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  • Salisha

Out for my daily walk though the park. Stopped by the post office. Got so excited when I saw they had Scooby Doo stamps that I bought a whole bunch before remembering I’m a grown woman now. 

I hop back in the park, with my hand making sure my new Scooby stamps are safe and secure in my jean pocket. It’s so beautiful out. The trees are all yellow, orange, and purple. It had been raining earlier here in New York. The rain had since stopped but the air was so dewy this afternoon that after only a few minutes of being outside, my eyelashes were wet. 

I tell myself, don’t you dare even glance at your phone for the next two hours while you’re out here in all this beauty.  

I keep walking. Breathing. Enjoying. 


For a moment, life seemed so tranquil and peaceful that I briefly forgot that 2020 has been such a shit storm. There in the park, life felt—perfect. 


I keep walking. 


It’s so pleasant and blissful out that today I don’t even mind the hills. I pass a cutie jogging by. When we make eye contact, I notice the wrinkles around his eyes, letting me know there’s a warm smile under his mask. 


I keep walking. Thinking. Telling God how grateful I am. And then, I hear a scream. 

I stop. I wait. 

…..

I hear a scream again…… OK…. are they kids playing? No…. that’s definitely someone older. Are they playing around?.... I wait. 

More screaming. I can now identify it’s a grown man WAILING. 

I walk a few steps. I stop. *thinking thinking* What do I do? Someone is in deep distress. He sounds like he’s being MURDERED. Am I in danger… if I leave, is that man about to die… if I go up there, what if the person inflicting the pain is still there? What am I gone do? Choke him with my stamps? Naw girl. Stay out of the way. Stay quiet. And call for help. 


I call the cops. 

Dispatcher: 911 What’s your emergency.

Me: someone is screaming bloody murder in the park. I can’t see him but he sounds like he is in a lot of pain. 

Dispatcher: where are you. 


Y’all. I was in the middle of a FOREST. Yes, that exists in New York City. 

Me: North of The Cloisters. I’m in between a yellow tree and a green tree. *rolling eyes at myself. SALISHA NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO BE FUNNY.* Girl I don’t know! I’m in the middle of a forest. 

Dispatcher: Got it. Help is on the way. 


Meanwhile, while I was still on the phone with the police, a girl jogs by me. She hears the screaming. She goes, “Woah. What was that?!” 

I give her the lowdown. She then proceeds to yell in the direction, HEY! Are you OKAY! HEY HEY!

I wanted to whisper, ‘Girl, you BOUT to get us both killed. Shut. UP.’ Clearly we were in a Halloween Horror movie. And we all know when something dumb happens, who’s the first to die? I digress. 


She jogs away. I’m off the phone with the police now. But the way I’m walking, I would have to get closer to where the yelling is coming from in order to pass it. I proceed with caution……

I intersect with a boy coming from the direction of the screaming. I look at him like ‘what’s going on.’ He says, ‘The cops are coming. I’m meeting them on Broadway.’ 


I secretly wonder: is he a good guy? Or did he cause the pain. 


When I turn and look behind him, there’s the man. SCREAMING. Looking me dead in the eyes. PLEADING for help.  He’s COVERED in blood. If there wasn’t a man standing very close to him smoking a cigar, I’m not sure if I would have run to him. I have no idea. But I didn’t want to leave him. 


The boy who had left to meet the cops said he got beat up. WHO beat him up? Was the bad guy still around?

I decided to NOT stick around. And I went and found cops that I knew were closer than on Broadway. 

I found four cop cars. I flag them down. I’m flanked by police on all sides as they’re following me THROUGH THE WOODS. I’m telling them the whole story. They were such a captive audience, but anyway.

A few bystanders decide they want to follow too. *rolls eyes*


*lots of details*

LONG STORY SHORT, the guy covered in blood was whisked away in an ambulance. When I had parted ways with the police, this really hot guy (which reminded me of the guy in my most favorite book ever Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid) was like, “OMG Are you okay? I saw those cops around you and I wasn’t sure  if you were alright!” And I said almost laughing, “But did you have my back?! Were you filming?! Did you get it on tape?!” 


