Monthly Archives: September 2011

This is a part 3. For parts 1 and 2, please go to the links at the bottom of this post.

They went through a door that Brittany hadn’t even seen when she’d gone to throw away her cup, but she figured heightened awareness was probably another effect of idolhood. How strange that I would have decided to use the trash directly across from the place I didn’t even know we were going to, she thought.

Taraji didn’t explain that any door they went through would have been the right door—that was part of idolhood: all doors were open to you. She still wasn’t sure what was compelling her to bring Brittany into the secret world that existed between the one in which they all lived and the one to which they would all one day ascend. Not everyone could handle seeing beyond the veil, after all. Since becoming an idol, Taraji had come to understand that this is part of what drove the drug abuse that had grown to be synonymous with the Hollywood lifestyle (the other part was, of course, excess). Brittany, she sensed, was still building her inner character, but Taraji felt that this exposure would strengthen, not shatter, it.

As they passed through the ornate door, leaving the sunny LA fall day behind, entering the shadows of the idolhood liminal plane, Taraji paused in warning.

“The thing to remember while we’re here, Brittany, is that everything here is real,” she started. “But it’s only as real as you make it. Your experience while here is real, but understand that everything here is an illusion.”

…………………

It was like Cirque de Solei and Halloween: a garish distortion of what a social club should be (from what Brittany had seen of them on TV), and what was possible. It was big, and it was dimly lit with a yellow light that seemed to have no source. The walls stretched upward to the point where they appeared to curve toward each other, and though the room and its occupants were modeled on normalcy, they were inherently warped from excess. Everything in the room was overdone: The room itself was overdecorated; the occupants were overdressed. They over greeted each other, their hugs and air kisses seemed to be pantomimes of genuine showings of affection. When Brittany could bear to look into their faces, they seemed to over smile, plastering faces that looked carved with grins that bordered on sneers. The pitches of their voices floated over Brittany, which relieved her because she was afraid of what they would do if they passed through her ears. There was music, but the music itself seemed to know that it was there for no other reason than to meet an expectation, and so it was jarring, hostile even, in its knowledge that nobody was listening.

Brittany drew her breath and reached out to Taraji to settle herself. “What is this place?” she asked.

Taraji, who had shed her wig, glasses and jacket was almost surprised she was solid enough to be touched. “This is idolworld,” she said. “This is the outward manifestation of what you all worship.”

Brittany shook her head. “I don’t worship this,” she said, too stunned to ask Taraji what she meant by “idolworld,” and “outward manifestation.”

“It’s hard to talk in here,” Taraji replied. “Let’s go.”

…………………..

They left out of the same door they used to enter, not because they needed to, but because Taraji thought it best not to show Brittany any more elements of idolworld while she was still processing what she’d just seen. Taraji could sense from her energy that it hadn’t been a happy scene for the girl, and that was good. That meant that her material desires didn’t affect her enough to alter her inner sight.

…………………..

It was late when they got back to Taraji’s Beverly Hills home. Brittany had spent the rest of the day and night alternating mentally between trying to push past the scene that still hung behind her eyelids (she was, after all, in LA with an idol escort) and succumbing to it, returning to it, deconstructing it like a book for her Literary Criticism class so that she could find some kind of meaning in that disturbing sight.

She was beginning to doubt that it was real. She was beginning to doubt that it was real, that Taraji was real, that she was really in LA being chauffeured to various places that seemed so normal on the outside—but who knew what lurked behind each door.

It was late when they walked in, and later still for Brittany, who was operating on the three-hour time difference.  But the day had been too eventful for Brittany to sleep, and Taraji’s energy level hadn’t dropped all day. She looked as fresh walking into her home at midnight as she did when Brittany entered her limo at 2 p.m. that day, though she hadn’t eaten or drunk a thing the entire time they’d been together.

Taraji gave Brittany the chance to take off her shoes and set down her bag before turning to her. “Are you ready to talk about it?”

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The Omniscient Taraji P. Henson (pt. 2)

Figueroa Street in Downtown LA's Financial Dis...

Image via Wikipedia

This is a part 2. For the part 1, click here.

………

Brittany blinked. Then refreshed her page. But it was still there—a comment from Ms. Taraji P. Henson herself. Brittany couldn’t believe it. She didn’t know that idols actually engaged with their fans, and Brittany certainly didn’t consider herself to be Ms. Henson’s biggest fan. But there it was. I will show you how.

