I Can’t Sleep…What’s New

It’s odd to be back, but I return to my blog after an almost fourteen week absence. Writing is good for me and I am elated to push the black and white keys that spell the words that are my thoughts. Writing is necessary for me. Throughout my time away, I constantly thought about foreverizing certain moments in a blog, but repeatedly failed to do so. I did do some writing here, here, and here. While writing about music is enjoyable and I will continue, it was not the same as being here, home, at Betweentheworldandme.

Most people that know me beyond lit computer screens and incessant social media (and even those that know me only within those realms) know that I have poor sleeping patterns. It’s true, I do, and even detailed its history in this post. What I did not share, however, is what I do when the world seemingly sleeps and I’m wide awake. The overwhelming majority of the time I listen to my mind pace (but not limited to), constructing analytical dissections of a relationship to formulating potential initiatives for my work community to worrying about life and all the what-ifs of the future. *Sidenote: For those that wonder what I do the other times not included in the overwhelming majority: I work out, try to go back to sleep, read, work on my clothing company, check instagram, watch “Orange is the new black,” which I recently completed and loved (most of it). I do the things most people do throughout the day, but I happen to do them around 3am.*

Most of the time, I wake to a stream of words that often form the opening line(s) to a poem, paper, or prose. *Sidenote: While in college, I often woke up to my thesis sentence spilling from my mind and from there was able to craft my argument and eventually write my paper.* Though energized from the few hours of rest, I often resist moving from my bed to quickly jot them down. As a result, hours later, when I try to grasp them, they avert my grip like grabbing at free flowing water. Because I have had a strong yearning to write and empty myself again, I decided to get up this morning and write those words:

He didn’t say sorry. He had no problem forming the three-syllable phrase and forcibly uttering the words. Throughout his life he has said sorry numerous times when he didn’t mean it. Not tonight. He did not want to accept blame for his mistakes because he stubbornly believed that she was the only one at fault. So, he sat there, looking into her pleadingly eyes and said nothing. A mere apologetic whisper would have bridged the growing gap in the conversation and salvaged the quickly eroding relationship. The overdue pregnant pause, with each new second adding to the deafening shrill, could not budge him. No, he was intently perched on his rock of “asshole” “not my fault” and had no intention of moving for her, for reconciliation, or for himself anytime soon. So he sat there, determined, but he struggled to look in her eyes long enough without feeling guilt for his refusal. He could see her hurt and knew unequivocally he was the reason for it. Suddenly fiddling with his hands, a feeble attempt to break eye contact, he readjusts his position atop his ego. And she waited uncomfortably, tears forming in her eyes, damned by her eyelids or pride or both, as she watched her now ex-boyfriend noticeably squirm in his seat like a child, exhibiting the same uneasiness of an eight year old learning accountability. Disgusted and frustrated with her inability to lock eyes with him again, she begrudgingly asked, “Now what, huh?”


My Challenge to You is Write

Ernest Hemingway once wrote a story in six words: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

While the new school year has limited my time to write, I thought it best to share my recent thoughts via a series of six word memoirs.

Hurt feelings, concealed, sting the most.

Joy undoubtedly returns when he smiles.

Fighting daily to realize my ambition.

Only promise: never lie to mirror.

Impending wedding bells create cacophonous expectations.

My plea: be better than me.

Taking risks because monotony bores me.

Time heals, so give me time.

Only in control of my own.

Stop second guessing my instincts. Word.
In comments, I challenge you to share a six word memoir to capture a recent thought, feeling, or experience.

The Calm That “I Am Not Alone” Provides

We were the only ones in the teacher’s lounge at 7:45am. She was making copies; I was making a test.

Cordial conversation: “How are you?” followed by common response, “I’m well. And you?”

I didn’t even break eye contact with the computer screen, determined to finish crafting this cumulative test before the imaginary sound of the first period bell.

Silence for a few minutes, broken only by the rhythmically, annoying hum from the copy machine.

A few other colleagues, leisurely strolled in and out of the room, preoccupied with their daily morning routines and tasks.

She started to head for the double doors, and stopped roughly five feet from me and asked, “How has everything been going?”

Not sure of the difference was between her first question and this one. Maybe it was voice, tinged with sincerity. Maybe it was that she stopped, hand on the door handle, eyes pointing at me, impatiently waiting for my attention. Whatever energy was in the question, I absorbed it and took it as an invitation to share some thoughts that have been clouding my mind:

  • This time of year always makes me antsy. Since college, I have not been in the same job or location for more than four years. And this year marks the completion of year four at this current job.
  • Do I want to stay in NY or leave?
  • I have an insatiable itch need for something new in my life, but do not want to and will not make any lateral career moves.
  • I would like to move out of my apartment but financially tied to a mortgage–she suggested I gut it and make renovations.
  • I would like to move to Harlem or Brooklyn to get a bigger apartment or a brownstone because I want to get married and have more children.
  • Feel weirdly loyal to the Bronx–do not want to “make it” and leave my community–maybe I’m fantasizing about the importance of staying in the Bronx as a way to motivate others and dispel this myth (reality?) of ‘successful’ flight.
  • Concerned about professional growth at current job, even though they have made it clear that I am valued here.
  • Unsure of continuing education; will my Ph.D or Ed.D truly benefit me? I guess the real question is where I am going and will that piece of paper help me get there?

