to my friend, “jessie,” who thought she’d never make an appearance in my blog, or, “there should be an app for discerning stupid ass phonecalls late at night.”

I don’t sleep a great deal.

I haven’t really slept much at all, actually, for the past 11 years.

Part of this pseudo-insomnia is a result of my rigorous work schedule.

Another part, still–a function of my active social calendar.

I am forced to concede, however, the lion’s share of my sleepless nights are directly attributable to my overall sketchy character.

A peaceful night’s slumber is a luxury shady girls can little afford.

So, as you might imagine, I was more than a bit frustrated when my phone rang at 4:33 am, Friday night/Saturday morning.

What follows is the exchange I had with my girl, “Jessie,” as best I can remember it.

Me: “I just know that this is an emergency.”

“Jessie”: “I think I’m going to be celibate.”

Me: “But, I’m confused, ‘cos, when there’s an emergency there’s usually some indicator of imminent danger.”

“Jessie”: “I’m serious. I’m thinking I’m gonna be celibate.”

Me: “And I can’t hear any indicators of imminent danger. No sirens. No screams. No muffled murmurs of a would-be rapist at your anal cavity.”

“Jessie”: “Can you please be serious? I’m thinking of becoming celibate.”

Me: “You’re gonna sell-a-what?”

“Jessie”: “You heard me.”

Me: “But I’m pretending that I didn’t.”

“Jessie”: “I think I’m going to make Eric wait six months until I sleep with him. Listen, when you think about it, so much of our lives are consumed by sex. But, when you think about it, truly think about it, what is really the most important thing in a relationship?”

Me: *silence*

“Jessie”: “Well?”

Me: “I was gonna say ‘sex,’ but something tells me that’s not the answer you were looking for. Can this shit wait, say…idunno, SIX MORE HOURS?”

“Jessie”: “I wanna talk about it now. I’m not giving it up until a man can show that he’s committed to me. That he wants something substantial and long term.”

Me: “Did you even look at your contacts when you made this phone call? Like, did you mean to call me? I think you need to hang up and try someone else.”

“Jessie”: “I’m serious! I wanna know what you think.”

Me: “I think you’re dumb.”

“Jessie”: “What?”

Me: “I think you’re dumb. You can’t determine how committed to you a dude is by not fucking him. Being celibate is a personal choice. You can only make that shit for you.”

“Jessie”: “So?”

Me: “ ‘So,’ while you’re out there being celibate, working on your faux-devoted-litmus test, your seemingly ‘committed’ man is going to be creeping over to the homes of broads like me by nightfall—“

“Jessie”: “WHAT?”

Me: “Broads like me who don’t set up arbitrary determinants and dress them up as legitimate indicators of future relationship success.”

“Jessie”: “Why are you being so harsh about it?”

Me: “This is only the third conversation I’ve had like this in the last month. Apparently this celibacy shit is catching. Did a bunch of sad bitches get together and read a book about it without me?”

“Jessie”: “Fooler—“

Me: “I don’t ever get invited to the sad bitches conventions anymore. You ain’t never seen rejection til a group of unhappy bitches don’t want you around no more.”

“Jessie”: “So how am I supposed to tell if a guy is for real or not if the first thing I do when I meet him is jump into bed with him?”

Me: “I like to wait til he’s asleep and try to steal a little black, nappy tendril of his hair.”

“Jessie”: “Fooler—“

Me: “If I set fire to it, and it burns up into a little stinky afro-crisp, he’s a good man.”

“Jessie”: “I fucking hate you.”

Me: “But if it just sits there and stays nappy, in defiance of the flame—“

“Jessie”: “I hope you die.”

Me: “Then he dances with the devil under the pale moonlight.”

“Jessie”: “I want to be wined and dined. Don’t you want to be wined and dined? Don’t even pretend like you don’t. I miss just spending time with a guy. Just cuddled up next to him, under him. I just want someone to hold me, and rub my feet—“

Me: “I don’t like it when people fuck with my feet—“

“Jessie”: “and tell me how much he likes me. I just want us to be with each other; to spend all day with each other on a rainy afternoon, just—idunno. Experiencing each other. Don’t you want to do that?”

Me: “ *sigh*”

“Jessie”: “See!!! Even you think that sounds nice.”

