Jrnl Entry No. 1.14.2001

I’m gettin’ the fuck outta here, fuck this job. If I don’t find happiness with my next job, FUCK WORKING ALL TOGETHER! I’ma be a drug dealer or some shit. This corporate America shit ain’t workin’ for me. I don’t know if it’s them or it’s me, but it seems that at both my jobs they bullshit me. They think they bamboozling me into thinkin’ I’m doin’ something important. I know I’m doin bullshit. And fuck askin’ for work to do. Do mutha fuckas who graduate from Stanford and Harvard ask to be put into a CEO training program? Hell knawl, they’re just takin’ in under somebody’s wing and they fly if they want to. I’m getting shitted on, and I’m supposed to fight to get from up under it huh and get clean. Fuck that! I feel like I’m here to fill a quota. Any temp can come in here and do what I’m doin’. That’s how important I feel. I hate this fuckin’ place.

I wrote this to my cousin who works as a CPA at the accounting firm called Price Waterhouse Coopers in Florida. This is how I feel at work some days. I don’t have to explain it because all that needs to be said is in there in that little paragraph. At my first job in Ohio at Circle K, and at my current and second job at The Italian job. I feel and felt the same way; no change in neither of the jobs. Now, I’m not serious about the drug dealer part because I don’t know anyone in that game. Well, yes I do, but I got a little more pride in myself right now to be doin’ that. But sometimes I wish I had started dealin’ back in 88 when the dope game for crack sellers was at its peak. I say to myself that I would have been smart in the game, buildin’ me a small fortune slowly, but who knows. I probably would have let the fast money get to me and got caught up and went to jail and ruined my life. It’s too late for me to start slangin’ cane; I’m not trying to be in jail witt a college degree or even risk goin’ to jail. It’s a gamble that I’m not desperate enough to take right now. But this workin’ for somebody else shit ain’t cool. I got to find something else that I really love to do; a work environment that I would love to be in, or go into business for myself.

I met up with a drummer friend of mine in Warren sometime in like 1999. We played drums together in the high school marching and concert/symphonic band. We kept in touch and talked every once in a while because I told him I was moving to New York. His girlfriend, who also played in the high school band was already living in New York studying for her master’s in Advertising at Pace University. In the year 2000, he moved to New York with her and they got an apartment in Fort Greene Brooklyn, New York which is near where I work at. I went and visited a couple of times like one Friday night I stopped over after work, and we ate dinner and sat and watched T.V. all night. His name is Tilly and her name is Miranda.

Now when I ran into Tilly in Ohio, he told me that he was teaching music, giving drum lessons, etc. I thought he was a certified, college degree teacher. He went to school, but only got a performance degree, whatever that is. He said he was doing pretty well in Ohio with employment and money, etc. I thought he was qualified to direct a high school or elementary band or something like that. Turns out, he is not qualified to do any of that , he is just a musician living from gig to gig for money. He does nothing all day but practice for half the day and sit around the other half. He is broke, and Miranda is taking care of him like three quarters of the time.

Well, since Tilly and Miranda are from Ohio and since they, especially Miranda, gave me such a warm welcome into their apartment: a kiss on the cheek, dinner and wine; I decided to make us good friends. Now I put emphasis on the Miranda situation because I would have never thought back in high school that I would ever be touching her as a friend or otherwise. She was one of those forbidden fruit of a white girl who wouldn’t dare date a black guy and a black guy knew not to ask. She wasn’t overtly prejudice or anything, kept to herself and friends, etc, but you know what I’m sayin’.

So Miranda, Tilly and I are cool. I spent New Year’s 2001 with them drinking in a bar in the Village section of Manhattan. I had a few Guiness Stouts before I got to their house. Once we got to the bar they ordered me a martini, which I found out was just almost straight vodka. We ordered a bottle of Korbell Champagne and we drank that after the New Year came in. I was pretty drunk. I paid like half the bill or at least my share and we left. We took the train into the city because there is no way you could get a parking space or move in traffic on New Years Eve in New York City. We took the train back to the station nearest their apartment in Brooklyn. When we reached back to my car, Phil drove because he sensed that he was in better shape than I was. I saw another Malibu parked in front of mine with the rim center pieces that I needed for my car because someone had stolen mine over by my apartment in L.I.C. Queens, New York. I actually didn’t need them because I had a pair in my trunk that I stole from someone else’s car, but I was drunk. So I asked them if they’d mind if I stole the rim center pieces because someone had stolen mine. They said, “go ahead”, and I did. I think Miranda was a little shocked at this, just a little, but hey, I was just being me; not some Uncle Tom nigga pretending that I grew up the way they did, or that my past and present is as straight and as narrow. I would have taken the center piece if they weren’t there with me, so why hold back what was my true reaction. I told them that I would never steal from someone I knew so they wouldn’t have to worry about me secretly robbing their apartment of CDs, etc. Tilly had a great collection of CDs and was putting me on some good Jazz music to listen to since Hip Hop was disappointing me at the time. We returned back to their apartment and they offered me to spend the night which I did. I drank some cold water because they said that was the cure for Hangover. They said alcohol just dehydrated you, and if you drank water before you went to bed, you wouldn’t wake up feeling terrible. I woke up feeling terrible anyway. So either I didn’t drink enough water or that shit doesn’t work.

