Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Reunion

It was taking place in one of those outdoor strip mall things - where the check-cashing places are located – but as I walked up to the lounge, I convinced myself that it seemed nicer, I mean, it was one town, maybe a few towns over from where I grew up, but really it wasn't all that nice as it still had a seedy underbelly to it. The vibe was... off that evening, but I couldn't put my finger on what, other than my mood, didn't feel right. I wondered why I was even going, as I never thought I'd be the type to attend any sort of High School reunion – and once I entered and saw that there were only about 25 people there, I realized that a lot of other people felt the same way. The place was all burgundy inside and looked like a hookah bar, and deep down I knew I really didn't want to be there but I was determined to make the best of it. I recognized a few people from my graduating class and even attempted small talk with some of them, but there were a ton of other people that I didn’t recognize, and it made me wonder if people's faces had changed or if I just hadn't paid much attention or maybe just maybe, I was at the wrong reunion. Was my memory that poor?

I was alone and was perplexed as to how I'd gotten there since I was positive I was in the middle of the suburbs, and I don't drive. I looked good at least, even though my sparkly dress felt like a bit overdone for the occasion and the somewhat run down location. After tiring of mixing, mingling and plastering a faux smile on my face, I moved away from the center of the crowd, and made my way to the front of the venue where I could get some air, and where the floor-to-ceiling glass allowed me to peek out onto the dimly lit parking lot. The sky was pitch black even though it wasn't that late, and if I looked past the ornate designs sketched into the glass, I could make out more people arriving.

I saw a girl walking toward the establishment, giggling with a friend, and when I concentrated my gaze, I noticed a tall shadowy figure quickening his pace behind her. Immediately, a knot tightened in the pit of my stomach, and I hoped that he wasn’t following her in here. I hoped that whatever he wanted had nothing to do with her, or better yet, any of us. She stepped inside the push/pull door and I beamed a friendly smile at her, pleasantly surprised to see we shared similar features. She had bright green eyes and brown wiry hair that favored mine. With that, I flashed her an even wider smile and she smiled back, still standing near the door as she carefully removed her coat.

Before I could say “Hello”; the shadowy man entered the place brusquely, pushing past her and heading - with purpose it seemed - into the crowd. He stared straight ahead, his gaze locked on the crowd of laughter, his menace barely perceptible. The quick glimpse I caught of his face reminded that he was a trouble maker back in High School, the kind of kid who was incessantly involved with the wrong side of the law and in conflict with every teacher until he just stopped coming to school altogether. He hadn't seemed to change much, his baby face was clean shaven but his hairline was fuzzy and he was under-dressed for the event, strolling in with a faded black t-shirt, gray jeans and black sneakers.

I followed his quiet footsteps towards the center of the room and turned around to mind my business right before I heard the gasps and the first few gunshots. Although I felt like I had froze, my brain thought quick, and I instinctively put my hands over my head while ducking a little - my body unsure of whether I should get down or run out the door.

Alright, I was stunned and frightened but I secretly hoped that maybe he just came to finish someone off, handle some rival beef or whatever and that he would end his assault soon, quickly and quietly. Imagine my disbelief when I heard more gunshots ring out, bullets being sprayed across the venue like confetti, with a carelessness yet a precision that suggested he planned to take everyone in the entire room out.

My veins seemed to be pulsating with some sort of superhuman juice, but my stomach felt as though it were three times my weight and down near my knees. Although my skin felt cold, I felt a strong pulse of burning adrenaline behind my ears, and as I glanced at green eyed girl [who was crouched on the floor], our fear punctuated by the sound of shattering of glass and disarming screams in the background, she gave me a knowing glance that suggested we run. As I nodded “Yes” to her, it was as if the bullets and shrieks and screams had stopped. It felt like slow motion as the green eyed girl scrambled to her feet from the floor, and even slower as I leapt toward the door, intending to swing it open with any limb that connected with it first. All I hoped within those five seconds was that we would make it, and when we did, we both ran for our lives. I felt chills course down my spine as I wondered if the gunman had followed us, but quickly shook the thought out of my mind, conserving what little energy I had for seeking help.

