“The idea that sex is something a woman gives a man, and she loses something when she does that, which again for me is nonsense. I want us to raise girls differently where boys and girls start to see sexuality as something that they own, rather than something that a boy takes from a girl.”
— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
A few months ago I was attending the Montego Bay chapter of the University of the West Indies.
Now i am at home with my six-month-old son, trying to grow him up, the best way i can.
His father comes and sees him but hardly and even if he does come around, he has to do so without his mother knowing.
His mother says my son is a jacket.
When i got pregnant, he stopped talking to me.
He said he did not want anything to do with me and the baby.
It was the hardest 9 months of my life.
I was in love with him.
I left school. I did not have much up to the time of my baby's birth.
But my mother helped out.
I am raising my son on my own.
It is hard.
I just think that maybe if his mother was more supportive, he would have been a better father.
She does not like me.
I do not know why.
I love my son.
All when they put me through hell i love my baby.
How can someone be evil to a child.
My son has never done anything to this woman.
My mother thinks i should forget about them and move on with my life.
I am trying but it is hard.
In the midst of chaos, pain and global terror, the miracle of life persists.
This Kim is my Saint...
Tears flooded my eyes as i watch him move his hands on the sonogram screen.
The doctor said that he looked great, a little precocious (that is inherited) and big for his 14 weeks+
My extension, i don't know where my heart begins or where his ends.
I knew i cared about him when one morning, i slipped and fell on my butt, i immeadiately went into panic mode.
I wanted him to be okay.
My Zahir. It scares me.
I understand your situation Kim.
I am afraid.
I am bringing him into a less than favourable situation.
I have not heard from his father in three months.
He has gone unresponsive to my sporadic text messages about the baby.
Maybe i deserve his abandoment for whatever just reason his small mind comes up with.
But to hurt a child.
He not the first child, Dre hurts.
It is a pity i had found no comfort or victory when Ivy complained of his less than adequate paternal involvement in his son's life nor his exes complains of recurrent abortions.
I felt slightly advantageous (stupid based on what i already knew) when he aggresively pursued this baby issue with his constant appearances with pregnancy test and demanded i give him a baby.
I stupidly fell for that again.
Dre wanted a baby with me because he hoped i might be more generous with his latest endeavours.
He wanted a child, because he thinks i will pay him to be it's father.
It is warped idea, something i suspected but cemented when he abandoned the prospect of fatherhood as soon as i decided i was not going to give him the millions he demanded.
Dre should know that no amount of kindness will make him a better man and no amount of babies would let make me subsist his lifestyle.
Dre represents everything that is wrong with this society.
Women like me empitomizes the true essence of stupidity that fuels "everything that is wrong with this society"
My mother said "The same stick weh lick black snake ago rass the yellow one to"
Dre has not spoken to his other son in almost a year, he did not even bother to call his child and wish him happy birthday.
My mother said if he did not care for the one is here, why would he be even remotely concerned about the one that is not born.
My mother equally could not understand how Eunice the purveyor of morality and values did not see it fit to encourage her "Unsullied" son to take up his paternal repsonsibilities.
But who am i kidding.
Eunice had blatantly told me that Dre told her he had no intention whatsoever of taking care of the previous child that died prematurely.
She had said it with such coldness and sneer in her voice.
I could hear now.
I had shuddered everytime i thought about it.
She said it in such a way as if she fully supported what her son remarked.
I could not fathom how any woman, or a woman who raised several children on her own could champion such a notion.
But such is life.
Whether we like to believe it or not. Women are the cornerstone of society.
I have not studied one social malady of our society without inference to a females contribution to the regression and progression, vice versa of this society.
Nine out of ten men i know do not take care of their children because his mother thinks it is not his...
Nine out of ten gun men have mothers who live in denial and smother their sons, mothers who are first to run to their rescues, girlfriend's homes that they use as refuge and sisters for errands.
seven out of ten children are born to single mothers because of irresponsible sexual choices and paternal abandoment.
Most women hate their mother in laws, It is pathetic that women raise their sons to be just like the no good bastards that left them.
I will tell you as i have often told my ex.
I will not compete with any woman for her son but i will remind her that she wil not always be here for him, it is these said children that she declares he does not support, whom will take care of him when he becomes a child again.
Once a man, twice a child. His Children shall be the mother of his old age.
Herein you and i have a challenge, raising boys with feelings of resentment and bitterness towards thier fathers trying to love a child in the midst of pain and shame is a difficult feat. It is not easy and many before us have failed miserably. I know you are angry, it is kind of anger i hear in the voices of women at the women's center or health clinic trying to put on a brave face when asked about thier child's father.
