Dous

On hot summer days I think about my mother.  Specifically my mother’s love for tanning oil and her ability to pick the perfect watermelon.  “Yeah,” she’d sigh to herself in the produce section.  In my flashbacks I’m always crouched over the shopping cart, my right thumb brushing over my phone’s glass screen, my eyes fixated on what my friends were saying or doing while I shivered in the grocery store air conditioning by the large cardboard box that my mother sifted through to find the perfect one.  Her selection process showed that not just any gourd would do.  She’d smack, spin, and slightly toss them each until she got whatever sign that she was looking for to know she’d picked a winner.  That sigh was always confirmation that her mission had been accomplished and that we could move on to the snack aisle to grab a family sized bag of chips to add to our contribution to the table at my aunt’s house.

A few hours later, over the sounds of children splashing, and kompa blasting, she’d temporarily block my sun to ask if I wanted a slice.  And as everyone grabs their first bites, we’d hear someone exclaim in a tongue laced with the sounds of the western side of Hispanola that Joyce did it again and how she always picks the best watermelon.  I’d watch her raise her own slice over her head as if to toast, lips puckered but still smiling, soaking in the praise.  And as she’d settle back into the lounge chair alongside me, shiny and golden, she’d critique her choice aloud.  A critique between just us two while still feeling like she was speaking to herself.  She’d comment on whether this one was really sweet or extra juicy but always a good choice.  She’d be right and turn to me for confirmation that I readily gave.  And with an air smooch, we’d return to our sunbathing and I’d wonder if I’d inherit this superpower like I did her almond shaped eyes and the smile that make my father’s cheekbones stand out on my face.  “yeah,” she’d sigh for a final time, satisfied.

‘N Counting

We’ve reached the “‘n counting” portion of our program.  I’ve been 30 years old for a month and 29 days.  Interestingly enough, the year I reached the milestone age thats been built up to be the turning point in my adulthood, turned out to be the year the world decided to end.  A global pandemic, murderous hornets, and a president that advised American citizens to ingest cleaning fluids to cure themselves are all running free, while I’ve spent the last 48 days in lock down with my 1 year old doxie named Frankie.

Everyone says your 30s are like your 20s, but with money.  They also told me my ass would be fatter.  I’m here to say that my ass has not gotten fatter and while I have money, it all goes to bills, rent and ordering takeout because I am too afraid   lazy to go outside and grocery shop.

Its been 3 years since my last post.  3 years since i’ve written anything I was brave enough to share.  But, yes, I’ve been writing.  I’m always writing.  Even if I don’t put pen to paper or finger tip to keyboard, I am “writing.”  My mind has always had an everlasting dialogue. Words, words, words.  Ever since I could remember, a narrator has been spinning my thoughts into prose whether I could get it down or not.  I’m always in my head and I am always telling a story.  My life has always been centered around storytelling even if my only listener is me.  It just so happens that my personal stories have been fucked up and, truth be told, I’m not proud of the kind of characters I’ve portrayed as of late.  Nobody mentioned that 30 would be the year I’d have to take a good look in the mirror and see my character’s scars, fuck ups and traumas up close and personal.  Or maybe they did and I ignored them, which is a thing i do when I don’t like what I’m being told.  Either way, I’m more forgiving of myself than I imagine others would be.  Forgiving, or enabling.  I haven’t decided yet.

I lost my father and my grandfather within a year of each other.  I ended a romantic relationship.  And another.  And another.  And another.  All while still giving them just enough to transform them into toxic situations that need actual endings.  See?  Enabling or forgiving?  Friendships have shifted, too.   And when I sit back and reflect on these growing pains, I can’t help but think about how much easier they’d be if I did have a young Leo DiCaprio hanging around to help lighten the loud.  Do kids even have TV heartthrobs anymore?  Either way, my life is a far cry from a Nick at Nite TV program.  But hey, at least theres a cute dog, right?

