I have lived my entire life as a contradiction. Today was no different. Although it was probably the most egregious and ostentatious display of my eccentricities. So here’s how it went…
From the outside looking in it looks like a pretty girl who has been up (read: drunk) for 4 days in a moderately priced car with alumni plates… driving in the hood blasting Garbage.
As I drove to the beauty supply store yesterday (why is it that niggas only go to the hood to get chicken and go to the beauty supply store?) I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel how ridiculous and out of place it all was and had a little laugh with myself. And I’m not even gonna front like I didn’t turn the Garbage down so it wasn’t blaring out the windows as I got deeper in the hood.
Thus is the story of my life.
There aren’t too many hoods I’m afraid to go to (except for this one joint in Philly I went to once with this dude I was kicking it with from NYC. No offense Canon but Philly niggas are rough. Never been so shook in my life, lol). But I am very much so aware of some of the glaringly obvious signs that you ain’t from these parts (if you roll through Hollywood Court blasting the Roots, you’re not from there). But this is what I’m used to.
My whole life has been about the sum of it’s parts, amplifying and adding when necessary, subduing when appropriate, but all the ingredients still being in tact. I guess this is what you get when you’re an exceptionally intelligent Catholic school girl minister’s kid artist who grew up on the eastside/southwest side of Atlanta?
Most people, if they truly think about it, can’t define themselves with just any one label. Somewhere there’s always the southern Episcopalian who supports abortion. Or the conservative white CEO who secretly likes T.I.
When I was much younger, I tried as much as I could to hide those parts of me that stood in contrast to my surroundings. As a kid you wanna belong. In Catholic school I chose not to comment on the fact that my parents were divorced and I knew every lyric to just about every Tupac song ever made. Once I got to public school, I tried to remember what I talked like before spending most of my days with suburban white kids and carefully hid my Metallica cds behind mixtapes picked up at Greenbriar. When I got to high school, I was trying to be the model student and consummate artist (which was prob slightly closer to who I was to become) so I pretended that I didn’t know how to roll a perfect blunt and that my right hook wasn’t (and still is) sick.
As I’ve gotten older, the jagged boundaries where these idiosyncrasies lie have grown smoother. They blend together a little more harmoniously. My temper isn’t nearly as bad but I WILL fight you, don’t be stupid. When you open one of my multiple my massive CD cases, Alanis Morrisette is the first thing you see…swallowed swiftly by Alicia Keys and a French pop group you’ve never heard of and I can’t pronounce, all in clear sight. I just as readily quote the bible as I do Outkast. I’m comfortable in the hood or on the hill. I can rock $200 pumps to jump a fence just like I can wear a pair of Forces to a 4 star restaurant.
It’s just who I am.
So I turned my Garbage back up as I left (with my weave and my chicken) and rolled my windows back down. When I got to the light near the liquor store, a dude in a chameleon paint Escalade to my left motioned for me to turn my music down. I ignored him and his platinum smile at first but he quickly grew more insistent and I figured this one time wouldn’t hurt me. I lowered my music and rolled my window down all the way…
…as he turned up his Carrie Underwood.
Oh you too huh?