Kevin now has his own corner on Basic&Bipolar. Enjoy his beautiful words below, and under the menu option “It’s All Copacetic“.
I can hardly remember the way you tossed your hair; something I’ve studied on numerous occasions. I catch glimpses now and again as trees reach out and swing their branches in the wind. And the wind still carries your scent, following me everywhere I go, urging me to look back and see you standing there. But I still have trouble remembering the way you tossed your hair.
I can hardly relive the flashbacks of your lips pressing tightly together and melting away from mine only to tease; like a newly blossomed rosebud opening for the bees and then withering away the second it slips in. Then hunger ensues; hunger for your lips. But I still have trouble reliving those flashbacks.
I can hardly feel your hands. I imagine they would be lost in mine, our fingers intertwined like the mossy overhang on our front porch door. Our front door, it creaked slightly when you crept in, opening it slowly to soften the sound.
Oh, I can hardly recall the sound! The sound of your voice as it trembles beneath a whisper, forcing out those words. And I’m still holding onto those words. You said that if I left there’s no way you’d survive.
Then you left…so, are you still alive? I can hardly recall.
As discussed in part I of my Tinder Tale installments, I collected tinder date stories throughout the summer. During which, Joan and I had been particularly obsessed with going on a double Tinder date, because after a few dates on Tinder… it was apparent to us that the men in our area didn’t really take to tinder for anything serious, so we decided we’d get some good laughs, food, and drinks out of it. I mean, why not… we’re two hot twenty-somethings; we might as well make the best out of this hook-up app.
“The Worst Double-Date We’ve Ever Been On”
We had had several unsuccessful attempts to have a double tinder date. It was something that was constantly in the backs of our minds while setting up dates with contenders. After probably two months of unsuccessful attempts, we matched with “guy whose name I forgot” and Ari.
GWNIF (guy whose name I forgot) was there for me, and of course the gorgeous and well-built Ari was there for Joan. GWNIF was chosen as a desperate attempt at a double-date. Joan and I really wanted to go out for wine and cheese, so I booked a date with the first contender that was available that night.
Ari arrived to our favorite wine bar before we did, and was already eagerly getting us a table. When we walked in, he was gorgeous and smiley as he hugged both of us. Though he was there for just Joan, he was ridiculously social and sweet to me as well. *Fellas, when you date a woman, you ARE also dating her best friend. Play nice, because best friends can make or break your intentions to date. – I was totally team Ari– I even whispered to Joan that I didn’t care if GWNIF didn’t show up, because I was already having a nice time. Wishful thinking got me nowhere, because that awkward turtle showed up 5 minutes later.
He was nice and polite (at first), but a really snobby sommelier. He was the most annoying of the annoying wine snobs; he sat there sniffing the wines, and testing our waitress on the different dry reds she could provide our table. –I’m all about knowing your wines, but as soon as the customer starts testing the staff, I’m probably going to accidentally spill my wine on his/her lap for being an asshat at my favorite wine bar.
He asked me about my job a lot, as he found what I did incredibly interesting, and he kept saying “I really should go back to school. I can’t do a lot without a degree.” –he said this at least three times, so I finally said “What would you go for then?” And here’s the kicker: he said “I want to run my own wine bar. I’d like to learn more about running a business, and pick-up some managerial skills.” To which I said “not testing the staff like they’re at gunpoint while you’re on a date is probably a really great place to start as far as interpersonal skills go.” -Yes, I did say this… I’m rude, guys.
Ari was being delightful and involving me in his conversations with Joan, because it was obvious to everyone at our table (other than GWNIF) that I was not interested in snobby snobberson. So, my energy was spent attempting to make small-talk with GWNIF, while also socializing with Joan and her pretty manfriend. *I’d also like to add that men also tend to use their best photos for this app (women aren’t the only ones who do this). GWNIF was one of those guys.
GWNIF and I didn’t talk about anything interesting in the slightest. I don’t like talking about work in late night social environments, because of the nature of my job, I feel it’s not respectful to discuss it over drinks. So, that topic wasn’t going to work. I kept trying to talk about hobbies (I’m basically a collector of small-time hobbies), and he had none. Who the F**k hasn’t a single hobby!? I mean, nothing. He didn’t collect anything, he didn’t have any special skills (outside of wine quizzing), and he had NO major life interests, and owned zero pets. I had absolutely nothing to talk to this guy about. Staying awake around him was a total chore. He just kept talking about wanting to become more cultured. -And hopefully find a hobby or two.
