Archive for the 'Black' Category

11
Feb
13

“Ad Vitam Aeternam,” or…”Advice to a Valentine.”

vilubj

Do not pray for Love.
Pray for Time.

The cruelest thing about Time is that it selfishly persists ever on. Time has no means to understand that what was yesterday, is today, no longer. It brutishly powers forward, ignorant of your attempts to quell the tide.

Time has no idea not too, too long ago, someone made you feel light and hopeful; shiny as a new dime. And while everything has returned to the way it was before him, nothing is quite the same.

And though he didn’t stay long enough to move furniture, or leave little this and thats behind; while there’s no abandoned and re-appropriated, over-sized tee shirt to cloak about your shrunken shoulders; no smell of him clinging to air or sheets–a vacuous, empty space, molded in the likeness of his frame, moves about your house like a specter; touching every table, chair, wall, surface like a stain.

Time is both benefactor and robber baron.

It lays expansive swaths of moment before you like an afghan, inviting you to lose yourself in the eternity of it all. And only when you are secure in the warmth of covering does it rescind itself, begging your pardon while taking its leave.

Do not pray for Love.
Pray for Time.

Because no matter how desperate the entreaty, how earnest the plea, Time advances. Moving you so far away from that briefest of windows where hope ran wild and uninhibited.

Let not your head be overly-concerned with love. Love is too extraordinary a measure for the ordinariness of us.

And though it is beset on all sides by enemies–dejected, bitter apostates of every kind—Love bears it out, a stronghold unto itself.

So do not pray for Love.
Pray for Time.

But should Time grant you Love, mind its temporality. Do not restrain it, track its movements, cluck disapproval or furrow brow when it dares dip south of your estimation–for it surely will.

Rather, say, simply:

Our moment may be brief.

 It is wasted with talk of fate. Neither do I care to consider that which is destined or pre-ordained. I do not know that I believe in all of that; that there is enough hope left in the world to even dream a scenario whereby our paths are inextricably bound.

 But in the hush of night, when all is still, you are the answer to every question my heart asks.

 Your name is the benediction at the close of each breath.

 I do not want to do anything, anything, except talk to you about nothing, and everything, until however long, whenever is, forever.

 

17
Jan
12

the unfunny post to women. and i’ll talk and you won’t listen. but for what it’s worth: keep your heart, 3 stacks.

When I was 18 years old, I fell in love for the very first time.

His name was ________   __________ and he was amazing. Tall, dark-skinned, slight of frame, beard. The most beautiful teeth I’d ever seen.

I can still tell you where I was the first time I saw him.  I was new to campus, and desperately in need of black friends. I was sitting cross legged on the floor in the Student Union building during the course of a Black Student Alliance meeting. He entered 20 minutes late with his fraternity brothers, and I was floored.

He was darker than all of them, and taller, by a head. He was wearing a pair of jeans and a wifebeater. But over the wifebeater was an open, blue workman’s shirt; the kind a mechanic would wear. A wide-brimmed straw hat rested atop his head.

He was the first man I ever wanted that I was able to make my own.

Only, he wasn’t my own.

At all.

He’d made it very clear from the beginning that he didn’t want a girlfriend.

“No titles,” he’d said. And I’d agreed.

And we hung out, messed around, went out on dates, exchanged gifts, he met my parents. But he’d been clear. No titles.

Clear as mud.

When it became evident he had a whole other non-relationship, and a smattering of women around campus, AND off of it, I was heartbroken. And confused. When I’d confronted him about his indiscretions, he’d been as tolerant as he could before the shame of it all and realization of his position had his back to a wall. Unable to withstand the hurt in my voice and accusation in my eyes, he’d shouted, in anger, “DAMNIT! YOU ARE NOOOOOOOT MY GIRL!”

I will never forget that moment. As long as I live.

We grew and changed and our lives took us into different directions. We both matured into the adults we were meant to be, and he remains one of my best friends. And we laugh about it all, today. Well, I laugh. He’s still rather ashamed, and gets defensive.

But the fact of the matter is, no matter how much I love him, today, or how my life has changed, or how I barely recognize the girl I was at eighteen, those words, and the vehemence with which they were shouted, continue to haunt me.

I knew then, that was a lesson I’d learn one time, and one time only.

I’ve never had my heart broken again.

So my question, dear readers, becomes: Why are women still learning this lesson, today? Why are grown women paying taxes, getting bikini waxes, possessing expensive gym memberships making this mistake, today?

I’m going to stand on this working hypothesis:

When a man says he does not want to be in a relationship with you, he never will.

The end.

When a man says he does not want to be in a relationship with you, he never will.

I know no one wants to hear it. I know life changes. Circumstances change. People change their minds.

He won’t.

I’m trying to save you some time, here.

He won’t.

Oh. He might change his mind about being in a relationship. Being with you and experiencing the creature comforts of boo-hood might certainly whet his palate in terms of being properly loved and cared for by a woman.

That woman just won’t be you.

Let’s examine it further.

When a man tells you he doesn’t want to be in a relationship, he is stating straight out, point blank, that he doesn’t want you.

This is so powerful because it is entirely antithetical to how we’ve been led to believe they operate. This man doesn’t even want you enough to lie to you to convince you otherwise; he doesn’t even have the time to blow smoke up your ass. He is going to tell you something he knows you don’t want to hear, and risk the chance that you will walk away. He won’t even try to sell you a dream.

Because it’s NEVER going to happen.

That’s how committed to that shit he is. He is willing to risk you WALKING AWAY rather than tell you something different. Because, he could take or leave you.

I suspect, at this juncture, many of you are in disagreement with me. You think that I’m making a broad, sweeping indictment of all non-title situations. I haven’t taken care to look in on each specific instance, and the motivators and driving factors that have led your particular breed of noncommittal man to his anti-relationship platform.

