The White Blur…
By dotropolis on Sunday, August 3rd, 2014
…and the flash.
My entire life flashed before my eyes. I always thought it was a movie cliche but it actually happens. Nobody was in the house with me and I was in the bed sweating. My legs were aching and my arms were shivering even though I was burning hot. And I saw everything. The bathtub they used to wash me and my cousin in when we were babies. The times our hot water went out before school and we had to boil water. My grandma’s house. Watching Power Rangers during our summer vacations. Wanting to be a pro wrestler at one point because I loved Stone Cold, Sting, The Rock, Sabu and a bunch of other random pro wrestlers. Elementary school. High school. Being bullied in both. Every woman I ever kissed. My music and every show we’ve ever done. My friends and associates. My first job. My internships. My current job. My mother. My sister.
After the flash was over, I couldn’t tell if my life was real or if my life was a long dream that was a layover while God decided if I was going to heaven or not. Then I thought what I was experiencing was me waking up from this dream. And I let it go. I started getting text messages on my phone, I can’t remember about what. The only words I could type was,
"I need help."
"I need help."
I had to say it twice. Then I called my sister to tell her I couldn’t breathe anymore. My breaths were short, my eyes were drying out, and my vision was blurry. Almost like a white blur. My sister hung up and I called the ambulance. By the time she confirmed that the ambulance was on the way, I was clinging on to the kitchen sink with my mouth damn near on the faucet. Water splashed all over the phone and my face and my shirt. Somehow, I managed to unlock the front door and the paramedics carried me outside. They shoved an oxygen tube in each nostril and told me my heart was around 200. I asked,
"What’s the normal heart rate?"
In the ER room, I couldn’t really see and I lost almost all of the strength in my arms and legs. Doctors asked me a million questions when I was alone and I couldn’t stop looking at this cross that was hanging over the door. The following morning I was walking again. The following week, Blue Cross Blue Shield told me my hospital bill was for $7,000 for one night and that I’m required to pay $1,600. The following month, it was my birthday, which was last Friday. A surprise party was thrown for me at a condo downtown. My cousin and I were smoking on the balcony after everybody left and talking about how we’re growing and how everything is changing. How time keeps going whether you choose to sit still and waste it or keep moving along with it. And he told me out of our relatives, he relates to me the most. I didn’t respond to that specifically. Just kept staring at the lights and the traffic below us.
No more blur.
By dotropolis on Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
…and the timeline.
I’m dating somebody and this is the first time in a while that I’m not talking to multiple women simultaneoulsy. Usually, one gets on my nerves so I go to the next one. Other times, none of them bother me and I go with whoever’s energy I’d wanna feel that day. This time, all of my energy is focused one person. But it doesn’t feel abnormal to me.
What hasn’t changed is that I’m not uppity about talking about this relationship to everybody. When I do though, I’ve noticed a reocurring theme. I was at this radio station a few weeks ago sitting in the corner while my friend was running her show. We talked about work mostly but the conversation shifted and I ended up showing her a picture of who I’m seeing:
"Awwwwwwwww she’s cute. When are y’all getting married?"
"I wish people would stop joking like that."
"I’m not joking."
There was this awkward silence for a few seconds but I wiggled my way out of that topic. Then it happened again last week with another friend:
"Soooooooo can you see yourself marrying her? What are her pros? The cons? Where does she work? What’s her money looking like? I mean there’s no point in dating if you don’t see marriage in the long run, right?"
I’m at the age where single people get paranoid about being single and not having any kids yet. I’m assuming that those factors are attached to the stigma of being lonely after you’re thirty. Lonely and unfulfilled. I don’t feel any pressure to do either one yet but it’s interesting seeing how many people believe in this unspoken timeline of high school, college, 9 to 5, marriage, kids, retirement, and death. And what’s even more interesting to me, is how some find complete happiness in just those things and nothing else. And the most interesting aspect, is how those that fit into that box can make you feel left out if you aren’t in that same category with them. I was listening to this TED talk podcast months ago and this woman described marriage as musical chairs. Everyone is circling the chairs while the music is playing but when the music cuts off, people race to the open seat. The married people are already sitting down by the time they hit a certain age. The single people are the ones still walking and looking for an available seat. But don’t we have a choice on if we want to play that game or not? What about the people that play this game and think homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to play? What if I don’t like the music? What if I think we should all have player names so everybody is more identifiable? What if I want my name to be Thotropolis?
I need answers.
By dotropolis on Saturday, April 5th, 2014
About five months ago, I was reading an interview with Danny Brown on some fashion website and he was talking about what influenced his attire. The sentence that stuck out to me was, “I dress for who I want to attract.” And I never done that. Whoever I attracted, I attracted and we would work out our differences and enjoy our similarities. Subconsciously though, I began to do the same thing. Last year I was wearing this green and orange plaid peacoat because i was really into colors at the time. This winter, I wore mostly black. Black fitted coat that sat at my waist. Steve Madden shoes for work, which was new considering that I wore my Clarks prior to that, and fitted dress pants. Fitted jeans and higher quality button ups when I was going out. Without noticing, I started caring about how people viewed me and I desperately wanted to be recognized as a man.
It worked. Until I started having problems at my job. On one random Wednesday, my boss gave me an assignment that was due in an hour and I couldn’t get it done. Then she started scheduling one on one meetings with me to talk about my performance and my workload. Beginning from January 2014, each week got worse and worse. Stress was giving me these headaches where the pain would be on both sides of my head and in the front as opposed to the normal headaches in the back of my head. My hair was disappearing fast. I got fat in the face. My mother noticed my spirits were down and cornered me into a conversation one Sunday. Another conversation I initiated with my mentor after work one other day. They both said I lost my confidence and it’s something I never experienced up until that point. Sometime in February, my boss accused me of dropping the ball with another big situation. She yelled and cussed at me this time. A couple days later, I scheduled a one on one with her and told her she was wrong for speaking to me that way whether i dropped the ball or not, even though I really didn’t. She didn’t want to take responsibility and didn’t apologize so we agreed to disagree. But I felt like a giant because I knew in my heart that I wasn’t wrong and i had the evidence to back it up. My confidence was back but I was still wearing mostly black.
A few weeks after that, I went to the mall to pick up some dress shirts and I noticed a lot of white women flirting with me. More than usual. I was confused because they never give me any kind of attention. Plus, my fascination with being romantically involved with white women died a couple years ago (for no real reason). Here and there since that month, it kept happening and it’s still happening more frequently than I’m used to. Like yesterday. I went to Noodles and Company and the manager handed me my food with the biggest smile and that ‘damn, where you come from?’ eye contact. It’s a fucking mystery to me. However, I do remember telling my little cousins years ago when dealing with women, it’s never about what you’re wearing. It’s all about your confidence. Believing in yourself and believing that nobody is better for the person you want to go after. And making sure that person knows that too.