1. Tuesday, October 22, 2019

    53 years ago tonight 

    my mom did the nicest thing anyones ever done

    she went through excruciating pain to bring me into this world

    when the doctor presented me

    he told her, congratulations,

    you have a blogger.

    the bells of the church rang, pigeons scattered and not far away at the lincoln memorial,

    honest abe quietly smiled and wished me to illinois

    which is a perfect place to grow up, but

    my mom made me cakes, invited my friends over, even sent them home with bags of treats and toys despite it being my birthday, thats just how it was. gift giving. sharing. leading by example.

    one of the best gifts my mom ever gave me was patience. for generations our family went to and graduated college. quiet a feat for black families, but then there i was, dragging my feet academically through high school

    with no real plan going into senior year other than maybe go to california and maybe go to junior college

    maybe.

    it must have driven her crazy. even my friends who had crappier high school grades than i, hustled off to state schools and little colleges around the midwest

    and that fall i sorta checked in to a city college, only to have to extend my time there beyond two years because

    i couldnt write well.

    any other parent, including hypothetical me, would have blown a gasket.

    20 years old and cant pass a community college history class?

    but she hung in there. “no pressure. you got this. you know youre not a dummy.”

    i was reading paradise lost for fun while being an ice cream man

    she believed in my weirdness, reluctantly, but she believed, and therefore i did too.

    soon i was writing every day, for money, for all to see in the college paper.

    winning awards, kissing girls.

    all because my mom a million years ago said, fuck it, lets get this negro out

    tonight.

    it cost her $200.

    which i should write her a check for one day.