Jack In The Box-Smalll excerpt from Auto-Biography

I stared ahead to stop myself from staring too hard.
This man, looked to be in his late 80’s, walker and all-
just sat there eating his sandwich from Jack in the box,
looking hollow and pained. I wasn’t sure if he was homeless
or not, his aura spoke of someone who was alone, I felt
like I was violating his space when looking in his direction,
something about someone eating seemed so intimate to me,
though that didn’t stop me from wondering if this was his first or
last meal of the day.

I waited for my number to be called. I looked up at the “Jack in the Box” sign.
it reminded me of a time where my meals were limited, living in motel rooms
and scrounging up change to get something off of the dollar menu from Jack in the Box.
Heavy memories came rushing through me. It was about 2 a.m, not sure what day it was,
but I know that I was just released from jail. Somebody was on their way to get me,
wasn’t sure who, but whoever it was…they had to buy me the Bacon cheeseburger
at jack in the box. I thought about that thing the entire time I was in jail (about 36
hours) I see a mini-van pull up, a red one. It’s my aunt Stacy. She rolled down her window
and screamed out my name “Kimberly Renae!” I laughed out loud. She was drunk. I suppose
I should have felt afraid or upset to see my intoxicated aunt pulling up to drive me away from
the jail drop off location, but I wasn’t. She was a pilfered individual, lost in a sea of dysfunction and
struggle, much like myself. People like that gravitate to one another, so I understood her. She was
hungry for the pain of failure to go away. I got that. I was hungry too.

I felt like a martyr when I got into the car. “You are a gangsta, kid!” one of her friends says. “I
can’t believe you got locked up! Were you scared?” says another. I shake my head no. I wasn’t scared.
I was starving. “Can you guys take me to Jack in the box by the house?” I open up
my bag holding my items from when I was arrested, still had the same $5.00 from yesterday.
At least I have something.

When we eventually got back to the house, my mom was there, my brother, cousins. They all
sat and looked at me. They were all so curious how the smart and structured Kim had wound
up in a cell, wanted to know what kind of people I met in there, if they tried to hurt me. Who I’d met. “Prostitutes” I said. Told them that a lot I’d met were there because of a man. Domestic violence, selling their bodies, drug charges. They were amused, I was ashamed. I had gone in there a poor yet intelligent girl, and came out a poor yet intelligent girl with an arrest record. I walked upstairs and sat on my cousins’ floor, took my food out of the bag, and started to eat.

I was about 2 bites in before I slowed down. I looked at my food with tears in my eyes. I was breaking down. At that moment, I realized that I was at my lowest of lows. Don’t know if I can
put it into words that will express it, it just feels…empty, yet at the same time like my body was filled
with cotton balls. Each bite after that felt like I was choking it down. Choking down my reality…it was difficult to swallow.

Years beyond years have passed, yet this memory is still very vivid. Weird, I know…but watching this elderly man slowly eating his food reminds me of myself. I wonder what his memories are, what he thinks about as he is eating, if he is still that struggling person that I used to be (and sometimes still am.)
They call my number, and I go to get my order.

Jack In The Box…If you only knew.

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Your Friendly Neighborhood Lesbian: A Few Thoughts

I remember it as if it were yesterday.
She was staring at me. A lot shorter than I, dark skinned and very pretty.
I had been standing there talking to this guy, we’d seen each other several times before
since we both frequented this bar often, every Friday to be exact.
The questions were always the same. How was I doing? What have I been up to?…did I want to go out to lunch, dinner, to see a movie. I always acknowledged their invititaion with a smile,  a distant laugh, maybe even a “yeah, just text me.” He was probably thinking that I was full of shit.
 
I was.
 
I knew that this woman was staring at me, but it wasn’t in a threatening or judgmental way. She seemed
like she wanted to ask me something. I turned around and gave her eye contact. She smiled. So did I.
I guess that was the invitation she needed to walk over. “Hi, do you talk to women?” She asked me. I looked
down at her (literally, she was like 5 ft tall to my 5’11” stature). “No…no I don’t.” Nervous laughter coming from me.
She responds, “Oh okay, I think you are beautiful. Have a nice night.” and walks away. I didn’t know why, but
something inside of me felt guilty, like I had lied to her. I turned around and looked to see the guy still standing
there. He continued his conversation, but I was no longer listening. I just analyzed what had happened minutes prior.
Why did I feel guilty for telling that woman that I was straight, when I had never been in a romantic relationship
with a woman in my previous days?
Did I do it because that guy was standing there?  Why did I feel so uncomfortable with the fact that she’d asked me that?
Like I was violated, exposed?  I tried to shake the feeling.
“It was just a compliment Kym, chill!” I tried. But I couldn’t. I thought about her all night, and many other times
to follow.
 
