Jrnl Entry No. 9.4.2002

So, regardless of my thinking that my skills are lacking on the job, I still have a job. I’m yet to find a month where I have all of my bills paid and relax. There always seems to be something that pops up for me to pay or use money for. Like this month I have to pay my car payment twice in one month because I didn’t pay it last month when Janelle was here.

Janelle and I had a good three weeks together. She is funny, growing to be quite a character. She likes to sing songs, listen to music and watch movies just like I do. I know her mom probably gets sick with the thought of me every time she hears Janelle humming a song or something. My daughter seems to have gotten – in just six months, really only a month of time spent together – attached to Watrina and her daughter Queen. They get along just fine together. Watrina treats Janelle as if she was her own. She definitely treats Janelle better than I treat Queen. And Janelle likes her for that reason. Watrina bought Janelle a scooter that she didn’t need before she went home just because she asked for one like Queen’s little Barbie scooter, even though Janelle has new bike at home. I told Watrina to take Janelle with her and Queen to the nail shop and get her nails done and she did. Now she says because of that, Queen thinks she is supposed to get her nails done every time she goes to the shop with her.

Janelle starts school when she goes back home, so I bought her some school clothes outfits: a pair of jeans, two pair of shoes, a Phat Farm dress, a warm up suit, and some black pants with a black turtle neck to match. She liked the clothes and we had fun shopping for them and trying them on in the store. It would be nice to have custody of her, but her mom would fight that till death. I’m gonna propose it to her sooner or later that Janelle come and stays with me for a year or two. If she says no, I’ll go to court and ask the judge like I’ve always had to do for fair visitation.

Janelle says she likes school and she knows all of the little girl’s names. She said her mom thought the warm-up suit was too big and won’t let her wear it; says she is gonna get it taken in which I highly doubt she’ll do and it will be just another outfit I sent her that will be wasted. I told Janelle to tell her mother that the Phat Farm dress and the jeans are supposed to be worn together so the dress will act as an overcoat, “New York Style” is what I told Janelle. She says her mom says she can’t wear the outfit like that. I guess being from Warren, she is too corny to see how that works or probably thinks that it makes her look too grown. She has this whole big idea which most parents do I guess, that if you keep the cursing out of the child’s ear, and the sassy clothes off of them, and don’t let them see R-Rated movies, that the child will somehow grow up to be an angel, not tainted by all the little evils in the world while too young. I don’t believe in that shit. You have to raise your child and don’t let the video and television and movies raise them; meaning that if you let them watch things and hear things without giving them the proper explanation that real life is not like that, or that they can’t do those things until they get of an older age, they will grow to believe what they see and hear because no one ever told them different. I guess Victoria’s way is good, but my way is not exactly bad either so Janelle should turn out fine, but I guess we’ll have to wait ten to fifteen years to see.

SINGLE DADS, WHAT GOOD TIMES HAVE YOU HAD WITH YOUR CHILDREN? AND WHAT VIEWS OF RAISING YOUR CHILDREN CLASHED WITH THEIR MOTHER’S VIEWS?

Jrnl Entry No. 6.11.2001

Timothy McVeigh was just executed this morning. My views on this are, “I don’t give a fuck.” He is the guy who blew up the state building in Oklahoma and many people died, including some black people I suppose. But that was like eight years ago which further helps me not to care, and none of my family or friends were involved in the bombing. But even if one of my friends or family had been involved, I probably still wouldn’t care.

You know five years ago my friend Ceasar Cicero was in a motorcycle accident. A pickup truck pulled out in front of him while he was strolling down the street. Now the guy who hit him was under the influence of alcohol. When Ceasar crashed into him, he kept on going instead of stopping. Ceasar was dragged by the truck by his hair because it was long. His face got all scrapped up and dismantled, and he had to have a closed casket. Now granted he wasn’t wearing his helmet at the time of the accident. A helmet could have saved him even though the doctors told his fiancé that it wouldn’t have because they didn’t want her to go crazy thinking what her life would be like if he would have only worn a helmet. Another thing that might have saved him is if the guy simply would have stopped the truck on impact instead of speeding off.

Now I knew Ceasar since Kindergarten. When he died, all I thought about was the fact that he was gone. I didn’t think about the guy who caused the accident. I thought about him a little after the funeral was over and he went to court and only got six months in jail for vehicular homicide despite the fact that he hit and ran and dragged Ceasar along with him, and he was also drunk. I thought that to be unfair, but did I want to protest constantly against the guy and wish him dead? No. After a while he just faded from my memory. I went and visited Ceasar’s grave for Memorial Day, and no thought came of the guy who caused the accident, just thoughts of, “I wish you were here. I wish, I wish, I wish.”

