Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Morning Edition - 6/11/08

Sisters; A Study In Contrasts
My older sister Evelyn graduated from college on May 28th. I immediately took a day off and was front-and-center, my eyes filled with tears, as I saw her dream of a higher education become a reality. As I mentioned in a previous post, she has shown amazing strength and resilience overcoming catastrophic turmoil only to use that kick-in-the-stomach as the propulsion to take her to that magical day. This month she’ll close on her second home – in NY no less – and is doing a bang-up job raising two beautiful boys. At the other end of the spectrum, my little sister Frances, who was set to graduate on June 27th, has had a failing report card all year long and is likely to end-up in maternity gear rather than a cap-and-gown by year end. All said, I love them both and recognize that everyone has their own path in life to follow and their own future to create. My best to both.

Ghetto Is Ghetto, So Stop Bitchin’ and Do Something About It
When you live in the ghetto –regardless how great your specific apartment building may be- it’s still the ghetto. Case-in-point, my neighborhood is the epitome of ghetto and my neighbors see any temperature over 60 degrees as an open invitation to hang-out in front of the building and subsequently my window on the ground floor. After repeated calls to the police, the city complaint board and my building’s management company, I still come home to weeknights of frustration and disappointment – even the brink of catching a case for assault and battery. I refuse to give up though and insist that there MUST be neighbors like myself – hardworking folks who want a decent place to live without paying through the nose for it. Sadly, I also find myself saying, “This is exactly why decent neighborhoods show their ass and refuse to rent to minorities.” All clouds have a silver lining and mine may very well include my demanding to be freed from my lease to escape the discomfort thereby facilitating my move with BD. I’ll keep everyone posted.

Ribs and Mash
A couple of days before Memorial Weekend I took a quick run a few blocks from the office to a sporting goods store and bought racquets for BD and I to take on my new spontaneous passion – racquetball. After a romantic Friday and Saturday it was time to hit the courts for what was set to be a competitive endorphin boost. I find that working out and competing against my partner in sports invigorates me and serves as a sort-of aphrodisiac. So as I was acting like Rafael Nadal on the court the most incredibly haphazard accident happened. My right foot slipped on a wet leaf that had been inconspicuously sitting on the court for the first two hours of play. As my the momentum propelled my body backward and my right leg forward, my left leg folded like an accordion under my weight twisting my torso like a crunchy cheese doodle. I heard a loud crunch and assumed my leg was broken. Suffice to say, that I’ve never had an accident in sports before and the shock and adrenaline-spiked fear that I was sitting on a broken leg had me scream in horror. I quickly asked everyone who attempted to help me up to back away and straightened my body and my legs in front of me. I felt my left leg and realized it was extremely sore, but not broken. After a few moments I stood up and had a ghastly pain in my left side and a throbbing leg. So, what say you would be your reaction? Well, I did the opposite! I played another 30 minutes hobbling on my pained leg and excruciating side. Finally, BD and I came home, showered and went out on a dinner date and a romantic walk through the city. I purchased a knee brace during our walk and – you guessed it! – walked on. When we returned home I swallowed 800mg of Ibuprofen and made passionate love with BD. Caution to the wind, we spooned until about 3 a.m. when the throbbing in my leg and breathtaking side-pain were unbearable. I quietly climbed out of bed and took another 800mg of the anti-inflammatory pills and lay back down. I spent the next three days in unbearable pain before setting my machismo aside for a doctor’s visit. The results were devastating. I tore tissue around my left knee and have a fractured rib. The doctor assured me my leg would be as good as new in two weeks, but my fractured rib would take 4-to-6 painstaking weeks before it mends. Nothing could be offered – well, outside of numbing narcotics. Today, two weeks after my accident, I am popping more than five Percocet pills a day just to function. A testament of my determination to plow forward is that I haven’t missed a day of work and was front and center on Saturday’s 93 degree scorcher trying to play a more docile game of racquetball. The pain and discomfort are still very real, but I will not be sidelined. The gym is on a 6-week hold – which is anxiety-overload for a person who suffers from Body Dysmorphic Disorder – but I have resorted to avoid the scales after realizing I had gained six pounds in just two weeks. In another four weeks, I’ll just pick up where I left off. Today, hearing the words ‘ribs and mash’ conjure wincing, rather than salivating.