After spewing my thoughts as if I was seated on a long leather couch in a Psychiatrist’s or Psychologist’s office (which one can prescribe those drugas?), she smiles and nods her head in agreement. She shares that she feels the same way, though she is currently looking for a new apartment with her live-in boyfriend; she confesses it is an attempt to add something new to her life and break up the building monotony. As if no one is in the room with her, she outwardly contemplates, eyes looking upward the arched ceiling, completing her Ph.D because she’s “not sure if it is worth it.” Honesty.

Her much shorter and concise rant made me smile not because she currently faces remarkably challenging life choices, but because I am not alone.

Roughly Twenty Hours of Solitude

100 Years of Solitude

Ok…ok…I did not complete 100 years of solitude (great book by Marquez by the way…yeah, I read it in Spanish back in high school), but it sure felt comparable as I drove for roughly twenty hours this past weekend to and from Detroit. In honor of the time spent in my car, I decided to share twenty thoughts that crossed my mind during those twenty hours of solitude (in no particular order):

  1. Detroit is far…
  2. Good thing I can never be convicted for my many murders…of bugs. Weapon of choice: windshield.
  3. Michael Jackson really is the greatest artist ever…my five year old son and I grooved to a few of hits on the way to the Detroit Tigers game. Our favorites (read: the only songs we played) were: Thriller (2x), Blame It On The Boogie, I’ll Be There, and Smooth Criminal
  4. My son has rhythm…he was clapping on the right beat and his dance moves included moving his extremities, mostly his arms, not confined by the seat belt. I’ll have him two-stepping by the end of the summer. Word.
  5. I understand unconditional love because of my son
  6. New York City was rocking this past weekend with game nights, day parties, tequila, shooting of music videos, first Saturday at the Brooklyn Arts Museum, more parties, more tequila, fight night…and I was happily 650 miles away
  7. My car is racking up miles on it, but that’s what it’s made for 
  8. The Detroit Tigers introduction songs for their batters sounded like a NOW cd populated by hip hop songs (and like two rock songs and the obligatory latin, crossover hit)…My favorite Tigers’ player is Dalmon Young because he played this…”The Boss back!”
  9. Most of the 42,000+ fans had no clue about those blaring tunes…except for the two rock ones
  10. My son can eat (like his daddy); my son can sleep (not like his daddy)
  11. Twenty hours of driving by myself is long time…
  12. Self-reflection is painfully necessary and I kept thinking about the not-so-good parts about me but twenty hours of it is overkill. Sorry bugs!
  13. I need to be a better friend, son, brother, teacher…just include all my identities…
  14. I need to be more selfish (in a good way)
  15. I need to use the bathroom
  16. My mother is absolutely great; she called me at 3:30am to check up on me during my after midnight, early morning drive on Saturday
  17. My mother is absolutely great; she called me on Sunday to let me know the Knicks won…the excitement in her voice got me hype (and gave me some needed energy).
  18. My right heel hurts
  19. Cruise control is not as dope as it seems
  20. “We don’t stop at the tolls, we have EZ passes.”

Why I Didn’t Write Yesterday

My mother walked past my slightly cracked door and stopped for a moment. I could feel her presence outside of the doorway, while I was idly chatting with my then-girlfriend. After a few moments, I heard the sounds of her departing footsteps. A few minutes later, moments after I ended the phone conversation, my mother returned to the doorway. This time, she poked her head into my room, and plainly stated, “Don’t do that again.” Confused, I asked, “Huh?”

“Do not detail your day like that ever again. She does not need to know your every step. Is she your patrol officer or something?” she snarkly replied. Most of the time, she is right. This is one of those times.

Heeding to my mother’s advice, I will not detail for you all the day that kept me from writing yesterday. Instead, I will provide stream of consciousness highlights:

Did not see her, party, “Get Low,” her body feels so soft, flirting, on to the next stop, no bueno, on to the next spot, reggae, her in the blue dress, Ciroc, dancing, tattoo on her back about fashion, not for me, “I think I need to throw up,” pizza, nap, basketball, I shot a lay-up and a dunk at the same damn time, traveling, laughter, win, loss, brunch, unlimited mimosas, tipsy again, texts, nap, museum, club let out, more texting, eyes, bodies, flirting, not taking you home, flask, gin, laughter, party, art gallery, dancing, exchange numbers, texts, hula hoops, jokes, food, nap.