My cousin Romeo, his mom shot his father dead. I cried at his funeral for my love for him because he was a very nice man and good father as far as my eyes could see. I cried for Romeo and his sister Sary Kim. I didn’t see that Solomon was taking it too hard. He took it like a man I suppose I can say. During that time, I never had a hateful thought toward Romeo’s mother. Hey, she had some differences with her husband and one morning she decided to settle them. She’s been in prison for 10, 11 years now. Do I wish her death and pain? No, I do not.

My point is that killing the killer doesn’t make things better for the killed or the family of the killed. Now in Timothy’s case, he should die for taking multiple lives in such a way. He didn’t commit a crime he committed an atrocity.

I think personally that Romeo’s mother should be let out of jail now. 10 years in a cell is enough. I gave some thought to this and my prison system would work like this. If you kill someone, just one person, you get 10 to 20 years, 10 straight before possibility of parole. If you kill more than one person at a time, you get death. If you killed one person and get out and kill again, you get death.

Give drug dealers caught with a kilo or more, 5 years. They get out and get caught again, give them 10. No one should do life for the sale of drugs. Drug addicts can bounce back if they choose, so give the drug dealer a chance to bounce back. And after all, drug dealers don’t create the drugs they simply supply it and most of the time it’s through a middle-man. They are just capitalist and that is what America is all about. I think drug dealers are half-stupid for gambling with their freedom like they do, but on the flip side of it they are also kind of smart. Look the life they have.

Take Romelo Artrois for example. When he graduated from high school, he became a drug dealer. He fucked every bitch in town that I wanted to fuck and couldn’t fuck because I didn’t have any money. He had all the money. He had cars, clothes, trips to Vegas, etc. Look at the life of the guy in the movie “Blow”. He had millions of dollars, a big beautiful home, cars, everything he wanted, even a beautiful wife and kid. He lived this life for maybe ten years more or less.

Take me, after I graduated high school, I went to college. I graduated from college. I make $36,000 a year. I haven’t fucked half the bitches I wanted during my college years nor afterwards. I have a $16,000 car, a bum ass apartment, a few nice looking clothes, and no chance of losing my freedom unless I do something stupid. But the point I’m tryin’ to make is that I will probably never have the hottest car to drive, never be able to take trips to the Bahamas or Vegas, never have a big beautiful home. Or if I do get to have this life, it will probably take me another twenty years to get it. I have to work twenty years before I can do all this if I even want to do at that age.

While drug dealers, most in their twenties, have thousands of dollars laying around to do whatever the fuck they want in their youth. Most of them are stupid and wind up in jail 5 to 10 years by the time they are 27 to 30 years old. But I’m just saying, I wonder is the trade-off is fair. To have everything you want at your finger-tips: pussy, money, cars, etc; or, to live like a slave, working everyday for twenty years to build up a salary to have the same things. Truthfully, I feel like I’m in prison. I got to get up every day at 6:30 A.M. to go to work and all the money I make is for bills. I work and I go home because I can’t afford to go anywhere else.

If I didn’t have my daughter to think about while I’m living here in New York, I probably would be doing some stupid shit. Then again, maybe I wouldn’t because I’m just not that type of guy. I’m waiting patiently for my world to come together. I figure in five years, I’ll be paid more, my car will be paid off, etc. I’ll have a little extra cash to flaunt at age –. See what I mean? It’s like I got to do a five year bid before I can have a little freedom. Drug dealers have mostly all freedom out in the free world until they are caught. Do you get the analogy I’m trying to make here? This just seems my case thought. It depends on your life situation, and my life situation seems like I should have been a drug dealer. I wouldn’t suggest anyone be a drug dealer, let’s just say I can understand. You got money to spend. If you’re smart, you’ll save a lot of it. You get girls that the average good looking guy only dreams of having, and this is even if you are ugly, you still get them.

I hope my daughter doesn’t turn out to be a sack chaser; one who dates guys because they have money. I doubt that she will turn out that way with mine and her moms’ influence. My daughter is – now. She’s growing up on me. She was just here in New York for two weeks with me. Boy she has it really bad with allergies. She can’t blow her nose so she continuously sniffs the snot in. She cried seemed like for the first week that she was here. She whined about everything: she was sleepy, hungry, her belly hurt, her forehead hurt. I was a little concerned about the forehead thing. She said she hit her head on a flower-pot at home. She complained for three days straight that her forehead hurt, especially when she cried. After like three days, she never complained about her forehead again.

