Thursday, October 3, 2013

If No One Has Told You: This Morning...


On the first morning after my breakup, I woke with a startling hunger. I yearned for gratitude, I yearned for whispered admiration, a necessity that I thought I tucked somewhere deep. I longed for something that was scarce in my union and so I was confounded at why a hand seemed to lurch from chest and grasp for it, like a fish for air.

I was overwhelmed with a want, born from freedom. I now had the liberty to receive and give myself these things. I was now allowed to admit that sacrifice and settling doesn’t taste the same on my tongue. I was now aware that my diminishing sorrow would come in spurts, but I was free to smile during the in-betweens.

I walked up to the mirror and said to my reflection, "You are loved, you are wanted." My soul peeked out, in the form of glow, and swallowed me a whole. I let her engulf me, show me inside out, for the first time. I wanted to wallow, but the sun in my bosom wouldn't allow me to. She continued to rise through my chest, like a goddess trying to avoid drowning in her own beauty.

Affirmations began to spill from my aura and I was all too willing to share them with you. I believe you deserve to know and affirm what you are and what you aren’t, too. I refuse to let myself, or the women of my generation, sleep any longer.

This is what you aren’t:

You are no one’s forgotten phone call. You are no one’s wait-around, no life-on-pause. You are no written journal entry, no spout of transcribed emotion when you could be soaking in warmth. You are no Netflix and Chinese, on the first date. You are no convenience. You are no this-is-my-homegirl, when you’re madly in love. You are no sight through the slits of a high school locker, your male best friend kissing his gorgeous girlfriend like you one-day want to be necked. You are no first times on floors, or anywhere else besides a bed. You are no over analyzing. You are no jealousy. You are no dwelling on what could’ve been. You are no tracing of tongue along undeserving earlobes. You are no one-word text message. Okay? You are no avoided confrontation via any technology that reeks of you-weren’t-man-enough-to-do-this-face-to-face. You are no string along; no wait-for-me-to-get-my-shit-together. You are no I-love-the-both-of-you. You are no side chick, mistress, or imaginary friend.

You are no abortion or miscarriage, all alone:

He’s running late to work that day. He can hear you crying from the bathroom, but is convinced that the argument from the night before is the reason. It isn’t the blood running down your robe. You yell out that you need him, but the door slamming is the period for your sentence. You are in too much pain to run behind him. You will soak in a bathtub and walk to the hospital that isn’t that for away. He will receive a text message, around 1pm asking when he’s coming home. You want to tell him, but you’re afraid that it’ll symbolize the loss of love your relationship is already suffering from. Your text message will read, “Come home, I’m cooking, can we talk?” He will eat quietly and his eyes tell you that he’s not in the mood for guilt, hurt, or anything resembling you at all. You stay silent.

You are no silence. You are no disremembered sentiment. You are no label: She’s crazy, ridiculous, OD, intense, etc. You are no excuse for not growing-the-f*ck-up. You are no yelling, until you cannot breathe. You are no shoulder for burden. You are no coming home to dirty dishes and garbage. You are no I-don’t-cook. You are no double shift, while he plays video games or hangs with the boys. You are no mystical being. You are no flawless and perfection. You are no broken hearted conversation with your best friend.

“I just really want someone to love me, for me.”
Cliché statement here: “You’ll find someone girl. There are plenty of fish in the sea. One day, when you’re not looking it will come to you.”
Cliché response here: “Sigh. Maybe you’re right. I just don’t think there’s anyone for me. Girl, I’m good.”
Think, but don’t say out loud: “I’m going to look for it! Who the hell is waiting for something to come along, when I’ve been sitting idle for an eternity? Screw your advice! Why’d I call you in the first place?”
Hang up.

You are no dial tone. You are no overused effort, trying again and again. You are no attempt for affection that is unwilling. You are no accepting justifications. You are no uncharted territory.

