The Posterior Problem

2

As we close out Women’s History Month, I thought this rant would be befitting as it has plagued me for at least the last ten years of my life. Something technically illegal yet so socially accepted that people are taken by surprise if you are angered by it. No, I’m not talking about jaywalking or speeding, I’m talking about the disrespectful act of slapping a woman on her butt.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines assault as the act of committing an unwanted or offensive physical or verbal attack. Altoug the laws vary from state to state on sexual assault unwanted touching of a sexual nature is usually involved. Most women (I won’t generalize) do not welcome getting slapped on the butt, particularly by a stranger, and the act of slapping is by definition an attack, therefore what we have here boys and girls is a common place sexual assault (at the very least harassment) happening to women on a regular basis. We accept it because, as in many situations of assault, we fear repercussion or ridicule.

And let’s be honest, it’s not really happening as we women walk down the local grocery store aisle or head to a work meeting (well not in this decade, although, wait,  there are some EEO cases…), we encounter it most often at social gatherings and night life. Therefore, maybe, in that environment, we are welcoming the possibility of such contact, at least that was what I was told by some very understanding males (please note the sarcasm!). Or perhaps we shouldn’t wear such tight fitting clothes or the short skirts that are in right now (hey J.Lo has a body guard, we don’t). Whatever, as if clothes were always the reason for attacking a woman.

And let’s be real, in an age where some men find it okay to grab a woman he doesn’t know by the hand or arm while she’s walking or ask her for a hug (please tell me I am not the only one this happens to) like it’s common place, there isn’t a big leap to sexual assault. Yet, who talks about it? I’m not a mother but if I ever have kids and have a boy it wasn’t at the top of my list to remind them along with opening doors for women that you shouldn’t grab them or smack them on the butt. But maybe we should say it. And maybe we should also tell our daughters (and ourselves) that it’s not acceptable. And while I won’t promote violence like slapping them back…we should report it if it happens at work or at the bar.

We live in a world where women’s bodies are too commercialized and, as a result, not made our own. However, in the great words of Detective Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon “I’m getting too old for this “s*&^”.
And in other words from the Dancehall reggae singer Patra “my property is my property”, so don’t touch!

Images from jonkstuff.blogspot.com and picturesof.net

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How To Find Mr. Right…In Three Monts

Random chapter from my finished novel. Comments are welcome!

Chapter Three

Rule #2: Blind dates are safe ways to meet guys because you have a mutual friend that can vouch for you both.

Let me start by saying Sheila does not do set-ups of any kind. Don’t frame me. I don’t want to be your fall guy or the butt of your joke. And I really don’t want to be hooked up with one of your friends you claim is a great catch but who you really want to pair me up with because of one or all of the following: he is male, he is also black, he is also an attorney, he too wants to get married, you want a couple friend to hang out with and/or he has a car. My answer to that is, boo, I’m not going.

But atlas, the darn rules say give it a shot and this gal was single and sort of ready to mingle so when Greg said he actually had someone for me, well, I said sure. I figure, birds of a feather flock together so surely this guy would be at least cute and successful like Greg.

So here it was Friday night and I was getting gorgeous in my Bethesda, Maryland condo for my blind date with Kevin. We were going out to dinner and a movie. The usual first date activity. I played casual but sexy in my tight dark Seven jeans with black Stuart Weitzman sling back heels I picked up on a business trip to Las Vegas and a silk black collared wrap blouse from Bebe’s. My hair was in a low bun and long dangling gold earrings accentuated my face. I applied shimmer gold eye shadow, mascara, pressed powder, and M.A.C. red lip-gloss expertly. I sprayed on my favorite floral perfume and then examined myself in the mirror. Watch out, Kevin!

I primped some more but then stopped when I heard the doorbell to my apartment ring. I glanced over at my clock. 7pm on the dot. If that was Kevin, I was liking him already.

I sauntered to the door and swung it open. A smile touched my face as I saw an ebony vision stand before me. This had to be Kevin. He was tall. About 6’3. Slender. Dark brown eyes and short black hair. Clean cut with a mahogany complexion. He wore a pair of jeans with a blue collared shirt that fit him right. A dark fitted jacket hugged his upper body. He had to be no older than 30. And I … was… in … love.

“Hi, I’m Kevin, Greg’s friend,” he said extending a hand.

I went to shake it. “I’m Sheila,” I whispered.

“Greg was right. You are beautiful,” he replied and then turned my hand to kiss it lightly.

Well all right. Greg so far would be getting my praises from now on.

“Shall we?” he asked, extending his elbow for me to hook on to.

I had my purse in hand, hooked my arm to his, and left.

This was going to be a wonderful night.

*

Kevin took me to a movie. Some adventure/comedy. I spent half the time sneaking looks at him. I was in heaven sitting next to every woman’s dream, inhaling his masculine cologne.

He then took me to a restaurant in Georgetown where we ate outside gazing at the surprisingly starring night.

We talked some. I found out he was a computer engineer, originally from New York. Had two siblings, parents still together. Had his own house. Loved the Lord. Was world traveled. I was practically salivating and it was not for the delicious looking food put in front of us. This man had it all. And I wanted it. I wondered if he would mind being called James for one evening.

“What’s your take on relationships and love?” I asked, cutting into my steak. I wanted to know everything about him, down to boxers or briefs.

Kevin took a sip of his wine and looked above my head. He was going to answer this like a true politician. I could wait.

“Well,” he began. He put a bite of food in his mouth and chewed. Damn, was my question that hard to answer? I eyed him patiently. He finished chewing. “I think love is a good thing.”

It took him all that long just to say that? Oh, no, there had to be more. I continued to stare at him quietly.

He sensed that that answer would not suffice and then sighed. “I guess Greg didn’t tell you.”

I raised an eyebrow, getting nervous.

“I recently got a divorce. We went through a lot of drama and well, I guess I’m just a little jaded about the whole relationship thing.”

“You can’t give up on love,” I smiled.

Kevin shook his head. “You say that now but wait until you fall in love and have your heart ripped out and stepped on. Let’s see how you feel then,” he replied angrily cutting into his food.

I raised both my eyebrows this time and spoke carefully. “I’m sorry about your divorce. I know it must have been painful. But it takes time to heal from a broken heart and-“

“Heal?” he eyed me with serious hurt in his eyes. “How can I heal something I don’t even have?”

This woman did some serious damage. I secretly cursed Greg in my head. Where had things gone so wrong? Ah, yes, my need to know all about him so soon. Lesson learned.

Kevin continued to talk. “You know why we got a divorce? She cheated on me. Cheated on me?” he said in amazement. “I loved her since we were in high school and she just decides after seven years of marriage that she didn’t love me anymore. Said I didn’t give her enough time. I was always at work. Well, how else was I supposed to keep her in new clothes, jewelry, a big house and an expensive car?”

I shook my head, pissed. She had lived my dream life and foolishly squandered it.

“I’m really sorry that happened,” I said with pity in my eyes.

Kevin was lost in his own world now, looking away from me. “I found her with him you know.”

No, I didn’t know but I didn’t think I wanted to get into it either.

“You know I can see this is still really fresh for you so we don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to.”

He turned his head to me, his eyes angry, almost wild with hurt. I was not ready for this. I just wanted a damn escort and possibly a future husband, preferably with the name James. All this drama was unnecessary.

“Women, they don’t care about a man’s feelings. They just want to gut us out for all we’re worth and when we’re left hollow with nothing left to give, they split,” he muttered.

I frowned. “You know Kevin,” I began cautiously. “Not all women are like your ex-wife. What she did was wrong. But we aren’t all like her. Me for instance, I’d never do that.”

“Yeah, you all start off sweet and innocent. Act like you want to do anything for us. Then, bam [he slammed the table with his fist] just like that you turn into she-devils.”

