She stumbled on my porch; slurring her words, and dang near foaming at the mouth.
And while this may sound like an introduction to my next zombie thriller, I’m actually describing my Friday night.
And this person I’m talking about is a friend of my neighbor.
I compare her to a mosquito; she comes around when the weather is warm with a Newport in one hand and a can of cheap beer in the other, buzzing in your ear, rambling on and on about this and that.
But despite her apparent lack of interest in sobriety …
if you pay attention …
and listen really close …
and disregard the smell of fermented alcohol coming out of her pores …
she actually drops gems.
And this Friday, when the temperature rose above 80 degrees for the first time in months, she remained true to form.
So ya’ll know the rust on my gears started crumbling as my brain started moving.
Iwonder how many people are disregarded, considered disposable, or invaluable, not by loved ones (we all have a drunk uncle), but by the world as a whole.
I mean, how many times have you looked at someone who chooses a particular vice to self-medicate or is clearly making questionable personal choices and dismissed them?
It’s like we use their addiction to define them. And while it does in some ways, it’s not the whole of who they are.
I mean, we’re all addicted to something.
For me, it’s copious amounts of carbs and nicotine. *shrugs* Don’t judge me. I told y’all that I’m working on getting my &*#@ together.
But some people gravitate towards alcohol.
Others enjoy the sting of a good workout.
For others, it’s hard drugs.
And then there are some people who are addicted to taking selfies in the bathroom mirror (trust me, my timeline confirms this common addiction).
While it varies in severity and impact to our lives, addiction is one of the only things that does not discriminate. Rich, poor, fat, skinny, we’re all affected in one way or another.
But why is it that when someone’s addiction is to something more visibly self-destructive do we seem to ignore their human experiences?
Often times, we look down our noses at those with addiction issues.
Heck, I’m going to admit that growing up, I didn’t realize that those crack-addicted zombies I’d see walking down the street were actually people. … don’t judge me, I was a child.
My point is they are people.
People with hopes and dreams and desires (outside of their addiction) and their human experience is real.
So when sis comes up to me and engages in her usual drunken antics, I pay attention.
While the following passages have been edited in the interest of keeping this blog to a certain word count (sis can TALK), I wanted to share what I learned from her; just as she gave it to me because it ironically goes along with a lot of the things that I talk about in this space.
“You know I always speak that real. And when I feel a muthafugga can’t take my real, I simply ask them if I can keep talking. If they say no. I shut the fug up.”
“Why you gone let them take your YOU from YOU?”
“Don’t nobody make you or break you.”
“They want us to be like them; but fug it we’re not like them.
And POOF – just like that
… she stumbled back on the porch next door
… and continued with her conversation with my neighbors like she just wasn’t just engaging in a full one with me.
So this week, not only did I come to understand a bit more about compassion, I also learned that sometimes the universe, God, or however your spirit chooses to define it, sends you messages in the oddest ways.
And in my opinion, the things she said to me told me I’m on the right path; to keep plugging along; and to continue being true to my whole, authentic, black ass self.
While we’re busy looking at the clouds for answers or confirmation, sometimes the answer could be coming out of the mouth of someone walking around just like you
… or someone nothing like you.
If we don’t suspend judgment though and allow things to come to us as they should, we’ll miss the message.
Either way, sometimes what you’re looking for doesn’t come wrapped in the packaging you thought it would come in.
So pay attention, folks.
Until next time,
Be kind to yourself,
And your drunk neighbor (if you have one that drops gems like mine)
Love and Light,
What did you say?
You miss me when I’m gone?
Well, you know you can keep up with my antics every other day of the week …
You can also find all of my books The Becoming of Us, Vol. I, The Becoming of Us, Vol. II, What’s Hiding in the Dark: 10 Tales of Urban Lore, and They Eat on Amazon: