Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop. (Follow-up)

Follow up to “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

I can see that not much has changed in way of the loneliness – and not the kind of loneliness that comes from being single because two years ago, when I wrote “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop,” I was in a relationship. It’s the kind of loneliness that lives inside me, that’s prevalent in times when I am unable to show my love or when I’ve had limited human contact. It’s that loneliness that I didn’t know existed until my mother was diagnosed with cancer and I knew her last breath was coming sooner than later. It is the vast, gaping hole in my heart that will never be anything else but a void now that she’s gone.

Thankfully, I no longer view the acknowledgement of my loneliness as weak. In fact, if I view it as anything aside from its face value, I view it as strength. I know that only when I allow myself to feel the negative emotions, when I’m not just trying to avoid or suppress with temporary distractions, only then can I begin to put the loneliness in its proper place and begin to heal.

The anger I speak of has always been present since I was a very young child. Its very core stems from my dad’s emotional absence and if I’m being honest, the guilt I feel over not missing him as much is probably more about the narrative that I tell about him: My dad was a drug addict and an alcoholic. When I was sixteen that was accurate. I’m all grown up now, though, and I know there was much more to my father than prescription pills and booze. He was a complex character as I’ve described in a handful of my blogs, but for some reason, even today, I find myself telling the narrative: He was a drug addict and an alcoholic. If I’m being gentle with myself, this is probably because so much of his affect on my life was centered around his addictions and his failures. He failed me in such a profound way that continues to be a part of who I am today and of the decisions that I make, especially the subconscious ones. I am still certain that if my dad was still around today, we could have had built a better relationship than the one we had for twenty-six years.

Unconditional love – I no longer have a difficult time believing that not many are capable of it. In fact, I know that not many are and this may quite possibly be one of the revelations that people perceive the bitterness from. It’s still heartbreaking but at least I’m realistic now, rather than hopeful. Hope is such a bitch – she’s so necessary but she often disappoints.

The inability to show love because the person on the receiving end is either not open to it or completely uninvolved in the relationship has led to a widespread disconnect from many people who were once considered a part of my life. It took me awhile to realize a lot of my loneliness was being triggered by a multitude of one-sided relationships I was actively participating in. Being a part of my life does not mean sitting in the outfield waiting for me to throw you the ball only to drop it and leave the game mid play. I’ve stopped throwing the ball because it’s the only way I’m going to find myself in the types of relationships, platonic and romantic, that I deserve to be a part of.

I’ll leave you with a quote that has resonated with me since the day I read it by the late, admirable Robin Williams.


A Righteous Revival

My solo nights frequently consist of excessive activity of the mind, involving my mother’s untimely absence and the ceaseless longing to speak with her. I mull over the details of my days, politics, gender issues, race inequality, economics, you name it, there is something within every subject that I find the desire to chew over with my mama, to gain some of her poignant wisdom albeit good enough just to hear her voice.

The inability to do so more often than not leads to an overwhelming sensation of loneliness and this loneliness has a tendency to manifest itself into a physical and emotional need due to the manner in which I react. The needy feelings turn into anxiety and the anxiety into anger. Thus, a sad, sleepless night ensues – That, or a sweat-induced, nightmare plaguing eight hours. The anger stems from an inner battle where I chastise myself for…

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Perfect Stranger

I’m trying something new for the next couple of weeks – I’ve been writing A Righteous Revival for the past three years and I’d like to feature some past stories. With some of my re-blogs, I’m going to include follow ups as in what has changed since the first time this particular blog was posted. Tonight, I give you “Perfect Stranger,” a recount of the day I lost my father to his battle with cancer, one of the saddest, life changing moments in my life.

A Righteous Revival

I was sitting solemnly on one of the numerous staircases of Grand Central Terminal’s main hall, my head heavily resting in my right hand and elbows upon my knees.  I wasn’t admiring the intricately designed ceilings or patiently waiting for my transportation to arrive.  I was people watching and anyone who has ever been to Grand Central knows that it is quintessentially one of the sole greatest places on earth to do such a thing.  Not only was I watching the people hurriedly come and go but I was preoccupied with thoughts on what their lives were presently like – I was focusing on the simple fact that we all have a story to tell and I was wondering what each of their stories was.  Moreover, I was curious as to what each of his or her struggle was – what each individual was fraught with.