While I’m no family sitcom cliche, I have reached that ever so sought after moment that many millennial girls aspired to have if they grew up in the era of pink tutus, couture and cosmopolitans.  I’m alone in my very own apartment on a Saturday night, typing on my Macbook and drunk off of a bottle of sauvignon blanc.  I’d say I’ve become a regular Bradshaw if it weren’t for the fact that I live in Queens and I own not nary a Manolo.  But if its toxic behavior and witty banter you’re after, I’m still your girl.

In all honesty, coming back to this blog wasn’t exactly on my list of To Dos.  Sure, I pay for the domain, but I began to question myself as a writer.  Don’t all writers? Yes, I know I said that I’m always writing and I AM.  But I stopped seeing myself as the kind of writer with something to say that was worthwhile.  I still question that in this very moment.  But tonight, someone pulled my card.  I’ve always described myself as non-confrontational but, shit, I’m confrontational as fuck.  Not physically because I’m way too vain and don’t want to risk injuries that alter my appearance.  But the truth is, I’m always ready to do verbal combat with any motherfucker that has something to say about something I am passionate about.  Tonight it was my writing.  And yes, I reacted.  Because while I can question myself, I dare anyone to try and question ME about my ability to do this shit!

So here I am with a fire lit under my ass and a pending hangover in the morning.  I want to say that this will be the start of an ongoing habit of posting weekly, and writing chapters to a novel, which will lead to a book tour and blah blah blah.  But have I ever been the type to lie to you?  Yes.  But not about this.  Do I want to write?  I mean really write? Yeah, eventually.  I’m glad I’m here rambling and letting it out, whether its Pulitzer Prize winning or not.  But after having my card pulled, coming here to unload and essentially talking to myself through a keyboard, I realized I’ve never been the type of storyteller to do it for anybody else but myself.  I’ve just always been grateful that while I ranted, raved, bitched and cried, someone out there felt me.  But it’s never been about anybody else but me.  And I think 30 will be a testament to that.  I’m doing shit for me.

Don’t Be “That Girl”

“You want to start watching wrestling just because a guy likes wrestling?”

My then best friend, Danielle, stared at me with confusion.  She actually enjoyed wrestling and watched it regularly.  She was into those sorts of things.  Wresting, other sports.  Any other time these things came up, she was usually the one talking, not me.  I had no interest in it.  But here I was asking her to teach me more about it.  And when she asked why I wanted to know, I don’t think she was prepared for the answer.

“Yeah.  Mr. Cox said he likes wrestling and I want something to talk to him about.” I replied plainly.

You see, my middle school was a typical catholic school. Uniforms, a couple nuns. However, the principal did the cishetero women and girls hitting puberty a ton of favors when it came to hiring substitute teachers.  For some reason, they were always attractive, seemingly straight men between the ages of 23 and 30.  In this case, Mr. Cox was the fresh meat in the hallways.  Needless to say, his name alone made for some inappropriate jokes at a lunch table surrounded by giggling, 7th grade girls.  My crush on Mr. Cox wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.  It was not unusual for children my age to have crushes on their teachers.  He was never inappropriate with students.  Just nice.  And very very cute.  My logic at the time was when you liked a person, you found things to talk about with them.  He mentioned wrestling while talking to us casually after school and I figured I’d do my homework on it.  But to my poor young heart’s dismay, my efforts on seeming more interesting to this grown man were in vain.  He actually started dating a classmate’s older sister.  I googled him once while I was in high school.  He gained weight and lost his hair.

But Mr. Cox’s glow down isn’t the point of this.  Let’s return focus to my conversation with Danielle and my motives behind my new found interest in wrestling.  I don’t think I need to explain that my wanting to know more about wrestling was full of shit.  As stated before, I truly did not care for it.  But its what I thought would make me seem more desirable to this person that I desired.  I wish I could say that as I got older I realized just how stupid this thought process was.  Danielle was fortunate enough to be aware of how stupid it was way back then.  She even told me, “thats dumb” after I explained the reason behind my sudden interest.  But alas, I would continue to think this way for years to come.  Whenever a guy I liked would show interest in a specific kind of girl, if I didn’t fit that mold, I’d force it.  I’d change.  I’d try to be motherfuckin Mystique to get his attention.  I’d adopt ideals that I truly didn’t believe in just to be more likeable.  Today we call these types “pick me”s.  You know them.  You might be one.  The “cool” girls.  The girls the proclaim that they “act like guys” and are “different from other girls” because they like sports, cook, clean, suck dick for 198765 hours straight AND swallow, don’t need to have money spent on them, will pay another woman to fuck their man while they watch because it doesn’t bother them at all.  All the things “other” women won’t do because we’re difficult.

