Cast of Characters:
SHE: Me Again
HER: Still Me
ME: Would you please take your feet off my desk?
SHE: You do know these are Prada, right?
ME: Do I look like I care Blanche? Take your damn feet off my desk!!
SHE: Fine, but I’m not putting my pocketbook on the floor though. It’s Gucci.
HER: Must you continuously name-drop designers? You are merely confessing to just how much you willingly contribute to the reinforcement of global corporate power structures while showing contempt for and a complete lack of connection to some poor human being in some underdeveloped country who is forced to earn mere crumbs to put pretentious labels on your silly feet.
SHE: Why are we here? I need to know ASAP because there is not too much more of me that can stomach another heaping helping of Sister Kumbayaah’s BS. Seriously, what’s up?
ME: Y’all please stop bickering. JESUS!! I summoned y’all……
SHE: Ummmm, Miss Girl, nobody summons me. Let’s get that straight. I live here. Now, carry on.
ME: (rolls eyes) Anyway, I wanted to talk to you guys because I am about to start something new and I wanted to make sure that, not only is everyone on board but, I won’t have any problems moving forward.
SHE: For Christ’s sake, what now?? I already have a bad feeling that this will involve manual labor and I am not here for none of it. You hear me? NONE.OF.IT!!
HER: Would you shut up!! This sounds exciting. What’s the plan sistah?
SHE: Have I mentioned just how much it annoys me to no end when you say “sistah” instead of “sister”? As a matter of fact, just don’t say that shit at all. You ain’t got no damn “sistahs” up in this piece. ME is YOU not your “sistah”. And, tell me to shut up one more damn time. TRY IT!!
ME: I WANT TO START WRITING AGAIN!!
SHE: Goddammit!! I knew you were gonna pick some shit that ain’t gonna make no damn money. SHIT!! Why can’t we open another bar? I haven’t bought a designer nothing in forever. SHIT!!
HER: OMG!! This is awesome!! I am so proud of you my sistah (rolls eyes at SHE). I have been waiting patiently for you to move in a more conscious direction. I applaud your wanting to seek a more enlightened path and share your journey with the world. We are here to elevate each other and to spark a revolution among our people. Good for you!! Maybe now we can rid ourselves of some of your more negative elements (looks directly at SHE).
SHE: Bitch!! Look at me one mo’ gain. I swear fo gawd you gonna regret it.
ME: QUIET!! DAMN!! Can I finish a thought before you two start squabbling? JESUS!! And, please keep your voices down. You two are the only ones I have shared this with.
HER: I’m totally on board but, I just want to, once again, emphasize that the elimination of negativity will be the key towards fulfilling this goal.
SHE: (sucks teeth) Savior Divine please intervene before I smote this bitch. I swear on my Gramma’s bible I will do this woman harm if she continues to provoke me.
ME: MOVING ON!! I really feel it’s time for me to get serious about writing again. You both know I have avoided it for years and now it won’t allow any escape. I have to do this. I get up and go to sleep with it on my mind. I feel I have stories that need to be told, opinions I need heard and questions I want answers to. I have danced, acted, sang…..you name it. This is the only calling that challenges me in a way that we all find peace.
SHE: You know I’m never dancing again, right?? You saw what that did to our feet? No maam!! Took years to not look like a wild beast and I still can’t feel my right pinky toe. Promise no more dancing and I’ll cosign the writing thing.
ME: (chuckles) I’m not promising you anything Blanche!! Plus, you can’t feel your pinky toe because you insist on 6” heels at OUR age. I’m surprised you haven’t crippled us already.
HER: I’m down for whatever moves us back into the arts and towards a positive vibration sis. FIYAH BUN fi Babylon system!! I have waited a long time for this. I love the new changes that have been happening lately. Just FYI (winking).
SHE: (looks at HER) Newsflash: You are not a Rasta. No matter how much you conjure up ‘Jamaican patois girl’ and semi-quote Bob Marley, you ain’t ‘ROOTS’.
(looks at ME) Now, please elaborate as to how this writing thing is gonna go and for goodness sake, I’m begging you, please let it have some component that promises to be lucrative.
ME: Look, we just have to do this. We have to write. Will it be lucrative? I have no idea. It’s not like we are starving for cash. We live an amazingly abundant life. We have abundance written across our ample behind. Lawd knows we could miss a meal or three. Shoot, we are lucky to be in the position we are in right now. We have a love that supports and nurtures us and is allowing us to follow our dreams. We have been given the opportunity to not have to worry about bills and deadlines and expectations. This has to happen NOW!! Can’t you feel it? We have words and stories and verses and poetry running up and down our backs, spilling from our lips, coursing through our veins, bulging from our eyes, pumping in our hearts and forcing their way onto keyboards and pages. It’s a fucking deluge of creativity that’s about to happen ladies. You ready??
SHE: I’m ready…..to be broke. Look, I know we are gonna do this no matter what I say, so what am I allowed to say?
ME: Anything you wish. You can be you. Vain, spoiled, potty-mouthed, mean, ambitious, ruthless, critical, I don’t care. We all get to contribute to this process and that’s what will make it interesting and beautiful.
HER: So, you’re really gonna have SHE involved in this? Well, let me just say that I don’t know that I can be a part of this if SHE is involved.
