About The Funk...

Observational Spittle from the mind of a man of color in his 40s, without the color added (most times). Come in, laugh, and you may learn something...

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

A story about me...part 1.


I wanted to take a moment to tell you a story...this one in two parts.  It is a personal one, and the name of the innocent and guilty may or may be changed.

I was born in 1969 in Manhattan in NYC.  I lived in the Bronx for about 19 years or so, before my folks moved out to the suburbs.  Before that took place, I attended elementary school around the corner from a 16 floor building, in which I lived on the 14th floor, Apartment D.  In my years in the Bronx, I have been in 7 fights, winning 6, losing one (with an old friend, no less; years of watching pro wrestling taught him much).  I never was the popular kid, being called everything from "Gaylord" (a stupid slang for homosexuality, because my ass was better formed than other kids, and it shook when I walked) to big head (because well, I have a big head, which contributed to that 1 loss in a fight).

I grew up loving baseball, cheering for the Yankees since they won a title in 1977 (even though during the 1980s, when the Yankees were terrible, I applauded when the Mets won in 1986).  In the city, stickball was the sport of choice, even though, as one would face my old building (a tall white structure) on the left side, a boy and I started a 33 year (and hopefully counting) odyssey by tossing a rubber ball at a box drawn on the wall, representing a strike zone.

That'll be told in part two of this story.

Getting back to that lack of popularity, I had a desperate need to be liked by anyone...especially girls.  There was a girl named Myrtle, who was my first crush.  I remember writing a letter in pink crayon (it was the only one handy), talking about "tongue kissing."  It's funny...due to later issues in life, I couldn't tell you more than 3 of my teachers that I remember by name, but I remember that note...downstairs in my elementary school (CS 92), as we were about to go home for the day.

The next great (failed) crush was Cynthia, who I chased from about 5th grade till 7th grade.  We are actually still friends today, even though I haven't spoken to her in a couple of years.  She was a bad ass Latin chick, and I thought she was beautiful.  This was the begininning of a journey that would lead me to marrying a white woman.  Not that there was a problem with that (she is a great woman), but sadly, not too many black females gave me the time of day (hiding their watches in the progress).  But more on that later.

Other girls followed, but the 2 biggest ones (that I actually dated!) was Juliet and Stacy (more on her later; and for those who follow the blog, have mentioned her b4).  Juliet was Jamaican, and while I find my wife beautiful, she was universally considered hot by most who saw her in the 1980s.  Physically perfect.  Got my first kiss from her...at 16.  First sexual experiences (not intercourse, but practically everything else).  She was the rare combo of beauty and a good heart.

Then, I got greedy, and fell hard for another girl (sadly, not the first time I would screw up a good thing).  Serena...a girl who I would love to see what happened to, because she ended up being a better friend than anything else (note, I not only struck out with her, but at my 17th birthday party - better known as the biggest disaster in the history of teen-hood -Juliet was there, and I told her goodbye.  Truly the dumbest thing I've ever done in my personal life).

The final woman of color I dated in this life was named Shantel.  A light-skinned hottie that I got with the summer before I went to college.  Now, I went to a mostly white church...and white girls (there was one there, who had a brother, and for the life of me, I can't remember her name).  This is where they began to catch my eye.  Now don't get me wrong...I talked to plenty of girls of color...and beyond Juliet, I struck out every time.

I wasn't black enough.

I listened to too much "white" music (last time I checked, music was universal, but well, we human beings, including myself, can be quite flawed).
I wasn't "hard enough" (not penis wise...to quote Eddie Murphy - I dare you to find which movie I got this from - "There's nothing wrong with my yang!").  I guess I wasn't "hood" enough (before "hood" was even a slang).

So between the porn I watched back in the day (my libido, as I learned later in my 20's, would end up being my undoing many a  time) that put the idea that white women were more free in bed, and my continuous striking out in my teen years, a journey began where a black woman would have to be Halle Berry hot to get my attention.

Sad, I know....but i am getting off the trail here, so let me move on.

My obsessive need to be liked followed me to (and through) to college, and beyond my last year in college where I hit the bar scene hard, I spend most of my days either sleeping through class (chasing many a white girl, and striking out more than Reggie Jax till the aforementioned Stacy)or playing pool, the last 3 years with an old friend, whose future plans actually partially inspired my first novel.

Then Stacy showed up...and well, let's just say beyond about 6 weeks of total bliss (I think it is, beyond joking around with my wife, the only time in my life where I didn't give serious thought about another girl), my senior year was a living hell, including an attempted suicide attempt.  This was followed by graduation, and me spending the next year swallowing all my pride chasing a woman who wanted me as much as an STD.

The 20 or so years following this was a combination of a bad relationship (better friends again), hurting a great gal due to that libido of mine, and then running into a tall blonde (at the time) girl who I ended up getting married and having 2 boys with.

Now, I am sitting here today, September 23rd 2012, wondering why I am writing this for folks to see.

I think I have a couple of answers for that.

In my late 20s, I went from a shy, socially clumsy kid to an opinionated, brash, piss off most folks to the point they don't speak to me anymore man.  Even the folks that I thought were down have mostly kept their distance.  Now, I have never said anything malicious (well, I made fun of my son's clumsiness, becoming my father in the process...don't worry, I've stopped since then); I love to debate.  But I guess folks didn't want to get out of their comfortable "all is OK" shells, and they cut me off.
Now, fault goes both ways, and I accept that.  My sense of humor is at times x-rated, I talk about uncomfortable subjects at times, and the list goes on and on.  My phone never rings beyond people wanting money that I cannot give them, yet I keep upgrading to new tech (my obsession, probably to fill the emptiness in my life).  Most people I know are, at least financially, more successful than I am.  Most people, including those in my own household, do not respect me in any way, despite me never intentionally hurting them.

Oh, I wrote a book that in 3 weeks has sold 12 copies.

Not good to burn bridges.

The other reason is that as that I cannot afford therapy, writing, which is one of the few things that I have been blessed at being OK at, serves that purpose.  I put words to computer (beforehand, paper), and I feel better for a few minutes before life kicks me in the booty again.  I will never retire, my children have mental issues of some sort (wonderful as they are), and while I can go to my grave knowing that I at least put my work out there, more than likely I won't be able to make a living at it.

But I get up most mornings and smile.

Probable insanity, to be sure.

But from this story, even though I took 2 and 1/2 decades to learn this, I figured that every day I get up is a chance to make things better.  I figured that being miserable just makes the crap I deal with all the time worse.  I try to teach my sons  and my spouse this lesson...haven't been successful yet, but I'm trying.

(I just realized I haven't even talked about my up and down - mostly down - relationship with God yet.  One thing I have learned as that one cannot get help if they are not willing to help themselves...but that's another post for another day...maybe I'll make this 3 parts).

So at this point in life, whether I am near the end or at the 1/2 way point, I am an early 40's underachiever, probably having to take a low paying job so he can keep his house.   A lot of folks are like me...some feel sorry for themselves, others are glad to even have  a chance.

I guess I am in the middle...still secretly wishing I could pull a Sally Filed and say "You Really Like Me!"

Problem is, that is part of me...a big part, but minority.  In this ride, I just want my boys to survive this world, my wife to finally have joy in her heart, and for me personally, just for folks to read the book before they believe the cover.

Now, this message.

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