I first moved to New England in 1998. It was uptight and I was hood. It was old and I was young. It didn’t need one more Black girl lost, and I was trying to get chose. You see, we, New England and I, were at the beginning of a beginning. So, it’s only fitting that while re-visiting this wretched place I Iove, I was drawn to begin this new venture of writing the way I live.
In the three years that I lived on the outskirts of Boston, I never once went to the Vineyard. The Cape? Yes, once. The part of Cambridge that’s not near Harvard? Oh yea, Galleria mall – STAND UP! Mattapan? C’mon, now. Where else was I supposed to get hair care products, Trini food and juvenile male attention? But, the Vineyard? Uhhh… awkward silence.
I’m not sure why I had never been before now, but I think it had something to do with feeling like the poor kid amongst the landed negro riche. While I could go and look the part at a friend’s summer home, wouldn’t it just be weird to play house? Well, there’s also the fact that nobody ever really invited me in high school and, in life since college, I just haven’t had the time off work to come when invited. So, now that I have a job, a Rhode Island-based friend, time and interest, why the hell not?
This place is gorgeous: lush, by nature, and preserved, by design. If it was good enough for Jackie O, why did I ever doubt that it would be good enough for me? It’s too quaint for words, but surely the writers at the Inkwell gave it a go. I don’t quite understand the traffic phenomenon. I’m none too sure how it is that the Native Americans can charge 50 cent per bathroom use at the cliffs in Aquinna. I haven’t the slightest idea why the Black Dog seems to take on mythical proportions when, really, it’s just a black dog. But, I freaking love it. I, admittedly, won’t be able to spend too much time on the isle. So, in fact, what I’d really love to do is come back for longer.
After reading this, I’m sure that none of my landed class friends of any hue will ever invite me out here again. But, trust me guys, I’ll say yes this time. Really, I will. I’ve gotten used to being broke and I now know that I would not be mooching off you, I’d be mooching off your parents’ and grandparents’ foresight. And frankly, I haven’t the slightest care about that. This could be the beginning of a turning point in my relationship with New England. I want to love it like you guys do. You know, frappes, wind tunnels, Cape Verdeans and all…
your written voice is beautiful. It’s so you. Thanks for sharing. I’m a fan.
You tap into a sentiment that I think we all share–those of us who felt plucked from one environment where we didn’t quite fit in, and planted in another where we definitely didn’t fit in. I appreciate hearing about your honest grapple with that. It lets me visit my own struggle without the shame and makes me confront the ways, different from you, that I dealt with it.
Keep ’em comin!
Thanks for making me smile! I will add this: as someone born and raised in New England, unfortunately my relationship to places like the Vineyard has never felt quite right. I’ve been over a dozen times, and love it, but its always been on someone else’s dime. They plucked you from Newark and me from their own backyard, and I aint mad at it. So my question is: how long are you staying? I will be there next week…straight outta Brooklyn 🙂
Thanks guys. Your feedback has been super encouraging and now that I know someone is listening, it’s empowering to continue to give voice to these experiences. @Jamal, how did you deal with it? @Jay, I’m gone… was just there for the weekend. @theworld, has anybody felt “quite right” at the Vineyard? What are your favorite things about it?
Thank you for allowing me to read your blog. I hope your feelings towards DC have changed as well. I will be patiently waiting for that blog entry.
Btw, “I was trying to get chose” has to be the best line in the article
~J. Lucas (flexin!)
Dear J. Lucas,
If you have not yet read the ‘About’ page of this blog, then you will really be in for a shocker this weekend — my plan is to dig all up in DC’s a$$!
X Flexin’ DC taxpayer w/o a vote and w/too many expensive camera tickets
Enjoy, with no guilt! Whoever said that all good things in life oughta belong to just “WHITE” colored people!