The Internet can be a cruel and unusual abyss of half-cocked opinions and bargain basement analysis, especially when it comes to Black wom...
Endless Running and the Endless Chase-Love Unrequited
He (we'll call him My Man 20 East) sat on my couch 3 years ago. At the time, I was in something, something serious, and only acknowledged the way I discovered we were connected. He seemed oddly placed with the company he was keeping and stood out for that reason.
Fast forward to Summer 2009 and there he is again, in the same mix, and looking no less out of place. At the same time, he'd taken on the "Jesus Piece" of my set--officially initiated into the fold but choosing to don the daily costume of "regular cat." I recognized the steez. Like me he was walking a tight rope over 2 worlds, legs spread wide and feet balancing expertly like squirrels running on land lines. Kindred spirits connected by a brother.
We shared light conversation over ancestral drums in a crowd of people we easily blended into and stood out from. Me holding a baby and him admiring the ease of it for me. It gets 'em everytime. Cats start having visions of me with one in the arm and one tugging on the leg as I navigate expertly between loving words, necessary discipline and nursing. Motherhood IS sexy, even to me, so I get it. He made me chuckle at his quick observations and depth of analysis in the moment.
Now, between YouTube videos of love songs, classic and otherwise, he's sweet talking me on FB Chat. To the untrained eye, it looks like begging. To the expert in being on the power end of unrequited love, I recognize the sound of patience. I can see My Man 20 East building his shanty near my heart. His cook fire burns low but constant. His is the dedication of the tireless, with his ego bound and gagged in the back of his shanty. Any misstep on my part gives him enough room to stick his foot in the door and wriggle his body through the tight space.
In his own words:
When I was in high school I harassed this man 3 days a week to hire me at this record store. It took him 6 months to give in. Needless to say to say I haven't changed.
It's so Puff Daddy of him.
He challenged me, questioning why I deny myself good things? It's a skill that grew out of some protective barrier or another. Apparently I'm missing out on his youth, the lack of children, and an acceptable credit score. In truth, that gave me pause. It IS a starting point, like finding out if he's been tested and whether he votes Republican. Still, there's another cat out there who's been popping up in parking garages, calling and texting for about 6 years now, asking for the same thing as ya boy 20 East. Not so much as a cup of coffee shared. I'm real good at "NO!" My Terrible Two's lasted a few years longer than most.
I don't know how this tale ends, but I told 20 East he definitely makes a girl feel wanted. It reads (if you could be present for it all) like 1 of those TV-ready love stories where He falls in love at first sight and patiently bides his time til she's smart enough to see the Man on his knee holding a pedestal for her to step up onto and begin ruling her kingdom of one. I certainly can never say I haven't been loved and expect anyone to shed a tear for me. Besides, I'm not a liar, so...
I told My Man 20 East that I hope this all works out for him, that it wasn't a waste of his time. I can't call it and not trying to.
Watch me move.