Saturday, October 31, 2009

Marriage and Granola.

This involves granola, sticky fingers, and love --


I smash a sharp knife into a thick block full of raisins. It slowly comes apart, but the job ain't going by that fast despite my amazing strength. . .

A Chef flashes by, sizes up the situation in front of me.

Chef: "Hey, help Lauren with the raisins. We gotta get 200 of these out before lunch."
I look over my shoulder to see who he's talking to: a thick Woman in her 30s. Is she really going to help to speed the process along? Maybe I should be positive. As she walks over to me, I hear --
Woman: "Hey. Is it Lorraine?"
Me: "Lauren."
She does a laugh smile. Ya know, not really a laugh but not really a smile.
Woman: "I'm so bad with names. Gosh."
Me: "It's all good."
I continue hacking at the raisins as she breaks the small chunks with her hands. And, as the minutes roll by, I find myself wondering what her story is and where she got that big ass rock on her finger.
Me: "How long ya been married?"
She stops what she's doing and looks up to think. I want to scream out, "keep working, goddamnit!!" but decide not to...probably not the best thing to say.
Woman: "Umm...a year I think."
Hmm, I can't tell if she means it in a it's-been-a-year-kill-me kind of way or, I'm-so-in-love-and-thankful kind of way.
Me: "Cool. Why are you here volunteering?"
Woman: "'Cause I'm bored and unemployed."
Join da club.
Me: "Ah and your husband wants you out of the house."
Woman: "Yeah, but not because he's sick of me. Just knows being without a job for so long isn't doing anything positive for my mental health."
Is she crazy or something? Look, I'm down for packing granola -- not crazies.
Me: "How is marriage? Is it fun?"
She stops to look up. Again.
Woman: "This is going to sound weird, but it's a great feeling knowing that he has to fill out a lot of paperwork in order to break up with me."
Not the most romantic thing I've heard.
Me: "Okay, so it sucks?"
Woman: "No, no, it's great. I love being married. I mean, I always thought it would just be the same as before. You know, when we were in a relationship, but it's different. There's a different quality and pressure...but, not a bad pressure. I always have someone by my side and that's nice to know."
I stop without realizing it and smile at her. Yeah, it would be great knowing that no matter what happens, when I go home, there will always be that special person there by my side (unless she decides to take out the paperwork).
Me: "Yeah, that does sound nice."
Real damn nice.

It's hard to remember that life doesn't go on forever and ever.

Ya know, that those hot red pumps I bought for a Christmas party last year won't matter once I'm in the grave.

So...what will?

Perhaps the intangibles...the untouchable thangz that we can't describe with words. Just with feelings. Like --



I can deal with that.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Volunteer My Heart Away.

You know how this goes. I sigh...


I stand in front of two steel counters with plastic gloves over my hands and a cheap, disposable white hairnet on my hair. Is this really necessary? Clock reads -- 8:13am. OMG. I shake my head, wishing it was lunch time already.

A guy approaches me. Looks like a Chef. Just has that swagger.

Chef: "Okay hey wasup. You a volunteer?"
Me: "Uh, yes. I am."
Unfortunately. Hey now, don't get me wrong, I love to volunteer. Just not in the eaaarly mornin'.
Chef: "Super. I need you to tear up these large pieces of chicken into little pieces."
I look over his shoulder and see the endless piles of long, narrow sheets of fatty chicken. Um, I don't have to do I?
Me: "I got it."
Uh, I totally don't.
Chef: "Oh, and it would be awesome if you did this in like an hour...tops."
How the heck am I going to get through all of this in that amount of time?
Me: "No problem!"
Look. I know how to bullshit when I need to. Let's just say that Hollywood is rubbin' off on a sistah.
As I grab a tray and get to work on my assigned task, like Chris Brown doing community service, I kinda give it my all. Okay, not really. And, almost as if G-O-D answered my prayers, I hear my savior (a black Woman in her 50s) approach me.
Woman: "What needs to be done here?"
Me: "Um, the Chef just told me to break up these trays of chicken. I have about 10 more to do, which I'm sure will take at least an hour."
Before I finish my sentence she has already gone to town on a tray of chicken and broken up half of it with her speedy hands.
Me: "...or not."
Woman: "We gotta speed this up now. These sick people have to get their food."
And before I know it, the Woman is on her 4th tray while I am just finishing my first. She ain't playin' around. I wonder what her story is?
Me: "So, how long have you been volunteering here?"
Woman: "Let's see now...around two weeks. I gotta do it for school...and myself. Getting my masters in Nutrition."
Me: "Awesome. Where ya from?"
Woman: "Compton, honey. Yourself?"
Me: "I'm from the valley."
She shoots me a proud smile as she says --
Woman: "Well, that's all right. See, now myself, I wasn't supposed to make it this far, ya know. A girl from South Central who grew up on food stamps. No way was I supposed to make it this far. But, my mama taught me right."
Me: "That's cool that you're here and giving your time."
Woman: "Ahh yes, you must help others. My mama, before she died, always told me to help those who can't help themselves. And, it gives me something to do. All of my family is gone now. My two brothers died this year due to smoking."
Me: "Oh no, I'm sorry to hear that."
Woman: "It's okay. The great Lord has blessed me and continues to everyday. I am glad to be here. A gurl from the South side of Compton. Who would have imagined I would get this far?"
As she continues making me and the rest of the volunteers look bad with her quick and impressive hands, I can't help but feel inspired. And, I can't help but far am I supposed to go?


Life's unpredictable. We don't know where we'll be today, tomorrow, or even in the Present moment. I think it comes down to living in the moment and staying positive. Easier said than done, I know. But, if we're too busy thinking about things then it becomes close to impossible to see all of the wonderful things happening right in front of our face. Word.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chronicles Of A 20-something, California.

We all have dreams. Many of 'em reside in a sign:


It's not all that it seems to be.

But, at the same time,

It's everything.

Just don't forget there's more to you and to life than the question --

So...what do you do?

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Let's not live in fear. For the things we fear can keep us from the things we could be


Sunday, October 4, 2009

3 Minute Conversations - Website Up!

Hello peeps.

First off, you rock. You're so patient and dope. I can't stand it = )

The website for "3 Minute Conversations" is finally up and posted.

Check it --

Things will be added and updated on a consistent basis. And please, if you can, donate. We need your support!