by Jermaine

Take the Stairs

No height is impossible to reach if you take it one step at a time.

I’m standing here watching the numbers at the top of countless doors flicker to every floor except the one I’m on. I’ve jammed the button about a million times. Why hasn’t my turn come?

Why hasn’t my request been answered?

That stairwell looks so appealing but I know the level I want to get to just may be too far to walk. Wait. Wait a minute.

This may be it. Three. Two. One… Two.


Come on, this is ridiculous! Has someone found a way to program the elevators to only stop at the first floor and never come to the basement? Yes, I’m in the basement of this 162 floor modern marvel and none of the 57 elevators seem to recognize my touch.

With all the rooms, all the floors, all the elevators, all the luxury, all the wealth, all the resources and all the ‘everything else’ inside of this structure there has got to be more options for someone who’s been told since before he could speak that he had infinite possibilities.

I’ve been standing here so long that I’m tired of standing.

Of course I read the reports from last year about how 14 people got stuck just trying to get to the observatory. I’m not like them. I’m not here for site seeing. I’m on a mission. I’ve been yelled at, hung-up-on, exploited, overlooked, racial-profiled, held at gun point, laughed at, cursed out, forced out, pushed, shoved, stumped, under-estimated and over-educated and all I want is my opportunity to rise. This was supposed to be the path to my new beginning not my demise.

I would be lying if I said that in every instance I turned the other cheek. Sorry, I’m really not that meek but I’m learning to change. In spite of all of that…

I can’t stay in the basement.

Tourist and residents aren’t even allowed down here. This is strictly for hired help. Don’t get it twisted; I didn’t come here to get a job. I didn’t go through all of my struggles to fall in line with the rest of the staff. I’m not fighting for a more expensive monkey suit or jester hat. I long to be the “me” that was merely a thought in the mind of the Divine since before the beginning of time.

I hear you but, no, this is not my pride speaking this is my destiny. It’s been echoing in my ears growing louder and louder. Either I’m going to be “somebody” or I’ll end up insane from this churning in my gut. Wiser souls tell me everyone does not have “it.” I laugh because I know that’s a lie. Some just have learned how to drown it out. Others convinced themselves that they are too weak to live out what’s been breathed into their essence.

Regardless, the path has been paved. The message made clear. The starting whistle blown so loud it dispelled our fear. I don’t know if I’ll be consistent but I know I got to try. I’m going to make it to my proper position even if the selfish me has to die.

I wish there was an easier way…

Like a trust fund, rich uncle, or a famous fan. All I got are my thoughts and the work of my hands. Two beautiful daughters and a wife that understands it ain’t easy being a man, yet, it’s who I am. I can’t afford to wait for the methods of conventional wisdom to bail me out of societal imposed disadvantages. This is not the time for pity parties. No matter who we are we all have our struggles. That’s life! So now what?

How long are we going to stay in the basement waiting? No one ever promised us that life would be easy and/or fair. It’s time to move forward. When are we going to set aside reason and take the stairs?!?!?!?!