Journey with me through my Hair-volution! What's your favorite?
“Hi!” a middle-aged Caucasian man said as I walked toward the entrance of Kroger.
He was looking directly at me as he exited. “Hello,” I casually replied.
He gasped. I stopped walking and looked over my shoulder. Uh, oh…was he on his Bluetooth? I thought to myself. This wouldn’t be the first time I’d mistakenly engaged in conversation with someone who wasn’t quite talking to me. He was looking back at me, smiling; there wasn’t an earpiece in his ear. I shrugged my shoulders and continued into the building. I walked past the deli, continued past produce and headed to the seafood section. I knew why I was here. I eyed the salmon, catfish and tilapia. I kept scanning the glass partition but didn’t see what I was looking for.
“What are you looking for?” a male voice asked from behind me.
I turned and looked over my shoulder. It was him. I was a little taken aback. “Snow crab,” I responded.
As if on cue, the butcher walked over and offered his assistance. I redirected my attention to him. “Do you have any snow crab?” I asked, catching myself before I began salivating.
“Sure do,” the butcher said. “How much you looking for?”
“Gotcha,” he said and headed toward the back.
“Next time, the snow crab is on me,” I heard from behind me. I smiled at the stranger. “Did you hear me?” he said, straight-faced, inching closer. “I said ‘next time, the snow crab is on me.’”
“I’ll hold you to that,” I said. I looked around uncomfortably.
He rested his arms on a display of Old Bay seasoning and asked, “Are you going to be long?”
I paused. Awkward. “Yeah, probably so.”
“Oh, well…next time,” he said.
“Bye,” he said as he reluctantly walked toward the exit.
My mind began churning. That was strange. Was he trying to come on to me? Wait, wasn’t he leaving when I came in? He was definitely trying to come on to me, I figured. I walked around the store a little longer, picking up items to complement my dinner. I couldn’t stop thinking about how great these crab legs were going to be. I mindlessly paid the cashier and walked out of the store.
When I reached my car, I instinctively looked around for the man I’d met in the store earlier. He seemed to have been having a hard time approaching me. I wondered if he had given up and left or had he gone outside to his car to work on his lines. Who am I kidding? He’s not my type. I unlocked the door, placed my food in the passenger seat and got in. I put my car in reverse and headed home. I was starving. In thirty minutes, I’d be feasting on crab legs better than Red Lobster could prepare.
The thought of eating good food made me dance in my seat. I was in such a good mood. It had been a long week. The food, wine and weekend I was about to have were very much needed. I pulled into my assigned spot at my condo and killed the engine. I reached over to grab my purse and bag and noticed movement in my backseat. I jumped. I turned on the interior car lights and looked in my back seat. I screamed. Before I could defend myself, the mystery man from the grocery store grabbed me by neck and pulled me closer to him.
“Scream again and I’ll kill you!” he said. I felt something sharp underneath my neck. My breathing began to quicken. My heart was racing, pounding. It felt like a builder had dropped three bricks inside my chest. Great, if he doesn’t kill me first, I’ll die of a heart attack. Tears were running down my eyes as he opened the door with his left hand and held me at what I could only assume was knife-point with his right.
“Why are you doing this?” I fearfully asked.
“I’ll do the talking!” he said forcefully. He got out of the backseat and stood at my door. I was shaking uncontrollably. I’m going to die, I realized.
He grabbed a handful of my hair and pulled me out of the driver’s seat. “Owwww!” I screamed as he thrusted me face-first into the car parked next to mine. I could feel my cheek swelling. He held me away from him by my hair and fumbled around behind me. I thought about what he was doing and wondered, Where’s the knife? I carefully tilted my head an inch to the left and strained to look back at him. He was struggling to unbutton his pants with one hand. He had a look of frustration on his face as he tried with all his might to get his tan Dockers unbuttoned. I scanned the parking garage feverishly, praying that someone would come walking out. Unfortunately, no one did.
My attacker let out an exasperated sigh. He thrusted his elbow into the back of my neck and leaned on me, still trying to get his pants undone. My heart pounded as I imagined all of the things he would do to me: rape me at knife-point, stab me repeatedly before slicing my throat. I whimpered at the thought of an officer standing at my mother’s door, dropping this devastating news on her. And that’s when it happened…I panicked. I noticed the weight of his body on me as he busied himself undoing his pants, and I snapped. I kicked his legs from under him and knocked him to the ground. Without looking back, I took off running down the dimly lit garage.
