5:01am In Paris; Met Langston Hughes 

It’s 5:01am here in the City of Love and so far I’m not sure how Paris, France got that name. It would be like calling the United States the City of Tolerance. Thursday was filled with flight cancellations, sick guys on planes and an upset stomach. 

Friday wasn’t turning out much better. We arrived at around 9:00am and since then we’ve walked a dozen miles and had to change hotels. I was this close to hoping on a plane and taking my privileged American ass home but then Paris reminded me it was Paris. 

Wine in a cafe at midnight while I bored my date with details of Langston Hughes and the Paris Transfer written by Arnold Ramperstad. Walking back to the hotel and getting lost, turning a corner and seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time. Ordering steak tar tar and not realizing it was raw meat, being too prideful to admit my mistake but the waisteess realizing no one orders raw meat. This has been my first day in Paris. 

I miss Whataburger, regular sized restrooms and AC but for someone as serious as I am. Sometimes it’s okay to not have a plan. 

I wonder what day two holds in store. 

5 Things To Do When You Can’t Sleep 

  1. Throw pillows at your dog when she’s sleeping like she has to go to work in the morning. 

2. Watch the Wire on OnDemand. Episodes of The Wire never get old.

3. Write love letters to your lil boo. Tell her stuff like, “I want to kiss your forehead and rub your butt with your pretty ass.” 

4. Eat. Eggs, old Chipolte, grilled cheese sandwiches. 

5. Listen to Drake body Meek Mill on diss tracks and write diss tracks about your boss or the girl that dumped you in the 3rd grade. 

4 Ways to Help Him Through A Quarter Life Crisis

20140822-233539.jpg I’d never complain about being a man. I have no problem saying I’d suck at cramping or being pregnant and I definitely wouldn’t take to constant Facebook messages or sexual harassment too well. No, I love being a man but there’s one thing that we can all admit. It’s not okay for a man to show weakness or to be vulnerable with everyone. Don’t mistake this with it’s okay to not have emotions or to talk, it’s just not okay unless she means something to you.

Expectations are an amazing thing. They often force us to reach heights we didn’t even know we could reach but there’s also the weight of expectations that can be heavy on our pride and mental makeup. You reach a certain age and you aren’t feeling as accomplished as you should be, it’s not an easy thing to deal with. You can become withdrawn, depressed and some may see it as feeling sorry for yourself but it’s bigger than that. You don’t stop living or working, you just stress more. Having a woman there to take some of that stress away, some of that edge away, that makes all the difference in the world.

“I’m Proud of You.” This may seem small or insignificant but hearing this from the right woman when you’ve had a bad day or bad month or didn’t reach a goal you set for yourself. It fixes everything in that moment. You look at her eyes or hear her voice and you just feel as though you can take on the world in spite of any obstacles that come your way. “I’m proud of you,” means you believe in me. It means you see the small steps I’m taking and are just as excited about those as you are about the big steps.

“Dance With Me.” I love silly, serious women. That’s a thing. Women that are about their business and work and are busy but when she’s with you she has that silly side, that playful side, that laugh that you know not too men have gotten to see. She sees you at your desk writing or sitting on the couch sulking and she grabs your hand and shakes her hips and says, “come dance with me Mez” and in those moments where you’re feeling her body and her energy and holding her waist her hands or grabbing her ass you feel better. Holding her, dancing with her is better than alcohol, sex, Crave cupcakes. It’s better because it’s organic, it’s in the moment, it’s intimate in the most non-sexual but sensual way.

“I Told Someone About You.” There are a lot of ways to show a man you love him or care about him. There are a lot of ways to show affection or to cheer someone up. You can never go wrong with sex or a bottle of his favorite liquor or his favorite meal. But for me nothing puts a bigger smile on my face than knowing a woman wants professional success for me just as much as I do. When she calls or text saying, “A friend told me they needed a writer so I mentioned you.” Or “I know you haven’t been happy where you are so I was looking online and I saw this,” and she sends me a link to a company or opportunity. Those little gestures have such a huge impact because you know she’s selfless and your happiness means that much to her.

