Wednesday, November 5, 2008



AND WE DID! Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States of America . I never thought I would be alive to see a person of color elected President of the United States. The same stairs of the White House that slaves broke their backs building will be climbed by Obama at his Presidential Inauguration in January 2009. This really was a historic election from beginning to end as young people and first time voters came out in droves to lend their voices to Democracy. Yesterday was my first time voting as well. The reason I haven’t voted before is simple and complicated. I was part of a religion that forbids voting. The religion took Bible texts and contorted them out of context. According to the religion, ‘the whole world lies in the power of the wicked one (Satan)’. Also, ‘man can not direct man’s steps’. So a vote for any human ruler, is essentially a vote for Satan. I am so happy that I grew up and out of that brainwashing. Although I left the religion 4 years ago, I still felt some fear welling up as I simply filled out the voter registration form just last month. When Election Day finally came upon us, excitement radiated from my skin and I marched myself right to the polls with my oldest daughter. It was such a beautiful moment when we pulled the curtain and I was finally inside. I explained to my daughter how to vote and she helped me pull the red lever to the right and then to the left. An immovable smile etched straight across my face as I stepped out to the light of day and the smiling faces of the election volunteers. We were engaged in an unspoken conversation. “Thank you.”, the two ladies said in unison. And I said, “No, Thank you!”

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Nightmare: The Halloween Edition

by Ambrosia

Once upon a time, when the new moon drifted into Sagittarius, the stage was idyllically set for the revelry and antics of Halloween night 2008. It was a night to remember and forget. It all started out when I decided to follow my sister over the river and through the hood to the ever exciting Greenwich Village. We ran into Grandstanding Villagers, streams of traffic, tipsy castle dwellers, flocks of vultures, a high priest, yellow cab blues and an unforgettable interlude with a Grey Goose. Shall we begin?

I was part of a religious organization in my teens and early twenties that forbid the celebration of Halloween. When I left this religion, I was so excited because now I could finally feed my inborn hunger for costuming. So putting the ghostliness and the ghoulishness aside, Halloween was an excuse for me to parade in the most outlandish costumes and still be looked upon as normal. Yeah! But somehow, every single year (4 years and counting) my plans are thwarted. The first year, which was more than understandable, my grandmother fell ill on Halloween night and ended up in the hospital. Thank God she was okay and able to go home late that night, but the family and I stood by her bedside until she was completely better. I was a black cat that year. Bad choice. The next year, a few of my cousins and I ventured to a “Halloween” party in Brooklyn and I ended up being the only one in costume. I was the Queen of Hearts that year. Off with their heads! The next year, I was an Egyptian Princess with the perfect eye make up and the works. I trekked to Manhattan only to stand on line outside of a club for two hours, watching tipsy revelers walking back and forth and slipping and sliding into piles of police horse dung. That was the highlight of my night. And now introducing, Halloween 2008.

My sister and I were able to catch a chariot in the land of Brooks (Brooklyn) henceforth, we picked up her two cohorts, I mean coworkers who were dressed as a policewoman and a correction’s officer with billy club and evidence bags in hand. My sister was donning her Harry Potter school girl outfit and I, because I didn’t get a chance to show off my digs last year, was an Egyptian Princess again. Our chariot driver gave us a set price from the beginning but I’m sure he regretted that because when we got into the city, it seemed as though 70% of the Villagers were behind wheels forming endless streams of traffic while the other 30% were frolicking on the streets, crossing at the green light and dancing to the music of honking horns, so it took us about an hour and a half to get to our destination – Aura. As we stood outside of Castle Aura on a line a block long, a man kept walking back and forth announcing that only people who want” bottle service” would be granted entry for a night of merry making. I started getting flashbacks of last year’s nightmare. I had to do something. I pulled one man aside who reeked of promoter cologne and pleaded my case with him. He was moved by my smooth words and spoke to another promoter and then they came back bearing “good” tidings together. We could get into the club as long as we paid $20 per head (which was the entry price) and follow the white nurse to the top floor. Great! The four of us trickled through the castle doors as desperate villagers attempted to grab on to our coat tails and sneak in with us. They were quickly pulled back.

So we headed through the partying crowd looking like VIP’s watching castle dwellers watch us. One tall, lanky modelesque one purposely bumped my sister who was directly in front of me, so my sister bumped her back and kept on walking. Unknown to my sister, she raised her hand as if to hit her and upon seeing this, I let out a dire warning to this girl who obviously had too much to drink and she dropped her hand in surprise (Due to sensitive audiences, I can not repeat the warning). Anyway, we were lead by the white nurse to the top floor behind red velvety curtains. The VIP Area! ‘How did we get here?’ I wondered. We were in a dimly lit, cozy little balcony overlooking our festive subjects. We were given a table, a soft red velvet sectional and asked what our preference for chasers was.