“Get back here, bitch!” he called after me.
I kept running at full speed. I whipped my head and looked over my shoulder. He had stood up and was running in my direction. I picked up my speed, my flip flops clacking behind me. “Hellllllllllllllppppppppp!!!!!” I screamed. “HELP ME! HELP ME!” I shouted. I slammed on the back of car trunks as I ran, hoping to make noise, set off an alarm if possible. His shoes thudded behind me and I could tell he was gaining on me. If I could just make it to the black door ahead of me, I knew I could get help.
“Whoosh! Clink!” I looked backwards briefly then back ahead just as the knife he’d thrown at me slid across the pavement. He was still charging at me. Instead of heading for the door, I dodged toward the knife, swooped it up and stood still. My momentum instantly changed. I spun around, scowl on my face and charged towards him. The look on his face immediately shifted from determination to shock. He stopped dead in tracks and lifted both hands. “Whoa!” he said, his eyes wide, pleading. I kept charging full speed in his direction. He jerked backwards, tripped over his feet and hit the ground. “No! Please don’t hurt me,” he begged, covering his eyes with his hands. I drew closer to him and kicked him between his legs. “Owwww!” he yelled, moving his hands from his eyes to his private parts. I walked behind him, grabbed his short hair and put the knife up to his neck.
“Move and I’ll kill you!” I threatened. He froze. “Move your hands!” He groaned. “Move…your…hands,” I repeated and pulled the knife closer to his neck. He obliged. I moved the knife from his neck to right above his penis. I pressed the tip of the knife against his pants so that he could feel it. “Do what I tell you…or else.”
“I will! I promise!” His eyes were wide and fearful. Just like mine had been. I used my free hand and patted his pockets, looking for a phone. I grabbed his phone from his pocket and dialed 911. The phone searched for a signal for what seemed like forever before it finally rang.
“911, what’s your emergency?”
“I’m in the Majestic Towers parking garage with a man who stowed himself in my car, assaulted and tried to rape me! I have him at knife point and will kill him if he moves! I threatened, more to him than the lady on the phone.
“Okay, calm down, I’ve got an officer in the area; I’m sending him to your location. Stay on the line with me, okay?”
“Don’t you move!” I yelled to him. “Tell your officer to hurry!” I said to the operator.
“He’s pulling up now. What floor are you on?”
“Okay, he’s pulling in now.”
I kneeled over my assailant, “What’s your name?” He remained silent. “Answer me!” I shouted. I was almost drowned out by the sirens blaring in our direction.
“Kill me!” he pleaded. He started squirming beneath me.
“Be still,” I said, holding the knife to his neck. Two officers threw their doors open, drew their weapons in moved in our direction.
“Drop your weapon!”
“Not until you get him!” I shouted back. The officer from the passenger side ran over and placed his knee on the back of my attacker’s neck.
“I’ve got him. You’re safe now,” he assured me. With his gun pointed toward the man’s head, “On your stomach!” In less than two seconds, the officer had snapped on the cuffs and was walking the perpetrator to the car. I blew out a much needed breath and sank to the ground.
Karen tossed and turned. She laid on her right side for awhile, then flopped to her left. It was no use; the sun seemed to be beaming into her room from every direction. She pulled a fluffy pillow over her head and lay completely still. She waited. Rays of sun seeped under the pillowcase and beneath her pillow. Nothing was helping! She flipped over onto her back. She was frustrated. She had been up the better part of twenty hours and wanted to go to sleep, needed to go to sleep. Her first off day in three days, and she couldn’t even get to sleep. Oh, the irony, she thought to herself. She rolled out of bed and walked over to her espresso-colored nightstand. She grabbed her black sleeping mask. She walked back over to the bed, crawled back in and pulled the mask over her face. Finally!
Her joy wouldn’t last long. It was as if the sun had slithered under her windows, into her bed and underneath her mask. “That is it!” she yelled. She yanked off her mask and climbed out of bed, pulling her cover and pillow with her.