Maybe he just got out of a horrible relationship.

Maybe he just got divorced.

Maybe he’s been hurt before.

Maybe his parents never loved him so now he can’t properly process genuine affection.

That’s a bunch of bunk.

He likes sleeping with you, doesn’t he? He likes hanging around you, doesn’t he? He likes it when you cook for him, fold his drawes, and pick up brews for he and his trifling friends, doesn’t he?

That’s RELATIONSHIP SHIT.

AND HE LOOOOOOOOOOOOVES it.

What he DOESN’T love is being accountable to you. He doesn’t love being a conservator of your feelings and emotions; taking them into account and letting them influence his course of action. He doesn’t love having to come home only to you without the freedom of flirting with or sleeping with other broads.

But, that’s really neither here nor there.

The POINT is, whatever reasons he’s offered you are crap, but even if they weren’t (which, they are), they’re inconsequential. The POINT is, he has already TOLD you that he doesn’t want you for anything serious. If you want something serious, you need to get a move on.

And this isn’t a reason to be unhappy. It may be disappointing, yes, but be of good cheer.

This situation is one of the only times in life that a person will look you in the eye and tell you, outright, that if you stick around, he’s going to screw you over. This is one of the only times in the course of your entire adulthood when someone is going to tell you he has no good intentions where your heart is concerned; that this is going exactly nowhere. This man is doing you a favor. You should be grateful.

But no. You don’t see that. You see a challenge. You think you’re gonna change this man’s mind.

Now, my friend, D, a PhD candidate, and chronic over-thinker, has rather wisely pointed out the fact that women are conditioned to think this way.

D says that society has taught us, since our birth, tales of our persistence being rewarded with success. Women, specifically, have been given tricks of the trade to keep a man happy –keep quiet, don’t be too argumentative, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”—that he might somehow suddenly realize how good he’s got it and find his way back to us, back to love.

D makes a good point. And I agree.

But I suspect there is something else at play.

Arrogance.

I know.

It’s a big word. And it stings. But it’s appropriate.

Arrogance.

Something is so great about you, and your love, and your sex, and your macaroni and cheese that you can overcome his relationship trepidation.

He hasn’t known love like yours. He hasn’t met a girl like you. What y’all have is different.

Bullshit.

This man has seen you. He has known you. He has kicked it with you and laughed with you, and knows enough about you to realize that he DOES want to spend time with you.

He knows your love and what it’s capable of juuuuuuuuust fine.

Trust that, in the weeks and months that y’all have been not-titled booed up, he has inventoried your character and your you.

And made a determination that he doesn’t want a relationship with either.

You know what men do when they are thinking about having a relationship with you? When they’re open to the option?  NOTHING.

They do NOTHING.

They keep their mouths shut, they scope out the situation, and they let the chips fall where they may. They watch as things are progressing, and if something blooms within their hearts, they come to you with an offer.

THAT’S what men do.

They don’t start out from the GATE with, “I don’t want to be in a relationship.”

Men who say this have a very distinct reason for doing so. And this is what women need to realize.

At some point, very long ago, before all of us were alive, men and women entered into a tacit agreement, whereby men were only responsible for their words. We were to take a man “at his word,” and punish him only when his actions belied those words; when he acted in opposition of them; when he failed to make them true.

This is controversial.

This is controversial because we all know that men in a no-title relationship BEHAVE the same way as men in titled relationships.

And these behaviors are what lead us to believe that change is possible; that they are warming to the idea of being with us.

They’re not, though.

They’re enjoying the moment. They’re enjoying the benefits of the boyfriend experience while remaining indemnified against poor-boyfriend liability.

All because of their initial disclaimer.

And it’s messed up and unfair.

But there’s a grace to it. There’s a comfort in words that people are bound to. There’s a safety there.

Because actions are subjective.

You see the intimacy of a spoon; its suggestion of long-term affection.

But that man just likes to hug.

You see the sweetness and tenderness of a frontal lobe kiss.

That man was just saying, “Hey.”

If you have found yourself on the wrong side of a failed non-titled relationship, before you rally like hell against this man for what he has led you to believe; before you call his job and key his car, and tell his friends he isn’t worth a damn, look at yourself.

Look at who you are.

Why are you okay with someone telling you he doesn’t want you?

Even if you both start out on noncommittal footing, if your feelings change, and his remain the same, why are you staying?

Why is it okay to be with someone whose mind you have to bring round to the idea of you?

That man who leads you on, he’s an asshole. Make no mistake about it. He knows what he’s doing.

And he’s dogged you out for sure.

But you’re the bigger asshole.

Because you dogged you out first.

A stranger, no matter how close you fancy him, doesn’t have any obligation to you. At all.

The only person charged with a duty to protect you and your well-being is you.

You are the only person accountable for you. You are the only person who can keep you from being hurt.

When a man tells me he doesn’t want to be with me, I take him at his word.

It very well might be the last good thing he says to me.

12
Dec
11

for better or for worth…..revisiting meredith grey through the eyes of the most annoying undergrad ever…..

Two years ago, a fictitious Meredith Grey stood in front of a fictitious Derek Shepherd and said:

“Okay, here it is…your choice. It’s simple. Her or me. And I’m sure she is really great. But, Derek, I love you. In a really, really big pretend to like your taste in music, let you eat the last piece of cheesecake, hold a radio over my head outside your window, unfortunate way…that makes me hate you…love you. So pick me. Choose me. Love me.”

After a good deal of self-analysis regarding the matter(s) of my own interpersonal estrangements, I’ve come to the slow realization that Meredith Grey wasn’t some iconic figure of modern-day romance. She wasn’t emblematic of all that is true and hopeful, and ever-resilient in our own collective quest for love against all undefeatable odds.

That bitch was a hater.

A tried and true, dyed in the infidelity-strewn wool hater.

