Call Your Mom!


Boston (Photo credit: Bahman Farzad)

I found out about the bomb at the marathon because a friend posted a link about it on my Facebook page.  My parents are visiting the states from Barbados.  They’re in Boston right now where I was born and raised.  One of my best friends lives in Boston and does the kind of work that could bring him to the marathon. Another high-school friend from there is a photog and could be there covering the event.  I still have friends that could potentially be at work near Copley also.  Heck, I’d just been there for a gig on News Years Eve and walked around at a parade before heading to perform at the party (a now eerie memory).

An enlargeable relief map of Barbados

All of these people flashed into my head at once.  I called my parents first even though I was pretty sure they wouldn’t be anywhere near there. “Oh, we just got back from BJ’s,” my Mom’s voice assured me.  I sent a double text to two close friends, put a post on fb & then clicked around to check on some people.  Thanks to the power of social media, I knew all my people were alright in just a few short minutes.

It got me thinking though, were they not alright, I would have been a hot mess.  I don’t really like talking on the phone.  I’m a text-er. So, my Mom was recently giving me a hard time about calling so seldom.  I haven’t spoken to/visited one of those friends in a long time.  In New York, life is moving so fast.  I am moving so fast.  I am in love with almost everything I’m working on right now so I can get in the zone and stay there 12, 16 hours without pausing.

But yesterday served as a good reminder to me that I have to do better about connecting with my real life friends and family.  My heart goes out to everyone who was down there.  To even bear witness to something as awful as that has got to be painful.

Boston Skyline

Boston Skyline (Photo credit: brentdanley)

Why does it so often take some senseless tragedy for me to remember these things?

The moral of the blog (a note to self) is: Forget all the criticism about how the story is covered.  Who did what right and/or wrong, etc. etc. etc. and Call your Mom and everyone close to you as often as you can while you can!

ESSENCE REVEALED – Essence Revealed is first generation Bajan born & raised in Boston.  She got her BFA at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and MA at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education.  Her writing has appeared places such as $pread Magazine, Corset Magazine, and 21st Century Burlesque.  She’s been published in two anthologies: Pros(e) &  Johns, Marks, Tricks & Chicken Hawks.  She now performs & teaches nationally and internationally both solo and as a member of Brown Girls Burlesque.  Her favorite thing to do besides reading is to lay on the beach in Barbados to rest up for a night of calypso dancing.  Help Essence get to the Milan Burlesque Awards!

Come Spend New Year Eve at The Beehive in Boston with Me!


My First Time Stories # 7

An enlargeable relief map of BarbadosIt was another warm, sunny day in Barbados.  I was in a tiny house made of wood.  It was shaped simply like one a second grader would draw.  In Barbados they referred to these houses as “board houses”.  In other words, made from boards of wood.  As opposed to a “wall house”, that was a bigger house made of concrete and bricks.  There was a narrow doorway with no door that separated the front living room area from the rest of the house.  In the living room there were two chairs, a couch and I remember a record player.  The rest of the house was only two bedrooms and a kitchen.  I don’t remember the bathroom.  Did it have an inside bathroom?  It must have.  However, the memory of kerosene lamps lit at night makes me think that there was not electricity yet.

House in Christ Church, Barbados.

This would be considered a wall house.  I could not find a board house picture.  House in Christ Church, Barbados. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The doorway with no door was the perfect size for my little body to fit if I laid on my back with my knees bent.  Which I did.  I clasped my hands and rested them on my belly.  “This is my bed!” I announced to the adults.  They were forced to step over me to get by.  I do believe that stepping over someone is considered bad luck in Barbados.  However, they kept the integrity of my pretend bed in tact (small children have a way of commanding and directing adult imagination, don’t they?). What I remember most is that after tiring of my bed, I sat in a chair by the right window of the two windows with shutters in the front of the house.  I sat patiently watching outside until someone passed by.  “HI!” I shouted loudly as I waved to the passer-by.  Tirelessly, I sat perched at that window screaming hi to anyone and everyone who passed by. This is my first memory. The Massachusetts State-house in Boston, Massa... I was born in Boston, Massachusetts just about when my parents were going to give up on gaining legal status to stay in the United States.  They had been illegal immigrants in the US for a while.  We went back to Barbados for a few years while they worked on getting “straight” as they called having proper paperwork to stay and work in the US.

Flag of Barbados See also: List of Barbados flags

Thank goodness Mitt Romney wasn’t president then.  Apparently, though he was off in France playing missionary to avoid the Vietnam draft, I’d now be forced into military service as “a road to earning citizenship” in a country I was born in.  Today, I am a proud citizen of the United States and Barbados as are my parents.  Don’t worry Mittens, they came here with nothing, worked hard and are retired back in Barbados.  They never considered themselves victims and certainly didn’t look for or ever get handouts.