I am copasetic. Yesterday I hung with my girlfriend and her two younger boys, which is always a thrill. There is an obvious connection being established between the three of us and while I never have taken the relationship between me and someone’s children for granted, I will say that I have a greater appreciation for the opportunity at this point and time of my life. Though I have never “felt” anything about reaching a milestone age (you know, turning 18, 21, 30 and 40 were just numbers to me… f*ck ‘em if they can’t take a joke), with turning 45 and possibly getting another chance to be a shaper of a young mind is feels really special. I relish the opportunity.
School is cool. I am part of a program for low-income folks who are seeking a college education called Trio here at Metro and I am excited about that. My classes are cool, philosophy and college algebra, and they meet on just two days, with Thursday’s being my long day, as the philosophy class goes from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Everything seems to be move apace, and I am glad. There is a reason for this, and it is why I was struck by the unsaid, “and like other African-American men, what have you brought to the table,” comment that was left on my rant.
One of the things that vexed me about it was the familiarity that I assumed was there. Some readers I really feel a strong connection to for various reasons. The same was true of this person, and I thought they we were not just “e-friends” but that our relationship would translate into the analog world from the digital.
Second, since she brought it up, the idea that a brother like me is similar to the brothers that were spoken of… well I have never made a case for what I am not, because I should not have to. I know what I am. Things that I could say to counter-argue with still ring hollow, so why bother with them BUT, I still know in my heart that I am in a different strata than those she attempted to compare me with. For instance, the only time in my adult life that was spent unemployed was when my injury first began to complicate my life. This resulted in the accumulated arrearages that I should be free of this year regarding my child support. In other words, I have always paid my child support, as well as “showing up” for birthdays, X-Mas, and whatever special needs that my child made of me regarding material things.
Third, the support amount required by for my eldest daughter has always been an onerous amount, due to her Mother gaming the system. For a long time she was a successful enough beautician. But she could fabricate her income and that would result in my paying a bit more than perhaps I should have. No worries, the child support system does offer hearings and such, and though I would file for them it always seemed that they were at least one, if not two, steps behind.
Before I left Detroit for Virginia, there was a hearing to “stem the bleeding” if you will, regarding the support that was being taken from my disability. My starter wife was irate, for no real reason; as we had sat in the lobby and spoke about the relationship between me and Skye, as well as what we could do to see if we can begin to repair it. When we got into the hearing, she went all angry batsh*t ghetto sister girl, and the result was that the Judge officiating the hearing would lower the amount I owed more than what I had requested. She said that after my starter wife’s ranting admission of moneys that she had received from me that with my current circumstance, it would be appropriate to have me pay less in support. I was like, “Cool”. It was not everything I wanted from the hearing but I could deal with it.
WELL… WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU MEAN..?
When it has come to details involving my relationships I believe that I have been vague enough without divulging anything specific. Other than anyone having an idea of “what goes down in the underground” (which is why you better be sure you want to introduce your single girlfriend or family member to me!!) with me and “whomever”, I have not really shared what I saw and felt with anyone with any great depth or intent. But when it comes to my starter wife, I struggle to maintain the level of confidentiality with that I have previously maintained.
Part of why I went to the service was that I could see the writing on the wall for me in the 48219. There is a scene in the movie “The Brothers” where Bill Bellamy confronts his Mother on being able to let go of her bitterness towards African-American men, including her own son’s. He asks when the last time she gave him a hug was and could she manage to give him one now. She could not do it.
Many times when people identify with a scene in the media that they feel portrays a perspective that is familiar with them, even if it is an unfortunate circumstance, they look at the portrayal with their sympathies aligned with their core loyalties. And this is even more so when the perspective is one with much of the societal perspective behind it. Sure, quit demonizing this and let’s be more sensitive to that. And with that, you get a simplified one-stop drop bag for non-custodial Father’s being villains and the long-suffering single Mother’s being on the vanguard of underappreciated heroes of America. Okay, whatever.
I have never tried to play myself as “this” OR “that” in my situation with my three daughters. I have always made a decision and did what I could to see it out. But, as with other important plans in my relationships and in my life, whenever I have had reason to believe I was in a partnership with another, things have gone awry. Now you know why I was not trying to get into a relationship after I left Mookie Dee and I will talk about how I came to have a new girlfriend (hell, it has been 4 ½ years without one, accounting for the time spent in the Metroplex with my SFC).
But before I do that, I am going to set myself up as an “unblemished” knight-errant when I met my starter wife. Young, handsome, confident on the edge of cockiness (not like I have ever NOT been so, but coming home an Air Assault soldier is going to make your sack weigh a little more from what it contains!), with a future as bright as Arcturus, all I had to do is continue on the path I was on.
My starter wife was “off on some other stuff”. She held a dim view of a lot of things, but her look on her prospects for marriage was the one that I undervalued. Already a single Mom, she did not think she would ever get married and that “all men are dogs and a dog is what a man is”. There were a other signs that she was NOT the one, but I felt that all she needed was to see that “all brothers are not like that” and that she deserved to be happy and in love. Guess I was hopped up on too much caffeine because after an incredibly uneven courtship (if you want to call it that), I still married her. WRONG MOVE!!