“Come to Bed.” One of the first things to go when you’re stressing or not happy is sleep. Some men drink themselves to sleep, others take whatever pill they can find. Some just scroll social media all night or try and work. When a woman comes and rubs your neck or back and pulls you off the couch or out of your office and says, “come to bed” you do it. Maybe she doesn’t want to sleep alone, can’t sleep without your warmth but more than that she just wants to have you close. There’s so much intimacy in those before dawn conversations about life, work, family, stresses. Her semi naked body wrapped around yours, her head on your chest and that conversation is therapy. Maybe it ends in earth shattering sex but it’s not about that. It’s about that connection, that bond that’s being strengthened. Even if you only get a couple hours of sleep there’s comfort in knowing she can’t sleep without you.

As Long As We’re Still In Love When We Fall Asleep

2015/01/img_0486.png As Long As We’re Still In Love When We Fall Asleep

No matter what happens just know when we close our eyes to go to sleep I won’t let you not fall asleep in my arms.

No matter how angry we are there’s no guarantee we’ll both wake up in the morning. For that reason alone we will talk about whatever is bothering us, hurting us, driving us apart and fix it before your head lies on my chest.

No matter how late I come home or what you don’t cook. No matter how many tears you cry or what words I say I won’t let you give up on our love because I won’t give up on you. I won’t give up on our love.

Life is too short to let pettiness come between us. Life is too short to hold a grudge with a woman whose skin I adore, whose taste I’ve become addicted to. Whose essence and scent have become as much a part of me as the blood that flows threw my veins.

We will not go to sleep mad at each other. On my life and everything I am as a man I swear this.

February Mornings

“You’re always hogging all the cover, I wake up every morning freezing. You’re going to make me start to wear pants to bed.”

“You know damn well you hate clothes and when it’s ninety five at that park and ride this afternoon are you really going to be thinking about some cover.”

She hit him upside the head, he started to tickle her. The clock read 6:26am, they both knew every second in the bed was another second they’d be late for work. But every second away from the bed would be one more second away from moments they both looked forward to.

“I’m not catching the park and ride today.” She slapped him in the stomach and laughed, jumped out of bed before he could recover and locked herself in the bathroom. He rubbed his stomach and ran to the bathroom door.

“You know when you come out of there I’m going to get you back.” He was hitting the door but couldn’t stop laughing at how fast she jumped out of the bed. He walked to the kitchen to make some coffee and put a couple bagels in the oven, she loved her bagels in the oven. “The toaster is just lazy,” is what she said the first time he popped two in there.

In less than twenty minutes she was showered, fully clothed and holding her heels, purse and attaché bag in her hands. She picked up the already covered bagel and sipped the too hot coffee while he sat at the table returning some emails waiting his turn for the bathroom.

“You did well for someone that hogs all the cover, this is the perfect combination of cream cheese/bagel! You keep this up and I may let you drop me off at work and pick me up today.” She looked over the rim of her coffee mug and smiled.

Her words from earlier popped in his head. “I’m not catching the park and ride today.”

“So you just know I’m going to go twenty miles out of my way to take you to work and pick you up when you have a fifty thousand dollar car sitting in my driveway?”

Sitting the coffee down and finishing off the bagel like an Egyptian temple builder she wrapped her arms around his neck from the back. Letting her lips linger on his shoulder.

“You know I hate driving and I know you hate whatever I hate so you’re going to take me to work and we’re going to laugh and talk and flirt and when you get off you’re going to pull into the parking garage, ride up to the top floor and we’re going to turn the ac on full blast and have some of that sneaky sex you like, overlooking the Medical Center.”

She sat on his lap and they kissed, he bit her lip, she bit his.

“I don’t like sneaky sex.” He kissed her neck.

“Boy please! You are so damaged.” She shook her head and laughed, “But I love your damaged ass; so hurry up and shower and throw on those raggedly construction clothes so I can stop by the café before work.”

He stood up and stretched, laughed. “Where do you put all that? You just ate my bagel and yours and you want to stop for breakfast?”

She spun around like she was on a runway.

“Maybe I’m eating for two now.” She took his hand and placed it on her stomach. He took her hand and walked to the fridge. There were four bottles of wine in the rack; he bought a new bottle every other day because of how she ran through them. He hadn’t noticed she wasn’t drinking anymore.

“You’re eating for two?!”

