The One That Got Away
And then we kissed. A heart stopping, "our noses work together" kiss. A "I could be with you forever" kiss. A "I want to feel you and ALLL of you" kiss. A kiss that answered all of the lingering questions. Were we attracted to each other? Yes. Would that have fueled some type of more intimate relationship? Yes. Could we have been together in a more dynamic way? I’m not sure. He was the One that got away, but did this change the dynamics of our relationship?
Is the illustrious “One that got away” just a theory? An idea we tell ourselves to let our old self know, “Hey, you had a good one. Go for someone like that.” It’s not to hurt ourselves or to make us resent that person leaving. That person was good. It was a joy to love that person, not a nightmare. It also is a way to let that person go, to be able to function in a friendship rather than dwell on the “What if’s” of it all.
In fact, I’ve had a couple of ones. A couple of men who’ve been in my life that have been really good for me, but timing was off. PLUS there’s the fact that just cause he looks and seems like the one, doesn’t mean he doesn’t have flaws OR that you’re meant to be together.
My “Ones” I incidentally remember by kiss.
The HS One:
Memorable first kiss was by a tree and then the Spider Man kiss. That’s right we did that. He opened me up to the idea of love. In fact as the first love of my life he made me believe I could feel emotions after all. Children of trauma and fatherlessness struggle with worthiness and the prospect that anyone can love them. I’m one of both so realizing that a man could love me for me was surprising. I turned to God around this time. God showed me I was worthy and filled the gaps that not having a father/trauma left, somewhat. Then he fell in love with someone else. I was too young to understand that this would shape the future for me.
The College One:
We ALMOST kissed in mid sentence and that is more heart rushing than most. He showed me how to be comfortable around a man as myself at that time and how to laugh at myself. Once again searching for a man to love me. A man with a physical presence. God was amazing, but not in flesh and bone ya know? So we made a solid friendship and are friends till this day, but the beginning of a pattern… He fell in love with someone else.
*Interlude* Of men that definitely were NOT the One. My brother a man who couldn’t show me what his father was never present to show him. My lovers who also had absent fathers. All of us with a void. Me unsure of myself, but then an abusive relationship and many f*** boys later and I finally learned to be confident in myself. To love myself and God. I didn’t need others to fill the void. I would work on doing that for me. I’d learn all that I missed out on for a healthy man woman relationship as best I could with healthy male-female friendships. *Interlude ends*
The Young Adult One:
I did the intro with our kiss. He showed me what dating a good man was like. Though we dated before the interlude the kiss came afterwards. And man… That’s about the closest I’ve gotten to loving someone and having them love me too. BUT… once again, he fell in love with someone else. But this time it didn’t leave me damaged or hurt.
You know what honestly what I’ve learned from “The One” in my life is that you can create a whole thing in your mind about how great a person is, but they also have flaws. The HS One was just not that into me and was too afraid to tell me that. The College One was afraid I didn’t want forever. (I didn’t) The Young Adult One just wanted to end our story. (With an amazing kiss) Funnily enough, they all have fathers in their lives. Makes sense that they found forever with their partners. But just because a woman OR man have some level of fatherlessness in their lives doesn’t mean they won’t find a partnership that works for them. It’s just that we put wayyyy too much pressure on finding this THE ONE. Instead of working on having honest communication, healthy relationships, and loving the right way.
Who knows, maybe my next The One could be, ya know, the one. Till that next great kiss.
