This would look pretty awesome… on my back. Down my spine.
It’s raining outside, but that doesn’t mean I can’t start thinking about Spring fits…
Jacket: L.L. Bean cotton unconstructed sport coat, thrifted $7
Shirt: Brooks Brothers White Slim-Fit OCBD, thrifted $7
Scarf: Lands’ End Canvas cotton purple gingham, clearance $7
Jeans: APC Petite Standard, Crossroads Trading Co. $22
Belt: Narragansett Leathers, $40
Shoes: Allen Edmonds Brookwood, thrifted $9
I’m uncertain of who STEPHANIE GEORGOPULOS is but I tell you what, this is probably the realest shit I have ever read. Ever in my life. I applaud thee.
“Once, you were a newborn: the swell and fall of your chest dictating the quality of someone else’s life, your tiny new fingers turning everything they touched to gold. You needed help doing just about everything, drinking and burping and sleeping, that’s who you used to be. Once, all you had to do to make someone’s day was open your eyes.
Memorizing the lyrics to a song used to be an accomplishment, just like writing your name without inversing any of the letters. Tying a shoe. Walking three steps. Reciting the alphabet. You used to be someone whose every action was worthy of photographic documentation, whose shoes were worthy of being bronzed and displayed on a mantle in a home like a Master’s degree, like a wedding portrait.
You used to believe. You believed in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, both of whom would slip into your home in the middle of the night and leave behind gifts you now know you didn’t deserve. You used to believe in god, or something, someone you’d talk to and beg for things like toys or for your parents to stay together, you used to beg for forgiveness. You used to believe in all of those things; you used to believe in love.
Who you used to be is someone who was fascinated by and terrified of animals, someone who has broken the tail off of a lizard, someone who recoiled their hand from an angry dog’s mouth, someone who marveled at the pastel intestines of a frog. You were someone who played too hard, who touched without consideration for other living things, someone who could get away with that. You used to sit on animals, hug them, hit them when they scratched you; you used to think they were the only ones who understood you.
Who you were was someone who asked questions, who wanted to know the science behind rainbows and why your eyes are brown instead of blue. You used to ask are we there yet and then shift your focus to the mechanics of the car transporting you, how the wheels turned and why the windows fogged, how it could take you from one place to another. Who you were was someone who questioned the way things work.
You used to lie, you used to lie about stealing five dollars from your mother’s purse and about the really Important and Meaningful family heirloom you broke, you used to lie about homework and grades and it was always someone else’s fault. You used to lie when you got hurt doing something you weren’t supposed to be doing and you lied about hitting your little sister, about taking a bath, about finishing dinner or your summer reading.
But never once did you lie about how you felt. You just didn’t know how. You didn’t know how to look someone in the eye and say I Don’t Love You even though you did, you didn’t know how to mask grief or shock or fear. You used to get red in the face with anger and you used to ugly cry for an audience, you used to laugh uncontrollably and you used to throw your arms around someone’s neck and never once feel like apologizing for it and of all the things that used to be, this is what you miss most.”
Today… I shook hands with a man I had never met nor seen before. Definitely a scenario I have come to understand I will have to do quite often in my life. As I took his hand, I noticed how rough his hands were. Plenty of callus. Whether you recognize this as metaphorical or literal, I connected this with being hard-working. Extremely hands on. It was weird because I have not felt a similar handshake since I first encountered my friends Chance or Ryan. The entire handshake spoke to the personality of this figure and I admired it. The figure flexed his forearm as he extended his hand. Weird. (I had to play that back in my mind to see how/why he did it) I placed my hand inside of his, my fingers damn near touching his wrist. As he noticed this he squeezed my hand hard, but not too hard. Just enough for me to know he was not a slouch, but only for a second. Pride. Stubborn. Okay, I got it.
His hands were taken care of on top. Well groomed. Although I hate to assume, I jumped to some conclusions. I assumed he had solid family ties. Based off his handshake, I bet he decided to go in a direction different than those of his parents. Made his life a little more challenging, yet he pulled through. Confident. Chose not to ask for help although many were willing to aid him in anyway. Seemed not to want to appear as if anything was given to him. Stood straight up. Shoulders back. Proud. Of himself. As he should have been. He was obviously accomplished throughout his entire life. The smile of a homecoming king which changed to a smirk as to say “Young fella, you just don’t know. I still have the juice.” The “presence” which exuded from him indicated that he had worked for everything strenuously to become the man standing before me, while the potential to be spoiled was available. Stubborn. Hard-Headed. Humble.
A young man (not sure what a 16 year old would look like, but if I had to guess… he was of that age) approaches the man (teenager in probable age, yet the demeanor and physical traits of an early 20-something). No words spoken. Just an embrace. The man hugged his son and smiled with his eyes closed. Proud. There was not a large difference in age between them. Maybe 17-22 years between them. They interacted as if they were brothers, but the respect for a father was apparent. I remember that.
