leslie nikole
photo taken by the one and only ghost


leslie.nikole at icloud dot com


obligatory "i just paid the renewal on my domain" post
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this is guilt.

i could have taken that 10$ and put it towards lunch. i could have gotten proper groceries with that.

i don’t know where i am with writing. i’ve fallen into the cycle that many refuse to admit (oh baby what is you doing?) we’ve both gone through: lying about writing. am i really doing research? when exactly does « research » become « i’m avoiding getting to work » ? maybe that’s the next thing for me to research. i downloaded this app called me.time which is an interesting little prompt generator that lets you respond anonymously, but i’ve been using it sparingly during my commute. i’ve been catching a few extra moments of sleep or trying to commit my grocery list to memory instead of writing or reading, i worry that i won’t get anymore projects out before the end of the year. i’m nervous about my credibility in claiming that i’m a writer; do you still live up to your title in this day and age? do i lose myself in my lack of production (by definition)? i’ve been questioning if i pass the test in all aspects of my life so the nagging feeling that clinks and clanks as it drags behind my ankles comes as no surprise here/anymore. have i gotten so comfortable that it’s haunted my writing? has my sporadically busy life halted my creative process? i wonder how much of my work has been about trying to understand, trying to capture emotions and situations or making sense of trauma. i wonder if i’ve stopped writing because committing things to paper makes them real.

my birthday was saturday. i had lot of fun. i appreciate everyone who took the time to call, text, email, whatsapp, tweet, hug, squeal, and send me love. i started drinking at 08h00 and kept drinking until the following morning (i had a double rum for breakfast), the plantain and green banana were not enough to line my stomach for a day of drinking. if there’s one thing i miss about being home is the food. you’ve never tasted avocados so delicious until you go back home. i don’t know if it’s primarily the air or just the difference of limited familiarity, but everything just tastes better back home. the first week back i spend my time trying to recreate perfection with imperfect food, and it’s truly depressing. i haven’t bothered trying to recreate chefette chicken roti, i wouldn’t survive the heartbreak. i cooked for my birthday; i’ve been cooking since last monday and it just hasn’t stopped. time in the kitchen has been relaxing, even while stressful; i really do enjoy feeding people. macaroni pie, coconut rice, baked chicken, plantain, green banana, kale chips, butternut squash and sweet potato purée soup, mango coconut sorbet, etc. i just want everyone to give my my mother’s tupperware containers; one day i found her in the kitchen counting them.

i’ve been thinking a lot about love and relationships while staring into pots waiting for ground provisions to boil up. i’m almost done reading communion by bell hooks, and YO. talk about a book coming to you and the right time and giving you life while saving your mind. i was shamed once by someone in my own age group for wanting love and for trying to find it. i was berated for searching and for being honest wants; i've never felt so ashamed to want to love and be loved. now i'm looking for it in even worse places, and the hunger for it is real. recently i've been thinking about i really want, things are really going well for me right now and i don't want anything in my way. i'm blocking numbers and cutting ties, and it feels liberating. that, however doesn't take away from the fact that i still want to share all (okay, not all but you know what I mean) of these new things with one specific person here in the flesh with me. i've been thinking about the way i love, what i expect in love, and setting standards for platonic and amorous relationships. it definitely hasn't been easy, but stumbling upon this book has seriously been just the right thing at the right time. reading hooks' thoughts on the female search for love and the yearning that is suffered in silence by those with and without partners has confirmed to me that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me; it's nice to see someone else agrees with you on published paper. my copy had only spent two weeks in my bag and already the cover took a proper beating. love, besides of self, won't complete me. it took a very long time to learn this, but luckily for me i did/am doing the work of realizing my own completeness as a person, as difficult as this was. to be honest, it's a daily thing, a real constant practice. it's a daily chipping away at the idea that you're only worth something with someone (and this gets more dangerous if you replace this with "anyone") beside you, or that you are incomplete without love. It's taken a lot to transform my thoughts from « i'm incomplete without this in my life » to « my life and i are complete, but this is an extra i'd be interested in »; i can't even put a finger on exactly what i did to get to this point, but the journey isn't linear. i thank every example, positive and negative, every person that sat down and talked some real sense into me (esp. rianna, amel, and shanice, unlimited blessings to you), and finally this book which i wish i found a long time ago. there goes black women (and black women friendships) saving the day again. i really am blessed.

i wonder about black men dating black women in this city. i wonder about black men and commitment, and why commitment doesn't seem to hold the possibility of having short-term contracts. thank god for yearly trips to new york, jolting reminders that yes you are attractive to men who's colour matches yours as soon as you reach port authority. i try not to think about what it dos to you when you grow up in a city where the men you put first and find almost exclusively attractive put you at the bottom of the list; the wave of migration in the 1990s by west indians from montreal to toronto has done a number on me that i don't know if i want to talk about. let me stop, lemme keep quiet.