New Year’s Toast

It’s about 20 minutes until we ring in the new year and I’m in the guest bedroom at Tamara’s house waiting for the countdown.

Why am I on the computer?

I don’t know. Although there are a nice group of people mingling and drinking in the basement, it feels so…empty for me.

I could have never imagined my life would become the way it is right now. I’m not sure if I’m happy or sad about it. I’m mostly scared. Afraid of the unknown.

I won’t let my fear paralyze me though. I guess I have no other choice in the matter. I have to move forward.

In about a half hour I will make the 25 minute drive back to my shared condo in Vinings and then relax and imagine what my future will become.

It’s been a crazy ass year but it’s been a progressive one.

So here’s a New Year’s toast to progression.


Old Habits

The first day of the new year went off without a hitch. I decided that I would busy myself with showing appreciation to the people who were nice to me while I was here.

As soon as I woke up I went to visit Kym and her boyfriend. We watched movies and hung out for most of the day. When I’m around them I feel so relaxed as though it’s not about anything, not about trying to figure life out, not about the future, not about anything but relaxing. It was a treat to witness the power of their love manifested in a warm smile, soft kisses and a sense of security that even I could feel.

That was nice.

As soon as I left their house I met up with an old co worker of mine in Marietta. She was hanging out with some guys she knew. We all chit chatted and laughed for a couple of hours before I decided to go home. But not before I placed a call to the only man I couldn’t quite figure out during the time I was at the magazine, JB.

Of everyone there, he and I had the most tumultuous relationship. He hated my leadership style and I hated when he would mouth off to me, but at the end of the day I respected his writing skills and that’s what mattered most to me. And..well…there was just something special about him.

And everyone knew it.

“He’s going to be a great husband and father,” someone once told me.

“He’s the most stable one on the writing team,” someone else said.

“JB is the only one in this company that you can really trust,” another co worker told me.

And I believed them because his countenance confirmed it. He was not loud or arrogant or even pushy. And I NEVER caught him checking me out. Not once. That’s impressive in a room full of imaginative, horny men.

I guess his mysteriousness intrigued me coupled with the fact that he was just my type, lean, dark skinned and intelligent.

I know he was surprised to hear from me. I could also tell that he was just as curious to see me as I was to see him. I invited him over but he declined politely saying he would come to my dinner because he had an early morning meeting. I shook it off. At least I tried to make peace with him, even if he didn’t accept it. By the time I reached home and changed into my sweats and a sweat shirt, I got a text message from him: Send me the directions to your place.

Oh, I see he changed his mind.

I texted him the directions and redressed myself. When I saw his name on my caller ID I picked up and he told me that he was pulling up. I went outside to meet him and when he stepped out of his car, my heart stopped.

JB was even more beautiful, more masculine, more tasty than I remembered. He walked toward me with a sly grin. His derby hat tilted slightly to the left.

We walked to my apartment and he showcased his offering: a 6 pack of apple cider. We sat next to each other on the couch in amazement as the TV blasted old jams on the Smooth R&B music channel.

“Does this feel surreal?” he asked me.

“Yes, I feel it too.”

I knew he was referring to the fact that two months ago I was his boss and now we were hanging out together all cozy on the couch. What a change in dynamic especially when we never exchanged words beyond my giving him his assignments. His words broke the ice and we chatted late into the night.

My original plan was to have secks with him, just to prove that I could since he had always seemed so oblivious to my majesty. But…But…I couldn’t. I respected him too much for that. I admired him too much to make him another one of my “fuck him and leave him” conquests.

As I walked him to the door I felt this sick feeling in my heart. I didn’t want him to go.

“Are you going to dissappear on me?” he asked sincerely.

I shook my head.

I said goodbye and sank into the soft pillows of the couch reliving our conversation, our vibe, our first time being real with each other.

I didn’t like the feeling I was experiencing. It felt too much like…like…like some bullshit I didn’t want to deal with. Stop being stupid girl. He’s still one of THEM.

But he’s so…ughhhh…So fine and so nice. Maybe. I don’t know. Maybe he would be nice to me too.

The next day I texted him to say Hi and I asked him if we would see each other before my dinner party.

He texted me back: How about I take you to Sugar Hill tonight to make up for the time I didn’t escort you.

I spent the day going through my clothes, folding them up to be packed away in my car.

My hand reached for a blue sweat shirt and when I picked it up I realized that it was a size 5T. My son’s shirt.

I looked at it and held it to my chest as if somehow it would make me feel closer to him. The tears fell as I slipped the sweat shirt into the pile of clothes to keep. I had packed up some of their clothes when I first made the trip to Atlanta because I thought that they would be coming with me and we would make a new home together. I was wrong.

It’s a good thing they didn’t come with me, right? Imagine me and my boys in this crazy situation. I’m glad they have a father who has stability and can take good care of them.

By nightfall I had developed the sniffles and I took some sinus medicine to clear it up as I pushed piles of sorted clothes to the side and curled up on my blanket on the floor for a quick nap.

My ringing phone woke me and I spoke with young CEO from Houston who was calling to check up on me.

