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My adventure began in a little coffee shop called Brothers. In this place you would find a mixture of people talking business, talking about the latest political news, or just sitting silently enjoying their tea or coffee. I am a new customer. About four months ago you would have never found me in a place like this. They served no alcohol and there were no women that I could try to take home with me.
I recently (3 months ago) stepped away from the game. I just could not do it anymore. I had been hustling since I was sixteen, but for some reason I just could not continue on that path. I had negative feelings about what I was doing prior to 3 months ago, but that is when I really realized I needed to stop. Usually I could quiet my conscious down by buying myself something, or better yet buy someone else something, but this time it wasn’t satisfactory. Shopping could not and would not silence the screaming conscious this time.
I realized I needed to change when this girl I had been serving for years came to do business. She was cute, but she was a crack head. I never mixed business with pleasure. She asked me for her usual, but right when I was about to hand her the package I noticed that she was pregnant. Now first off I had served many pregnant women before, but this time it felt different. I stopped in my tracks. She said, “Nigga what are you doing”!! “Baby girl you pregnant, and still fucking wit this shit?”
“Like you really give a shit, nigga you gonna serve me or do I have to go down the street?’
“Hold on”, I told her¸ ”you not concerned about the life you’re carrying.’
“Motherfucker I don’t give a fuck about anything but that shit you’re holding in your hand. Either I’m going to give you my money or go find someone else. What the fuck are you going to do?’
“First off bitch I’m trying to show your ass some concern. Second off I don’t need your little bit of money. You can take that change down the street to one of those broke niggas if you want, and thirdly I was only selling to yo ass as a favor anyway. I told yo ass two years ago I don’t like fucking around with this hand to hand bullshit anyway. Just get the fuck on!”
“Well fuck you too Mr. High and Mighty.”
After that shit I decided that I could not be involved with that anymore. Anything that can take control of a person like that, and allow them to have total disregard for themselves and everyone around them. I was not upset, I just needed to get away and think for awhile. I went to my car and left town for about two weeks. I was not upset, I just needed to get away and think for awhile. I got a small motel room, and tried to clear my head. When I came back to town, I cleared up my debts and left my crew. Shit that was all I ever had known and it burned my heart that I had to leave my friends to find something better. There was no possible way I could have continued hanging with them without having my foot in the game.
I stumbled on this place (Brothers) about two months ago when I was looking for somewhere safe and out of the way to chill. I am not hurting for money right now, but those streets keep calling me. I found out that I was just as hooked on the life as my custees were. I thought I was escaping the curse, but money is the biggest drug. I actually miss being able to spend freely, and having control over others.
So now I just come in here to think and drink some tea. Each time I come in I try something different. They got herbs for everything in this joint. Shit the tea I’m drinking today is supposed to help my nerves. Which I need. It has been hard trying to stay out of sight. I had to change my sleeping pattern. I am use to being up all night, but if I am going to change my life I need to switch that up. So I try to stay up all day so that I will sleep at night. Sometimes it works but most of the time it doesn’t.
I had to move because my partners were trying to find me, and help me change my mind. “Misery loves company”. I had to change all my numbers, now no one can get in touch with me and I threw away my cell with all my numbers in it. Just in case I got the urge to call my friends. I never memorize phone numbers. The only numbers I liked rolling through my head are those with dollar signs in front. I just wish I got a few women numbers off the phone before I got all gung-ho about my life change. I knew I had to let it all go. A woman’s hold on you can be even stronger than your boys. They need things and always want you to purchase. So it was best that I let them go as well. They would have wanted me to go back to my old ways and possibly could convince me.
cuffe hat. This cuffe was the dirtiest hat I ever seen, but he wore it like a crown. He looked at me again and signaled for me to come over and sit with him. I picked up my tea and walked to where he was sitting.
“How are you doing young man?”
“What brings you here today, it seems as if you have a lot on your mind”.
“In fact I do”.
“Go ahead, take a seat.”
It was then that I noticed another tea cup sitting at the table.
“No, I don’t want to get in the way. It looks like you are expecting someone.” Pointing at the second cup.
“Oh that, don’t worry that is for my ancestors, feel free to sit if you wish.”
I took a seat. For some reason I felt very comfortable around this old man. Usually I am very cautious, but I was very relaxed with him.
“Sir, how old are you?”
“Son, I stopped counting my age when I turned 45.”
“You live here?”
“No I am just visiting. I’ve been looking for someone for years and I was told I could find him here in your town.”
“How long have you been looking for this person?”
“Ever since I came to terms with the fact that I was going to eventually die.
“That must be a rough thing to deal with.”
“It can be, especially if you think you are going to live forever.”
“What do you mean?”
“Look around you son. Doesn’t everyone around here act like tomorrow is promised? Look over there in the corner. That man is planning his day tomorrow like it is guaranteed.”
“What’s wrong with that? Don’t you have future plans and goals?”
“Yes I do, but they don’t over take my moment. The only thing we have in life is right now. My plans for tomorrow have absolutely nothing to do with me in this moment of time. I realize that death is always with me and can snatch me up. Do you realize that? Death is sitting right here at this table with us and can over take either one of us at anytime.”
“I never looked at it like that.”
“I don’t know.”
“Could it be that you are scared of that fact of life?”
“Maybe, but I don’t chose to focus on that.”
“I never told you to focus on it I just simply said accept it as a fact.”
“Why should I?”
“Because it will make you a better man.”
“How will accepting my death as a fact make me a better man?”
“Because you will be able to utilize every second you are blessed with to its fullest. You understand?”
“That’s alright. One day you will, and you will remember that old man Simba spoke to you about it.”
“That’s your name……Simba?”
“Yes. What’s yours?”
“My friends call me Jay.”
“Nice to meet you Jay.”
For a moment we both went silent. He because he took a sip of tea, and me because I was thinking about what he said. I also was trying to figure out his age. Up close he didn’t look that old, but it was something about him that radiated power and wisdom that could only come with time and dedication to something.
“Jay you have to excuse me. I am an old man and I rarely get the chance to talk to people. It seems that everyone is in such a hurry these days so when I get a chance to talk I tend to get excited.”
“It’s cool. I rarely run into someone that makes me think. It’s sort of a new experience and I think I like it.”
He smiled and I took a sip of my tea trying to act like it was good.
“You told me you was in town looking for someone.”
“Yes that is true.”
“Who are you looking for? I know a lot of people in this town and I might be able to help you.”
“I’m looking for a young man.”
“Does this young man have a name?"