No More Brittle Spirits

She was a woman that I had known for quite some time, skin brown and attitude firm. See this girl had only been around women who were just like her. She was raised during the era beyond crack taking over the neighborhoods. The radio sounded like the Fugees and Heavy D all mixed together and life of the single Black woman was more prevalent than ever. After forging a friendship with her some years ago I never understood why her father was never around and neither did she. I would watch her though, the way she was easily angered which turned her pretty brown face ugly. Often times I’d have conversations with her and she would just complain and spew words of “these niggas ain’t” and “I wish a bitch would” somehow always sour.

Brittle Spirits-page-001
The shirt is inspired by poet Michael E. Reid’s The Boyfriend Book.

So brittle and so cold I became scared for her because I knew she was broken into so many pieces. The unique relationship that was ours stood on most of those feelings. I encompassed a sound bound for her insecurities, ideas and suggestions. She loved me dearly, I had no flesh-like interest in her but I was male, she loved me. Listen carefully as try not to judge her but sometimes that was a challenge. Intelligent at best she still had this spirit that I found myself enamored with. Support, love and kindness is what she gave to me and I knew she was capable of giving it to others but her anger. We always had conversation of her temper and what it appeared to be on the outside. My subconscious thoughts wanted to be honest with her to say, “Your thoughts about yourself are ruining you.” She looked so familiar to me, sometimes like my mother, sometimes like my 3rd grade teacher Mrs. Ojo and her cry sounded a lot like my grandmothers. She was a woman with a bruised heart, a vision we’ve all witnessed at one point or another. Myself, a homosexual young man, she a young heterosexual woman had this kindred spirited relationship that allowed us to discuss everything freely from boys to bias. We went there and that’s when I got to hear what she had been missing. A young woman who had never seen what it was like to be in a relationship as her mother remained single for most of her remembered life. There were men around but they did not make up for what was lacking. She needed to see a man love her mother correctly, although she saw her mother love herself it was not enough. See, when you are raised closely to your single parent you are usually subjected to the emotional challenges they encounter. I too was raised by a single mother who emotionally let her guard down sometimes and I was exposed to adult issues that were probably too much for me to see at that time. Still, she this woman didn’t see what she needed to understand her worth. Her spirit was hardened toward men as she felt owed something for what she hadn’t received.

Dating for her was a constant challenge as she went from broke to boring, from horny to stingy. The men she picked were like all of the defected toys left in the box. This made her feel slighted about things she could not change. She mirrored her struggles after other women and their triumphs but she looked nothing like them. Nor did she know their stories, she could never compare herself to anyone because her spirit was hers. Life went on and she became older and more brittle than ever. Her idea of fun was isolating herself from others in efforts of not having to be told what was wrong with HER. Never did she want to let people in but was so lonely and cold which caused confusion. The confusion lead to her eating, sexing and crying sometimes all in a day. Things that she looked forward to would never compare to the moment she would dread, being home alone. Paying bills and taking out the trash were things she did not love or admire but she kept on until. She met a guy who broke her down in ways that caused her IPhone to not event recognize her. She ended up losing herself all together because this man she encounter had no soul. His spirit was beyond broken because it was not there. See, I didn’t tell you that she a religious woman, through all of the negativity, strife and struggles she learned about God, her God.

The God she knew had gotten her through the toughest of times. This is not about religion, this is about self-love and self-preservation. Not making excuses for what did or didn’t happen but grasping onto whatever it takes to be better. See this woman was never going to understand how to make herself happy until she accepted totally responsibility for it. On her own, she had to see that no absentee father or make shift boyfriend would complete her. Religion, as insightful and powerful as it may be would never hold her. Freedom is what she needed, mental freedom just to be free to have her sweet justice. Free enough to go forward scorned but willing, willing to not let her issues be the issue. We all know women who suffer from brittle spirits brought down by whatever or whomever. Encourage our women to offset the cause of their pain and push forward.


Vashon Wade 2018

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