Pt III. Melrose Place: Luna Melrose

Melrose.

She was born out of necessity. It wasn’t a formal affair or a planned event; Melrose came into this world as means of escape. She was created to be the voice. The ‘no’, the fight back and the fearless Melrose would be the reason Luna didn’t have to be quiet.

Luna, the youngest of three girls and her sisters were both nearly 10 years older than she. In many ways, she felt alone. When she was learning her way around this life thing, they were on their way out of the house. When she was coming of age and going through puberty, they were partying in college and enjoying their newfound freedom. Her at home life resembled that of an only child filled with self-entertainment, artistic creation, and music.

Her parents were divorced and shared custody, although Luna spent as much time as she could at her dad’s house. This wasn’t because she was the proverbial ‘daddy’s girl.’ In fact, it was the polar opposite; Luna and her father didn’t get along well at all. They started butting heads early when she was about 8 years old. At the time her older sisters were 17 and 18, both graduating high school at the same time, with high honors. Lennox, their father, literally doted on her elder daughters. His pride could be felt as easy as placing your hand on his chest. Lennox Gold, also known in the area as “Spin” for his unique ability to spin like MJ with gym shoes on, loved his girls Lannete and LeAundra. Luna, on the other hand, was a toss-up day-to-day.

She would later come to the belief that his palpable disdain for her existed because she did; simply put. Luna came into the world nine years after what her parents expected to be their last child. They not only wanted two kids but they could afford two kids. When Luna popped up all needy and hungry, she was welcomed by her mother, but her father saw her as a leech of all things from love to money. “Because of you, I had to work an extra job” was a phrase he often bellowed toward her during heated disagreements.

But as life would have it, the very love Lennox kept shrouded in secrecy for Luna was the love she so desperately wanted and actively sought. Her mother and father separated just before her 6th birthday and by the time she had turned seven, they were divorced and splitting holidays, birthdays and weeks up on a family scheduled that hung on both sides of the double door refrigerator at her mother’s house. Her mom, Sydney Square-Gold, didn’t want anyone to have an excuse to say they didn’t know. Whether you were getting cold milk or hard ice cream, you will know where you are to be”, her mother would say.

Both of her sisters left for school that fall, so this schedule only pertained to Luna. As often as she could get her mother to agree with, she would be with her father. Luna and her mother had an exquisite relationship and she loved her mother dearly. She never questioned her mother’s love or wondered if she needed to be doing something or become someone else to earn her affection. Those sentiments pertained only to her father, and because of that, she didn’t feel like she needed to be at home with Ms. Gold anymore but rather, at her father’s house, becoming.

And every time was the same. She would arrive with her bags to a clean room as she always left her small bedroom tidy and start working on cleaning her Lennox’s house and preparing dinner. It may seem like a lot for an 8-year-old, but Luna didn’t have time to think about her age. She was focused on love.

She spent years attempting to morph herself into her own version of her sisters in hopes that it would sway his attention. Her father worked late at an automotive plant and in her mind, him walking in the door to a fresh house and hot food was a way to earn her stripes. There were days when it seemed to work but most times, he would barely acknowledge she was there or had done anything special. She never stopped trying. Even in her teenage years, Luna wanted her father’s love.

Her father, however, wanted Luna.

He was annoyed that he had her.

He was angry that he couldn’t have her.

He also recognized her willingness to do anything for him, so when Luna was 15, he decided to give her something to do.

 

And that’s how Melrose came to be.

 

I. The Edge of Desire: Luna Melrose

Melrose

Melrose sat on the toilet without making a sound. The house was quiet, as usual, and she heard herself let out a casual sigh while trying to brace for the flood of tears Luna would react with. Whenever there is an unexpected plot twist, Luna cries, either out of frustration, fear or both. Melrose, on the other hand, was cut from a different version of silk. When she collected lemons, she never intended on making lemonade; it wasn’t a favorite of hers and she abhorred that cliche that suggested she get to churning out juice when life is kicking up hardballs. She would much rather be found shaving the zest off the lemons for potpourri and leaving what remained out for animals outside to eat. She smirked at the immortality of her felonious decision-making skills. She wasn’t the type to have regrets; when she made moves, she made them in permanent confidence. But this time the results had administered a karmic cocktail that even morphine wouldn’t dull the pain from. She knew she had fucked up. 

