Travis Blogs and Podcast Updates

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Girl in the Bathroom

I published this story last year.  I decided to reissue the story, because it is one of my favorite stories I hope you enjoy. 

At a glance it looked like an electric night. At a glance, it seemed to be the remains of a night of fantasy and sexual expression, but vision can often be misconstrued by the unknown.

She stirred slowly on the bed. Her movements could be described as a person returning to normal after a night of howling at the moon. Her neck even contained a dull ache as if she was attacked, bitten, and transformed into a strange beast or monster. She surely did not feel like herself. She moved forward and propped herself up with her arm. She surveyed the studio apartment and began to recollect the prior evening.

Various exhausted beer, wine, liquor bottles, and multi- colors smeared the glass tips on the floor. All objects decorated the floor in various positions. She sat up completely and place her feet on the floor. Her toes touched several wrappers. She looked down in question, inspected and raised her head in disguise. On the nightstand she noticed her pack of Newport, reached for them, shook the box and discovered that the box only contained a half smoked cigarette. She frowned at the “short” and searched for a light. As she began pushed party favors off of the table. She hoped to discover a light, but instead she found more wrappers. It was as if it was Christmas morning and kids went crazy opening gifts and discarding all but the treasures inside.

Shelia stared at the wrappers and proceeded to the stove to light her used cigarette. The short cigarette fought helplessly against the flames and slowly sparked. After it began to burn and she puffed away the stall taste of the used cigarette, and walked to her bathroom to started the tub.

As she walked into the bathroom, that’s when she first noticed her. There was a coco brown sister as naked as Eve. And speaking of Eve, this coco beauty was the perfection of Eve. Her face was the vision of an angel. Her mouth was curved with a slight frown, but it was obvious that under the right circumstances it would be a devilish grin. Her nose was a button with the roundness and flare of her ancestors. Her long neck connected to soft shoulders, full breast, small waist, rounded hips and muscle flexing thighs. She was glamorous from head o toe. Shelia stared at the sexy bitch and turned her head in disgust. “That hoe always parties and shows out,” she thought as she took a long drag of the Newport and frowned at the continued bad taste. Shelia disappointment was redirected at the young lady.

Shelia thought, “What did she do last night? I bet she was talking trash like she always does. How good she is. How no one has her skills. I bet any kind of money she went overboard again.” Shelia remembered there was several times she seen this girl in action at the past parties. Shelia also remembers that this girl drank too much. She always did. She needs, wants and commands attention. She would drink and talk shit to get attention. “Oh damn, all those wrappers on the floor! Not again!” She looks at her and the anger and resentment tinkle in her toes. As she stepped into the tub of running water and it was slowly rising. Her anger began to warm her body.

“That damn girl,” Shelia thought as her surveyed the room again and moved back to the naked beauty. She always feels empowered by the attention. Like Cleopatra who toyed with the affections of men only to die due to the poison (snake bite) of her actions. “Those guys last night did not love her the way she wanted nor did she deserve Love,” thought Shelia.

“How am I going to find man to love me when my roommate keeps screwing everyone?”

Shelia said to herself, “Going from man to man does nothing but leave you on the floor. I want kids and a husband. I have the capacity to love, but she messes it up with all this need for attention. I love me too. But I only need one. She keeps screwing everyman that comes around here. I am going to have to do something about that!” Just then her angry turn to grief, then pity. “She is so beautiful, she thought as she looked at her. “If she could only stop giving it away…”

The combination of the running water and the burnt down cigarette caught her attention. She looked away from the mirror, flipped the cigarette into the toilet, and wiped the tears from her eyes. As she prepared to clean herself, she whispered in a breath, “I am worth more.”

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Holocaust Museum:description and experience

As I walked into the Holocaust Museum July 4th weekend there were a couple things on my mind. I thought about the recent murder of the security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns security and disturbing images of death and concentration camps I saw as a child. Stephen and the victims of the Jewish Holocaust are victims of same hatred, closed mindedness and dark worldviews.

I was uneasy about this museum simply because I did not want to revisit the same images I saw in a book during my childhood. This uncomfortable feeling continued to lay heavy on my psyche as I walked into the museum’s giant atrium and sat on a bench to watch people. Most of the people were chatting or giggling. Children ran pass laughing and teasing one another. I continued to think that I did not want to see this place.

