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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.



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.


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…


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?



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.


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 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.



“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.
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….
We need to make this happen, ladies.
As always, I appreciate your help in the resolution of these matters……


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*


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?”


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.


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.


“da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo,” or, “my love letter to dc….”

Last night I lay prostrate on the third floor landing of a house in Ledroit. I’m unclear as to whether my eyes were open or closed. It was dark, though.

Laughter, the sounds of bodies moving in rhythmic cohesion, clinking glasses and filling cups , all thundered beneath me.

With each new musical selection, each newly minted guest, the party gained momentum–as if in contest with itself to reach some epic crescendo.

And I lay there, still and quiet, praying against being discovered. Despite the early hour, I’d been relegated to a state of suspended animation. My mind raged, tirelessly, trapped in a body felled low by its vices.

I thought in images, as opposed to succinct concepts—my condition would allow for little more—but each flashback was clear. I recounted, again and again, one after another, similar nights like this one—nights when the party didn’t stop, when the music never died, when the fun never ended.

And the only sentence I could thoroughly process, the one that continued on and on throughout my reverie, was a refrain from an old Billy Joel song: “I’ve loved these days.”

And I have.


All of my hard-partying friends, my personal squad of derelicts, hover just under and just over the “30” mark.

And while we all have good degrees, better professions, mortgages and car notes, in the general scheme of “traditional” life, we have little else to recommend us.

And as our betters nestle themselves in the certainties of matrimony and parenthood, their decisions pre-ordained by Domesticity, we’re treading water in a sea of unknowns. We’ve met all of our goals. And now we struggle to create new ones. No one ever taught us how to manipulate this vacuous “what next?” part of our lives.

And it would be vacuous; by all rights, it should be vacuous.

Only, me and my derelicts—

We’ve filled it. Filled it full.

Bottomless mimosa brunches on Sundays, where the vulgarity of our humor is as low as our blood-alcohol concentrations are high.

The familiarity of strangers drunkenly learning a line dance under a copse of trees at a barbecue in Rock Creek Park.

Bodies slick with sweat, eyes closed, voices in unison, belting out “Magdalehna” on a Monday night at Marvin; “Heartbreak Hotel” on a Saturday night at Axel F.

I’ve loved these days.

Looking out at the Washington Monument from the balcony of the W, in the company of some of the most fascinating people I’ve met, and feeling so overwhelmingly lucky to be alive, in just this moment.

Drag Bingo at Nellie’s, Salsa at Habana, raucous margarita-inspired laughter on Wisconsin, slow, lazy Hookah smiles on 18th; vomiting outside of my car after a failed post-night-out-church-attempt-on-Sherman Avenue, getting pulled over on 15th in a car filled with a thousand drunk lawyers…………..

I’ve loved these days.

While we might not have run these streets, we certainly ran hard and fast in them.

And with every passing week, we run harder and faster still.

We’re well aware…………..there will be a time—

A time for the payment of debts; for the closing of tabs and the settling of accounts. A time for sensible shoes and moderation of drink.

There will be a time for severity.

A time for minivans and coupons, for talk of the market. A time for chastity of speech and even more chastity of action.

There may even be a time to be sorry for our current excesses.

But not yet.

Last night, I lay prostrate on the third floor landing of a house in Ledroit, my fellow party-goers, politely stepping over my near-dead body as the celebrants down below danced happily into oblivion.

Make no mistake about it—

I’ve loved these days.


I wanted to call this “The Pompatus of Love,” but John Cusack’s not in that movie…and it doesn’t have any Peter Gabriel songs, so…

In 1986, in a moment of cinemagraphic greatness, Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) stood outside the window of Diane Court (Ione Skye), surrounded by darkness, a boom box held high above his head, entirely oblivious to the catastrophic ramifications of clutching an electrical object in the middle of a thunderstorm.

The only thing more moving than the raw emotion generated by the visual imagery of the scene, itself, was the music coming from the stereo in Dobler’s out-stretched, rain-drenched hands.

“In your eyes…the light, the heat…I am complete…I see the doorway, of a thousand churches…the resolution, of all my fruitless searches…”

I don’t believe in love the way most people do.

And despite what are sure to be my mother’s many protestations to the contrary, this is a direct result of the southern, black pragmatism, she, herself, instilled in me from birth.

I believe that what we come to know as love is absolutely the one hundred percent construct of our mind’s willingness to do so at the time. That is to say, we fall in love when we are of the mind to fall in love.

It hardly matters.

If I indicated two doors, one appropriately labeled “reality,” and the other, “resolution of all my fruitless searches,” I’d wager all that I own, the threshold of the former wouldn’t be so much as breached.