I ran furiously across the empty parking lot with green eyed girl going left and I veering right. Remembering I had a phone, I pulled out my cell in the middle of the marathon in an attempt to dial my loved ones. It was a futile effort though, as my phone seemed to have a weak connection. I wanted to scream.

I finally found myself on the main floor of what looked like a casino slash hotel. I screamed at the bell hops, guests and everyone else in the vicinity that I needed a phone, I needed to call my family and I needed to get out of here - I didn't care who heard or if they thought I was some out-of-her-mind lady. One thing I noticed was that no one else seemed to have run out for safety behind me. I wondered if everyone else was dead. That was the last thing I remembered before everything went black.

I woke up in a small bedroom, in a stuffy and gaudily-decorated apartment. Cream walls, a rosebush adorned comforter, greenery-filled art pieces. I didn't know where the fuck I was. I looked down at my body and saw that I was wearing last night's sparkly dress. As everything from the night before slammed into my consciousness, I quickly searched my body for blood or any bullet wounds. No... I was okay, everything was okay. I stumbled out of the small bedroom into another quiet room and encountered one of the bellhops from last night's hotel - this time he was dressed informally and wasn't pushing a trolley full of luggage. I realized I was in his house. I pulled my cellphone out of my purse and realized it was shattered, a bullet had torn clean through it, and I hadn't realized until the daylight. I begged him to let me use his phone but dialing home wasn’t working - the calls were cutting off, and when they actually went through, no one would pick up.

Bellboy suggests we go for a ride and I get in his car hoping he’ll be kind enough to take me home. “Maybe I can finally get home,” I think. As we ride along the highway, the details of the prior night begin to find their way back to me. We rode around last night bumping into Bellboy's friends, some of whom said the shooting was a massacre and others who felt it was no big deal.

I realize that Bellboy isn't taking me home and that we're back at the hotel, a few storefronts away from the now destroyed murder site. I begin to fall into a panic thinking the gunman had intended to kill everyone in attendance and fearing that he was still looking for me, steadily becoming furious at Bellboy for putting me back in the line of fire. I rudely remind him that I need to make a call, and when he hands me his 80s style brick of a cellphone, hopelessness immediately befalls me as I register the word flashing on the telephone's screen: DEAD. DEAD. DEAD.

And as my real heart beats further and further out of my chest, I awake from this claustrophobic nightmare and realize I'm in my own bed, in my own apartment, and that I'm safe. It's 6AM on a Tuesday, I'm in New York City, phew, okay, this is real. I begin to repeat "I'm okay" to myself in an effort to decrease the pounding pressure I feel in my head and in my chest, but after a minute, my body rejects my method of self-soothing, and instead, I start to uncontrollably cry.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Doing G.O.O.D. Doing Great


I think it's such a shame when I come across seemingly smart guys who make a living [and a name] by capitalizing from the ignorant facets of the ghetto. Instead of changing the "of color" landscape – they prefer to continue perpetuating mindless stereotypes because that's where the money [and internet fame] is at.

I don't care about popularity. If I did, BlueShame would be a fashion & celebrity blog, I'd have Kardashian-esque extensions down to my ass with my lips glossed in a jarring shade of pink and more “outfit of the moment” posts than there are days in the year.

We all know the formula to popularity because we're surrounded by it. You don't get any props for following the formula.

So I said all that to say that I was pleasantly surprised to see the talented men of G.O.O.D. Music representing themselves RIGHT. [Kanye West, Pusha, Kid Cudi, Common, John Legend, Two Chainz and Q-Tip just to name those pictured above.] See? There is a way to stay true to who you are and not embarrass your brethren! Now I can't speak for these fellas' personal lives, but I consider each and every one of them to be unique talents - artists in the truest sense of the word - and their union as a hit-making group not only feels ingenious, it feels genuine.

The interview displays the love and respect they have for one another, and it's a camaraderie that can't be faked. [I love when people play nice together!] Although today's Hip Hop doesn't always make me proud, I look forward to their ensemble record Cruel Summer this September.