My cousin’s daughter Million was also here in NY with us. She’s a sweet little girl, well mannered. She says she’s good in school. She may just turn out to be the next family pride to rise up out the ghetto from a single parent home and be somebody. She says she wants to be an actress. She doesn’t really know what that means and what it entails, but I hope she pursues it and actually makes it. Her father is in prison for being caught with 30 Kilos of cocaine with intent to distribute locally and across state lines; Ohio to Kentucky. He’s been gone ever since she was three or four or maybe even before that. She enjoyed herself. I took my daughter and her to the empire state building viewing deck, to the museum of natural history. I drove them around in the city one night and rode pass Puff Daddy’s restaurant. Of course we went to Times Square. We went there with Watrina to take some pictures. On that particular day we also seen a model that Million’s mom has a calendar of that I bought her for Christmas. I pointed him out to Million. We were on fifth avenue in Manhattan in front of the building where Watrina works. Million shook his hand and said hi and I told her to take a picture with him. I intended to take Million and Janelle to the Zoo but Watrina said that the zoo should be like a three to four hour occasion. It closed at 5 P.M. I tried to wake up early and get them ready two mornings in a row, but I couldn’t get ready before 2 P.M. with bathing, feeding, and combing Janelle’s hair. I just said forget it because I was running out of money also. We made it to the movies to see Shrek. It was a nice kid movie and they enjoyed it.

Watrina and her daughter also came along. We did a lot of activities with Watrina. We went to Red Lobster with Watrina also. Watrina is my half girlfriend that I mentioned above. She’s – and just wants to kick it so to speak and not get too serious with anybody; just keep it on a cool level. So I say that half of her likes me and the other half wants to keep it light even though we spend a good amount of time together. I like her so far and her daughter is cool. We’ve been getting along for two and half months now. My daughter, at the age of – is writing her name. I didn’t start writing my name and stuff until I was – going on –. I was glad to see that. I asked her why she didn’t tell me over the phone that she writes her name and she said, “I don’t know.” Her mother and I don’t talk, but she could have told me that my daughter is writing her name.

Janelle told me that she and her mother have moved into a new house or apartment. Victoria hasn’t told me that yet either. I’m waiting to see when she will. I started to ask her about it when I dropped Janelle off, but I said, “knawl, I’ma see if she gonna tell me and give the new address and phone number.” I think a father has the right to know where his child actually lives not just the place where he picks her up and drops her off, which is at Victoria’s mother’s house. She’s eventually gonna have to give me the phone number and tell me because I’m about to start calling my daughter twice a week now instead of once.

Victoria probably has in her head that I don’t need to know where she lives for some reason or another. She’s always seemed to have some bullshit thoughts in her head concerning me and my daughter. She was going to see lawyers when Janelle was first born to ask them about how much she could keep my daughter away from me; what rights I had and what rights I didn’t. Victoria was looking kind of good when I dropped Janelle off. It only happens about twice a year that I see her looking attractive to me. I don’t mention it to her because I have no friendly words besides, “how are you.” After I saw her trying to play with me and my daughter’s relationship, that put whatever friendship we could have had out the door and over the top of the mountain.

I wish I could be around to watch my daughter grow up. I love being with her and watching her. And sometimes I have a little inkling of a thought of how could Victoria and I get back together. Maybe she’s grown up out of her, whatever she was going through when she had Janelle. Maybe her life is a little more together now because I don’t know anything about her: where she works, what she does, etc. I think sometimes that maybe we can make something happen. But then the reality of the situation is that it would take a lot of work with all the bad blood and bullshit she put up with me spending time with my daughter. I’ve seen the bitch in her and I don’t want no parts of it ever again. She can have that shit and save it for whoever decides to maybe marry her ass. So at the end of those get back together thoughts is the thought that I’m glad I ain’t glued together in marriage or engagement with her ass.

