And What’s with the Dorothy Dandridge Obsession?

Well. I am obsessed with her.

But It’s more than her.

Its the movie Carmen Jones that I am obsessed with.

So not just Dorothy, but Harry Belafonte too.

I wrote a story in college, called Waiting for Harry Belafonte. I don’t remember what it was about, but I remember that it was really good. I got an A. And then in 2007 it got whisked away. When I say whisked I mean repossessed. See, I was going through some things, with the ex and I ended up losing my job and if you lose your job you can’t pay your car note.

I successfully hid my car for months, hoping to get a job.

And finally, my mom of all people, got tired of the repo men calling her.

She is George Washington when it comes to other people’s bills so she can not tell a lie.

She told them where I was and they came to get what they owned.

I wasn’t mad about the car.

In the truck of that car was a red leather satchel.

And in the satchel was 20 years worth of poems and stories I had written.

Filled to the brim. Hard to zip.

Including Waiting for Harry Belafonte.

And it was gone.

Into the Ether.

My whole life was in that bag.

I was depressed for months.

I believed then another good idea would never come to me because I had lost everything I had ever written.

I’m not okay with what happens to Carmen Jones in the end of the movie, that’s not nice, but I love her spirit.

Her go-get-it-ness

Her-Fuck-it ness

And so maybe it didn’t work out for the character, but she inspires me to go get it. She inspires me to be like, fuck it.

So I started writing again, All over again. It’s who I am.

Losing everything wasn’t a setback but an opportunity.

Even Ernest Hemingway lost his work .

So the movie, the pictures, gone- birthed my new mantra- which is now- remember Tomika, be resilient. It can be taken away at any moment.

And do you have enough inside you…to get back up. Can you start again?

Carmen Jones rises from the dead to love another. Carmen Jones as Lazarus.


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