But I’m here to tell you that being THAT girl is TRASH.

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As an adult going through my pick me phase, the results always ended up in my acceptance of treatment that I did not deserve.  Always bare minimum bullshit.  Because at least I was picked, right?  Wrong.  Even if I got the attention I was craving, it was never for long and never healthy.  Being “different” had me in situations with men that I didn’t want or need to be in.  I mean, I was a side bitch for 4 years.  That nigga had two full relationships with two different women and me NOT being picked on the side.  Why did he “keep me around” though?  Because I was “different.”  Translation: You’re dumb enough to do, say and be whatever I need/want at the time that the women I’ve committed to have enough dignity to say no to.  And me, being insecure, unaccepting of my true self and afraid of reject, took what I could get just so that I wouldn’t be alone.

At some point though, I realized that being a pick me wasn’t doing me any favors.  Sure, I was getting dick but I wasn’t getting respect, love, or the kind of treatment I wanted and deserved. So why not just be myself?  If i’m going to be alone, I might as well be the type of person I actually fuck with since thats who I’ll be spending most of my time with.  I had to stop playing the role of a fool for the sake of being cool.  And it’s been working for me.  Has it been easy?  Hell no!  Some of the best dick I’ve encountered has been attached to the worst kind of men.  And there are times when I’m just plain lonely and want to feel wanted even if it is a lie.  But has it been worth it?  Yes.  Because more often than not, I feel better about myself now.  I’ve learned that there will be people that will accept me for my true self and I don’t need to go chasing after anyone.  I’ve learned to articulate what I want and do not want.  I’ve also learned to pause and reflect on whether or not what I thought I wanted is still what I want and if it’s not, I’ve learned to accept that it is ok to change my mind and walk away from situations that no longer feel positive for me or the other parties involved.  This goes for platonic and romantic relationships alike.

Learning to love yourself and being okay with just yourself won’t happen over night. But its a journey worth taking.  I’m in no way shaming anyone that does like to suck dick for a million hours straight and swallow.  If that is truly what makes you happy, then go for it!  But I encourage you to consider the reasons why you do or say things.  Is it truly for you?  If not, don’t do it or say it.  You’re enough just as you are.  You will be loved just as you are.  You can be happy just as you are.

Don’t Call It A Comeback

[Insert “is this thing on?” joke here]

I find myself often asking for consistency in my relationships, both platonic and romantic. However, I see that I don’t do a good job at remaining consistent with myself. Ain’t that about a bitch?

Hello again. It’s been almost two years since you’ve heard from me. My apologies if you’ve missed me. I missed me too.

Its 7:09 AM EST. I officially started my winter break but as life would have it, my body hasn’t fully adjusted to the time off which allows me to sleep past 6 AM without much consequence. But this morning I decided to stop talking about getting back to writing and actually do it. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately: doing and not just talking. Let’s pause and rewind first.

At first I sat here and typed long paragraphs attempting to fill in the gaps between now and when I last posted but I deleted them. Why? It just didn’t feel necessary to do. What I will say, however, is that the 1 year and 6 months since my last post have has been filled with transitions, growth and a major loss. In June, one of the largest parts of me, my grandfather, passed away. I’ve learned since then that grief is a strange thing. I’ve traveled some, lost weight, made friends, lost friends, grown a ton professionally, struggled financially and a bit academically. I’ve made some selfish choices that I’m not ashamed of and felt were necessary and some that simply served as instant gratification but in the long run weren’t worth the outcomes. I’ve dated, had great sex, had trash sex. I’ve gotten high. I’ve gotten drunk. I’ve cried a lot. But most importantly, I’ve been DOING things. I’ve been GOING places. I’ve been LIVING. Finally.

