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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Defense Tactics

I do not pray for my enemies.

I besiege their walls & wait for their downfall.

I will not love those, who do not love me.

I remember and will not forgive the lies until you’ve returned my wasted time.

Even still,

I bear no ill will,

But I won’t forgive,

I’ll just pretend.. the way you did.

The Visit

Phone started ringing at like 12AM, we met at the Shell earlier, she just got in… And was wondering, if I was still with my friends and if I wasn’t if I wanted to come see her a minute…

Well.. I guess it depends, on what she’s got in mind and if she’s got any kids (yeah)… Nah, nevermind, I’ll probably just chill at the crib. A couple of minutes later, it started ringing again…

The number looked familiar but ain’t saved in my phone. I’m drunk, so I said fuck it, I’m gonna answer, hello?…

The voice said, I know that you can’t stand me, but you remember me? It’s Brandi?

I said the one I used to wax like a candle? The one that it was never nothing that she couldn’t handle? The one that said I used to fuck her better than her man do?

She replied like, yeah so? But what you doing now though? Henny talking on both shoulders, dog this chick like Alpo…

Told her nothing, bout to roll up. Ima come over there hold up, now this Operation’s covert… “no man” is the code word.

Learned from my mistakes, so it’s no way I’m gon slip, I only pistol whip with Magnums on some Goldeneye shit. Only visiting for now, but always packing for a trip. With him she been wishing it was me inside them hips.

Neighbors probably hear the knocking. And it’ll stay like this as long as she keep calling. Fuck it if he don’t like it, true story, I ain’t even have to write this.

Ramblings of Unfinished…ness

La Sagrada familia is one of the most famous pieces of architecture in the world. It has fascinated me, in that it’s architect, Antoni Gaudi, died before his work could be finished. To this day, it remains unfinished in fact. The thought of beginning a project, something you know people will love, and not being able to see the completion bothered me. At first. Until I realized that I am unfinished as well, and may never be able to see what I intend for my completion to look like. 

But, if I can begin to craft what I intend for the finished product to look like. An outline, to provide an idea of what I had in mind and what I wanted my life’s work to look like… I acknowledge, things may not end up exactly like the blueprint. Do people find it more or less frustrating, to know beforehand, that the schedule of completion is tentative? Or would you prefer to believe things are on schedule, when just the opposite is true? 

Just a Friend pt.2

I just can’t seem to seize this moment. I’ve been so close and I admit I believe that there may be hope yet. The right day, the right atmosphere and I can have you. If only for one night. Just focus. Listen friend, we should really do some exploring. Can you just take a moment to hear me out?… 

I get, happy feelings from your name in my notification window. Never a dull moment, steady sips of innuendo. I want to be myself, sometimes, but I must remember. While I want to be your lover, you just want to be a friend though. 

We text like half the day, about work and the justice system. I spend the time between response thinking of what I’m missing. You’ve got the perfect shape, and I’m so in love with your figure. I could be your perfect lover but I’m just another nigga.

When you hit me up on Snapchat, I always hope it’s a picture. But it never is and it snaps me outta my feelings. We been friends since high school and I’ve watched as you’ve gotten thicker. But since you know my exes, you won’t let me see your nipples.

If I had a flashy thing, like Men in Black after contact. I’d erase the memories that have caused you to overreact. Decisions of my past, reincarnated just to haunt me. I seriously want you, I just wish that you would want me.

Keep Scrollin to the Left… Or Don’t.

Those who look for the bad in people, will surely find it.

-Abraham Lincoln

The older I get, the harder it becomes to trust people. Anyone. In all honesty, I find it difficult to trust or believe my own mother’s motives and reasoning so everyone else is pretty much doomed. I think this may be part of the reason I have issues with women and relationships, but this isn’t a counseling session post so I won’t harp too greatly on that now. I’m understanding of women with trust issues because I go through it myself, although, there are things I’ve learned on my journey that help me cope with my own issues, as not to project them onto others. See, every relationship, for the past 5 years of my life, has been akin to the sexual experience I shared with my partner at the time. There was anticipation, build up, climax and then the inevitable, come down (or in some cases, let down). I knew the let down would come, I anticipated and was always prepared for it. But this time? Things are different. I was neither anticipating, nor prepared for the let down that was to come…

