So I’ve gained another year. While I am making some sort of effort to smile about it, to be honest, it felt much like when I turned 32. 32 sucked. And no, 41 does not suck as much as 32 did. This week, I’ve been quiet and contemplative, lonesome, anxious, and obsessive. The B-Day week began on Saturday at El Museo del Barrio. I got myself a sweet cream jacket dress and wore white slacks despite the rain. The rain adds to the blues. I purposefully wore the white and cream. Purposefully put on the make-up. And in the many of my efforts to feel happy, I did. There was much to be happy about my time at EL Museo. I was invited to read as port of their Latino Readings Series. I am not Latina. The curator invited me and asked how I felt. I knew that in recent years, many of the changes happening there were generating a lot of discussion. A lot rightfully so. With that, I knew there may be some back lash having me on the bill. For me, it felt it to be a huge honor. I grew up in Harlem and have always lived blocks away from the museum. It’s a part of youth and has at times felt more closer to me than Studio Museum of Harlem. To be invited to read at El Museo del Harlem days before my b-day was a gift.
The audience was wonderful as were the other readers; all Chicano. I read a prose piece which was still to young to do in public. I had a 8 year old girl volunteer and help me with a “score” I wrote after seeing the Flux artist Benjamin Patterson a couple of weeks ago. Monica Hand, a neighbor and fellow writer, Patricia Spear Jones and Tyehimba Jess, both good friends and fellow writers, came out and showed my love. Afterwards, we went to Lolitas, eat and talked up a storm. I should be feeling better yes?
Around 11, I call it quits as there were guests coming in from Barcelona. Two young poets, Monica and Victor, coming via Canada, they arrived at 1:30 am. I passed out at around 1:15. They bussed my bell at 11:30. They had gone around the corner and stayed at The Ebony Hotel. The moment they told me, I shook my head. One of the oldest hotels in Harlem, it has experience and good and the bad. The place is gully. They barely slept as that would not surprise me.
After they dropped their bags, took showers, we mapped our day. First I took them to the local Chuchi Fritos spot on 110th and 3rd Ave. They only had 15 bucks so I knew this would work out. I had no idea they would love it! Cheap local food. We then got on the train to 42nd. I did not pay attention to the station. We ended up in the Bronx. Getting off at Hunts Point, I announced “WELCOME TO THE BRONX!” We laughed and headed downtown to an exchange place to change cash. From there, we got on the bus toward the East Village. Getting off on 8th and Cooper Union, we walked a couple of block s before I brought attention to an old Indian Shop on 3rd Ave. Monica immediately wanted to to go in, found a little top and skirt for her daughter and we continued on to Gathering of the Tribes.
Tribes is going through a lot right now. Too much to type here and too dang miserably to remind myself off. I’m mad about it. I’m mad about blood suckers. I’m mad about the item of ownership. Ok. So we were all doing a reading there with Jena, another poet and performance based talent, who organized it. Not a lot of folks came but it was a good reading and I got to catch up with Reggie Gaines. We talked, I gave him one of my mini chapbooks. He gave me his number.
Once the reading ended, we walked over to Shiraku, the local Japanese spot for the negros. Afterwards, I went home and obsessed over a plane ticket to Peru. Peru you say? Yes Peru. They went to see a band, spent a lot of money and got home fairly late. I soon went to sleep after a two hour catch up with a long time friend.
They left for Canada on Monday but both gave me hugs b-day hugs.
I was actually happy they were here. It felt good to have company. The only evidence of ever having a roommate is junk mail from his previous alma mata. I think about having a roommate again. I do not want a roommate. I think about a pet. A dog, medium size, who’d get me to take walks in the park more. Someone that would get me out of my head.
So now they’re gone. I receive a handful of text messages from old friends. A handful. Enough to feel a tad unloved. I’m lying about “a tad.”
I talk to some on the phone. We laugh and shit. They’re curious about my departure somewhere.
Day before my b-day, I got off my Facebook addiction. I’ve always had a problem with this social network shit.
Why? I answer “It was making me depressed.” I wish I could lie about that but it was. I spent too much time on it. I spent too much time feeling lonely as I bounced from one profile to the next. I hate to quote Kanye West lyrics, but on the real, it was fucking me up. So I left the matrix. Only a few actually hit me up on the phone and asked what happened. Only a few emailed me. Only a few hit me with a text. No I do have 1158 friends. I have about 10. And that needs and must be all good at the end of the day.
The obsessing on a plane ticket ended when I bought the damn ticket. And then 4 in the morning I awoke hyper ventilating. I’m going to fucking Peru! Maybe it was not the best idea to watch the Dark Knight on the couch and pass out . Now I have to get one last ticket.
Friday morning planted me in Brooklyn. My mae from Brazil was in town and it was time for my annual reading. Maybe I’ll explain what a reading means in another post. One day. The moment the reading began, I knew shit was gonna come out. And it did. And when it was time for to ask questions, I just cried. Wow. This is my b-day week. The first week of a new year and I just don’t feel good. Luckily I did not pull out the Depeche Mode. All I had in my head was Florence and The Machine and these cats.
I just saw them last week at Radio City Music Hall. Fucking incredible. The highlight was blue lights being thrown from the audience. I felt like a kid. Earl got a me ticket and I got a pass to the after party from Xaveria later on. It was a nice distraction. And then, later this week, one of their band members passed.
Since February, I’ve had this song in repeat in my head. A good friend passed in February. I admit now that it royally fucked me up. It came up during the reading. As did many friendships. Let’s just say there’s mad work to be done before I head to Peru.
How am I feeling now? It’s Saturday. The house guests are now a plane back to Barcelona. We ate Indian last night and passed out. I’ve been working on my former blob space and surfing the web for a decent 3-in-1 Component Jacket. I’m still quiet and feeling very hermit. I find it interesting that a particular individual has not called me in over a week. I once told this person that he can’t deal with women when they are having a needy moment. He runs. I’ve been pretty darn needy for over a month. Grouchy and tearful. He didn’t call to say happy b-day. That makes me sad.
Lesson. I love my friends. well, I try to. All of them ain’t gonna do what i want them to do. The ten will call, text, and emailed. the others will not. accept them. accept them.
Today I took a bath in anise, honey, cinnamon and clove. I can still taste the anise on my cheeks.
Tomorrow a baby shower.