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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Post X


6/29/11 @ 11:25pm

It’s been seven days since my last diary entry…and boy have some things happened.  Well, I’ll go back to the 25th. 

I had been apartment hunting, it was a Saturday, and it was day two of the shopping experience.  Friday the 24th had gone well.  I felt that I had found a place.  It was off Colorado Blvd, a studio that measured 425 square feet; it had a little fire-place, and was cool.  It was a bit on the small side, but the location was great, the building was nice, and I felt at home during the viewing and stuff.  Friday was a hot day, and I remember my overflow for my radiator was boiling after I looked at the studio, but I didn’t think anything of it, just that it was a hot day.  I went to work with no problem on that hot Friday, and got back to the shelter with no problem.

Addendum 

Saturday, the 24th was the kicker.  I had gone out again before work (at the treatment center/group home) to go apartment hunting.  I ended up in this real “hood” area, and I knew I didn’t want to rent there, but still wanted to check it out.  The day was real, real hot, and the car was doing fine.  I backed in to a parking space at what I thought was the apartment leasing center.  It ended up not being the leasing center, and I was getting tired, so I thought forget it, this ain’t what I want anyway, so let’s keep it movin’.  I got in the car, and it tried to turn over, but it wouldn’t.  I thought no problem, let’s try it again—same result, but with less power.  I was thinking damn, I hope the radiator is not dry, and the starter is ok.  I popped the hood, the radiator was full, and there wasn’t a problem with the starter.  I tried a third time, and I got nothing!  I panicked, froze up, and tried to call on The Most High to help.  But it was to no avail, it wouldn’t start.  It was getting late, so I called my job and informed them about the situation. 

I ended up calling my ex as well as my best friend in Omaha, because I was beside myself.  I needed my car; the job was like 25-30 miles from where I was staying.  It was also the one thing that kept my sanity about my homeless situation.  Besides all that I had a box of poetry in the trunk along with all my clothes and belongings.  The other thing was I only had about $175 to my name.  I decided to break down and call for a tow truck.  The good thing about the tow was it was only $50.  An African brother picked me up; I believe he was from Ethiopia.  He took me to a shop where another African brother took a look.  I was hoping and praying it was the starter…please, please, please, just be the starter!  But just my luck, the engine had gone bad—I was shit out of luck—damn!

The next step was trying to figure out what to do.  I was seriously debating buying a bus ticket back to Omaha, or to the Pacific Ocean.  I was done; my mentality was spiraling down, down, down.  I quickly took a mental step back and thought—if this is rock bottom, then fuck it, its rock bottom.  This car is the last thing that remains from a former life that you wanted to change, brotha, you can let it go, and be ok.  I saw a sign that they bought junk cars, and asked, how much for this junk car man?  He made a call, and another African brotha with a tow truck came and gave me $450 for the car.  I was stuck; I had boxes, a suitcase, and a saxophone to try and find a new home for.  I called the brother who was the director at the school to see if he could help me out—Give Thanks—he said I could store my stuff at the school.  That was peace; the only issue I had to work out now was getting all the stuff down to the school, 30 miles north.  Fortunately there was a luxury cabbie there with a Lincoln Town car who offered to take me to 5 Points for the low low.  I was good.  We threw my stuff in his trunk, and he took me down to the school.  I stored my stuff right under the steps, just outside the school, and prayed that no one would mess with it.  I paid the cabbie, and hopped the light rail back to the shelter. 
I was in trouble, I had to be to work the next day, and I didn’t know how I would get out to the place.  I got to the shelter and the men were supportive, and didn’t let me get down on myself.  They told me how to get out to the job by bus, which was exactly what I needed.  So I knew how to get out to work, but I didn’t know how to get back.  See the issue was timing, I worked from 3pm-12am, so getting there was no problem, but getting back would be the issue.  I knew that I had to go to work, if I was going to stay in Denver, and I wanted to stay, so I decided to get to work and figure out a way to get back to the shelter.

Sunday the 25th was the day The Most High answered my call.  I rode the bus to work and all was fine.  I had completed my training shifts and I worked in a cottage.  I really don’t recall what cottage it was; I just knew that I had completed my training shifts.  The girls were cool, they hadn’t given me a bunch of drama, but I was focused on a way to get home.  I had a couple of options on how to get back the shelter.  One, I could take a cab to the bus stop, which was the cheapest route, or I could take a cab to a hotel room which would be closer to the job, or I could big ball and take a cab like 25 miles back to the shelter.  In any case I knew that a cab would be in order. 