My text chimed: I’ll be there in 10 minutes. It was time for my date with JB.

I quickly hopped up and showered, unable to locate my favorite jeans until moments before he knocked on the door.

I was hella nervous. I mean…it’s one thing to enjoy a night of secks with a man, it is entirely something different to have to sit in public and talk to him knowing that within 24 hours he will have said or done something that will force you to never speak to him again.

I tried to be my usual self but I couldn’t. I kept waiting for the shoe to drop. When is he going to criticize me and tell me how I need to improve? When is he going to look at me in disgust or annoyance the way the other men in my past have?

I managed to shake the fear off for most of the evening and I think we had a good time at Sugar Hill. Sugar Hill is a club in the Underground that showcases live musicians on Tuesday nights and the place was filled with the type of women I liked to be around. Women with creative dress codes and natural hair. Men with long dreads and limber fingers. Creative types. I enjoyed myself immensely and I enjoyed being on his arm. The warmth of his hand gently guiding me as we walked felt…right.

We ended up at the Landmark Diner in Downtown Atlanta and after a nice meal of fried fish and grits, we zoomed back to my side of town.

During a moment of silence I made a decision. I would have to end this quickly. So I prepared to do what I usually do when I want to stop speaking to a man. Sleep with him.

That routine works because I feel empowered. I know that secks is what they want. Shit..I want it too. I know that there is nothing more after that but insults so after I sleep with a man I don’t speak to his ass anymore.

If I have secks with him, I will be justified in my notion that he’s just like everyone else, after one thing. I will give him what he wants so that he will walk away feeling like he conquered me but he didn’t. I pushed him away. We both win in the end.

“Why don’t you put it on that channel that we were listening to last night, the smooth R&B,” he suggested.

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I looked at him and sighed, silently wishing that things could be different.

Just one time.

Share My World – Atlanta

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I canceled my dinner party.

There we stood in the lobby at Pappadeux, everyone looking cute and happy when the questions started flowing: What are you gonna do in Houston? What are your plans? Where will you live? You don’t have a place yet? What are you going to DO?

These may seem to be ordinary questions to ask someone who is about to move away but my friends should know better. At various moments I have given them detailed updates about that fact that I DONT KNOW WHAT THE FUCK I’M GOING TO DO.

I don’t have a place to live when I get to Houston.

I don’t have money to make the drive there.

I have to be out of my current apartment by 9am tomorrow morning which means I have to find a place to sleep tomorrow night here in Atlanta before I make the mystical drive to Lousiana on Friday.

I have $24.95 in my account right now.

I pretty much need a miracle.

The worst part is.. I’ve been beating myself up time and time again over the uncertainty of the situation but I have made up my mind that I will sleep in my car if necessary.

What else will I do? What else can I do?

I have no home to run back to?

I have no place to go if I fail?

I have failed here in Atlanta and there’s nowhere for me to return to and sulk. I have no choice but to move forward because my past has been washed away.

This is my last post on Share My World-Atlanta. I’m about to pack up my computer along with the rest of my clothes and I’ll literally be living out of my car.


Some might say it’s because I’m so hot headed and so bold that I can’t keep a job. Some might say I’m too much of a dreamer and I need to sit my ass down and face reality and just…live. Others might say that my dreams are unrealistic and unfitting for a young mother.

But I say… Fuck that.

All I know is that I was destined to help people succeed. It’s all I dream about and all I ever wanted. Just because I can’t seem to grasp success on any job that I hold (or any relationship) doesn’t mean my time isn’t coming. When I get to Houston, I will just do what ever I have to do to take care of myself. I am not afraid of struggle. I don’t anticipate it but I acknowledge it is a strong possibility.

So many others would fall by, shrinking under the criticism and the doubt. I can’t do that. I’m striving to be a champion. I am going to do what I have to do.

I have to say that over and over again because I have to make myself believe it.

Whatever happens, happens, but I have to say that it was really nice sharing with all of you.

As soon as I can touch the internet again, I’ll be back with an update.

If God is willing, I’m going to Houston.

If not, who knows.

For those who have my phone number, it will be turning off next week so I’ll be unreachable until I can get another phone. I’m scared and I’m hurting. I’m feeling unsuccessful and unworthy of God’s help but…I can’t stay here so I have to go…somewhere.

Goodbye Atlanta…

Safe & Sound In Louisiana

Out of the angst and uncertainty surrounding my impending move, the clouds parted and the sunlight commenced to shine through.

Whoever said God is an 11:59 God was right because the morning that I woke up to finish packing up my car and return my key, I had no money and nowhere to go. Then it began to rain blessings in the form of strangers who have heard about my journey and want to support me. Through the kindness of others I was able to get my car serviced, buy gas, snacks and a hotel room the night before I left town. I was even offered a place to stay, in their own home. It really blowed me the fact that people feel connected to me so much that they would invite me into their home.

My heart must shine through.

