The purpose of this speak easy is to showcase the variations and contrast of a woman. How easy it is to compare her love for shoes with a personality; a plight which introduces more than just style. In the Bible belt, North Carolina, one the biggest separation of social circles seems to be ones faith or spiritual standing. Saint or Sinner; and many people will deal with a others on the basis of financial status, denomination or belief system. How odd I thought when Jesus sought for the soul many deal with people on the basis of their attire and declaration of belief. Queen Vashti, the first wife of Biblical king of Xeres, wore the finest of her day while the woman at the well (with many husbands yet none at that time) wore seemingly modest shoes. As women our level of comfort and taste will also determines the quality or rarity of the shoes we own. But in the 20 th Century its hard to tell by our expensive looking knock off shoes and bags, wigs and contacts what their financial status is. And in its hard to tell with the new styles showcased at church whether a shoe is meant for the club or the choir. In life we will face many definitions and fall into circles because of how we look. It helps answer a question and furthers our Messiahs message, one of the greatest command is to love your fellow man, saint or sinner. To learn to walk in their shoes before we judge them, meet these young ladies who all wear high heel s.
T here’s nothing like a pair of high heel shoes to a young girl or woman. The arch and height; the sleekness that they bring. Making a female taller and sexier; more appealing and alluring. The tip of ones toes touching the essence of earth while extending the heel. Ooh Wee the men might think, look at those legs and those thighs when an unsuspecting saint or sinner passes by. And they don’t care if you know the Lord or the streets just want to see those ankles in the air with at least the strap of those shoes holding on to your feet. As a child Theresa would sneak and put on my mother’s heels and church hats. She liked looking sexy even though the attire was considered righteous. Theresa could peer out her window and see the loose women, the ones her mother labeled as bad people, strutting up and down the street in their high heel shoes. Church was okay to Theresa but too restricting; she didn’t understand how not wanting to go meant she would end up like those women on the streets. Her mother, Kathryn, and their reverend warned of hell, fire and damnation for even listening to secular music of wearing pants. There was no way they even understood the high heels they wore. At 16 Theresa was not allowed on the phone after 9p.m. and both she and her younger sisters would be at church if their mother wasn’t at work. This night she got lucky; they would miss the last night of revival services because her mother took a double shift at the hospital. The young girl would have the house all to herself; she turned the radio on as soon as she saw her mother go up the street. Theresa gyrated across the living room floor like she was on BET because in her borrowed high heel shoes she felt on top of the world. She would eventually find her way in those same streets she thought her mother knew nothing about. She’d learn of love, jealousy, sex, relationship and life all while wearing a pair of high heel shoes. She would also learn the difference between the two.
April He said he’d give me the world April Johnson, now that was a sight for sore eyes. Stacked at the top with a Coca Cola shaped body; caramel skin you could dive into and eyes that could snatch a man’s soul. And Tommy Herald was in love with her. He’d asked her out more times than he could count; while opening doors for her or buying her flowers. She couldn’t seem to catch that he was the one Tommy thought. “One day she just might say yes,” he’d tell his friends whiled they jived him. He saw all the men she dated with their flashy cars and insincere words but those were his sugars. That was his lady. Maybe Tommy lived in a world of faith or fancy; at some point people did begin to question his theory. It started to look hopeless and more so when Ms. Johnson announced she would soon be Mrs. April Johnson Whitmore. Tommy took his invitation in stride though most understood it was her way of telling him to just give up. What no one knew was that Mr. Whitmore after a whirlwind courtship had become a drunken abuser. Her family money had long dwindled away so the men she dated needed to keep up her lifestyle. Beatrice had appreciated Tommy’s compliments the whole time even though she never showed it. When the wedding came the whole town tried to cram into a small frame Baptist church to see the blushing bride; totted to be the matrimony of the year in Clearlake Falls. And just when she began up the aisle April stopped; she noticed that the church was decorated beautifully; no expense was wasted to try and out do for the sake of love but her feelings were tired and tangled. Her nervousness was not just from pre wedding jitters because there was also dread that a price tag had been placed on her happiness and ultimately upon her heart. She scoped the room, had Tommy made it in. With her groom waiting April hollered his name, “Tommy are you out there?” The entire church, including the groom, sighed but the bride had stated a name that was gentleman like and sincere to her, she knew Tommy loved her. “Yes my dear,” Tommy shouted with flowers in hand (that he pulled from the decorations). The two walked slowly to one another and she said these words: “Money can make you look like your loved or that you could buy happiness but that’s not so.” “I’d rather be with a man that I know loves me and appreciates me because that’s how he can give you the world.”