The i-know-you’re-with-someone-else-but-seriously-let’s-walk-out-this-motherfucker-together-and-never-look-back choose me is the signed, sealed, stamped and delivered verified move of every grand-scale hater throughout the annals of real and fabled history, alike.

Lancelot said that shit to Guinevere. Tristan said that shit to Isolde. Alicia Keys said that shit to Swizz Beatz.

It is the Hail Mary of Hail Marys.

And frankly, it’s highkey selfish.

Because there’s a reason that person isn’t with you in the first place. I’m not going to say that reason is some fault or lacking in you. Only you know your life. I’ll draw my own conclusions.

But you are literally asking the object of your affection to accept one of two troubling options:

  1. Leave your situation and walk away with me. Fucked up me. Non-committal me. Flaky, unpredictable, wayward me.

Or, in the bold, almost-as-fucked-up alternative:

       2.    I’m doing better now. This is a new, improved me, standing before you. I promise this situation with me will be better  than  where you’re at, but, at the very minimum, will at least be comparable to that great shit I’m inducing you to leave behind.

Is that love? Do we lead the people we love from the warmth and security of their new lives, back into the darkness and unknown of our own potentially-despicable company? Is that be-with-me-at-all-costs-come-what-may shit love? Are we really so self-absorbed to believe that any life that person creates with us is better than the life he/she leaves behind?

“So pick me. Choose me. Love me.”

At what cost?

Can this set-fire-to-the-rain love be quantified?

Where do we get off?

Where do I get off?

How dare I presume to make an assessment of your relationship, and where you should stand (preferably the fuck outside of it and with me) with respect to it? Who am I? Who do I think I am?

I had a thought, today.

Who you are with is not—as is commonly held—a reflection of who you are.

Who you are with is a reflection of what you believe you are worth.

Granted, this theory gets tricky when you move towards an entirety-of-the-person analysis, and further from the inclination to compartmentalize a human being into bits, but I’m certain it holds water.

I’m currently sitting at Soho Tea & Coffee, and the most obnoxious of upperclassmen girls is sitting behind me, scrolling through her phone, fastidiously determined to tell each and every friend not preoccupied with the drudgery of exams (all zero of them, it seems) her struggles with her live-in boyfriend. Struggles that drove her from the quiet of the Georgetown University Library, to this very place—she apparently can no longer concentrate (In the interest of full disclosure, I have sincere doubts as to this child’s ability to concentrate and/or function in the aggregate, under the best of circumstances, but, whatever).

Two days ago, she made dinner for Horrible Boyfriend (who I’m assuming wasn’t quite so horrible then), and left the dishes in the sink to “soak” (Haven’t I told you people about this shit? This shit ruins relationships. I swear by it. Wash your fucking dishes or put them in the GD washing machine. You people are fucking animals). Horrible Boyfriend (who, I’ll note, in his own fuckshit thoughtlessness didn’t consider doing the dishes himself despite the fact Simpleton Girlfriend made dinner) in a feat of first rate bitchassTed passive aggression, watched the dishes sit in the sink, “soaking” for two days. On this, the third day, Horrible Boyfriend walked over to the campus of Georgetown University, where Simpleton Girlfriend was studying, and, before a cast of characters including but not limited to, her peers, library staffers, and an assortment of similarly studious strangers, laid her out like the trifling, making-dinner-but-not-washing-the-dishes-and-then-letting-them-“soak”-in-water-for-two-days bitch that she was. Simpleton Girlfriend says that Horrible Boyfriend was all fury and righteous indignation, blew the entire situation out of proportion, humiliated her, and what’s more, does this “all the time.”

I don’t judge her mate.

I judge her.

Clearly, something in this girl thinks that she doesn’t deserve more than a man who is given to temper tantrums and embarrassing her in public.

And who am I to say she does?

I don’t know the secrets of that bitch’s heart.

Maybe Shout-y McDish-Nazi is precisely what her lot in this life should be.

We all need to look deep within ourselves for these elemental truths. We’re so quick to reassure ourselves, and our troubled friends, that we and they “deserve better.” But is that true? Is that really true?

Your boyfriend’s dick doesn’t work. He hasn’t fucked you right ever. He is at best, quick, and at worst, impotent.

But he’s your boyfriend.

Bitch, CLEARLY you don’t think you deserve better.

So, neither shall I.

That non-fucking sonofabitch is your soulmate.  Something inside of you, like his dissatisfactory dick, is broken, impotent. Y’all belong together.

Fooler, you’re a shit. We all make sacrifices to be in relationships.

 Sure.

Agreed.

I submit to you that each sacrifice you make is a concession of “don’t deserve.”

Stanley doesn’t pick up his dirty drawes, but I love him anyway. That’s a sacrifice I made when I said “yes” to this relationship.

Word.

You don’t believe you deserve a man who picks up his dirty drawes. You have looked inside you and found yourself lacking. Maybe you’re the type of bitch who uses the same towel for a month. Whatever the case, you’ve cast your lot in with dirty-drawes Stanley. I assume that man is the full measure of your worth.

 “So pick me. Choose me. Love me.”

Maybe instead of trying to lure people out of their relationships, or making an outside assessment of how successful they are, we should look to ourselves; to our respective worths—to the question of whether said worths were equally-yoked.

Maybe the object of your affection looks at his/her current partner and sees the fullest, most natural extension of himself/herself. Maybe he/she has run the numbers, weighed the cons, and come to the conclusion that this person is what he/she deserves. For better(than us) or worse(than us).

And maybe he/she is wrong. Maybe he/she has mischaracterized his/her worth, or your worth.

Derek Shepherd certainly had.

But if this is love-

If this is the shit bards poeticize, and singers lyricize, and school-girls fanaticize—

If this is the real thing-

Such that it is-

I can’t see myself forcefully pitching it to you…..

