I used to think men were some sort of secret maze.
But then I had a son …
And I realized that they are just really tall, little boys with a range of emotions and experiences layered atop.
Now, I don’t mean that in any demeaning sense, but simply that they are more vulnerable and fragile than we think. While they’ve been socialized to hide his vulnerability, there are times where it peeks out from behind the curtain.
So while I’m grateful for everyone that allowed me to share their stories, I’m especially grateful for this conversation …
because this grown man allowed me to see his little boy …
even if it was just for a second ..
and neither one of us knew it was happening at the time.
You see, as I read through this interview to get it ready to post, the memories of the night I spoke with this gentleman came back.
It wasn’t just what he said to me …
It was how he said it …
His tone of voice …
How his leg started to shake when he told me about being in love …
How he closed his eyes when he talked about his mom.
So as we sat outside and talked, the warm air of the fleeting summer still around us, he peeled back the layers of humor and kindness; self-doubt and paranoia; regrets and dreams deferred by parenthood; and showed me him.
So without further ado, I present to you, Harv.
Interviewee Age: 37
Occupation: Warehouse Worker
|How do you spend your free time?
Playing the game and reading … the last thing I read was the drivers manual … not reading anything now.
|Are you happy?
Yes and no … what’s the middle? That’s a broad question because, like, I’m happy with some aspects of my life others I’m not.
I’m happy with the way I’m raising my son. I’m happy with my health. I think I’m happy with my loyalty towards my family because I try to be there for everyone.
|What makes you happy?
Making other people happy … because I’m just used to pleasing people.
Do you think making other people truly makes you happy or do you think you’re doing it because that’s what you’re used to?
Probably because that’s what I’m used to.
|What was the best moment of your life and why?
Watching my son’s birth. I didn’t think I would ever have kids. I always spoke about what it would be like when I had kids and talking about that made me happy, But once I actually went through it, it was like wow.
|When you think back on it, can you think of anything you learned this week?
I learned how a 7-year-old shows the work for his addition problems. That was awesome! We had a moment with that that night <laughs> and he got all of them right. That was dope!
|What is one thing you regret?
I regret not trying harder.
There’s so much. In my relationships … in my romantic relationships.
Because the person that I didn’t try hard with … I still think about her. I think things could have been different if I tried harder. I mean, like trying harder on the relationship. If I could go back I probably would have just sucked up the frustration because that’s what made me not try. I would have sucked it up because I feel like by not doing it, I gave up too easily.
|If you could go back in time in your entire life (it can be other people, circumstances, things) and change just one thing about your life, what would it be?
I wouldn’t have let my mom be a drug addict. If I could change that that would have been dope. She was a F’ing crack head <laughs>
I give him a puzzled look.
Hey, she was. I picked that because that’s the reason why my real mother wasn’t in my life the way I would have liked her to be. She was a mother, but she wasn’t a mom. Like I told you, she still came through and did things for the kids, but she always had to leave, type sh*t, you know …
I can’t even remember my real mother telling me she loved me. I’m her youngest child, so I know she loved me.
|When was the first time you were in love?
I was in love with my first girlfriend … I lovededed her!
I still remember her name and everything … she tore my soul up. Pinning me down to that chair like she did that night. Go head, Sherise! We were young as heck. I was 14. She was 17. She had me on that booka booka … I was hanging on, boy, for dear life!
|When was the last time you were in love?
I’m still in love with the last person I was in love with. That didn’t leave. I’m going through it.
I hung out with her the other night. Before I left, my nephew asked me what I was getting into for the night. I had a couple of options. My home girl had called me asking me to come over. Her son was having a party and she wanted me to come through after and drink and do some other stuff <winks>. But I didn’t want to do that because I’m not feeling her like that. So I went to my ex’s. I told my nephew that I would have more fun hanging with my ex, just laughing and talking than I would having intercourse with that other girl. I think the other girl is mad now.
|What do you think people think of you? Do you care?
Strangers? They might think they about to get robbed! <laughs>
My family? My family … I think … that’s a good question … I think my family thinks I’m a sucker. I’m easily won over because I’m so giving and non-confrontational. If I see the easiest way out of something I’m going to take that route and I think they know that about me.
Do you care?
No, because I’m still going to do what I do. Whether I feel some kind of way about you or not. You’re still my family.
|What you want to be when you grew up? Did it happen? Why or why not?
First, I wanted to be a fireman, but once I got to junior high …
A car speeds by and he screams “Book ‘em, Danno!” He then continues his thought without missing a beat.
… I wanted to be basketball player. After junior high, I wanted to be a MF hustler. <laughs> But don’t put that, I’m only playing. After junior high, I wanted to create video games and design clothes.
But I wasn’t focused.
It was just something I wanted to be and I didn’t understand the value of being focused … at least not then.
I do now, but it’s more like childhood dream now. Once I had my son, there was no “what do you want to be?” All of that went out the window. I just want to be a good parent.
|What’s your favorite song? How does it make you feel?
What’s the name of that song?
The very first timeeeeeee
That I saw your brown eyes
Your lips said hello and I said hi
Who sang that song?
It was group of dudes … like 3 of them. Yeah, that joint is a bop.
Until Next Time, Blog Fam!
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: