Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why I Will NEVER Have (a) "Sex On The Beach"

Vodka, Peach Schnapps, Orange Juice and Cranberry Juice. Seems harmless enough…right?

34 years and three months ago, an 18 year old “woman” and a 21 year old “man” went to Jones Beach with a few friends after a community fashion show. There, on the sands of that Long Island, NY beach, they walked hand in hand, admiring the cloudless, starry night. Gazing lovingly into each others’ eyes, they could no longer resist the urge to kiss, to touch and lay in the sand. Together, their bodies exchanged souls and they made passionate love under a full, blue moon.

At least that’s how I’d like to think I was conceived.

When I was 10, in an un-medicated, bipolar high, my father told me the story of how I came to be.

“Yeah…so, after I put on my fashion show at the Lady Eye Lounge, you know, when I had my Players Line, yeah we all went to Jones Beach. Your mom modeled for me and she helped sew the clothes for the show. She was real, real talented and she had a BOOTY on HER!! So, know how it is ..a little drinkin’, a little smokin’ some herb and me and your mother, you know…Ah-hah-ah-hah-hah..ohh man…”

My face, as pale as chocolate skin can get I’m sure,  was frozen with horror.

“Oh,” I responded. “Were you guys in love?”

“Love? Naaaah it wasn’t even like that. We were friends. I loved her like you love your friends, you know? She might have loved me, though. I loved your sister’s mother like that.”

What’s that sound? Oh, it’s a sound I’d come to know several more times in my life. It is the sound of my heart cracking under the pressure of disappointment.

“Why are you crying, Kelly? Oh you don’t like that? Well that’s just how it was in the seventies. Free love and all ‘a that. Not like Leave it To Beaver or one of those things. Ah-hah-ah-hah-ah-hah!”

I’m sure he went on to talk about something else, but at that moment, I formed a new belief that I wasn’t special and wasn’t worthy because my parents were only out having a good time. That conversation marked the day that my first illusion was shattered. I was not a product of love between two people. A little bit of my fire went out. I’ll never forget that.

“Can I be entitled to love, if I wasn’t made from love?”

That question stuck with me for years. More years than I’d care to share. I will say, a lot of failed relationships spawned from that question while I tried to search for the answer.

A few pumps and a dump on the shores of Jones beach. Roach clip firmly pressed between his lips. Her eyes bloodshot and rolling backwards into her skull. Ashes from the clip floating onto her forehead with each thrust.

He didn’t pull out fast enough or he was too high to bother. Or he just didn’t care. And she, high and silly allowing lust to disguise itself as love. Would they remember the next day?

Nine and half months later I am born into drama. His love, my younger sister’s mother was 3 months pregnant with my sister. Throughout the entire pregnancy, he denied me and called my mother a whore. He tried to pin her pregnancy on every man he knew.

Funny, I look exactly like him. The universe is clever and cruel at once.

When he saw me, he knew I was his and he loved me. He was a good dad outside of the physical and emotional abuse. But, that’s not what this post is about.

This post is about how parents fuck up and when they cannot reconcile the damage they have done to you. Whether they’re incapable of it because they have mental problems or they’re just oblivious or they think you’re overreacting, you might face the day that you’ll never find closure from your father or mother or both.


I am growing up and I see my father less as his illness makes him incapable of caring for me. An illness I didn’t know he had until I was 19. No one told me. I am growing up believing that I was the cause of his divorce from my sister's mother. I am growing up and my mother gets married when I am 12 and I am forsaken for her new husband. I am raised by my conservative, catholic, southern grandparents who have no idea of what to do with a kid like me…artsy and too inquisitive. I am left to figure shit out on my own…never working through the hurt, just knowing that I have to navigate my way through life the best that I can until I one day die.

I am the product of a sandy pump and dump. I am dumped and left to my own vices.

I am growing up in New York City feeling abandoned by my parents who didn't love each other enough to make me. 

Fast Forward:

I am 33 and I’m dealing with it. I’m still here. I could spend another 10 years crying over how they did me wrong and continue to disappoint me regularly, but I’d rather not. One day, I made the effort to let the past stay in the past and be accountable for my present and my future. I realize the damage, now how do I fix it? ME? No one else. Unfortunately, that means I might have to distance myself or even disown them if needed to continue with my healing process.

