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Bats*$t Crazy!

I reached into the bottom cabinet to hide some reduced fat Oreos from myself  (I’ve been “dieting.”) I looked to my right while putting away some other items and literally fell on my ass in fear. There seemed to be something unfamiliar in the darkness. Thinking a strange assailant was in my home, I jump up to my feet in a right lead  fighting stance.  

Why isn’t the invader moving? 

I quickly realized it was an overflowing laundry bag that never made it to the trunk of my car. Accepting the fact that I am going completely bats*$t crazy I decided to grab a snack, a blanket and hit the Netflix on my Roku.

More importantly I knew it was time to write and let out some of these voices in my head.

Time seems to be doing some sinister things. I am turning 30 in less than a month. Although I am really proud of some of my accomplishments I have to admit I am light years away from where I would like to be. I say light years because it relates to distance not time. In some instances, I think success has to do with distance as opposed to time. It is distance not time between your cubicle and an actual  office.  I say that because it is my belief that whatever boundaries have been placed before you can be demolished with strategy.
More important than strategy is the health of your heart and mind while you exercise the patience and FORTITUDE to actually make it!

When I was in school a good friend of mine took the clock out of her dorm room and put away her watches. I dont remember how long this lasted but I remember asking about it. At the time she was in a strenuous Health Science program. To my knowledge she was doing really well in school. She simply looked up at me and said, ” I am tired of time. I am sick of always racing the clock. I am on strike.” Now…

…obviously we know the old adage “time waits for no man” but this personal revolution made my friend feel better. I completely understand.

I was on the parkway the other night coming home from work.

POP!!!

RIPPLE RIPPLE RIPPLE

“Oh man, who’s car is that? That sounds terrible.”

As the cars sped past me I learned the depressing truth.

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My sad deflated tire.

It was my car.

It was 1am.

There was no way I was waiting for AAA so I drove 10-15 miles an hour all the way home. I noticed stores I have never seen before. I was more cautious. I was more focused. I was literally forced to slow down.

Have you ever had a loved one in the hospital?  Every moment you can hold their hand is a blessing. You hang on every update from the medical staff. Uncertainty has a way of making time not only stand still but lay down in a fetal position.

My favorite time of day is late at night (right about now) when everything is quiet. There are no deadlines and appointments to keep. It is just me, a blanket and my words. Like the guys you see walking down the street or in the subway just rapping to themselves out loud. You grab your purse tighter and you think,  ” He’s bats*$t crazy!”

Maybe it’s you with all your schedules to keep, trying to race time…

…fighting laundry bags…

…maybe you’re the crazy one or just human.

By:Shaun Nickens

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I feel you

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There I was in Old Navy and a woman was on line completely embarrassed. Her toddler was having a crisis about a Spiderman toy conveniently placed on the end cap near the registers.  As a former retail slave I can appreciate how the strategic placement of add-on/upsell items can help your total sales for the day. However, it’s a parent’s worst nightmare! This kid was rolling all over the floor, he was emitting blood curdling screams,  and he was bright red. Dear distressed mom…I feel you. 

I used to hate people who parked their cars all the way in the back of a corporate parking lot.  It’s indirectly arrogant.  First, you’re implying your car is way too nice to be parked next to my Kia. Second,  why aren’t you trying to park closest to the entrance like the rest of us? Are you in need of additional exercise?  Are you not running late like I am? Now I kind of feel like I want to be segregated from the mundane reality of parking in my appointed stable! I want to come to work early so I can afford those few minutes to walk from the car in the back of the lot to the entrance door. So Mr Mercedes Benz… I feel you.  
Did you know that negativity is contagious? It might be time to realize that although you Clorox wipe your car interior, office and you hand sanitize after touching the gas pump, you still have to build an immunity to other things. Your mental health is important!  Your attitude determines your potential. Have you noticed the villain in almost every film is trying to steal “super powers”? Don’t give away your God given power. You are loving.. you are good…you are selfless and you are powerful!  Once you let someone else influence your good intentions,  you sacrifice your power. What does power give you? Strength.  Without strength you are weak. When your immune system is weak what can happen?  Dear Paranoia…I feel you.

I squeeze my toothpaste from the bottom of the tube. I didn’t always do that. It aesthetically looks better but that isn’t why I do it. It reminds me to get everything I can out of my resources and tools (i.e: education, employment etc.) I dry clean valuables.  A lot of things are about presentation. What is toothpaste for? Preserving your smile, your brand, and your health. Dear Colgate…I feel you.

We grow and change every day and that’s okay. Embrace who you are becoming and allow others to slowly have the time to adapt to the new you. Pray for those you can’t reach with words and hope that you can affect them through action or example.

Is there something you used to hate that you can now relate to? I’d love your feedback.  Leave a comment or tweet me @shutyamouthnow.

By:SMN

Represent! {From the Heart of a Disturbed Colored Girl}

I wasn’t going to say anything.  I wasn’t going to write one word. I have family I love and respect who are retired law enforcement.  I know good men and women who don’t abuse their badges.

This post is not about them.

This post is being written because I drove home from work in tears today.  Overwhelmed because I have colored male friends,  black god brothers, a Hispanic significant other,  An African-American step-father, an Afro-American father. I have a few Negro uncles. I don’t know when the day will come that they will be deemed Niggers and shot down in cold blood.

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I don’t know when someone will decide their lives are worthless and even when they are breathlessly saying, “I can’t breathe. ” No one will take the noose…I mean illegal choke hold off of their throats and let them go home to their six children. 

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I don’t know when we get to stop being the victims of real life screenplays.

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-RIP Mike Brown age 17-

I don’t know when the scab of fear, prejudice and hatred will finally peel off without staining our history with the crimson blood of our children.  I don’t know why they don’t have to come up with excuses or lies anymore.  No more wallets that look like guns. No more self defense pleas or over-zealous neighborhood watch.

