Archives for : Over Bites

Natural Enemies


Certain Black girls are always complaining about biracial and multiracial girls “going on a natural hair journey” when to them they clearly have already arrived.  It’s enough to make you think we have become natural enemies.

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Heart Like Candy to Crush


No good deed goes unpunished.

An early lesson learned while attending The Ohio State University involved two men.  I had a terrible crush on the one and barely knew the other.

Crush was my junior by a year and was back home hanging with his boys and working—I presume.  He never called.  I always called.  So, despite my number coming up, out of his sight, I sank completely out of mind.  I learned a little later that boys like men (if he aims his bow at all) prefer being Cupid.

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Definitely Not On the Program


It’s an adventure. Starting out late makes everything an adventure. It’s a good day for being in a dark room and letting someone else do the entertaining. On the way, to lighten the mood, I remark about being the only ducks out as it gets darker and gloomier. My sister, who is half-listening, lurches forward, saying, “Where they at?”

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The Terror at Home


“A Mother’s Greatest Fear.” Mural in Chicago, Illinois, and response to the city’s rising murder rate due to gang violence.

When I used to think of Chicago, Illinois, what immediately came to mind was Oprah.  The wind.  Then the cold.  An image of rush hour people hurrying to work with the anxiousness of New Yorkers comes to mind.  But the Chicagoan does not clutch his head or neck because there are too many people packed in one place to breathe; he does it because the winters are always frigid, always insane.  I see scarves and trench coats flying behind the Chicagoan, pulled by the wind like the tail of a kite.  I see a beautiful city sort of dipping its feet in water.  I see side-by-side bridges.  I see bridges over water.

Lately, when I think of Chicago, I still see the bridges.  But they all seem to be over troubled waters.

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Compact Diss


I used to think of Maybelline and L’Oréal as though they were a couple of cool, white girlfriends from New York and Paris.  Black Radiance and Opal, although attractive, had long let me down.  I even tried the Queen’s product but I was dissatisfied with the feel of it between my thumb and forefinger.  Didn’t care for the consistency, it felt like oil—a little too rich for my taste.

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The Ice Cream Nazi


"Desserts" spelled backwards is "stressed." Want some?

The masses don’t usually have bad moods when they enter the pink and yellow sunshine of a Baskin-Robbins.  In the city of Shaker Heights where the streets are named Yorkshire and Berkshire, running along the edge of the city like a river lies Chagrin Boulevard.  An apt name, for within the walls of a certain Baskin-Robbins there sort of stands a miserable ogre, whose singular goal, in single scoops, is not to peddle ice cream dreams but 31 flavors of sadness.

For this reason, we shall deem him The Ice Cream Nazi.

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Acid Love

Acid-LoveWhether she came into my life or I came into hers, I do not know.  What I do know is that because of Rose, my eyes were pried open to the seedy side of big city living.  And I loved it.

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In The New Year

Effing is supposed to be good for you. I'm allergic to effing.

Come close.  As uncomfortable as I am with intimacy of this sort, come closer.  No, closer still.  I have a secret.  The secret is that I am allergic to effing.  Yes, effing.  Effing has always made me uncomfortable.  My eyes and nose become red, itchy, and runny.  Effing makes me feel weak, especially if I’m looking up from the bottom.  Too many bad memories of us replay in my mind when effing.  And, being a Christian doesn’t help because as the world knows, effing is sometimes an even dirtier word to us Christians.

Here’s the problem with me and effing.

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This Christmas


These lambs are Flip Flops--extremely relaxed animals--who were extremely relaxing to our mother during her last days.

Without our mother, we are trying to figure out our new Christmas normal.  My mother loved Christmas almost as much as she loved Christ or us rotten kids.  In our latter years, Christmas somehow came to revolve around her.  If someone teased my mother about opting to do nothing for Christmas, to not buy gifts, to not prepare a special dinner or, in essence, to treat Christmas as if it were an ordinary day, she would get a blank look on her face and become as quiet as a patient hearing bad news.

Then the moment like a flashback would pass, and all of a sudden she would object.  With her whole heart.

“No Christmas!” she would say.  “How can we NOT have Christmas!  We HAVE to have Christmas!”

My mother shopped for everyone . . . down to the fifth cousins who barely had a speck of original DNA in ’em (or the home-training to mumble a polite, Thank you.) 

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Grape Jelly Eaters


Dale C. Slavin’s “Joie de Vie,” a limestone sculpture on a granite base, looks like a single woman chilling with her children in Beachwood near The Land in Ohio.

My new doctor is Indian.  During a recent first visit, he asked if I had children.  When I told this graham-cracker colored man no, the look on his face revealed he rarely met Black women over twenty who were virgins to giving birth.  Then he went and asked me that other question, the question that comes first—I presume—if you are any other attractive single woman.  Why aren’t you married?

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