Monday, September 28, 2009

Ripple - It's Not Just A Fortified Wine

This weekend, I learned the power of the connectedness of the universe. She smacked with with the old one-two (three, four, five) – the realization that our actions are not isolated events and random occurrences.

I learned that each of us has a responsibility to the other - that no person walks this earth alone. Each of us carries the hearts of those who’ve gone before and those who stand with us now. What we do with those relationships can affect people we love dearly and those we’ve never met.

I’m standing in the wake of a tremendous ripple – the result of a ridiculously unnecessary event, trying to figure out why and wondering where to go from here. Left or right? Stay or go? Or just close my eyes, listen and stand still - waiting for the ripple to subside?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Misery - Vintage 2007

Apparently, 2007 was a really rough period in my life. However, when the going gets tough, the Retired Superwoman writes. I've committed to being honest, though that's the most painful part of writing - the fear of offending, the fear of alienating, the fear of being judged as crazy or literarily (not a word) challenged. My painful writing is the most eloquent, though. I figured you guys deserve it...since you read all my other drivel. So here goes:

I want to curse loudly with
Abandon on the
streets at people walking by

I came up with this haiku as I was walking back to my office from lunch. The first thing I heard as I ascended the elevator from the food court was the deep, gravelly, authoritative voice of a man passionately hurling expletives. I knew without looking at him that he was one of the homeless contingent that populate the streets downtown. As he passed me, arms swinging carelessly in the early-October breeze, I grew envious of the anonymity granted him by his lack of physical address. There he was, yelling, calling someone a punk-ass, bitch-ass, weak-ass motherfucker who don’t know shit.

Today is one of those days when I’d like to express myself the same way. I feel the beginning of the tearing. It always happens about a week before my period, when I feel my sanity ripping away from my brain. I feel powerless to stop it. I see it happening. I feel it happening and yet I cannot reach out and grab it back.

If I could touch my sanity during these points, I imagine that it would be like trying to hold a weight with a sheet of wet facial tissue. The edges of my sanity are all soft and pliable and rip without provocation.

I hate myself for going crazy once a month. I wish someone would take me seriously when I say that I feel mentally imbalanced and that I should lock myself up for the week or so that this period lasts.

I am not a pleasant person to be around at this time. I am a failure. And a fat one at that. I hate my periods.

Everybody Needs A Glass Of Water Today....To Chase The Hate Awayyyyy!!!


I read that Tyler Perry is making a movie of “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf”. For the 5 out of 9 people who follow my blog who may not be familiar with the Ntozake Shange’s poem/play about the lives of several Black women, this is kind of a “big deal”.

A big deal in that the book and poster were fixtures in the homes of my mother and all her natural-haired, vegetarian, repertory theatre-acting, college educated, divorced, younger-lover-having, public-radio-listening, no-tv-having, food-co-op shopping, foreign car-driving, vitamin pill-popping, no-white-sugar-or-flour-eating, jazz concert-attending friends. I often thought that the cover art on the book was my own mother! As a precocious child, trying to navigate through all the stream-of-consciousness type expressions in the book proved difficult. I mean, I wasn’t old enough to have had those experiences, but reading the words made me feel like I was peeking through the keyhole at some serious grownfolks business and I needed to stop. Immediately.

Fastforward to adulthood and I can relate. Ntozake went IN with that work. All the way IN. So I can understand peoples’ – Black womens’ connections to and protection of her work. Their innate feeling that she was talking about not just the “lady in yellow”, but Sheryl Petterson from right outside Detroit. You know Sherryl. She’s somebody’s somebody. Hell, she might even be YOU.

Anyway, so I opened Facebook the other day and several women to whom I’m related in various degrees of closeness mentioned the upcoming Tyler Perry project. “Mentioned” may not be the proper operative word. More like “typed with vitriol and angst” – yeah…....

