Sunday, July 27, 2008

Another Baltimore girl

Kim is gone, her sons now have no mother. Her siblings have lost another. She had so many people who adored her, and I don't think she even knew. She crashed to the bottom and clawed her way back, and then crashed again. She never got to be a nurse, and she would have been a really good one. She did buy a house, get her boys back, see one graduate from high school and get a scholarship to Georgetown. I hope he goes back and becomes the physician she hoped he would. I hope her younger son can make it through adolescence safely, with no more bullies or suicide attempts, no further sinking into the abyss that awaits Black male youth in Baltimore City.

I can only hope she had some peace, and that she is able to watch over her sons from wherever she is now. Kim, if you're listening, I hope you know I tried my hardest. I wish I could have given you more of whatever it was you really needed. We all love you and will forever miss you. It's hard to believe you're gone.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Artist of the Week

Sam's camp has an artist of the week. At breakfast I asked who it was for the week, and Sam told me:

Andy Warthog.


I should have felt free, joyous, relieved. Instead I felt panicked and lonely and untethered, scrambling to get my feet to touch the ground. I thought I wanted to be with J but it was very quickly, very clear to me that he was just an excuse. Woodenly I rode in his Beretta, then sat in an apartment eating egg rolls and watching movies, counting the minutes.

Late that night I struggled with the front door lock at Hannah's parents' house, my emergency landing pad. I was in tears when her mom opened the door for me and wrapped her arms around me, held my sobbing form. I don't think any of my friends would have known what to say to me, but she understood, intuitively.

I went home the next day. It wouldn't be the last time I'd leave, and I needed to go, but I guess I just wasn't ready.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

for EPM

First, you were on the edge of my friend circle. My best friend had a crush on you for a while, then you eventually became part of our crowd.

Once we were in high school and the crowd dispersed, you started writing me letters, the equivalent of today's emails, silly since you lived a mere mile away. We had a friendly, slightly flirty, chat going on, and then you asked me out.

We dated for about 2 months. I liked you more and more, sitting under the stars in your battered MG Midget, the car that didn't run yet but you were lovingly restoring for the day when you got your license. We had fun, you were kind, and like me you stradled the working class and preppy worlds.

One day you decided I felt more like a sister than a girlfriend, and I was crushed, but you were kind about it so I healed quickly. A summer night, walking with Sherri by your house, you ran out and greeted me enthusiastically and asked if you could cook me dinner sometime. I had a glimmer of hope that you had changed your mind about us, but when we talked the next week you asked about Sherri. So I swallowed my pride and set you up, and the rest of the summer you two were a couple. And I really was ok with it.

Sherri broke up with you at the end of the summer because of your temper, and you cried on my shoulder. Then you moved on and I thought you were over it. So when the November dance came around and Sherri wanted me to call your friend Mark to see if he remembered her, I did it without thinking, a favor for a friend. Sherri and Mark went to the dance and then became a couple.

You were furious at Sherri and at Mark, but mostly at me. Given our history, your reaction truly took me by surprise. I saw you at the talent show at your school, and you were drunk and said evil things to me. I was stunned and embarassed and hurt, but also sorry for hurting you by mistake. You never seemed to see the irony in your fury.

Later we did patch it up and resume our friendship, but it was never the same. I missed you, and could have used your friendship in the next two awful years. I wonder where you are now.

- Crazy/Hip Blog-Mamas+
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