Beatrice Okay you got me “What’s going on, what’s going on,” Beatrice Mayfield shuffled around her kitchen singing. Now Marvin Gaye did his song a lot more justice but that didn’t stop her from trying to own it. Beatrice was getting married in two weeks so her spirits were high; just like her voice. “You tell me what’s going on, hey hey baby,” she shouted one more time while throwing in a spin. She had no way of knowing that the pastor was standing at the screen door. “What’s going on,” Reverend Clifton Harris said while tipping his hat.
Crystal Watch out now Crystal just sat in the seat she was directed to, this would be the fifth or sixth school she attended this year, so she scoped the room with lethal precision searching for possible bullies. This wouldn’t be the first tiff if needed; she’d learned to hold her own with words or fist so she was ready for any lunchroom action that came her way. Standing no more than five feet one and weighing in at 100 pounds soaking wet the fifteen year old had deemed herself chocolate thunder. Most importantly Crystal was not attached to having a lot of people in her circle because she’d learned too young the brutality of the tongue. A juke joint was a terrible place to grow up but she found out quickly to trust few and maneuver with an eagle’s eye. Those back biters or lady dogs as her grandmother would call them: that bring a bone (bad gossip) to agitate you and take a bone back (your words normally erroneously doctored). Crystal knew a girl might not like you just because you are pretty so gauging their maturity could not be weighted on appearances. Sometimes the meanest were the ones that knew they were ugly; just because there was nothing that a cosmetic counter or any weave would do could do to help them.
Dianna One time for the Holy Ghost “I told them I wasn’t ready,” Dianna thought but the words that lie mute gave no true indication of her refusal. The ushers, who were following the pastor’s instructions, were leading her to the baptism pool but God knew she did not need to get baptized that day of all days. He knew she had forgotten to put bobby pins in her wig. She’d told her sister-in-law a dream she had that had evidently been shared. The dream was about angels and good things (scripturally based) but now all of a sudden her mission became to get me baptized as an adult. “This is ridiculous, these people are crazy,” Dianna ranted silently to herself not being able to draw her self away from the grip of those old gray ladies in white because they were pretty strong and overcoming. Draped in a white sheet and led into water. “Okay, God both you and I know that you did not want me to be baptized because you love me too much to embrace me,” she muttered. When the poor child realized it was inevitable she said, “Guess I’ll take one for the team.” That preacher man waxed her head with oil then began his ritual. He popped Tracy up side the head in the name of the Father and her hairline began to recede. Popped her in the name of the Son, now her wig was more of a hat hanging off her head and then in the name of the Holy Ghost. By then the poor child was doused in the water with her hair on one side of the baptism pool and her stocking cap on another when she came back up. In true diva fashion Tracy bobbed for her hair maintenance belongs and shook them out before exiting the pool. Then she put it back on child.
