Writer’s EP

A study in music, experience, black women’s pride and fuzzy feelings.

Keshi (2 soon)

Standing at a crowded street's edge, you heard a song from an unknown artist on a radio station you never listen to cascade into your headphones. An invasion you were comfortable with considering you were just trying to pass the time during your daily commute.

At its beginning a rush of cool air ran over your bare skin- goosebumps rose in gentle tingles that relaxed your neck and back. Chiming and guitar strummings bubbles memories from blurry recesses of your mind. It brings you back to that summer you spent with your head stuck out a dirty window of a crowded beatdown truck. Surrounded by people you’ll never see again and thus are only relevant to your life in that moment alone. Your face numb to harsh winds whipping your features around. People that spoke in that beautiful comforting southern twang so common in this region of America. People. Not just random people. A family- part of a family. A set of brothers and sisters all young, naive, excited and afraid of where this dirty truck would be stopping next. You said nothing as you listened to them try to figure out if they should day-stay a hotel or get a hostel. Which was safer, less expensive, and less of an inconvenience for the driver. You knew you’d be camping out in a 24 hour dinner with a half burned grilled cheese with tomatoes that made it soggy and inedible. Sneak a nap until their barely 16 year old waiter shyly woke you up and told you their manager said to finish or leave. You’d order another plate of something cheap like fries or a hot chocolate or maybe even a soda- most 24 hour places live by the saying ‘you pay you stay.’ You’d survive like this until you couldn’t afford toast and were forced back home. But at this moment it didn’t matter. You still had time. In that -this- moment you are alive. Now. Only now.

That’s where his voice and his voice alone disarms you. His siren’s call of a voice rises through the guitar chords, and the chiming. It’s not just his lyrics that sends your body down a rolling, roaring stream made from the warm tears of Father Sun and Mother Moon, forced out from countless years of being separated from their lover and children.

He speaks- rather he sings. His words slurred still it manages to wrap you in a blanket of everything you are and wish to be. Not quite english, not another language either. He’s speaking to you in a language that has yet to be discovered- claimed, butchered and documented.

Water. His voice was warm water, sweeter than honey cascading down your bare skin to strip you of all transgressions. You laid back into that water, you floated down that stream barely able to keep your nose above that salty sea. Riding on waves made of your own self destruction you gasp. You realize this voice is staring at you. This voice. This man. This man you’ve never met stares into your eyes. He stares right through you. His eyes wide open to your weakened disposition- they were as clear as they were brown. Honey brown lines that mixed with black seemed connected to a past you can not see. Your irises were insulted- embarrassed by how his depth bastardized your own eyes' origins. Disconnected from a source you were unfamiliar with, let his eyes insult yours. For fear of losing this connection to a source through him. This man. This voice.

He’s speaking a life into existence. A life as steady as his plucking of his guitar strings. Is it your life? Perhaps but then again how could a sea give birth to land?

Something in those strings reminds you of summer winds. Gentle, cooling, calm. A pit in your stomach dropped. Fresh air flooded your lungs with such a vicious sting it seemed this wind was sent by God Herself. He’s familiar. Yet so new. He disappears as his voice faded. Under the guitar strumming. Under the wind chimes. Your chest. Your poor heart couldn’t take it.

Sobbing. You’re sobbing in public now. Those beside you quickly passed you by, their shoulders brushed against yours and you were suddenly aware. Aware of the eyes- brown eyes, green eyes, blue eyes, eyes- that stared at you in passing. Their gazes bore holes into your skull in those quick glances. You could feel the gazes of the women and men of the cafe right beside you burned into you. The young daughter of a street vendor walked around you as she tried to hand out coupons. Your knees went Almost invisible. Almost wasn’t enough to hide you. Baked bread and gas filled your empty lungs and you were robbed of the fresh air of those rolling hills. You wanted them back. Those rolling hills, those rolling hills he turned them to rolling seas that swallowed you.

Chiming started again. Chimes and chimes alone remain. Your sobs remain.

NIKI (Chilly)

She was swallowed alive. No mistake about it. It was a tight squeeze. She could barely breathe for tears of joy threatened to seal her throat shut if she made a single move. Here. Now. This. In the arms of the blankets of darkness that had her tight in their grasp. Spinning, swirling, whirling. Every caress made her squirm. She didn’t know what to do, she didn’t know what she wanted, she just knew through the haze of this dormant desire she wanted to be touched. Covered in marks of temporary claim. A claim akin to worship of not just the body but that of the mind.

