Archive for December, 2012

A Christmas Miracle

As far as “living situations” go, I have drawn the short straw. [Well.. the shorter straw, atleast – next to homeless people. People who live in low-income housings and those whose room houses an in-law]. I pay 588 dollars a month, plus utilities, for a room the size of a sardine-can. Only, u can’t fit more than one fish in this one. I hate my roommate; and he hates my guts the morning after I had guys over. He bangs drawers, slams doors shut, leaves the toilet un-flushed – just to make a point. It’s a sharp contrast to the way he tip-toes around when the men are actually there and laughing, or coughing, or making noises as befits a man and a woman [unrelated, of reproductive age, maybe even attracted to one another] make when closeted in a room the size of, as I said, a sardine-can.

Next to his ability to get a “wot finitaQi” to a part of the kitchen cabinet that would hard-press a contortionist to reach; this is what amazes me most about him: his cunning ability to tell the days in which I needed to unwind and run around naked [which I never do – for obvious reasons] or watch the occasional sitcom, undisturbed by the creeping sounds next door. He walks in proudly, as if he is one of the Magis and bearing me a gift, and hustles and bustles around in the living room – one of the three common areas which – as is custom with living rooms – situated between my tiny room and his slightly bigger one. So I stay put; brimming with anger and resentment, wishing there was somewhere to go, someone to go to, something to do; while he either talks on the phone for two hours, in a voice that resembles a teacher scratching a blackboard with a “teMeNe” [politics.. other colleagues.. the hardship of this American life]. Cooks something that stinks to high heavens. Or listens to Amharic music from the “anchi lij, anchi lij” era, wearing a sweat suit made of the national flag [soccer-player style], as if being Ethiopian was the only achievement in his meager existence.

So, to save your sanity, and pass the time, you start fantasizing about – say – stabbing him. Or spraying the kitchen floor with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and have him take a toss across and hit his front teeth on the cutting board. Atleast slipping something into his drink that would render him unable to communicate, save using his eyelids (one squeeze for “yes”, two for “no”).

And the thought almost gives you an orgasm.

Leaving has never been an option! My roommate, although the lowest form of human after what Gregor Samsa metamorphosed into; is actually Ethiopian. Thus little chance of him cutting yours truly into pieces and stuffing arms and legs down the drain; while putting the skull aside for a trophy. The apartment also happens to be located about 9 minutes’ walk away from my two weeks a midnight work, away from the infamous Seattle commute and close to the best the city has to offer [the water front, Pike Place market, downtown Seattle]. Plus.. he’s ugly as shit [short, thick around the middle and balding heavily]. So the chance of a woman coming into the abode and trying to show who was the “lady” of the house by throwing my hard-earned plastic bags with my garbage is almost negligible.

I have decided I was “in it” for the long haul. And have held that against my roommate.

Until the call came.

[Insert the suspense music of your choice]

This was a call a colleague promised I would get before he moved into his girlfriend’s house; and out of a studio apartment which went for 600 dollar a month in the same part of town I live and work at. I never felt I stood a chance [by virtue of being black and having a bad credit]. So when I get the call from the Owner of the building; and he told me I’ve been recommended to him as a potential tenant; I was excited. When, by the end of our conversation, [after he mentioned he’s never come across a name like mine, asked what it meant; and then my country of origin, and then who colonized us/who didn’t, and then what school I went to; and then what I studied, and then what I felt about America in general and Seattle in particular; etcetera.. a bunch of “Qededa” more or less] he claimed to have liked me, that he’d give me the apartment if it was in his power to give; that I can call to chit-chat with him whenever I want; I was seeing a spot of hope.

A manager, he said, would give me a call. “I know it’s strange, my saying I will give him your number for a building I own. But I don’t like to tell him what to do. Plus I only pay him part time. But, don’t worry, he’s a gentleman. You will see that when you meet him. He’ll show you around. Whether you get the apartment or not, however, is his decision”.