Esther Being in love with a sorry man Esther was a pretty girl but she didn’t know. I don’t think she considered herself cosmetically challenged but thought that she deserved better escaped her. “Ever love a man with all your might and he string you along so you don’t get him out of your system,” she told her girlfriend Esther. “He just wouldn’t act right, won’t help pay any bill but wants chase other women and big ball around my house like he the king.” “If that’s the case I’m his damn slave and that just won’t do girl, won’t do,” she informed her friend. The only problem was Esther had been saying that for the last fifteen years. The girl’s own mother didn’t believe her and when she would call with that campaign she’d laugh at her. His other girlfriends didn’t think she would leave him either. And everything the child owned (houses, restaurants and salons) including her boyfriends car and motorcycle came from labor only. She even mowed the grass that sorry punk couldn’t manage to get on a riding lawn mower while Esther was at work.
Fran He made me mean He made me mean; taught me aggression. Before I was meek and void of bestiality; that instinct of survival while fighting a mental and physical war. We women enroll in love or the thought of it just to find we were took for a ride. Will he love me if he doesn’t hit me or does he even love me at all? Do I love me? Beater was not written on his forehead nor did he come with the label, “Insecure and violent after 90 days or after the first child,” on his ass. He made me dislike men in a way that has scared me. Defamed what I thought love was for a thought of what the hell have I gotten myself into. My nana told me that a liar will steal. A theft takes your possessions but a liar takes your time, “Considering no man knows when he will die we should be offended that someone is taking just a precious thing,” she’d say. Now with these scars, tattooed upon my body, mind and is etched on my soul. What a tattered tale of tempters with tantalizing tongues to get betwixt your thighs. Now my quest for love has been turned me into a possession; an old toy that likes to be lopped around. Make up won’t cover up this eye but this time there is no way he can get all those hot grits off his chest before getting serious burns.
Gloria Confessions of a single mother Sometimes I worry and I wonder. Contemplating whether things could get better or worse. Will ends meet and what new thing will my children need that I might not be able to afford. The most complicated part is when faith meets a stubborn reality. Utility bills or rent or heat or food. When mountains won’t just move or rivers won’t just part. You know the matters of the heart The facade that everything is ok, some more than others, but deep inside there is question of “God what exactly are you doing?” Some how spurts of hope seep in in the form of child support or overtime at work. Watching my babies grow and wanting to do more than survive still drives me to go to God with an urgent plea. As a Christian I had to inquire when will all this makes sense. To remind him that his child, me, needs his help raising these beautiful children. Just as David he never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging for bread I am positive God has given me all the necessary tools and people to make these little people a success. Beseeching his throne with an intangible questions to my personal plight has kept me up at late at night, “How am I going to do this Lord, take care of these beautiful blessings you gave me.” His answer was simple: Keep going. Through all relationships we have a personal responsibility to evolve, are allowed to witness, experience and participated in life and there is a mysterious beauty and value in some times not knowing. When will it get better: there’s no time estimation but it will for it is God’s will. It’s not my job to have all the answers but to learn to celebrate the yeses (blessings) and appreciate the no’s (someday or one day you’ll thank me ). Sometimes I used to worry and wonder but then I realized how beautifully blessed I am to raising these children for God’s future.
Heather “Predictions of pink” My uncle is getting married in two weeks and I made a prediction to by soon to be aunt; there would be consequences for things chosen in the wedding that might get on my nerves. I told Brittany that I do not do pink, it’s doesn’t work for me, and if I was not placed in the second place of her bridal arrangement I would cough through the entire ceremony. Her innocent eyes seemed to bugle out in disbelief and I saw her fight back her tears while complaining of allergies before searching to find a more lady like response. I walked up closely and told her to calm down it’s not that serious about the placement as long as it’s close but I had to still insistent about pink.
Irish Baby Mama Drama “She doesn’t know who she is playing with,” Irish told her Thomas, her soon to be baby daddy. “You sleep here every night and what she mean leaving a voice mail that you slept with her yesterday…“I don’t care if you have nine kids with her; you are in love with me!” Irish had told herself that a million times but knew the bitter truth. She had given her love to a man who loved every woman in the world. Tall women, short women, fat women, ugly women and any color they came in. Carlos loved them all. And it showed too. He had seven baby mamas in total. She knew he didn’t take care of them; he’d dodged court like it was his career path. “You are going to take care of this child,” she shouted as he walked down the street to avoid ‘her baby Mama drama.’ Irish planned to call Kerri, baby mama number four, but what good would it do. She knew her words would be effective because they would be true. Irish knew Thomas loved no one better than his self. And if she didn’t take on the load of raising their daughter alone while still just calling him her man he would leave her too.