I will never forget the love Atlanta showed me and I’ll admit, I did cry when I left. During my last week in Atlanta I reached out to a few people who I always thought were nice but that I had hesitated on trying to get to know. I found out that I could have had more friends in Atlanta if I had just shown myself a little more friendly. But I’ll keep in touch with all of them.

One person in particular is JB, my old co worker.

I find it difficult to write about him because (1) I know he reads this. (2) I can not accurately describe this clenching feeling in my heart that won’t go away since I met him.

I try to talk to my friends about it, but it’s hard because it sounds so surreal.

Girl..This man is great. He makes me feel so good all the time. Talking to him is like having good sex. I feel safe when I share with him. I know that he has my best interest at heart. He is so beautiful to me. So talented and mature. And he understands me. He doesn’t talk about changing me. He acts like he won the lottery by meeting me just the way I am! Girl, we are on the same maturity level. That is such a relief. I don’t have to raise him up or lead him anywhere although he does value and respect my opinion.

He’s very expressive and honest so our conversations lack the usual game playing and pretense that happens between a man and a woman who are attracted to other. I don’t have to try to figure out what he meant because he just says what he means. He’s very direct and he is just like me in the fact that he looks at the root of people’s behaviors to try to understand it. Though I feel like I love him and yes, I have told him that- It doesn’t feel like an out of control infatuation, it feels like I just met my new bestfriend.

I can not believe I have finally met a man who treats me just like my friends do. But it happened two days before I was about to leave Atlanta which intensified the emotions surrounding meeting someone who is such a good match for a friendship.

Would things change once I left him behind?

Who knows? So, I jumped on I20 West at 1pm and rode the hell out.

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Alabama was pretty. As I rode through, honking at the big ass trucks trying to act like they are Kia’s and shit, changing lanes and shit. I was like, “BITCH YOU SEE ME!!!” I hate those damn trucks! Oh, but Alabama was pretty but I kept thinking about Forrest Gump. ~smile~

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When I passed through Mippissipi I felt like I was on a civil rights tour. A lot of shit happened up and through here back in the day and the chill of the day reflected its history. I stopped in Summit, Mississippi to get some gas and that’s it.

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I took a left turn in Jackson, Mississippi and hopped on I55 South straight to Hammond, Louisiana where Ms. Wildly Sophisticated herself resides while she is in grad school. Seven hours after I left Atlanta I entered the city of Hammond and called Ruby for further directions.

When I turned into her apartment complex the entire street was dark and their were huge trucks with long arms and bright lights up and down the street. My first reaction was, “What the fuck kind of alien invasion is this?”

The tints on my car are already dark so I can’t see anything in the darkness of the neighborhood. Suddenly a smudge darts into the street.

I brake and look closer. The smudge is jumping up and down and shining two flashlights like an air traffic controller. “Park over there!” It screams. I smile.


Rollin With Ruby

I hopped out of my car and gave my girl a hug. I screamed and hugged her boyfriend Donald. We had gotten acquainted when they stayed with me in Atlanta for Memorial Weekend.

Ruby’s trying to explain why her neighborhood looks like it was invaded but I can’t hear her. It looks like Miami did when the hurricane knocked our power out.

I followed Ruby up a rickety spiral staircase to their apartment. It was completely dark so we left the door open and sat down on the couch with our flashlights. It felt good to sit down on a nice couch after all of that riding. My plan was to come through Lousiana and see Ruby and then drive on to Houston from here but Ruby made the plan even better by offering to drive to Houston with me and stay through the end of the week to be there with me while I figure out what I am going to do.

I have such amazing friends!

Before I could even snap out of my gratitude fantasy I feel a tap on my left arm. Donald is sitting next to me in the dark, “Here you go,” he says and I see a tiny spark float toward my hand.

“Thanks dawg…”

A half hour later we are hungry as hell and Ruby suggests we go to Nacho Mama’s on North Oak Drive. A bitch ate a burrito and was HAPPY LIKE A MUTHA! For real…I feel like they knew I was gonna write about their shit. I give it 4 stars!

By the time we got home the lights turned back on so we sat and watched TV while I talked on the phone with JB’s fine ass.

It seems unreal but for real. Like a missing puzzle piece has been found. I don’t know about all this. It’s as though whatever is going to happen between me and him has already been settled and I don’t have to change anything about myself or do anything to impress him or worry about who he’s seeing or sleeping with. I just know that no matter what happens between him and I, we are still going to be friends. Just like me and Tamara.

There’s no problem we could ever have that I woudn’t strive to work out.

On Saturday I spent the entire day recovering from my trip. Donald and I surprised Ruby by going to see her at work for lunch and later we all got dressed to spend the evening in New Orleans on Bourbon street. A quick call to a blog friend in the area and we decided to meet up at Cafe Dumond where I tasted my first beignet. I had two actually. Delicious! I also had a cup of the most frothy hot chocolate that I have ever experienced.

The service at Cafe Dumond was interesting to say the least. We actually had to interrupt our waitress as she sat on a chair licking her fingers and counting her money. She was into it. She had her foot up on the chair next to her.

“Excuse me? Do you know who our waitress is?” Donald asked her.