So yeah, reminiscing about the “good ol’ days” can bring guttural, uncontrollable sobbing out of me. It hurts, fuck, I’m human. But, I can leave that moment there and carry on.

When you realize how much there is to look forward to, you don’t want anything to taint the possibilities of tomorrow. Especially your past.

I am 33. I go to a party and a man brings me a drink. It’s a Sex on the Beach and I turn him down.
“No, thank you,” I smile politely. “I’m good.”

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cure my depression with Suicide Pills? Whaaaa

I'm so fuckin sad.
My therapist suggested antidepressants. I told him that I would consider it, even though in the back of mind I screamed, "Hell the fuck no!!!!" I have to admit, the idea of a little pill taking away the black vignette framing everything I see and feel or try to feel had its appeal. The ability to enjoy life...who wouldn't want that? I can relate to the people on the Wellbutrin commercial, sitting on a Lay-Z-Boy recliner and staring blankly out of a picture window. I want to be like the second half of the commercial. I want to be like the people running on the beach and smiling and playing frisbee with horseshoe crabs or whatever. 

Ahh! I'm so fuckin HAPPY
I want to cry uncontrollably, take a blue pill and fly a kite with unbridled glee all within the course of 20 seconds...just like the Wellbutrin commercial.

Unfortunately, even happiness in a pill comes with a heavy price. A lethal price at that.

I mentioned my dilemma to a friend of mine. To take or not to take, that being the question. She said no. Not only did her experience with antidepressants make her unstable and ill, but they might have caused irreparable brain damage. She says she's not the person she used to be and doesn't even know who she is half of the time. A pill meant to manage her emotions has left her in a perpetual state of emotional delirium. 

"I wish I never started them, Kelly."

So, what does her doctor do about it? Switches medication...

I took it upon myself to do some research on anti-depressants and I would like to share it with you guys. So far, I've learned that most antidepressants in the United States are approved by the FDA and released to the public haphazardly. Even if a study concludes a high incidence of physical and emotional damage or even death, the FDA will approve the drug contingent upon notifying the CONSUMER public. I think the only criteria the FDA has is to put a warning label somewhere on the product and mumble side effects of the drug on commercials. Yeah... We all know the FDA is full of crap. We know the FDA is padded by lobbyists and Pharmaceutical Companies trying to maintain a business. I know I'm not shedding any new light here.
Rainbows mean Safe and Happy.

What is alarming is the resulting mania that occurs after prolonged usage of antidepressants and the high incidence of suicide among patients treated with antidepressants.

However, if anyone out there is considering taking antidepressants, are on antidepressants or know someone who might find this information handy, I've pasted a few links with some information about antidepressant recalls.

On a side note, I am disturbed about how many doctors are offering antidepressants to children. I'm sorry, don't kids need to develop emotionally as well as physically before we start doling out pills?

Here are a few links:

If anyone has anymore information or links, please feel free to share within the comment box section of my blog.

What is depression? Is it simply the blues or is it a chemical imbalance in the brain? Personally, I think its the modern times in which we live. Think about it. Most of us a born into living up to an unnatural expectation. The pressure to be this kind of woman or man in an environment that is devoid of nature or simplicity can be emotionally, mentally and physically crippling. We place restrictions upon each other...who to worship, how to make a living, how to appear. Have a family! Have a career! This car means you're somebody! Get a better home! You're carrying the wrong purse! You're too fat! You're too ugly! When the world is screaming at individuals to go against the grain of your heart's desire and who you are and how you look, its no wonder people are sitting in cubicles, staring blankly at a make-shift wall, catatonic and blue.

We could blame the media, but it is us that perpetuates unrealistic and unnatural standards. We need to let it go for everyone's health.

If you're feeling depressed, try to engage in fitness and spirituality. My friend that I mentioned earlier recommends both. Yoga is a great choice because you are allotting introspective time to center your mind with your body and spirit and you feel an instant sense of renewal. Take up a sport. Go for a run. Get your serotonin levels up naturally. Ya like Jesus? Go back to church. Do what you have to do, just know that there are options out there before you commit to taking the suicide pill.

