Friday, October 12, 2012

Connect With Me On Facebook

These days, I rarely update my blog anymore (between having problems with Blogger and using the computers at the public library, it's hard to keep up). It's easier to just post my thoughts on Facebook, so make sure you connect with me there. (Facebook.com/ZairesPlace)

Peace and blessings,

TC

Monday, September 10, 2012

9-11: May We Always Remember

I want to remember people jumping. Debris falling. Buildings collapsing. I want to remember people running. Endless crying. I want to remember terrorists’ faces. Blood splattered. I want to remember that day as vividly as the very first September 11th.

Eleven years ago, my co-worker came to my cubicle and told me the World Trade Center had just been hit and I dismissed it, told her it was a mistake…some pilot who went off course. I went on with my work like she hadn’t said anything at all (well, playing on the computer and pretending to work is more like it).

Minutes later, the second tower was hit. Murmurs went around the office and we began to realize it wasn’t an accident. We went to the multipurpose room and gathered around the television set to find out what was going on. Many people didn’t move as they took in the news. I was in shock, wondering about a friend who lived in the center of it all. I remember trying to call her and not being able to get through. It wasn’t until days later that I found out she was okay, but that was little consolation after I heard the numbers of all the souls who perished that day.

In the weeks and months after the tragedy, I remember crying non-stop. One minute I would be okay and the next I would bust out in tears. I took the terrorist attacks hard and felt guilty for not taking it seriously when my co-worker came to my cubicle. Now, I try to tell myself that there was no way I could have imagined the magnitude of what was really going on. I mean, it isn’t everyday that planes fly into buildings. But one major lesson I learned from that day is to ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION because you never know when something will be much bigger than you think.

For months after September 11th, I remember being afraid that a plane would come out of nowhere and hit my office building. To this day, whenever I hear a plane getting too close for comfort I get scared and my heart sinks wondering if it’s a terrorist attack and the plane is going to crash.

This past summer, I kept hearing plane engines over my apartment and started to freak out. I was about to pick my daughter up and duck for cover. Instead, I mustered enough courage to go outside and see what was going on. Turns out there was a jet show happening and I was relieved. Needless to say, September 11th has changed the way I see planes forever (not to mention how I feel when I see a clear day that looks “September 11th blue”).

During this time every year, I make sure I catch any documentaries that air to commemorate that horrible day (now that I’m blessed to have cable again, I was able to watch a couple of documentaries this past weekend). It’s my way of remembering…to never forget the horror that those who lost their lives went through…the thousands of stairs they had to walk down…the way people helped one another in the midst of complete and utter chaos. That’s the least I can do to honor those who died.

I will never forget what happened on September 11, 2001, and I plan on telling my daughter so she won’t either. May the souls that were lost rest in peace.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Bunch of Randomness

So, I got my computer back this week. A friend of mine took a look at it after my hackers took control of the cursor for the second time (see “The Case Against TC” and The Dangers of Social Media"). You don’t know how violated you feel when you realize that your every move has been seen by a hidden force that has a vendetta against you. And just imagine someone taking control of your computer while you’re on it and not allowing you to move your cursor or start inserting typos as you type. It’s scary and very unnerving.

When I first got my computer, I called her Mandy. Recently, I started calling her Christine (yup, like in that old Stephen King movie) because she’s possessed. As I said before, these hackers are experts at hiding their spyware, so I’m sure they’re still lurking in the background even though my friend attempted to get rid of them. I’m also pretty sure that these are the same people/hackers who keep listing the old version of my novel Zaire’s Place on Amazon for 40-50 bucks. They put the ad up and then take it down almost weekly, trying to auction it off to the highest bidder.

Just for the record, the paperback version of Zaire’s Place is out of print. As I said on my website, I am no longer affiliated with the publisher who published it (after a royalty dispute, we parted ways). I spoke my mind about the issue on Amazon and my website and I’m moving on. I have bigger fish to fry. Besides, I’m sure no one is foolish enough to buy that old version at such a ridiculous price. (But be sure to purchase the Kindle version, which is the only version that should be available. *ends shameless plug*)

Until I can get another computer, I’ll continue to use Christine as a word processor and go to the library for other things (not that the library’s computers are any safer, but it’s better than nothing). I know…this blog post is a total snoozefest so far. It’s taking me a second to get back into this blogging thing again (it’s been such a long time since I wrote my last post). Anyway, as you can see, this post is a conglomeration of my thoughts, hence the title “A Bunch of Randomness”.

