Cast of Characters…

*Today, write a post focusing on one — or more — of the people that have recently entered your life, and tell us how your narratives intersected.*

The prompt asked about who I met in 2014, but I don’t have an answer for that. However, I CAN give you a group of people I met in 2013 that rolled over to 2014, the lovely cast of characters I grouped together as #SoBeOffice.

How I ended up in this job was a bizarre twist of fate that makes me fully believe that God sometimes trolls me. It was a daily exercise in “am I really here?”

“Are these people for real?”

“How can I get “Bravo Andy” to be interested in filming these shenanigans?”

and “you can bring the cameras out now, because surely I’m on a show”

I didn’t know such slackness and unprofessional behavior existed, but then again people will do what you let them get away with, right?

The stories got more and more ridiculous to the point that I started Tweeting about it daily. 

There was a cast of characters the likes of which I’ve never seen. Fancy Scot, Beautiful Dominican, Talkative, Boss, etc. Each one had their traits that just made working at this office increasingly tragic. People loved the stories tho, I had something new to tweet about daily and they bordered on the incredible.

Fancy Scot had no qualms about telling me who she was sleeping with/had slept with, but couldn’t tell me where to find an extra stapler. She was the type to name drop all the people/dj’s she knew (had slept with) as if that would impress me. *blank stare* But no, let’s have a meeting about dress code, but not talk about the $15,000 you had to refund because the Boss was partying with the tenants and wrecked someone’s house. (This really happened)

Beautiful Dominican was indeed lovely, but when she’d use the bathroom, let’s just say you could always tell she’d been in there. And I’m not talking about hair on the floor.

Talkative was just that, talkative. She wanted to talk about everything, everyday, all at once. Within 30 minutes of meeting her, I knew about her boyfriend, that he’d run away again and she couldn’t find him, he was a recovering addict and wouldn’t go to AA. Oh, and she wanted to be a lawyer and if he couldn’t get himself together she was gonna have to leave him. ( ._.) “I’m sorry, what’s your name again?” And my headphones seemed to be an indication that I wanted to be spoken to.

The wanna be DJ and the young one would pump techno music through the office. Lemme tell you what’s not professional, “boots and pants and boots and pants” being the soundtrack to your job.

However, when Fancy Scot was in a good mood, she would blast Ursher-baby WITHOUT headphones. Mind you, her ringtone was “There Goes My Baby” and she never had her phone on silent. It was never required for you to act professional because odds are when the boss DID come into the office, he was high. Or I had to navigate around the pile of sweaty clothes in the corner because he took a shower. Or navigate around the palette in the supply closet because he had his ex sleeping at the office. Or….

should I really continue… 

*sigh*

It was a lesson in patience. 

However, it was precisely the scene that reminded me why I don’t like South Beach. 

I’m so glad I’m gone, but considering now I have no more stories, I might be the only one..

Talk to you later, Nick

 

 

The Mountains Call..

Today’s Prompt: If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

   For someone that spends a lot of their time wishing they were EVERYwhere ELSE, this was a hard one. Do I go home (Jamaica)? Or take my travels to someplace I’ve always dreamt about?

Well, Italy was at the top of the list, but then I got real with myself and decided to go home.

Now, for those that have been around a while, you know how I feel about Jamaica. It holds everything that summers should be. For me, it holds everything that childhoods should be. Innocence intact and a carefree wonderment. But as an adult, I haven’t been back.

(I’m falling on my face, so the grammar might be a bit “loose”)

There’s that “adult side” of Jamaica that I haven’t experienced. I don’t mean the clothing optional resorts or anything like that, I mean the Jamaica that I want to see since I have my own money and I now know what I like and what I don’t. I ain’t gotta ask Aunt Rose and Uncle Brian for a place to stay if I don’t want to. Matter fact, I won’t even tell anyone I’m coming. Once you do, then the shopping lists come in because everyone needs something from “foreign.”

I’m in the mountains. Everything about Jamaica comes to life when I go into the mountains. It’s more jungle, less city. It feels fresh, I feel connected. It feels simple. Up here, it doesn’t matter that there isn’t A/C, because when I look out the windows, I’m reminded that I’m among the trees. The temperature can easily be 10-15 degrees cooler than if I was in Portmore.

The stars are able to show you all their shine because there aren’t any city lights vying for your attention. The breeze that weaves through the branches lazily moves the curtains to the side. They lift as if ghosts were moving through the room and settle back down. There’s a mahogany fan with the blades made out of bamboo. It spins, not really putting in any real work other than keeping a couple mosquitoes from settling on one place too long.