She had opened up a thought process that laid dormant inside me before. This night, almost 7 years ago, changed
me and showed a mirrored perspective of self that is in front of me today. My closet had been shaken up, where before, my sexuality
was very much smothered below many other things hidden. My past, my thoughts, my unhappiness. You always hear
about people “knowing” something this important about themselves early on. Not the case for me. This reality pill
was served with no influence or background of what my life was going to be like.  It was and STILL is a hard pill
to swallow.
 
Fast forward to 2014, and here I am. 28 years old and a lesbian. What? How did this happen?! This makes me “different”, “sexualized” by straight men and the like, a minority below all minorities. You will find a KKK and a Black man who will simultaneously say that they hate the gays, from Australia to Zimbabwe, we deal with the hate..in many, many ways.
 
Believe it or not though, that is not my biggest concern with this life that I live. As a Black woman, I am no stranger to bigotry, to judgment. I’ve read it on faces, seen it on my TV screen, and even experienced it in my workplace. My past has allowed me the power of tough skin. Don’t really care if you hate me; just make sure that you do it from over there. My biggest issue with this life that I live…is the life that I live. I’ve been around for a few years now, I’ve made my mistakes, and I’ve been that childish and sometimey young adult that you have in both the heterosexual and homosexual lifestyle. It is fun. It is emotional. It is all about pleasure to ones heart, one’s body…one’s soul…right?
 
That’s the problem. I don’t know. In my experience with the Black Lesbian scene, Relationships are intense; the friendships can be plenty, as you meet many who share a commonality with you. That was everything to me when I first “came out”. I wanted to befriend everyone, go to all of the parties, and meet as many women as possible. It seemed to come in abundance, there was always something to do, somewhere to go, someone to meet. Long as you were available, it was there. Every.single.day. Over time, it became familiar. I knew all the faces, I’ve met plenty of girls, and I’ve done a lot of things, until all of it became my life. I figured out that my friendships were built on something so fragile, that it could be broken in mille-seconds, and all that would happen is that you would replace them with new face to the lifestyle, someone you were lucky enough to not have met before. A new friend from out of town, a new girl that none of your friends had slept with, all new until they spend a little time on the scene, then they’d be done forever too. I question, can a real relationship be established in a place that is like a whirlpool? No one likes one another, yet here they are…out at the bar every week, hugging, and taking shots. Your girlfriend will use an old friend of yours against you (a friend that has previously hit on your girlfriend while you were dating), to make you jealous. When you break up (and you most likely will), she will then date said friend…the lines are non-existent. When will we know what’s real and what isn’t? Trying to figure it out is exhausting. So here I am, 2014- wondering, can I be a lesbian and live a life outside of this dysfunctional and cliché norm? Can my friendships be built on something larger than our sexuality? Can my relationships be stronger than it being the lesbian emotion cesspool that it is, where we can be open, happy, undefined by our body parts, and simply humans who have chosen one another? I don’t know..I am hoping so.
 
I also hope that this is only my experience. But, if it isn’t—I am hoping we can all take responsibility. Be better friends, better lovers. That was what I’d like to do.

The Power and Persuasion Of Sex

 

Sex is a universal language. A highly emotional action. A human commonality, yet for most of us- can have different meanings and factors. Sex is art. It can be misleading, even painful. Sex for some is like the first love that never goes away, or on a darker note, can bring back reminiscence of that bad experience you had as a child or that relationship where sex was used as a weapon of mental or even physical destruction.

A very brief conversation with a certain someone made me think about what sex translated to be for me. Why I wanted it, why I wanted it from them. Inside of my head, my message is passion. I expect my touch to say “I want you..”, for my eyes to say “I want to kiss you..” but from the conversation we had it seems that my message is actually cheapened with sexual innuendos and disrespectful banter that causes my lover to see me as a pseudo male figure who objectifies them for my pleasure.