After our third or fourth bottle of wine at the table, we all decided to call it a night. Completely out-of-tune with me, Joan invited the entire table back to our place for some more drinks and a movie. The situation got away from me, and the next thing I noticed was Joan giving GWNIF directions to our home and telling him “you know what, why don’t you just follow us back!” -Great. Thanks, Joan. Now I have to hang out with this snoozefest even longer. As we walked back to our car, I whispered “what on earth were you thinking? That guy was the fucking worst. Seriously.” Giggling, she responded “yeah, I know. I thought it’d be funny to see how you’d get out of it.” -Gee thanks, yah fuck!
I eagerly took control of this situation, and texted him that I was tired and heading to bed. He understood, and said that he could tell that I seemed “sleepy”. -uhh yeah, because you were boring me to tears, homie.
After a failed attempt at sexy texting me a few days later, I never heard from GWNIF again. I was actually shocked by his attempt at sexy texting. Not only was he boring, but apparently is also horrible at picking up social cues. No thank you, sir. He was rude and a complete snoozefest. He was unmathed and deleted right away.
Needless to say, Joan and I have vowed to never double-date again unless we’re in solid relationships. I know I definitely have no desire to go on a double-date, ever again.
Have any of you had any good experiences with double-dating? …Maybe I’m just doing it wrong (I probably am).
Chris P. Bacon now has her own “corner” on Basic&Bipolar. Find more of her thoughts under Food&Feelings in the main menu.
I would like to take this time to give you a little history on myself and why this section is titled “Food and Feelings.” Apart from the fact that I love food and I have a ton of feelings that accompany my relationship to food, the struggle bus that I’ve been riding on has lasted much longer than 21 days, which they say can apparently “fix” my shit.
For the majority of my life I’ve been what some would call “curvy”. I’m 5’4″ and if we’re putting numbers on things, at my best I’ve weighed around 140. At my worst, my number has been around 180, which is the current mile marker my struggle bus is stopped at. And over the past 3 years or so, my number has literally gone up and down in every which way between. Currently, I have G boobies. Yes, that is an actual size in the bra department. On a positive note, I like to own that shit… and when people ask “what size ARE you???” My response goes like this: “I’m a Gee.” (Gee as in Gangsta – but no one has to know I mean it in that sense.) But when it comes to the lower portion of my body. I can’t remember the last time I fit into pants or shorts that were sized as a single digit. I rock those 10s, 12s, 30s to 33s. I get that butts are “in” now (side note to thank Kim K and Nikki…) But in REALITY, because we all know their asses don’t live in our world, I’d have to be doing 100+ squats per day to get on their level. Or just have a really good plastic surgeon. And I really don’t have the time, energy, nor the money for that. Anyways…
The hardest part for me has been finding that medium where I look and FEEL great, where I’m choosing healthy foods AND foods that fill my soul, where I’m being physically active AND getting my lazy in, and most importantly where I’m HAPPY with the choices I’m making. I understand that any change you want to make in life all begins with the choice to do so. However, its not as easy as flipping a light switch and it takes a lot longer than 21 Days to “Fix”.
Like most, as soon as I got a notification that Queen Bey dropped a new video, I ran straight to my computer. I got chills the first time I watched the video. Not only is it hauntingly artistic, but her message is so powerful and I believe to be incredibly pertinent to the growth of our society. I have grown tired of reading White Conservative drivel that bashes her halftime performance and video, claiming that it’s an attempt to elicit Malcolm X-type behavior out of the young black community.
I came across this article, and sharing it on my Facebook was not enough. I wanted to share it with the masses.
Enjoy, and share your thoughts! Please be reminded that none of us here at B&B endorse the poor treatment of others, so any hate-speak will be deleted and blocked. Thanks for the read, beautiful humans and non-humans. -B&B
On Saturday night, I sent a group text to several friends as we were on our way to meet for drinks. It consisted solely of a screen capture from Beyoncé’s new video for Formation and the words: “We must discuss this shit.”
