From birth we bloom into small pieces of our influencers; be they biological, guardians or our adoptive family, they mold us and reinforce our beliefs. They can be good or bad and some down right insane. Lm comes from a broken one, a narcissist, sociopath, alcoholic, fraud. At some point in time we have a chance to release ourselves from the bondage of all negativity, hurt and wrong, after wrong, after wrong. I am not responsible for my father’s failures, dishonesty and lack of stability within himself. He had chances to show by his actions that he did give a shit. To do better. To live on a good path. He couldn’t do it. It was not impossible; it was a lot of hard work and his blue eyed white freckled privledged ass got him in and out of places, spaces, around rules, regulations, and he was a damn good con artist. But hard work he was too good for. He portrayed himself as the educated, worldly, white collar type. All starched and pretty when he really was just like thousands and thousands of others who’ve hailed from the “projects” of larger USA cities. He was a product of the government’s way of helping out people, of all creeds, races and dreams to bunker down and guess what to do with the rest of their lives. He would escape because he could lie himself into a better world. I watch all these fraudulent Netflix true stories and keep expecting him to be found and investigated. How the hell has he gotten away with his ugliness? There are many black men and women who have struggled legitimately to rise above their strife. Not everyone is leaning on a junkyard dog selling smack to babies. I was lifted from this strange and perilous lifestyle by my mother. She worked her ass off and honestly fought to the top. My father screwed around with his polluted version of his reality for years, yet still believes he is better than the rest. His current wife, the enabler and also younger than me he has used and abused; let’s agree it is their story to tell. I can only say that if you have one door slightly opening for you to “UP Your Self “, broaden your life and be better than those who have wronged you go for it. Hanging back because it feels comfortable or an anihilation of your duty to family togetherness is what the weak choose. They don’t run when their own sibling bleeds. As the Black Sheep I, Lm, am free because the one who was to teach me right from wrong left me with a puzzle with lots of pieces missing. ROCK puts these pieces back together and intel comes in slowly but surely of more lies upon lies that bury BaDDaD’s front. Behind those cold blue eyes are mounds of unearthed relics. The feeling he continues to project upon new people in his life makes them feel like royalty. They don’t see the grinding of his teeth, the tensing of his jaw when he is deciding his next move. But Lm does. He is 79 years old and can’t bare to to reveal his reality within. If he did, he’d be alone. That won’t happen because one thing that this white, nice looking well dressed man has that women of any color, men who are not white and those who have based their lives on trust, faith, love, TRUTH and honor is he will succeed in keeping his lifestyle through selfishness and living on lies. He will survive because he is a master of his craft. He recreates his name and his madly perceived world repeatedly. Does he or any bad man ever truly pay? Is their any truth to karma, any paybacks or divine intervention? I don’t know anymore. I just know a bad thing when I see it coming because I learned what a bad thing was growing up and running far away from my trauma and triggers was all I knew, until ROCK pulled me to my feet. I still pray just in case there is a higher deity who will show me that my own suffering has not been in vain. ROCK wants BaDDaD to pay for his violations of the heart, the lies, the life he has led. Lm has no belief in retribution. Lm just wants to be heard because she is good. She was always good and yet has days in which her mental anguish is so forceful she must go back down the stairwell and wait for some light again.