I called for two cabs, and the first to show up was truly Divine Order.  It was a Metro Cab, and the guy was real cool.  He asked where I needed to go and I told him the bus stop that was like 8 miles away.  I got to talking and telling him that I was headed to downtown Denver, and he said he would take me for $25!  I was like hell yea!!  I was really tired, and I got to running my mouth about working at the treatment center/group home, moving to Denver, becoming homeless, and my car dying the day before.  Now I’m not sure what made this man respond to me the way he did, but he told me that he and his wife were looking for a roommate.  I couldn’t believe it. He asked if I was interested, and I was like yea, I’m damn sure interested.  The beautiful thing was that he was within walking distance to my job.  Granted walking distance was considered around four miles, but four was hella better than thirty. 

What made me trust this guy—I don’t know, I just felt like he could be trusted.  He took me by where the light rail was, and how to get to his house.  His name is JR, and he is a person The Most High sent to help me out!  He is hella cool, his wife is great, the house is wonderful, and the room I have, has its own bathroom.  I was and still am, in heaven.  On Sunday June 25th, I officially stopped being a part of the homeless population, and re-entered the general population. 

I have been here ever since, living side by side with my roomies, and haven’t had any problems.  They are older than me, which is good, they are very accepting, and great people.  I cannot say enough good things about my roommates.

So this is where things stand.  I’m here in Aurora, a few miles from my job, easy access to the bus and light rail, happy and un-homeless.  I’ll be here for a while.  I’m not making any plans on changing my location or anything like that.  I have a roof over my head, that is stable and wonderful, two great roommates, two jobs that I love, so I’m good.  But keep reading, the story does continue.  This is just the end of June….I still got much more story in me, my adventure is not done yet!!!  I Give Thanks for all the Blessings The Most High has graced me with, and am glad to be a loyal servant to The Most High!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Post IX


June 14th – 22nd Addendum
I didn’t do a whole lot of writing during this period because I was working my ass off.  My week went like this.  On the 16th I began working at the treatment center/group home, it was a Thursday.  I found out I would be working Thursday through Monday, with Tuesday and Wednesday off.  I was super glad that they started me working that soon; I also found out that my first check would be for 6 days and I’d be paid on the 1st of July—everything was right on time.

I also was working at the temp job holding the sign outside.  I couldn’t quit just yet; one I needed the money and two, I felt loyal to them—even though the money sucked, they were the 1st to employ me, and give me steady funds.  I was also going to the school here and there helping out, and getting the school ready for next year.

So I would wake up at 5:30 and go to the school, work there until it was either 10am or early afternoon (depending on the day) and go to a job, work it, get off, and come back to the shelter.  The shelter was good, because I had a wake up call, the only bad thing was on most days, I didn’t get in until around 1, or 1:15am, and then get up at 5:30. 

But it was cool; I was workin’, and had money to pay bills.  (Did I mention that I had to pay to stay at the shelter??)  Yea, it was called a “working man’s shelter”, so I was paying $56 a week to stay there.  Now some will say that I was butt-ball crazy to be staying at a shelter and paying to stay there, however there is not a hotel that I know of in the city of Denver or Aurora that I could live at for $56 a week—with meals included.  That is the double standard when it comes to how society still views gender issues.  I am not sure if women have to pay (probably not) to stay at a shelter, but for men, we have to pay.  As a man it is still expected that you are a man, and you fend for yourself, the state will help, but it is really up to you to make it happen.  With women, because of children (I guess) they are given more breaks when it comes to “pulling yourself up with your bootstraps”.  Now I’m not trying to gender bash, but in a so-called equal society, a shelter should be free for all, or all should have to pay.  But I guess Obama and the g-o-v’-t  still have to work on that one.

So I was busting tail, getting a check on Fridays from the temp job, (finally got my 1st two checks on June 17th).  I had been broke, but somehow I made it.  I wasn’t really keeping up with my journal, because I was learning the system with the new job, meeting the kids, working with them, and trying to rest when I could.  The next journal entry listed is the 22nd of June, and it’s short, but from there the journey hits a snag, then a needle and thread is presented to me, so here’s the entry from the 22nd. 


