Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye John

I used to work as a concierge at an apartment complex. I loved my residents and many of them became like family to me. There was one man in particular that stood out to me. His name was John. John worked at BellSouth and always drove his truck home. Many times on his way up to his apartment he'd stop and say hello. There were times that John and I would talk for hours on end. Literally. He'd stand for nearly my whole shift as we laughed and talked about music.

John was a drummer and taught his son drumming. His son is now one of the world's most renowned drummers, John Blackwell Jr. Junior had played for Gladys Knight, Prince, and from what I just read on the internet, he still plays with Prince at times, but now plays with Maze and Frankie Beverly. John Sr. Was always really charming and a total gentleman. He wanted me to meet his son, but the day he was in town, I had a scheduling conflict. He'd tell me hilarious stories about his childhood and his brother Ernest he told me fascinating things about his whole family.

I regretted not staying in touch with him after I left and I even tried a few times to find him. I never succeeded. But I did manage to get news through a friend of mine that was a drummer who followed John Jr. He told me that Jr.'s daughter (Sr.'s grand daughter), Jia had died after a freak drowning in Chicago. My heart ached for him and again, to no avail, I tried to find him, hoping he'd still lived in Atlanta.

Last night, while hanging with my friend, Greg (the drummer) I learned that John Sr. had died. I'm not sure what the cause was, but I know that he'd had a few heart attacks previously. He was only 61 years old. Funny enough, the older I get, the younger 61 sounds. Especially when it's someone as full of life as John. We used to talk about our favorite singers and we shared a love of the Temptations. He told me that he once listened to "You're My Everything" by the Temps the whole way from South Carolina back to Atlanta. He told me the artists that he'd played with and spoke so highly of his son.

I don't know, I guess I thought I had so much more time to find John and reconnect. I was even thinking a few days ago that I may actually make it to the New Year without losing anyone that I knew. That would have been a first since I was 14 years old. I guess I was wrong. I just sent John Jr. a message, expressing my condolences, sharing my experience with his father, and telling him that I'd love to meet, as his father had suggested before. Who knows if he'll get my message. But regardless, John Blackwell Sr. was a hell of a person, full of love, life, and energy. He will be missed.

Rest in Peace, John.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Missed Chances

There's a guy named Adam that I went to high school with. I always thought he was cute, but he was a few grades older than me and didn't know me. Yearly 10 years later, I worked at a restaurant and I came across him. He was even cuter. I told him that I remembered him and we flirted briefly before exchanging numbers.

I'll never forget that our first date was on New Year's Eve in Maggiano's before I had to go to work waiting tables that night at Outback Steakhouse (don't judge me!) He walked me to my car and he kissed me so softly. We literally stopped traffic as he kissed me, while cars piled up waiting for me to get into my car so they could have my spot. The other drivers didn't even blow their horns. I remember the look of one waiting driver as she smiled about our embrace and even playfully cheered us on.

We never slept together. Well, technically we did, but not really. We had a night of heavy petting and the next morning, we woke up and started briefly, but then stopped because I had to go to work. It was literally less than 3 minutes and no one "finished" so I only half count it. But let me tell you, we both felt sparks. We talked about it later and agreed that we'd only been dating for a few weeks and although we could tell it would be incredible when we finally did get it on, we should wait.

A few weeks more we dated and he eventually disappeared. He stopped calling and he stopped answering my calls. I was hurt. He was perfect. He always told me that I was beautiful. He had a gorgeous smile. We had a great time together. And he disappeared on me. It took a couple of weeks but I got over it. Then he called me on Valentine's Day. I saw his number and my heart leaped. I anxiously answered. "Hello." I answered while smiling. I knew it was him. Silence. "Hello," I said a little more curious. Again he said nothing. Was this a cruel joke? Why call me on Valentine's Day of all days and then say nothing? He was one of the few cases of men that I knew I'd loved from the beginning, he came in, swept me up, suddenly dumped me, and then called on the most romantic day of the year just to breathe in my ear? I responded by saying "just leave me alone and don't call me again, Adam" and I hung up.

I don't remember how it happened, but we saw one another again some time later. We became friends although there remained sexual energy. He later on started dating another woman and I later on dated and had a child by Pookie. He and I maintained a distant friendship. We eventually talked about what happened and he confessed that he cared about me deeply but at the time he couldn't commit to me. He missed me which is why he called on Valentine's day, yet he couldn't muster up the courage to say anything. Yet somehow, he managed to get a girlfriend and move in with her a few months later. We haven't spoken in a few years although I've continued to look him up on Facebook and Myspace.

