i don’t like phone calls

What people don’t know or if they already know, don’t seem to fully get: i don’t like phone calls. Not any. Well, okay, let me explain that a little bit: i don’t like unsolicited phone calls. I prefer phone calls treated as if they were emails: i want to know the subject beforehand. I want to know what i’m getting into before i get on the phone. It’s like reading a book without glancing at the back or inside cover, watching a movie without seeing the trailer or given a blurb of what’s (or who’s! lol) about to go down.

I don’t like phone calls because they tend to be too long—anything more than five minutes i don’t believe is necessary. (I have this same rule when it comes to meetings. Yes, plugging my ReWork review right now. Sue me.) The only time i don’t mind ’em, well, i can tolerate ’em, is when they’re from my job because then i know 99.5% of the time they will be work-related: a user is calling to complain, or a coworker has a quick question about something i just worked on or i know a fix for. That’s fine. There’s a long-standing subject already, even if it’s not always the same, giving me a general idea of what i’m getting into.

Caveat and/or loophole: these rules don’t really matter when it comes to my mother, father or grandma calling me, and if my brother actually has a phone, he’s on there, too, along with a significant other by default: usually if they’re calling, something is important or dire, which the latter i hope is rarely ever the case. If mother calls, depending on the time of the day, i worry right away, even if not full-blown panic, because i never know if it’s something tragic or bad that’s happened. Take for instance two years ago when i had just met my brother for some drinks, like literally within 30 seconds of saying, “Wattup,” mom called, shocking us with the news that our cousin was shot—it wound up killing him, the third person i knew that year to be murdered senselessly. These types of phone calls are dreadful. Don’t wish them upon anyone.

The uber positive or happy, ecstatic, i just won Powerball, or the utterly devastating, tragic phone calls are the categories that call for vocal communication—the emotions and urgency are needed. Everything in the middle can be sent via digitally printed missives—shoot, send me a telegram (do they still do those?).

Back to the unsolicited calls: when friends or frat bros or unknown numbers call me, i am prone to not pick up unless i know with certainty what the conversation will be about. If said number or person calls back-to-back, then i’ll pick up. I hope they send a text after the first call, however.

Phone calls get in the way of my multitasking: being on the phone ties my hands and mind up. I have to give said person pretty much my full attention. This reminds me of the scene in The Social Network when a lawyer asks Zuckerberg if he deserves Zuckerberg’s full attention, whereby Zuckerberg honestly answers, “No,” and only because he doesn’t want to “perjure himself.”

Another loophole is with a lover—no, wait. More than that: a potential girlfriend or someone i’m heavily digging—she gotta be heavy, man! (Lol.) The whole courting or whatever on the phone is cool—but i definitely am not for the high school-esque two or three hour or longer conversations. Not on the phone at least. Skype or OoVoo is a different story. I can still do other things at the same time. It all comes back to multitasking!

And you know what, ringing phones make my skin crawl; it irks the shit outta me. This reaction has to come from somewhere deep-rooted, probably because while growing up in my house my mother hated em, so i grew to despise them, too. The fact that once we got caller id i was wont to not pick up anything that wasn’t for me, so the phone would ring incessantly—i’d let the voicemail or answering machine get it. I guess that has managed to stick along for the ride into today’s realm. Definitely. Possible remedy for this? Google Voice transcription of voicemails is great, but, i don’t really use my GVoice number so it’s kind of a wash on that front. Oh, well.

So yeah. That’s it in a nutshell.

Safe bet when attempting to contact me: email, Twitter DM, Facebook private message or wall post, text message, anything other than a phone call. It’ll save time and be faster. Plus, it’ll lower the chances of me being in a dour mood while we converse.

You know who you are if you’re exempt from all of this, though. This post isn’t for you—but those who don’t know. Lol!

stream of consciousness #0009: music is god’s daddy & mommy

There is a train of thought that is constantly chugging along the great mental metal of minds too great to fail.

That was the thought pattern behind the Titanic—right? Or, was that off since it wasn’t a train, but a large ship atop water, the icy depths of death soon awaiting its foolish passengers believing they could tackle the grandest of behemoths that are the oceans of the earth?

Foolish pride is not pitied. Or, it shouldn’t be. The hamartia of the engineers and architects, the media and the politicians, the crewmembers and the passengers, was tragic on scales more epic than even the Ancient Greeks. Hyperbolic? Possibly. It’s my go-to tactic with gab.

