What My World's Like

How to use your* prostitute. (*yes, you have one regardless of your sex)

Jun
01

prostitute

I’m different. I’ve always been different, always felt different, but didn’t always have peace with it. Sometimes I fought it, bumped heads with others because of it, and even embraced it. It’s a sordid past I share with it. As I matured, though, I began to appreciate the fact that I was different. I eventually found it odd that most of us spend so much of our youth trying to fit in before usually spending the rest of our lives trying to distinguish ourselves. After all, aren’t we all different?

My official occupation for the past five years should read ‘nomad’. I’ve lived in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Antonio, St. Louis, and even in an L.A. suburb. Right now, I’m on my way to South Korea. Each line of my resume places me in a different state and/or in a different industry so it’s quite likely that most companies seeking a long-term employee will immediately discard it upon review despite my qualifications; it doesn’t exactly scream company loyalty. Here’s the thing: I’m okay with that. Why? Because I’m different. That fact is evidenced not just by my thought process, hairstyle, interests or style of dress; my journey and choices are highly reflective of my individuality. My path hasn’t always been easy or glamorous, but it has been true to my essence as a free spirit.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, here’s a little something else: you’re different, too. You have dreams you haven’t followed, thoughts you haven’t shared, passions you haven’t explored. In short, you have a life you haven’t lived.

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“We’ve gotta be calm”

Apr
28

give thanks

There was a time when I was really intrigued by the idea of fate. Thought it was sealed, and that it was, at least for me, a bad thing. The idea of having no control was quite bothersome to me. After several questions and revisits, I’ve decided that I still believe in fate, although I’ve found a way to reconcile things that are “supposed” to happen with making things happen. I think everything happens for a reason.

Sometimes. Not always actively, anyway.

Last week, I was leaving Philadelphia on my way back to Texas. The check-in line wasn’t that long and I had an hour and a half before my flight so I figured we’d breeze right through. Well, not so much. About twenty minutes passed, and I was virtually still in the same place. The annoyance was beginning. There had to be about 12 kiosks. None of them worked. There were three to four attendants checking people in and no explanation as to why the same people being served then were the same people who were being served when we first got in line.

As more time passed, anxiety crept in. What was going on? It doesn’t take this long to check in. With each passing minute, my patience, barely existent to begin with, wore thinner. My friend, always much cooler than me, urged me to relax, but I couldn’t take it. Eventually, my stomach tightened and my breath shortened. It was at this point that I really began to lose my cool. I wasn’t causing a scene or anything, but definitely became unpleasant to the person I was waiting with.

When we finally reached the front of the line, I realized what the problem was and it was so simple that I was quickly embarassed by my previous attitude. I was flying AirTran, whose hub is in Atlanta. The weather there was pretty bad, so all incoming and outgoing flights were delayed. The attendants were trying to reroute passengers to different cities.

After I got to the counter, I was informed that I could either stay in Philadelphia one more night or stay the night in Atlanta and fly out the next morning.  I have friends in Atlanta, so the prospect of staying overnight didn’t bother me.  I texted them both to see if they’d be able to pick me up and take me to the airport the next day.  A few minutes later, I had a “yes” from my friend LT, whom I haven’t seen in 3 years.  The ticket was booked and I hung out in Philly for a few more hours.

Once I got to Atlanta and met up with LT, I told him about what happened.  He said, “We’ve gotta be calm.”  We spent the rest of the evening talking, catching up.  In the morning, he had a play for preschoolers.  I’ve never seen any of his shows, so I was happy to be able to go.  After the play, we dashed to the airport and I caught my flight back to San Antonio.

It’s true: we’ve got to be calm.  In my case, everything worked out.  Actually, it always does.  I just don’t know how in the moment.  I would’ve never imagined my trip to New York and Philadelphia would’ve included a side trip to Atlanta, allowing me to hang out with a friend I’ve scarcely been in contact with.  I had an enjoyable evening and learned a few things about myself.  Hopefully, next time, I’ll remember to be calm.

carpe diem!