Moving on. I have been fortunate enough to be staying with someone who has cable and I have been taking full advantage of it. I didn’t realize how much I missed cable until I laid hands on that remote. As soon as I began to search the “On Demand” section, I began to salivate at all that I had missed (music videos, my news shows, “Drop Dead Diva” on Lifetime.). *sighs in contentment* Cable is such a good thing.

I spend a lot of time watching music videos, especially Chris Brown’s. (Yes, I’m in love with him even though I wouldn’t want to be caught dead in a room with him…oh, the irony.) I’m amazed at how white-washed black music videos have become. Back in the day, you would see various shades of black women shaking their rumps for the camera. (Well, mostly light-skinned women.) Today, our black brethren have no qualms about having white women grace their presence and the black girls are sprinkled here and there. For example, when Chris Brown first came out, black girls were prominently featured in his videos (“Say Goodbye”, “With You”). Not lately. It’s kind of sad.

On one hand, I wouldn’t want any of my sistas on some of these “ho-deos”, but on the other hand I’m dismayed that our brothers don’t see us as attractive enough to feature us as sex symbols and would rather go out of our race. Of course this topic has been debated ad nauseam, especially with the light skin/dark skin dynamic. But now it’s taken on a new layer as white women are becoming the norm in our videos. It makes me wonder how things will be when my little girl grows up (not that I would want her to watch any of the hip-hop videos anyway). But it crosses my mind.

Another topic: politics. If you follow me on my Facebook page (Facebook.com/ZairesPlace), you know that I have been going off on political spiels and sharing my thoughts on the election almost every day. This race has made so many emotions well up in me because of the ugliness that it’s unveiling about race in this country, about class in our society.

Most of ya’ll already know that I’m so pro-Obama that’s it’s not even funny.And it makes me want to scream because of how they (the Repubs) are lying on him and belittling all his accomplishments (that new movie about the supposed Bin Laden leaks come to mind).

There’s a lot at stake for this election. I can’t imagine what this country would become if Romney and his cronies get elected. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen. And if Obama does get elected again (fingers crossed), let’s pray that he gets some balls and rough-handles those Republicans so he can get this country on the right track. As Spike Lee said on “Piers Morgan”, once a president wins a second term, he is more likely to do whatever he wants because his job is no longer at stake. Let’s hope so. We’ll see what happens.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Don’t Be Fooled By Appearances

The political season is in full swing and my man Obama is taking a beating. That jobs report was pretty bad. Okay, some people are saying it was awful. I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel my stomach sink as I listened to the news about the numbers. 

But here’s the thing: Don’t be fooled by appearances. What do I mean by that? I’m rereading “The Value in the Valley” by Iyanla Vanzant and one thing she says is never, ever be fooled by appearances. Things may look bad on the surface, but you don’t always know what is going on underneath. One economist on CNN says that he has confidence the economy is on the precipice of an economic explosion in the right direction. We must remember that we are now gaining (instead of losing) jobs. We must remember that more jobs have been created during Obama’s presidency than were created during all the years that Bush was in office. 

Again, don’t be fooled by appearances. Mitt Romney would have us believe that he is the solution to the economy. But, as Obama and his administration are saying, their (the Republicans’) policies have gotten us where we are today—in economic ruins.  

For years, under Bush everyone thought things were fine. Everyone thought our economy was robust and in good health. We got fooled by appearances. Underneath the surface, disaster was brewing, Wall Street was cheating folks, and the housing industry was collapsing. All of this was hidden and going on beneath the surface until one day it bubbled up and our economy nearly died.   

Under Romney (should he win), what if the same thing happens again? What if everything starts to look like it’s going in the right direction, but it really isn’t? Wall Street will be conducting business in the “same old, same old” fashion. The wealthy will be getting their tax cuts. Big business will go on as usual. And I’m sure the economy will start to look like it’s well, but what will be going on beneath the surface? 

Yes, Obama has wrinkles that he needs to iron out (and fast). He needs to grab Congress by the balls and make them do what they need to do to get this country rolling. I’m convinced the Republicans in Congress are trying to stonewall President’s O’s plans in an effort to bring the economy to its knees so they can win an election. The election means more to them than the people of America. Isn’t that a shame? 

