Darnella Ford Crave

ISBN 13: 9780312304072

Crave

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9780312304072: Crave

Dear Jesus,

Gerry didn't work out because Gerry didn't work. And after spending one night in complete darkness because "pretty didn't pay the light bill," Gerry and I broke up and are no longer speaking.

Marshall wasn't a viable suitor because when he finally revealed himself to me, I found out that his breasts were larger than mine because he used to be a she. Marshall and I are no longer speaking.

Keith could have been the one. I met him at a taco stand and I was certain he was the "It Man." He was beautiful, articulate, and one my favorite things on earth, employed. When I was in his presence he felt like the last man on earth. But on our first date I became extremely irritated by this simple fact: his wife kept paging him during our meal.

So, Jesus, I am down on my knees begging for mercy. I ask for an eligible, employed, nonviolent single man with no current wives or husbands who has more teeth than felony convictions to enter my world and escort me to the rest of my life. Amen.

---from Michael (a woman, craving her "It Man")

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

About the Author:

Darnella Ford is a Spoken Word artist and performs regularly in the Los Angeles area, where she lives. She is currently at work on her next novel.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

GENESIS

There are countless numbers of people who walk around each day with a gaping hole in the middle of their heart and as a result they leak.

And long.
Need.
Ache.
And crave.

On one hand they are convinced love no longer exists, but on the other hand, they have devoted their entire lives to finding it. They become their relationships and their relationships become them as they take up the pursuit of a soul mate as a full-time occupation. These are the very people who walk, jog, run, and sprint aimlessly in whatever direction love was last seen in. Their every relationship is staggering and earth shattering.

Every one is the one.
Every disappointment is a devastation.

Every day is greeted by yet another opportunity to fall for the least unavailable human being on the planet. Every heartbreak tacks another six months in therapy onto time already served. They are so desperate for love they become stalkers of their own vision, seekers of their own illusion. And perhaps this is the most tragic element of all.

They will hunt it down.
Rope it.
Chain it.

Capture and inevitably kill love before realizing that the thing they search for is intangible and evasive. It is also aloof and fragile. These are also the same people who will spend their entire lives searching for love before realizing it does not make itself available to be found. They will extend themselves beyond heaven and earth to catch a glimpse of it before coming into the devastating knowledge that it is indeed invisible.

These are the people who entered the world hungry and needy, crowning headfirst from their mother's vagina with both eyes open, supercharged in their quest for love. They have transcended worlds, generations of time, and shape-shifted through many souls to find that which makes them whole and human. And of these people, I am the foremost.

Hold on.
Foreplay please.
I must officially introduce myself.
My name is Michael.
Hold up.
I am a girl.

I know the name rings of masculinity, but the day I was born these were the conditions: my father wanted a boy and my mother was on morphine. And that's how I came to be Michael Morgan for life.
My parents were seminormal, I think.
Hold on.
Rewind.

My parents may have been anything (read between the lines "everything") but normal. Don't take my word on it, though. You will come to your own understanding of their idiosyncrasies in due time and this much I promise you.

Please allow me to introduce my mother, Colleen. Sometimes I refer to her as the Mama Bear, probably a direct result of my childhood obsession with Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Mama Bear had beautiful brown skin.
Hips to the east and west of her small waist.
Plump breasts and big hair.

The moment I was expelled from her uterus and went "air born," she started tripping, and this was my genesis. The early days included random lullabies by the Mama Bear, which foreshadowed clues of her emotional instability.

Hush little baby don't you cry,
'Cause I jump out of my skin first and then I'll die.
Hush little baby don't shed a tear,
'Cause the Mother Goose will run away from here.

What version of "Hush Little Baby" was that, Mama Bear?

Damn.

"Isn't she perfect?" declared Mama Bear one night while pausing from her illogical nursery rhyme just long enough to consult with her husband, Sergio. Sergio was my father, but naturally, I often referred to him as the Papa Bear.

Papa Bear was the son of a Cuban immigrant and a black ditch digger. He was a beautiful mix of two struggling cultures, but I always felt that his greatest struggles were those found within the iron chains of matrimony, because Mama Bear was no picnic. No picnic at all.

Papa Bear bled into the background and was often upstaged by his wife's theatrics. He had two full-time jobs: street sweeper by day, punching bag for the Mama Bear by night.

"Isn't she perfect, Sergio?" snapped Mama Bear again because the Papa Bear did not answer her right away. "I didn't hear you say how absolutely perfect she was today. Aren't you listening? You're not listening to me are you, Sergio?" she asked, beginning to pout.

No one listens.
No one cares.
No one listens.
And no one cares.

Pouting was the norm for Mama Bear. As a matter of fact, I can hardly remember a time when Mama Bear wasn't pouting and pulling at Papa Bear's sideburns for all of his attention. Mama Bear didn't work outside the home, but she did work the last nerve of everyone in it. Tiresome and laborious were her daily mantras.

