Getting Through Today

Things have been moving pretty fast for the excited members of my highschool class who will celebrate our 10 year reunion this June. Anna’s on the ball, leading up the organization of the events but I hear she has a strong team who are really putting forth an effort to make it happen. Although I was Class President, I can’t focus on planning the reunion right now so when Anna approached me about taking charge, I was relieved and grateful. Even in the midst of my own journey, I didn’t want to let the MJG Class of 97 down.

I’ve been getting messages from people on Myspace, old heads from highschool, old majorettes and class clowns and it’s been hilarious to see all those chicas and chicos. I even made a page for Tamara. She is always the LAST person to get up on the current trends.

In the midst of becoming reacquainted with those kids from highschool, a bulletin was posted which blew my mind.

I remember when we first met. It was maybe..the 2nd week of school. I didn’t have any friends but these girls named Anna and Tamara invited me to have lunch with them since they saw I was all alone. I accepted and that’s how I met my bestfriends. Ofcourse when you start highschool, from the first day guys are going to be all over you. So by the 3rd week, Anna and Tamara were already in “relationships”. Don’t you miss that about highschool? Everyone was so eager to claim you as their own. Once you leave highschool, men don’t do that anymore.

I was the only one who didn’t have a boyfriend but I didn’t really mind. I enjoyed hanging out with Tamara and her flava of the month, Larry by the corner store where we’d buy a soda and some chips and stand around and flirt.

“Hey Tee,” Larry said to me one day as his friends approached. “This is my boy Curt.”

I looked up and my mouth dropped. Damn…..

Curt was one of those guys that every girl would consider fine. He had the drobe tight. Fresh J’s. Fresh cut. Perfect smile. Pretty boy. He was a basketball player too. I guess I was too young to appreciate all of that because I kinda said Hi and walked away. He approached me again at my locker the next day and I turned and smiled at him.

We started “talking.” Whatever. No big deal. Girls would come up to me and say, “Oh my gosh Tee! Is that your man? He is so fine! How did you meet him?”

“At the corner stoe.” I’d say and shrug. “He hang with Larry and nem.”

One day after school he asked me to be his girlfriend. I was like, “Ok.” But what did that mean? I wasn’t allowed to talk on the phone with boys. I couldn’t date. I couldn’t even see this boy outside of school. We’d meet up in the morning and hang out and then again at lunch. No big deal. He was fine but…We really had nothing in common.

I felt like I was wasting our time so one morning I approached him and said, “Curt…I think we should break up.” He looked surprised at first but then he shrugged and said, “OK.” He laughed and we became friends.

He went on to date other girls in the school. Cheerleader type chicks, including one of my friends Tiffany. Before the news that they were together hit the school, I will never forget Tiffany pulling me to outside during class one day and looking me straight in the eye.

“Tee. I want to tell that me and Curt like each other. I don’t want you to be mad about it. I hope you are okay with that.”

“I’m cool,” I told her and smiled. “Thanks for telling me. He’s cool with me.”

I respected her for that. It could have potentially been some drama once the school gossips got a hold of the info but by the time they ran up to me to tell me how “She go with yo man!” I just laughed and said, “I know. Me and Tiffany still straight.”

They ended up having twins while we were in highschool and shortly therafter he began dating another cheerleader.

I always wondered what happened to him.

Until Monday when I checked my Myspace page and saw the bulletin.

“RIP Curtis Dop.son” it read.

A quick google search confirmed that “A 27 year old man was found dead outside of a duplex in Allapattah early Friday morning.”

I paused, remembering the bliss of our youth.

Then I thought about how just earlier that day I had been emailing Tamara trying to explain to her why I feel such an urgency to go after my dreams.

I wrote:

Damn girl..we have a lot of life left to live and hopefully we get the chance to do all we ever wanted. People ask me why I’m in such a hurry to do things and well..its because…every year someone I know and love dies. I don’t want that to be me..cuz I have yet to experience so much!

It seems like people with no plans are the ones just chillin…since I have a whole lot of goals I cant just sit back and wait for life to happen!”

I still feel like I am young but at the same time you never know. I know it’s not a good idea to live life in anticipation of death but…I’d love to be a Mama to my sons again before I go. I’d love to have a home for them to come live in, a stable income, a loving husband, time to spend vacationing and traveling with my boys, educating them and sharing new experiences with them, always reinforcing the fact that they can make the world a better place. I want that.

And I don’t want to be that woman that people say, “She had so much potential. She was a rising star.” That’s why I feel like everything is so urgent. I want my boys back. So far…no job I have ever had has been working out for me. I can’t do that to them. I can’t be unstable like that. There’s so much inside of me that needs to be better –for me and for them.

I spoke to my sons last night. My 6year old said he wanted to tell me something.

“Mama. I have a funny question to ask you,” he said with a giggle.

“Go ahead baby.”

“Mama. Why don’t you come and work at my school?”

My heart sank.

“Well baby, remember when we were in Gainesville? Me you and your brother? Remember I used to go to school? Remember GO GATORS?”


“Well, that was college and when you go to college you have to tell them what you want to be. If I would have told them that I wanted to be a teacher then they would have taught me how to be a teacher, baby. But I told them that I wanted to be a journalist so they taught me how to write for magazines and newspapers. That’s why can’t I work at your school. I didn’t learn how to be a teacher baby.”

“Are you still gonna be a professional model?” he asks.

I laugh. I can’t believe he remembers when I told him I wanted to be a model for COVER GIRL.

“Just a model for makeup, baby. Hopefully. One day.”

“When you were in Miami, you used to wear makeup and you were pretty Mama.”

“Thanks baby. I still wear makeup now. I like it. It makes me feel good.”

I…I miss them.

They’re doing well. Their Daddy is taking great care of them. He’s such a good Daddy. His girlfriend is good to them too. They are fine. I’m just not fine because they are my love. My hearts. And now I have no one.

No one to love on me. No one to hug on me.

All for the pursuit of a definite end. It’s coming. I know it.

I just have to maintain the strength to get through today.


I hadn’t heard anything back from the restaurant in over a week so I figured they had not been as excited about me as I thought. I couldn’t understand and neither could any of my friends. If it was just a waitress/cashier position, why hadn’t I been considered?

Oh well. I’ll keep planting seeds and introducing myself around. Which reminds me, I really need to get some business cards as soon as I can. By the time I go to check my phone messages I see that I have 5 missed calls. Most of them are from Ruby, who is krunk about some crazyness she heard, but the last one is from the restaurant.

“Hi, sorry for calling you so late. We would like for you to come in for a 2nd interview tomorrow morning at 8am. Please call me tonight and let me know if you can make it in. Thanks!”

2nd interview?

For a waitress position?


I laughed and called her back, leaving a message on her voicemail saying that I’d see them in the morning.

That night I couldn’t sleep I tossed and turned. I knew that one publisher wanted to meet with me about publishing my blog as a column in her paper and I had a few more leads I needed to follow the next day. But ofcourse when you’re excited you can’t get much rest.

After finally going to bed around 3:30 am, I woke up at 6:30 and took a long hot shower. “What image do I want to present today?” I asked myself as I sorted through clothes in the closet. “I know. I’ll be a lil bit professional, but still relaxed. I’ll wear the creme tweed pants, with a wife beater and my favorite jacket.”