She looked up and rolled her eye, “Ain’t nobody help ya’ll?”

“No, Ma’am.”

She shifted, rose and stretched before walking over to our table and shifting all of her weight on one foot as she asked, “Can I help you?” She then commenced to picking her nails.

We went through our orders pretty quickly; 2 hot chocolates 1 orange juice and 3 orders of beignets. But by the time the last person ordered we all fell silent because we realized that we were intruding on a private moment between our waitress and the roots of her hair.

As this doughboy shaped woman flipped half of her long black braids over to one side and worked her fingers intricately in the roots of her hair to detangle her new growth, we all watched silently as to not disturb the magic of the moment.

When she walked away, my blogger friend said to me, “That’s New Orleans customer service.”

After our beignets we walked down the famous Bourbon street where I was taken to the first bar we saw. “A hand grenade for her,” he told the bartender who handed me a green plastic cup with a grenade shape at the base of a long neck.

I tasted it. It tastes like a lemonade slushy. There was a plastic, red hand grenade sitting on the top of the long, frozen drink.

“They say by the time that red grenade hits the bottom of that cup, you should be fucked up.”

Hmm… Really?

Tastes like a lemonade frosty to me.

Let’s get it!

It was raining for part of the night so the streets weren’t too packed but there were people everywhere hangung out of clubs and on the streets drinking and singing and laughing. I felt like I was in another world. You know how it looks on TV? It looks just like that. It looks like a hang out spot though. Lots of young people there, some tourists like myself. It was foggy so I didn’t get a good look at New Orleans but I did travel the same roads that we saw those people were stuck on after the hurricane.

We ended up at this club called Utopia and we danced until Ruby had to take away my drink. I never saw the grenade hit the bottom. There was this one chick there. Man…She had a nice body. I don’t know why but I just appreciate a woman who has a nice body. So I went up to her and danced with her. She danced with me too. And then I walked away.


I remember being on the floor of the bathroom in a bar in the French Quarter holding my head in one hand and my phone in the other. I was talking to JB.

And then we were back in Hammond. The fog is so heavy at night in New Orleans, I hope I get a chance to visit again before I leave here.

Now I’m sitting on Ruby’s new couches with her boyfriend, once again my home girl is at work. Ruby will always keep a job or multiple jobs. She has that strong work ethic. She owns a shirt that says, “daughter of a field negro; the struggle continues” and I believe it is fitting because she is not afraid of work.

I’ve met their friends and family and I’m about to go and meet Serenity23 in Baton Rouge. Serenity has promised to cook a good meal for me and I am so excited because I LOVE to eat and I can’t wait to see what Louisiana foods she is going to prepare as she blesses me.

Just Wanna Do The Right Thing

I feel like I’m floating on a cloud to heaven. I can not believe the amount of wonderful things that are happening to me and I have not even arrived in Houston yet. This trip is truly blessed and I have made a decision not fo defile it for my own personal pleasure. Whatever that means.

Honestly I’m scared I’m going to fuck this up. So I seem to be even more on edge about everything. I want to define my parameters early so that I don’t go into this being so open to influence. I’m not dating any of these dudes. Not right away. I don’t even know how they roll so I have to get a feel for them first. I know I will socialize more than usual and that means meeting more men but I don’t have to receive intimacy from any of them. I’m not searching for that intimate partner anymore or that emotionally intimate partner. So with men I can keep it light and free, pleasantly business-like. I hope that works.

I seem to put out a certain type of energy that translates sexually. JB told me that even when I’m being a bitch to men the energy I expel is still kinda demanding/sensual/alluring- I don’t remember what he said. Shit…I need to kill that because I want to be respected and not be eye candy/make their dicks hard. I need to play this the right way because everything that I hope for is on the line.

This is hard because I don’t have anyone that I can look to as a personal example. But I hope I figure it all out because I promise to share what I learn about pursuing my dreams and fucking up along the way but never giving up regardless of anything- I’ll share that with you.

I drove to Baton Rouge last night and had dinner with Serenity23 at her home. I met her son Tyler and we played together and I tickled him. He has such a great energy. Why is that I felt so comfortable in her home yet we are only internet blogger buddies? Words can link hearts, I guess.

We made it a slumber party and I left early the next morning back to Hammond to Ruby’s house to prepare for her football party for the GATOR game tonight BITCHES!

Lord, help me to do the right thing at all times.

Little Town Lessons

Here I am face to face with yet another couple. LOL! I’m sorry. I am ALWAYS the extra friend. LOL! Man, it’s so funny to me. I can’t believe it! I’m crazy…

Anyway, so when I’m around a couple I love to observe the dynamic of their relationship and see what kind of exchange works for them and if I’m lucky I will ask them what kinds of exchanges have they had in the form of compromise for the sake of the relationship. Who gave up what?

I’m interested to know. Watching Ruby and Donald is funny because they have a homeboy relationship. Like two dudes. Ruby is feminine all day so don’t even go there, but she loves to watch stuff like football, she’s into video games, I can’t even believe that shit and she likes action movies ~frown~.