I deepened my frown. Did he know who he was talking to? Now he was getting on my nerves. “Alright now, you need to settle down. I can see you’re on edge but taking your anger out on me, someone you just met, is not going to make things any better. So drink some water and calm yourself.”

He stared at me hard and then his eyes suddenly softened. He looked down at his lap for a long moment. I was unnerved. I clutched my purse tightly, wondering if I should get up and jet while he wasn’t looking. I thought better of it when I remembered he was driving. Damn that, I’d just take a cab.

Kevin’s shoulders began to shake and I heard soft cries coming from him. Was this man crying? In public? Over some tired woman? I didn’t know how I felt about that. In one sense it was not cool, showing a weak, less masculine side of him. On the other hand, it was strangely pulling. He had been so in love with this woman that he was crying for her and in public. I sighed, to have a man love me that much was my dream.

Unfortunately this man, as beautiful as he was, was not in love with me and I doubted he could find love with anyone else anytime soon. At least not in three months. Further, his instability made him someone I wasn’t so sure I could risk taking to the entertainment banquet with me.

I moved my chair next to his and rubbed his back attempting to comfort him while he cried over another woman. If this man could look me in the eyes again after this, I’d still consider having him as an escort if nothing better came along. Who knows, he could be better in three months.

But he barely spoke to me after the check came. We drove home in silence.

He walked me to my door, apologized again for his behavior, and then left, hands stuffed in his pocket like a sad little boy.

I closed the door softly. A bit numb. I wanted to hate him for not being the one and, therefore, wasting my time. But I was sorry for him as well. I had been in love before and I knew how it could hurt. This man had not been ready to date again. So why had he? Greg would tell me, or he would face my wrath.

Why?

4


Is what went through my head when I found out the alleged killer of the young woman slain in the Bethesda clothing store a couple of weeks ago was a black female coworker. Now don’t get me wrong, I am saddened a young woman was killed and a bit relieved that this was not a random act of violence in an area thought to be safe. However, as a black woman, every time I hear about another black person doing something negative, I still cringe. Yes, I know what this person did doesn’t or shouldn’t affect me but lets be honest; even today, many people still judge us by the color of our skin and not the content of our character. Before I open my mouth, there are many people out there who think they know all there is to know about me simply because I am a black woman. I can’t begin to count the many times I’ve had to tell someone not to treat me a certain way based on stereotypes of women or black people or the combination of the two.

Really sir, you’re surprised I’m not an unwed mother?
Yes, I actually dig U2 and many other rock groups, past and present.
Surprising, I know, but I’m actually not after your money.
Yes, it is shocking that I don’t have an unprovoked bad attitude.

The last one really “grinds my gears” because there are so many people (and by people, I mean folks of all races) who fall prey to the idea that black women are mean. And there are many out there ready to exploit that thought to the fullest.

Especially in the media. Shall I count the many reality shows featuring angry, mean spirited black women. There’s Basketball Wives, Housewives of Atlanta, Bad Girls Club, The Apprentice (have you seen Star Jones and Nene Leaks go at it?) random VH1 celebrity dating show. And even shows that focus on black women as alleged friends fall into the “black women gotta hate on each other” routine. Although Girlfriends was what I dubbed the black Sex and the City, rival gangs had closer ties than these women and the series ended with one of the characters never mending her friendship with one of the other ladies (granted she left the series but still… and the show never got an official finale- I don’t want to see it as a stage play like they did for the Jeffersons so they could have some closure to their canceled series. Okay back to the program recently in progress). And don’t get me started on the Game; is anyone friends on that show?

Oh and other shows that feature a black female character (hard to find but there are some) sometimes fall into the routine. For the first few seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, the only black female on the show was called “the Nazi”. Regina King’s character in Southland and Jada Pinkett’s character in Hawthorne are both tough but in a good way as one is a good detective and the other is a nurse fighting for her patients and fellow nurses. Still the underlying message is black women can have a tough edge.

