Love at 30,000 feet – The Brick House

It was at about 30,000 feet that I remembered how to love myself.  I had every intention of falling asleep – travel anxiety had kept me awake the night before and powered my frenzied preparation for the flight.  Settling into my delayed American Airlines flight, I reached for my iPhone, put her in flight mode, put my earphones in and willed myself to shut out the world and sleep.

What happened next was very different from sleep.

But now, as I’m telling the story, I realize that it began a few days before on a different flight to a different city.  Travel with me to Miami for a minute.

The Prophet?  Or not?

He was the craziest looking man in all of Miami International – a tall and slim black guy in his 50s pimp-dressed from head to toe.  The man I would name Mack Daddy (in my head) was in a black suit with white pin strips widely spaced.  The jacket fit his shoulders well and fell down below his knees and a black fedora sat over the smiling brown face.  He had just swept the tail of his coat aside to sit down with a magnificent gesture when our flight was called.

I looked at the man just as his curious eyes swept the line I was in and landed lightly on me before skipping forward.  Dear God please don’t make him sit by me!  Memories of a charlatan in a pentecostal church in the trouser part of this man’s suit had my shoulders tensed right up.

American Airlines boarded us all in their customary disorganized fashion and my neighbors were revealed to me one by one until there was only one seat left – the middle to my window seat.  Lo and behold who should next appear but Mack Daddy himself!  He politely spoke to the aisle-neighbor and she let him pass to his seat.  Sitting down he thanked her with a pleasant smile.

Ahhhhhhhhhh $h1+!

The flight takes off and now I’m curious.  Who on earth could think this outfit up?  As it turns out my neighbor to New York was open to share.  First he spoke to the aisle-lady again about the book she was reading.  At this stage I noticed not one but TWO worn bibles on his lap.  Yup – Prophet-man’s brother for sure.

I was glorying in my smug conclusion (Yup – I called it.  Uh huh I was right.) and thanking the hostess for my water when Mack Daddy turned to me.  By this time I had narrowed down his origin to one of two islands (later turned out I’d hit that one good too), figured he was a travelling charlatan, and was waiting for the preaching to begin.  Instead he one-upped me and pointed to my accent asking if I was a Trini.

“HELLLL NO!” came out before I could temper it.

And Mack Daddy laughed.  I caught myself in my own righteousness and laughed out loud too.  This flight was getting interesting.

Mr. J, I soon learned, was a DJ and entertainer by trade and an islander like myself.  He had found Jesus in his adult life after having spent years in the fascinating business of being a friend to famous people.  He was now using his talents to bring people to Christ.  He had managed and DJ’d at a few clubs in Miami, Puerto Rico and in England and had been quite a woman-tamer in his time.  The Jesus-man told me with a mix of wistfulness and shame the stories of his time before Christ took him on.  “I was not a good guy, Miss Bush.  Believe me.  There was one time I was rotating 18 women.  And I walked into the club with Joy and Sue wasn’t pleased and I had to say to Sue ‘Tonight I am with Joy.  Tomorrow will be your night.’  And she had to be fine with that.”  Turns out Bob Marley was much worse – he had 40 something kids.  But there was a guitarist in one of the other bands that was the worst of all.  Something like 80 women at a time.  INSANE.  If Mr. J hadn’t been talking like a spectator looking from the outside into his memories I admit I would have been a bit freaked out.  But the story was good and he continued to tell me of the fascinating club business in his heyday.

We then began to speak of islands, hurricanes, volcanoes, churches (only briefly) and family.  His heart was so open I walked right in and received the hug of his conversation.  20 minutes into the flight I loved the man and the rest of the passengers were about ready to throw us out midair   Our conversation was so animated and his laughter so unbridled that I’m sure the pilot could hear!

So Mr. J pulled out his phone to show me his gorgeous daughters.  My jaw dropped as he moved from family into photos of himself, his work and his friends.  He wasn’t kidding at all!  He showed me photos full of bell bottoms, guitars, Afros and marijuana smoke with the faces of Jesse Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Rick James (who was actually a pretty good looking kid!!) James Brown, Little Richard, and Bob Marley.  There were faces I recognized and others I didn’t and for those Mr. J would sing a line in a song that I would immediately know.  “Remember this one?  She’s a Brick….” (and I’d join in) “HOUSE!”  He told me of the Brick House competitions they used to have.  He was like “you think you would win a Brick House Competition Ms. Bush?”  FUNNY GUY.  I nigh split myself in half at that one.

The neighboring passengers would pretend not to be annoyed and turn their earphone volume up.  I was totally delighted!  His ex wife, his daughters, his most recent gospel concert, flashed past until we got to a photo in Puerto Rico with a young Mr. J in a white suit shaped just like the one he was wearing but with more bell in the leg.  He called it looking like a Mack.  I couldn’t help but laugh out loud – I had been calling Mack Daddy from the time I laid eyes on the man!

It was only a matter of time before the music changed.  We were soon singing old Jamaican 70s songs and trying to figure out by combining our memories the words to the Pluto Shervington song Dat.  I could just feel the tolerant Americans around us bristling inside about those effing Jamaicans (Let JA take the blame!  We’re Small-Island people, thank you.  And not Trinidadians either.)  My new friend and I didn’t care.

When I said goodbye to Mr. J in New York I was genuinely sad to part with him.  The professional Mack that he was, he seemed to take it more like a normal thing as he cordially wished me safe travels.

In a few minutes all that was left of him was the song in my head.

