I put the key in the door. All these thoughts vanished as I quietly pushed open the door. She lay curled up on the 3-cushion, well-loved, black leather couch I had inherited from Craigslist. Her spindle-curled locs lay scattered around her head, slightly concealing her face and caressing her cheeks. Both arms were folded at the elbow in a prayer pose, supporting her sleeping head. I had only seen pictures and images from our Skype conversations. I wished she would stir so I could see her beautiful face. Two suitcases stood guard over her sleeping body. Despite all admonitions to pack light, here she was with luggage to last her for a couple months instead of the one-week trial we had agreed upon.
She was still the odd ball, only this time it wasn’t her dorky, oversized eyeglasses and ill-fitting jeans suspended under the oversized Hawaiian shirt mom had sent by DHL. “I guarantee you’ll love it mom had practically squealed over the phone. It’s all the rage with teens over here,” she had added. She wanted to be cool so badly and she knew she’d be cooler if her clothes were exactly what were being worn abroad. When the clothes finally arrived, her 80-pound body barely filled out the size six clothing, creating a scarecrow figure complete with glasses.
“You look beautiful in the sun!” She exclaimed smiling as she walked up the aisle towards me. I smiled back betraying my true feelings at that moment. Even as I said thank you I was thinking: I wish I felt beautiful; I wish I could tell my brain to stop sending me mean messages; I … Continue reading The gods of Chemical Balance
I stop staring at my feet/I refuse to let them intimidate me/I am clearly out of my element/this far down the 52 on AC Transit/I stash my inhaler/switch seats/await my stop with some anxiety/dreading the return trip/wishing cabs were not so expensive in the U.S./hoping the return trip will be less jarring on my bougie self/acknowledging/Black can never equate one experience
Throughout the three months I have cooked more than I cooked when I was in Ghana last year, however my true success came a couple days ago when I cooked my first Ghanaian four-course meal for Christmas day. I topped that with a Boxing Day brunch for 10 people. I just might have a career in cooking! 😀 In addition to cooking, I have tried to do more touristy stuff (when I can sneak out) and have met some amazing new people in the process. All is not lost! Cooking, writing, and these new friends have kept me going the last three months. (well that and Skype and text conversations with Bay Area family)