Anyway, the point of all of this is that there exists constantly moving from coast to coast—east to north, north to west, west to south, back and around again—trains without any crews or passengers. Merely trains of synaptic ghosts floating around houses and shacks of greater and lesser minds, alike. That is the great design and infallible construction of the human mind: we are all equal, just not the same. The individual is cut from the same cloth, only varying colors, and possible a little thicker or thinner at some points, as the next individual. However, the slight differences create the most profundity: it is what makes us unique, each of us, including twins—regardless of their categorical typing—that we should lionize.

Classical and jazz music are two bastions of beauty, two sonic means allowed us pity bags of flesh—to take from Rob Plath, mentor and professor—a couplet that should be celebrated. Instead, it is usually only stumbled upon randomly or drunkenly or ideally both with some apprehension until the time in the recepients’ lives are ready to receive. That could be as an infant or as a senior whose life is tapering off to the unknown abyss. Either way, adopting, embracing—loving!—this pair is the true great achievement perennial of one’s life. Truly. I believe it. Yup.

Don’t take my word for it. Go out to Nawlins, listen to some real lives, to some real stories, to some real soul—to jazz. Hit up an orchestra. Download the 99 Darkest Pieces of Classical Music album from Amazon.com—i think it’s like $5, digital download. Hell, i’ll WeTransfer or upload it to my ftp. Dive into the depths of the might-as-well-be ancient music of the last five centuries, it has lasted this long for a reason.

Music is more important than words, is god’s mother and father, daddy & mommy. Music lasts when paper is destroyed. All tongues can create angels and devils at first breath. All fingers cannot craft understood words.

If anyone is looking for God, buy a mirror or a tape recorder. Look into that shit. Smile. Enjoy what you see—it’s reflected eternity, beauty nodding. Speak and replay the words or sounds impregnated in your mind and birthed from your mouth. Give them names. Rename them. Be your own creation truth, crafted in the image of myths.

gotta gotta gotta write write write

Remembering why i blog, or really revisiting it, i’m determined to actually put my foot forward and to blog more often. This really has more to do with looking around at my peers or even strangers i stumble past on the Interwebs than it does with fulfilling some personal mantra. I see ’em post all the time, even if a lot of it is drivel notwithstanding since it’s still being put out there for eyes other than its originator, and i (of course) compare my paltry offerings to the writing world, look aghast then cringe and berate myself (if only i had the means of self-flogging…lol…joshing, only joshing). I need to produce and publish.

Gotta gotta gotta write write write. Daily. Published (almost) daily.

With the first iteration of Mental Ephemera a few years back, i would blog daily, sometimes three or four times. I don’t know what happened to that. Not saying i need to get to that frequency again, but i definitely need to be more prolific than scant when it comes to weight on the writing scales.

If i can Tweet or post a Facebook status, i can use 15-20 minutes to jot down 500 words. Minimally. I’m sure i’m capable of at least that much. My Stream of Consciousness writings have been a trickle when they should be a, well, stream. Somewhere in the caverns and crevices of my mind lurks a dwarf twiddling his fat thumbs, yearning to be called upon to metal out some scripture. I gotta let him loose more often. (Metal…dwarf…fantasy fans may find that to be clever…or, maybe not lol.)

With my piece on the purposeful randomness of inspiration, it was a spur-of-the-moment blurting-out of thoughts—a reaction to @ChristophNYC’s recent piece paying homage to Rachel Lou-Salome (i first learned of her reading Yalom’s When Nietzsche Wept, an excellent fictional account of Nietzsche and Lou-Salome, by the way). Striking: Lou-Salome was a muse, Valentine’s Day is encroaching upon us non-coupled-up folks; both of them together lurking under my conscious sparked some thoughts. Figured better out than in.

Gotta gotta gotta write write write. Daily. Published (almost) daily.

There’s way too much going on in the world, events to comment on, or people to piss off with my opinions (grounded in fact!) to ever run out of ideas to write about. Heck, with the amount of music i listen to constantly, lyrics being in abundance, i’ve another endless source of inspiration. Fuckyeah. It’s actually what spurred the Skin & Bones post. Anthony Hamilton and Fiona Apple have been catalysts for joints, as well. Though, those are more for private or at least for a sole person’s viewing. So, they remain unpublished. No matter. Better out than in, right?—even if it be for a selective audience.

