Other than a fly pair
of mint green mesh and suede pumas, a meh leather pair of pink and brown pumas
and a random pair of white Reebok Classics, I’ve never really bought and worn sneakers.
I figured I don’t
really need them, although there have been periods where I tried to be athletic
and walk the 0.8 miles around my apartment complex. Thank God for the footwear
I happened to have. But for the most part I’ve always been a heels and boots,
sandals and flip-flops type of woman because I’m usually not that casual.
So this past Saturday
was an Old Navy flip-flop day. It was also a sporadically rainy day, partly a
precursor to Hurricane Florence, I suppose. I rode with my cousin to our little
rural hometown so she could pick up her mom and drive her to Richmond for a
weeklong staycation. It was also a little road trip and outing for us, too.
Her mom’s house is
situated in the middle of a huge family plot flanked by the woods, some flowery
bushes with occasional roses, peonies and figs, tall pine trees and three other
homes. On any given day, it isn’t unusual to find any of us crossing backyards
to and fro from one house to the next and back again. On any given day except this
past Saturday, that is.
(A variation of this
post was originally published in 2013 as part of a 21-day meditation challenge.
Like most daily challenges, I didn’t complete it.)
I’m finally trying to
meditate. Unlike my former yoga peers who occasionally drifted into light slumber
during final relaxation, I’ve yet to master meditation. My mind becomes
disobedient because it refuses to silence and my body involuntarily moves
because I subconsciously feel a random mosquito grazing on my left elbow, which
indirectly causes my nape to itch and my right calf to spasm. Three years later
I’ll watch an episode of The Haunting
and listen to a woman recount how she went so deeply within that she resurfaced
with something dark and dangerous.
I wasn’t trying to end
up tormented and traumatized. However as I journey along this intersectional
path of purpose and passion, I understand that meditation and prayer are maps
to confirmation and clarity.
But fortunately for that
particular day’s challenge, my task is to only reflect on my inner dialogue.
Deepak Chopra stated that he meditates for two hours but obviously realizing he
was talking to mind-control virgins, he quickly added that 15-20 minutes should
I lay down on my side,
my left arm crooked at my not-itchy-in-real-life elbow, my left hand is numb by
my heavy head. My heart races. I attribute it to the fact that I’ve just
carried an overfilled laundry basket of clean clothes.
I can’t believe I
launched this blog a little over five years ago.
I’m glad I bought this
domain because .blogspot.com didn’t introduce me as a boss bish. I’m also glad
I didn’t leave it as The Skinny DC Writer because somewhere along the way, I
outgrew DC and longed to live in a new city.
I’m mad that I didn’t actively
defend this space, consequently reinforcing outside opinions that my blog is a
mere hobby. I never fully articulated that these words construct my writing portfolio,
and this writing portfolio is the lifeline to some semblance of a livelihood.
I’ve accepted that a
majority of my fans will be strangers, at least in the formative years, and
that many who know me could never fathom that this “little blog” will ever become
a serious space or at least one to rival a larger platform. But I’m learning to
not internalize it as rejection or discouragement or see it as a reflection of
my true talent because in reality, I’m the shit.
That time Aunt Dee from Moesha retweeted my essay.
I’m disappointed that I
wasn’t in a position to remain consistent. But I stretched myself too thin,
opened myself up too wide to even more outside opinions of what else I could do rather than fully immersing
myself into what I want to do.
I’ve just completed my
weeklong “shift” of hostess duties: drafting and emailing a wedding
announcement for the local newspaper, ironing crisp white tablecloths and chair
covers, and decorating a spacious venue, to be exact. This is in addition to
pulling frequent all-nighters for a daily entertainment writer gig and defaulting
to a 24-hour nanny role that I never signed up for. So after the nuptials, I sit
quietly, observant near the dance floor in figurative retirement.
If I danced, I
would’ve sashayed to the dance floor. But that’s not my thing. I don’t like to
be watched and scrutinized, and as the tallest person on the dance floor, I’m
almost guaranteed to attract more attention that I can ignore. However, being a
wallflower was more noticeable, eliciting a countless “Come on!” with each
motion of a curved finger elevating my blood pressure five millimeters of mercury
at a time. I remain at the front table with the purses, fuming, while everyone
else shimmies, shakes, shuffles, slides, and steps across the dance floor. It
sways my response.
“If one more person
asks me…” I say before I exhale. “Yes!”
No one else inquires
about my well-being, not even the next day during brunch when my physical
features literally relax.
“Is he tied up?” my
cousin asks me as we stand behind her friend’s car to remove my bags from the
It’s late. We had left
Northern VA less than three hours earlier, enjoying the last official holiday
of the summer along with the smoked ribs, brisket, broccoli salad, and spirits
that normally complement it every Labor Day weekend. I had asked her to drop me
off at another relative’s house. She’s tired, having to travel another hour or
so, but she becomes alert to the gruff bark that belongs to the large golden
dog next door.
My cousin has a small
dog. Gizmo is his name. He’s an oftentimes shaggy, dirty-blonde Shih Tzu, who
occasionally tries to get snippy with a select few of her guests. He yaps at
those who cross the back yard because he knows visitors normally approach the
door from the opposite side. And he senses the inherent fear or dislike that
other guests carry with them toward dogs. As those visitors turn to leave,
Gizmo jumps up from his rested position and runs them out the door faster than
they intend to walk.
“Gizmo, stop it!” my
cousin commands. “Come back here!”
But this owner watches
us from a plastic chair on his front stoop at 11 p.m. His golden retriever – I
think, because I really don’t know my dogs – is tied to a post with a thin,
red, maybe plastic cord.
“Yeah, he’s tied,” I
reply. “See the strap?”
But inside I’m a
little jittery, too, because this dog is huge, much bigger than Gizmo. If he
gets loose, we’ll all be severely injured, including the two passengers in the
car. But we’re not going out as punks.