Check out their behind the scenes video below. [Their collective eloquence made me swoon]:

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Glass


Fuck a glass ceiling... I feel like I'm standing on the less green side of a glass wall... I can see the other side... I can see the healthy green grass! So green it looks neon. I'm so close my nose is touching the glass, my palms are pressed against the cool surface...I can practically breathe in the air, I can see all the goodness on the other side, all the glints and glimmers of my glorious success. I'm right fucking there... but I can't get through. I am encased by glass... there are no open spaces in the wall, no crevices through which to plot an escape, no cracks for me to wedge my body through... just glass from floor to ceiling, and from wall to wall. 

That's one way to describe the fog I've been hustling in. I can see it all but I'm not sure how to break through.

I expressed this "glass wall" sentiment to my friend Q and he simply said: "Girl you better take whatever you can grab, shatter that wall and waste no time getting to where you know you should be."

How right is he.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Halted Hiatus II

I was THISCLOSE to taking a hiatus from the blog and all social media connected to it [twitter, tumblr, youtube and facebook] because I just felt so frazzled and at my wits end... I even wrote a very serious "Hiatus" post, which was equal parts bittersweet and heavy sigh.

It literally hurt to read and I saved it in my drafts folder, hesitant to post it.

But then it hit me that I don't want to stop blogging, it's been almost three years and a half since BlueShame's inception... and I've never wanted to stop. What I realized was I was getting sick of all the EXTRA - the noise, the clutter, the unwanted burdens and undesirable to-dos. In a flash of brilliance, I decided to change all that wasn't working for me. Fuck what all the social media gurus advise. This is MY show and I get to run it how I like.

I began by deactivating my facebook, including the fan page with 126 fans. Facebook was an easy one to let go of because a) I don't need it to keep up with friends, since I already keep up with them in real life b) I got sick of Facebook's redundancy a long time ago c) I don't need a count of who my "fans" are. I just want people to read my blog. [EDIT: I reactivated it again to take care of some other stuff, but I'm not sure how long this will last.]

After debating deleting it, I decided to keep my tumblr but detach it from BlueShame. Although I liked scrolling through all the interesting and pretty pictures every now and again, it seemed very out of tune with the BlueShame brand and updating it felt like a chore. I changed the name from LadyBlueShame to LBlueNYC, and am now using it for my own entertainment.

Twitter is a great promotional tool and ever since the inception of Elle B., as well as all my other upcoming projects, I felt that my twitter needed to encompass more of what I do than JUST blogging for BlueShame. So I changed the name to LBlueNYC and updated the background to something artsy, but more "grown and sexy". It looks great now.

YouTube stayed untouched because that's where I intend to do all my vlogging anyway.

And the last thing that must change is my social circle. Too many people have my number, and I'm thinking about getting a new one or just ditching my phone altogether. I seriously don't want people calling me unless it has to do with business or collaborating. If you don't get the new number, consider me gone for good.

Feel free to follow me on FB, Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube by clicking my links on the right.

The Halted Hiatus


It's been a roller-coaster. And I need a break from the mental madness to recharge and regroup. No, I'm not leaving for good; I'm just taking a much-needed breather.

This little lady has got projects up her entire sleeve – I've got crews to hire, business details to handle, novel outlines to bend into shape, films to produce and auditions to slay - to name a few. And for all those things to flourish, guilt-free time needs to be carved out in order to create them in total peace. I don't want to worry about much else while I'm swangin [my word for intense hustling] you hear me? Having an audience affects you in some ways, and I want to create and explore, freely and earnestly, without giving one single thought to how it will be received. [I just want to do, and you know, judge it for my damn self.] A wise young man once told me to never doubt myself – and I'm afraid I have yet to truly honor his words.

I'm also eager to unplug from the world wide web – an addiction that has worsened since I discovered the internet at age 12, and I'm oddly anticipating pulling entirely away from 95% of people [yes, even friends]. I'm interested in developing new habits, purging all trash... and seeing how my life changes upon doing so.

I'll see ya when I see ya.

As always,
Lady Blue