Getting Over Disappointments

We all have different ways of cheering ourselves up after a hard day. For me, the April rains had brought with it a slew of rejection letters from art grants and missed residency deadlines like the Studio Museum in Harlem (that I could swear was jinxed). That’s the 2nd bloody year in a row I’ve missed that application!  A lack of cash had me sitting still at home facing a drawn out day of what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-me-it-should-have-been-marked-on-my-calendar-and-why-hasn’t-that-job-called-me-back-am-I-some-kind-of-loser?!

Beholden! My ‘Screw the Gloom’ routine kicked in. As an artist, I like to work with my hands, so I jumped out of bed, gulped down some tea and started moving around the kitchen chairs. It was time to sweep. Next thing I know I flinging around the kitchen with an old broom seeking out dust like the Terminator.

Brisby, 2013, C long
Brisby, 2013, C long

Sweeping led to mopping. Mopping led to polishing the wood floors. Wood floors directed me to wood furniture and before I knew it the entire house had been cleaned from top to bottom as if I’d had cheerful animal friends singing a ditty with me the whole time, when really it was more like an African Cinderella swag humming Erykah Badu with a doo-rag holding back the sweat of my brow.

By that evening when my family strolled in bludgeoned and yawning from work, I was magically pulling a roasted chicken with potatoes out the oven, along with fresh cornbread and brown rice. Dishes washed, bathroom scrubbed, drain pipes cleared and windows Windex’d— I was finally able to grab myself a plate, and slip into a spot at the kitchen table.  I closed my eyes, took a breath and said to myself, “I’ll be just fine.”

-C.long

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