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Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Grieving Posts 4: The Jesus Piece

The other day I woke up feeling particularly upset about my mom, so I rolled over and texted P. It was very, very early and since he is a nurse that works those crazy nurse hours, I knew he was awake. I vomited all my emotions about everything in this text that was very long, and his response was simply, "You need to pray to Allah." Ugh! With his devout Muslim self. I should have known that was going to be his response.
For some reason, I was taken back to earlier last year when I talked to my friend Gail. She had been through it over the past few years. I am talking bad relationships, car repossessions, lost jobs, etc. When she called me, it sounded like the sun was finally coming out in her life. Seeing that she has always been a Super Christian, I said, "Don't forget to thank God for seeing you through." That is when she dropped a bomb on me: she is now practicing Santeria.
I wanted to be respectful of what she had just said, but I was still like, "What?!" This is a girl that was so God-fearing that she was afraid to do anything! She had once given me a stern talking to because I had told her I had had a conversation with some Mormons. Now she's gettin' Babalawo with it? It didn't make any sense. So, she went on to explain why she was beginning to practice and it all boiled down to her wanting to feel in control of her destiny and not wanting to feel like she was just a pawn at God's will. I understood what she was saying, but it also sounded like she was mad a God.
Yes, I lost my mom, but I'm not mad at God. I understand that as hurtful as this all is, it is all part of the cycle of life. However, I also do not feel like praying as P suggested either because I know that God knows what is going on. I have always felt connected to Him, so I also know that he knows how I am feeling. I am still praying to God for a good job. I am still praying for more money. I am still praying for a better hairstyle for my facial shape and a one-term Trump presidency, but for some reason, I just can't pray on my mom or anything that has to do with her.When the doctors came into the waiting area and told us that she had died, I prayed that He would let her into Heaven. Maybe that was all the conversation that He and I needed to have. Who knows? I'm no theologian, just a girl trying to deal.

The Grieving Posts 3: Men and Mourning

I never wanted to be that woman who felt like she needed a man. Let me just say ladies, you don't know how much you need one until someone close to you dies. I realized this at my grandmother's funeral earlier last year. After the ceremony, my uncle cursed me out for no reason while my other uncle just sat there with his ankles crossed like nothing was happening. It was then that I realized it would have been great if I'd had a beau to beat the crap out of both of them.
Now on to my mother's passing. As I wrote my thank you cards, helped plan her wake, and waded through all the family stuff that comes with the passing of a parent, all I could think of was how much I wished I had a man in my life to hug me through all of it. I was surrounded by my mourning siblings and my aunt and other women that cared for me and that were providing me with love and support. Didn't matter. All I wanted was a strong hug from a strong man. I know. I'm pathetic. 
The funny thing is that I was talking to someone at the time. We had only been talking for a second when this happened, so I didn't want to come off as too needy. A parent passing is a huge thing to deal with when you first meet someone. So I simply asked him if he minded coming over to give me a hug. He said he wasn't coming over unless I could promise him sex. Needless to say, I ended up hugging myself to sleep. #whataloser
So when my homecoming came I want you to believe me when I tell you that I was collecting man hugs from my old classmates like they were going out of style. And no, that that was not enough. Man hugs are like Pringles: you can't have just one. 
"I know what you mean," Dizzle said when I told her how I was feeling. "Sometimes you just want to be held."
"Yeah, but I feel bad because the women in my life give me so much support and love that it could literally lift me off the ground," I whined, lying across the hotel room bed. 
"It's not the same," she said. She was right. It's not. 
So now we are six months in and still, no hugs. I actually hurt my shoulder trying to give myself a bear hug about three months ago. I feel like a woman with strength of character would use this time to exercise or learn to cook or pray or do something productive. I'm yearning for a hug from a man I don't have. It's so sad I almost hate to write it. But don't worry. In writing these posts, I am trying to take control of the wheel and turn things around. I mean, I was very close to picking up a Steve Harvey book the other day and, I think that we can all agree that, once that happens, I can throw in the towel. #toostressedtothinklikeaman

