Monday, October 31, 2016

Transportation 2

Transportation Pt. 2:

2010, I decided that I had enough.

In May, I went in for an interview with multiple managers at a bank inside of a WalMart. I had never considered to be in banking but I wasn't about to turn down the opportunity. It was one of the highest paying jobs that I ever had and I was sure to be able to move out of my mom's house and find a place to stay for my little ones and I. The interview went well and it was my people skills that won them over and helped me to receive the personal banker 1 position and start my training process.

Orientation was in Arlington, and we got paid for it, Thank God, it came with benefits but I was going to have to work for it, I had to catch a ride to get to Arlington but it was somewhat, easy to convince someone because I didn't have to go to Arlington anymore, but who would want too, it was an hour away from where I lived.

The first part of training would be in Carrolton, a 55 minute drive, and even though they were housing people that stayed far and for those driving far, reimbursement on gas, I didn't stay far enough and I didn't have a car for reimbursement. I had to ask a guy friend if I could stay with him just to get back and forth to training. It also meant leaving my kids behind and I had felt that feeling before and it made me very sad because I had left my son to attend school and work in another city, I didn't desire the same pattern of repetition as previous times, especially, because I had never left my daughter before, but I had to think of the opportunity to succeed and have better for them and end this cycle once and for all. He let me have his room and didn't bother me but he was only kind for a week, I had to figure out the next week. While, training, I felt like I belonged and arrived. I felt empowered and things seemed to really be looking up for me.

I had to go back to the place I had escaped from, for a little while, in order to go to training, I hated the feeling that I was back in that place because I had finally got the residue of the stains of being there off me and I didn't have to wake up in hell anymore.   I don't remember staying there long but thank God, I learned how to ride the bus while I was there, before, so, it wouldn't be any problems of asking for a ride.

I had to travel from Terrell to Dallas in order to go to the next part of training and I didn't have a car, mind you, there was no position like this one where I lived. My opportunities had limits and low pay because I didn't have a lot of qualifications except college and retail. Retail didn't pay much and it was very stressful. My focus was to stay as close to fashion as I could but the lack of pay and hours, I was losing sight of my ultimate goal and it seemed far out of reach. I had ask my cousin to take me to work and she didn't mind, kind of, she had to get up really early to take me in the morning and for me to be there on time because at a bank, you had to clock in by a certain time or the system would alert the cops and the heads up, which would look really bad for you. The excuse would be inexcusable, so, early in the morning we rose to take a 35 minute drive to Dallas to begin my training. I felt so small not being able to drive, but I had to focus on the possibility not the circumstance.

Eventually, after a couple weeks of training, they would notice that I needed to be closer because working in Dallas would soon become a burden for me. They moved me to Rockwall and that was what sparked in me the chance to just go for getting my licenses on my own, but not before the issue of transportation would continue. I was asking my cousin, sister and law, and taking public transportation that cost me $14 for one day. They also wasn't getting me there on time, (public transportation), I needed to go to work and arrive on time, instead of picking me up, they arrived an hour later stating that the bus had to be fixed, even though I called ahead of time and scheduled a ride to work. See, this is how our bus system works in Terrell: You must call a day ahead of time between the hours of 8 am to 4 pm, Monday-Friday, in order to receive a ride, and you can schedule a ride, as long as there is an available time, if not, you are screwed. You can't work any evenings or night shifts because they don't run at night, 6 pm is the latest coming from Rockwall. It cost more to go out of town and they only travel to Rockwall County and Kaufman County, maybe another East Texas area. You can go to Dallas for medical reasons but nothing else. As you can see as I said before, limits. The driver that came an hour late and had to drive me 25 to 30 minutes, plus, to Rockwall would attempt to apologize to my manager who was informed that I was late and wasn't able to open the bank in time, resulting in the higher ups being notified and the cops being told not to come down that it was okay. Her apologies wasn't heard and I was written up, no excuses, remember. I had signed a document stating I had reliable transportation but I didn't. My mom would soon teach me a rule that I would never forget, it was better to arrive early and wait, then, to not arrive on time. I had heaped her warning and changed my routine. I went to the donut shop or waited on a bench outside until it was time for work. I also started catching rides with someone who was riding back to Terrell. It all seemed to be okay, until, the weekend, and that is when all hell would break lose again. I needed to be at work and I didn't have a ride, oh, did I mention that the buses didn't run on the weekends. My sister and law wasn't available and my cousin either. I had already been written up and I was tired and very depressed. I didn't want to call with another excuse and get in trouble, so, I called to end my position and boy, was I a wreck, I cried something horrible, and told my manager that I had to quit that I couldn't provide her with more excuses on why I couldn't come in and there was no hope of change in sight. She said I was welcomed back if I needed a job and things changed. I got off the phone with her and lost it, mentally. I remember walking with my daughter, in her stroller, and I just wanted someone to hit me, for a minute, I was not myself. I was beyond tired and I just wanted everything to end. My hopes of moving would soon be tainted with no hope at all. Ending my life, at the time, felt better than staying one more day on earth realizing I was a failure.