So my attempt to become good friends with them seemed to be going pretty well. Tilly was telling me that New Year’s night that Miranda has problems. She gets depressed. She wanted to be an actress, not a lawyer. She doesn’t like to have sex. Even though she is skinny, she thinks she is fat and needs to lose a little weight etc. We discussed this and I tried to give him some solutions and I even told him that I was gonna try and talk to her and see if I could make her feel better. Later I decided against doing that because I wasn’t really that close to her to be discussing those types of problems with her. I thought he and Miranda were a little happy couple. When I e-mailed him this, I found different.

Man Tilly, you just don’t understand. Life for the average person with a good job and everything that seems good, is fucked up. Like I’m thinkin’ right now that it’s time to go home but yet I have an hour and a half to stay here. It seems as if there is never no peace of mind. There is always something that you want that you can’t have. There I always something that you need that you really can’t afford to get, but you need it so you got to get it. I feel depressed myself at times. I want to be doing Hip Hop music and getting paid for it, not this accounting shit, sitting here all damn day making someone else rich while I only got enough money for bills, and have to have a roommate to have a little extra cash in my pocket. I got a room-mate so there goes the comfort of being in your own space because you know the other person is there. I’d feel much better if I had a girlfriend that I was engaged to living with me helping with the bill. You’re always busy doing something else. Like I got to work to live and take care of my daughter, pay my car note, etc. I can’t be on the streets all night at clubs trying to meet rappers because that causes me to be tired at work. The shit never ends.

I don’t even play with my keyboard as much as I should because I feel stressed about my day and just life period. So that may be what Miranda is going through. It’s like when you look at life, you really see no success after all the struggle; all you see is struggle, struggle, struggle in the dark and wonder when will you see some light. I got an $8,000 credit card bill that will never get paid. The bank just keeps making money off of me, charging me 1.25% a month on the outstanding balance. That is like $100 a month which is all I can afford to pay, in effect, I’m never paying the balance just finance charges every month. It’s a bitch. Then on top of all the other problems, I ain’t got no bitch to satisfy my dick. I’m Strugglin’ out here to find a mate. It’s almost like people in New York don’t fuck. I’ve been living here for a year and a half now and haven’t fucked one single hole on a human being (don’t take that too literally on some gay shit.) But I’m just sayin’. I have never in my life gone a year without pussy. I have to go to Ohio to fuck. New York is fucked up. It’s so beautiful but has so many hardships: expensive, crowded, crazy people, can’t socialize with unknown people. I’m about sick of this shit but I don’t want to go back home because there ain’t shit there. It’ like I’m stuck and don’t know where to go or turn.

He came back with this to my surprise telling me about his relationship and his life.

Shit, at least you have some money in your pocket. I’m livin’ gig to gig and when you got no gig then guess what, you get no money. I don’t even want to think about the debt I’m in, I owe over $20,000 and all I’m doin is makin’ the rent, barely. And talk about fuckin’ a girl, I’m engaged, spent all the money I don’t have on a ring and my girl isn’t interested in sex anymore. She hasn’t even kissed me in a year. So don’t think that I have a great life.

You know what, this is what NY is about. Everyone I talk to has some horror story about life in NY and a lot of people have it worse than us.

I think that you just have to keep focused. Do what you can. I try to keep the music going for myself, not for anyone else. Because if I keep moving forward and getting better then that makes me feel good, and that’s what It’s about. Everything else will work out. Sometimes you can try too hard and that fucks things up sometimes.

NY is a rough place, things will get worse before they get better, Let’s hope that they start getting better soon. Maybe we should start goin’ to church.

I responded with this:

“Voices in my head keep tellin’ me I should go to church / They say the Lord is the only way to stop the hurt.” (R.Kelly, “I Wish”) I don’t know about the church thing. I went to church all my life with my grandmother. God never gave her nothing but peace of mind I guess because she never had much of anything else. Now she is about on her death bed, dying a slow painful death; might have to get her leg cut off, THANK GOD!

