Hello beautiful reader! This section of my blogsite is dedicated to showcasing some ideas that I am currently fleshing out! Some of are book ideas and other ideas that I have worked on. Let me know what you think about them!
Leslie Rhams’ School of the Performing Arts. Some label us as “pretentious” and “vapid”, but I would say that is only 50% of the school population. We are an odd bunch full of freaks, weirdos and psychopaths. I use those words endearingly since I am a member of said “weirdos”. My name is Antonio Stevens and I am an artist. I look for the beauty in life. The people. The landscapes. The light at the end of the tunnel. I recently moved down to Louisiana with my mother, who works as a nurse at the Elena Derneville Hospital. The story goes that Elena Derneville was the only heir to the Derneville empire. The Dernevilles were a popular vendor for numerous products: sugar cane, tobacco, molasses. Sadly, Elena was perceived to be “the ugly child”. Her Creole parents, Theodore and Genevieve, resembled ivory and crème due to their fair skin tones. However, Elena took after her great-grandmother, Ebele, who was a darker-skinned enslaved African woman that was raped mercilessly by Master Clement Derneville. Elena was mocked ruthlessly by townspeople and onlookers as the “bad seed” of the family empire. “Teapot” is what she was called. She tried to scrub, lighten and bleach her skin, but nothing worked. Her parents did what they could to empower her and make her feel better about herself, but it was never enough. Elena heard through the grapevine of the townspeople that Papa Legba could grant any wish. All she had to do was light a candle, retrieve the blood of a pig and pour it over the floor, repeat an incantation and summon Papa Legba. Elena was so excited to get her wish; she did not know that Papa desired something in return. Elena brought a cleansing candle from the local candle shop. Elena then needed to obtain the pig’s blood. She ran to the Gustavo Farm, where there were pigs, horses, cows and anything that you can imagine. Rumor has it, Farmer Gustavo forced different species of animals to breed with one another. Wicked. Anyway, Elena needed the blood of a pig and Farmer Gustavo obliged due to knowing of Elena’s parents. Farmer Gustavo brought a pig outback, sliced its throat, bagged the blood and handed it to Elena. The last thing that Elena needed to do was learn the incantation. Later that day, she went to Madame Noire. Madame Noire was a seamstress by day, but a masterful witch by night. Elena begged Madame Noire to teach her the incantation for Papa Legba, but Madame Noire warned her that Papa is not a kind spirit. Elena begged and pleaded until finally Madame Noire taught her the incantation. She wrote it down on a cloth and handed it to Elena. Elena ran home and upstairs into her room. She closed the door and began the ritual. She lit the cleansing candle and dropped the pigs’ blood all over the floor. She took out the piece of cloth that Madame Noire had given her and began to say the incantation six times. “In solo est. Grasslands sunt, sorore sterili permanente. A solis extinguitur. Stellae ceciderunt. In terris habet turpisque podagras. Et aerumnas et dolores mille militibus dolens clamat in morem parturientium contremescant nomen tuum. Papa Legba meam audire vocationem. Omnes qui blasphemant me percutiam omnes” (“The soil is dead. The grasslands are barren. The sun is extinguished. The stars have fallen. The earth has rot. The pain and suffering of a thousand warriors cries out your name in anguish. Papa Legba hear my call. To all those who despise me, smite them all!”). After the sixth reiteration, Elena opened her eyes and saw no Papa Legba. She believed the spell had not worked. Before she could leave the ring of pig’s blood, a strong force grabbed her shoulder. She slowly turned around and could not believe what she saw. It was him.
Why do you feel so far away?
I ask myself are you within or a manifestation of a human being
Maybe it can be both and I can have two loves
Wouldn’t that be amazing
A love for myself
A love with someone else
These loves wouldn’t be dangerous
I wouldn’t get bruised, cut up or misused
We would never argue or fight
We would always be full of joy and laughter
What do you mean we can’t have that?
Why do we have to argue?
Why don’t we always like each other?
Why do you keep the toothpaste out after you use it?
Why do you forget to take out the trash unless I tell you?
Why didn’t you walk Capricorn today?
He wouldn’t have peed on my grandmother’s rug
He did it in front of my sisters
How could you embarrass me like that?
This is not love
This is not what I thought it was
I never saw my parents fight
They were perfect in my eyes
They had unconditional love
What do you mean Dad cheated on Mom?
He couldn’t have
That’s not true
Well, what is love then?
Do I keep trying even when I feel tired?
When I feel vulnerable?
When it feels like I can’t go on?
Is that what love is?
