HOUSEWORK: SWEATER ARMOR. NAN & RICHARD.

Having one of those days where my inner child is throwing a tantrum. Thank God for Dutch Baby pancakes because you can literally throw an entire pint of fruit into it, add three eggs, sprinkle two tablespoons of sugar on top at the end, and eat it out of the pan for lunch and dinner. What did you eat today? Three eggs and some fruit. Only two tablespoons of sugar….don’t mind that half a stick of butter that’s just so it doesn’t grab the edges.


It’s the one thing I can eat which settles my stomach on social days – days when I have to tackle the accident trauma, the stampede trauma, and the high school bullying trauma head on. People always say let go, let go, but what if you feel like a M.A.S.H. nurse entering every situation like there will be blood and many Frank Burns-types to navigate through? That’s how my mind works people, I never said it was pretty. Why the hell do you think I wear a hat? My ancestors donned armor and feathers depending which side of the family you’re talking with. It’s all about protection in battle and if you’ve never had to talk your way past a 20-something ticket girl with a clipboard who can’t find your name no matter how many times you spelled it or showed your receipt, you have NO idea what I’m talking about.


There’s a reason I wear a hat. There’s a reason my favorite track is called Sweater Armor. Fashion makes me feel good, feel strong, makes me stomp my heels so when that little See You Next Tuesday shrugs her shoulders, I just calm the fuck down, take a wide stance, and give her my PIERCING Endora glance. With a smile of course. Kill ’em with kindness and a side of Endora. No  worries, Darling. I’ll wait. You take your time.


Eventually they see I’m not taking their power, or their job, or their man, or anything they have. I’m just trying to get in the door. I’m just trying to be here in a crowd without vomiting. I’m just trying to let all of that go so maybe for a little while I can really BE THAT BITCH I see in the hat when I look in a mirror – hoping I look more like Naomi and not like my Momma Nan, who wore a feather-festooned contraption once while in grief to the ballet. The entire row behind couldn’t see and 18-year old me was fucking mortified.


Now I know it was just armor and I send apologies with my hug. We all need some armor to protect those weak places. She’d just lost the love of her life to a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. That’s a lot to throw at you in a blog, but it’s in the book and shame on you for not reading it yet 😉

Teasing, who the fuck reads books anymore, grateful you’re reading this. Theirs was a romance illicit and so tragic, begun in an office and ending in a hunting lodge while my mother tried to pick up the pieces of her heart which she really never did. Just festooned it with a feather and some pills downed with red wine. Hello, Swan Lake! Nan’s grave lies just feet from his in Signal Hill. My sister took the baby born a month after her death there for picnics and pictures like a country song from The Carter Family, who began their empire just down the road from Grandaddy’s farm. #ForrestGumpLife While I grieved with words, she needed old fashioned times. Whatever port in a storm works in this tough old world. She’s a tough woman and is the only other person who understands so if she needs to sit in the grass and tear open some pretzels, sounds like a nice day. Better than sitting on your phone thinking about woulda, coulda, shoulda.


We let the bell tower ring out “Climb Every Mountain” the day of her funeral and laughed and laughed at the irony since Nan loved nothing more than to run anywhere and everywhere. “Rippin’ and Runnin” she’d say and I’d roll my eyes. But Miss Lady ran marathons in her prime. Marine Corps marathons. Momma and Richard. A love story perfect for Guiding Light. A country song rivaled only by George and Tammy’s. I don’t even know what that fucker looked like, but I bet he had Tom Jones hair. Or maybe he was the Josh to her Reva?


Guess that had to come out today. Something I’ll ponder and chew around like the good pieces of steak they tell you not to eat. I’ll walk and listen to Afrobeats mixes I made with my own two hands and someone else’s magic. I’ll dream of the day when these tracks are my own brand of Swamp Witch Magic. I’ll think about Nan and Richard and wonder and laugh at how it all sounds like a Bobbie Gentry song. Nan’s Southern Gothic life which for all intents and purposes ended when she wrapped herself around a tree in grief one icy January night.

A Monday night painted liberally with margaritas even though I’d told her not to go. How Daddy had that tree cut down and the wreck hauled away. How he never forgave himself and nursed his next wife to death with love and attention. What all that means or doesn’t. 


I’ll think about all that and go home and make black tea with just a touch of Earl Grey and agave and I’ll write and mix and hug my cats close and dream. And think about all of that.


HER : ALL-FEMALE DJ LINEUP : District Lounge 1572 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL

Thursday, July 20 – @houseofnnaee w/ @amare_music_ 8pm-midnight

PRIDE IN THE HOUSE, a monthly safe-space for anyone who loves to dance any way they want! Steep Station St. Pete, 2235 1st Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL

Friday, July 21 – @highvibetribe727 presents @houseofnnaee 10pm-midnight

ODYSSEY FESTIVAL VENDING – COME OUT AND GRAB MY “DIRTY PILLOWS!” comfy picnic blankets and outdoor pillows for raves, pattern by HouseOfNae, Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg, Fl

Saturday, July 29 – @houseofnaemerch 2pm-midnight

HER, all-female DJ lineup, District Lounge 1572 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL

Thursday, July 20 – @houseofnnaee w/ @amare_music_ 8pm-midnight

Come out and shake your groove thang. Thanks for reading. Now go handle your shit, and remember to allow for other people’s in the process.