I write because I absolutely have to. I’m not sharpening my skills, because the foundation isn’t really there. I write because the tumbleweeds rolling upstairs need a medium. It lacks fluidity and the beautiful thing where people can start the story way over here and take you full circle on a lexicon rollercoaster all the way there, the last sentence like a bow on a beautiful present. That’s a nice package. What I gots for you is nonsense.
Tonight I sat on my porch for a little while. It’s best at this time of year because the trees are almost bare and the crisp wind sharpens the view of the Atlanta skyline. It’s a glimpse in time of a luxurious sweet nothing and it reminds me of someone. It is someone I used to love, but it isn’t your typical first heartbreak tale. This one doesn’t involve a boy. It wasn’t a first crush. It was my best friend, and the only soul in the world I laid all my cards on the table for. She knew everything about me, encouraged me to be better and wiser and taught me to appreciate the simple moments. She was the kind of person who made a cup of tea together the most priceless thing you may experience this year.
I met her in 9th grade. She was soft-spoken, a lover of Punk Rock and an avid activist for human rights in all avenues. When she talked, people listened. She had love for all humanity, and a voice of reason for human responsibility. She was my partner in crime and she was a second mother.
She was the first experience in being together and forgetting all the world around us. We had our own language and too many inside jokes to count. She taught me jazz, blues, punk rock, Elvis Castello, and The Clash. She amazed me with her art, humility being an underlying trait of such an angel on Earth. Her heritage and her soul made her a person wise beyond her years. What she had, no one could replicate because it was the wealth of her being. I’ve never met anyone as loving and simultaneously decisive apart from my mother. She was a perfectionist, and just to be in her presence was to know that she, and the world, expected more of you. I wanted to be, and became, a better person just to remain in the top ranks of her friendship.
When I think of being better, of creating a sustainable lifestyle and pursuing happiness, I think of her. She made a simple red t-shirt a work of art because she wore it on her golden shoulders and unknowingly paired it with her stunning cheekbones and her timeless smile. Sharing a doughnut with her, or listening to a new record she picked up at a yardsale, was a moment when time stood still. She demanded respect and love and humanity, simply with her presence. In the words of my favorite poet, Mr. Andre 3000:
Sad, but one day our kids will have to visit museums
To see what a lady looks like
So if you find one, I beg you, hold her tight
If you spot one, good sir, treat her right
It’s only a heartbreak because she moved away, and we grew apart. But if I know one thing, I know we’ll be in the same boat, drifting down a slow river with lukewarm waters, sometime once more. I can’t wait to hear her lullaby voice. She will forever remain the one and only, Princess of the Dope and Dirty South.