Sex for me is like my writing. It speaks the words that I sometimes have to stifle, because I don’t want to be too intense. It is how I show my interest, my affection, my care. It isn’t the ONLY way, of course. But it is the most physical way. However, it wasn’t always been that way. In the past, I’ve used it as a tool to gain power over someone. In my way of life, being with women is very emotional. Women pay attention to the things that truly matter, and that is where love grows. Someone who knows that can definitely take advantage of it, and I have. Looking back at it, I think it shows a sign of me being weak. At my weakest point. I was simply an empty person trying to fill a void that not even another warm human body to fill. Seeking someone special to be placed into my life, so I could see them for MORE than just sex, more than just someone that I could hook into my life, and then throw back in the water of once I am finished with them.

I don’t know if that’s what I have yet. I am hoping so. I guess I’ll be able to tell when my lover wants to touch me as much as I want to do them. When sex for them becomes more than a question…it will become more like magic.

Worth- Donna/Raw writing, Part one of ten

Donna

The lights were dimmed.
We laid like straightened arrows in my bed,
me, alert and analytical.
My current bed partner, Landis, laid still with eyes closed and thoughts private.
For the past hour, we had committed an act of lovers. I kissed him like I could trust him, he caressed me like he needed me. We were passionate in ways only those who knew each other forever could be, yet I’ve only known him a short period of time. A few weeks, which to both of us felt like an eternity. I believed that he was the one I’d been calling on, that he was the one that all the other ones weren’t. I wanted to roll over and tell him that I loved him, because I was so full of it- but I knew that it would scare him off, So I decided to just look up at the roof of my bedroom and fantasize, maintaining to remain hopeful that someday he would be the one to calmly palm the chaos in my heart. Show me that I am worthy, more than just a fling in the sack for those who are on idle time. I tried to remain still, because I felt that if I moved he would remember where he was, here with me and not at home with his wife. The thought caused a temporary twinge in my chest. He’s married. Yes, I know. But I knew from the moment I spotted him reading the newspaper outside of our work building that he was the one I needed to focus on getting, and now he was finally here in my bedroom. “What time is it?” He whispered into the air. With each passing minute, it was clear that although the room was warm his body language was becoming more cold. I reached over and grabbed my iphone from my nightstand. “Its 12:16.” I turned the phone around to show him the time, and also catch a glimpse of his face in the light of my screen. Before I could get a good look, he swiftly jumped up and walked over to the accent chair where our clothing laid intertwined in passion. “Shit. Where is my phone?” He rummaged through his jeans and grabbed his black iphone out of the back pocket. “Damnit. My wife has called like 10 times.” His voice was in a quiet panic, like if he talks too loud she would hear him. “Why don’t you call her up and tell her that your with the fellas? You said before that you don’t usually get out.” I offered, but he doesn’t respond. He instead throws on his pants, sans underwear, followed by his socks and shoes and sat down at the edge of my bed. “I need you to know something Donna.” his gaze stayed away from my direction, that told me that the words I was going to hear were going to be ones I didn’t want to. “My situation is complicated. Right now, I just need someone who can provide me with the freedom that my marriage has not provided me. I need you to be understanding when she isn’t…I need my situation with you to NOT be complicated. Do you understand?” He then looks my way. I understand what he was telling me very well. He was asking me to be a shell of a woman for him, to console his heart and please his body when he needed it, selfishly, he wanted me to rid all of my expectations and live vicariously through the ideals of a pseudo monogamous relationship with him, holding on to the hope that one day it will be me that he would learn to love and put first. The situation he was asking of me, was one that only a mistress would and could accept. “Yes, I understand. I can do that for you.” I felt stupid after I said it, but the truth was..I could do that for him. Right now in my life I was hungry for whatever the universe was willing to give, and if that meant I had to have a limited relationship then that’s just what has to happen. I watched him as he stood and prepared to leave, it now being 19 minutes after midnight. “Thank you for the great dinner. Maybe we can meet sometime this weekend?” I offered, trying to maintain some sort of power. “I’ll email you in the next few days and let you know.” He came over to my side of the bed, leaned over and kissed me passionately, utilizing the beautiful and full lips that he was blessed with. Naturally I began to lay myself down in hopes that he would follow me, and as I realized his was he climbed back on top of me and broke away from our kiss, he offered no more words, just the warmth of his mouth on my earlobe, the warmth of his mouth on my neck. I tilted my head upward, because I wanted him to moisten every last inch of this erogenous zone, I wanted him to leave me with a feeling that would stay with me longer after he was gone. “I better get going..” He looked me into my eyes just as he did the day we met. Something about him was very dark, a mystery. We said our goodbyes and he left my room. I closed my eyes to go to sleep, but I couldn’t. I didn’t all night.