I don't remember the amount of my other checks, even though I didn't lack in finances, but my last check I would forever remember because I had never received that much money from working before, and it wasn't for a month, it was over $800 and I was floored. I took my kids and aunt out to eat. It felt awesome because I had never sat down at a restaurant with menus with them before. It felt different and they were happy. It was also the check that would pay for me to go to driver's school. I had enough and I was going to pay my own way to attend, it didn't matter the price. I walked to driver's school, paid for the adult class and at the age of 24, I had just learned that they had changed the law, 18-24 year olds had to take driver's education, the written part, in order to take the driving test. I had arrived on time, and things seemed to be finally be turning around. I passed my exam with flying colors, a 100 on one part and 95 on the other. I was about to receive my licenses, but with restrictions, I still needed to take the driver's part, oh and pay for my licenses, that I wasn't informed about. They didn't offer driver's Ed for adults without cars. They said they could help me with lessons but I needed my own car or someone else's in order to take the test. I had gone a few steps again only to take many back. It didn't matter how many times I wielded my way back up, I was steady being knocked down. It would be another 4 years until I seen that restriction be lifted off my licenses but not before heartache would strike again.

Transportation 1

Transportation pt. 1,

2009, my first restriction:

2009, felt like a better year than my previous years that I had experienced. We had moved into some really nice town homes and my little ones had their own room, particularly my son. We were still living with my mom but our living was better and safer. The first week or two of living there, I was able to know what it felt like to have my own home. It was just my little ones and I because my mom was cleaning up the other apartment and had to wait for her lease to be up. Our new place was ready so I decided to move in with what I had. I didn't care. I just wanted some peace and I received it. A lot had changed since the arrival of my little girl but the sun was finally shining like never before. My friends from college wanted me to go back to Richland and I had missed attending college up there as well. I wanted to go back and with my financial aid money & work, I would have enough to pay to go to school. Working, school, and now, knowing the feeling of being a mother of two, would soon become too stressful for me but I couldn't stop because I had to make a life for my children and I. School was 45 minutes away from home, but I didn't desire to attend anywhere else. I was five classes away from receiving my associates degree and I could finally, attend the university of my choice. It was my plan back in 2005, to attend a community college and skip taking the ACT or the SAT to attend an university, plus, my test scores from TAKS English was high enough to get me into college, so, I didn't have to take the THEA either. My intelligence was paying off, but (I think, now, I would have told my eighteen year old self, take the SAT and go on to a university, trust me, go live your life) intelligence didn't help pay a bill and it was becoming a burden on my mom to take me to college on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I also needed to stay late to study, some days she would sit in the cafeteria area or car and rest just so I could finish up. I had a lot of tiring days but my grades were really good. I had high As and Bs. I was on my way to excelling and all those years I missed of not being able to attend college or finish seemed to soon pay off.

