Saturday, January 15, 2011


“Lets do a show”, it was my only logical response.

There was nothing left to do. I thought I lost everything except art. I was slowly beginning to realize I had not lost my ability to create. Yes, there was nothing left to do. I asked Celeste to help me do a show.

“I am going to book a theater this week.” We talked about it for a year. I had not finished the script, but I was not worried. It needed to happen now. A show date was what I needed to push me along. There was no more job or relationship in the way. It was ironic, the things I thought were holding me back were what I desired most today. This was what rock bottom felt like and the only thing that was holding me together was art. I needed to validate this experiment I turned my life into two years prior. A show was the only thing that made sense.

I selected my date. It was going to be January 15, 2011. The date was symbolic on many levels. This the 60th anniversary of Pop’s Birth. He left us days shy of his 58th, but this night would be about life. Pop shared a birthday with Dr. Martin Luther King. Pop always said “I had it first.” That was not entirely true, Dr. King was about 30 years older, but I understood his reservations about sharing his birthday with a national holiday. It was the only holiday we both truly cared about. Pop instilled a love for all things historical, particularly black leaders.

Two years prior I said goodbye to Pop and in a frenzy of grief and panic I walked away from the only relationship I knew as an adult. I threw myself into a world I knew nothing about and did not understand. My thirst for life gave me some remarkable experiences and some risky ones I would rather take back. The risky ones make me question whether it was life I was really seeking. Nevertheless I survived. Though most days I want to retreat to the days before Pop was gone, when I could go to the house where I grew up and see Pop there watching his favorite sports show or outside on the porch. I could read him a poem or story I wrote, tell him about my latest accomplishment or plan. I go back home often, but he is gone.

Perhaps a show could make things right and be a new beginning. Sort of a rebirth. My re- birthday. One more thing I could share with Pop besides a last name and 23 chromosomes. Today I hear him saying “That’s my baby girl! She is producing a show”.

Tonight I am taking two years worth of mistakes, regrets, disappointment, frustrations and tears and I am leaving them on that stage. It’s SHOWTIME!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Opposite Side

She is young, beautiful, educated and ambitious with a thing for bad boys. We met at work a year ago when she was hired by The Organization. We were equally impressed by one another’s professionalism and flair for fashion. Needless to say, we hit it off. In a short period of time, Theresa and I became the best of lunch buddies and happy hour pals. Though we agreed on everything work related, I was content being the office prude, while she went out of her way to shock everyone in the break room by uttering the most inappropriate sexual references. I find uptight conservative men stimulating, while she enjoys the excitement of a ruff neck.

When Theresa invited me to her 27th birthday party of course I said yes. I wouldn’t miss her party, but I had to assess the situation. This is a love search, I have to know my odds. Number 1: The birthday girl. I know Theresa and I have different tastes in men, its highly likely she won’t pick a bougie club to hang on her birthday. Number 2: The location. The club was on the upper east side. That must be a good sign, its one of the wealthiest areas in New York City. Number 3: The occasion. Its her birthday, so who cares, I was going anyway!

I strutted down the 72nd Street in my signature stiletto knee high boots. Great boots are the only reason to love winter in my book. As a got closer to the club, I saw men walking inside wearing Tim’s, jeans, and hoodies. A girl was standing out front yelling at someone on the telephone. I reverted to point number 3 and got on line.

Theresa appeared with her entourage as any fabulous birthday girl would. She had on a pink mini dress gold accessories and the perfect lace front wig on her head.

“Ebby! Ebby!” Theresa pulled me by the arm and swept me into the club.
It was a dimly lit room filled with men in jeans and scantily clad women drinking out of a plastic cups. I had lost Theresa and her crew somewhere between paying my cover and coat check.

“Pardon me. Pardon” I repeated. I slide past couples grinding on one another to reach Theresa lounging at VIP table surrounded by bottles.

I knew immediately that my potential mate was not in the club that night, but it was alright. I needed a break from the pressures of having to meet someone. I grabbed a plastic cup, reverted back to point number 3 once again and resolved to let loose. I swayed to music I would not listen to under normal circumstances. I cheered for Theresa as all the R & B and Hip Hop songs contain the word birthday were played back to back.

“Go shorty! It’s your birthday”

I was resting from you dancing sitting on the stage by Theresa’s table. There were more VIP tables on the stage. I was just about to fill my cup with more Grey Goose and cranberry juice when I felt something wet spilling down my arm. I jumped up and someone pulled me.

“Get over here!” He said.

It was a fight and it was spreading! I kept moving back. Then I jumped on a table on the other side. A woman grabbed my arm that was still soaked from the spill.

“Stand on the couch the table is wobbly.” I followed her direction.
“My name is Alexis this is my friend Tasha.”
“I am Ebony.”
“It times like this when women have to look out for one another.” She was right.

The DJ started to play “Take it slow” by John Legend after announcing he needed to calm things down. Men with orange security vests appeared. The fighters were removed. The music changed to something more up tempo. I shook it off thinking at least I was wearing black. The party continued until 4AM.

Walking home from the subway I realized that night that I had a great time. I had a better time than I had at the Council party just days prior. I had not had that much fun in a long time. It was nice to take a break and to be in a space where I just didn’t care. Would I go back? Probably not! Well at least not until Theresa’s next birthday!