I’ve learned that as fun as it is to say, “live your best life!” it’s not always easy for me to do. It can get messy. I question myself and my choices a lot because I’m so used to playing it safe. It’s part of the process I suppose. But I like who I am priming myself to be.

Which brings me back to the concept of consistency. It is a skill that I’m still mastering. However, I find that without practicing it, this woman I’m becoming will vanish.

Was this my best writing? No. But I stopped saying I was going to write, and I did it. We’ll shake the rust off as we go. So here’s to consistency and all the growth it shall bring. You will be seeing me more often. I promise.

Trying To Like My Mother

A few months back, my mother and I got into yet another disagreement.  It consisted of the usual talking points: She failed as a mother, her daughter is selfish, her daughter doesn’t subscribe to the same moral code as she does, etc.  Typical Haitian mother dramatics.  She told me that it upsets her that I don’t speak to her and that she doesn’t understand why.  She went on about how she wants to be able to communicate with me and still complained that she had failed as a mother because her daughter didn’t grow up to be exactly as she had planned.   While she talked, I sat on the edge of her bed growing angry.  It was time to give it to her straight.  Maybe then, I thought, she would leave me alone.  Maybe if I finally tell her exactly how I feel about her, she will get the point and just leave me alone.  And so I said it.  “You’re my mother and I love you.  But I don’t like you.  I don’t want to talk to you.  And since I’m such a disappointment, once I move out, you won’t hear from me ever again and you can still make things right with your son.  Hopefully he doesn’t disappoint you.”

Saying those words felt good.  I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t give me some pleasure seeing the look of hurt on her face after hearing what I really felt.  She had hurt me and I wanted to hurt her back.  I felt lighter.  And so I kept going.  I told her how her wishy-washy behavior is damaging and confusing. I told her that she needs to say what she means the first time and stop trying to be a “cool mom” when she will only regret it later after I’ve acted in accordance to what she has said.  I told her that she has to accept that I am not and never have been another version of her.  I told her that I am ME and will continue to be me.  I told her that in order to preserve my sanity, I’ve decided to be selfish in ways that she is not because I see how her selflessness has negatively affected her.  I told her everything.  “Well I’m sorry.  But you don’t know the truth about why I have done much of what I have to you.” she replied.   I looked at her confused.  She was saying there was a reason behind everything, so what is it?  But when I asked, she refused to speak of it.  “If you won’t tell me WHY you do these things, I won’t understand and we won’t get anywhere,” I explained.  Still she refused to tell me about whatever she had been hiding.  “So then nothing will be resolved and there is no need to continue with our conversation.” I concluded.  She tried to get me to accept her apology but I saw no need for it. She was not willing to help me understand and so I was unwilling to forgive her.   And then she finally opened up and told me everything.  My mother finally shared with me the secrets of her life that she vowed to never tell me out of fear that I would look at her differently.  It wasn’t easy for her and when she was done speaking she looked at me as if I had stripped her naked and left her raw and exposed.  She looked at me as if she hated me for making her bare her soul to her first born and only daughter after she had spent much of her life burying those experiences and secrets.  I hugged my mother and told her that I loved her.  I thanked her for finally trusting me enough to tell me what she promised herself and God that she would take to her grave.  I assured her that what she told me would not make me look at her differently.  However, since that day, I do see her differently.

My mother’s fear of her children knowing these things about her and looking at her differently is valid.  She’s afraid that her experiences would cause her children to see her negatively.  But it is quite the opposite.  Growing up I’d always seen my mother as tough and able to withstand anything.  Everyday I see the physical scars life and love have left on her.  They tell everyone that she is a survivor of tragedy.  She is a miracle.  My mother was not supposed to be alive today but she beat the odds.  But for some reason I never thought about the emotional scars.  The scars and still open wounds on her heart and soul.  Now I’ve seen them.  I’ve smelled the blood.  I’m beginning to understand.  And because I’m starting to understand, I’m trying harder.

Since the day my mother opened up to me, we have argued some.  To say that we’ve become the black version of the Gilmore girls would be a farce.  She still has a hard time understanding some things about me and I still think she is crazy.  There are still times when I’m angry and think to myself that I will move far away and never reach out to her.   There is still a lot of work to be done and truthfully, I’m unsure of just how much progress will be made.  The difference is that before, I had come to accept that she and I will never get along.  I had decided that I will never like my mother and maybe I just don’t want to like her.  But today, I no longer feel that way.  Today, I want to like her.  Today, I am trying to like my mother.

 

26 and Counting: A Birthday Post

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A fresh sew-in is always worthy of celebration.

26 years ago today, I made my grand entrance into this not-always-so grand world.  I must have always known that I’d feel indifferent about my birthday because I even slept through my actual birth. Yep. I was asleep the whole time. Or at least that’s what my mother told me.
As a kid, birthdays were great!  Cake, pizza, presents, all the attention I wanted.  March 3rd was all about me and how great I am.  What a time to be alive!  But after high school, I wanted to go back to my infant days and just sleep through March 3rd every year.  My birthdays went unnoticed, uncelebrated, overlooked, and pushed aside by people I thought cared about me. This caused my attitude about my birthday to turn a bit sour. I mean, nobody else cared, why should I?

Thankfully, towards the end of college, I welcomed people into my life that have shown that they care about me. Not just on birthdays but every day.  However, this year, while I’m not feeling like a Granny Smith Apple, I’m not bubbling with excitement either.

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How I should feel


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How I really feel

Yes, my friends are very correct about how this is one of my best years to date. I’m finally settling into my desired career at a great school that has a great staff and great students. I’m in a loving, supportive relationship. I’m going back to school in a few months to pursue a second degree. On paper, you could say that I’m in a good space in my adult life. These are all positives right?  I should be going into my 26th birthday joyful and enthusiastic. But I’m not and I think I finally know why.

I’ve been mulling over what the hell my birthday post would be about for bit. And since that conversation shown above, I’ve been extra focused on trying to put my finger on why I feel this way.  I’ve asked myself what my problem is over and over just to hear my inner self reply, “girl, who knows!”  Finally, I think I’ve got it.  And it only came to me a few moments ago while drafting up this piece and stumbling upon an over looked connection between Shonda Rhimes’s new book The Year of Yes and my current state of being.

You ready?  Ok. So, I’ve got all of these great things happening for me right?  Here’s what’s got me down though.  I’m simply not enjoying life. I’m not LIVING.  I’m not DOING anything.  I’m merely going through the motions and doing what I’ve convinced myself I have to do. I’m existing. I’m taking up space. That’s a pretty wack realization, right?  And while reading Rhimes’s book, while i was thoroughly entertained, I didn’t notice how much i related to what she was saying.  I just thought the woman was being a great writer.  But really, she was secretly exposing my own personal issues through wit, Beyonce references and jokes about red wine that are funny because they’re true.  I mean, that woman is GOOD!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy as hell to have found a better job in a field of work that I love.  The education system isn’t perfect and needs A LOT of work but I’m happy to make lasting impressions on the ones that have our future in their tiny, germy, peanut butter and jelly covered hands. Doubling my monthly income is pretty fucking sweet too, am I right?  And being in a relationship where I know I’m being loved and supported how I know I deserve to be loved and supported is wonderful. My guy is a gem. Going back to school and receiving financial help that won’t leave me in even more debt than undergrad did is a fucking win too. But what have I actually done in these past few years?  What has been memorable about my life?  I can’t think of anything.  Nothing.  Zilch.  Khleo Thomas in Holes.

Every day, Monday through Friday, I wake up at 4 AM to make my commute to work. Every day at 4:30 PM, I commute back home. I’m in bed and asleep by 9:00 PM so that I can do it all over again. My weekends consist of falling sleep early, writing lesson plans and loafing around in bed alone or with my boyfriend. Occasionally I go get my hair and nails done. And every blue moon I’ll go be social. But a majority of the time, I’m not doing shit. I am bored out of my fucking mind.

