The Boy from Virginia Breaks Routine (The Concrete Choronicles)

Novemeber 2012

 The first day of November, I did something I hadn’t done in a very long time. I decided I was going to an open call. It would be my first open call in New York and I wanted to make it count. So I planned an outfit that would make me look 60s chic without going overboard, and I skimmed through my appropriate sheet music, finding that I actually didn’t possess the right songs for the show being cast. I instantly reprimanded myself and was about to can the entire idea when I thought to myself, ‘You made a decision. You can’t back down now.’ So I decided I’d go to the audition with whatever was in my songbook and if I were lucky enough to be called back, then I would do the extra prep work then. The fact that I’d built up the resolve to go to a cattle call was good enough.

The next day, to take away the stress of not feeling fully prepared for the audition, I linked up with a friend from London who’d happened to be in town on his honeymoon. He and his partner chose an unfortunate time to be in New York, however, as Hurricane Sandy blustered her way through town not too long after their arrival, leaving the newlyweds without power below 14th Street. Being resourceful, however, he’d managed to find alternative living quarters. He also managed to get me from the Upper West Side to Hell’s Kitchen to say hey and to meet other artists. It was a visit I welcomed wholeheartedly because I was in desperate need of London energy. I hadn’t been able to make many new friends in the city who weren’t co-workers, and the friends I did have in the city were so scattered about the place that linking up with them was becoming a more difficult task. I wasn’t feeling loved in the city.

I’d begun to prefer the London Fog to what I’d started calling “The Rotten Apple.” I knew I shouldn’t have allowed my emotional success to reside in such a specific location, as I definitely had hardships there as well…but forcing a connection with a place wasn’t healthy either. It felt akin to trying to make a relationship work because one felt he must; not because the foundation was strong enough for it to work on its own.

Upon linking with my friend -a former co-star in a brilliant new musical I’d had the chance to workshop multiple times while living in London- I was able to relax and talk shop for a bit. We’d both been informed that the show we work-shopped had been picked up to be performed by one of the most reputable companies in the world. We were both on pins and needles hoping that we’d get a call or news about when the show would premiere, and if we’d both still be a part of it. Conversation waned once the hype about art was over, but it was an important enough conversation to plant a seed of hope in me for my future. In the back of my mind, I was confident that, regardless of whether I lived in New York, London, or the Amazon, I was going to be a part of that new show if it killed me. I believe that second day of November was the day I remembered what ambition felt like. But how long would that memory remain?

The next day, I woke up, threw on a decent outfit, gathered some sheet music from my song book and packed a headshot and resume, and then trekked into midtown at 6:30am to attend the open audition for Motown the Musical. Having known someone who was a part of the workshop, I was confused as to why the show was still auditioning when they seemed to be fully cast. Still, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to be seen.

About thirty-five other early bird artists and amateurs felt the same way, I discovered, when I entered the lobby of Telsey and Company. They were cold, and shivering, and ready to show the world that they belonged on a stage, anyone’s stage. And here I was…feeling…like I’d gone back to high school. Instead of feeling like I was at an audition, I felt like I was at a forensics competition with all the assorted characters. There was even the overachieving, know-it-all girl who made a list of all the people who came in so no one could jump the line.

“There’s an order here, and we want to keep it that way.” She smiled one of those psychotic smiles that warned me not to cut in line, or I’d be cut. Then she gave me the sheet of paper that was already covered in scrawls. “Number yourself and sign your name here.” I complied, mainly because it was 6:50am and I am a firm believer that all drama should be put off until noon.

What she failed to do, however, was read the fine print on the website –and the door– that said “unauthorized audition lists would not be taken into consideration at all unless distributed by Equity.” So after the doors were officially opened into the audition room (and after about 200 more people showed up), I moved from being the thirty fifth person to number eleven (merely because I was closest to the door). In waiting for the auditions to begin, I watched a good twenty people change into their best thrift store costumes to emerge as people from my grandparents generation. I enjoyed their efforts, and their outlandish afro wigs. Power to the people! I watched American Idol wannabees riffing up, down and around the scales as they warmed their voices. Girls plastered on too much make up. Guys got in touch with their falsetto. Yet, I was still wondering if singing Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” would motivate me to do exactly that. I wasn’t worried, but I was overwhelmed at the environment. I’d luckily avoided open calls my entire London career because of my wonderful agent there. It felt strange knowing that I’d only have 16 bars of a song to represent all of what I could possibly do. But when they called my name, I knew I’d have to try.  

It was a very brief audition. I wasn’t asked to remain, like some others were…and I was ok with it. Unlike others, I wasn’t there to compete or make fun of others or challenge anyone. I was there to challenge myself. The hard part was done; going to the damn audition. I was proud of myself for taking that risk. I laughed off the entire day and prepped myself for a return to work and normal non-actor routine.

My wake up ritual had become the same. My iPhone would play a snippet of the pop song I’d programmed to wake me up at my designated time, and I’d listen to see if one of the 4 other roommates were plodding across the floorboards. If so, I’d wait until I heard a door shut, and I’d start my day of avoiding people until I had to step outside of my building. Considering we still did not have a bathroom to call our own, I’d sometimes had to go to the coffee shop next door to pee.

The election was around the corner. In my mind President Obama was just bound to win. I had no doubts. But I was also disappointed in myself for not getting my absentee ballot mailed off much sooner that the day before elections. It was evident that my vote wouldn’t count, but I did try. Unfortunately just as I’d missed my chance to vote on time, I’d also missed the moment when the POTUS actually won his second term. Walking through Harlem at 10:58pm (I’d stayed at work late and went to the gym) and hearing the cheers and the overall relief at the victory was enough to warm me up on the suddenly chilly Election evening. If anything was certain in my life, it was that our President would be spending the next four years doing his best to make a difference. That was about all I could count on.

The next week, I was supposed to be celebrating my debut on ABC’s Revolution! I’d made the mistake of telling friends and family that I would most certainly be a part of the episode that was airing only to receive an e-mail from my agent stating “your part was cut from tonight’s episode.” I wasn’t completely crushed. I’d gotten paid for my work already, so that was proof enough that I actually did the job. “Embarrassed” is a more appropriate word for how I was feeling. People root for me -sometimes- and I wanted those people to be proud that I’d made it to primetime. Truth was: I hadn’t. The only lesson I learned, at that moment, was a professional one. Keep all successes quiet until they occur. I made a vow to myself from then on that if I did anything regarding film and TV, I wouldn’t speak about it to anyone. If I booked a job, I could be happy about it, but only to myself. To tell anyone else would be getting their hopes up and I didn’t want to do that to anyone. I’d experienced enough empty promises in my life to shatter the dreams or expectations of others. Funny enough, I was also beginning to get bored with the empty promises I was making to myself.

During the month of November, I’d been having sporadic text conversation and occasional meetings with my college heroine. Mo, a dead ringer for Brandy Norwood (if she’d worn box or micro braids and had a music career), was my saving grace many times in NYC.  There was once a time in our lives where we both considered ourselves royalty and lately we’d started asking life, “How in the hell did we end up in this particular moment?” There was something absurd about the fact that we were growing up and experiencing these epic highs, lows and adult-isms that we were somehow prepared to deal with. Getting older was just laughable to us. Mainly because we felt no older than the day we’d met back in 2003. Only now, she had 2 amazing sons and an apartment in Harlem and I…well… I was a no-money nomad who’d gotten complacent. This was a problem…

Two months prior, Rihanna released a song that, though lyrically cheesy, changed my perspective on things. “Diamonds” was a song that told you to shine bright. While others paid attention to the childlike tonality of Riri’s singing voice, I was hearing a command. The message in that line burst through like sun rays through interrupted sleep. “Shine bright like a diamond.” Be not afraid to illuminate this world in whatever way you can. The song itself wasn’t about individuals, but I took the message of “shining” as my personal responsibility. And I told Mo one day, “We must hold each other accountable. Please don’t allow me to let my light dim. And I will do the same for you.” It felt like I was in a twelve-step program…but I knew I couldn’t shine alone. No truly successful person ever shines alone. I would need loads of help from willing participants and people I could trust. In mid-November, Mo became a woman I could trust with my light. As diamonds, we promised each other not to dull.

