Hitched, Part 2.

****Read this first.*****

    Over time, I started to notice…things. Well, just one thing. Whenever there were other girls around us, she acted “off”. I remember it clearly; when we were walking to go eat on campus, a girl from one of my org’s stopped me. We exchanged small talk, regular chatter. I guess this went on a little longer than she liked: She just walked away and left me. All I got was an “I’ll meet you there”. I wanted to introduce them to each other but she hung back so far when saw her, I couldn’t even tell where she was standing in the crowded student center. To be totally clear, I had a crush on that girl that stopped me at a point. My current situation really dissolved my interest in even going down that road. Maybe she “felt” something. Either way, I started to feel that we might be in trouble.

   My 22nd birthday came up. My 21st birthday was a mess, so I promised myself I would make my next one memorable. Me and my roommates brainstormed and we decided to have a party. We had liquor, I let the people know; no way this would turn out wack. I told “her” about it and she never really sounded too thrilled. I kept bringing it up, hoping she’d see how badly I wanted her to show up. Hours before the party, she said “I’m sure there will be more than enough girls at the party, you don’t need me to come”. I was sick over this. How could someone so important to me see her presence as disposable? She was always uncomfortable with my popularity(ugh, my friends were way more well known) at school , and that comment sent it home.

    The party went down. It was a success. I nearly got into a fight, plenty of girls came and it closed with the cops trying to arrest me (A+!). Seriously, it was a good time. With that said, I had a strange little moment there. My VERY first college boo(“A”) and her best friend (“K”) came. This is no big deal, as we were cool and put the past behind us (lol oh pls). They came through fly as usual, danced, drank, enjoyed. Once A walked away, me and K were talking. She out of nowhere murmurs to me…

“If you and B didn’t date……”

    She looked me in the eye and I knew what she was trying to infer. Ive known her forever. She’s been (and still is) an attractive woman. However, I didn’t hesitate. I defused that immediately and moved on with my night. I was very serious about whatever it was me and “her” had, even when it was on the rocks. My feelings and heart were tied up and I really just wanted to put my energy towards that.

    A few days later, she texts me back again. She tells me she doesn’t wanna come chill, doesn’t want anything to do with me, all that. I’m pretty much being dumped via text, and I don’t even know what I did. I’m not taking it well but my ego prevents me from chasing down the “why” of situations like these. If you want to let me go, cool. I won’t beg you, I won’t play myself. I simply asked her what lead to this and she once again bought up my popularity and how that was too much for her. I responded back calmly, accepting things for what they were. In the ensuing days, she continues to hit me up and make me feel stupid about the whole thing. How I shouldn’t have liked her so much. How I made it all into something it wasn’t, how all of our time didn’t really mean much. It was bizarre, because I wasn’t chasing her after she dumped me. She just kept coming back to me and killing me with the same knife. Me, in my state of need for her, kept responding until I simply was too bothered by all of it.

      I was totally fucked up over this. Non of my friends knew how serious it was for me, or that we even split. My roommate asked me “whatever happened to….” and to this day, I don’t know how I didn’t get out of that conversation without embarrassing myself.  Partner this bad heartbreak with the melancholy feeling of a pending graduation, trying to enjoy myself before it’s all over, and the incredible amount of violence going on at my school (guy got killed and his body was in the street a block away; on a separate incident a kid got stabbed up in the parking lot right outside of my window), I was stressed about everything. I’ve never really admitted this, but I honestly felt like I was going to get killed my senior year. I ended up adopting some beefs because of my loyalty AND a lot of students were ending up in crazy situations with locals after parties.

       I don’t really know how I decided to stop sulking. I do know that I found solace in my coworker’s bed sheets. We worked together on campus and I kinda knew she always liked me. I was sorta on the fence but as we got to know each other I warmed up to the idea a little more. She was cute; dark skin, big smile, infectious laugh. We hung out at the office, we talked on campus, worked on projects together. As fate would have it, she happened to live in my building. I saw her in the hallway while I was washing clothes, so I texted her when I was almost done. I ended up walking into her apartment and next thing you know, our lips meet. We didn’t have sex until maybe a few weeks later. Once we started, we didn’t stop. She was in an ODU office with me, amongst very important people, and no one knew what we did behind closed doors. There was a certain forbidden air to it. This went on until about a week before I graduated, when she disappeared quietly back home to northern Virginia.

     There was also someone else, who is memorable because she was a big “first” for me. She was at my apartment for a kick back. I was doing my homework; I wanted no parts. Me being involved would’ve thrown the ratio off. Nevertheless, I’ve known her for a few years but we’ve just been cool. I noticed that she kept walking by my door and peeking in. She eventually comes in and one of the guys (who I know WELL) pulled her off of me and out of my room. He had a huge (unrequited) crush on her, and I knew this. Never one to lose his cool in this situation, when she came by again, I took her by the hand and walked her into my room. She giggled and walked in curiously.