On Blast
What about the Black and Latino culture makes you feel that some housing discrimination is justified?

Keep passin’ the open windows…


bLaQ~n~MiLD said...

You are off the chain Cocoa lol. Hmmmmm let's see, where to begin...

Congrats to the elder sister of course. That's a wonderful accomplishment and it sounds like she's doing the damn thing. As for the younger sister, I wish her well. She can be shown the path but you can't make her walk it.

I guess because I haven't lived in the city in ages, it's somewhat fascinating to me to see people, friends, comrads, neighbors just hanging out in front of apt buildings chillin. I'm sure at certain times of night it can be annoying tho I agree. In contrast where I am in jerz nobody sits outside which causes you not to know your neighbors and vise versa.

And you need to slow down ma dude. You're not as young as you used to be lol.

As for discriminating against minorities, I prefer to discriminate against the 'ignorant', period!


Darius T. Williams said...

Sorry to hear about your injury...get soon fast. I could send you a baloon or something.

Housing? Let's see - so much is really justified. You're right though - I'm moving to a dope place, but it's still right dab smack in the middle of the ghetto. The loud talking, the hanging outside, the cussing as you eat sunflower seeds up and down the street...I mean all of it is a bit absurd to me. Really - that's the reason why it's so hard to get into decent places.

What do we do? Is this the beginning of a self-inflicted segregation?


Anonymous said...

Well, we grew up together...on the same block, in the same building, and once the white flight went down...well, the hood was never the same. It was commonplace for the few old white ladies who remained to get robbed and beat up by non-whites. Garbage was thrown all over the street. Fordham ROad was like Little Calcutta with people selling you stuff out of suitcases. Ferman didnt really let anyone but other Jehovahs Witnesses move into our building. I think it has more to do with income than color really. If lack of money makes people respect themselves less surely havoc will follow....even if it has to happen right outside your window. It doesnt matter what race the are, they just dont have any class. Classlessness defies color lines.

Mr. Jones said...


First, OMG...are you ok??? We've been so out of the loop with each other of late. We must catch up.

Feel better and please let me know if there's anything I can do to help.

Now...congrats to Evelyn!!! I know you must be soooo proud. My mom actually graduated college a couple of weekends ago and I was really happy for her. Congrats again to your family.

As for those niggas...I know all about that foolishness. I'm fortunate to not have to deal with that mess where I live, but I've been in that situation before and didn't like it one bit. Sometimes your efforts may seem for not, but don't give up. Someone has to fight.

In my neighborhood, these bastards don't blast music or hang out on stoops, but they REFUSE to bring their garbage and recycling bins in every week. So, sometimes I'm walking down the street damn near a week after garbage pickup and your shit is still outside. WTF??

Another thing is the repairing of cars in the front of the block. Take that shit around back.

The damn loud, obnoxious kids running a muck. That shit bugs me.

I could go on, but I don't wanna get too racist this morning.

Feel better, hon.

bLaQ~n~MiLD said...

Puff Puff & don't pass @ Mr. Jones. You need it! LoL.


Mr. Jones said...

I could use a nice doobie. I really could.

Cocoa Rican said...

Hey guys...thanks for your well wishes...I'm pushin' thru it...Yeah Blaq, I'm off the chain...with a fractured link...LOL...Mr. Jones, we really need to catch up soon....D! I wanna hear everything about your new crib...Cas...let's get together.

Prince Xem VanAdams-Lumumba said...

I KNOW how it feels to be Overwhelmingly PROUD of Your Sister, and ALL of her MANY Accomplishments and Triumphs. I LOVE to witness other Brothas and their Pride and Love for their Siblings. Maintain Bro.

E said...

Congrats to your sister on getting her degree. I can only imagine the journey she's gone through to get it. You're right too in that we all have different paths and no one path is necessarily the right path for everyone. It's like that with my own sisters and I.

j_shanlin said...

awww.... tell my aunts i said congrats!!!

As for the neighborhood... heh.. i don't know what to tell you.. maybe you should open your window and pour a bucket of cold water out. And whatever, knowing your out of control ass, you like the ghetto.

I can't see myself supporting racial discrimination when it comes to housing...

and I hope you feel better unc!