Once I entered the elevators to go to the main exhibit floor, my mood change. It could only be described as apprehension. This tension builds in the stomach as you sit still in the rollercoaster car waiting for the ride to begin. The anticipation of the extreme speeds and up and down motions of a very high and very scary rollercoaster is unnerving me. The elevator was a very large dull colored steel box with a television mounted high for all riders to see. The elevator doors closed and the box moved slowly upwards. The ride felt almost motionlessly. A voice began to speak over the intercom and the TV flickered on. After a brief prologue, the steel doors opened to a silent room of people. As I pondered my reluctant feelings and watched the people, I notice something very interesting. The obvious contrast of the individual demeanors and emotions I observed in the atrium and in the actual exhibit. The atrium was bright and lively and people talked, smiled and giggled. The only speaking heard was the film on the rise of Hitler and the shuffling of bodies from exhibit to exhibit. I felt an unshakable sadness come over me as I began this trek through this museum. I watch the film on the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party and I was dumbfound. How could a country of people allow their leaders to run amuck? A well known cliché states that hindsight is 20/20. The people of German were poor and disenfranchised and an evil man exploited their feelings hopeless. This is the same madness that fueled the countrymen of Rwanda to kill their fellow countrymen in an effort to rid their country of Tutsis, or religious leaders that condemn Islam or Buddhism by saying that Muslim and Buddhist doctrines have no validity, but I digress. I continued slowly walk around the exhibit studying different wall mounted information in dismay.

I took great notes of names of camps. I wrote down about Lt. Colonel Stevens and his film crew that documented these atrocities. I wrote about the Weimar Soldiers and the Treaty of Versailles. I also noted about Hitler’s genius marketing campaign and ability to speak, but all these notes do not describe the experience. I will not use them.

When I walked across the breezeway I looked down into the atrium and notice the teens chatting, moms chasing their toddlers, and old people lounging. They looked too relaxed and calm, too status quo. I thought that they did not see what I have seen.

I walked into an odor that seems to have hands to touch. It was a thick musky smell. I immediately felt as if I walked into a dense fog. The odor seemed to hug me and make me aware of its presence. This fog of odors seemed to trickle up and down my spine. It was the smell of thousands of shoes. I looked at the shoes of the victims of the holocaust and notice hast in my step. The smell did not linger as I walked into the section of portraits, but it did seem to add weight on me. I looked at the photos of beautiful families and continued my journey.

I walked slowly around the next level of the exhibit and I came up to a railcar. This cart was not as large as the railcars I have seen a train yards. The car was probably a third the size. I read the information and I learned that railcar held more than a hundred people. I could not imagine the feeling of being in a car that size with over 100 people. I can imagine the crowdedness, the inability to move or even breathe. Many people died in transport railcars. I continued my journey at a slightly faster pace.

The Holocaust Museum was painful and to some degree unbearable. I remember this feeling as I watched Amistad. The White sailors discovered there was not enough food for themselves and the men and women they stole from their homeland(slaves). They tied stones to a group of the men and women they stole from their homeland and drown them in the Atlantic. Men and women were stolen from their homes and murdered.

Cultural dynamics

This museum exists because of peoples’ inability to accept differences. This museum serves as a reminder of the product of fear. Oppressive actions of Hitler, the Nazi party, White supremacist, or any person or group operate within the realm of fear. This demonic fear consumes all logic and reason with unfounded hatred.

Insight

I was able to look at myself and consider what could possibly make me fear and loathe a group of people like Hitler. I have never possessed that much fear, but when I consider my apprehension toward White people I do not know personally, I understand why I become uncomfortable. I am uncomfortable because for much of my young life, Black adults said that White people were not considered trust worthy. I was not raised around White people. I was raise in Black neighborhoods and I did not really socialize with Whites at school. I was blessed to see beyond that prejudice behavior, because I met and became best friends with Anthony Cler. Anthony is White and it is this relationship that dispelled all the prejudice crap I heard as a youngster. It is the brotherly love that he and I share that assures me that White skin has nothing to do with who he is and who I am. He helped break the cycle of prejudice in me. Now I do will not continue a legacy of ignorance to my children.

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