Archive | June, 2012

Double or Nothing

25 Jun

Sirens wailed as I paced up and down the alley. I promised myself I’d never come back here. Add that to the long list of promises now smattered to pieces. My heels panged against the uneven pavement as my thoughts weighed the insanity of it all. How a 4th grade math teacher ever ended up owing $50,000 to a bookie is one equation that will never add up. One ill-placed bet was all it took to lose more than I make in a year. But if I go through with this, my debt could magically disappear: It’s a gamble I couldn’t afford not to make. Continue reading

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Ode to Dad

17 Jun

This post is a short, sweet shout-out to all of the fathers, especially my own. Thanking my dad for being the boyfriend screen whose mere presence made ill-fated potential suitors quiver. Thanks for killing any intruding mosquitoes, water bugs or other pests that made me shriek when they sought refuge in own home. Thanks for telling me I was beautiful, so that now when it comes from anyone else, it’s without surprise. And thanks for supporting my dreams, no matter how wacky.

Yesterday, at the crowded mall, I grinned as I spotted tons of fathers pushing strollers, carrying kids on their shoulders or in arms. It ‘s the most beautiful sight ever. A couple of my own paintings try to capture that tenderness.  Continue reading

Pass Me The Scissors

7 Jun

Snip. Snip. Snip.

I shut my eyes and tried to relax in the swiveling chair. It had been over a year since I had let anyone touch my locks. Partially out of stubbornness. Partially because I believed I was perfectly capable of maintaining them myself. I mean how hard can washing and grooming nappy coiled hair possibly be? It’s tougher than it looks the steady clink of the scissors reminded as they sliced through three years-worth of dreads. The salon floor bore the evidence. Continue reading

Woman in the Canary Dress

5 Jun

It happens to every writer: That magical moment when the words of another  changes your life forever.

For me, it occurred seven years ago. I was a junior in high school about to enter an Advanced Placement course taught a notoriously tough English teacher.

“Don’t take her. You’ll regret it,” classmates cautioned.

Their words echoed in my head as I shuffled into class and sank into the nearest desk. After a hasty hello, packets of pages lined with the following words from Toni Morrison’s Tar Baby were passed around:

“And when the vision materialized in a yellow dress Jadine was not sure it was not all a part of her list—an addition to the coconut and tamarind, a kind of plus to go with the limes and pimiento. Another piece of her luck. The vision itself was a woman much too tall. Under her long canary yellow dress Jadine knew there was too much hip, too much bust. The agency would laugh her out of the lobby, so why was she and everybody else in the store transfixed? The height? The skin like tar against the canary yellow dress?

Continue reading