Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Much Love to You Jennifer Hudson

My love, thoughts, and prayers go out to Jennifer Hudson and her family. Of young stars in the world, Miss Hudson has taken her stardom with grace and humility. Only America Ferrera has shown a similar character. The tragedy and violence that has characterized Jennifer's family is not unique. Unfortunately, it is the type of violence that visits so many of our black families. Jennifer has the additional burden of having to navigate her grief in public at a time when she should be able to relish a stardom that has been marked by hard work and commitment.

As one artist to another, my love goes out to you. May God grant you peace and understanding and guide your family to rest.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Comedy of Errors

Last week was a pure comedy of errors moment. On Wednesday, I left work to have lunch with my friend Mike. Now, I had been feeling slightly unwell earlier in the day, but it was nothing to blog about. During lunch my slightly unwell feeling exploded into a Linda Blair moment. After the second time my head spun around and I lobbed pho into the porcelain jaws, I decided that I should probably head home for the day.

I had, previous to making the decision to head home, sent a message to my co-worker Chris saying that I was not feeling well but would be back in the office. I followed that up with a text saying that I was going to head home. She never got the text. And thus it began.

On the way home, I lost my cellphone and my ID due to an unzipped side pocket on my travel bag. So was the stage set for an unsuspecting Brandon to find himself at the core of a coast-to-coast electronic manhunt.

Last Thursday morning, I sent an email to the office saying that I was still ill and would not be in. My roommates were gone for work for the day, and so I had only email to use to communicate to the office. Unfortunately, I had left the power cord for my Mac at the office and later that morning when I returned to consciousness to email my boyfriend, I discovered that my Mac was dead. I then tried to plug my old laptop into the DSL line, but it refused to access the Internet (Josh’s friend came to our house and “changed the settings” on the internet and now none of us can get on the internet with our computers via the wireless router and only my Mac is able to access the internet when plugged directly into the modem). I knew that David would probably be losing his mind wondering what was going on with me, but since I had emailed work that morning, I figured that work was peachy keen. Or, to be more precise, I didn’t think about work at all.

I was at home, with the flu, with no phone, and no internet access. For all intents and purposes I was living in the mid-21st century in rural Alabama.

Later that day, around 3:00pm, I heard a pounding on the front door. Since I was snug in my bedroom and half awake, I rolled over, grabbed a pillow, covered my head, and mentally commanded the Jehovah’s Witnesses to go away. If only I had answered the door, I would have found two distraught co-workers. Instead, I slipped into fretful dreams of Kingdom Hall.

I rose occasionally for the rest of the day to vomit, eat something, and pee. I also checked to see if Josh or Tony had come home. Finally, around 9pm, I turned off my light and went to sleep only to be awakened within an hour by the sound of CeCe, my neighbor from across the street, knocking on my door.


“What girl, I am asleep.”

“Your co-worker is out here and everyone is looking for you!”

“What are you talking about?”

“No one has heard from you for a day.”

“That is crazy. I will be right out.”

I got out of my bed to find Mervyn, my beloved girl pal from work, and my roommate Tony looking distraught. It turns out that the office never received my text nor my email, and David had called looking for me. Basically, CMJ turned into the Bloodhound Gang detective agency, and I was the mark. Turns out that my loving co-workers, had basically started a chain reaction that reached out and touched most of my friends across the country. People from the Bay to NYC to Atlanta were calling and emailing trying to find out where I had gone.

I have never felt so loved in my life. Today, I received an email from MAC--an amazingly brilliant human being that I can joyously add to my list of powerful female-bodied persons from whom I have learned and will continue to learn much. MAC was not pleased. She was not pleased with my lack of communication, and she was absolutely right. I will most likely, as a result of this situation, lose some of the amazing flexibility that we have at CMJ in terms of working from home or from alternative locations. I think that is fair. What else is fair is the way that MAC goes about discipline. I am not happy to have to have created a situation where discipline is necessary. But I have also never been given a voice in coming up with a solution to a situation that values who I am in toto.

