Twitterin’ (heeey) sing-le
Oooh, In a 1-0 kind of world
I’m glad I’ve got Twit-ter!
Confession: My Twitter feed is fairly one-note. There’s a spectrum certainly, but even that spectrum falls under the category of “Stuff I’ll tolerate reading 140-characters at a time.” Thus, I don’t have too many people who are, in my opinion, batshit crazy and perpetually insufferable. I once referred to Twitter as the college dining hall for grown-ups and that still applies. The people whom I follow are people who I would sit at a table and shoot the shit with. Read the rest of this entry »
As you may or may not be aware, a new decade will begin on Friday. Since lists are what people do at the end of things because paragraphs with common threads are just entirely too difficult to cobble together, I’ve followed suit with a random hodge-podge of observations, thoughts and things learned over the course of ten years.
2000: We were league champions after going on an improbably post-season run. Knocked off Wheeler, 53-51. In my career, we only beat Wheeler once. Lesson: Only one game counts.
2001: 9/11. Vagina. Lesson: You can learn all things from war and genitals.
2002: High school graduation.Robert Horry hit that shot against the Kings. on my graduation day. Lesson: Robert Horry is the Butterfly Effect.
2003: Yale. The Michelle. Being an idiot regarding several things, mostly The Michelle-related. Lesson: Flattery is the key to infidelity.
2004: The College Dropout (album and real life). Lesson: Being a nightclub bouncer is infinitely more interesting than folding pants at the Gap.
2005: Yale, again. The Justice League. Argentina with The Intercontinental Champ. Lesson: You can always go home again, but it might not be how you left it.
2006: The best and worst day of college happened on the same day. Iberia. Lesson: Sometimes, you have to make trades, especially when you don’t have a choice. Also, sometimes friendship is no friend at all.
2007: Yale graduation. Lesson: Getting in is easier than finishing.
2008: The Spirit Warrior’s Dream. The Feath. The Election. Lesson: It’s usually the one you never saw coming.
2009: Freezing at the Inauguration. Brougham gets married. The Feath begins work on The Franchise. Lesson: It’s about grown man time…
INT – NIGHT
Jon and The Feath are napping in bed before having to go a play and work respectively. After considering her for a few moments, Jon nudges The Feath.
JON: Will you marry me? I’m really asking. I don’t have much but you’re my person.
The Feath claps her hands over her mouth in disbelief.
THE FEATH: Yes!
Jon and The Feath sit in silence, not really sure what happens the moment after such questions are asked.
THE FEATH: Dammit.
THE FEATH: I have to go to work.
JON: Alright. I gotta go to this play.
Fade to black
INT. – NIGHT
Jon and The Feath are sitting in bed. A heated discussion over positive thinking is in progress. Jon shrugs off such things in a fit of melancholy. The Feath has heard enough.
THE FEATH: I can’t! Jon…you could be great at so many things. I just…sometimes, I wanna punch you in the face, knock you on your butt and say “Hurts don’t it?” then pick you up and dust you off and go on with our life.*
JON considers this and thinks about a saucy retort. Then actually listens. Then laughs hysterically. The saucy dame had something of a point.
FADE TO BLACK
*”Hurts don’t it?” is from the Kurt Russell tour de force Tombstone, a favorite quoted multiple times a week since we’ve met.
A colleague, frustrated with what she sees as Michelle Obama’s inactivity on issues that matter, mentioned to me last night that she’d be impressed if she heard the First Lady speak publicly on the health care debate, particularly the public option.
I have to admit I would be impressed as well. But I would be impressed for different reasons. I would be impressed because, in the event that the First Lady spoke publicly on the public option, such a colossally ill-advised move could only inspire awe.
Michelle Obama will never speak on the public option and she shouldn’t. The move would only cripple what her husband is attempt to do no matter what side she came down on. If she favored the option, the Socialist Nazi Hitler Youth chorus would be refreshed anew. If she did not, the cries of betrayal would make even Joe Lieberman screw his face in disapproval.
While I appreciate my colleague’s remark–which was made during part of a larger discussion on Michelle Obama’s responsibilities, particularly in the Black community–I couldn’t help but feel as though relationship cornerstones had been overlooked regarding the First Lady speaking out.
In my experience, the strongest relationships were anchored in not only love, respect and fidelity, but also the presentation of a united front. Surely, there were disagreements behind closed doors and their were passionate differences of opinion, but that kind of transparency wasn’t for all company, particularly when a matter of critical importance was at stake.