But even diamonds get soiled every now and again…

It was hard to feel like I was shining at all when I would go back to my box of a room and have to sleep on a borrowed air mattress with borrowed sheets. Besides my clothes, I felt I was still borrowing my room though I was paying rent. I had no furniture. Most of my stuff was still in a suitcase, and I couldn’t shift or adjust myself on the mattress without sounding like I was farting out the tea, and Entemann’s cake that was becoming my nightly best friend. I wasn’t owning anything, not even my life. My life wasn’t being lived in the way I’d wished. Tough times wouldn’t last, I knew. But God knows I didn’t feel like waiting until the struggle was over for it to be beautiful. I wasn’t feeling beautiful. I was feeling stunted.  Luckily art would save the saved the day for a day.

After filming a small role for a “Finding Me,” a thriving webseries based on two popular independent films of the same name, I’d planned a trip back home to Virginia for Thansgiving which was that same week. My niece would also be turning one year old that week and I refused to miss her special day. Since her birthday was the day after turkey day, I’d also be killing three birds with one stone: food, family, celebration.

Despite a terrbible Chinatown bus journey home, I arrived back in Virginia, hoping that in the time I’d been away that things would have changed. I hoped my sister would’ve become more responsible, that my mother’s worrying about things she had no control over would subside, that my little brother was flourishing in school, and that my niece would still remember my face.

She did.

Me and my neiceAnd after spending months without me, she walked right over to me so I could pick her up. I almost cried from happiness. Sometimes joy really is in the eyes of a child. My niece looked at me with so much curiosity and no judgment, and then rested her head on my chest. Only a child’s love can be that unconditional, or so I’m told.

Thanksgiving Day was full of food -that I helped prepare- and family. The next day, my niece’s  first birthday was simple and fun, and then it was time for me to return to New York, where the cold has settled in and I’d have some personal changes to make.  What was great was that I was able to spend the end of my month seeing two more friends from London who’d come to visit the city. If anything could lift my spirits, it would be ANY Londoner.

Deep in my heart, I knew that I would eventually go back to London. I didn’t know how or when it would happen, but seeing my friends solidified that it would definitely happen. Because I believed in that dream so damn much. Somehow I knew that it would be art that would make me return. But until art decided to make its move, it was back to my daily routine: wake up, avoid roommates, pee at the coffee shop next door, get dressed, and serve people all day long until I got off work, went to the gym, came home, drank tea, ate Entemann’s cake, and fell asleep. Then repeat.

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The Boy from Virginia Discusses the New Monarchy

Last week, Beyoncé released a single asking what she must think is the most important question ever: Who Runs the World? “Girls” was her answer. But today, it was quite evident that Love was running the world as everyone around the globe tuned into the royal wedding. It still amazes me how people can become so swept up in the lives of people they don’t know. Why should we care about Kate and William? They are just like anyone else, right? If this was any other wedding, it wouldn’t get this much hype, so why them? Well, simply put, they are royalty. What’s more important is that they are young royalty. With that being said, their youth represents so much. Then again, so does their obvious love and affection for one another.