The covers shifted as she tried to stop herself from wiggling away.

She desired so deeply to merge with a bed she was not familiar with just to escape the chill of an air conditioned room. December was already chilled enough without the absence of a space heater in a large empty apartment that was not her own. Her stomach growled with a cry of its own emptiness. The shots she had taken just two hours ago did nothing for her now either the exercise or from her own tolerance. She would sell her left pinkie toe for a tequila sunrise. The woman turned onto her side to face a more intriguing space in the walls, the ceiling offered nothing but creaks to count. She looked out the window and froze.

She didn’t notice the elbow of a man she’d just met three hours ago poking her in the back. She didn’t notice the sheen of sweat that separated her and the black weighted blankets she clenched so tightly under her chin. She didn’t notice snoring, rocking, and shifting. She didn’t notice her arms wrapping around her chest which vaguely smelled of vanilla. Nor did she care to notice her own heartbeat mixing with the man beside her’s. His scent sticking to her collarbone, his leg gently laying on top of her own, his chest now pressing into her back, her desire for touch disappearing, her body relaxing, her eyes desiring to shut. Her heartbeat had fallen out of sync with his when it skipped a beat or two. She didn’t notice the green walls with sloppy drawn white polka dots surrounding her. She didn’t notice the lack of a night stand beside her, or the brown full body double door dresser near the door or the two free standing dressers on the walls beside the bed. She didn’t notice the lack of photos of obvious family members. She didn’t notice the panthera pictures of himself and two other young men during barbeques pinned on the walls. She didn’t notice they looked alike where probably blood related. She didn’t notice his collection of cigarette boxes that had never been opened due to the plastic still being attached. She didn’t notice his grip tightening on her waist.

She noticed the orange sun rising right in front of her. It looked less than the size of her own eyeball, it’s small presence was only exacerbated by the thick pink, yellow and orange clouds that floated just in front of it. Red, green, yellow lights rimmed the bottom of the white window seal interpreting the golden glow that had taken place over the corners of the seal. The tips of other apartment complexes had gone gold as well. Inviting and beautiful.

She heard the winds howling threatening to come in there if she didn’t come out. When it relented she heeded its call. She slipped from her place in bed. She shivered. She missed spring. She picked black bra, panty set from the floor, slipped on her neon orange form fitting dress and headed for the door. The white trimmed, gray door that echoed the howls of the wind. A portale into winter. A winter that would last far beyond the cold months. Already able to see her own breath she bit her tongue to hold in a whimper. She pushed herself. Back out into the cold.

She needed to be swallowed again.

Dean (What 2 do)

She smiled at the ceiling. 5 am… had never been so peaceful before. She hadn’t found the wee hours of any morning to be anything but an obstacle. Somehow waking of her own volition instead of an old school bell alarm clock made the difference.

Perhaps it was a mix of her own will and the colors Mother Nature painted her new apartment walls without asking first. This may be her right seeing as the collection of cactuses at the window welcomed her into the room. Rose gold was a good color for the room she realized as she watched the shadows fly across the walls. It made the room come alive with the warmth she needed in a city in which she knew no one, knew nothing about, had a fresh start in. Rose gold reminded her of her English classroom in her senior year of college. Her professor had strung up three sets of fairy lights at the front that shined a rose gold color on a presenter. “It makes people a little less nervous,” her professor had said every time someone asked. It was a nice gesture though it did not always work for her- the stress of the possibility of failing was far too great to be out shined by rose gold lights. Other times it reminded her to keep calm and not take herself so seriously when presenting unless she’s presenting a serious topic. For a moment she debated coloring the entire house in that one color but decided against it. She would grow sick of living in it within a week. Though she may even match her office to her room to keep herself from dreading the cold, stiff environment filled with cliques of people who have known each other for months already. As she had only been there for a week her co-workers were still trying to figure out her place amongst them. She almost didn’t want a place with them, it would root her deeper than intended in a job that she meant to make temporary. Just like this city, and this apartment.