By the time I got dressed and darted out the door it was 20 minutes to 8am. Screeeeeeeeeech!

4 minutes later I was sitting in front of the restaurant. “Damn I didn’t know I was THAT close!”

I took the extra time to pray and listen to my favorite Jay-Z verse on Late Registration a few times, getting myself krunk and feeling unstoppable. I then walked into the restaurant and asked for the manager. I sat down and waited. While I waited I took out two books. My daily inspirational reads: Daily Motivations for African American Success and the book I give as a gift every chance I get, The Greatest Salesman In the World by Og Mandino.

I was all up into the second scroll when the business owner came over to greet me. “What are you reading?” he asked curiously, picking up my books and guiding me over to a table in the corner so we could talk. I’ll admit. I was very nervous. I’m always nervous around men because…well…I guess I’m still trying to work through my fear that they are all out to hurt me.

But I put on a brave face as he questioned me intensely about my background and my life goals. I found this to be very interesting. Uhh…I thought I was interviewing for a waitress position…I couldn’t understand it. I ended up chatting with him in the same manner that I chat with editors about publishing my blog. I opened up with each question he asked, letting him know my true heart and the reasons behind my move to Houston. I told him about my sons and how I miss them and how I’m trying to build for our future so we can be together again.

We sat there for a minute in silence.

“What can you offer me?” he asked. “What can you do for my business that we aren’t already doing?”

I was taken aback. My eyes darted to the HELP WANTED sign on the door. I was just trying to make some money to pay my bills. This feels like it’s going in another direction and I have no idea what to say.

“Well, I don’t want to overwhelm you,” I say confidently, deciding that I will just rattle off my resume. But for some reason, I can’t say anything. “I…I…I can do whatever it is you need.”

“Why us? How does this restaurant fit into your goals?”

I gulped. “Well…I’m writing my story right now and one day it will reach millions. I’m here on a hope and a prayer and I’m hoping that this business could provide the means for me to stand on my feet. I need to pay my bills. I’m hoping to be connected to a family in Houston because I don’t have one and this seems like a good place to start,” I reply sincerely.

I hope he sees my heart. I hope I didn’t talk too much. I always end up saying too much, man…He’s probably going to think I’m crazy or overqualified or whatever. Man…

“Well, I’d love to speak with you this afternoon. Give me a call around 4:30 and we’ll talk,” he tells me. We shake hands and I walk over to his assistant to give her my contact information.

I don’t know what just happened. Is he playing with me? I’m confused. I drive down the street back to the Professor’s townhouse and once I’m inside I map out the rest of my plans for the day.

By 1pm I’m ready to roll out and I get dressed quickly. This time I’m headed to a nearby radio station to introduce myself in person and see if there are any opportunities available. When I get there it’s drizzling outside but I don’t care because I don’t have to worry about my hair. What’s a little water gonna do?

I open the double doors and walk in with a smile. “Hi!” I say to the receptionist and she smiles at me from behind a stack of papers that she is shredding. I look around at the walls, trying to get a feel for what kind of radio station I am in. Black faces pepper the walls. Awards for DJ’s. Talk radio. It’s an AM station. A Black Talk radio station. Oh. Ok.

“May I help you?”

“Sure. I was wondering if I could speak with someone about any available job opportunities or internships or even volunteer work.”

“Oh, let me get the station manager for you,” she says, her braids swinging as she dials on her phone.


An older man with a curious expressions enters the lobby from a long hallway.

“May I help you?” he asks and extends his hand.

I meet him with a firm shake and smile. “Hi, My name is Ms. Tee and I’m new to the area. I hope that you could use me in some capacity at your radio station.”

“Do you have any experience?”

“Well. I’m a journalist and I have interned at a radio station before. I used to write radio commercials and sometimes do voice overs. I love to write and I have a great speaking voice!”

“Well most of our employees have been here for 10 years or so we don’t go well with change.”

“That’s okay. I’m willing to learn and start at the basics. Are you sure you don’t need any volunteers. I could help with filing. I could help with events. Whatever you need I have the time and energy for it.”

“Well..not right now. You should try the other radio stations. They may be able to help you better. It would be better if you got with a station who could actually use your energy and create a real opportunity for you. I’m not sure we’ll be able to offer you that here,” he says apologetically.

“I understand,” I tell him. “Thank you for your time.”

I don’t leave right away. I decide to engage the receptionist in a conversation.

“So how do you like working here?” I ask her.

“Everyone here is so nice. They keep me busy though. It’s really laid back.”

“Who’s on the air right now?”

“Oh, that’s just Wash Al.len. He’s a trip girl!”

“Wash Al.len!” I exclaimed, remembering the men in the barber shop who told me that his show was very popular among Black men and women in this city.

“Yeah… Girl, he’s a trip.”

“Is he in there? Do you think I could meet him?” I ask timidly.

“Girl YES! He’s VERY friendly…”

She stands up and walks down the hallway and returns in less than a minute. “He will probably take a break in five minutes or so. You’re welcome to stay and wait.”

Soon, an older man with a warm smile approaches. “Come on,” he says instead of greeting me. I laugh and follow him to the studio. He stands in front of his mic and looks over at me extending his arms for a hug.


I give him one. A small one.

“So, you’re a fan?”

I laugh. “Not exactly,” I tell him and recount how I heard about his show in the first place.

He raises a finger for me to be quiet as he pushes a few dials and speaks into the microphone. “I’ll be right back folks. Just give me a minute. We’ll talk about it okay?”

He turns back to me. “So what are you doing in Houston?”

Again I go into my whole story about being on my own Pursuit of Happiness journey and how I’m starting out with nothing and hoping for a big return. He smiles at me as he looks at the clock.

“Ok, I’d love to check out your website and read about your life. Write down the address for me.”

I do..and cringe. Oh Lord. I hope nothing from my past honesty will be my downfall.

But then I felt it. Peace. Each story I’ve told from day one has been the truth from my heart. Whether it makes me look good or bad, it’s all me. And I could never be a blogger who sets out to make myself look perfect because I’m not.

My blog is all of me. Take it or leave it.

I walk away and head over to a nearby restaurant. It’s a soul food restaurant on Almeda. I almost trip when I walk in but I regain my balance. Two men sitting near the door smile at me, “If you fall, I’ll catch you,” one of them says and I give him my superstar smile.

I walk up to the line and my mouth drops open. HOT FOOD! Oh man! I’ve been longing for some cooked food! I’m just gonna have to suck it up and spend money on it because Froot Loops for breakfast, lunch and dinner ain’t getting it.

I smile at the man standing behind the counter and I order baked chicken, mashed potatoes, broccoli and a small order of banana pudding. I’m about to fall out as the scent invades my nostrils.

I ride on home and place a towel over my bed so that I can eat and surf careerbuilder, shooting off my resume on occasion. I take a quick nap and wake up just in time to get ready for an event I heard about. A free movie about how soldiers come home from war and then end up homeless. It’s an issue that I have witnessed second hand through Anna who has had a conversation with me about her fiance and his time served in the military and how he has endured struggles trying to stabilize himself.

