Written by. Christopher Thompson
Edited by. Connie Sprewer
Artwork by. Dumaine Reid
Presented by. WitnessTheDream Online Mag/Blog
When the pain is everlasting they say darkness is only a matter of timing.
With pain comes everlasting grinding, searching, then finding long lost love.
Call it perfect timing but you can’t stay and it kills you.
You pray for forgiveness just wishing you never fall victim and then again it happens.
Heart break and dark fashions, black roses that splash them.
Caught in the line of fire of what has been.
It’s nothing like seeing and realizing what has been and then it happens.
Your broken and can’t be fixed.
Yearning for that quick fix, but there is nothing like that first hit.
Then you vanish.
Black roses made you understand the damage, but you never recognized that you needed to manage your contradictions.
Lost in the world’s conditions, a product of what you made, you and all of love’s wishes.
Love is gone and that’s what you made for yourself from your conditions.
Black roses a dozen, no missing hinges just principals of love.
No guarantees on happiness, it’s so unpredictable because you can’t stamp it.
It’s not caged in or even planned to happen, it just does, but you gave up and look what happened.
Another risk, another wrist slit; sickening but you ask love to kiss and make up.
Black roses to match the black makeup.
You’ve been going down hill for quite some time, it’s not fine but you accept it.
Lost in the world without love and all you ever wanted was a bit of acceptance.
You died inside looking for a reason to accept it.
Black roses, black diamonds, and red wine he is gone and you’ll never be fine.
Cross guided trying to find light of the situation, but face it there are no basics.
Love is love and it will make you do the craziest things.
This is why you’ve hurt your self trying to find something to void the emptiness; black roses covered her empty pit.
Her heart beat on but she couldn’t stomach the emptiness, black roses the shade of emptiness.
Heart broken, black roses devoured her emptiness.
He’s never coming back, just deal with the consequence.
Black Roses..the story of her emptiness..
One heart, one chance, one bullet, one stance. Overshadowed by every emotion that was taken for granted, the feelings were reckless and over dramatic. Maybe this was something more, I couldn’t understand it. I guess I should of thought and under planned it. This was nothing more then what it could be, and nothing less then what it should be. Scared to death I might be but, love didn’t frighten me. Too deep in my mental to even be shook up slightly, I took a chance at being Spike Lee. I did the right thing, but then again who’s to say if I was right or wrong. So love sick, I couldn’t get this near mirror image of love out of my head. Did I want it gone, left to be dead? Real, lasting, friendships that took me places I’ve never gone. A bullet to the heart. Could this be my last sight or my last fight? I couldn’t get the words to release from my mind. Almost like it was my last song. I envisioned happiness, but at what price. Was it worth anything? Could love and death over price me? Could something so fulfilling sacrifice me? If only I could I be bullet proof for this last stance. I really didn’t think it would take more then one chance. This is one life and love can’t withstand that. I have put up more fights then should be, so feel free not to judge me. I once cared too and put the world on my back. How could you forget me? How could you just do me like that? One bullet is all it took me. I ended everything just like that…
A long road to victory, but where is the history? Striving to make more of myself, so I laid my life down. Reaching for victory, making a way. Carving out my history running through fields of these war zones looking for pieces of myself. Something told me this would be my last tour and these would be my final farewells. I cried tears of Joy in pride before I said my final goodbyes. Only these thoughts tore me apart inside and mentally. I was no longer ready to care about this fight. I became a robot that worked on command. So detained from civilian life, every time I was home it was hard to sleep at night. Paranoid for my family with so much anger inside. Ready to shoot anybody suspicious on sight. I began to worry could my wife even stand me? Or did my family still worry about me? Was I a father who lived up to the word family? I had nightmares of dying, blood being shed and terrorist coming for my family. Not only that, but picture this; your only loved ones screaming for help and you can’t do nothing to stop the shit. These were my nightmares and I couldn’t stop them for shit. So lost this time around, I couldn’t think for shit. So caught in my nightmares, every night I awoke in cold sweats. So many tours I had served, ones that I could never forget. Paralyzed spiritually, I couldn’t come to terms with shit. Surrounded by inability in every aspect of living. Right now my darkest moments roamed. Right now my mind is wondering, ears alert, eyes focused and my heart on my sleeve. What’s to believe my instincts or heart? I’m so tired of trying and fighting nightmares of a fallen solider. My dedication to all my comrades fallen and standing. Bullets and memories, bullets and history, bullets and bloodshed. Looking at the pistol on my lap freshly loaded and ready, I simply bowed my head and prayed forgiveness. One bullet to the dome and my nightmares become my history. Fallen with no one to trust…