6/22/2011 @ 7:49am

Woke up today feeling very uneasy.  Had a dream last night that really scared me.  It was Vonne (my ex-girl-friend from Atlanta) frying pork chops in the kitchen at the old house (in Omaha, NE).  And my mother was there, she looked good, was moving good, and I think was in good spirits.  Sammi, Vonne’s daughter wanted to come in through the basement garage, but the garage was broken and I could see over the top, like it was jammed down at the bottom.  I told her to go around to the side door.  Then the water man came out, I greeted him at the driveway and had a pleasant conversation, even though the water was supposed to be cut off.  I went back into the kitchen through the side door, and Vonne was gone, and the kitchen was cleaned like no one had been there.  The dream woke me up shortly before 5:30….I was craving a cigarette.  This was a weird dream, and it has kind of put me on edge for the day.  I ask the Most High for much guidance today, as I am not feeling too good about the beginning of the day.

Addendum Cont.

I didn’t know what this dream meant at the time, however, I have theories now, that it’s all passed, and will come back to my theories.  However, the day went cool, the week went fine, and I hadn’t even talked to Vonne—the whole dream was just weird.  It scared me because I hadn’t dreamed of my mother since she passed, and seeing her like well, and walking around was like a good thing, but bad, because she was real sick before she passed.  Also dreaming about the house I’d lost just tore me to pieces.  Even now, roughly a month after it, it’s hard to write about it.  I remember that dream vividly, and I recognize the power of dreams, and I remember the power of that particular one.  It just hit me hard—I think one of the hardest things was that I had it at the shelter, and I damn near fell off the top bunk.

But that was the writing for that small time period.  The next part of the journey will be picked up a few days later, and that’s where the journey gets real interesting.  So stay tuned, the next posting will be dated from the 29th, but we’ll visit the 25th-the 29th, because a lot happens to me in those 4 days….

Post VIII (Addendum)

6/14 Addendum

This will be an inserted posting, not from actual diary entries, (as they are) but something that has been updated from memory, because I didn’t actually write this one down when it happened.

On the 14th of June, I pulled into the job site where I worked as a sign holder.  I was feeling pretty good, a bit worried about my car, but good nonetheless.  I was still at the shelter, but I had a job, and was waiting to hear back from either the liquor store or the youth girls’ treatment center/group home.

As I got out my car and was searching through the trunk to get my hat, I got a call—the treatment center/group home offered me a job!!  I was tired from the day before and was feeling broke because of the money situation, but I knew I had crossed a bridge.  This job was full time paying twice as much as what I was working for.  Also I would be back in the field of working with youth, and that was/is so important to me.  And the huge bonus about it was I would be getting the hell out that hot ass sun!! (lol)

I remember the HR rep, (whose name escapes me now) was on the phone asking me if I was excited, I was too tired to yell and whoop around, but I did let her know that I was elated and excited.  I was trippin’ because I thought I had messed up the job because I told her that I was homeless--but I guess the honesty worked to my advantage.  So I was good at this point, I could work both jobs with no issue, and I was already thinking: now I can go apartment hunting and get my mind to upward motion.

See the temp. job holding the sign would be ending in July, I would be starting the job at the treatment center/group home in two days, and I was making plans on teaching at the school in the 5 Points area.  My plate was getting full, and all the food on the plate looked delicious!  I only had to wait for the paydays. 

The other thing that I tripped off of was that it was June 14th, it was exactly 7 days from when I interviewed, and I had interviewed on the 7th……is it just me or do we see the Most High workin’ through the numbers…I’m just sayin’….Give Thanks!! 

I didn’t quit my temp job, why should I—I had to keep making money and I was getting paid every week. I was blessed, supported by the Most High, and happy in my new grounds…June was peaking for me!!  I had only been in Denver for a little over 4 weeks, and in that time, I didn’t become a world-renown poet, but I made a couple bucks; I became homeless, but kept my head, and was working through it; and now I had two jobs.   I began to feel like I could make it here, I had support here, not only financially but through a strong African-centered community, and I was regaining my mental health.  This day I knew, I would stay in Denver, it was official; Denver had earned a new resident!

Post VII

6/13/2011
Don’t know if it was a full moon, or should have been a Friday the 13th—but whatever it was, I was doin’ butt ball bad today.  And for Today—I Give Thanks.  I asked the Most High for some finances, and they were given, just not in the form I really needed it—and I still Give Thanks.