            Up until today I was dreading the idea of a royal wedding. I was sure I was not going to be able to get to work on time (luckily, I didn’t get called in to work),that there’d be loads of sappy, teary-eyed, hand-holding couples dressed up as the royals (if that happened, I was lucky not to see it), and the people-congestion would just make me grumpy. But, after waking up around 11am and realizing (thanks to Twitter and Facebook) that I wasn’t going to be able to avoid the royal wedding at all, I gave in. The coverage was live on YouTube, so I was able to watch from the vows being made up until they got in the horse-drawn carriage to begin their royal waves. Then I left the house to do my anti-royal wedding day activities which I’d planned earlier this week. Only, as I walked along the Southbank and eventually to St. Pauls Catherdral (friend in tow), I was no longer feeling anti-anything. I was feeling as if I’d witnessed one of the greatest moments in history. And I was very much pro- love, for once.

            Tradition is the word that sprang to my mind today. It is also something that highly intrigues me when it comes to weddings. I think so many people try to out-do or not-do tradition when it comes to the matrimonial ceremony, but as the world has seen, a traditional wedding can be beautiful, classy, and enough. Watching the expensive simplicity of everything kept me enthralled, yet curious as well. No doubt Kate was prepared for all this, but now that it was actually happening, what was she thinking about her life before “I Will” and after “I Will?” She is, as they say, representative of the common woman marrying the Disney Prince, but judging from what has been said about her relationship history, there was nothing fairytale about how they met. To be honest, it just seemed like “down-to-earth Will” met “down-to-earth Kate,” they developed a relationship, fought, made up, made it work (a key factor), and made the big decision to unite as one. Why is this so inspiring? Isn’t that what a relationship is supposed to be before marriage? I guess I’m so inspired because I do know many relationships that have such sustainability.

            I now, sit here, exhausted from a day of walking around London (and having stumbled into a very awesome street party) asking myself all these questions about love and marriage and about my romantic future because I fear, unlike others in my life, that I will not be granted the same privilege of marriage. I’m not trying to be negative or throw a pity party (because I’m sure no one would attend). But it baffles me how the art of romantic selection (i.e Love) works. God (or whichever deity you worship) brought two people together, gave them free will to flesh out a life and 8-year history together, and now they’ve sealed the deal. I can’t even find someone to make 4-week history with, let alone 8-years. But it’s a clandestine desire I’ve had for a long time: to meet someone, grow immensely, and then…well…who knows…live together forever? I never imagined getting married, but having had one of my best friends recently jump the broom made me look at things differently.

            My theory: if you marry for love, then your marriage (no matter what it looks, sounds like, or costs) will be perfect because it’s everything you both want. Or at least this is the assumption.

            When it comes to me, and living in this world, I am slowly accepting that I am becoming more and more cynical by the day. Earlier this year, I was all too ready to embrace whatever came my way. And I was also willing to water it, fertilize it, and make it grow so that my love could blossom with somebody else. After making that pledge to myself, I got a taste of what it would be like to feel bliss with someone. Everything about the development was organic and natural. Things progressed in a very friendly, orderly, and fun manner…

            …And then a week (5 days to be exact) after my birthday, I received an e-mail saying that we were incompatible and “could we be friends?” Hmm…I immediately thought to myself, This is the equivalent of a post-it note.

            Clearly, love was NOT dating someone for a month. Nor was it sharing time together and phone calls and texts. Nor was it, it seems, being honest up front. I only wish I’d have known beforehand that there would be no future for us or I’d have not wasted so much time. Investing in someone is not a process to be taken lightly and when it comes to me, I’m the first to say when you fuck up my heart, you ruin it for the next one.

            I, now, do. Not. Want. Love. But if it comes…and it’s genuine…I might change my mind.

            But people promise all the time, “ I’m not like anyone else.” Great. I know that. No two people are ever exactly the same…but it would be foolish to say that we don’t all, to some degree function the same.

            Firstly, as a rule, we must SEE someone we like (Attraction), we must have something IN-COMMON, we must know that, at some point, sex needs to be on the menu (Lust), and that TIME must be invested to make it work. Ideally, that someone will also ACCEPT you for who you are.