Romantic a notion though it may be…

28
Nov
11

twitter sextiquette and the hermeneutics of my clitoris……or: “ain’t nothin’ to it, but to do it”–accurate?

I care little for rules or the ties that bind.

Particularly those that are the byproducts of social mores and puritanical constraints that seek to micromanage my preferred brand of sexuality and individualism, with little comment as to the efficacy of their method, or long-term sustainability of their practices.

I care little for rules.

I have oft laughed in the face of womankind’s attempt to impose a dogmatic schema to the loosely structured world of sexual politics; to the notion of sexual politics in and of themselves.

This “no kiss on the first date,” “no sex til the third” ideology that acts to strip from us our fluid sensuality, rob us of our spontaneity, and further solidify within us this frightening concept of good girl versus bad girl.

I care little for rules.

Be that as it may, I am forced to concede the existence of certain boundaries. Not rigid, stringent, asphyxiating boundaries that would have us chained and hog-tied to our seats, nickel clutched tight betwixt our throbbing knees.

But rather that ominous, invisible fence that keeps us suspended in the gray, protected from the nebulous, forgotten, distant world, shadowed in black. Mine is a world of small compromises; a tiny system of checks and balances that exists not for the sake for having limits, but rather acknowledging them because there ARE limits; the difference, perhaps, between dabbling in sexual deviance, and BEING a sexual deviant.

For while we make allowances for straying from the path, even forging your own path, the concept of there being no path is altogether too much for society to bear.

Conventional wisdom seems to indicate there needs be a finite method of distinguishing wheat from chaff; discreetly freaky librarian from open-assed slut.

And it has been a manageable feat to a degree.

At least in my own instance. I know of no examples where my own name has been bandied about the streets, tales of my mouth-sorcery heavy on the lips of young DC urbanites.

But the game has changed.

The advent of technology has increasingly blurred the lines between the Dos and the Don’ts.

And day after day, it becomes more difficult for even the most free-thinking among our female ranks to answer that all-important question: “Wait….wait…can I fuck him yet?”

Certainly, as educated women of a certain age, in a certain age, we’ve come round to the idea of a man’s awareness of our capacity to behave like whores (under the appropriate circumstances, of course)–liked it, encouraged it, even.

But to actually be perceived as a whore; to have a man legitimately THINK us whores—irrespective of how insignificant a man he may be—that is a fate to which the majority of us simply cannot yield.

Which brings me to my point:

Twitter won’t let my faux-chastity be great.

Not even a little bit.

Twitter is a setup from the getup.

Twitter introduces to our varied states of consciousness, and, by proxy, our pulsating, tumescent genitals, a chat room whose geographic locale is THE WORLD.

And here’s what happens.

You invariably come across that stranger, whose likes are your likes, whose humor is your humor, and whose avi is sexy as a motherfucker, and you’re hooked.

What begins as witty public banter moves to the discretion of your direct messages. But, texting is a far simpler platform, so you, of course, exchange numbers. And when your fingers are just too tired to type, why, calling seems like the natural conduit. And let us not forget that all-consuming desire to see his facial expressions and where, exactly he lives, so skype, necessarily, is the logical next step.

At first blush, one wants to make something like twitter comparable to online dating, but it is far, far different.

In online dating, people’s romantic interests are present from the start. It is the very reason they are in an online dating forum.  The urgency to find commonality with another person leaves little room for real build up. The goal is to see the person and get this potentially monogamous show on the road. So there’s no long-term intellectual stimulation. In online dating, because the object is to meet the person and establish a meaningful relationship, the ordinary “rules” are already in place. The traditional, time-honored chase the pussy, date the pussy, capture the pussy system of governance rules the day.

(I’ve never online-dated, btw. Not that I’m judging. I mean, I’m not. But.  Just to be clear…not my particular flagon of whiskey.)

But, on twitter, it’s all lighthearted.

Til it isn’t.

And the object of your cyber interest is, in all likelihood, some great distance away. And all you have is conversation. And build up.  Until the day you two determine to meet…….

And the annoying question springs to mind once more…..”Wait…..can I fuck him?”

I mean, do I even know this man?

Can I know a man if I’ve never seen his legs?

Does he travel from place to place slow-boning his top tweeters?

Does he have a list of brown-skinned, sassy girls whose orifices he’s connived his way into with his glibly well-timed wit?

Am I twitter easy? Like, how many tweets does it take to get to center of my mons?

And what are the mechanics of the twitter hookup? Will it be awkward? Do I wear drawes? Do I pretend I had something else in mind? Should I buy board games?

All of these (very legitimate) questions are dauntingly overwhelming in the macro.

But even when I make effort to fix my mind upon the very thing, the Universe responds with more questions.

Twitterboo shows up at the crib, at long last.

Twitterboo has a fresh haircut, clothes are decent, pants are the appropriate length beneath his ankles, no purposeful display of chest hair spilling forth from his button down.

My chemistry with Twitterboo is great. I like Twitterboo. He’s mad chill. I can easily see letting Twitterboo nestle that perfectly edged up head in my thighs’ mocha hollows.

I mean, from there, the problems can only be typical ones. The ones you encounter with men you’d meet anywhere. His dick doesn’t work. He doesn’t wash his ass. His uncircumcised member is hidden between the folds of his flesh-snuggie.

The ususal.

In which case the solution is easy: I systemically remove any hint of him from my life and behave as though he never existed.  

But, what if Twitterboo is good? What if Twitterboo, who has—from lands afar—followed the North Star across leagues of mountainous, arid desert terrain, all the way straight to my warm, quivering girlbox– is a beat master?

What if Twitterboo comes through to the crib and has the unmitigated gall to unleash Chernobyl-style devastation inside my vaginal walls? What if my shit starts to whistle a medley of Julie Andrews songs when Twitterboo withdraws his Harlequin-esque, glistening man-shaft?