Today I learned I put my time in wrong and won’t be paid until Friday—shit!  I was so low on gas, so when I found out about the money, I didn’t even bother going to work—it would have been a waste.  (It would have been like trying to make a round-trip on one way gas).   I made two calls, one to the bank, and the other to the job.  I already had $25 coming from the bank because I thought cashing the check might be an issue.  I knew I needed gas money, however as of right now (6/13/2011 @ 8:57pm) ain’t nothin’ came through.  Therefore, I have requested the last $75 out of my savings account—something has to give by tomorrow in the AM.  Right now, I have $2 to my name, and the gas is one “E”

The good thing about the day though was my ex finally did come through with some money—she paid my phone bill.  That was a blessing because the phone was about to be shut off, at 6pm tonight.  Originally she was going to money-gram me some loot, but the loot went to the phone bill—that’s cool.

Before all that got settled though, I went to the little laundromat to wash some clothes.  They were in bad need of a washing because this past weekend I had gone camping with my brotha, and the 5 Points Conscious Community.  And camping was what a brotha needed.  It was real peace.  I felt stressed at times because I couldn’t contribute financially, but they welcomed me as usual, and gave me that feeling of community and love that a brotha desperately needs.  In any case, as I was waiting for the laundromat to open, I had gone online to check on my hours, and put in my time for the week.  It was then that I noticed that my first weeks’ time was not there. 
*************************************************************************************
(Addendum)
The day was completely frantic, but I made it through.  Like I said earlier, my ex did come through and pay my phone bill, so that was good.  I was beyond broke at the end of the day.  However, the next day some money did drop down from my savings account and into the bank card that I had.  And when I got back to the shelter, the brothas were very supportive and uplifting.  That is the thing about being flat on your back; there are others there who are there with you.

 The only thing that I can really compare it to is being on a slave ship.  If one has ever seen the picture of all the Africans on the ship, there are strapped down flat on their back; above them—more Africans, below them—more African, on the side—more Africans.  It is no wonder that we made it through the middle passage; we had each other, literally surrounded by another African.  That is how the day felt, on a ship filled with shit, but I was surrounded by support, and from that support, I made it through that day.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Post VI

6-8-11
Give Praise and Blessings to the Most High, for it is That Spirit, who has brought me this far.  Yesterday was a good day, and so was today.  Yesterday (6/7/11) was my day for interviews.  I had one with Argaunaut Liquor store, and a second with treatment center/group Home for Girls.  I got up early, and abandoned my routine to prepare for my day.  I had ironed a shirt and khaki’s, and brought out the tie to boot, so I was up, ready, and in good spirits.

So the first interview was with the liquor store.  I was so over-prepared, that I was about 45 minutes early.  However, it was to my advantage.  I got to the store, went in and asked for the manager who I was supposed to interview with.  He was kind of busy, but I only waited a few minutes.  We had a on the spot kind of interview because I got to the point and let him know that I had a second interview right after that one.  I informed him I was currently working at a temp agency, and that the other job I was interviewing for was an evening/night weekend type position.  He said we might be able to work out a part time schedule, because he was looking for someone to be able to work evenings.  I let him know that I would have two days off; currently Fridays and Saturdays, however in the future, hopefully it would be a Monday, and Tuesdays.  He seemed real cool, with the situation, and told me to get back with him when I had something more concrete to tell him.  I felt that was cool because I would need a second job, with whatever situation I had.  So the exchange only lasted about 15 minutes, and I hit the road earlier than expected, but that was good.

For the second interview, I go out 25 South to Aurora, and Give Thanks to the Most High because my radiator held out; I’d put some water in it so that when it leaked it would still have fluid.  So I get to my exit and go the wrong way, but it was cool, because I had some extra time.  Long story short, I get to the treatment center/group home about 30 minutes early.  That proved to be a good thing because they had me write an essay about my strengths and weaknesses.  So I did that, and the lady comes and gets me.  I’m feeling confident and nervous at the same time, but my spirit was full!