I’m going with: if i keep on saying it out loud, maybe one day it’ll come true. Sorta like Jesus. Or Rumplestiltskin. Or Candy Man.

Gotta gotta gotta write write write. Daily. Published (almost) daily.



Valentine’s Day: no, i’m not a fan

Typical, a man is not a fan of Valentine’s Day.

An often heard and witnessed harangue, the woe is me charade: a man who has to spend buttloads of cash and oodles of time with a significant other or sometimes-jump-off-turned-friend-with-benefits who may very well be wifey material but you haven’t given much thought, all for the prospect of some carnal pleasure. But, more importantly, it’s truly for evading the days-, weeks-, months- or maybe year-long (because they have a mulligan once another 365 days passes) pissy mood their said woman (or multiple women for the enterprising debonair male) will surely be in if a particular ovaries-toting human does not receive her favorite Godiva-brand heart shaped chocolate, all-time favorite book (first edition, out-of-print), bushel of roses (nope, a single bouquet isn’t enough), whispers of sweet nothings, and not to forget the modern-day proclamation of undying love via Tweets and Facebook statuses. Heck, they may even expect a profile picture change.

Ahh, yes. That’s how it goes. But honestly, before this begins to reek of the i’ve-heard-this-before: i don’t have that strong an issue with the materialization or commercialization of the “holiday” nor the publicly digital display of affection. Go for it. Dole out monies, one-up your best friend with lavish gifts and trips—treat your woman like the goddess she is; i’m all for it.

My issue with Valentine’s Day (in America, for i’ve recently become privy to the stark contrast in Japanese culture where the men are the objects of pamperdom, not the women!) has to do with obligation and the all-or-nothing aspect that love’s showcase has become because of V-Day.

Valentine’s Day makes us—men!—feel obligated to do something special for their significant other on this day. What if i—we—do something heartfelt many (random) times throughout the year? You know, showing love, affection, care, insert whatever word you want here, by taking her out to places or buying gifts, cooking her favorite dish(es), writing sonnets or lyrics, heck even a full song, or just watching a horrible TV show marathon just because she’d like it. And even after all of this, what if February 14th is not on the agenda? You better stock up on hockey protective gear or (for you religious folks) pray for protection, because all hell is about to break loose on your ass. And i’m not speaking without experience: i’ve been on the receiving end of you-didn’t-do-for-or-get-me-anything-on-Valentine’s-day-(or so i thought at first)-and-now-i’ll-be-mad rants, equipped with scowl and looks of impending death. It’s ridiculous.

V-Day is a get out of jail free card for those who consistently f*ck up in their relationships: you cheated (8 times)? Make up for it on Valentine’s Day. You forgot her birthday or your anniversary? You killed her dog, goldfish, pet snake or dreams and slept with her best friends? Make up for it on Valentine’s Day. All will be forgiven.

I shall hail this day for its power of absolution of a year-long litany of sins! Religious- and relationship-wise, i’m not for any of that mulligan type ish when the rap sheet is not equal to the forgiveness.

Now, this is interesting and perfectly timed!: Don’t Drive Your Wife to Cheat the Day After Valentine’s Day. And you thought i was wrong in feeling this way. Shit, i didn’t even know there were (limited) statistics backing up the asinine nature of this one “holiday” superceding all other days’ pampering or gift-giving or just overall being a quality partner/companion/lover/whatever.

Equating love with a 24-hour span is flawed. The “report” that more women sign up on this i-want-and-will-cheat website the day after All Absolution Day because they do not “feel appreciate or loved” is ridiculous. I’m not sure how others cannot see this problem. I would personally be offended if the only time out of the year i received “i love you this much” was during a designated day out of the year, one where every other women in the world is told the same thing, given the same cookie cutter gifts and cards. There’s nothing special about that. Maybe i’m just more romantic than that—i want and strive to do things that are, not necessarily original, but at least unique to that person, to her likes and loves, wants and untickled fancies. Hmmm…i don’t know, man, maybe i’m the irregular one here, and i should just pipe down. Oh, but before i forget:

Father’s and Mother’s Day fall into this, too, by the way; i’m just not as up-in-arms about these two, and i’ve not given much thought yet as to why. Once May and June roll around, i’ll probably have some bubbled-to-the-top thoughts on it i’m willing to share.