The Grieving Posts 2: Fair Weather Friends

Most of you were here for me when I lost my job and got tossed out of my apartment like a dingy dishrag. If not, believe me when I tell you that it was ugly. I was the DEFINITION of a struggling friend. I was financially and emotionally needy, and, as expected, some of my "friends" found this to be the perfect time to bid their adieu to our friendship. And I totally got it! If a stack of past due bills hadn't been blocking my path to the door, I would have walked out on myself! It was a rough time but, believe it or not, my mom dying has caused more friends to walk out on me than my needing to borrow $20!
The one that hurts the most is a friend that I had had since college. We had spent hours on the phone over the years listening to our dramas and encouraging each other; crying over boys and praying. I mean, I really felt that we knew each other's hearts and we were genuinely there for each other. Honey, I told that girl that my mom died and I have not heard from her in six months. Six. Months. She straight ghosted on a sistah! And she isn't the only friend that has done this.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but here is the long and short of it: someone close to you is going to die at some point. And when this happens, you are going to be very hurt when your "friends" leave you hanging. But I want you to know now what it has taken me six months to understand: death scares people. People don't want to say it or think about it or address it at all! They almost feel like if they console you, they will be acknowledging that it exists and, within minutes, the Grim Reaper will be knocking on their door. They may treat you like your have coodies, but don't be upset. They are as freaked and dumbfounded as you have been in the past when people you knew lost loved ones. However, you can be hurt, just as you have been the other times you have gotten dumped.

The Grieving Posts 1: Mood Swings

I have been having some major mood swings lately. As my true readers know, I am not that emotionally stable as it is. I am assuming that all of this is connected to the fact that my mom died in August and I have not even begun to deal with it. I am pretty much refusing to cry and acting like everything is business as usual. I am fully aware that this is not healthy, but I decided that this was the best way to proceed when I woke up the day after she died and realized that the world had had the nerve to go on.
Not long after her death, I reached out to a friend of mine who is a shrink. I hit her up about what I have been experiencing and the mental health fat that she gave me to chew on was the equivalent of you can't out pizza The Hut. 😕You would be giving me the same face if you knew the HOURS of advice I have poured into this girl since I was 19. Here is my advice to you: make your core strong, so when shit happens, you can look within yourself and self-soothe. As you well know, my core is about as strong as damp Ramen noodles, so I'm screwed.
I don't know if you have experienced the passing of a parent, but I will explain to you how it feels to me: like I have forgotten something. Like I left something. Like I can't find something. It dawned on me recently that this must be what true incompleteness feels like. Is this going to be the way that I am going to feel the rest of my life? Like something is missing?
I don't know. For now, my moods are just 'a swingin'. I have flashes of sadness mixed with long periods of tiredness and irritation. I have great anxiety when it comes to me having to leave my house. I don't know what that's about.
Sadly, I am fully aware that this is just the beginning. This sucks because I am about at the end of my last good nerve.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The CaXXXe of Lucy

About four years ago I had a situation with my old roommate Lucy. And by situation, I mean that she skipped out on the lease, owing me a little over $1000. That is a lot of money for a girl like me, who was clipping coupons to buy canned goods. Like all people who owe you money, she said that she would pay me back when she got her tax money. Yep, I fell for that story hook, line, and sinker. She ended up getting her money, but it wasn't what she'd expected so she couldn't pay me back but she promised she would. Not long after that, she fell off of social media and her number stopped working. And, not long after that, I lost my apartment. It was really a nightmare. But I always wondered what happened to my old roomie Lucy. A part of me wanted to catch up with her and, of course, get my money!
Fast forward to the other day. Tasia told me that I needed to visit an adult site called LadyCheeky.com. She said it was a collection of pics and GIFs from Tumblr. "It's a porn site for women," she informed me. "The pictures aren't offensive." A porn site that wasn' offensive? This I had to see. Needless to say, what I saw as soon as I got to the site was a topless picture of Lucy sitting on a couch.
I had to have stared at the picture for ten minutes, confused. For one, I couldn't be sure if it was her. In reality, this girl looked like a prettier version of Lucy. If this was not Lucy, it was definitely her twin.
"Is this Lucy?" I asked my brother. He'd stayed with us for a summer before he went back to school.
He stared at the picture for about a minute before hesitantly saying, "I don't think so...no, that's not her. Lucy wasn't that proportionate."
Proportionate? I looked at the pic again, now about 10% more sure that this was her. Like this girl, Lucy had huge breasts and short brown hair. On top of that, once she'd told me that she had experimented with being a cam girl but she didn't make any money. Maybe nude modeling was the next step.
"Is this Lucy?" I asked our mutual friend, Sugar, over video chat. I put the picture on my phone up to my computer's camera.
"Mmmm, I don't know. She looks familiar, but I can't really remember what she looks like."
Ugh! I was kicking myself. How do you forget how someone who owes you a grand looks like?
"I think this is her," I told her. "Now that she is an adult star, she can pay me my $1000."
Sugar laughed. "You may get $40. I don't think pink nipples are in. Maybe next week. Not today." Then she said, "You can always put the pic in Google like they do on Catfish."
I had thought about that, but a part of me was scared to do that. My life hadn't been a fairytale since I lost my apartment, but I hadn't had to turn to porn! How sad!
The site I saw her on doesn't say who is in the picture, and it has been reposted so many times I have no idea how to find out who originally posted it. I just hope that she isn't being forced to take these pics and that she is being paid more than $1000.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Trudy: The Student Loan Post