So we chat as bit, I’m being pretty open and friendly.  She lays into the questions, and the first answer must have hit her pretty strong because she didn’t do a lot of writing, but just sort of looked at me as I talked and explained my answer.  It was cool, and I was doing well until I got real honest with her and told her about my current situation.  Now I don’t think she had an issue with me being homeless or anything like that, but she felt that I was flaky for leaving Omaha, and coming to Denver with no job, family, or support system.  She said that she has kids and wouldn’t be able to do something like that—hopefully she can understand that I’m a man with no kids, and I enjoy the journey of life because my belief in The Most High is strong.  She did say that she would do a background check; I told her about the DUI and the weed possessions—that’s being very honest….there’s nothing else besides the hospital, and that didn’t really involve the cops.  I also called her today and gave her Ms. Stark’s extension; so hopefully, the Most High will bless me with this continuation in working with “troubled” youth.

As I left Aurora, I felt good, I didn’t have anywhere to go, but I felt good.  It was beginning to get warm and I needed a place to park my car.  It took me a minute, but I decided to go to the park I had found in the Five Points area.  

 Now this is how beautiful the Most High works.  As I get to the intersection of the park, I see this brotha I met a few weeks back at the Block Party, and he’s got this line of like 40 kids with him.  I didn’t know what was going on, but I had decided that I was going to help that brotha with those kids.  I parked and followed them to the middle of the park, where I come to find out, the community of people I had met and been connecting with, had a school in the area, and it was the school’s field day.  So there were volunteer parents out there, tons of kids, the teachers, and the principal.  It was a beautiful, beautiful event.  I see the brotha who introduced me to the community, and I felt welcomed, and began to pitch in where I could.  The funny thing was I had been looking for the school and wanting to get some information on it, and boom—I landed in their lap.  I got a good chance throughout the afternoon and evening to chop it up with the principal who is an amazing brotha, a big brotha, and amazing—made me proud to be a Black Man again.  So I helped cook and serve, watched some of the events and got to meet some of the parents, community people, kids, and all that—I had such a great time! 

The even more amazing thing was I got a chance to go to the school this morning and do some more interaction.  It’s the last week of school, and I’m a bit late, but now I know, for the next couple of days, I got a new schedule—get up, and be at that school at 7am.  So I’m feeling really blessed right now.  My day has been full, my spirit blessed.  I’ve been invited to go camping this weekend.  I am a little bit nervous about it, because it seems like a family kind of thing, and I’m like an odd-ball out, but I'm going to stick my neck on out there and get it done.  I get paid on Friday, my bills here at the shelter are taken care of ….I got a half tank of gas to last one more day and a morning, and from there I just have to be in go mode.  But it will feel nice to like get away, be with some like-minded folks and spend some time.  So I’m looking forward to the continued adventure of life—Giving Thanks to the Most High, praising The Spirit that has brought me here, trying to be a good student and follow the path that is before me.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Post V (6/5/11 Weekend Con't/ People's Fair & Drumming Circle& pics)

 This is a continuation from Post IV, so if you get confused, just read the previous post!

Saturday (6/4/11)
A whole new day.  Today was the day for the Peoples Fair, and another opportunity to sell some cd’s.  Mary from Bayard had invited me, which again was a big Blessing. 

Now check this.  I was at the laundry matt early in the morning because they wake us at 5:30 and we gotta be gone by like 8 or something.  So I’m at the matt hecka early washin’ a load, burnin’ cds, and transposin’ a poem from audio to paper, because my memory is shot.  Anyway, I step outside to smoke a square and rehearse a few pieces in the parking lot.  I’m in my zone reciting this new piece I had found and been working on.  And there’s this cat, Ivan/Tragic who is there smoking a square as well.  Now what trips me out is that he’s listening, but I don’t even know he is.  I butchered the end of the poem, but he says, “that was deep as hell man, I ain’t heard no shit like that in a minuete.”   So we get to choppin’ it up and he tells me his story about how he is an ex-banger/dealer who now does motivational speaking.  Tragic is a good dude from what I gathered.  I got his number and will probably hit him up sometime this week to see what the business is.  It just tripped me out, because I never got a compliment like that off some humbug shit—Denver is nuts, I love it!!

So I got all my cd’s ready and headed to the fair.  Now the fair was cool, found Mary and the booth with no problem, hell Mary even bought me lunch—it’s a reason she’s named Mary…lol.  But anyway, the fair was packed, and once again, I was feeling nervous as hell.  See Mary had invited me to perform and do my thing, which was a blessing, but there was no mic, we were sandwiched between two stages, people would either be amazed, pay me no mind, or have me arrested….lol.  So I chill for a good bit, then tell Mary I’m going to go for a walk to calm myself.  I now know what a panic attack is all about…that stuff is scary when you’re sober.  I take a walk, talk to some people, smoke a square, get a bit of confidence about me, and head back to the table.  I tell Mary, I think it’s time to do some poetry—she supports me fully, I Love Me Some Mary!!!!!

