daily basis on my way to high school. So you could probably imagine how much greater this personal pain was for her. Especially since she still hasn't heard from her sister who had recently returned to Haiti to see Family.

And now, my sister who is just a couple years into her residency at a hospital in Pittsburgh, called me at 2 this morning to tell me she and her best friend (who is also a doctor) from college have arrived safely in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and were en route to Haiti as part of a Medical Mission. So, once again I put on my father's bravado telling her to be safe out there and to keep in touch all the while, tucking away yesterday's video footage of a little boy who was pelted with rocks. He stood there after being carried to safety, dazed and confused, not realizing that it was blood from his own head that he repeatedly wiping from his eyes and face. It hurt so much because he's Family too.

So here I sit, praying for the safe return of my Family in Haiti trying to make a difference, for the safe return of my Family that found themselves in the middle of the difference and to the Family who will forever be different.

And for everyone who has extended any kind of prayer, words of encouragement, thoughts and well wishes...THANK YOU ON BEHALF OF MY FAMILY.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

False Start

So...this was supposed to be the third installment of the Seconds series, aptly titled 300 Seconds. But it seems that it wasn't meant to be. At least not yet. See, yesterday after my lunch break I ran into my unplanned lunch companion by the elevators. We exchanged the customary Happy New Years greetings and she made sure to let me know that she would most definitely see me in that room on Tuesday.
Today is Tuesday.
She didn't show. I ate my lunch. I left. My usual M.O. a.k.a Modus operandi.
I got to my desk thinking that maybe, just maybe, she's trying to bait me. I mean, it's possible. I don't really put much more than I usually put past people nowadays. And if I stepped outside myself, I'd have to say that it's a clever little plan.
On several occasions, she's managed to explain and verbally map out for me, the exact location of her desk. I listen with feigned concentration but it never really mattered because I never really thought it mattered. I didn't have any intention of going to her floor and "stopping by" for a brief conversation for all others within earshot to hear. It was never that deep for me.
For her? I assume, a different story. But I dont know for certain. What I do know is that I don't well on the standardized tests that are placed before me by them. By them, I mean those certain women. The one with a game handy. One for you to join in, unbeknownst to you. And unbeknownst to her and a few women prior, I fail tests on purpose (shoutout to Henry). Long story for another blog.
So maybe it was a false alarm (on my part) or maybe she's extremely busy. Either way, this is a status update of sorts. Nothing thrilling. Nothing excited. Just regularnessicity.
Everything I jot on the left reads right.