I Can’t Wait To Teach You How To Be A Proud Black Man

Dear Lennox,

I Can’t Wait To Teach You How To Be A Proud Black Man

Since your mother walked into the kitchen on that January evening and told me about you I’ve been thinking of what I wanted for you, of how long I’ve been waiting on you to get here. This world, this world you’re about to be born into isn’t the kindest of places to little black boys that will grow up to be black men. We will do our best to protect you and shield you from that ugliness but that will be a time when we aren’t there. When you become aware of your skin tone, of the way you’re perceived.

It will be in that moment that you still hold your head up high, that you don’t respond with anger or violence or fear but respond with the confidence of knowing where you come from, who you come from and who you are.

Text books will tell you that slavery never existed.

Schools will tell you that the Civil War was over States Rights.

Teachers will want to silence you if you ask too many questions.

Slavery did exist.

The Civil War happened because they wanted to keep us in chains.

Ask all the questions you want and I will have your back.

I want you to grow up watching your mother laugh, watching us be affectionate. I want you to know that it’s cool to love a woman, to need a woman, that they are not easily replaced. I don’t want you to sexualize them before you even know what sex should be. I won’t tell you it’s cute when you grab a woman on her ass. I won’t smile when you sing words to songs you shouldn’t be listening to. I want you to understand that love is an amazing feeling and has nothing to do with your hormones.

I’ll never be your friend but I’ll always be someone that you can come to and talk to about any and everything. I won’t judge you or curse you out but I will tell you when you’re wrong. I will tell you when you have to live with the consequences of your actions. And then I’ll hug you, I’ll hug you because my father never hugged me and I grew up thinking that made me tough.

There’s nothing tough about hiding your emotions. Nothing tough about needing to cry, about wanting to cry but holding it in because you don’t want to be seen as weak. There’s nothing soft about hugging your mother or calling her when you’ve had a bad day. You won’t know what it feels like to have to do it on your own blindly. To have to search for answers. We will be here to give you the blueprint so that when you go into this world you won’t be blindsided the cruelty of it.

I’ve been a lot of places. Traveled and enjoyed their cultures, their food, their music but I’ve also collected books in each of these places. Books to teach you, books to make you want to explore the world one day. I read to you while you’re in there baking, I rub her stomach and tell you about the beaches of Belize. I kiss her belly and tell you about where Langston Hughes studied in Paris and where Eddie Murphy ate steak off a models back. I talk to you because I want you to know the sound of peace when you hear your father’s voice.

Your biggest responsibility as my son will be being yourself. I’d love for you to love reading and writing and boxing. But if you end up loving dance and painting, I’m going to support you.

The first time your mother heard your heartbeat on a monitor she cried. Not like one of those sweet teary eyed cries but an actual ugly cry. I didn’t cry, I didn’t shed a tear. I just closed my eyes and said a prayer that you make it into this world okay.

Dear God; I’m A Flawed Man

IMG_0128 Dear God,

I can be insecure at times. If I’m being honest at 4am on a Tuesday morning I can be insecure a lot of the times. I wonder if I’m ever going to be the writer I see myself being in my head. I wonder if I’m ever going to be the husband or father I make the characters in my stories out to be. My insecurities are masked by my talent, by my ability to stop people from getting close to me. My insecurities protect me from my fears.

Fears that consume me. Fears that I drown in the unrelenting sea of bottles that have come to comfort me. Fears that hold my confidence in their hands like the oceans hold fish and ships. Fears that I’m not sure I will ever overcome. Fears that aren’t based in race or religion or sex but fears that are based in emotional and mental uncertainty.

Why is it that I was created this way? Why is it that I can’t see what everyone else seems to see in me? Does it make me weak? Does it make me undeserving of the life you’ve given me? Sometimes I don’t know where I’m going or where I’m destined to be. Sometimes I don’t know just how much my life matters or is going to matter in this world. There are times I’ve looked for signs, prayed for guidance only to feel more lost than when I first fell to my knees.

