The premise of that awkward feeling when you’re used to being the only Black girl but when another one comes along you daydream about becoming Office BFFs and stress over becoming mortal enemies. Add to that there’s the unsaid, instant bond that you both wear your hair natural. #IYKYK Friends or not, you know everyone is watching, and you bear the burden of representing all future Black employees.
I enjoyed the drama of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Thanks to the lies, secrets, sleeping around, old Hollywood, tabloid stories, publicity stunts to manipulate the press, Eveyln Hugo the movie star led a life that could also be turned into a movie. At the very least, she knew her life story would be a bestselling book that would garner millions for the novice writer.
The next day, I received PCR results: negative. Within the next few days, while watching TV on my couch, I had hot flashes, chills, and sweats. My gums and eyeballs were throbbing. 20,000 Lilliputians were attacking me with jackhammers. No part of my body didn’t hurt. I had bouts with bubbleguts and yuckmouth aka cottonmouth no matter how much I used my tongue scraper. My throat felt like I swallowed tablespoons of sand. My period said, “Hold up! I wanna join the Misery Party.” Because of the false negative, I told myself I was being dramatic and it was all in my head, which felt like it was being squeezed and pulled apart. It couldn’t be covid. I wasn’t coughing…yet.
See, this right here is a prime example of why I don’t pre-plan my monthly TBRs. A week ago, I hadn’t even heard of The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani. I made the fateful error of asking my cousin “whatchu reading these days?” Her excitement while telling me the synopsis of the thriller set in Paris and translated from French made me mosey on over to Libby to borrow the 6-hour audiobook while we were on the phone. For four days, the other books I was reading were forsaken.
You would’ve thought I won the lottery the way I hollered after snagging two 11:30 am timeslot tickets. I was aggravated seeing hundreds of tickets suddenly become available. Surely, all weren’t cancellations. Even if some were holds, hundreds of suddenly available timeslots? Just the week before, every day was grayed out as unavailable. Think of how many people’s hopes were dashed thinking they had to wait another month (or year(s)) for a visit. Had I been a quitter, not getting a ticket in advance could’ve derailed my whole trip. Luckily, that wasn’t the case!
I alternated between dessert and finishing my delicious omelet, potatoes, and big ol’ piece of buttered and jellied toast, a $7 small glass of grapefruit juice. Menu claimed fresh-squeezed. The dessert was complementary, but I scribbled a thank you note on the check and tipped almost the entire amount of the original bill. It was the most expensive solo breakfast I’ve ever had my entire life, but worth it. I’m all about creating memories and experiences.
Full belly and backup portable charger in tow, I was ready for tourist mode after receiving more calls and texts in my room.
Per usual, I had taken photos when I first entered the hotel room. It wasn’t a threat when I told customer service I had done so. They took me seriously when I said I did not feel safe. Within an hour or so, I was fully refunded for my non-refundable room AND received a $50 coupon from Expedia, which I used to book my next hotel.
My Lyft driver said, “ooh, fancy,” when I told him where I was going and asked why I had been at my previous hotel. During my ride, he told me that it had been on the verge of being shut down several times. I usually prefer to ride in silence, but I loved every minute of my conversation with Emanuel whose parents were originally from New York, and whose car and girlfriend were both named Samantha. I suspect he was somewhere on the spectrum, which endeared him to me even more.
I upgraded to The Darcy in the heart of downtown D.C. It had a semi-circle driveway upfront–no parking lot in sight.
f you’re like me, as you read this novel-in-verse, you can’t help but to think and feel empathetic for all the Black boys and teens who end up trapped in the system. Considering that Punching the Air is co-written and loosely inspired by true life experiences of Dr. Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five (formerly known as the Central Park Five), your heart will hurt even more. You think about all headlines of Black boys and teens trapped in the system and wonder about the ones you never hear about. The novel is also co-authored by Haitian-American writer Ibi Zoboi.
OMG! When I tell you Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn is relatable content, it is indeed relatable content to this reader. Swap out a few things and this novel is damn near my autobiography.