You know what I enjoy most about writing on my lunch break? The fact that I can confine myself within this lil’ computer lab area that hardly anyone comes in on their lunch break and not be bothered with anybody. I can eat in peace and the only thing I hear is the tapping of my fingers across this keyboard. After all the much appreciated rave reviews from the last episode, I have written at least 5 drafts of what this next episode would be about while also saving what I want to keep for the finished product (a book or a show whichever comes first). None of the drafts really were something I was going to be proud to put out. I would begin to write and after the first paragraph I would get bored and save it for another time. Just me rambling on about my interests and things I think are funny like the first time I was introduced to weed. I thought it’d be funny to refer to weed as a person and I called her Jane. We had a unique relationship for many years full of ups and downs. We even broke up and saw other people for a while because she had an attitude that I didn’t appreciate, but that’s for another time.
My romance with Jane started when my cousin used good old peer pressure to introduce me to her. When we first met it wasn’t the greatest introduction. In a hot ass bathroom with no window smoking out of a soda can that was shape shifted into a pipe. It was the middle of summer in Santa Clarita and I was 17. Up until then I tried to keep a persona as being cool without having to expand my coolness by using any kind of outside force. Kind of like Craig from Friday (see what I did there?). My cousin Anthony who was 15 at the time, thought he was so cool (still does) and he really wasn’t (still isn’t) handing me my first spliff excited and giddy. Just to paint a picture, Anthony was and is this tall and round Hispanic kid. Always a clean-cut well-groomed guy. Definitely thought of himself as a pretty boy once he discovered Proactiv in high school; cue the frog sipping tea. Love the guy to D-E-F though. Talk about a brother from way back in the way back. Any who, back to Jane. I felt like she had an attitude when we first said Hi to each other because I was left confused not knowing if we were new friends or not. While I’m sitting on the toilet evaluating everything around me wondering if I feel any different, this fool is in the mirror checking out his new bump free face smoothing out his eye brows and blowing kisses at himself. After a few more minutes of admiration, Anthony then decides that we should get up and walk down to the corner store to get some snacks. The next thing I remember I was walking up and down a single isle for a few moments because I had forgotten why we were there. I remember looking at Anthony and asking, “yo, are we getting something to eat cuz I’m really hungry?” I’m standing there confused as hell, and he’s at the counter arms FULL of snacks already spilling on to the register giggling his muthafuckin’ ass off. The guy behind the counter just stared at us as he took our money with that look. You know that look, that “y’all stupid” look? Without a shake of the head, just a look. I felt his judgment just showering over me. I quickly drew down my sunglasses and walked out.
After I proof read it, it sounded corny as shit. Self doubt is a bitch.
Then I thought, maybe I’ll write about how I spend way too much time thinking about my hair. Ever since I can remember I’ve always had a love for my own hair. There’s something about this canvass that’s sits upon my head that makes my brain flow with ideas of how to shape shift my next do.
I think I can remember my earliest request as a child in kindergarten was for my hair to be in braids. My hair was wild and free as a kid and when I asked my mother to braid my hair I was imagining corn rows like I had seen somewhere on TV I’m sure. I asked her and she asked if I was sure. I nodded and smiled. So she gathered up all the tools she needed to make my request a reality. As I sat on the floor in front of the couch facing the TV watching Martin, I noticed that my hair wasn’t being parted in rows. I told my friends (the 2 other black kids in my class) at school that I was getting my hair braided and they had told me that it was going to hurt so I prepared myself determined to see the finished product on my scalp with satisfaction. My mom starts grabbing a small section of hair and for the first 5 seconds of that initial tug it was just enough to make my eyes squint but nothing like my friends had said. Once I realized that my mom misunderstood me saying braids meant corn rows and not individuals I didn’t have the heart to tell her that that’s not what I wanted because she had already went through all the trouble to grease my hair and scalp and the episode of Martin was almost over and she wanted to be done with my hair by the time Living Single went off. When she was done I looked in the mirror and did my best to hide my unsatisfied face when she asked me what I thought. I smiled and nodded. The next day at school there I stood, a lil’ brown boy at this white school with a Lion King t-shirt and individual braids that go just passed my ear with red, yellow and green rubber bands randomly at the end of each one. In my head I knew it wasn’t exactly what I wanted but instead of looking stupid in front of my friends and explaining why I look like Buckwheat, I decided to lose all the fucks I had left in my pocket and rock the shit out of my braids like it was my idea the entire time. Yes of course the kids laughed because I looked crazy, but I shrugged it off. It was my hair and I was going to do whatever the fuck I pleased and did. Throughout my life since then, I had always kept that attitude…..in regards to my hair.
This episode was brought to you by WOW! Beauty Supply located on Vanowen east of Reseda.