Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The 16 Hour Ride.



On the bus, there were families I got to know.  Not the names because I felt that seeing them on the way back home was not likely to happen.  A woman traveling with her grandchildren, a young man and a small girl who sat directly next to here at all times. She was caring  and sweet, often laughing at remarks I made of the drivers sudden stops and reckless driving through the tri state area. Her grandson who sat across from her, handled her cell phone and visits to the gas station during 10 minutes stops.

I slept as best I could on the two seats I had for the duration of the trip. Passing through Washington, North Carolina, Delaware I saw places that caused pollution to the earth true enough. The industrial age of car manufacturers is fearless in the face of global warming. The moment is never fun to watch but I kept my eyes on the smoke filling the sky like erupt volcanoes in Hawaii. It was interesting. A place where we as people let cars fill lots in the Fords main recall of the year.

The woman who sat with her grandchildren called ahead to a leaseholder who’s recent tenet died and left this world in apparent debt. The tenet was the woman’s son. She was traveling to settle his account and move out his belongings. Though how she planned on getting said belongings back to Georgia was a complete mystery to me.

This is how I hope things wouldn’t turn out if I moved up to NYC.  My mother traveling to collect my belongs.

We stopped several times, at gas stations at least every hour and a half. It was interesting to notice that we hardly lost anytime doing this but it didn’t seem to matter.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Arrival in New York

May 2018

            On the adventure to rediscover my dream, I was on the bus riding into Manhattan on the affable "china bus" for 15.5 hours for the price of $30(Not kidding). It was in the early afternoon meaning it was the peak of rush hour. The traffic coming into the city was heavy but unlike Atlanta, the car count was more extreme.  A close friend met me in Chinatown because of his concern about my arrival in an unfamiliar area. My first reaction stepping off the bus staring down at the trash bags along the sidewalk was frank.

            "It looks awful."

            Laughing, He responded, "Welcome to New York." as he embraced me. Before, I waited to see him on different conditions.  The plan was for me to move there after he set a foundation but in the middle of his attempt to make the big move, he fell to the harsh reality of New York.

            "You should have come sooner. I had everything set up months ago."

            Without going into to details, I'll say that my friend interactions with the city finding employment, holding down a place to stay and finding a suitable partner simply didn't hold up in the long run. He looked at me and said that the people who   live he isn't caring like they are at home. We began the walk to the infamous subway that has captured my eye on every film set in New York. I held my brother's army bag full of my belongings close to me as I remembered horror stories of thief.

            The trains made me nervous to say the least. Metro cards were available at the machines next to the entrance and the fare for a one-way trip was 2.75, 0.25 cents more than Marta. The transit system itself was heavy on passengers constantly milling and moving.  People walked along the platform as if it was theirs and theirs alone. My friends, who was accustom to this, made it loud and clear that New Yorkers were self obsessed assholes.

            "They just walk like they're the best shit on the planet. I'm not afraid to tell them to they face!"

            Sometimes, I think that this city had a real negative affect on people who moved here. Before, my friend was nice. Now, he was on a warpath. Anyone in his way was mere shadow he stepped on the concrete payment that was hard and rough like he had become.

            We walked through the rest of China town. I observed what I came to know later as the Kim Lau memorial, which had a statue of a Chinese official, and honoring the Asian American that served the United States. Southern as I was, I'd never even seen a statue of a Chinese's person except on National Geographic's channel. Chinatown itself was busy. People walking pass each other in haste.
            My friend picked up my oversized army bag and on we went to the subway. The air smelled of fish as if I was in a famer's market and the corners were filled with independent vendors selling goods. I notice that every restaurant we pass had an underground access point to the basement. My friend remembered that I was from Georgia and the confusion was written on my face.
           
            He explained simply that ever restaurant in New York was the same. People used it to exit for smoke breaks and to let cool air in when the heat from cooking got overwhelming.
            An interesting concept for a city over populated as it was.

            Upon the entrance to the subway, I was met with the same machine system of transit that had been outdated in Atlanta for at least ten years. Instead of the plastic reusable cards, which are mandatory if you want to ride Atlanta transit, we were to use laminated card to swipe. I struggled getting through the entrance as my swipe was either too slow, too fast, or just plain wrong. 