Show me how? Brittany thought. Isn’t Ms. Henson notoriously single?

……………….

Taraji flipped through the May issue of Essence that featured her on the cover. It was one of the last times she was able to be photographed—since her fanbase had grown, so had her power, which in turn affected the frequency on which she existed. Now, most cameras could not make enough sense of her wavelengths to capture an image of her that was readable to the human eye—just one more “surprise” addendum to the secret world of IdolHood that existed within Hollywood.

Friends and family said she “changed” since she’d become an idol—she laughed ruefully at how right they were. Taraji knew without knowing that her existence would diminish when her fame did, but something compelled her to continue to strive…it was the same fever that gripped all of the other idols in her industry: at first, you’re just trying to make it. But then you get a taste of the fame and you see how being worshipped changes you; it’s addicting. Physically, Taraji had never looked or felt better. She hadn’t slept or eaten in months—she didn’t need to anymore. Her facebook fan page newsfeed was more nourishing than any multivitamin, and the energy she got from her fans’ thoughts and prayers was more energizing than any night’s sleep. Taraji knew she was something other than human, but she suspected that what she was, was something better.

………………….

“She commented on my status,” Brittany told CiCi. “Did you see it?? She said, ‘You can. I will show you’ How does she even know what I mean?”

“I don’t know girl, but I’m looking at your page right now and I don’t see no comment,” CiCi replied.

“Must be the privacy settings, because I’m looking at it too and I still see her comment clear as day. How does she even know what all three I’m referring to??”

“You know those idols,” CiCi said. “They have a way…they always know their fans.”

“You right bout that girl, but listen. Eddie is coming over tonight, so I gotta go take a shower and straighten up my place. I will talk to you tomorrow.”

“Eddie is comin over tonight?!” CiCi repeated. “I thought y’all were done!”

“Well we are friends and friends go over their friends’ houses,” Brittany replied coyly. “He’ll probably spend the night, but that don’t mean he gettin’ any.”

“Haha I know that’s right girl! Hold out on him! Love you.”

“Love you.”

And with that, they hung up.

Even though they weren’t having sex, Eddie still spent the night regularly. Brittany told herself she could handle this because they weren’t having sex, but she secretly wondered if his spending the night meant more to her than it meant to him. Now when he spent the night with her, the two would sleep completely entangled, faces inches apart, and wake still intertwined. That had to be intimacy, right? Brittany asked herself.  You can’t fake the way you sleep with someone…even if the cuddling before sleep were feigned, if it weren’t actually real, he would move away during the night. Right?

Just then her cell phone buzzed, and the facebook icon appeared on the screen. A message from Taraji P. Henson.

Come to LA. I want to show you some things. Your eticket has been sent to your Gmail account.

And then her Gmail icon flashed.

……………..

Taraji had never before interfered so directly with a fan’s life, and there was nothing about this particular fan’s situation that made it so exceptional. But listening to her instincts is what had led her to this ever rising plane of existence, so Taraji had learned to follow them in these sorts of matters. Something kept telling her to reach out to Brittany Nunya. Somehow, it felt like helping her would allow Taraji to help herself.

………………..

“So do you still think that there’s a God, then?” Brittany asked, licking the last of her Pinkberry frozen yogurt from her spoon. They were walking down the street. Taraji couldn’t remember the last time she’d indulged in something mundane. Due to her heightened plane of existence, Taraji had to guard others from her image carefully, adding tangible elements to her intangible makeup with wigs, and oversized shades and jackets. She’d started to notice the sensitivity of those who were pure humans to her unaltered self: the way they averted their eyes, the way they froze or became frenzied. The same was true of her voice: she had to be sure she spoke slowly and low during the few times she had to speak directly with a fan.  Add to that the sport some photographers made of capturing her high-frequency image, and a simple stroll down the street became complicated for most idols.

At first, Taraji worried that bringing a girl from a place like Virginia, virtually devoid of idols, to Hollywood, a place that practically radiated on its own from the fallout of idol energy, might harm her, especially since the express intent of the visit would be to spend time with the idol. Taraji noticed, though, that those who spent an extended amount of time in her presence adjusted to her frequency and were able to perceive her without difficulty, and so she decided she was not worried about inflicting any lasting damage on Brittany by having her come to LA.