They seem to be bestfriends. It’s funny because he’s younger than she is. They are so funny together. Donald and I will both chill on the couch, each with our own laptop open. I’m reading or writing and Donald is on youtube looking at girl fights.

Ruby stands up and throws him a disgusted look, “Bitch you need to get a hobby…”

“I do,” Donald comments. “I like to watch hoes fight.”

Donald’s friends come over and I’m sitting their sizing them up. Yum. Yum. Pretty boys. Nice smiles. Great personalities.

“How old are you?”



I laugh to myself.

No devil no. I won’t touch it.

I call up JB and tell him about the situation I’m in. “JB, there are a group of men here and all of them are 20, 21, 23.”

“You must be in heaven.”

“I’m gonna leave them alone.”

I don’t want that anymore. I mean. I don’t want that kind of physical intimacy right now. I feel satisfied in that area for some reason.

As I look around this small town it’s funny because I want to turn my nose up at it but I can’t. Although these people seem to be going so slow or not moving at all, maybe their lives are just fine where they are and they don’t have to be constantly on the run to something better. Maybe they are…satisfied.

And satisfaction is better than constantly climbing because if you never reach a plateau and relax, you’ll never fully reap the rewards of your hard work.

Child please. I don’t know. I’m just throwing out the energy that I’m feelin right now. Reflecting on what’s around me I guess. But when I get back to reality…Shit..Oh.. Calm down..

Ok. I’m aiight.

I am fucking crazy.

Let’s Get It!

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Did you catch that Gator game?


I did.

It was magnificient.

National Muthafuckin Champions in football AND basketball round this bitch.

Gainesville breeds winners.

Tomorrow Ruby and I head out to Houston, both of us seeing it for the first time. We’ve mapped out a plan of action and we hope that at least one option works. Thank God for my friend who wouldn’t let me go through this alone. She’ll fly out once I’m settled.

We’re sitting here on the eve of my departure and Ruby and I have already shared a bottle of wine. Donald is in my ear saying, “You ain’t loose, nigga, You ain’t loose.”

They are both so crazy. I’m thankful to have friends like them in my life. At first I was apprehensive about their age difference and places in life, I can see how they balance each other, each inspiring other to want more and strive for more. I think they’ll be alright if they both keep moving forward. If one slows down, then the other will either conform or break away.

I spoke to my sons tonight. My Boo Boo was telling me that he didn’t eat any dinner because his Daddy didn’t make sandwhiches for him.

“What did your daddy make for dinner?”

“Real food.”

“And why didn’t you eat it?”

“Because I wanted sandwhiches and he wouldn’t give them to me. He…He… He only took us to Burger King ONE TIME, Mama. One, time. He never take us to McDonald’s. Just one time, Mama.”

“Well baby, you know how your Daddy goes and cooks food for you every night? That’s a GOOd thing baby. That’s good eating. All that other stuff is a treat. Once in a while. Every so often, baby.”

“Well he don’t take us there.”

“Well maybe if you start eating what he makes for you then he will reward your OBEDIENCE by taking you to get a treat.”

“I’m obedient all day, at home.”

“Okay I want you to be obedient at school too, ok?”

“Ok, Mama.”

“Do You want to talk to my Daddy?”

“Um,,,Naw.,, Just tell him that I said Have a good night,”

“I told him Mama.”

“Good. I love you baby.”

“I love you too Mama.”

“I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

“Goodnight Mama.”


Tomorrow I ride.

I rise.

I fly.

I aim high

In spite of

Insight or



I don’t need




Share My World In Houston

~coming soon~

Prayers welcome.

Hello Houston

It’s midday when Ruby and I hop into my car armed only with a Lonely Planets travel guide and a quarter ounce.

We had a plan. I had two tentative appointments, one for the job I had lined up and one for a place to live. It felt like a monstrous weight on my shoulders but I kept reminding myself that all I can do, is be myself and do my best.

No one can convince me that I was in my car for five hours. It felt more like two! Ruby and I had a great time on the road together.

It was almost five when we saw the signs that read: Houston 70 Miles. As the number counted down I expected to feel butterflies or something but I just felt…peace. As we drive up I10 we can see the skyline from the distance.

“Get ready friend. Here we go!” Ruby announces and motions toward her camera. It’s just after sunset and the skyline is lit up as we enter the city. I roll down my window and position my arm on the glass in order to get a good picture as we pass by on the expressway.

Ruby’s screaming at me, “Girl, don’t drop my camera. Put the strap on your arm! Put the strap on your arm!”

I think I got a few good shots but I can’t tell. One more glance out of the window and my eyes are captivated. What a beautiful city!

We see more chinese places than we’ve ever seen in our lives. And more Mexican restaurants too. There were these big Fiesta gricery stores and there was so much damn traffic! It was crazy as we headed downtown toward the Museum District.

I came into Houston with a little more than $50 cash but God surely must have set me up with the right friend because Ruby had done her research and found us an inexpensive place to stay; a hostel.