Sometimes I think back on us and wonder if things had been different if we'd have slept together that night. There are only two men that I consider to be "the one that got away." Adam and Omar. If Adam and I hadn't stayed together, perhaps we would have at least really felt one another, at least once. Maybe it would have taken us to the next level. Maybe not. But I'm still curious. I don't think I'd sleep with him now. I'm happy with my life and I have too much to lose. He only creeps into the corners of my mind on occasion. But there will always exist the thoughts of "if only..."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Getting Our Grown Women On

So I've been hurling my guts out with a nasty stomach bug that I've gotten from my son. Thankfully I'm finally feeling better. I didn't want my first big Christmas with my family to be a bust as I kept running to hurl so I'm glad that my stomach is calming down on me.

As the holidays draw closer, I'm glad that some of my fabulous female friends are finally getting booed up. I've always thought that my female friends were awesome beyond belief so I love knowing that there are men that recognize their awesomeness as much as I do. Gone are the days of chasing emotionally unavailable men with girlfriends and other baggage. Gone are the days of chasing men that can never love us as much as they love themselves. Gone are the days of sitting back and waiting to be the number one woman in a man's life. My female friends are finding happiness in good men and are not only liking these men, they're being pursued in return. I love it when they call me and tell me that their men are taking them out and ready for a future. I'm glad because I'm one of the few people I know in a moderately happy relationship but now my wonderful female friends are finding men that are free of games and headaches. I'm glad too because they deserve it.

As we gotten older we've cried together about the men we loved that didn't love us back and truthfully it hurt like hell at the time. But what's the point of having your ass kicked by love if you're stupid enough to repeat the same mistakes? Only a total moron would jump from one man that doesn't love her to another one. My girlfriends have taught me that as we leaned on one another, we also learned from one another. My friend that had gotten caught up in the Facebook drama has since decided to leave dude alone and is now being courted by a man that is fully waiting and available to her. Another girl has a man that has encouraged her to go back to school, and my other friend has a man that she's really digging.

I'm glad that we're no longer waiting for men to love us back. No woman in her 30's and beyond should be that stupid.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bullshit, Cheating, and Suicide

A while ago, I wrote about my friend Julie going through some drama via Facebook. She started sleeping with her exboyfriend Derek, knowing he was engaged but later found out that he and his fiance have a baby on the way (here). Well, since then, of course things got thicker. Well first off, we found out that there's only one baby on the way. Apparently his fiance has a dummy page. Well, that is still a relief, but that didn't take away from the fact that dude has a baby on the way with his fiance, which is too much drama fro Julie to deal with. My homie decided to cut her losses and tell the dude to beat it, even though he kept calling her and begging her to stick with him. But his fiance has since then gone through his phone and reached out to Julie.

She sent Julie a text message saying that she'd noticed that he'd been calling her a lot and sending her pictures and she just wanted to know what was going on before she married the dude. My heart went out to the fiance, but my loyalty was with Julie. I told my friend to respond with something along the lines of 'I can't help you, but go with your gut and good luck on that.' Julie decided to just not respond, but she warned Derek to get his girl, otherwise she might just pick up the phone next time.

This morning I woke up and checked one of my favorite sites,  Someone had emailed Frank, the person that runs the site and said that they'd recently gone through suicide prevention counseling and was able to talk a suicidal friend out of ending it all. I briefly thought to myself that I wouldn't mind going through training like that. Then later I checked my Facebook page and saw that another homegirl of mine was about to go off on some dude's girl and she needed me to talk to her. I told her to hit me stat.

She called and I asked what the issue was. She told me that it was about the dude she'd traveled to Texas to visit a while back. Dude was her first love and they'd reconnected, prompting her to consider moving her and her children to be next to him. She went and visited and she was stuck in a hotel the whole time and pissed about how she went through so much to be next to him, yet he ignored her when they were finally alone. However, him ignoring her happened after she'd slept with him, the first guy she'd slept with in over a year. She called me pissed off on her last day in Texas and I told her to make the best of if and go out and explore the neighborhood she was visiting. When she got back, she called dude to tell her that she made it home, but HIS WIFE answered. Blow.