Janice Still living in yesterday Janice couldn’t seem to let go. She’d rehearsed her lines but now there was no audience. Everything happened so suddenly: the cancer, the lay off and the bitterest pill was divorce. Now in remission Janice was suppose to feel relieved but she only felt dismissed Paul, her husband of 13 years said he wasn’t attracted to her anymore. The budding breast he once was so proud of was now only a scar without the promise that the cancer wouldn’t come back... Where do you go when everything and everyone around you changes,” she said sitting in the dark while surrounded by photo albums.
Karen Always the pretty girl as a child graduating to a beautiful young lady by those who were discreet and sexy from flirty old men with promises to see up under my skirt. Wanting somebody to call em Daddy. And then you fall in love and have a child. Shape goes to hell along with his attention. Looks of lust are now disgust. Strokes of affections only blows below the belt. So when he left I got back PHAT (Pretty Hot And Tempting). All I have ever had was a pretty face and a Coca Cola bottle shape. Holding no fantasy of love or a future I school a young girl coming in: Beauty holds its penalties and tell no one I told you that the price when they sold you was not the price your were willing to pay. And the things you are seeing is you being pimped on the stage Dance girl, don’t cry. You chose this life and now walk that strip…Shine, shine until you realize the dreams don’t come true on the strip.
Lisa God’s instructions to a weary traveler Lisa sat on a cliff staring into a direction she did not know. A broke down car. No map, sign of help or means to get there. Its easy to follow instructions, like a puppy we learn to go where led. Lisa screamed into the unknown: “I have no map at this stage in my life Lord…I lost,” she said. At that point she was beaten by the heat and starvation but the condition of her was of more concern to God than her current predicament. As the sky began to fold under she felt the wind nestled against her nose and a voice as gentle as a breeze yet as strong as the sea said this: “Carry with you on this journey the tears of your ancestors And cover them with joy for you see that life may not yield but the heart is the field for the harvest Take no more than your back can carry And think not of what you eat or drink but if in thought your wisdom Should tarry remember the journey means more than the destination Go the way you chose but remember those that went before you Rest but sleep will keep you Sing and your soul will be filled Stand still and death will find you Pray and you will always find the will
Michelle A smooth stone They just called her black girl. To most in the neighborhood Michelle was so heavenly bound she was no earthly good. Her face a shield to their smart remarks, even Jesus was considered unsaved because of his friends, practices and family line, because Michelle knew about faith. Sometimes our character is the smooth stone in God’s slingshot of life an old head told her after she said: Black girl, black girl why do you glide as if there is no pain Inside I heard your sisters back to her ole tricks Your brothers still in jail You two months behind on your bills Cant blame that all on free will Your man left you with those kids Your Mama’s on that crack You should not walk as if you care; pretending that this life is Fair You should slump with all your meekness; you should barely have the need to breathe You should hide your eyes so humbly, not as if you have a secret. Strolling like the storm; marching in some grand parade as if those sculpted hips or the etchings of fullness in your lips meant your not a spade Did your grandmamma tell you that trouble don’t last always? I wonder every time I see you if you know what props your head with pride And still I’m lost to wonder black girl why you glide
Natalie Damn Love is easy to get into and hard to get out. Natalie began a booty call relationship with a guy she grew up with but no one ever told her that a booty call only last 6 months. After twelve years and more turns than a door knobs she left her man this note: I don’t cuss and being a lady is the virtue in which I Entrust the curvatures of who I am but boy Damn Like a little girl in some simple thought my tears are bought by you and every time I think you understand that I want you to be my man I say something stupid, Damn. No other man would see it, I am a dime in the mist of pennies and I’m not feeling revealing that for you I melt like cream on the side walk of your sunny affection For you I am no longer who I think I am but content as I relent to the power of your eyes and its no surprise… But you keep on running. This still works for you. But not me and you run like there’s something else out there knowing that something else is in my thighs; in the apex of my climax. In the tender kiss I gave you last night. I’m just hoping that when you realize that the same thing I’m seeing in your eyes is the same thing your looking for so we can finally put this thing together and work our love out instead of me being gone; lost in what had to be a beautiful lie and you watch me pass by saying….. Damn
