Written five months after my father passed, I thought I’d come to a point of destiny in my writing journey, but no, I was just writing, driving, and enjoying the moment. It didn’t come easy, it just came and went. Here’s how I recall it.
May 27, 2017
Driving conspicuously up Mulholland Drive, ‘Bad Boy Hill’ as Jack Nicholson coined it, as the scenery’s golden, and houses too rich in site to assume prices—I felt I’d made it. But to where exactly?
While sitting on the hood of the Bumble Bee Maro’, this bright yellow 2017 Chevrolet Camaro, thinking how fortunate I am to be driving it because it easily could’ve been a Ford Mustang, I begin hugging the universe.
From the hotel, through Santa Monica, and driving up Mulholland Drive, many people stared my way who could’ve been tourists or Hollywood residence. Each turning their heads as I drove through well-known intersections of L.A. I was fine with whoever caught the show I was putting on—loud music, hat low and shades dark, they likely didn’t care for who I was—it’s California. But in those moments, I was somewhat convinced by their meddling eyes. To be clear, I didn’t rent the bright yellow Camaro for the attention, but rather the car is dope!
And you know I like to drive fast. (Oh, yes, it was a rental…)
Los Angeles might be a city of much substance, but aside from that, I appreciate the vibe. Folks there are cool, and as every city has its reputation, it’s easy to agree with everything people say about the place. Trying hard to embrace the culture, it’s possible it’ll become an obsolete experience.
With that said, I don’t leave airports with pretentious expectations from people, I just leave. What people say about a population of individuals is reflective of their world. In other words, “been there, done that”, is what comes of their experience.
You are the experience.
You won’t get that labeling yourself a tourist, because the real experience is embracing life as if you are it. Because you are.
This could be difficult in some places like New York City, where majority of folks depend on public transportation to get around. Try avoiding the look of confusion for what platform and level to get to—or how and where in the hell to purchase a metro card.
The people are cool, but with a vibe radiating saying everyone there is trying to get through their busy days with little to no human interaction, can be overwhelming. Sounds awkward—but wait until you wear your back-pack on a crowded train and a seasoned commuter reminds you of the 20 things a good subway commuter should know.
Where would NYC be without their sense of urgency?
Which is a preconception society has about large and compacted cities. It can be intimidating, like L.A. traffic, but appreciate it for the bridge connecting peoples’ vehicle from one world to another. From family life, to work life, a crowded MTA train, or the difficulty of hailing a taxi—it’s one means of living to another.
Where would we be without these vehicles of life?
On a personal note, in the midst of riding these vehicles on bridges, roads, tracks or air, there’s a paradigm shift—and I often had trouble with them en route. But driving on Mulholland drive, crossing Rodeo Drive, and down Ocean Avenue, the anxiety subsided.
Why? I don’t know, but it’s why I live for digesting our vehicles of life on an abstract level. Let’s read on if I figure it out.
Working backwards, and through our individual paradigms—a term from an ancient Greek phrase meaning ‘patterned examples’, is where I’ll begin.
I once thought that if I relied on viewing the bigger picture of life, it would console me during hard times. Learning what goes around, would eventually come around, happiness too, would come around. And same with love, right? Meh…
There’s a dead-end debate about waiting for great things to come to you, verses going out to get it. At either point you’re stuck between making conscious milestone goals and focusing on the opportunity to live in the moment. Doing both, however, you’d be living a lifestyle of beneficial habits. Any effort to create good habits in life can lead to many accomplishments equal to or better for you in the long run.
My anxiety told me to do both. So there, I write a lot…
In America, I’d argue that the political tension is at one of its all-time highs. With everyone critical about the federal administration and its decision making, especially over the last six months, we’ve come to an epiphany realizing our nation’s ignorance—both the ignorance that most Americans live in a bubble, and most Americans are unaware of these bubbles.
I’m reminded daily of two large paradigm of beliefs; out of the people who helped put an administration in office, derive the opposed others who helped by not voting.
Thinking of the many vehicles that move us, anything with an objective principle is attainable. Whether it be a way of thinking, job, car or destination, it starts with the mind’s patterns. For most, it starts with the people you keep in your circle.