        I’m just running my fingers over her, admiring her form. She was sort of defined , smooth light skin and had an edge to her voice. She reveals to me “I’ve always liked you and thought you were cute, why didn’t you say anything?” BULLSHIT DETECTOR WEEEE OOO WEEEEE OOOOOOOO. I could’ve just been overcome with modesty, but I still think she was lying. How did I answer? With a lie of my own. “I’ve liked you for a while too!” First and last girl I ever lied to. It was pre-sex bullshit; going through the motions to make each other comfortable with things that aren’t true. I never subscribed to that again. Regardless, she chose to link up after Spring Break (which was next week) instead of doing anything that night.

   Our night came to pass. She came at 6 am, and slid into my building silently. I didn’t sleep, I just stayed up and waited for her. She hands me this, I take ONE swig, she is in my bed. It goes down from there, as Spongebob Squarepants plays far too loudly from my bulky silver TV. The next morning, I kept the lie train going and told her I had study hall. The truth was I didn’t want her in my spot all day. I eventually felt like shit about the pointless lies and vowed to never do it again. I also considered telling dude who pulled her out of the room what happened, because I wanted him to suffer. But I didn’t. So he may be reading this and just found out. If so, yes, her. 🙂 !

    The final part of my story that connects back to Hitch is simple. He approached women and all that they have to offer as “catching up on lost time”.  In reality, he was trying to cover up the pain of finding his girl in the rain with the resident cool guy on campus. She basically left me for her ex, then a FOOTBALL PLAYER. So she hated my popularity, then went to an athlete. Yep. I finally decided to entertain girls who I knew were interested in me, because I was fucked up. I was trying to patch the holes in my boat with lust. It never worked. Those girls didn’t particularly give a shit about me; they just liked what I projected. One of those girls I mentioned actually told me in bed “You were cute on that (ORG REDACTED) poster around campus, I had to have you”. It was never about me, just like it was never about them. I wanted to feel alive, after feeling as if I was literally dead on my feet. Casual sex is fine; just know that it doesn’t heal your pain. The emotional rawness of being discarded by someone who literally illuminates your days to girls who keep your nights shrouded in darkness is a lot for any 22 year old, especially one with a lot on his plate.

  I had to mature. I had to live. I had to understand that just wanting to have sex is fine, and so is wanting to put your all into a woman who’s special to you. Even though my clear blue sky turned gray, I didn’t want to be afraid the next time the sunlight chose me. With knowledge that it all ended so badly, I thank her for it. The highs, the lows, the jagged separation. My experience taught me to value myself and to appreciate the love in every waking day. Even the cold, lonely ones.

Hitched, Part One.

I was watching Hitch one day and once scene in particular really stuck out to me. Mainly because I felt it; I related.

I wasn’t a nerd. I didn’t catch her with someone else. I was a roving, insensitive asshole who always meant well. I just went about things the wrong way, using my foolish paranoia and insecurities to fuel my decisions. But once we were done, the way I felt about women (and life!) changed forever.

It was late in my senior year. Everyone has that one class that kicks their candy ass; mine was this weird Psych research stats class. Everyone used to fail it; the class GPA was putrid. I too botched it the semester before, but bounced back rather strongly. Anyway, we had this class AND lab together; it was somewhat preordained that we would cross paths. I knew who she was; she caught my eye long ago. I asked my guy Phil (who I always saw as an older brother) about her, and he gave me the rundown. She’s quiet, he’s seen her around, knew her friends. One of his friends tried to get at her for a while but she was never with it. His….shortcomings and & inabilities didn’t have anything to do with me. That story didn’t deter me. If my chance came around, I was going to take it. Or try my very best to do so.

That chance came early in the class. When everyone in the lab had to partner up and she came to sit next to me, I knew. I sort of knew we wouldn’t be just friends; partially because I just desired her that much. I didn’t know how it was gonna happen, or when, or if I even had control of the situation (I surely did not). I focused on not saying anything corny and not giving away how excited I was to just speak. We chopped it up. We shared laughs. We had common ground (both from the North, same majors, similar music interests, same big city edge). She had big, curly black hair, deep, expressive eyes and grinned as I spoke as if everything I said was as vital as air to her lungs. She was Dominican/Puerto Rican, which was a change for me. Even back then, I only loved my hashtag BLACK hashtag QUEENS, but something about her had me tied up. She was just so fascinating, and edgy, and determined. She was older than me, so I looked to her for her subtle wisdom. She was so modest, never really knowing that what she had to say was very important to me.