            On the train, I nearly had a heart attack from the constant sudden jerk and pull of the train. Before I simply imagine flicker lights but once aboard, I felt uneasy. Not only because the motion of the train was unpredictable but also the unsettling way the passenger were unconcern with it. They rode the train focusing on other things. Phones, books and conversation.

            We went through twenty stops before getting off at the Broadway connector in Brooklyn. There I saw a different side of New York. A more dirty, less concerned part that could only be further described as, "A ghetto." So many black people were standing, commuting, and vining to their streets. This is were I began counting the "Crown" restaurants passed on the way to my Air BNB.


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Start At The Beginning






I quit my two jobs in hopes of finding a writer’s true nature. I look at my roommates, the two producers of art and find myself a somewhat jealous of their talents. I envy how easy it is for them to express themselves and on some level, hate them for it. My own talents have never gave me confidence beyond the brainstorming and initial draft. This of course  makes me wonder if my choice to become a writer foolish dream of a day dreaming fool.


What more could  we as people do? Our will to act when wounded by everyday life and the state of the world that surrounds us. We are people thus we crave security.  I think thats why I haven’t been able to let go like,
them. My musical influence flat mates who created time for their art.


The adventure began on the way to the Panda NY Bus on Buford Highway. The thirty minute Marta train ride was unbearable, the waitng, the consstant expection of lost nerve or misdirected constant difficulty to say the lease. But there I was , riding the 124 Bus from Doreville Train station. My inexperence came out once I asked the bus driver about which stop leads me to the “China Bus”?


A question that caused him to look at me as if I was a child who misplaced his
mother.


“Do you mean the Panda Bus to New York?”

“Yes, that  it.” Embarresed yet incredible relieved. As  it turns out, the driver of the city bus had also previously work for Greyhound  a d traveled to New York many times. And if that wasn’t enough, he was originally from NYC.


The obvious question  I had for him was, “ What advice can you give me?”


He only gave two.


“One , Don’t look up?”

Confusing I know. But  apperently tourist who visit the NY tend to stare up at the skyscrappers. Giving away themselves as tourist and prey to the people used to the tourist frenzzy.


“Two,  Don’t eat the chinese food!”


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Waking up

Waking up the dreamer inside

May 15th 2018

            In stories, I've learned, there are moments that character's must choose to leave their' world behind and start the adventure with no assurance that their goal will be reached.  One could say that they begin their new life in the world of a story but I say that many of us share this quality. Both fiction and reality contain that "crossing over the threshold" vibe that really hit you with the big questions; Am I ready to see what's out there? What will happen while I'm gone? Will I fail and return home in shame after not accomplishing the   main goal?  The BIG questions that makes writer's creation a two dimensional pile of shit or a fully realized protagonist with wants, needs, fears and has meaningful lost. Does the choice the character make have consequences after learning new information of change by the end of their arc?

            It was realizing this that I realize something else. A moment far more need than I assumed but often disregard as dreams of a dreamer who's yet to wake up from slumber. The source of my months- on -end writer's block is that I have yet to have crossed over my own threshold as a writer. I haven crossed over the state lines to see the highways that connect these great states.   How could I write about characters, my characters, growing through out the stories in my mind when I have yet to continue my own path as a dreamer who makes things up for money? A distracted salad cook working out a questionable pizzeria, a determined dishwasher at a local bar-b-q, an anxious delivery truck driver, a foolish cabin server cleaning planes even though he's never been on a flight, and a smooth talking hotel houseman have one thing in common. They never left the south to see if they could make it work, these silly little ideas of success and adventure. Another thing in common these employees have in common is they are all me, not the character's I've been writing about.

            How about this: A writer, disappointed at where he is in his career, wants to leave his southern roots behind him and take a trip to New York to awaken his inner dreamer.  The words look foolish and ridiculous as I write them down but it's the most honest version of myself I can see.  A fool with nothing to loose but his ambition if he doesn't leave where he's from, not forever, not even for a month, but long enough to find what he's been missing.  The fire in his eyes that's gone out.
            The WANT to write stories.  The NEED  to see how it all transpires. This "DREAM" his mother laughed at long before his graduation from college a BFA in Creative Writing but not that much after his decision to become a freelance writer. And so, I begin my journey to the BIG APPLE to see for myself the place of mine and many other people dreams.