I don’t see anyone. I barely talk to anyone. I don’t do epic shit. I don’t travel internationally. Not even a domestic flight. I’m still living at home. I’m still poor (thank you student loans). I’m just here going to work and going to sleep. And while I usually wear my laziness as a badge of honor as a means to justify my selfishness, this feels like I’m wasting my youth.

So now that I know what my problem is, how do I fix it?  Do I just get up and go?  I have a feeling the answer is yes. Yes, book that flight. Yes, go to that restaurant. Yes, visit that museum. Even if you go alone, yes. Do that thing. Do all those things. Live, bitch!  Live!

But, I’m weirdly afraid to.

And so I don’t book that flight. I don’t go to that restaurant. I don’t visit any museums. I don’t do anything. I do nothing. I go to work and I go to sleep. I just exist. Take up space. Just like I did last year and the years before that.

But I don’t want that for myself anymore. I want to stop being afraid to live and stop making excuses as to why I can’t do something. I don’t want to go into 27 still existing. I want to have done more by the end of this year. I want to have grown more in ways that a larger paycheck, and a job can’t help me grow (although I am very supportive of those things growing all they want). I want real life experiences. I want to be like Shonda Rhimes. I want to start saying, “yes.”

So I’m making 26 my year of yes. I’m done merely existing and taking up space. I’m going to go out and do things, see things, eat things. I’m booking that domestic flight and saving for that international one (ya girl is still poor. Let’s not get crazy). I’m going to that museum or gallery. Alone or with company. I’m saying yes.  Yes to 26 and counting.

Now…

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Hazy Pt 3

His lips grazed my collarbone. Biting on my bottom lip, I suppressed a moan. His hand had found its way underneath my skirt and with a slip of a finger, he began to make the motions of a guitarist gently strumming. I began to hum along to his melody.
Chad embraced me and I could smell the mixture of cigarettes and Calvin Klein on his shirt. I caught a few glares from both men and women.
“I almost didn’t recognize you standing there!  You look great!”
“Thank! So do you!”
We had to scream over the music. However, Chad’s baritone came through a lot clearer than my own voice. I wasn’t sure if it was the bass from the speakers that I felt, or the bass coming from Chad’s voice box. 
            “Tasha has done it again.”
            “Doesn’t she always?”
            “You’re right about that.”
We stopped for a moment and just stared at each other. I waited for him to ask about Juelz but he didn’t.
            “Still painting?”
            “Of course. Still writing?”
“Of course. When is your next art showing? I really enjoyed myself at the last one.”
“I’m not sure yet. I’m working on a piece now but it’s taking longer than expected. I’m at a sort of loss for inspiration.”
“Maybe you need some excitement.”
“Yeah, maybe. That’s why I came out. I’m hoping that the big rotten apple has something for me tonight.”
“Well, if it doesn’t, at least you still look great. What are you drinking?”
“Anything that will get me drunk.”
Chad turned to the bar and flagged down the bartender. She flirted with Chad as he ordered shots for the both of us and glared at me standing beside him. After about 4 shots I began to feel warm. I knew that pretty soon I’d be very drunk and so I should stick to beer for the rest of the night. 
            “Chad, I think you’ve done your duty.”
            “Drunk already? You used to be able to handle more than this.”
He laughed and ordered us two beers. The same bartender glared at me but with the liquid courage flowing through my veins I smiled and gave her the finger. She rolled her eyes and turned to retrieve our drinks.
            “Still a feisty drunk I see.”
            “Old habits die hard. I’ll be right back though. I have to go to the bathroom.”
“You’re breaking the seal already? Oh come on!  When did you become such a softy?”
I shrugged and smiled as I took off my jacket.
            “Keep this safe. I’ll be right back.”
I pushed my way through the crowd and towards the back of the club. I spotted Tasha in the VIP section sitting on some man’s lap. Same old Tasha. I made my way to the bathroom and was surprised that there wasn’t a line outside of the door. Was it out of order? Whatever. I just wanted to sprinkle some cool water on my neck. 
I walked inside and turned on the faucet. Just then I heard a knock at the door.
            “Busy!” I shouted.
There was another knock.
            “Hold on!”
I was rummaging through my purse when I heard the door open.
            “Jesus Christ! I said someone…”

Hazy Pt. 2

I felt his hand travel up my thigh, stopping at the seam of my skirt. I watched him examine my face. I felt the blood rushing to my head and there was a pulse between my thighs. He smirked and flashed his teeth a bit. What did he have in mind here? Where was I letting this lead? And why did I want it to lead anywhere at all?