I call my boys while I’m on the way to the theatre. They chat happily about school and what their Daddy cooked for them. “Ok boys, I have to go,” I tell them. “Mommy is lost right now and I have to pay attention.”

“Ok Mama. We love you.”

“I love you too Boo Boo’s. Goodnight.”

By the time I find the place I’m annoyed. I find a parking spot and walk up to the theatre, trying to change my mood. I smile when I see a group of young Black professionals like myself standing at the door. They’re eyeing me so I give them the Superstar smile. It’s kind of an “I know I’m the shit and I know you know I’m the shit but let’s not be mad about it I’m still friendly” kinda grin and nod.

“$10” they say.



“Um..there wasn’t a price on the email you sent out.”

“Oh..well, if you would have clicked the link at the very bottom, it would have taken you to another page that would give the information.”

I wrinkly my nose at them.

“There’s an ATM across the street,” one girl tells me.

Yeah right. No way am I spending ten dollars on PLEASURE. Not happening.

I turn around and leave the theatre. Before I can exit a man standing with a camera sorta stands in my way as if he wants to talk to me but he can’t quite figure out how to begin. I pause to give him his chance.

“Um..” he says slowly. “You seemed much taller on the stairs.”

“Yeah. That’s because I have a big presence,” I shoot back.

“I was thinking the same thing…” he says and smiles down at me. Dude must be like 6’5 with these long dreads and the most beautiful smile ever. Why are these people so TALL here? I can’t believe it!

I pause again just in case he wanted to say something else. I’m not really interested I just know how difficult it is for men to approach women. We are so used to dissing them and it really gets to their egos but it’s only because we women are tired of them approaching us with a bunch of lies and then not being men of integrity. And most of them approach you in the same way. It gets annoying after a while. But I try not to be too mean to them when they do have the courage to speak. Facing rejection always takes courage and I appreciate courage in men.

He doesn’t have it.

He stammers and looks away. I take the chance to walk on out the door and back to my car- all the way back to the townhouse where the Professor is watching TV. I join least until 9pm when I sneak outside to my car to call JB and hear all about his day at the magazine.

Picture This

After I managed to withstand the cold of my car so that I could speak to JB I ran into the house and took a nice long shower to warm up.

Tonight I wouldn’t be blogging or chatting or anything like that. Tonight I have a proposal to write. I had heard from the restaurant manager’s assistant. She called and said, “Mr. Manager is interested in hearing about what role you believe you can fill with our company. Please email him the details and we will get back with you soon.”

Awww shit!

First of all! Don’t ask me to be creative!

I live for that shit!

Let me calm down….

What role can I play in this company (restaurant) that no one is playing now?


Yeah I got it.

For the next hour I sat cross legged in front of my computer with a smile as my fingers flew back and forth across the keyboard. I decided that for this proposal I would change things up a bit. The last ones I wrote were strictly business-like. But this one would begin with an anecdote, then paint a picture, then some hard facts about why I’m the perfect person for the job.

When I was done I was so proud of my work that I jumped up and did the DOO DOO BROWN!

~snapping fingers~

Get it Mama! Work it trick!

Shake that thang! Pop that thang!

One leg up!

One leg up!

One leg up!

Jump around!

Jump around!

How else should I have celebrated a well written piece?

I’m still a professional…dang.

I clicked SEND and smiled in satisfaction. I hope he likes it. It’s a role that would definitely help his business and it’s something I would be PERFECT for. Kinda like…one of my dream jobs. Oh well…all you can do is plant the seed and hope for it to grow.

The next morning I woke up in a great mood. I called up the publisher who was somewhat interested in publishing my story and we had a great conversation. “Well, I already like you,” she said. “Let me take a look at your skills and some of your clips and why not meet this afternoon around 3:30pm? Are you just interested in a column? What about a full time position? You said you have administrative experience and you enjoy it, right?”

Full-time? Wow. I’m not sure if she can afford me full-time. The last black newspaper I worked for tried to pay me 21-23 and that was unnacceptable for my skill level. We’ll see.

“GREAT!” I told her. “I’ll be there!”

I just had one more thing to do before the meeting.

I had found an ad for an open casting call. I had never been to one so I decided to give it a try but I didn’t have any headshots or any recent photos.

“Professor!” I called out cautiously. “Could you take some pictures of me today with your digital camera?”

“Sure…” he replied from behind his laptop. “Let me know when you are ready.”

I pulled on a cute red sweater and some dangling earrings and the Professor and I had our photo shoot inside his house.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Lots of fun!

Within minutes they were all over myspace and facebook!

I ran back downstairs to get ready for my interview. I chose a nice outfit with warm colors to compliment my red hair. By the time I hopped inside my car it was 20 minutes to 3 which gave me plenty of time to get lost and find the place which according to yahoo maps, wasn’t too far from where I was.

But something weird happend.

When I turned the key, the engine wouldn’t start.

I tried again.




Aww man…

I ran inside to see if the Professor could help. “It’s probably your battery because you choose to sit out there with the radio running for hours,” he assessed before he even saw the problem. I knew he was referring to the fact that I sit in my car to use the phone every night. He had made a sarcastic comment about it before but I didn’t care. What else am I supposed to do?

If I can’t use my cell phone in the house because the townhome is made of aluminum or steel and he monitors my phone time I HAVE to go outside. He can think what he wants.

So he came out and decided that he would probably have to jump my car for me. “But I have other commitments right now,” he told me. “You will have to wait until later or maybe tomorrow.”

As he walked away I felt sad. There was NO ONE else I knew in this city. I didn’t have any guy friends or anyone to come by and make sure I was okay.

Man…What am I doing here?

I call up the publisher and tell her what happened.

“Hi, I’m sorry but I don’t think I’ll be able to make it to our meeting this afternoon. My car is acting up.”

“Oh well if you can fix the problem I’ll gladly wait until 5pm.”

“Well,” I said quietly. “I’m not sure if I’ll have it fixed by then.”

“Is it serious?”

“I’m not sure,” I replied. “But I’ll try to get it fixed as soon as possible. Could we reschedule for next week?”

“How about this? You work on getting your car back running and call me in the morning. If your car still isn’t running, I’ll swing by and pick you up.”


“Are you sure?” I asked, amazed.

“Yes! No problem. Just call me in the morning. I’ll be in by 10am.”

I felt a little better after I hung up but I still didn’t know what to do about my car. Wow. I know no one here to come by and make sure I’m okay. No friends. No nothing. Except the professor, who is for some reason being very…um…abrasive with me at times.

He’s kinda argumentative too. It’s as if he has some sort of chip on his shoulder. Damn. He reminds me of the way I am with men.

One night I was sitting with him and asking him about his life and I asked, “Oh wow. Show me the books you’ve written. If you’re a retired PHd surely you’ve written some books. I know for a fact tht people get PHd’s to contribute to academia!” I was so excited to see what books he had written about criminals and stuff!

He looked at me sideways. “I didn’t write a book. I wrote my dissertation.”

“Huh? You didn’t write a book afterwards? You know..Your theories on the subject or whatever. I thought that’s what all PHd’s did.”

“NO!” he said harshly. “I don’t like to write and I don’t write.”

