Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Drunk, Love, Peace

People look at me sometimes and say Ms. Whitfield(a name a may or may not have given myself that my friends have taken libertywith and use frequently) how did you become so fabulous and I will tell you exactly how-three words: Gwenevere Diana Whitfield(the original OG)

My mother is perhaps the funniest person I have ever known in my life. Hell she was THE first person i've ever known in my life. Take all the crazy that I am and put it in a natural born woman and you have Gwenenvere Diana. My mother is brass, loving, swears like a sailor, loves a good puff of Easter Grass and cannot, I repeat, cannot live without her 40's which she enjoys in champagne glasses with neon flexi straws. I know that you are thinking that I am possibly making this up, but you can't write anything as good as this. She is also one of the most accepting, patient, loving and beautiful lambs ever. Here's a glimpse into my life.

A little background.
I grew up a little country boy in a small town in NC. Our house was always the meeting place for our family. And by family I mean birth family, neighborhood friends, the drunks from under the tree or anybody who just didn't have anybody to go home to-they were all my family. There has never been any point in my life, that I can remember, where there wasn't somebody random living on my couch. You could say that we were ghetto fabulous. I had my own barber, my drunk step-grandfather named Duck, who would give me bowl cuts with an actual bowl he placed on my head. We always had "security" at our house. There was an army of old neighborhood libation lovers who sat under a tree near my house everyday; enjoying libations. At some point in the day they would get hungry and would stop by our house and hang for hours. Strangers were only allowed to get so close my family looked out for them and they in turn looked out for us. I had a "manny" and his name was Butt-Butt. Butt-Butt lived with us for as long as I can remember. He slept on our couch and did repairs when ever they were needed. He lived with us from the time I was 6 to 15. He was an old war vet who self medicated. The worst time of day for me was when he got the shakes, he'd take a drink and be better almost instantly. I liked when he got better, I hated the time when he looked like he was in agony. He used to sit with me on the front porch and teach me old songs that he learned in the war:"Girl from Impanima", "Write Myself a Letter" and some other old standards. He was the only example of a stable man in my life. My father played the ONLY game of "now you see me, now you don't." Although I was surrounded by males he was one of the only ones who taught me what it was to be a man. I think one of my strongest gifts is that I can see people. I can see above their circumstances and the war scars that life may have given them, bypass all that is their core-the meat of their being- innocence. Underneath track marks, damaged livers, and shakey hands are the people who taught ME love and to never judge anyone else. After all, if you are seen as the bottom of the totem pole, who can you judge? Isn't it ironic that those who have "the least" are more willing to accept and see people for who they really are, ironic?
Ms Gwenevere Diana never worried with whom she left me. She knew I was in good hands. I was a free spirit who entertained himself for hours. I never bothered anybody, except my sister, and I played by myself a lot. I hung out with grownups and hung onto everyword they spoke. I miss those moments these days. I miss staring in the eyes of someone who has lived life. I miss listening to their spoken and unspoken stories and realizing that every wrinkle on their body has knowledge stored in them. I was raised by simple folk. People who didn't need to use huge words to express themselves. People whose actions spoke eloquently what their non-formally educated minds could express. A legacy of love was left to me. My life's journey is to pass it on to you.

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