I told him that I was fine and what had happened. It was calming to debrief with this perfect stranger. Meanwhile, a cop car drove by and the boy who was on the phone with the cops was sitting in the backseat. No clue how that unfolded. He didn’t look upset though. He saw me through the window and gave me a head nod like he was okay. They may have just been giving him a ride. 


Anyway. I’m safe. And I hope that man is going to be OK. And now that I’ve just finished writing this, I realized I left my Scooby stamps in my pocket. I would have been looking all over for those. 


IG: @salishathomas

He slips into my DMs. Hey baby, looking for a sugar baby. I will pay your rent, your bills and give you $5000 allowance per week. Just need a companion.

Hilarious. OBVIOUSLY this is not a thing. I call my friend to tell her so I can share this hilarious message with someone. Between laughter, she tells me she knows people who do this for a living.

PAUSE.

I’m sorry what?

After extensive research down a google rabbit hole, y’all this is ABSOLUTELY a thing. My brain is about to explode as the realization that I’ve been dating older guys most of my life… for FREE. That although there’s different types of sugar daddies, you don’t have to have sex with them. And even better—SOME JUST WANT TO TALK ON THE PHONE. I’m like, wait what?! If this is a thing, THIS IS THE GIG. BRING ON THE PRADA BAGS. Instead of it being a huge joke, I’m now beginning to feel cautiously optimistic with a healthy dose of skepticism.

I write my pending sugar daddy back: Go on. I’m listening…

He’s cute. He lives in Florida. He has a dog. He just wants a digital sugar baby. Phone and text.

I sit in silence. Thinking. Wondering. Googling: Is this illegal. Can I go to JAIL.

No. and No. Well what the heck is the catch? THERE HAS TO BE A CATCH. Other than the fact that I wouldn’t really be able to tell anybody…kinda seems a little gold-diggerish if you ask me. But hey, I didn’t seek it out. It seems to have fallen in my lap. Who am I to turn down a financial blessing in the middle of a global pandemic in a world where how I make my living doesn’t exist at the moment?

I sit in more silence. Listening to my gut. Asking myself, but is it safe? And also, if this is indeed a thing, I could have been a millionaire long ago. I don’t even have to see him in person?! The real question is, is there a maximum number of sugar daddies one girl can have?

Pending Sugar Daddy and I message back and forth. I notice he mixes up his you’re/yours and they/they’re/theirs. RED FLAG.

I notice he’s not great at making conversation over messages. And if he’s looking to spend THAT much money on a “companion” over messages…that’s another RED FLAG.

I notice he’s offered me more money than the Sugar Baby average that google reports. I think about it. But then I’m like…yeah…I’m pretty expensive. And I’m worth it. But then again… a good businessman would start lower and then be willing to negotiate up. RED FLAG.

I’m starting to feel like…yeah. There’s no way THIS dude is for real. Even though this actually is a thing and many people do it, I think this guy is full of you know what. Any man who is that rich, who can afford a sugar baby at those rates, he’s got to be very intelligent. Right? You don’t get that rich by being a dumbass. Right? Surely you’re able to form a sentence. And he has some mighty trouble forming a sentence.

So I decide to not trust him. (Phew! Amiright?) BUT, if you know me, you know I live for a good rollercoaster of events. So I play along until the SCAM part reveals itself and becomes full blown. Now, the worst-case scenario becomes that if I actually receive a $5000 deposit, I’m a freaking sugar baby! LOL! AAHHH!!

I call up PayPal. I talk to a representative to make sure I’m protected from shady ass peeps. They give me the lowdown. They’re in my corner. I give my paypal link to Pending Sugar Daddy.

He seems eager to get started. I don’t blame him. I’m cute. Haha.

BUT THEN, he says he needs to talk to his manager about the transfer.

AND THEN he says I have to message the manager myself.

I’m like… And so it begins. I keep my best friend in the loop every step of the way. The “manager” can ALSO barely form a sentence. I’m thinking, Jeeze. They could try a little harder. He tells me he’s initiating the transfer. I look at Vanessa. I’m like, “GIRL. What do I do if they actually send me the money?!” We start laughing. She’s like… “You will officially be the winner of life. Spend it immediately.”

