Archive for August, 2013

Earlier this week I had an experience that touched me. I went to the beauty supply store to grab a couple of things. As I browsed around I could hear the cashier (who was working alone) helping other customers. She sounded extra chipper. Her voice would go up a note per word in each sentence, and every sentence ended with a question mark lol. I, myself, was in a not-so-great mood. I found her voice annoying and I thought in my head, “what the hell is she so happy about?” I got in line and all the customers before me cleared out one by one until it was just the two of us in the store. It seemed so strange to me that she kept saying “thank you” to every single little thing but I appreciated the pleasant customer service. As she rung me up I asked her how she was. She replied “good, thanks for asking.” The next thing I knew she broke out in tears and asked me if I had any advice for a breakup. I was caught off guard and I didn’t quite know what to say. I was dealing with my own issues and my mind was totally somewhere else. Those who are close to me know when people cry it makes me uncomfortable, so I was really at a loss for words. I did stick around a few minutes and tried to say the most comforting things that came to mind but I left the store feeling like there was more I could’ve and/or should’ve said. I left feeling really sorry for her and bad that I wasn’t more help and it inspired me to write the below poem. But before I get to that, there’s a few things I was reminded that I want to share:

  1. Don’t be so self-centered and wrapped up in your own woes that you forget to aid those around you in need.
  2. Don’t pre-judge anyone. You don’t know what kind of pain a person is hiding behind their smile.
  3. When you don’t know the right advice to give, a listening ear is always a good replacement.

So, to the young, redheaded girl working at Empire Beauty, I dedicate this to you.

Redheaded Girl

To the redheaded girl

This one I write for you

There’s no roadmap to life

Only destinies determined, awaiting in our queue

 

I entered your store with purpose

Miniscule things like nail polish and bobby pins

Your voice ringing thru the aisles

so cheerful, so perky

Forgive me for I knew not of the pain you held within

Masked by a smile and repetitions of “thank you”

Offering up courtesies, information, services

My goal set at get in get out

Your pleas for help thru cracks in your tone went unnoticed

so sorry I never heard of them

You see my mind and attention elsewhere

I was so wrapped up in my own enchilada,

peppered with dashes of my own selfish bullshit and drama

My recent visit from karma had me whiplashed and backslapped

My head buried in the sand, hiding in a deep dark hole within

I dared not peek out for you or anyone else

So you see, I didn’t see your tear-stained face or watery eyes

If I had, my “how are you?” would’ve been more sincere

And your sudden breakdown would’ve been clear

Perhaps I could’ve given you better advice that you so openly sought,

instead of empty wishes served and plattered on recycled dishes,

lent to me by others’ thoughts

Generic remedies like: “Things will get better” or “Maybe you’ll get back together”

“You’re so young. Someone else will come along”

But I couldn’t because I don’t know those things to be true

Store bought expressions to make you feel better

Fact is, none of that shit helps get you thru

Or I could’ve said: “tough titty, that’s the breaks,”

“sometimes life hands you shit, not lemons”

“you have to play the hand you are dealt”

But my ability to relate wouldn’t let me be so cold

I’m not so good at thinking on my feet

So I served you poppycock and left you there to feast

 

To the redheaded girl

This one I write for you

Your time of need outran my speed

Sorry I couldn’t come thru

 

Redheaded girl,

Truth is you are young, barely a cub

You are in a moment that is hard to see beyond

Your world hasn’t ended, though it may feel that way

You may not laugh but some day you will look back on this,

and no longer feel the same

Your wounds will heal and be replaced by new ones,

and they will heal also

The days to come will eventually get easier

You will cry some more but crying is good

Emotions remind us that we are human

Go out, enjoy life, and do other things that make you happy

Why be around someone who is the cause of your tears anyway?

Redheaded girl,

I don’t know much about you except:

You are beautiful

You are pleasant

You are great at your job

Those are three things you have to offer the world in a way that only you can,

and I’m sure the list gets longer

It may sound crass but something you should know,

Men will always be there

Some may come and some may go

Remember the good experiences and let go of the bad

Their only purpose is to provide you with life lessons

Gaining all the wisdom some may never have

 

To the redheaded girl

This one I write for you

Just as sure as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West,

Blue skies to stormy clouds will bid adieu

– Just Jewel

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I know I’ve been saying I have a book coming out for about two years now. The book was written two years ago when I first started mentioning it, but I just kept making more and more changes to it. Adding, deleting, editing, re-editing (times 10 lol). I guess that was just the perfectionist in me.

One thing I have learned during this process is not to mention to anyone that I’m writing a book until it’s actually ready lol. You live and you learn. I have learned a lot during this process, and I enjoyed each and every challenge. I would like to thank my family, friends, and supporters for all of your words of encouragement. Thank you in advance for your support.

The wait is over! Two Way Mirrors is finally here and it’s available for purchase right now! Following are the different links where you can purchase your copy:

Paperback

A Drop of Jewel

Think Into Existence Ink

Amazon.com

Ebook

Amazon.com

Synopsis

Twenty-five year old Angela Delimar seems to be living a normal, comfortable life – a double life that is. She has a secure job as an Account Manager at B.I.G. Insurance by day and tends bar at a dinky strip club by night. Her beauty is unquestionable. She’s wooed by many including her gym buddy, Officer “Rock” Johnson and club patron Gordon Hopkins. However, her convict boyfriend, Cal, is the man of her dreams and capturer of her heart. They would do anything for each other, and they do – even at the risk of their freedom. She even has two sets of friends: the club crew and May and Cherlise, her close and oldest friends.

