Mere months before, I was a bubbly flower girl bouncing down the path between church pews. My eggshell-colored dress was crafted, stitch-by-stitch, by none other than my Nana. Golly, I’m sure she was beaming to see her grandbaby peppering petals here and there before her daughter glided down the aisle.
I can imagine that at the end of the lane and the beginning of the pulpit was Brother James standing in a tuxedo as pristine as the fly edge around his high-top fade. He and my mom had grown up in the same church that his parents as well as my Nana and PopPop helped found in Long Island—or “Strong” Island as we Yanks like to call it.
In addition to being “royalty” among the Church-of-God-in-Christ (a.k.a. “COGIC”) congregation, they had been close friends since childhood. Although childhood gave way to adulthood, whenever they were together, Jimmy and my mom were like kids again…I guess. Moreover, he and my mom’s family had built excellent rapport over the years eagerly watching their love bud and then bloom. So, beyond a mere “match,” their union, in all respects, seemed to be a marriage made in heaven.
It was a happy day. Oh, and I started calling Brother Jimmy “daddy”; it rolled rather easily off my blissful tongue. It wasn’t too long after they said, “I do,” that the three of us moved from the familiarity of Strong Island into a cozy apartment in New Jersey.
What the mind holds onto when the future-self is curious about the origins of the past-self remains a mystery to me. Candidly, I don’t recall much about this period in my life. What I do remember, however, is telling. Of what? God’s still getting back to me.
What do a dream, broken glass, and a car ride have in common? Yeah…not so much. Anywhoooo…
I awoke to find that I was looking back at me. I must have fallen asleep on the couch in front of the entertainment system in the living-room. The glass of the clunky tv-VHS set captured my reflection, which was staring back at myself.
The furniture and fixtures in the room were where Mom and Daddy Jimmy, had placed them. But they were different. They appeared simultaneously solid and translucent. I peered over the pleather couch and ran my eyes across the room’s open floor plan. And my mini me could see the layered-ness of each object. My eyes scanned just past the kitchen when I saw his silhouette looming in the bathroom’s doorway.
He couldn’t have been more than 10 yards away. His features were cloaked underneath a hazy darkness tinted enough to blend in with the night; well, everything except his eyes. His eyes glowed a yellowish amber hue that provided just enough light for me to take in his mass. Let’s just say–whatever he was—he was huge.