Sunday, November 29, 2015


After moving into my apartment in the Bronx I didn't have any money, not one dime. Zero dollars and zero cents. I'd paid the deposit and the first month's rent to move in. It was everything I had left. I wasn't happy, but I was relieved because now I didn't have to live in the roach infested place I'd lived in for the first month I'd been in New York. Joy helped me move my meager belongings (my clothes, music collection and a few other knick-knacks), she'd known me maybe all of two weeks at the time. Crystal, who had only met me once via Joi (the only friend I had in New York when I moved there) gave me information for a temp agency. The phone number to that temp agency was my only glimmer of hope. I wasn't concerned about my empty apartment, sleeping on the floor, or the 4 or 5 $0.25 bags of chips being my only food until someone gave me a check. I just needed a job.

On Monday I made it to the temp agency, but I was late, and covered in sweat because I'd gotten lost taking the train for the first time alone. I ended up walking from the West side of Manhattan to the East, which I thought would be a short distance. It sounded short, so rather then continuing to get turned around on the train I thought I could walk it a bit quicker. Don't ever let anyone tell you that is a short walk, especially not in business attire in the middle of August. I just knew the woman would look at me, and the mess I was, and walk me right back outside. She gave me a bit of a side eye, but when I told her about being new to NY she seemed to understand. She found a data entry job that I could start the next day. Finally, things were looking up.

I pushed through to the next week, although not before passing out on the train due to not eating. A stranger picked me up and gave me a few sticks of gum. That gum tasted like steak. All I heard was "Whoa, we almost lost you there" and all I felt was an overwhelming cloud of pity surrounding me, but those strangers who picked me up and shook me awake....well let's just say New Yorkers are not as cold as you may think.

That first check was everything to me. I bought groceries, a pillow, a $5 blanket (which is inside the ottoman in my living room right now, I'll never get rid of it) and a $20 boombox. That night I laid on the floor with a full belly and I played almost every CD I owned. The music revived my spirit and I felt like God really loved me.

Just Grateful.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Our Story

I've been asked, so here you go....

The first time I saw him Autumn was beginning and although the sun was still shining, a breeze was in the air. He was wearing a Nautica jacket and I thought, "He must be from home". As long as I have lived away from Michigan, now and then, it gives me a sense of comfort to find a native Detroiter, so I keep an eye out, and in 1997 nobody wore Nautica as much as a Detroiter, I took notice. I also thought, "He's kind of cute too", but nothing more, nothing less, I simply took notice.

That was my freshman year of college, (his senior year) and although I noticed him filming events around campus we never spoke, even with mutual friends, we were never introduced. My first interaction with him, he doesn't even remember. A friend of mine, took me to the apartment of a friend of his. He was there working on the computer, his friend introduced us. He said, "What up?" from the corner where the computer was located then stated, "Alright, I'm out". No interest on either end. Ha!

Fast forward to 2008, I am living in NY and he is still in GA (where we went to college). We've added each other on MySpace (because who wasn't adding every familiar face, even though you were damn near strangers, back then). My friend and his friend are now brother/sister type best friends and it's Homecoming. My friend and I (both living in NY) come into town for homecoming, so we're staying with his friend. I've noticed via social media he's not just "kind of cute" but also smart, and funny. We've shared debates, comments, private messages and I'm crushing. I ask about him. His friend is all about it. He gives me his number. I don't call, I send a text message, inviting him to hang out with "the group". He said he's down to hang with us. He never shows. I go back to NY, thinking "Oh well".

A month after homecoming, back in NY, I'm riding the train home from a party I worked, and my phone rings, it's a number I don't know. I'm on the train so the signal is bad, although we are above ground, I barely hear who is on the other end. The voice is going in and out and I hang up. I think it must have been someone from the party, and I've decided not to work with them any more, so I don't care when it rings again. I exit the train, transfer to my bus and by the time I get off the bus, my phone is ringing again, from the same number. It's dark, and late. It's chilly October and the wind is blowing my hair in all directions. I figure if someone is going to kidnap me on my short walk from the bus to my door someone should hear it. I pick up. It's him. I barely hear him over the wind and my hair flying, but it's him. I smile, because although a month has passed and I have had no interaction with him, I'm still crushing. We talk until I get home, and we talk a little more. We stay on the phone for hours and I get off the phone with a grin and a lite airy feeling.