“Do I believe in God?” Taraji repeated, carefully monitoring her cadence and inflection. “Of course. In fact, I can say I believe now more than ever. If my fans’ adulation can heighten my existence, then how much more could worshippers throughout the world over the course of millennia heighten God’s? I can’t say I believe in a Christian sense anymore, but in a God? Absolutely—I’m proof of the process.”

They stopped for Brittany to toss her frozen yogurt in the trash and Brittany thought about how strange it was that she would be walking through Downtown LA with Taraji P. Henson on a regular Tuesday afternoon.

Brittany turned toward Taraji and tried to look directly at her. It was like starting at the sun. Brilliant, but it made her eyes water. She looked away.

“Why did you bring me here?” Brittany asked.

“There’s something I want to show you,” Taraji replied.

The Omniscient Taraji P. Henson

Actress Taraji P. Henson at 15th Screen Actors...

Image via Wikipedia

Two nights ago, I had the strangest dream/idea for a story.  What if Taraji P. Henson‘s status as a celebrity made her something of a demigod, and what if her facebook fan page made her omniscient?

Below is the first part of that story. I hope you enjoy.

“I’m just sayin, why can’t you ever have both?” CiCi laughed. “Sure, we get along. And he wants to eat my pussy. But he’s just not cute!!”

Brittany laughed with the girl who was the first friend she made when she moved to Virginia in 11th grade. Ten years later they lived three hours apart and kids and work and graduate school had changed their lives, but they would still always have one thing in common: boys.

“I’ll see your ‘can’t ever have both’ and raise you ‘can’t ever have three!’ Eddie is cute, and we have a great time together! But he don’t wanna be with me!”  Brittany declared before collapsing into giggles.

The two young women laughed until they had to get off the phone and get back to real life, but later that night Brittany’s mind wandered back to their conversation.

Well, more precisely, her mind wandered back to Eddie. It tended to do that lately.

She wasn’t hurt about Eddie per say—they’d had a good time together and she’d taken it for what it was. She ended it when her feelings and thoughts began to trespass into the territory of “be together” from the “friends with benefits” zone they’d occupied for the past two months. So it was too early on for her to be hurt. But she couldn’t help but to think about the time they still spent together; the way he seemed to be in tune with her thoughts and emotions; the way she couldn’t help but to be fully herself around him, even when she’d meant to heighten her allure by affecting an air of mystery.

Most of the time she stopped her mind from voicing the faint wish that was skulking in the shadows of her heart, but something seized her that night (most probably the white zinfindale/jameson/gingerale/tropical punch mixture she sometimes sipped on at the end of a long day) and before she could reason the impulse away she fired off a facebook status: Why is it that you can never have all three?

………………

Taraji P. Henson scrolled through her newsfeed blandly. It was the only action that quieted the constant beseechings that poured through her being from facebook fans that found her to be their only source of comfort. When she was away from her computer, they vibrated within her—all the individual thoughts and cries amassed into one gigantic pulse that pulled her toward the computer, begging her to distribute some of the power within her to sooth hearts and improve lives.

Though she loved her fans and usually found their status prayers moving, Taraji had been an idol long enough to understand that most of the time what her fans needed was to work things out among themselves—most people just needed a figure to project the other side of their thoughts onto so that they could come to their own conclusions.

So Taraji was somewhat surprised when the seemingly innocuous status posted by the fan Brittany Nunya in Virginia, Why is it that you can never have all three?, resonated with her in such a way that she was compelled to reach out to Brittany.

You can, Taraji wrote. I will show you how.

It’ll Be Aight

I remember being a little girl and feeling like I was just…just going to DIE over this or that issue and being told by my mom that “…It’ll be aight.”

Or, “You’ll live.”

I’ll live?! I’d think to myself.  That’s your response to my earth-shattering, life-quaking event? I’ll live?!

How crass!!

Funny thing about time, or just a wee bit of age is…it was aight. And I did live.

And now when I’m talking to my friends about the things that seem to be earth shattering to them, I find more and more that the three most appropriate words I can think of in response to their crises are, “It’ll be aight.”

I have morphed into my mother (but that’s the subject of another post).

