I can remember bits and pieces of events, but I can’t place them on an accurate timeline. That’s how 95ish to 99ish go. As I’ve re-read some of my stuff I know its in the wrong order…with dashes of stuff I had completely forgotten, till I dreamt it. But oh well…that’s the whole point of this…
I was introduced to underground hip hop during the ‘critter era’. It’s one of my bestest things from this wretched but enlightening era. While everything was a hazy cloud of drunkenness, fucking, drugs and pain…I found this. Not by accident of course. Through my brother.
I don’t talk about my brother much. It’s a bit of a sore soft spot. But he gave me these gifts…acceptance and hip hop.
I don’t mean gangster rap…or even rap. I mean thesaurus-ised lyrical flow. And beats. Head nodding, heart thumping, beats.
I found Method Man…Wu…Nas…Mobb Deep…Goodie Mob…Outkast…Lauryn Hill…Keith Murray…Onyx…Pharohe Monch…Gangstarr…Mos Def…Talib Kwali…Lost Boyz…The Arsonists…The High and Mighty…Black Star…Dilated Peoples…
I found old school DJing…turntables, mixer and vinyl.
And I was privileged to be introduced to my brothers lyrical talent. I became a bit of a ‘brothers performances’ groupie :). I loved watching and listening to him…I still do. He’s one of the most talented lyricists I know.
He accepted me where I was at. My little brother, who by the way is a few feet taller than me. He let me be. I didn’t treat his acceptance as I should have, probably. But I loved him as well as I could.
I had a critter ‘boyfriend’ at this stage. Boyfriend/partner is a very loose term for what we deemed as a sort of formal relationship. We lived together, argued together, screwed and drank. But I didn’t want titles or restraints and pretty much did as I pleased. He didn’t like that much. After I moved out and went flatting with other peeps…he broke in and ripped us off. The End Of That. Karma really.
I decided to study design…just randomly. The course involved beauty sectors, clothing fashion and design and modeling. Hmmmm. I did brilliantly in all areas except for hospitality lol…but I didn’t like it. I attended possibly half of the course…it was interfering with my drinking schedule…and still managed to come out on top. Mentally it wasn’t much of a challenge but it showed me what I didn’t like…and it did reignite my interest in design.
I visited my girls every other weekend; they came and stayed every other weekend. When they came, I removed everyone and everything that could harm them…or that wasn’t a good influence for them. No drinking, no drugs, no swearing. No critters. Pretty hypocritical really, but I knew enough to know what I didn’t want them round that kind of stuff. And I knew I still wasn’t in the right frame of mind to be able to protect them properly…this was my way of doing that.
I danced…whilst drinking…a lot..the dancing was probably a good outlet for me.
I flatted with a really good friend somewhere around this time…we were drinking mates, but also similar in personalities. We’re still friends today.
I was mates with my brothers girlfriend about this time. We drank together too. She had a stable kind of life though…and was wealthy. Nothing I was used to. She’d lend me her car to go and see the girls, who by this time, were living quite a distance from me. When they left with their father, it was on the understanding that they would be moving 20 minutes from where I was staying. That never happened. Instead they moved about 5 hours away. With no car, or transport, it made it hard going to see them or picking them up. But I did it…with the help of friends…and family. My ‘brothers girlfriend’ mate, had a mother that drank as much as I did…if not more. But she was socially ‘acceptable’…she held down a very productive job…even though she’d show up pissed…she had shitloads of money…and the ability to buy shitloads of very expensive alcohol.
Somewhere in here, my father showed up again. He had a habit of showing up every 7-10 years…to make an appearance…try to reconnect…blah blah. I did a bit of it…but was still pretty pissed off with him.
Around this time I became quite fascinated with figuring out the minds of rapists, serial killers, mass murderers and pedophiles. I get now, that I was trying to figure out, the ‘why’. I didn’t then. But it started a string of events that led to my degree in the end. But for this time, I read a lot of books…John Douglas, ex fbi profiler…Robert Ressler…Behavioural Analysis type stuff.
In the mean time, did I mention I drank ALOT.
This was a time that I spent a lot of time regretting and feeling guilty about. I tried to fancy it up and make myself sound remorseful and gutt wrenching-ly sorrowful And to some extent I have been just that. Especially for my babies.
There’s also another part of me that knows this is exactly what needed to happen to get me onto the next phase.
I’ve watched both my girls grow up; one has nearly made her way through her twenties, the other is just starting. And they have been unsettled…questioning…changing…uncomfortable…angry…elated…desperate…and I think that’s what your twenties are supposed to look like?! It is an awkward kind of uncomfortable time when your still figuring out who the hell you even are let alone where you want to be in 5 to 10 years time. And yeah, I’ve heard some peeps who can describe in fine detail where their lives are going to be during and after their twenties. And most of those peeps got a little fucked up along the way as life threw shit at them and they were desperately unprepared. So not to down the know it alls…but mistakes are all part of the process I think…and the twenties seemed to be filled to the brim with those.
For me…while I have guilt for some of the shit I did during this time…actually a lot of it…I know it was necessary. I needed to let rip.