There are a couple things I know for sure about myself. Number 1, I am mento! Number 2, I am not prejudiced. So it’s no wonder that my mento-ness knows no prejudice. Whether it’s a crack whore on a San francisco street or a hot established band, everyone pretty much gets the same service of mento- ness.
Such was the case this weekend. I had been working like a dog, doing doubles all week and wasn’t going to see a day off for 14 days. I wasn’t all that bothered since I play for a living but regardless by Friday I was in dire need of some “me” time. And by “me” time I reAlly just mean a strong drink! One of my favorite friends Rico From Oahu texted me that day and told me he was on island for a night. Perfect! I thought to myself. An excuse to rage center stage!
I was stoked because Rico is one of my favorite characters in life and he travels with a very popular band, so I hardly get to kick it with this dude, but when I do- I know I’m always in for some witty laugh sessions. Rico is named so because simply put he’s suave. Rico suave! One of those cats that can charm the panties right off a girl and make them think it was their idea. He’s just that charismatic and magnetic and it runs in the family. Rico is cousin to one of my girls from high school who got more game than LeBron James. I’ve seen many a beauty fall for Ricos rapier wit and infectious personality. It’s just addicting. The thing I love the most about Rico, and the rest of the band is that they can really appreciate mento, so me and all of my ridiculousness happen to fit right in without having to dilute any of it to keep social graces or whatever.
Anyhow, that night me and my favorite Asian diva Vera Wang met up with another bandmate Babyface at a bar. Babyface is also cousin to my girl and is the baby of the group and someone I knew before he had hair on his balls. We picked up Babyface and headed straight to their hotel room where Rico was napping to give him a much needed pimp slap. He was in my hood for one night only and there was no way he was going to be napping during my party time. When we got there Rico was already dressed along with the rest of The Mean Band. Their gig was in an hour and they were starving. Of course I talked them into eating at the Korean bar Vera Wang and I were heading over to anyway. They followed suit and didn’t have time to eat bc Mama San was too busy making food for a drag show. Bad mama san! Bad!
Anyhow, they were off to their gig and I was left with another local celeb and friend Cameron to drink. Vera had split after her bud cookies made their way into her blood stream and shut down her brain and with it her slanted eyes, but luckily for me, Horny Mchornerson and a few others joined the party. Suddenly, we had a table of dads, brothers, daughters, classmates, teammates, and birthday girls taking shots like we were 50 cent.
One thing lead to another and we got Cameron to sing “man down” on stage with the band, little did I know that would turn out to be my anthem for the night.
What followed after that was a sequence of inexplicit raging and debauchery. After the show had ended a group of us had somehow ended up on the roof of the birthday girls car giving each other not so luxurious and not so calculated cheap champaigne showers. How we happened NOT to get arrested by the 12 Cop cars that filled the parking lot is beside me, but somehow we knew it was time to move out. It was all good since The Mean Band was just about finishing their show.
We headed over to their hotel room. From there i can recall only the most insignificant of details: The Samoan security guard trying to kick us out of the parking lot; Me trying to convince the Samoa security guard that he really didnt have to do that; The both of us arguing; The both of us coming to a compromise that we could sit out by the street like $2 dollar hookers; Some baseball boys walking home from a bar; Talking about how much I hated the baseball boys at my college; Seeing the Mean Band pull into the parking lot in mini vans and giggling about it; Ditching baseball boys; Hanging out by the pool; A longboard beer in my hand; A solo walk on the beach/make myself puke session; The creepy eyes of a Filipino beach walker that kept pacing back and forth me. And This is where I came back to mild consciousness. Those creepy eyes got me. It looked like he wanted to penetrate me, and without my consent too. Like he might actually prefer it that way. I was spooked to say the least and darted off the beach as fast as my drunk legs would allow. I ran to the boys and told them about rape eyes on the beach but could barely get through the details. Man Down, I thought! I was done!
I plopped myself on a chair in one of the empty rooms to watch some late night vh1 and cross my fingers that the floor would stop fucking spinning beneath me but I was out of luck. Finally when I felt like I could socialize again I went out onto the
Lawn where all the bandmates and groupies were hanging out. Babyface was giggling and cart wheeling like a 8 year old school girl.