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BRAIN

There was a time when all I was was right brained – I lived to play the piano, danced and didn’t care who saw, wrote poetry well into the morning hours, believed in love, stripped down to underwear and ran and jumped into the sea, and thrived on meeting and connecting with new people.

And then I grew up.  Or that’s what I was told happened.  I began to analyze the shit out of everything, to pick apart the music for the inaccuracies, justify everything I did or wanted to do with evidence and reasons, calculate income less expenses in my head while walking my dogs in the morning.  Getting things right became more important than being beautiful.

But now… I’m gonna regress a little and wallow in the gorgeousness of my childhood.  I’m gonna spell stuff wrong, throw a tantrum here and there, wear big hats and dance in my comfortably round body and skip down the middle of the damn road thank you very much.  I will drink in the morning, laugh when I sneeze, and stare at gorgeous paintings for hours barely breathing.  I will clothe myself in colour, blast music until my car vibrates, speak with flowery words, and eat dessert first.

The right brain, the part of us that is being killed off by education and expectation, is where beauty lives.  It is where the purpose of life exists.  Time to reconnect.

A Brain-Blush

Attention Readers!!
BUSHLETTE HAS MADE A VERY IMPORTANT DECISION!!!

I don’t think I ever want to get married!

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I might be able to attribute this decision to “daddy issues”, but I think I will end up as one of those women who, at age 48(24 years from now), has been with the same man for 8 to 12 years, but won’t ever get married. I’ll call him my “partner” because after being in an 8 to 12 year relationship, “boyfriend” will sound too juvenile. Because I will refer to him this way, people will think I’m a lesbian, which he and I will always take in good humor as we spend our nights drinking dry wine from the east of Bolivia and staring sideways at abstract paintings.

I will wear long flowy skirts with delicately embellished flips flops that I will acquire on my vacation to a quaint, untouched Caribbean island. My scarves won’t match my outfits, and I will learn how to sew. As of now, I can’t knit, but I will try to learn in my spare time (when I’m 48). I will knit hideous scarves and sweaters for my family and closest friends. As ugly as they will be, these tokens of love will be appreciated because of how much they love me. I will have no idea that my knitting is horrendous…but those are the kinds of friends and family members I will be lucky enough to have.

Hummus will be one of my closest allies! I will eat a modest diet of completely healthy foods that are good for me but taste like cardboard…not because I should, but because I’ll like them! Okay…maybe I won’t like all of them, but most of them! I will like most of them!

I look forward to adding to this list! These thoughts were recently extracted from the tiny part of me that generates the most ridiculous, and most honest ideas that make my brain blush.

What makes your brain blush? 😉

xo
Bushlette

to dream of love…

It’s ok to dream of love –

to need is not to fail,

to want is not a weakness.

So why do I think ill

of it?  Ill of me?

Why is it that longing

feels ungrateful?

Does needing make me

incomplete?

Why does seeking seem

so faulty

naughty, even greedy?

Does wanting it all

make me needy?

But its ok to dream of love…

 

Isn’t it?

 

Does dreaming of love

put one in conflict

with loving ones own self?

Conflict

with ones own mental health?

In seeking there is

every chance

of never finding

sweet romance,

yet is that enough

to never seek it?

Or an excuse

never to be weak

and open to the hurt

of being human?

What matters more-

the pedestal

of lonely and unbreakable

uninvaded shore?

Or the chance

of being wounded

in the search,

sullied in the conquest,

with the unknown possibilities

of victory,

the prize of

the unshakable… Love?

 

It’s ok to dream of love…

 

to lose is to participate

rather than like a

damsel wait

and wilt, and wither thin.

The capstone on the vault

she entered without fault

buried for eternity therein

“for fear of doing any sin

she failed to do at all.”

 

Let it not be said of me!  I will dream of love.

 

a broken heart….?

For my Bulletproof Babes

Coco J. Ginger Says

….brilliant really,  and beautiful.  In fact she was most beautiful, most alive when she opened herself up, when she allowed vulnerabilites, breakabilites, didn’t force control and demand the power. When she allowed the option of pain, of rejection, when she let loose, when she stopped focusing on her pride, her reputaion, and just totally fell. Yes it was a brilliant and beautiful feeling. There was a bit of pain, a tad of excruciating, unpredictable swings of sadness….but overall, it was pure luxury, pure excitement knowing one could feel so overwhelming, so captivated,  flipped inside-out, a childhood entranced sort of enchantment. You silly little people who stay all wrapped up in your non-heart breaks, so proud of your ability to hold control and not fall. THe falling is the best part. So you fall and you fall and you fall, and you refuse to become numb, and one…

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Keli Thorsteinsson ~ THE GOLDEN HAT

THIS BOY HAD A GOLDEN HAT.

THE HAT WAS MAGICAL.  IT COULD TALK.

THE BOY DID NOT HAVE ANY VOICE.  HE HAD AUTISM.

HIS HAT WAS ALWAYS WITH HIM.

HIS HAT WAS LOST ONE DAY.

NOW HE HAD NO WAY OF TELLING THEM HIS STORIES.

HIS MOM AND DAD BECAME SAD.

THEY TAUGHT HIM SPELLING ON A LETTERBOARD.

IT WAS HARD.

END.

~For all the children of the world like Keli, Singlestreaming now features a link to The Golden Hat Foundation on the sidebar.  Please click on this box when you have a chance and learn more about the Golden Hat Foundation.