SHE: Ooooooh, now I can’t wait to write. Anything to shut Sistah Dashiki up!! Gimme the keyboard!!
HER: You know what, I change my mind. I will be involved only because it will be necessary to provide a conscious voice that will hopefully drown out the babble of the bewildered and the chatter of the Children of the Corn over there (looks at SHE).
SHE: Whatever. Soooo, what will we call this? Are you using your real name? I gotta admit, this is kinda exciting. We could actually become famous. I don’t wanna be ‘badly written and shoved in the African American Literature section famous’ though. I knooooow we could do better than that. Although, they do make money. Hmmmmm. If you keep it ‘ghetto’ and sexy, we could self-publish and pop out one a week and call it “Crunk Chronicles.”
HER: I despise you. Leave it to you to join the armies of those who choose to degrade and swindle our people for their own amusement and monetary gain. You have no soul. And, what the hell is wrong with the African American Literature section Mademoiselle Judas?
SHE: I know where I wanna put my sole……up against your big ass. I can’t stand you either, you fake hippie. Aaaaand, I wasn’t even speaking to you so shu…..
ME: I’M GONNA CALL IT “THE REAL LIFE AND SOMETIMES OF CRYSTAL STAIR.”
ME: “The Real Life and SomeTimes of Crystal Stair.”
SHE: Bitch is you crazy? What kinda hot skrippa mess is that? You best believe I ain’t wearing no Lucite heel for the promo pic. Just so you know.
HER: I must be going insane but I actually agree with SHE, even if she insists on using the B-word which she knows drives me crazy (rolls eyes at SHE). This sounds like a reference to the exotic arts and I for one am not gonna condone any glamorization of that life and the degradation of my sistahs. You know that I am a Black feminist and while I am here for defending a woman’s right to define herself in all arenas of life, until the exotic arts are appreciated for more than men ogling women’s body parts and controlling their financial lives, I just canno….
ME: SHHHHHH!! You are both so damn wrong and so waaaay off. I chose the name Crystal Stair while reading Langston Hughes and thinking about the next steps in this life of ours. I started to see the poem from another angle and focused closely on the Crystal Stair as opposed to the hard life involved in the climb. Imagine if we climbed a Crystal Stair.
SHE: I am already bored. Yawn!!
HER: I’m listening.
ME: Here’s how I see it. A Crystal Stair would allow you to look back and through and ahead. You don’t ever forget the journey nor do you get to make any assumptions on what’s ahead because you can see clearly what’s contained in the steps you took to get where you are now and the steps ahead are waiting to be filled. It’s CRYSTAL CLEAR!! GET IT!!
ME: Well, I don’t care if you see where I am going with this right now but, as we write, you will. Plus, I’ve always wanted a fabulous drag-queen name and this one is FIERCE!!
HER: Right on sis!! Right on!! You had me questioning for a minute but, I knew you would come correct. We can discuss the dangers inherent in the caricature of womanhood embodied in the whole drag-queen culture at a later date. For now, we can use the power of this to move conversation and people and thinking. When do we start?
ME: I don’t know that I am trying to ‘move’ anything and excuse me but, I LOVE and respect me some drag-queens. I just got some stuff I want and need to express and I hope folk think it’s kinda cool.
SHE: Bitch please!! You wanna be famous. Stop lying. No need to placate the Natural Nuisance over there. HER can survive on ‘positive vibes’, quinoa and the fumes from a stick of Nag Champa. We wants and needs champagne and designer sunglasses bitch. Ya feel me!! (puts hands up for high five).
ME: I would be lying if I said I don’t hope for success with this but, it’s not my only goal. I want to be happy doing this. I want to learn new things as I examine the old. I want to challenge myself and discover my real strengths and face old weaknesses. I want to grow from and in this.
SHE: You sound like ‘you know who’ (stares at ME with head cocked towards HER). I just wanna stack paper and live like a bawse lady. That’s not gonna change. And, I won’t be censored. Cool?
HER: You know how I roll sis. I want to elevate US and THEM and not just line my pockets (stares at SHE). We, every one of us, can change the world. I’m in!!
ME: Awesome!! I figure we can start with a weekly blog and see where it goes from there. I just really want to write and keep writing for as long as I can. So, we good??
SHE: I’m goody, goody gumdrops babygirl. Question, when do we tell the rest of US? I’m not so sure we can ALL be included in this. Some of US ain’t quite playing with a full set o’ jacks.
ME: (sighs) I hear you but, I can’t leave any of US out. We all get to have a say.
HER: All of US?? Everybody?? Whoa, I am a known defender of equal rights and freedom of speech and true liberty and justice for all but, once again, against my better judgment, I have to agree with SHE. I don’t know if folk are ready for ALL of US. This will be way more involved and exposed than your FB page sis.
ME: I know but, I can’t do this halfway. It’s everybody in the pool or we all just keep sitting on the deck chairs. I can’t wait any longer y’all. I’m 46 yrs old which means in four years I’ll be 50. That’s halfway to 100 and only a few get to stay at the disco for a whole century. Soooo, WE are all doing this or not at all. I have made up my mind that I will have to include ALL of US and I have to do it WRITE NOW.
THE END BEGINNING!!