And since I spend a lot of time writing out the bad shit, I should spend some time writing out the good.. but I always feel strange doing that. "Pride goeth before a fall" and all that... and usually just when I'm feeling my most powerful and super-like I can feel myself falling again...
But it's been an "up" coupla days. I mainly haven't written cuz I've been around the Tomcat a lot, and then when I'm not, well I don't feel like writing. But some highlights of the past few days were:
- On Friday I had a long, productive conversation with TF. I needed, among other things, to find out if he'd booked the Sun's return flight, and I also wanted to tell him that Tomcat was flying out with us. I don't owe him anything... but the main purpose of me telling him about Tomcat was to prevent him from grilling the kid once he got out there. So, I started the conversation by telling him that yes, my world is very small and so The Cat is someone the Sun and I have both known for a while, but nothing developed until very recently. The fucking funny part was that he asked me if it was Nene. HAHA! I guess TF knows me as well as I know him... I was very happy to tell him, no, it's not him (but yeah it's another dude way too close to home cuz uh, I guess that's what I do). I said that the Sun is very comfortable around The Cat, and that The Cat is actually really nice with him; something I appreciate very much. TF sounded pretty happy for me, and was very happy that I'd told him about it. I guess he took it as the peace offering it was; me sharing information with him.
So then, I said "OK, so The Hair. I know how you feel about it, but you should know it's a decision I've handed off to the Sun, and it's one he's capable of making. And as of now, he's very comfortable with his long hair, although everyone is beginning to suggest he may want to cut it a little. Even TheCat... and he's got long hair." TF said that mainly, his concern was that as a little kid he himself was a little plump and had wild hair and got teased a lot, and more than anything, he doesn't want The Sun to feel that. I told him I understood that... but that I could assure him that this was not even remotely the case with The Sun... in fact, he is supremely confident in his hair, and it's one of the positive outcomes--that The Sun is not afraid to be his own person, have his own style. So I said I'd braid it, and to please leave it in the braids till the kid gets back... he wasn't too crazy about the braids but I'm gonna do it anyway. The Sun informed me he's going to take them out... I told the Sun all you have to do is refuse to let him do it and it's a wrap--they'll be tiny box braids anyhow.
We talked about other stuff... what to pack, the fact that the Sun needs to read some books while he's out there (and not graphic novels--not that I object, it's just that that's all the Sun wants to read), that I was going to send his violin with him. I told TF too, that it was getting to be time for him to step in and take over certain things, because the Sun is beginning to give me a slightly harder time than he used to, and uh... I'm not gonna fight with him.
So, all in all it was hopeful. I dunno. It could all go to hell and very quickly; you just never know with him.
- I got to spar Friday night. All people / kids who have never sparred before usually end up sparring with one of the Senseis because they are experienced enough to restrain themselves. Although Little Sensei, my sparring partner didn't exactly refrain too much and got me good in the ribcage a time or two. And on the head a few times. But I did get in a roundhouse and a tag, so it wasn't a complete loss, but it hurt, dammit. And heck... it was my very first time EVER sparring... I never got to spar even when I was a kid and a yellow belt in Go Ju Karate. The Professor and I were the only girls, and we were slightly older, and the sensei never let us spar with anybody, not even each other.
- On Saturday, I felt really guilty that I didn't get the Sun back up to Yonkers to work on his katas, but we woke up late, TheCat was here and nobody much felt like hustlin'. And then the Professor called to say she wanted to go to this Pow Wow out in Sparta, New Jersey, which is like almost two hours from here. I hadn't thought it would be worth it; there's a group here that puts on Pow Wows in the area, and they can be a little, I dunno... odd? I mean they're great and all, but the organizers seem sort of "biker-dude"ish and it's mostly local tribes and "Blendians" like us. And not a lot of vendors or dance competitors, and of the vendors they tend to be South American Native rather than North American Native. But I guess we're spoiled by Schemitzun. The Professor decided to go... and it was glorious. An easy drive out into beautiful country... bales of hay and fields of corn and what not. Country. And there were more vendors than there usually are at this string of Pow Wows. And a few more dancers. But more importantly, it was a beautiful day. The Diva was struttin' her stuff in short shorts and purple stiletto mules--on grass--which caused the Professor to be a little gruff with her thinking she couldn't chase TinyOne in them and that she'd be stuck with TinyOne.
And in fact he took off a couple of times, but the Diva is quite capable of running after him in purple stilleto mules--on grass--and generally kept close tabs on him. The one time he got away I was even mad at him, so I stalked him round the grounds till I snuck up on his little ass and jacked him up. I held his arm: "What did Mama say to you? What did Lili say to you?" "Stop" he said.
"And what did TinyOne do?"
"I run" he said.
"Uh huh. And what is Tiny One supposed to do?"
"Go with the Sun" he said.
"Uh uh---TinyOne is supposed to STOP. Do you understand that?"
"And that's why you're stuck with Lili now, because you didn't listen."
"No, I go Sun."
"No, you stay Lili."
"NO, I go SUN!" And he kicked and screamed but Lili is a boy-mommy and I wasn't havin' it. But by that time it was time to go anyhow so Moomah scooped him up and took him to the van. Brat. But he's awful cute.
- On Sunday, I took the Sun down into the city again, so we could both get our hair done. I wanted his washed and blown out so I could braid it... but it's now early Tuesday morning and of course I've been intimidated by the beast and it is still unbraided. But here's a picture of the Beast Tamer in action...