I’m sitting at a simple white desk with my computer and a notebook. I wish it was that simple, but the minute I want my notebook, then I want my pencil cup, that holds my pens. If I turn down my music, I can hear Dunns River Falls close by. If I want to procrastinate some more, I can head down to the beach, the path carved out of the mountain that houses my room. It’s like a tree house if you think about it, an adult tree house.

I’m my happiest among the trees.

 So, I’m nowhere near done, but if I waited til the post was perfect I’d never post it..

Matter of fact, that’s why I haven’t written for so long. So here you go. 

I’ll catch you on day 3, Nick

So Here’s The Thing…

      I can count on two hands (maybe a couple of toes) just how many of these challenges I’ve started. Somewhere along the way, I get inundated, promises of “I’ll catch up over the weekend” go unfulfilled, and the people that I’ve told about my resolution look at me with shame (and judgement) in their eyes.
I’ve stopped telling people that I’m doing anything related to writing, because invariably, something comes up. My body shuts down. All of a sudden, I just NEED to see that dance that I loved soooo much “that one season when what’s his face was on So You Think You Can Dance.”

I remember the new blanket that didn’t get washed. And I just neeeed to wash it now. Won’t my bed look so pretty with it on? My sleep will be so great tonight with my new blanket on the bed. Matter of fact, I’m gonna lay down on the blanket when it comes out of the dryer, just to imagine what tonight’s sleep is going to be like.
—– 4 hours later——–*rolls over*
DAMN! I look at my computer, still on, still lit, refusing to send itself to sleep (like I TOLD IT TO) even though I did.

oh well, I’ll try again tomorrow.
Lather
Rinse
Repeat.

Oh but look! I found the PERFECT playlist on Spotify. But oh man, it’s putting me to sleep. Alright, I’m gonna set my alarm for 2 hours from now. I just need a cat nap.
——– 2 hours later——- *flies awake*
oh man, I can’t do this. I can’t stop yawning. I just need to organize a schedule and stick to it, and I’ll do that schedule (for sure!) tomorrow. That’s it, I just need to plan it out.

and on and on it goes.
It has now been over 100 days since I wrote anything. I find it obscene because I think about writing daily. I think about the way that I can carve out the time, the moments, ways to re train my body because I only used to write in the wee hours of the morning and since I have a decent job now, I can’t do that. But the creative juices just don’t flow during the day. What am I supposed to do!?

I’m checking the clock and trying to figure out why it seems like I’m writing so much, but I’ve only been at it for about 10 minutes.. I feel like I’m gonna hit an atrocious word count, especially considering that people usually clock out around 500 words. Even worse when no pictures accompany the post.

Oh MAN, I really wanna watch an episode of The Newsroom (I LOVE Aaron Sorkin) or The Walking Dead, but noo I gotta get this writing done. Even if this is supposed to be a free write that doesn’t really seem like a free write.

I don’t know how I’m going to do this. I don’t know when I will find the time. People say you find the time for the things that you really wanna do and I really wanna do this. But even though I really wanna do this, that hasn’t kept the fear from creeping up my spine, embedding itself into my brain. My brain waves telling me that my quest for perfection will never be accomplished, so why try?

but then why get mad when someone else has made the time?
not only that, but even more mad when I know I could’ve done it better and I didn’t.

I’d rather keep my light to myself. Rather say what I have to say to no one in particular. Instead of shining brightly, I’ll lift up the corner of the basket that I’m hiding my light under. Revealing a little at a time before I hide it again.
YOU CAN’T SEE IT!
YOU CAN’T HAVE ACCESS!
I WON’T ALLOW IT!

but don’t YOU dare write anything in the meantime because YOU DON’T WANT TO RISK MY WRATH!
And I HATE being left behind.

15 years of writer’s block is what I can claim.
that’s a good portion of my life right there. Almost 1/2 the years I’ve been on this earth.

I’m pretty sure, when I shelled out the money for this laptop, that writing was the overall agenda.
Not just some portable machine that lets me take Walking Dead to ultimate marathon watching comfort.
But seriously, have you ever watched tv in bed for more than a few hours and not fallen asleep.

I can’t even tell you how many nights I woke up and had to save my computer from being kicked off the bed because I closed it and just shoo’d it to the side. not even WITHIN the pillow fort I’ve created, but on the other side! That’s prime for “it was all fun til I kicked my laptop and it broke”

that would just be another story for me to shamefully tell my friends about. Then they’d tell me to write about it and I’ll tell them “no.” Thus subjected myself to another round of judge-y eyes.

and round and round we go..
this is Day 1, let’s see where this goes..

oh, and the only reason I’m posting this is because The Challenge told me to…

see you around..
Nick..