“Dang! Why you actin like that?” I asked looking into his eyes to see what the problem was.

He shifted in his seat and adjusted his laptop.

“’re impugning my integrity with your line of questioning and I don’t have to listen to it.”

“Huh? What does impugning mean?”

He gave me a sideways glance and rolled his eyes. “You don’t know what that means?”

“Nope,” I replied innocently and smiled. I love to learn! “Enlighten me Professor.”

He rolled his eyes again. “I’m not going to tell you. Look it up.”

“Why don’t you just tell me, you’re the Professor?”

“You’ll learn it better if you look it up!”

“Dang…Okay then..It’s 9:00 anyway, I’m going outside.”

He is testy…

After the Professor leaves I am sitting in my room all sad and lonely. Sometimes I just allow my emotions to take control and sometimes I liek to sit and sulk like the world is over when I don’t get my way.

By 7:30 I decide to go outside to call my kids but when I get out there I just sit in my car and place my head on the steering wheel. “I don’t know why I am here. I have no friends. No one to help. No one to laugh with. No job. Why am I doing this?”

Why did I think this would work?

Guiding Nudges From Above

I’m sitting in my car with my head on the steering wheel. The tears are threatening to fall from my eyes. I can’t sulk too long because I’m jarred by the memory of a testimony a reader sent me earlier in the week. It blew my mind. I have to share!

Ms. Tee,

Girl, I have been missing your blog! I didn’t have internet service in forever(ok, truth be told the Blackberry was turned off honey. Lol. I’m not too cute to admit that I too have been on the disconnect list) , so the last time I read your site you were just about to leave for Houston. Your story is so amazing that I had to email you.

I’m orginally from Indianapolis. One day after talking with an old friend of the family I decided to move to Atlanta. She offered me a job as an Assistant Director in her non-profit…I was more than excited because this would give me the chance to learn the ins and outs while
getting my own business off of the ground (sounding familiar?). So, I move the 600 miles with my uncle driving my Uhaul. I hadn’t seen my apartment until the day that I moved in. I didn’t have a car (it had been repo-ed) before I could even leave Indianapolis. But though this all, I was excited. This was on Dec. 17. By Jan. 1st, I didn’t have a job. I didn’t know how I was going to pay my 800 a month for rent, but I remained prayerful. During the days, I would WALK to go put in applications. Not even the neighborhood pizzaria would hire me, even though I attended college and have worked since I was 15.
I began to fell low. I felt like this move was a major mistake and that I was way over my head. My sorors would call me and I wouldn’t have gotten out of bed. Or my mama would
call, but it killed her to hear me cry all the time. I began to believe that God put me in the ATL for a reason…that reason was beyond me at the moment, but there had to be a reason. But without fail, my rent was paid every month…a fate that was truly the hand of God. On the days that I wanted to give up, God would send me a message…a random check would be in the mail…a woman walked up to me at Big Lots and told me to listen to the message God had for me (I didn’t know this woman from a can of paint). I was at my sorors house and was feeling low when I went to dry my hands and a paper towel said “I may not be able to change the wind, but I can adjust my sails to still make my destination”. It got to the point where these situaitions didn’t trip me out anymore…I looked forward to them as my guiding nudges from God, telling me to keep going and stay focused. A year later, I’m still here. I have a job that I love doing retail (what I went to school for) a man that wants to marry me and a tested faith that KNOWS that God can make the impossible possible.

I truly apologize for writing you a novel, but sometimes knowing that someone else has been where you are is encouraging. Know that you are truly made for greatness. We DO NOT serve a God that would take you all the way to Houston just to let you fail. Stay strong. One day I heard a song at church and the chorus is: “I just can’t give up now/I’ve come too far from where I started from/He never told me the road would be easy/But I don’t believe He brought me this far to leave me”. I couldn’t stop crying. I went home and wrote it in my journal, because there is power in the written word. You are a survivor. You have a gift that meant to be shared with the world. Press forward and know that you are truly in my prayers.
Although we don’t know one another, struggle has a way of binding spirits together at times. If you ever need to vent, need a favor or any thing, please feel free to drop me a line. Until we reach the other side, the struggle continues.
Your sister in struggle and faith.
Just as her words cause my tears to dry up I hear a chime on my cell phone. I check my text messages and I see that it is one of my Houston readers, Kia.
Kia and I met through the internet when I first got here and she has been a major help with directions and information. Houston is her hometown so she knows EVERYTHING about every street and the history of the city. The fact that she used to give tours also helps the way she presents information. I think I met the PERFECT person to help me get acquainted with the city. I had yet to meet her in person but we had chatted once over the phone once and kept up with each other through text message. I gave her my blog address and she admitted that she too, was once a blogger once but she didn’t keep up with it.
“Whatcha doing?” she texted me.
“Man. My car won’t start and I’m stuck. I even missed an interview today.” I texted back.
“Where were you trying to go?”
“No where. I just need my car.”
“Let’s go eat.”
“When? Where?”
“Yeah. Now.”
I call her phone and she says, “Why didn’t you call me when your car wouldn’t start? I have a friend and I’m sure he can come jump your car for you. Use your resources, Tee.”
I shrug. I didn’t want to be a bother. Besides, I’ve never even met this chick.
“Where do you want me to meet you?” she asks. “Let’s go eat in Rice Village.”
“Um..His townhouse is kind of in the back so I can walk up to Luby’s on Almeda. Do you know where that is?”
“Yep. I used to live right over there. Gimme 20 minutes and be safe.”
By now I’m used to meeting the readers of my blog and I even look forward to it. Even though they know way more about me than I know about them, their comfort level is so high that it always puts me at ease.
I wait inside the restaurant and trade jokes with the manager to stay out of the cold air.
Kia pulls up shortly and when I sit down inside her car I laugh because she reminds me of my old mentor from highschool Traci. I miss Traci.
We head down Binz and over to this restaurant called the Goode Company Taqueria and we had the best mesquite burgers ever! I was so grateful for some warm food that I called JB and told him how blessed I was. Her friend Dave, this 31 year old, white guy who plays the bongos met us there shortly after and we all rode back to the Professor’s house to jump start my car.
While we are in the midst of trying to figure out what to do, I see the garage door open and the Professor pops his head out and walks over to me with a piece of mail that I received. He hands it to me and asks, “What’s going on here?” with a smirk.
“Oh, He’s helping me to fix my car,” I tell him.
“Well, he obviously doesn’t know what he’s doing,” the Professor mutters and frowns his face at Dave.
“Young man. You’re not doing it right. You need to do it like this.”
The Professor takes over the project and we all stand back and give each other looks. Yeah. This dude lacks people skills. I can tell his abrasiveness is making Kia uncomfortable but both she and Dave continue to be respectful even though he’s speaking to them as though they have no sense.
I hate men who act like that. Just because you know something that I don’t know, doens’t make me less than you are. It just makes you more knowledgeable in that area. If you really cared, you’d teach and not judge. But oh well…Men.
My car is up and running after a few minutes and I squeal with delight.
“You’re not thinking of going anywhere tonight?” the Professor questions me pointedly before he walks away.
“Um..I hadn’t planned to,” I say quietly feeling like a little kid.
“Good, Because that car should rest until the morning. You shouldn’t be driving it.”
Well..he’s right. It’s just. His tone is all wrong.
Tone DOES matter.
He walks away and Kia and Dave leave too.
I sit in my car and talk to Ruby for a little while before heading in for the night.