Oprah Sing for me The sonata of blues Oprah sang jazz like it wasn’t nobody’s business. An aged pain seem to spill from a hidden reserve; as if she snuck into the temple of the wise to listen only with their souls to tell the tales when emotions spill from the heart. Sing for me in bitter remedies of hope and thirst for nectars lost in chords of song. There is no mystery in the wind that man has known and so the arms that search to transform into wings reach beyond the sounds and tones of space to divest the worries and the pain of heart…That all should hear the whispering of one in pain. Misery as it whisk a mist their brow Through sax's or strings of ones guitar and whimpering as if to reach its joy where words cascade in tears of tone. As if the story told produces peace; a kinship through a listening ear, like a bird engaged released in summers splendor. And there you find her on the stage with eyes of fixed and misty gaze to sing the songs that tell their past. To end the blues by writing them on page and singing them through her soul when the sonata’s rage.
Patsy Lie don’t care who tell it. Pain doesn’t care whose door step its on; a lie don’t care who tells it just as long as it gets told. For a few moments I believed him. It was more hope in retrospect; a subliminal effort to make wrong look right Patsy thought. She’d covered up the bruises, they came from work around the house, “I’m so clumsy.” A long ride was the only healing for her soul. Make believe can become cramped; hope deceiving when a person has began to lie to themselves. So she sat between the sunset the wind against her hair, she knew though he would search for her he’d never find her there. For just one moment she wanted to be removed from life; his fist had been the consequence of submission. She wanted to be yearned for and wanted for so long; invest so much of herself to find that love alone.
Renee Time for service David said, ‘I was glad when they said let us go into the house of the Lord’ and Renee was glad. She was so elated that she went church hat shopping every Saturday. That she had a pew with her imprint on the front left side and a table reserved at her favorite restaurant for her after church, ‘pastor shoo did preach,’ sessions. She shouted on cue every service after testifying and went out of her way to spend quality time with pastors wife. The tithe payer was certain that when Jesus came her back he would find her faultless. “Jesus will not catch me with my panties down,” Renee would say. Although she might not fornicate she sure did hide away to eat in giant size portions. Gluttony must not have been A sin and the gossip sessions which included Critiquing the sisters and their lives weren’t serious enough sins to miss glory. With her holy self she never realized the time for Service is a relationship not an assigned seat.
Stacy The dance Stacy could have been married by now but that would mean she had settled down. There were just too many cuties to be with just one. Besides she liked the adventure of deciding while they vied for her attention. She’d tried to love exclusively but that’s what led to a broken heart. When she found that the only difference between good butt is new butt. and men had reduced a woman to a quality of wine or car Stacy decided two could play at that game. The older women referred to women as cows and said that a man wont buy the cow if they can get the milk for free but the young girls messed up everything; they're giving up the milk by the gallon so a single woman with sense will play the game like it’s a dance.
Tera Win a case Tera had one thing made up in her mind, to finish school. She’d dodged having children early. Full of life Tera had a rigid routine first work an d then play. She owned a diligent passion to continue in her studies as a lawyer. She finished Law school and went straight into private practice. The other side was to live outside of the box. It had all seemed to work, she had written summations, cradling the life of her clients in her hand like clay and won. Stared down harden criminals in cross examination and won but the suave persuader could do or say nothing in the court of love to win a case.