I guess it is
I walked into this relationship with my ideals
I don’t think I can hold onto them anymore
Love shouldn’t be planned or prepared
Love is giving all you can even when it feels like you can’t give anymore
UNTITLED SHORT STORY
I pray that these tears falling down my face will help me heal, but every time I think about that moment, I feel a gut punch of turmoil and pain. That moment when I said the words that embarrassed you in front of the ones that you love the most. My ears and I have a love-and-hate relationship. It catches conversations that were not meant for me. The sonic waves reached the ear canal and delivered the message to my mind, body and soul, “DEFEND YOURSELF. THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH. THEY DIDN’T REALIZE HOW VULNERABLE YOU WERE. THEY DIDN’T KNOW FRESH THE WOUND WAS”. Defense mode was initiated and the tactics of yelling and rejecting comfort came into play. I did not want to feel hurt, so I thought I had to give it to someone else. I threw you under the bus in order to make you feel the pain. It drove me insane to be in my own body. I wanted to take a break, but before I could take a deep breath, the nastiest remark was made. Something that I could never take back. The words tasted like metal. A stomach-turning fluoride that hits my tongue at 8’oclock in the morning. I wished I could take it back. I prayed that you could understand. I begged to be understood, so that someone can see “He needs help”. Prioritizing my mental health was never an easy feat, but I thought that I had taken the proper precautions. The YouTube videos, the lifestyle blogs, the books on Audible, journaling, positive affirmation sticky notes, and Jhene Aiko songs were supposed to be the elixir to all the mental chaos. I guess that I will just have to grin and bear it, cry when it gets too heavy and sit with the memory of myself at my worst. But I would like to have hope. That glimmer of hope helps me to cope. It helps me get myself back up and do my hair or put on a nice outfit. It lets me know that I can keep going, even when I am running on empty. Anything you want, I’ll buy. The new Gucci boots, the Dior sneakers, the VVS diamonds, the Cartier choker, and even the Louis Vuitton bedding. I’ll even let you buy my integrity, my self-respect, my dignity, and my mental health. Anything to make you happy. It hurts to know that I am not enough for you. I’ve tried the protein powders; workout regimes and early AM treadmill runs to get the “body”. The abdominals had to be extremely defined. Next, arms need to be toned. Onto torso, which must be tighter. Oh, and I cannot forget about the glutes. Not too much, but just enough. Now, legs which need to be more muscular. But it is not enough. I need more. I need a more chiseled jawline. I will spend hours in the bathroom mirror for you. I will pick myself apart for you. I will show why I am not a viable companion for you. My eyebrows are too bushy. My nose is too big. My lips are too small. My nostrils are too wide. My skin is not clear enough. I will apply ice cubes to my face to reduce inflammation and provide that supermodel look. I will apply numerous products to help give me the youthful glow. I will massage my face. Slap my face. Scrub my face. Anything to make me more palatable for you. How did I get here? This planet called Seeking Validation from Others is such a draining environment. Did it start in childhood? Why did I allow the past to catch up with the present? Why did I base all of my self-worth on whether you texted me back or not?
My Letter to Mr. Cooke
I want to dedicate this book to all the black/brown boys & girls who have not grown up with a father or father figure in their lives. Some of us didn’t have either, some had one but not the other and some had both, but it felt like they weren’t there. I hope that through telling my story (which is still happening), I can help people gain a better sense of who they are, help them realize that that they are strong and can do anything they put their minds to, no matter the circumstances.
I dedicate this book to my father, Ron Sneed, who has always been a true father to me and showed me how to be a strong, ambitious, caring man.
As I ride the train to the office, my stomach is in knots of fear, anxiety and worry. “Will I get the chance to do it? What will I write about? Can I do this?” are a few questions that I am asking myself along the ride. I sat beside a young mother and her child in a stroller. She looks at her child’s eyes with reverence and love. Therapy taught me to acknowledge what I feel the moment it occurs. I felt … Oh, I have to get off before I miss my stop. I walk frantically to the office, so that I can be early for the announcement. EXUDE Magazine – where you can exude who you truly are. Ugh, Nancy can be so pretentious. Finally, I enter the office and come to the sheer optimism of my coworker Shanti. She is such a beautiful woman. Brown eyes that compliment her caramel complexion. Pearly white teeth. Hair in a high ponytail that showcases her stellar bone structure. She has this smile that makes you want to smile.
IT GOES DOWN IN THE DM
I saw your face, and it is was a face that became imprinted in my mind. The killer jawline. The “to die for” cheekbones. You are perfect and I want to tell you how perfect I perceive you to be. I cannot see that you are recovering from low self esteem. I cannot see your emotional scars from your abusive relationship. I cannot see that you are willing to use and abuse me, because you have been used and abused. You have been hurt, and what’s worse is you don’t even know that you are hurt. The hurt became covered in mud. The rage. The dishonesty. The infidelity. The gossip. Underneath it all, is hurt. When worse come to worse, I can help heal you through it. I can give you what I am filled with. Love. Adoration. Support. All you need is support. Do you take it as support? Or is this just another dude trying to use you? For sex? Power? Control? A trophy to brag about? Maybe I will just keep scrolling, so that things will not be misconstrued. My feelings. My intention. My goal. I’ll move onto another story and try to distract myself from getting to know yours.