What If…?

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What if I were BLACK?
Not smooth, rich black, grinning black,
but coarse BLACK,
abrasive and obscene BLACK.
The make you cringe type of BLACK,
Would we be friends…?

What if I were HIV+?
Not victimized, poor thing, HIV+
but “brought it upon himself” HIV+.
Messed around, sexed around, slept around HIV+,
Would we be friends…?

What if I were CRIPPLED?
not faulty machines, accident crippled,
but broke the law, had my ass clipped CRIPPLED.
CRIPPLED due to disobedience,
Would we be friends…?

What if I were DULL?
Not shy, stay by myself dull,
but a sad DULL, no jokes or dramatic anecdotes DULL.
DULL u scurry to escape from as it draws near,
Would we be friends…?

What if I were GAY?
Not happy, suave, well groomed gay,
but angry GAY, loud, defensive GAY.
Pelvic bone in your eye shoving GAY,
desire the smooth finish of women’s clothing GAY,
Would we be friends…?

What if I were an ATHEIST?
Not agnostic, flat out ATHEIST,
call you foolish for believing ATHEIST,
regard as ramblings, eternal soul ATHEIST,
Would we be friends…?

Life MAY NOT take me down this road,
so perhaps what I should ponder is,
WHY are we Friends…?

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R.I.P. Whitney…:(

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I’ve never lost a close friend, until today. Whitney is dead.

She died and it felt like a friend I grew up with was taken away from me and tears leaped from my eyes.

U don’t have to know me on an intimate level to know I love Whitney; pre and post Bobby. Give me Whitney, she can do no wrong no matter how wrong she seems. She for me is music.

The genesis of this love-sick fascination with Whitney was her vocals. The raw grit that exist in her tone. The ability to hit notes that some people only dream about and can only perfect while taking a shower. Most importantly, the fact that she can do it live trumps everything and makes her the greatest in my eyes.

I became conscious of Whitney around age 6, the video for “Greatest Love of All” was the trigger and man was I shot. Not only was she gorgeous, but she had the type of voice that made your hair stand on end when she hit that “love of aaaallllll” note.  My mother had similar earrings to those she wore in the final scene, u know the big ass ones with diamonds all over it? Yes, I must confess I would often pin these earrings to my ears and pretend to be Whitney with a towel wrapped around my head and hair brush in hand. This is the hold she HAS on me. I would act as both adult Whitney and child Whitney as they walked unto the Apollo stage to merge into one in that classic video.

Whitney continued to blossom as a mega star and my love and devotion grew deeper. I use to look forward to award shows to see if Whitney would perform. If u think she is good on record, u have not heard her live. This woman sang with her entire being, from the glue of her wig to the sole of her feet she delivered while looking impeccable. Oh for the Bodyguard years when her voice had fully matured and was at its peak. How many singers u know can stand before a microphone, orchestra in the background, spotlight on them and they rip the concert hall to shreds? This art died in the early 90’s and we may never see it again in our lifetime. I‘ve seen every movie, every tv show, watched thousands of interviews on youtube which Whitney did and say this without reservation that she is my friend, she is a major part of my life.

I really did love this woman, saw past her imperfections and accepted her with all her flaws because they made her beautiful. I carried this love for Whitney and am never afraid to defend her. I read once that God repairs the broken wings of angels, well,  he had to call in Whitney for a tuning of her voice. No matter what she did, how she died, NOTHING can erase the impact she had on music and that r the truth.

I got shot…with influenza

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I have never had influenza, oh lord the word sounds serious, let me retry this. I’ve never had the Flu, yes, better. All my life of walking in the rain as a child, walking on the cold tiles of my parents house, sleeping under the open window allowing the night wind to chill my body and still I never caught the flu. I’ve caught a cold, everybody has, but the flu is an entirely different thing. According to the American Journal of Medicine more than 100 people die from the flu annually. It was this data that lead to the situation documented in this blog.

Well, in Canada November to March is flu season. Just as we have mango season and June plum season in Jamaica, this is annual but not as pleasant an experience. Flu season is a major thing here, business places offer hand sanitizer to customers and some even have face mask for people who are sneezing or coughing. I landed in the middle of flu season and was advised by my doctor and my fear of dying that I need to take precautions and protect myself from catching influenza. I agreed to this because frankly what did I have to lose…but my life. I got a flu shot, was pretty simple and quick, didn’t hurt at all…at the time.

I woke up that night with my arm on fire, not literally but it might as well have been on fire as the heat coming from it could have kept the entire GTA warm for winter. It was also swollen as if a swarm of wasp had attacked it while I slept but the worst part was the excruciating pain I was feeling. The doctor never told me about this part, not even that it may happen and I instantly started worrying like a cow in a butcher shop. Can you imagine I just got to the first world and get killed by doctor’s malpractice? Then it got worst. My body was overcome with goose pimples and my teeth started chattering. I was hot an cold at the same time. My eyes hurt and my joints were aching me, this was no regular sickness, this was influenza. Had I been in Jamaica I would have gone to the backyard to get Rice and Peas Bush to boil for tea, but what bush would I find in Toronto under the snow?

The flu shot that was supposed to help me fight the flu, actually gave me the flu and now my body is better armed to fight the flu…or so my doctor says. Well, since I made it through the night I will work with him because he has the title of doctor, but the jury is still out on whether I will do this again next year… it r the truth.