Between Then & Now

I waited till the last minute to make plans for V-day. So I baked the only thing I know how to make. It's in the oven. I'm listening to the Bee Gees. I have a shower cap on my head because I'm dyeing my hair jet black to look perfect for tomorrow (I can't cook, then look like I actually spent time cooking. Ruins the illusion.) I ran 3 miles earlier, after leaving work at 9pm. I haven't worn make-up in 2 days. The mail guy at my job had an intervention with me about this. ("Nothing's wrong? Then at least put on some mascara, D!") My legs hurt from running. I am not fucking Superwoman. Fuck this "S" under my ruffled dress.

11:37 PMΒ 2 weeks ago till today

I didn't go out tonight. Stopped by the Bad Boy showcase since the venue was around the corner from my job, but the line was way too long and people with more clout than me were waiting in the cold. I got home around ten and settled on the couch to watch BET's show about the 25 events that mishaped Black America (oh, the irony.) Besides putting color issues way too low on the list of importance, it was actually pretty good-- even if anyone who ever heard of slavery could have predicted what was number one. Lots of colleagues, friends and superiors got a chance to shine and it gave me another professional goal to strive for.Β Hell DateΒ came on after (the irony continues.) I'm hard on BET but I do think they're finally moving in the direction they should have been headed all along.

Anyway, I have so much on my mind, I don't know where to begin.

Let's start here. When I ran into my Ex last week, I mentioned the blog to him. He asked how to find it and I told him to Google me. He did. He found this blog and the old blog at Honey and in less than a week, he read everything, something like 75 posts. He told me he was searching for the reason that he and I didn't work. He said he knew he wasn't perfect, but he never really understood. This is the ex that I always refer to as a good dude. He's a man's man and a great guy that any woman, including me, would be honored to share her time with. But... The reason I think it didn't work is a private conversation. I was kind of surprised he'd think I'd talk about that here. I talk about a lot of ish, but I'm private about some things and I show respect for people's feelings that I respect. We didn't go the distance, but I didn't lose any love for him when we ended.

I e-mailed him back to ask if he really wanted the answer and he didn't respond. I'll take that as a respectful no.

I ran into him Saturday night. He was with a new woman. He's the only Ex who I am happy for. I think he's a great guy and deserves happiness. I hope he's found it.

I've been listening to a lot of Amy Winehouse lately- always a bad sign because the emotions (depression/desperation) make sense. I test my emotional stability by whether she and Lauryn Hill (Unplugged) sound like gibberish or not. When they do, I know not to make any major decisions; I just kinda coast till it sounds like the rantings of mad women again. I've been palying ''Wake Up Alone'' on repeat. That, back to back with Aretha Franklin's ''A Rose Is Still A Rose.''

Sometimes I wake up in middle of the night when it's still dark and find myself startled by my surroundings. I wonder what a Southern girl like me is doing in this big city in my big apartment in my big bedroom in my big bed all alone. For a moment I feel lonely, then I remind myself that I'm here, far from home, for a reason-- to be a writer and editor. When I was 16, I completed an independent senior project (mandatory for graduation) and it was a collection of short stories about relationships. Somewhere in the introduction, I wrote something about wanting to grow up to become the voice of my generation. I sat on the back steps of my parents' house and chain smoked and cried everyday for eight months when I was 22-23 asking God for three things only: let me get back to New York and let me have a chance to compete among the best writers and let me be great at what I do.

I was 22; it was all I wanted. I'm not where I want to be yet, but I see the hoped-for land on the horizon. Maybe I should have asked for more.

I don't feel like pouring right now. Sometimes writing these posts has me tapping into emotions I don't want to feel. I think if I'm going to write, it's my duty to lay it bare. I do it cause it's cathartic and because by telling my truth, I can show someone a better way, a different way or at the very least have someone read and say, "I might be bad, but at least I'm not [Belle]." When I don't write, it's because I have nothing to say. Or at least nothing to say that I feel like sharing. I just want someone to connect to my words however they can. That way, what I sacrifice -- sleep, companionship, time, whatever else-- isn't in vain.

Sometimes Belle gets lonely. I"m going to sleep now.