This process of change takes patience—and that in itself is a gift. Through compassion, curiosity, passion, and grit, patience will come as a byproduct. Whatever it is you’re reaching for, ensure you have the enthusiasm to pursue it.
“…if Jesus had brothers like I do hair; Then walking on water is a blissful fear”– HippoCampus
Some of us reach beyond the stars…
As an enthusiast, infatuations derive across many things. If you haven’t got it(me) by now, it’s in plain site that I view everything in life as a vehicle—transpiring us from many point As to point Bs.
Flying for my 9-5 can be stressful, yet it’s one of the things I love to do. Turbulence at 35,000 feet doesn’t faze me. When passengers sit next to me in seat E, they’re flattered at how I handle the shaking plane—having the manners of a frequent flyer. This isn’t something that occurs on every flight, but with my awareness, sure, why not, let’s go with that. Otherwise we’re talking about my anxiety again. In fact, I’ve been told on two occasions I look like a frequent flyer. And I don’t know what that means…
If you’ve ever descended into one of the world’s most challenging airports for pilots to approach, especially the ones with major crosswinds, you’ll notice the wings flopping up and down as if they could detach from the fuselage. But the fuselage actually sits on top of the wings. Wings are a long delta shaped object placed under the cabin.
Knowing this since I was a kid, I’m forever waiting for the flight where a passenger sitting next to me needs to be educated. Because I’ve read plenty of blogs where ‘fear of flyers’ believe otherwise.
Like a boat catching waves, car driving on unpaved roads, or a train on inundated tracks, shit gets shaky on the way to any destination. A neglectful person in control will crash and hurt some folks. That’s for sure…
When you’ve convinced yourself you’ve seen it all, about a second later you won’t mean it, literally. There’s no obsolete principle of living life. It’s complicated because language, especially English, is complex. We’ve established cultures and societies far from the simple tribal creatures we are. You’ll get it once you understand our language is spoken in hierarchies.
Like the Bumble Bee Maro’s cousins who fly an abstract language—Bees are as complex as my thinking patterns.
Kanye West mentioned The Jetson’s abstract vision of the future set the expectations for what the world could look like today, in 2017. That’ll forever be an antiquated version, as he also mentioned everything we’re doing in the 21st century is now in the air.
Think of their flying cars, orbiting schools, and the teleconference meetings of Orbit City as our internet. Although part of me feels a small population of us will kill off planet earth before we’re manufacturing commercial flying cars, it wouldn’t matter, they’d be loud and that’s a dimension of travel we already have.
Think about it…
America could end up like The Hunger Games, Incorporated, The Divergent Series, and if we’re smart enough, Elysium. Unfortunately, some of us are far vested into our bubbles to see this change. It’s a bit how oppression works. Then blame…
Up until this past spring, my name has been listed on many passenger manifestos. In 2012, I never envisioned flying would be a part of my job. And like dealing with a frustrated client, turbulence is part of it too.
Know the cause, identify a solution, and steer it well enough to avoid crashing.
In a world of being keen to emotional intelligence, it’s imperative to know how to drive from one world to another without crashing. Having to do so steered me to make milestone goals in my journey of life, resulting in small accomplishments, and I stand better off than planned.
I’ve come a long way from never understanding politics, and now that I do, I stay away from it. Don’t get me wrong, because I can carry a good political talk, but it gets boring as HIStory rhymes over and over, and over…
If I could go back and talk to my ignorant 16-year-old self, I’d tell him what Charlemagne tha’ God wrote in his book, “F*ck your dreams…”.
Not because Black Privilege was a New York Times best seller, but after understanding a black boy growing up in America often appreciates a certain reputable role model, the image they, or we, are attracted to is an illusion.
Remembering my dreams from the ages of 11 to 16, it all seems antiquated, like how the Jetsons viewed the future.
But at least we’re in the air…
Driving up Mulholland Drive in a fancy drop top convertible was fun, and everything my 14-year-old self thought I’d be doing at 30. So, while gracefully spreading my arms with love for making the moment come to full fruition without having to be a famous black athlete, I break a pattern of thought.
Finish lines are an illusion, and this moment is a checkpoint in my journey of life. In the bigger picture, I’m passing on what my father showed to me.
Rest in Love Harold P. Kent—I love you DAD.
–Your Main Man Writes Now…
(updated: September 10, 2020)