Can’t Sleep…

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It was nights like this when I’d write. Bloodshot eyes, whiskey on my breath, and a joint in the hand to help me relax. I’m also typing this with my right hand. A few mistakes but well worth the few puffs I get in before the fire dies out. It’s 3:51 in the mornin’. I miss him like the heavens miss a fallen angel. You feel bad for it up until a certain point. The cats are fed and the dog is filled with poo. Can’t sleep, what am I to do? I made a mistake and prepared for the best, but in my own interest. This joint is working its voodoo. I’m tired now. Goodnight. Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.

Art of Perfection, What are we living for? Our Struggle to Greatness…

Daily I’m finding ways to challenge myself for more. When I start feeling comfortable with the way things are going I feel the need to create chaos. Why does life always feel like a race? Constantly we strive for perfection because the world says perfection is happiness. You need a good paying job to make more money so you can live in a huge mansion and drive a luxury car. That’s what life is about and that’s what’s going to make us happy. Right? We are flawed beings and that’s what makes us human. This never ending race for the “superficial happy life” is wearing me out. As I become more self-aware and honest with myself I am noticing that this concept of time is a limiting belief. We get so caught up in the future and what we want in the long run that we miss the present. I’m learning to live in the now and enjoy each day. Growing up in a very religious household played a big part on my journey to greatness. As a Christian I was taught that how we lived on earth determined whether we go to heaven or hell when we die. Knowing that my eternal fate depended upon the way I lived, I kept my focus on doing everything right  so I would go to heaven. I was living my life in fear  and not really living because I needed to be this perfect Christian. Now I know that isn’t the case. God wants us to live in the present and focus on today. He isn’t this disciplinarian who only sees black and white. How I live my life now will shape my future. This struggle for greatness is nothing more than an illusion that distracts us from the present. We need to get comfortable with being comfortable. I hope this message leaves you well and that you all get what you want out of life.

Writing 101: The Things We Treasure

For our final assignment, tell the tale of your most-prized possession. If you’re up for a twist, go long — experiment with longform and push yourself to write more than usual.

As a child growing up I discovered I had a love for collecting things. Everyone else had similar interests from playing sports, dancing, and going on camping trips. All I wanted to do was build whatever collection peaked my interest at the time. My collections stemmed from my fascination with rocks and gemstones, stuffed animals, porcelain dolls and Barbie dolls, Sanrio character memorabilia, grass hoppers (that didn’t last too long), treasure trolls, and my favorite, glow in the dark jewelry. I had so many prized possessions in all of my collections; I still have some of my collectors’ item dolls and rocks to this day. One year we attended my father’s annual Company Christmas party, which was something we never wanted to miss. The employees usually received complementary stays at various hotels or expensive gifts to thank them for all their hard work. The children would also take part in the gift giving; there was always a station to take pictures with Santa which included a present at the end. That year I was around seven or eight but I received the cutest, softest, and most adorable white fur reindeer stuffed animal. I was so in love with my gift that I took it with me everywhere I went (School was off limits, moms orders).

I called her Isha and wanted to love her forever and keep her as long as I could. Even when my mom thought it was time to hand over some of my toys to my younger sister or donate a few things I never passed on my Isha. When I started junior high I had to clean out my room and get rid of some of my childhood “stuff” as my parents would say. I bagged a lot of old items I didn’t care for anymore and clothes I’d outgrown. I even had to bag my stuffed animal collection including my favorite of all, Isha. My mom told me not to worry that everything would be safe in the attic and that I could always get something down if I needed to. That set my heart at ease and helped me feel better about the transition.

One Saturday morning my mother decided to have a garage sale to free up space in the garage and the attic. I woke up about 10 o’ clock and could see the action going on in our driveway. Boxes that were once full of shoes and handbags were completely emptied out. Some chests and suitcases we filled with party dresses and costumes were now half full and the bins full of my old toys were barren. There was a lady there with her son and young daughter who were buying pretty much everything. The young girl was probably three or four years old and had the cutest, softest, and most adorable white fur reindeer stuffed animal tucked under her left arm.

“Isha!” I yelled running towards the little girl and her mother, “I’m sorry but this one is not for sale.”

“Oh no, well it was in the box.” The woman answered.

My mom now walking over to see what was going on.

“Mom why are my stuffed animals down here?” I demanded.

“I’m sorry I thought this was the bag of stuff you didn’t’ want.” She replied.

The little girl was now gripping Isha around her neck while her mother forcefully tried to take it from her. Her eyes lowered as she began sniffling, tears filling her eyes, at the loss of her new found treasure.

“Here you go.” The woman handed Isha back to me, now trying to console her daughter but she wouldn’t let up.

How could I take Isha back now, I felt terrible even demanding her back in the first place.

I gave my prized possession a tight squeeze and kiss.

“Don’t cry it’s all yours,” handing Isha over to the little girl. Her face lit up as she grabbed her new found treasure.

“You promise to take care of her?”

She nodded with a serious face.

“Tell her thank you.” The woman said.

Even though I was sad to see something I treasured now gone, I was happy to know that Isha would bring someone else joy like she brought me.

Writing 101: Don’t Stop the Rockin’

Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about.