The hardest part is finding the motivation to be active and productive and make lifestyle changes. Perhaps a good friend, a family member or your partner could provide support by engaging in changes along with you.

Change what you put into your body. Many of the foods we consume are full of additives and toxins that give our bodies physical symptoms of depression. Detox your system and start fresh. If you drink alcohol or smoke (i'm working on that), it will greatly increase your depressed states as well.

Here are some links to holistic alternatives to fighting depression:

Not being who you are, not living the existence you heart desires, reprimanded by society's standards for the ideal, hampered by childhood issues and highlighted by self image disdain...meanwhile we eat shit, drink shit and get lazier every day...stewing in the bile juices of our own discord and discontent. No wonder Depression is becoming an American Epidemic. Depression is our new status quo.

Identify what hurts, talk to someone you love and trust or pay a therapist, write it down or draw it, knit it into a hat. Eat better, play harder and breathe deeply. You can get through this. Depression is a maze, but witnessed this maze being built. You know how to get out...


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Remembering My Roots: Rediscovering Hip Hop

It’s been a journey. A dysfunctional relationship at best, this love affair between me and Hip Hop. No, not a love affair. That would be incestuous. I’m not going to get into cliché metaphors and analogies, personifying the 4 elements into the ideal partner or something. No, it’s already been done. I’m just going to tell you what went down between me and Hip Hop in the most lucid of terminology…family. I am a child of Hip Hop Culture.

Part I – Childhood

My earliest childhood memories are of custom leather pant suits, furs, Gucci velours and Bally shoes making appearances through clouds of smoke at parties in Boston-Secor Projects in the Bronx. The laughter and swearing was drowned out by the sounds of Kurtis Blow and Kool Moe Dee filling the room from grandma’s hi-fi. Uncle “so-and-so” will give us a dollar if we show him the new dance moves, so my sister and I do the worm or the snake. I want to do a windmill, but there isn’t enough room. I am hearing that Aunt "what’s-her-face” is dating a member of the Sugar Hill gang and I am somehow related to one of the founding members of Sugar Hill records, Sylvia Robinson. At least that’s what my birth father told me. He said a lot of things. Amidst the liquor, the smoke with the many different smells and the parade of animal skin fabrics around the room, I never knew who was related to me. The only thing that promised consistency was the bass-line and drum snare, the voice and the lyrics that rose from the record player every time we had a family function.

Realizing I was a true b-girl by the age of eight, I found a home and comfort within the culture of Hip Hop music. I remember walking the streets of the Northeast Bronx with my childhood friends in pursuit of an empty, refrigerator shipping box. Though a fridge box was ideal, we were small, so any sizeable cardboard box would do. Hector with his boom box, blasting Shawn Brown’s “The Rapping Duke” over and over again. The repetition of the “Da Ha,  Da-Haaa, Da-Ha-Ha, Da-Ha-Haaa” stuttering rhythmically through the speakers was the little drummer boy to our junior hip hop crew brigade. The hunt was on. The box was found on the corner of Bussing and Grace Avenue or behind the C-Town grocery store on LaConia Avenue. Our victory dance, a series of side-steps, waves and uprocks. Maybe a kickstep into a scissor glide.  Either way, we did celebrate.

That cardboard box, larger than all of us combined, found its way to our block by the grace of God or Grandmaster Flash or whoever you pray to before you close your eyes at night. That cardboard box, lost all of its dimension and original purpose for existing as 5 little kids stomped, tore and flattened the shit out of it to make it dance floor appropriate. You see, this is how we recycled trash in the eighties. Boxes became dance floors, plastic caps from quarter waters were transformed into game pieces for “Skelly”, crack vile caps were objects for scavenger hunts and old mattresses? Trampolines, of course!

I’m still a kid and it is still the eighties. I take the number 2 train to 125th street with my grandmother every day. The train station is splashed with illustrations of names and of cartoon characters that aren’t on TV and colors upon colors everywhere.  I am angered by the nerve of someone called “RJAY79” who insists on scrawling his ugly name with black paint all over some of the pretty pictures. I later learn that RJAY’s crime is called “buffing” and warrants a well deserved beat-down. The station reeks of urine and beer, but the pictures set the tone for the wonders about to follow anyway.

