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Externalities of Life: Inflection

Destroying “The Superiority Complex” & Maintaining Self-Worth & Actualization

The Superiority Complex: I enjoy talking about myself and sharing the amazing project I am working on. I believe they are an important impact to society and everyone should know about it.

Destroying The Superiority Complex: allow yourself to be present in the moment without taking up too much space & causing others to feel suffocated by my presence. Being an active and engaged listener. Listen with the intent to understand and empathize with individuals.

When conversing with individuals, be intentional about not directing the conversation to myself. Avoid using “I” too much in conversations; use “you” more. Give space for others to share and also allow the silence in the room to be comforting.

Chaz Sonique

Happy

Happy…
Happy is where I longed to be
Happy is where I need to be
Happy comes from people I know, love and respect
Happy can be frustrating, sad, lonely and afraid
Happy makes you wonder how you can stay that way
Happy times are the best days of my life
Happy brings people you miss back into your life
Happy says please, thank you and I love you
Happy says you are special, beautiful, kind, friendly and funny at a certain time
Happy is where you were born, birth and restored
Happy is harmony created to encourage, lift, inspire
Happy isn’t confusion, lost nor need to be found
Happy is why I’m writing you this morning
Thank you for making me feel Happy even though I’m full of grieving and emotional pain

You and I

You and I are better than this
You and I are loveable sweet kind-hearted souls that connect strings of notes into flows of music with such a melody that turns heads in both of our direction
You and I will achieve believe that beauty lives skin deep beauty with the touch of your presence can cause situations to become fruitful blessings from all directions
You and I are the pairs that hold our hand’s hearts and smiles together you and I was will and always be happy rejoin together forever
I love you and I so much

Written by Arneteria Benford

Letter to my 17-year-old self.

Sup Chazmen,

Life’s been rough since day one but at age 17, you start to see a silver lining. That’s not it though. You learn that the silver lining doesn’t exist. Well, at least not in your world. There is no escaping the darkness. Yet in those solemn times, you’ve always remained optimistic. Never lose that. That six figure silver lining doesn’t pan out. Yet, you do find your way out of Florida. It won’t be to an Ivy League school up North but niglet you do make it out of Hell.

You’ll learn to surprise yourself. By stepping out of your comfort zone and expressing yourself the way you see fit. You’ll find your voice to speak up about your troubles. You’ll learn to be vulnerable.

You’ll eventually learn to embrace your blackness.

You won’t always be called an Oreo.

You won’t always be the only black gay male in the room.

You won’t always feel alone.

My God, you’ll disappoint yourself over and over again. You’ll be disappointed in others. Cry & move on.

You’ll continue to live life backstage in Florida. But remember, a stage is a stage and you can shine from anywhere. Your moment will come.

Also, magic IS real, not like the Harry Potter stuff. You create magic every time you smile. Never stop smiling. It’ll continue to bring you justice in complicated situation. So, smile on!

There’s magic in your creativity. Trust yourself and the abilities you have earned. Use them wisely. To create art, community and self love.

Call Granny more.

Never stop dreaming. Those dreams becomes foundations for artwork. Pain is an emotion meant to be felt and expressed. You’ll learn to express your pain. You’ll learn to share it with the world. They’ll even understand. There is power in being vulnerable.

So keep smiling. Keep dreaming. And be patient.

Your time to take center stage will come.

-Big Chaz

Nate. 

Memorial Day Weekend (2015)

November 1998. When Granny turned into the hospital parking lot, her 1986 Cadillac backfired from its rusty muffler. Ka-boom!  My Aunt Dee tightened her grip on me. The late November air was dry and hot. As I adjusted my position, the torn leather seats scratched against my skin. With a sharp turn, Granny whipped the car into the parking spot.We followed on the nurse’s heels as she led us through the hospital. Her beeper chirped. Our brisk walk quickened to a near sprint.  My stubby legs pumped away but they couldn’t keep up with the women’s strides. Quickly Dee turned around and squatted; I climbed onto her back, stuck my fist forward and yelled, “Charge!” We reached the elevator by a hair before the automatic doors closed.

With a flick of her wrist, the nurse checks her watch.“It should be any minute now,” the nurse said. The elevator doors opened. The nurse, Granny, Dee and I scurry down the crowded corridor. The doctors and nurses scramble to clear our path as we charge down the aisle. 

The tiny room was crowded with people. Behind a curtain, I could hear someone panting heavily. Pointing her finger at me. “Getcha ass down and listen,” said Grandma.  “Y’all move a muscle and yuh gettin’ an ass whoopin’. Jus’ pay attention to the TV and behave ya selves.” Nodding our heads in agreement, Aunt Dee and I separated ourselves and watched Granny slip behind the curtain. A moment later, a familiar loud cry filled the room. “We are starting to crown,” an unfamiliar voice says.

Crown? Dee, what does that mean?” With a shrug of her shoulder, Dee looks at me and spurts, “I don’t know — but we ain’t gonna find out by sitting here.”  In an instant, Dee is at the corner of the curtain. With a quick swipe, she snaps her head in. At once, her knees buckle.  Her face scrunches up and she stumbles back to the chair next to mine. I am now too scared to ask what “crowning” is.

The voices from the other side now chant, in chorus: “Push!” The sudden mood shift is exactly what Dee needed, together we join the chant:  “PUSH! PUSH! PUSH!”

A shrill, high-pitched shriek from the other side sent chills down my spine.  My mother’s cry seemed to echo throughout the hospital. With a quick whip of the curtain, by my step-dad, the divided room became one.  I can see now that those strange voices belong to familiar faces as my aunt and I are greeted by the rest of the family.

Mother lies upon the hospital bed, panting and covered in sweat. Her long hair is frizzled and partly stuck to the side of her face. Noticing me, she smiles.  

Without warning, my step-dad picks me up and carries me towards the nurses.   Perched on his hip, we squeeze in between the gathered nurses. They are gently wiping and cleaning a little baby boy. Startled by what I was looking at, I couldn’t help but laugh at the funky looking infant. His large hazel eyes seemed too big for his balloon-shaped head. His skin was blotched, pink and caramel. He also had a long extension cord where his belly button was supposed to be.

Snapping a fastener on the cord, the nurse handed me a pair of funny-looking scissors and asked if I wanted to cut the cord.“Will it hurt him?” I asked.  The nurse assured me the baby wouldn’t feel a thing, I smiled.  My step-dad steadied me and the nurse assisted me in cutting the cord. The nurse then bundled up my little brother like a burrito and carried him to Mother. Wiggling free from my step-dad, I hurried over to Mother as she held my little brother for the first time.

In time, several years from now, Nate and I would grow to become best friends. But at that precise moment, I wanted nothing more than the Nurses to accidentally lose the baby as they wheeled him away.