But here is the thing that I believe made it the wrong move. See, a cat like Mark (who believes he is going to get his ANYWAY…) was untroubled about finding someone… I had a boxing career to look forward to. Oh, and using up the G.I. bill on going to school, which I already was. Had TWO boomin’ rides and was chillaxing my way through life. And the reason that I go through life seemingly relaxed is the same reason that a duck looks calm when it floats on the lake… the hard work that needs to get done WILL GET DONE, so I can afford to be easy. That is why I personally detest whining, not that maybe it is okay to be frustrated, but if you have time to stop and whine about your condition, then you have the time and energy, and most of all, THE ABILITY, to get off your butt and do something about whatever you are whining about.
When I met my first wife I was already on my path and armed with my plan. All that she had to do was be loving as she claimed she was to me, and to sincerely invest herself in my vision and together we could birth OUR VISION from it. And the reason that I put it that way was that she was still lost in the same ethos that too many women seem to have regarding life and love. And that is why I could give fewer f*cks about trying to defend myself against the thinking that still believes in the fabled story that sister’s have been the glue to the African-American social structure. I am not trying to prove that it is not true, just that it is not true to me.
As far as wondering what Skye’s, KT’s, and Lexxie’s Mom’s life would have been like had our paths not crossed… I worried about that the same amount of time they worry about what my life would have been like had our paths never crossed… particularly my starter wife.
Maybe I could have this… or I could have done that… After Skye, I should have made using protection a habit. Maybe I could have told her Mom when we met that THIS was going to be how things worked around here and I could have went all “Judge Dredd” on her, saying that “I am the LAW!!”, going back to the Pleistocene era regarding relationships. And if she could not hack it, fine. Get going with your dusty pants and be about yourself. I have things to do and places to go…
… in fact, I am in one of those places right here and right now!
AND HOW IS IT THAT YOU CAME TO HAVE A GIRLFRIEND NOW, MARK?
Now I have made enough hay about last October being the time when I begin the process of unhooking myself emotionally from Nebraska. Well don’t you know that when I begin removing the mental and spiritual ties that bound me to her, the “New Miss What’s Happenin’” appeared in my life, and there you go!!
But for quite a while we were “campin’ out” and as long as it was not interfering with my processes, I was fine. Then spring came and we begin to move perceptibly closer. So in May, I added her to my Face Book account and I changed my relationship status. We also had a face-to-face conversation about what this means to us.
As I did with my SFC and our “pinky promise” to one another, I think that making these small tokens to a person you care for is similar to declaring to the universe your intention… in fact, THAT is what this journal really came from, my desire to use the “Power of Intention”. Declaring what you want and then expecting it to happen have always been a powerful force in my life. I have never been unaware of this but; I do think I have sometimes been incomplete in what I was aiming for.
When it has come to being a partner, I feel that I do all the good partner things, being a great figure for children to come to, cleans up well for the ladies, and domestic to a reasonable extent. But my intention has never been focused on a specific thing … it has always been about the road.
My starter wife and other women who had their “pro day” or opportunity at “the scouting combine” to show what they have to offer, seem to believe that THEY are the one doing the “choosing” if you will. See, what did my starter wife bring to the table other than too-bitter-to-be-this-young attitude and negative expectations of the brothers? See, I was “together”, and yeah, I was in my Mom’s basement, but hey, I was not too long off the plane from SERVING THE COUNTRY. I was working and going to school, so be patient, please!!
I have never felt like doing a Terry Malloy regarding her, but I am jus’ sayin’. And even if I am in a minority that is so small as to not make a significant statistical difference, I know in my heart and soul, I am not like all those cats I am lumped in with, the same way Andy Dufrense wasn’t in “Shawshank Redemption”.
After explaining to her what I thought this meant and WHY I was doing it, we continued to hang out. No, we were not actually “a couple”, but as I tried to get other people to understand, I do not let people get close to me without my knowing “who they are and what they are to me”. If you can do it, fine… YOU DO IT! I have never had a problem with it… only when I let someone in.
Now there was a comment between her and her oldest son back in June that “pinged” on my radar screen… it was only once, but after that I assigned more resources in that area of our relationship. And since it was command’s opinion that it should not have happened if things were as they seemed to be between us, that was ONE. A few weeks later, there was another ping, and that was TWO. If someone does something a second time, then it becomes actionable. Given the nature and type of incursion it was, I was left with no other choice but to send a terse message that “we had to talk”.
I can only guess that when I said that, she decided she had better come clean with what she was most afraid of… because as I told her after she said her piece that I had asked her out to let her know that we were not going to see each other anymore and that it would not be necessary to maintain any pretenses of a relationship. We then discussed what was on her mind and from the middle of July up and through today, WE have been a couple.
See, I am not going to be asking myself “why didn’t I?” when I KNOW I need to act. I explained myself (even more thoroughly than I have here!) as to why I had prepared myself to move on without her… because I did not want to be saying to myself, “…dag, she showed herself to me and I let her get away with it…” when for me, I KNOW BETTER THAN THAT.
Anywho my girlfriend and I are cool. I will be back in school in two weeks and I have a job to go to in the morning!! As to the person that inspired this series of posts… you don’t have to like or agree with me ever again… I would understand if you never read or left a comment here, either. But I want you to know that, still, I am fond of you!!