Like, do we twitter-go-together now?

Is Twitterboo my real life boyfriend?

Is Twitterboo my cuff?

Is Twitterboo my interactive jumpoff?

The truth is, I don’t have answers to these questions.

Nary a one.

As is oft the case, the answer may, indeed be, that there are no answers.

At day’s end, my greatest act of folly may be posing the question of my twitter seduction to the Universe.

She can hardly regard me as a whore when she so diligently fucks us all…..

So I put it to you, Cyberspace….

Sweet-stroking the internet crush–

Twitter do or twitter dont?

 

19
Sep
11

because those that can’t do, teach….or, conversations with my baby cousin and her hoodbooger friend that make me want to die.

Keegan:  Remember when you said I can call you for anything? Like if I needed anything or wanted to talk.

Me: It was a month ago, Keeg. Of course I remember.

Keegan:  Are you busy now?

Me:  Just doing some work I should have taken care of earlier. What’s up?

Keegan:  You’re working on the weekend?

Me:  Wow. You really are 18. What do you want, Kid?

Keegan:  Have you ever been in love?

Me:  Beg your pardon?

Keegan:  Love. Have you ever been in it?

Me:  Uhh. Sure. A time or two, I suppose. What’s this about? Where’s this going?

Keegan:  I need to ask someone about love.

Me:  Keegan, I have a lot of work to do.  I thought you had some sort of 8:30 lab.

Keegan:  You SAID I could call for anything. That if I needed ANYTHING–

Me:  Yeah. But I MEANT “money.” I CLEARLY meant “money.” You know. For books, or going out, or those little ugly ass cheap ass clothes you like to wear. Not intrusive, silly questions.

Keegan:  Please? Look at our family. You know I can’t ask anyone else.

Me:  If you knew anything about me, you’d know I’m hardly the go-to person.

Keegan:  So tell me about you so I know not to ask again. I need an old person’s opinion.

Me:  I’m not OLD, Keegan.

Keegan:  Old-er.

Me: Keegan, I’m nuts about you, but your timing is so unbelievably off on this shit, right now.

Keegan:  Please. Fifteen minutes, tops.

Me:  *sigh* Ten minutes.

Keegan:  Yay! I love you! Okay. Have you ever been in love?

Me:  Sure.

Keegan:  How many times?

Me:  Idunno. More times than I’ve wanted. Less times than I should have, I suppose.

Keegan:  I don’t know what that means.  I need a number.

Me:  Somewhere between two and four, Keeg.

Keegan:  How can you not know?

Me:  Because shit looks different in retrospect.  Things that looked like love might have just been an unwillingness to let go out of habit. On the other hand, situations that I’ve let go thinking they were nothing, could have been more than they appeared while I was in them. Feelings look different when you deconstruct them.

Keegan:  So you’ve thought you’ve been in love, but really haven’t?

Me:  Yeah, that’s the jist of it. Although, I don’t know how fair it is to assess these things in the abstract. Could be that how you’re feeling in the moment is the only thing that matters. Idunno.  Like I said, I’m not the best person to ask.

Keegan:  You’re doing fine. How old were you the first time you think you were in love?

Me:  Mmm. Your age. 18.

Keegan:  Did he love you back?

Me:  He loved everybody back.

Keegan:  Oh. So that didn’t really work out?

Me:  I went a little crazy, cut off all my hair, stopped eating meat, and wrote some epically shitty poetry.  On the plus side, I still keep my hair short, am still a vegetarian, and realized I should never attempt poetry. So it wasn’t all bad.

Keegan:  Mmm. What about the next one.

Me:  Keegan, I ain’t fixin’ to sit up here with you and go through the roster of my love life. This is bullshit.

Keegan:  Okay, okay. How do you know when you’re in love?

Me:  You know, I’ve maybe answered my phone three times in the last 4 days. And I picked up for you. Will NEVER make that mistake again.

Keegan:  Hey, I COULD have been asking you for money.

Me:  Somehow, I think it would have been less expensive than this call.

Keegan:  Answer.

Me:  *sigh* It’s different for everyone, Keegan. And honestly, I don’t always buy into it, myself, so, I don’t know.

Keegan:  What do you mean “don’t always buy into it?”

Me:  I’m not going into that with you. I’m not prolonging this discussion any more than necessary.

Keegan:  Fine. Then just tell me what it feels like when YOU’RE in love.

Me:  Ummm. Well—

Keegan:  Hold up, hold up. That’s Jakeema. Lemme conference her in.

Me:  Ja-what?

Keegan:  Jakeema. You met her. We went to high school together, member?

Me:  That fastass girl with the big ole swole up donkey booty? THAT’S a friend you took with you to fuckin’ college?

Keegan:  Shut up! Be nice. Hold up. Lemme get her.

Keegan:  ‘Keema, you there? She’s getting to the good part.

Jakeema:  Hey, Fooler!

Me:  Hi, Jakeema.  I guess you don’t have any homework either?

Jakeema:  I finished it.

Me:  Mmm hmm.

Keegan:  Go ‘head, Fooler. How do you know when you’re in love? You, personally.

Jakeema:  I think you just know.  Like that moment you look into his eyes and you just know.  Like y’all was meant to be together.  Like y’all are gonna be together forever.  That’s how it was with me and Eric.

Me:  Wow.

Keegan:  “Wow” what? “Wow,” it’s true?

Me:  Wow, it’s incredibly stupid.

Jakeema:  What?

Me:  Just dumb.

Jakeema:  I’m saying. That’s just how it was for us. Might not be the same for you. Errebody different. Me and Eric been together for nine months.

Me:  Is he at school with y’all?

Jakeema:  Nah. He at Norfolk State.

Me:  Wow.