Picking her up and hugging her he realized he’d be taking her to work a lot the next nine months.

“So now maybe you should share some of that cover daddy!”
better

4am Prayers and Phone Calls

His Eyes
Sitting in his desk chair, trying to get comfortable, trying to get some rest before the storm blew in was close to impossible when you were used to being in a bed. The skies clear, the streets empty as he drove in at 3am he wondered could this all be much to do about nothing.

Knowing she probably wouldn’t be going to work tomorrow with ice on the roads, disturbing her sleep was something he didn’t really want to do but hearing her voice felt like a matter of life or death. Something about it calmed him, made him feel better about the unease that was gripping him.

Putting on his coat, stepping outside he scrolled to her number.

Her Eyes

At first she thought she was dreaming. She felt the phone vibrating but didn’t know where she was exactly. Jumping up, looking around, realizing she’d fell asleep on the couch. Her gym clothes on the floor, the heat blasting, lying in one of his t-shirts she wiped her face and saw who was calling.

“Hey, everything okay?” She tried to make herself sound awake but it was a struggle fighting the yawns.

“I didn’t wake you up did I pretty girl?” At the sound of his voice she smiled. Lying back on the couch, pulling the blanket to her neck.

“Nah, I was up.” Her voice was barely above a whisper, they both knew she was lying but when certain people call, you just answer the phone.

“You okay babe?” It wasn’t like him to call this early even though he knew she would answer.

They’d made a lot of strides since that first date. It took awhile for her to trust again, it took just a little bit longer for him to put his pride to the side and open up.

“I need a favor.” She leaned up and looked around for her jeans and keys.

“Anything!” Her heart started to beat a little faster!

“Can you pray with me?”

His Eyes

Hearing her raspy voice, knowing on cold nights she slept with the heat blasting and little on he saw her body as soon as she said hello. He imagined her lying there, her pillow smelling of his cologne. Hair wrapped, body all over the bed. She was a snorer, especially when she was tired even though she’d never admit it.

He couldn’t shake the unease and more than her body, more than her voice, he needed her spirit.

“Can you pray with me?” He asked. They’d prayed together before, over dinner, before bed but he’d never just asked her randomly. There was something serious about prayer, something intimate about calling a woman and waking her out her sleep to humble yourselves before God. More than a first kiss, more than a first date, this mattered and scrolling threw his phone he knew only one woman mattered.

“Of course I will. Do you want me to pray for you; you want to do a silent prayer?” She laughed, it wasn’t a funny laugh but a nervous, cute laugh. It was what she did when she didn’t know what to do.

“I’ll pray, just close your eyes and roll with me.”

“Okay.”

Dear God,

I’m here this morning asking for your help. I trust that you wouldn’t put me in a situation I can’t handle but I’m nervous, maybe even a little scared. The last time I did this I almost flipped over a bridge. I know I come to you more when I need you then when I don’t and I’m going to do better but for right now just give me the strength and knowledge to trust my training. Allow me to make it home safely, allow all my friends and family and everyone traveling the roads to make it home safely. Most of all I’m asking that you bless Ashley. Protect her and give her calm during this time. Thank you for placing her in my life, if you don’t do any more than that you’ve blessed me for ten lifetimes. In your darling son Jesus’ name.

Amen
Her Eyes

“Amen.”

For a moment neither of them said anything, just for a moment.

“I pray for you. If something were to happen to you I wouldn’t be okay, you know that right? I’m not sure I’d ever be okay.” She didn’t know why the tears were in her eyes or why she was standing up looking out the window hoping for the storm to pass. She just knew whatever uneasy feeling he was feeling was now in her gut.

“Thank you for praying with me, for answering the phone, I know how much you love your sleep.” They both laughed, easing the tension.

“You know I’m always going to answer for you; just be careful.”

“Goodnight, love you A.”

“Love you too.”

Lying back on the couch, knowing she’d never fall back asleep until she knew he was safe. Grabbing a bottle of wine, some pop corn and the remote she decided to take advantage of the off day. Placing the TV on mute and getting on her knees, she wiped her eyes again still not knowing why the tears were falling.