Sergio!
Sergio!
I need you to do this.
And do that.
I need you to be this and to be that.
Can you fetch, sit up, bark, and roll over?
Can you jump over the moon?
Chase after the sun?

"Sergio!" she snapped. "I cannot believe you're just standing there like a deaf-mute! Aren't you going to acknowledge how perfect your daughter is?"

"She's beautiful, dear," he would say just to appease my mother. Not that he didn't think I was beautiful, but was probably sick to death of his wife reminding him of it every second of every day for the last five and a half years.

"Perfect!" she would counter with a hiss. "I didn't ask you if she was beautiful, I asked you if she was perfect!" Papa Bear would pretend to ignore her, and she would be reduced to yet another dramatic performance.

"You don't love me anymore, do you?" wailed the tiresome Mama Bear. "And my twenty-eight hours of labor to deliver this child was in vain. And this nasty C-section scar on my bikini line was all for nothing," she pouted. "Sliced like a pig at the slaughter and it means nothing to you!" she bellowed, grinding on her husband's patience.

"Come on, Mother," said Papa Bear extending a stern voice and a free hand to his wife's tense shoulders. "Calm yourself down," he said coaxing his size eleven shoe between the truth and her attitude.

"I went through hell so I could have your child!"
"Will you let the child be?" Papa Bear said. "Come on, Colleen, and let her sleep."
"I love to watch her sleep," said Mama Bear with a great sigh. "She is perfect, isn't she Sergio? Just perfect."
"Come on, Mother," said Papa Bear, pulling on her pajama sleeves.

They would eventually leave my room and let me be, but Mama Bear would never let me be for long. How could she allow anything to be when she was so desperate to find her own blend of human perfection right here on earth?

I was six when I discovered how critical perfection was to Mama Bear. It was the day my mother decided to teach me to ride that evil demon known as the bicycle. The day would have been a blur if I didn't have such a sharp memory for details and devastation.

"It's time for you to learn how to ride a bike," she said one hot, muggy summer day, walking me to an abandoned field near the railroad tracks by our house. Dressed in all white, she yanked me down the road by one hand and the bike by the other. I stared at the bike with big eyes, taking it all in. It was so much bigger than me-to the point of being a monstrosity.

"Mama Bear," I said, because that's what I always called her. "How do you ride a bike?"

"I'll show you, angel," she snapped impatiently.

Mama Bear looked frantic and nervous, which at the time didn't alarm me because that was her typical look. By the time we found the "perfect spot," the Mama Bear had begun to sweat and her hair was unraveling from the inside out.

"Okay, angel," she said, pointing to the bike. "Pay attention. You're going to get on this bike, and I'm going to push you. Then I'm going to let go, and you're going to pedal fast and ride off into the sunset and catch the moon."

"Where am I going?" I asked again for clarification. Off into the sunset to catch the moon seemed like bogus directions to a six-year-old.

"Off into the sunset!" she shouted. "Like the old movie stars in the classics . . ."

I nodded.

What the hell?

"Everything has a happy ending in the movies," insisted Mama Bear. "Now get on that bike and ride off into the sunset."

Come on Mama Bear, even slow kids know that not everything has a happy ending.

"Come on, angel," demanded Mother, impatiently tapping her foot.

I cautiously mounted the bike as Mother held it steady. What the hell happened to the training wheels? And then without warning and like a raging bat out of hell she sped down the dirt road like a Lear jet, laughing wildly with her hair blowing in the wind. Her white flared pants looked like giant sails on top of ocean waters.

"Pedal! Pedal!" she cackled and hollered. "Ride off into the sunset!" was all I remembered her saying before she let go of the bike and I rode off into the side of a tree, flying headfirst over the handlebars, landing on the hard part of the dirt.

Banged up.
Bruised up.

And jacked up. I thought I was entitled to some short-term sympathy from the Mama Bear, but when she finally caught up to me the last thing on the menu was sympathy.

She looked mad. Stark raving mad with her hair swarming all around her head, hands on her hips, face twisted, lips curled upward holding firm to a pouting stance.

"What happened?" she screamed. "I told you to pedal! Not crash! Pedal goddamnit! Pedal!" she shouted in slow, grinding, overexaggerated motion.

I was mortified, standing in the back draft of her anger, which was tainted with coffee breath and the not-so-subtle whiffs of Aqua Net hair spray. And for the first time I was actually frightened of her, my mother.

Mama Bear.
Mommy dearest.
The exorcist.
Carrie.
Call her what you want, the chick was nuts!

"What happened?" she shouted so loudly that her eye sockets began to shake and roll back into her head. "What do you call that!? That was a long way from perfect!" she snarled. "A long, long way from perfect!"

