The First High-Five

Back in the day, way before the invention of the vehicle or the idea of a telephone, inhabitants of the earth spent their time walking in search of food. With the many people living in the village, the food sources were scarce. The cavemen walked, and walked, and walked in search of something to bring home for their families.

In 10,000 BC, tents and animal-skins lined the grounds; fires burned between the huddled cave-families; cave-babies cried out for food; and the cavewomen sat on boulders, rocking their screaming “bundles” for hours all while waiting on the cavemen to return from their endless search.

Disappointment covered their faces as the tribe grew hungrier and hungrier. The men were smart enough to split up during their journeys, hoping to cover more ground. Days would pass before the men would see a buffalo or any living thing for that matter. Imagine the depression rates back then. There were no pills to take or yoga classes to regain your chi, just ground to cover and a time limit before you died of starvation.

Six days into his trek across the plains, between the mountains, and alongside the waters, he caught a glimpse of rustling bushes just past the river. He rubbed his eyes thoroughly and although completely exhausted, his speed picked up. He got closer and studied the bushes, noticing the leaves quieting along with him. A tear fell to his weakened face and he wiped it furiously. Six whole days without food, he remained determined. He thought back to his family, the noise around the fires, the babies crying out, the drumming during ceremonies, and he fainted. In a panic, he continued searching around for the rustling leaves. Trees stood before him that stretched up to the sky, tangled between shrubs and deep thrushes of bushes. To his right, miles of open space. To his left, the river which let out soothing vibrations against the otherwise silent space. Behind him, complete emptiness, vast and wide.

The vibrations within the trees snapped him back to his main goal: food.

He tiptoed past the river, enjoying as the water spilt over onto his burley feet. He hunched himself closer to the dirt and continued slowly. His steps were stopped by a massive grunt. He recognized the deep throaty growl and mimicked the sound. The groan replayed louder. He jumped and raised his hand at the vision of his friend who stood a couple of feet from him. The other caveman grew excited and kept grunting hello, slamming his fist into his chest before raising his hand. The two ran toward one another grunting their hello’s harder and harder, nearly drowning out the soft sounds of the river.

With their hands high over their heads, they moved closer and closer until their hands collided in the air creating a loud SMACK!

The two stood still and pulled their hands back. Staring down at their shaky fingers, one grunted. The other grunted back. Carefully, they held their hands back over their heads and pushed them together. They laughed and jumped at their new discovery. They continued to hit their palms together over and over.

The Countdown

Ten people stood in front of the store waiting for the door to open again. The guard let in groups every few minutes. Women in leggings waited in clusters by the red rope. I tapped my foot, checked my watch, and whipped out my phone. I needed a distraction from the anticipation. Everyone had been talking about this moment for the past week and I just wanted it to be my turn already.

Nine minutes to go, and my skin could have vibrated completely off of my bones. Standing there, swaying back and forth on the line, I practiced what I would say over and over in my head. I had never thought I would do anything like that before and I definitely didn’t want to ruin my moment.

Eight text messages came through on my phone and the beeping radiated throughout the crowd. I swiped my screen and smiled. Yes, I am here I wrote back. Text you when I’m done, I love you. My hands shook with each tap of the keys.

Seven minutes!” The guard announced. He folded his arms and remained quiet again. The women sipped their coffees and continued on with conversations. I stood alone. My husband’s job had mandated him to work, but he sent me smiley emoji’s all day. He knew how much it meant to me and made sure I didn’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime.

Six times I had tried to meet this woman. Each time I couldn’t save the money to fly out to the “meet & greets,” so when we saw that she would be right in my hometown, I made sure to find my way to the coffee shop. I adjusted the hem of my dress, applied another layer of lipstick and exhaled.

Five girls exited the shop. They giggled and held their books in the air. I was jealous. What will she be like?

Four more women walked out with books tucked in their armpits. I closed my eyes and memories flooded my mind. As a 34 year old, I could barely remember what I wore on my wedding day, but somehow I envisioned moments when I was a little girl. I thought back to a fuzzy memory when I was about four. I saw someone standing outside my window with bags in her hand and a blotchy face dripping wet from the rain. My erratic life had started in foster care. I didn’t understand how to connect with others. When I turned sixteen, I got myself emancipated. I found my soul mate unexpectedly and married him at twenty years old.

Three years ago I read a book after my coworkers were raving about the twisted plot. We were part of a book club in my office. It was the first time I had felt at ease, reading stories with others and really diving between the lines. It was one of those hot new romance novels but with a style never before portrayed. There was talk of MGM wanting to turn it into a movie. I loved the story and I remembered how excited I was to see it on the big screen.