“The Manager” called the next day. He wasn’t a gentleman. Infact, he wasn’t even that Managerial. He kept telling me he’d arrange for me to see the apartment; and never get back to me with time and place. He never returned my calls, or even picked them up at the hours he is supposed to be open for business. By the time I was finally able to see the place, I’ve talked to this guy more than I have talked to my mother in a year.

The real disappointment, however, was the actual place. (more…)

December 13, 2012 at 3:26 am 9 comments

I’m a “D” student

Here is something most people do not realize. That in dating – as in every other relationship [classmates, room-mates, colleagues] – they are grading us. The appraiser maybe a womanizer, a narccisst, an anti-social, a slob, or the occasional vampire [or the female equivalent of those]. But in meeting us, and spending time with us, and staying or leaving us; he is taking the responsibility of a teacher, an observer, an evaluator. He takes a grade-sheet and puts our values on it.

I’m a D student.

I’m the kind of woman men never stay with. From the good, to the bad, to the ugly; from the rotten liar, to the eager-to-please-er, to the man who believed women should quit their jobs to make a living out of worshipping men – men with big guns and small penises [a man who wanted me to wear nothing but dresses and skirts; tried to limit what I eat – or closely monitor it; and accused me of not making enough efforts to show that I was ready to become a “wife” less than a month into the relationship]; they have all been dating me, grading me and dropping out like I was not fit for human consumption. Men who told me they were lucky to have me, that I was one of a kind, that it wasn’t only my body they liked, but my brain they loved; have quit on me, and quit with a vengeance! With cruel words, with mean attitudes and for women they vowed all along would not hold a candle for me.

I keep getting “D”, for Dumped.

It doesn’t start out that way though! When men meet me –the right kind of men [intelligent men, with looks, senses of humors and a love for books… a curvy body, a soft skin, a smile that begs for approval] –they can’t praise me enough. I am a rare-specimen, they declare, and they were the lucky bastards fortunate enough to unearthen me. My smart-ass is a source of pride in company, the language I use to describe myself is a stream of constant amusement; my empathy [care-bear heart; capacity to put up with shit/fight fair/and stick-by come hail or heavy wind] is just an added bonus. Sure I was a little insecure, a bit of a drama queen, a lot more opinionated than a girl has the right to be. But who is perfect, right?. [Or so they say, pinching my cheek, or holding my chin to make my eyes focus on their sincere ones. “You are crazy”, they admit, “but that’s why I love/like you”]

When my “true colors” start coming out, by way of my mouth, and they discover that I was a more or less 4 hour material [a person you can only spend a day with; as compared to a life time]; that there was a self-hatred buried deep in my bones that no amount of TLC can cure; that death was my only councilor, cigarettes my true friends, loneliness an addiction I hold onto despite my love/hate relationship to it … despite – them] they start to look like a puppy who has eaten shoe polish – mistaking it for something brown and delicious. The honesty, especially, gets to them. They feel not respected enough. Dumb. Impotent. That maybe openness, loyalty and an ability to hold her own in word play isn’t all they seek from a woman. Soon after, I notice them watching me, when they don’t think they are being watched. Wondering.. perhaps.. how I can be so right, yet so wrong. Then something would happen [a mother, a careless word, another woman]. Next comes the “Dear Joan” letter. An A+ student is rewarded with an ungrateful “D”. Not a complete “F”ailure [a person who would never graduate as a wife/a lover/a woman a man would like to come home to after all the beauty and temptation the outside world has presented him with]. But a float-er. A never-do-good-er. A need to take course again/need to try harder/need to learn from past mistakes-er. This is the one course where the teacher gets to do the leaving while the student is left – crying another tear on her pillow, nursing another wound in her chest, dealing with another rejection.. another question she can never honestly answer however hard she tried: How can I be what you want me to be without stopping being who I is?!

[Would that be worth it?
Would there be another who would not make such demands of me?
Am I gonne die alone?]

Yet..

life goes on.

[And all you need to remind you of that is a nicotine covered in rolling paper. Price may vary from $3.25-$10 a box].

December 8, 2012 at 11:24 pm 4 comments


Warning!

The blogger tries to think outside the box, or wonder why she sometimes can't.

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"I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint." - Antonio Salieri, from the movie "Amadeus"

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