Why I deteste Going Below 59th Street & Vacating My Position as the Token Black Girl

May 26, 2013

GIRLS (The Chocolate Girl Version)

May 26, 2013

In my Mother’s house, there’s a photograph of a day gone past…always makes me laugh.

May 26, 2013
token
Girls
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Once again like I always do, I will ask that you excuse me for slipping into oblivion. I have a legitimate excuse this time.  a lot has happened, much has changed, things have shifted. By the skin of my narrow Black ass I manage to finished my Master’s classes with A’s and B’s (some I deserved and some I didn’t). Once again I find myself back in my hometown. The the place where I grew up is forever changing and yet, always the same. Its strange being here again, surrounded by memories, and moments just out of reach in this empty house. I’m not alone, not really, my sister is ever present, my family is in and out helping us pack up and purge and reminisce. But its not the same as it once was,not really. My dad isn’t in the den on the green leather couch watching Pride and Prejudice on an endless loop. Its Sunday today, so my mama would have been making pancakes, loudly laughing on the phone, gossiping with some sister or some friends. Its not quite noon yet so I would have just been waking, the smells of butter and sausages would have assaulted my senses drifting upward into my third floor lair.

Instead, I’ve been up for hours. It cold here and silent. Though my favorite season is rapidly approaching I’ve been fiddling with the thermostat this last week or so. When I yell up to my sister about this thing or that the echo of my voice beams through the house. An echo that hadn’t been there before. Its empty because they’re gone. They’ve left this world.

I remember before my mom passed nearly three years ago I had a lot of fears. Like small anxieties that would burden my heart (I randomly developed a fear of flying and I was scared to drive on the highway because I was sure that I was going to get hit by a truck.) After she passed none of those fears consumed me anymore. There wasn’t much left that could hurt me, that could affect me so drastically. My dad passed just over three months ago. Ironically, I’ve been on more planes than I can think this year and its only May. My reactions to both of my parents deaths are strange and honestly I feel like I don’t speak about them much. My mom passed and I had to be be back at school nine days later. I was going into my junior year in college. I got the call about my dad in between my two mandatory three hours Master’s film studies classes. I hopped on a plane shortly thereafter. It was a Tuesday, I was back in class Monday. I didn’t really cry with my dad, still haven’t shed too many tears. Maybe its because I feel that funerals are these contrived things, like people carry on and on and act so upset but I think to myself, where was all this emotion when the person was living.

            I guess the real reason that I’m writing this post is because, people go through things, but the world keeps turning, The city wakes from its slumber, holidays and birthdays and heartbreak and vacations and the whole still come and go year after year.   What’s left behind after a person leaves is just their stuff. I’ve pulled out trinkets and china sets and clothing from the eighties and pictures of my mom’s old boyfriends and sing-along from my childhood. And they’ve stacked up. In the kitchen, living room, dining room, basement.  Things long forgotten about or things simply meant to be displayed, never touched, or handled or really seen.  These things just become stuff, some things sentimental and worth saving and others better off with someone who really needs them. Some family that could really make use of them.

I’ve been dreading coming back here, probably since my mother died. My parents were mini- hoarders and the house is large enough to hold a lot of stuff without it outwardly appearing cluttered. In these last two weeks My sister and I have waded our way through the books and the paintings and the nick knacks. Strangely, though its been difficult, we haven’t felt the need to keep much because I guess we know that this wasn’t them, not really.

A part of me is itching to get back to New York, to my life and my apartment away from the things left behind. And another part, albeit a smaller part never wants to leave this place, the laughter and Christmas parties and the teenage standoffs between my mama and myself. My dad praying in the background or reading his Qu’ran. It was always home even when it got really bad.  It’ll never be the same though.  I just bag things up and wrap the fragiles with care. And as this old life fades, this childhood days, these memories, I think how lucky I’ve been and all the experiences that have yet to come.  I try not to dwell in sadness or negativity, because that’s more crippling than the empty house and the cold spaces.

The house will be on the market soon, so these are probably some of the last weeks I’ll spend in it. I’ve only ever lived here (Until I moved for college and grad school). I think what I’ve learned out of losing both of them is how to let go, of bad memories and meaningless things, and people who weigh you down. Because life is too short and so precious. Why waste it grasping on to what is no longer there or even worse what was never there to begin with.

Instead I’ll remember this

I stayed with some beads in my head lol. They even had the foil at the end.

and this

Look at sister!! LMAO she’s exactly the same.

and when I hand over the keys to a new family where they can grow and share their memories, it’ll be a tough day but I won’t regret it.  I’ve somehow managed to press on, to build a full life for myself and the best thing I know to do for them is continue to live it.

xoxoxox Chocolate Girl In the City xoxoxox