Going, Going, Gone

It’s Saturday morning and I’m excited about the day because I have two appointments lined up. One is the rescheduled meeting with the newspaper publisher and the other is the casting call.

I go about my plans of making copies of the pictures I choose to take with me to the casting call while talking on the phone with JB. I have become used to talking to JB a couple of times a day. Lately all we do is argue and it’s getting on my nerves. For us to be professional communicators it seems that we have problems because we often misunderstand each other’s intentions. He reminds me of my close friends in a lot of ways. Sometimes when I talk to him I can SWEAR I’m talking to Tamara because he’s rational like she is. Sometimes I feel like I’m talking to Anna when he’s goofy. Sometimes I feel like I’m talking to Kim when he’s supportive of my dreams and sometimes I feel like I’m talking to Mimi when he takes the time to talk out choices that I have to make and help me make a decision.

But sometimes, he reminds me of Dell.

And sometimes he reminds me of my Baby Daddy.

And that bothers me.

I think the fact that we are not in the same city has caused us to get to know each other without all the hype behind being sexual partners. He encourages me to evaluate our relationship and decide whether or not it’s something that I want to be in. I’ve learned so much from him that even if we end up like we are on the friend tip, I will be forever changed.

I’ve learned that getting wrapped up in someone off of the first encounter is not a good idea. It takes TIME to get to know who a person is and you can’t just jump into a relationship feet first without testing the waters of friendship. That was my mistake so many times. I always meet men and then just decide that I want to be with them before they even decide if they want to be with me and before I can get to know them well enough to see if their bad habits/faults are things that I can deal with. With these relationships it was the mere challenge of seeing if I can get a man to like me more than the actual MAN himself that kept me trying so hard.

That’s what happened with Dell.

I’ve also learned that besides affection, effort is important to me. You can TELL me how great I am all day but I have heard all that plenty of times before. I want to see some ACTION behind your words. SHOW me you like me. Do something to let me know. Be sweet. Yes, Tell me what I want to hear. You don’t have to give me what I want ALL the time, but at least sometimes..give. Be nice to me. Say nice things. Be lovey dovey with me. I want that. Why can’t you tell me I’m pretty and beautiful and you can’t wait to be with me again?

I never hear those things from men. All I get is, ‘You need to work on this area or that area’ or ‘You have a lot of growing to do’.

Sometimes you have to give the other person what they want, especially if it doesn’t cost much to do it. All I want is a man to be sweet to me and consider my needs too. If I need something and you can take care of it, why not take care of it for me? I’d do it for you. Make my happiness a priority. Why not?

JB is not really like that right now and maybe he’ll never be like that. I’m okay with him not becoming the boyfriend. I’m okay with letting go if need be. I just don’t want to compromise like I did with Dell. I tortured myself with Dell. He wouldnt give me affection even though I asked over and over again. He still refused. There’s nothing wrong with walking away when you are not getting what you want.

Don’t allow anyone to tell you that you are selfish or conceited when you ask for what you want. YOUR happiness is important too. If they deny you simple pleasures like affection or compliments just because they don’t want to give it, then you can decide just as plainly that you won’t give them any of your time.

I’m learning.

Thanks to JB.

So after we go through our rough patch we end up okay but I know that things don’t feel the same anymore. I wish we could go back to how things were the first week when we were all crazy for each other but I know we can’t.

When I’m done talking to him I go home and get dressed. I call the publisher but she’s not in her office so I head over to the casting call.

When I get there I knock on the door to a house and no one answers. I wait about five minutes and no one comes so I walk back to my car. A Spanish man pulls up behind my car and as he steps out of his vehicle I ask him, “Are you here for the casting call?”

“Hi Ms. Tee,” he said.

I froze.

He must have noticed the look on my face because he laughed and said, “Hi, I’m Joe. You wrote me telling me that you would be here.”

Long story, short, the casting call was canceled.

Blah. He gave me his card and told me to call him again next week.

I drove back home after stopping to refill my gas tank.

I took a long nap and woke up just in time to call JB and chat with him until he went into an event for work. JB’s job is so cool. He gets to attend all of the music events in Atlanta for free and get to know all of the local artists. Man..I always wanted to be an editor and look at him- living my dream! That’s kinda why I admire him. He’s patient. He sat making relatively peanuts at the magazine where we met. He waited it out and got the experience and now he’s moved on to better things.

I wish I could be that rational but I can’t. I don’t have time to make peanuts if I want my kids to come back with me. I can’t take care of my kids on that kind of salary.

I chatted with Ruby well into the night. Well…at least until her boyfriend Donald came home. She logged off quickly and I took another nap, hoping to wake up in time to catch JB before he went to sleep because he asked me to call him.

When 12:30 am hit I stepped into the back patio of the Professor’s house so that I could get a signal and I checked my texts and voice messages and found that JB had called and texted me a couple of sweet messages indicating that he was done and wanted some of my time.

I called him back quickly, shivering int he cold night air.

“Baby, would you puhlease consider calling me on the house phone because I really want to talk to you but I just…don’t want to sit outside in my car tonight. For one night. Please call my house phone.”

“Are you sure about that?” he asked hesitantly.

“Yes. The Professor is sleeping and I promise to answer on the first ring. Even if it disturbs him, he should be able to go back to sleep and I’ll apologize tomorrow and explain that it was too cold to go outside and I really wanted to talk.”

JB sighed and paused. Then he gave in. “Ok, Tee. I’ll call in two minutes. Be by the phone.”

When the phone rang I grabbed it quickly but the Professor still picked up and mumbled, “hello.”

“Sorry Professor,” I said. “It’s for me.”

He hung up and for the first time I relaxed in my bed in the warmth of my room and chatted on the phone with my friend JB. It felt so good! I was so happy! JB kept laughing at me as I recited poetry for him and read him some of my favorite entries from my blog.

Before I knew it, I could hear the click click of the phone line being picked up again. It’s the Professor. He doesn’t say anything. He just hangs up after a couple of seconds. A glance at the clock tells me it’s 1:30 am. What is he doing up? He never uses the phone. In fact, since I have been living with him the phone has rang maybe ONCE the entire time. No one ever calls or comes to visit him.

“JB, I guess I need to get off of his phone,” I say and JB is silent for a moment. “I still want to talk to you though. I’m gonna get dressed and go out to my car. Is that okay? Do you still feel like talking?”

“Ofcourse… Call me back when you get settled.”

I happily get dressed in my favorite Gator sweatshirt, sweat pants and sneakers. I run upstairs and grab a capri sun and honey bun from my stash in the pantry and go outside to sit in the parking lot so I can use my cell phone. It’s 2:30 in the morning in Atlanta and I’m glad JB cares enough to stay up and keep me company.

As soon as I get cozy in my car and JB’s deep chocolate, sexy ass voice is in my ear I see the garage door open and the Professor pops his head out.

“JB, you won’t believe this but the Professor is motioning for me to come back into the house.”

“Well, just calm down. Remember to be polite you are his guest. Call me back when you’re done talking.”