The day of finals, I was so thrilled because I was passing all of my classes and was almost done, but I would never make it to take my test or the test they held for me in order to keep my grades. My good grades would all turn into Fs as if I had never attended school at all. My mom's car wouldn't start that day and no one was available to take me. I needed to get to my finals, but I didn't have a way. It was over and with me being on financial aid, they wasn't going to understand that I didn't have a ride, they only cared about the 4 Fs I received. When I went to the school to get my transcript and other items, I had found out I had a block, and I couldn't receive it until I paid $591 to get it off. Even if I wanted to attend school again, the block remained, and I was only going to finish by starting completely over as if I never attended college at all. My family nor anyone I knew had that kind of money. I was smart enough to go to school but I definitely couldn't afford the bumps in the road that came along the way and for that reason, I would never attend Richland again. The door had closed and I wouldn't see my chance to attend school, until April of 2011, until then, I had to wait.

Borders and Walls

Borders & Walls

As I pass along on the bus,
Staring at women dressed in fine garment,
I noticed that they sat at tables with umbrellas and holding shopping bags.
They sip on their fancy drinks,
And I see the homes that they live in,
Town homes shaped in Victorian style,
Side by side,
Like I'm in New York,
But I only pass to say,
One day,
One day, I will stop and be at that place of walking the streets of the town.
I return to work to pay for a dream I didn't even know I had.

I make my way into the streets,
I have finally arrived,
My kids play in the parks,
And we go to the markets,
The bars are no longer foreign to me,
The drinks I have sipped & taste,
I've become a regular in this town
And things seem to change.
Weekend after weekend,
I indulge in the likes of glamour and sophistication,
Weekend after weekend,
And yet, my curiosity grows.
I look around and witness the border and the wall,
Weekend after weekend, we don't leave the same spot,
It is as if I am on the bus again.

I speak to expand our horizons
But life gives me the option to gather outside of my comfort zone.
While shopping in a new place,
I am informed of a famous designer that is in town.
I drive to see and run into the wall.
Do I enter into this area of the unknown, uninvited,
And wardrobe unknown,
But excitement won't let me Stay behind closed doors,
So, I enter, afraid, but too excited to show,
I touch his hand and take pictures,
Day time,
Week day,
Things are really changing in this town.

Weekend is new,
Earlier, we travel there,
Meeting at a spot we hardly travel too,
Seeing a face, we hardly see,
He takes us into the new,
Further back,
We travel and a new bar we enter,
My color is gathered together,
While the rest is scattered around.
I gaze at the scenery and take it all in,
I don't dare to let them see
That my eyes is witnessing a new,
And a new wall is tumbling down,
Faster than I can allow,
And as I much as I want to stay hidden in my shell,
I soon rise to converse in a new place.
Victorian Candle chandeliers,
And old castle style bar menus,
I hear women conversing about The Derby and what hat to wear,
Also trips to London,
And things have completely change,
I check out their garment,
And post their style online,
I see trollies pass by
And can't wait for my children to sit in its seats.
I finally hear my voice in the new place and after that,
Nothing remains the same,
What other new places will we enter,
What other new things will we see.

The weekend isn't over
And we have already met new laughs,
We travel again,
While the evening turns into night,
And I am liking the early arrivals,
I decided to let it all go
And sip and be merry,
Tonight will not be different,
I enter into what started the journey years ago,
An uptown apartment,
But before I see with new eyes,
I am met with frustration and disappointment that would soon lead me to walk away,
Was it my frustration with the person or was it the heaviness of the wall that kept me away,
Did the border read, Now, you are going too far,
It was a part of me that screamed, you must go back, whatever you do, you must go back,
We turned around,
With aching feet,
To enter back into the place,
And the wall, finally, breaks,
And we enter with all colors alike,
And the music plays,
We drink to be merry and new conversations are lit.
Things were changing,
And home was starting to not feel like home anymore.