Love is the only instance in which we shamelessly grant ourselves permission to vest all of our hopes into another person. And we do so with the express proviso that we will, indeed, find in that other, all that is lacking within our own selves.

The weight that removes from our stress-addled minds; the notion that another will be there to shoulder, if only the tiniest of our burdens, is so great to create a euphoria that transcends all else—common sense, reason, hard, concrete facts.

In defense against this, I’ve allowed my rational mind to carefully de-construct love, as there is no fail-safe in a Lloyd Doblerian approach. Romantic comedies peppered with attractively quirky white people are hardly an accurate portrayal of what lovers of love are up against.

Know what is?

The “Maury” show.

Maury fucking Povich is what we should look to when considering the weight of love—its ebbs and flows; its successes and failures.

I dvr “Maury” every, single day. Every day, hordes of women bring their mates to the show to debunk their allegations of infidelity.

What’s crazy, is that the women don’t come simply with intuitions. They come with “sex-soiled” bed linens, condom wrappers, other women’s panties, other women’s earrings.

And they all say the same thing: “Maury (pronounced “Mahw-ree”), if he fails this lie detector test, today, it’s OVER! I’m done with him! He can get out!!”

And every day, the men fail the lie detector tests. And every day, like clockwork, the women drop their evidence-filled ziplock bags, falling to the floor, or running off the stage in a fit of wailing frenzy, cry-screaming the same thing, “I can’t believe it ‘Mahw-ree’! I can’t believe he’d do this to me!!”

Those moments precisely before and directly after the lie detector test—that’s where the love is. Those brief minutes showcasing the triumph of foreign drawes-and-rubbers-in-a-plastic-bag optimism and the crushing blow of if-it-walks-like-a-duck-it’s-because-he-fucked-a-duck realism—that’s when you begin to understand this power love holds over us.

I challenge you to find a greater optimist than a woman who finds another’s earring in her bed, and takes her man on the “Maury” show.

You won’t.

The whole ride there, the whole interview process, the entirety of the wait before the revelation, all she is doing is hoping against hope that there IS some zany explanation for why she’s clutching a gold-plated Chanel doorknocker.

And irrespective of all she’s seen, and all she’s heard, there’s no way to prepare her for the crippling agony of defeat; she hasn’t just been let down by this man. She’s been let down by love.

I (cautiously) submit to you, that every relationship is like a “Maury” lie-detector vignette.

We all optimistically enter into these relationships with willful disregard of our own ziplock bags, each of which are filled to the brim with the same hard pieces of evidentiary fact:

1. That monogamy is hard. And it fucking sucks. Like it sucks so bad, sometimes. I know no one wants to talk about it, but for real. It truly sucks. Oh, you don’t think it sucks? Be super duper mad at that motherfucker and have an overly-sympathetic, sexy as hell co-worker invite you out to drinks. Monogamy is hard. And arguably, unnatural. So…right.

2. That living together or spending an inordinate amount of time with each other is akin to an active state of captivity. And while animals in captivity *do* spend a great deal of time fucking (and believe me, I respect that. I respect that more than I can ever say, animals in captivity), they spend a healthy amount of time fighting as well…sometimes to the death.

3. That putting all your hopes into another human being will, in all likelihood, screw you in some capacity. Not because of any deliberate malice on the part of the other person; not even because of some insensitive negligence. But, simply because we are all human, and fallible. As such, our lot is to forever be a disappointment to those who perhaps thought more of us, or who, with no encouragement at all, canonized us.

4. That you will probably break up. There are seven billion people in the world. If any of us have been in long term relationships, it’s fair to say that at some point, we thought that other person, the one who preceded your current person, was the one. And he/she wasn’t. This is going to happen over and over again until we say “enough,” “amen,” or “I do.” And then some more.

So there we stand, our plastic bags full of these things that we know good and damned well should restrain us. And what do we do? Close our eyes, wade in, clutching the ziplocks, and wait for the great revelation, all the while hoping, praying, that in some zany scheme of events, this one will be different.

Here’s my truth.

I get it.

I envy those women who can look through all of the rain, and all of the darkness, straining their eyes, squinting against the glare in the window pane—

I get it.

Despite all of my logic, despite all of my rationale—there is something inarguably beautiful in the prospect of holding something like love, more ephemeral than a moonbeam, in my heart, if only for a second.

I get it.

And every fair to fair, when the night is thick and the rain is heavy, even I look out into the black. Because the smallest, minutest chance of a man standing there with a stereo, the resolution to all my fruitless searches, is too enticing…

Even for a “cynic” like me.


My name is Fooler.

I’m a closet romantic.

And fucking optimist.

July 2019
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a history of my meanderings….