The relationship I have with my daughter is as good as it can be. Will I try to eventually do the family thing where I get married and my wife has a baby by me? To tell the truth, I don’t know. When you think about it, It’s all bullshit once things go bad. I don’t think my marriage will go bad none too soon, but I never know. I think I’m the easiest guy to get along with. I’m out to please. I try to be humorous and not all stick-up-the-ass. I work, I fuck, I cook, I comb little girl hair a little bit also, and I’m willing to try just about anything non-homosexual; that’s anything socially and sexually. I mean what more can a young woman ask for? But who knows, look at Victoria and i. And plus when people start getting older and older and maturing deeply and shit, shit sometimes gets all fucked up in the relationship or marriage. My wife may hit 40 and decide she wants to live in Africa. Hell, I might go, but my frame of mind right now, hell knawl.

Life is fucked up if you ask me and brining other lives into this shit is selfish truthfully. Most individuals have fucked up lives, are poor, dying from disease. I don’t think I want to bring another life here to face this bullshit. It’s gonna be hard enough getting my daughter through this life. My life at this point is all fucked up if you ask me. My half of girlfriend has brightened it a bit. My visitation arrangement with my daughter has also brightened it.

My music still isn’t going anywhere because mutha fuckaz don’t want to help nobody. They don’t even want to give you the slightest chance to make it. I’m learning this. I originally thought that if you had talent, it would be fairly simple to get someone to recognize that and give you that push you need to get to where you’re trying to go. I used to think all the time, “look at the entertainment companies and clothing companies: Bad Boy, SEAN JEAN, FUBU, Flip Mode Entertainment, FUBU Entertainment, Def Jam, Def Communications, etc. You can’t get near these companies.

 I went to FUBU to hand in a resume and I felt no love. It was just like walking into a white major corporation. They told me they didn’t have an accounting department, but they would take my resume and keep it on file. I saw Busta Rhymes in the village last year, and I had a tape on me. I originally thought that Busta was one of the coolest cats you would ever want to meet, cordial to his fans. He was surrounded by bodyguards. He was talking on the phone. His body guards were slippin’ because I walked right up to him and threw my hands up to give him a pound and he ignored me.  Then his body-guard came in my face and said that, “he can’t talk right now, he on the phone.” I walked away and then turned around and asked the body guard could I talk to him once he got off the phone. He said, “if it’s business, no. He chillin right now. Business hours are Monday thru Friday.” I just walked away and went on bout my business.

I got a telephone number of this female rapper “Uneek” I know from DJ Doo Wop Tapes back in the 90s. I talked to her once on the phone and she told me to call her back. I called her back three times and left my number and she never called back. I got Phantasm from the Cella Dwellaz number. I called it and I got no answer. It was probably a number to a pay phone. The bullshit never endz! I still love makin’ my music even if nobody listens to it. I still got the dream of producing a song on one album at least before I drop it and consider it a failure. Right now I feel like I’m failing in life. I’ve accomplished getting a college degree, but I just did that shit because I knew I had to take care of myself. I don’t really want to be an accountant sitting at this damn desk looking at a computer screen. I want to have some type of connections to music. Hell I can even be an accountant for artist or a record label. But that seems impossible too. How easy it is to get what you really don’t want, but when you have passion and really want something, it seems like all the road blocks in the world are up against you. “But fuck that shit cause I gots to live.” (Ice Cube) Whether I get what I want or not, I gots to liv

Jrnl Entry No. 3.8.2001

I went to a poetry / prose reading last night featuring Nathaniel Mackey in Philosophy Hall at Columbia University. I have never heard of this guy in my life. I was just going to have something to do, to get out from  my apartment and perhaps meet some intelligent black people, or better year, intelligent black women. It was to start at 8 P.M. I got there at 7:15 P.M. I left home early in anticipation of traffic. When I got there, the room was empty except for a few people who were setting up a video camera and the speakers, etc. I just chilled and figured I’d wait for a fly honey to come walking up so that I could get my conversation on with her. I waited, and I waited, and I waited, but none arrived. As time reached 7:45 P.M., I sat down behind the girl running the camera and waited for the show to begin.

In walked this tall light skinned man and his son who was just a little shorter than he was. These two white women who were sitting a seat down from me started looking over there at them and started having a conversation. “Oh, look at him, he looks like a young man, not a kid anymore. He looks like his father, look at him.” They were so fascinated with this kid. He came and sat next to me and asked me was I a student at Columbia University. I told him no. Then he asked me was I a student period. I told him I was twenty-seven years old, graduated from college. He said he was 17 deciding what college to attend; Columbia, where his dad is professor or Jazz Studies or something like that, and he could go there for free. He was thinking of Hampton University to get the black experience and party with black kids, as not to be bored to death like I was in college for the most part. He said he wanted to get away from his parents. I told him that New York was the ultimate experience. He’s not gonna experience much that he already hasn’t seen or heard in New York. It would be good to see how different another place is from New York, but for fun and excitement, nothing tops the NY.