Two years later while getting ready for work, I saw the author of that book-turned-to-movie for the first time on a talk show. I did a double-take. She had looked just like me! I got goose bumps and showed my husband. He thought the same thing. I figured if he said so, it might be true. I honestly thought I was going crazy. I had to know for sure so I studied this woman. I googled her, followed her Instagram, Facebook, and even wrote to her a few times. It still doesn’t make much sense how life happens but I thought she looked too familiar and I had to know more about her. She never wrote back, but most of those sites are monitored by a group of people, so odds are she didn’t even see my messages. It was a long shot but when she posted her arrival to my hometown, I made it my ultimate goal to get my butt on that line. I had vivid dreams for weeks. Flashes of moments that may or may not have been real memories, but I know in my visions I saw someone being brought into a car in the rain.

One by one we were led inside. The tables were emptied but the barista at the counter handed out books. As I looked closely, it was the sequel to the book I had read years ago. I hugged it tightly. Once around the corner, I saw her smile, the same smile I studied for years. I made my way over to her, kept my head down, and placed the book before her. I glanced up slowly to meet her smile and whispered, “Mom?”

Vegas: Day 2 with Mr Carter

Aside from being jet-lagged and never really understanding what time it was, we were swaddled by the most immense dry heat ever imaginable. It was glorious!

My hair held up until it was time to dip in the pool. Mr Carter begged me to wet it and I pleaded he wasn’t going to like the outcome. His charming self persuaded me to hold my nose and let the silky smooth water slip and slide all throughout my previously straight hair. Anyone who knows what kind of locks I have should have gasped for air, or clutched their pearls by now, but I’m glad he encouraged me to let loose. I felt free. And what’s a vacation with your man if he doesn’t get to see everything?

He loved the wild look. You know what they say about being in relationships and starting to look alike? Well…

Yeah, our hair could be related. That just means we’re meant to be!

Day Two was basically spent at the pool, soaking up the chlorine and drinking in the hottest sun we had ever encountered.

Oh, and did we mention the best burger was in the Drenched Bar by the pool? It was a Bourbon Bacon Burger that seriously put all others to shame! We had it about 4 or 5 times. Even the fries tasted like the cook spent hours slaving over a stove to perfect each fry down to the appropriate dash of salt.

The Excalibur Hotel definitely knows what it’s doing. Kudos.

Vegas: Day One with Mr Carter

Everything was going well until we fell asleep. A 6:20AM flight to Vegas sounded like a great idea–stay up all night, sleep on the plane, and start our vacation super early!

I should’ve never let us get comfortable at 2AM…

We spent more time on the shuttle bus than we spent driving to Newark. We got there by 5:45 and they bumped us up to the next flight. The sad part: we weren’t able to get seats together! Anyone who knows our sweet, romantical relationship would know this: he didn’t mind so much. He was more concerned about where his “middle-seat-having-but” would store his kneecaps. I tried to make deals with our seat-mates but they weren’t having it, so I spent the entire flight peaking over my shoulder to the tallest, sexiest, man on the plane and blowing kisses like Fabrizio saying goodbye when the Titanic started to disembark. “I’m-a-never-a-gonna-forget-youuuu!”

On a more interesting note:

1. The airport reeked of black pepper. Like the entire time we walked and walked and walked, every gate was smothered in pepper. Still unsure how I feel about that.

2. There are no more moving walkways. I REPEAT–NO MORE MOVING WALKWAYS!!! Mr Carter said they took them out and threw down alcohol establishments instead. So now when you stop to get smacked before your flight, you won’t have that extra help to slide you closer to your gate. SMH this was a huge loss for travelers of Newark International Airport. (Maybe it was just Terminal B)

3. The airport has a breastfeeding/pumping station. I guess the airport is #ProPumping so that sort of makes up for the lack of speed-walking ability. Sort of.

4. We made friends with a fellow phone-charging-outlet-hog. Manpreet was an incomer from Virginia and all I know is that she came at me a little hard, “You guys from Nooo Yawkk?” But I think it was just her Southern accent that got me. She was pretty cool–she said we reminded her of her friends. We must put on quite the show to others. My Mr Carter makes every moment awkwardly perfect and 9 times out of 10, we are laughing hysterically. Like who wouldn’t want to be around us?

5. I was wedged between an eye-masked chick who slept for a few hours, and a much older man who had arm spasms the whole flight.

Moral of the story?

DON’T SLEEP BEFORE YOU FLY!