It’s been quite a while friends and for that I somewhat apologize. The grind has been real and so has the downtime. Nice prospects in the works per usual. I’ll find out next week if I’ll be allowed to spread my wings up in this peace. Barring that, I happened upon some very interesting scenarios these past seven days. Scenarios that really made me question some of my own stances, hell even altered them in a way. Although I was shamelessly plug Wonder Woman as it was very good. I think DC is finally coming into their own style of story telling since poorly copying Marvel wasn’t working out. I’m slightly more optimistic about Justice League being that WW was pretty dope. But I digress.
I had the pleasure and privilege of attending an open mic/benefit event via a friend of mine (we’ll call her Ms. Vibes) who apparently knows a lot (everybody) of people within the Detroit artistic scene. She even took me to see this crazy area that was transformed into a bit of an outdoor gallery with graffiti, murals, and industrial sculptures strewn about. It was great. So anyway, we arrive at this place and it doesn’t look like much from the outside despite the cool murals on the side of the building. Very minimalist feel to this venue. I was actually quite surprised at how much real estate was actually inside the place. Now keep in mind. I don’t have many black friends outside of family. Not intentionally, that’s just how shit has gone down. But I always felt I needed that frame of reference. Ms. Vibes is physically about the whitest woman you can find. Long brown hair, piercing steel-gray eyes, and a very fair complexion. Legit the template for the suburb folk. But if you were to speak with her on the phone without this knowledge, you’d assume she was black.
And it’s not on some cultural appropriation shit either. She legit has just grown up around a lot of urban folk, most of them being black, and that’s what’s natural to her despite looking otherwise. And to top that off, she knew more than half the people at this event (all black) and was putting me on to some very interesting connections. One of which owns a radio station. She is important to this story for a few reasons. The main one being that Ms. Vibes introduced her to me as “bae” to which she thought Ms. Vibes was talking about me. So queue awkward scenario where I have to clear the air. The radio chick was admittedly attractive, but that lasted all of 15 seconds after I saw how much of a wild spirit she was. Let’s just say she spoke a bit too long about how she had masturbated before coming to the event where she was to perform with her band (she was also the main sponsor). I did get her card for potential work though #networking.
Ms. Vibes dipped out to grab an unfinished blunt from her car and it’s just me and Radio Gal chillin’. Homegirl then asks me a second time if Ms. Vibes was bae and I said no obviously. To which she replies “Hmm, you might wanna make her bae. That’s a good woman right there….a better woman that I am, that’s for damn sure.” I say so far so good and confirmed in my head that the latter part of that statement was probably true. For about 45 more minutes we’re loitering in front of Radio Gal’s Jeep Wrangler shooting the shit. Well it’s more so me listening to more unhinged and unfiltered truths from this woman’s mouth. Not a bad thing, but holy shit what a first impression. Though I do have to say I respect someone who just lays all their cards on the table. Shows that they’ve been through some shit and aren’t afraid to know from the jump if someone is worth spending energy on. I admire that level of vulnerability.
Fast-forward to the actual event, it was pretty dope. Had budding MC’s cringe-worthy poetry…oh god I have to go into this one. It was really bad. And it’s really not this woman’s fault (okay it kind of is). I legit think she just started or something, but suffice to say her material was NC-17 level shit on top of being just bad. Her poems were basically monologues and soliloquies about graphic sexual female empowerment. Which thematically I’m all for, go head. Power to the pussy and all that, but god damn. The structure, the form, the writing, so bad. So fucking bad. You could feel the unease and tension in the crowd. So many people were uncomfortable; ironically Ms. Vibes had gone to the bathroom doing most of this so she was the lucky one. This “poet” still got props and snaps for the effort though. Admittedly she tried and being that I was 1 of 4 dudes in a room (not performing) out of 20 plus women, she got mad respect from her female comrades.
Despite that tragic display of poetic skill, the rest of the night was fairly dope. Had some solo acts from Radio Gal’s band, then they did about two songs as the formed band. Overall a good night. Right before Ms. Vibes had dropped me off I mentioned that it was slightly hilarious that a white woman was getting me reacquainted with my people like a shitty feel-good white-guilt movie. To which she responded that all of her friends are black and that’s how things ended up. Of course I wasn’t shitting on her or the reality; it was just a funny realization at best. It also made me think of this dynamic of ethnicity and how my preference for a partner will always be skewed toward women of color (specifically black women, but I likes all shades), but I’ll never disqualify a quality human being like Ms. Vibes on that criteria. Nobody can choose who to fall for. Nor should they if they want it to be genuine.
Which makes me think about the hilariously awkward comment my dad made about this notion with my first departure from SoCal proper: “You better find you that black student union. Leave that white bread alone.” At the time I laughed it off, but thinking about it now has me believing that to be wholly retarded. Mainly because being that picky, in my eyes, invalidates a lot of quality people on the basis of skin tone. I think what’s more important to me is that whoever I’m messing with be conscious of the struggle and be self-aware of the bullshit people of color have to deal with daily. I don’t need to be coddled, I don’t need her to feign super interest or denounce her culture to make me feel better. Just understand. That’s it. Understand and be “woke,” as much as I hate that bastardized term. You can be magenta for all I care, just know what’s going on and that my existence in the world may be markedly different from her (or similar), but that acknowledgement goes a long way toward building a foundation.
I dunno, as I get older I’m thinking more seriously about these encounters because I know the consequences of my actions in regards to relationships and who I fuck with on a regular basis. And the way things are going, I might end up with Ms. Vibes and I’m gonna have to contend with legions of side-eyeing women of all colors because I didn’t stick with the supposed program. The thing is that I’m looking for that familiar mind-share and that can be accessed by anyone who grew up in that target culture. Ms. Vibes grew up with similar experiences to me. She understands shitty family dynamics, emotionally unavailable fathers, bitter aunts, trifling uncles, and how hard it is to forge a new path on a road full of potholes. I’m as much a consumer of black culture as she is (I think she beats me on this) and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s core to who we are as individuals, skin tone be damned. We both subscribe, defend, respect, and uplift the culture when we can; there’s no appropriation for vanity here. We both just “get it” and that’s what’s important.
It’s just interesting to be able to rationalize and defend others that find themselves in interracial scenarios with relative ease yet when it falls on me, it’s a bit labyrinthine. Even if I don’t end up dating Ms. Vibes, the points still stand. These relationships are forged because of who the person is and how they exert their existence, not what they’re supposed to be like. Besides, I’m guaranteed to never get a ticket if this becomes a thing. Turn upppp.