ROCK knows Lm needs attention yet he forces her to grow, not dwell on her past. She is indeed sprawling, like ivy across an old doorway leading to solid stone paths. Above the sky is blue and she knows that real people suffer and others are indifferent. She sees the careless, haplessly self-absorbed humans as beige. How can anyone not care about the whole damn picture? Who are those that see blood dripping from the heavens and go about their lives with normalcy? People are screaming for help in our neighborhood; Ukrainian families embrace fear and the beige people are shopping for more, more, more. The neighborhood is all inclusive, a package deal. What happens in the Ukraine is happening to all of us. Part of Lm is always thinking, worrying, sorrowful and broken, yet when she sees the same in others she stands up on the top step and pushes her way to the front lines. She will not tolerate the deficiencies in other’s consciousness, she will use a loud speaker, bang on drums and pipes until she is heard. She cares very little about beige people and their circles of chatter. Blue skies are hanging over the whole world right this minute, not at all like the blue in Thailand’s resorts, or on Miami’s most popular beaches that have beige people with pink cocktails. Blue skies are singing deep and low old spiritual songs from the warriors, slaves and feminine fighters before us. The air is thick with fumes spewing the cries of innocence, the children deeply weary from moving place to place for their own good. Who is running to help them up or out; is this real at all? This war is not a test, it’s real life, real stuff and how can anyone, anything matter more than this now? No broken porcelain doll, no dreary childhood, no stack of dirty dishes, no movie star, no religion, not NOW! Prayer has brought Lm to her skinned boney knees repeatedly for 59 years and nothing changed. Beige people walking like zombies pushing strollers full of new life in a world of blue skies that are truly full of broken hearts. The moon, the sun, the unnamed stars are all watching the game below. We ARE in the real world reality show and we aren’t winning. ROCK knows that as long as Lm is focused on sending out SOS signals to save others she forgets her self. She is selfishly entwined in her own pain otherwise. ROCK knows she is soon ready to push through the door that he guards. He also knows, even if she defies her own needs she will return to him on lonely nights, when the memories keep her awake, when she remembers her BaDDaD and can’t get passed a memory. She will come back to ROCK and as always he will calm her grief, even if it’s a repetitive move he will know how to protect her tender soul.
There was a game she played as a child, it was a night time scary, silly, giggling tradition with Lm and her cousins. With a flashlight on and one kid holding it upward under his or her chin, the bedroom or basement doors darkened and it would start. Announcing in the scariest voice one could muster up, one would call “I’m on the first step”, giggles in the dark, then the imagined curmudgeon would say in an even creepier tone, “I’m on the second step”, then more squeals. On each step this creature would say something to the likes of “I’m going to eat you all up” or “I hate little children” and maybe let out a growl. Blankets were pulled over each head and huddled together everyone felt safer. Once on the top step, the door would swing wide open and the tickling began. How do we get ourselves worked up into a frenzy over someone we know, playing a spooky game yet when real life frightens us we clam up? Lm opened door 26 without thought. Who would help her through this real life game of truth and fiction? Inside the door the sun is so bright that sunglasses are needed. This memory is from the Bahamas where the evening breeze was welcomed. The shutters to her and her father’s room stayed wide open, screenless and at street level she could see crowds of white pale tourists clashing with the beautiful brown and deep chocolate skin of the Bahamians. The ocean burst upon the shore and the heat made Lm doze in and out while her father went out on the streets, crowded with laughter and accents she’d never heard. He bought her a stack of postcards with a pen. He said they were going to a fancy dinner show. The man’s name was Milton Berle that was to make them laugh and drinks and such were served at the table near an aisle. Lm had been to a lot of interesting places but this sounded much more exciting than a trip to the drive in movies or a ride on the ferris wheel at the county fair. When they arrived they were seated close to the stage with Lm near the aisle where the busboy’s catered to tables and BaDDaD although laughing a lot, also drank a lot. She knew by now this was the good side of BaDDaD, as long as he was kept happy and the drinks kept coming he’d get them back to the bungalows lining the beach. None of what Milton Berle said was funny to her but she was certainly the youngest person in the crowd. He had a sweet face and big white teeth, a tuxedo and shiny dark hair that was combed back with what she would guess to be “Dippity Do”. She consumed several Shirley Temples and watched the young men rush up and down the plush carpeted rows, from table to table they bowed and filled their trays and took away all the dirty dishes and uneaten food. Suddenly, a bus boy tripped on a step and his tray went flying toward Lm and landed by her feet. She scrambled to help him and picked up cracked plates, rolling grapes and chunks of melon. All at once a bright white light shone on