We know how we began. You walked into that tattoo party on the Upper West Side, late as fuck. I don’t know what the topic of discussion was but with confidence you joined right in with your distinct voice and accent and them muscles and said your peace. Then you left the main room, went into the back room where the tattoos were taking place and right after you left there were whispers.
- “Who is he?”
- “What’s his name?”
- “What’s his story?”
- “Damn, he’s fine.”
Me. I cannot live in whispers. I can’t sit in a room full of women fawning after a man, wondering about shit. Nope! I got my ass up, walked into that back room, tapped you on your shoulder and I said, “Whats your name and do you have a boo?” I wanted to be all up in your business. You took it in stride.
“My name is Fedler.”
“I’m Sheena. So do you have a boo?”
You laughed a slightly nervous laugh. Maybe you thought, “Who the fuck is this girl?”
I kept waiting on my answer.
You affirmed your situation. I said it was nice to meet you and went back to the main room.
“His name is Fedler,” I announced. “And, he has a boo. I asked.”
That’s how we began in November of 2014. Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahah.
I honestly don’t remember what happened next or how our friendship became what it is today. I don’t know what the tipping point was. I just know that all of sudden, you became a huge part of my life.
To date, you’ve attended every single “Weekend with Friends” house. From the Hamptons to Maryland to Vermont and I’ll see you in Seattle in 2017. Its amazing to know I can travel with you for a long weekend and stay in a house and play and eat and build and we enjoy ourselves and have lots of fun. And each time we grow closer.
Our group trips are usually filled with our freestyle dance numbers because we have some sort of chemistry that draws us in motion when we are in proximity of each other. I think in another life we were dance partners who traveled the world leading workshops and winning all the competitions. Though I don’t know what genre we’d be categorized as.
This is how I need dinner to be prepared. #KitchenCounterLit All new baes must boil water like you do!
A video posted by Sheena LaShay (@sheenalashay) on
Images and videos of our dances are all over the internets and in the streets. Usually they are impromptu like that number we did at Mo’s in Brooklyn or what happened at one of our several strip club meetups. I will never forget that ten minute number that was so intense, the strippers stopped dancing to watch us. Security watched us. Pretty much everyone stopped to watch our number. We even made money, though one stripper was taking some of our tips. Following that number, we received this feedback.
“I shout out Sheena and Fedler for their Sin City rendition of the Lambada. We all enjoyed watching it.” – Alana Gardner, November of 2015.
This isn’t the extent of our friendship though. There is also…TOUGH MUDDER. I think all friendships go to another level when you complete a Tough Mudder together and to date, with a small group of our friends, we have completed two of them, with the third slated for March of 2017 in New Orleans.
For those who don’t know, Tough Mudder isn’t a race. Its a military styled, 12-15 mile course set in mud, water and ice with about 20+ obstacles that you must complete as a team. AS A TEAM. No man is left behind. It takes personal strength including mental strength but its done as a team. It binds you to people in a way that I don’t have words for. This is a part of our story. Overcoming this challenge together. Several times. During these team challenges, I was able to see more of your patience, empathy, will, grit and courage. I know we can dance together and command the attention of a room while vibing off each other in perfect flow. But I also know if I get stuck on an island or its survival of the fittest or shit hits the fan or the zombies fucking attack, you will be by my side, whether you want to be or not.
Our love story goes beyong that though. From the Think Tank Brunch on the state of America and this race shit to the Consentual Panel exploring sexual behaviors, deviances & culture norms within subcultures to that EPIC Back Room 1920’s themed speakeasy meetup, our friendship has such a range of interest and experiences. When I’m in the bliss of my gratitude, often I have to write love notes to you explaining just what you do to me because our time together is phenomenal.
“Fedler, Thank you, for causing scenes with me.” – Sheena LaShay to Fedler, September 2015
“Fedler. Boo. The sound of your voice brings me peace. The ease of your petty brings me joy. The touch of your abs make me tingle. And your spirit and compassion and love and kindness is just sooo fucking good for this world.” – Sheena LaShay to Fedler, April 2016
“I’m grateful for Fedler. He’s kind, loving, honest and consistent. I need all those things.” – Sheena LaShay to Fedler, April 2016
But we go beyond that too. In many of our conversations, you’ve alluded to how you know there’s something to my story and that you know I’ve written on it publicly but you don’t want to read my blog posts. You said you were patiently waiting for the day when I sat, looked you in my eye and organically told you my story. So months after promising to take you on a date, I did just that. Our night began at the gorgeous speakeasy Dear Irving and then transitioned to Spice. And during that long, beautiful date, we both shared more of ourselves with each other. I finally told you my story and you told me more of yours. I cried telling you how Kerlly saved my life because of Ice Cream. Our friendship has been deep and vast for quite a while but I think that was another level of connection we found that night. Thank you for holding space and even giving of yourself to me.
Prior to this, we’ve had many other instances of connection. You were one of the first to know about a new budding love and you were there when it ended. And after it ended, we sat in a living room and you were “trying” to be a good friend by being a shoulder to lean on but you said you had some strong opinions and didn’t know if you could share them. “Go ahead, Fedler. Say what you want to say,” I told you. And you unleashed all your frustrations and theories and feelings and how you thought I needed to proceed and you keep telling me to protect my energy. I just listened. I didn’t agree with it all. In fact, I thought some of your comments were bias or limited based on the uniqueness of your perspective. I even think some of your thoughts were a conflict of interest.