I heard a whistle from behind me and turned around to see Phil giving me a once over. 
“Isn’t it past your bedtime, Phillip?”
“You gonna tuck me in?”
“No. That’s your mommy’s job.”
Phil was a 21 year old that lived across the hall. He moved in a year ago with his girlfriend but she soon left when she caught him red handed with another woman in their living room. Phil didn’t seem too disappointed by the split. Now he could shuffle women in and out of his apartment without having to answer to anybody.  According to him, that was what being 21 was all about. Must be nice. 
“I’ll be home all night waiting for you.”
“Don’t hold your breath. Good night, Phil.”
I continued my trek down to the lobby where Juelz was waiting for me. 
“Look at you! Finally out of those filthy chucks and into some grown woman shoes! Bravo!”
“You and Tasha are paying my hospital bill when I break my ankle.”
“Oh hush.”
We walked outside and the brisk air smacked me right in the face. I had stopped going to clubs a year ago. I forgot how it felt to wear barely anything during February in New York. I was cold. I clutched my leather jacket closer to my body. It barely helped. The doorman hailed a yellow taxi for Juelz and I and within 5 minutes we were on our way. Juelz wasted no time taking out his black, sequenced flask and taking a swig. He swallowed hard and twisted his face. He handed me the flask and I followed suit, taking 3 shots of the mystery elixir. I wanted to be on the road to inebriation well before the party got to be too much. It was 12 midnight and I planned on sneaking out by 2:00 if I could shake Juelz and Tasha. 
            “Chad is coming.”
            “Oh?”
            “He sent me a text saying how he can’t wait to see me. Bitch.”
Chad was Juelz’s kryptonite. He would walk into a room and Juelz would turn into mush. Juelz put up a pretty good front to the untrained eye and ear about how much he hated the man, but I saw right through it. Besides, Chad made heterosexual women wish that they were homosexual men. Little did they know, penis or no penis, Chad only had eyes for Juelz. He, like many other men, gay or straight, just had a very fucked up way of showing it. 
The cab stopped in front a long line of people that seemed to stretch across the entire island of Manhattan. We didn’t do lines though. I stepped out of the backseat and stumbled a bit. Yup. The alcohol was starting to take effect. Juelz scanned the crowd at the front door and spotted Benny. Benny was a bouncer that had stopped a bar fight I was in once. Since then, he’s been like a big brother. And like an all access V.I.P pass to every event we ever wanted to go to in the city.
“Benny!”
“Va-va-voom! Check you out! Not your usual garb but I’m into it!”
I blushed and played with the hem of my skirt. I felt like everyone could see my ovaries.
            “Our names are on the list.”
Benny scanned his clipboard. Even if the names weren’t there, he had to put on a show for the crowd that he wasn’t letting just anyone inside. He nodded his head and stepped aside so that Juelz and I could enter. 
            “Stay outta trouble, Tyson.”
            “Haha. Very funny, Benny.”
The music was blaring and almost deafening. I needed another drink. Juelz and I separated and I made a beeline for the bar. I figured he was going to find Tasha. I’d find them eventually. I approached the bar and squeezed through the crowd. I glanced to my right and spotted Chad. He flashed his million dollar smile and made his was in my direction.