The Best Memories – Chapter VII
Fall 2010, it was my first year at Milwaukee Area Technical College, I was excited and nervous because of the opportunity I was receiving to play on the basketball team. Although I was red shirting, I was going to take full advantage of this opportunity. It was the first day of conditioning, we all hopped into the team van to head down to the lake. I had that nervous feeling in my stomach because I didn’t know what to expect. Our coaches told us we would be running sprints in the sand. Then we would be running the hill across the street. As I looked across the street I saw the UWM men’s basketball team running the hill, the hill didn’t seem that tough from looking at it but looks can be very deceiving. The hill was steep, had all types of rough points and really put pressure on your legs. Running that hill 5 times took every bit of energy I had. This past fall I went back to that hill, this time I was with my bro Babatunde. I knew what to expect when he told me that we’d be running the hill down at the lake. The first time I ran it, I’d have to say the hill got the best of me, but this time I felt amazing. Nonetheless from this day on I look at that hill and just think about how tough it was. It wasn’t just tough physically; it was tough mentally, just like life. When you’re running up this hill you ask yourself can you finish. Your body is tired, your legs are beginning to tighten up but getting to the top is the focus.
Since birth I’ve been misjudged, abused, and confused. My father never could accept me, he just didn’t understand. Always so upset with me and how God wrote up his plans. From the jump, my mother was never there. So caught up in these dirty streets, she was confused. In and out of street beefs, using all of her will just to become a glass using junky. Misled and afraid. Confronted for being underprivileged like I asked for this. Who am I? I didn’t ask for this. Color me ugly, because beauty is only defined by every guy wanting to get with me right? Sharing my unspoken goods for a piece of feeling needed, wanted. Color me ugly, because my father never told me I was beautiful. Who am I? You ask this so angrily. I am the girl who’s afraid to look at her self in the mirror, because I’ve been conditioned to not see the beauty of me. Who am I? The little girl who grew so gracefully but yet insists on finding every reason to destruct myself. It is solely because you’ve called me the ugly duckling for quite sometime. I insist you color me ugly because I will never truly understand why this happened to me. So much hurt inside from my father beating and mentally abusing me. The pain from my mother no different, with her walking away and abandoning me. Color me ugly for which I do not know who am I? Can I love myself? Do I even trust myself? Torn between nightmares and reality, waking up looking in the mirror and not accepting me! Who am I? Color me ugly for every shade darker then my reality. Who am I? Color me ugly for wanting every reason to be accepted. How come this outer shell of mine can’t reflect my inner complexion. Dark skin, brown skin, white skin, all skin. I am every girl who’s afraid to love herself. Color me ugly for only wanting happiness and acceptance. Color me ugly, color me ugly, color me ugly. Never forget that all you really need to do is love you. Who am I? You ask this so angrily. I am the pain in the skin I’m in. I am the tears from misery. Color me ugly for not ever feeling beautiful. Color me ugly because I am every girl and every woman. I am fat, skinny, tall or small, whoever has just wanted acceptance. Color me ugly, color me ugly, color me ugly. But don’t you ever dare go forgetting me.
Just simply color me ugly
The Keys to a Positive and Productive Lifestyle:
All too often these days, you can find people constantly complaining about the lifestyle they’re living. For example, some people like to talk about how their spouse “did them wrong”, how people are “fake” or how they are going to start living a more productive lifestyle by starting some productive habits or stopping some detrimental ones. Usually the people who find themselves in situations where they always have something to complain about aren’t doing enough to remedy their problems. One thing to remember: YOU CONTROL YOUR DESTINY, NOT “THEM”!
I find myself in a good situation in terms of living at this point. This is not because I live a perfect life; I have made my fair share of mistakes in life. Things go wrong for me on occasion just as much and the next man. One thing that I realize is that if something goes wrong in life, it should be because of you and what YOU did wrong. You shouldn’t be looking at how somebody “snaked” you nor did you wrong as an excuse to walk around angry and downtrodden. It is because you allowed them to. The equation is simple, somebody do you wrong, cut them off. No need for revenge, no need to hold onto emotional baggage, just let them go and continue on with control over your own life instead of giving the power to someone who has proven already that they don’t deserve it. Life is a show and it MUST go on one way or another.
