If you never heard the “Rebirth Of Slick” by Digable Planets then take 3 minutes to google it, youtube it, listen to it and come back.
Now that you’ve heard that gem, think about the female singer on it, Mary Ann “Ladybug Mecca” Vieira, and then add a little Lauryn Hill and listen to this next funktified, soon-to-be space age classic as I tell you a story.
It was a rainy Saturday morning in the fall and the streets of SoHo were empty. The leaves were all but gone off the trees, the cold air reminding me that Winter was just a breath away. As I walked across Spring St. heading towards the west side of the city, I cut a right onto sixth ave and then a quick left heading into the West Vill. Coming up to her door I kept asking myself what I was doing there yet again. At a place where love never existed. A place where any remnants of lust that had been left were now completely gone.
She opened the door in her silk gown and I stepped in to a world that I never did fit into.
I used to believe that opposites attracted up until then. But I guess there is such a thing as “too opposite for one another” because that’s the only definition I can find for what we were. Her life had been full of structure and plans that planned for more plans. My life has been a long skateboard ride, coasting the endless streets and sidewalks, stopping at cafes to write and people watch never knowing at which corner I would turn next. I’d always let the moment tell me where to go. Always let the energy pull me in to a place rather than reserve a seat somewhere I had never even seen.
She would say that I grew up too fast because of the way life approached me. I would say that she didn’t get to grow up at all because life is to be dated instead of fucked. She loved to take life “by the horns”, as she would say, and I preferred to walk alongside it holding its hands.
That day we fucked for the last time, and then she took me to the Mayor’s Ball at Gracie Mansion. Her fancy law firm represented him, so I had to trade my chucks and sweats for a tuxedo and some shiny shoes that wouldn’t transport me any fucking where when I tried clicking their heels together. It was then that flashes of my life kept running through my mind.
In the limo, as I stared out towards the wet streets of Manhattan I kept seeing memories of me staring out graffiti-filled windows of trains. As we rode up Madison towards the Upper East side, all I could see were the stores on Liberty Ave in Brooklyn from when I was young, and then this deep slow breath in my chest that couldn’t help feeling how wild of a ride life could be.
At that ball I would meet drug dealers dressed up as politicians and bullies dressed up as sergeants or captains. The masks they wore were ridiculous to me. There were perverts and drug addicts too. Gamblers, scumbags, thieves, child and woman abusers, you name it and it was there, except that they all wore fancy gowns and suits and somehow believed that these rags, their salaries and their pathetic titles could hide who they truly were. It was then that I wanted to hop back on the skateboard that got me there, hit the streets and leave this weird world that had always existed right outside of mine.
After that evening I never saw her again. After that evening, I never saw anything else the same again either. Life, how some people lived it, seemed foul to me. How money and power could dictate if you spend your days in a jail cell hidden away or at fancy balls celebrating bullshit people who do nothing to change the world.
‘So what that I’m just a writer to them, at least as a writer I have nothing to mask’, I thought to myself. At least as I writer I can change the way people think for the better instead of going in the same circles our society is going in today as everyone races for themselves instead of one another.
After that night I began to appreciate my life and that skateboard that got me to every place that I have visited and every person I have met. Sure, sometimes there are obstacles on those paved streets that make the ride a bit bumpy. And yes, from time to time you get thrown off of your skateboard. But I’d rather ride alongside life and see it for what it is than to try to devour it only ingesting its empty calories.
If we could stay true then us could be free.”