YOU, I LIKE excerpt:
Welcome home, Indy.
It was bad. Unlike Run DMC it was bad meaning bad, not bad meaning good. The untimely demise of my life as I knew it occurred on June 4, 1986 at 1:11am. Two days later and me sitting in some old dilapidated bus station/welcome center hundreds of miles away from home confirmed it basically. Further proof of my massive fall from grace? A rusted out sign surrounded by a bunch of gigantic white magnolias. The sign read: Welcome to Biloxi, Mississippi.
As soon as I stepped off the bus’s metal stairs I felt assaulted. It was like I’d been dropped into this weird technicolor nightmare. I felt like Alice after she fell down the rabbit hole but instead of Wonderland, I woke up in Mississippi. Maybe my sugar was low, I don’t know, but I swear the sun seemed yellower and the sky bluer and bigger. There was something to look at everywhere, strange shaped buildings and even stranger shaped people, and everything was so-damn-bright! It was stuff I’d seen before, I hadn’t gone crazy, but here it all seemed different and…strange. Even the voluminous bunches of pink azaleas surrounding the bus station seemed weirdly more vibrant, alive somehow. It felt alien, and I hated it. All of it. Even the smell was strange. It was this strong perfumy mix of scents that made me aware of every inhalation. Whatever it was, it combined with an overpowering smell of freshly cut grass, which back home I usually loved. However, here I resented every single breath. I hated the awareness it made me feel, forcing me to be present. I wasn’t used to that. I didn’t want to be aware of every little thing. It was Mississippi after all.
Nina Simone said it best, Mississippi Goddamn! I knew too much and what I knew was too much to take. I was a Black girl and from everything I knew they didn’t like us down here. So, yeah, I wanted nothing to do with anything down south and Biloxi, Mississippi was about as south as you could get without getting on a boat.
I was the last person off the bus, and that was only because the driver turned the damn engine off. Not wanting to die of heat stroke forced me out. It was hot outside too, but at least off the bus there was an occasional breeze. The sweet stench it carried made me want to scream, but unfortunately, a girl had to breathe. So yeah, day one and my parent’s mission to make my life miserable had been accomplished.
Blessed and bougie- that was me. Was. Because all of that was in the past now.
I’d cry if I thought anyone would care, but I knew better. Nobody cared. My life back in New York as I knew it, was over and I had no choice but to mourn its loss all alone. On a bench.
At a bus station.
Written by Sonja Renee, You, I Like is set to be released in 2022. Follow author’s Twitter: YouILike11 for future release date and more info.