Monday, June 25, 2012
Three years gone. It does not seem possible, yet the memories, the videos, and the music lives on.
Michael was never one, who held public office, nor was he born to royalty, and yet there was a moment in time when Michael Jackson ruled the earth.
Three years gone. It does not seem possible, yet time moves on for some of us. I wanted to take a moment to bow my head and thank The Creator for giving us the gift of such a talented, sensitive, and charismatic dynamo as Michael Jackson.
He lived. He entertained. He thrilled us. He disappointed us. He mystified us. He confounded us. He hypnotized us. He changed the shape of our dreams… and then… like some quickly moving comet, a supernova charging through space, his blazing light burned out too soon.
Three years gone.
It does not seem possible.
Rest In Peace, Michael Joe Jackson
Sunday, June 17, 2012
He knew how to wear a hat.
Trust me... that’s not always an easy (hat-) trick, when you’re a Black man, trying *not* to look like a pimp, a mack, a dandy, a fop or a player. My father was neither of those, yet he could rock a mean hat. Some cats just have it like that, instinctively.
My father possessed that uniquely smooth and utterly rare gift of slipping on a chapeau and becoming this cool and mysteriously enigmatic character. Though barely 5’8, he always stood taller in his fedora. It seemed as if his posture changed and he became this whole other Larger Being… at least, in my eyes.
I was discussing this phenom with my mom yesterday, as we were approaching yet another Father’s Day without his presence. Because his absence remains very much a FELT experience, she seemed determined to remember to be sad. And while I could only validate that emotion for her, an extended appointment with sadness was not placed upon my schedule. Instead, I spoke of a certain bronze-colored Oldsmobile Delta 88; how my father would take the family for long rides on summer Sunday afternoons, and how, from the backseat, in his fedora, he resembled some quietly Elegant Black King to my eyes.
When he died there inside that ER, a nurse brought his possessions into the waiting room. Perhaps she thought it would be too much for my mother to handle, so she signaled me into a quiet corner and she handed me his gold retirement watch, and his wedding band.
I tried like hell not to breakdown, fall to my knees, and weep like some little suddenly fatherless child, especially there in that setting. Although my brother publicly lost it, I'd somehow retained my stoic older bother composure. It was a very strange and rainy December day. It felt even stranger to me, holding those articles in my hand, as if the were supposed to somehow now represent this man I’d fondly called, “Da.”
A day or so after this, in a quieter, less hectic moment, I presented those articles to my mother. I hugged her tightly and for the longest time. Mind you, I still hadn’t cried, but I’d been meaning to. Curiously, that time would come much later.
After the funeral and after all the guests, after the food was consumed, and the stories were told, and the emotions displayed, after the hubbub and the shows of sympathy, when everything sat quietly in its own haunted space, my mother asked if wanted anything of my father’s.
I thought for a minute about the car (which never was my style) and the clothes (ditto, and were way too small), and finally, I said,
“You know that black fedora? The one he wore back in the day when he’d take us on those Sunday drives? I think I’d like to have that hat.”
Maybe it seemed like a peculiarly atypical request. But then, that was just me, being me. I was always her ‘strange poet son,’ and so she just shrugged, went into the closet they’d shared for over 35 years, fetched that hat, and she handed it to me.
I’ve placed it upon the top shelf in my closet. I hardly ever wear it. Over the years, I’ve thought of it as a kind of trophy to the modesty of his life, his quiet elegance; his one slice of mysterious cool, and his subtle sense of royalty.
And so, on Father’s Day, in lieu of tears, and instead of episodes in sadness, I slipped on that black fedora, and tried like hell to mirror my father’s style-- not pimp, not mack, not player, not fop, not dandy.
You know, just a Black man, in a black chapeau, with a smooth gift for becoming a cool and mysteriously enigmatic character.
That’s it. That’s all.
Happy Father’s Day to all you father’s out there, whether bio, step, adoptive, cat daddies or big daddies… and a Very Happy Father’s Day in Heaven to YOU, Da.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Are you the curious type? I am. I think people are much more interesting when they are faced with telling questions that reveal their true nature. I mean questions that make one think and consider the way they roll through this comic strip called LIFE. With this in mind, a while back I composed a survey on one of my other blogs. I thought why not try it here for those who are bold or honest enough to face the truth of themselves. So, without further ado, I now present
Moanman’s 10 Ponderations on Love & Friendship:
(A survey by me)
1. YOU are at your best and are MOST REAL when:
a) you’re comfortable with another soul
b) when you’re drunk off your azz
c) when you’re all alone
d) when buck-naked, in the aftermath of a session of transcendent sex?