On the platform, I feel the rumbling of an oncoming train on the soles of my Kangaroos. It’s coming fast and here it is, barreling through the station. The forming winds from the speeding steel, taking my breath away and blowing my mind at once, there she is.  The mighty 2 train, the red train, now covered in bright colors with the name “RIZE” on every car. I think that writer was my favorite. His colors were always so bright and his hand at bubble lettering inspired me. The train door has stopped before me and  RIZE’s bubbled out name separates and allows us entry into this moving art museum.

The inside of the train car is similar to the train station: random pictures and words lacking cohesion because each piece sprayed comes from a different hand, a different mind, a different artist. I learn about Ronnie and why she’s a slut and someone has left her phone number for anyone that wishes to have a good time. Someone appears to be angry with me, because “FUCK YOU” is written about 25 times in black paint. There is a picture of a girl with big red lips and big boobies. There is a picture of a boy’s face with a huge hat and a crooked smile with a shortened line separating the top row of teeth from the bottom. Bubbles, Angles, Wild Style, cryptic for some and code for others. My mind was most certainly entertained on our 20 minute ride to 125th street.

Who knew, 8 years later, I would find myself running through the tunnels between 66th street and 72nd street trying to beat the train as I got my ups on a wall in the darkness? My one attempt at becoming a graff writer, I got my tag “KSeRA” on a subway tunnel wall. As electrifying as it was, I nearly shit my pants. Needless to say, I developed even more love and profound respect for our graff artist like RIZE, Lady Pink, SLAVE, KADE 198 and the many other Krylon soldiers that gave us the gift of color and gave us a voice during a time when New York City was otherwise very gray and very bleak.

Now, the subway tells you where you’re going with an automated voice announcing each station. Back in the day, a covered train spoke to you and told you where you needed to be. Corporate advertisements have replaced ghetto folk art.  A ride on the el was a journey. Now, it’s just a commute.

Stay tuned for Part II

Comment Q&A: Is there a musical culture that is deeply ingrained within you? Are you a child of Hip Hop? What are your fondest childhood memories? Share your experiences in the comment box, por favor.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Why Houses Built on Marshes Sink: Love and Marriage PSA

This entry isn’t as much as a narrative as it is a PSA for Marriage.

…or maybe like some words from the wise.

Before you decide to make a commitment to any person and give your life to the union, make sure that you have realized yourself, who you are and what you want from this life as an individual.

If you go into a union looking to resolve issues from your past, more than likely, you’ll end up with someone that is a reflection of your pain. More than likely, that person will be the one to act as a foster parent to your neglected inner child.  I can see the appeal in it because I have experienced it. However, all that person ends up doing is crippling your growth into adulthood. Not intentionally, of course, but when the basis for your ideal partner stems from a pained void, more than likely, you’ll overlook other aspects of this person’s character. In time, when you’re ready to evolve into the next stage of your life, you’ll find yourself unsettled and outgrowing the relationship. Enter marital strife.

Above all, its unfair to the other person involved. While you’re allowing your spouse to spoon feed strained peas and Xanax to your id, your spouse could be missing out on someone out there who can embrace him or her fully. Instead, you have sucked this person into a life of licking your wounds and raising a child that will never, ever grow.

I married someone. We had two kids together and it seemed like it would make sense to tie the knot. However, our relationship was based on repairing our traumatic childhoods by correcting our parents’ mistakes and creating an ideal life for each other through our partnership and through our kids. Outside of Hip Hop, it turned out that was the only thing we had in common. We overlooked our different manners of expressing love and affection, our lack of communication skills and our inability to come to mutual understanding for years. Ultimately, the negative managed to override our perceived noble beginnings and everything we tried to create was destroyed.

See, you can’t build a home on top of an unstable foundation. If you try, your house will undoubtedly fall.

I lost so much valuable time and expended so much of my energy focusing on cultivating infertile soil.  If I loved myself enough to place that energy on myself, who knows what my life might be like right now. 