“Hey”, I thought out loud, “I wanna laugh! I can cart wheel too.” I said like a bonafide bratzilla.
I could swear I heard Ricos voice challenging me, “no you can’t.”
Anyone who knows anything about me knows never to challenge me, my competitive nature is like Mike Tyson, I’ll bite off your ear before I loose.
“yes I can!” I exclaimed as I hurled myself into the air for a drunken cartwheel. What I was not quite expecting was the damp grass that had been soiled by the sprinklers only moments earlier. As my body came around for a landing my feet flew under me like a virgin ice skater and smack I landed on my bare ass, in front of a band full of witty motha fuckas.
Shit! I thought as I lay on the floor laughing at myself. That was NOT what it looked Like in my head. Immediately roars of laughter came from all around me and there was really nothing else to do but laugh at my ass that was now exposed to the soiled grass.
“Man down!” I yelled, maybe just in my head, I can’t remember.
The Mike Tyson inside me heard the laughter and thought one thing,
“I CAN do a cartwheel! I CAN.” I had turned into a drunken little engine that could right before their eyes.
“I know I can. I’ll show you.” and off I went cart wheeling. This time I landed it perfectly.
I jumped up and yelled exuberantly, “see!!! I told u guys. I can do it.”
But they were still laughing at me.
“what the fuck are you guys laughing at? I can cart wheel. I may be a little drunk and underestimated a few details in my first attempt but I was just warming up. See I landed it.”
They weren’t fazed or even slightly convinced by my last perfect cart wheel, so I I did it again.
Another perfect cart wheel. But these fuckers were still laughing.
“what the fuck?” I thought out loud. Suddenly the breeze of the ocean air became apparent to my previously numb body and that breeze was moving through my body from my bottom half. I looked down and realized what all the laughing was about. I had seemed to have underestimated another minor detail of the cart wheeling…. The fact that I was wearing a dress and a pink lacy thong. Oh shit Keo, not again! I was like a deer at headlights except I was a drunk bare ass at laughing boy band.
There I was with my dress up at my waist staring in utter confusion at why I was standing there in front of a group full of guys in my underwear. How in the fuck did that just happen, I thought? Pull it together keo, I know you’re cooler than this. Dammit, this was strike three for me with this band. While I knew half of the band previously, the others I met in their first trip to Maui. That time I picked up Rico and we met the rest of the band at the hotel parking lot to cruise and toke. As I was walking up to the group of talented and unsuspecting musicians the drummer Kunta came straight to me and practically yelled, “you’re black!”
He wasn’t asking, he was telling. I was a little taken back by his accusation but not at all shocked, this kind of stuff happened to me all the time, plus i’m pretty jaded to crazy by now.
This being our first meet and greet i tried to minimize my stinging blunt response and said “no I’m not!”
“yes you are!” he demanded again.
“ugh…. No I’m not!” I was starting to get a little irritated. Who the hell was this guy trinna tell me I’m black?
But he persisted, “yes you are! Your built like a black girl.”
I didn’t know at all what the fuck he was talking about and just replied “I’m pretty sure I’d know if I was black. And I’m not. But it’s okay…” I continued, “people think I’m black all the time because I have rhythm like nobodies business.”
For a moment there was silence, even the stream of Ricos pissing in the corner stopped for a second, then there was a loud roar of laughter. I guess they thought that was funny. I just thought it was facts.
“I like you” Kunta said, “your funny. You made me laugh within a minute of meeting you. You must be pretty cool.”
“cool… Yes! Black… No!” I responded.
