Siena, Italy sunrise

Siena, Italy sunrise

So, I have not been able to blog for the past ten to eleven days because I have been getting my act together to study abroad. YAYYYYYYY!!  At the moment I am in Siena, Italy. I have been here with a group of 15 other students from Guilford College and if i must say so myself, it’s not going bad.

I thought when I arrived that I was going to be an outcast (not the cool Big Boi or Andre 3000 type) and not have any interaction with the locals and would stick out like a sore thumb. I did something that I normally don’t do when I haven’t experienced something prior to “making the trip across the pond,” and that is going online and reading blogs and other spontaneous posts in reference to being a person of color abroad amongst Italians. The information I read ran the gamut from Blacks being hated and thrust to the curb to only Black women being accepted. Not true at all. I have not had any issues with being outcast, although I may be too busy loving the scenery and exploring the city at my leisure to notice and then give two fucks about what others around me are thinking. I have always been one to be able to be a loner and still have fun (thanks to my solo upbringing) so this has been a total gas, Bro. Maybe if I was the type of person to worry about what others thought about me I would agree with the posts I read previously and believe that I should just become a hermit inside the luxurious apartment that we have been so graciously afforded, keeping my blackness to myself hidden between four walls with no opportunity to enjoy my surroundings. BUT NO! That’s not me.

I am enjoying the stay thus far and will share the experiences of The Clarified Blackman (TCBM) abroad as I have the time.

Buon giorno,



I Wanna Send A “Shout-Out” to My Bed


OK, seriously sleep and I have never been friends. She has always seemed to taunt and seduce me most when it is time for me to wake up at 6 am after hitting the hay, as they say, at approximately 4 am. She then would entice me with innuendoes of “hey, you didn’t finish that dream,” or “wouldn’t it feel so good to lay back down in my arms and sleep for another three hours,” or “it’s raining today,” or my favorite “go on and ignore that alarm clock, honey. She don’t love you like I do.” Ahh, it’s a fight that I have never won. So needless to say, working the 9-5 in a law office of stuck up, Republicans, strung out on Starbucks coffee, intent on convincing people to spend their hard earned dollars to go to trial for charges that they knew they were going to be sent to the “big house” for was totally not my gig. Thank goodness for second chances in life.

Two years ago I was lucky enough to be able to turn back the clock (great analogy combined with my sleeping issues, huh..lmao) and return to college and complete what I have always loved. Now that I am at Guilford College in North Carolina, I have been able to control when I get up and have to hit the road to get to class and and may I say it has been the shit. My first experience in college I wanted to get it done fast and fill each semester with as many overload of credits as I could so that I could be a graduate and become part of the distinguished legal field. Sleep would try her best to convince me that Commercial Law class at 8:30 am was a bad idea but for four years I pressed on. I should have listened to her. Now, an English major and Art History minor, on a campus where the adaptation of time is akin to “island time” in the Bahamas, it feels so different. My mottos is and will continue to be: NO FRIDAY CLASSES! Wooo hoooooo.

Since we have been on this summer break, I have found myself back to attempting to get up early and “get my day started,” you know so the neighbors see me being active and I don’t feel so much of a nocturnal being that I know I am. You see, I have never felt “awake” during the day until after 2-3 pm. Once there, I feel normal and attentive, but before I feel like I am in an antihistamine-fog, that I can’t get out of where voices sound like underwater messages and directions/instructions seem to be sent in German to my brain. I normally catch the “good vibe” and ride that bitch out until I begin to experience drowsiness, which oftentimes comes to me between 3 and 4 am, during which I can write, research, enjoy movies and music, unlike the time when “the others” are awake. I know its odd. But after many months of not being together, my ole mistress, Sleep, appeared on the side of the bed once again. 

In her most sultry voice ever, she whispered, “Today is your day. Relax. NetFlix loves you, and the bed misses you.” So to make a long story short, I listened to her and it has been one of the most refreshing days EVER (in my best Oprah singing voice). My mind is clear, my thoughts are not as crowded as usual and I feel like I have that George Costanza pep-in-my-step after receiving his first hand-model check (only Seinfeld enthusiasts will get this). So as this ultimate feeling that has escaped me for years has now returned, I just want to give a few shout-outs…..

  1. Shout out to the Sleep Mistress. You ROCK and I have missed you like a fat kid misses cake.
  2. Shout out to my Westies for not walking my entire body like canine-alarm-clocks as I slept so that I could get up and take you three out.
  3. Shout out to my neighbors for not waking me with lawnmowers/weedeaters, rock band practice, extra tomatoes from your garden and the mail lady with packages that she MUST ring the doorbell for.
  4. Shout out to my bed. You have been my bestest friend for years and I don’t know why I try and act like we can resist one another’s love. I have been living a lie and thanks to the Mistress I realize, I CAN’T QUIT YOU.
  5. Lastly, shout out to anyone else that understands this affinity for sleep during the light hours. Not because you are depressed or medically induced to. No, not at all. Not because you are lazy, or a procrastinator (ok maybe a little), or not a go-getter, but simply because you enjoy a good days sleep in bed, in sweats, or naked, or with man’s best friend surrounding you and/or NetFlix, HuluPlus or AmazonPrimeInstant playing on the Vizio. 

No, we are not vampires or any of that Robert Pattinson group of blood, werewolf and Twilight followers, but we may cross paths in the night. Them, hiding from light so not be burned into oblivion and us enjoying the creativity that comes with peace and quiet, that you can only enjoy in the waning hours of early morning. Ahh, then the recharge…..when me and my bed become dirty lovers again. 

This shoutout goes to my bed.