Perhaps it was the mix of her own will, Mother Nature’s paintings and steady RnB instrumentals she left on for the sake of filling the silence. The constant tapping of drum sembles rose above even the harmony of piano notes, artificial clapping and wind chimes. It synced up with the beating of her heart. Singers sang of summer romances, and heartbreaks. Summer romances she had never had in order to focus on work in order to get away from her home city. Heart breaks that she would have no experience in dealing with, no past lovers to teach her how to breathe after they took her breath away. It was for the best, she decided. Maybe she would purchase speakers to place in the empty living room so she could have the entire place blanketed by gentle music at all hours of the day. It may even help her sleep through the night. She used to listen to music all night as a teenager in high school. It really helped her stress induced insomnia.

Perhaps it was her own will, Mother Nature’s paintings, and steady RnB instrumentals. Perhaps she was just in a good mood for once. Perhaps. She smiled at the ceiling.

Jung Jinwoo (Games)

There was no reason for Keyshia to feel this way. This irritation she felt deep in the pits of her stomach that left a trail of slimy vile in her mouth that went straight down her throat. Where it was able to choke out pathetic cries of her discontent. She ignored the obnoxiously loud clicking of her heels on the cement of the back streets of a sleeping city. It made the city feel more desolate and empty than it already was. Her very heels made her presence known to the opponents of the low maintenance low rent red brick apartments. Apartments who’s lights where still on. Apartments connected to another set of apartments and another and another. Apartments with two windows facing the streets allowing for a bunch of people to look down at her. Apartments with only three stories each that were probably packed to the brim with families trying to make ends meet. The quiet, the faint buzz of speeding cars was quickly left behind her as she sped walked through the litter filled streets. Her legs hurt from how hard she was bringing down her feet onto concrete as if the city itself was the reason she had to feel this way.

Her hand reached up to give her throat a message to give it some form of release but only found an annoyance. She rubbed the white smooth bumps of precious white jewels wrapped around her neck like an expensive collar. They left tingles like their presence lingered on her skin. Like fingertips. Like rose petal kisses in the middle of the night. Like fingers in her hair. Like count side seats at play offs. Like the echoing melody of soft violins and candle lit dinner under a glass 100 year old chandelier. Like fingernails scratching her cheek in a viscous smack from a woman she didn’t even know existed. A woman who shouldn’t exist. Keyshia rested the palm of her hand against the pearls. His pearls. Expensive, real, non refundable, easy to lose pearls. She saw the damn receipt. Got to hear him brag about the gifts he was able to give her. Got to be his pride and joy as arm candy wearing what he bought.

Keyshia’s body did not communicate to her brain what it was about to do. Her nails racked down her own chest as she ripped apart the metal wire that drew blood from an already bleeding woman. A cold wave of energy washed over her skin as a gust of humid wind smacked her in the face. Beads bounced across concrete. Heavy plastic rained onto the streets like wades of 100 dollar bills into the gutters of an impoverished part of the city. The part she was never meant to return to herself. Never forced to walk through again. Never supposed to retreat with her tail between her legs. And she wasn’t. She kicked a handful of beads and watched them scatter. White wasn’t her color anyway. He would’ve known that if she had given her all his time and attention. Keyshia’s cheek throbbed with the memory of a woman’s palm snapping her back to reality. A woman with jet black hair, that she used to attempt to cover the stream of tears that smeared her mascara. A woman who’s bright red full lips let out the most haunting shierk of a man’s name she had ever heard. A woman who’s dominant soft tiny hand protected a diamond ring.

Half assed son of a bastard child! Keyshia threw down the pearls she held in her hands with the conviction of Oshun retracting her water from a disrespectful world of man.

On one hand she was as calm as they come- dead inside as one would say. On the other side she wanted blood. She could taste blood on the tip of her tongue. This would have to suffice for now. Keyshia's shoulders slumped.

She didn’t need this. She didn’t need him. She didn’t even want him any more. She brought her heels down as she strolled down the unknown yet familiar street. She needed to find a new way to live.

Dean (instagram)

“I don’t quite understand.” She managed to stammer out. Her tongue was caught to the roof of her mouth. She could barely breathe now. Ultra hot tears rolled down her cheeks right down past her ears into her hair. She didn’t understand a damn thing. The vast infinite universe was at her fingertips at all times. A connection to the entire world, the ability to make such a difference would shake the prior recreations of such movements to their courses. She was as alone as her mentality would allow. She was able to create her own reality within her profession without limits and be paid for it. Yet she wasn’t satisfied. Somehow she wasn’t satisfied. Could she drink from the fountain of eternal complacency and still be thirsty? In this moment it seemed so.