Apparently dude had still been calling her, begging her to be with him, even though she said she didn't want to hear it if he hadn't left the wife. I wished she'd have told me, but I would have told her to stop taking his phone calls the moment she got home, but I digress.

Anyway, it seems that dude's wife had started calling my friend, talking reckless. My friend hadn't told the wife what the real issue is, but she's tempted. I told her that since he's the real asshole in the whole issue, she should tell the wife what really went on. That's when she started crying and told me that all three of the men she's loved in her life have done her wrong and she was tired of it. She told me that she'd been having thoughts of suicide and was even thinking of it the last time we'd talked, although she'd never mentioned it. She broke down and said how unfair it is that she only wants a man to love her but all of them are full of shit.

I listened to her cry and told her that first off, I wanted to kick her ass for not telling me she'd felt like that before. Then she told me that she thought I was working at the time and didn't want to bother me. I assured her that no matter what was going on, if she needed to talk like that, my door was always open. Then I talked about my time with my ex and even Pookie and how at times, I too had felt the same way. I said how fucked up it is that Black men seem to think that breaking hearts makes them bigger and better than others. I told her that my ex told me that he'd loved me and was pretty much living with me at one point and didn't give a shit how he ended it. And then I told her that at one point Pookie was gonna leave me high and dry while pregnant and not look back. I was going to really get into my story, but then she had to go get ready for church. She promised to call me later.

If anybody knows how it is to have your heart broken and want to end it all, it's me. I know that my homie is hurting, but she'll be okay. At least I hope she is. It's a damned shame how cruel and selfish some people can be. I'll never understand how some men can be so cruel and callous. What the hell do they think they're gaining? Do they feel like big shit by breaking the hearts of women that they start off begging to love them?

I don't know why men do the bullshit that they do. But I do know that I've been there myself and that we've all gotta lean on each other.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Malika vs. Sociopaths

One of the girls I work with is a sociopath. Seriously. I’m not just saying that because she’s a pain in the ass. She doesn’t care about anything. She doesn’t care about her future. She doesn’t care about rewards and treats. She doesn’t care about being punished. She doesn’t care about hurting others, either emotionally or physically. At times when I see children on the news that have harmed their classmates or shot up the school, a chill runs down my spine because I know that she’s capable of doing the same thing one day. I’m woefully unprepared and unqualified to give her the intense therapy she needs so I do my best, which I know isn’t enough.

It makes no difference to her when I tell her that she’ll never get into the college of her choice if she keeps fighting and acting out. I told her about how good she has it, having loving parents, and I told her a little about Keisha, who was locked in closets and choked by her mother. She looked at me and giggled. That has been the only time that I’ve ever wanted to lay hands to one of my kids. I turned away from her for fear that I would surely say something to her that would garner my getting fired. I still do what is professionally required of me when working with her, but I don’t have anywhere near the emotional attachment to her that I have with my other kids. Going to see her is a chore for me, while I’d hang out with my other kids for free (which I actually have done).

I took her to see a therapist one day and I explained to him that of all the kids I’ve ever worked with, she’s the only one that has never gotten that spark. The “spark” I refer to happens in many children with discipline problems. They will talk to a mentor who tells them about college and growing up to be doctors and lawyers and there will appear a small spark in that child’s eye that lets you know that they hear you. Don’t get me wrong, seeing the spark doesn’t mean that the child is going to suddenly fly right, but at least in the back of their mind they have it stored that they want to live a life out of jail and full of enrichment. At the end of their session, once she’d left the room, I told the doctor that I believed her to be a sociopath. He looked at me and casually nodded and shrugged as if we’d been discussing the weather. I asked him how I was supposed to help her. He told me that the only thing I could do was to keep taking her out and talking to her. A lot of good that’s proven to do (not!)

I think the reason that I have such a hard time dealing with her is that she reminds me of two other sociopaths I know: my former roommate Aliya and my stalker, Chloe. They particularly came to mind as I read something about sociopaths on the internet this evening.

“There are stories of people diagnosed as sociopaths who did improve to some degree, with the most ceaseless and diligent help. But since the vast majority of this huge body of people (there are more than three hundred million sociopaths on Earth) cannot get that kind of attention, they turn to abusing those they envy, and often to crime. It is certainly vengeance: "If I can't have any of this, why should you?" This is the real reason sociopaths lash out at strong and kind people. No matter what they say, they know that inside, they are always empty and damaged beyond repair.”