Keegan: “Wow,” what?

Me:  Just dumb.

Keegan:  Anyway, come onnnnnnnnn. Answer.

Me:  You don’t wanna wait and see if Jakeema’s gonna fell us with some more of her 18 year old, long distance, we both go to large HBCUs, nine month old first relationship ever wisdom?

Jakeema:  Do you even have a boyfriend?

Me:  Nope.

Jakeema:  Mmm hmm. Keegan, she don’t even have a man.

Me:  You won’t either by the time this semester’s through.

Jakeema:  KEEGAN.

Keegan:  Fooler.

Me:  Hey, y’all called me.

Keegan:  Are you gonna answer?

Me: I don’t remember the question.

Keegan and Jakeema:  How do you know when YOU’RE in love?!

Me:  *sigh* It happens slowly, for me. A series of revelations. Wow, this person isn’t stupid. Wow, this person is kind. Wow, this person puts up with my moods.  Wow, this person makes me laugh. I want to spend more time with you. I want to tell you more about myself. I feel different when I’m around you. Less guarded. Idunno. I let you touch me more. I wanna write you shitty poems.

Keegan:  What then? Do you tell him?

Me:  Level with me. Did you call to find out what *I* do, or what you *should* do?

Jakeema:  Her.  She don’t know what to tell Shawn.

Me:  Mmmm… “Shawn,” Cousin? I thought you told me there wasn’t anybody.

Keegan:  I don’t know how I feel. I just don’t want to look stupid, you know. That’s what you always say, right? Don’t let anybody make me look stupid.

Me:  Jesus. Is that what I told you?

Keegan:  Yes! A hundred times.

Me:  Kiddo. There is a fail-safe way to not get pregnant.  There is a fail-safe way to not catch VD.  There is, however, no fail-safe way to keep your heart from being broken.  Not any way I’d recommend, anyhow. To the extent that you are able, avoid whores, and smooth-talkers, and men who are careless with other people’s feelings. But don’t adopt tough at 18.

Keegan:  So now you’re telling me it’s okay to look stupid.

Me:  I’m telling you there’s no way to avoid it. Jakeema seems happy enough.

Jakeema:  Least I got a man.

Me:  Hold on to that, Princess.

Keegan:  So I’m gonna look stupid, no matter what? Is that what you’re saying?

Me:  I’m saying you don’t look any less stupid sitting home alone because you choose to regard every person that crosses your path as a liability. Be smart. But be reasonable.

Jakeema:  How come you’re by yourself, then?

Me:  I’m unreasonable.

Keegan:  I bet you don’t look stupid, though.

Me:  It’s a good thing you’re in college, then, with no real money to wager.

Keegan:  *sigh* So I should tell Shawn I love him?

Me:  How the hell should I know? I don’t know your life.

Keegan:  FOOLER!

Me:  Look. I can think of a million reasons not to tell him. Namely that you’re 18, just got to school, and wouldn’t know a proper emotion if it tea-bagged you in the face. All I’m saying is, don’t NOT tell him because you’re afraid to look dumb.

Keegan: Okay.

Me:  Now I have to go. Y’all have taxed my nerves.

Keegan: K. I love you.

Me:  Yeah, yeah.  You apparently love everybody. But, I love you, too. Congratulations on that strong black love, Jakeema.

Jakeema:  Whatever.

12
Sep
11

because occasionally, there’s a win inside your loss…or, “Happiness Weekend 2011…”

Editor’s Note: So, I had to leave out 2-3 big details in telling this story, lest I distract y’all. I just thought I should mention that for the sake of almost-full disclosure….so…you know…

**A PROLOGUE**

A casual observer would have described my reaction to his leaving as “indifferent.”

In truth, he had been leaving for some time, slowly taking himself out of the picture, his own defense mechanism to my unyielding emotional resistance.

I’d felt it. I’d had ample time and sufficient opportunity to right it, to say just one encouraging word to indicate that I, too, had felt the shift in what was to be our casual time passing.

But I hadn’t.

I’d let the silence between us take over because it was comfortable for me; familiar. I played it cool better than any other, and this was my go-to zone.

This time was different, however. I was literally “playing” it cool. I was acting the unaffected. But I was affected. And I hated it.

His last attempt to reason with my stubbornness came in the form of an email.

My glacial reply was the stuff of legend. Fingers knew no compassion as my relationship antipathy took hold, pouring over my keyboard in a rush of abrupt, clipped tones.

And that was that.

I had known he wouldn’t reply, and he didn’t.

And I hadn’t wanted him to.

Only part of me had.

Tucked away in the furthest recesses of my heart, that part of me had wanted some forceful showing. For him to make a mad dash to my door in the rain. For him to shove his way inside my home. For him to shout at me words of frustration until I relented; relented and just once, in my small life, surrendered the steely guard that had kept so many others out, and me too long in.

But I wasn’t relationship ready. Or relationship stable. And I’d thought the same of him.

Until I signed on to Facebook.

“_____________ is in a relationship.”

I’d known he’d been nursing a situation with someone else, biding his time, attempting to make odds and ends of my own volatile behavior.

But the cold reality of his new union on bold display for all the internet to see was jarring. I felt as if I’d been kicked in the stomach. Repeatedly. By Wendy Williams’ Louboutins. With Wendy Williams’ big assed feet still in them.
My eyes returned again and again to the one sentence that would be my dignity’s undoing.

I downed the scotch that had long sat idle by my laptop.

I exed out the Facebook window, and opened my gmail account.

“THIS motherfucker right here, though……” I said to myself aloud through clenched teeth.