She huffed into the thin fall air of her rose gold room as she stared through the ceiling. She tried in vain to push this feeling from her body as she knew it was temporary. Yet here she was. In the mists of what could be characterized as a low level existential panic attack. In her room. Unnecessarily alone. An overwhelming crash of fear ran her over harder and more violent than her leg being torn off by a fret train. It wasn’t simply a desire to seem like she existed. It was a panicked need to be a person in the eyes of an uncaring, unfeeling, unfamothable society that would most likely benefit from her death in just 40 years considering the booming funeral industry. It was akin to being stabbed in the gut by a child one had carried through a forest fire using their own skin as a shield from the smoke. It happens.

This wouldn’t be happening if she didn't take her unrecognized, unaccomplished, starving-artist butt online. She wouldn’t have seen the pictures of beautiful smiles of talentless people achieving stardom and financial independence off of nothing but dumb luck. Cough E.L James cough. She wouldn’t have gone through her own ‘following’ ‘follows’ page to find that 50% of followers whom weren’t her readers instead were friends and family. The other 50% of whom she was paying in lessons and subscriptions in order to perfect her craft. She wouldn’t have seen a video of a faceless crowd screaming their hearts out with glow sticks raised for a single person who had been forced to perform poppy songs only because their natural voice wouldn’t sell. Cough Lady GaGa Cough. She wanted that. Not that situation but that valuation. That ability to captivate the entire world and scar the world’s collective memory whilst she lounges in lavaish from the fruits of her own success. Create. Books. Movies. Fanfiction. Music. Poems. Article. A video game. A freaking invention. Anything. She needed to create a full product, have it in her hands and be happy with it now. Create. She needed to be right now or lose her chance forever. She wished she wasn’t so damn camera shy.

She just… She just wanted to be known by another person beyond those almost obligated to acknowledge her existence. Aka her mother, father and siblings. Friends could just as easily affirm her place in the world. Boost her up to a mental palace of immortality. Yet they, friends, were the ones she had to be the most cautious of. Any of them at any time could turn against her if they chose to consider social interactions as just a game for all involved. Thus discarding her and destroying her palace with the ease of wine glasses shattering upon cement grounds. The objective, although different for each person depending on their needs, is still to use another person. Even if the objective is to have a pleasant person to speak to, it's still using them for the sake of one’s self. To use this person to take a break from the superficial world that people create for the sake of their own needs.

What the fuck was one’s REAL SELF anyway? How does one access that for themselves if they constantly have to be on guard all day and all night for fear of the real threats of the outside world? How does one be 100% honest with themselves without being an ass about it? Burned bridges are only good when one wants to blind another with the dust. A test, a show, a grand performance of their ability and strength. Even though lighting a match is the easy part. What’s hard is setting that metal bitch of a bridge a blaze. Regardless she felt herself fading into herself as if she wasn’t allowed to simply be without reason.

If she did not create, if she did not have something to gain from the endless years of suffering, if she did not have something to show for all the years she took up space she was nothing. She wasn’t even allowed to exist within herself. Within these four walls she called a home. A house. An apartment off the south east of NYC that she had to split 3 bedrooms with 4 other people. A grand total of 5 people in one roach infested, broken down over priced place for the sake of a dream she had almost given up on five times in the past two months.

It’s like the horseman of famine itself had stationed itself in her chest. A muggy kind of air that inflicted her lungs that made her gasp for air. A stillness of mind and body that would make her question if she was even really breathing. Dry, all over. Still, all over. Needy, all over. She wasn’t crying of her of own volition; she simply couldn’t stop her eyes from trying to save themselves. She had stopped the pop music of yesteryear an hour ago to make sure she didn’t further poison her mind with messages of ‘getting that money’ and being ‘on the upswing’. Cause who the hell was she even fooling? Not a damn soul. The subliminal message of ‘you aint nothing if you don’t got what I got’ made her want to apologize to the trees for her wasting the oxygen it made.

An issue of her’s? Maybe. A sector of her consciousness she needed to deal with. Perhaps. A painful source of inspiration in her calmer stable moments? Hell yeah. But therapy was expensive even with damn good insurance and it’s hard to explain to friends why you keep ditching them once a week to go somewhere without creating a whole nother lie that would end badly. Either she spills the truth and they shun her for thinking she'd be crazy. Or she keeps up the lie until she runs out of money because a tip only cover so fucking much with a car, apartment, insurance, taxes, food and medication as it is. She should stop complaining about this. It wasn’t so fucking bad. Honestly. She could do something about it. She could. She would.

