Wednesday, April 07, 2010


After the last post, I thought I could shut the door for a while and be quiet. However, my brain didn't get the memo. In fact, my brain was on speakerphone. Every time something happened over the past week, she was yelling all in my skull "SEE?! YOU NEED TO WRITE ABOUT THIS!!" I think my brain is staging a protest. I keep replaying 3 different things in my mind that remind me what I need to open that door between my thoughts and my fingertips and let them do what they do best - write.

The day after my self imposed written silence, I logged on to Twitter (yes, I'm on there too! You know the Resident Butterfly is quite a social being! LOL). In my timeline a few cerebral celebs that I follow posted tweets about a writer from The Wire dying of a brain aneurysm the previous day. Now, you know I'm a stan for all things THE WIRE, so you know I took this kind of hard (sidebar: It's been 2 years since my beloved show went off the air??!! damn, time flies). He was currently working on a new series set in New Orleans, set to debut soon on HBO. What struck me in all that I read was that he blogged the day before he died. Blogged on Monday, dead on Tuesday. Damn. And my brain wouldn't let that point go, screaming "SEE??!! YOU NEVER KNOW - THAT LAST BLOG COULD BE YOUR LAST BLOG!! WRITE!!". As I perused his blog, there were things he said he wanted to discuss later as if later would come. Most of us live like that but eventually later never comes unfortunately. My brain was banging on the door for my thoughts to open up but I ignored it like it was Jehovah's Witness ringing my doorbell on a Saturday morning.

The next day, a guy I grew up with sends me a message on the book of Face asking if I remember a girl he believed to be my grade school classmate. I corrected him and told him she was in my best friend's class which was a year ahead of me, confirmed that I remembered her, and inquired why. It was so random a)that this guy sent me a message and b) that he would ask about this girl. I hadn't seen or heard her name in YEARS!!! His response literally almost made me fall out my office chair:

She was recently murdered in NC. Her husband killed her and 2 of her children.

As I waited for him to reply to my "WHAT??!! WHEN???!! WTF???", I was numb. Granted the girl wasn't one of my besties and I hadn't seen her in at least 10 years, but still. I knew her. We wore the same uniform; we played double dutch in the park during recess. Our histories are intertwined for a few years in the grand scheme of life's journey.

When I finally read the tragically gruesome story, I wept. Closed my office door and wept. I wept for her, the kids that were murdered also, and the kids she left behind. No one deserves to have their life and life's story include this chapter. Murdered at 35. The End. Once I dried my tears, I couldn't help but think "damn she's only one year older. And gone." Something about that thought made me think about my own mortality. Not in a tragic way though. More so in looking at life for how precious and fragile it is kind of way. And once again my brain started screaming "SEE?! YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY. KEEP WRITING!" and "HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF SOMETHING HAPPENED AND YOU NEVER GOT A CHANCE TO WRITE AGAIN??" That thought made me weep, again. And for the first time in a while, I actually had the urge to write. However, time marched a little bit faster than my leisurely stroll that day and before I knew it the day was over and no writing had been done. But I felt full of a creative energy I think I've been missing and was happy to have back.

The following day, I brought my niece with me to work. In the biological sense, B. is not my niece. Her mom is my best friend from way back in the days of uniform required saddle shoes, pigtails and pickle wars (keep it clean folks; we used to have contests to see who could take the longest to eat a pickle; she always won - 3 hours later she still had a piece tucked in her cheek. okay, this sounds really gross now but back then not so much...hahahaha). We are more like sisters so her children I refer to as my niece and nephews. B.'s birthday is 10 days after mine and spending the day with her reminds me of myself at 12 minus my ginormous glasses. She has this craving for more out of life. She's a dreamer, just like me. I sat her in the conference room, gave her 2 tasks to complete, and went into my office to complete my own corporate to-do list. Upon leaving work early, she and I spent the rest of the afternoon having girls day. In her 12 year old wisdom, she told me what I need to do for a career ("you need to be your own boss. you'll be great at it."), she shared her travel plans ("you and I should go to Paris for vacation one day") and her career aspirations ("I think I want to be a fashion designer so we have to go to Paris during Paris fashion week okay?!"). While I spent a shitload of money that day (note to self: kids are EXPENSIVE!!!!), I couldn't remember having a better day in the middle of the week in a lonnnnng time. By the end of the evening when I took her home (after mani-pedis, dinner, and dessert), she had me thinking about my own dreams. The dreams I've deferred. And to that my brain shouted "B. LOOKS UP TO YOU. GIVE HER MORE. WRITE DAMNIT!" B. wouldn't let me leave until we scheduled monthly "just girls days" (I got the child addicted to pedicures, such a mini me...hahahaha). Hanging with her made me realize I want to live my dreams partly because I hope she realizes that she too can live out hers.

And so I began to write again. I've fallen in love with it all over again. Sure, my inspiration to open the door came out of 2 tragic events and one wonderfully dreamy day but that's life. In tragedy and beauty,there's a lesson. Thankfully my brain was attentive enough to see them, even when I didn't want to.


rashad said...

Im scared of aneursyms man..there seems to be no rhyme or reason for why they happen...

and every time you try to ignore this writing thing, it calls you back. YOU MUST KEEP WRITING!!

£ said...

Im with Rashad. Aneurysms TERRIFY me. When i was in middle school one of my classmates had an aneurysm and died. We were only 12. I have been shook ever since.

The news about your classmate is horrific. So sad. I hope her family finds peace.

Im glad you're feeling inspired once more. I love your blog and i be (yes be) getting hype when you update! If i may echo Rashad... you must keep writing! Do it for the chillrens!

btw, you're on twitter as well? twitter is my addiction. lol. why am i not following you?? whats your name? if you don't mind sharing of course.(if you want to keep it private formspring it to me. lol)

Janelle said...

Thanks for the writing for the chillrens campaign, guys!!!

Lex, now you know the stalkers can't get that info. Check your formspring. :)

makeba said...

J, I am in the same shock as you with this one, considering I knew her as well. Life is crazy...that's why you MUST keep writing.