Last week at this same time before the sun rose I stood on a beach letting the waves wash over me looking out into the horizon trying to see my future. Trying to see if I could be a man better than my father, trying to see if I can be a man better than the man I am now. As the sun rose and my eyes burned from the salt and the tears I couldn’t see it. Falling to my knees in that sand I felt as though. I felt as though I felt nothing which is the worst feeling in the world.

Will I lose everything dear to me, everyone I love? Will I forsake the love you have for me and fall to doubt, envy, insecurity, fear? Or will I rise. Will I grow into the King’s blood that pumps into my flawed heart?

I write about relationships and love. I write about life and responsibility. And even though I have an amazing woman in my life and an amazing family at times I feel as though they’re all an illusion. A dream that turns into a nightmare when I awake and they’re no longer going to be here.

For a man that prides himself on not really needing friends and being able to spend hours and days alone just writing; the thought of being alone in this world scares me more than standing on a beach with a sword waiting on a thousand ships with 10,000 soldiers bearing down on me. Death doesn’t scare me, war or tension don’t scare me. But the idea, the thought of dying unaccomplished or alone scares me to death.

This morning, I just want to talk to you God, write to you. To ask that you don’t give up on me. To ask that you don’t allow me to give up on myself. I will keep fighting with your help. I will keep living with your help. I just need you.

In Your Darling Son Jesus’s Name,

Amen

~ Demez

Love Letter #12

Dear Future Wife,

Good Morning! I woke up in a really good mood this morning and I’d like to think you had something to do with that. I know you prayed for me last night, I know you slept alone dreaming about us. I can’t explain how I know, I just know.

Love is about realizing what’s important. It’s about waking up and smiling because the bills are paid and I know we’re going to go to church. It’s about seeing you wrapped in a towel and not wanting you physically but just smiling because you’re here, because I can feel you in the room. I’m not afraid of falling anymore, I’ve started to warm at the thought of it.

When I was younger I told myself I wouldn’t be ready for a wife until I could give her this seven thousand dollar ring and house and present her with a new car on our six month anniversary. My ideas of what love and commitment were, were childish, not childish because they aren’t great gestures but childish because love isn’t materialistic or based on what you can do for me and I can do for you. Love is simple and you build on it, you build on the small things until one day you look up and the big things are just there. Just here.

I would never give you a fake diamond because it looked like something really expensive. I know what you deserve and I will give you that one day but I have no problem falling to my knees with a one carat ring I got from a pawn shop. I would love to sit on the tail gate of my truck eating pizza and HEB wine with you while you’re wearing that ring proudly. There’s nothing fake about our future, nothing fake about the potential greatness of our love. Over these past couple of years I’ve prepared myself for you and I’m excited. I can see the growth and I can see us.

Different men prioritize different things. Some value money, some lust, some just want attention with no real motive other than filling a void. I value funny, I value soft, I value family and honesty and morals. Maybe if I would have written this letter two years ago I’d have been writing about morning sex when writing to my future wife, when writing to you. Now all I want in the morning is for you to wake me up for work and for us to talk while we get ready. Just to be loved by you and for you to know I’d lay down my life without hesitation for you.

So good morning beautiful and enjoy your day! Our day is coming soon, know that.

Love Always and Forever,

Demez F. White

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Where Are You When I Need You?

20140822-233539.jpg Where Are You When I Need You?

Dear Future Wife,

I’ve never been afraid to start over. I’ve never been reluctant to cut all ties and start from scratch. It always hurts in the beginning, the isolation, the loneliness but over time you gain back what you lost.

The thing is though I’m tired of starting over. I don’t want to do it anymore. It gets harder and harder to bounce back from the disappointments.

You need to be here. Like right here, right now. Sitting in the couch with me, your head on my shoulder. Watching Netflix, snoring lightly while I alternate from looking at you and looking at the television. You need to be here because I need you.

I’m not comfortable saying that by the way, I’m not comfortable saying I need anyone. Someone I trusted, really trusted, lied to me. It made me realize just how alone I am in this world.