Till then: keep buying chocolate and roses one day out of the year, making sure to deliver them with a mirage of a smile. It’ll get you laid rather than laid out.

stream of consciousness #0015: inspiration is random on-purpose

Inspired by words from another who’ve i’ve never met physically—an online comraderie twittering—writing about a muse never encountered by either of us for she passed away years prior, this is a piece about the purpose of inspiration coming at us sideways in the dark holding a flashlight for the gloomy eyes to see hope.

Hopeful for enlightenment, we grope, not quite blind yet possessing almost atrophied optics, around murky caverns searching for an outlet. Almost at wit’s end, we hear a shout as a whisper miles in the distance, hope is still upon is; adrenal gland awakens, legs press on, fingers do the talking—touch a sensation mental more than physical, who needs nutrients to continue?

Continuing with labored breath, the scant whisper evolves, bellowing emotions reach eardrums yearning for companionship. Where must the world end, where is the finish line? Is the journey truly more important than the destination final?

Chains sway behind and below, the walls are now ceilings the floor trapdoors; hopping from crevice to precipice, plateau to cloud; nine rings of torment hover below seven levels of happy hellish memories, all hung together by sinew of the minds lost, not quite strong enough, not almost weak enough to give up, in the middle they laid down, holding up mere apathy at the end. Those on the outskirts soon tasted dewy moisture from the rays of sun lighting dreams
gathered on the way.

Death begats remnants of lives lived, conversations carried, penstrokes fueled by sadness, the sands of time cupped with hands, seeping out slowly, dripping saliva instead of saving—loneliness not an option, only so much solitude one can take; let it all go, scythe swings, fall below.

With digital archives perpetual—until the bunny ceases to beat drums, glasses break, blind we now know, why it continued forward, spinning, never diagonal with any destination in tow—we cease to live finite, able to sow seeds plentiful over pipeways, our pipedreams flood slow, gushing those wanting more, drowning all others able to swim, fighting down- and upstream, they go, go, go.

Ayn Rand’s Night of January 16th

Last night i caught a showing of a play performed on campus: Ayn Rand’s The Night of January 16th.

“Your life, your achievements, your happiness, your person are of paramount importance. Live up to your highest vision of yourself no matter what the circumstances you might encounter. An exalted view of self-esteem is a man’s most admirable quality.”

I loved the line, “I’m an atheist—there’s no use for that [the Bible]” when Miss Karen Andre is sworn in to tell the “whole truth…” so help her God.

The above was the start of a 365 Days post (day 011) from a little over a year ago. I’m really not sure how i got so sidetracked that i didn’t continue writing it. Hmm, maybe it had to do with my then recent breakup, not ready to truly talk about my love for atheism and antitheists, the secular passion within toiling and bubbling. It might be in my journal/diary. Not looking to go back, though; not now at least.

Anyway, i’ve been doing a “spring cleaning” of sorts on all things in my life: from digital missives and notes and blog posts, to my recent (not really since it was in October!) move, which i still have boxes of books and bags of clothes and a mixture of both still strewn around and adorning walls. I’ve been in a mental fog and muddling through a physical swamp of crap from my past, years and years ago, to more recent trinkets gathered—so completing or getting rid of hangovers is cathartic right now. Much needed.

Playbill for Ayn Rand's The Night of January 16th
Playbill for Ayn Rand's The Night of January 16th

That block quote way at the beginning of this post is significant at present as it was last January. It’s a parallel to people in my life, their ideas and motivations, as well as my recent Twitter conversations and Tweets, ruffling the feathers of religious zealots, brandishing my own (and others’) refutation of religious myths as truth (as gospel), exposing their fictitious nature.

Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged did something to me. I was about 20 or 21 when i read it (i need to re-read it soon). I’ve since read her seminal offering to individuality: Anthem, thinking about getting the protagonist’s “name” (Equality 7-2521) tattooed. Yeah, it’s that real. I’ve Wikipedia’d her. I’ve shared quotes & other tidbits from interviews on Tumblr and Twitter. She was an outspoken and unabashed advocate for individualism, enriching literature, and dispelling myths of women’s inferiority in academics (and maybe socially? not too sure). She continues to live on, is the point i’m concerned with—but, of course! it all revolves around legacies for me.

Darnit! My wifi went down in the middle of writing this, and i’ve yet to catch up to my train of thought—it has probably been derailed miles ahead. Hmmph.

So: read Ayn Rand, a paragon of personal strength and believer in individual’s having power, too. It’s the best i can offer at the moment. I’ll return later to this.