LMR: A) When I'm comfortable w/ another soul. When the vibe is right, whether we're engaging in convo or long stretches of silence, everything else just flows.
2. When someone physically shows you love or vividly displays their love for you, your usual M.O. is to:
a)reciprocate that action in some form or fashion
b) panic and head for the nearest exit
c) smile, sigh and let the moment pass
d) take it as a given and do nothing?
LMR: A) Usually I'll return the gesture. Not that I should *feel* OBLIGATED, but I firmly believe that kindness begets kindness, and love should be a sharing of spirits.
3. When you blatantly tell a LIE to someone you're supposed to love and trust, do you:
a) feel mad guilty about it
b) let it go of it like an accidental fart
c) say a silent prayer
d) assume everyone lies, so what's the biggie?
LMR: A) I’d feel mad guilty... but I'm not perfect & sometimes a gentle lie becomes necessary.
4. Picture it: You’re engaged in a very intimate relationship where certain shameful secrets and deeply mortifying truths are revealed. Later on... you and your former intimate are no longer speaking, yet, you are still armed with that precious and intimate info… when upset, pissed, in a bad mood, would you:
a) use that precious info against them
b) make a crude joke about it
c) still hold tight to that precious information
d) tell all your friends and have a good loud laugh about it?
LMR: C) Keeping someone's secret is a sacred thing. All we have is our word, and if I promised to keep it earlier, then my word is my bond.
5. Someone you purportedly love is all hurt-up and emotional. *You* did *not* personally cause this hurt, but you’re really NOT in the mood to deal with it. Do you…
a) tell them that in effect 'This too Shall Pass'
b) sigh, let them riff and bore you to tears
c) be kind and listen with an understanding ear, perhaps even offering advice
d) simply tell them buck-up, and stop being such a drama queen?
LMR: A & C. I would try A... hoping it will help and that they might become philosophical about their plight. But if that didn't work... *sigh* then C would be the move.
6. When YOU’VE hurt someone, unintentionally, are you usually sensitive or compassionate enough to even be aware of it? If so, how would you generally follow-through to help close that emotional wound? Would you most likely...
a) let time pass and trust them to get over it
b) make an effort to fix what's broken by a call, an email, a letter
c) invite them out to have dinner and a long talk
d) shrug, and question if this friend is a bit too damn sensitive for your comfort level?
LMR: C) Communication is key. Everyone has their stuff, their issues, quirks and things that upset them. We may be unaware of such issues... so having dinner, breaking bread & talking it out helps us to understand where we're BOTH coming from, and hopefully this will squash the madness, literally.
7. Have you ever meant to tell someone the Gentle Truth, but it came out harsh and hurtfully? If so, did you...
a) Ignore it
b) Try to fix it
c) Pretty it up to avoid drama
d) Simply let that Truth breathe and breed?
LMR: Depending upon the situation, I might see the need to apply D... let the truth breathe, hoping that they might begin to check themselves.
8. When a close friend wants to hang out with you, but you’re too busy or just not in the mood, your tendency is to...
a) deliver a quick and feeble excuse
b) tell them you’re not feeling it, and hope they’ll understand
c) shrug off your plans, sigh, and accompany them, like a good martyr
d) gently remind them that you have a life that doesn’t always have to include them?
LMR: B) Being that I'm an author, I'll often use the little free time I have to write and be creative. So a true friend would have to understand that, and not take it personally.
9. If Love is a verb, are your verbal enough for, and to those you love?
a) nah. I'm more of a noun person
b) 'what does love is a verb' really mean?
c) hell to duh yeah! I'ma verber by nature!
d) it depends upon my romantic/gentle disposition
LMR: C) I tend to be very, VERY, vurrrrrrrrrr verbal.
10. Was the last thing you did in the name of Love...
a) something sweet and kind
b) something sexy and physical
c) something martyr-like and sacrificial
d) something warm, sentimental and lasting?
LMR: C) Sometimes you have to sacrifice for love. It’s usually your most telling verb.
That's it. That's all.
And for those who chose to answer, thanks for the honesty.