Thursday, September 11, 2014


Of course, I'll never forget what happened today - 13 years ago. The thing I won't EVER forget though, is the amount of unity, love, selflessness and strength we had as a city that day. September 11th, 2001 - it wasn't about the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island or Manhattan. It wasn't about Uptown or Downtown, Yankees or Mets, Giants or Jets. It wasn't about Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Indians, Jews or Caucasians. It was about NEW YORK. I've told the story a hundred times over, so I'll tell the abridged version this time.

I was in school on Broome Street - not too far from the WTC. Unity High School, an "alternative" school for us "misfit" kids, LOL. We didn't know what was going on, we just knew something was up because the teachers weren't giving us any work to do. Ms. Balstad came in the room and said a plane had crashed into the Twin Towers. There was no concept of this being a "terrrorist" attack then. Ms. Balstad tried to claim it was the Russians attacking us after we started watching the news. Then the 2nd plane hit and we knew it wasn't right.

My homie Nael Daniel was late to school (as usual) and on his way in the 2nd plane flew right over him, a vision I shudder to even think about. We were told we would be on "lockdown" and we would have to wait until our parents were notified until we could leave. Some stayed put, most didn't. The ones that didn't found their escape through the bathroom windows by jumping down to a lower ledge and leaving the school. Me and Nael (Danny) weren't trying to stick around and wait, so we bounced too. The minute we got outside it was the eeriest and haunting feeling in the air. Dust everywhere. Silence aside from the sirens in the distance. We walked the streets seeing men in suits covered with soot and ash. Anyone talking outside was talking about what had happened. All stores were closed. West 4th Street - SHUT DOWN. 14th Street - SHUT DOWN. 34th street - SHUT DOWN. 42nd Street - SHUT DOWN. Cell phone lines were down, roads were closed. No entry in or out of the city. We walked from Broome Street to East 105th St where Danny lived. My mom was bugging out because she hadn't heard from me that day and my grandmother wanted me to come home. When I got home is when it got worse.

Images of people jumping from the Twin Towers haunted my sleep. The constant replay of the moment of the plane's impact was something you couldn't turn away from. A TRL broadcast of a post-9/11 world only served as a band-aid to a city's mortal wound. I remember feeling helpless when the Red Cross was on the news asking for volunteers to give blood. What could I do? I was only a teenager then. The subways were shut down, so I couldn't leave the hood if I wanted to. We spent a week locked in as a city, stuck with the loop of what happened to us. Only to then be thrown into a war as a country - angry, confused and determined to destroy those that did this to us.


Back then, I wasn't as aware as I am now. As much as I will always remember today for what happened 13 years ago, as much as I mourn the victims and those who lost their lives that day, as much as I honor the troops that gave their lives to fight for our country, I can't help but look at this day and feel only halfway somber about the tragedy of September 11th, 2001. Knowing that I live in a nation where we would sacrifice THOUSANDS of lives just for the economic power that war begets brings a sickening feeling to my stomach. I'm not a "9/11 Truther" or even that big of a "Conspiracy Theorist" but I've had more than enough time to review the evidence. While I have respect for those lost and I admire our resolve as a country, I am appalled by our government's actions as well as the use of this tragedy as a means to limit our rights and force us into a police state and ultimately a new world order.

I was here that day. There that day. I felt the pain of my city, as well as my nation.
I will NEVER FORGET...and as much as I'll never forget, I will NEVER FORGIVE either.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Trap Life.

Getting sick of falling in these, "traps" as she likes to call them.

Tired of mid-nights where we lie within lies. Weekends where little sparks of our love are seen yet our flames are doused. Coping with disappointment. A constant reminder of how we still aren't where we should be. Days littered with silence and eerie space. Nights drenched in alcohol where the party starts and ends about as quickly as it started.

Her love affair with YouTube videos and Facebook games.
My use of video games and Facebook as self-defense mechanisms.
Her late night love affairs with digital acquaintances.
My thoughts of her roof after reading those conversations.

I hate to envision my own death, but I've been fascinated with that roof - especially as of late. That would sting. I wouldn't go out like that though, because then I'd feel like (for some corny reason) not only would I be biting this dude but - then i'd feel the insignificant guy would somehow win. Kind of a lose-lose situation. I could see him now trying to "comfort" my Queen afterwards.

My ghost wouldn't allow him the chance.

The other guy is a speculative fantasy built out of her defense that came from my infidelity. This is more personal to me because it's a somewhat obtainable fantasy. She respects his level of responsibility when it comes to reality and adores the mystery of his personality. She speaks more highly of him and there's more of a longing, yearning tone when she speaks to him. The reality of him doesn't effect me as much as her adoration of his mystery. An adoration that she would love to become reality. It's almost like watching the one you love get wrapped up in a romance novel and having no clue what is written on the pages. She doesn't pick up the book too often, but every once in awhile - she'll go right back to where she left her bookmark. Flirtatious banter that I would normally shrug at, turns into poison-tipped darts. The more he denies her advances, the more she wants to. My mind delves into a world of jealous thoughts and made-up scenarios - and I shut down, consumed by thoughts of inadequacy and infidelity.

It's my fault. No one to blame for this but myself.

I can take a hint. At least one or two of them. I would have usually solved the puzzle by this point. Yet, something tells me I can't win the game with the cards I've been dealt. At least with this hand. Her/Our game is one of the heart; a game she'll win every time as that is my biggest weakness. She's got all the cards to trump me with, most of which I have unknowingly given her. Her Jacks and Deuces sit right next my Hearts and Spades, as if her taunting smirk wasn't enough. She smiles because now she has the power to hurt. I awakened that power when I hurt her. Sometimes she doesn't even intend to be hurtful. She's just trying to cope and my jealousy makes more of it than I need to. I look at her, feeling guilty and shamed - all the while knowing, that salacious smile she wears is masking a broken heart.