I travel back,
Week day turning into Week night,
My most stressful day of all,
Dress code,
I don't know,
Frustration at a high,
Further beyond the wall
I travel,
Gifts, we are greeted with,
Learning areas that I haven't expanded myself too,
From bar food to winery to restaurant cuisine,
It expands to a different scenery,
The crowd is different,
The laughs are too,
The only color that is there is the colors that we show up with,
We are greeted with different,
Drive in,
And my appearance gets us a greet,
This place,
Scenery looks familiar,
But the upgrade is seen.
We are greeted with drinks,
One after the other,
It is time to rate the foods
From one to five,
The environment is very different
And so, am I,
The borders are clear,
But I'm not the one standing outside,
The borders will be revealed,
And I will finally see what kept me away
For nine years,
I didn't enter into this place,
And, now, I will know why.

I learned of the different taste of wines,
From Australia to France,
What foods taste better with what,
But the rich doesn't have time for lessons,
It is best you learn on your own,
But there were no books in sight,
So, you sneak into conversations to learn.
Your power is in your beauty and nothing else,
Your knowledge is uninvited in this place,
But fear can't sit at the table,
So, I smile and converse anyhow to anywho.
We feel the stares of the outsiders daring to ask us how did we enter,
But we are unashamed,
And I am comfortable being here,
The night isn't ending, it only begins,
Like on Devil wears Prada,
The names are given before greeting,
A smile and handshake will do,
From conversation we will visit some of the places spoken of,
We enter a new place,
The stares are different and these walls are too,
But I am only familiar with its walls
Because of a Plies song,
We enter to sip on a drink,
My color is waiters there,
The women are fancier here.
I'm learning the garments
And the lingo too.
Every garment isn't for each place,
Cocktail dresses will be my next investment,
Just to sit comfortable in this place.
Depending on where you sit your garment will change,
One area I fell in love with
And saw my wedding in that place,
The drink is new,
Even though I ordered the same,
The night isn't ending,
But the clock is ticking,
Yet, we enter into a new place.
This place is different,
The head up is my color,
But he is still a worker,
The garments have changed,
Beauty is still our ticket
For conversation,
I am no longer,
Seeing a wall,
The stress of the old
Dares to greet me here but I dare not worry,
I embrace the new drinks,
Menus too,
Also, all the different new foods.
I am taught that what I use to shine light on is small,
And I am definitely not in Kansas, anymore.
The tab is closing
But our dancing shoes are still on,
And I say to myself,
While others go to church on this day,
The wealthy come out and play,
We are ignorant to ever knowing
Because we sit behind the wall.
We enter back into the town,
And my mind is made,
I will never be the same.
My hunger has grew and my taste has changed,
I went beyond the wall,
Tore down the borders.

And as I sit to write,
I begin to see,
The mental borders that have kept me in line.
I travelled to one area of Uptown,
Trash and violence seems to take its place
While laughter is ringed in a new way,
The borders are high
And these people are blind to see
At how they are kept behind close doors,
They are given one night of pleasure,
And the ones that dance
Are blinded by the ideas of the wall,
Even though they enter,
Without telling them they can't,
They dare not travel beyond the wall,
Weekend after weekend,
The same occurs,
And my eyes are wide to the truth,
But I cant help but cry as I look at ignorant fools
That stay in their place,
Even though no one has told them too.
You see them not during the day
Nor when the week day turns into night,
They don't even know that the wealthy has named it the ghetto part of Uptown,
When I travelled on the bus,
I never once saw a resemblance of the ghetto,
I didn't see what those with wealth see,
But you never hear them complain
Or force them to go away,
They just find their times to party
And times to stay away.
How is it possible to teach yourself to only march around one wall,
I truly understand why the walls of Jericho had to fall down,
So, the children of Israel could understand that nothing is impossible.
The mental borders come up but they must be torn apart,
In order to into a new place that hasn't ever been entered into before.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

