#WEDJ2020 (10/31) | Free From Entanglements
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. — John 8:36 (NIV)
Free From Entanglements
“I just wanted to feel good.” I felt that shit, sure did.
The world — Black Twitter/Tumblr/Instagram/Internet — seems to be slowly getting over the best 3:00 PM on a Friday “news dump” of the 21st century: The Entanglement. The most riveting twelve minutes of Red Table Talk history, Will and Jada Smith came to that vaunted red piece of furniture to “clear the air” about the rumors swirling around Jada’s “relationship” with August Alsina, the latter admitting to their relationship in an interview of his own earlier in the week.
To be honest, it was the most fun I think Black folk have had on these here internet streets in a minute. The last two months have been full of Black death and a sudden white folk awakening, so much that Black folk can’t escape our pain even if we tried (and we’ve been trying — come on, NBA and its bubble!). It was a moment so culturally relevant to us and not being one of the things that white folks are in need of an explainer, we dived deep into the world of open marriages, secrets, “permission” and the word of the year — please don’t let it be ‘pandemic’ — ‘entanglement’.
During an “amicable split” between her and her husband, Jada started a relationship with August. August came to know the Smith family years ago and became a mainstay in their household thanks to Jada’s concern for his mental and physical health (there are several pictures of August on vacation with their family). Jada felt a need to save August and that savior complex reared its ugly head when her and Will separated, Jada finding herself “entangled” with August in a scheme to make herself “feel good”. But once she and Will decided to heal their marriage, her and August ended. August would cut off the Smith family, go on his way and said nothing — until last week.
A lot has been said about whether Jada took advantage or, at the very least, used August. August, at the time, was a 24-year-old kid coming off of two hit singles and a critically-acclaimed album. He was on his way until an auto-immune sidelined his career. He couldn’t catch a hit after that all the while dealing with health issues and deaths in his family . He also dealt with threats from his family including from his own mother. In short, August was a dude straight from the hood with hood problems and Jada felt that — and she wanted to help. However through that closeness, another relationship formed. Jada started a situation with a man almost twenty years her junior. Why? She needed to feel good.
I get that. There are several men in my phone right now that can — and would — make me feel good. They’re drugs in human form, giving me something like a high when they tell me how beautiful, talented, special and perfect I am to them.
These words fill you up when you’re in an environment that makes you feel so damn empty. They make you feel seen in a room full of too many ‘somebodies’. I totally empathize with Jada on this one. But I’ve actually been August and that is who I feel for, full stop.
It’s weird how the creative world works. Days ago, in another entry for Write Every Day in July, I wrote about dating a man going through a separation. I learned later to view my role as one of an “escape”, knowing that I provided something that he thought he couldn’t receive at home. I don’t know if Jada ever told August that their moment was just a fling. For my scenario, I got scared when he started to take things way too seriously. He talked about meeting family, taking trips and claiming me in the streets. Even at 24, ironically the same age as August, I knew something to be terribly off about that. I was so deep in my I’m-single-and-ready-to-break-every-heart mindset at the time that I refused to be tied down by anyone.
If that ain’t God’s grace. My brattiness came in handy. I didn’t get stuck in a ‘never’ situation with someone trying to figure out their ‘forever’ situation at home. I didn’t get left. I never committed.
Unlike August, I didn’t give my paramore a heart to break.
But watching Jada and Will laugh about what happened made my heart break for August. It sucks to be the casualty to someone’s newfound joy and peace. Sure their marriage is in a better place and she realized her codependency issues but August had to get his heart ripped from his chest in order for her to become a better wife and human.
That’s a brutal reality to face. An entanglement didn’t need to happen for her to learn all that. I hope August had learned some things about himself too and feels set free.