Beastly

I opened my eyes and forced them shut again. Was I even alive? I had to be. Either that or I was in hell and being forced to relive a hangover for all eternity. The air in the room was thick with the smell of the alcohol that I was sweating out through my pores. I surveyed the room, now illuminated by sunlight. What time was it? I sat up, searching for my cellphone that was undoubtably lost in a sea of blanks. On the nightstand was an empty cognac bottle. That explained the wicked headache I had. I cursed myself. I finally found my phone and tapped it’s home button to awaken it.
But before noticing the time, I noticed the green bubble next to a name I was all too familiar with seeing on my screen when nights like last night happen.I’d gone there again. I’d done it again. I’d opened that cage within me that was dead-bolted shut whenever I was in my sober, less impulsive frame of mind. Funny how alcohol made me forget everything else but where I’d hidden the keys that unlocked this kennel and let loose beastly urges and rabid emotions that liked to sink their teeth into victims and lock their jaws. The last time I unleashed these beasts, there wasn’t a survivor in sight.

What did you do? No. Don’t open it. Delete. Delete. Delete. You were drunk. You still kind of are. What are you doing? You’ll be sorry. Stop!

Swipe

I scrolled up. I cursed myself again. It’s also funny how hard liquor can make me so soft.

“I miss you”

“You must be drunk”

“Why I gotta be all that?”

“You’re only nice to me when you’re drunk.”

“Man whatever”

“That was fast”

“You miss me?”

“Lol”

“Don’t play with me”

“Who’s playing?”

“Fuck you”

“See this is why I can’t fucking stand you”

“Blah blah”

“Leave me alone. Bye”

“When am I going to see you?”

“Never.”

“Keep playing with me.”

“I’m not doing this with you.”

“Listen man”

“Door plz”

Huh? Did I miss something? I checked my call log. 3 outgoing calls had gone unanswered but the fourth and last must have been received. The call lasted 15 minutes. That was just enough time for those monsters to prepare to feast.

I put the phone down. There was the sound of bare feet padding against the hardwood floor in the hallway, heading in the direction of my bedroom door. I caught myself holding my breath as I waited for the doorknob to turn. In she walked. Without a word she climbed back into bed with me. Securing herself in my arms she planted a kiss on my lips. The beast salivated. She looked at me as if she already knew that she was now in the lion’s den. And while we both hoped that this time would be different we knew she would not leave here in one piece. Without intending to, I’d once again sink my teeth in and treat her heart like a chew toy. She looked away and sighed, ready to be eaten alive.

Hazy

We were nose to nose. Both of us breathing heavily. My skin felt as though it had been set ablaze. I inhaled. His cologne was intoxicating. He brushed a thumb across my bottom lip and gazed into my eyes intensely. I felt light-headed. I hadn’t even noticed him follow me into the bathroom.
Tasha was infamous for throwing the best parties. She was “close” with all of the popular club owners and they never had any objections when she asked to use their venues for her own personal gatherings at barely any price. At least not a price many self-respecting women would be willing to pay. But then again, who is anyone to say that Tasha had no self-respect. 
“No, Ramon! I said I wanted 50 bottles of your best champagne. Not 50 bottles of the cheap shit that nouveau riche, hip-hop artists waste by pouring on an underage hoodrat’s ass! Get me what I asked for!”
She tossed her cellular phone down on the couch and put her hands on her hips, looking flustered. She was such a drama queen. 
“I swear its like talking to a brick wall when I have to plan anything with that man.”
I continued to stare at my canvas. My blank canvas. Lately, inspiration had been hard to come by. I had hit a month long roadblock. Maybe if I sat in front of the canvas long enough, something would just happen. 
“You’re coming tonight right?”
“No. I have to paint.” I didn’t look away from the canvas.
“Paint like you’re doing now?”
I glared over my shoulder and sent imaginary knives straight for her.
“I’m just saying,” she responded when she noticed my death stare. 
“You’re always saying something. How about you shut up for once?”
I heard Tasha make a hissing noise at me as her heels clicked against my hardwood floor towards the kitchen. I went back to my canvas and back to trying to will something to happen. It was a failed attempt. I was beginning to get a headache. Closing my eyes and rubbing my temples, I got up from my stool and walked into the kitchen. Maybe I should eat something I thought. There I found Tasha picking at a bowl of grapes on the counter. 
“I’m coming to your stupid party.”
“Good. Now get dressed. We’re going shopping because I know that not a thing you own will do for this event.”