Show up at my door with Chinese and whiskey and cute sweats. Tell me you love me and you just want to be here for me. I need to hear that right now.

~ Demez F. White

Beautiful Nightmares

20140717-223245.jpg There are nights when I’ve had too much to drink that I see you standing in front of me. The bottle on the floor, the glass in my hand. Reaching out to touch you only to realize you aren’t there.

Am I going crazy because I see you?Wiggling out of your jeans, your blouse coming over your head. You always smile and ask me not to look at you like that.

I miss the warmth and softness of your body. The tears that fell when I brought you to orgasms. There are nights when I can’t fall asleep because I know I get to be with you. Nights where your naked body haunts me in the most vivid and desirable ways possible.

Touching yourself was something you took pride in. I miss the intensity in your eyes. The rhythm you moved to. Taking your fingers in my mouth after you’ve touched what I love to taste. Watching you taste yourself.

A beautiful nightmare before my eyes. Reaching out to touch you. Falling to my knees aching to touch you. My tears are real, the beating of my heart is real. But you aren’t. You’re just a beautiful nightmare.

Love Letter #31

bands Dear Future Wife,

Today hasn’t been a good day for me. Actually, the past couple days haven’t been too good. I found out my little cousins are moving from next door next week. I knew they weren’t going to be living with my grandmother forever or next door to me for that matter but I don’t think I was ever really expecting it. Those kids changed my life.

Before them I was probably on a path to nothingness. I had way more dark days then I did ones where I was happy.
I felt myself falling into this darkness. They helped me come out of that and for that I will always look at them as more than just my cousins. So knowing I won’t be seeing them everyday anymore is hard.

I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately, mainly because I’ve been spending more and more time with my thoughts. With my writing. I made a decision to try and be a better man a couple years ago and I’m proud of myself, I hope you’re proud of me too.

It’s hard though because these women out here just aren’t who they say they are and it’s making me cold. I can’t even explain to you how hard it is to meet people and get invested only to realize she’s not you.

I’d probably never write this or say this to anyone on social media or in public but I fall in love really easily. It’s why I don’t sleep around, it’s why I try my best not to get attached to people. I love the idea of love when it’s real and right but hate what love does to me when it isn’t. I feel like every time I fall for someone and it doesn’t work I lose a slight piece of myself. It’s taking away from what I have to give to you.

The new book is almost finished, it still needs a lot of work but it’s almost there. I’m excited for you to read it.

Love Always and Forever,

Demez

Wanting To Be Better For You

me

Dear Son,

In my mind one when you’re old enough to read this the internet will be replaced by some virtual reality world that makes Google and Facebook look like the slowest things on earth. Until that day comes though I want you to know something, I’m trying my best to be a better man for you. I want you to have a father you can be proud of.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve gradually toned downed the drinking, I’m eating apples for breakfast instead of bacon. Today after work I’m going to get some mint, cucumbers, limes and water to make some drink that’s supposed to make me feel better. I want to show you how to throw a baseball, how to grip a football. I want to be there when you read your first words and write your first letter.

I’m 31 so depending on when I meet your mother there’s a good chance I’ll be in my 50’s when you’re a teenager. I can’t let you beat me in basketball until you’re at least 16. In order to do that I have to do better, I have to be better. Most of my life I’ve let writing consume me. The late nights, the missed meals, the drinking, it’s all been so that I can be a better writer. I suppose I never thought about what sort of man it was making me.

I never had a father that expected anything from me because he didn’t expect anything from himself. I don’t fault him for that because it just wasn’t in him, when I was younger it made me cold. Now it gives me perspective, responsibility. I look forward to placing expectations on you, not to be what I want you to be but to be happy. To know you’re loved and cared for. I’ll expect good grades and for you to eat your vegetables and say yes maam and no maam because that’s what I’ll teach you, that’s what we will teach you. I write these letters because tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone. If I die when you’re a child, I want you to read these and know you were loved before I ever laid eyes on you.

Let me get to work now so that I can keep getting better.

Love Always and Forever,

Your Father