Daylight had crept through the openings of the curtains giving me a chance to wake before the rooster crowed. Dan’s 80s sing-a-long and thumping throughout the apartment was a sure sign I had overslept. The four hour rest period was more than enough to keep me on my feet and if not the images of Donzilan flashing through my head would do the trick. I forgot how many people I had told in my drunken state and now my phone was lighting up every minute. After responding to the final “did you get pictures?” text there was a normal one asking me out for breakfast this morning. It was Stella, who I had met earlier in the night. She seemed to be a very fun girl and apparently had a sense of humor; there was no way I’d make breakfast but I would do lunch.

“Eww wee, girl what time did you get in last night?” Dan asked.  “Or should I say this morning?”

“It wasn’t that late, almost five, I think,” I answered.

“Child, you kids today and your partying.” He said handing me the glass of water. “Don’t get me wrong you need to have fun, but every night? I couldn’t do it.”

Dan was a flaming Puerto Rican with a chiseled physique and high cheekbones. He moved from Virginia and lived in the city for fifteen years. Besides working on his fitness he was an LGBT camp counselor who had just been laid off a few weeks ago.

“New night, new adventure,” I teased. “I actually met Donzilan last night!”

“Shut up! That must’ve been exciting.”

“It was crazy, I also ran into a former classmate from Atlanta and I’m having lunch with his friend who lives here.”

“Girl that’s the universe for you, but you needs to get on those castings.”

“I promise I will.”

Dan had more interest in my modelling career than I did, he always asked for pictures and if I had castings. He was melodramatic but very thoughtful.

Looking in the mirror didn’t help me, I wasn’t expecting to see my polished self but at least appear halfway decent, eww wee was right. My eyeliner and mascara were smeared all over my under eyes and my false lashes hanging at the end of my lash line. My hair was a big tousled mess, matted into a stringy poof. The left side of my face seemed a bit puffy and I felt exactly how I looked, gross. All in all it was the evidence of a very good night and I would do it again if I had to. A cold shower would rid the zombie like feeling. I wasn’t a big drinker when I went out but some nights I felt the urge to go overboard and always regretted it the morning after. The cool water running down my limp body felt like a surge of energy bringing me back to life, it was just what I needed.

Writing 101: Hone Your Point of View

Craft a story from the perspective of a twelve-year-old observing it all. For your twist, focus on specific character qualities, drawing from elements we’ve worked on in this course, like voice and dialogue.

Mama asked me to watch Floyd and Luke fa her while she made supper fa us. Daddy wasn’t home yet but he be comin soon. I always had to look afta my brothers, they always knew how to find trouble. Me and Joyce and them could barely talk about how cute Henry Ellis looked at school today without them little rascals interrupting. Today they wasn’t the only one interrupting. That man with the nice black suit, who come around once a month was at Mrs. Pauley’s house with a police man. It look like Mrs. Pauley got herself into some trouble. I don’t know what they was doing to her but she was crying and readin some papers that the man with the nice black suit gave her. Mr. Pauley went to be with the Lord few months back and mama said Mrs. Pauley been having hard times by herself. I only seent Freddie and Jack come around and visit I wonder where the rest of them boys of hers are. When mama makes pie on Sunday she makes me take Mrs. Pauley a piece, she always invite me inside, ask me how school is. She always gives me three peppermints for me and my brothers and a note to give mama. I wish I knew how to help her right now. Daddy was finally pulling up and I know he would help Mrs. Pauley.

“Daddy, daddy!” I rant up and hugged him pointing at Mrs. Pauley’s house.

He picked me up and gave me a kiss smiling as he turned his head and put me down.

“I know baby, I see it,” he said. “Go on and get your brothers and go inside.”

“You gon’ help Mrs. Pauley?” Poking my lip out with my left hand on my hip.

“Yes sweetie, I will.”

I gave him the biggest hug and a warm smile, I knew everything was going to be okay.

“Floyd… Luke… supper ready!!!”

Writing 101: Your Personality on the Page

What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears. If you’re up for a twist, write this post in a style that’s different from your own.

When it comes to fears, I can proudly say I don’t have many. However one fear that I do have is drowning. I learned how to swim a bit when I was younger but I never really honed in on it. I know the basic mechanics and when to come up for air, I just can’t get my mind in sync with my body. Instead of focusing on my breathing I focus on not drowning and because of this I have this phobia of deep water. Last summer I did practice and definitely improved but I still have my work cut out for me. Growing up I never knew why I was afraid of water but then again black girls have this thing about getting their hair wet, so who knows. Lame excuse but it’s true. I know one day I will overcome this silly fear and in the meantime I’ll just have to invest in swim caps.

Writing 101: Your Voice Will Find You

It was nothing more than a landfill of iron rusted debris and mounds of deconstructed rubble. I still couldn’t believe that this place was once Hardee’s Amusement Park. The unsightly view saddened me, this was a place that had been a dear part of my life growing up. Every summer when my dad took time off from the 40 hour work week we took the  two hour drive for our weekend trip. There were rumors that the 75 year old amusement park was being sought after by a corporate conglomerate but not to preserve it but to build a larger one. Now the abandoned park is just a wasteland of memories. No more candied apples, buttered popcorn, and my favorite, cotton candy. The bumper cars, roller coasters, and prized games now all gone. Hardee’s will always have a special place in my heart and remind me of the good times of my childhood.