* I snagged these photos from LT’s house.   Loved his house.

Challenge: Find the good in where you are

Apr
05

heal-heart

Right now, I live in San Antonio. Been here for about seven months and can’t say that it’s been the most exciting time of my life. I can say that it’s been a very therapeutic time for me. Not too long ago, I realized that everywhere I’ve lived has served a different purpose for me, acted as a sort of theme, if you will. I was raised in St. Louis, which served as the framework for my understanding of the world. In Chicago, I really grew into my own. Became more of that which I already was. I moved to New York and really began to understand my work ethic. If I care, I’m all in. If I don’t, I’m pretty much out. The second time I was in Chicago was the most broke and probably depressing time of my life. I realized that I needed to make some changes. When I moved to California, I began to make some of those changes. Insights about my family structure of my childhood, or the lack thereof, became clear to me. Shortly thereafter, I moved to Philadelphia and the overarching theme of that period was love. L-O-V-E. As is the case with many relationships, my beau at the time served as a mirror for me, allowing me to see myself as I was and decide which changes I wanted to make. My time in Texas has been very introspective. Not a lot of activity, but necessarily so. I’m not sure I would’ve been able to grow the way I have in this time if I were in a city that really had my attention. So, yes, I’ve been ‘stranded’ on the West side of San Antonio, but I’m better because of my relatively dull evenings and weekends indoors.

Operating with the understanding of why I’m in Texas, in terms of the larger theme of healing, has been incredibly helpful. I no longer hate being here or think I made a mistake in moving here. Very often, we condemn parts of our lives because we don’t understand their purposes.  Everything can be used.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  Meaning is never inherent; it’s always created.  Find the value in the experiences you’ve had and the experiences you’re having right now.  If you haven’t done this already, it will change the way you understand your world.

Find the good.

Dumpster Diving

Feb
04


I assure you that this is not what I did or ever will do.

Time waits for no one…every moment counts. Make it matter, right?

Yeah, I know. I need to keep all of this in mind. The blog entry you’re about to read was supposed to be written several weeks ago, but it was late…then, I was getting up early…and it happened all over again.

No more excuses.

So…dumpster diving. Considering the response I’ve received when I tell people this story, I might want to start with a definition of dumpster diving. A more accurate designation for the concept is called “urban foraging,” a tactic commonly used by freegans and homeless everywhere.

According to Freegan.info, “this technique involves rummaging through the garbage of retailers, residences, offices, and other facilities for useful goods. Despite our society’s sterotypes about garbage, the goods recovered by freegans are safe, useable, clean, and in perfect or near-perfect condition, a symptom of a throwaway culture that encourages us to constantly replace our older goods with newer ones, and where retailers plan high-volume product disposal as part of their economic model.”

One Friday evening, me and my companion VISTAs were enjoying frozen treats at Amy’s Ice Cream when Tina suggested we find a Panera and try dumpster diving. I was all in. Paul was hesitant, but more than willing to observe. We drove around in a circle for ten minutes before we finally found the Panera and started sleuthing around to find their dumpsters. We found a few different sets of dumpsters that, naturally, smelled atrocious and effectively killed the idea of eating, should we actually find anything.

Ready to give up, I suggested we ask where the dumpsters are, already expecting the answer to be no. We decided that Tina, being white, would ask…even if she couldn’t keep a straight face. While we were clean and well-groomed, I’m black, Paul’s Filipino, and we didn’t want to be negatively stereotyped.

We approach the set of front doors, now being wiped down by an employee since it’s past 10 and they’re closed. We motion for her to open the door. She tells us they’re closed. We persist, so she comes to the door. Tina, in her best efforts to be serious, blankly asks, “Yes, we’re wondering where your dumpsters are.” The lady doesn’t speak English very well, so Tina starts speaking in Spanish.

“This is even better!” I tell Paul.
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