And the promises they made at these times
Of struggle and fight must provide changes in your mind.
For life is for lore
All praises are for the Lords.
So the souls descending from the
Tribe of Atkaptah will have to
Reminisce and unified on strong.
So don't go dreamin' on the
edge of their land.
Oh No! No! you'll go flyin'
high, you'll go too high
And now for the rest,
let's remind the pledge :
Each time you'll taste the fruit of the cane
Don't forget the whip, the field, their sweat.
(So this heritage will be as sweet as sugar cane...)

Les Nubians



still my first valentine, daddo
yellow roses from my dad

Wednesday February 14. 2001

sweet as sugar cane

First thing I had to do once I arrived in Long Island City was find a bathroom. Extreme emergency. Parked Bessie, fed the meter, and walked past the tiny hole-in-the-wall delis. I walked into one, selected a large black and white cookie, and as I was paying for it, asked, "Do you have a bathroom?" (always buy something, then ask). They did. Glory Be.

I sipped my Wild Cherry Coke as I rode the 7 to Grand Central. As I exited the train with the rest of the rush hour traffic, I realized it was a full hour and a half before I had to meet John at the Port Authority, so as I was coming up the escalators, I spied a pay phone. Called Koba, and within a few minutes was making my way to his apartment to kill an hour or so.

Seated in the front of his computer as usual, he gleefully informed me that, in light of the Napster ruling, he was downloading all the Metallica albums. His apartment was a mess, but I knew I couldn't fault him for that, remembering the state I had left mine in a few short hours ago. I cleared a spot on his extremely comfortable couch, and we talked, and eventually ended up as I usually did, seated at his feet next to the computer, examining whatever toys he had strewn around - guitars, amps, cds and small plastic figurines from Star Wars.

We walked back to Grand Central, all the while debating the merits of Valentine's Day. I've always been rather apathetic about Valentine's Day, mostly because I had never had that certain special someone to make it mean anything. But now I do, and I don't find it that different. One thing that John has taught me is that special acts of love, gifts and other such things shouldn't be reserved for one particular day. Which is much the way I feel about Christmas.

I met John at the Port Authority, he looked extremely tired. We opted for a quiet meal at the Dorian instead of going out on the town as planned, and when we returned home, exchanged presents. For him, a sleek little brushed steel halogen lamp I had gotten at Bed, Bath and Beyond, and for me, laid out carefully on his bed, a box of chocolates, a stuffed bear, "Horses" by Patti Smith, a bag of change (John gives me all his spare change - it's sweeter than it sounds), and, adorned with two red bows, the shoes I had left the last time I had visited.

That was it. Under the warm glow of the lamp, in bed, spare conversation and understanding enough to not have to say everything. Familiarity, laughter, warmth, hugs, kisses.

Just a normal Valentine's Day entry. Nothing to see here. I thought I'd try to be terribly clever and witty and original and deep when I sat down to write this entry, but this is really it. I am in love.

(This more than makes up for all the times in high school when no one sent me school sanctioned carnations on Valentine's Day, by the way)

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One Year Ago:
"The sculpture and ceramics teachers from PGSA, Jon and Joe, were there, and in no time, Joe was drunk off his ass and being his usual charming abrasive self, and Jon was playing the straight man and firing off his usual one liners. It's mighty strange to see your former teachers carry on like this, but it was nonetheless amusing."