            Having recently been rejected, I’ve discovered that I’m not the right type for a lot of people. People see me and have a lot of misconstrued notions of who I am. People think I’m not supposed to have a deep voice. People have told me “ You’d be so much better if you had muscles.” People expect me to be shallow. People expect soooo much from me and I just want to tell them all… “I’m skinny, deal with it. I will always invest more time into my career than someone else as it’s my true passion. More importantly, a normal person would love me to death.” The question is…who or what is normal these days?

            I despise the fact that I have so many issues with love. I despise the fact that I understand love is what we all need. I hate the fact that I love making other people feel loved, but yet, I can’t manage to make one single person love me back. When it comes to love, I am powerless at creating it or taking it away, it seems. So when that awful, repetitive, kintergarden-esque tune comes onto the radio, “Who Runs the World”… I have to reiterate: the answer is LOVE. And that’s the true monarchy in this world that we should all recognize.

The Boy from Virginia Begins his European Journey

One of the greatest memories I have, to this very day, is my memory of auditioning for the RSAMD three years ago, because it was the audition that changed my life…

I hadn’t looked at the weather forecast in that day, but I knew that upon leaving Harlem to head into Manhattan, I would need to wear multiple layers. Since I didn’t have my long underwear with me, I put on a pair of pajama bottoms underneath my dress slacks and headed out into the chilly New York winter. It was a Monday in January and I was spending my day auditioning for the top schools in America, hoping that I would eventually get a call back and an interview from the college what would be the best fit for me. Little did I know (that day) how soon those opportunities would come.

            After going to a very early cattle call audition in a hotel, I ran into a friend who was also on the graduate school search and she mentioned that she would be auditioning for “a small Scottish school” for fun. I said to myself, Scotland? Really? What is in Scotland besides Loch Ness? But I put my geographical questions aside and decided that any chance to audition would be a good one, so I began to run through my monologues in my head.

            I stepped into Ripley Grier studios that afternoon feeling very cool and nonchalant about auditioning for this school I’d never heard of before. I was sure that I would go into the room, not be able to understand a word of the Scottish accent, and then be told “we’ll be in touch.

That isn’t what happened at all.

            When I came into the audition room, I remember meeting Andrew Panton and another panel member. There was also a musical director in the room. The gentlemen asked me to recite my two monologues (I was interested heavily in classical texts at the time so I did  one from Hamlet and my contemporary piece was by Neil LaBute), and when I was finished, I was asked if I could sing. Go figure. I was so concerned about acting that I didn’t consider the idea of musical theatre. I told the panel that I could sing, but I was without sheet music. After singing a bit of a song acapella, I was asked to sit down.

            Andrew then asked me what I was looking for in a graduate program. I informed him. He did a lot of intent nodding as I spoke. Then I asked him about movement, to which he told me that he would love to see me at a dance call later that afternoon (coupled with a singing recall to which I needed to find sheet music).

            This was my interview, I’d assumed…and I had just received a call back!!!

            I was a bit bewildered, but extremely excited because it seemed I’d just had one of the most calm and productive auditions of my life. I called my mother with the good news, to which she responded with nothing but positivity.

 “Forget Yale, she told me. “Scotland has your name all over it!”

But I still had an issue. I was ill prepared for a dance call, better yet a singing audition. I needed to find materials, and fast!

            I ran eleven blocks to a music shop and purchased as many song-books as my pockets could afford, full of musical theatre songs I’d rehearsed before, or listened to as a kid. So, that was my sheet music sorted. Yet, there was still the problem of dance clothing. It soon hit me…I was wearing pajama bottoms. Though not the ideal choice for a dance call, they were moveable. I breathed easy for a minute. All I needed now was a shirt. So somewhere between the music shop and Ripley Grier studios, I found a t-shirt vendor who sold me an “I ♥ NY” t-shirt. At that moment, I did love New York for having exactly what I needed and I hurried, dodging the sea of city-folk, to my audition.