And that’s fine if used in a positive light or at the very least shown in as much light as the negative images. Now that Oprah is going off the air, where is the balance? These images affect who wants to date us, hire us, befriend us, and provide customer service to us. And yes, I know that what this girl did in Bethesda wasn’t fiction and there are many women who embody the sterotypes we are fighting against just please don’t lump me in those same groups.

So how about for every Precious movie we have to applaud let’s send some spotlight to For Colored Girls (I’m sorry, Loretta Divine or Kimberly Elise should have got at least an Oscar nod but I guess they weren’t angry enough) and for every act of violence by a black woman that is televised can we show some positive actions by black women? Hey, if I need to volunteer in Japan to help where I can I would (just someone give me some money to get there and explain to my manager at my new job!). That may be asking too much, I’m well aware but let’s just show some other sides to us, because, like all people, we are not one dimensional!

*steps off soap box…until another day*

Body Parts: A Paranormal Unit Novel

Okay, here is what I hope is the last big edit in this novel. Here’s the prologue, hope you enjoy, comments are welcome!

Prologue

Zombies did not die pretty. Once you successfully killed one, the reanimated monster simultaneously vomited up green bile and released its bowels in one massive revolting mess. Cassie found herself gagging before quickly turning her head and covering her nose from the sight and smell of the dying, rather re-dying, zombie. They are the grossest things, she thought as she quickly walked away, gun pointed, alert and ready for another attack.

Cassie and her fellow paranormal hunters were surrounded by massive revolting messes, which would also be a test in gag reflexes for the supernatural hazardous matter crew coming to clean up the high school later. She didn’t have time to wonder what reanimator or necromancer had determined it was a good idea to wake up the dead at a nearby cemetery and have them attack students at their senior prom. Cassie did know one thing; nothing says goodbye childhood memories like a zombie massacre. Luckily only a few teenagers were hurt and, unlike in the movies, that did not mean that they were infected with some form of zombie making virus. They were infected with other things but that could be cured with a stay at the hospital. In the real world zombies were only formed when they were risen by magic from their graves and if the zombie killed you, you weren’t coming back to join in the undead fun.

“I hate, hate, hate zombies!” Cassie’s teammate Ana, shouted as she sliced through the neck of an oncoming zombie who looked a lot like a back up dancer from The Thriller video. The cut was not clean and she had to chop again, this time severing the head completely. Luckily for Ana, she avoided the green vomit, however, the brown liquid bowel seeping down the zombie’s tattered pants hit the bottom of her black boot and she jumped back in disgust. “When I find whoever set this up, I am punching them directly in their eyes. Several times. With knuckle rings on.” Ana’s eyes suddenly widened. “Duck, Cass!”

Cassie quickly bent down as Ana shot her military grade rifle at the zombie threatening to bite down on Cassie’s neck. Ana hit the female reanimated corpse in the center of her forehead and it went down while at the same time spraying a thick coating of green vomit all over Cassie’s hair and back. Ana cringed and said sorry.
However sorry wasn’t going to help the fact that Cassie was now wearing the cold chunky slime of a corpse’s insides. It was at that moment that full clarity hit her. “I quit,” she said in a low voice as she slowly stood up, trying to shake the gunk off her. It was pointless; the stuff was like paste and smelled worse than a skunk. She would need to bathe several times tonight.

“What?” Ana asked leaning in before quickly taking a step back as she inhaled Cassie’s putrid covering.

“I am taking an early damn retirement!” Cassie felt gross and all she wanted was a shower and a burger and of course her mother.

“We got ‘em all,” Tyson stated. He was joined by Marley as he walked over to the pair standing in the center of the gymnasium. He took one look at Cassie and frowned. “You need a towel.”

“I need to leave,” Cassie replied evenly.

“She’s quitting,” Ana said leaning over to Tyson who stood beside her.

Marley raised an eyebrow. “What happened? Besides getting vomited on?”