I walk over to the Professor and he has his arms crossed. “We need to talk NOW!” he says angrily.

I check my attitude and follow him into the house. Calm down Tee. This dude is doing you a favor by letting you stay with him. Be nice. Calm. Don’t flip.

As soon as I close the door behind me he says, “You’ve been smoking in my house!”


I lower my voice so that there will be a noticeable difference between my tone and his. “No, I haven’t. I would never disrespect your house like that?”

“YES you have!” he asserts.

I look at him blankly. “No, I have not.”

“I come downstairs and I smell smoke all upstairs and everywhere. I HATE SMOKE! I told you from day one that there will be no smoking inside or outside of my home!”

“And I didn’t do it.” I shrug my shoulders.

“And why did you have my phone ringing so late at night, tieing up my phone line for an HOUR?! YES! I picked it up just to check and see if you were still on it and you were. I caught you!”

I’m shocked. “It’s the middle of the night. I really wanted to talk to my friend. You know I don’t have any friends here and you know they can’t call my cell phone in here. It’s cold outside. I wanted to talk to my friend inside the house. No one has ever even called here for me before. Think about it. When has the phone rang for me? My Mama doesn’t even have this number. Why are you acting like this?”

I make sure that I am speaking in slow even tones. Almost angelic because if I don’t make a concious effort I know that I will start going off on this man.

He doesn’t care.

“You need to find somewhere else to live!” he announces.


“Excuse me?”

“You need to find somewhere else to live because you disrespected me by smoking in my house and you tieing up my phone line.”

“Ok, That’s fine. I will work on it. Thanks Professor,” I say and turn around to walk back outside to finish my call with JB.

His voice stops me cold. “ANd why are you always running in and out of my house all the time?”

I turn around. “Professor, you don’t want me to use your house phone and my cell phone doesn’t work in your house. How else am I supposed to talk to my friends?”

“Why don’t you talk to them during the day?!” he yells from the top of the stairwell.

“Because…” I pause. “I have minutes to consider during the day. After 9pm it’s free. So I go outside to talk to my friends and sit in my car. You know I don’t have any friends here. I need to talk to them.”

“You just need to find someplace else to live,” he tells me and dissappears around the corner.

I go outside and call JB. After I tell him what happens he says, “Ok. you’re a good writer. You express yourself well on paper. Would you please consider writing him a letter in the morning apologizing again and asking him to allow you to stay for a couple more weeks? You don’t have to beg or kiss his ass, just reason with him.”

I raise my eyebrow.

This man told me to leave his house! He called me a liar to my face!

“Ok JB,” I tell him calmly. “I will consider it.”

“Ok, now be nice and go to bed. Call me in the morning ok?”

“Ok, JB.”

I sigh and lock up my car. I walk back into the house and go to my room.

I consider what JB has said. Could I really do that?

I want to go to sleep but I can’t bring myself to lie down. How can I sleep in this man’s house after he talked ot me like that? I can’t sleep. I can’t.

Fuck it.

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I stand up and walk into my closet. I began pulling clothes off of my hangers and bagging them up. In a half hour almost all of my stuff is back in my car and the Professor is standing there watching me.

He dissappears upstairs and yells down, “Don’t forget your food.” He packs up my food for me and I tell him to throw away the refrigerated stuff and I’ll keep the canned stuff.

When I walk out the door he doesn’t say a word until after I am done packing everything up.

“You smoked in my house,” he accused me again. This time, he looked down at the ground as he said it.

“No I didn’t. You are supposed to be able to evaluate criminal minds and you should be able to tell whether or not I’m lieing. I am NOT a liar! I did not smoke in your house!”

“You want some advice?” he asks me as I’m opening the driver side door.

“No thanks,” I say politely.

“Well, I’ll give it to you anyway. Go back to Florida where you have some support. You have no business out here by yourself like this.”

“Thanks Professor,” I say politely and close my door.

I turn on my wind shield wipers to wipe away the frost on the windshield.

Oh Lord. Where am I going to go?

Not Just A Story

“What am I going to do?” I asked myself.

Here I was with less than $20 in my account, $20 in my pocket and nowhere to go. And it was 3am. I looked down at my feet and noticed a slip of paper had fallen near my brake. When I picked it up I saw that it was a flier I had gotten earlier that day with the information for a shelter for women called Star of Hope. I called them up and asked if they had room for me.

“Yes we do. We have mats and blankets for tonight. You can sleep on the floor. Regular intake isn’t until Monday.”

“Ok, please give me directions and I will be there as soon as I find it.”

It’s just a place to sleep tonight until I can figure out what I’m going to do next. No big deal. It’s cold out. I’m sure it’ll be okay.

When I finally found the big building I parked my car and walked in. They asked for my ID and I signed a paper and they called me back into a large open room. The wallks were beautifully decorated with murals dedicated to Christian quotes.

A black man walked me to the area where there were about 15 women fast asleep on plastic mats on the floor, their personal belongings nearby. It was eerily quiet as I chose a mat by the wall, sat down and looked around. I spread my sheet over the mat and put my pillow case over my pillow.

I didn’t take off my shoes.

My eyes were so tired. My body ached. I needed rest but it didn’t come. I put my head on the pillow and closed my eyes. I couldn’t believe it. It was as though my life had become this story that led me instead of me leading it.

This is unreal. But for real.

I managed to lie still for two hours until some of the women began waking up. The emotion that coursed through my body as I watched them arise, one by one and head to the bathroom is nameless.

“Am I faking this?” I asked myself. “Why am I here?”

There’s no reason for me to be in a homeless shelter for women. I have plenty of family and friends. Why did I choose this?

I know. It’s pride. It’s pride that made me leave Atlanta. I didn’t want to have to start over there and depend on anyone’s help. I wanted to struggle on my own because I didn’t want to continue to be a burden to my friends. So now..I choose this for myself? Who am I to worry everyone to death because I can’t humble myself and admit I need help? Why the hell do I keep missing it? I try and try but damn..I keep missing whatever it is that keeps people functioning.

A blonde woman with a short sleeve shirt and black pants looks over at me. She doesn’t smile. She stares at me with hollow eyes. I can’t imagine what the story is behind them. My journalistic instinct wants to question her but the human side..the side that realizes that these women are more than just a story- causes a moment’s pause.

I’m here by choice. These women are not. If there was something I could do for them…Something I could do for them…Nothing I can do for them…I can’t even do for myself. I have a nice car outside. I have a sidekick. I have a laptop and a car full of clothes, some of which I had never even worn. I’m such a pretender! I’m so dumb! I hate myself!

Before my emotional side began to overwhelm me I stood up, grabbed my purse and rushed past the group of awakening women. I walked up to the front desk and asked the woman there if I could give my clothes to the women here.

“Sure. Just put them in the bin out front. We’ll sort them later and distribute them.”

I pulled my car to the front of the building and opened my trunk. I grabbed armful after armful of clothes and dumped them into the big bin. My old pin striped shirt. All of my suits. My favorite capris. My jackets. My dresses. All gone in a matter of minutes.

I cried as I said goodbye to half of my wardrobe. How do I fix this? This isn’t a social experiment. This is my life. I have to pull myself up out of this.