Everyone knew exactly what I was talking about.
My best friend’s answer: “Did Beyoncé just make a statement about the black feminine body defeating the police state?”
Formation is both provocation and pleasure; inherently political and a deeply personal look at the black and queer bodies who have most often borne the brunt of our politics. All shapes and shades of black bodies are signaled here and move – dare we say “forward”? – in formation. Even the song’s title is subversive, winking at how we have constructed our identities from that which we were even allowed to call our own.
Formation isn’t Beyoncé’s first foray into the political but, in her latest collaboration with director Melinda Matouskas (who has directed eight of Beyoncé’s videos since 2007), Beyonce’s narrative and aesthetic comes in sharp relief. The video articulates multiple identities of southern blackness, while social critiques of the nation’s crimes against its darker skinned citizens acts as ballast.
Bookended by the flooding of the city of New Orleans after 2005’s Hurricane Katrina – and by which the city’s black residents were disproportionately affected – and a black child in a hoodie dancing opposite a police line and a quick cut to graffiti words “stop shooting us”, Beyoncé morphs into several archetypical southern black women.
The potency of Formation doesn’t come from its overt politics: it comes from the juxtaposition of lyric with the images, which organically present black humanity in ways we’ve haven’t seen frequently represented in popular art or culture.
There is in it a litany of blackness, of what we love, of our diverse selves, of our intersections – class, sexuality and gender – woven so neatly in the visual that the lyrics and music seem secondary, but are intrinsic to communicating this celebration of southern fried blackness. Even Beyoncé retells her own history and by extension, marries the contradictions of black identity in her declaration: “My daddy Alabama, Mama Louisiana. You mix that Negro with that Creole make a Texas bama” – an insult that, perhaps, only Beyoncé was ever capable of reclaiming.
Beyoncé’s use of “slay” is an additional embrace of the language of the black queer community and, in its repetition, it’s an incantation that can slay haters, slay patriarchy, to slay white supremacy.
Formation is a protest and celebration, concerned with and in love with the very particular paradox of the black American identity and experience. The images, which are deeply layered and particular to a black Southern vernacular and aesthetic, beg to be catalogued: Creole and Black American, Mardi Gras Indian, crawfish, Black cowboys, wig shops, socks and slippers, corsets and parasols, parades, high school basketball, step team moves, bounce queens Big Freedia and Messy Mya, cotillions, “twirl on dem haters”, braids, “bama”, black spirituality (church and hoodoo, maybe even a nod to Mami Wata), black mama side eyes, drawls, Blue Ivy black girl magic fierceness.
It’s old and new south; it’s dark and dirty south; it’s Chantilly lace and denim jacket south; it’s baby afro, baby hair and pink and purple wig south; it’s second line and pentecostal holy ghost south; it’s southern gothic and bounce south; it’s my granny, grandaddy, auntie, uncle, cousin south. It is us, it’s for us, and it’s not concerned if white people understand.
I can’t help, while watching and re-watching Formation, being reminded of this Nina Simone interview, in which she defines her role as an artist aligned with activism and black cultural aesthetics.
I think what you are trying to ask is why am I so insistent in giving out to them that blackness that black power that black … pushing them to identify with black culture. I think that’s what you’re asking … my job is to somehow make them curious enough or persuade them by hook or crook to get more aware of themselves and where they came from and what they are into and what is already there and just to bring it out. This is what compels me to compel them.
In this spirit, Formation compels its viewers to acknowledge the beautiful complexity of history, culture and customs, with levity and passion. It compels us to reclaim the black American narrative from its margin and make it center.
These representations of black life are critical renderings of the range of our humanity, and they seem so unique here – as they did in Kendrick Lamar’soffering last year – because we are so underrepresented in our beauty and diversity in television and film. (One notable exception is the documentary The B.E.A.T., from which Beyoncé and director Matouskas sourced some of their New Orleans footage with permission of the Sundance Channel, which owns the rights. They later thanked the directors publicly and noted that they were credited appropriately for the footage.)
