An Unexpected Intersection of Love

Man, I was a brother down on his luck with love. Shit was horrendous. I couldn’t maintain a relationship to save my soul. If there was a time to SMDH this was it. Fucking women. Fucking life. I swear, I was hating it all as the story goes.

And then she showed up.

Biting-lip

It should have been a bad time to meet because my mood sucked and I felt I would bring her down. I was feeling funky and unlucky and didn’t give any fawks! But there I was waiting for this imagined goddess who would turn out to be connected to me like my angel twin – literally sent from the heavens to intersect with my life when it most counted. And trust me, she did.

My kids had been giving me the flux all day before they were to go back to their mama’s home. I, being the decent fellow I have always been, didn’t mind “watching” their assess from time-to-time so she could take care of her shit, but this time I wasn’t having it. My plans appeared to be thwarted for the night as this wrinkle was presented to me by the Ex. My first inclination was to tell her to screw off; but I didn’t. Thus, I was doing my daddy duties when I said “yes.” Needless to say she was a tad late in picking them up. I wanted to curse her ass out but I thought, “what about the kids?”

Then my piece-of-shit-car didn’t want to start in these frigid temps. I tell myself day after day I’m moving from this cesspool of a city – the cold, the crime, the cops – the triple C’s of destruction. But I can never pull the trigger because my heart is bigger than my brain. I persevere as I need to but not without proper bitching.

After a fellow citizen decided to act like Mother Teresa I got rolling. I figured a good meeting place for my online match was somewhere warm yet accessible and safe for all. I’m not a fricking Dexter but no telling these days of the women a man might meet. I saw the movie I married an Ax Murderer so I wasn’t taking any chances. Besides, I had a couple of extra dollars because a brother just got paid! I gotta take advantage of these moments because they seem less and less frequent these days. Shit sucks.

I sat at a quaint table near the bar that faced the door. I realized I wasn’t being very chivalrous during this courting period but it was cold as Hell! I threw out the dating etiquette book and ordered myself a Scotch on the rocks to calm my nerves. I eyed the other patrons around me to familiarize myself with my environment in case a MF’er decided to go postal in the joint. But it was all good. So I waited. And I waited. And I waited some more – after a few more Scotch on the rocks.

I swear by the time she walked into the place I was just getting up to put on my coat and leave. I was angry that she would have the audacity to treat me like this; we spoke a few times prior and the conversation was good so why would she be so disrespectful? She approached me as I stood there eyeing her up and down. I admitted to myself she was fine as anything my eyes have seen although I was still upset about her seemingly lackadaisical approach to this date.

But then it happened – she spoke to me.

Each word that came forth from her luscious lips was carried by the most beautiful songbird I imagined. My heart melted as she neutralized my anger and she proceeded to gently blot it up with her metaphors and loving innuendos.

Within the first five minutes of our new relationship I muttered the words I think I love you.

 

Why You Wanna Irk Me So?

I admit I’m more of a Speed Racer type when it comes to putting the pedal-to-the-metal; therefore my blabbing may irk you as I was irked by another. But I’m going to press forward and say what I gotta say anyway!

When you see me coming up on you like a well-tuned Formula 1 semi-rocket move outta the way and let me drive! Is it really so hard to let go of that control? You know you like what you see and admire my swag, but no, you wanna play games with me…tease me…control me, and you know it’s gonna irk me because you see the way I approach you. And as soon as I see you slip and you give me a lane you wanna go and block me again. This is not a game! You’re gonna make me scream “Jesus take the wheel” lest I do something I regret, like take another path. But hey, I should expect this cat-n-mouse foreplay because it is what happens during courtship.

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As for someone’s car antics, that irked me as well.

I sat in my car trying to progress at a reasonable rate and there he was purposely driving like Ms. Daisy. He would slow down to get under my skin knowing I was in a hurry. I said to myself “If I wasn’t a good Christian boy I’d pull you over and beat the freaking sh*t outta you and tear you a new a$$hole you S.O.B!” But I didn’t. And God forgive me for my rage.

