A few of my early readers commented about the eroticism in ‘Getting Some’. One or two noted that the sex made them look around to see who could see what they were reading. One friend said she couldn’t bring herself to read it at work and was anxiously watching the clock those first few days to see when quitting time would roll around so she could get home and get reading! Lol!
Yes, folks, ‘Getting Some’ has its fair share of sex, including a pretty spicy opening chapter – but it isn’t all about the sex. Here’s an extract I really enjoyed writing – no exposed genitalia in sight! Enjoy!
So I’m at home, minding my own business, settled into the lotus position on my prayer rug, facing East and saying the Rosary, when the phone rings.
“Hey, girl,” says Chama, “what you doing?”
So straightaway my spirit says Watchout! because if there’s one thing I know, it’s that Chama doesn’t call anyone at this time of the morning just to say Wzup! Not Chama. So I think three times about telling her and decide against it. I’m sorry, but she just isn’t the most tolerant person in the world when it comes to alternative spiritual practices and lately, it sometimes feels like she wouldn’t lose a wink of sleep if somebody wanted to burn me at the stake or something. Now, my spirit guide’s already told me what that means. What that means is: something is wrong with Chama. Not physically, mind you, but something’s probably wrong with her own belief system or some other aspect of her life. That’s precisely why she’s trying so hard nowadays to pick apart mine. Which, obviously, is in itself just another test from the Universe sent to help me to evolve. And I’m gonna pass it. But it just doesn’t make sense to give Chama another chance to rant about what isn’t really bugging her, know what I mean?
So I’m there with my legs still in Lotus and my mind saying Ohhhmmm and I’m trying to block any negative vibes she might be sending me through the telephone. I don’t want to end the call, but at the end of the day we are all on the planet for self-realisation, ya feel me? To tolerate anybody who tries to steer us away from that is just another form of suicide. This homegirl does not believe in suicide. If Chama persists with the negativity, I just might hang up the phone.
So Chama sighs through the long pause that ensues which, like the Guru says, is a dead giveaway for a restless spirit – she can’t tolerate any kind of silence for too long. And she thinks my life is complicated?
“Never mind,” is what she finally says, “how are you?”
“Well as ever,” and I’m trying not to show any irritation even though now I’m going to have to start the Rosary all over again, “question is, if you’re calling me at two o’ clock in the morning, how are you?”
So she pauses. But I already know how this is gonna go. She’s gonna make like now she’s found religion, nothing is ever wrong with her life, so, even though she’s probably pulling the Be-Jesus out of the hair on her head as we speak, all she’s gonna say is Fine.
“C’mon, spit it out,” I coax, and I unravel my body until I’m flat on my back in my spaghetti-strapped camisole and flannel pyjama trousers, looking up at the wind-chimes above the bay window in my bedroom in beautiful Bow, smack dab in the part of London’s East End I’d visualised myself living in for at least six months before I brought it into reality. And since I haven’t fulfilled my gratitude quotient for the day, I wanna go on record as thanking the universe for the flat of my dreams, for the ability to have a vision board, for a decent bloke who loves and cherishes me, for friends, for my Guru. Did I forget anything?
About the flat. Six months. Six months sleeping in the spare room at Coco’s after I’d finally left my last boyfriend’s digs and before I found the flat I’d been seeing in my mind’s eye during meditation: all the benefits of London (a view of the cityscape at night, a cheap off-licence on the corner, a breezy two-minute walk to the tube) and none of the usual disadvantages (traffic noise, lack of trees, a bath instead of a shower!). And sleeping at Coco’s wasn’t easy, let me tell you. First of all, you have to deal with all the flesh! The girl has meat with everything: bacon for breakfast, steak for lunch, lobster for dinner, even her crisps are meat-flavoured. Would you like some chicken, Tasha? Is lamb alright for dinner? It’s a wonder she looks as good as she does. Can you imagine how much bad karma she was generating? I had to be burning sage and saying healing prayers daily just to keep my aura clean. And then, the suggestion of death was everywhere, too – the fur coat in her closet, the snakeskin on her shoes and belts, the leather briefcase she takes to work every day. It’s like, Coco’s gauge for how large she’s living is how many living things had to die for her. I was calling my Guru’s hotline almost ten times a day at one point, just to cope with all the negative energies in that place.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the universe won’t be hurried and the fastest way to get through something sometimes is just to endure it, feel me? That was the lesson in that experience. And when I passed that test, I knew it, because all that flesh hardly bugged me anymore. And then the letting agent showed me this flat. And yes, it comes at a price – it’s practically two-thirds of my disposable income in rent each month and I had to take out a pay-day loan just to come up with the security deposit. According to Chama, I should have stayed put with Coco until things evened out for me, financially. But, you know what? Chama is a cheapsake, more than likely as a result of a misplaced focussed on lack. Besides, she wasn’t the one who had to live with Coco. I’ve been in this flat now for just over a year and as far as I’m concerned? My rent is a small price to pay for the flat of my dreams. Especially when you think about the choked-up one bedroom I used to share with Auntie Trina and her three in that roach-infested building in Bedstuy.
You’ve come a long way, baby!
And anyway, thinking you’re not able to afford something is just the ego’s way of tricking you into a mentality of lack. It’s Universal Principle Number 1 – as within, so without. If you think you can’t afford it, you won’t be able to. As far as I’m concerned, my debit card draws on the Bank of the Universe – and that account is limitless. This flat is nothing short of a bargain.
