Just another episode, of, life.
I lay in my bed, back down, head up and attentive to the ceiling’s needs. I wonder: have you ever thought that your life is one long episode? Like, and, the commercials of your episode being the times you nap or get a full 6–8 hours of sleep? Perception alters and now I plan episode arrangements, after my commercial break. I’m enchanted by life and the mysteries of such livings. God willing, the episode will continue motion.
It’s officially the anniversary (seven) for one of my favorite mixtapes — Friday Night Lights — J. Cole delivered a classic mixtape. I’t also another day to survive, improve, and check up on friends. I’m awake playing the tape. Exhausted but there’s continuance which struck my motivation. I pray every day — multiple times — in hope that the ropes don’t tangle up the ones I love. The ropes of life. I’ve seen many become triumph and use the rope to jump with, but there’s also many that have been hung with and by the rope’s grip. Don’t slip. As I weave in and out of life’s obstacle course, I pray that I can survive the course and not become a corpse of course. Irascible I became. Father living but not here, never forgetting what I fear. Through the anxiety, it’s still clear that I’m near a purpose that’s worth this expedition on earth’s surface.
“This is where the fathers ain’t livin, at least not with us. Might see em round the city and won’t even say wassup.” — J. Cole “Enchanted”
A sleepless night presented me with numerous episodes of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I watched as Will and Carlton’s dynamic grew each episode. Will’s charisma and energy could almost be felt through the television. I must’ve laid on my bed and watched 4–5 episodes, back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to back episodes. I arrived on my last viewing of an episode, one which presented the same high energy and charisma that Will carried like a wallet. After 14 years of being absent in Will’s life, Lou Smith is now present and ready to enjoy quality time with his son. Following an abundance of promises, Lou let Will down and the episode, that scene to which Will hugged Uncle Phil and questioned “how come he don’t want me?,” became one of the most heartfelt scenes to ever happen on the show — Papa’s Got A Brand New Excuse. I laid in bed and cried and wondered — at the age of 10 — I began to question my father’s absence.
The absence of a father figure caused me to search elsewhere. I searched through public figures, rappers, actors, and mentors I had throughout my adolescence. Sadly, for me, It didn’t feel the void for what I felt was my true essence — continuance of bitter feels but striving for better feels.
“Sons raised by both queens but there’s no queens”
My grandmother is a true queen. She did everything in her power to ensure that received everything I needed growing up. But still, I lacked guidance along the way — trial and error knew me well — the trifecta we became and still remain now.
The devil, my mind, and life became a trio of their own. There lived nothing other than anxiety, swarming my arena, I sought out professional help, in hopes to cope with the ropes of life.
“Yea, let’s see God
I know you only do whats best for me
But is it cool if we negotiate my destiny
They always tellin’ me it’s temporary
Then why it’s feelin’ like a cemetery
My dreams ain’t got no obituaries” — Omen
Revisiting November 12, 2010, Omen’s lyrics during his “Enchanted” verse shouted the emotion of Langston Hughes’ “Dream Deferred” poem. It’s the constant struggle of existential crisis.
As I sprouted, my mind grew — inquisitive — the more I learned, the less I knew. Assuming street life, violence, drugs, etc, were the only way to fall, victim, that surely isn’t the case. Mental health drew feasible measure to get us up out of here. Trusting God, I know there’s better to come for me and those I care about. Patients must become a virtue.
I hate to see potential disperse into thin air. I saw my cousin lose his mother and then he lost himself too. Turn on CNN and see a mother lose her son to the boys in blue. I pray to God that I don’t lose myself too. Not necessarily about James McMillan Jr., who 4YEO catered to, but the message of survival and be captured by the city’s corruption reigned years prior to Cole’s 2016 album of 4YEO. James, who Cole changed his name for privacy reasons, was 22 and that could be me, because i’m 20 somethin’ too. James represents the classification of being swallowed by the world. The scope of demise opens up beyond a weapon of choice. Breathing the air, the ultimatum that lingers like pollution.
“It seems like niggas either feel ya or they tryna kill ya. I face the sky and hope that God ain’t acting unfamiliar. You play whatever cards he deal no matter how peculiar. They tell me that its God’s will, I’m asking God will ya — heal a nigga from all this pain.”
You may not pray like I do or pray to who I kneel before nightly, but there’s a war going on outside and it’s causing families to suffer, fatherless children to trial-and-error their way through life and the daily struggle to survive, period. Lucifer constantly shifts gears — that’s why we must not remain stagnant. Tiring.
Not remaining stagnant can become draining. Staying afloat, keeping an optimistic optic, is no small task. You can forget what you live for and you can forget what you died from.