I woke up to a missed call from my student loan people.
I guess they just wanted to let me know that my payment is due after coming out of yet ANOTHER deferment or I.O.U. or layaway or whatever the hell.
If I had one wish in the world, I would wish to be given a boatload of untaxable, no-strings-attached money. And the first thing I would do with that money is pay off my student loans.
And here is the sad part: my mother took out a whole bunch of Parent Plus Loans for my million dollar education, so what I owe really isn't that much compared to my friends. But what is a dollar owed in the mind of a homeless man who has nothing? Exactly.
If I could give my student loans a name, I would name them Trudy. In my mind, Trudy is this girl that wears clothes in weird patterns that did me a real solid back when I was 18: she loaned me thousands of dollars to get an education, little to no questions asked. She was content with my promise to pay her back.
Now that I am out of school, I run into Trudy about every three months, and man, do those three months fly by.
"Holly Clay, is that you?" she yells whenever she sees me. She knows it's me.
"Hey Trudy girl!" I always say, primarily because there is no use in running. She knows my phone number and where I live. Plus, she is actually pretty nice. She is just annoying and a constant reminder of my failures.
"So what's new?" Trudy asks genuinely.
"I don't have your money, I swear! And I know I have been saying I would pay you back for ten years, but I swear to God, I don't have it!" I scream.
And Trudy just smiles her understanding smile. "It's all good Holls. I get it, life happens. I'm going to give your three months to get your life together. Just fax me a letter that says you are broke, and we can talk in the spring."
Thankful, I cry on her shoulders for about five minutes before she hugs me goodbye, eager to make her Brazillian wax appointment.
This dance with Trudy has become maddening and exhausting. And sometimes, late at night while I brainstorm how to make a dollar out of fifteen cents, I fantasize about moving and changing my name without letting Trudy know. However, Trudy told me once when I jokingly told her this plan that if I ever tried to do something like that she would call her husband, Mr. TransUnion, and f*&k. up. my. life. I wouldn't have the credit to move into a tent city, forget my dreams of home ownership!
"One of the three little pigs wouldn't even build you a house," she whispered in my ear through clenched teeth.
I believe her.
Tomorrow I am going to be humble, sit down, and give Trudy a ring ding. I will do some of the moves I learned from my Yoga for Senior Citizens class to emotionally prepare. But really, what is the best way to emotionally prepare for having to negotiate time to pay back an outrageous amount of money? Exactly. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

For the Love of Drake

I don't know what the temperature was the other night where you live, but it was COLD in Atlanta. The real chill, however, came from being single and over 30 during a night when I should have been roasting chestnuts with a hottie.
So I did the unhealthy, emotionally draining thing that I do all the time when I am lonely: I went through my phone, eager to text one of my merry band of losers when I remembered: like an idiot, I had erased all their numbers! I blame Instagram, getting me all hyped up on that 'new year, new you' BS. More like BM! Who am I kidding? I am the same emotional, overwhelmed, confused person I am romanticly that I was when I was 13 in love with my gay boyfriend. There is no new me!
Disappointed, I laid back and put in my headbuds, prepared for Spotify to rock me to sleep. And somehow, someway, as I fell deeper into the playlist hole, I ended up fully engaged in an endless stream of Drake. In the story of our love, I will pinpoint this as the beginning of our romance.
I have always been aware of Drake, like I have always been aware of table corners and broken glass. He was on my radar briefly when he said "BBW" in a song, but then away he went again. I found him to be very whiney, and I was freaked out when he did that exhausting love speech to Rihanna at that award show.
But listening to his music, late and alone, during the longest wintry night in the A, I felt like I'd known him forever. All these years, from So Far Gone to More Life, he has been bellyaching about the same things I have here: unrequited love, love lost, crushes, crushes gone bad, friend issues, absent dads, etc. It's like he has been reading my journal or something!
"I think that Drake is my soulmate," I told Gia Tortilla during one of our hours-long talks about nothing. I then explained to her why I felt this way.
"Maybe he would be a good boyfriend for me too!" she exclaimed.
Sigh. That's what I get for introducing my new man to my hot, old friend too soon.