Words can be pets
A puppy that becomes family,
Goes out, learns to play with others
Trained to behave
For the most part
Words grow into dogs
Not friendly to everyone
It is in the quiet when the walls amplify voices that a low growl starts
Like my mother's I think
Her dogs at first on a leash
Tame, civil, controlled
Guarding, they call it a defense mechanism
Protection against trauma
Until fist, words, and batter
Cause them to snap from their lanyards
Bound wildly through the opening
So she would drink another 40
Light another blunt
Pop another set of pills
That dulled her senses,
To quiet the bark
Pushing door against their vicious jowls
On the days she got tired of pushing,
Her eyes would be a house of pain
Pouncing on insecurities
She'd forget herself
Become something with a rabid bite
She'd catch me in the snare of her words
That's why when I sit in a room
Hearing people's voices through the wall
Or across the room my ears turn words into malignant teeth
They twist into a pack of dogs pawing at the door
Whining to be let in
I convince myself to hear the best in people
Can't let these dogs run around the house
Or chew at my vulnerability
They are just animals
Words may not break bone or flesh
They can be viral,
Can snip at the heels of your sanity
Ripping a part minds
I put them down
Sounds inhumane, but my dogs only move by command
With finesse to human ear
But they can attack
Mom taught me best how to be rabid
To nick minds where it hurts
I can let em loose
Always knowing they can turn on you
They be ferocious
Yet the growl may just be my own voice
The bark my words pushing out
I'm the dog walker
Occasionally I'm the dog
I was 14 when I learned that if you are young, black, and smart people would watch your every move. Which was and still is creepy. They wanted to know if you were a bad egg or an egg with potential? If you had potential then they could feed into your resources out of poverty. That means walking, dressing, and talking like a professional. In my house Ebonics was banned. No matter how southhhhern or inner city we were. There was no ain't, ta, coulda, woulda, meh, or any other slurred slang. "Annunciate.", my mother would say.
She made one mistake. She had me read writers from the Harlem Renaissance. Cherubs of rich cultural language that gave dialect and sound to people. They sounded human, flawed yet perfect. I became absorbed in those words. I had grown up reading Emily Dickinson, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and Mark Twain. British of course was different, but to write the way Americans talk... Woah. But I didn't dare speak it. That was not allowed in my house. "Annunciate.", my mother would gently remind me.
"You sound white.", said any black person I came in contact with. But people were watching. "I speak proper English.", I'd sneer. Okay so maybe I was a snob. But seriously EVERYONE in the hood, my family, and anyone black talked about my dialect. It was whitewashed. My mother saw it as unprofessional (But the title? I'm getting there.) and in many ways I'm grateful. I wouldn't have such a appreciation or fascination with languages and dialects without her. Hence why I'm a playwright.
I began to speak Ebonics in highschool. My friends wanted me to mimic them to see if I'd sound blacker. So I began to test it out. At first only at school, but it would slip in the backpack of my tongue and follow me home. I started using slang. "They were hella quiet." My mother all to quick, "Excuse me?" "It's not a curse word mom... I'm just trying ta say..." "Ta? Annunciate. That is borderline cursing, don't use it." I cherished the moments I could use Ebonics. To me, it was like I knew a new language. It also meant I didn't stand out in a community of black people. There wasn't many opportunities to parade my good English in front of white folks when I went to a predominantly black school.
Then something amazing happened. We studied the Harlem Renaissance in English class. The writers knew how to write and speak proper English. They used slang and dialects to authenticate their characters or works to emmulate real life. I became determined after that to learn all the rules in the english language to break them. That way if I used Ebonics it was stylistic not because I didn't know any better.
However what I've learned is that you can speak Ebonics and be professional. People have a negative cognition of people that speak Ebonics. However, black professionals know their business no matter how they speak. One of my fondest memories was sitting in English class and having a male classmate in perfect articulation answer a question saying nothing, but it sounded good. Our classmates all nodded and agreed. A discussion broke out. I shook my head, smiled at him, leaned over, and said, " You didn't have the answer did you? You said nothing and they all went with it" "Not at all, but if I use a excellent vocabulary no one notices." I loved it cause when your young and black you sometimes fake it to make it until you don't have to. We may not have the answer in class, but we study hard till the test comes only to ace it.
Meaning that just because they sound professional doesn't mean they are. Vice Versa. You just have to give people a shot. You don't know what they know until you know, you know?
Jump Rope Sis
Fitness. Life. Art. Travel.