I told him my story of moving to New York to become a producer. He said that he raps occasionally but nothing serious. I told him that I once wanted to be a rapper when I was his age. He asked what type of rap I like. I told him that Pharoahe Monch was my favorite MC at the time, and he quickly agreed. He told me that I should go to some Hip Hop thing that takes place on Sundays. He gave me the name and street that it was on. Right before the show started he asked me to kick a rhyme for him so I spit a verse that was a year old. He said it was hot of course. See people who don’t know me or meet me first as an MC, they respect my skill. But if I don’t let people know that I rap, they never suspect it and don’t take me serious when I say I can. Of course of I can, I been doin’ this shit for 14 years now.

The show started with Nathaniel Mackey reading some poetry he wrote in relation to a couple of jazz artist. He read some of his published stories made up of the character “N” who writes talking about his experiences with music and his Jazz band. Mr. Mackey read different stuff for about an hour then they opened the forum up for questioning. I asked was his character “N” inspired by Langston Hughes character “Simple”. He said yes indirectly, and threw some other name at me that it was inspired by. “Simple” is what it reminded me of since I had read some “Simple” stories about six months earlier. When the show was over they had a few refreshments at a table: some cheese and crackers and soda and orange juice.

I was going to talk to the kid some more. His name was Doug. He told me that a lot of people there knew him because his dad was a professor at the school, and I guess a very sociable guy with white people and had his son around them a lot. I couldn’t talk to him though because over came the two white ladies who sat next to me during the reading, and they surrounded him while he was getting refreshments and I was waiting for him to get off line. So I stood over to the side and just ate my food and looked around the room at the people. There were no intelligent black women there who met my taste so I didn’t talk to anyone. I was just waiting to talk to Doug but these ladies didn’t seem to want to leave him alone talking about college and what school was he gonna go to. It was like in the Spike Lee movie “He Got Game” with everybody being so anxious about Jesus Shuttlesworth and what college he was going to play basketball at. At one point I started feeling like these ladies were guarding him from me, the black Hip Hop guy with no education, just a thug off the street who happened to wonder into the room. I was the only one in the room who looked Hip Hop, but that’s the way I roll, and even though a little uncomfortable I repented myself to the fullest. The one lady seemed infatuated with him. She was the one who said he looked like a young man and not a kid anymore. I wouldn’t doubt if she wanted to fuck him or give him head in the near future. That is how much she seemed to be into this kid. So after standing there for 15 minutes I went over and interrupted the ladies and told Doug that I was about to go and I wished him good luck, shook his hand and left.

My daughter Janelle and my mom came and stayed with me for two weeks. It was love having my daughter around. She’s not a bad child at all. I thought I was gonna see another side of her that I couldn’t see during our weekend or day visits in Ohio, but it was just the same. She likes to play and talk and eat. She doesn’t bother shit that she is not supposed to like tapes or CDs. She also likes to watch movies. We watched Toy Story every night before she went to bed. I read her stories before she went to sleep. She wanted to take a bath every night and put her jammies on, as she calls them. At times when I didn’t feel like giving her a bath, she insisted, so I had to oblige.

I took her to Sesame Street at Madison Square Garden and she enjoyed the show. I’d take her out just about every night with me to the grocery store or where ever. We visited my friend Tilly and played drums over his house. She said she was gonna play with his cat, but when we got over there she was scared of it and crying an jumping around on the couch every time the cat got near her. I rode her over the Queen Bridge where she could see all the city lights in the sky line and she liked that a lot. You can see the city from outside my apartment in Queens and she asked me could we go over there the night I was bringing her back from Tilly’s house. I took her over there because she wasn’t sleepy and ready to go home. I rode through the Met Life Insurance building and she liked that a lot also. I took her to the FAO Swartz toy store where I thought she was gonna go crazy asking me to buy her stuff but she didn’t. She asked me to buy her this $60 Angelica sing-a-long doll which I couldn’t afford at the time. I got her a slinky and a saxophone that plays notes and songs of Sesame Street when you push the keys. I took her to walk around in Times Square where I took a few pictures of her. She didn’t complain one time that she wanted to go home, which means that she loves me and my company just as much as her mothers’. That is a good thing that has come out of me fighting in court to see her and spend as much time with her as I can. It was wonderful. I could keep her if I needed to with no problem. I had to do her hair because the braids her mom had put in her hair before she left Ohio started to frizz up like after one week. I did it pretty good too.