I called and reserved our space before we got there and it wasn’t difficult to find with our mapquest directions. It was located in the Museum District. We couldn’t help but smile with satisfaction as we drove through the neighborhood. What a nice area! We laughed as we pulled up to the old rickety house on the corner.

“Dawg,” Ruby assured me. “If it’s unnacceptable then we’ll just get a hotel.” But I knew we didn’t have money for that. I’d rather just grin and bear it, whatever happens.

I stepped into a pile of mud as soon as I stepped out of the car, completely ruining my nice pearl white Air Force Ones. I rolled my eyes and strolled up to the porch. We walked up to the front desk and were greeted by the front desk clerk, a man with a sly smile.

Ruby paid for our space; a steal at $14.50 a night per person. We were given a key to the house and a short tour which included the common areas like the living room, the kitchen, the computer room, TV room and the upstairs dorm where we were assigned to room C.

We walked timidly upstairs, our eyes wide in anticipation of this adventure. Door C was on the right, we paused before opening the door and then turned the knob slowly. We found a room very similar to the ones we lived in college. There were 4 sets of bunkbeds. We grabbed one set and put our name tags on the railings.

We smiled at each other. Our minds communicating what our hearts were eminating; damn this is nice! Both me and my girl were in full “let’s have an adventure” mode so we saw every opportunity as a chance to do some crazy shit just to say we have done it or seen it. Ruby is a true tourist. She will whip out that damn Lonely Planets book while she’s driving if she has to. She’s great with maps and organizing and all that shit and I just sat back and allowed her to control the trip. She drove. She picked the places to go. I was in pure heaven.

It seems like I am always the person in control. Or maybe I set it up that way. But with this, I knew Ruby had it down and I am so glad she volunteered to come with me. I didn’t even ask her. She loves me that much!

So we rest at the hostel for a minute and call our loved ones. My phone isn’t working so Ruby and I are sharing her phone, or rather I took over her phone because everyone was freaking out worrying about me. Except my Mama. She said, “I never worry about you because I know your friends are going to take care of your crazy behind.”

When I told her that I was staying at a hostel she said, “A hostel? Like the movie?”

“There’s a movie?”

“Girl! you betta put a chair under the door when you go to sleep! I can’t believe you girl! Watch your back!”

I laugh and look around at the cozy room, clean floors and unique wall art. I felt like I was in another world.

“I’ll be alrght Mama.” We hang up.

Ruby looks at me with a mischievous grin. “Call your people dawg. Let’s go out!”

“Hell yeah!”

I pick up my phone and call the only person I know in the city. He’s actually affiliated with young CEO. He doesn’t answer so we head over look up Dave & Busters on the internet and we head over there for dinner. I had never been because I really don’t like games and stuff like that but I was in it for the experience. We sat down in the game room at the bar and I ordered chicken fingers but they called it something else. When our food came we were astonished at the portion on our plates.

My plate was so huge. You know how you would get four chicken fingers in a usual meal at a restaurant? I had EIGHT chicken fingers. I was like, “Damn! Who’s supposed to eat all that?” I tried my best though because they were good and I was hungry.

Then we got the call from my contact. “I’m over here at Sky Bar. Here are the directions..” he says.

We head over.

We read all the street names as we go by. Let’s see how many I can remember overall? I remember Montrose. Flannin. Crawford. I10, 288, 610. Bissonet, LeBranch, Prospect, Rice Blvd, Richmond Avenue, Southmore, Beechnut, KTY FWY, West Main.

Ya’ll the streets here are contemporary. At intersections there were these markers that hung in a circle in the middle of the street. The architecture in the Museum District was simply amazing. Ruby thinks people in Texas don’t know how to do anything but SPEED. Ruby did the driving, and I just held on for dear life as we navigated the city going to and from appointments and trying to get a grip on the layout of the city.

We found the contact in the parking lot at Kroger and he pointed us toward a building. “Go over there until and go up the elevator to the 10th floor. It’s free for ladies all night long.”

We thank him and stroll on. We’re not too jazzy. In fact, we’re both still wearing what we had on while traveling. I’m wearing my signature purple sweater. I love that sweater even though it makes me feel like a linebacker because my arms are so big. But I still wear it anyway because that color looks good on me.

I’m crazy…

So we go up to the building and through the glass doors and there’s a line to get on the elevator. So you KNOW me and Ruby are sizing everyone up, looking at what they have on, how they are strutting and what’s the local fashion.

The place was beautiful. The tables were nicely decorated and you could tell it was a kinda older, sophisticated crowd.. The best thing was the view. It was a magnificent view of the city. All lit up and shiny, it seemed so inviting.

By the time we go inside there’s no place for us to sit so we stand near the bar in front of the stage so we can see the live entertainment. What Ruby remembers most is the “oversized women”. She says she kept seeing women that were extremely statuesteue. Ruby, at 5’5″ says she felt very small next to the gaggle of women who were over 6 feet tall.

The crowd was mixed age wise. Some young women were there and some older couples and younger men too. Everyone looked as though they were out to have a good time and even the women smiled at you if you caught their eye. That was friendly.