I see it on the face of women selling on the roadsides, hustling in the markets, working, studying, trying to make their lives better so that they can provide for their fatherless children. While daddy moves on to "fresh meat" only to repeat this cycle in less than a year.
It is painful.
It will take months, even years to get over those feelings.
You and I have only felt it once, others have gone through it several times over.
I encourage you to be strong for tommorrow's future is in our hands.
Your son needs you more than that man.
You cannot sit down, complain and wait for him to change, some men do, some do not ever grow up.
He is still your child, therefore your responsibility.
Who is to tell?
You might be nursing the next Courtney walsh, Usain Bolt or Bruce Golding.
Irrespective of his father's desertion, give him the best start in life, as your circumstances allow.
Your head up
Saturday, June 11, 2016
I choose not to call your name but i am sorry.
I am sorry that in my quest to make you love me, you have only hated me.
I only wanted you to be a better person, i had hoped that by associating with me,
Me forcing you to see the world through my purview that you could become a better version of yourself,
instead you have only become worst.
I am not sorry because i think i was wrong, i am merely saying i am sorry as a way of acknowledging my contribution to our decline.
I do not wish to leave it all solely at your feet, i fought you, the combat had always been with myself.
There was something deeper, greater than i struggled with in me that manifested with you.
I am sorry.
Monday, June 6, 2016
I love your writing and I admire you a lot.
My baby father is the love of my life. We together from school days.
I got pregnant for him and dropped out at eleven grade.
I went to live with him and his family.
Things changed and he started making money from scamming.
That youth make me walk in the drizzle rain with my big belly and he drive pass me with a bag a man in his car.
He just changed overnight, he don't come home often and we stop having sex.
Sometimes i just stay out of his way because i do not want him to throw me out cause i could not afford to go back to my people's place.
When i have the baby, doctor say i need blood and would you believe that he didn't come or offer to give me blood. He only come register the baby and left.
When time for me to take the baby to six day clinic, he did not offer to take me, I walk with the baby there.
Imagine my man has a car, i have a young baby and he woudn't even help out with the baby.
I find out he has other women, heard he gives them hundred dollar Us Bills.
While if i ask him for anything, it is a big argument before i can get it.
I live with him, cook his dinner and wash his dirty clothes.
I am a pregnant again.
He hardly comes home.
I am so depressed and unhappy.
I am just twenty years old.
Me too young to be this stress.
Sometimes I feel like just pack up and left.
Just so fed up. Me deh with him when him have nothing. Now him treat me like me not somebody.
Me give up so much to be with him, all when my mother don't like him.
My mom hardly speak to me anymore.
Just so unhappy.
Dear Fed Up.
Let me tell you a story or two about me. I helped a man build a house that i will never live in. My ex was in a scary situation and me tek car go fe him inna night in a very volatile community and him same one end up set up him hoodlum friends on me. When my ex was in an accident and sick, i tried as much as possible to offer him comfort and care in his time of discomfort. By the time his wounds healed, he was running me from his house. I gave my ex so many gifts, he has never bought me anything. He once offered to buy me a watch and i end up paying for the damn watch myself. He impregnated me and left me repeatedly. He has corrupted his family and friends against me. I have lost the love and admiration of family and friends simply because i kept going back to this man. I have done some many things for him, put up with a lot, sacrificed much and he would sooner see me dead than alive. I have done more for him than anyone in his life in that short span of time.
I replayed that to you say that it does not matter how much you have invested in a relationship, you never too far gone down the road to turn back. You should never settle. yes you have two babies and you feel lost but you still young. You can still bounce back. If your mother loves you and you explain the situation to her. She will gladly receive you. You are fairly intelligent. You have capability, go back to school and try a make something of your life for you and your children. I can tell you are not in love anymore. That is good. It is first step for getting out of your coffin situation.
I am not perfect by a long shot and i understand your perspective because i used to be that girl that thinks if people are hurting me then it means that i must be doing something wrong. In response i would give more of myself, in hopes that it would change the situation,instead it only exacerbated it.
Things changed when i discovered that it was a gruelling and self destructive job to try and change people, what i did instead was to change myself and my reaction to them. One of the things i did was adapt a position of No Contact. I simply cut off anyone that does not have my best interest at heart. I found peace. You are young. You can find peace too. If you do not nip this shit here in the bud from now, five years down the line and five boyfriends later, you gonna end up with the same story over and over again.