I used to do her hair when she’d stay with me for the weekend in Ohio, but I thought it would be different since her hair is longer, but I did pretty well. I was proud of myself. I took off work the two Fridays that she was here to spend the day with her. I took her to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum on the last Friday she was here. She didn’t like it and neither did I. It was pretty boring. She ate good while she was here: oatmeal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and mostly chicken for dinner because that is all I cook these days. I’m looking forward to her coming back to stay another two weeks with me. I may just take a week’s vacation next time I get her and drive to Atlanta or something to see my dad or maybe to Mississippi to see my folks there.

I wish I could have had a family, but I guess I’m just an unfortunate one. I ain’t trying to have no mo kidz. I’m about to try and get my balls clipped, which will mean I won’t have kidz by my wife if I ever get married. I think it is bullshit that you can fall in love and get married for practically nothing if you go to the justice of the peace. But when you want to get out of it, you have to pay $700 – $2000 in lawyer fees. You might have to pay alimony, etc. I don’t want to get caught in all that shit. And I’ve learned dealing with Victoria that a woman’s baby is her baby. A man only has rights through a court room and a judge. When it all goes bad, if you don’t have a court order in regards to your kidz, you ain’t got shit. I ain’t gonna be like stupid bitches who have three kidz by niggaz who don’t want to be bothered, trying to be humanitarians, giving birth to beautiful children. I’ve learned from this one experience and I ain’t gonna experiment again, weather it could come out good or bad. I ain’t takin’ another chance.

Jrnl Entry No. 9.8.2000

When Janelle was born it was “the most  beautifullest thing in this world” (Keith Murray). “I was there, cut the chord / seventeen hours never bored / cause I knew you was comin for sure.” That is a line to a verse I wrote after she was born. I was there for the whole nine, the progression of the labor pains to birth. Seeing all of that puts in you in a whole nutha state of mind. Like about two hours before she was born, I went into the bathroom, looked in the mirror and started crying. I guess I was crying because I was about to be a father, and also because Victoria was going through so much pain. When it was all over, I was filled with love, especially for my baby girl. I had only a little for Victoria. I went and paid like $75 for a bear and some flowers and gave them to Victoria that night. I tried to spend the night at the hospital that night, but at 1 A.M. a nurse came in and told me I had to go.

I went to where I was the night before, over Lauren’s house. Lauren and I hadn’t talked for like a year at this time and like two or three weeks before, I went and knocked on her door, and as always she let me in. Lauren was still involved with Jamelle at the time too. I visited the hospital all three days that Victoria was in there. When she took the baby home, I was over there every day after work. I couldn’t wait to get there and hold my baby in my arms. Victoria told me that her dad didn’t want me coming over his house every day and that we’d have to limit my visits.

One night while over there, I asked her when could I take the baby to my house, and she looked at me like, “never”. I told her that I knew she was not going to have any couth; a word I had picked up from her when talking about everybody being ghetto, about the situation of me taking my daughter out to see my people once she was a couple of weeks old and had been to her first doctor’s visit. She asked me to step outside, and when we got out there I started telling her that she was not gonna be treating me like an irresponsible fuck when it came to our daughter, that I was a grown man taking care of his life responsibilities. I had everything that she one day hoped to have: a college degree, a job and a car of my own. I got in my car and left. She came over to my house and I screamed at her some more telling her the same thing. She left telling me that her father said for me not to come and see the baby anymore. I said fine and I didn’t see her.

I was going to get me a lawyer and get proper visitation. About a month later, Victoria’s friend and my friend’s sister, Analise called and told me to go see my daughter. Now that I think about it, Victoria probably told her to call me. I don’t think Victoria knows how to drop shit or say sorry and let things begin again to take their natural course. So I called Victoria and told her that I wanted to start seeing Janelle again. She said that she’d have to check with her father like it was his baby or something.

I went over there one night after work and seen Janelle. I can’t recall if I talked with Victoria or not. I do know that in my lifetime, I had planned on the mother of my child being my wife. Victoria fit the bill; she was not fat, she could be freaky when in the right place at the right time, and she wanted something out of life, still does. But she still hasn’t yet to this day accomplished anything visible to my eye. The next day that I went to see Janelle I proposed to Victoria that I wanted to be there for her and Janelle, and for us to not be apart. I had told myself that “yeah, Victoria and I have some differences, but they can be worked on or put aside for the moment.” I offered to take her shopping since all while she was pregnant she complained that she had no clothes to wear. She accepted us getting back together, but was skeptical of my reasons. She told me we weren’t gonna have sex. I told this store before, but to sum it up, I didn’t want sex at the time.