But who is really in the wrong? Am I to blame because I can’t drive 55 or is he because he is purposely provoking me? And here in lies life’s crazy debate about balance and responsibilities.

Sure, I could have been driving a bit slower, maybe just a tad above the speed limit as I was in a hurry to not miss the cutoff for dropping off my kids to daycare. Or he could have moved over and let me pass as there were no obstacles preventing him from doing so. City driving causes road rage causing inexcusable behavior that might result in unfortunate circumstances. Who needs this?

Responsibility states we all share in creating a balanced and harmonic living environment for ourselves and the world. It ensures we behave in an unselfish manner prompting our brethren to relinquish control sometimes while other times becoming the beneficiary of a good act.

Either way, we must remember to take a moment and pause so we can compose ourselves and not make irrational or ignorant decisions purely based on selfish priorities.

As for my driving – I will still drive like Mario Andretti until I am no longer able to do so, but I typically share the road (and in this case the greater metaphor for road – life) with others so we all might travel harmoniously. Life should always be about the greater good, therefore, I submitted to being greater even though he was not.

Go well and with love good peeps.

Me and My Mojo Jangles

The following phrase should be sung in the voice of my favorite Blues artist Muddy Waters:

“My mojo done come and gone and come back again; I’m ‘bout to round that bend bringing’ my mojo from deep within! Oh, lord, yawl better watch out!”

At least this is what I’ve been told. Funny thing, I wasn’t even aware I lost my mojo, let alone that I had any mojo to begin with. And this got me to thinking, what the heck is my mojo and am I doing good or evil with it? Don’t we all have a bit of mojo? Shall we explore this idea of mojo together? Let us.

I hear the young-ins talk about SWAG these days and I quietly wonder how this word has grown and taken the place of similar words over time. Swagger, mojo, cool, and debonair are just a few words throughout history that describe the wannabe James Bond in all of us – in particular us men. However, many women desire a similar Je Ne Sais Quoi when ascribing to certain enticing characteristics that evoke appeal. Sex appeal is a powerful trait.

I never thought of myself having any sort of mojo growing up. I was just…me. Yet, throughout the years I would look at others who clearly exhibited some type of cool factor and I often thought these individuals set the bar. Sean Connery, Denzel Washington, and Johnny Depp have that “IT” factor; there are certainly others on your list but these exemplify having mojo on my list.

But, honestly, all of us really do have some type of mojo working for us. Regardless of your stature, your position, your nerdiness, we all have it. It usually is recognized by someone other than us. Someone may mention an endearing quality that we hadn’t thought of that gives us pause and might even make us blush. We take their words at heart and smile warmly as we are given the compliment. Everyone loves a good and sincere compliment.

So what happens when we lose our mojo? This occurs because of life and the turmoil we experience. Life happens, or as my brother says, “shit happens.” And when that poop hits the fan we stop living the life we once lived. We might find ourselves in a funk and begin to get lost in this insidious pool of disgrace and disgust, not knowing how to get out. Losing my mojo wasn’t on purpose – it just happened. And it was brought to my attention during my difficult days because my outer shell began to reflect my inner spirit. I felt there was nothing I could do about it. I accepted the pain and the pity secretly hoping it would just go away or that I would wake up and the nightmare would be over.

And as the story goes – none of that occurred. I still had to overcome and face the demons surrounding me.

The wonderful thing about overcoming is the peace you feel when you do overcome. Or the feeling of accomplishment that comes along with finishing a race. Also, there is euphoria and jubilation that fills our emotions as we look back at the road we traveled. It’s like grabbing a cold beer, sitting on a stump, and admiring God’s handiwork and your part in maintaining the masterpiece. This is where I find myself; through the storms I am recognize the positives of life.

