LBrown Write 4 U

Some things said need to be read. Some things thought need to be known.

11/24/2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbrownwrite4u @ 11:15 am

There’s a lot I could say about Jennifer …

They’re in movies and TV shows all the time. Those moments that change characters. For better or worse, for introspection or self-denial, for regret’s sake or rejoice.

I lost my friend.

She spoke a mile per minute. She was stubborn as hell when she had an idea or a goal. She never spoke ill of anyone—no joke. She smiled in a way that infected you and before you knew what was happening the corners of your lips would match hers. She loved to a fault. Her conviction knew no bounds. Neither did her mistakes. She was one of the best human beings I knew. And she’s no longer here.

She’s not coming home for Thanksgiving. She’s not working to heal other children who were burned. She’s not going to answer my texts. She’ll have no wedding. She can’t create the family she’s always wanted. She won’t be a figure head in her sorority family anymore. She’ll never come home for Christmas. She’ll never hear how sorry I am for being a shitty friend in the end. She’ll never look at me like “uhhh when have you ever been a shitty friend?” She can’t hold her mom and dad again and neither can they hold onto her.

She’s 32 and she’s gone and it’s weird. The world hasn’t stopped since October 18. The new year is coming. I’m moving to the city with my boyfriend. Friends from four jobs ago got laid off. My mom’s neighbor threw a halloween party. Thanksgiving was yesterday. Today is Black Friday. The earth is still rotating. The universe is still expanding.

Nothing has stopped.

But by God how I wish it would.

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Showdown: Chucking Up the Deuces 08/02/2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbrownwrite4u @ 10:48 am

I walk into her closed office without knocking. She looks at me, a glimmer of disgust behind her glasses.

“Hey what’s up?”

I look her dead in the eyes as I pull up a chair across from her. I sit comfortably, crossing my legs and leaning back. She watches with an intrigue that betrays her annoyance.

“Well, Melissa, you finally got what you wanted.” I smile.

“What are you talking about?”

“After all the patronizing emails and the key meetings you made sure I knew nothing about and the reckless redistribution of my work and the utmost disrespect that you’ve shown me since you’ve started heading my team, has finally paid off. You’re finally getting what you want … I’ll be gone in two weeks.”

She stares blankly. A stutter of sounds coming from her lips. I get up and put the chair back. Walking out, I pause in the doorway.

“You know? I’m the only black person on your team. If I didn’t know any better, I’d play the race card and ruin your life … You’re lucky I’m not petty. Cross someone else the way you did me and you might not be so lucky next time.”

 

Waiting to be Exiled 07/10/2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbrownwrite4u @ 12:20 am

I’m not saying you can’t have tattoos, I’m just saying that most companies won’t hire you because you’ll be representing their brand and they wouldn’t want that as a representation of their brand.

I wouldn’t work for a company that would hire me on appearance vs whether or not I can do the job their asking of me.

It’s like if I go to a restaurant and my waiter has tattoos all over their face and neck and body and then those earring hole things and piercings and all that. I would walk out. That’s how the restaurant chooses to represent itself? I don’t want that handling my food!

Words escape me, momentarily.

That’s as bad as white people hating us because we’re black. You’re judging this person’s ability to serve you merely on their appearance.

He shrugs.

It’s my money. I don’t want someone like that handling my food.

I can feel my blood frothing from its boil.

Uncle…I am disappointed in you.

He shrugs as mom shoos him into the garage.

 


 

Mom walks into the kitchen.

So basically if any of my kids are different in any way, shape, or form, the family is going to shun them…

Mom walks out of the kitchen.

 

 

WIP: “Zane’s Crossover” 06/27/2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbrownwrite4u @ 9:13 am

A berimbau strums slowly through the studio speakers. Zane lowers her ginga, evening out her stance. Left to right. Right to left. Brow furrowing deeper with each step. She watches each movement in the mirror. Stride by stride, foot by foot, limb by limb, she sways with her ginga; easing more and more into her own groove. Feeling at home within her body. The strum quickens. Zane’s ginga quickens. She throws in a quexada and then a meia lua. The strum gets faster. Her glare burns through her reflected eyes as her focus deepens. A bead of sweat wanders down into her eye. She immediately shuts them both. Her ginga never misses a beat. The sting slowly subsides. She opens her eyes. The air is stale; a grey haze. Her movements strain as though her limbs are wading though water. Her reflection disappears. There is no mirror. No studio. No buildings or streets. No Atlanta. Leaves and dirt ruffle under her slowed bare feet. She shuts her eyes tight again. Faint sounds surround her. No more honking horns, shouting kids, or the constant murmur of traffic. Instead, lilting whispers and low hums fill her ears. She tilts her head right, attempting to hone in on the echoes. There’s more weight applied to her inquisitive lean. The lean overpowers her balance. Her eyes slam open when she feels her arms shoot out below her. Her palms hit the wooden studio floor as she drops into a plank pose.