Built my Online Bookshelf Surrounded by Physical Books

Several times over the past couple of years, i decided to migrate … well, more like copy … my physical books to the digital realm while sitting in the library. That is to say, i haven’t purchased or found a free way to have digital copies of the books—only a catalogue. Man, i should’ve just said that from jump. Anyway…I like instant access to knowledge, to lists—which is probably why i love the Interwebs so much: 24/7/365(6).

Being able to know what adorns two of my walls is a boon to my sanity. I recently discovered a torn plastic garbage with another bag within of books i’ve had since a kid. I think some of the books are my brother’s. Trips down memory lane are resplendent, especially when unexpected.

I figured i’d give more than a cursory look at Shelfari and GoodReads. I ultimately chose Shelfari as my main digital bookshelf since i hadn’t updated my LibraryThing account in quite some time (it was the first bookshelf website i used). I quickly remembered why, too: LibraryThing only allows 200 books to be cataloged before having to pay a fee ($10/year, $25/life). And, more importantly due to my changing tastes, i wanted a site that fit my aesthetic palette—clean and “modern” navigation with a focus on my bookshelf (with covers!).

I hadn’t used GoodReads too much, either, but got back on it once a few social network friends informed me they had accounts by requesting me. Shelfari was recently absorbed by Amazon, which is great since it made for a seamless integration of my 7-year book buying history. A top-notch perk, for sure.

Needless to say, it’s been weird jumping from one rock to the next—reminding me of a child staying at mommy’s house on weekdays and father’s on weekends: some lucky toys are in both places, but only the real important ones have permanent residence at one, probably because they’re rare or have more meaning. Horrible analogy, but whatever.

With everything moving to the digital realm, i’m excited to see how others have gone about constructing their online bookshelf. Are they keeping their books solely on Barnes & Noble or Amazon Kindle accounts’ bookshelves? Or using websites like these? Maybe some combo of ’em all?

Not much more to say or to ponder, so i’m out. Feel free to find/follow me by clicking the links in the paragraphs above.

Peace out, cub scouts.

stream of consciousness #0013: all i do

For years my tears carried screams muffled by showered water, “I am not my father. I am not him.” I hated my given for years, not changing till i met poetry, spoken words from a friend familiar. Even still, i refuse to use my sur; i see little equity in it, this name more reminder of ancestral tarnish and pain, fatherly shadows, nothing to build upon.

I’ve embraced a duality of innumerable voices bouncing around: pain & joy, happiness & sullen ways, morose visions holding sunshine thoughts. It’s unsettling at times if allowed to creep, spill over and to be soaked up paper towel like.

All i do in life has a center mass, that of filling silos with corn husks, fodder and sustenance for my future offspring. I shall not break the convenant with my 13-year-old self: i am not and will not be him. It’s not out of hate; it’s out of love. I cannot throw away what the DNA coupling of my mother and father bestowed upon me. It’d be a waste. There’s a purpose(s) for each of us, but figuring it out takes time, takes courage, an understanding of why & how. I’m sketching out my plans, coloring by Roman numeral: a mixture of alphabetic & numeric symbols.

Before their questions are uttered, i wanna put a tome of answers on the table: ‘Because’ the title. As a youngster i was given my favorite book, one i know sowed a life-long quest and actions: The Big Book of Tell Me Why. From then it was clear to me all the answers about life were in a book. It prepared me for not talking, to not asking people first, but seeking out the answers myself.

I earned an honorary doctorate via absence, distance learning almost like experiencing sex through abstinence. All my figures of fatherhood were remote: i collected card collectibles of Black men, light & dark skinned athletes, musicians, names unlike mine—slaveowner & African; no grandfathers, one passed two years before my birth, so i believed my middle name was only shared with a long dead King, and a crackhead for an uncle; the other taught me a language i no longer speak, abuses & neglect perpetuated didn’t begin with me. Where was my paternal Northstar?

Vocally uttered words have less meaning to me than printed married characters: empty truths, promises broken bounced along my eardrums when eyes pored over kept secrets. Words heard are mere dust and ashes; words seen are written with blood. All i ask for is never to be lied to; at least not cut deeply. But then, who’s to know how far the knife will plunge?

Never wanting that for my progeny, this vow of a promise to them is unwavering. All my knowledge and experiences shall be at their disposal from jump, syphoned or guzzled, heated up and devoured, or laid on a shelf collecting dust till readiness. I only want there to be a direct line, a number brightly emblazoned & hung above, fluorescent light guiding 24/7.

