“You have great skin!”
“Wait, you’re 43?”
“What’s your skin routine?”
I get questions like this often. I mean, enough to not only boost my confidence but to think, “Maybe, I should share my nightly skincare routine?”
Although the skin is the body’s largest organ, unlike your other organs, it’s fairly unprotected from outside elements. I try to create a barrier, inside and out. I hydrate as much as possible via drinking water and mineral water facial spray. I have oily skin so I use an oil-based cleanser followed by a moisture-rich cleanser, use rosewater based toner, moisturizing oil, and sunscreen. I exfoliate as needed and stay clear of any “peeling” type of mask. Also, I don’t care how tired I am, I never go to sleep with makeup. Lastly, I try to get in as many hours of sleep as possible.
Possible. It’s been impossible to sleep lately. You see like skin, as a Black Woman, I remain mostly unprotected. I can’t sleep, I’m just in bed.
Bed. In bed wide awake after my nightly skincare routine. I grab a book, currently rereading the Harry Potter series, or watch a movie of Corey’s choice until he falls asleep. It usually takes us, and by “us”, I mean him 3 or 4 nights to complete a movie. By then I know the lines and completely agree with the poor Rotten Tomato ratings. I take off his glasses, kiss him goodnight, and remind Ava not to stay on the phone all night. Finally check the next day’s to-do-list, that I’ve been meaning to look at since dinner and then I just think…
Think. I think that while I’m in bed, it has been 164 days since Breonna Taylor completed her final nightly skincare routine.
Routine. How is it routine to raid a home in the middle of the night after the suspect you were looking for had already been apprehended? In a time where everything is filmed, there were no body cameras. How do you raid a home without much of if any probable cause? As the 911 call states, kicking down a door without even stating your name?
Name. Say her name! It has been 164 days since the light of a 26yr old woman was maliciously put out by officers of the Louisville police department. Yes, I said maliciously as any gun owner will tell you one shot could be accidental or considered careless even. 10 ROUNDS, 10 ROUNDS that is intentional, malicious, and coming from a place of pure hatred.
Hatred. As a black womxn in these United States, hatred is something all too familiar. It’s woven into the patchwork of our lives from birth. From the conditioned self-hate of the family “Is your baby going to have good hair.” “Look at the baby’s hands, they’re going to be dark.” “Why did she name that baby that, she’s never going to get a job.” To the widely accepted and never looked at medical professionals “Is dad in the picture?”, “Have you signed up for W. I.C. yet?” That night though, that fateful night on March 13, 2020, amid the onset of a pandemic, did Breonna feel free of the outside world’s hate? Did Breonna behind the walls of her home with the man that she loved beside her feel, safe?
Safe. I worry so much about my girls, my husband, every black child, and man I see, but do I feel safe? Kenneth Walker did exactly what Corey would do. Kenneth Walker, grabbed his gun to protect himself and his love. I wonder if like Corey, he told Breonna to stay back. I can hear Corey now, “Grab the girls and stay in the room.” Now I don’t feel safe, I need to get more familiar with the gun safe. I need to go to the range.
Range. Breonna was 26yr old. At 26, I can remember the range of emotions, goals, and ideas. I was expecting with Ava and had so many big dreams. Breonna wanted a family. She saved lives for a living imagine what it would have been like for her to bring life into this world. Did she have the names picked out? Did she daydream of having children before being murdered that night?
Night. The night used to be my favorite time of day. Was Breonna a night owl? I’m a daughter of the moon, so when the world is quiet I can finally hear my voice.
Voice. I used to listen to my dad’s old messages just to hear his voice. I wonder if Breonna’s mother does that? I wonder each night if the people I encountered throughout the day used their voice to speak out, to speak up, to fight?
So these days while still practicing my nightly routine, sleep has been challenging. Challenging because somehow although a homicide, we have yet to have Justice for Breonna Taylor.