I thought about the times I laid in bed with those who were practically strangers. Thought about how we had just committed an act of love, mixing what was supposed to be an act of trust and compassion. At the end of each and every session, I wondered if what we had just practiced was indeed truth. I’d always have the desire to ask, “Can I trust you?”, but my smarter side always knew the answer. I suppose that we are all built with the common sense of worth. We are worthy of love, we are worthy of respect. But each time we are dealt with the cards of heartbreak we become like wounded children, that was me. A wounded child in the body of a 33 year pharmaceutical sales VP. A woman of power, I had the opportunity to take down dozens of people who crossed me, my power of persuasion in my professional life was ruthless, but a recent conversation with Landis proved to me that romantically, I didn’t know what I was doing…

I Can Help You Get A Job!

So…everyone in my family knows that I am the queen of getting jobs (the rare times when I don’t have one). It is because I have come up with a flawless system that has worked for me for a few years now. I thought I would share my tips with you guys. 😀

1. Find out what market you would like your job to be in. I usually focus on my three core positive traits (personality/customer service skills, business sense, ability to sell myself/products). I would apply for jobs that would be sales with a great commission/incentive package…(like what I do now in furniture rental sales)
2. Make sure that you have two or three SOLID resumes. No mistakes. Make sure that you make yourself sound like the (realistic) superstar…even if you were a cashier at walmart. Upsell yourself! You are looking to buy the time for an interview..your resume is your first FIRST impression. I say two or three because you want a resume that represents the JOB you are APPLYING for! If you are looking into working in an office, do not send them a resume that talks about you working at an amusement park. Most likely that want some form of experience…you need to put emphasis on that.
3. This is my own personal thing…and it may vary for some people..but I don’t apply for jobs that pay less than $15.00 per hour. That is because i’ve made at least that and I feel I am worth more (no uppity younger generation thing with me, its just that I strive and treat every business I work with as if it were my own…I would like to be paid for that) and I know that if someone is contacting me for a position, I know they meet my pay expectations from jump.
4. KNOW WHEN TO APPLY FOR WORK. I would get up at 7 or 8 am, every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and blast my resume. “Blasting” means I would write down the email addresses/open up outlook message drafts for at least 20 companies I found via craigslist/monster/or careerbuilders and I would send them ALL a PERSONAL email message, a long with my cover letter, resume, and letter of recommendation. Do this earlier in the week, and focus on the dates of the job posting because you want to make sure your email is seen. I used to be an office manager and would get HUNDREDS of resumes sent to me every few days. I literally scanned through the email body before I thought to open the attachments. Make yourself interesting in that email body.
5. Make sure your email address is professional! Do not send from swagouttathisworld@gmail.com. Come on. That most likely disregards you right there.
6. BE PERSISTENT. It takes time to find a job that works for you, but you can. Just have to make sure you don’t give up because you may have a slow day.
7. If you follow the steps above, I GUARENTEE YOU that you will get calls for interviews. Once you do, then remain calm, confident, and open. Don’t just assume that the job is good for you. ITS A BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP. Go into the interview and listen to what they say…make sure you write down a question or two, and DEFINITELY do research on the company…I got ALL of my positions (including the one im in now) just by knowing a little about the company during the first interview. (Also, make sure you take a copy of your cover/resume on NICE paper..)
8. Good luck guys, I know how hard it is out there…and I’d like to see us all growing, learning, and doing better. Every person that i’ve helped to get a job…got the job. So..If you need a lil help with your resume then let me know…I’m known for putting good resumes together.

Ten Things That I’ve Learned From My Friends

Have you ever looked at your friends and thought “o_______O, why the HELL am I so close to these people?”.

They are the friends that you don’t understand but can’t picture your life without. They are the ones you have those uncomfortable conversations with that you can’t even fathom sharing with your family members. My circle of friends is very small, literally consists of a few people and they have been around for a very long time. Yes, they get on my nerves. Almost to the point that I would want to strangle them! But…I can’t see myself not having them around. After a night of performing drunk and disorderly acts, I thought I would dedicate one of my daily blog entries to the things they have taught me. Through their mistakes, their advice, the fights, cries, and laughs, you can count on them to pass on a lesson or two, whether you pick up on it immediately or not.