I live my (happy, mistake-riddled, yet very productive) life by “The Code” which is “M.Y.O.B. – B.Y.O.B.” That means “Mind your own business” and (no, not bring your own beer) “Be your own boss”. For me, it’s a fool-proof way of living because it allows me to be in charge of what I can do to make sure that I am living life as I intend to.
Allow me to elaborate…
MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS
It is just as self explanatory as it sounds. Just mind your own business. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean be closed off from the world and not care about what goes on in the lives of those around you. Instead, it simply means to make sure that YOU, as an individual are taken care of before you go sniffing around in what other people have going on.
When you allow yourself to snoop around and be concerned about what others are doing, what they have, who they’re with, or anything of that nature, you are giving that person a little bit of control over you. Doesn’t matter who it is, it could be your best friend, when you begin to focus on the affairs of other people, you are only selling yourself short of the focus you should be giving to yourself to be the best person that YOU can be.
All too often, we find ourselves on other people’s Twitter accounts trying to see what’s going on with such and such. Now in some cases this is cool, but when it comes to any drama this must end! Everybody has their ups and their downs in life and I’ve seen all too many times when people are down, others looking to capitalize on that. INSTEAD OF MINDING THEIR OWN BUSINESS! When someone is down, look to help them up, instead people these days would LOVE to see you down, just to tell the next person “Damn, dude fell off!” anxiously wait for you to crack and laugh about it, internally if not externally. This is something that will never end so I advise you all to deal with your personal woes offline. People just don’t care unless they don’t like you, and that’s just to laugh and if they do care, they’ll be there with you in person and not commenting on your status/tweet like, “Sorry to hear that bro LOL”
Relationships are the same. Girls who like your boyfriend are waiting to see that tweet saying “I just don’t know what to do” just to move in for the kill. Guys do the same. It’s life. People are like vultures in a desert, waiting for you to drop dead from the heat and the pressures of life so they can feed off of the legacy you left behind.
One thing that I know for certain is that if I spent my time worrying about what the next person is doing, I am doing a disservice to myself because I am wasting my time worrying about drama in the next person’s life when I can be utilizing that time to become an even better me. Subtweeting. Why? Gossip. Why? For laughs? Something to talk about cause you lack enough substance to base a conversation off of your own wit and merit? Maybe. If karma didn’t get you yet, it will. Mind your own business.
BE YOUR OWN BOSS
Sadly, we live in a society where people are constantly looking to the next person to figure out our next move. We often emulate what others are doing just to feel acceptance or to impress others. Whether you like it or not, there is something THAT YOU DO OR DON’T DO because you are afraid someone is going to judge you. Here’s an example… Who still wears Reebok Classics or K-Swiss shoes? Don’t worry, I’ll wait. (I’d still wear Reeboks, BUT IM NOT because I don’t like getting ribbed.)
Seriously though, we often find ourselves in positions of weakness to other human beings. We have bosses at work; we have civil leaders, judges, government officials so we are always going to have someone in a position of power over us. With that said, on can still be the boss of what they can control. I feel that no man or woman should have to live a life where somebody else can control their life like a light switch. For example, take the people solely living off of welfare. Not only that, but they are so dependant that they aren’t looking for work. They are just cashing checks for a living. Then so easily, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker came into the picture working towards taking away those “benefits” from people who are dependant on them. Then you wonder, where those really benefits? Or were they crutches that people became so dependant on that they grew too lazy to provide for themselves? Now these dependant people have no choice but to change their lifestyle. Basically my point is that you should never be in a position where people can be able to change the way you live on the drop of a dime. Be your own resource!
Being a boss doesn’t mean tell others what to do. A true boss is someone who can look adversity in the face like “what’s good?” It doesn’t mean quit your job because you don’t like your manager, it actually means keep your job, swallow your pride and provide for yourself and your family. Who knows, doing such might even get you promoted. I’ve seen it happen before.