You cannot change this boy. Only life and time can teach him. In the midst of my struggle for personal tranquility, i realized that i changed, the people that hurt me didn't. They were the same people i met a year or so ago. I had morphed into someone else. I made their negative impact on my life into something positive. I had gone up a level or two, and based on their "still" reaction to me, they were at the same place i met them.
When i was a teenager, my stepmother used to tell me that a lot of girls went to my "TRADITIONAL" high school and came out with zero subjects. It was a psychological mechanism aimed at distracting me from my true aspirations. I found out that i spent far more time concentrating on what she said than studying.
Until one morning while walking across the "Ball field" with a pan of water, i told myself that if i fail, people are gonna remember that a brilliant girl like me failed my exams, no one will care what my stepmother said or what anyone said for that matter. My life is my responsibility. In order to counteract failure, i would simply try harder, study more. If and when i fail. It should only be on my terms. Let me look back and say i didn't do enough.
People are going to remember that you got stuck where you are now. People will hold you accountable for you failures. I want you to disappoint every one that thinks your life is over. I want you to put them to shame.
N.B Word of advice, these fast money men are some of the worst men to ever be in a relationship with, their egos are large and their minds are generally small and that my dear is a recipe for disasters. Steer clear.
kEEP YOUR HEAD UP.
Monday, May 30, 2016
"What are your dreams like?" She asked.
"Your dreams tells me everything we need to know on a spiritual and psychological level!"
"I think you have been fixed!"
My eyes flew opened and i looked up at her.
"I am just having a bad day cause someone text me and ask me about my situation that dredged up bad feelings and bad memories!"
"I lost it for a moment!"
Sass shook her head.
"Even though we educated we cannot forget our roots"
"We will not deny the existence of good and evil"
"I have never thought your behaviour was normal!"
"I hope i am not the only one that shares that opinion!"
I chuckled. "Bones use to tell me all the time that them trick me!"
"It pulls me in like magnet to steel!"
"But it still is not getting me to do what they want me to do!"
"Couple other people in the community have implied it, not said it outright, more like hinted!"
Sass snickered. "Oh so i am not blind then!"
"Do you often feel confused!"
"Like you don't know what to do!"
I sighed. "In the past when we broke up, i often think that maybe if i give him what he wants then he would treat me better!"
"Then i tried to give him and it was never enough, it only bought me a good time for a week or less"
"I was confused because my mind was telling me to let this go and my other parts yearned for him!"
Sass nodded. "You don't feel confused now?"
I chuckled. "Nope, just anger and resentment!"
"I am more focused work wise!"
"I was closing this chapter long before the video fiasco!"
"Something just wasn't sticking anymore!"
"I tried to keep it open as long as i could!"
"Tell me about your dreams!" Sass said.
"Last night i dreamt that i was a child again!"
"Little girl in jeans skirt with my blouse tucked in!"
"I also dreamt i was in high school again!"
"There was a parade and a school march!"
"I saw Miss Wilson our lit teacher teaching out of a small wooded room!"
"In another section i dreamt that i was braiding my sister's hair and her hair scalp was greatfly disfigured!"
"I found that part rather disturbing!"
Sass smiled. "Sounds pretty normal!"
"I wake up in a calm most mornings!"
"Before this one, during a break up i would have nightmares and wake up restless and crying!"
"I haven't dreamt him once since we broke up!"
Sass grinned. "Your brain has been rewired!"
"It is because you are no longer trying subconciously to fix things!"
"Dreams are how we process what is happening in our daily lives!"
She pulled me into an embrace. "I am so proud of you!"
"Do not let them break you!"
"Everything that they are doing is to break you down!"
"Do not let this become the main focus of your life!"
"You have made so much progress!"
"Do not fall back now!"
She released me. "What did you say our Lit teacher taught out of?"
I shrugged. "A small wooden Box, the box was beside her and she was putting out clothes on the line beside it and somone said that is what she uses to decorate her classroom!"
Sass held her throat. "Miss Wilson represents a pastor!"
"The school uniforms, marching bands!"
"You just dreamt someone's funeral!"
I frowned. "Come to think of it!"
"That wooden box is shaped like an old time coffin!"
Crystal .A. Evans
If I Were A Bwoy
Friday, May 27, 2016
When there's a moment of gathering , there's a moment of departure.
When there's life, there's death.
Everything is bound to the law of impermanence.
Knowing yourself and knowing what the right thing to do for some is liken to putting a key in a lidless box halfway two centimeters from the inside bottom of the box.
They said the people we think about first thing in the morning are the ones we love. They lied. Each morning i woke up infuriated because i wanted to desperately hurt the ones i hate for the pain they put me through.
