…bringing back sweet memories ~Ann Peebles
Friday morning at 11 a.m. I started my drive back to New Jersey from Maryland. By about 2:30 p.m. I was on the phone with Deirdra, one of my oldest friends from high-school & college, trying to find the nearest White Castle in Elizabeth, NJ. Although I grew up in the area, my memory, which hasn’t been the best for a while, had me feeling as though I was a visitor in a foreign land. At about exit 13, I rolled down my window not only to clear some of the wetness off of it, but also to breathe in quintessential New Jersey emanation. I remember laughing on the phone with Deirdra and saying, “Wow that smell”. Her reply, “It’s Bayway, Esh”.
There I was in rainy Elizabeth, NJ. On the hunt for a White Castles, because it’s ALWAYS the first thing I eat when I make a visit back home. I drove past my old neighborhood, high school (Elizabeth High School c/o ’94) and found myself piecing together memories that I thought were lost. To the right of me was the bus stop for the #62 I rode to Woodbridge Mall, when I would play hooky from school with my best friend Angela or heading to work at Eddie Bauer. As I was driving through the major shopping area in Elizabeth, it didn’t seem as though much has changed.
Before heading to my hotel, near Newark airport, I finally had the White Castle burgers I been craving for about 3 yrs and also got to catch up with my friend Deirdra. Before I knew it, it was approaching 4 p.m. and I still needed to rush to the hotel to check in and get ready for my evening in New York City, which was the reason for the trip. Although it wasn’t my first time staying at this hotel, I still managed to get lost. I totally blame my fickle memory.
Eventually I made it to the hotel, only to have about 20 min to change and deal with the traffic that was heading into the city to see my friend Bassey Ikpi perform at Le Poisson Rouge for Mike Geffner Presents: The Inspired Word. Although I think my friend Bassey, is hard on herself when it comes to critiquing her own work, I sat there in awe as I heard her recite her poetry. Her poems were not only a reflection about her own battles, but the battles that other women like Phyllis Hyman and Lauryn Hill have endured. Her piece titled, “Maybe Lies Help: Poem for Boys That Break People and Things”, about a man with a tortured soul who continues to inflict hurt upon others, resonated with me personally because I’ve dealt with a few of them in my lifetime.
how many hearts?
how many women broken, a river of burgundy
cascading from their throats
how many second chances
how many bodies buried under your
wreckage…. (C) Bassey Ikpi
After the show, I also had a chance to meet so many people from Twitter and Facebook. I always feel a little weird introducing myself to other people from Twitter especially since most people have their photos up, and that’s something I rarely show. Usually I end up whispering my name to them, only to receive some of the biggest hugs ever. It’s always interesting to put screen-names to faces and personalities offline. Nevertheless, the people who I met Friday night, were definitely an amazing bunch, and not short on personality. The weekend was definitely too short and ended too soon. I only wished I had more time to rekindle some of the memories I lost from being away from the area for so long, but who knows, maybe another weekend home, is right around the corner. That was my weekend in a nutshell….How was yours?