What We Knew Then…..

I drove by the old neighborhood last night. Went down the street that held so much of my memories, when I was trying to figure myself out. Just graduating high school, I thought college would’ve been the logical choice, but I felt unprepared. And mom wasn’t ready to let me go, asking that I stay home for a year before leaving. I guess pleasing her was important back then. Like I said, I was trying to figure myself out. This was before I concluded that my mother just might not love me. And even if she did, my love language dictated I needed to hear it, and she was incapable.

Smoking Blacks on the corner with the fellas. Pretending I was cool enough to be “one of the fellas” yet hoping one of them noticed me. Not knowing how to respond when one of them actually did. Feeling out of my skin because in this moment, being cool was easier/better than being myself. Because no one had told me otherwise. Behind the curve in knowing who I was, not wanting to do the work to get it together. Scared of what I might find if I actually did.

But let’s drink these St. Ides, and smoke these beedies. Just far enough to pretend, without falling over into “actually” becoming a smoker, or a drunk. Knowing I’m on roller skates and my house is at the bottom of a hill. It’s not gonna be a good look, halfway buzzed, on roller skates. Hell, I’ll take off the skates and walk in my socks, because I’m dizzy, and I gotta get home. Hopelessly waiting for Charles to offer me a ride home, or hell, I’ll even take his brother Shawn, because they’re both cute, and not all of us knew the rule of not flirting with both brothers. Them being cute is what matters the most. I have a weakness for dreads, and I’m out of high school now, so I’m grown.

I remember my neighbors from across the street, two teenage girls and their older sister. Their mother didn’t like me because sometimes the fellas came over my house and we’d stand outside. She said I was “in that way.” Playing Super Nintendo and getting dressed up to walk to the corner store. Because at any moment, one of the guys could drive down the street, and it didn’t make sense if you didn’t look cute enough. Knowing somewhere deep within me that I didn’t like being hissed at, something left over from a middle school trauma. I’d rather be on my roller skates, not trying to walk with that special “peacock twitch.” Locking your knees when you were waiting to check out because that made your booty sit just a little bit higher. It never really worked tho, because I was too busy looking at the ground, trying to shrink just a little bit smaller. Notice me, but not for my body. Another side effect of that damn middle school trauma. I know that now.

But you couldn’t tell me anything. I had my own room with my own door! I left the house at all hours of the night. To do what, I don’t know. Because I surely could smoke these Black & Milds in the daytime. I guess it was the thrill of it all. Trying to get a special taste of what it might be like when I actually left for college.

Doing things out of spite, “cuz I don’t trust these hoes.” I became “that girl,” because my best friend said she only hung around me because her boyfriend once said I was cute. So she “wanted to keep her enemies close.” And now, I’m 17 yrs old and in that phase of “every girl I know is a hoe, don’t trust em.” Goodness, those were confusing days. I can hardly read these sentences without drawing a diagram to remember how everything connected.

“Fast” is how I would describe that phase. I’m only referring to myself.  That surely wasn’t used to describe the passing of time, which seemed to go soo slowly. 

“Damn, I can’t wait til I’m 21. Everything will start then.”

The sentiment seems so silly now.

I have no idea of where the guys that used to hang on the corner have gone. Getting their acceptance seemed so important back then. Getting everyone’s acceptance seemed so important. Feeling like an outsider in my own home had me wanting  a place to belong. “Yes, Biggie bumps harder in the car, but I really want to listen to Hall & Oates.” Wanting to feel like it was alright to be just a little…. bit….. “left” without it being “uncool.”

It seems like a lifetime ago. I don’t often pause to think about the ways I’ve changed since then, too busy lamenting over the ways I want my life to change now. But these thoughts/memories go past my mind everytime I drive past the old neighborhood. I stare at the house and the ways it has changed since I was there. And I know that everything changes, whether we want it to or not. But I also realize how small my thinking was. 

Now I know I knew nothing….

Then. 

Sorry..Is all that you can say.. (then)

I don’t even know how to start this story.

“I don’t like that nigga..”

“somethin bout him ain’t right”

” He just doesn’t care.”

I’ve had dreams where I’ve strangled him. Dreamt of slapping him. Wanted to sell his stuff on Ebay. I can tell you about this level of my ugly, because I’m not perfect. I’m supposed to have Christ in me, but that dude has me round here wanting to lock him out the house in the middle of a hurricane.