She threw herself up and pulled a pink gel pen and yellow notepad from the cream nightstand next to her bed. She tapped her pen against it, racking her preoccupied brain for an idea. She needed something short, less than the size of a novel but bigger than a poem or novette. Although both a poem and novette could be accomplished in just a few hours it wouldn’t satisfy her craving. She needed it to be meaningful but not conry and cheap. Something that meant something to her but nothing that would need to be rewritten. It’s far too embarrassing to reread something sloppily done for the sake of creating when emotional. A whole nother level of creative regret. Embarrassing. A stain on her output that may convince her to never write while in an emotionally vulnerable state- which is when the best stream of consciousness pages that tapped into what she really wanted to talk about came through. She didn’t need it to be long. It couldn’t be long. She didn’t have much time anyway. At least her brain told her she didn’t have any time. Now. It needs to be done now. 5 pages. All she needed was 5 pages. That would have to do for now.

But what to create? She only had two-three more hours before this urgent panic would fade but the feeling of dissatisfaction would remain. She pushed her rose gold blanket away even though all that crying left her cold, comfortable discomfort would make those creative banks flow. Yeah.

Her eyes darted around the sunset painted room. Ideas. Ideas. Ideas. Anything could be a best seller if she created it at the right time and she was in the right place when searching for publishers. She only saw pure cream walls sunset painted bare of pictures. Nothing besides her purple high vanity and one yellow full body dresser. Clean as hell. Empty. Simple. Minimalist in a way as if she were about that lifestyle instead of just too broke and lazy to decorate the place further.

None of this helped. Nothing could guide her through this haze of creative lust instead cause her brain to freeze. Idea. An idea. A short story idea. It couldn’t be a journey or a quest. Nor a love story or a battle. Essay. Gotta be like George Orwell. Gotta write a meaningful story with her research, emotions and opinions put into an essay format on a deconstruction of the themes of the story. Essay-ish. She needs it. Just one. Just one. Just one. Just. One. Just one idea.

With a low groan she threw her yellow paper aside. She slammed her head down on her rose-gold mattress and rolled her now fetal position body onto her side to face the window. What to create. Why was an empty wallet, an empty room and an empty bank of her creativity such a damning reality at the moment. It wasn’t even everything that defined her. It was the bare minimum of describing half of the human race. Not unique to her yet her brain wanted her crucified for the failure to be something right now. An overnight success not for the sake of her art or who she was but rather for simply being an overnight success. As if her late night anxieties could keep up the expectations or rather lack thereof of instant stardom. Fleeting. She didn’t want that fleeting stardom yet she did at this very moment. Right now. Or else she would die of nonexistence. Her pen tapped along her papers’ edges.

Her chest compressed in on itself with her every breath out. She stared at the paper like a whole in a collapsed dirt tunnel. Her chest continued to compress on her until she wanted to drop to her cozy bed to go back to sleep. She let out a shaky breath. An irritation that tingled and bubbled like her skin was trying to tear itself from her body rose from her toes, to her legs, stomach then at last her chest. She threw away her yellow paper and her pink pen into the empty void that was her room.

She sat up. She pulled her bottle of patron from under her bed. Opened it with a pop. She pinched her nose and ignored the burning- the screaming- of the back of her throat as she just chugged the bottle. The first shot had to be the hardest. This crisp clear rubbing alcohol taste that stained her lips, tongue, and throat with a violent need to be there. She didn’t understand. She knew she never would. This was as much a part of her as the ability to create was. This anxiety that would push her to panic as she were on the verge of dying with no way or suggestion of what to do to stop it. To change it. It’s akin to her brain screaming at her at 3:27am on a Wednesday in the middle of November that she was a piece of trash that would amount to nothing as if she could control that at such a strange hour in the middle of the week. She continued to sip at her bottle until the liquid washed away the irritation.

This would have to do for now.

Ciara- (Level up)

She was in that mood again. That mood that be making her act a fool in front of a full room of strangers. Thankfully she was in her own home. Though surrounded by friends and friends of friends that technically meant she wasn’t surrounded by strangers. It’s that mood right before she would get herself into an upswing of feeling herself for a whole week. No one could tell her nothing- she could be in sweatpants, have nine uneven braids in her hair sticking out her head and be in the middle of a break out… And still have the confidence to say she was a living goddess. She stuck out her tongue as she bounced her body to that beat.