"But I'm not perfect, Mama Bear," I said in defense of my entire six years on earth.

"Bite your tongue!" she gasped. "Let's go!" she snapped as she snatched my broken bike from the ground and with what seemed like superhuman strength or superhuman anger, she stomped all the way home with me on her heels like Lassie or Old Yeller.

How could she scream at me like this? Why hadn't she bothered to check me for cuts and contusions? Hello. Didn't she just see me do the tango with a tree? Instead she chose to wail, howl, and make a grand production out of an itsy-bitsy event. I wasn't trying to learn to fly the space shuttle, I was just trying to ride a bike for crying out loud. But that was no small feat to Mama Bear, it was everything. Come to think of it, everything was everything to Mama Bear.

There was no decent barometer for measuring stuff. Simple things became complex and everyday occurrences became chaotic. An uncomplicated show became a full-scale production and a glitch became a full-blown state of emergency. So me learning how to ride a bike at the age of six was as critical to my mother as an airline pilot learning how to land a 747 without taking out all of the passengers who had actually paid to have a seat on the plane.

Damn.
Stressful.

It was times like these that I ran to my Papa Bear. He always found a way to make me feel less like a child of my mother and more like a normal kid, whatever normal was.

I would sit on his lap and he would read to me from my favorite book, Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I had a special fondness for this particular story because Goldilocks was adventurous and bold. She seemed so free and had she not been a fictional character, I would have summoned her as my friend. I, too, wished to be bold and free like Goldilocks, but Mama Bear had her big foot on the nape of my neck and this snapped the freedom train in half at the neckline. There was also something special in the way that Papa read the Goldilocks story to me-it was the only calm part of my day and reasonable pause from my mother's mania. By the time Papa finished the story, I had begun to cry real tears while he supplied TLC to the tender spots.

"I crashed my bike today," I confessed.
"And so I heard," he said gently with one brow raised.
"Mother's really mad," I said, "isn't she."

Papa always looked around to make sure Mama was out of earshot and then he'd whisper, "Not mad. Just a little cuckoo." And then we both would laugh though we knew there was nothing funny about Mother being cuckoo all. We tried so many times to disguise my mother's obvious "imbalance" by swirling our fingers around our ears and labeling it "koo-koo."

Mama Bear made weekly visits to her therapist and frequent trips to the pharmacy to fill a bottle "to the brim" of whatever the hell it was that she needed to be kind of "normal" like the rest of us. But normal rarely lasted for long. My first day of school was a perfect example of just how abnormal she could be when unsupervised. As usual, she was jittery and impatient while driving me to school, cursing under her breath as though I were deaf.

"Get out of the way you motherfuckers!" she would yell to nonattentive pedestrians, then turn to me and smile as if she had just wished them good morning.

She'd smile and wink. I'd wink back, but when she turned around I would roll my eyes and think, koo-koo. And I'd also think, God I wish Papa were here. I felt like I spent my whole life wishing my Papa were here. And he was here, just not here.

I remember the smell of Mama Bear's crisp white linen pantsuit as she escorted me across the street. I also remember her toting a white leather bag with matching white shoes. She wore a face full of makeup, which soon turned soggy when she took it upon herself to give way to the drama that she was so famous for.

"Oh God!" she suddenly began to wail at the gate as I struggled to pry my hand loose from hers. She had me in what felt like a death grip as she continued to dig deeper into her emotional outburst. That's when I began to feel marred for life-humiliated in front of people who did not know me well enough to judge me independent of the koo-koo woman who had given birth to me.

"Oh God, I just can't bear it," she mumbled and stumbled about. This elegant woman with such a pristine look was making a bumbling fool of herself in front of all my potential playmates. The boys snickered as they walked past my mother, whose dripping mascara made her eyes look like those of a raccoon. The girls looked on in awe that someone her age could act up so.

"Mama Bear," I whispered almost in a panic. "It's okay," I said. "I'll be home before dinner."
Now that wasn't funny. Or should I say it wasn't funny enough for my mother to start laughing, cackling, and howling so inappropriately that I knew she had gone well beyond the limit of my living down her behavior.

"You are my perfect angel, aren't you? My perfect little angel and I love you so," she declared, kissing me on the forehead, smearing red lipstick across my forehead like a faded tattoo. By now I had come to despise the word perfect and knew that if there was such a thing as perfection, I wanted no part of it.

"I'll be here when the last bell rings!" she yelled. "I'll be standing right here!"

I smiled, then turned away and rolled my eyes, almost sprinting toward my classroom, hoping to seek refuge from the emotionally unstable woman otherwise known as my mother.

"I love you!" she yelled at the top of her lungs. "I love you so much!"

"Love you too," I replied under great obligation. It wasn't that I didn't love her or accept her love, it was just that her love came with so much drama it fe...

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

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