Dateline: March 20, Fifth Avenue
April 14, 2012
Today has completely blown me away. It started out innocuous. Actually slept, awoke rested, ready for the world. And as I dug on Aristotle, I thought of Mr. Brown so I wrote an email but did not send it. Then I went to my spot and got into a conversation about Trayvon Martin, asking what will it take to change what’s happening. The insistent murder of black children in this country, be it be predators motivated by racism or self hatred—or is there any difference. Thinking about what it is to be a leader, to be willing to die for the cause. To put yourself in the line of fire is to live bulletproof. To realize that being fearless is a non-negotiable position and such a commitment is a terrifying proposition. To understand that I am not a leader but a messenger. To admire those who lead because they change the world.
I went back to my email. I rethought and rewrote it and sent it. And it is a beautiful thing to re-establish this connection. Because.. it is difficult to acknowledge that I am attracted to leadership in men. Because in my life, that has been a dangerous thing. But to deny this part of me is to deny my truth. For I know it well, two halves of a whole. Shiva has the vision and Parvati makes it happen. Men have will and women have power. And while it is important that I learn to do for self, to stand alone and rely on no one else, it is equally important that I learn what it is to be a woman in relationship to a man. I know my destiny is to be found in healing this wound, into having the absolute courage and strength to be fearless. Non-negotiable.
But in writing to Mr. Brown, I went too far. Tis a slippery slope, one I seem to fall down. On my ass, on my face. Because I don’t know what I am doing. I don’t know how not to lead. Because I have yet to discover a man who is going my way. But.. Mr. Brown has courage and patience and a forgiving heart. He is not a saint, I type with a wry smile. We come from the same place, and maybe that creates compassion. Or tolerance. Or something.
Actually, it doesn’t matter. What matters is, I saw myself imagining that he had IT, but once again, I am deluding myself of what I need. He got me here, even though he didn’t do a damn thing. But he inspired me, and I’d love to dream this means something. And it does—to me. But not to him. I realized there is an invisible line, one that I can no longer cross because I am betraying my heart. But it isn’t easy. For far too long, betrayal has been a way of life, so much so I do it without realizing–until it has been done, and I have to acknowledge I fucked up. And to acknowledge it without punishing myself, because I was trained there was no forgiveness, only eternal darkness. Thus my novel…
So it’s like, I am rewiring myself. Like I am the C4 on the boat in Lost, yea, no wrong moves please. Only, I aint gonna blow. We past alla that. I am in stage 3—I am alone, in the void, uncomfortable and awkward and out of sorts. But no longer can I distract or destruct or fill the emptiness. I can only embrace my nothingness. For today I have learned what happened when I put someone ahead of myself. Not only did I fuck up, but I drained my strength. So I took myself for a walk because when in doubt sunshine heals and as I sat on the Avenue I got a text from him.
And he said hello and asked how I had been and I was happy and sad to hear from him. Happy because I had this dream that I would be understood. Sad because something in me knew that I would not. But I have faith and I replied positively. I said I had been going a place I had never been and it was beautiful and scary and worth everything. And after I wrote those words, my chest began to close and a sadness descended upon me. The word “home” kept reverberating in my soul. Home, the scariest word I have ever known. My throat closes and my eyes fill with tears and I don’t want to lament but it hurts more than anything else.
Because there is no home, not yet. I see this now. I keep writing “I want to go home” over and over again. Like my grandmother the last time I saw her, clutching my grandfather’s arm. Knuckles white, voice despairing but firm. But home, home would not be what she had known. Home was where she was going, God bless her soul.
And this wave of pain swept over me and I sat on the Avenue with tears stinging. And I looked at my Blackberry and he asked, “Where are you going” and for the first time between us, I drew a boundary. I acknowledged that with all due respect, I could not have this conversation by text. I had already failed myself by not having the courage and patience to speak my truth in his presence, I had hidden behind words sent through mass communications. And with my words, I was met with disregard. Because I cannot expect understanding nor ask for it after I have already betrayed my heart. Because respect is a rare and fragile thing and it takes a compassionate person to give it after seeing another in so much pain.