            Sweating and panting heavily, for fear that I would be late, I arrived in the dance studio ready to strip off and sing first, then dance later. When Andrew saw that I was nearly asthmatic an in desperate need of catching my breath, he said to me very calmly and with a reassuring smile “Take your time. We will wait until you are ready.” And for the first time in my theatrical career, I believed the sincerity behind those words.

            I went in for the dance call first and Andrew taught a routine to Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.” When I heard the music coming from the boom box, I relaxed, did the choreography to the best of my ability, and just tried to go with the flow. I didn’t even think about the other two candidates in the room with me. After the dance call was over, I sang two carefully selected songs and was told I did a good job. I changed clothes, and left the dance studio to head back to the hotel which housed my first audition, and realized in transit, that I’d missed a phone call from a foreign number. The message was from Andrew Panton, asking me to give him a call (or, at least, that was what I could make out from his accent), but since I didn’t have an international service on my mobile phone, I didn’t know how I would contact him. I got worried. In situations where fate is involved, however, worry doesn’t make itself a lengthy visitor.

            No soon as I’d received notice about my previous hotel cattle-call audition, I ran into Andrew Panton. He was coming up the escalator as I was just about to step onto the downward one. We spoke briefly, and he informed me that he was well aware that Scotland wasn’t on my list of “life-long goals” but he expressed interest in having me on board at the Academy.

And just like my mother said, I forgot about Yale and the other schools I’d applied to in America and set my heart on a school that I felt truly believed in my potential and wanted to nurture my skills; A school that would mark a new beginning in more ways than one. That school was the RSAMD, and making the decision to attend was the best decision of my life thus far!

The Boy From Virginia on Christmas (Part 1)

Christmas Day. It is my understanding that it was supposed to be an “exciting and fun-filled day” (judging from the numerous texts messages I received from people saying “have a good time, today!”). But a parent once told me, “Christmas (just like Trix cereal) is for kids.” Even on the actual day, I was waiting for the burst of excitement to show up. This year’s lead up to Christmas seemed to be so underwhelming that the only time I truly remembered Santa was on his way, was on Christmas Eve. But that realization only came because I realized I’d be getting a day off from my show (doing 4 splits a day is fun, yet agonizing). From here on out, I will explain what I did on my day off a.k.a Christmas day.

            Despite an underwhelming build-up to the day, I found myself surprisingly overwhelmed with thoughts about distressing news I’d received only 2 days prior to Christmas. I believe a bit of back-story (and thought) should be implemented at this point: 

            There is a married couple that I’ve been watching from the sidelines and I’ve admired them for years. The ability to say to someone, “I love you and am going to be brave enough to spend the rest of my life with you, silent farts and all” is a statement which anyone should respect and applaud. But like most co-habituating couples, they haven’t been without their struggles. There have been compromises made, promises kept and broken, agreements about punishments for their children, and disagreements about whether their finances would go towards a night out or towards new furniture for the living room. All in all, the couple was quite functional and normal. Of course, the couple consists of the following types of people: 1) an extremely strong, outspoken, confident woman who has spent many years establishing who she is independently and could survive without a man, if need be (actually, the fact that she re-married was a surprise in and of itself) AND 2) a quiet, somewhat constantly befuddled man, who is content with working long hours and coming home to a well prepared meal and watching sports on T.V. And of course, let’s not forget that these people have children, meaning their decisions these days have more to do with them than themselves.

            Well, as I said before, I’ve been observing this couple for a while as I am really good friends with the wife. One could say she is almost a mother to me. Well she gave me a call two days before Christmas to say “My husband and I are getting a divorce.”