We got back together, she moved into her apartment in the Fairview Gardens. I would go over there every night after work and spend the night. I had plans on doing this for one year, and then proposing to marry Victoria. After a month and a half, probably about two or three weeks after her six week check-up, I started getting horny. She wasn’t hearing me, and never talked to me about the situation kind of like she tells me NO now when I want to spend some extra time with my daughter or take my daughter out of town. After about two weeks of no, I told her it was over. That on top of the other problems I had with her about calling everybody ghetto, she wasn’t gonna move to NY with me, and other personality and attitude differences led me to quit. Now that I think about it, she probably didn’t want to get pregnant again, but whatever the reason, she never gave me a reason, so that was that.

We set up a visitation schedule, and I continued to buy all pampers and formula, etc, whatever I thought the baby needed. She went in for child support, which I had no problem with; my mind was prepared for that while she was pregnant. At the little hearing, I opted for a blood test. In their language, they said “you can deny that this is your child and have a blood test done.” I said, “I am not denying that the child is mine, but I would like to have a blood test.” I told Victoria when she was three months pregnant that I was getting a blood test done one way of the other. Too many fathers found out they weren’t really fathers too late after the fact, and in some states you can’t even back out after you find out; you still have to take care of the child through child support.

I didn’t have any doubt that she was mine, but just in case Victoria was pulling the wool over my eyes; if I was to be paying $300 plus for the next 18 years, best believe I ain’t paying on faith and word of mouth alone, and neither should you. So when court was over she stormed out saying I denied the baby. I told her father that I would still like to see my child because we had a little meeting a couple nights before about visitation because Victoria was complaining that she didn’t want Janelle over my house because my mom smoked up the house pretty bad with cigarette smoke. I assured her that my mom would smoke in her room with the door closed, as opposed to previously when Victoria would visit, the door was cracked open and smoke would seep all through the house. And when I didn’t have company, my mom would smoke in the living room, and to walk through, you would smell like smoke; therefore, every time I visited Victoria, I would smell like smoke. Her father said, it was up to her, and she said, “you denied her, you don’t see her.”

Once we went back to court like three months later, she let me pick my daughter up and bring her to my house but she wouldn’t let her spend the night. After like nine month of that and her fucking me out of visits from time to time; like when they weren’t sending her the child support money, she said I couldn’t see her. When she found out I had a girlfriend who lived in a housing project; she said I couldn’t see her. I got me a lawyer, who fucked me also by not acknowledging that he had received my payment until three months after the fact and a grievance letter. After that he filed the case and I got overnight visitation every other weekend and four hours after work one day a week.

After one year of that and my daughter knowing me very well, I decided to move to New York. Victoria had told me on the phone the night before Janelle was born that she would not let me bring my daughter to stay with me for more than two weeks during the summer. I had other visitation in mind like two weeks every other month until Janelle went to elementary school.

When I moved I paid the same law office, different lawyer though, that fucked me before. I sent $500 to his office with a letter of instruction to file for out of state visitation. He never acknowledged getting the money. Me thinking I’m trying to be a good paying customer to this law office, and them taking my money and never filing my case. About nine months after no response from the law office, and repeated visits by my mom to the office, I was in town on a Friday and went to the office demanding my money back. They told me they had no receipt of it, and that if I would produce a copy of the money order, they would refund my money. They must thought a nigga was stupid and irresponsible to lose or throw away my receipt. But I had my receipt and got a copy, and about two weeks later my mom went down there and got my money. I had also tried to talk with Victoria that weekend about me bringing Janelle to New York with me for two weeks every other month. She said no, that I could continue driving there every other weekend, six hours to see her, or once a month to cut down on my driving. I said fuck it, I won’t see Janelle no more, won’t bring you any more money, and won’t bother you, and you don’t bother me. She said, “fine,” that her daddy will take care of Janelle. She even told her friend Analise that I was not going to be taking care of Janelle anymore.

After about two weeks, I found another lawyer to file the case for me. After five months, we were downtown in the little room again. She filed for back child support of $3,000. The Magistrate kept visitation the same, which means I have to drive there once or twice a month to see Janelle. He appointed a Guardian Ad Litem to investigate me to see if I was fit to have Janelle out of state with me, and that could take 3 to 6 months for him to complete his report or rather, get started. It doesn’t take six months to talk with me and make a determination if I’m fit to take care of my daughter for two weeks while she is with me.

