I am not who I used to be.

I’m different.

I’m changed.

I’m sorry.

I cannot begin to imagine how many times you have heard me say this. For even more have used it before me. Many have used it to win back lost love or to disqualify prior conceptions about their character. We have used it in a desperate attempt to salvage any lost glory and throw in a last bid for our reputation. It is like a drowning sailor stretching for that floating plank of wood as the weight of his apparel sinks him to his doom; hoping against hope that his fingers would even brush against the protruding splinters, giving him hope for his redemption.

It is a heartfelt cry of penance and search for mercy or even a flicker of hope, a second chance and a spark of life; any indication that nothing is beyond repair and that my sins are not beyond atoning. It is the forsaking of the self and expression of the fear of loneliness. It is a plea; a groan of despair stating the lack of faith in a life that is depraved of your presence. It would be a lifeless bog, a proverbial valley of dry bones; a captain without his ship; Jack Sparrow without his hat.

So when you hear me say it, look beyond my choice of words to what I am really saying; know that it has taken a lot out of me to admit it. I have greatly wrestled with my pride and ego and my ‘manliness’ is greatly bruised. Know that it has come from a very intimate place, a pace where only you have access to. So don’t just stand there with that ‘Monique’ look on your face, come here and embrace me; for I am breaking down on the inside but am physically holding it together for the purpose of the status quo. Hold me close and let our hearts break out in song, into a melody that transcends and yet encompasses the very fabric of nature. Allow them to pour out a tune that supersedes and yet includes every genre. Let it release a message that ministers to the very universe and echoes the only thing it knows…how to love and be loved.


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