***********************************************************************************

**DOROTHY PARKER AND THE VICIOUS CIRCLE……………..OF ADOLESCENT AGED GIRLS MASQUERADING AS ADULTS……**

“Dear friends,
I will not waste your time re-hashing what I think we will all agree are my somewhat complicated, and indeed, well-documented relationship struggles.
The sad fact remains that I’ve continued on in my pattern of destructive interpersonal behavior, and have, once again, due to my emotional retardation and sensitivity failings, managed to make yet another romantic interest hate my guts forever.
Bygones.
As we all know, the person who appears the least affected by a break up wins.

I don’t need anyone to point out the juvenile tenor of my argument.
I know it’s childish.
We ALL know it’s true.
As such, my continued dignity requires that I have Facebook pictures documenting me having a great time without this motherfucker.
I would like to call this project “Happiness Weekend 2011.”
This weekend, I would like us all to commit to making sure lots of pictures are taken of me having the best time of my life. Even if they’re entirely manufactured. Actually, the more perfect
the production, the better.
Naturally, I will serve as Creative Director on this project, and as such, humbly request that my approval be sought for any and all depictions of me intended for public consumption.
I also need there to be looooooots of pictures of me smiling and laughing, preferably with my head cocked back in raucous delight, but most especially of me in the intimate company of men. Think me having shared whispers with men, me sitting on men’s laps, me with my hand affectionately placed on a man’s cheek, me receiving a delicate butterfly frontal lobe kiss from a man, and lastly, Linesister’s suggestion of me tucking my hand in a man’s back pocket.
They need not even be men with whom I’m acquainted. I welcome stranger motherfuckers into the fold.
Now, I realize that this is something of an unusual request, made even more so by the fact that it’s coming from me.
I’m generally above all of this shit, and can seldom muster up enough energy to care.
I think this is the first time in a long time I’ve actually been sad at a path-parting….
Whatever.
We need to make this happen, ladies.
As always, I appreciate your help in the resolution of these matters……

Xoxo,
F”

We hit Tabaq with fastidious determination.

If any of my friends thought my plan ridiculously stupid, they had the grace not to say so.

Except Linesister. Her oath of loyalty and pledge to hold my literal and metaphorical brick obligated her to do my bidding. But she wasn’t happy about it. Linesister is a first rate hater.

I’d known that the girls were surprised by my behavior. My airtight code of privacy allowed for little investigation into my personal life. I also was not prone to emotional attachments or displays of regret. But one by one, they appeared lock-step at my side, prepared to support me in all of my fuckery. I was grateful.

I was also grateful for the fact that the Howard-Morehouse Classic made the U Street Corridor the perfect backdrop for my photo shoot. Tabaq was wall to wall with available men, and I’d arrived in Kelly Green silk and complicated eye makeup with a crew of beautiful, smiling girls.

Emboldened by the spirits raging through all of our systems we got to work. It was almost sad how easy it was.

Asia: “Excuse me. Hi, are you married? Do you have a girlfriend? Can you take a picture with my friend?”

Bewildered man: “Uh? What?”

Me: “Hi. I’m so sorry. I know it’s weird. But I’ve just had an awful breakup, and I know it seems pathetic and crazy and psycho, but I assure you that I’m not. I just need a couple of pictures with men who look like they adore me so my get-back is sufficient. Do you mind? I’m really sad.” (I had to embellish a bit. Men love to feel like they’re rescuing a bitch.)

Bewildered man: “Uh. Sure. What do you need me to do?”

Me: “I just need you to look really interested in what I’m saying.”

*Asia starts snapping pictures*

Me: “I’m also going to need to touch you a little bit. You can touch me too.”

*Snap* *Snap* *Snap*

Me: “Don’t be alarmed. I’m just going to rest my hand on your cheek real quick.”

*Snap* *Snap* *Snap*

Me: “That’s right. Just inch a little bit closer. A littttle bit closer. Niiiiiice.”

*Snap* *Snap* *Snap*

Bewildered man: “What should I say to you?”

*I grip his face, cock my head back, kick up my heel, and roar with fake raucous laughter*

*Snap* *Snap* *Snap*

Me: “Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. What’s your name?”

Bewildered man: “Paul.”

Me: “You’re really cute Paul. So you don’t have a girlfriend, huh?”

Time and time again, me and my faux paparazzi accosted lingering men, my tale of woe becoming larger and more grandiose with each new male subject.

The more I complimented them on how good looking, or tall, or sexy they were, the more willing and active of a participant each man became.

I had to pinch myself to keep from laughing.

Me: “Michael, you have the most beautiful mouth. Has anyone ever told you that?”

Karen, with her camera phone ever at the ready, began a quick succession of snaps.

Michael: “Um, well…I mean…I don’t—“

Me: “Honestly. Your lips are seriously sexy. I can’t even focus right now. I hope I’m not making you uncomfortable.”

*Rests hand comfortably on Michael’s chest.*

*Snap* *Snap* *Snap*

Michael: “Um, no. Not really. No.”

Me: “Where do you live, Michael?” (Note how often I’m saying his name. Dudes love bitches who say their names.)

Michael: “Manassas.”

Me: “Word? That’s quite a drive to DC.”

*Snap* *Snap* *Snap*

Michael: “You know it?”

*Leans in to whisper to Michael.*

*Snap* *Snap* *Snap*

Me: “Sure. I’m in Prince William County all of the time for court. I’m a lawyer.” (Men love bitches who are lawyers.)

Michael: “Really?”

*Snap* *Snap* *Snap*

Me: “Really. I wish I had a card with me to give you.”

Michael: “I could just take your number.”

*Snap* *Snap* *Snap*

Swag.

By night’s end my ego was on one hundred thousand trillion, and I had a portfolio to rival anything Wilhemina could put out.

I soberly looked to my friends, who were all smiles and laughter at our embarrassment of photographic riches.

And my heart was decidedly less heavy. They’d backed me up without question or (visible)scorn, and made all of the night’s achievements possible.

Especially considering the fact that I didn’t own a working camera.