A few months pass and we talk regularly now, my days begin and end with his voice. On Sundays, we stay on the phone from the time we wake up until the time we go to sleep. My friends are now faux annoyed by his name, my giddiness, and our plan to have our first date when we both go home for Christmas in Detroit. I have even traded in the Hip Hop in my headphones for ooooeey-gooey love songs.

Christmas in Detroit arrived and I'm still nervous about where this is headed. I think, "Phone conversations are one thing, but will this work in person?" We planned to go play pool on a night I was suppose to go to a party with my sister and best brother friend. My brother friend teased me for bailing on them for a dude, but my sister is excited. She has heard all of these stories about him, and she wants this to work. I put on a short sweater dress and ask her, " Should I put some jeans on under this? I mean, we're going to play pool, I look fast." My sister says, "Nope, just the dress". (To this very day, he tells my sister, "Good call on that one" Ha!) We meet up and the chemistry is overwhelming. Reminding myself, "I'm fast but not this fast" kind of overwhelming.

I went back to New York sad. This was a real dilemma, I lived in NY and I LOVED NY!

Heading back to NY, I decided if it was meant to be it would be. I couldn't count on this. I had to be reasonable. We were not an official couple and we'd only gone on one date. So, a few weeks back in NY I went on a blind date. My date, a Nigerian born, British bred, Idris Elba doppelganger, who worked as an investment banker on Wall Street. The date was nothing short of amazing. We agreed to meet for drinks at Blue Fin in Times Square, a mutual friend set us up and we were both skeptical, so we only agreed to drinks. We were having such a good conversation, he asked me to join him for lunch around the corner at the restaurant inside the W hotel. We talked about music and different cultures next to a huge window overlooking Times Square for so long it was dark when we came back outside. He offered to pay for my cab home but I told him I was meeting a friend in SoHo so instead he walked me to my train. When we parted, I called a friend. I told her how great the date was and how he was everything I THOUGHT I ever wanted, but from the moment I arrived until the time he walked away, all I could think about was him. She said, "Georgia". I nodded into the phone. I knew I didn't want any one else. Apparently, he felt the same way because a few weeks later he told me he didn't want to see anyone else and he hoped I didn't either. And then there we were, officially a long distance couple.

It was April, and I was sick. I didn't want to go to work, but I had things I needed to get done, so instead I called in and said I would be late. As soon as I walked in the front door, my best work friend, runs up to me and in her usual dramatic fashion she said, "Oh my God, they are laying people off! They are calling people into the conference room. If you get a call, then you know." I immediately called him. By this time, we had already begun discussing marriage and I was looking for a job in Atlanta. I told him, "If they lay me off, I'm just going to move to Atlanta" His reply, "Okay, hope you get fired, babe". As soon as I hung up my pink flip phone, my desk phone rang, and a couple months later he came to New York. With the help of two friends, we loaded up the contents of my tiny Bronx studio and never looked back.

We planned to get married. It was already decided we would do it alone. Neither of us wanted a big wedding. The idea of being the center of attention, for any reason, didn't appeal to me. I didn't find it necessary. The location was an old beach where volcanoes had erupted making the terrain a mixture of sand and lava rock. I wore a simply white sundress, with my newly natural hair only being held in place by a white chiffon rose. He wore white linen. The only guests were our photographer and videographer, and my ring once belonged to his mother. We told people we were going on vacation. Our parents and siblings knew why we were there, and close friends and family received an email later that day. Our photographer asked could he tag us in one of the photos on Facebook. We told him yes. Immediately, our phones chimed and rang with non-stop notifications and calls. The uninformed had been informed. Everyone who didn't know, now knew. On September 17, 2011, he and I, became Mr. & Mrs. Damon L. Thomas.

And there, our journey began...