In My Write Mind
This was a turning point in my life...It`s a long story. Hell, it was a long weekend. One that left me soaking in memories that still walk with me to this day.
To make it short and wet, I was 17 & thought I was "ready to love" like an India.Arie song. It was with a girl that I spoke to on the phone and saw occasionally. I wanted to take a long walk with her as if she was Jill Scott, because of her style, her smile...I really dug her company. This "goddess in my own mind" was having a family reunion in New Jersey and I decided to go and surprise her and tell her what was good. On my way out there that Saturday afternoon, I steeled myself, determined to effuse my feelings upon the woman I adored. To paraphrase a popular song at the time, she was my "Tender Roni."
She was surprised to see me and when I told her that I had something to tell her, she said unimpressedly, "Sure...but hold on, I`ll be right back..." Three hours later--after my friend and I ate Uncle Jr.`s hot links, played three games of volleyball and five hands of spades--she came back half-stepping like a Three Times Dope reunion album. And with not a hint of remorse or concern for my being there waiting. Of course, I couldn`t see that then. "What happened?," I queried. This girl, my future wife, explained to me, her intended, that her family needed her to do stuff and had her running around. Understandable, right? Surely. I "loved" her, so of course I understood.
So here`s the transcript of the rest of the weekend. The director in my brain yelled ACTION and, on cue, I approached her, knowing my inspiration, attempting to tell her that she was my first, my last, my everything. She said, "Hold that thought. Gotta do something for my grandmother. Be right back." After an hour that felt like that hour in class that goes by and you don`t get picked to do your Show N Tell after you worked hard on it the night before, it was time to go.
That afternoon, I felt a lot of things. Dejected, maybe demoralized...but not deterred!
We were halfway through the Lincoln Tunnel when I decided that going back on Sunday was the only option there was. To give what was left of my bleeding heart to the woman that I still longed for. And back I went the next afternoon...gushing heart in tow. She saw me and apologized for the day before, which I thought was a good sign, good like a food and lodging sign when you`ve been driving on the highway for an hour too long. So I felt heartened as I proceeded to tell her what I needed her to know, how much I wanted her to be a permanent resident in my life, how much she meant to me regardless of a busted Saturday and a perforated ticker. So again, I asked her if I could speak to her for a moment, asked her to come and talk to me like a Jodeci song... She sneered, "Sure. But wait one minute. I`ll be right back..." It WAS a sneer, but at that moment, it was like a 1-900 number: I couldn`t call it.
Nevertheless, my heart sank, crushed amongst the leaves and footprints that lined the grass and soil in that Sunday in the park with hurt. I waited about 30 minutes. I knew it was that long only because when I left, it was about 30 minutes after I had arrived. Head between my legs like a self-serving canine, licking my wounds, making sure my heart didn't break AND fall out on the way to my best friend`s car. I was silent on the way home, pouting like the kid on the playground that didn`t get picked, rejected like the donut in the Lisa Leslie commercial, on the verge of tears because my girl--my love--had basically told me to "talk to the hand." All was quiet except for the backfiring in the 1975 Dodge Dart we were driving. It`s funny because at that point, it seems as if me and the car were both on our last legs, about to give out from different types of exhaust.
Then, all of a sudden, my friend, my ace, my buddy...just broke out laughing. I mean, guffawing as if he were watching an episode of Martin. Yes, `almost crashing the car` laughing! I couldn`t believe it. I asked him what his problem was because for the life of me, the little life I had left in me, I couldn`t fathom what was sooo funny. He said, "I`m sorry man. I can`t help it. You know you my boy, but that girl played you like a, a...Wet Biscuit--the kind nobody wants, the kind they throw away..." Could I be crushed any more? If I were in fact that wet biscuit he crowned me and if she had in fact soaked me, then his words and laughter made me crumble. I was stung. Stung as if I was a bear caught in a honeycomb hideout.
But then, something just snapped...and I started laughing along with him...(hey, when you`re 17, you have a short attention span; what can I tell you?) I needed that laugh, just like then--I needed that name. And yes, I`ve seen the girl recently. She`s married and doing well. And there`s no hard feelings. Just wet biscuits. I kept the name for two reasons...One, because no one else has that sign-on name (very unique to say the least); and Two, it always keeps me humble and never allows me to think more of myself than I need to.
Sometimes, looking back, I feel that maybe I ambushed her on the weekend that changed my life. And who knows? Maybe I was the victim in this self-inflicted episode. Regardless of who was at fault, the words by Mr. Douglass ring true each and every day to me...Without struggle, there is no progress. Without that lesson, there would be no Biscuit. And while I've outgrown the name, I haven't forgotten the experience.
And today, here I stand, humble, and maybe still a little wet...but a whole lot wiser.
scribbled by Will at 2/28/2005 03:15:00 PM
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I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. (Joan Didion)
The Write One
Will. Lefty. Since Summer 1971. Over the next six months, I'll be saying some hellos, some goodbyes. Living, laughing, growing. Don't.miss.a.word.
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