A friend of mine put me up on Sam Smith the other yesterday. They shared his song ‘Nirvana’ with me. While I thought it was a dope song I replied that I thought it was cool but it sappy falsetto love songs just aren’t my thing. They aren’t. I’m not a super huge John Legend fan and I absolutely hate Maxwell’s ‘This Woman’s Work’ with a passion. I’m a R&B head at heart but I prefer the manly approach to love songs like Teddy Pendagrass as opposed to all that crying. That’s just me though. My friend responded “That explains a lot.” That bugged the hell out of me all day. I think that I’m an open book so when someone has a question or assumption about me I like to know what it is to either confirm or clarify.
The next day I asked my friend what did they mean by that and they said because I’m mean and stoic. I laughed it off and said I am stoic but that’s because I’m actually a very shy individual. They then proceeded to swear that I in fact am not shy and that I never show any emotion. This I agree with. I would use stoic and frustratingly nonchalant as words to describe my demeanor. I’m not one to wear my heart on my sleeve and I know it bugged the living hell out of Timile. We lived together for nearly five years and even she had a hard time reading my thoughts. It’s not the first time I’ve been told this. This other girl I used to talk to would often say jokingly that I was a robot and didn’t have feelings (I just didn’t show them to her because she was in a long term relationship so I knew eventually our time would pass).
I talk candidly in detail about my experiences without skipping a beat on this blog and can converse about Timile that would bring others to tears while I just joke through it. I post pictures all of the time on Instagram and on Facebook of the times that I have with my daughter but no one really sees me in my full dad glory full of smiles, silliness, hugs, and kisses. Outside of family the only friend of mine whose seen this side of me is Neighbour and that’s because they and Cydney are so close. For the most part I internalize everything and even while I may refer to intimate relationships and the full extent of how much I smile around my daughter I like to keep that side to myself.
I had a conversation with my boy Donnell this morning as well. We’ve both been going through some changes in and we both talked about how difficult it is to remain strong in front of everyone else who needs to see that without much release. I agreed and told him about the chat I had with my other friend a little earlier that morning. It made me come to a realization about two of the last three times that I have actually cried. The first time was Thanksgiving Weekend 2011. My friend Devin and his newly engaged fiancee were in town and we met up at Dave and Buster’s in Times Square. After we parted ways I began to think about Timile, how I missed her, and that I knew right then in my heart that six days prior was the last time I’d ever see her again. I was right there at the busiest intersection in the world with thousands of tourists passing me by (real New Yorkers avoid Times Square like the plague) and just let it out. While people were passing me by no one saw me. The second time was after having a rift with my father and I was on the train on my way to a studio session. Once again I was in a place where there were lots of people but yet I was invisible because no one who knew me could see me cry.
Many times these days my moments of sadness are on the train or walking around Midtown Manhattan where there’s comfort in people being around yet there’s a loneliness that allows me to have a moment to myself. Honestly most people around me can’t handle this and since I am aware of it I keep it all in to myself until I feel comfortable enough to lean on the right person.
It’s funny how God makes moments like this. My friend shared with me the acoustic version of Sam Smith’s song. In order to write this post I looked up the song on YouTube and felt totally different about it. Had they shared with me the latter a conversation between the two of us would have never happened and I wouldn’t have learned something about myself today.
Even in writing all of this right now I am doing so not from a place of sadness or feelings…I’m watching Cydney play with a lunchbox, some dolls, and listening to YG’s new album “My Krazy Life”-which is about as ignorant and ratchet as rap music gets these days- with my headphones blaring a song called “My N*gga.”