This hatred is consummate, it grows everyday like a lilly maturing from a stem to a bloom. It is as if every breath they take is an affront to me. Their mere existence boils my blood to a fiery broth.
But i know it is not my place to determine who lives and who dies. I understand the laws of nature and the cycle of life. It is what bars me from my worst self.
We are all just an angry outburst away from being a monster. Evil is in every one of us. Some wear it like a second skin, others like myself prefer to tuck it away in the far regions of our psyches. We keep our evil under control while some are controlled by the diabolic nature within them.
Circumstances made me what i am.
The Victim Card
People often remember what you did to them, but forgot what they did to you to push you to those limits. It is always easier to play victim than to fess up to being a contributor in the grand scheme of destruction. Nobody wants to be accountable, every one wants to point fingers until fingers start falling off. Then the truth comes out.
When lying can no longer justify hurting people. When the truth stinks so much, running away or manipulating others won't brook any sympathy. It doesn't matter how much one pretends, the true them always comes out eventually and those who sided with the liars' theatrics are put to shame.
So i learned to temper my anger. To quell this monster that grows inside me by rational thinking and cutting myself off from those who stir the inferno within me. I have relinquish my right to control everything that has happened to me, it is what fuels my current frustrations.
I likened my life to me being irritated that it is raining, where my dislike of precipitation means that i am unlikely ever to respond to one by screaming. My annoyance is tempered by what i understand i can expect from the climate. I have no control over it.
We aren’t overwhelmed by anger whenever we don’t get something we want; we do so only when we first believed ourselves fundamentally entitled to secure it – and then oddly did not. Our greatest furies spring from events which violate our sense of the ground-rules of existence.
I found serenity in a healthy dose of pessimism. A tranquility from embracing reality.
I have learnt to disappoint myself at leisure.
To wear my defenses down before the world slaps me with suprises that derails me from my purpose.
I start each day with a twenty minute deep breathing exercises, i train myself to be patient and understanding.
To be slow to judge and snail paced towards anger.
I pity the ones who hate me. The ones who placed a mark of death on me.
They might seem bullishly confident in their rage but i know deep inside they are hurting.
They rage in order to stop themselves from panicking and appearing weak.
They have no faith in their own capacity to survive frustration and recover equanimity despite some perhaps truly significant losses.
They lack a resilient sense of how – with sufficient patience, love and time – error and damage may be repaired, borne and overcome.
I feel sorry for them.
They see life as not growing, changing, evolving, maturing and overcoming.
They see life as merely win or lose.
I think of them with sympathy than scorn.
The Mad One
Crystal A. Evans
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
"Hey Saf why yuh crying"
I cradled the phone against my ear.
Sass sighed audibly. "Hey you are doing very well!"
"Do not regress!"
I shook my head. "Why does he hate me!"
"I haven't done him anything!"
"I worked hard for my money!"
"I've reached thus far without help from anyone!"
"I did my own research and created my own strategies for making my money!"
"He thinks he is entitled to it because we had sex!"
"The money isn't anything but how stupid am i to try and help someone that constantly humiliates and disrespects me"
"Now all he does is walk around and tell his hoodlums friends that i have money!"
"As if he is trying to set up my life!"
Sass let out another sigh. "I knew it would come to this!"
"Dre has lost a great deal!"
"He had a lot riding on this relationship!"
"He is furious!"
"He is using his friends to intimidate you!"
"Dre knows you might no longer value him but you value your life therefore he threatens like so many weak men do, what is most important to you"
"Do you know what i tell little girls in rural communities"
"I tell them don't settle in a relationship here before you go out and see the world"
"I tell them don't get pregnant, the minute you get pregnant you might end up settling for a man that five years from now, you will want nothing to do with him!"
"You see Ghetto men always a complain that we women from the ghetto with our education don't want them!"
"That we think we are better than them!"
"Dre is a fine example of why women should never date men from innercity communities"
"The minute you give one of those low lifes a chance in your life, they will only seek to destroy you!"
"Because they are weak men, they are insecure! them badmind women for showing them up!"
I stopped crying.
"I know about the settling part!"
"You either outgrow them mentally or you realize that you do not share the same life goals!"
"You start having regrets!"
"Realize that you just wasted the last few years of your life!"
"Because you had a baby and settled"
"Story of my life!"
Sass chuckled. "Ah sah!"
"So what grim rim tale is Dre and his cronies spinning now!"
"He has some serious issues!"
"He is the type that when he can't control you, he attempts to control how people think or feel about you!"
"He bemsirches your character!"