We were cool, that was about it. I couldn’t really gauge if she liked me or anything (I was 21-22, didn’t really gauge this well until MAYBE 25?). One specific turn of events woke me up to her intentions. I came into the Student Center to handle some business. I was a member of our college radio station and I was on the executive board for SGA. I had people telling me when I arrived that a girl was looking for me. I had no idea who but I soon pieced it together. She was swinging by my office, with her freshly injured/broken foot in a walking boot, trying to surprise me. Our campus isn’t tremendous, but you do NOT want to traverse it with one foot that actually works. She did this more than once and once I caught wind of it, things changed for me. Now I had to think “MAYBE SHE DOES LIKE ME”. The fact that “maybe” is there shows you how modest and how easily thrown off by female attention I was. I simply didn’t know how to read these situations well.

While that event showed how serious she was about getting to know me, my moment was coming. On a snowy night at Phil’s house, I was cooling with him and his female neighbors. This is my first time meeting one of the girls and we’re vibing pretty well. I remember kind of marveling at how smooth and flawless her deep brown skin was; her little voice so confident talking to this upperclassman who’s slowly building interest was becoming apparent. It’s going well then SHE
starts texting me. She wants to hang out. I quickly agree to meet at my apt, even though the weather is trash. I go back to talking to everyone. Naturally, I linger a little too long and get the “I’m here” text. I tell Phil I have to leave, and he sees in my eyes why. He lets me go and I hear that tinge of disappointment in his voice. I leave that girl and her chocolatey skin, somewhat knowing we’ll never really meet up again.

To make you understand, Phil’s crib is 5 blocks from mine. It’s snowing. I walked when it wasn’t bad. I’m late. SO I RAN. I think my lame ass actually fell doing this. Luckily it was dark and no one was outside. I get a half block away and stop to catch my breath. I didn’t want her to know that I really ran blocks, just to see her. I calm down, walk around to my building, let her in, and we go upstairs.

We chill out. She shows me her drawings. I remember flipping through her sketchbook slowly. I eyeballed every line, every area of shading, just taking it all in. I’m so honored she even shared this with me. We ate. We talked about Prince, and religion, and positive energy. She was changing who I was. Before our talks about doing the right thing and your energy mattering in the grand scheme of things, I pretty much said and did what I wanted to. I had respect for people, but I was just so rude. I didn’t understand how much my energy mattered to the people around me.I was moody, I shut down easily and kind of had a simmering anger to me. But she was talking me into a totally different direction. I valued our time spent and so did she. I always remembered feeling so freed of everything with her.

Thing is, as all of this was happening to me, I was pretending. No one knew how much I liked her, or even that we had something going on. Phil knew we were “talking” but I didn’t share details. I looked up to him(and still do), and girls loved him and his housemates (who were also like family to me). I was slightly a fish out of water; this was new to me in a way. At that time, I didn’t want to look “soft”. Soft. Soft for really liking a girl. My mindset was way off. My other friends used to ask about her when they saw her around. “This Spanish girl was looking for you at the station.” and “She’s cute, put me on!”. I just calmly brushed off both. I couldn’t get defensive, because now they’d know how I really felt. Little did I know, my silence as it came to “us” would hurt me.

 

Part 2. Soon.

By Robby Rav.

Rav Report Live: Kelela @ Rough Trade.

If you know me, or follow me on Twitter *points to sidebar*, you know that I am a Kelela stan on the low.

I listened to her album , CUT 4 ME on a whim sometime last year and I was SUPER impressed. For an alleged music snob who hates everything (I don’t!), this was big. I ran this album into the ground for months until I got tired, didn’t think about it, then bought it back to life.

I was lucky enough to catch her in October at the CMJ edition of Fader Fort out in Brooklyn. The Internet was also on that bill. Needless to say, crazy show. I also wanna put this out here, I was pretty drunk off of Captain Morgan Black by the end of this, so that was probably why I was in the front row, turned into pure putty while Kelela was singing. Yeah. The drinks. It’s not because I’m soft and partial to women who sing. Nope.

Fast forward to last week, and I remember that Kelela is doing 2 shows in Brooklyn. I HAD to attend at least one. I kinda had a lot going on that weekend (COOL GUY ALERT!!!!) so I saw that there were still tickets on Friday and took the plunge. I was flip flopping between this and the Natural History Museum party with Machinedrum , but an industry buddy (who I actually met at CMJ, and is a pretty nifty DJ) told me “IM GOING TO KELELA!”. I go to plenty shows alone, but if you have the chance to go with other people…you should take that. Plus she’s is also a stan, so it works out.