And to all of you that were concerned, that reached out to make sure I was ok, I say to you thank you and I love you.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I feel as if I am standing at a crossroads right now. I have a wonderful man named David Berube. He loves me. He, usually, understands me and honors where I have been. We have had some issues, and once or twice I have been stung pretty deeply, but that happens in relationships.

We don’t live near one another. As a matter of fact, we are almost as far away from each other as we possibly can be and still be in the continental United States. I am in the Bay, and he is in NYC. Based on both of our ways of being, based on being real about how we operate in the world, and being real about distance, we have decided to have an open relationship.

Now, in general, I am a very sexually liberated person….at least I thought I was. But when you throw love in the mix, and then when you add a history that does not include basically any healthy relationships, and then when you add to that a core belief that revolves around abandonment and loss of love, and you have a mix that is crazy making.

Oh did I mention that one of my gifts/curses from having grown up basically getting my ass beaten on a daily basis is that I absolutely know when someone is lying and/or is being less than truthful (even when it is not malicious). So I can probably pinpoint with laser precision accuracy when David is planning on getting some play…and even though it is totally acceptable, even though I know without a doubt he loves all of me, even though I know that it is possible to separate sex from emotions, even though I know that that we are 3,000 miles apart he spends a good chunk of his day thinking about me, communicating with me, and loving me in multiple ways…the thought of him with someone else makes me want to scream. My heart aches when I know it is going on. And this is all my shit that I have to carry, live with, learn to deal with, and learn to let go without making David’s life crazy.

God help me and everyone around me.

One of the ways I deal with what I am feeling is to externalize those thoughts and feelings. Poor David that one of the things my blog readers live for is to read about my internal crazy. To my credit, I am doing the best I can with the history I have. Part of the problem is that I have no patience with myself. When there is a disconnect between what I feel and what I believe, and I am unable to immediately and actually bring what I feel and what I believe into alignment, I go down some pretty self-destructive paths. No one in the world is as self-critical and self-flagellating as I am when I get into this place.

The fact is that I love David Berube. I love him in a stupid way that I did not know was possible for me. I love him for who he is, for what he brings to the world through his art, and for loving me. Does he have flaws, yep. Are things always good? Nope. Do I process like a lesbian and is he such a stereotypically gay man that sometimes I just don’t understand how to work through issues with him. Oh. Goodness. Yes.

In the past, I would have run away so far and so fast you would have that the Flash passed by. But I can’t run from David. He is the first thing I think about in the morning. I dream about him at night. And I think about him before I go to bed. I am standing at a crossroads that I have never seen before. I have no experience to lead me or guide me. I am confused. I am scared. I have a great man by whom I would like to not only do right but do righteously by. All I can keep doing is walking the path and make my choices based on what I feel for him and not the hurt and fear that is so comfortable.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Dow Jones Industrial Average Scares Me

So, for the most part, the DowJones Industrial Average is just a number that I hear about now and again. I might bump into it online or in the newspapers. I might run into it casually as I am listening to NPR. But, in general, Dow and have little to say to each other. We hang out in different circles. In general, I don't think about Mr. Jones. Since I am forced to live in this capitalistic world, I have a passing concern in the health of Mr. Jones, but though there are occasional coughs and sneezes, I have never worried to much about him.

That is until the last week when the Dow needed a 700 billion dollar shock to the heart and is still having wild palpitations. As a matter of fact, Mr. Jones seems to be suffering from the same genetic disease that offed his Grandfather on Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929. The fact that October 29th is fast approaching and the market has already lost more in terms of points in a single day than it ever as in history has me thinking about my life.

As I sit, day by day, watching the imminent collapse of the American financial system and, consequently, the collapse of the world financial system, I have been forced to wonder what I am going to do once the grid goes down and we are forced into hunter gatherer societies and our cities are transformed into concrete and steel jungles. Basically, without a computer, all of my skills are for naught. Basically, I will be forced into being a fisherman, or the oldest profession: ho.

I think I will go with being a ho. The payout is much better and you don't walk around with fish scales stuck to your eyelids all day.

Capitalism is a bitch. Our collective quest for higher profits without any regard for the human experience and justice has led us directly to the doorstop of a very dark dark future. And in that future, you can find me working the corner of Broadway and Telegraph in Downtown Oakland.