Monday, May 11, 2009


"You budda", she spoke.
I looked up to see a girl tryin' ta act like what she thought a woman of today should be actin' like. Tough, armour on. The words street cred come to mind.
"I beg your pardon?" I stammered out.
"I said, you budda." she said a bit louder. As if the elevation of sound would trigger the knowing.
I stared at her blankly, searchingly.
She then cranked out a larger than life laugh and said, "I like what you wearin'. Budda. You budda." She shrugged.
"Oh. Umm, thanks. Budda. Yes." I gulped.
Conversation sprung forth cus of "budda". Right there. In a Harlem grocery store.
She seemed a bit young to be out in the middle of the day. So, my mouth said what my mind thought.
"Why aren't you in school? Don't you go to school? Its 1 o'clock."
"Did I just say that?" my brain mused.
Well, it was too late to back it right up. I stood my ground. I stared intently. Right into the swimming pools of living waters that she knew only as her eyes.
In query's moment I was sure that I heard a crack.
"Was that her heart?" I wondered.
Shift. Answered. Yes, it was.
Soft terseness spilled from her face.
She spoke, "Well, I, well, my Momma don't worry about it so I don't neither. Why you care anyway? What's it to you?"
I paused a moment. Wondering "Truth. What was it to me?"
Don't blink.
"I care because I care about young beautiful girls who should be taking advantage of ALL their opportunities in life. How else do you plan to rule the world? You can't do it on fumes! You need to go to school!"
More softness of face.
Side stepped. She imagined.
"You live around here?" Her.
"Yes, when I am in the country." Me.
"When you in the country?" Her, again.
"Yes, when I'm in the country. I spend most of the year in Australia. Ever been there?" Me, last shot.
Seed planted.
And with that the newness of a relationship was birthed. Whenever I stepped to the Black Mecca called Harlem, Budda (me) and Budda's friend (her) would spend many evenings sittin' on my Brownstone stoop. Engaged in life. Relationship.
She brought her friends. I brought the chips and red soda. Laughter, questions, stories, passions, dreams. Revealed. Healed. Our individual broken cisterns mended a bit more by the touch of hands. Fingerprints of life. Required.
Be budda.
Note: Sometimes in life, in a split second, we have the opportunity to dive head first into the heart of the matter. Love. May you run like you have never run before and chase like you have never chased before. Discover her. Discover you.

Copyright 2008: Regina Y. Evans

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