Damn Tilly, you are a helluva man. Sex is the reason why I left my daughter’s mother because I was working hard to be a good man and father, and she didn’t want to have sex, and couldn’t give me any real explanation as to why. I guess you and Miranda have talked about it, and you stickin’ around for god knows why. Maybe you should ask her is this relationship between you two is what she really wants because sex is part of a healthy relationship. If she isn’t givin’ you answers that you need to hear, yeah, go head and fuck the girl down the hall. I thought you and Miranda had a tight relationship. I guess it is tight if you’re not getting any pussy and you still around. Maybe you two got a relationship that is on another lever that I will probably never understand.

And I feel good too when I complete songs, but it doesn’t seem like it’s goin’ anywhere you know. I ain’t even for sure that what I’m makin’ is what people want in the market anymore. This shit here in New York is ridiculous. You’d think since everyone is so miserable, that people would try to break the cycle and act better toward each other and have more of a social life outside of the little circle of friends they’ve accumulated through life. I would love to just be surrounded by all new people that I didn’t know and who didn’t know anything about me. It would be so exciting. That is what I thought would be the case moving here, but as you see, I know no one and no one knows me and neither are they tryin’ to get to know me.

The point I’m tryin to make is that I thought, and I know a lot of you think also that white people, not white trash white people, but ordinary white people; you think they have it good and have their life all figured out. They got money under control, relationships under control, etc. Here I find out that two white kids I shared the same hallways with in High School and played in the band with, whom I thought just had a perfect little life together, are struggling to make it. Miranda is in debt and pays credit card bills late and gets hit with over the limit fees and late fees. She just recently got her car towed from having 4 parking tickets that were unpaid. So she, even though in a better place that I, Team Leader/Manager of a group at Interpublic Group of Companies Ad Agency; she is in no better shape in life than I am.

Black people growing up just assume that white is right and perfect. It’s the perception that has been shoved down our throats all our lives through T.V., etc. In reality, some of them have it fucked up like we do. A great number of them are set up by their parents with great lives, and they don’t go fuckin’ it up havin’ kids out of wedlock and just ruining their lives. Middle class white Americans don’t let their daughters have kids at the age of 15. They don’t admit it, but they use abortion to the fullest. This is just a guess or an opinion on my part. But come on, it can’t be that white girls and boys don’t have unprotected sex or they just don’t get pregnant all their lily white life until they get married. Take Caroline here at work for example. She has been working here every since she was 19. She is fine in looks, probably always has been. You can’t tell me that she hasn’t gotten pregnant once in 33 years of livin’, at least 10 to 15 years of fuckin’. And maybe it could be the case that she has been on the pill for years or something like that. I assume white parents and grandparents teach their kids the right way about sex, which they were warned not to do.

I put Caroline and my friend Rhonda into the same class. They both live with their parents. They both dress very well and are considered beautiful women. They both work jobs that take care of their needs I guess. I’ve never heard these three words come out of Caroline’s mouth, but I have out of Rhonda’s mouth, and they seem to be true for Caroline; both have made the vow to stay with their parents until they get married, to move from they mamma house to they husband’s house. A couple differences between them though: one is black and white race; Rhonda has a 9 year old daughter, which she had at 18 years of age. Rhonda is 28 and Caroline is 33. Rhonda’s life isn’t ruined because she has a daughter, but I’m just sayin’; Caroline has no kids. Whether or not she ever got pregnant is the question; had an abortion or just plain smart birth control is also the question?

But back to the point of white kids like Ferrand Luckner Jr, son of Ferrand Luckner Sr., the COO of this company that I am working for now. He graduated from college true enough. He works in the sales department of our store up front, probably making good money on commission. He drives a BMX 5 Series and lives in a $2,500 a month apartment in Clinton Hills Brooklyn with wife of one year. His dad has set him out to succeed and not have too many worries. He was set on a path, and all he had to do was follow it.

Me, there was no path set out for me. I wasn’t set on a path. I was just told that I should go to college, any college, preferably one that was affordable for the gov’t  to pay my tuition because my parents weren’t CEO or COO of any corporation or company. I went, graduated from Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio. I got my girlfriend pregnant. I got a job. I got a child support payment. I bought me a new car. I moved to New York; no money in the bank or mutual funds for me left there by my parents because America kept them ignorant to those things. I had no help with my rent to stay in a lavish neighborhood. All by myself and now I’m broke, just working to stay above water with my creditors. See the difference b/n myself and Ferrand Jr? He is about to sell his apartment which I’m assuming his dad helped him to buy or started him out buying. He’s about to move into a big house or condo in Manhattan or Long Island. This is the life of some white kids, but many are just like me: broke, lonely and trying to find their place and niche in the world.

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