Disagreement is natural–and hopefully welcome. Throwing your partner under the bus is never OK at any point. And while that seems obvious enough, plenty of people run into trouble because they don’t know which is which; they bus-chuck when they think they’re merely standing on their own two. The great partnerships get it; they understand the times when a family has to hold the line, even if one party is unsure. This isn’t about a wife’s obligation to her husband; this is about a partner’s obligation to another and it is a tie that binds both ways.
While I don’t know the Obamas personally, I imagine they’re acutely aware of their life and times. Perhaps in rousing closed-door discussions among friends, Barack and Michelle–two high intellects who don’t mind a good joust–go toe to toe, standing on their own two. But as the President and First Lady, it’s different; the doors are far too open, as are the ears.
For all we know, Michelle Obama is putting in all manner of work behind the scenes. She’s obviously intelligent and, in being one of the three people with the number to the BarackBerry, she has the president’s ear. And because she has it, she needn’t say more.
The Feath is apparently not Black.
Sometimes, while icing her dodgy knee or getting her toes done, I look at her extremities, her odds and ends, and puzzle over how different we look. We do not look the same. The above confuses me to no end and, after the time we’ve spent together, I still don’t quite get it.
The Feath is Native American. I tell her many Native Americans in our neck of the woods owe the continuation of their existence to Black men. She denies this not but still insists on being called Native American.
While this musing is generally light in nature, something about it is rather weighty. As a person who, on paper and principle is “You love who you love,” I’m beginning to wonder if I ever really imagined myself with someone who was Not-Black.
The Feath falls in line with what my folks call my “type”–athletic light-skinned girls (and while you can chalk a certain degree of acculturation to that, there is a much more personal explanation which I offer when asked politely). But she is different in that she culturally attributes her lightskinnededness to being a Not-Black person; To being a member of a tribe, people who go to harvest festivals and wear buckskin and own more than a few carved things and really are on tribal rolls and really do get casino money. A tribe. Of Not-Black people.
More importantly, she’s different because I am, somehow, older than I once was and choice in partner has taken on a different complexion. The stakes no longer hinge on The Game weekend or Spring Break plans. Suddenly, for the first time, the reality of my choice has been thrown into stark relief; not because of The Feath’s personhood–her character is maddeningly beyond reproach–but because she not only looks different than I do, she also identifies differently than I do. And suddenly it seems to matter.
This contradiction, though subtle, continues to give me pause because I do not understand.
In that part of me that is small and not progressive, the fact that I cannot place her in a category that I “understand” drives me up a wall. She’s not “White”; she’s not “Latino and or Hispanic”; she’s not “Asian”; she’s…Almost-Black?
The Feath has many “Black” markers–some in the stereotypical ways; others in the ‘Black folks do that’ way. Yet when she talks about Black people, the tone is ‘you all’ rather than ‘we.’
I tell her she sings like a Black person. She shrugs.
I tell her she directs the gospel choir at my dad’s theatre. She says “So?”
I ask her what Native American things consist of. She’s not really sure. She asks me what some Black things are, what are some intrinsic markers of Blackness. I can’t answer quickly.
It’s not because I didn’t think I could call up examples, but because so much of Blackness is nothing less than an indescribable feeling for whom cultural signifiers are limiting and inaccurate; so much of Blackness is between the notes for those with the ears to hear.
I tell The Feath she is Black. She says she is not.
I don’t know what Native Americans from our neck of the woods do differently. That is my struggle. I understand it in practice but, upon observation, I just don’t see the difference. But The Feath insists it is there, insists that there are things done differently.
I just don’t get it. And maybe that’s the blessing.
Is just like this.
INT. – THE BEDROOM – NIGHT
Jon, who has just left the shower, is sitting on the bed putting shea butter on his feet. The Feath, in her pajamas, is seated directly behind Jon applying grease to his perpetually-thirsty scalp. With brush in hand, The Feath methodically goes through the application ritual. Though Jon winces as the brush goes over tender spots, he is appreciative all the same.
Feet properly moisturized, Jon sits up and allows the The Feath to finish up. She pays particular attention to the left side of his scalp, just above the ear, which has been a problem area of late.
Out of nowhere, Jon breaks the silence between them.
Are there any high-end Black hair care products?
(Thinking) Well…not too many Black people have anything high end.
Jon ponders this in silence as The Feath finishes his scalp.
FADE TO BLACK