The Sun loves his hair. He's quick to swing it around. It's interesting that his father is so hung up on his own bad experience that he just doesn't get that his son's experience is entirely different...
- And then later on Sunday, MMB, who is determined all of a sudden to be a Disney actress, wanted me to take some headshots of her. I may have to take them over, just for lighting purposes, but here's one of them:
MMB is a funny kid. I always say she reminds me of myself because the kid is a plotter. Cuz she just doesn't do anything halfway. If she's made up her mind and discovers a path, boy does she plot that path. And she will harrass the shit out of you if she needs something. MMB has been a Disney Channel fan since birth. She knows all the behind-the-scenes voices and producers of various shows, knows who all the actors are. She sees there's a "look"... and boy did she go and get her hair done in that way, and all of a sudden has discovered that her playing the guitar will help her... so she carries the thing around and practices now. Whereas before she fought Bigbear (who was paying for lessons) tooth and nail.
All that to say, I kinda have no doubt that MMB will be on Disney Channel one day. You all can say you heard about her first, here.
- And lastly... the stuff you all really want to hear about right? Well... I'm still torn about writing it. I think part of it, to be honest, is that because this one feels different I'm a little hesitant to expose it to air. Nene was different... there were variables all along and even though I don't do anything halfway and completely inhabited the possibility of something more permanent coming out of it, the bottom line was there was always those variables. And also, In Real Life, the relationship was way undercover. But this one... this one is sort of "hiding in plain sight" and so writing it gives it even more light. I guess too, that I almost don't want to look back at words a year later and have to rehash it all again.
But I enjoy the hell out of the TomCat. For one thing, the similarities between him and the real cat that lives in my house just crack me up. And it cracks me up that the real cat likes him very much. Simba is a very particular beast, and he makes him self very scarce when people are around that stress him. Like he knows my family is important to me, and when they come one at a time he sticks around, but isn't all that visible. When they all come together, Cat is outta here... runs upstairs to my neighbors. When TomCat is here, he gets this look of happiness and sort of seems to be everywhere.
This is going to sound strange, and maybe a little TMI (really!? From me???) but I haven't slept with anybody in years that I was also really friends with. Meaning, I enjoy the company. He's easy to be around and entertaining as hell to talk to. I wonder sometimes why he tells me the shit he does... all about his previous CatLives and how he's survived them or landed on his feet. His dark side. I wonder sometimes if he really intends to tell me all this... it's an awful lot of information to all be in one place. He said once it was so that I would know all about him but then I wonder, seeing as how he's TheCat, does he tell other people this? Although I doubt it, sort of... knowing cats like I do.
One of the first things I said about him here was that he reminded me of home. Of those guys I grew up around who hustled, or worked at the Bike Store, and played ball every chance they got, ran chicks in and out of each other's places cuz it was a game to do so (sometimes the same dumb chick), who always presented the Hardface to the rest of the world. But because the Professor and I were always either "wifey" or "little sister" or sometimes "big sister," we always knew what was really up with them; when they hurt or were in trouble, when they needed to eat or be left alone. The Professor was always the one that got the call in the middle of the night that somebody was in Central Booking, and knew her way around the system so she could track them (reporting every few hours or so) until they got out. Troy and Capone and Donald and Chauncey and Miriam's brother who's name I can't recall (the only Hispanic in the bunch), Desmond and Mark and Manny the PrettyBoy. Randy, Bruce and DLB who had a one-hit rap career. Some of them made it; became teachers or got married, and one of them made it all the way out to California... one is a real-estate tycoon and converted to Islam, but some of them didn't make it and were shot and killed, or got strung out on crack or thown off roof tops and a few did some hard time. When we were kids, the Professor's and my life were so intertwined with theirs, though at the time we didn't really know it, and me in particular, I took it for granted and was quick to get away and cross the Divide.
I spent the '90's living in New Jersey, adapting to another life, adopting other ways, jumping around in dive bars to REM or Midnight Oil or Nirvana, and for a long long time I left those guys behind. I didn't listen to hiphop anymore. Rarely came home to visit. The dusk of that decade found me pregnant, and so I made a home out here on the Rock to raise my baby. I've met an awful lot of interesting people, and been a lot of interesting places, and I can still cross back and forth across the Divide with ease because I never felt I belonged anywhere... but upwards of 96th Street (the old-time physical representation of the Divide) is more home to me than anywhere else... and TomCat brings me back there, in my heart. So nothing he tells me shocks me, but it can make me laugh because I remember knowing about all that stuff from my neighborhood.
We were watching "America's Got Talent" the other night, and some guy who claimed he was from 110th in Harlem was on, crying about his hard luck life and how he struggled with an alcoholic father and little sisters and brothers but he lived an honest life and sang to make money. "Yeah right" I said. "You know he was out hustlin' on the corner", and the TomCat laughed. When the guy started crying on TV, TomCat said "Yeah he's from 98th and Columbus" and I cracked up... a total inside joke cuz you would have had to live down there and know where the Divide was to understand all that simple comment said.
But still, I'm an all-or-nothing chick, a plotter, a thinker and I know I'm going to have trouble with the TomCat ways... not so much the coming and going, cuz the going gives me room to breathe. But the sharing thing... it's not going to work for me for long. Although, I do share Simba with the upstairs neighbor... so who knows....