But hey, at least the house would smell good? 

Luna.

I stood from the toilet with an epic feeling of numbness surrounding my entire body. It was as if I walked into a warp zone of emotional paralysis.  As I stood at the sink washing my hands, I looked right into my eyes through the parallel mirror. The new handwash I’d recently purchased, Target brand Method, released a fragrant ocean-like smell into the air as I rinsed the foam away. It made me think of my undying love for the sea. During my last visit, I dared myself to go out further than I’d ventured before. Much like the rest of the non-swimming population, I stay walking the shores, allowing only my feet and legs to get wet.  But the last time I stood there, my temptation led me to walk further out although not as far as most of the rest of the people. My heartbeat was strong and deliberate but still, I felt a strong sense of calm. The water was melodic as it crashed against my upper thighs and exerted its strength over my body.

I’m a huge daydreamer and I love nostalgia. I often lean on one or the other to get me through difficult moments where I might be subject to unraveling into a crying mess. Today’s news left me numb and reminiscent of past memories that I would have much rather been recreating instead recalling. I shut the water off and dried my hands before returning my hard stare at myself. I shook my head in disbelief and a bit of disgust. A head rush came and left me slightly dizzy before I realized it was actually an internal fight between me and the tears that wanted to recognize a problem had occurred. I fought back with my unfamiliar numbness and won. I just didn’t feel like acknowledging the level of stress I was entering. I had myself to blame for my foolish mistake and I knew all of my feelings would eventually land on the goofy girl in the mirror: Luna Melrose.

I wanted to take a minute before that happened and remember the me that existed before now.

Before this positive pregnancy test revealed just how stupid I was,

and exactly how complicated my life was about to get.

Sips from My Lemonade: NOMAD

What a time to be alive. . .

When I started the Sips from My Lemonade series, I had no idea how it would eventually end. I just knew it was a “living series” and eventually, it would be no more. Is this the end of it? I can’t really say. . . But if it is, this is the best possible way to end it !

I always wondered what this would look or feel like. How would it taste on the back of my tongue? What types of emotions would be associated with it and if every one of them would be good or if the release would actually trigger something internal that I didn’t want to confront? I’ve never really been able to put my finger on how I thought this would look. I guess some things you have to go through in order to get to what you feel.

I’ve always hoped I would arrive at this time of my life with a full band of theme music musicians following me, a lover on my arm and a hop in my step. Nothing about that daydream came true; there is no live band or lover. I wasn’t the girl who dreamed of her wedding day. I’ve talked about that before in the blog. I was the girl who dreamed of days like this although, I never could quite SEE it.

The last three years of my life have come and gone with a passion for speed and melancholy. I went from the height of planes to underneath the bottoms of shoes in what felt like a split second. Looking back on all of it with my good ole hindsight, it’s so easy to see what it all was. The best part: I always knew it in the back of my head but I love convincing myself that bullshit smells like Jadore so there’s that. I sometimes wonder if I will ever retire some of the feelings that are attached to me in regards to it but then I also wonder if I just have gotten lost on the pathway to forgiveness, therefore stalling the removal of those feelings. I go to therapy twice a month but still, I find myself at times wondering if love was ever present when I wasn’t giving it. And I don’t mean this just for my last relationship, I mean it for all of them. I’ve offered tons of ‘benefits of the doubts’, as well excuses and understanding in the areas I could provide it. I’ve caped and championed for those who have hurt me and have tried to confront every single detail about me that might affect how they treat/respond to me, whether in this blog or in my bedroom talking to myself. But the fact remains that I will never “understand” the minds of those who have trespassed against me and there is no need in attempting it. I give love as authentically as possible and I am always hopeful for its boomerang effect to hit me and knock me over. That hopeful girl with flowers in her two strands and sunshine in her heart has gotten this adult woman in a lot of unnecessary bullshit and it doesn’t smell good.

Things I have been over time:

  • Too trusting.
  • Too hopeful.
  • Too yearning.
  • Too needy.
  • Too damn thirsty for love.

You can’t be these things. You can only appreciate the love that does exist in your life, no matter what the type is (companionship, family, friendships, animals, etc). It’s ok to be intentional about why you allow yourself to love someone else or what you desire in your future and how you will arrive there, but behaving toward love the way I have in these years of my life will leave you with this face:

5.4.17

No one wants that face. I remember sitting up in my bed snapping these pictures because I wanted to remember how he made me look. #ThousandEntendre

This was on May 4, 2017; I began that year with sky-expectations but was relegated to the dirt floors of the basement instead. My ex and I had a bad arguement on New Year’s Day. I remember thinking if that’s how we were starting the year off, that wasn’t a good sign. Within four months, reality would prove me right. And there I was, laying in this bed with this purple shirt that I haven’t worn or seen since my eyes were swollen from an overnight stay at Mourning Inn. But as much grief and hurt as a few people have extended to me in exchange for love, they have always brought me something else. Something more priceless and positive. And this time was no different.

5.4.17

Actually, this time was different while yet being the same. In this space, with this presence of darkness hanging over me like a new halo, I found something that will be part of my legacy forever:

This time, internal hurt brought me to the next level and I didn’t even see it coming. In Robert Kennedy’s Indianapolis speech on the eve of MLK’s assassination, he quoted a poem by a man named Aeschylus. I may have never heard it but after learning this speech for a project this past March, it became part of my memory.

“Even in our sleep/Pain which we cannot forget/Falls drop by drop upon thy heart,

Until, in our own despair,

Against our will

Comes wisdom

Through the awful grace of God” (Aeschylus)

I feel this poem accurately described what took place at the end of April into May 2017 and throughout the rest of the year. It was totally against my will. I did not ‘permit’ or allow this to happen. I only obliged its presence. I wasn’t seeking it as I have in the past. It just showed up with a relentless hold on my waist, at times pressing down on my shoulders, alternating between massaging and lightly caressing. Though at times, breathing seemed like such a chore in the grand scheme of all of the negative thoughts I was having, I still had this ‘wisdom’ approaching me like a mile marker sign, and pouring out of my soul as if all the windows were down as I traveled at 90 MPH.

I realized it early.

So I paused at the first stop light and turned onto a private drive and kept going.

I admit. . . I checked my rearview. OFTEN. I would check it, turn around and go back and abandon the wisdom that was dripping from my fingers as if my fingernail polish had melted. I tried doing both at once and it was impossible so I made a choice: the rearview. I got out the vehicle and went walking back toward the beginning with a stickbag of my belongings.

All Rights Reserved to Getty Images

When I arrived back in the arms of the one who loved me, Xscape wasn’t there singing and the love wasn’t enough to sustain the month-long changes I had undergone. I had to revert back to my car and find both me and that wisdom that had fallen on me despite my repeated attempts at rejecting it. I had to go back for what I abandoned in an effort to have love.

Everything was right where I had left it. The car was still running. The new knowledge sat on the passenger seat as if it had waited on my return. I got behind the wheel. I began driving and playing in wisdom’s hair. And nothing has been the same since. What a journey. What a fucking journey. This was a wander around the married-go-round. A slip down the slide you didn’t mean to climb. A toss into the abyss of hope that landed on the needlepoint of a mountain tall enough to reach the end of a sun ray. Adventures of nomadicy – that’s not a real word but I like it and am will be leaving it there.

So what am I talking about? What’s the big announcement I’ve been hinting at? What have all my ex’s from Texas (well, I just had to say it like that…no one’s from TX) brought me?

Well,

Photo by JusFam Photography

if you follow me on IG, you probably have it figured out already as I have not really been secretive about what’s happening as much as I have just not been outright sharing it. That’s for a multitude of reasons that I won’t go into but basically, I have some incredible news to share and I hope you, the reader, will be permanently excited with me.

This October, I am releasing my first book, a collection of poetry, prose and shorts, entitled NOMAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Photo by JusFam Photography

That’s right. Maybe you guessed that already? I mean, what else could it have been right? So, the thing about this book and the story I told just now is that I began writing this book a few days into my breakup last year. They started out as Facebook freewrites until, after reading back over a couple of them, it hit me: I have a book on my hands!! I knew it. I felt it in my soul. Poems were pouring out of me too rapidly to keep up with but every time I felt one coming, I was in front of the laptop. I began being intentional about what I was writing. I posted on FB that I had an upcoming book. I had made flyers alluding to something involving the word NOMAD. Then, I tried to get back w/my ex and in those months we were on/off again, I had abandoned the book, fearing it would cause more issues in an already testy environment. When we broke it off for the final time in December, I b-lined back to my project.