Me: “Do you know what bloody time it is?”

“Jessie”: “Admit it. Everything I said sounds nice.”

Me: “It’s so wrong of you to subject me to this when my defenses are down. I really just want to go to sleep.”

“Jessie”: “Not before you admit that everything I said sounds good.”


“Jessie”: “I knew it!”

Me: “Whatever.”

“Jessie”: “You want the same thing as me. I knew it.”

Me: “Mmmhmm. Only I think that the afternoon would be rounded off quite nicely with some sex at the end.”

“Jessie”: “Sex ruins things. Sex makes things complicated.”

Me, sitting upright: “Look. I’m going to say this, and then I’m going to hang up. And we will have to either agree to disagree, or whatever. You know what my biggest problem with criminal practice is? Motherfuckers don’t have any sense of accountability. My ability to create a defense for you; my ability to create a smokescreen out of an illegal stop or an illegal search doesn’t negate the fact that you have a quarter of an ounce in your console. Sex isn’t a person. Sex isn’t a real, sentient being. You can’t blame sex for anything. If you have a problem with the way you handle shit with men after having sex with them, the issue isn’t the sex. It’s your faulty handling. If you think dudes dog you out after you’ve had sex with them, the problem isn’t the sex you had. It’s the dude you had sex with. A good man isn’t a better man because he was willing to jump through five million fiery hoops just to bone your raggedy ass. In fact, in my mind, he’s a chump—“

“Jessie”: “You think he’s a chump because he’s patient and will wait?”

Me: “I think he’s a chump because he’s agreed to let you set some ridiculous terms, based on no established rationale in particular. Y’all are two grown people. You want to have sex with each other. You’ve had sex with men before—countless men, I might add—“

“Jessie”: “Easy, there—“

Me: “and now, for no reason whatsoever, Eric, having committed no harm or foul against you, has to wait while you lock it up for God knows how long, until your designated start date. That’s dumb. And by the way, that’s NOT celibacy.”

“Jessie”: “How is it—“

Me: “Look. If you know when you’re not gonna be celibate anymore; like if you have a ‘get some’ start date that isn’t marriage, you’re not celibate. You’re just being grown and not banging anything that moves. There is no problem in waiting until you’re comfortable to have sex with someone. But that’s not celibacy. That’s what anyone who’s not a slamwhore does. But having a six month rule; holding out as leverage to assess someone’s goodness—that’s wack.”

“Jessie”: “I just want things to stay nice. I want him to take me out, and treat me like a lady. I want him to open doors for me, and call when he says he will. Send me ‘Just Because’ flowers.”

Me: “Then tell him you’re a high maintenance broad, and be done with it. This shit isn’t rocket science. I don’t know why you insist on all of this game-playing. I don’t have that kind of time. And speaking of which, yours is about up. I’m going to bed. Don’t call me anymore.”

“Jessie”: “You know what your problem is?”

Me: “Sleep deprivation and worrisome-ass friends who refuse to marry ‘shut’ and ‘the fuck up’?”

“Jessie”: “You’re not a romantic. At least you refuse to show it if you are. There’s no shame in it you, know.”

Me: “Hanging up—“

“Jessie”: “I bet you are one. You play so tough, but I bet you’ve done your share of swooning—“

**dial tone**

I noticed, with disgust, traces of pale blue creeping through my curtains, and saw that the time on my phone read 5:17. Turning it off completely, I returned my head to my pillow.

Unable to get comfortable, I shuffled the pillow a solid three times before casting it aside, entirely, and resting my head on my arms.

I sat up, suddenly, upon hearing a nearly-inaudible “thud” hit my hardwood floor with the pillow.

Reaching down, I felt around until I found the sound’s origins.

In the palm of my hand I clutched one, pale pink copy of Love Poems of Pablo Neruda.

I put the book down, and closed my eyes, to usher in sleep, but not before saying to no one in particular, “I fucking hate ‘Jessie.’”


16 Responses to “to my friend, “jessie,” who thought she’d never make an appearance in my blog, or, “there should be an app for discerning stupid ass phonecalls late at night.””

  1. 1 Jiro
    May 31, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Well done. Are you really this level headed and pragmatic or is this your “blog” persona? I don’t really doubt that you are, but considering that I know a lot of “Jessies” I just have to ask.