I promised myself, then and there that, irrespective of my communicative failings in the romantic department, I’d never stop letting these women know how much I appreciate them, or how entirely awesome they are (starting with this entry. I really love you guys. Thank you so much).

Gathering our things, and preparing for our next venue, a goofy smile plastered across my face, I looked at Asia. “Yo….why the FUCK haven’t we ever done this shit before?”

08
Aug
11

girl talk and baby penises, or, “get [me] to a nunnery, but quick pit stop to soap-wash my mouth, first….”

My linesister, Clara, is an ob-gyn.

She once told me that the act of child conception was the greatest miracle there is; that the female reproductive system is little more than a matrix-style labyrinth of an obstacle course, designed to ensure that only the strongest and most persistent of sperm reach their target.

Respectfully—

That’s a bunch of bullshit.

You want to know the greatest miracle there is?

Good sex.

I happen to know this for a fact, because I haven’t had any in a while.

Now, to be fair, I haven’t had any bad sex in a while, either. We don’t need to belabor the point, as it pains me to discuss it, and detracts from my underlying premise—

Which is—

Finding your way to good sex, is a miracle.

And as any good, flesh-rotting leper knows, the days preceding the arrival of the much-anticipated miracle can get pretty fuckin’ desperate.

In my own estimation, the devolution into forced celibacy has been very much like a breakup.

You think about the good times you had (when you were fucking).

You think about how you didn’t appreciate the good thing you had while you had it (ring-side seats at the Pleasuredome).

You wonder if you’ll ever have what you’ve lost, again (pillow-biting, back-scratching, knee-quivering scream fests).

And you rehash it, again and again, with your girlfriends, dissecting every facet of your trauma ad naseaum, hoping to make sense of some seemingly senseless thing, often, to no avail.

Which is where I was, Saturday night, posted up with Micah and Carrie, on a plush loveseat in a darkened corner of Eighteenth Street Lounge.

I patiently recounted for them the lonely planet saga of my vagina, my potential new crush, and my hopes of turning water into wine; conversation into fuck.

“Well, what’s the hold up,” asked Micah.

“Idunno,” I answered. “It’s been a while. I don’t want my first venture out to be horrible.”

Micah looked at me for a moment before responding. “Are you sure that’s it?”

I frowned. “ Yeah, why? What do you mean?”

“I just think that, underneath it all, you’re afraid you’ll really like him,” she offered. My friend Micah was the most beautifully, spectacular true-believer of a fucking optimist that ever lived.

“You’re sweet. No, no. I really am just worried about the sex being horrible.”

Micah rolled her eyes in defeat. “Fine. What could be so horrible?”

What I knew, for certain, was that the possibilities of penile ineptitude were limitless. “He could be quick. He could have minimal to failing stroke capacity. He could have a teeny tiny infant baby dick,” I ticked off in blunt, quick-fire succession.

I took a moment to consider whether men ever had similar concerns about women.

Carrie interrupted my reverie.

“Oh my God!” she exclaimed. “I had a baby dick once. Swear to God, it was *this* big,” she said, using her fingers to indicate a length just short of a glue stick.

“Shut the fuck up!” I screamed. “You did not!”

Carrie nodded her head in earnest. “Did too! Swear to God.”

“OhmyGodwhat’dyoudo?” rushed Micah.

“Howthehelldidhegetinyourbed?” I shot off, right behind her.

Carrie gave a resigned shrug. “I don’t know. He wasn’t really my type in the first place, but somehow we started making out. Then he was going down on me and it was cool. Next thing I know, we’re in the bed. But then I saw it. Swear to God, y’all. *This* big.” Carrie again, indicated the less than glue stick size with her index finger and thumb. I visibly shuddered.

“So……” pressed Micah. “What’d you do?”

“Girl, I picked a fight with him and he got mad, got up, and put his clothes on,” she said, casually.

I let out a riotous guffaw. “Wait, wait…wait. You didn’t sleep with him?”

Carrie looked at me as though some growth had affixed itself to my head. “*This* big. Seriously. What the fuck was I going to do with that? Girl, no.”

Micah was barely containing her giggles. “You couldn’t have at least finished him off? Not even out of pity?”

Carrie looked dumbfounded. “And how was I supposed to do that? What was there to do???” Carrie again set her fingers to show us the miniscule amount of space her guest’s baby penis could muster, then vertically jerked them back and forth as if shaking a mini-pez dispenser.

“You see!” I shouted. “THIS is what the hell I’m talking about. I can’t go out like that. THIS is exactly what I’m talking about.”

“Girl, please,” Micah weighed in. “That dude I showed you, the other night. That’s over, and we didn’t even get that far.”

“He didn’t have a baby dick, too, did he?” I asked, genuine panic about to set in.

“No, he was straight. But he’s a liar. He lied about some old bullshit, and I’m done. I don’t have time for that mess. I didn’t do anything but dry-hump him anyway,” she answered calmly.

I looked at Micah for a moment, trying to assess whether she was shitting me.

She wasn’t.

“I’m sorry, you did what?” I asked.

“I don’t know him like that. I can’t just be out here fucking just anybody. So we dry humped,” Micah said.

“And he let you do that?” I asked, trying desperately to hide the incredulity in my voice.”

“Girl, yeah. It feels good,” she asserted, confidently.

“Swear to God, Micah, I don’t even have any words for that, right now. I’m going to need a minute on that shit,” I said, attempting to stifle a giggle, and failing.

“This is a mess, “ I declared.

“Yeah, girl,” added Micah.

We’d all let out a collective sigh, lost in a myriad of our own thoughts, reclining into the darkness, when Carrie revealed, “I just want to be swept up, you know? Overwhelmed.”

“Me too,” offered Micah.

By some dick, I thought.




August 2017
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a history of my meanderings….