Ulla Like never before The universe is full of people who want; from birth instinctually we desire something outside of ourselves. The key once we are older is to weigh the wants versus the needs. Ulla had that down pat, a black blonde, the Elvis fan equated life to the song, “Don’t step on my blue suede shoes,” meant my personal space, my journey to find out what I can and can not live with out. Living life like never before because its are only chance to do it now.
Velva The Good Shepherd do unto to others as… Velva made her way down the hall, she knew he'd do it again, her high heels echoing a gate of sorrow. Memories of her husbands infidelity seemed to evade her thoughts. The first lady of Mt. Zion's Peace Baptist Church sought solace in each movement, a uncommon peace in a pace of surrender. How would she explain to her husband that she couldn't love him or forgive him any more and why did she care. How would she tell the ladies in the church that she no longer desired to be first lady. Michael, or Pastor Stevens, had lied on so many levels, from the pulpit to the bedroom of almost every woman in the church/communities back door and he was delivering more than a good word. This time it was more than she could stand, the good reverend had done something despicable, he slept with a new woman in the fold that Velva had taken under her wing. God had laid Trina on her heart, showed her that the stem of her pain came from confusion and repeated hurts. She'd been left by two former husbands and was now needy and broken. It was Tamara's joy to lead her to the Rock of her Salvation, Jesus, not the lusty doctrine of a now wayward shepherd.
Whitney Steal you away He makes me happy and it seems like I am among a small group of women who are happy now, Whitney thought to herself. At all the social gatherings or female after work functions all the women either complained of having no man in their lives or a bad man. I’m afraid like a endangered species fear that announcing you are a good man who makes me smile, happy and loved they’ll try to steal you away from me.
Xiata Well she fell then but not this time, this time When Bishop Daniels ordered his secretary to change his locks this time Xiata took on the task and kept a spare. They didn't hear the key connecting and giving ease to the knob, the gospel music used to mask a time of worship instead encouraged their wicked throws of passion; Daniel would have no time to cover this one up. Instead of screaming and hollering in the house of God, Xiata just got one eyes full of the drama, took a picture on her cell phone and walked in a untouched stride to her car. He wouldn't chase after her, he hadn't before, because he needed time to come up with some way to turn this new girl into the new day Jezebel.
Yolanda Couldn’t believe it He chased me, I mean I couldn’t get air. He was always two steps in behind me accusing me of cheating. My girlfriends said it was because he was cheating on me but Yolanda thought it was impossible because he only hung out with his homeboy. They could always be found playing the Play Station at Tre’s house. Other than that he was the perfect boyfriend. Yolanda had to get off work early because of a doctors appointment. She’d thought she was pregnant but thank God no. She and Neal could barely handle Asia and Kennedy. She decided she was not going back to work; her man and the kids would be gone meaning four hours of quiet lounging. When she pulled in the driveway Yolanda thought she saw a light on but she dismissed it, her daughters were forgetful. When she got into the home Yolanda heard a mans voice in the direction of her bedroom. Neal had played hooky and was busted. With a smirk on her face Yolanda tiptoed down the hallway, she opened the door to find: Neal and Tre making love and she couldn’t believe it
Zelda Ugly on the inside Ever meet some one you just don’t like and no matter how you try to the harder it gets, that’s Zelda. Ever see a woman who is hard on the eyes but believes a abundance of make up, fake hair and nails will cover that up, that’s Zelda. So unsure of herself that stays in other peoples business instead of minding her own. Always with drama Zelda had been known to clear a room faster than the alert of catching the flu. What she didn’t realize was that hurt people hurt people, they don’t know how not to. People who do not like themselves are not only critical of themselves behind close doors but it seeps out in their envy of others. What Zelda should know with her $300 shoes and $600 hair while living in the projects was that she was fooling no one. Being cosmetically impaired is no excuse for being ugly on the inside.