"He thinks he wins that way!"
"How me marked for death!"
"How me fe dash weh long time as if me anno nobody!"
"How when me diss the "dawg", me diss them!"
"Still can't figure out how that part works!"
"I didn't know i dissed anyone by leaving Dre after he has done so many horrible things to me!"
Sass let out a low peal of laughter.
"He is right!"
"You were marked for death from the day you let that bwoy put his dick in you!"
"He has done nothing but sorround himself with negativity and has invited his negativity into your life"
"You have to close this door permanently with scant regards for the outcome!"
"I know you sometimes feel afraid but remember things coulda always worst!"
"This person does nothing but try to foment or facilitate your demise!"
"Dre's way of getting back at you, He tries to corrupt his friends and family against you!"
"This has been his memo from day one!"
"Time will eventually show his true face to them!"
I scoffed. "They knew half the shit, i did, Them wudda nevah even par wid him!"
Sass burst into loud guffaws. "Well i always knew it!"
"I was not the least bit surprised"
"He fits the prototype with his anger issues!"
I sucked my teeth. "Why can't they see him for the monster he is!"
"I think his mom and his family knows, they are just in denial!"
"Like most families, they try to hide their black sheep until it turns on them!"
"They think you provoke his wrath as if at any given time Dre doesn't give any of them a tongue lashing!"
"Dre has succeeded in gaining a ban of loyal fans that are only loyal to a lie"
"I do not how i could support a person for killing his child's mother or beating her senseless"
"And still go to church!"
"Them people deh praying to a different god!"
"They are mad at you for the truth!"
"So you let them be!"
"You close those doors permanently and only then you will find peace!"
If I Were a Bwoy
Crystal A. Evans
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Interview with Crystal Evans for Writer.com
What does your writing process look like?
Ans: I write whenever I want to. There is no specific time. My writing is largely influenced by my environment. I think we are all on a journey, we are all stories.
So I might go on a bus to the capital and I see someone doing something and decide I will attach that behavior to a character.
I might hear someone say something and decide, that would make a transition point in a dialogue.
Do you have strange writing habits?
Ans: Well when a characterization begins in my head, I might pace back and forth playing out the story line in my head as I write.
'Mi granny sometimes ask me if me mad'
Some might find that strange.
3. What books do you wish you could have written?
Ans: Harper Lee's To Kill A Mocking Bird
The Schoolmaster by Earl Lovelace
The Lunatic by Anthony C Winkler
4. Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?
Ans: Richie Drenz. I am mostly a huge fan of Caribbean literature. I like to open a book and read a story that I can relate to. It's not a prejudice, it is just that I think West Indian culture rife with its tragic history and the melting pot of contemporary fashion, dance and music, our evolution from slavery to where we are today is ideal for a story setting.
5. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring writer?
Ans: write. Write from yuh soul. Don't be afraid to take risk, to send a message that discords with mainstream ideology. Don't be afraid to create characters that people will hate. Real stories must and should stir some emotion in its readers.
When you write you recreate life on a piece of paper, the incidents that inspires your writing become immortal, they will be here long after you are gone.
Always give it your best.
6.Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
Ans. I do read them, not all but most because I believe feedback is central to the growth as a writer.
Ghetto Slam was poorly edited. I got some bad flak for that. I am in the process of re-editing it.
When a review is unfavorable, it might momentarily evince feelings of disappointment but if you concentrate on the negative, you might never write again.
Take what you need to evolve and leave the rest.
7. What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
The Bunna Man trilogy.
I've learnt while writing those three books a lot of things about myself. The responses to the stories have taught me a lot about one's responsibilities as a writer.
How what started out as a story, became a movement and I the prophet.
How your story can shape the lives of others, how you develop a relationship with your fans. How your fans fall in love with your writing style.
How a personal story can transcend you to a higher level of reasoning.
Sometimes I look back and am amazed at what I wrote.
8. Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
Ans: Religion. Religion is a personal thing. I won't tell anyone what to believe. I do believe in a higher spiritual realm, I just don't think I should dictate what others believe.
9. What are you working on now? What is your next project!
Ans: I have an anthology of stories called "The People Next Door"
I have three novels am working on, If I were A Bwoy, Steppa and Killer Pussy'
I also want to do a spin off novel from a short story I wrote recently called Riva Mumma!
10. What is something you want to accomplish before you die?
Ans: I want to reach a philosophical depth like Plato and Aristotle where my writing transcends my reader to realm of intense introspection.
I want when someone reads what I wrote, they are forced to look into themselves, they strive for something higher.
I want my writing to be visionary.