“Damn, Zane!” 

Zane’s face snaps to the doorway. Daysha walks into the studio and drops her gym bag against the back wall. She grabs a bottle of water from her bag and walks up to Zane.

“Did you see tha-” Zane pants.

“-you out of breath from a plank?” Daysha asks. She starts to stretch next to Zane. 

“No. I-I…” Zane flusters. Her body seemingly stuck in its pose.

“Shit, girl, I totally understand!” 

 

It’s Systematic 06/21/2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbrownwrite4u @ 12:40 am

Mom: Oh look! You’re getting tan!

Daughter: A tan? What’s that?

Mom: It’s when your skin gets darker. 

Daughter: I’m getting darker?!?!

Me: More like you have a sun glow. 

Sadness ripples from her 8-year-old brow to her pouting lips. She leans into her mother as though to burrow her darkening skin away from the world.

I don’t want to get darker! 

Her mother looks at me. I see the tearing of our hearts behind her eyes.

Being darker is not a bad thing, baby. You’re beautiful, and if you got darker you’d still be beautiful … the darker the berry, the sweeter the juice! 

That’s right! I chime in. You’d be even sweeter than you are now. Don’t get too sweet now otherwise we’ll want to just gobble you up! 

She groans defiantly into her mother’s bosom. I look at her mother; my best friend.

The moment defeats us.

 

Man, I Feel Like a Woman 06/19/2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbrownwrite4u @ 11:00 pm

Ugh I forgot! I need to get detergent and Lactaid on my way home. Seriously hope it stops raining. Oh! I love this song! … Shit! I can’t go into Publix like this. I should go home to change and then come back out. But I don’t want to. I’m almost to the exit and my workout shorts are so comfortable! Plus, I’m only going in for two things. Maybe I can swing it. Maybe if I don’t make eye contact, I won’t feel their eyes. Maybe if I stretch my shorts and pull my tank top down, no one will care. Maybe if I look down, I won’t see a man’s stare. Maybe if I look up to the ceiling, I won’t see guys whispering. Maybe if I walk fast, I won’t hear the taunts from slow driving cars. Maybe if I avoid the cars, I won’t hear the passengers shout at me. Maybe if I look mean, no man will think to approach. Maybe if I look stressed, a dude’s friend won’t think it’s ok to try to touch. 

If only I had my sweater that covers from my shoulders to below my waist. If only I had my jacket, despite this 88 degree weather. If only I wore different clothes to my fitness class. If only I remembered earlier that I had to go to the store while in work clothes. 

If only I could forget that we don’t teach boys about unwarranted advances.
If only I could forget that some men feel entitled to my flesh because of what I wear.
If only I could forget that men’s rejected advances too often end in a sister’s death.

If only I could forget that my body is subject to devastation without hesitation.

If only I could forget that I’m already a statistic many times over.

Maybe, just this once, I can pretend to have the luxury of not thinking about all of this.
Maybe, just maybe, I could just go into the fucking store for some detergent and Lactaid.

 

Work In Progress (WIP): “Q’s Crossover” 06/17/2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbrownwrite4u @ 9:02 pm

Q’s eyes glaze over. The iMac glares back. His brow furrows as he reads and rereads. Fingertips poise to type, but stop. Heat rushes his face. He pulls back from the screen; braces his elbows on either side of his keyboard and lets his face fall into his hands. 

Heavy steps approach.

    “I take it you saw M’s email?” Aaron says.

He walks into Q’s cubical and leans against the back wall.  

    “I just don’t get why she’s gunning for me,” Q says into his palms.

    “She guns for everyone… but it also doesn’t help that you reported her to HR.” 

    “I quit.”

    “Right. You and me both,” Aaron says as he walks away. 

The heat heightens. Q’s throat dries. He gets up and quickens to a forgotten conference room down a lonely hall. Changing the room sign to “occupied,” he locks it from the inside and braces his back up against the door. Chest heaving, his fingertips touch his wet cheeks and wipes his eyes. He squeezes his eyes shut as his breath quickens. Seconds pass and oddly the air dries his face. A stillness settles the office’s sales rings, heel clicks, finger typing, and mouse clicking. A faint echo falls behind his every breath. He opens his eyes. He can see the air; it’s grey, hazy yet defined. His body starts to move away from the door, but it feels like he’s moving underwater. He squints through the grey briefly before his eyes widen into stormy pools. The empty conference room, is now full, and all eyes are on him.