Saturday, June 20, 2009

[Lifestyles] Welcome to the Neighborhood… NOW GET OUT!

Hmmm… Do you ever wonder what kind of person is living next door to you? Or maybe down the block? How about around the corner? At the beginning of last summer, a new neighbor moved next door to me. She was quiet older woman for the most part, but her kids or grandkids were always in and out of the house. About three weeks after they moved in, one of her grandkids got into a fist fight with some “Gangsta”, that do not live in the building might I add, right in front of my door. I mean there was blood, juice and whatever else one my door, a neighbors door, the floor and their door. It was a mess that a neighbor and I cleaned up. Shortly after, people would ring our bell door at all hours of the day and night, mistaken it for theirs. One time I was gearing up to go the laundry at about 4 in the morning (I can’t stand being around those bad ass kids when I am washing clothes) and when I opened the door, I woman was standing there knocking next door wonder who I was! Ain’t that something? While I locked my door, their door open and she speedily ran in. While I waited for the elevator she was making her way towards me, it had to have been less than a minute since the door opened and now.

I will never forget what happened the next day. It was on a Saturday day morning during the first heat wave when I awoke to a loud banging on my door. It was so loud that it woke the whole house. I grabbed a robe and went to the front door and looked through the peephole to see two white men standing there. Surprised, I went into the kitchen to grab a knife (you never know what people are capable of these days) and went back to the door cautiously looking through the peephole once again. At this time they were not in front of my door but next door with one of the men violently kicking at the door. I opened my door and instantaneously they apologized for the noise and showed me the police badges around their necks. I didn’t say a thing. I just closed the door and informed my mother what was going on. The banging continued for about another 15 to 20 minutes until the door finally gave way. After that morning, I have not heard a peep from them. I already concluded that some one in the house was dealing drugs, but the kicker really was that they were doing it right next door.

But there are worst things to have next door to you than a drug dealer.

Above is a map of the neighborhood I lived in. Nothing special about it really, expect for the different color dots that indicate the homes and workplaces of different types of people convicted of some sort of sexual crime (i.e. rape, child molestation, etc…). Here is link to find those in your neighborhood:National Sex Offender Registry When I think of all the kids that run up and down this block, sometimes wearing grown folks clothes, I see how easy they can get picked up. Hey, I understand they did the time for their crimes and need to live somewhere in order to resume some sort of normalcy, but why near me? Yeah, I have a touch of “N.I.M.B.Y.” (Not in my backyard) when it comes to this.

Besides it didn’t surprise me one bit that our local government or whomever would dump these types of people in urban areas like Flatbush, Bedstuy andHarlem. Would they place them in Park Slope, Cobble Hills or and other community where the majority of the residents were Caucasian? Don’t think so… They would be drummed out in no time.


Friday, June 19, 2009

[My Life] It's Over.

There is a certain time in the morning, where the sunlight sneaks through the windows and kiss every part of your partners body so lovingly as you watch them sleep. They look so peaceful… So beautiful… It’s probably one of the few moments you really get to see them at there most natural. However, the only thought that is running through your head at that particular moment is: WHY WON’T YOU DIE!!! You may not want the person to really die per say… You just want them out of your life for the rest of eternity and beyond. There comes a point where the relationship is over, but only YOU know it. You try and calculate everyway around it, but the reality of the situation shows only one choice. It’s over. Plenty of times people just stay in relationships because they have reached some sort comfort level. I doubt any one would want to risk a sure thing for something unknown. I’ve experienced a few relationships where I mentally checked out weeks or months before it actually ended. Why? Well, honestly I didn’t want to be alone and in rationalizing the problem, I thought if I stuck it out then maybe something will change. Just maybe… But that “maybe” is a false hope. Nothing changed the end result.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

[Lifestyles] Home Training Optional

Coming home after my morning run, aka the sitting on my ass and watching other people run around the park while I drink coffee and smoke cigarettes for an hour, I was really tired from doing nothing and wanted to lay down on my couch and watch some cartoons. Hey, I am being honest… I’m lazy. The lobby was still littered with discarded alcohol bottles and Chinese food cartons, some still with food inside that had acquired several roaches and other cumbersome insects.

I sighed, knowing that the Porter was going to have his hands full once again.