I didn’t drink because I wasn’t trying to get loose on my first night out. I just watched how the people interacted. The vibe I got from men and women was neutral. I couldn’t tell if they could tell we were new.

Ruby says all the men there think they are a pimp or a hustler or a bitzniss man. She thinks Florida is too real for the rest of the South. “Because in Florida if you own it you own it, if you don’t you don’t. They don’t fake like they have things they don’t. “

Ruby’s being entertained by some drunk guy at the bar and I slip downstairs because I’m a little warm as the crowd in the Sky Bar gets thicker and thicker. I post up by the door to watch everyone as they come in. I’m on the phone with JB and I’m describing what the women look like and what the men are wearing.

“There are a lot of thick women here,” I tell him.

“Hell yeah.. That’s why the boys at the magazine used to fight over being assigned to go to Houston. Those women…mmm, they are a little thicker but it’s not a big deal to them. They wear their weight almost with pride. We like that.”

I was looking closely to find the downlow men. I looked really hard but I didn’t see any that would make me blink. But I didn’t see any that would make me want to meet him either.

The music was the best part. One set was belted by a white man who sounded just like a black man and he turned the place out. The bartenders were excellent. She kept the wine glasses full. Ruby had three glasses of the house chardonnay and was feeling lovely.

We both left in a hurry to explore our way back to the hostel.

When we got there our roommates had returned. They were three young asian woman with laptops downloading pictures. We exchanged hellos and smiles as Ruby and I settled into our bedtime routines and then into our bunks.

“Dawg,” she whispered from the top bunk.

“Huh?” I whispered back.

“We’re in a HOSTEL!”

“I know dawg! This is tight!” I squeal. “Good looking out.”

“It’s the BOOK. Ya’ll be laughing at me but we’re going to have a good trip thanks to Lonely Planets.”

“I’m sure we will dawg. Shut up and go to sleep world traveler.”

Open Doors

I wake up early the next morning after a sound sleep. Whatever my Mama was expecting to happen didn’t happen and I was grateful. I wasn’t the first one up though. Ruby and I were the last ones in the room, besides the young white girl on the top bunk to the left. I’m tugging on Ruby so we can get an early start and she’s trying to ignore me.

We finally get dressed and head out in search of the Breakfast Klub. We get all mixed up and decide to stop at the nearest IHOP to eat and decide what our next move will be.

It’s an extremely nice IHOP. We are soon seated and we enjoy a good breakfast. After we are eating Ruby nudges me. She touches her hear indicating that I should listen. I’m still lost and she whispers. “The guy behind you is in real estate go talk to him.”

“Oh, Ok.”

I immediately stand up and step out of the booth, before I can say a word he says, “I like that hat.”

I pull it off and turn toward him. “What about the haircut?” I laugh.

“It’s cute.”

“Now that that’s out of the way. May I have a moment of your time?”

“Sure. Have a seat.”

“Well, I’m in town and I’m looking for a place to stay. I was wondering if you had any properties, shared or not, that I could look at.”

“So you’re saying you need a place to stay?”


“How much money do you have?”

I look him in the eye. “None.”

Which is the damn truth.

“Not even for food?” he asks.

“Nope,” I say. Which is the truth.

“You need a one bedroom or two?”

“One is fine.” I tell him and giggle.

“Ok, God is good. I see why He sent me here today. I have an appointment at 11:30 and I can meet you here at noon and I will take you to your place.”

“Meet you here?”

“Right here,” he says and pulls out a wad of money as he pays for his coffee.

He leaves and Ruby and I gather our things and get into my car. We drive around until we pass the stadium at Rice University and we just had to pull over and look at the stadium. We walked the huge track and talked about whatever.

Then we got into my car and went to get it washed. If this guy could be a blessing then we want to be sure to present ourselves in a certain light.

We met back up with him at the IHOP. He called before we could even get out of the car. “We’re right outside. We’ll be right in.”

He leads us to a table in the front and he says, “Tell me.” He’s a middle aged black man who looks like Samuel L. Jackson from Formula 51.

Could this man be legit?

“Well, I’m a journalist from Miami and I’m in town to make all of my dreams come true. I’m here with my friend on a hope and a prayer that I can start my own business.”

He looks at me and nods. Ruby sits silently with a pleasant expression on her face. When I pause in my introduction she interjects, “Sir, all we’re trying to do is get her settled into a decent place for a reasonable price. Right now we are limited on funds but we’re hoping to turn up on something great. We can barter. I have excellent marketing skills. She’s a writer. She could also produce some things for you.”

“No problem,” he says and motions for us to stand. “I have just the place for you. Follow me. We’ll go see it.”

Ruby and I stand up and go to our car. She had overheard him say that he was about to pick up a $100,000 Mercedes at the dealership and she relayed the information to me. When we pulled out, looking for his car we gasped at the site of a busted 1989 Acura Integra. That bitch was rusty gold. The rims were mismatched.

“Lord forgive me,” Ruby declared as we followed him through several neighborhoods. “I don’t mean to judge this man by his vehicle. He could be a blessing in disguise. Please show us if this is from you. We need a miracle and we know you can provide it.”

