I was waiting in the check-out line at Wal-Mart the other day and a man leaving the store struck up a conversation with a cashier on the way out.
"Your sister was in hurr the other day," she told him. "I know. We was supposed to be hurr together but she left me thurr," he said. "Hahaha! Why she leave you thurr?"
What? I felt like I had walked into a Chingy video ("I like the way you do dat right thurr (right thurr)...").
It's beyond me to understand why "there" sounds like "thurr." Same goes with here (hurr). I could say it's part of the Lou's southern feel. I mean, people in the south drink sweet tea and talk about things "over yonder." Who am I to judge?
I was standing in line in Ponderosa one weekend and a lady was asked if she needed a high "churr" for her toddler.
The man giving me my haircut asked if I wanted my sideburns cut up to "hurr." I suppose he meant the bottom of my ear lobe.
I'm not understanding, and I really want to. If someone can explain it, please do. In the meantime, St. Louis, do you. Just as long as it doesn't catch on with me.
She stepped gingerly, sniffing the ground as she got used to her new surroundings. Then, she let her stream flow.
It always takes Charlie a minute to find herself a new place to go to the bathroom, so the fact that she was starting her process less than 30 seconds after we arrived at Kaufman Park near our new digs. She ran around in a circle for a second before beginning the second phase.
"Hey! Hey! What the..." a voice began.
Out of the shadows came an older black man, maybe in his late 50s, looking exhausted, but frustrated with us.
"Why you got her doing her business on my floor?" he said, slurring his speech.
By "floor" he meant grass. In a public park.
But Charlie had already seen too much. She stopped in the middle of what she was doing and, tugging at the leash, beckoned me to a place far away from our first enemy in our new land.
I brought her out the next day to try again. She wouldn't go. It was like she was waiting for something.
Waiting for him. Waiting to be interrupted again.
We walked two blocks in the other direction toward the park between the St. Louis Schools building and my new job. There, she had no problems at all.
Charlie and I had just made our way outside the lofts to make the two-block walk to the park when I noticed broken glass behind my Equinox.
But the car was still there, and I know I made sure to take all my valuables with me. What gives?
On closer inspection, the glass wasn't from Ernie the Equinox. It was from the Thunderbird I'd seen parked behind me the night before. Unfortunately, that car was now gone. I checked all my windows and sighed that sigh of relief seeing all were intact. But when I got to the driver's side window, I noticed my CDs and car forms were all over the place!
I went to open the door -- which was unlocked -- and the alarm went off. I'm thinking whoever jumped in the front seat dug for what they could after the alarm sounded and bounced.
They took nothing. Even my mp3 player was left inside.
Maybe it was a homeless person, rummaging for something they could sell. Or maybe it was an mp3 snob, upset that I didn't have an Apple product.
So much went on since my last post that I figure a quick update is warranted.
First, I got a job offer from this beautiful newspaper here in St. Louis. Yes, THAT St. Louis. The crime capital St. Louis. The "it's gonna get cold soon" St. Louis.
But I'm from Detroit. How much could one city put on me?
I figured my biggest obstacle would be wondering whether Charlie could make it -- and I could get up -- from the comfort of our sixth-floor loft and make it two blocks over to the closest park for her to do her business. If push comes to shove, I'mma start growing grass in the corner of my walk-in closet, which is about 6x10. I don't need all that!
We got up Sunday morning to tackle our first morning as loft-dwellers to find good weather and talkative neighbors. They all were pros at the regimen we were about to figure out. This HAS to be a cakewalk.
Then I spotted the glass on the ground behind my car...
I wrote a story that I knew was going to get people to talking, and I wanted to make sure I toed the line because the subject matter was sensitive.
So I ran it by my mother.
My mother underestimates her value. She's a wealth of institutional knowledge when it comes to life in general. She advises me when I'm steering in the wrong direction.
She's my personal dictionary.
So I sent her the story, which talked about how an exchange between two councilmen, one black and one white, that involved evoking a cotton field had spurred conversations in the community about whether it was racist, simply over the line or whether blacks are hypersensitive when it comes to certain things.
She said it brought back the story of how she'd been shot in the leg (not by a real gun, but injured nonetheless) while visiting family in Alabama. They took her to the hospital, but she wouldn't be seen.
That's 1960s Alabama for you, when George Wallace ruled with an iron fist and black people weren't worthy to him til he lost the ability to walk and later became "born again."
"You done good," she said. That's all I needed.
Not well, but good. You know how the vocab has to be a little hood when you do something better than well - like puttin yo foot in some food?
I asked for the job situation to get better. I asked that love no longer pass me by.
And, as usual, that money become less stretched.
All have been accomplished.
Did I do too much?
I'm one of those people who believe that everything in your life CANNOT go right at the same time. Right now, though, it is.
Can you truly pray you way out of a rut?
I'm beginning to think it's possible. I've never been the most religious person. I've always had a spiritual backing to my thoughts and emotions. I pray when I'm not in need.
But I've been a praying fool these last few weeks. Trust me when I say I've felt "in need."
I've asked for one thing recently, and it appears to be coming my way. But if it does, what do I want for? I guess there's the fact that the girl and I are in different cities. But that's never been a problem for me. I dunno.
I hate feeling like this, like there's nothing for me to strive for in terms of personal wants. It's a place where people get, then become apathetic and complacent, lacking the drive to push out of the current state of being.
I always want more.
But how do you want more when everything seems so good?