It was a Thursday night, my favorite night of the week because it’s usually when I have the most freedom to get inebriated without consequence. My weekends are my father/son time, so for me, Thursday nights have morphed into Friday and Saturday nights. It’s also difficult because I’m torn between kicking it with the homies or caking the night away. This particular Thursday night was going to be the best in a few weeks. Football was back, the Italian Job was on her way and we were in make up mode. We had a small spat earlier in the week, which was quickly reconciled but we hadn’t seen each other since it occurred. Before I had even left my office, she sent a “Do you have any adult beverages?” text. I had already launched a preemptive strike on my local wine & spirits shop the day before, so I was ready for the ensuing invasion. Shorty is so intellectual I knew when she asked, she had something more in mind for the night. I dipped out of the office, nothing but optimistic for what the night would hold.

I get off a few hours before her, so I knew I’d have time to go home and setup everything I needed to switch my place from the lion’s den to feng shui. By the time I was done, there were perfect vacuum lines on the carpet, candles & aromatics from floor to ceiling and Ms. Badu resonating through the bluetooth speakers. I’m telling y’all, it was so perfect I can feel the mood still as I type about it. I couldn’t wait for her to pull up, the NFL season was kicking off, so I went ahead and started – a bit before she arrived. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that decision, to start drinking early would play a major part in the events that ensued.

A few minutes into the first quarter, she arrived just as I finished twisting up. Perfect timing. I’m not much for peer pressure, but smoking with a woman is one of my favorite past times. She’s not half the stoner I am and we actually had never shared before, but like I said earlier I was optimistic about this night. She came in, we spoke briefly about our minor blip and moved forward to other things. We both started taking shots, in between sharing feelings and hopes for each other and where things could go. The eye gazing and smiles graduated to caressing and kisses as the game, along with Ms. Badu played as the back drop. I lit the J, she took a puff and we went to another dimension. Somewhere I thought no one from the outside would be able to reach us. I was wrong.

After a few more shots, I was faded and feeling X-rated. She and I had never actually had sex together, just a bit of fooling around and exploring one another’s anatomy. There’s this thing she does…. Nevermind. Back to the story…

We decided to move things into the bedroom, for more comfort and to close the proximity between ourselves. I turned off the speakers and brought my phone into the bedroom, to continue the atmosphere that was created by Pandora’s Badu station. For a few hours we dillied, dallied and giggled together. She’d never stayed the night with me before, so I was trying to finesse that when at some point I passed out. Here’s where the story turns into the clusterfuck you probably expected after the 1st paragraph.

At some point, Ms. Lasagna & Breadsticks decided to go through my phone. Now… We have shared several intimate moments together, dated for a year but never officially declared ourselves to one another. I had tickets to my home team’s NFL opener on that coming Sunday, which I procured during our spat, so earlier that week I was proactively searching for someone to go with. Admittedly, I reached out to a few female friends who are pretty easy on the eyes. I figured if I was gonna give someone a free ticket that I paid for, better it be a female than some dude. Ms. Cannoli saw these messages and honestly only God and her knows what else. Needless to say she was not happy about it. She woke me up, fully dressed and lights on, which was totally different from how things were before I passed out, and told me she was leaving. At this point, I was still clueless that all this had happened, until she said it was the last time I’d see her. As painful as that honestly was, I was in no condition to plead my case or appeal. Though I was confused, as great as things had been that night, why even take the chance of potentially ruining such a great high?

The things that she saw, to me, all completely non relevant people and conversations in my life. I never dated, slept with, licked, or touched any one that she saw me converse with. Though, I can understand why she’d feel the way she does, but it brings me to the point of this entire post. If you go looking for something negative, you will most assuredly find it. Why do we, distrustful of others, constantly feel the need to sabotage anything good that happens? Things can be taken completely out of context (one of the friends I reached out to shares the same name as me, she thought I was referring to her as my wife). The situation has however, helped me realize the importance of focusing on the positive and communicating. Then, it brings me 360 degrees the other way we I think how I would have reacted had I gone through her phone. But, I’m brought back to reality and stable ground when I realize I’d never go through her phone, because I fully understand the consequences.