Totally overwhelmed by the VIP service, the police officer and the correction’s officer immediately protested. They thought they had to pay for all of this but the white nurse calmed their fears and told them that it was all paid for. In a second, almost by some strange magic, the white nurse disappeared and then reappeared with four bottles of chasers, two grey geese and plenty of goblets. We all dug in. The officers took a few sips of their elixer and under the spell of the music, ran downstairs to be with their subjects. I watched my little sister pour a grey goose into a glass of cranberry juice like it was water. She drank it in lickedy split and was fine. So I followed suit. For the moment, I forgot that my sister had super human powers when it came to alcohol because she got a bartending license just for fun so she could mix all sorts of drinks at home. This was one of her hobbies that started as a child when she would mix juices and beg me to, “Taste it! Taste it!” Even today when she has functions at her home and mixes drinks, I first take one whiff of it and the toxic fumes alone stop me from even tasting. I always throw it down her sink and tell her, “Mmmmm. That was good!”

Moving right along: So I poured ¼ of a goblet of grey goose into ¾ of cranberry juice and within minutes, I was on my way to Wasted Land. I didn’t eat that night and I never had grey goose before so that was my personal recipe for disaster. I stumbled over to the edge of the balcony to look at the subjects swaying back and forth and I ended up dropping my phone over the balcony. It parted three ways. That was the first of several drops for the night. Poor Samsung. I held on to the banister to get down the steps, which in my mind, morphed into a spiral staircase. I spotted the pieces, so I held on to a bouncer’s shoulder (who was guarding the VIP area) for balance and was successful in picking them up without falling over. It took me several minutes to Rubik’s cube the battery back to its base and place the cover over it. This time, I floated right up the stairs to my sister who was sitting on the couch. She started complaining nonstop about this venue not being her scene and how she wanted to go home. I told her we should probably leave.

She then asked me if I felt like I was spinning. I had to admit it and then she sternly told me that I was going to hurl. I never hurl so I just sucked my teeth and said, Yeah right. At this point, we were in Aura for about 20 minutes which in Village time equaled an eternity. For the next twenty minutes, we danced a little in the chair and laughed at the dwellers. Then I poured a second grey goose and cranberry into a goblet and took two sips for the road. My sister yelled at me but I didn’t think I would be affected as I was. Heading down the stairs and through the crowd again was a chore. When I hit the crisp 56 degree air outside, it felt like I had just stepped straight into the sun onto Caribbean sands at the hottest point of the day. I stripped off my trench coat. I didn’t know this act, plus the fact that I was walking in zig zags would trigger flocks upon flocks of male vultures to hover, and then descend over me, yelling Princess! Princess! They kept coming and my sister and I kept beating them off with sharp, loud words. Then I recalled the Kanye West song, “Drunken Hot Girls”, and realized what was going on. I was the perfect prey-pissingly plastered. I started singing the song until my sister yelled at me to shut up. Then I started apologizing to my lil sis but she told me it was okay. The same thing happened to her with her first interlude with the grey goose, but lucky for her, she was at home. Here I was on the streets of Greenwich Village, trudging like a twisted Cleopatra. Then I saw a priest or a man in costume as a Catholic priest. I went up to him and pleaded, “Forgive me father, for I have sinned!” I don’t think the priest heard me because his eyes were blank and glassy as if he were high on something…everything! My sister dragged me away and said, “Come here. All he’s going to say is take ten Hail Mary’s and call me in the morning!” I couldn’t stop laughing after that.

Then we tried to get a cab – the classic New York nightmare. Especially on Halloween night, this was next to impossible. No cabs wanted to journey over the bridge into the land of Brooks. In my drunkenness I was still able to think clearly to tell my sister to go underground and take a train to Brooklyn where willing cabs were in abundance. But my sister hates riding the train with a passion. So she had me doing the drunken girl walk for blocks and blocks sticking out my arm until she realized we were walking further into Manhattan. So she dragged me back to the opposite direction while I laughed at everything. I couldn’t feel the cold or the pain in my feet, and I felt happy for no reason, so it was okay with me. Finally, my sis got tired and we ended up at the Union Square train station. Underground, her prediction came true. My body kept trying to hurl the goose out of me but nothing would come out. With each gasp, I felt weaker and weaker. An electrical box on the platform became my best friend as I held it for balance, gagging every other second. I prayed for the train to come and after about 15 – 20 minutes, it came. I sat in the train and with every jerk, I wanted to throw up. I put my head in my lap and closed my eyes, but when I closed my eyes, the spinning increased out of control. So I had to keep my head up and stair into the excruciating light in the train. My whole body, all my senses, my entire Aura was super-sensitive. To make a long story short, we ended up at Grand Army Plaza where we got a cab immediately in my estimation. According to my sister, we were waiting forever. Apparently time started to speed up for me. I remember my sis and the cab driver having a deep conversation about the state of the world or something or the other and then in a time-machine flash, I was in front of my home. As soon as I made it in, the floor became my companion. I felt at peace to throw up all over it. Until the sun shone, we lived happily ever after. Until next year. The End.