My mojo is just heating up. It is that Godly feeling within that allows my Spirit to shine brightly. And for a moment after numerous challenges I finally believe I can overcome the storm. It is this newfound confidence that I wear so well. And I hope everyone can have this same suit of confidence as well. We all deserve a little mojo in our lives from time to time. So go find yours.

Daddy Dan

Why Can’t I Make this Work?

I see it crumbling right before my very eyes. I stare into her eyes and see the pain and there is nothing I can do. I want to reach out to her, tell her how much I love her but my words are empty without the supporting actions. Every move I make is handcuffed. I cannot release who I really am because of this prison in which I exist and yet I know it will be the demise of my marriage. I look up into the night sky during an isolated evening and I pray a simple pray: God, why can’t I make this work?

A man’s vulnerability is a complex issue. But most women don’t care to understand this vulnerability we men deal with. Women believe if a man is in love he should open himself in such a way that whatever vulnerabilities he is feeling will be squashed by the love she brings. The truth of the matter is men don’t operate this way. When we open ourselves to experiencing such heavy psychological and deep-rooted vulnerabilities we feel weak. Weakness might be one of the strongest negative characteristics for men. It might be the kryptonite that destroys our soul. Submitting to being weak is a “no-no” in any language. Weak men are squashed and no woman wants a weak man.

Then how does a man express his deepest vulnerabilities without feeling weak? How does a man show that while he might have vulnerabilities he can remain strong? Aren’t vulnerabilities akin to showing a weakness? This conundrum in which men operate causes confusion. For all of us that Believe know confusion is not of God.

In today’s relationship-market our vulnerabilities become more exposed than ever. As a man of a certain age attempts to date he takes the risk of being rejected for some vulnerability if he allows himself to open up. We expect our maturity to kick in and for us to handle these situations like adults but the fact is we are human; humans with real emotions. These emotions are strong and uncomfortable. Many times to hide any weakness we downplay the emotions and focus on other things in life where we can approach them like robots. This includes our jobs, our golf games, exercise, or anything else that is not human, let alone female. And through this we believe we are able to overcome.

Well, what would happen if we allowed ourselves to be more vulnerability? What if we opened up without the fear of rejection? How would we be accepted by our potential partners? A man has to be very comfortable in his own skin to allow his willingness to be open not impact that whom he is. Only so many men actually reach this level of maturity. Many of us continue to wallow in the world of miss-illusions where we continue to shelter our deepest insecurities and harbor a false sense of who we are as men. The lucky ones, well, I believe they experience something much greater in their relationships. They experience a trusting bond with their partners that allow them to be as free as they can with no judgment.

It is only through this mutual trust that a relationship can thrive. Therefore, one can presume the question “Why can’t I make this work?” rarely occurs in a healthy relationship. It is replaced with “I am making this work.”

Get In Where You Fit In?

Kanye West’s song “Clique” says it best: “ain’t nobody f*king with my clique, clique…Ain’t nobody fresher than my clique, clique…” Well, some of you know the rest.

And what about getting in with a gang of folk? Who are my homies? What makes up my clique?

If you’re like me you might wonder whether you even fit in a defined group. I’ve never fit in just one group. I sometimes felt like an outcast searching my way through trying to get in where I fit in. Or should I fit in where I get in? Conformity. I tried this as well but it didn’t do it for me. Thus I was an empty vessel adrift at sea looking for similar vessels as me.

When you come from a diverse upbringing it may add to these feelings of exclusion. However, other people come from a homogenous environment and still feel the same. Those of us who feel this way usually fumble our way using a trial and error approach hoping and wondering whether we will find that friendly clique there for us. It is only human nature to belong to something; defining that “something” is the key.

I went through my punk rock stages but I didn’t dress the part.

I tried on hip-hop fashion, but didn’t dress that smart.

I even bought a pair of cowboy boots only to realize I wasn’t a Southern bunk.

It wasn’t even the clothes I was wearing that would hide my dismal funk.