Accept others for who they are.

Me and my friends are about as similar as a dog and a catfish. From relationship views, home life, goals, ideals, political views, and even the idea of sexuality. Each one of them has a very different view on each of those topics, and that is why I love them. Even when I can’t and don’t understand why and how they do things, I accept and love them anyway because I am sure they feel the same way about me. I’ve grown to take each opinion and lifestyle that is shared with me with a grain on salt.

Appreciate the ones who prove they are true to themselves and YOU

They may not always be what you would want to be, but they are who they are. Every year we interact with hundreds of people, sometimes thousands, and its pretty obviously that people are not going to display their true selves. But when you have a friendship with someone for several years and they have consistently been who they are, then you can appreciate the honesty that is shared.

Wrap it UP!

I love my friends kids, but man has she taught me that I make a much better aunt than I do a mommy (right now anyway). At times I wish that we could all just buy a plane ticket and fly to the Bahamas together, all single bachelorettes with no kiddie baggage to tote around the airport in hopes that they would go to sleep. But the reality is…that’s not going to happen. So I can definitely say that I have been taught about wrapping it up when I get down! No kids for me! haha!

Don’t Get Too Involved In Your Friends’ Love Lives

As much as you would like to save them from the big scary emotional monster called love, you simply can’t. In the past, I would get so wrapped up and almost insulted and hurt whenever I felt I was offering my friends the answer to their relationship woes and they were nodded to but ignored. But I have found that women react better with the same approach that men have been giving for ages. Don’t talk, just listen, and agree. When my friends are telling me about their relationships, they are not asking me for answers, they are asking me to listen. I have heard them

Live A Little.

It is easy to get stuck and stressed by all of the responsibilities of being an adult. So many bills to pay, so many moves to make, so many expectations. But a few of my friends live a life that is carefree and positive. I want that to rub off on me, so I am going to live a little bit more.

Keep your crew small and tight

There is nothing like having a lot of friends, so I thought! I’ve learned that having a bunch of friends proves to be messy, emotionally consuming, hard to maintain, and leaves room for lingering relationships that may do more harm than good. Keep your crew tight. Even one true friend beats out 10 that don’t have your best interest at heart.

Be involved in a COM- Circle Of Motivation

Can you imagine the power that would ensue if you had a group of people around you that were *motivated*? I have had friends that were just slowly moving through life with no real aspirations, and although I know it isn’t my life they are wasting, there is no comparison to having friends that are all making moves. Success should run in pacts. If you have a friend that is just floating through life, do what you can to push them up to be better…if being better is not their goal, then perhaps its time you focus on those who have the similarity of completing goals. Who knows, you moving up just might motivate them.

Yet…

Be Open to different people/things

You would think that having exact characteristics as the people around you would make for a perfect friendship. But honestly, I find that having friends who have different lifestyles or cultural backgrounds is both educating and interesting. I’ve experienced different foods, languages, religions, and beliefs, just from hanging out with people who didn’t grow up in the same background. I think that’s great! I don’t see how someone could be prejudice in a world that offers so many beautiful things! You can experience that face to face with who you befriend.

Don’t Be Too Proud

Often times, we believe that we are right in situations and are too stubborn to make the first move to fix things. If you know you have a good person in your life then don’t wait too long to resurrect your friendship. I’ve walked away from a couple of situations with regret, and I have had people walk away from me with no intent to rectify the situation. I’ve learned that I should put my pride aside and apologize when needed. Sometimes we have to agree to disagree and focus on the bigger picture.

But…

Be Yourself!

The only friends that I would walk away from-and not look back- are the ones that spend more time discussing what parts of me that they do not agree with more than discussing their appreciation of me as a person in their lives. If they are against a part of who you are, and make it blatantly obvious that they do not respect you or your lifestyle, then perhaps they should not be in your life. That is just my personal opinion. But I will always and forever be myself, and no one else. If they can’t deal, they gotta go! A true friendship is when you are free to be yourself without any judgement. That shows a true to blue homie right there.

Okay, that’s all. Hope this helps you appreciate the good message you get from your crew everyday.

Cheers!