I don’t believe in foreplay.
I mean…I don’t do that, but you can do it to me.
I don’t dance; it’s not my thing.
Sushi? Black folks don’t eat that stuff.
I never really learned and I don’t really want you to teach me either.
I’m set in my ways.
I’m content.

You are no one else’s happiness, unless you absolutely want to be.

This is what you are:

You are wanting eyes. You are longing and lust, all wrapped into one. You are passion. You are late night conversation, with bathroom breaks and snoring on the other line. You are good morning, good afternoon, and goodnight. You are nervousness on your grandmother’s couch, while she tells him that she raised you right and he better take care of you. You are memories, daydreams that find their way to you in the form of light. You are open thigh and brush of tongue. You are desserts, fed to you. You are 'help me take out my box braids.'

I remember having men sit between my legs, when they discovered I could cornrow. I would pull the strands in alternate directions and they’d look up at me and wince, every once in a while. Does it hurt? They would smile and say ‘I’m good.’ They never really were. I’m sure that’s the way I approach love sometimes.

You are farts under comforters and giggles of embarrassment. You are a bridge. You are long walks and comparisons of childhood. You are Ren & Stimpy over Rocko’s Modern Life. You are nauseous and if it is what we think it is I’ll run to a pharmacy and hold your hand all the while. You are juice trips, to the fridge, after mind-blowing sex. You are dry mouth, dehydration, but let's do it again. You are sheets and pillows everywhere. You are counting eyelashes, when the sun hits his face. You are watching while you sleep. You are fingers in hair. You are breakfast in bed. Literally. You are special occasions. You are vacations and beaches. You are home, even when we're not at home. You are home. You are football games you don’t quite understand, but will rock the sh*t out of his favorite team’s jersey. You are supportive. You are good advice. 

He wants to take the position, but isn’t sure how it’ll affect the rest of his life. You are his reassurance. You will put your arms around him and let him know that any decision he makes is fine by you. You will remind him that although you are unified, you have to do what makes your individual happy.

You are rum and coke nights. You are tipsy and new years. You are panties and boxers in hallways, on hardwood floors, and nude in the twilight. You are human. You are fragile and breakable. You should be treated as such. You are small fingers and toes. You are I can’t-believe-this-is-mine. You are womb and warrior.

You are good enough. You are worthy of being held until sunrise. You are soul food and the licking of lips. You are ‘you forgot a spot, let me get that for you.’ You are lunch dates and roses. You are dinner by candlelight. You are indie concerts and Nike swooshes on concrete, tapping to 808s. You are front row center. You are your favorite place in the world.

You can never go back to Philadelphia again. It reminds you of pain. It symbolizes the place that you realized that real/good men do not come in the form of full bank accounts, degrees, and titles. It’s the place you realized that they come in the form of genuine heart, smile, and the power of taking-care-of-home.

He manifests in tattoos. You remember sitting on a park bench and he pointed out each and every one to tell you their meaning. He even told you about the cover-up with his ex-wife’s name underneath it. You see a far away love in his eyes, battling with something new. You can’t compete, but you want to. You try to. You fail.

You are permanent ink. You are security and identity. You are knowing that there’s something bigger and brighter waiting for you. You are foundation. You are surrender and vulnerability. You are allowing yourself to cry and throw things. You are partying with your girls, knowing that one day everything will be all right. You are slurs and drunken texts (the good kind).  You are goddess: Aphrodite, Arianrhod, Diana, Freya, Asase Ya.

You are everything you have coming to you.

Wake up.




7 comments:

Evette Dionne said...

Whew! This is powerful, sis. It is eloquent. It is gritty. It is real. <3

Anonymous said...

Lovely. Thanks for this. I kind of hate philly right now.

Piatra said...

I need this. I will read this every day I need to until I get it. I appreciate every gem that drops from your mind, to your lips, or pen. I am grateful to you.

Christina said...

Perfectly timed wisdom, you have the gift of healing hearts just a little bit more with your words. I love this so much and need to read it over and over until some of these things make sense.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. So much....

Minah Bereal said...

Loved this!!!

Anonymous said...

This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for this!