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No more …

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…husband-less wives who are widows before they are brides.

I fear for our children who are too busy working on their twerking to focus on freedom.  Freedom from generational racism and shackles of cultural cynicism.  When I was young, my parents would say, “Represent!” They would say it when I’d leave the house for school.  They would say it before a demonstration in my karate class. They would say it before I would read scripture in church.  They would constantly remind me that I am a direct reflection of my family, my upbringing and my ancestry as a whole. I was representing my generation. I was representing women.  I was representing my culture.  None of the victims pictured above were perfect and I definitely don’t claim to be. Everyone makes mistakes.

I ask how you are representing those who are still giving their lives for you not to be considered an animal???

This has everything to do with color, ethnicity and generational prejudice. There are people who don’t see any race but the human race. There are also people who pass bigotry down the genetic chain like money in a will or a piece of old china. 

There is no decision but to represent.  Pray for those who have lost their lives and act so that they haven’t done so in vain.

-By: Shaun M. N.

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Sources:
*www.nydailynews.com
*www.planetill.com
* http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5665305
* http://www3.alibris-static.com/cover/v44147e43zu.jpg
* http://blogs.bet.com/music/soundOff/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/chaz-shepherd.jpg
* http://www.policestateusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/eric-garner-4.jpg
* http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/07/18/article-2368211-1AD7124B000005DC-905_306x423.jpg
* http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1050184!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_970/sean-bell-cover.jpg

Double Negative

Not never will I forget what it feels like to be alone
To be forgotten
To feel small
To be an option

Not never will I forget when I had nothing
Not a dollar
Not an eighth of gasoline
Not a bite to eat

Not never will I forget feeling unloved and unnatural
Feeling afraid
Seeing a 20 year marriage fail
And seeing what it does to the human heart

Not never will I forget the sound of death
And the whisper of promise of a new life
And the lesson of Gods plan and His “mysterious ways.”

Not never will I ever compare myself again
Because I know my resilience is unmatched
I know my strength is unparalleled

I am a wishing well of hope and I am open to pennies of prayers being planted in my optimism.

Never will I ever give up
Or sit down
Or back away
Deterrents are my comic relief

Not never will I forget I am a fighter
My flaws are grotesquely beautiful

My courage is my camouflage

Can I fail?
Yes
And I don’t care.
And I don’t care if you laugh
Or if you say you told me so
Or if you call me naive

Not never will I have not one regret. 

I am here
And with every intentional breath
My purpose grows

And you better never forget that.

By:Shaun Nickens

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Smelly Feet [Cold Sweat Series]

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I awake from my 3rd dream only to see 2 eyes gazing at me intently. 

Oh no! What was he looking at? Was he noticing my unruly nighttime hair?  Was I drooling?  Was I babbling in my slumber? Was he a victim of my flatulence? 

Oh shit! Did I snore?  Maybe I kicked him? Did I steal the covers?  Maybe something I said during the day offended him and left him restless in his sleep? 

Did I weep from my haunting nightmares? Did I sweat and lose my womanly dainty air of predisposed perfection?
Did crust form in my eye? Should I have slept in make-up to hide all my imperfections? 

Did I laugh and give away my hopes and dreams for the future? Did I scream and allude to my fears? Have I lost my allure?

What is he looking at?!

He quickly apologizes for startling me. He says he wishes he knew what I dreamt about so he could make them come true. He says he likes my messy hair and all my other unfiltered accessories.   He holds my hand and thanks me for being in his life. Then he kicks his smelly socks off, puts on the t-shirt with the hole in the armpit,  the boxers with the bleach stain,  and curls up next to me. He closes his eyes…

…when he opens them again,  they meet mine.

Oh shit! What is she looking at?

By:SMN

What’s Your Karaoke Song?

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You enter the small room. There’s a phone on the wall to call the bar and grill if you need some more “liquid courage. ” The room is dimly lit. There is a large screen,  seating and binders on the table with thousands of song choices.  What song are you looking for?

My two go to choices are always:

Hotel California by The Eagles
” Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said “We are all just prisoners here, of our own device”
And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast”

And 911 by Wyclef Jean feat Mary J

[Mary J. Blige]
“So cold
Sometimes I feel like I’m a prisoner
I think I’m trapped here for a while
(but I’m always right here with you girl)
And every breath I fight to take
Is as hard as these four walls I wanna break
I told the cops you wasn’t here tonight
Messin’ around with me is gonna get you life
Oh yeah, yeah
But everytime I look into your eyes
Then it’s worth the sacrifice”

I sing those songs at the top of my lungs including all the riffs and ad libs! I sing them and I’m reminded of my first Karaoke machine (a gift from Santa.) I would record songs straight from the radio on blank tapes. If you weren’t careful you would record the commercials by accident.  So I would stand attentively next to the karaoke machine and hit stop just before the disk jockey would announce the song that just played.

My dad used to blast Hotel California from the basement.  I couldn’t appreciate the lyrics when I was younger.   As an adult I recognize how truly creative they really are. They tell a great story. You envision a place so beautiful becoming a prison,  a place you can’t escape from.  The contrast is the fact that in between the lyrical stanzas are beautiful instrumental solos playing so freely.   You can hear the liberation.  I envied the talent and had to just be complacent in my air playing on my electric hairbrush.

Someone wise once defined love this way: “Love is insanity.” Music often encapsulates that sentiment.  So many songs.  So much expression.  So many emotions. So many other undefined anomalies. So many antithetical ideas placed carefully on the music staff.  What’s your song? What plays on the “old school at noon” that makes you throw your hand in the air? What are you vigorously looking for in those binders?  Share with me in the comments.

~SMN