I was a corner boy for 20 minutes in the streets of Flatbush. You’re life will never be this cool!
I decided that Friday’s would be dedicated to story telling. Not in me creating them but sharing with you some of my own life. I didn’t share last Friday because well… Recalling that story brought up some things… But todays episode should be easy. I’m basically the man in these streets!
It was my 1st time traveling to New York. I was there for the Labor Day (West Indian day) parade. It’s a northern carnivale and boy was it glorious. The day before is where this story begins.
There is a festival associated with the parade called j’ouvert. This is the parade before the parade. It starts at 4 in the morning. It’s located in a super shady area. There typically aren’t lights. All you hear are the sounds of loud steel drums. You literally ‘feel the beat of the rhythm of the night and dance into the morning light’ everyone is covered in white powder and paint and well.. It just sounded like a good time!
Side bar…. Did Debarge participate in j’ouvert cause those lyrics…
Jouvert is highly traditional and full of symbols culture and heritage. It is steeped in tradition and playing mud mas involves participants known as Jab Jabs. covering themselves – from head to toe – and others in paint, oil, mud, powder or anything for that matter.
Because my friend and I are granny’s we decided to stay out till the celebration started so we wouldn’t fall asleep. This led us to a bar in a nearby neighborhood. Because sober living doesn’t allow me to be entertained by just anything I soon became bored and about 1 am I took a walk!
Listen it happened, I lived. It’s too late to freak out now.
In my cutest blue and lace dress with my glitter flats and curls I strolled down the streets of this part of NYC in search of something to entertain me. I went to a Bodega and ordered a sandwich! Saw a man get arrested after fighting in the street before finding myself on a dark, industrial-ish street. It was a loooong row of closed store fronts and I assume living spaces high above them. It all just looked empty.
Then it started to rain on me!
Facebook checked me in at ‘Bedstuy Do or Die on Fulton St”
I had two choices. I could turn back and try and find my way in the rain or continue to some lights that I could see. Lights it was! When I got to the lights it was a pizza shop! I was gonna get my 1st new york slice from a real shop!
Okay here it comes!
Between looks of confusion as to what I was doing around there.. It was the dress. I can admit it was a bad choice for what we planned to do. And maybe the glitter shoes... I ordered and took a corner to eat. I enjoyed listening to the conversations around me. They folded their pizza so, I folded my pizza. I WAS SO NEW YORK-Y when A rough looking group entered and looked right… At.. Me.. The didn’t look friendly.
They harassed the people behind the counter. One flipped a chair and a couple of the girls in the group just… Kept… Staring.. At.. Me…
You know when you KNOW you not gon win this fight. Yea that was my reality… But remember this is me.
Insert power pose (internally).
I tossed my plate away and walked confidently through the group to start back on my journey. They called to me… It was the glitter shoes! Dang me! Without acknowledging them I entered the night and saw a man dressed in all black near the street.
He looked like he had some authority so I stood right next to him as if he knew me. For a few moments we didn’t speak. Then he looked down and asked “why are you standing next to me?” I glanced at the rowdy group in the pizza shop and he grunted. Seemingly understanding. Then cockily I said to him “You next to me” I didn’t move.. He didn’t move until it AGAIN began to rain.
He walked me under an awning and all of a sudden I saw people across the street… By the stairs… On a rooftop and around a building. He put a few fingers in the air and they started disappearing. I put my fingers in the air too.. CAUSE I’M A BOSS! Obviously! He snickered and I knew that he’d began to favor me.
For 20 minutes I stood on this dark street w man who doesn’t speak beside me. Or I was beside him cause you know… He was there 1st but whatever.
The group had been 15 minutes gone and the rain stopped. He asked me where I was going and I gave him the cross streets. He pointed me in the direction and said since the rain has stopped that I should start walking..
And I did.
After a successful 20 minutes on the block.
Did I mention Im a boss!
Here a cooler thing. As I walked men appeared on the higher balconies and watched me. When I got too far from one another appeared. There was a couple fighting… And some man came from an alley and walked me across the street.
It was so dope!
Only till I could see the bar did I have someone shadowing me.
By the time I got back everyone was ready to go and being 3am now we were too pooped to participate j’ouvert so decided to head home.
I didn’t mind. My adventure had been complete.
Did I mention I’m a boss!!!