I took a deep breath, preparing myself to cry. The way I do every year, but something different happened. I laid there all the way until it got to the part of the song where Ice Cube began running off crimes that white people commit but blame black folks for, and nothing happened. No tears, no sense of heaviness, no sense of failure.
Though I was exhausted, having worked a few extra hours the day before… I made it a point to get up early this saturday morning. The 29th, and while I have this stupid competition I let Justin and my sister talk me into doing, that the creators decided at the last minute to change the time for, I also need to see my daddy this morning. To see him, and to give him his copies of my last two poetry collections.
Thankfully today, I got off early, and tomorrow, the 22nd, I have the day off. I knew that if I was finally going to get serious about doing this competition, and working towards feeling better about myself in general, I had to buckle down. That starts today, and if I have to keep my ass in the house and work all evening and night, then so be it.
He folded his arms across his chest and began mocking me. “Ugh, I wouldn’t dare get on stage. They’ll take one look at my fat ass and know that I’m a terrible writer. But you don’t do that, huh? Not that you’re even fat or overweight, but that’s what you call yourself, so-”
Sahara and Justin looked at one another. She was expecting him to slide in with some quick words to cheer me up, but he just turned away and went back to observing himself in the tan harem pants he’d picked out, smoothing his hands along his hips and thighs as he puckered his lips and blew kisses at himself in the mirror.
So, here I stand, looking in my full length mirror as a complete mess stares back at me; barefaced with my cocoa brown skin looking dry, my jet black hair all over my head, wearing raggedy pajamas I’ve had for far too long, and a scar that has been present on my left cheek since I was about ten years old. Assessing my appearance, and my life as it stands now.