But the politics were not an afterthought for Beyoncé: the date of the release of this work can’t be ignored, given that February is Black History Month in the US. Mardi Gras festivities in New Orleans have already begun. More to the point, last Friday would have been the 21st birthday of Trayvon Martin, killed by George Zimmerman in 2012 in a shooting widely attributed to racism; Sunday would have been the 29th birthday of Sandra Bland, whose alleged suicide in prison in 2015 after a brutal and poorly justified arrest captured on camera led to unsuccessful calls for further investigation into her death.
Both were considered formative moments for the women and gay men who have been at the forefront of Black Lives Matter and, more broadly, the movement for black lives.
Formation as a work of popular art is clever in its acknowledgment of the labor of black women as soldiers and leaders in social justice movements, even though popular culture has been more interested in the role of men and of male performing artists – like Usher, Kendrick Lamar, Common, Pharell, J Cole, and John Legend, Run The Jewels – in the wider conversation and activism around the crisis of police violence and black community.
But the image of black women synchronizing their bodies in dance juxtaposed with the lyric, “You know you that bitch when you cause all this conversation” is signifier for many of black women who have felt ignored and marginalized in their own movement. Beyoncé’s almost exclusive use of black women and black queer bodies in Formation underscores the gender inequity of the visibility of black lives lost to violence (and the movement dedicated to eradicating it), in which the pain and death to which black women and black queer and transgender people are subjected, become invisible and subordinate to black cisgender men and the white gaze.
Formation exists in a canon of black protest art and may now formally align Beyoncé with other black artists who have supported and boosted social justice movements by black Americans. (Tidal, the music service owned by Beyoncé’s husband Jay Z that currently has the exclusive sales rights to Formation,announced a $1.5m donation to Black Lives Matter and related charities on Friday.)
Beyoncé’s work shows that revolution can be beautiful; protest and celebration are not contradictions when imagining a black future that isn’t overrun by images of black pain and death. In the video’s concluding sequence, the black child in a hoodie “gets light”; his dance is a challenge to, but still in dialogue with, a police line in formation. His dance concludes as he raises his hands up in surrender; the police line raises their hands up in response. (Should the message be unclear, a quick cut to a graffiti wall with the words “stop shooting us”.)
And then, tantamount to a sacrifice, Beyoncé, using the weight of her own body, sinks a police patrol car into the flood waters to birth a new future. Women and children can bring that future to pass, it says; maybe, it’s saying, only women and children can.
At this point, I know very few people who haven’t tried tinder. They’ve either tried it just for laughs, or to actually meet people. I know a very small portion who have actually pursued relationships with tinder matches, and I’m happy to say they’re all doing really well.
I won’t lie, I felt a little weird trying it. I knew it was basically a hook-up app, and I had no idea if that was what I was even looking for. I just knew I wanted to meet new people and have fun. It was the summer before I was turning 25, and I decided it was time for me to have a scandalous summer. I’m too big of a control freak to ever commit to anything scandalous, so it was time for me to let go a little, and try something new. However, as a writer and scientist, I obsessively journal any and every new life venture so I can (much) later look at my experience (semi) objectively. Lucky for all of you beautiful creatures, you get to relive my experience with me.
So, here’s my first Tinder Tale:
“When Joan&Jane Were Sailors”
Before I start the story, I should add that Joan is my roommate’s nickname/drunk alterego. No one pronounces her name correctly and we decided on Joan, because it sounds sort of “badass office lady”. Also, Joan and I work together in addition to our being roommates. For most, it would be too much time with one person, but we’re basically two different sides of the same coin; we make a great team at work and outside of work… it works for us, and has for years.
So, one night after a really shitty day at work, we decided to get the pool floaties out and drink a bottle of rum in our pool. After getting a little sauced, we decided to go out for some cocktails -because we ran out of rum.
I met up with the Dodger that I slept with once (who I met through tinder, but that’s a story for another day), and Joan met up with a previous Tinder Tackle turned long-term friend who had flown in for the night.
I got annoyed with the Dodger, because he was nothing short of one of the flakiest guys I had ever hung out with and was being wishy washy about where he wanted to go (as far as which bar) -total shocker..an athlete with a short attention-span. So, I decided to pretend to ignore him. Drunk or sober, I’m not great at ignoring or even pretending to ignore people. So, my attempt at pretending was, I’m sure, laughable at best. I just rolled my eyes at him and didn’t follow him to his stupid VIP section. I think all I said was “Nah. I might go home. See yah.”, and then I took my pouty attitude to the other side of the bar. Joan, her friend, and I decided to stay at this same bar because after my attempt at passive aggressiveness, I was stuck in this rapid cycle of “take a shot, dance for 10 minutes, take a lap to make sure he’s having a miserable time (I’m a little batty…drunk or sober *I embrace it), and repeat! We did that for about an hour, and my friends were ready to strangle me.