God,

I know he prayed but you can never have enough prayer right? Please protect him. You know what’s in my heart and you know how I feel about him, he’s a good man and I love him. With you in his corner he’s capable of anything. Thanks.

Amen

Now she knew everything would be alright.

20140128-050920.jpg

Late Night Thoughts

I don’t feel great right now. I’m sure it’s the flu but I haven’t had that in so long I can’t be 100% positive. Sitting on top of I-10 watching my crew work all I want is for them to finish so I can go home and get in bed.

My grandfather has to have another surgery tomorrow because the leg they cut off isn’t healing. The last time I saw him it took everything in me not to cry when he told me to go get his wheelchair so he could go home. I feel like they’re just gutting him piece by piece and the shit is eating me up inside!

Yesterday when I got off I saw my grandmother next door cleaning her flower beds. I got some trash bags and went over to start picking up the stuff she trimmed. I got Ethan out the house and told him that men help in the yard. He took it so serious. His dad isn’t around and I feel like its my responsibility to teach him. I gave him two dollars and told him he did a great job, he lit up. That made my day.

My aunt is always talking about taking them and moving far away. That scares the hell out of me; those kids saved me. Added years to my grandparents lives.

Pillow talk. I miss that so much, I should be having that instead of writing. I’m 30 and there are days where I feel like Superman and days where I feel like an utter fucking failure. I keep waiting for that person to tell me I’m not and I believe them.

I can see myself becoming mean, becoming recluse and I know if I don’t fix it quick something bad will happen.

Just pray for me.

20131119-220624.jpg

Working Nights

20131012-024951.jpg I want to be successful.

I can’t tell you when it happened, when I started to come to work sick. When I started to work nights and weekends when I really didn’t have to. Writing articles about movies and cologne and political events just to network. At some point it clicked and I realized I like climbing to higher levels.

There’s a downside though. I wonder what’s going to happen when I get serious with someone. Is she going to accept eating dinner alone or sleeping alone or me needing to meet a writing deadline after I’ve been working all day?

Even now, I think about all the women I know. I wonder if any if them are thinking about me. If there’s someone I dated a month ago, a year ago, that masturbates to the moments we shared. If she’s leaving the club and is fighting the urge to text me. If she gets home and checks my Facebook or Instagram?

It’s important to me that I’m thought of, that I’m missed, that I’m desired. I’m at work right now not because I’m getting overtime or to impress my boss. I’m here because I want this road to look good so that I look good. I’m here to build a professional reputation that will make my “her” proud of me.

I know what it’s like to have s father I’m ashamed of. That won’t be my children, they won’t struggle or wonder about me. They won’t see me mistreat their mom or lie on the couch.

4 Factors to a Happier Work Week: Sleep, Masturbation, Exercise and Conversation

182240_562470723185_118401058_31406809_1126638_nHow often do we see or hear people crying about Mondays? Not because they had a good weekend, not because they had a bad weekend but simply because it’s Monday. TGIF has become a phrase everyone uses even when they have no plans for the weekend! Now some of it is because people simply hate their jobs and anytime away from work is a blessing. Some of it is mental, the weekend means no dropping kids off or getting up early, no worrying about what you’re going to wear or if you need to get gas before work or after work.

Those are all valid reasons but here’s the most serious reason: People let work and home life consume them. They go to work, fight traffic, have an hour or two of down time and then have to do it all over again the next day. You can’t live like that and not expect to be mentally drained. It’s why someone can sit in front of a computer all day and feel like they’ve just ran a marathon.

You have to take care of your body and mind. These are four factors that will not only help you make it through the work week but will also give you some clarity when everything around you is chaos.

Factor 1- Sleep

We love our technology, I’ve been guilty myself of carrying my cell phone from the kitchen to the bedroom to my office. Messing with my tablet while watching TV while my laptop is open in front of me. Technology has made our lives so much easier but it’s also killing our sleep. How many of us are on those cell phones in bed? Have the TV on in bed? Our bodies need rest, our minds need rest. Studies have shown that you are twice as likely to get a good night’s sleep if you stay off technology at least an hour before bedtime. If you can get a nap in at lunch or on the weekends do it. Sleep is us charging our batteries. You’d be amazed at how much the work week wouldn’t suck if you weren’t so tired.

