Humpty Dumpty….

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again”-Mother Goose

humpty-dumptyI remember learning this nursery rhyme as a child and thinking, “What a stupid poem! Why would Humpty Dumpty sit on a wall knowing he’s a damn egg and he could fall?” Today I still wonder this same thing but in completely different terms. Since the age of sixteen I have been a survivor of domestic violence, suffering mental, emotional and physical abuse at the hands of someone I loved. Now at the age of thirty-one I try my best to be conscious of the feelings I inflict on others. Careful not to subconsciously treat them as I was once treated. For anyone who has endured any kind of abuse [mental, emotional or physical] you understand how difficult it is to break the cycle. Once you break free from the chains that once held you captive all you want to do is run as far away as you possibly can and never look back. For some running away overshadows the healing process and you never quite heal; sure, the bruises fade and the bones mend but what about the damage that was done to your emotional self? Those are the wounds that require the most first aid.

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“Little Girl Lost”

Anyone that knows me well, knows that I am not at all fond of strippers and strip clubs. I don’t knock anyone’s hustle or the way they chose to pay the bills, but there has got to be another way. Some may say that my opinion is jaded because I have never been to a strip club outside of  Brooklyn, Illinois which is home to the ratchet of the ratchest strippers. When I think of a stripper I think of a man’s fantasy, like Demi Moore in “Strip Tease” or LisaRaye in “Player’s Club” but walk into the strip club’s around here and all you get is Ronnie and Trix! (There is nothing sexy nor enticing and or fantasy about them.)

However every now and then I swallow my pride and go into a strip club, mainly to get some chicken and fries (Anyone who is from the St. Louis or Illinois knows that the chicken in Bottoms Up is AWESOME! Don’t judge me.) Me going to a strip club is like a solar eclipse, it rarely happens. This past weekend was one of those rare occasions, a couple of my girlfriends and I went after a concert to curve our appetite and “people watch”. It didn’t take me long after I arrival to realize the reason I despise strip clubs in the first place, women degrade themselves to the utmost working there and men have no problem helping them. The things I witnessed made my stomach turn, from women sticking foreign objects inside themselves and setting them on fire to men sticking their tongues in places only water should go! (Please don’t misunderstand me, I am in no way a prude. As a matter of fact I hosted an amateur night contest at a local strip club years back but had to stop because the things I witnessed on a weekly basis begin to take their toll on me.) Over the years it had become common for me to see familiar faces or girls that I knew or had once known. It’s easy to see how a young girl who is looking for a why out can become trapped in the life of a stripper, the attention and the fast money alone is enough. Last Saturday was no different, I saw a couple of familiar faces as I had many nights before, but one face in particular hurt my heart. It had been many years since I’d last seen her and I could tell life had taken its toll on her, her eyes had deep dark circles around them and bags large enough to carry fifty-dollars worth of groceries. She’d gained a lot of weight and had scars all over her body and she had a styrofoam cup in her hand as she talked to the security guard. I overheard her tell him that she’d been working there longer than any other girl there, that she’d been there since 2006. Just hearing this hurt my heart, we attended high school together and she was two classes under me which means she graduated in 2005, if she graduated at all and went right into a life of pole dances and strip teases. I tried my best not to make eye contact with her so she wouldn’t recognize me, but I couldn’t avoid it. Her stare was blank and there was nothing behind her voice, when she spoke. “I know you, you went to Normandy. You’re Brendolyn.” she said looking me up and down. I just stared at her wondering what happened in her life to force her to choose this path.