Eventually, Joan and her friend got bored of the workout my crazy was giving them, and we decided to head to a few other bars. I eventually got them to go back to the original bar, claiming that the music was better. Joan’s friend got refused at the door because they thought he was too drunk…. I have no idea why I didn’t set off any alarms, but I still got in so I didn’t care -I didn’t see Joan after that until we left for work the next morning.
So, I’m at the first bar and I went straight to my dodger(because I obviously knew his exact location) and told him to take me home because my sandal broke and I was tired. He complied, and gave me a piggy back ride to our uber, while holding my sandal because I was too busy being devastated over my broken shoe to hold it myself. On our way home to his flat, I flirted with the cutest Dominican uber driver… in front of my dodger (who just laughed the whole time, while still holding my shoe). When we got back to his place, at 5’2” tall (1.5 meters), I attempted to give this 6’2” (1.9 meters) solid muscly athlete a piggy back ride into the house. We fall at least three times, but I got him through that threshold!! After that, I had decided that I’m basically the hulk.
What happened between the attempts to carry him into the house and my having to pee shortly after is still a little blurry, and was probably full of “I could probably arm wrestle you and win!”(I’m embarrassing, guys). But regardless of what ridiculous shit happened between those two moments, I had to pee. I eventually got to his bathroom and this was one of those bathrooms that conjoins two bedrooms. So, I was wearing a romper (with no-bra), and I was paranoid that taking my romper off to pee would intuitively lure someone into walking into the bathroom to see me…basically naked, just to pee. Well, I ended up locking both doors.
I somehow managed to keep the door to the baseball player’s bedroom locked even after having opened it to exit the bathroom…Leaving both doors to this bathroom locked, preventing anyone from being able to use the rest room for the entirety of the evening. So, at 4:30 am there was my sexy (mostly) naked athlete taking the bathroom door off it’s hinges. While doing this, he was mumbling that it was probably “that stupid tart my friend brought home”, so I agreed and even threw in a “she sounds like a mess!”. I did nothing to help this situation. I took a few photos of him struggling, snapped them to Joan, giggled a bit, then passed the fuck out -because I’m obviously that sort of “fun time” that you take home, locks you out of your bathroom, giggles while you’re struggling, then passes out… and I was probably drooling all over the place. I’m a gem, guys..I really am. Tinder should probably use this story as a testimonial on their site.
The next morning when I woke up for work, my Dodger and I were both still drunk. Still wearing the REALLY short romper I was in the night before, I stole a t-shirt from the Dodger, threw it over my clothes to give myself a little more length in the material department and made my way home. How I managed to get a ride home is still beyond me. Luckily, I made it home with enough time to brush my teeth, and throw my hair up.
After getting home, I found what the night had left of Joan… She was not only still drunk, but had lost her underwear at some point. Apparently she and her friend both woke up with random cuts and bruises and were 80% sure that they beat the shit out of each other during what we assume was really intense foreplay or a back alley fight club. Joan threw up in the bathroom at work twice, and I walked around looking like someone ran me over…twice.
Joan and I had a pretty successful night. We decided being sailors was probably for us, and that we should probably find a boat and take our show to the sea.
*I had talked to the Dodger for somewhere around a week. He was also not actually a dodger. Just an athlete (team unknown). He was gorgeous, and lovely but we didn’t have a lot in common outside of us both liking his statuesque body. Joan is still really good friend’s with her Tinder Tackle turned bestie.
Do I have any ex or current Tinder users out there in my following!? Or any other site for that matter? I know Tinder doesn’t have the best reputation, and to be honest, I never took tinder seriously. I basically used it to try out different personalities for fun. My next Tinder Tale will be about how one of my best friends and I posed as a lesbian couple looking for a “third”, just for a good laugh (I’m an asshole)…and for the free drinks. 😉