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Dear Insane Woman:

17 Jan

On the heels of you almost murdering me this morning with your green Honda Accord, just wanted to make mention of the following:

  • You saw the sour, oh-Lord-another-workday look on my face, I suppose? And wanted to put me out of my misery? Thanks, but no, thanks. Running me over with your car wouldn’t have accomplished, by any means, putting me out of my misery. Maybe a free wine cooler at a nice restaurant would have done that. Not a hit-and-run. (You so would’ve hit and run, lady. We both know this.)
  • Couldn’t you have waited a second or two for me to cross the street before pulling in? Your fender was thisclose to my ankles. Seriously. It would’ve taken 3 seconds, tops, for me to get across. I’m famous for walking incredibly slow and being allergic to any kind of rushing, but I do rush when cars are nearby. Promise.
  • So you sped up. So you almost killed me. Did you get to work on time? No, you didn’t. Admit it: you were still late. And you’re still ridiculous. So nothing came out of this morning’s activities.
  • You saw me turn around to cast a shocked, almost creamed glare in your rearview mirror. You saw it and you know what you did.
  • Like photos of this guy, I made a mental impression of your car and your black coat and your circa 1986 haircut. And I will remember you.
  • Thank you for reminding me that late DC drivers who are woefully dressed like any female supporting character from a mid 1980s movie will try to kill me, so I need to be doubly careful when walking to work in the morning.


Still Alive, thank you very much.

p.s.: Watch your precious backs, friends and readers. There are shoulder pad wielding lunatics out there behind the wheel, aiming their vehicles toward your sweet ankles.

possibly a baby gangsta?

17 Nov

Why was I looking at that kid to the right of me with such venom? Why was I holding on to that baby car like a Bentley, likely for the use of running said kid over?

Yours truly. Back in the Motherland, age: unsure, but clearly old enough to entertain murderous intentions, based on the aforementioned look on my face. Yikes. Oh, and all my photos were like this early on: frowning like an underworld boss Teamster.

if you can make it here…you’ll be trapped, and you don’t want that.

13 Oct

Lovely, isn’t it? That skyline, those tall, majestic buildings, the whole island thing.

But it’s not. It’s not lovely. It’s dirty, and impersonal, and smelly/stinky, and there are rats and roaches everywhere, and it’s…it’s…

I have fallen out of love with New York City.

My love began when I was eight years old, when my family emigrated to the Americas as a family, leaving Ghana behind and ready to embark on a brand new life in the States. After a flight from Ghana with a memorable night’s stay in Holland (I still remember!), we landed in New York. I recall gazing out of the window as we hurtled down the street in my uncle’s car, amazed by all the sights and sounds and people and colors. What was this curious new place? Where did it come from? My little mind was sweetly blown.

The love of the city began there. It didn’t stop after we moved to Suburbia Place, Somewheres, VA, either. As a family, we came back and visited whenever we could; we did the tourist thing and went to the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade Center (still can’t believe it), the Empire State Building, etc., etc. As I got older, I returned on my own, more times than I can count. Ultimately, my little sis moved to the Big City, which provided even more viable reasons to frequently visit. Bottom line: I was still eight years old and I was still awed by NYC.

Not anymore. Backstory: I just returned from a 7-day trip to NYC with a bunch of friends as part of a tour group that a mutual friend planned (5 days with the tour group, 2 with my sis). We went to the Met, we hung out and met new friends, we took a harbor cruise with a tour guide who provided quite a bit of interesting information about the city (my inner history geek collapsed from the sheer joy/future wins at Trivial Pursuit of it all), we took tons of pics, so on and so forth. Those parts were fine. Enjoyable.

The other parts: commuting by way of the subway, which is arguably the grossest, most disgusting place this side of Planet Earth; gazing at the vacant, uninterested demeanors of the people that live in the city (are they dead inside? How can anyone appear so empty?); hearing the foul-mouthed conversations of the other people that live in the city (seriously, did no New Yorker learn how to communicate without using the foulest language ever known?); being shoved and pushed and accused of hitting a woman’s child with my purse (yeah, there were 1,000 people shoved in one train car. It wasn’t intentional, Madam); standing on feet that were burning against the rough, cement ground; Newark, New Jersey (no explanation necessary); it went on and on. I honestly wanted to scream. Each day carved away at my love of the city. I was becoming utterly put off and eventually, I was over it.

Maybe it was because I was there for an extended period of time. Maybe it was because I wasn’t just in Manhattan (tourist heaven), but in Brooklyn and nearby in “the Garden State” (yeah, right) of New Jersey. Maybe it was because I was sampling the day-to-day of living in the city. Maybe it was because I was realizing that it wasn’t the Emerald City of my youth. Maybe, maybe, maybe. I don’t know. I do know that off came the rose-colored glasses, and on came the countdown until my exit from the city. I’m home now and it’s blissful.

Will I return? As long as the sis is there, yes. Will I leave her apartment while I’m there? Absolutely not. Yes, I plan on going hardcore Howard Hughes on NYC when I happen to return. Sorry, Lincoln Center, Fifth Avenue, Madison Square Garden, Central Park, and the rest. Sorry, lovely Brooklyn brownstones that housed the Huxtables. You’re not enough for me anymore. Goodbye and good night.

Ending on a downer? I won’t. I have to say that during the main part of the trip, we got to go to a Poetry Show. In short, I was moved, inspired, amazed, touched, provoked by endless ruminating and thoughts. It was pretty incredible. By the end of it, I appreciated the fact that yes, I’m a poet. I have constantly resisted this title, as discussed here before, believing that my purposes for writing poetry, that of catharsis and getting it all off my chest, meant that I was just somewhat adept at a few lines and a few haikus. Hardly a poet. And with my strengths lying more in fiction and prose, I was even less of a poet. Well, no, thank you. I’m a poet, too. So there, self. The show was one of the other, few enjoyable parts of the trip. (We’re keeping it real negative, aren’t we?)

For my readers: have you had this experience? Have you fallen out of love with a place or thing?

I Thought We Broke Up!

20 Jan

It’s a love/hate relationship.

It needs to love me, it aches to love me, but I revel in hating it. (Secretly? I lean toward loving it, but my pride gets the best of me and I push it away.)

We break up and get back together time and time again. Very toxic. Very Fleetwood Mac, circa the 70s.

It patiently waits for me, calling out to me, until I make the decision to return. I get an open-armed, lovely welcome. Things are good. Springtime flourishes. My eyes shine. My skin shines. My heart is happy.

Then I change my mind. Then the hate returns.

It’s a vicious cycle. What can I say? I was born fickle.

Today, as we speak, we’re back in love. Back in the saddle again.

Because if I eat one more cheeseburger? I will officially join the Macy’s Day Parade as one of the blimps.

*Welcome back, Salad, my love.

(*Don’t get too comfortable, my “love.” You know the routine. See above.)



Sincerely, Taj

Dear World, I have stuff to say, so get cozy. Here, I've got cupcakes.

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