Some thoughts on Lawrence & the Awkward relatability of Insecure

One of my favorite shows is, Insecure on HBO. If you’ve never watched it, I strongly advise you check it out. The episodes are only 30 minutes, so it’s 2 seasons are the perfect binge for the next time you take a “sick day” from work. The story revolves around the main character, Issa, and her many relationships. I’m not going to go too in-depth into her character and motivations at the moment, as there’s another character whom I relate to more personally, Lawrence.

To set it up for you, Lawrence is Issa’s significant other. At the beginning of the show, he is unemployed and basically being supported by Issa. She begins to question her feelings for Lawrence, which sets the show into a whirlwind of events that are uncomfortably relatable. The show is real and at times raw, but that is what sets it apart. It has made me take a step back, several times, to look at myself and the relationships I have with people. How could I have handled things differently? Maybe if I hadn’t sent that last text message, things would’ve gone in a different direction.

To me, the thing that makes Lawrence so relatable, are his flaws. Often times, when people are romanticizing themselves as characters in a book or a TV show, they tend to highlight the strengths and disregard their gray areas, the ones we all exist in. Lawrence’s arch is full of gray areas. Some of his courses of action are undoubtedly ones I’ve followed myself, right or wrong, so I find it interesting to be able to look from the outside – in.

Even before the story begins, it’s easy for me to imagine the issues Lawrence carries around. Being an unemployed, black man in America is a hell of a title to carry. You’re marginalized. He was either underqualified or overqualified for most jobs, or so it seemed. None of this really motivated him to do anything, he let himself go. His appearance was rough and he never wanted to go do anything (probably because he was broke and his girl was already paying for everything) until problems in his love life emerged.

I’ve seen lots of women argue that Lawrence wasn’t doing what he needed to do as a man, which I suppose is accurate (albeit ironic since gender roles have supposedly evolved in 2017 but I digress) and this, in a way, justified Issa’s actions. I’ve gone through a similar situation as Lawrence, not being completely on my own feet. I can relate to how he was ignored by the woman he loved, left home alone without knowing where she was and eventually cheated on. It just doesn’t make sense to me, that in a world where true love is very difficult to find, how easily it’s thrown away.

Trust is a key component of a healthy relationship. Once it’s gone, things will never be the same. Ever. The past is already written and the ink is dry. Lawrence did not violate the trust. He got a job, one that he was completely overqualified for and initially curved a chick that I’m not so sure I would’ve had the sexual maturity to deny. He eventually moved on to a better situation, and for now, has corrected the career issues that plagued him in the beginning of Season 1.

Lawrence did everything he was supposed to do, and still lost for it, another thing that has sucked me in week after week for two years. In this show, much like life, there have been no happy endings. Maybe the next season will provide one for Lawrence and the other characters. Or maybe it will continue to blur the lines between scripted television and reality TV….

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4 Your Eyez Only

Nobody died around me lately. The city’s been heating up but my circle stays cool, mostly. It’s hard though, trying to do the right thing and stay out-of-the-way. I logged onto Facebook the other day, I know somebody who knew somebody that was killed. And another somebody who knew somebody did it. Both sides of the story, right in front of my eyez. One real nigga and one bitch nigga, depending on who you ask… the roles reverse. Both families, attempting to preserve their loved one’s legacy in the court of public opinion. In all actuality, the only thing that occurred was each post serving as an accelerant to the opposing side.

Mediators posting subliminal statuses about what may or may not have occurred. Speculation turned into acceptance and acceptance into anger/hatred. And I just watched. And would do the same again, if I had a 2nd chance. Why? Because I scrolled through the feed of the victim and the accused…

That confirmed the shit I learned in the streets was true
That real niggas don’t speak when they beef with you
They just pull up on your street, let the heat achoo
And if a real nigga hungry he gon’ eat your food

J Cole – 4 Your Eyez Only

One page, for months leading up to the events… full of fight reposts and “real nigga” status updates about “fucking other niggas bitches” amongst other things. The overwhelming insolence was but the buds of a more deeply rooted problem. Maybe he was a product of his environment or more likely, a victim of the circumstances within that environment.

The other page, as silent after the murder as before. Nothing but spam posts, for years leading up to what occurred. The dude definitely had the means to be more active on Facebook, yet he chose to separate. Right, wrong or indifferent he completely immersed himself and remained committed to the streets in every aspect. He was dedicated to the omerta lifestyle.

From what I’ve seen afterwards, I don’t see an end or resolution in sight. The people who’ve chosen certain paths, will lead to similar, unavoidable destinations. Their family members will speak of how great they were. The truth hidden amongst an intertwined web of grayish, mixed, black and white reality.  The cycle will continue to repeat itself. My only hope is, for our childrens’ sakes, myself & my homies can avoid being on either side.

See world, you’re no good.

Pinkies in the Air Drinkin Hennessy

I should’ve plotted out my major points, before writing this. But the fact that I didn’t, is essentially what this entire piece is about…

I find it difficult to relate to most of the writers/bloggers that get mainstream shine or even popular independent support online, on an educational level. Yet, in the same space, I aim to one day create content as influential as theirs. I don’t believe that my lack of a degree constitutes me being any less creative than them, it’s just a general perception thing. See, I went to a major university but only for a semester before I left. When I got there I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about what the future held. I was going to be involved in campus activities, I’d pledge Alpha after my freshman year and be involved with the young, black future leaders I was sure to be surrounded by. I wanted to be apart of something established and to have my voice heard…

But as I attempted to integrate my  former life & habits, into the jumbled, mix of events and occurrences that is college… the square peg never fit into the round hole. I wasn’t cut from the same cloth as those people who surely once had the same dreams and aspirations I did. College is probably the first place I saw major division within the community. Classmates, whose parents live on the same street and have been good friends for years, grow apart. The artistic kids go to open mics, the smart ones live in the library, the social ones join frats and sororities and the leftovers sort of drift. I was a drifter. I saw how the organizations and groups divided those who were once close, into splintered factions of special interests. The place I always dreamed of coming started to become less appealing and once the shine wore off, I left.

While everyone else was finishing up at university, I was out fucking up. Bullshitting at community college, selling mid grade for kush prices and smashing all the chicks that never even went to college. All the while unhappy, because I knew this wasn’t me or at least who I wanted to be… But I also wasn’t the pretentious, degree waving asshole my former classmates were growing into. I was in a tough spot. Was I being resentful and a hater? Or just marching to the beat of my own drum? What would I have become if I stayed in college?…

That question is irrelevant. Until H.G. Wells lists that time machine on Amazon, I’ll never know. But, what I’ve realized on my life journey, is that there is an untapped demographic. One that content rarely reflects the life of. The young black male, lacking a college education but works hard. He’s intelligent and aware as anyone else, but is constantly overlooked. He absorbs media, yet there is none reflective of his situation. All he sees is the cookie cutter image of what a “successful”, black male must have accomplished or look like. I hope to create content for the intelligent, black men (and women) who didn’t go to college. The ones that don’t own any tailored suits or polished Cole Haans, yet have interests and concerns no different from the Summa Cum Laude brothers. The true silent majority.

The thought within the “established” of the black community that says if you didn’t graduate college, your voice, thoughts and ideas are somehow inadequate, needs to die. And it will. God willing, I’ll deliver the fatal blow to those ideals myself.

Stop drinking Hennessy with your pinky in the air.

Thank you all for helping me realize my worth and find my voice. What you read is but a skeleton outline of what I hope to become & produce.