She counted her blessings. One; no boyfriend. Two; no crazy exes. Three; got her own place. Four; loves herself. Five; comfortable in her own house and home. Six; did she mention her banging body? Seven; she knew who she was and had to ride or dies to keep that in check. Eight; she was living. Nine; she was secure. Ten; she was her.

Her beautiful brown brothers and sisters jammed out in her apartment that was luckily located in the bottom corner of the complex. Purple, red, yellow, green and blue strobe lights coordinated themselves with the bass line in her speakers. Surrounded by people throwing up their clear cups as they pumped and grinded on one another. Almost tripping over themselves to get closer to the object of tonight’s affections. Thankfully she had moved her three navy blue couch set upstairs and only left two cheap metal tables for drinks and snacks. She was not about to let nobody mess up her fine furniture. She was gonna throw her back out while throwing her butt in a circle if this remix got any faster. She ran her fingers through her waist long jumbo braids and threw them babies back like she was telling the landlord to pay rent.

It only took three years and a lot of confusion to get here. Wandering down a winding road of malcontent that left her couch surfing was not a good look. She had to force the beings in the universe to give her her dues. Sometimes it is like that. Sometimes she had to smack cockily people into shape to give her what she worked for, and therefore was entitled to. Entitled is a funny word when used in the wrong context.

She was by all means entitled. Damn straight she was. Entitled to respect. Entitled to the money she worked for. Entitled to love the ever loving hell out of her body. Entitled to loving and showing appreciation for her people. Entitled to the fun she was having at the moment. Entitled to live a life without a paetha of regrets as long as she wasn’t hurtin nobody. And she wasn’t so everyone else could kiss her big fat ass.

The push back to her pushing back against bullshizz was mostly in three different camps; camp one she was selfish because people were suffering all over the world, camp two she was entitled because she had everything handed to her, and camp three she was just an angry black woman who needed to know her place.

It becomes a slippery slope when people from camp one speak reckless like that. First ever since when was it her, and her alone, responsibility to save these people? Second if she couldn’t use her money and resources the way she wanted for- drug-free (for the most part), cause she wasn’t going to jail for nobody- parties then no one could use they money for anything they simply want. They could only use it for what they need. Then use the rest for charities. As much as that was a great uptipa everyone in camp one had created that wasn’t going to work. Cause life is about pleasure, and sometimes for selfish pleasure.

Camp two wasn’t no better. What part of it’s ‘my life, my body I can do what I want with it’ do they not understand? Her body, her money, her life. As long as it didn’t actively hurt nobody else why the hell would they care? Because they don’t got nothing better to do. They just love feeling above somebody because they do or don’t do something no one asked them to. Her life was not a map for others to follow route by route. It was more of a blueprint that was subject to change where needed. She didn’t want nor need them to approve of her or her body. They weren’t nothing but whispers in a sunshower. And she loved to make them squirm so she basked in their judgment glances like it was the sun and she wanted a tan. After all, what would their approval give her? Not a damn thing. To be clear she didn’t actively piss them off if she didn’t need to to get her way. The best revenge was to be comfortable in her situation, her skin and her life. A heavy set woman had to be the woman with the most confidence. The woman with plastic surgery had to know what she wanted in life and have the mental fortitude of a goddess. The dark skinned black woman had to be a goddess in everything she did and would do. She had to believe it in every sense of the word. She had to know it in her soul. She had to take everything she wanted because everyone- even her own people -would try to take advantage of her. Throw her to the side and disrespect her. Tell her to be grateful when she got the bare minimum of human decency or equal treatment as her counterparts. This applies to everything from makeup to banking to jobs.

The woman who was and did all three was a goddess without question. Therefore the hell would she care for mortals that didn’t know shit about shit? She rolled her hips to the beat and let a breeze wash over her half exposed curvy body.

Camp three her favorite one to roll her eyes at from the patheticness of those who think this way. While she did indeed need to know her place she would argue that she already knew it. It was above them. Higher and higher and higher and higher. Her place was beyond space at the moment. She may need to get her ego checked but as long as she was a sweetheart to everyone who wasn’t a dick to her she could argue she wasn’t bordering on hubris. Honestly the same people who said this usually had messed up eyebrows, a sad or nonexistent home life and no concept of respect for another human being. And therefore was irrelevant. They are also the same kind of people who commend men for doing the same behavior. Behavior as in walking into a meeting with their boss of two years, showing their credicuals, their progress in their skill set and what they have to offer with another job backed up if this meeting for a raise didn’t go well. She wasn’t looking for those kinds of people to think she was something to behold. She was looking for money. She was gonna make all her work pay for itself Night classes, vouleteeraily overtime without pay and a well thought out document of her contribution to the small company were gonna pay off or there would be hell to pay. She was gonna be comfortable in an apartment in this east coast city with enough disposable income for feed the demon of greed or she was gonna throw a fit. She worked her butt off for it in her internships, college, and high school. The people in camp three were the people who didn’t understand her desire to fight for what she wanted didn’t stop them from doing the same. Her success didn’t rob them of the chance to get to her level. They just had to demand it with enough bite behind the bark to actually get it. Playing the game right didn’t mean she was just some angry black woman who was never satisfied.

Respectable women don’t make history. History making was all she was gonna do.

She rocked her hips in a rolling circle, swinging her head side to side. Her braids just bounced just her, borderline whipping anyone too close to her. She let her body do it’s thing. Dropped it low and just bounced on the beat. And the crowd went wild. The yells, those ‘R’ rolling cheers her woman were making that sounded like they was choking on disbelief. All because of her. This energy came from her confidence, that confidence came from pride in herself, who she was and that pride went straight to her confidence. A self fulfilling prophecy that had her on the top of her game.

Hell yeah she was entitled. She was entitled to the world and she would take it with the same iron fist that ripped the world away from her older sisters and brothers. She would work. Grind. And dance til she got it. What else could a living goddess do when the world hadn’t paid her, her do’s?

AUTUMN- Float (Prod. Muffin)

The beautiful silence of her own mind beckoned her forth. Awake. She needed to stay awake. Awake enough to stop her mind from thinking in terms of words. All she needed was the lullaby-like rush of the ocean just beyond her window seal. No need for memories, words, pictures, or hieroglyphics.

She just knew to sleep in the presence of the setting sun would only intensify her memories of yesteryear. Force them to play back like a CD skipping, replaying the same part of a crappy movie. Memories that she had crammed into the parts of her mind she didn’t know about and drowned her in the realness of memories turned into dreams. She sipped her tequila sunrise… or rather sunset at the edge of a window seal that held her big butt up for once. She was aware her deep brown skin shined with the sun and she was aware she was drawing the attention of the person she had brought here but she was far too deep into herself to care. Her back to the seas she stared over her shoulder at the endlessness of a sea as vast and unexplored as space. Goddess she wished she could forget. Forget that summer she had spent here just two years ago alone. It wasn’t the alone part that had her tied up. It was that feeling of being endlessly empty like no matter what she did, how much she rested or how much time she spent alone she always needed so much more. A vase that had a small hole at the very bottom that no one knew about that continually drained the water away without anyone knowing. Not even her. Footsteps coming towards her registered in her mind yet she ignored them. She continued to sip at the reddish yellow liquid that blended sweet and tart perfectly so she could fade out of reality at her own pace.

She almost missed being in the grasp of utter emotional bankruptcy. When it’s all she’s known for 6 years what did she really expect. Then again… Chapped lips latched onto the left side of her throat. Warm breath that smelled of the same sweet tartness seeped into her nostrils. She raised her drink to keep it from spilling on her dress as her 1 year lover attacked her neck with delicate playful bites. She gasped. Then again she was damn sure used to this. She grinned as her lover trailed their fingertips down her pulled down the hem of her dress. Goddess, if she wasn’t blessed she didn’t know what she was. She arched her back and pressed her head back into the half open window. The gentle kiss of the orange sun, the intense but cool breeze of the endless sea hit her back. She squirmed and squished wet sand left on the dark brown hardwood floors between her toes. It tethered her to now. This person. The beautiful, handsome, wonderful patient person who did not in fact save her. This lovely person who’s voice alone in the whisper of a command made this woman melt, submit and rebel to a power within herself she wanted to know better. Made her want to save herself. Made her see that the drowning woman, that reflection of herself not only needed her help but deserved it more than anyone on this miserable planet. Convinced her that that kind of selfishness was justified if it kept her alive.