I cruised with them for a few hours talking about a whole lot of hilarious nothings. Holy crap all these guys were classic. I couldn’t believe it… ALL of them were classic. Or as my royal fuck up of a friend Biggie Smalls would say, these guys were classical. A band full of traveling, talented classical characters, i could barely believe it, but it seems to be the case that characters are like centipedes, where theres one, there’s always another close by. It was refreshing! Hardly anyone in Maui is classic like this, And I was reveling in the moment. No one in Maui usually gets my humor, but this was an all night give and take. It was phenomenal! As the joints were circulating the laugher just got more and more heavy. As I took ahold of a joint and went to inhale it’s majestic green smoke, my body revolted and exhaled instead. Exhaled the burning bud flame out of the joint wrap and down into the abyss that is my clevage. The rest of the boys were standing around talking and waiting for the joint to come back around and i didnt want to embarass myself by making a scene and sticking my hand violently down my shirt to retrieve the burning flame. Though my exterior was composed, my insides were freaking out and my breasts were on fire! Shit! My plan was to non- chalantly fan it down my shirt before anyone noticed, but like most of my plans, this one went awry. I could feel the lit flame burning down my breast. I started nonchalantly fanning but the fanning wasnt working and the flame started burning down my chest and now my stomach. As the burning sensation ensued my fanning became more aggressive and pronounced. I was starting to do exactly what i didnt want to do: i was making a scene and i knew it because the guys all started staring at me in silence with a confused gaze. The burning continued and I was now jumping in the air from
Foot to foot fanning my top and gyrating my back and butt back and forth to create movement. At this point it was pretty obvious that I wasn’t going to get away with NOT making a scene so I quickly scratched that plan and focused on the bigger issue at hand, not getting a 3rd degree burn.
I kept gyrating my butt back and forth like a single ladies back up dancer, but the stubborn burning bud would not quit and i couldnt understand why. It was then that it occurred to me that I was wearing one of my many infamous bodysuits and that the flame was stuck inside. It was then that I lost my shit!
I started yelling and jumping from foot to foot amidst gyrating and fanning “ahhhh…. Ahhhhhhh”
Now all the boys were in stony shock. Rico was so confused he lost his balance and had to get a better footing and started shifting his weight from foot to foot until his feet were shoulder width apart and his arms were crossed against his chest. His head was cocked in confusion, brows crunched wondering what the fuck I was doing. If I had to describe what I looked like, it could most closely be compared to the people at my childhood episcopalian church at the alter when they were being overcome by the holy spirit or simply, abrupt and unexplained lunatic jumping.
I was finally starting to make progress and could feel the fire moving down my body suit toward my leg hole. When it was close enough i swung my leg around and did a Michael Jackson kick. As I landed the kick the red hot flame bud landed on the street floor.
A circle full of irie eyes followed the flame, looked up at me, who was know panting for air and staring down at my burning nemesis, and let out a group, “whoa”!!!
“did that just fall out of your shorts Keo?”
I just nodded with a traumatic glare.
Again roars of laughter… And this time I joined in.
“so that’s what all that bouncing was about.”
I nodded and tried to change the subject so that maybe they’d forget for a moment what a crazy I might be and maybe for a while they did. Until of course the next time I saw them in Oahu for their Halloween show and I showed up looking like an exact replica of Selena. But that’s a story we’ll save for NEVER.
Let’s just say that this next time we hang out, I’m keeping the champaigne showers to a minimum and doing cart wheels in my bodysuit!
Until we meet again…. Man Down!
Life has been teaching me a lot about surrendering and letting go of the things that we want and desire so much. Lots of times we can get so caught up in desiring a particular outcome that we try to control every detail that “should” make us arrive at that outcome. But the lesson here is not about control but more about letting go of that control, surrendering it rather to a force that is larger than ourselves. The point of the matter is, is that we CANNOT control the things that are out of our parameter of control. We cannot control the future and the way that others will treat or react to us, but we do have the power to affect those very things. All we can do is our best- and when you’ve done all that you can and you can’t do anymore that is when you surrender it. And give it up to the Almighty, the divine. And once you can do that, once you let go and offer up your faith, trust and belief in the greater force, that force will respond with your intended outcome. It is the way of life, it is forgiveness, and it is blessings.
