“I’m confused as to what happens next,” CJ commented. 
     “So I am I,” I responded with a laugh, because that was all I could do. When you can’t cry, you gotta laugh, yo. I went home last weekend both selfish and selfless reasons. My mom fractured her ankle (and traded in the brace for Chinese oils) so I wanted to make sure she sat down somewhere. When your body feels worn, sometimes what you need is love. She’s all I’ve got, so I try to be there for her on whatever level I can. To take advantage of my time tho, I hit my n*gga Harvey –now known as King Cooper — to see if we could make a track work. I’ll be performing again at the Paul Robeson Theatre. Not sure what I want to do yet, but I’m always trying to share the stage with the homies.
        I’m from Central Falls and people expect me to forget. The problem is, when one square mile houses all your memories, it’s tough to ignore any of them.  When I go home, I go to Ultra. Not because it’s fancy. Not because it’s top of the line. I go there because @djmaxxmajor plays the sh*t I want to hear and,  in the years I’ve been going there, they’ve never once run out of Henny at the bar. What tops it all off is the respect I get. I’ll go anywhere I feel respected & that’s why I continue to go home. “I respect your grind,” Skeezy said to me. I hadn’t spoken to him, in person, for so long, I wanna call him by his government. Katelynn had told me in the car about his comments & I was please it was the ame shit he said in person, he respects my grind *shrugs*. Funniest thing about it all is that we’re in one of the most ratchet clubs round our way and instead of men focusing on how my hips sway, the thing they notice most is the way my life moves. I’m noticing more and more how many people pay mind to me. I’m not mad at it. & It doesn’t bother me, I just pay closer attention to what I do, than they do. Somebody is always ready to assume something. Or point when you trip.
         All my moves are measured, even if they’re not. Skeezy and I ignored each other for a good hour (maybe, club time varies). We both know we both aren’t pressed to say hello to anyone, but where respect is earned, respect is deserved. I know he was waiting for me to play shady. Or not say nothing. I typically don’t say anything because I’ve had a tough time speaking to him & all of his friends. You see, they not from where I’m from & I ride for my n*ggas. They know it. Everyone knows it. I simply state it out loud & teach everyone I ride with how to throw it up. It’s tough for people when they realize how far ahead of the game I am but, when they realize, they’re so f*ckin impressed. I’ve stopped talking so much in person, too. Truth is… if my “friends” want to know what I’m doing, they can read this here blog. But they’d rather not. They only want secrets. People only want to know whatever no one else does. So they can feel special. They want to know you’re secrets so they can pretend to know you. Problem is, we give too much of our personal lives to the outside world. There’s a way to interact and still handle your own business. If you keep telling your business to everyone you know, you might as well let them handle your life for you.
         I was an hour and a half late to work today because I actually ain’t on nobody’s time clock. My co-workers think I should be at work by 9:30am, and I try, but I had a good night last night. I actually have good nights most nights. We’ve got this “work/life balance” policy at work that I’ve really hung to. The issue is, people have different definitions of what “life” is. Me? I need smiles. I can’t leave my house until I’m good and ready. I need to be comfortable. I need to be able to move freely and with confidence. I guess it’s the same reason I can no longer go places where I’m dependent on someone else for a ride. I’ll get there when I’ve arrived and I need to be able to leave when it’s about that time. My favorite places to go out are where there’s a decent male to female ratio, comfortable seating and the Henny never runs out (I’m serious about that). The last thing I’m concerned about, when it comes to my life, is another person. 
    “Our relationship is wack,” he yelled over the music. 
     “I didn’t know we had one,” I tried.
      “What?” he leaned in closer.
      “I’m just tryina dance with my homegirls, maaaan,” I said mid-spin. I don’t know what song was playing but it was immediately my jam.  I was amused. He thought he knew me, but didn’t seem to understand I just wanted to jab him because I know him. I was 15 when he met me. I say that he met me, because he’d served me a purpose. I was working at Whole Foods, looking cute & pushing carts, and he was working (at… well.. maybe that’s too much info) when I walked up to the register and handed him my number. “Call me,” I said and walked out. One thing I can say about him, is he followed directions well, at first. I had a boyfriend, but had decided I needed a man, so I was on the hunt. I’d been honest and upfront about it. Neither of them were qualified, but a bored teenage-girl will get herself a green-pushin’ boo on the off hours if she has to. Other than having to put him in place when referring to my hood, his only issue was that he ended up calling me one day during school… with my boyfriend. In his house.  Crying.
    