Blah to “what-if’s”! Looking back with regret just makes you more weak and susceptible to repeating mistakes.  Looking back creates a new obstacle for future growth. However, looking back and learning from your choices can give you herculean strength. Looking back and learning from your past is the key to developing a healthy adulthood.

I am here, life is new and I am on the road to self-realization and loving myself more and more every day. At one point, I thought I failed my kids by splitting up with their dad. However, I am respecting them more by showing them my capabilities as their mother on my on terms. They learn more from me when I can truly be me. In being honest with myself, I am honest with them and they learn the importance of being honest with themselves.

The importance of knowledge of self, self-realization and finding closure on your own terms is beneficial you and any future marriage plans. When you are right with yourself, you can clearly define your needs from a potential mate that will compliment a healthy you.

I believe that marriage under this kind of false pretense or false presentation of self contributes to the alarming divorce rates in this country. Unfortunately, love doesn’t fix everything. Makes you wonder…how can you truly commit love to another person if you’ve never learned to fully love and embrace yourself as an individual? How can you build and share a life with someone, if you haven’t yet learned to structure and uphold your own?

…just some thoughts.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Intra-Venus Love Lesson

So, I learned about love this year.

Thirty-three years on this planet and I finally learned what it means to love and be IN love.

Yes, I understand what it means to love my children, my mother and grandfather.

...but this love between lovers. I never knew what it meant until now.

The first moment that cupid's damned arrow pierces your aorta and bleeds you internally, causing you to lose all focus due to blood loss. In place of blood flow, the essence of your object of affection is injected into your veins and therein lies the need to be nourished by the person’s mere existence forever.

I get it. He or she becomes the current in which a new life force is carried.

And that’s all well and good when everything is happy and the feeling is mutual.  It’s sugar dandy when the object of your affection is also suffering from internal bleeding and has opened his or her veins to be nourished by you. It becomes realized that each of you have taken residence in each other’s core of being, flowing through limbs, and tissue and organs…especially the heart, Pooling and swirling within each chamber, warming that cherished muscle and forcing it to pulse and contract intensely when the mere thought of him or her crossed your mind.

The heat rises as he or she flows through your veins.  The body is on fire and radiates a warm, golden glow. Everyone can tell you’re in love. It’s written all over you. It’s written all over him…or her.

When the two of you kiss, the surrounding world pauses out of respect for the love the two of you have created.

If only it could last forever…

If you’re lucky, it will. If you’re like me, you just get hooked and strung out.

If you’re like me, you’ll find that he or she is nothing more than a glorified dime bag of smack.

The moment he or she splits, says adios. The moment he or she disappears, without even an illustration of a sad Basset hound with a caption that reads “Sowwy” or some cute shit like that, on a Hallmark E-Card awaiting you in your inbox the night you got stood up from what posed to be your last date….

Not that I would know anything about that…

Yeah, but the moment  he or she vanishes and leaves traces of their love within your veins, you experience the other side of love. The side that makes you cry until your eyes are bloated. It is the side that makes food taste like dead leaves and nauseates you. This is not your nourishment and your body rejects it. While you rest your head on that porcelain pillow in the bathroom, tears streaming, mouth tasting of vomit, stomach aching from hunger and nausea at once, you then realize how truly hooked you were on the guy…or girl.

Your friends will tell you that you’ll get over it. They will hate him or her for you every time a song comes on the radio that reminds you of him or her and yanks hysterical sobbing from the depths of your soul. They will make voo-doo dolls and curse his name for you, while you remain in love…still forgiving, still gracious still in wonderment of him...or her.

You will wake up one day and become productive after weeks or months of walking around your house in a Snuggy and watching true crime stories on basic cable. Ice Cream begins to taste good. You’ll try to accomplish simple things like bathing and putting gas in the tank of your car. More time will pass, and you’ll accomplish more things. Your career is going well and you’ve developed some semblance of a social life. You try to date, but every guy or girl ain’t even a blip on your love radar.

You will live your life without him or her and you will do great things, but he or she will always be there, doing a poorly coordinated tap dance LOUDLY, all throughout your brain. That horrible hoofing, giving you headaches and making it impossible to fully enjoy anything you achieve.

