I'm just a man ... standing in front of the world ... asking them to love my writing.
A sneaky smile. A charming demeanor. A biting humor.
All of that definitely describes my man, Mississippi East.
He and I have been together for about ten years now. And in that time frame, I've actually given him seven kids. Not that I planned it that way. No-siree-Bob. Not even close.
My name is Karissa Hem-Lee.
Once upon a time I was semi-almost famous.
They called me the half Black/half Korean bombshell.
I was in an all girl Rap group called The Problematic Hoes. And we did our thing. We did a little something-something. But just not enough to create any longevity in the music business. Not enough to be a trivia question on Jeopardy or even get a guest spot on Sesame Street singing with Elmo. Nope. Nothing that hard hitting.
So the group disbanded ... The contract was stamped null and void ... Okay, wait ... One of the group members dabbled in drugs and didn't show up for rehearsals or gigs. And another group member was sleeping with a label head, trying to screw herself into a solo deal ... Which left the rest of the group angry all of the time and ready, willing and able to fight with the others. So basically the group kind of imploded. And the next thing I know, I'm waitressing in a restaurant, asking snotty nosed kids if they want macaroni and cheese bites with their cookie dough milkshake. But then, that's sort of how I met Mississippi East.
He would come into the diner to order coffee and a Apple danish and read the daily newspaper ... and flirt. And at first I kind of ignored him and pretended like I wasn't interested. But like I said, that smile, that charm, that humor ... Over time it just won me over. I just couldn't shake him. And I finally gave in and let him take me out on a date. Though I even after I agreed, I was second guessing myself and almost canceled out on the whole thing. But I'm glad I didn't. Because when I glanced out of the window to look for him, there he was getting out of his Cadillac with his suit on and clutching a bouquet of pink and yellow roses. Okay. Alright. I was done for. He had me right there.
Darned if he didn't tell me to get gussied up though and then took me to this hole in the wall where the Blues was being played, loud and proud. A ramshackle looking place that didn't look like it was fit for beast nor foul from the outside, but when you got inside, you saw that you weren't the only one dressed up. That the whole atmosphere was full of life that was a new kind of normal for me, but one that I suddenly found appealing.
There were other guys in suits and gators and derby hats on their heads. Women in nice dresses. Because this was like the Black folks' equivalent to the supper clubs that DEAN and SAMMY and FRANK used to play in. Except the performers here had "Mad Dog", "Wolf" or "Wailing" something or other tacked on to their name. And instead of steaks, soups and salads being brought from the kitchen, there was the best tasting barbecue ribs you'd ever want to encounter. And you know what? I had the best time ever. I won't even lie.
My friends and family looked at Mississippi as if he were a dirty old man, dating someone 30 years his senior. But they just didn't know the real him. He treated me so good. Better than I could be to myself. Better than the men my age had. And not only did I feel cared for, but I felt safe when he was around. And the more he was around, the more I wanted him around.
And the loving ...
He had me feeling all buttered up and sweetened ...
That man could metaphorically twist me up in knots and then untie me ... Oh my ...
Looking at him, you would think that he would be the type that would hurry love. But he was a tender lover like BABYFACE used to sing about. Or rather, he put that whip appeal on me instead of the other way around. And a chick got sprung. Let me tell you ... I must've been sprung, in order for him to get seven kids out of me. The same me who once said that I didn't like kids and would never have any kids. But I did. And I did again. And so on, and so on and so on ... But it wasn't my fault. It was his fault. He must have put some kind of voodoo-trance-hypnotic spell on me. Had me doing things that I swore that I would never do .... Ugh!
Some kind of how, some kind of way, my days of wanting to live the glamorous life; my passion for rapping even, was far back in the rear view mirror, turning into a speck. It was as if I couldn't even remember a given photo shoot, video shoot, tv guest appearance or awards show. None of it seemed as if it even existed. Like Men In Black. It was as if someone had zapped me and all of the fantastical stuff had been fazed from my brain.
Now all I knew was washing, ironing, cooking, going to church and making love to my man. A man that I loved with all of my heart, but a man that I was almost certain was screwing other b**ches whenever he got the chance.
And it wasn't like I was stuck ... Not really ... I could kick him out. I could tell him that I didn't want him anymore. But I didn't want to kick him out. I didn't want to tell him that I didn't want him anymore. Because I loved him so much. And he didn't flaunt his side-chicks in my face. He always came home to me. And he never treated me like I didn't matter. He told everyone that I was his. And the way he loved on his children ... Wrong or right, for better or for worse, even with his flaws, this was the best relationship I'd ever had. The closest thing to perfect. And with that in mind, I was not going to let him go without a fight.
Peace and Light On Your Darkest Days
- Karissa -
© 2022 LaZeric Freeman