        “Y’all both b*tches,” was all they heard before I clicked.
        Everything is exactly what the f*ck it is. That’s why I don’t stress anything. Either you accept things the way they are, or you go somewhere more to your liking. I don’t fight off much, I just let the world treat me like they want to. I pay close attention and return the same favors. If Sir Thirst had really wanted to be my man back in the day, he should of and would have simply said so. But he didn’t. “Every time I see you, it’s like I have a crush,” he bullsh*tted. Every time I see you I think “b*tch,” I wanted to say. It’s not that I was acting correctly when I was involved with him, it’s that he wasn’t. What I wanted was a man who would say, “Stop f*ckin with that lame,” and then do his job. Instead he invited the lame over for a venting session. Trust isn’t an easy thing to earn. Sometimes, when I wonder why I haven’t switched over to females, I remember p*$$ies have no god-d*mned sense.
Epic photo from 8th Grade. #NoShameThough *dies*

      “I’ve never been the cool kid,” I told Carl. I always tell him the truth. I’m not sure when people started wanting to be my friend or when exactly I got “pretty” but I sometimes don’t recognize the person standing in the mirror. I don’t know if this is pretty, but I know people smile at me for no reason. I’ve been called beautiful, but the exact definition is hazy to me. I’m used to being smart. Articulate. Talented. I used to be short, chubby, nappy, & black. lol. A old school-mate (I call her that because I can’t really say “friend” although I never had issues with her, but she’s from my hood, so it’s all love) posted a picture of us in the 8th grade with the caption “bad asses”. I didn’t know how to respond. My first thought was, daaammmnnnnnn. I mean, I’ve grown up quite well. & if you really read me and have glance at “Lingerie Matters,” you’ll know that sometimes I undress real slow for my own personal enjoyment. I just responded today. Just wished them the best. I don’t really have much to say. I know I turned out just fine, but that’s easy to see in photos. Still, with blessings, come just as many curses to count. 

     People think I’m stupid, now. They think I’m some regular h*e working at the mall and trickin off these dudes. They have private conversations, taking guesses at the numbers on my pay stubs. They wonder how I’ve made it because they lack reasoning as to why I should have. People doubt me. They see me smiling with a Henny and Cranberry (or Jack and Coke if all else fails) and think the poison has infected my spirit. Grown men tell me I look young then reach to hold my hand. Women fear me. I don’t know what it is they see, but they straighten up when I walk in the room. Perhaps the less skin you show, the more they doubt your humanity. Still, even in my fishnet stockings and thigh-high leather boots, men shake my hand and salute my work ethic. I make foolish moves that get me ahead because you’ve got to know when to give and when to take.
      
          I often wonder what Jesus thought. Imagine if every single thing you did, you considered the greater good of the entire world? So here I am. I’m not Jesus, I am myself. Still, I’ve found the footsteps reliable and follow where I can. The toughest part is understanding that people will follow in the steps you leave as well. You (yes, you) don’t know what you’re reading yet. “One day, they’re going to ask you, because they won’t ask me,” I explained to CJ. I get a lot of messages through him from the same people who silently friend and follow me on social networks. “And you tell them how I got my King and deserved it.” I’m above a whole lot of sh*t. I don’t stress. I don’t worry. I just went to church for the first time in a long time and prayed for strength. I considered taking the first step towards confirmation (I’m a Catholic. One hour masses? #BoutThatLife) and the sermon of the day was on confirmation and fidelity. I’ve realized that relationships are relationships. If you are a good person, that is all there is to it. No matter who you’re interacting with, treat everyone the same. This way, you can tell the difference in how they treat you. The curse of love is that we forget to expect love in return. & when you remember & are ready to cash in, it’s all been given away. You’re too late.
        I don’t want anything I don’t deserve. But when one of the most used phrases of our time is “trust no b*tch,” you understand I’ve got quite a battle to fight on behalf of an entire gender. I understand it all, though. Time is truly the only testament. People are cool for a while till they get hot or turn cold. The toughest part of seeing who will be there (and still be themselves) at the end of the day is to wait it out and see. That’s what all this sh*t is about. Survival of the fittest, with fittest including unwavering dedication.  Is that too much? It’s been the church that’s helped me understand loyalty to another degree: To myself. If you believe in God, you’ve got to live righteously in His name whether it feels good to you or not. For your own good!  Whether those around you doubt it or not. Some people want to know how long something will “last” but that’s just a nice way of asking “How quickly will you give up?” Tricky part of this all is in understanding that once you’ve given up, you simply chose to lose. When you give up on people, they remember that. My mom made fun of me on the piano once when I was 10 and I haven’t touched keys since. I don’t put in effort where I don’t see anything coming of it. Maybe that’s not the same thing, but maybe it is.   

& I can’t say what I’m doing is absolutely correct, not until I have proof. But when I do, I’ll be sure to write about it 😉

To the victor go the spoils.

Best wishes, 
ELLA ❤