I used to judge women who made the conscious choice to sell themselves short and prostitute themselves; be it on the street or in a licensed establishment. I realized that I have no room no right to judge, because I don’t know what happened to them in their lives causing them to have such low self-worth. I realized looking at the young stripper who had probably seen more things in her 5 year tour at Bottoms Up then I had in all my years of living, that she like me at one point in my life is a little girl lost. Like myself and many others she has been hurt, betrayed and ultimately damaged, however she is further gone than most. Looking at her made the little girl inside me want to reach out and hug her, tell her that she was worth more than the dollars that were thrown at her, I wanted to hold her close and tell her that her body is a temple and that she is beautiful. But I resisted the urge of the little girl inside of me and instead spoke the words of the woman I’d become. “I know you too, well at least I did.” I prayed for her that night and have every night since, my heart weighs heavy for not only her but for every woman out there like her. Women are GOD’s greatest creations, but we let the tongue and actions of MAN deny our own self-worth and sink to bowels of life. I learned a long time ago to stop voicing my opinion on the debate of strippers and prostitution, because women who live that and men who condone it will argue that in some form or fashion all women “whore themselves out” in some way or another. Some women are having sex with multiple men and have nothing to show for it while strippers  get paid to show their bodies and get fondled and by strange men. The question still remains, at what price do you sell your soul for just so  the money come so easily?


“Farewell to a Legend”

Jamestta Hawkins was born January 25, 1938 in Los Angeles, California. Jamesetta who would later change her name to be called “Etta James” gained fame in the mid 1950’s by recording and releasing  songs such as “I’d Rather Go Blind” and the classic love ballet “At Last“. Etta suffered many personal trials and tribulations throughout not only her music career but her personal life as well. Growing up with a prostitute for a mother and an absentee father she never knew, (speculations point to Rudolf ” Minnesota Fats” Wanderone as her father), she battled drug addiction and alcoholism. James was an unmatched talent, cross over into almost every aspect of the music industry, from blues to jazz her raspy voice can be compared to no other. Beyonce portrayed the late singer in the film Cadillac Records, a role that left James bitter and angry with the young singer especially when it was Knowles that was invited to sing “At Last” for the President and First Lady’s first dance. Her outrageous comments and explicit language out Etta in the limelight once again surrounded by negativity.

January 25, 1938-January 20, 2012

 James was diagnosed with leukemia In January 2011 and succumbed to the disease one year later just five days before her seventh-fourth birthday. May she rest in peace and finally be free from all that she has endured. Her legend will forever live on through her music.


Biting your nails, chewing your hair, tapping your foot; these are just a few examples of bad habits people tend to have. There is nothing abnormal about having certain bad habits, it is a part of human nature and we all have them. Is it abnormal however for a person to be your bad habit? defines a “habit” as: an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary. Keeping that defintion in mind, I ask the question again; is it possible to consider someone your bad habit? Maxwell’s song “Bad Habit” in my opion describes the response to a T. This song captures the lowest of the lowest points of an addiction to a person. A bad habit is just that right? An addiction? You feel like you want it, need it, and will do anything to get it! You can be addicted to a person therefore they can in fact be a bad habit. Bad habits are often hard to break! What or should I say WHO is your bad habit? We all have one!

"Addicted to the Game" (What’s your addiction?)

“Hady!” I screamed her name as I rushed into her arms, the bloody stains on my face marring the fabric of her lilac wife beater. “Hady! I can’t believe it’s really you!” I almost couldn’t fathom that for once in my life, God seemed to have gotten it right. I really thought this was the end. I thought for sure he had come back to finish me off. But instead, my angel, my sister, came to my rescue like she has more than a few times in our short lives.
“Bay! What the hell happened to you? Tell me who did this! Tell me!!” Hayden looked like someone had just killed her best friend, and in a way, they almost had. I had just endured a beating so terrible that it knocked me out cold, and the only blessing is that I couldn’t remember a thing. I don’t even know how I made it back to our house, or how I got Aiden with me for that matter.
“Hady I don’t even know! I don’t remember anything! All I know is I went out with Xavier, we went to the club just to chill for a minute, next thing I know, I wake up on the bathroom floor with a migraine and a fucked up face! I prayed for you, I prayed so hard, and you’re here! What am I gonna do? I gotta stop this!”
I cried into my sister’s arms, starving for her to hold me, needing her to tell me that everything was gonna be alright. It seemed as though ever since we made this move, while she’s been grindin’ trying to make this paper using her head, I find myself constantly in with the wrong crowd. I mean, I got more beauty and talent in the palm of my hand than any of these other wanna be famous bitches, but for some reason, these no good rappin’ ass niggas take advantage of a chick like me. I knew something had to change, but there was something about him that had me drawn to him. Like a bee to honey, or a bull to a matador. I was addicted