Obama cares. He really does. I would rather go with him than a person who has a record of benefitting the rich and leaving the poor behind. I’m not going to be fooled by Romney’s appearance…the promises that he makes…because I know the catastrophe those promises—that fa├žade—will cause. And hopefully you won’t fall for it either.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rielle Hunter - The MHWIA


Unfortunately, I hate to admit it, but I have been the other woman before—one time knowingly, the other unknowingly. At both times, I believe Karma dealt me horrible blows for my inexcusable actions…blows that made me fall to my knees and repent for my erring ways. Rielle Hunter not so much.


The most hated woman in America (MHWIA) is now saying that she and her “Johnny” have broken up. I’m not buying it. She made the announcement on “The View” in what I think was a ploy to gain sympathy from women who were slated to eat her alive (and rightly so). First of all, she came on the show all covered up, unlike her “20/20” interview with a male host in which she bared her long legs for the world to see. I saw it as a manipulative ploy to gain sympathy from the ladies of “The View” so they wouldn’t light into her ass. It didn’t work.  


If you (she and John Edwards) can lie to the nation in such a bold and daring manner by coming up with baby daddy ruses, why not lie to America to gain sympathy so you can sell your book? They are smart enough to know that people wouldn’t touch that book if they are still together, so now they come up with the story that their tryst has ended? Insane. Again, I’m not buying it.



How dare that woman…the woman who slept with a married man—a married man who had a wife who had cancer nonetheless…talk about Elizabeth Edwards the way she does?! On “20/20” she called her a “witch on wheels” and blamed her for the reason why Edwards stayed—saying that Elizabeth knew how to make his life hell if he went against her wishes. And once again, the man who does wrong by breaking his vows comes out clean as a whistle while the women claw away at each other. Well, “woman” is more like it because Elizabeth can’t fight from the grave.



Shame on Rielle Hunter for blaming Elizabeth. Shame on her for letting John escape with little culpability. Shame on her for continuing to speak well of her and Edwards’ union without acknowledging how wrong it was for her (and him) to do what they did.



What Ms. Hunter is quickly forgetting is that the same way you get them is often the same way you will lose them. The only reason why she has/had her “Johnny” is because women around the world now recognize him for the scumbag he is and wouldn’t touch him with a 10 foot pole.



Look, people fall out of love and in love with someone new everyday. It’s life and we can’t help it. But to absolve yourself of wrongdoing and act like what you did wasn’t wrong is unbelievable and unacceptable. And I hope Karma pays her and “Johnny” a swift visit. But if we believe their lie, it already has because they are no longer together.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Shore - A Short Story


The Shore

By

T.C. Galltin

She washed up along the beach, her body contorted in the most unusual position. Her black hair was stringy and death discolored her skin. If she would have known it would have been her last week on Earth, she would have done things differently: told her family she loved them, apologized for wrongs. But no one knows when the end will come, do they?


The waves touched her skin repeatedly. The beach was quiet as the sun was beginning to rise, the purples and pinks dancing on the horizon. Maybe someone would find her, discover that she was missing, and soon her family would be crying from the news.


The seagulls called out to one another. They had found their morning meal, something to peck away at before the fresh meat rotted. Thank God Terra was beyond feeling because she surely would have gone mad at the constant barrage of beaks on her skin.


“Oh my fucking God.”


Daron Moore thought he was going crazy, that the alcohol from a hard night of partying was still in his system. He blinked, but the girl was still there. All of his roommates were back in the guest house, still asleep. He had wanted some fresh air, needed to get away from the smell of stale sweat and came upon this. He did a jig back and forth, placing his hand to his mouth, his head, his hip. What the fuck, he thought. He couldn’t think straight. If he had been thinking straight, he would have known to go back to get help.


He looked at the girl again. She couldn’t have been much older than him, her body naked. He couldn’t help but notice her ample breasts. At a moment like that, that was the last thing he should have been thinking of. Especially on a dead woman. Who did this shit? he wondered, still pacing back and forth on the sand. He touched his pockets, instinctively reaching for his cell phone.


“Damn. I left it back at the house.”


He stared along the beach, hoping someone else was around, that someone else would come along this scene and knock some sense into him, tell him that he was mad, that there was no body there. But there was no one else along the shore. Only him. And her. Her green eyes seemed to be staring at him…staring through him. Eyes the color of the water. He knew he would have to leave the girl there, but he didn’t want to. What if she washed away, carried by the waves back to the sea?


Oh, my Lord. I’m going to have to move her away from the water.