Try to have a car so you don’t have to depend on someone else for a ride. Try to ride the bus if you don’t have a car. I’ve done it. I’ve had my car stolen before because I let SOMEONE ELSE try to “watch” it instead of being my own boss. That was my mistake, letting someone else with nothing to lose in the situation have all the power in me losing something that was VITAL to my way of living at the time. Lesson learned. I’m not mad, the show goes on.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about having a car though. This is about standing on your own two feet and taking care of YOUR business. If you fail or take an “L” (Because you will) make sure that it is because of something YOU did and not because you put it in the hand of someone else. Be your own boss. If you lose at it at least it was because of you and not someone else’s doing or lack thereof.
IN THE END…
Life is like one big television series. Every year is like a new season, the cast changes, the settings and surroundings change but the only thing that remains is you and GOD. People die and you just have to move on. You lose a friend and you just have to carry on without them. As hard as it seems, if you really want to live productively you will have to roll with the punches and allow nothing to hold you back.
Simple things are small victories. Those small victories will help mold you into a better person and as you become a great person, trophies (physical and mental) and accomplishments will start to fill up in the trophy room of your life. People react well to a positive aura. Make sure that that is what you give off to the world or else you will find yourself alone. Don’t go around talking about the next person and their flaws because honestly, that’s for little girls at on the playground at Hampton Elementary (My old school). Be an adult MYOB.
You know you are living well when people become angry with you not because of what you did TO them but what you didn’t do FOR them. Again, everybody has their ups and downs in life but the best of the best know how to get back up on their own two and stand taller and more proudly than they did before they fell. I fell down. I got back up. You can too. Don’t feel a need for a crutch; don’t feel a need to have to depend on anyone or anything because you don’t. You can do it yourself. BYOB.
See when the rain falls and the pain comes the memories of a distant friend set in when the rain drops touch your skin…It’s real all the thoughts within, can love come back and are we still down till the very end? When it sets in can I call again? Can I tell you how I miss you and all your selfless ways? Distant lover how I miss us and our first time making love in the rain and when it sets in all I see is something to gain everything we ever did was for love and all it’s complicated ways…When it sets in mistakes were made but we fought for it and we played harder like we were Michael Jordan in the last shots I mean 4th quarter game wining last shot…See when it sets in our love was real it made me reveal how I truly feel but the real wasn’t enough see the truth is when the rain drops touched my skin I knew it was over so I knew the storm had to begin…See when it sets know the pain is deeper then that cut to the skin everything worth winning is everything I lost at the end…See when it sets in tell love I’m down to fight for it but I need to be sure I’m a win…See when it sets in and the rain drops touched our skin it was done I knew it was over with us because the storm began without letting the sun in but the question remains can love come back and are we still down till the very end? When it sets in can I call again? Can I tell you how I miss you and all your selfless ways? Distant lover how I miss us and our first time making love in the rain…See when it sets in your nothing but a distant friend lost in what used to be but know you’ll always be special because the rain won’t stop until I let you in…See when it sets in all I ask is love promise me that you won’t come back unless the rain drops stop and you promise me a win see I love you but I know the truth and reality is, it is what it is when the rain drops fall and touch our skin and this is pain when it finally sets in…Everything earned but nothing was gained when it sets in just call me pain…Everything but my fucking name
Unreasonable doubt amounts to unmeasurable fear. What if I fail? What if I succeed? How will they feel? Will it matter that memories faded and love became jaded? What if all the possibilities I ever had become nameless? My first time back should feel shameless. I let my mind slip into a place that brought shame in & I lost focus and forgot the game plan. No reason to hate me now, just show me the same game plan. Every line written connected to something from within. I learned that the heart’s unmeasurable, heartbreak is unforgettable, but all pain is accepting. So it seems to me, you’re too busy trying to make count for sins when you can’t afford blessings. Remember you won’t get in, you have to remember that. If it really matters you will do it from within. Take pride in it being the first time back. When you understand your purpose in life, you deliver better understanding. Your purpose is right, if being you does not have to be an act. I let it loose, so now it is no longer a fight for me. It is putting up its best fight for me. No longer do I ask myself to define what art is; because every line written came from a heart ache, a pain that caused more than a heart break. See it’s simple, I want you to see what I see, hear what I hear, feel what I feel, and fear what I fear. And when it’s all gone, remember moment after moment and cheer after cheer. I did it from the heart & that’s what made it unfair. So now that I understand pain and it’s placement, my first time back is our first opportunity at greatness. Me & this writing has always been a unfair relationship. I hated this shit, I couldn’t come to her when I needed it. It’s just every word reminded me of time wasted. I look at you now and ask myself. “Damn will I ever miss the hatred?” It’s the first time back I hope you all learned a little something from that.