Walking into the bathroom, she flicked on the light and inspected the tub. Once she was certain that it was dry, she turned off the light, tossed her pillow at the head of the tub and climbed in. Karen extended her legs and then pulled them closer to her. She tucked her comforter around her body as she lay in the fetal position. She lay silently for minutes. Slowly, her eyes became heavy, her breathing slowed and she was taken away to a much needed place of rest.
© Tierra Allen. All rights reserved.
Ever been having a good day and then it just seem to take a turn for the worse? Or maybe from start to finish your day just stays in shambles? I have a solution for you. It’s called “Switch!” “Switch” is a praise break, a rerouting, a u-turn. One of my pastors--Sharee Johnson—introduced this to me maybe a year ago. It’s one of those things that has stuck with me. The idea is that you give bad times, nonsense, bull crap, 2 minutes of your time, after the allotted time, SWITCH!
I thought it was a good lesson that day and I find that it still serves a purpose to date. As I’m in a new transition in my life, I have many points in my days were things fall apart or take a turn for the worse. Instead of releasing myself to the bad-day gods, (or cussing people out) I’ve found that by bringing a little Jesus into my life through praise and worship, tuning into Virtual Bible Study, or reading the bible, that I can re-center or restart my day. I think it’s because it’s hard to focus on God and still be angry, agitated or disgusted.
So the next time your co-worker, roommate, child, spouse, or parent gets on your nerves, cue your Kirk Franklin Pandora station, pull up a daily devotional, go to your bible app or tune into Virtual Bible Study and change the course of your day. Renew your mind daily.
Phil: 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
We’re losing our freedom of speech and don’t even recognize it. In an effort to become politically correct, we’ve become a people of “You can’t say that!” Example: Soulja Boy Tell’em, a rapper, recently recorded a song in which some of his lyrics were unpatriotic, slandering the military and government:
“Fuck the FBI and fuck all the army troops/Fighting for what/Bitch, be your own man.”
Now, regardless of whether you agree or disagree agree with his sentiments, he has a right to say whatever he wants. Your right is not to force an apology out of him, but to choose not to support him.
I didn’t agree with Lupe Fiasco’s comments regarding President Obama and terrorism—“…to me, the biggest terrorist is Obama and the Unites States of America”—but I don’t think he should apologize for them. I just won’t buy his music and if he’s on television, I’ll probably change the channel. His right is freedom of speech, mine is the right to disagree and not support him.
As Americans, we tend to push our beliefs on others, no respect for cultural differences or differences of opinion at all. It’s annoying. Then, we take our feelings and our heurisms and decide what someone should say or how they should feel. Things like: “My daddy served in the military for 22 years! How dare he say…” or “Soldiers are losing their lives in Iraq, it’s 4 days before September 11th and he has the gall to say…” Stop it. What we don’t realize is that every time someone has to “apologize” or retract what they’ve said, they’ve lost their freedom of speech.
This doesn’t just apply to rappers and comedians—Katt Williams—it applies to others as well. While I don’t agree with Don Imus calling Rutgers University’s basketball team “Nappy headed hoes,” it’s his freedom of speech. We all have a responsibility: as the speaker, understand that your words carry weight and be willing to stick by them AND willing to suffer the consequences of speaking them. As the listener, respect differing opinions. Don’t force others to limit their free speech, opt to limit your involvement or support of that person if you disagree with what they say.
It may not seem like a big deal now, but if we slowly etch away at what can and can’t be said, we’ll look up one day and realize we can’t say anything. Big things were once little things.
There’s been so much nonsense going on the last several days that I just couldn’t deal. Example: TI. There was the whole free-but-not-free mess that took place, allegedly over the fact that he left prison (headed to a halfway house) in a tour bus instead of a van. It’s like, really? Come on. First of all, if his party had shown up in a Mercedes Benz instead of a van (or bus in this case) would there have been a problem? Secondly, and probably most importantly, who the hell let him board the bus and drive ALL THE WAY to Georgia if the paperwork didn’t match? Give the man his freedom, damn.
Then, later it was stated that the issue wasn’t the transportation but the fact that he brought danger to himself and others because he was being taped (for a reality show on VH1—ironic since he made Tiny quit hers…but we’ll get into that a different day) and the footage showed the specific halfway house where he was staying. It’s like… “Come on!” This was not only ridiculous, but a waste of money and time. If I were Clifton “TI” Harris, I would sue the sh*t out of the system and turn the whole state of Arkansas into a parking lot. Get it together!