I could hear the tires skidding to a halt in my inner ear (or it could’ve been the car outside of my dressing room window). But I was completely stilted for a bit. Why should I be so surprised? Well, only two hours before that car crash of a phone call, I’d made a silent promise to myself that I would do the unthinkable: open up my heart to love in 2011. Up until that self-made resolution, I’d been realizing that so many things I’d been reading, seeing, hearing, all had something to do with Love. I‘m in the quintessential fairy-tale about love (Cinderella) playing a happy, single womanizer, yet who’s happy that his homeboy, the prince, can find his happily ever after. I also read a passage in a book by Simon Callow (see previous blog entry) about love opening creative doors.

With so much love to go around, I was sure that everyone was going to in love with someone or something by the end of the holiday season. So I made the assumption that love would be the theme of 2011. Yes, I may not have found it in the romantic sense, but I felt I’d gotten an A+ in the self-love department so why not make the grade elsewhere? So in my dressing room, right after I finished sweating my way though the number “Somebody to Love,” I decided I would find someone to love…next year.

            But then the tires skidded in my mind and I was suddenly whisked back into reality. This couple, which had been giving me hope was, in fact, hopeless. Despite years of hard (very hard) work of keeping the love alive, nothing could help the fact that the husband in this situation was unappreciative of the good woman he had.

            In other words, he cheated…More than once.

The first time was forgivable, but still unexcused. I’ve noticed that this happens a lot in marriages. Though it shouldn’t happen at all, I think the slip-up is either the trigger that the spouse is weak, or simply not into monogamy. I know lots of people who have said…”Ok, once I can forgive. You will be highly punished, but at least it’s once.” Those who are too self-righteous think “I should’ve been enough” (to which I think, no ONE person is ever truly enough). But as a person who’s never been in a relationship, I can am probably being too objective about the idea of first-time cheating. Still, like any other sane person, a person who goes out of their way to cheat a second time is not to be respected at all. At that point, the cheater has calculated their deception, which makes them a bit too cunning for their own good. And it is this unexpected cunning that has made me lose ALL respect for my friend’s husband because he cheated on her twice. The second offense caused an international storm as his mistress was living in a completely different continent. Not only did he have a life at home, but he’d created something abroad as well (a sort of exchange program, I guess). It would seem that love does open other doors of creativity…

Whist the doors of deception had been open and thoroughly explored, I was thinking about all the other doors that had been ignored. For one, that man has a wife who loves and cares about him enough to overlook his flaws. Not only has she stuck with him through rougher times, as a wife does, but she also cared enough to forgive him his previous transgressions. Having had experience with a previous marriage where her first husband cheated (and was also a sorry excuse for a father) it is clear that she is now a fan of the motto “Make it work.” So, unlike her first marriage, she has actively tried to make this relationship a longer lasting one, not just for herself, but for her children as well. The question becomes though, with all that hard work she put into “making it work,” should she go back to her day job of being independent? Or is there enough love in their relationship to fix what’s been broken: the trust.

The other doors that were ignored, of course, were the children. Not only is this man a father, but he also is like a father to me and having him visit me and speak so highly of his wife, while having a mistress, is more than fucked up. It’s enough to make me look upon him with disdain for the rest of my life. Acting stupidly when you’re my age…I can kinda buy. But when you are old enough to know better and old enough to be a role model for someone, you have to put the children first!

Ok…rambling over. That was the back-story. Funny enough, the back-story was what I spend most of my Christmas Eve thinking about and those thoughts trickled heavily into my Christmas Day, which, contrary to all the texts I’d received…was not fun and full of good food and gifts…

(At the time this was published, the couple are still in limbo about actually divorcing)

An Experiment in Exploration

Once upon a time, there was a boy from Virginia who’d lived to be 23. He decided that he wanted to begin chronicling the things that meant the most to him so he searched for ways to leave his mark on society. Thanks to new-aged technology, he discovered blogging, became infatuated, and is now pursuing his summer project: exploring what it means to be a young, black man growing up in modern-day America. His blogs are not meant to be political nor completely personal. Because he is curious about life, he hopes that you will be curious as well and provide him with insight.

Let me introduce you all to THE BOY VIRGINIA MADE!