Beginning of a New Year, End of an Era

We jumped up and down on my mattress, like two toddlers. Beyonce’s “Drunk In Love” blasted as I tried to soak up every bit of what I knew would be our last moments together. That was one thing that I always loved about her, her youthfulness. Plastic 2014 sunglasses adorned our faces. The glasses were as cheap as I knew our night would be, once we fucked. It was the beginning of the year, but definitely the ending of an era.

It was only a few hours earlier that I had damn near begged her to come to Brooklyn to bring in the New Year with me. She didn’t feel like making the trip from Queens, but somehow I convinced her that I was worth it. We were worth it. We were worth spending the last hour or so of 2013 together over a hot meal and frozen drinks. I figured it was the least she owed me after a year and a half of uncertainty. According to her, her heart was in a “bind.”

During what was left of the night/early morning, we did what was inevitable. We fucked, which felt more like an obligation out of pity than something natural between two people who were highly attracted to each other. We both knew that was it and it was also the reason why she didn’t want to come over in the first place. 

I woke up at the crack of dawn and prepared a lunch for her to take to a training that she had that morning. She slid through my cracked apartment door with her lunch in tow and that was the last that I saw of her physically. I was left to make sense of it all and to make peace with the fact that we had just ended something, that had no business beginning.

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Insert Here Black Girl

I woke up this morning with my head still underneath my mother’s violet comforter, scrolling Facebook, sifting for a status that would actually pique my interest. After a few scrolls, boom. I found one. “The ironic thing about all of these articles and blogs about the “Carefree Black Girl” is that not one girl writing or blogging about it are carefree,” posted an acquaintance, who also has this really awesome blog. “I mean all of it is beyond laughable. “The radical performance of the carefree Black girl” article.”The Carefree Black Girl Playlist” full of Beyonce songs. CFBG blog with every girl rocking natural hair. Maybe the archetype should be renamed “PressedBlackGirl” or “ObsessedWithSolangeBlackGirl” or “TragicBlackGirl”…,” she continued.

I rolled over a few times and commented, “Seems like many are pressed to not be the “angry Black girl,” when it’s nothing wrong with being angry, when you have every right to be. And care free Black girls are too care free to be writing about it.” After receiving a few like notifications on my comments, it made me wonder what type of Black girl I am. You have the awkward Black girl, like Issa Rae, the calm Black girl, like Beyonce in the elevator, the angry Black girl, like many womanists on my Twitter timeline and the carefree Black girl like Kelis. 

I think we’re currently living in a very interesting time, where Black girls are being studied like cells underneath a petri dish. Is it that we’re so much of an “other” that we must be studied and critiqued for the world to see? Or are we just so motherfucking awesome, that everybody wants a piece of our magic and therefore we must be explored? I’m betting on the latter. Anyway, it’s quite interesting that even us Black girls are trying to figure out how to box, label and read this Black girl magic.

 I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just way too complex to subscribe to just one of these labels. I am the queer Black girl that’s looking for the next Goddess to take away my pain with her soft kisses and warm embrace. I am the angry Black girl who cried hysterically during an hour plus car ride home from Long Island to NYC, after learning the verdict of George Zimmerman. I am the awkward Black girl, who often gets shy when meeting new people and would probably prefer to be at home watching episodes of “Sex and the City” relentlessly, while eating sushi ordered from GrubHub instead of  being at the club. I am the carefree Black girl, who just went to the club last night in a Detroit Tigers t-shirt, jeans and Sperry Topsiders and couldn’t care less about competing with other chicks in heels and a dress. I am the calm Black girl, who often avoids confrontation because I just ain’t got time for that.

I am the Black girl who graduated from an artsy university, knows the English language and loves using words like fuck to get my point across. I am the Black girl who was born and raised in one of America’s most disdained cities, but has overcame adversity. I am the Black girl who is a self-proclaimed feminist and womanist, who also knows almost every word to “Ain’t No Fun.” I am the Black girl who lives for Beyonce, Audre Lorde, Karrine Steffans, Janet Mock, Angela Davis, Lupita Nyong’o, Melissa Harris-Perry, Laverne Cox, Nicki Minaj and Lauryn Hill all at the same damn time.Yes, yes and yes. I am all of these things and I do not need a box or a label to make me feel valid or like I am the acceptable and or appropriate type of Black woman.

Spring Feelings

Sometimes, when I hear children screaming and playing outside on playgrounds, my womb feels hollow. The spring breeze and sunshine makes me feel like I should have planted seeds. Seeds of my own. So I can see them sprout. Sprout and blossom into something beautiful. And then I realize, I am enough. I am that seed, that is forever blossoming and I’m beautiful.

Essence: Part One

As I stood in line at a Dunkin Donuts inside of Penn Station, squinting my eyes and struggling to read the menu and make a decision on an iced coffee drink, I noticed it. The April 2014 issue of Essence Magazine, that I Instagramed four days ago with Nia Long on the cover. I darted out of line, figuring that I didn’t need the coffee drink anyway and I’d treat myself to the mag instead. While waiting at the register of the news stand, I remembered that just 24 hours ago I was at Essence. No, not to interview for some writing position, but at a casting call to model. An associate of mine had Facebook messaged me Essence’s quest to find beautiful women with locs. After a myriad of emails that had bounced back, my message with my photograph had finally went through. I figured it wouldn’t be any harm in submitting myself, after all I had always gotten great compliments on my hair. Weeks went by and the submission was forgotten.

“Hi Glennisha ,We have received your photos and would like to know the following info. We will be reviewing this information shortly and if you are selected our shoot is…,” a representative from Essence’s photo department had written to me in email last week.

When I received the email I was ecstatic. I honestly didn’t think that out of all of the submissions, I would be contacted. I didn’t even send them a professional photo. I sent them a simple picture of me, but one that happened to be my favorite. I was bare faced sitting in Union Square Park with a pink flower, that an ex-lover had placed in between my ear. It was a sunny day and I had just gotten off work…After receiving the email, replying and being told to show up for a casting call, I immediately called my mother, sharing the exciting news. My diet was currently terrible. I had been consuming any and everything. So I figured I’d try to my best to eat healthy and exercise. The least I could do was attempt to rid my belly of the “pop” within the next week, if it was at all possible.
The morning of the casting call, I had risen at 5am to re-twist and style my hair because I was entirely too exhausted to do so the night before. And I never succeed at staying up all night doing anything. Rising early to conquer things just works much better for me. I decorated my eyes with simple earth tone colors and eyeliner and painted my lips with my favorite “stay all day” liquid lipstick by Stila. I wasn’t really sure what to wear. I wanted to be stylish, but remain myself. And quiet as it’s kept, I’ve never given a fuck about fashion. I ended up opting for my favorite pair of faux black leather pants, my favorite tan and black striped shirt that revealed my shoulders and my favorite blue jean vest. Mixed and matched, I’m sure Instagram has seen all three a handful of times. Initially, I was going to wear my black and gold Jeffrey Campbell sneaker heels, but then I remembered my walk to Fulton Street. So I ended up wearing a pair of cheetah print deflex comfort flats, that I had purchased to rock on my way to my birthday party last year, in case I’d be taking the train. I’m currently laughing typing this because it just goes to show how much fashion and beauty sense I have. I mean, I fucking showed up to a casting call in flats and without foundation on my face…