My fallout with Aliya was brutal. She was the girlfriend of my boyfriend’s best friend. We were opposites in a lot of ways. I was outgoing, she was more of an introvert. She enjoyed trying to prove how smart she was to the world, and despite me seeming like a dingbat, I didn’t care enough about others to prove myself. I enjoyed dressing up like a girl on occasion, she never wore a skirt the whole time I’d known her. Things seemed cool at first but they took a left turn once we’d started living and working together.

She’d get angry if I wanted to go out on the weekend with other friends instead of staying home with her. While she’d had her secure clique of cronies that we worked with, I hung with them on occasion, but still had many outside interests. Suddenly my coworkers would get weird with me. They’d get pissed off that I didn’t exercise with them on weekends, despite me explaining that I worked my second job on weekends and that I worked out during the week. I explained to them that they technically got to see more of me than anyone else, but they didn’t get it. They hung out so much, but that was also their only job. I had a second job, plus I was in school full time. They grew to resent me and making me feel ostracized and bad, despite me never doing a wrong thing to any of them. The job became unbearable.

I later found out that Aliya was a major liar. I became skeptical of her once I realized that she’d tried to keep me from getting next to Kelsy while I was still crushing on him. I hadn’t thought about it until later, but I got way more guy attention than Aliya. I guess what she didn’t see was that yeah, I got attention from men, but many of them only wanted sex (which they weren’t getting from me). I’ve always had a guy around me or another, so I’ve never been single. She, looking back on it, was overweight, had pimples, a horrible fashion sense, and had a hard time keeping a guy. But still I always supported her.

Eventually I realized that she was trying to get me fired from my job. I got written up for some bullshit one day so I quit by throwing the write up in my boss’ face, walking out, and not looking back. A short while later I ended up homeless because of her (long story) and one of our guy friends was the savior that helped me move since I was carless, in school, had to find somewhere to move quickly, and only had one small part time job.

That friend, Charmer, will always have a soft place in my heart for what he did for me during that time. Although I’d realized that Aliya was crazy (and I still have no clue why she did what she did to me) Charmer told me that she was obsessed with me. Charmer said that she talked about me for hours on end. He knew the names of guys I’d been dating, he knew where I worked, he even knew that my car had broken down a few days before and that a mechanic had jipped me. I hadn’t talked to Charmer in some years, but he knew too damned much about me.

He said that he would ask her to put me on the phone at times and she would refuse. He said that she’d tell him what a slut I was. He said that one day supposedly a guy I dated told her that the sex with me was bad. Charmer and I dated briefly way back when, but his busy schedule kept us from going anywhere. While she and I were cool, she’d tell me stories of how much he wanted her because she was apparently the only woman to ever reject him. Since I’d long since moved on from him, I told her to go for it and that he was a good guy. When the dust settled, he told me that he found her physically repulsive (as did most men) and that he had no idea that she’d been so fascinated with him.

Anyway, after that, I moved on. My former coworkers and friends no longer talk to me, despite me never doing a thing to them. I’ve even tried to explain to them that I’m not the monster that she’s made me out to be, but to no avail. I later developed a shell that made it really hard for me to trust people. I may smile and nod at most people, but overall, I’m always wondering what they want from me. I’ve met people that told me how awesome I am and that they’d like to be friends and I wonder if they’re just jealous. I learned to make people prove themselves and not just believe what I’m told.

And then there was Chloe. I’m not going to go into the whole story involving her (I’ve done that essentially over various posts so I’m not going to bother with it here) but she too was and is a sociopath. It’s a shame that her best friend can’t see how selfish and manipulative she really is, but I’m pretty intuitive and I get the feeling that the day will soon come. Chloe has felt no qualms about relishing in my misery and enjoys playing the victim, while the whole time enjoying attacking me.

I’m thankful that the restraining order has stopped her for now, but I have no doubt in my mind that she will start stalking me again eventually. She quickly apologizes for the things she has put me through, and she often tries to make nice (or so she claims) but after supposedly trying to make nice, she’ll contact my boyfriend or best friend with more insane lies. And I promise you the crazy bitch isn’t missing a wink of sleep behind it. This particular clip reminds me of her.