I believe EVERYBODY has dreams and goals or have had them at some point in their lifetime. It takes a strong individual to carry that dream along and manifest it into reality. This individual must have a strong self-worth and must be very passionate in the area of what they want to do with that dream. They must constantly be aware of their surroundings and the company that they keep around themselves. I say this because some of us keep people around us that are of no good. These people or “Haters”, I should say, are living a nightmare so they like to shoot down the whole world dreams! It does not matter to them who it is. It can be a mother, brother, sister, cousin, etc. We are only as good as the company we hang around so if you hang around negative miserable individuals then that’s what you will become sooner or later. When you have the mindset of thinking that your goals and dreams are in reach, the enemy will come in and start a mental war with you. See it all starts in your head. You MUST remain positive through it all, no matter the circumstance. Sometimes we think too much on how far we have to go instead of looking at how far we’ve come and how closer we are to catching our dreams. Things will get better in due time. Even Jesus had to wear the crown of thorns before he got the crown of glory. Stay patient!
I’ve written all of this because a friend of mine and many others throughout the city of Milwaukee fits the description very well. His name is Chris Mixon. Or Mix as we would call him. I’ve known Mix for about 6 years and he has a passion for the game of Basketball like no other. Mix attendedRufus King High School where he served as the team manager every year while in school. You couldn’t nor can’t tell Mix to this day that he wasn’t on the team. He will set you straight in a heartbeat. There are many stories on him, but unfortunately, he had gotten in a car accident that hurt him drastically where he would require surgery. I’ve learned a lot from Mix because he has the most heart of anybody that I’ve ever seen and God as my witness. Every 6a.m. practice we had this year for MATC, he was there bright and early with his team gear on, ready to grind. Occasionally, he would be found joking with others, but when practice starts he has his game face on. One person asked him, “why didn’t he play in the Special Olympics?” and he simply replied “I’m a college ball player. Their level of competition isn’t strong enough.” Some might look at him weird, with some skepticism, but I understood where he was coming from. He doesn’t want to be labeled as a disabled person or slow, he just wants to live life like other student athletes. Even though his dream had seemed tohave become broken, he is still doing what he loves the most. Overall, Chris Mixon is just like all of us. He’s one of the most positive people that you’ll come across, especially when it comes to ball players from the 414. He hopes we all make it to play professional basketball. That’s the type of support we all should have when it comes to getting talent out of Milwaukee.
We all have dreams and goals that we live for. Some people carry those dreams on while others have let someone or themselves dictate their mindsets and that dream has shattered into pieces. Somewhere along the line I want to help others pick that dream up and catch it. Help them live life to the fullest and put a smile on their face while doing it.
I’m here to tell you that in spite of your hurt and pain………your stressfulness…… Your Depression……You are STILL HERE!!!!! Through it all, you made it through the moment. God is showing you that there is still hope. As long as you are alive a miracle is possible. For the bible in Jeremiah 29:11 states ” I have plans for you says the Lord. Plans of good thought and not of evil. To give you a hope and a future.” Don’t let your dreams go to waste while you’re still living. I’m pretty sure a few dead people would love to be in our spots right now.
All I see is value and all I hear is hunger. These are simply the sounds of what define you. Hard work and what having a grind can do. If you got a hustle, don’t ever let it define you. Don’t ever put the past behind you, always put it besides you. This is a reminder when its your time, that your roots made it through to shine too. The neighborhood, the block, and the streets can’t even define who? You. Making a way, is making way, for you to live tomorrow but remember the struggles of today. Staying committed and grinding sometimes leads to overtime pay. But who are we to say the rich don’t sleep and the broke can’t pay. Sometimes it’s the darker fantasies and deeper mysteries. Every problem won’t be solved and every solved problem ain’t always right. So don’t get discouraged when you can’t always sleep at night. Just remember every battle ain’t always worth every fight…The formula