Factor 2- Masturbation

I’m saying masturbation and not sex because I’m not married. If I was married this would obviously be sex. Masturbation is important because it allows you to release stress without all the feelings and emotions that come with sex. Sexual pleasure is one of those gifts from God that we need to thank him for everyday! It’s not just the act by the way of getting yourself off but it’s the memories. Stay away from porn, that corrupts the mind. Use your mind, use your imagination, take the time in the shower or before bed to give your body that release. Just because you’re single or celibate doesn’t mean you can’t have a productive sex life. With sexual fulfillment comes less anger and stress and watch those work days be just a little bit less annoying.

Factor 3- Exercise

I’m not one of these people that are all excited about supplements or going to the gym everyday. I’m not even going to pretend I do any of those things. But I have come to understand the importance of working out on some level. Whether it’s jogging for a bit before work, going to the gym after work or the punching bag and some jump rope. Just thirty minutes to an hour four or five days a week gives you so much energy and with a slight change in diet does wonders for your body and mind. You wake up and all of a sudden you can fit into those pants that you couldn’t a month ago or you look just a little bit better naked watch that swag when you walk into that office!

Factor 4- Conversation

Real conversation is so underrated. Not gossiping with your friends or mom or talking to that co-worker you just don’t care for. But real conversation with someone of the opposite sex. Genuine laughs, real words. I have nothing against texting or FB’ing or emails but nothing compares to seeing the name of someone you really want to talk to popping up on your phone. Even if it’s just twenty minutes on your way to work that conversation can last you the entire day. Ask questions, read the paper and discuss something that they didn’t know about. That you didn’t know about. Part of weariness is a tired and unused mind.

Please Spend Tonight With Me…

How do you tell someone that you’d like them to spend the night with you?

How do you look them in their eyes and tell them I want to take you out, I want to charm you, I want to make you fall in love with me but more than anything I want you to spend the night with me. The nights are entirely too cold to spend alone, my bed is too big, it needs company.

How do you tell them I think about you far too often even though the time we’ve spent together doesn’t warrant it. I write about you even though I don’t use your name or picture. I talk about you even though the people I’m talking to will never meet you. How do you tell someone I think I’m falling in love with you?

Do I hold her hand, look her in the eyes and tell her that I don’t feel like waiting until we go on four dates or until ninety days pass? Do I tell her that I want my family to meet her on Thanksgiving and I want her to wake up on Christmas morning at my house? Do I tell her that I’ve been lonely for awhile and I want to start the rest of our lives tonight, with your head on my chest and your skin pressed against my skin under this comforter we picked out together? How exactly do you say, “Please spend tonight with me?”

The thing is, I understand  you have to play the game. I understand telling someone no matter if you’ve known them for two years or two days that you feel like your life would be better if they stayed the night with you is creepy. I get that… I do… But what I’m saying is, I don’t really give a fuck about protocol because at this point I think that’s bullshit anyway.

I want to watch you come out the bathroom in your towel, I want to rub lotion on your back and thighs and ass. I want to laugh at you because you packed everything to stay the night but panties and deodorant. I’m laughing because you left the panties on the purpose but you really left the deodorant.

How do you tell her that I would sleep better if you were lying with me, that for as much as I love sex it’s not about that. It’s about your scent, your snoring, the calm that I know you’ll bring to me if you stay the night. How do I ask that?

How do I put into words that I think I’ve been in love with her even before I knew her? How do I say I love you and I need to say the words, I need to hear the words so bad right now. Do I write her a letter? Do I send a FB message? Do I show up at her job or home with two dozen roses and my heart on my sleeve? How do I ask her to spend tonight with me and tomorrow night and a hundred nights after?

Tell me how to ask…

I can command any room I walk into. I can talk to anyone in three different languages. I can smile and flirt like most men wish they could but I really don’t know how to ask her to spend the night with me because I need her. Because for all my bravado and ego I come home to an empty home and no matter how many dates I go on or how many numbers I have in my phone at the end of the night I don’t want that life. I want the life I know God has promised me, that God had in mind for me the moment he created me. How do I ask her to kiss me goodnight and give me the chance to be the first face she see’s in the morning until she’s wearing my ring and gives me a child that looks just like her? How do I ask these questions….