The first time she had come here she had been running from something undetermined. Probably herself or rather her own thoughts. Trying to outrun one’s own thoughts cost so much more money than the therapy that would actually abolish the problem with time. Then again travel was an easier escape than trying to hold a mirror to one’s own psyche and admitting something was wrong.

Fingers ran down the front of her blouse. Unbuttoned each white button with the patience of saints. Yet with the enthusiasm of single children opening Christmas presents. She set aside her drink. On their knees before her, her lover looked up at her like she was the only thing that existed in that moment. She looked in turn.

A retirement vacation spot meant not many 23 year olds would be around to temp her into trying to seem okay. She could be as unabistantly a mess as she wanted. She would go to the beach, she was now staring at at 7 pm every single day to drink alone as retired women and men did not like being out when the summer winds grew strangely cold. She sat there in high water pants and a bottle of vodka to work out her problems alone until she drank herself another hole to vomit from and found herself sleeping in a lawn chair at least a good mile from her actual villa spot.

Rock bottom gave her a nice tan at least.

Self reflecting on it now she could see why she missed it. No responsibilities. No need to monitor her own mood and that of another person. No budget to account for. No full time job yet. No need to worry about anything except not drowning. The trip was already paid in full by her savings, and no one knew where she was so no one could act like they were worried or excited for her when she picked up and went far, far… far away. College and college dorms were one hell of a way to curve rent- at least while in it, beyond that it was nothing but a pain in the ass. Pure and utter freedom in the best and worst way possible. She could do anything so she went on vacation, drank until she cried, then more until she blacked out. Then went back to her rented two bedroom apartment-like villa until the night beckoned her again.

Her lover unwrapped her like a gift from Oshun herself and she was grateful for it. She was a gift. She had come to this conclusion on the final day of her stay at this Floridian villa a year ago.

The fairly general idea that loneliness was a bad thing was only true when it came by the bottle. Like medicine loneliness was good for the heart in the smallest of doses. Of course to be alone and loneliness were completely different states of being. Alone was her default state, where she go to a bar or restaurant by herself and be content with it. Sometimes when friends cancel plans she just did it by herself, it wasn’t worth headaches and wasted nights. If they can’t come she would make it a self care, self love date night. Loneliness was the antithesis of it’s sister, alone. It kept her from wanting to go out, from going on her self love dates, from asking friends to come out. It makes the canceling of plans actually painful. She could only force it to pass through traveling alone. Through getting to a true place of absolute loneliness that she could not get herself out of easily. Throwing herself into the deep end, forcing herself into the deepest worst part of her mental storm to get to the other side in one piece. It allowed her to clear her mind. Clear away her angst, her troubles, her desires and sink into her surroundings. This place. This villa she rented at the end of yesteryears summer was surrounded by elders who were trying to enjoy the end of their lives. Surrounded by elders whose friends and family were growing more and more distant from them, losing more and more of what defined them in their youth. Surrounded by lonely people who could never escape their insulation. She found inner peace. She learned she was just her, herself and she. It was always in all honesty like that and it would always be like that. And that was okay. It was always okay and it would always be okay. She had a support system with others and within herself. Therefore she could not remain lonely since she was used to being alone.

Fingernails scratched her thighs. Trails of risen reddened skin that would be there for days grounded her again. She undid her bun and shook her alcohol drenched brain around in her skull until she got dizzy with the pure enchanting perfection of her own reality. She ran her teeth down her lover’s throat as she messaged their scalp. She giggled as she was lifted off the window seal, she wrapped her legs around their waist. Taken away from the sunset she focused on keeping her focus on her lover’s ragged breathing. Thrown onto a squeaky pineapple sheeted queen bed, she relaxed. This place once filled with haunting echoes of loose floor boards. Inner peace and a squirming desire made for a wonderfully floaty feeling in her chest.

She stared at herself through their darkened brown eyes as they hovered over her. She smiled at herself. A gift she was, is, a gift she didn’t mind giving or rather sharing with this person. Perhaps she could help them figure out how to fill their own holes with contentment. As the precious person she was, she was willing to sit in the box alone. Completely alone with her thoughts until she found someone worthy of her knowledge, her experiences, her love, her life, her charms. She knew her value beyond emotion, beyond dollars, even beyond logic. Her value was the shine of her self assurance. She giggled as a silver tongue stole her breath away. Her beautiful silence was filled with beautiful hushed gasps and words of desire.

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