Daron bent over, his six-feet-six inches looking like some sort of awkward geometric form. He could smell the salt water all around them. Then it hit him, the horrid, awful stench of death. He couldn’t bring himself to touch her and could feel the insides of his stomach heave, threatening to come up. What the hell? he thought. I gotta move her. If I don’t and she washes back in the sea, they’re gonna think I’m crazy.


Finally, he made a feeble attempt to reach for her fingers, which slipped through his hands. He breathed in deeply and reached again, this time connecting with the dead form. The skin was hard from rigor…rigor… He couldn’t remember what they called it and began to think of all those times he had vegged out during biology class.


She was relatively small and her body moved easily this time and Daron sighed from relief, watching her legs leave a trail along the sand. There were no signs of trauma—no bullets, no knife wounds, no blood. There was no way for him to know that she had been strangled after being violently raped. All the fluids had been washed away by the salty water.


Terra, in the next realm, was thinking of this stranger who had just moved her body to safety, far away from the touch of the water. She could feel ghost whispers of the pounding her body received as she remembered how her killer went in and out of the crevices of her privates. She could vaguely see his evil grimace as sweat poured off him and fell on her neck, her face. She remembered his grunts as he went back and forth above her. She looked away from her contorted body, not wanting to recall what happened.


She saw the black boy as he sat on the sand, still in shock from his discovery. A peaceful walk during the morning was turning into a huge ordeal. She could understand why he wasn’t going to get help yet. We don’t always react like we should when we find ourselves faced with an unusual situation, especially something like finding a dead body. Yeah, we think we would be calm, cool and collected if faced with the unthinkable, but most of the time we aren’t. Terra found that out the hard way.


“Who the fuck did this?” Daron asked the empty beach. The only answer came from the laps of the water as they hit the shore. “Let me go get help.”


He finally came to his senses and began to make the jog back to the beach house, which had to be a quarter mile from where he found the body. The sun had already come up and was beating down on him. Out of breath, he barged into the house and looked around, trying to see if someone was up.


“Yo, Bobby!” he called, waiting for an answer from his roommate. Nothing. “Seth!”

Again nothing. Damn. They’re still drunk as shit, he thought. They can’t hear a damn thing.


He ran up the marbled steps, his tennis shoes smacking the stone and making noises in the silent, expensive resort. He went straight for their room, shaking Bobby violently.


“What the fuck is wrong with you, D?” Bobby said, throwing his arms up to shield himself from his friend’s hands.


“Someone…someone is on the beach. She’s dead, Bobby.”


Bobby rolled away from Daron and hugged his pillow. He must have thought it was some sort of prank. He was used to Daron and his pranks. He closed his blue eyes and ignored his roommate. If Daron hadn’t drunk all those shots, Bobby probably would have taken him a little more seriously. Daron popped him.


“Yo, if you do that shit one more time, I’m going to whop your ass.”


Daron hit him again and Bobby sat up, prepared to lunge.


“I’m not kidding, Bobby. There’s a girl on the beach. She got black hair and she’s our age. Come on. I’ll show you.”


Bobby looked at him like he had been using drugs or going crazy, but Daron brushed it off. When Bobby saw the body, he would be vindicated. Bobby better apologize for getting ready to start some shit, Daron thought, while Bobby was calling their other housemates.


All five of them made the trek to the beach as questions reverberated around them. Who was she? How did she get there? Who would do something like that? Beach Glacier was a private beach. Only a few people had access to it. Did someone from their area kill the girl? Had she been killed somewhere else and her body traveled the expanse of the ocean, only to land there?


Mitch would have to call his parents and let them know what was going down. But he wanted to see if it was a joke before he made the unwelcome call.


“Daron, if this is some sort of joke, it ain’t funny,” Mitch had said, staring Daron down. “You get us up at the crack of dawn and make me think about having to call my mom. You know how she is. I’m telling you now, it better not be a joke.”


They were almost there.


“Look,” Daron said.


Her pale body was glistening, the sun bouncing off it. Her black pubic hair contrasted with the brown sand and was visible from the distance.


“Holy shit,” Trey said, his Jamaican accent even more accentuated.


It was clear between the boys that something serious was afoot, something that would change them forever.


“You gotta be fucking kidding me,” Adam said, looking like he was about to puke. His blond hair was waving in the wind and his face was pale.


Daron felt possessive over the girl. He didn’t want his buddies to get too close and defile the bond that he felt for her. He had found her and felt the need to protect her. How goddamn ironic is that, he thought. She’s already dead. The worst has been done.


