Tuesday, September 12, 2006

September 12, 2006

On the morning of September 12, 2001 I was living in Tuebingen, Germany on Lazarettegasse in an apartment above a bike store. The entire building used to be a coffin workshop. It did not surprise me because there was a feeling that a little girl was always running through our house, between the toilet and my bedroom. I remember that morning because I woke up and realized that what I saw on television was not a dream. There was still that lingering feeling that the MGM Lion was going to pop up and I could turn off the television and get on with my life. Instead I went to the Deutsches-Amerikanisches Insititut, saw my co-workers, had a coffee and sat down to watch more television. It was fall, I was sad, I was teaching way too much for the money, I was preparing for ghastly commutes and I spent every bit of extra time I had with Das Experiment.

Tuebingen was like Nashville in the way that I always felt I had to get moving or I would be trapped. It was different than Nashville in that I found a great love (little did I know how it was going to fundamentally change me) and with love you can live anywhere. And that is the beauty of a relationship, it makes life more habitable.

I am such a romantic.

I think I am going to leave it at that. I am going to try and bash out an article that deals with Willie Ninja and the New York I seem to have lost. I drove up the Westside Highway to see that the piers near Christopher Street are gone. It looks like a water park in Chicago or Toronto. It just doesn't feel like New York. I was in Brooklyn this Sunday, and Fulton Street between the G and C train stops looks like Park Slope. Everything is so white and middleclass. Not a bad thing, but nerve racking none-the-less, that what I used to think of as some sort of spiritual resting stop. I used to eat at a resturaunt near there because I knew the cook and she used to lift my spirits up. I remember going their after a funeral, a young lady that sat two desks in front of me died of breast cancer, she was only 28. That meal and those smiles were just what I needed that day. Now I struggle to find the resturaunt on that block.

New York used to be accessible, now it is prohibitively expensive. I used to walk briskly down that same street because it was on the edge of crime land. Now it looks like HGTV adopted the block.


Enough of my ramblings.

I will write a bit more later.

When I am done banging out at least one timely article to sell to somebody.

I have started to get back in the groove.


One of the dangers of exile is that you miss all the hyped events and movies in your home country. Youtube came to my rescue again . . . this time it was Whitney Houston singing at the Michael Jackson tribute. Besides Usher looking weird with that wolf fur draped around him, Whitney did look like death moonwalking to your front door. Damn! Now I see why we needed an intervention.

I still think there is something epic in her life and how it mimics our current state of Black America. My stepmother's best friend and her husband came to have coffee and Sunday chat. I remember Peter saying "I miss the Cosby show. It depicted black folk as we really are." Yeah, I thought, but what about "the depiction" we slide with honey and rose filtered lenses to ourselves rather than what we want white folk to see? That would be a different show: Preppy black children smoking blunts and oblivious to their sero-status. We fault Whitney, but she mimics us and our values and what we ultimately do to our children through expectations. And that was when I realized that my parents wanted me to turn out like one of the Cosby kids, a doctor (doesn't matter, medical or intellectual) with an empty smile and an American dream, brandishing impecable sweaters. I had forgotten totally with whom I am living and what these guys want!

Maybe I can negotiate for more emotional space now. Thanks Whitney!

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