Oh, the Tyler Perry hate was RAMPANT that day. Folks had predicted his inevitable casting of Ciara and Beyonce in the lead roles. Madea was gonna make a debut. It was funny, no doubt. The snark in me ate it up like literary chum! Licking my chops at the puns, similes, clever innuendo….oh, it was a smorgasbord of cynicism with 32 oz Big Gulp of slushy haterade on the side.

But after digesting all the loathing and repulsion, I was left with a bad case of heartburn. Really. Here we are, back at the whole crabs in a barrel scenario.

That’s really all it is.

First of all, how do we know Tyler’s gonna be writing the screenplay? Who’s to say he’s directing it? How many of us Facebook movie moguls have the inside scoop to know exactly how this is gonna play out? As we’re sitting and typing and hating and signifying, Tyler Perry is constructing a media empire. He OWNS his studio.


Not leases.

Not borrows.

Not uses.


And when you OWN your OWN shit, you can hire who you want.

Who’s to say that Tyler Perry doesn’t understand the place that Shange’s work holds in the cultural hearts of generations of women? Who said he’s not gonna give an up and coming director, screenwriter, engenue – a little shine?

And you know what? At the end of the day, SO WHAT IF HE DOESN’T?

Because you’re typing on Facebook instead of submitting your proposal to him.

You tell ME what’s wrong with this picture!

Peace and love folks. And let’s ease up on the hate for one another. There’s room for all of us – if we just have enough faith and balls to try.

2007 Rant: Fitewolks

So, I was reading through some random stuff today and I came across this rant about an exchange I witnessed on the train and my feelings about it. I thought it was kind of tragically funny, and definitely reminsicent of my general snarky outlook on life back then. It's always nice to look back and reflect, even when you do it just to make yourself feel EVEN BETTER about your current station in life. So, here goes:

On the train today, I realized that I really don’t like white people. My personal dislike has very little to do with historical stuff like slavery and colonization. I mean, that probably figures into it on a broad scale, but not really so much on a personal scale. Like, there are some individual white people who are kind and giving and honest and forthright. But I’m not talking about my personal, one-on-one interaction because honestly, my personal interaction with them has been overwhelmingly more positive than negative.

Nope, I ain’t talkin’ bout that.

What I am talking about is the carelessness with which they wield their dominion.

Like I said, I was on the train this morning. A Black woman boarded. I’d say she was in her late thirties/early forties. She was lugging a large backpack and wearing some royal blue scrubs. She was obviously on her way to work in a medical facility. She was also OBVIOUSLY not a physician.

Now, before people get their panties up in a bunch about how I know she wasn’t a physician or how I can just come out and say she wasn’t a physician, it’s just something one knows after dealing with physicians and riding the train for eons.

Anyway, so she walks onto the train at the same time as a white woman. They end up sitting in the two seats in front of me. The black woman is having a time with her heavy backpack. The white woman says “what a bag you have there.” The black woman just kind of smiles. She’s obviously NOT interested in engaging in conversation this warm August morning after probably getting her kids off to school, waiting for several other trains and lugging that heavy ass bag. The white woman looks at her and says “are you a doctor?” The black woman looks at her and says “no, I’m in school as a medical assistant.” The white woman smiles indulgently and says “good.”


Now here’s where my dislike peaks.

First of all, you’re in her business. Rule number one for black people is that we don’t like random folks in our business like this. We also don’t appreciate it when we see it happening. That sharing of personal information is very much frowned upon by us – especially in public spaces. This white woman don’ know this black woman from the hot dog vendor downtown on 14th & K, but she felt the need to get all up in her b.i.

Secondly: “good”….what the hell??? I mean, who has given you the authority to put your stamp of approval on what she’s doing with her life? On some “good nigger” shit. Good. One word says soo much about where she feels she is in life and its relationship to this black woman medical assistant student. Good. To me, it says, “good that you’re doing something with your life”. “Good” implies to me that there’s a “bad” or less desirable response that she could have given that would have been frowned upon and thought to be less worthy of approval.

Pissed me off.