I stepped to the front of the booth, and began to spit Acapella, during a quiet time between two stages.  People looked at me at first like I was crazy, but I persisted on.  (Hell, that ain’t the first time someone looked at me crazy—and I doubt it’ll be the last….lol)  So I kept performing, but people lost interest about a quarter of the way through.  It was cool though, I didn’t get any sales, but I did it.  I was brave enough to try it.  I kinda knew from walking around that it was the wrong environment, but I’m gaining my good craziness back—and that felt great!!  The other great thing that happened Saturday was, I went down to one of the music stages, and got a flyer from this guitarist.  Now dude was a artist so I hit him with my story and let him know that I got cd’s and the white brotha bought one.  That was PEACE!!!  It got me feeling good and stuff, so I did get some hope.  He said he would call me about maybe doing a show or something, but I haven’t heard from him, but its cool though—I give Thanks to The Most High for that!!!

I ended up leaving the fair, and hooking up with my God-send, her daughter, and her friends daughter.  We walked and talked  all up and down 16th Street Mall.  We saw the musicians, got to know each other, and the Queen got herself and her daughter’s friend a journal.  It was a peace evening, a peace walk, and a peace time.

Now Saturday night I was pretty depressed and bummed out, but coming back to the shelter man, the brothas here uplifted me at dinner.  I have hooked up with some elder brothers who have been down some roads and been helpin' me out.  So when they saw me Saturday night, they just looked me out, and lifted my spirits.  So I was able to put the bad things in perspective and put stuff behind me.  I went to bed feeling pretty good about myself.

Sunday(6/5/11)
Now today was the last day of the People’s Fair, which to me was a bit of a bust financially, but other than that, it was a cool spot, good people (Mary, LaShawn, and the Bayard folks) and good music; plus it was free, so the Fair is all peace in my book.  So the plan for today was go to McDonald's to help one of the brothas out here, then hit the fair, then hit the 16th Street Mall (to play sax, and maybe get some donations as a street artist) then go to the drumming circle at 5 points. 

The day started off well, got up got dressed, was running a bit late, but it was peace.  brotha out.  However, when I got there, he had already headed out—dern, sorry for him, but I had to keep it movin’.  It was around 7am when I got back to the shelter and saw my elder brother who was heading to a church to get some breakfast.  I wasn’t doing anything and had some time to kill so I walked with him (Hezikyha, I believe is his name) up to the church.  Now the great thing about this brotha, is that he is like me—he got a drinking problem.  The other great thing, is that he realizes it and is working hard as hell to stop.  Yesterday he went to a AA meeting, which was great, and today was like day 1 sober—he made it all the way through.  We walked and talked, saw some other brothas we knew from the shelter walking the opposite direction, and stopped and spoke.  My lil’ African brotha from Ethopia—Manny, was one, we finally exchanged numbers, then Hezikyha and I kept it moving.  We got to the church, ate, and then bounced.  I told him my next stop was the Fair, and he said he’d come down there with me. 

It was around 9ish, when I grabbed my sax and we headed down to the fair.  Now my elder brotha, is also a character, got the gift of gab like Jesus must have had.  We get to the fair grounds and he’s asking the event people about the hiring for clean up jobs.  It felt like we were talking a foreign language to the folks because they just didn’t get it, but we motivated on.  We were walking by this stage, where this gospel jazz band was getting ready to perform.  Now my elder brother being the kind of person he is, put me on out there, because the band was composed mainly of horns (trumpet, saxes, trombone and flute.)  Now this other elder brother Frederick who plays sax says, “lemme hear what you got man”.  So I’m all like, I don’t really play….blah, blah blah, but between Frederick and Hezikyha, I was made to pull out my sax and toot what little skills I got.  I don’t think Frederick was impressed or nothing, but the brotha gave me the opportunit1y and his number, so I’ll hit him up just to see.  We stayed to listen, and I mean those brothers got down!!  Brother Frederick said they didn’t do well because their heads wasn’t into it, but if you heard the performance they gave, the brothers were AWESOME!!!