“What hasn’t happened!” Cassie yelled throwing up her hands, hand gun in the air. The pair ducked out of instinct and she brought her hands down, gun pointed to the ground. “I am still in my twenties. I should be partying, shopping and vacationing in Cancun. Instead I am getting beat up and thrown up on. My mother is dead…”

Tyson softened his face. “Cass, I know it’s hard but you can’t let this break you. You are a gifted hunter. We’ve all faced pain in this line of work but we use it to make us stronger.”

Ana nodded in agreement. “Your life doesn’t suck Cassie. You are protecting the world. Making it a better place to live.”

Cassie scrunched her face. “I’m cleaning up the mess of evil assholes!”

“You have a loving boyfriend,” Ana added.

Marley scoffed and Ana cut her eyes at her which the blond successfully ignored.

Cassie shrugged. “If you say so.”

“Something happen between you and Derek?” Tyson asked.

Cassie rolled her eyes. “He wants me to quit because this work is too dangerous. He said because my mom was killed because of some freak seeking revenge on my father for hunting bad guys, I could put someone I love in danger too.”

Ana shook her head. A voice came over her communicator in her ear saying the rest of the school was clear and they were ready to head out. “Let’s get out of here,” she said and the group turned to leave the gym heading through the back double doors near the bleachers. “You know Cass, you’re dating an alpha werewolf; I don’t think you have to worry about him being vulnerable but I understand where you’re coming from.”

Cassie stopped frowning and looked to Ana as they walked. “I didn’t mean to sound insensitive. I know you’ve been though a lot too.”

Ana nodded. “And I’m still in this business. Running away doesn’t help. Fighting back does.”

“Besides, what else are you going to do?” Marley asked. “You were made for this.”

“And I have some big plans that I need you guys for,” Tyson joined in.

“Well I am in law-“ Cassie suddenly stopped next to the bleachers and tilted her head. “You hear that?”

The others stopped as well and shook their heads. “What’s it sound like?” Marley asked.

Cassie stood back and pointed her gun at the bleachers. “Like the little shit that caused this fuss. Get out from under there!” she ordered.

Seconds passed as the group waited for the teenager to appear but instead of a scrawny kid appearing a drooling, decayed Rottweiler crawled from under the bleachers. Its dark hair was matted with blood and dirt and pieces of its fur and skin were missing in places, exposing raw muscle and bone. Its eyes, like that of most zombies, were clouded in white with greenish crust at the corners.

“Who took him out of the Pet Cemetery?” Ana whispered.

“Not me,” Cassie replied before shooting the creature in the head. Cassie missed its usual song and dance of death as she dove under the bleachers in time to see a body move from under the other side. “He’s out!” she cried, backing up.

They ran from the side of the bleachers in time to see what appeared to be a tall teenage boy run to the other exit doors leading to the interior of the school. “Let me handle this,” Marley shouted.

“No, hon, I got this,” Cassie called running past them in full racer form.
“Don’t kill him!” Tyson yelled to her. “That’s an order!”

“Stop or I will shoot!” she said to the back of the running boy’s head.

He did not slow down as she chased him. Something was not right. She sniffed the air. Something was definitely not right. The boy was almost at the doors. She didn’t feel like running all through the three level high school chasing him down. She pulled another small handgun from her hip holster and fired. The magic laced bullet entered the boys back and he fell to the floor just as his hand hit the exit doors.
“Cassie!” Tyson yelled as they reached her side.

Cassie shrugged. “I didn’t kill him.” She walked over to the boy who appeared unmoving and nudged him with her boot, turning him over. “He’s already dead.”

The group looked down at the familiar gray zombie face, except the eyes were not clouded and he had not reached much decay yet. He was only recently dead. The boy looked up at the group with fearful eyes. “I’m sorry,” he whimpered. “I’m so sorry.
I just wanted to get them back. They were so mean. I just wanted some revenge.”