“In Jesus name,” I say.

“Amen,” Ruby finishes up.

“Ok, we’re covered, now look at this city!”

We’re following him through neighborhood after neighborhood and we’re enjoying the scenery. It’s funny how diverse the neighborhoods are even traveling down one street. We saw beautiful condos and apartments, then we’d see nice homes and development, then we saw a man getting pat down on the corner of a park. It’s a big city but the streets are so rushed that you can’t find people relaxing. He stops at a house and we look around. OK. Neighborhood is not so bad.

He walks over to the driver side window where Ruby is sitting.

“I’ll be right back. I have to check on something.”

Ruby says she saw him check his mail and move the garbage can.

He gets back in his car and we follow him again, across the interstate and on and on.

Could this be God?

We finally make a left turn into…a motel.

Ruby and I look at each other and then at him as he steps out of his car. He walks over to my window and I roll it down.

“Are you okay?” he asks.

“I’m wondering what we are doing here?”

“This is where you’re going to stay,” he says firmly.

I look at him and raise my eyebrow.

“Come take a look at it,” he tells me.

He walks away from my window and Ruby says, “We’ll check it out and see what it’s like. If it’s wack, we’ll dip out.”

He gets the key and we park and he turns to me, “Why don’t you get all of your stuff out?”


“What do you mean?”

“This is where you are going to live!”

“But I don’t feel like getting my stuff out,” I say firmly. “Let’s see the place.”

We walk up the stairs and into a corner room. I give Ruby a look. She looks away.

Play it cool.

We walk in and he leaves the door open. Ruby and I sit down on the bed. The bed is covered with this disgusting floral spreadsheet and it is hard as a board. The room is obviously a smoking room and it’s coated with a think layer of dust. The tape player is broken. The ceiling is light blue and painted with white clouds.

The man sits in the chair next to the bed and proceeds to talk. I listen for a while and then ask him some questions.

“Why are we here?”

“Because the place I thought I had for you isn’t ready. Until it’s ready I’ll pay for you to stay here.”

I raise my eyebrow.

“And what do you expect from me?”

“I don’t expect anything. You can’t start anything without developing a friendship first. I’m single and I’m single by choice. I have yet to meet a woman who was good enough for me.”

“I’m a man who has seen things on both sides of the tracks. I’ve been a hustler moving kilos and kilos and now I’m legit. I have a business. The biggeste real estate company in Houston. I just got into an accident and I have over $100,000 coming to me. The check just needs to clear the bank. I’m legit.”

I listen politely. Ruby walks over to the sink and washes her hands.

He picks up his silver cell phone with the nice engraved K on the front and reaches toward his keys.

The room key is sitting on the side table directly in front of all of us. I’m watching him as he rises to leave, wondering if he will try to take the key. His hand reaches for it, then pauses and he says, “Call me,” and walks away without taking it.

He closes the door and we sit in silence for…

One mississippi
Two mississippi
Three mississippi
Four mississippi
Five mississippi

“Girl, no he didn’t!” I begin looking around the room. “This place is disgusting. He tried me. I’d rather sleep in my car than sleep in this shit.”

“Girl, all we gotta do is go on about our plan. We always have the hostel. He was just lieing his ass off,” Ruby assured me.

We walk down to the front desk, turn in the key and roll out.

On to the next adventure. We’re actually headed up to Katy, Texas because I am looking into a position as a live-in nanny/maid in exchange for free room and board.

We get lost ofcourse, but old trusty Ruby finds her way and before we know it we are standing in front of a nice sized home in a great subdivision in Katy. A white woman holding her 2 year old son emerge from the house smiling.

My eyes catch his little bare feet and I think of my boys.

I miss them so much.

She smiles and shakes my hand. “I’m Nancy,” she says and her sons peeks at me.

“Hi, I’m Ms. Tee. This is my friend Ruby.”

Nancy and I had emailed each other back and forth while I hung out in Louisiana with Ruby. I found her ad that asked for a live in mother’s helper for free room and board. Through our correspondence I learned that she had two children, was married and was just too frustrated by the amount of energy it takes to run a household.

We sat in her living room and chatted. Well, she mostly spoke to Ruby because I was there but I wasn’t there. My mind was racing.

Could I really be living with this white family taking care of children that aren’t mine?

Does she really expect me to…clean?


“So,” she remarked looking directly at me. “Some people have a preference on what they love to do. Some people just love to clean, others just love to cook. If you have a preference you can do whichever you like. I’m really very flexible.” She looked at me as if expecting a response.

Which chore do I like?

I saw Ruby smile out of the corner of my eye. “I love to clean!” Ruby expressed gleefully.

I looked in the other direction.

Cook and clean. Laundry?


Free room and board. No bills. No food bills. A nice place to live with a family instead of being on my own.

My own room. The freedom to work my part time job and do my business.

We tour the five bedroom home and I see the room where I’ll be sleeping. It’s a nice sized room.

Oh Lord. I’m gonna have to think about this.

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Ms. Tee, the nanny?