The Day I Blanked On Wesley Snipes

It was the 1990’s, I was in high-school, sporting a perm of long ring-locks and coffee bean shade lipstick. Smelling like mango perfume oil from the Body Shop.

We had pink rose carpet throughout the house, including my room, which was the first room coming up the stairs. I had the faux-wood grain closet with 3 sliding doors, big enough to spread some teenie bopper posters of Johnny Depp and Rick Astley, pulled straight out of the magazine.

My wall beside the closet had the big movie posters that I had got from my cousin who worked at a video store. She gave me all the good ones but I remember only putting up mostly the ones of Wesley Snipes from his movies: New Jack City (1991), Passenger 57 (1992), Sugar Hill (1993), and Boiling Point (1993).

It was always the first thing I saw when I went into my room.

New Jack City and Sugar Hill were in the string of line-ups of movies in the early 90’s that were featuring all-star black casts (after House Party 1990); such as Boyz In the Hood (1991), Juice (1992), Menace II Society (1993), and Above the Rim (1994). A promising new era documented on my wall.

It was Wesley Snipes face on my wall, looking at me when I entered my room. The Boiling Point poster was on the left, Passenger 57 placed in the middle, slightly lower than the others, New Jack City on the right, Sugar Hill on the far right, all hung with clear tape across each corner.

One weekend, I had a chance to go to a club in downtown Toronto. The only times I was really allowed to go to clubs was with my older cousins. We got dressed up, hair fresh with gel, and coffee bean lipstick. To be fun and young.

“Is that Wesley Snipes?” One of the cousins asked.

“Just standing there out in the open?” We wondered.

“Let’s go talk to him” The other one pulled us along.

It IS Wesley Snipes. Just hanging out like a regular clubber. It seemed no one noticed him. There was so much space around him when we went over to say hello.

I don’t even remember how any greetings went.

WESLEY SNIPES was right in front of my face!

I HAVE YOUR POSTERS ALL OVER MY WALL!” I screamed all star-struck and frozen.

He asked interested, “Oh yeah, which ones?”

I went blank. I could see each poster, laid out on my wall, the way I saw it every day waking up and every night going to bed. Come on, think! My brain had no message or output coming from my mouth. Blank.

He was waiting for some kind of response while the music of the club filled in my silence.

“I dunno………..but you’re on my wall!” I stupidly responded with an embarrassed smile.

“So, how long are you in town for?” My cousin quickly swooped up the conversation just as his body guards motioned for him to move along.

I’m a jack-ass. Ruining the only moment to actually talk to the guy who’s face took up my bedroom wall. The one who’s a big celebrity in his prime! Who was right in front of me! Live in person, in the flesh, wanting to know more about his posters!

POINT BLANK!” I screamed before he disappeared into the crowd. As I remembered the poster where he’s pointing his big shiny gun.

Fast forward to 2021, the month of March on a weeknight. Decided to wind down with Coming 2 America, just released.

Surprise, surprise. Hey Wesley Snipes! Loved your character, hairstyles, costume attire in this sequel because it reminded me of your rhythmical comical character in To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Mar.

Outside of the box, I like that!

These would actually be some good posters. I wonder where I could get my hands on some for old times sake?

The Last ‘Normal’ Thing We Did

We were coming back from Cayo Coco, Cuba. Our first family trip to our friend’s destination wedding. What a trip! Just a few days back before the world shut down.

It was our kids first time on an airplane to an island resort. They proved to be good travellers. I was glad they weren’t babies anymore so we could travel comfortably. A new phase in our life….finally!!

We got there at midnight just on time to settle in and rest, to do it up for the next day for the wedding.

The Cuban sun, the ocean, the live music, surrounded by the love under the gazebo makes me nostalgic. The wedding was the sweetest and so special. I got really emotional to be with my family friends and seeing everyone bond all week. Best time of our lives.

It was the perfect formula for the best party ever! (Bruises from Heavy Metal clashing with boardwalk posts are not applicable). Fantastic, fantastic time.

Bonding with my kids as they experience a destination wedding with some Cuban resort culture, the calm blue ocean, hamburguesas and papa fritas at the 24-hour snack bar, swimming with dolphins…………………………………………….

Ok, let me tell you the truth.

I didn’t want to do it. I have a phobia of swimming with fish, never mind a dolphin!

But it was a generous gift from the bride and groom……

Everyone else already went days before. So it was just my family of five. Me – who had a phobia, my husband who doesn’t swim, my kids who were a little scared – but it would be so rude not to go!

Hype, hype, hype, hype – all week. We could do this. We have to do this!

Suck it up buttercup!

“Ok family.” said the dolphin trainer, as he motioned for us to come forward so he can explain what to do.

“Pay attention!” He snapped at my 5 year-old who needed the discipline before getting in the water.

I climbed down the ladder first into the water, then my kids followed one by one. I grabbed them all in a line and started swimming. I saw a school of striped fish and tried so hard not to freak out – Eebie Jeebies- the worst kind – as I had my youngest in my arms facing him the wrong way submerging his face a little.

“His face! Wrong way!” My husband yelled out from the dock.

I got side-tracked to see where the dolphins were and saw the trainers dump the bloody bucket of chum.

The Eebie Jeebies scaled up high, running up and down my spine. Good thing the lifejacket held me up.

Show calm for the kids. It’s fine, it’s a once in a lifetime experience. It’s all good. I couldn’t tell the difference between my sweat and the warm Cuban ocean.

The trainer blew the whistle. Here they come, one for each end of our linked arms.

I was always curious to swim with dolphins even though I CANNOT swim with fish. This is really happening!

Enjoy the moment, especially if my kids were doing great! Is what I had to tell myself to see the bigger picture – that no one was crying or freaking out. We were actually having a good time. More curious than scared. This is unbelievable! Another memory engraved in our minds. Thanks to the bride and groom for these long-lasting memories.

The dolphins danced, sang, splashed, and jumped around us. We got to rub their bellies…..

Here comes the kiss…its beak pushing hard against my face. So strong that I had to tread harder to stay in one spot. It was a long kiss. I think this dolphin likes me!