“Just thought I’d see if you were up,” Chama sighs, “I couldn’t sleep.”
“Where’s Tola, then?”
And I’m asking ‘cause my spirit guide (I call her Pam) sniffs an argument. Actually, when I close my eyes and focus in on the images Pam’s sending me, I’m getting images of conflict – soldiers fighting. Soldiers aren’t good. Neither are snakes, which is what I see next. We talk with the images ‘cause Pam’s been in spirit form for a while so sometimes I think she finds it a little hard to relate things in a way modern mortals can understand. Plus I think she’s French.
“He’s snoring away in the bedroom,” Chama says bravely, “but I’m downstairs ‘cause I can’t sleep – you know how that goes.”
Have you ever watched those television programmes where the psychic meets someone in the street and offers a reading? They always say ‘do you wanna hear everything?’ because psychics know that most times, it isn’t that people need to have Old Uncle Fred or Sweet Granny Wyn come back from the great beyond to tell them that their lives are a mess or something is wrong with their bodies or Mamma Winnie is at peace on the other side, it’s that they need to be ready to hear what they already know themselves. Universal Principle No 2 – when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. It absolutely doesn’t make any sense asking Chama about the conflict she’s obviously experiencing unless she’s ready to admit to it. Feel me?
In addition to which, now that Chams has found religion, she’s way too busy convincing herself and everyone within earshot that it’s the best thing that ever happened to her and the answer to all ills, to acknowledge that something in her life might actually be going wrong. And the something’s showing up nowadays in all sorts of ways, if you ask me. Like, Chama’s always been, shall we say …. voluptuous. But lately? If you dressed her in red and put her in a line of double-decker buses, let’s just say that it would take a while before you realised that she wasn’t on a route. Since she got married six or seven years ago? My best friend has become huge. Sure, she dresses it up right well – she may even be the poster-girl for plus-sized style, but when she orders the full English breakfast at Ali’s and silences Coco’s comments about the virtues of the fruit salad with one of her cutting comebacks, all I see is pain. And the worse thing about that kind of pain is the effort it takes to cover it up, ya feel me? And if the weight isn’t enough of an indicator? There’s the fact that she keeps pulling the hairs out of her own head. And the fact that she’s now thrown herself into her new church with such zeal, that she can’t utter two words without one of them having something to do with Blessed, which, any way you look at it, is a problem.
But I can’t help Chama to face that something if she won’t even admit it’s there.
“You should wake him,” I say naughtily, “maybe he can think of something that will put you right back to sleep.”
But Chama doesn’t acknowledge the implication. Instead she says, “He’s got an early meeting tomorrow.”
So I say “And you’re staying downstairs so he’ll get his rest, awwwww, how beautiful is that? I gotta tell Kerin this one when he comes in.”
And Chama laughs too – and it’s not my job to tell her her laugh is hollow. She’s the student, feel me? And she’s just not ready to hear it.
“So where’s Kerin?” she comes back, thinking that she’s steered the conversation safely away from her own love-life.
So I tell her he’s not in yet, he must be working late again. And just like that, she takes the opportunity to mount a platform she can mouth off on.
“Must be?” she starts up, “you mean, you’re not sure?”
So I’m patient with her, right? A hell of a lot more patient than I would have been back in the day. And I say “Chama,” in the tone I say my ‘Ohhhmmmmms’ in, cause the whole universe vibrates at that level, right, and it’s supposed to calm you down, “Kerin is his own man. We don’t subscribe to the stereotypical notions of what love is or isn’t. Our love is our own and we’re both committed to it, but I accept that he’s his own person and if he stays out late, well, that’s his choice.”
And I think I’ve set it out, straight and plain and still peaceful, right? I’m not telling her to butt out or mind her own business or take a flying leap, preferably into the middle of the conflict that’s making her tear her hair out. I’m just giving it to her straight, no chaser. But with love. But, I can still hear her rolling her eyes on the other end, resisting the urge to tell me what she thinks my man is really up to. I can feel it. And so, maybe, once upon a time, she might have been right. ‘Cause without me saying a word she knew about Barrington and his addiction to beating the shit out of anything he was loving (Ohhhmmmmn, I gotta take a cleansing breath every time I think about him) and she told me from the get-go that Taylor was never going to leave his wife and, alright, she had warned me from Day 1 that Ferris sounded suspiciously like a man one of her book club buddies had two babies by, even though he swore to me (God, I shudder at the memory) that he never had a child in his life.
But she and Coco are also the ones who sent me on the cruise that saved my soul. And she, of all people, should be able to see that everything is different now. She, of all people, should know that, now I’ve cleared all that negative energy from my past, and really started looking into myself? I can feel when things and people are wrong for me. I get the signs from the Universe, ya feel me? And everything the Universe is saying about Kerin is good.
“It’s not about that,” Chama responds briskly, “if it’s the wee hours and he isn’t home and he hasn’t called, he could be dead somewhere. It’s just common courtesy to let you know where he is.”
Ohhmmmm. Ohhmmmm. Ohhmmmm.
“I’m sure he’d not dead, Chama, if he was I’d feel it in my spirit.”
Or Pam would tell me…. in pictures.”