When I opened the elevator door, the fresh all too familiar odor of urine smacked me in the face like a bus. Yeah… Isn’t that special… So I had a choice. Either walk up the stairs or take a ride in the urine stanched elevator. Like I said before, I am lazy, so I got in that elevator stepping over puddles of what I hope was pee and held my breath. This was disgusting. Why would some one pee in the elevator? I tired to avoid any of the walls just in case there was some kind of residue on them. In the few hours since I left for my “morning run”, some one posted new gang graffiti on each of the elevators walls. As I exited on my floor, taking a good deep breath and that proved to be another problem occurred. The incinerator was over stuffed once again with garbage and several mice were running back and forth from the filth and into an apartment across the hall. Is it such a strange concept to actually put your garbage INSIDE the incinerator and closing the door?

It was just another stench, another headache for the Potter and another issue that will be complained about to those with deaf ears. Yes, the Landlords are greedy people who never want to spend a dime on improvements to this building. I understand that fact, but look on how the building is treated by those that live here! How can people put up with this? I asked myself. Hell, how can I put up with this? I’m not a dirty person and our apartment is kept clean so why is it so hard for other people to do the same. Does anyone have some morsel of home training these days? When I was a kid, my mother showed me how to pick up after myself, general cleaning, show pride in my appearance and other essential things that every kid should know. What happen? I finally made a pact with myself that I will not be here by the end of 2009. I need knew horizons or neighbors that I know what the functions of a toilet are. Neighbors that exhibit some form of respect to the place they are living and not just going through the motions.

In the almost 7 years since this buildings has been under new management, they spent money adding brick walls to the lobby and foyer (a useless feat to say the least), raised the rent to the point where there was a mass exodus of people moving out and many were here over 20-something years (Thank God for rent control), moving in anyone on a government program since they know that is a guaranteed payment (many of those people have serious criminal, mental and medical problems, which has lead to many police visits. Something that was never the case BEFORE the building was sold), fired the Super so we now have to hunt down the Super in the adjoining building for anything to be done. At least with our last Super, we had some sense of security because he would not allow people to make a lot of ruckus in hallways during the day and night. If there was any graffiti up… it was washed and/or painted over within an hour. If kids were running around he would tell talk to there parents about letting them go outside. There are plenty of things I can blame the Landlord for, but I can’t blame them for everything that goes on.

Here is my conclusion…

Some people just do not respect the places they live these days. The worst part about that is instead of facing the problem head on, they complain about nothing being done. I am no different here either… I am still learning that when I see litter on the steps, I shouldn’t just walk pass it… I need to pick it up and throw it away. It starts with one person and until I leave, this building is a reflection of the people who live here. I no longer want to be disgusted with walking around in this place.


Friday, June 05, 2009

[Lifestyles] Women of Color

Today the image of woman of color is one that depicts them as whores, gold diggers and those that lack enough morals to know what’s right and wrong. In the past they were viewed as the back bone of not only the family but the entire community. So what changed? Is it the music industry and there depiction woman, where they can be used and abused and tossed aside like possessions? Or is it just the everyday negative treatment men have for woman within our own community. Many of these young girls try to emulate the adults around them, but in so many cases the only women figures they have are the stereotypes ( i.e. a whore, a gold digger or just plain stupid). There is this struggle today for mothers doing what they are suppose to in raising their daughters, because at every turn they are thrown not thrown positive influences. While at the end of the day, it’s the parent’s job to make sure that they raise stable children, society plays a major part. There have been time when women of color stood up to stop the negative imagery, using the example of the Spellmen women boycotting the Hip Hop artist Nelly from coming to there school for a bone marrow drive, because of a music video for one of his song. Even through I thought the protest over shadowed the real need for those in the African American community to sign up and get there bone marrow tested to help those in need, it was good that finally some one was taking people to task for what they put out there.

So will there every be a time when women of color will regain the respect they lost? Or was it lost in the first place?


[Poetry] The Death of Me

Crashing waves is all that is below me now.
Bare foot and naked on jagged rocks I see no future.
This is my curse and I accepted it.
I have nothing now, expect for this everlasting pain.
It torments me and leaves me on the edge of madness.
So, it has become true.
You are the death of me.
You left me cold and helpless.
Absent of my shining star.
I am just another victim of your massive chaos.
It ends now.
No more thoughts of you haunting my steps.
No longer will I see visions of your face on others.
I will go quietly into the darkness.
Return to the earth where I once was made.
It's over now.
You have won.
My love for you will die in me.
For you have become the death of me.
There is no longer anything else to say.

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