It’s easy for me to be hopeful because I KNOW that my end will be successful. I can wake up in a shelter and still smile knowing that this is only a leg of my journey and the uncertainty will not last forever.

I drove away in tears toward Downtown. I found a well lit spot at a gas station and pulled over. It was nearly 6am. The streets were still dark out. I turned off my headlights and looked at my cell phone.

Who could I call? Who could help me figure this out?

I’m so embarrased.


I texted JB. Can I trust you? I asked him.

He texted me back. Ofcourse.

I called him back and told him what happened. He was quiet.

“I’m going to the hostel for the night. After that I’ll see what’s up.”

“Tee, tell me what you think the word humble means?”

“Huh? It means that you don’t think you’re better than someone else. What are you saying? I don’t think I’m better than anyone but I do expect more than most people from my life.”

“Just think about the word and decide what it means to you. That’s all I’m saying…”

I head over to the hostel and say hello to the woman at the front desk. I ask her if I can trade my stereo for a few nights at the hostel.

“I don’t see why not,” she tells me. “But you’ll have to check with the owner first. She’ll be here in two hours. Hey…You look tired. Why don’t you go ahead and take a nap on the couch. It’s okay. Get some rest.”


Thank you.

I walked over to the couch, removed my shoes and placed my head on the arm rest.

And then I slept.

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Even more deeply than Snow White after the dwarfs got her drunk.

When I woke up it was 12:30. I hopped up and walked over to the office where there was a sign that read: BE BACK AFTER 5.

Well…At least I can take a shower here. I went out to my car and go a change of clothes, showered and got dressed.

“I know..I’ll head over to the internet cafe and hang a little while until the lady comes back.”

Before I could pull off I get a phone call from Kia, the woman from Houston who had come to help me with my car and take me to dinner.

“What you doing?” she asks.

“Girl,” I say and laugh as if I have a juicy story to tell but I’m secretly embarrassed. “You won’t believe what happened.”

I cringe and relay my story to her. She interrupts when I get to the part about the shelter.

“You WHAT? Uh, uh! I know you are not acting like that when I TOLD you that I have a big four bedroom house that I live in all by myself. You are welcome to come and stay with me, Tee. You have to get over yourself and accept help!”

“Yeah.” I say aloud. Maybe this is what JB was getting at when he suggested I define the word humble.

“I’ll call you after the half time show. If you feel comfortable I will come by the hostel and you can follow me to my house.”

“Ok. I’ll think about it.”

I hang up and ride to the internet cafe. I chat with JB for most of the time I’m there. He is amazing. Sometimes I want to strangle him. But then…and this is weird…at the same time I want to have sex with him. I want to choke him and ride him simultanesously. Am I weird?

I wanna beat him up because he challenges me. But I love him for it.

“Tell me something,” he whispers into the phone. I love it when he says that!

“Um..” he pauses. “Do you think that you embrace struggle so that your story will turn out

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“You don’t have to answer that now,” JB said slowly. “Think about it and call me later. Ok?”

In God’s Hand

I’ve been having nightmares.

Tonight’s nightmares were weird. I dreamt that I walked into a house and everyone was so sad. As I followed the trail of sad faces to a bedroom my Mama was sitting there and a TV camera crew was filming her. When she saw me she looked up and said, “Did you tell Donna to call her Mom? What did you write?”

I knew then that whatever drama everyone was experiencing was caused by my relaying the truth from my heart on my blog.

“Mama…I was just trying to heal myself,” I tried to explain. She shook her head and continued listening to the TV crew.

I’m tired.

I’ve been working all week at the Restaurant.

Early Monday morning I got a call from them saying, “Congralulations and Welcome to The Restaurant family! Please report to work tomorrow morning at 7am, where black pants or capris and bring a copy of your drivers license and social security card. Once again, Congralulations! We look forward to working with you.”

I was like, “Oh yeah..Bout time.”

And then I realized- I’m about to be working again. Oh my gosh….

I sat up in bed and looked around at the oranges, reds and browns that decorate the room that Kia calls Kilamajaro or something like that. All of the bedrooms in her home have themes. She’s into African Art. She’s into African American literature. Her bookshelves made me salivate. Her magazine collection made me moist. Her taste in music is delightful and we actually get along very well.

How did we meet?

Through the internet.

When I was staying with Nancy and her family and I didn’t know where I was going to end up next. I got this bright idea to post an ad in the housing wanted section of the internet.

Hard Times In Houston

Hi. I’m a 27 year old Black female who recently relocated to the area. After I got here every plan that I had fell through. Now I don’t have a job or a place to stay but I won’t allow that to defeat me. I’m hoping that someone could allow me to barter cleaning services for a month in exchange for a place to sleep. I can also do writing or marketing work if that is of any value to you.

If you can’t offer housing, please send me tips on how to sustain myself in Houston without compromising my principles. Pray about it.

I received so many responses from this ad that I had to remove it. The Professor was one of the first to respond offering me a room in his townhome until the student got there. Kia replied too, saying she was looking for a roommate and could help out because her mother taught her to give. I met a woman named Patty who I email consistently but we haven’t met yet. I received all types of links to local job websites. People even gave me tips on foodstamps, phone numbers to people who had helped them in their time of need and advice about where to live and where not to live. One man even offered me access to his home if I would consider a long term relationship with him. I refused politely but we still keep in touch.

I chose to go to the Professor’s house because he lives in the Museum District versus Kia, who lives about 40 minutes away from the area I wanted to work in and live. I should have trusted my gut instinct. After just one night with the Professor I called Tamara and said, “I feel like I’m in prison.”

I will learn not to talk myself out of believing in my gut feeling.

And my gut feeling is telling me that Kia and I will become good friends.

And my gut feeling is telling me that great things are in store for me in Houston.

My gut feeling is telling me that working at The Restaurant will be a good beginning for me.

Since I’ve been working there I’ve also landed a freelance writing gig at one of the Black newspapers. Well…I think she’s trying to offer me a full time position and I COULD do it…but…I’m not a news writer. I CAN write news. I can write ANYTHING- well- except press releases but…I won’t be passionate about it and I know my disinterest will ultimately lead to me being fired or quitting or being stuck in a situation where I have created all of these bills for myself and I have to maintain them by sitting in some job I hate.

If I’m living out of my car right now, I will just maintain that until I find a balance of work and passion to sustain myself.

But..I’m actually NOT living out of my car anymore. Today I finally unpacked the things from my car and brought them inside to my room.

It was a momentous occasion because I hadn’t even realized that I was scarred by my interaction with the Professor. Kia called me one day after work and asked, “Are you scared?”


“Are you scared? Do you think I’m going to psychologically scar you? I won’t. I want you to live with me. You can bring your things out of the car. I’ll help you. I’ll get Dave to help you. You don’t have to keep living out of your car Tee.”

I was silent.

“I just don’t want to impose.”

“But I invited you to stay with me. I want you to make yourself at home.”

I refused to do it. She understood. She remained patient, treating me like a wounded kitten. Allowing me to take baby steps becoming comfortable in her home.

I guess I didn’t conciously realize it but I was holding back tremendously. I was apologizing and explaining every little thing. “I couldn’t find the trash bags so I left the trash in a grocery bag, I hope you won’t be mad, Kia.”