“Sociopaths can be really charming, but be wary because they are very manipulative and domineering. Sociopaths tend to be compulsive liars with a grandiose sense of self. They also lack the ability empathize with the pain and problems of other people.” That is Chloe Colbert to a tee. And I know that I’m not the only person that sees that in her. We still have mutual friends but I know that she has tried hard to make them think ill of me. Thankfully they know me enough to not believe her lies.

I say all of that to say that working with my young friend isn’t easy. I found an interesting link here about sociopaths (here). Apparently I'm not the only one that's dealt with them. The interesting thing is that so many people have gone through the exact same kind of shit from them. I know the kind of horror and manipulation that she is capable of. I hope that her family and friends know what they’re in for. Because I know. And I damned sure don’t want to be around for it.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bedsheets and the Nook

Last night, I'd spent the night at Daisy's house so that I could drop her off at the airport this morning. On the way to the airport, I'd told Daisy that although I love Pookie with all of my heart, I tell her that there are things about him that I don't know if I could deal with forever if we ever got married. Daisy then reminded me that almost all married couples feel the same way and that I shouldn't let one or two things keep me from him. I was so relieved to hear her say that because she was right.

Before I left last night I threw our bedsheets in the washer and dryer. Pookie was at work that evening, but I suspected that he'd be so exhausted by the time he got home that he wouldn't fuss with the sheets, but instead go straight to sleep without them. When I got home this morning, I immediately climbed into bed and went back to sleep. A few hours later, I woke up and realized there still hadn't been any sheets on the bed. I didn't care though. Pookie and I held one another as his arms wrapped around me. Strangely enough when we first started dating he told me that he couldn't sleep holding another person. And now here he is, contouring himself to me in his sleep. Every time my legs moved, so did his. Our feet tickled one another. I was in heaven. I heard his heart beat. I felt his chest heave in and out as he breathed silently. I thought back on when I heard Fred's heart beat and I realized that this was different. This wasn't temporary. This wasn't borrowed. This wasn't about him trying to get into my pants. This was me with the man that holds my heart and loves me regardless. This was the man that held me in his sleep and grabbed my waist and pulled me close to him while we rested together.

A moment later I looked up at the bed and thought about the missing sheets. It triggered a memory. I thought about one of my last conversations with David. After his hooker found out about us, he suddenly became cold and callous. He yelled at me. He told me I'd meant nothing to him. I reminded him of me driving him around and being there for him when he had nothing for nearly 10 years. I told him that I'd loved him more than I'd loved myself. That's when he said to me that if I'd loved him, I'd have put sheets on the bed. To be brief, one morning when we were together, I woke up at 6 in the morning to go get him from work and for some reason, there was no sheets on the bed and he'd complained about it. I was exhausted and didn't care and told him to sleep without them. And now here, he didn't respect me enough just to say, no offense Malika, but I gotta take care of home (which I would have respected, since I was the one that had urged him to marry the disease infested tramp in the first place). The only way he could justify his lack of compassion toward me was the fucking sheets.

I sat back and thanked my lucky stars for finding a man that loves me so much. I literally have to tear myself away from him as we kiss each other goodbye when he leaves for work. I also thanked the heavens that I found a man that loves me for me. Pookie loves me honestly. I never pretended to be someone that I wasn't. I never had to degrade or haggle with his exwife (although, I must admit that my pregnancy hormones didn't always equate to me being lady like all of the time). He is too much of a man to want women fighting over him. He hates conflict in our home. When I'm pissed off and want to shut down, he's the one that tells me to grow up and share what's on my mind. Whenever there was a woman sniffing around him, I urged him to be with her if that's what he chose. But he always came back to me. I'm a woman that loves honestly and it takes a real man to recognize and appreciate that.

I lay my fingers in between Pookie's and squeezed. He squeezed back. His hands were so large and soft, yet manly next to my dainty fingers. He shifted a little and squeezed me further in.

A few days ago, I watched an old episode of Sex and the City and in it, Carrie pissed off her boyfriend, Aidan. I don't remember what the conflict was, but even though he said there was no problem, she could tell that there was because when they were laying in bed, she said there was no "nook." She explained the nook as the part of the man's body by his armpit, where the woman curls up when they cuddle. Him keeping his arms close to himself meant he didn't want to cuddle. I know the nook and I'm a fan of it myself.

I got up for a second and came back to the bed. He was awake by then and stretched his arm out to anticipate holding me when I reentered the bed. Pookie had my nook waiting. And even with no sheets, it was perfect for both of us.