Victoria says she doesn’t want my mother watching Janelle because “she couldn’t take care of her own, so what makes you think she can take care of mine.” When my little brother Peter was born, due to medication that my mom was taking while carrying him, he was born with no collar bone, a huge soft spot on his head, and heart and breathing problems. He was on a heart monitor that beeped often. She wasn’t able to handle him in his condition because she had a nervous condition, which I believe was mis-diagnosed, and she actually has Asperger’s Syndrome. She gave him up for adoption. We got back in contact with him through the will of god I guess, and we have seen him and been his second family all his life. Victoria passed judgement on my mother because she knew my brother was given up for adoption, but I don’t think she knows all the detail behind it. My brother came close to dying a couple of times because of his condition when he was little.

I don’t think Victoria could handle that situation herself. I heard she had a nervous breakdown when she lost a child that she was pregnant with and when wedding plans fell through the floor. Janelle would not have been given up for adoption because her sister and father and other family would have prevented that. My family, as I just found out; the reason for none of my mother’s five sister’s adopting my brother was because the whole family from my grandmother’s mother to my grandmother’s sister, to my aunts had a hand in raising me. They said they wouldn’t do it again. My mom had an accident that prevented her from taking care of me until I was five years old. Maybe that’s why I’m such a beautiful child and successful in most people’s eyes, especially my family’s eyes. They say the more love you get from family and others, the better your life and you as person will be. But in my eyes, I got a long way to go on the successful part. I’ve for some time now had confidence in my beauty.

I’d tell Victoria that sometimes. I kind of adopted the “I’m beautiful” attitude when girls started going crazy over Tupac, Mase and Puff Daddy. These successful rappers were average looking guys in my eyes, but yet women swore they were so cute and fine. So I said to myself, “if Puff Daddy is cute, fuck it, I’m cute too.” Now I can see why women just love some celebrities like Tyson Beckford. Now I’m completely in tune with my sexuality, so I’m not feeling funny or shame about saying this. Tyson is cool. Like Eddie Murphy said to Halle Berry in the movie Boomerang. He said, “Billy Dee Williams in Lady Sings The Blues, I thought he was cool, but I didn’t want to get witt him.” But women say some celebrities are fine when they look no better or worse than me; puts me in the frame of mind to think I must be the bomb and if I was a star they would be crazy over me too. Maybe one day.

I’ve had a few girls crazy for me in my lifetime; maybe Victoria was too, but never really showed it. Some say that is why she gives me all this shit about spending time with my daughter. Whatever the reason, I don’t care. I’ll have nice happy times with my daughter one day. If I never do, no one can say I never tried to spend good quality time with her. Maybe Victoria thinks I am arrogant because of my confidence in myself, and the statement I made to her about her wanting in life what I have now. It’s true, I feel good about myself, but do I think I am better than anybody else? NO! I am the most down to earth brother my friends and she will probably ever know. I don’t speak bad or shun others for not having what I have, or not accomplishing in life what I have so far.

I’ve heard Victoria speak bad about many people because they didn’t act the way she acted or lived and grew up in her nice little semi-mixed neighborhood. To this date, all the white people are moving off her street and the houses are being rented to blacks, but yet her family still remains. She walks around with her head up looking down on others like she has the world in her hands, but she ain’t got shit. I heard she and her sister used to talk about my girlfriend; they even work at the same place now. But I guess Victoria’s sister is better somehow. I can’t understand that.

I grew up in the ghettos of Warren, Ohio. I can from where most people in the town came from, so I can’t talk about their upbringing or the way they act or act like I’m better than them. But if you try to disrespect my character like I felt Victoria was when telling me what was gonna be what with our daughter, I had to let her know that what I’ve done in my lifetime, and the responsibilities I’ve accepted as a man to be a father to his child, deserves more respect that what she was trying to give me. To this day she still has the same attitude, but it will all blow over. She knows I’m right, and I know I’m right. If she wants to continue treating me wrong in this situation, that’s her lif; maybe one reason why she is still trying to accomplish the same thing she was when I met her four years ago; to graduate from a college or school with some kind of degree. It doesn’t pay to do wrong. One day she’ll figure that out. Until then, as I’ve always said to her, “I’ll always be beautiful”