After that we headed to the Bayard booth to see Mary and LaShawn.  Things were peace at the booth.  Hezikyha didn’t stay long, he introduced himself to Mary and stuff, but later he motivated on to continue his day.  I hung around at the Fair a little bit longer than originally planned, partly because I was scared to go down to 16th street mall and toot the horn for pay.

See my God-send had suggested on Saturday, that I go to the mall and try spittin’ with some brothers who were drumming.  I actually ran into a brotha I met a few weeks earlier, at the mall on Saturday, and he put me up on game.  So when Sunday came, I was down for whatever.  Now when I left the fair and was headed down to the mall, I didn’t hear musicians like I had the day before.  However I was looking for a good spot.  I was told that I couldn’t stay in a spot for longer than an hour.  So I eventually found a spot, didn’t see any police, pulled out the horn and started to toot.  Man,  my opinion of my sound was that I did a terrible job….but I did it.  I actually had three people come by and hit me off.  I was scared and nervous as hell, but I did it.  I only stayed and played for about a hour, but I think I made just enough to get a pack of squares.  So yea, 16th st mall, I will definitely be back.  I didn’t do any poetry, but the sax will be getting better, I plan on that.  I may not ever be a great street performer, or make enough to live off of it, but I feel comfortable enough to keep trying.  I saw some of the brothers I met here at the shelter, and they are so very encouraging, that is a wonderful thing.  I am humbled and honored that the Most High has put it on them to bless me in that way.  I know that all things are possible through the power of the Most High!!

So I packed up the sax and began to walk back up the mall.  I stopped to write some poetry, smoke a square and peep this performer who was made up to be a statue.  She was taking donations, and performing, but it was all makeup and standing—impersonation of a statue—it was dope, and she was getting mad donations!!  But a part of me thinks that we do this not really for the donations, we do it for our art man.  I also met a brotha who be-boxed for a quarter…he hit me with a dope beat-box, and I hit him with some change—gotta support hip hop.  I hit the statue impersonator with something too.  So yea 16th St. Mall is cool….I just gotta keep my eyes open for the cops, so they won’t mess with me, brotha don’t wanna get a ticket.
As I was heading out, I hooked up with another shelter brother who plays piano.  See Denver has these pianos up and down the mall that anyone can stop and play.  So we stopped by this white guy that was playing, and chatted with him for a bit.  Now the white boy was good, my brotha from the shelter is good too, but not like the white boy….i don’t’ think.  Anyway, a couple came by and we had a niiiicccceee little conversation.  It was fun at this point, my fear, and anxiety was gone, I did what I had to do, and wanted to do—I was peace.  So I chatted it up for a bit, then headed to 5 Points for the drumming circle.

Now the drumming circle at 5 Points is peace, because it reminds me a lot of Auburn Ave., in Atlanta.  All my peoples were there, and they’re nice, welcoming, and have food—praise the Most High.  The last time I attended the circle, I played bones mostly and pinged a bit on the xylophone.  However, today, I jumped on it, grabbed a drum and did my thing.  This was the 1st time I’d ever drummed before in my life.  It was fun fun fun!!!!  My hand hurts a bit, but I think I drummed better than I played the sax….lol. But as always the circle was good….reconnected with some kings and queens from the community, so it was peace as always—GIVE THANKS TO THE MOST HIGH FOR THE COMMUNITY!!!   And they had the beans….Now when I went last week, that was the 1st experience I had with the beans, and they were bomb…this week no different….BOMB. 
And the drumming circle was dope.  The energy that I got from the circle was amazing.  The different rhythms, and connections, and ….. I can’t put it into words….you just need to come through 5 Points on a Sunday after 2pm and drum with us.
Its 12:25….and I’m getting sleepy.  This weekend was a roller-coaster….I climbed, I fell, and climbed again.  I give thanks for the weekend, it’s peaks, valleys, twists, turns and loops.  The Most High has watched over me with great kindness and caring.  I will continue to walk the path that The Most High has given to me, I will continue to Give Thanks, and spread the joy, knowledge, and understanding that the Most High provides me with. 
In ending, I Give Thanks, and will continue as long as the Most High provides breath….Give Thanks.

Drumming Circle Pics
Yes we get the kids in the drumming circle..it's all about family
















See this is my definition of community, who says the brotha's don't work with the kids...c'mon people, we got positive blackness in Denver!!!