When I was a young lad my father said to me and my siblings, “ya’ll are different because of your life experiences. You will forever have to deal with this.” He was right. We traveled around the world due to his job and always found ourselves trying to get in where we fit in. But what I didn’t realize is that eventually I would find my diverse clique merely by the laws of attraction. When I stop trying to fit in the universe guided me to where I needed to be.

The journey has taken me some time over my years and now I am lucky to have such a diverse group of influencers. These friends and family are all unique and I suspect we have all felt very similar with this journey. And the great thing is recognizing our uniqueness and cherishing it. It has made me a more enlightened individual who understands the value of being unique brings to our world.

So I finally found my clique, clique, clique. And ain’t nobody fresher than my clique, clique, clique.

But the Words Just Slipped Out

I know I just met you and we’ve only just begun to hang out. And yes, I think you are the most beautiful creature this Earth has created. I couldn’t find another like you if I searched all four corners of the globe! I know you will bring the best out of me and me of you. Seriously, are you thinking what I’m thinking? Is this real or is it just fantasy? I…I…I feel a little confused because of this feeling. Yet, I want to tell you. I want to tell you, “I love you.”

Screech! “Hold on there little pony!” my inner being states.

Back da hell up! Did it really just come out of nowhere? Did I really say what I think I said? Was it an out of body experience? Or was I transported into another man’s body as he was just popping out the most loaded phrase ever – I love you.

Three little words that carry so much meaning and can transform a relationship. These words are not to be used lightly nor taken lightly. It is the phrase that can defuse most any situation and bring back peace after a calamity. We all have found ourselves in this situation at some time in our lives; whether we were 16 or 45. And there is that moment of unsteadiness, insecurities, and nervousness before we let it rip from our lips. But when it does come forth we exhale as if we were holding our breath for a million years.

What next then? It’s like I just climbed Mt. Everest. It’s like I just defeated Godzilla. How do I top that?

You don’t.

You build on it. You live it. You nurture it. You believe it.

So goes relationships. If you both believe in these spoken words you do what you can to make it happen. You will find yourself trying to do what you can to ensure that the words you spoke are real and the meaning behind them never fades. But as our day-to-day realities set in (bills to pay, kids to nurture, a job to perform, sanity to maintain) we have a tendency to move on with our lives and the phrase begins to carry less weight as it once did. Oh, we will say it constantly, and we might even show that we mean it but the first time we spoke it becomes a distant memory. And all we have left is that diminished memory of when that time first occurred. I imagine a fuzzy picture from the past that reveals something nice without the details to show.

Some of us will continue to believe in the “love” portion of the phrase for eternity. However, I am more skeptical that can be the case – there may be too much time passed to really truly solidify the statement in our hearts and any pain received during the relationship may bury the phrase as if it were the Evil Villain from a James Bond movie. We have separated the “I” and “you” to only reveal an empty “love.” And so ends that moment we hoped would last forever.

At some point after a breakup the phrase has to be discovered and uncovered like an archeological dig. It will be carefully excavated from our damaged hearts and delicately washed to reveal its wonderful form. The time it takes to bring the phrase back to the surface depends on so many factors and is going to be different for each individual; we just know that it is possible.

As for me, I’ll keep my thoughts and words to myself for now. I will closely guard them as the treasure I believe they are. I will use them with extreme caution and hope that when the moment comes for me to release these incredible words of hope I will do so with the commitment and fervor I once did. And there will be no second-guessing or confusion, just love with a purpose – longevity of the moment.

Daddy Dan

Cheerios in My Pockets

As I came into work this morning I grabbed a bag I hadn’t used in some time. When I got into the office and pulled the small bag from my computer bag much to my surprise I found something…

A few remnants of cheerios.

These small morsels have been there for a while. I’m certain they were there when my babies were…literally…babies. It made me smile and I realized how I missed them at that precious age. I’m sure many women can relate. I wonder if men relate to this as well – I know I feel sentimental when I am reminded of my kids during the early years. The time passes by so fast. Enjoy it for sure.

To our kiddos! Love them to pieces.

Daddy Dan