And then wish Final Destination would happen to him.

Selfish

Inconsiderate

From the first time he snitched on me to moms, I knew our relationship wouldn’t be the kind I saw on the tv. As he stole money from me and caused my computer to crash I knew it was gonna be a cold day in hell before my brother and I would get along.

This went south very quickly...

This went south very quickly…

All these years, I’ve walked around with a quiet hatred toward my brother. I can call it hatred, because yes, that’s what it was. He got by on stealing from me because he wasn’t yet 18. I was waiting, for the moment I could press charges. Because if mom wasn’t gonna teach him a lesson, then I would. Several million “I’m sorry” no longer meant anything because if you were gonna do it again, then just save your breath. He would say “I’m sorry” in the same way Martin proposed to Gina.

“DAMN! are you HAPPY NOW?!”

He ate my food, we fought.

He didn’t consider me, we fought.

He stole from me, we fought.

No one punished him, I got mad at the world.. Then…. we fought.

He did something to my mother, she didn’t demand respect, I got mad at her.. Then we fought.

I couldn’t understand why “family” had such a different definition to him. Why you would steal from someone that would just give, if you’d been kind enough to ask. Why he was so selfish, and why my mother let him. I wanted to distance myself as far away from him as possible. Because Heaven forbid anyone look at me and think I’m the way he is. I don’t like that nigga. And that’s the realest shit I ever felt.

Then I took several seats. While watching the world from my bedroom window, I started watching him. I’m not sure where it came from, but I did start trying. I wanted to understand him. I wanted to know where his head was at, and if we had to co-exist, then something was gonna have to change before you see me on the news.

“Be the change you want to see in the world”- some smart dude.

I’ve tried this before. I’ve been nicer to my brother and we seemed to make progress only to get slapped on my other cheek  right at the moment when I thought we could be friends. So I was scared. I was scared to try again because this dude wanted to keep me at arm’s length. But I also knew that I needed my home to be my place of peace. I was also sure he felt my flesh-searing rays of anger whenever he came home. The initial thought being “why is he here and when is he leaving again?”

Now that I think about it, maybe that tension was why he never stayed home for very long, always finding someplace non-important to go. Jam packing a schedule in order to limit his interaction with me, my attitude, my disdain, and my fighting the demons that wanted me to ram his face into something one good time.

It was January, 2013. We had that ONE GOOD FIGHT that seemed to spring from nothing. That seemed to go from 0-60 in light speed. Before I knew it, I was yelling, cursing. Mom tried to intervene (“because the neighbor’s might hear”) and I kindly told her to go somewhere else and sit all the way down. This was the fight I’d been waitinig for. FINALLY, I could put paws on this nigga (he’s taller than I am) and get everything out, in one. fell. swoop. 

Dial the 9-1-1 and put your finger on “send.”

Me: “YOU DON’T F***** CARE BOUT ANYONE BUT YOUR DAMN SELF!!!!” (by this time, I’m the kind of angry that involves a shortage of breath..) YOU ROUND HERE EATING S**T THAT DON’T BELONG TO YOU! I CAN’T STAND YOU!

Him: “When did I do that?! You’re bring up things from last year! Stop doing that!

and in that moment, I realized he was right……

*to be continued*… 

Peace and Love, Nick

PS. Ya’ll think I forgot about the contest, Nah.. I like to keep my word. Soo, because all 3 ideas were good ones, I’m announcing all 3 participants the winners. Sope, Shon, and WU.. Email me yo addresses, (nick.notnikki@gmail.com) and I’mma send a lil sumthin.. Emphasis on “lil.:

Shon, I have your address already… Lol.. 

That didn’t read like 849 words, but I swear it was…. I’ll be back with the rest soon.

 

The Accent Challenge..

So.. I sat back and realized that the last time I wrote anything was on Valentine’s Day.. I looked in the mirror and said, “NIGGA! You been ‘thinking about writing’ for over 2 months!?” and I realized I needed to get my life together..

This isn’t what I originally wanted to post, but the other post wasn’t rockin right, so I’m doing the accent challenge. I was gonna do the challenge in a British accent, but that would negate the point..  For the old heads that know me, and the few new people I picked up along the way, here you go…..

I plan on doing more video posts, because honestly.. some of these stories, you can’t read about…. 

Thank you, for being here with me… 

YouTube Preview Image

and see if you can pick out my grey eyelashes making an appearance…

See you soon… Nick