My particular struggle that…

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Open Books and Carry-on Baggage

I wish I could say that I’m just now learning or that this next part is news to me but if I’m going to be honest, then it is being brought to my attention again would be a more accurate description of the fact that I cannot talk to everyone. Not everyone gives a shit nor does everyone listen without passing judgment. There are countless times when I can utter these words but particularly in this case, I can say with great emphasis, I miss my mother so much.

I could speak to my mama about anything and everything. I could do so confidently, securely and without feeling like I wanted to take back everything I just revealed to her afterward as I have felt with so many others. It doesn’t take rocket science to notice that I am an open book and I often wear my heart on my sleeve, and I do so with candor, humility, and frequent eagerness.

I think this could stem all the way back to that “golden rule” that was drilled into me from a young age, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” I suppose it’s also the idealist in me believing that everyone will respect my willingness to share, will see that my intentions come from a pure and almost childlike place. As I admit that, I immediately call bullshit, the inner voice viciously scolding my naïvete.

Some of which I choose to share are things that most thirty-one year olds have never experienced. And some of the things I choose to share are choices I made that maybe I’m not necessarily proud of but by no means, do I regret. I rarely ever give myself credit where credit is due but in the last few months I have begun learning how to do so and I’m not about to let someone’s insecurities or fears spoil my progress. Simply put, I have to work on remembering that I owe no one a single explanation for why I do the shit I do or why I did the shit I’ve done.

My past is my past. I come with lots of heavy baggage, baggage that most people my age have yet to experience the weight of. I find it incredibly sad that so many are so quick to judge having never carried around an ounce of what I have carried. So many are so willing to dismiss me simply because I exceed the maximum allotment for a carry-on.

Today on my way home from work I was almost side swiped by a car. My take out tacos went flying across the seat landing on the ground as my brakes stalled my vehicle just in time to avoid a wreck. I escaped thankfully unscathed, though wholly shaken. I needed someone to empathize and tell me it was okay – That I was okay. I crave days gone by when I could pick up the phone, dial my mama’s number and confidently confide in her knowing full well that when we got off the phone, my carry-on might just receive the green light – at least for this flight.


An Ode to Poetry

I have an entire Rubbermaid bin full of my writing dating way back to when I was about six years old and still using monochrome computers in school. One of my first computer-typed stories was titled, “The Wolf’s Tree.” I recall my brother assisting with the edits of this very short story involving a wolf trying to save the trees from being chopped down in the rainforest. I’ll save that amateur story for another post but I wanted to share a poem I came across in this Rubbermaid bin titled, “Have a Safe Flight.” I’m pretty certain I wrote it circa 2007/2008 before submitting an entire manuscript of poetry to an anthology. I rarely write poetry these days though I still maintain an affinity for the style. Anyhow, I give you the downright sappy, in young love, “Have a Safe Flight.”

You kissed her lips as she waved goodbye and then you muttered, “have a safe flight”

You held her tight as she cried herself to sleep in your bed that forsaken night

Brushing the hair away from her face, you gazed intensely into her tired, brown eyes

You made love to her on the sand and told her she was beautiful so many times

You nursed her to health when she was sick and convinced her it would be all right

You played her that song, the one about despite the distance, everything would be fine

Even confessed to her friend how you loved her and felt so lucky to have her in your life

You told her you wanted her and only her, making it all seem so worth the fight

When she returned, you told her you’d walk the many miles to her house late that night

Refused to drive until she gave you those kisses while holding up traffic at the green light

You slow danced with her, just the two of you in your room, amongst the candlelight

You invited her over, surprised her with dinner and even white wine

You ran her a hot bath, rubbed her back, played with her hair and still, stood the time

She gave you her everything because little did you know, you changed her life.

What the Hell

“What the hell, ma?” I sit on my living room floor, at my coffee table, staring at my mother’s photo in the frame, questioning the day by day, the events and the chaos, the life that has continued on and never ceased to continue on since she took her last breath. I’ve found myself in this position many times. The “what the hell” is sometimes out of anger that she’s not here to see me through it all and sometimes, the “what the hell” is a nod to her struggles that I am now experiencing firsthand. I have found that history most certainly repeats itself. Most of the time the “what the hell” is a genuine question that I desperately wish she could verbally answer.