“He’s a talking zombie, kay, I’ve seen everything. I really think it’s only appropriate for me to retire now,” Cassie commented, gun still aimed at the undead boy.

“He’s a necromancer who reanimated himself,” Marley surmised. “Probably did a reanimation spell right before he died. Probably by suicide.”

“That’s new. You couldn’t just haunt them? You had to bring friends?” Ana asked the zombie boy.

Marley shook her head. “Duh, Ana, it was obviously a group of people he was seeking revenge against and he had to bring a posse so he wouldn’t be outnumbered.”

Ana opened her mouth with an angry comeback but the boy nodded his head slowly in agreement.

Marley tilted her head. “See?”

Cassie looked to Tyson. “Under the circumstances I don’t think I really need to give two week’s notice, right?” She turned and walked around the boy and opened the exit doors. “It’s been real guys but me and the paranormal are officially parting ways!”

“We’ll see you again!” Tyson called. He looked to Ana and Marley. “We’ll see her again.”

“No you won’t!” Cassie shouted back.

Songs that put me in a writing frame of mind…

If you’re the creative type then you know the power of music. It invites emotion and creativity. It can give us energy (if I hear Prodigy’s Breathe when I’m driving, I have to be careful my foot doesn’t go to0 far down on the gas pedal) or wind us down (if you’ve ever heard the acid jazz remix of Nina Simone’s Feeling Good, that is the perfect summer evening chilling with a mojita song)

Therefore, it’s no surprise that music can put me in the best writing frame of mind. I tend to go for slow songs that put me in pensive mood. Nothing I can dance to really, just reflect. Here are some of favorites and why…

1) Sia- Breathe Me and I’m In Here
Sia has a very soothing voice and the instramentals are haunting

Breathe Me

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSH7fblcGWM

I’m In Here

2) Adele
I love this gal. She is only like 21 yet her voice sounds like she’s been around a while. It was hard narrowing it down but I’ll go for a song off of her first album.

3)Amel Larrieux
I’ve been loving her voice since she was in Groove Theory (I was going to audition with her song Tell Me for honor’s choir but chose The Wiz Home instead).
This song is so mellow but if you haven’t heard of her, I encourage you to check out her other songs as well.

4)Zero 7- Destiny

I love the relaxing theme of Zero 7 songs. This is one of my favorites…

5)Nikka Costa- Push and Pull
I got her first album years ago and loved it. This is one of my favorites but her album is full of upbeat songs as well. Like A Feather is probably her most noticable one but if you’ve ever seen the Johnny Depp movie, Blow, then you know this song as well…

I have so many more songs, I’ll share some more another time but I hope you enjoy the songs above as much as I still do!

How To Meet Mr. Right… In Three Months

Sheila
Chapter One
Denise looked at me with wide eyes, hands over her mouth as I told her the sad, sad tale of what I like to call The Day I Lost My Damn Mind.
We were having dinner that Thursday evening and taking advantage of the $5 martini special at Mist, a trendy jazz lounge in downtown Washington D.C. After we placed our orders with the waiter, Denise began chatting away about her students; she was a Pre-law professor at one of the state colleges in Maryland; before she broke into a pretty innocent question. “So, I haven’t spoken to you in over a week, what’s been going on?” she asked.
I sighed. “Well I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in several weeks. I mean look at these Louis Vuittons under my eyes,” I answered and then pointed to my offending baggage.
Denise nodded slowly. “I’m gonna take a guess that by Louis Vuittons you mean the dark circles and slight puffiness under your eyes,” she said before muttering, “I don’t know why you didn’t just say that, crazy girl.”
I nodded my head vigorously in anger. “You can see the bags too? My secretary is a liar.”
“So you’re still having problems with sleep, eh? You know, therapist say if you have a problem on your mind it’ll haunt you in your dreams. So have you figured out what’s bothering you?”
I rolled my eyes and shook my head. “Oh yes,” I replied before telling her about how my nightmares finally led to the loss of my senses