::Cut away to an image of my father and I eating at a restaurant::
Same situation. Wrestled and argued like we were brothers yet he commanded the respect of a person who had “been through it all” before me. He gave me my space though to figure things out for myself. He let me grow and took every mistake I made as a teaching moment.
Back to the present…
The young man sat down for a brief second. Relaxed. Seemed like a socialite, yet was reserved in this instance. I bet he’s well liked. Facial expression resembled one I had seen before… Reminded me of the picture of my boy Philip Payne with his head cocked to the side in his Garland uniform, Ben Alexander with his squinted eyes because they had him outside in the sun doing his interview about going to college, Lamarr Houston when he was speaking about the transition from RB to the D-Line. Vondrell, Jevan and I when we took our picture on our official visit. I know the look all too well. It’s the “I got it all figured out” face. Good kid. No words necessary between us. Just as fast as he appeared… He was gone.
I still know neither of their names.
The unknown figure appears as if he just transported next to me. With his hand on my shoulder… He says “Things will get better.” Uncertain if he was simply saying this to be kind, or if I had the look of a troubled young man… I raised my eye brows. He said “Well, you seem to be in deep thought. I know that look. I’ve had it quite a few times.” Nodding slowly, I said “Thank you.” Walking away, he turned and said “Ya know, I didn’t make the right decision all the time… But I learned from every decision I made.” He jogged up to his son and pushed him, playfully. Joyous. Son pushed back with one hand. Didn’t want to cross the “playful” line. I saw my dad and I… But I also felt similar to the older man. I appreciated his handshake. Admired his non-verbal attributes. Was thankful for his words. But why?
It was as if a futuristic version of who I hope to be one day (an upgrade) and an image of how I was as a teenager met somewhere in the middle just to paint me a portrait of them together. My mind made me want to identify with this man. It seemed to be an aspiration. So many parallels, not only in the relationship my father and I have… But also the relationship I wish to have with my son. Maybe I analyzed the 20 minute encounter all wrong… But it was very revealing whether in my mind or reality. I am unsure how we came to the handshake. Can not remember it. It just happened.
All I could ever really ask for was some perspective… There it was just walking away. Me and my father… Harper and I.
Found a couple funny pictures depicting thoughts on religion. So before I dive into a religious blog in the future… I thought I should show a couple images which provide a little insight on my views. LOL. Kind of funny. Don’t judge me… well, not too much. Bahahahaha. Like I would give a fuck anyways.
Many “well read, well educated, well spoken” African American men that I have had the pleasure of coming in contact with have had their presumed “blackness” come into question at one point or another. When kids used to tell me “You ain’t black,” I was not certain to what they meant. Was it because my grade of hair was different than some? Was it because I sat in class, extremely mild mannered, and did not act up like others? Or was it merely that in all honesty, my skin tone simply did not match the black crayon? I did not know, but it bothered me for quite some time. It was interesting (and yet uncomfortable) for me to see Obama’s/Condoleezza Rice’s/Donovan McNabb’s blackness come into question when I understand what my culture was actually saying (I throw Condoleezza Rice in the list because even I questioned her blackness out of my own ignorance as she is a Black Republican and I had never come across that scenario before).
This idea of being black enough did not resonate with me. What were the characteristics of being black (besides color), and how was I supposed to gain them? (because of course similar to any other person… I wanted to be ‘enough’ for my own people) It made me question all of my friends. “Say Keith (Pham - Vietnamese), do any other Vietnamese people tell you that you are not… well, Vietnamese enough (I am pretty sure I said ‘the other yellow,’ you know besides mixed children… Ignorance, I tell you. I was young though. Do not hold it against me). Of course he said no. He told me that “unless he seemed completely Americanized (which I understood then as choosing to change ones appearance and personality in order to appear more in tuned with white folks,” or simply attempting to fit in with white culture), they really were never questioned by their elders. See… that was my issue. These were not older people who were, at the time, disrespecting me in a way that I was not able to understand. They were my peers, who may not have truly known what they were questioning (or maybe they created a definition inside of their heads along the lines of “Okay we’re all Ninja Turtles but Michelangelo is acting more like Casey Jones rather than the rest of us.” Simplifying it for the youth). I had many questions… I knew I could just observe my fellow black folks, and copy them (I ended up taking it to the extreme for awhile but we will visit that later), but where would I start? And was it only my people who called into question the “colorness” (yeah, I made up a word… So what? I meant white, yellow, or brown enough) of their people based on their education level, pronunciation of words, wardrobe, and activities they took part in while outside of the public eye (my mother made me read dictionaries, novels and play Chess before I got to leave the house or watch tv. It is probably the reason I am so obsessed with TV now. Damn you cable television!!!!!).
So what is it? I think…
(To be continued…)
No cuss words necessary in this one.
long live to Daniel XD
long live Daniel*
Go Daniel hahahahahaha
i love tumblr lmao