  2. 2 She
    May 31, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Great read. I know a couple “Jessies” who could stand to read this (forwarding), that or a swift kick to the head. Either way.

  3. 3 bean214
    May 31, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    This is amazing. As usual 😉

    “Me: “Did you even look at your contacts when you made this phone call? Like, did you mean to call me? I think you need to hang up and try someone else.”


  4. May 31, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Unfortunately your girl doesn’t have the leverage to set such constraints because the numbers aren’t in her favor. Do you know how many women a single man can run through in six months? At least 6- that’s new ones. old ones don’t count. Me and my boys always say you should be able to get 12 new chicks a year because it shouldn’t take you more than a month to sleep with a woman you just met.

    Me personally- you probably only have my undivided attention for 10 days. If I meet you on Thursday by the next Saturday I’ve inevitably met somebody who either looks better, makes more money, and will give it up easier- sometimes all three.

    So yeah, tell your girl she can go Steve Harvey if she wants but dudes, well me and guys I know, don’t have the time nor patience for that. If I’m gonna go through 6 months of door opening, pillow talking, hand holding, flower sending, feet rubbing, breakfast in bed making, dog walking hazing and the only nuts I get are the ones I manufacture on my own she better have a pot of gold in her vagina. Chances are Fort Knox doesn’t have a stash in between her legs. Chances are also I will not speak with her after the second Sunday.

  5. May 31, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Having said that, I am also the cakingest dude any of my boys know. So just because she’s sleeping with me doesn’t mean she can’t get all those things she wants while we’re having sex and doing all that relationship esque stuff. But no guy is gonna act like he’s in a good relationship and not reap the fruits of his labor.

  6. 6 poyesha
    June 1, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    “Jessie”: “You know what your problem is?”

    Me: “Sleep deprivation and worrisome-ass friends who refuse to marry ‘shut’ and ‘the fuck up’?”

    this is too funny & reminds me of my advice to my friends

  7. June 1, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    BRAV-FUCKING-O!!! I couldn’t have said this better myself. Just this weekend, some 20 year old on Twitter responded to one of my rants on adult virgins with some idealistic bullshit about waiting until she’s married. My thing is and has always been…what sucka is really sitting around waiting until YOU decide HE’S good enough? Somebody out there is selling these sad heffas the dream. Well done.

  8. 8 Angela
    June 1, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Again a good laugh….I love this!

  9. 9 yet another damn attorney
    June 1, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Damn… so there IS a female version of me…

  10. 10 DICooper
    June 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    To paraphrase the magnanimous pimp, Filmore Slim “pussy will sell when cotton and corn won’t” and Chris Rock said that dick doesn’t cost any money. I’m kind of on old man status but I’m a firm believer in the old maxim “you get what you pay for.”

    Now to address some of the other comments. I scoff at the idea of bedding 12 brand new one’s a year. Obviously this “man” has never spent a semester at an HBCU where the skewed ratio pushes the numbers up in the male’s favor.

    • 11 @NyceBryce
      June 4, 2010 at 6:58 pm

      I actually spent 10 semesters at Morehouse College. 12 is a rather conservative estimate in my experience.

      • 12 DICooper
        June 8, 2010 at 5:52 pm

        {In my Foghorn Leghorn voice.] I say, I say, you are aware that college is 8 semesters?

  11. June 1, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    hilarious. you do have a point. what’s with people thinking that holding out will determine if someone will be a quality partner. chances are if he’s not getting it from you he’s getting it from somewhere.

  12. June 3, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Great post. I’m so glad I found your blog. I appreciate your honesty. Your writing is impeccable. Witty/ brilliant/ words can’t describe. You are a blogging inspiration. I need to write more. More substance. Peace. OG

  13. 15 Dtothep
    June 4, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    “If you have a problem with the way you handle shit with men after having sex with them, the issue isn’t the sex. It’s your faulty handling.”

    Co-signed!! It’s disturbing when grown people don’t even see the baggage that they are carrying. The arbitrary “mental remedies” that they come up with often end up costing them exactly what they are looking for. Great read, as usual.

  14. June 9, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    You’re an AMAZING writer. I hope that you are working on a book.

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