“Tee, why would I trip over that? It’s okay. You can relax here. I promise I won’t throw you out of my house without at least 24 hour notice unless you kill my dog or something. I’m not gonna flip out on you,” she assured me.

I just know that I am a very considerate person. Sometimes I even compromise what I want for the happiness of others. I’ll consider their satisfaction over my own and take the little piece of chicken, the next best purse, the room without the view- just so someone will have a good experience. But all of that consideration meant nothing to the Nutty Professor, who got all jiggy with me. There’s one thing I can not stand, it’s being somewhere that I am not wanted.

What’s cool is that Kia and are so similar in so many ways. We are both antisocial, preferring the quiet comfort of home to life in the streets and the clubs. We both love to read and chill with our friends. We both LOVE the internet and can spend hours together sitting on the couch with our laptops, trading links through IM and watching youtube videos.

The one thing I realize is that our movie watching methods differ. She likes to watch with the subtitles on and if the subtitles are on when I’m watching a movie, I get distracted and can’t actually WATCH the movie because I’m so busy reading the screen and analyzing their choice of words. He could have said that much better…Why did the writer choose that tone?

I’ll never forget my first morning at Kia’s when I woke up and I got the call from the Restaurant. Kia left for work and called me on her way to check up on me. I told her the good news and she was happy for me. Her friend Dave was riding in the car with her and he asked for the phone.

“What are you doing on Tuesday night?” he asked me. I could almost picture this white man rubbing his scraggly beard mischievously.

“Um…I don’t have any plans.” I never have plans. Duh. I don’t have any friends.

“Would you like to um….watch TV on Kia’s couch? It’s a nice comfy couch. We can all hang out.”

I smiled a bright sunshiny smile. Wow. Someone was actually inviting me to just..hang out. That meant so much to me.

“Thanks Dave!”I squealed. “I’d love to.”

When We hung up I did a happy dance. “I’m gonna hang out and laugh!” Wow. I really need that. I’m so damn tense all the time. I need to just…have fun.

I opened the door to my room to go to the restroom and when I returned I saw a note on the door with a set of keys hanging on a tack.

Goodmorning Tee! Please make yourself at home. There’s food in the pantry. Take a shower. Use the phone. Relax. The major highways are in opposite directions. Call me if you need help figuring out where you want to go. Please don’t be scared to be here. — Kia

I’m still kind of tip toeing around her home but…at least I’m not living out of my car anymore.

Man… I can’t wait to have my own space with no house rules and no one to just barge in on me. I can’t wait to be free to be naked again!

I am grateful to God everyday for all of the love I’ve been receiving from strangers. I guess they’re not strangers, I should call them angels because each one of them shows up right on time with an offering to meet my needs.

It’s a beautiful thing to be covered by the blood. I feel like I’m right in the palm of God’s hand.

Even though my life seems crazy, this is exactly where I am supposed to be.

Life and Death…

…are in the power of the tongue.

Speak these words aloud today and watch your life change.

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The favor of God surrounds me and precedes me.

The blessings of God are chasing me and overtaking me.

Whatever I set my hand to shall prosper.

My Heavenly Father gives me power to get wealth.

God is liberally supplying all my needs according to His riches in glory by Jesus Christ.

I no longer live under the curse of poverty. The windows of Heaven are open to me, and God rebukes the devourer for my sake.

The Lord has commanded me to be blessed; therefore I am blessed and cannot be cursed. I am the head and not the tail. I am above only and not beneath. I will lend and not borrow.

On the Humble

Because I have JB in my ear it causes me to calm down a bit.

When he asked me if I embraced struggle to make a better story it threw me to the left. I felt like he was mocking me at first because I feel that I have no other options other than the ones I am taking right now. Nothing else will satisfy me. Anything else would be giving up? This is my chance to see what I can do and I am up for the challenge.

Sure, I am sure my story may seem fantastical at times, but I guess it’s because to me…life is a fantasy. I have always wanted to live my dream and now I am.

“I can’t wait to be who I imagine myself to be,” I told JB one night.

“But you are who you imagine yourself to be,” he challenged me.

“No, I’m not. Not yet. I’m not even close.” I replied.

“But the road you imagined that you would have to take to get there– guess what? You’re on it. Your imagination is leading your life.”

“Well damn…I need to imagine that everything from now on moves quickly and in my favor. I imagine nothing but happy days and plenty of money to live just as nice as I know I should live.”

He laughed at me. He’s always laughing at me.

I’ll admit, I can get a bit wild when I want to. My past frustration with men spills over into my everyday life and yeah…JB gets the brunt of my frustration since he’s the last man standing.

We went through this period where we were always arguing over dumb stuff. And then we’ll both be like, “What are we doing? We both have too much going on to be going through this shit.”

Then we’d calm down and be friends again.

The other night I was going off about something and when I paused he said, “Why are you acting like an ass tonight?”


I love it when he talks like that. Oh yeah. Check me, baby! Put me in CHECK!

“Do you want to start a fight with me so we can hang up?” he asked, his tone a perfect contrast to my flagrant words.

~rolling my eyes~


I just wanna choke him and ride.

Choke and ride.

Choke and ride.


He frustrates me. My feet hurt…

I am so, so tired after work ya’ll. I’m off by 3pm everyday but by the last hour my feet are stinging and I can’t even fake a smile.

I love being there though…

I meet so many beautiful people.

So many beautiful people. I think all of the beautiful Black people in Houston come through this restuarant. The staff is great! So much fun. No drama (yet). Just everyone trying to pitch in to deliver a spectacular dining experience.

So far, I’ve been running food to the tables, acting as hostess, cleaning the bathrooms and making coffee. I really love greeting people! I feel like such a superstar!

In my mind, in my own little head, I’m the baddest chick ever born. I’m that shining star! I’m that shining light! So whenever I leave the house, I make sure that I behave and dress accordingly. I really like to make people feel good and what brings a smile to a stranger’s face more than looking at a beautiful person?

How do you feel when you see a beautiful child?

That’s how I want people to feel when they see me. So everyday I do my makeup and have fun with my accessories. God gave me a great genetic make-up so I’m going to use my gift for Him, by making as many people smile as I can!

That’s how I really feel.

But this work is hard because it’s… ~whispering~ physical labor.

Ya’ll know I have never done anything like this before. I mean…once I worked at Bennigans but all I had to do was stand at the door and smile. Now, I’m lifting plates, cleaning toilets and carrying stuff. Sometimes when I’m sweeping the floor I have to laugh.


You’re crazy.

But ofcourse my boys knew how to brighten my day.

“Guess what Sugarbear?” I asked my oldest son.

“What Mama?”

“I found a job.”

“Yay Mama! Where do you work?”

“At a restaurant.”

“WOW! Hey, listen! Mama’s working at a restaurant! Do they have good food Mama? What kind of food do they have?”

I told him.

“And guess what Sugarbear? Mommy’s going to be published in the newspaper again. Like last time.”

“Will your picture be in the paper Mama?”

“Maybe baby. Hopefully. I’ll send you one either way so you can see my name.”

“That’s cool Mama.”

“It is baby…”