War by Matasha Y. Lee

War by Matasha Y. Lee

Straddling at the fence of life,
One foot in the direction of what I was brought up around,
the other just trying to get away,
And so desperately I stomach to endure,
While, I sit with a notepad and pen, microphone and voice, magazine and thoughts,
Trying to tune out the madness that I have created,
Only wanting to be here,
But not able to afford to stay,
In poverty,
Time stops and that is when I take my chance,
I sing behind close doors,
Write masterpieces on napkins,
Create stellar pieces of art with clothes,
My talents and gifts shine so beautifully,
Then the madness convinces me to enter back in,
I prow myself from my true identity,
To play with life's demands,
Not happy and unsatisfied because Im not making enough to stay in dream land longer.
Why does hunger birth the idea of wealth
And richness is found when time stops,
Not when it clicks;
Not when the jazz player prepares
But when he plays?
Why must my heart feel so rejected
To feed the thoughts at play?
Oh, yum of the earth, with your delight at satisfying men's needs,
I ask you to fulfil my desire
Of ending the war that is within me.
End the screams and tears that press their way out of me that wants me to hear them,

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

In the corner by Matasha Y. Lee

In the corner by Matasha Y. Lee

Praise, oh, what wonderful praise,
As the room fills up with happiness,
And life is like a kid discovering a balloon,
And realizing the magic of its power of being able to stand and not bend, as the child holds it in his hand.
The laughter, the joy is remarkable and that, my friend, is what they call life.
Oh, and what a beautiful life it is,
Like the butterfly realizing that though it suffered in the space of no return, it now is given the chance to dance all around the world,
No matter where its wings take it,
God said play, for now on, and it did.
It is considered a mythical creature because of its heavenly ties.
What happens when the room grows dark,
And the knock seems to end,
And the joy seems to fade,
And only you and your voice are left
Within the corner.
The corner of the room,
You look at the place where you went insane
And it says, sit and eat with me, my friend,
You cry until rivers flow,
Because you dont want to be there,
You dont want to feel pain and hurt
Creep upon your skin like the legs of a spider
Or the tongue of a snake.
No, no, no,
You cant bare the thought of the recording of past thoughts telling you why you arent where you desire to be.
You try to run from that corner
But it snatches you
And forces you to stay,
Madness trys to sit in,
But your inner child awakes
And in that corner
You begin to write
The beauty of moving forward,
You call upon your imaginery friends to help you to remain positive while pain cradles you to sleep.
And, in that corner, my friend,
You do not go mad,
In that corner,
You learn to dream and even bigger dream.

Friday, September 2, 2016

When you've hurt her by Matasha Y. Lee

When you've hurt her by Matasha Y. Lee

She sits at the edge of the bed
Leaning and deciding, long wait of silence, in a
empty room, worth the trouble of seeing if a lifetime will be spent
Because at the current moment
She can't see to grasp if the next minute will keep her where she is to dance with the idea of being your girl, yet along your future,
But why must she lie to herself
As if you guys made love the night before
When the man that she stares at is unrecognizable,
Yeah, she no longer knows you,
So she doesn't feel that she has been with you,
But more of a violation from a stranger
That she cries to wash off the scent of you
That keeps lingering and lingering.
The scent of you keeps lingering
And the thought of you
Catches her slipping
Until she is no longer on the edge of decisions any longer.
No, my friend.
She is done.
Done like the path of yesterday that can't be walked down,
Down like the tomorrow that will not exist between you too.
Done like the day that has gone by.
Done like the love she planted and let take roof,
Now, she has to unroot from you
And the ideology of carrying your last name.
Because you hurt her and there isn't a repair,
She chose to flatline the thought of ever letting two become one.

Juke Box written by Matasha Y. Lee

Juke Box by Matasha Y. Lee

Let me put this quarter in and see if it works.
The music plays
And people join hands.
They smile with unspeakable joy,
As the shadows of yesterday are washed away
And she no longer carries the burdens of being alone.
Her family sings with her.
They eat and be merry.
The food is served hot
And she can see her family gather around her table to celebrate her success.
She feasts on the idea of the beautiful feeling of being loved.
(Please insert another quarter)
She sways in the music she hears as laughter erupts
Exploding the hearts of those who are merry from the wine
Of socialization as they gather to witness her triumph.
She says
(Please insert another quarter)
Wow, so, this what love feels like.
How beautiful the sound of friends cheering and dancing to the rhythm of the beat,
Swing those hips,
Shake that hair
Stomp that
(Please insert another quarter)
But, I don't have anymore.
Well, I guess it is over for you.
Back to reality you go.