But when Angela begins to get stalked, witnesses a murder, and her mother dies her two worlds come colliding together. The sequence of events that follow reveals that no one in her life is who they seem to be. When danger comes knocking on her door from all directions, will becoming too close with the club crew cost her everything and will Cal’s devotion go too far?

 

Want to read more? Check out the excerpts or take a peek at Amazon.com.

 

I can’t tell you how many guys over the years have tried to get in my pants and have sex with me. I’ll be honest. Some succeeded. Most did not. But I can tell you exactly how many men have ever asked me if I have or have ever had any STDs. That answer is one. Yes, you read correctly. Only one man has ever initiated the sex talk with me. In all other cases I have always had to be the one to start the conversation. This is 2013, how can this still be happening?

I’ve even asked why they didn’t ask me. I swear if I hear one more man say to me “because I can tell you’re not a hoe by the way you carry yourself and you look clean,” I may just backslap somebody. With all the awareness that is out today via school, media, etc., I can’t believe people – GROWN PEOPLE (and so-called “educated” people) still think like this. Must I really state the obvious? You can’t tell by someone’s cleanliness if they have a disease or not! Pardon my French but the coochie can smell like Pine Sol and she can still have something. In addition, you don’t know if a person is a hoe or not. All you know is what they tell you. Even married people catch STDs! No one is exempt people! Now I’m talking about men only because I’m a woman and this has been my experience. However, I know not all women initiate the conversation either. I have girlfriends who have had one-night stands, sex on the first night, etc., and I know the talk didn’t happen. So I know it’s not just men.

Now for all the smart people who may be asking by now, “Well shouldn’t you be using condoms anyway?” YES!! Of course you should! I still think the talk needs to happen though. Condoms break. Condoms also aren’t 100% effective. I also love how we like to forget or pretend like you can’t get an STD through foreplay. Let’s be real here. Raise your hand if you’ve never ever been tempted to have unprotected sex … Go ahead … I’ll wait … Exactly what I thought! I can’t believe people still actually believe that you have to be out here hoeing around to catch a disease. It only takes one time with one person, folks.

Do people lie? Of course they do, especially if they’re embarrassed to admit they’ve been burnt before. So you may be asking what good is having the talk anyway? It’s called due diligence. Who knows, maybe your partner was waiting to have the conversation too but was too scared or embarrassed or whatever. Not sure what to say? Here are a few tips:

  • Do you have any STDs?
  • Have you ever had any STDs? If so, what? When? Were you treated?
  • When is the last time you had unprotected sex?
  • When was your last STD test? What were the results? Do you have a copy I can see?
  • Can we go get tested together?
  • What the hell is that rash right there? (Ok, this was just to make you laugh but seriously you should question anything that looks out of the norm)

The hardest part is starting the dialogue. Forget about how uncomfortable you may feel or make the other person feel asking questions. Instead, think about your health and well-being. Bel Biv DeVoe said it best, “Never trust a big butt and a smile.” 🙂

 

Two things happened recently to make me think of this topic. One, I watched this scary movie on Netflix called “6 Souls”. I hate to spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it but basically it was about a man who posed as a reverend in the early 1900s; I think it was. He was acting as a reverend but in reality he was a non-believer. The town witch doctor (for lack of better words) found out and killed him then sucked his soul out, releasing it into the air. Somehow he still remained living through sucking out the souls of other people over the years. He would then take on their personalities but he still remained in his own physical body.

The second thing that happened to make me think of this topic was my recent encounter with a homeless lady. I went to a restaurant and while I waited for a friend, I went in to get change for the parking meter. This woman was in a wheelchair, unkept, and her nails and clothes were filthy but there was something about her. I can’t quite put it into words. She was waiting for her food. She smiled at me and I smiled back and asked her how she was. You would have thought no one had ever spoken to her before. Her smile widened and she just started talking to me. It was like she was excited to see me, like she knew me, like we were old friends. She didn’t ask me for anything, she just seemed extra thrilled I was talking to her. In fact, when I asked the cashier for the change for the parking meter, she enthusiastically offered me her change. I felt really comfortable talking to her too. It was like we were kindred spirits. I’ve talked to plenty of homeless people before when I used to volunteer regularly, but this was different.

This brings me to my topic. What if the spirits of our loved ones who have passed before us came back in human form? It may only be for a brief visit, just to check up on us or interact with us. What if that bum who asked you for some spare change in passing was really your old Uncle So and so? What if that strange lady on the subway who struck up a conversation with you, and who you never saw since, was really your grandmother? I know we all have our own ideas of what happens in the afterlife but the fact is that none of us can possibly know for certain unless we’ve died before. So can something like this be ruled out as a possibility? The next time a stranger tries to make small talk with you, whether they are asking for directions or talking about the weather, how will you respond? I bet a lot of us wouldn’t be so quick to brush strangers off if we thought they could possibly be housing the spirit of a loved one.