Believe me, it’s easier said than done. It’s never easy to give up and let go of something you’ve wanted so much for so long and are so close to getting and can’t quite grasp. It is in fact the most difficult task in life I believe, the act of letting go. All that time and effort of wanting and desiring something and being so invested in attaining it that the thought of letting all that attachment go is more than difficult. But forcing the outcome was never in the plan, it’s not natural and cannot act accordingly. But once you
Can let go of the fact that you have no control over the extraneous details of life and that the universe operates not by your control but by a power greater than yourself, everything will fall into place naturally as it should. Most times that intended outcome will naturally manifest itself as it always should have and was always intended to. It’s nature to do so, and we mustn’t mess with nature.
In fact if we look deep into nature and really listen, you would arrive at the same lesson. There is nothing like the grandeur of the grand canyon, the power of the ocean waves crash, or the majesty of a sunset to really put your being in perspective in this world. Raw Nature has a way of making us feel small and minuscule in respect to things: and it is exactly the way we should feel. Because in reality we are small and minuscule in the scheme of things and we must never forget that the universe operates by a higher, greater power than our feeble minds are even capable of understanding.
And so be it. Tell yourself, I am surrendering it. Letting it go, bc I have no control over it. It was something i had been waiting, praying, and wanting for SO long, and tried so hard to make happen and make work, but it was just forced and there is really nothing left for me to do at this point than to surrender it. I gave it my all, and that’s all that I could do. So I’m letting it go. And I’m just going to be…. Naturally, and I know I will be blessed. If it was really intended for my life than I trust that it will come to pass in it’s own time, but if not then so be it. I will move on and i have faith that my life will go on in the direction that it was always intended to.
If u think about this process conceptually, you’d see that it works best psychologically as well because all that worry and wanting and unnecessary energy won’t have to be exerted. You’ll be free. You’ll be able to make room for better in your life by making space where once that worry slept. It’s a win-win situation. Letting go allows you to be free of the wants that were possessing your being. Things so desired that the mere unrequited love not met from that desire robs your being of merely being, if that makes sense. If it doesnt, read it again more slowly until it sinks. It robs you of being your authentic self and thus living authentically. It is only when we live authentically are we truly joyful and aligned with our purpose in the world. Living authentically allows us to merely be naturally and undoubtedly puts us on a path to our natural and intended outcome in life. Either way, if u live your life authentically, you will always be doing and living with integrity and self truth- and in turn will always do things wholeheartedly, passionately and at your best. When that happens, the blessings in your life will flow because you are now living with the flow of the universe and the flow of life. U will ultimately be on a path toward your purpose and your intention in the world without even trying, but by merely being because you will be living your truth. And when that occurs EVERYTHING else that you’ve ever really unconsciously wanted or desired for your life will come naturally to you and will fall into place because you are in line with the universes purpose for you and your life. Everything will seem to come so easily for you because you won’t even have to try, all you’ll have to do is just be.
Awww…. And there really is no greater joy in the world than simply being yourself.
So how did I arrive at this deep philosophical understanding, one might ask? Well, a combination of predetermined existential tendencies, a deeply culturally rooted upbringing, a psychology degree, millions of hours of Oprah, tons of reading and a whole lot of living and learning the hard way.
And then there is my connection to nature. Raised in a culture, education and lifestyle that fostered the human-nature connection, I have always been slightly more attuned to nature than your average iPhone owner. Simply, I listen to it, was raised to do it, so I give it an opportunity to speak in my life.
A couple days ago that happened. It seems to be the case that my closest friends and I psychicly travel through life and it’s lessons at the same time, perfect for us to lean and support one another I guess, either way I refuse to believe it a Coincidence. Anyhow, for a couple weeks a couple friends of mine had all been struggling with different issues in their life ranging in depth and importance, yet at the core of every issue was the common denominator that was the lesson of letting go. We talked and talked and talked, over analyzed and talked some more about our problems, like most women do. We ruminated in the details of each individual situation until we got tired of hearing each other bitch, to which point we all laughed and told ourselves to SHUT UP and let it go!
Then we talked about letting go over and over again and still couldn’t quite grasp the actual physical and emotional act. It was still merely a theory and a philosophical idea to our consciousness.