her and all the people stared. Milton Berle asked the audience to have a good look at the sweet and helpful young lady helping out with all the clamour made from the shattered mess. She looked at Milton Berle and he blew her a kiss. The audience was cheering and BaDDaD was beaming. Afterwards, he would take her to a place where machines were rolling with cherries, lemons and people were using up coins to spin them around. She was weary. BaDDaD told everyone about her being spotted by Milton Berle that night. Someone who worked at this noisy place full of adults came up and said Lm couldn’t be in the room. Lm saw his face turn red like the cherries 🍒 rolling round and he called a taxi to send her back to the bungalow. He gave her a key and said for her to go to sleep. She climbed into the cab and he sent her off, through streets unfamiliar, a country unknown to her and she tried the key. It didn’t work. Luckily the shutters had been left open and she climbed up and over into the now cooler room. She felt scared and closed the shutters and latched them from inside. The fan hanging above the bed was whisking around and she watched it spin until she fell asleep. In the early morning when light was creeping in through the shutters she opened one to look for BaDDaD. Soon he appeared and gave her a smelly kiss and too tight hug and fell onto the bed to sleep. She was quite hungry and fished through his pockets for some change. She found a little bit and went out and straight to the street where dogs ran about barking, people were stirring and saw the cart where a happy faced dark man with a straw hat sold things and called out to tourists to come see him. In his rich Bahamian accent he asked what he could get the “little miss” staring up at him. Lm asked for breakfast and he laughed. “Oh, I don’t have breakfast miss, but I do have some cola!” She put the coins up and he said he needed more. Lm explained her father was asleep and told him all about Milton Berle, the busboy, the new word, “casino”, the spinning cherries and the taxi all by herself. The man softened and then handed her a cola and a small cup of lemon ice. “This will cool you off.” She took the lemon ice and her cola and went back to the bungalow. She sat on a stool and got out her postcards and pen and wondered how she could write all of this down and to whom she should send the cards. She finally laid down next to BaDDaD who was sleeping with pillows over his head. He always did that no matter where they were. Lm knew it would be a long day waiting for him to wake and resolved herself to watching the people stream by and finally her eyes closed as the sun and sky slowly changed to yellow, orange and pink.
Love is not limited by time, that is certain to LittleMe. Love is expansive, complicated, messy and impossible to keep contained. Control is not Love. A homeless teenager who carries her baby to full term and knows she wants to find a right fix for her socially perceived wrong places her soul, her breath, her entire heart out on a cliff and closes her eyes, praying, convincing herself she is doing the best thing for her creation. The how’s and why’s of her pregnancy are irrelevant because it’s her Love that kept the life, gave the hope and healed from another’s broken promise. Or maybe she sees two special people, man and man capable of Love and no longer silences Love to man and woman. She in her bravery embellishes the essence of Love as Birth Mother. She never walks away. Never stops remembering. Baby placed in another’s arms please be safe from the real worlds harm. Each birthday she remembers you. Each birthday I remember, too. I love My child from another’s time, another’s eyes and not just mine. I don’t want to share but I do. LittleMe reminds me blood is not family often, but without the conscience of one amazing human that I don’t know, I would not be the selfish Mother that I am. I do not want to share, or recall or feel linked in this triage of Love. Then there is more, a brother, too. You are not for me to contain, hold back nor own. And Love, well, my way is always possessive and greedy when I am afraid of being forgotten; be it by my child, my lover, or my Love never given openly to another, I will covet and feel weary. I know no one is really mine. It’s a broken part of me that ROCK believes is ready to open the door and spread some goodness. I hope this is true. I think of the woman who healed when my brother was placed in her arms and want him back. I want to scream for BaDDaD to “go to hell”. I lost someone, too. My heart sees the face like mine in a strange far away and terrifying reunion and I cry. I keep you brother in my pocket and I wish you were more than an image of genes and mistakes. People like me go on loving their abusers, their users and the Truth is simply that we didn’t know we had a choice.
Our abusers, be they family or not leave an imprint. BaD DaD could play the harmonica and the good times were real. Keeping the “Healing Contract” of NO CONTACT is very difficult during the holidays. “LittleMe” and ROCK know this time is often painful, melancholy and bittersweet. If you feel weak, buckle down, as this is your time to share Safe 💕 Love. That means caring for your own heart with delicate and real life protecting mechanisms. No matter what good you might recall, toxic and selfish parents, spouses and relatives do not get immunity because of any special holiday you might celebrate. They will never change. YOU must be the one who continues to heal, protect and promise that you, like “LittleMe” will remain strong and enough. Love YOU first.