Tuesday, 26 January 2016

The Baker's Wife

I love this blog. I can treat it like a diary or a therapist. I can write what I'm feeling, thinking, listening to without the other person internalizing it via our relationship, without them playing games, without filter.

This latest story is about a woman I met during a baking class last year. We were the only two unpaired so I approached her but she was very awkward and nervous.

She was American from Detroit so I just kept making jokes and talking to her. Eventually she warmed up and we ended up entertaining the entire class with our humor and camaderie. After the class a few people exchanged information but I could see she wasn't interested in exchanging information and became a bit awkward again. It was no bother. While we had such fun I was really more interested in the class instructor. The way that woman made an Italian meringue had me at "turn the mixer on high speed".

Later that month a man who worked at the same bakery where the class was held came up to me and said "I understand you met my wife".

"Excuse me?" I asked.
"At the baking class."
"Oh right! The instructor. What's her name again?" I asked slightly embarrassed.
"No. In the class. The American. Jennifer."
"Oh. Right. How's she doing?"
"She's doing great. She runs a shop down the road. She would love it if you stopped by. She said you two had so much fun."

I looked down and thanked him, bought my baguette and shuffled home.

That conversation was difficult for me because I was in the midst of a period of loneliness. It's ironic how things like loneliness can sometimes push us away from the very source of the issue.

I wanted my own wife, partner, what have you, to bake with, to speak with about "fun guys at the baking class" and it didn't strike me as fun to go sit and have a barrel of laughs with this guys wife. I thought he was marking his territory, making it clear that it was his wife and that I should stay away.

What I was missing, of course, was she wasn't someone's possession. She's wasn't some toy that he's offering me a chance to play with before returning to him, and nor would be my wife and nor would having a relationship like that even have cured my loneliness. She's just a nice person who strikes me as fun and in the midst of loneliness maybe what we need is less possession and focus on mine but more focus on community and us.

I'm still looking for that co-baker (I haven't seen the instructor since) but I hope I'm as big of a man as the guy in the bakery was to ask me to go see his wife. I hope that I don't see my future partner as something I own but just as someone part of a larger community on this rock called Earth who has friendships, purpose and identity separate from me but who chooses to make me part of hers nonetheless.

By the way I ran into him today, which is why I thought of this. He said his wife was away for the next couple days but would be back in her shop this weekend.

I plan to stop by. 

Thursday, 21 January 2016

I have a cold (poem)

I have a cold
I have aches pains congestion

Please don't tell my mama

I'm sitting at home, alone, suffering
Sneezing, hoping it goes away without medicine

Please don't tell my mama

I have a cold
Whoa is me
No one loves me
No one is here to fix my tea
Rub my back
No one cares

Please don't tell my mama

I have a cold
You're going to bring me some hot pepper soup?
No, because then you will inhabit my space
my bedroom, my flat
And I don't like you

But please don't tell my mama
(she wants grandkids)

I have a cold
Someone come inhabit my cold bed
But just for a night

Please don't tell my mama

I have a cold
Look at you
Why are you sniffling
Wait don't tell me
Come here
Girl, you're fine

Please don't tell my mama 

Friday, 15 January 2016

I lost my hat

I lost my hat, on a plane, in an airport, somewhere, I don't know 
All I know is I was having a stupid political debate on whatsapp when I landed
And I look up after getting my luggage 
going through immigration 
sitting on the tube
Putting my phone down finally because 
there's no service on the tube
And my hat was gone

There's a lesson in there somewhere 

I really liked that hat
I've had that hat over 10 years
It has made countless trips with me on planes foreign lands forgotten in hotels and mailed back 
But it's gone now 
Nobody reported it lost and found


Maybe I should have put the phone down and took notice of what was important 
Like my hat 
I've learned the lesson 

I'm still mad though

Monday, 11 January 2016

Dee Dee

This is my secret love potion that I keep in a bottle; nothing else needs to be said but "Dee Dee":

"Oh my Love (Diarabi)"

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Some (early) Abbey Lincoln bedtime music

I'm in love and have been in love with this woman ever since the first time I heard her voice. RIP Abbey Lincoln.

Something from her early career: "That's Him"

He's like a plumber when you need a plumber
He's satisfactory
You know the way you feel when you want to knock on wood 
The way you feel when your heart is gone for good
Wonderful world wonderful you
That's him 

Well well well *side eye* You go head Ms 1957!

On YouTube: http://youtu.be/m7EkrphXCos

Monday, 4 January 2016

Women are complicated (part 2)

He picked up the phone and said "Hello. You're beautiful."

She paused, took a deep breath and said "What do you want?"

The words sting. Cruel. Cold. Before replying he wonders:

Does she really mean it? Is she instead just trying to tell me how upset she is at something I've done and her heart still longs for me? That she only wants me to change?

Or, is she saying we're no longer connected that way. That there's nothing to say, nothing to see, nothing to love. Well, then, what do you want? 

Is her heart with someone else?

Is she just afraid? Scared, feeling herself fall in love and expressing the uncertainty and fear of losing  control?

Is it a cry for help? Did my words touch her, reach her, and her response was just a way of putting up a fence, a way of stopping more words, more things, that will touch her heart, because she doesn't trust me not to break it? 

Or was it a marker? An attempt to hurt me, to get me to retreat, to go away, a signpost reading I DONT WANT YOU? 

Was it some combination of all of these?

"Umm, um, n . . . nothing." he says. And he hangs up the phone, looks through his contacts, dials a different number and picks it up again.

"Hello. You're beautiful."