The Big Book never had unpublished answers: how to deal with a sick parent; why must a teenager be a father figure to a young brother when a parent isn’t dead? Where to go for school? How to tie a tie? What the hell is being a man?

My mother is prone to say a lot these days, “I gave up my life for you and your brother.” She’s just being dramatic as usual, yet, hyperbolic statements and sentiments come from somewhere. I’m already a decade older than the age she had me—8 yrs older than my pops—and i couldn’t, wouldn’t want to imagine having to raise a child right now. Especially not alone.

Life is cyclical, and i want to break mine Staind-like; if not, nothing short of failure is my life. So, for them, all i do is theirs.

Neither confession nor indictment

I want this to be neither confession nor indictment but more of a review, maybe a prospectus.

So, 2011 was a tempest of a year for me. Fitting, I guess, that “tempest” has been used to describe me by a person whose life i may have inadvertently thrown for a loop; though it would be an echoed action since they had torn up mine, my head, lashed out and scarred my heart years prior. However, i’m not truly one for revenge, even if incidental.

Anyway, after the ravaging typhoon remark, i began to think and see myself more as an innocuous plague: i understand i can wreck havoc and mass effect upon a given sector or prospect—read: women—with relative ease, and with little wont nor worry. I will get and do whatever i want. It’s really that simple—i am a grown ass precocious child, understanding i can obtain whatever i fancy, and not giving a damn what it costs nor the effects. It’s ridiculous, really, since (i believe) i’m such a giving and caring, a sensitive and aware person. Ahh, i chalk it up to the intricacies, the paradoxical and ironic nature of being a Gemini as skin covering the skeleton as Cancer—i should call myself a walking astrological triptych, if i were to be so forcefully artistic or, gasp, poetic.

Several weeks ago it was brought to my explicit attention that i’m an “intense” individual. Bugged out because i never pegged myself as one—at least not in such a direct manner, as if i was the crazed blond fiance in Wedding Crashers, but without the malice. Remarks from a loved one, from a lover (a muse), from a reflection, always pierce the deepest, cover the warmest and secure.

I’m well aware of my seriousness—it may seem odd to outsiders who’ve only seen me in social settings, the jovial me, or the rambunctious side, but it’s more of who i am than anything. I wrote a poem a few years ago (it might be on Facebook, not too sure, but it will be in dust) where i concede, “Even when happy / my constant mood is pensive.” There exists at the basis of my thoughts and all my actions, a desire to know what it all means, what makes it or something important—why being the driving force. Everything i experience, taste, smell, every person i meet, every conversation i have, i look a la Sylar for how it can help me, what i can gain from it, what its or his/her use is.

For me, i’ve found so much solace, a veritable crutch and enabler, an inticer in the form of Liquid Jesus—for Kravitz, that would mean “love,” which has a fitting side, too, in all this. I’ve many unpublished posts and written notes on my romance, marriage, and constant separation/possible divorce with alcohol. It’s the gift that keeps on giving—and taking. Crazy, though, i’d parallel love and alcohol, intertwining them in a twisted tango of sorts.

This shield i’ve placed on the shelf for 2012. So far for the whole of January it has collected dust—our everlasting marker of history: dead skin cells, hair follicles, matter. My contact lenses have been able to dry off from the alcoholic solution, gazers again without hazy distortion. It’s allowed me to focus on myself, my mental, more than carnal pleasures and desires, no thrill seeking.

The human psyche has layers, i believe, sorta like the make-up of the skin. The epidermis is the facade, is the outter mask, the distraction that is shown to the unpiercing eyes of the world—even if that reflected vision be off mirrors or tempered waters. Some will show the secondary and tertiary levels with relative ease, possibly at the same time as the primary, but others, most of us, will take some slashing and gash-inducing to peer below into the depths. That is—unless alcohol (and possibly other toxins) is introduced.

The lurking monster residing in each of us is not unlike that of our favorite serial killing Dexter: he is boxing with shadows in each episodes, both his own and those of his victims and loved ones. It is the mental battle waged (and won) that is hardest of all. Without the mind being in tow, all bets surely are off regarding the outcome of life physically. Each of us has a monster breathing heavily or as a whisper, yet the strength of each is similar: unknown. Some of us learn early to keep it tamed, or to maintain it under toe and key, but many of us—and i take liberties with believing i’m well-versed in the wild things under our beds, skin and residing within—are simply afraid to acknowledge their existence, to truly know what is awaiting our first misstep or mishap.