Trey pulled out his phone and Mitch stopped him before he could dial 911. “Wait a minute. There are five guys here. The cops are gonna think we had something to do with it. She’s naked, Trey.”


Trey looked at the guys and put the phone away. Terra exhaled from the safety of her spiritual home. What four out of the five boys didn’t know was that her killer was among them. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fighting on the Street/An Old Lover


It’s weird. I have been feeling the urgent need to revive my cause against domestic violence on social media. With the release of A Recipe for Disaster, my second (but first) novel and my computer issues, I haven’t been on top of domestic violence awareness. Well, yesterday, as baby girl and I were walking home, the Universe reminded me of why I need to continue to raise my voice against DV.

At first I thought they were playing, tossing love taps that young couples often engage in. But then I heard the resounding sound of fists as they landed and knew it wasn’t for fun. He hit her and she hit him back. In the middle of the sidewalk, a couple (about 20 years-old or so) was fighting.

They would throw a few punches as they kept walking down the street, saying a couple of words along with the punches. I couldn’t make out what they were saying. I kept walking up the street toward them. A little girl was crying and getting between the couple (she had to be about 7). My heart broke as I stopped with baby girl and wondered what I should do.

They were coming toward us and the punches continued. My first instinct was to get between them to stop the fighting, but I thought of my daughter and the rough section of town we live in and thought against it. I looked around for help. I saw a woman in a car on her cell phone and prayed that she was calling the police. In case she wasn’t, I fumbled around for my cell phone in my diaper bag and came up with a sippy cup and diapers instead. I cursed myself for not cleaning out the bag so I could find my cell phone easier.

My lips parted to yell “stop” at the couple, but nothing came out. And then I saw him. An old lover. Big. Tall. Strapping. I knew he would be able to stop it. He was walking out of a building toward his car. After years of not seeing him, my first thought in the midst of the frightening situation was, “Wow, he still looks the same. He looks good.” He had noticed the couple, too, but I don’t think he saw me.

“_____, stop them!” I yelled out to him. He said a few words to the young couple and so did I.

“Ya’ll shouldn’t be doing that in front of that baby,” I said. What I really should have said was, “Ya’ll shouldn’t be fighting period.” But we don’t always say the perfect thing in the middle of the moment. It’s only after the incident is over that we come up with the right words.

I looked at the young woman who had also been throwing punches. She looked at me. I saw tears rolling down her face, probably from a mixture of embarrassment and gratefulness. How many times had she and her boyfriend been fighting like that in the middle of the street? I wondered. The boyfriend glanced at my ex-lover. He was skinny and I knew he didn’t want any part of my big, hunk of an ex. They stopped fighting and kept walking as me and my ex watched. Finally, they parted ways and the ex and I were left standing there.

I introduced him to my baby girl. “What?! You done went and had a baby on me?” he said, commenting on how pretty she is, and I smiled with pride. “Yeah, her father is a bastard, but I love my little girl,” I said and told him about my baby daddy and my unlucky streak with life.

“Well, I’m rich now,” he said in that ever-confident, joking manner that he always had. He looked good, like life was treating him well. I glanced down at my worn-out clothes and felt embarrassed. This was the man who had seen me in my hay-day when I was able to get my hair done, buy nice clothes and strut around like my shit didn’t stink. I felt like I was reduced to a lower denominator, but I began to wear my scars with pride as I recounted the past few years. I’m still standing in spite of everything, I thought.

Then he did what I wasn’t expecting. He blessed me financially at a time when I need it the most. He put the money in my hand and hugged me and I couldn’t help but rejoice as I thanked him profusely. God is so good, I thought over and over again. The bitterness that tainted our relationship and caused it to end was gone. Old wrongs were forgotten as we stood there looking at one another. Yes, he’s still sexy. Could I see myself testing those waters again? No. But I can’t see myself with anyone right now. I have a lot of work to do on me before I get involved with anyone again. Besides, the only person I’m concerned about is my daughter and how I can get back on my feet. And knowing my ex, I’m sure he has a gaggle of women in his life right now vying for that #1 spot.

But I’m grateful. Grateful that our paths crossed and he was able to stop a potentially explosive situation. Grateful that he was able to help me and my daughter. Grateful that God used an instrument that once brought me pain to bless me so I could forgive and move on. Grateful that I got a reminder to continue the fight against domestic violence so I will never forget that there’s someone out there who needs to hear what I have to say. And so I’ll continue to speak on.