i am a romantic. i intentionally left hopeless out because i'm not hopeless in this realm. nor unrealistic or bitter, twisted, confused, mixed up, unsure, indecisive, flustered. least not when it comes to romanticism in what i think it is and what i want it to be.
my mother raised me. i was placed into her womb at 15 and she gave birth at 16 but was told no sooner than the moment my umbilical cord was cut, it was said i would die within 24 hours. at 16. i've always viewed her as a single mother though my then step-father was indeed around, present, and in the picture, even with him, she had to defend why she was the type of mother she was. she gave us what she never received. she cushioned our lives so that we would never entail the bumps and bruises that she and her siblings endured in their childhoods. she set us up to be our own individuals before we knew that we were individuals.
a city girl from the projects with teenaged parents, one absent and would be by all means, forever. my father figures were my big black grandfather whose laughter always rolled and bellowed from his belly, an uncle who spoiled me rotten with whatever i wanted and whenever i wanted it, and a great-grandfather who was the smoothest man ever to walk the block, it's from him i inherited the importance of smelling just as good as you look. by the time i was nine, all three of these men were absent from my day-to-day life. one incarcerated and two dead.
but before any of these men seemingly disappeared, they taught me how a girl ought to be treated. they taught me what it meant and what it felt like to be wined, dined and spoiled. big wheelers, custom made gold earrings, all the cookies, cakes and ice creams a girl could ever desire. the only times i cried or do cry over these men is at the thought of them not being around in my day-to-day life. the sheer moment of reading and re-reading these lines bring tears to my shorelines.
and to think of this man who assumes or feels as though he has me "figured out" from printed words from a book full of assumptions, misconceptions, and generalizations, i question if the point and purpose behind this piece is even legitimate or worth my own time.
i was raised by women who were focused more on survival and independence than they were about love and making a man feel happy, wanted, or needed. life growing up was about staying out the way and letting your work speak for you. better to be seen than to be heard because once you open your mouth, you remove all doubt. so i worked. hardly played. i read books and indulged from time-to-time in girly games: hop scotch, jump rope, numbers, down down baby, and so forth. but my comfort was in the words on pages in binded books that took me away from my reality. my comfort was in things that allowed me to imagine worlds that as a nine year old girl, i knew i would have to work endlessly for me to see in my lifetime. i wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. nothing was given. but anything could be taken.
love had never become a factor until discussions of the future came into play. wanting the children after the marriage and school and world travels. to conquer my world first before creating a world for my future. but then you grow up. you get older. you live and experience life through the cards that were dealt to you long before you learned that you were even playing a game.
i read books for the vocabulary. to expand my imagination. to give my own writing the umph it has now. it was never for the attempt to reach what was read; i didn't read fairy-tales to paste my face there and pray on little crossed fingers for my prince charming. as much as it was for the escape aspect, it was to become a better me than to become a better second you.
even as a child, i was too much of a realist to want the dreams i read about or the fairy-tales i watched or the movies about the childhood loves who grew into lifetime loves.
yes, i love love. i love what love is supposed to be. i love how love is supposed to feel and what its lovers are supposed to go thru. i love jonesing over love by myself and imagining how my idea of love would feel if another loved me with the same amount of love, passion, and empathy; the respect, that love really ought to have.
but then life fucks shit up. that and the people in it. you realize that love is an idea, a concept, an emotion that needs action to nudge its body up against it for it to get the human qualities that we people place upon it. it's not love that makes love suck. it's the people who don't know how to make it move and talk the way it ought to.
by all means, love, is not about infidelity (cheating if you didn't know) or abuse or tears of pain from fighting for the attention we desire. yes, people do things that go against what we want love to be. people make all the mistakes in this world. but it's up to those same people whether or not they will learn from those mistakes, or say fuck it, and continue doing what satisfies their warm flesh.
it's you loving them when they're torn and battered; loving them thru their growth, their highs and lows, insecurities, and in-sensitivities. loving the love in them while realizing they're human and function 100% of the time as humans while what you see 100% of the time is a lover.
love is just as much about the falling and getting up as it is about it thru what was thought to be impossible.