So that was that. I set out into a semi crappy weathered night and head to Williamsburg for the show. I step in and my first thought is “wow, there are a lot of bad, weird black girls in here, right now”. I move around a lil’ bit and hit the bar and get a rum and Coke, because I’m a cool guy who drinks boring shit. I’m drinking and watching the stage, which has a DJ duo just going to WORK. I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the transitions but they seemed to get better as the night went on. It’s a guy and a girl, who I later recognized were Shayne and Venus X of GHE20G0TH1K fame (if you know, you know). They were really playing some daring stuff (BMore club) and songs that will at least make you smile if you arent a lame (Aaliyah – One In A Million). Everything was working. The people were beautiful, the energy was good, I was starting to get into it (AND INTO MY RUM!).

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A little later, she texts me that she’s in Rough Trade, so I set out to find her and her friends. I start to walk over and I look up and see…Dev Hynes. Now as someone who loves Solange and pretty much followed Dev from his work on “True”, this was kind of a big deal. Dude’s a real talent and I had basically a few seconds to decide “Am I gonna walk over and say what up or am I just gonna drift over to my destination.” I opt to not be a bitch and quickly show my appreciation to Dev (very gracious and humble guy) and head over. FULL DISCLOSURE: I was guzzling Rum and Coke number 2 so I’d bet money I shook his hand too quickly and was probably talking too loud. SO WHAT. Also, someone on Twitter linked me to this. Dev is wild, son.

I get to her and her friends, introduce myself, and Kelela takes the stage immediately.

Let me be frank.

Kelela is fine.

Anyways, here’s some footage cause I’m tired of typing.

I hate when people post show footage but…#100happydays Day 82 #roughtrade #roughtradenyc @kelelam

A post shared by Robby. (@robbyrav) on

When I go to shows to see singers, I’m specifically trying to see can they recreate records live. If I found out Kelela was CB4, I might not have recovered. LUCKILY FOR US, she is not. Not at all. Her song “Send Me Out” is one of those test your vocal chops tunes, and she killed it. There were actually a group of girls next to us were just standing there dissing Kelela the whole show. While that shit is kinda weird, Send Me Out shut them the fuck up. So thanks Kelela, good lookin’. She’s powering through basically all of the songs you’d want to hear off of her album, including reworking a few with different edits (such as “Keep it Cool”).

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While doing this song, the j appears. Now mind you, this is an alt r&B show, of COURSE there’s weed right? But I’m gonna tell you something about me.

I am a rookie smoker. Possibly less than rookie. I could count on my hands the amount of times I’ve burned and still have enough fingers left to shoot a jumper. Or toss a frisbee, for our shoes off in the grass buddies. I’ve never really put time into learning the intricacies of smoking, because its just too ill. It literally feels too good; I feel like if I learn to roll, smoke in any situation and light roaches etc, I’m going to become Redman. I’m just gonna keep doing it. So, I stick to rare recreational settings where I don’t have to do too much but pull.

Anyone who’s been in the presence of weed will tell you, you got about a split second to decide are you gonna hit or not. I hastily said yes.

“Yo, you gotta relight it.”

 

I don’t know how to relight this shit, man. I’m in the dark, cant even see my fingers, trying to open the lighter, light the j, and pull in one smooth ass motion. I failed, almost burnt my upper lip off, and inhaled wild weed flakes into my mouth. Was like chewing mesquite wood chips. I’m so fucking wack. I got away with this with only one person peeping me PLAYING myself. I’m now in the dark, watching Kelela, constantly touching my possibly singed lip. If I fuck my lip up, my sex appeal gon’ be on E, and I can’t afford that. Luckily I was ok.

 

A little after this, Kelela walks into the crowd.

 

This is how close I was.

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I did not walk over there, because…well I don’t know. Seeing her up close confirmed my “Kelela is bad” thought, word to dude who was less than 5 feet away who refused to make eye contact. SHOOK!!!!! (As I notice this 10 feet away.) She thanks us, goes backstage for few, and comes back to encore a bit then close with “Do It Again” , which is a favorite of mine.

Show ends, I linger a lil bit, say my goodbyes, and skate up outta there.

It was a good night, Shayne and Venus did their thing and Kelela was very crisp and has a good feel for the stage. Most fun I’ve EVER had while trying to burn my face off with a lighter.

To summarize it all:

Drunk Levels: Low to Moderate (2 Rum and Cokes)

Bae Levels : A lot of weird brown/black baes who definitely talk about the eco system and co-washing in the same breath…..and thats my type of scene

Show quality: 8/10 -9/10

Venue : First time being at Rough Trade, and I loved it. I’ll be back.

 

If you guys like, I’ll keep doing Rav Report Live for events I go to. Any shows in NYC you think I’d like (even ones I wouldn’t), let me know!