You were gutted. Guts exposed. Bled profusely and hooked on a drug.

But this is what’s interesting about love…and how you know its love…

Despite all of the insurmountable hurt and damage you have or you are enduring, you still love the shit out of him or her and you don’t want them to feel even an ounce of what you feel. As a matter of fact, if you knew he or she was hurting, you’d carry their pain on top of your own.

If he or she came to your doorstep and silently extended his or her hand to you, every moment of pain you’ve felt would dissolve in the heat rising from your veins again. 

Love is a maintainence of graciousness and forgiveness. Love is a ride through the hurt without giving up the ability to sincerely care for the one hurting you. Love is taking a Tyson right hook to the jaw if it means the best for the one you love.  Love is letting him or her go because that is what his or her life demands. Love is carrying the burden of hurt and never, ever ceasing to love despite its weight and agony.

At least that’s what I’ve learned so far…

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Let Me Make You

No, it's okay. I don't want to know your name. 

I'm not interested in where you live or what you do for a living.

All I see is this drink before me and a silhouette of what you can be for me right now.

Your silhouette, black and primed and without detail, ready for me to paint a picture of what I need you to be for me right now.

I advise you not to speak, because you might ruin the mood and ruin my masterpiece.

In the throes of sex, I want no eye contact from you. Just let me use my imagination. Just let my fantasy feel real for a moment...

Just a warning. I might even call you by someone else's name. Please, don't take it personally. 

And please...don't ask for my number. Don't ask me for anything. Just go away and let me remember that moment in my own way. In full color, full of fantasy with no traces of you in my mental picture.

Yes, I do have a heart. Unfortunately, it is mine and I have no desire to share it with the likes of you. If that's a problem, I suggest you turn about face and march the hell away from me.

No, I believe in love. I do. Love is a demon and it's possessing you for the next half hour. Come on and let me exorcise you...

Be my everything..until you become nothing to me.

Now, pay the bartender and let's get out of here. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

Genesis: The Deconstruction of You

The greatest thing that could ever happen in your life is the moment your entire world comes crashing down around you. 

You've lost your job and can't find another.

You've filed for bankruptcy.

Your spouse or lover turns your heart into pulp.

Your children don't respect you.

Your father dies of cancer.

Your car gets repo'd.

Your house is on the cusp of foreclosure and there ain't a damn thing you can do about it.

Your checking account is in constant overdraft.

You suffer from impotency or low libido.

The codependent relationship with socially manufactured illusions in which you've found false stability and a deceptive solace will cease to exist. You will be left exposed and vulnerable and on your knees at the helm of your own accountability. Tearfully, you cry for God or for your mother and ask, "Why?" and "What did I do to deserve this?" and "How do I fix this?" 

The humorous part is your expectation for a response.

Okay. Perhaps not funny, "ha ha." Hey, losing everything might not even warrant a slight smirk. I promise, believe in yourself and you will laugh until you fall horizontally in convulsions one day. Just believe in yourself.

I say these things and I know these things because I have been there. I know what it's like to sit in the aftermath of a shattered reality that I've worked hard to build. Then I realized, I failed myself by constructing my own reality by using someone else's instruction manual as a guide. I played society's rules. Kind of. I did the school thing and had the family and well-paying job and what not. 

So why did I fail? How did I leave myself vulnerable to such catastrophe? 

Why doesn't life insurance cover the emotional hurricanes and natural disasters that happen in life while you're still living?

It doesn't matter, because here YOU are, laying fetal on the debris of expectations and plans. There YOU go, still clinging to the wooden mallet you used to bang square pegs into round holes. 

I might not be your mother or your God, but I have some words for you.


It's scary, I know. However, after your tears cease for a bit and your vision is no longer blurred, see what's in front of you. Do you see it? It's infinite possibility. Isn't it beautiful?

Put down your mallet and pick up an eXacto knife or a switchblade and carve your own hole. Reshape your own peg. And trust me, there's no better feeling to slide the perfect peg into the perfect hole and experience a perfect fit for once.

Now on your way. GodSpeed, my friends. See you in Paradise....