The best place to begin is to rehash a short essay from my series, #Summer97. It is the reason “I’ll Do Anything/I’m Sorry” was selected by Spotify as part of My Summer Rewind playlist…
For the longest time, I thought it was Aaliyah who danced alongside Ginuwine in his music video for “I’ll Do Anything/I’m Sorry.” Given their affiliation via producers Missy Elliott and Timbaland, the dancer’s style of dress, and her movement, my incorrect assumption had validity. Nonetheless, I was always confused to how or why G chased one woman around for four minutes; yet possessed more chemistry with whomever he writhed over a sample of Stevie Wonder’s “Visions.”
Chemistry is a construct I am fascinated with. It is defined as the scientific discipline which studies the composition, structure, and properties of substances and the transformations they undergo. Merriam-Webster also classifies it as a-a strong mutual attraction, attachment, or sympathy; and b-interaction between people working together. While both sentences differ in context, they are the same.
When placed in the context of interpersonal relationships, everyone’s definition of chemistry will vary. We can pinpoint a couple who has “chemistry,” even when we cannot identify what is their covalent bond. At times, we attempt to fight it; however, external circumstances create chemistry. If heat is the conditional catalyst, the transferred energy warms elements to a melting point…or to combust.
In the summer of 2015, we got into a fight and ceased communication for months. When cooler heads prevailed, we reached out to one another and agreed to go to see the movie, Straight Outta Compton. A few weeks earlier, I created the playlist, #Summer97, and began to write about each song in short essays. There was no structure in how or what I wrote to; I opted to let it play on random and penned to whichever song inspired words.
On my drive to Manhattan, I let #Summer97 play to guide me to my next writing prompt. As I waited in my Jeep, on the corner of 87th Street and 1st Ave, Spotify trolled me with its selection of Elgin Baylor’s second single. Given the circumstances, it fit the internal tension I needed to release before she got into my car.
We possessed a complicated dynamic other people found difficult to grasp. Then again, neither one of us-the two parties involved-understood it. Dependent on whoever’s side of description of our dramatic chain of events you heard, you too would ask “Why?” We had chemistry; the kind of chemistry where just a look at each other and had a whole conversation.
We never apologized for whatever happened, ever. “I’m sorry” was a term for little things like an accidental bump into one another. After time progressed, we liked up as if like the previous disparagement ever happened. Not because things were suppressed…it was just chemistry.
Timbaland should’ve let Magoo rap the intro on this. #MagooHive
In chemistry, fermentation is a metabolic process which extracts energy in the absence of carbon dioxide or oxygen; it is cellular respiration when there is no air and a need to get rid of waste. The most common form of this we all know is when grapes, grains, or leaves are left in air-tight containers or barrels and creates alcohol, a poison.
In retrospect, while there were good times and a fruitful friendship, the absence of “clearing the air” let the feelings of our inner dialog and experiences ferment. To do so, for years and years-from our individual and combined-created a present, toxified from what we did not let go.
More often than not, I apologized; in most instances, I did so for actions I wasn’t sorry for or about. My need to atone wasn’t for her, it was for me. This was how I established inner peace and created balance. I could and should have cut my losses long before 2015. However, I recognized something in this person who needed to see what it looked like when someone forgave them in a way they did not forgive themselves.
In my not-so-recent past, I realized I apologized, a lot, for instances and circumstances I was not sorry for. I did so to attain and/or maintain peace. Without discernment, this was an unhealthy practice, rooted in a need to people-please. I often felt misunderstood and for the sake of forward movement, I would be the first to profess remorse for my part in a situation gone awry.
By the time apologies were reciprocated, I didn’t need or want them. I filtered which ones were sincere and the ones which were the opposite. I appreciated the former and needed air. She has her own story to tell; I’m certain in it, I am yet another villain who wronged her. I’ll save this for another time…that’s my word is born.