And just when you need it, just when you ask, is precisely when you receive what you need. A couple days into it and ago, I was swimming on the shore with a little girl. In my pursuit to amuse the both of us I sent us on a quest to find shells, knowing full well that the beach in which we were swimming was all but shell less. As we were playing in the surf I caught a glimpse of the most amazing black and white stripped, thin pointed shell. I had never seen a Shell quite like it in all my beach going life and gasped when I spotted it.
“What is it?” asked the Little girl.
“A shell! The most beautiful shell I’ve ever seen. Oh my gosh. I want to have it.”
Just as I jumped up to grab it in the sand a wave came and swished sand over it covering my view. When the sand cleared I was in a frenzy trying to find where my newest object of desire had gone. I seen a glipse of it in the sand and again hurdled toward it. In my attempt to attack it I had stomped a large sand cloud over my view again and it was lost. At that moment I was defeated because I knew that I had lost it to the big ocean floor with that stomp. Thinking about how ridiculous it would be for me to pursue my attempt at finding a shell the size of a baby’s pinky finger despite it’s rare beauty had sunk in. I was a little irritated with myself too, I couldn’t understand why I’d stomp like that. I mean, I knew the sand would do that, but I was in such a frenzy to possess that shell that I wasn’t thinking and acting straight.
I took a big deep breath and said, “aww… I lost it. …… Oh well.” and continued on swimming and playing with the little girl in the surf.
It was after all a ridiculous attempt and I was over it. I tried and it was obvious that it just was not going to work out for me.
About 10 minutes and a few sand ball fights later, the same little girl and I were back in the water. As I pushed myself up of the bottom of the ocean floor something poked me in my left hand.
“Ahhh!!!” I shrieked melodramatically.
“what?” the little girl jolted? It was obvious I had frightened her.
“something just stabbed me in my hand and it really hurt.”
“what was it?” she asked.
“well… I don’t know.” as I stuck my hand back into the sand where it had been stabbed only moments earlier to give this inquisitive little girl an answer I pulled out the sharp object without even turning my head to look for it and had already had the word “thorn” at the tip of my tongue ready to be blurted out.
But as I pulled out the supposed
“thorn” and placed it in front of my face, there it was! The beautiful sharp black and white shell that I had been in search of 10 minutes and a whole lot of sand clouds earlier. There it was in my hand, coming back to me. I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by it’s rare and spectacular shape and color, and the way that it had come to be in my hand at that moment. It was crazy. I had seen it in my reach, wanted it so badly, tried painstakingly to get it, got pretty close, but couldn’t quite grasp it. And in my failure to get it I just let it go and went on with my day without a worry. And just as I had forgotten all about it, there it was- poking me in my hand, as if it were a magnet being pulled directly into my possession. It was crazy, and another thing I refuse to pass off as a coincidence.
And it HIT me.
I mean really HIT me. Aha! I thought. I get it. I finally get it.
That’s it! That’s what letting go is. That’s what letting go feels like. That’s what it’s like to want something so badly that the mere thought of possessing it makes you think and act out of character and end up blowing it trying to force it. And that’s what happens when you can really let go. It finds it’s way back to you, naturally. If it was intended for you to have it, you will… Naturally. The right way. And that’s the way of the universe. If we can align ourselves with our authentic purpose in life, listen to nature, and surrender our deepest toils, the things and outcomes that we want can and will find it’s way into your life… Naturally. Because like that shell those very things are alive (turns out the shell had a living sea urchin living in it).
It gives a whole lot more meaning and value to being yourself, at all times. Not pretending, not forcing, not trying even… Just being, simply. Because what im learning is that when you can do that habitually, you can have everything youve ever dreamed for in your life, without effort. You can live your best life and not have to try.
Because if you’re trying, you’re not being. I know- too good to be true huh? Dont try?! Not advice one hears often in this lifetime but believe you me it is freeing.
So that’s where I’m at. Back to myself, my authentic self, the one that was there long before life experience and pains and tribulations affected my personhood. That childlike authenticity… Thats where I’m at. Arriving at my truth.