But it didn’t matter. You are my friend and you had something to say. You asked me if you could speak bluntly and I knew my heart could take it. And I just sat and listened and received. I didn’t fight back. I didn’t question you. I didn’t take notes to point out later. I didn’t suck my teeth. I didn’t make a petty face. I didn’t negate you. Sure, days and weeks later, I thought of the various things you said and had my own personal, private thoughts on them. But in the moment, all I did was listen and remain open. You commented on that too. How you didn’t know if I would be able to do that but I did. How it showed maturity on my part. How it was one of the reasons you loved me. Fedler, I expect that level of truth and rawness from my friends. I expect the grit. I don’t ever want you to tell me what you think I want to hear. And luckily, our friendship has been just that. You say the fucking thing. And I say the fucking thing. And we disagree on many things at times. But we disagree with honesty and integrity and truth and compassion. We let our perspectives bring us closer together versus creating boundaries that could rip us apart. I love that about us.
But we don’t always disagree. Often, we’re too busy swooning over one another.
Fedler: So…this was just on my spirit to say to you this morning. We are all full of flaws, strengths and differences. Some people tend to focus on disliking us because our flaws, or because of our strengths and differences that highlight their insecurities. I just want you to know I think you’re amazing through all of the above. Whenever there is a difference I dislike, I celebrate our uniqueness; when it’s one that strokes an insecurity, I embrace the opportunity for my personal growth; when it’s a strength that gives me life, I celebrate your blessing; and when it’s a flaw I can’t rock with, I note it and move the fuck along. With that being said, I appreciate you for you, and the inspiration and greatness you strive to exude every day. I hope you appreciate who you are and are becoming because you’re giving a voice to some many whom haven’t found it for themselves.
Sheena: Oh sigh. Thank you, my dear. This means such a great deal to me right now. I needed this reminder and this push and this encouragement
Fedler: You’re welcome
Sheena: I love and adore you!!!
Sheena: You’re magic!
Fedler: So we are a couplee then right?
Sheena: Hahahaha. Right. It’s our anniversary anyway
Fedler: There’s levels to why I admire you
Fedler: I don’t think you understand how much I adore you. Just a reminder.
Sheena: Omg. thank you my love. What prompted that?
Fedler: Reflection and your last status.
Sheena: Awww. Thank you love. You know I adore you!
Fedler: You helped me realize how great I am, and how much greater I can be. A lot has happened before I met you and has personally put me in some unusual uncomfortable spaces. Been working through them, but with just the amount of things you achieve in little time, it lets me know the work can be done.
Sheena: Its so true. And you are great Fedler. I don’t fuck with “less thans.”
Fedler: Thanks…I am definitely a terrible friend to myself…like I mentioned on the panel. I’ve always been the overachiever and when things started to fundamentally change for me…I became of worst enemy. Hopefully we have our date soon…and we can talk more
Sheena: Yes, I was thinking about that. We need to schedule our date!
I’ll close my letter with some YUM, my dear. Earlier this year, my classmates at my dance studio told me how handsome my boyfriend was. I was a bit taken aback. Those in my inner circle know the details of my life but others do not because I’m a private person. So I was like, “Ummm, I don’t fuck ugly men but how you know he’s handsome?” The girls giggled. “Umm, we see all those pictures on instagram and facebook of you two together!” I had a slight panicky moment wondering if I hit publish on private albums and then it clicked immediately. I texted you.
They, along with many others have thought we were a couple because of that natural energy we share. We simply can’t help ourselves. One of my favorite moments was sort of blindsiding you once, when you came to the Sweet Spot to support me, as it was my first time performing on stage. I texted you while you were on your way.
Most people would say, “FUCK NO.” Not you. Not with US. Instead, you let me have my way and you joined me on stage. You’re always up for the adventure even if its me using your body. Our performance is below. But what I’d like to close with though is that this level of intimacy, trust and connection is because we took the intentional and deliberate time to build it. We are friends. We are active parts of each other’s lives. Your Aust Rose is MY Aunt Rose. We create together. We travel together. We cry together. We feast together. We share ourselves with each other. We check in. We support one another. And our energies are aligned which allows for the freedom of expression. Often, I think people see the way we vibe and they see our outgoing nature and they make assumptions about us as individuals or us as a supposed couple or they make assumptions about how they can interact with us. Its funny because we’re both introverts. We’re both empaths. We’re both uber picky about our circles. But naturally, we were led to one another. (Well, I got up in your business and you let me.) And in being led to one another, we invested into each other’s souls. That allows for the freedom of expression. The dances at strip clubs or bars or on stage in front of 300 hundred strangers. It allows for Tough Mudder. For “Weekend with Friends.” For panel discussions and heart breaking yet encouraging talks on what it means to be Black in America. It allows for you to check me when I give plot points to people who shouldn’t have a storyline and it allows for you to check me when my empathy is non-existent for a moment. It allows for our magic.
Everyone doesn’t get to experience the Fedler magic but somehow I did. And I’m grateful. I love you and thank you. Thank you for letting me be all of me even the parts you don’t agree with. Thank you for holding space and giving love to the totality of my existence. You are one of my safe spaces Fedler. I said that during our last panel talk. I know that if I’m somewhere and you’re there, I am protected. There’s not a lot of places I can be safe…especially when expressing my sensuality and my movement and you are my safe space. You are my love.
#32LoveLetters is a 32 day blog post challenge leading up to my 32nd birthday, I am writing letters to the people in my life who contributed to me becoming fully myself as a Wild Magical Woman. If someone were to write a biography about me…which they will, it’s imperative that chapters are focused on these 32 people. They have had a profound, lasting and influential effect on my life. I can not tell my own story without telling you of theirs.