No longer afraid, and not totally angry at the moment, but more aware with a greater sense of clarity about me and a possible future, i’m heeding my tattoos, “procrastinate tomorrow; live for today,” by writing daily, sticking to budgets, shunning cigarettes and alcohol, ingesting copious (not really) amounts of caffeine, and manifesting my vision board.

The past few months i’ve been around too many link-minded people, by that i mean those who want to be great, and who are taking that ambition and doing something about it. It’s inspiring. Being the utmost competitor, even if this is not a race nor a sport or game, i will see it as such. I have too many skills, too high of an intellect, and other assorted “things going for me” to squander them—or, truthfully, to allow peers to reach heights possible for me, but i didn’t, i refused to, or was plum lazy.

That lingering fear i talked about is stronger than ever—but now i’m unchaining it, unafraid it will consume me, instead it will be my hybrid against all foes, namely the vampiric partier. I’ve built more than enough frat boy, social butterfly, “man whore” equity to fight off inquiring attacks of why and surprised wows. Now it’s time to establish a strong intellectual credit base, constructing ground-up scholarly and didactic complexes and parks.

It’s the first day of our wonderful slice of American pie, Black History Month—a leap year, too, meaning one extra day of Black goodness!—so i’m invoking my ancestors for some galvanized resolve in looking at the world around me, at my self, and understanding where i stand at the moment—is this a plateau or a springboard?—with hopes of adding to the world this time around.


treating every encounter as if memoir material

After a recent introduction to a new clique (or maybe just a roughshod gathering of friends and friends of friends), i had a feeling, a slight tugging, that this was part of something bigger, that this Brooklyn night will end up years later across ruled parchment.

Possibly the names will be changed, or, remaining intact, will only exist in a systrophic litany without fat, no delicacies for the reader to nosh upon, compelled to research each entry themselves; either way, my existence present at and involvement in said night of board games shared with a gaggle of artists, creatives, musicians, lawyers, sandmen—all of us world travelers—might be documented.

This night produced a decision, a new modus operandi: i will treat every encounter as if it is memoir material—whether that be mine or the other person’s, doesn’t matter; i see that distinction as a trivial matter, something along the lines of: the center mass of the universe actually being what all planets and objects revolve around (yes, the sun included).

With my unparalleled love and awe (?) for memoirs, auto- and self-scribed biographies, i should be obsessed with them, one would think, but I’m not. I save my frenetic indulgences for other things—or, really, i have an interest in too many things to dedicate energy to a sole purpose, unless, of course, it isn’t for a prolonged duration.

Anyway, what’s important is life stories fascinate and interest me (yes, there’s a difference! One I constantly quibble over with my father who loves the former word, while i have historically hated it, swearing by the latter lol).

With each reading of a new journey, be it Nikki Giovanni’s autobiographical essays (Gemini and Sacred Cows) or Andy Warhol’s Diaries or Henry Miller’s Black Spring or Herbert Gold’s Bohemia or Kwame Ture’s Ready for Revolution or Bro. James Weldon Johnson’s Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man or Walter White’s Walter White and The Harlem Renaissance or Jack Kerouac’s Dharma Bums and On the Road, i marvel and take notes from each, looking at their encounters and meetings as markers that great and creative minds will always find a way to intermingle, to cross, to double-cross, to copulate, to share, to head nod at reflected spirits all on their own journeys, understanding but not looking too deeply into the magnitude of their existences.

The prospect that my legacy will have footnotes and cross-sectioned entries with and within others’ books or pamphlets, poems or essays, plays or blog posts, fiction or non-fiction, excites me, makes the existential parts of my psyché giddy.

There’s a hope that my legacy, the platform for my haranguing fear of not leaving indelible marks upon this world, will have some fodder, some aliment to sustain itself.

Am i looking unnecessarily deep into this? Sure; i’m open to consider that. But what else is there to do when one has no children?

Create future manifestations, future triumphs, and future failures all in the hopes i’ll see them come to fruition, even if they’re distorted—of course.

Now, here’s to the next social event or cosmic encounter, the extemporaneous conversation, the random show of goodwill, of good faith, to future spillages of drinks, holding of doors, to lingering eye contact; never know what words will be written because of ’em. All is possible memoir material.