It was March when I bit the bullet and decided that the year had gone too well financially and artistically for me not to begin this process and make this ‘talk’ a reality that I could hold in my hand. So I linked up with a local publisher and got it started. And in the time that I have had to work on this book, I must say I am too proud and even more excited! Is it a book of poetry? Yes, it is. Is that all? NOPE!

I believe this book to be a first-hand look at the onset of a breakup and the year that follows. 90% of the poems were written between 4/27.17 – 4.27.18, which wasn’t planned but ended up being perfect. The name comes from the fact that I have FB posts that date back to 2011 where I called on myself to become a NOMAD. Then, there’s the other part. If you can figure that out, congratulations.

You is kind.

You is smart.

You is important.

Is this book about my last relationship? Yes and no. I’m like the black taylor swift (you will notice I don’t capitalize ypeepoo names I don’t like); when someone breaks my heart, I make art out of them. It’s good for coping!

BUT –

this book isn’t ‘about’ me and my ex. It’s about me. It’s about love. It’s about life. It’s about every ex I’ve ever had. The funny thing about the poems that were coming out after the breakup is how they fit so perfectly with all the men of my past; not just the most recent. But I  give credit where it is due and I may not have gotten the ring I expected from my ex, but I got something better: a book. A novel in sense. A playbook. A guide. Something I hope will speak for, save, change, help/assist, inspire another [black] woman. I really do. I always wondered what it would be like when I prepared to release my first book. While I did release a chapbook, this is actually a book. A real book with so much intentional love packed inside that my chapbook, as proud as I am of it as well, fails to compare to what this is and will be. These poems aren’t meant to highlight me as a great writer but when I looked at what I was writing in the beginning, I just knew it deserved more than to be stored away in a laptop folder.

I have great expectations and high hopes for this project. 

It’s a literal nomadic wander through one year of healing and lessons learned in the process (which will be taken from my blogs). I can’t tell you all about it just yet because it’s simply not the time right now but – trust me when I say you will want to stay on notice for this book. It’s the greatest things I will have ever produced.

And, it has a ONE WOMAN SHOW that is accompanying it entitled “The Stand”. You have no idea how phenomenal this show is going to be. The book is finished. It’s not a process of choosing and writing anymore – we are heading into someone reading my draft and then into the process of production!!!! So it’s not a game. It’s not a joke. It’s more real than even I can believe!

I am currently seeking a choreographer (dance).

If you know any, please send them my way. I also need two dancers. I will compensate for what I am looking for – not seeking handouts. Just a bit of assistance on some things. October seems so far away right now, but time moves so fast these days and what I need them for, we need to get started on asap.

Photo by JusFam Photography

Finally, there is a book soundtrack to go with it! It’s on Spotify under my name and it’s called NOMAD!  It’s all songs that I have listened to during this process and it’s a mixture of people and music styles. It’s anything but predictable. Like the book. Like me. I guess I DO have a band !!!!

My old friend used to tell me that my life would make a great book. While I agreed with her, I could never see how it would happen. I knew how to write but how would I get people interested in MY life? Well, if there’s one thing that life has taught me, it’s that if you kick back and let things happen naturally, you will be amazed how stuff folds together for the greater good of the intentions you’ve set.”

God is incredible.

I can’t wait to share this moment with all of you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course, I’m nervous (AF) and wondering can my stuff hold up to the works of those that I love and admire so much, but hey, it’s not even about that. What’s for me cannot be challenged. I am not an average writer. I’m a dope ass writer. I believe in that. I believe that about myself. And with this book that is coming soon, I offer myself an opportunity to show people what happens when literary poetry marries spoken word and together they birth a blog baby.

Found on IG (via @erickaps)

Welcome to nomaD. Where the theme music is in my head, love lives on my sleeve and I don’t have a hop in my step because there’s too much wind under my wings for me to be on the ground walking!

It’s one helluva a journey, I’ll tell you that much now <3

~J

 

****Oh yeah, I took a picture of me on today so that picture up top won’t be the last photographic look I have #OnThisDay.