When my mom used to tell me that “it’ll be aight,” I used to feel so misunderstood. I always felt like that was such a surface response to my problems that ran so deep and that being given such a cursory response to my world-shifting problem was proof that I was alone in this world (Yes, I was a dramatic kid).

…but it do be aight.

I say this now to my good friends, and it’s not that I don’t care. I do. It just truly seems, to me, to be the best thing to say.

I was the type of kid and teenager (and OK possibly young adult) who thought every problem was the end of the world. My standard declaration was “OMG I’M GONNA DIE!!!!” There were many a day I couldn’t get out of bed or leave my room for things I either can’t remember now or am juuuuuuust barely mature enough to go ahead and admit maybe were not so earth-shattering in hindsight.

That’s just how I rolled.

So I have, like, not died a lot by now. And in fact, quite conversely, things…have…pretty much always…been aight.

Egg on my face.

I think we’ve all seen that little Internet blurb that goes something like “5..I love you mom. 15…I HATE you mom. 25…Mom, you were right (etcetera, etcetera) .”

I guess I’m approaching the “Mom, you were right,” stage in my life because a lot of the things I was told when I was a kid are starting to resonate with me in a whole new way.

I guess this is what being just a teensie bit more mature feels like.

….now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my current boy-related end of the world crisis. Just kidding, I’m not worried about no boy. After all, it’ll be aight.

 

25: The Moment I Decided I Had Swag, I Did

I turned 25 this month, and my motto for this year is “more money, less stupid” because for the first time in my adult life I actually feel less stupid than I did this time last year PLUS I am living a little more comfortably.

What more could a person even ask for?

People ask me how I’m doing and I feel like I’m being one of those jerks when I respond, “freaking fantabulous. I love my program, my internship, where I live, I look good, I feel good and I have great relationships with my friends and family members.”

What. A. Jerk. (OK maybe I don’t have to be so detailed about how every aspect of my life is awesome–but I’m grateful to God that it is and I want to express that gratitude!)

Or worse, what a “oh yeah, welcome to Facebook, where everyone’s life is perfect POSER.”

I can’t help it though guys–I’m really happy right now. And I want to enjoy it because I know that not everyone gets to experience this magic synchronicity in life where they like everything about their life and also because I know that there will come times when everything is not awesome, and I really want to have the memories of how good I feel right now to sustain me.

I just turned 25, and I must say I’ve learned a lot this year. I guess that’s part of why I’ve been silent lately (not blogging–the other is because I didn’t like how my blog had degenerated into a chronicle of my thoughts about boys; I told myself I wasn’t going to blog again until I had something other than boys to talk about).

Part of what I’ve learned this year is to hold myself together. To keep some things in (haha even if that seems hard to believe due to the word vomit-ie nature of this blog). I was drawn to writing when I was younger because I wasn’t really raised in an environment where children were even considered as having things to express–writing was often the only medium I had to say the unsayable, if you will permit me a little creativity in language. When I discovered this new electronic medium of self-expression that was constantly accessible and in the written form, it really permitted me to go balls to the wall in expressing my every thought and feeling.

The past summer, though, I’ve been really coming to a place of quiet in myself, more than I’ve ever been before, and as a result I’ve started to find less and less of what I think to be things that could be the subject of blogs, tweets, fb statuses and the like.

It’s a subtle change, and one that many of my friends probably wouldn’t even really believe because I’m still just as talkative and bubbly with them as ever, but I guess I’ve started to understand that you only share some things with some people.

This, my friends, I believe is the beginning of self-restraint. And that’s probably the most important thing I’ve learned this past year–a little self-restraint. Am I a master at it? By no means. I spent my last $18 last night on some chicken tenders and wings in response to a massive meat craving (I only eat 1 meat a day now and it works fine for a day or two, but I always rebound with these powerful meat cravings) just last night. I got a long way to go.

But I can tell by the way people respond to me that I have come a pretty far already. Little things just dropped in casual conversation that show the way they view me, things like “Oh, but I already know you would never….” And in my head I’m half-laughing because if they only knew me 2 years ago. But they’re right. Me at 25 would never [insert action that is so foolish that a 24-year-old might do it but a 25-year-old has learned her lesson and outgrown–say impulsively get married?? =P ]

That feels good. More money less stupid. Every effing year. I wish the same for all of you too.