Cause the City Ain't Kind


It’s been a bad night.

It’s 5:04 in the morning and it’s a bunch of niggas blasting Young Jeezy and shouting announcements—which sound like lies—about their football stats. Normally, I wouldn’t mind. I love Young Jeezy and niggas who lie, but it’s 5:04 in the morning.

My loud ass air conditioner drowns the sounds out with more noise. It’s on auto, on 80 degrees. Every time it comes on, Zero wakes up and barks. It’s that loud. Every time I awaken, I say a different prayer that essentially says the same thing: Make me wealthy overnight and/or Find me a new apartment; make me strong enough to deal with this. It’s becoming harder and harder for me to fall asleep at night without taking a Benadryl first. My bedroom window is positioned right by the bulb that lights the entire walkway of my building, so even when it’s nighttime, I live in the light. I throw my blankets over my head awaiting some kind of silence.

I stay under the covers only for a little while. I begin to itch because I can’t stop thinking about the spider I killed on my blanket hours ago. It’s been a bad night. The crying and scratching goes hand in hand when I think about the bug that fell out of the towel I put up to my face right before this incident. How another bug climbed up the wall seconds after. I chased it with my Nike slide. I chased my mental breakdown with some slave humming. I’m spraying roach spray around my one-bed/one-bath all day. I want to climb out of my skin every second I sit in this two-room apartment with my dog who is scratching and biting holes into himself every other minute. I think someone is playing a trick on me.

I’ve been telling people I’ve moved to the Oak Cliff of Tuscaloosa. The only difference between the two is I actually love Oak Cliff and the people there. I don’t know if I’m grateful for its familiarity, its humbleness, or if I’m upset I finished college to go to another college, just to end up back in the hood, back in a cycle, back wishing I had done better.

With all the issues I had with management up until the day I moved in, I should have known what was to come. The first week of living on my own, my smoke detector went off every night around 8:00 pm. The knob on the washer didn’t work. The shower door was broken and nobody came to fix it because it didn’t qualify as an emergency. I was last-resorted to a one-bed/one-bath with old amenities and appliances, a building for pets. When I walked in the door, there was a spider on the wall. Two days before it was time to move in, I received the year-long lease that I’m now regretting.

When I arrived the day of move in, there were a dozen people in the office—waiting. There was an awaiting tenant around my age yelling at the manager about how their employees need to find new professions outside of customer service. Everyone just nodding their heads up and down in agreement.

I’ve been here one week and three days. I don’t like who I am here. I’ve become a complainer who isn’t aware of the good things around me. That’s not something I want to get comfortable being. I’m searching for how to stop putting myself at the beginning and ending of every one of my sentences. This isn’t homesickness, this is sick and tired. I’m searching for real jobs, thinking about dropping out of grad school before it even begins. I don’t wanna be no teacher. I’m thinking of going home. Giving my car back to the dealership.

I’m searching: nonprofits + how to start your own nonprofit

I’m searching: teach teens poetry.

I’m searching: teach teens creative writing in Dallas

I’m searching: best apartments in Tuscaloosa

I’m searching: YMCA employment

I’m searching: best nonfiction fellowships

I’m searching: best roach powder

I’m searching: greeting card author

I’m searching: how to be ok

I’m searching: how to lie on a resume without getting caught

I’m bookmarking all of my findings. I’m listening to gospel music mixed with Young Jeezy. Me and God have grown apart. I’m trying to put it back together again. My mama is sending me prayers about abolishing insects and rodents through a succession of texts. I’ve only been here a week and three days. I don’t wanna be here or give up or be here. I don’t know what I don’t wanna do anymore.

I search: how to survive in your car

I search: how to keep secrets

In one hour and forty minutes I have to get up and go to day two of orientation for a writing center I don’t wanna tutor at. I don’t want to tell students the way they write assignments isn’t good enough. I don’t want to pretend like I know how to write a proper assignment or edit it or how to properly format MLA or APA.

Are there any good jobs for creative writing students? I searched, nothing pops up.

I don’t wanna be here. I feel bad for not feeling grateful for being here.

My MawMaw calls me to see how I’m doing. I tell her about my bad night but I act all cool about it. She asks me am I lonesome. I say no but I mean always.

#MFAprograms #college #postcollege #creativewriting #kendraallen #workingasawriter

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