Chitlin’ Circuit


I had the chance to meet up with an old friend today for lunch.


I’m not sure if it’s weird that I refer to this woman as a friend considering she does have a daughter the same age as me (& oddly enough, the same name). In many regards, this lady is very much a maternal figure to me, but more than that, I do consider her a friend. I trust her and we’ve been like this since the day we met more than 10 years ago while we worked in state government.
Because we’re the kind of friends who don’t see each other that often, when we do link up, it’s often for an extended period and we do our best to try & catch the other one up on what’s been going on.
Today, I sat & listened to her as she told me of her beautiful love story of her & her husband who’ve been together for nearly 3 decades. In light of my most recent heartbreak, I asked her for some advice. “What do you do in the moments of hurt & unforgiveness?” I asked. “Like you mean, Bae?” she pressed back. “I mean when your thoughts remind you of the pain. In that moment, what do you when you catch yourself reliving the pain?
She started with telling me a story of why she hates this old Lenny Williams tune, ‘Cause I Love You“. She recalled a time where whenever the song would come on the radio, her instinct would be to start hitting buttons, frantic to change the station (much like the way I do now whenever I hear Daniel Caesar’s, Best Part.) She said that it didn’t matter what was going on or what kind of day she was having, if that song came on it would instantly take her back to a dark place. One day, she goes on to say, she was in her kitchen, prepping for a feast, I suppose. Hovered over her sink, she was engulfed in cleaning chitlins while her music was blaring through her speakers when suddenly she hears, what else? “Girl, you know I-I-I love you…”
She answered the question by saying, “You can’t control what comes on the radio, but you can change the station.” Only in this case, she couldn’t because she was up to her elbows in chitlin juice. I added to her point citing, “Or you can sit there until the song stops playing.” A lot of times, we give circumstances power over us through our very own reactions. “The song won’t play forever,” I ended.  “And that’s exactly what I did, bae.” She told me that she sat there and listened to the song. Felt those emotions. She wrapped it all up by telling me about a party (baby shower or something) that she attended where each team had to sing a song that had “girl” in the lyrics. Each team went back and forth until one team couldn’t think of one. Near the end, the game comes back to her and the only song left in her head was Lenny Williams. “Girl, I sung that song and it ain’t bothered me since.” 




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