I wish I could go back a few turns. Similar to life (and love) however, once the cards have been played - you can't go back. The game is now affected by your actions and it must continue, or it ends. My biggest fear is this game ending soon, yet this is what it has become. A game. The feeling of Love is when you're winning that game. High on the ecstasy of always being with the one your heart belongs to. Laughing at the smallest things, loving and holding onto the smallest moments. That very feeling should be enough to carry you through a path of tribulations, a forest of temptations and a lifetime of burden.

Somewhere along the line, I tripped in the forest.

We had been racing side by side for a long while and I had already stumbled twice before, but then I tripped and fell...

...and the fall is what hurt her the most.

To her, I wasn't supposed to fall - for I had already fallen for her. I had failed her by falling because what we had running together was special. People would see us running together and they would know what love is. We both ran excitedly together, challenging each other and also enjoying the wonders of life together. I wasn't supposed to fall. Even when things got bad with her mom and she was cast out, I wasn't there to catch her like I should. To stumble with her and keep her steady. I used the situation as an excuse to run down a different road. A road that led to a dead end. Broken that I had veered off course, she stopped running. I turned away from the dead end and started walking back to her. She walked back to me and picked me up after I came to my senses. She could have left me to lay there - dazed and confused by my own hallucinations and she would've been right to. I hurt her by falling. I wasn't supposed to fall. Yet - she came back to me, nursed my wounds and gave me great comfort.

I stood up and it was a while before we could race side by side again. She charged on with new-found strength and once we learned we would have an additional partner to race with, she kicked everything into in high gear. I was easily distracted and couldn't see the finish line. I stopped along the way and when I did, she would backpedal and pick me back up. She assured me that we were meant to cross the finish line together and my heart believed her. I jogged for a while, barely keeping up with her - and at times, we would go in separate directions. However, when our partner joined the race - she made sure to bring us back together and back where we needed to be.

We were now running with great speed and everything was fantastic. It almost felt as carefree and blissful as it did when we first started racing. It wasn't easy - she had to run by herself in the beginning, doing everything she could to build our partner's strength. I was merely the guy on the side who would give her water from time to time. I would help with our partner as well, but we still weren't running side by side. She never looked at me quite the same, but somehow we kept running. Running for what we believed in from the start. Time helped get us back to where we were running at the same pace and I had finally caught up to seeing her smile again.

We had came to a rest stop and were able to celebrate for a nice long while. That's when the "traps" started showing up. Me falling into potholes she would create in attempts to justify the dirt on my shirt from when I first fell. She started to slow down to a jog and I couldn't stop running. It was easier to slow down or take a rest when we didn't have another partner to run for. We could just stop for awhile and gaze at the stars. Think about why we were even running in this race together. Now, I run with her for a few paces and we stop to rest. We have a great run for awhile, I start feeling joyous and happy - and then I fall into one of her traps again. Time passes, we reset. Back on the road.

I just want the race to run smoothly again. My heart can't take much more of the potholes, bumps, cracks and traps that have appeared on our otherwise flawless road of love.

I look forward to every weekend I spend with her. Every moment I spend with her. I feel so inadequate because I haven't been able to provide for my family for TWO MONTHS.


I wanna fucking die right now but I can't because I got shit to do. I haven't been depressed much since my first real bout with depression, but times like this really get me back in that place. My family is the only thing that really keeps me happy. This work situation is really on some work/slave shit and it's trying to break my spirit. It's like waking up every day being on some paid-intern shit where I'm waiting for a bullshit stipend - except I have a kid that's going to school, a wife that is furthering her education so we can grow as a family and a mother-in-law who is holding everything down while feeding you and giving you shelter - FREE for two months. I'm so grateful for all of the blessings they bestow upon me, but as a man I feel real fucked up right now that I have NOTHING to bring to the table. I know this time will pass and things will be good again soon, but damn it yo...can you blame your girl for having options especially when you're not even putting food on the table? When you can't even satisfy her? When you've been trying to sell her the same dream of moving out for 7 years? How you both haven't had a "real" anniversary in years? How you didn't get her anything for her birthday? C'mon Josh, can you blame her? The truth is, I can't.

I look in her eyes and I know she loves me. I know she's stressed out too with all that's going on. Annaiya finally going to school, her returning to school...and having to do all of this with NO MONEY. Stressed to not have her own. Stressed that we're stuck in the same predicament as before. All I could hope is that she still believes in me the way she always has. When the world ends, I'll be holding her hand, kissing her lips and looking into her eyes. That is my idea of paradise. Though our love in this life my not have been perfect, I will love her infinitely and eternally. I can't erase my mistakes, but I will do everything I can while I'm alive to makes sure she knows how special she is to me. I adore her. I worship her. She is a Queen that makes me feel worthy enough to even be called King. She is the one being that made me into a man and helped me understand what true love is. She is who I've been waiting for my entire life.

I love her with all of my everything.
When we're good, we're the best.
I wish I never hurt her...because the fear of her leaving me hurts me to the core.
I need her. She's the only one in the world that I want to be with.
All the time. 
Every day. 
We're supposed to cross the finish line together.

Yet, I know that to her, deep down inside her soul and as much as she loves matter how good I get at running, keeping up with her and even crossing the finish line with her as a man - I'll always be that boy who tripped in the forest.