Airbnb Chronicles Day 4: Sometimes, Being Pushed to the Limit is Just What You Need to Reboot
The room is different. I came back on Saturday night after stuffing myself with shells of shrimp swimming in a spicy confection that had me spellbound for as long as I could keep cracking the casings leading to my healthy treat.
It was a birthday celebration for a friend of a friend who I had stayed with for as long as necessary until I had to leave and stay with another friend who was happy to have me but needed me gone a month later in order to protect our lies.
I had to find a place in a week.
Yikes! Okay. Sublet? Nope! AirBnB? Yes! But, you’re not going to like it.
A dorm room that houses bodies in motion including your own. I had to like it because the choices dwindle to none when money is a factor. The first night was saved by another Black girl who matched my stare with recognition. She was too dope to remain long enough to keep my disposition active. She left two days later.
Al the others have been White girls and one Latina. Some offer a cautionary smile as currency for the understanding that we are tolerating a lifestyle that isn’t ideal but matches our need for survival.
This past Saturday — I felt like a waste of space and the pangs of reckless thoughts hit every corner of my being as I contemplated how and why I had failed myself — despite the knowledge of my above average temperament.
I was born to compete with the best of them — and yet everything in memory seemed to cave inwards as my template succumbed to the pressure of not being able to match the Instagram wonderments of those who are able to travel at will and fill their bank accounts with reward for their worldly pursuits.
Here I am. Sifting through job descriptions that demand my ability to write less and sell more.
Somehow, I have to be prepared to prove that I am in fact a hustler who happens to use words for gain. I write to persuade on dissuade on command and I hit the jugular of metrics with the astute mission of coercing thoughtful minds into buying the goods — that hawk with no regard for principle or honesty.
The birthday party was fulfilling in the nourishment department but outside of that — I felt like an outsider.
It was as if the crew had been alerted to my predicament and warned to wade into the waters of questioning with careful consideration. That is the worst because you want them to be gangster with it. Straight up ask why and I will straight up tell you what’s up.
What’s up is that I spent the best years of my life trying to maintain a roof over my head in New York City and now I am trying to remain homeless until I find my calling.
As I stare at the polluted bathtub with pubic hair and grains of dirt circling the opening of the bathtub — I am holding the razor meant for my legs and wondering if my neck would make a better pet.
No, not today.
I am here for a reason and it’s not to reassure me that I did nothing wrong by being born and gifted with the talent that no superhero can manage. I’m here because I was supposed to be. Each passing day will remind why unexpectedly. It could be a phone call while enduring another excruciating bus ride. Or an email that appears right after I send one lying about my unfathomable circumstance.
It could be anything.
And just as I lie awake at night picturing how far I’ve come as I listen to the fifth roommate scatter her goods in the darkness — I understand the power of being pushed to the limit.
And even when the faucets threaten my ability to slip into a temporary coma — I feel the liquid karma creep up as the rebooting phase begins.