            To begin this story properly, we must go back to the beginning. It all started a few weeks ago. I had been working a Mellow Mushrooms restaurant for about a month and was hired on as a salad cook after an interview cut short by an overworked hiring manager. Paul, as I would come to learn his name, was a very frail man who smiled of American Spirits cigarette smoke every time he stop by my station to ask if I needed help learning the different salad combination.
           
            "We could really use the help. The sooner you start the better."
           
            He holds his hand out to me and I could see the entire experience as I took it. Hours upon hours of lunch rushes, dinner rushes and the mad scramble to keep managers of my back. 
            This being my second job in the food industry, it wasn't my first time around the kitchen. My first job working in the back of the house was actually at a bar-b-q hole in the wall four blocks from my home.
            After being among ribs and pork sandwiches for a year, I decided it was time to move on. Alas, I find myself at a pizza joint ten blocks from my home, a step above dishwasher and a step down from pizza chief.  I was working there for two pay periods and by the third one, I was over the 9 to 5 much faster than the prior job. I could have said that I wanted to work somewhere else but after you been in the work force since you graduated high school, you realize that the reason for quitting is the last thing that matters once you're done with the job.  Two weeks felt like a marathon next to merely letting someone know you've lost interest in working for the future of the business. 

            So there I was, walking out on another job because that's what happens when you work at a job that had zero experience relation to what I attended college for. Before, I'd will simply clanged to the idea that working in labor to earn a living was the way of life. No shame or resentment. That we as people can serve with dignity and a chance provided for our family and ourselves. That's how I was raised in Atlanta and that's how my parents were raised in the south.  Work equals survival.  Yes, I could say it was because that's all we ever knew, working Monday through Friday, enjoying sitting on the porch listening to music all day Saturday and attending Sunday service followed by what can old be described as a pot luck dinner amongst church elders and mothers.


            The simple life, as many of my family members have come to call it, composed of what you would expect from a black boy from the south. The southern belle whom they grew up with and married once blessed by the pastor, the constant attendance of cookouts with in-laws and yearly birthday get-togethers where friends you haven't seen in years would appear yet only to vanish once again when it is brought to an end . The life where you keep you're Facebook and Instagram in constant buzzing of approval.  To be clear, this WAS NOT what I wanted for myself. I wanted to leave, to get away from the normal to something abnormal.


Friday, November 3, 2017

Laziness

So here's the thing. My life hasn't been the best exampe of the writer's itch. I get lazy ike all of you of course but I aso get to a point of complete disconnectt from the art a together.
Insprational  black stero type back greek muse! WHERE ARE YOU!?!?!

Here are things I am not surre of so far.

1. The rules of engagment when it comes to writing is getting up early.
The earier you feel up, the more can get done.
2.Give yourself something to hold on to or work on.
3. With most of the studying of other's authors' technique result in ambitious steps taken.
4.Go with the first idea.

Now, as I blog this morning's blog, I know these step are not perfected and attempt to find work as a writer. I ask myself if these truth's will benefit or condemn me.


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Day By Day

From earlier hours this morning, I was awaiting the inspiring muse that comes on the tail end of my dreams. The crust in the corner of my eye breaks and I open them to a brief vision of what I can create. What I can imagine and feel the fleeting touch of moments between sleep and consciousness.  I go thru the day thinking of it but to no success comes my search.

This is the moment I need to write. Create and dream yet I can't find the "real" in my false reality. Meaning I can't PenPoint the exact message and how to deliver it with a overall theme of storytelling. 


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The work I used to do vs .....the work I'm still doing?....Wait.

Behold, I have shared a picture, thust trusting the internet with a small clue to my life outside of writing elaborate stories. After working at the airport through my first adult years, to returning to college in the process to finish what I started, and now....Now i have joined the work force once again. Many of you my be wondering why that is. I know i certainly have some "Q"s that needs "A"s as to my choice of career.

On the one hand it could be taken as laziness due to the ease of my employment in a local restaurant down the street from my home.
On the other hand it could be my pure instinct to survive by doing labor for money for food and shelter. Strange that I have only really seen people working for a living but seldom see an academic or a fellow writer moving in haste to their job.

Look, I didn't go to college to work at a job that has nothing to do with my degree but when you are good at something, like labor jobs, you still have thoses skills,they just become part of the humbleness of life and understanding ones place in it.  I have always believed that a person who works for a living, a person who provides for people  they love by that work will always deserve ensured survival and the better parts of life.

So I'm a Writer/ kitchen boy....get over it.

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