The manager starts sending me screenshots of the transaction. And BOOM like a ton of bricks, I feel in my spirit EXIT. NOW. At the exact same time, Vanessa receives a phone call and it rings out loud. I say, do you need to get that? She says causally, “Naw. It literally says Scam Alert.”

She literally was receiving a phone call that said SCAM ALERT that had nothing to do with me. But had everything to do with me. I can just picture my Guides on the other side being like, THIS SIGN IS FOR YOU, SALISHA! ARE YOU LISTENING?!

You bet I’m listening.

Right then, the manager says, “You have not much time to get a redeemable card so I can confirm your payment.”

They want me to upload X amount of money so that I can complete the transfer. HA!

I didn’t remember PayPal mentioning that I would need to upload money to complete a transfer: BECAUSE THAT’S NOT HOW IT WORKS.

Man. If I was an undercover cop, I would have gotten them!

I message back the manager: No thanks. I’m out.

I message back Pending Sugar Daddy: Cold hard cash. Or I’m out. (lol, who am I.)

Vanessa and I are literally laughing at these guys as they actually try and convince me that it’s for real. It reminded me of the time that the “IRS” called me on the phone to yell at me. I’m like… hmmm….First of all, I didn’t do anything wrong. And I don’t owe them anything. Secondly, I feel like they would just send snail mail or show up on the doorstep. You feel me? They don’t yell at people because they don’t need to do that.

ANYWAY.  I’m safe. I don’t have a sugar daddy. It would have been kind of exciting. But, God’s provided for me just fine in this time of WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON IN THE WORLD. Although I have no idea what the future brings, I’ll just keep planting seeds and trusting that God will keep being my provider. And I’m also keeping my fingers crossed that the man in my life can form a sentence. 

  • Salisha

One of the things I learned from pageants is to 1) Have an opinion and 2) be able to voice that opinion in a way that doesn’t offend anybody. Doing that successfully is an art and a skill that has taken many years for me to develop. It’s an art and a skill that today: is useless.


We are living in a world today where silence is synonymous with racism and bigotry. Not speaking up during Black Lives Matter is quietly saying that you wish the whole thing would just go away. There’s an entire silent group of people, that quietly went to the polls and put someone in office that said that painting Black Lives Matter on Fifth Avenue was a hate crime. 

The other side of the coin, is speaking up. But in Order to speak up, we have to say things that are uncomfortable. I honestly cringe when people ask me to sit on panels and talk about my experience as a black woman. I cringe because of COURSE I have stories. Stories that I’ve kept to myself because that’s just the way it’s always been. Stories that I know will make someone feel bad. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a woman or a minority or maybe just an empath, but I HATE when I make someone feel bad. It’s a HORRIBLE feeling for me. I will go to extreme lengths to make those around me feel comfortable, even if my own dignity is at stake. Literally, this is a YIKES for so many reasons. 


Aside from me stepping into my grown woman self, it’s 2020 and that means the stakes have never been higher to stand up for what you believe in. Stand up or be on the wrong side of history. Stand up so that when our children ask what we did during this historic time we can TELL them we took action. People will be uncomfortable. Do it anyway. Say it anyway. If you feel something ringing in the depths of your soul, listen to that and speak up!


YOUNG PEOPLE. IF YOURE READING THIS, GO TO VOTE.ORG AND APPLY FOR A MAIL IN BALLOT. It’s so fast and so easy. And SO IMPORTANT. Send it in as soon as you can in case there are delays. Back in the day, for a black person to vote, they would have to first guess how many jelly beans were in a jar. And if they were wrong, they were denied voting privileges. This is one of many cruel ways to suppress our vote. Now, the sitting president is trying to suppress EVERYONES vote regardless of color by making it as difficult as possible. DO NOT LET THIS STOP YOU. We have to vote like our democracy depends on it. We have to vote like our lives depend on it—BECAUSE IT DOES. 


I have to admit that this was the first year I’ve ever watch the Democratic National Convention. And quite honestly, I was glued to the screen, feeling a sense of hope and that maybe the America that I love isn’t gone forever. I’m so proud of that little boy with the speech impediment that spoke on that national stage last night. And I’m proud of Biden for his powerful speech as well. 

The candidates aren’t perfect, but I believe they are what the Nation needs in this moment in history. 


Please, exercise your right— and vote. 

Salisha Thomas




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