Back Breakin’ Truth

“I’ma break you.”

That’s what he said.  Just as casual as pass the salt.  His voice didn’t raise or lower.  There was nothing more there than the subtle strength of truth found in promises you know a man intends to keep.

Never being 1 to back away from a challenge, my back straightened.  Ready in my mind to be fully present to…get broke.  He knew that about me, that I don’t back down easy.  As much shit as I’ve talked over the years, all of it true, he knew I wouldn’t run, tail tucked.  As a matter of fact, he had to know that I’d raise my tail higher so he didn’t have to work so hard to find it. 

Too much time had gone by to waste any on preliminaries.  Every time we see each other is another edition in our foreplay.  Our friendship has always been very serious to us, but there was always time for play.  He makes me laugh like none other and he never leaves feeling unloved.  The words didn’t fall from his lips as easily as mine, but there’s never been any doubt in my mind or the minds of any who know how we roll.

With all that history, there’s no need to front.  And what a history it’s been.  The 1st time came together when our lives were changing.  Never in the same place, the dream of being together never took shape.  Ours was the genuine love of youth, untainted by a tray of hearts served broken with bitterness in jade bowls as side dishes.  Still, it wasn’t meant to be and we quickly accepted our roles in each other’s lives.  The usual happened and more people were added to our lives and relationships started to get more serious.  My heart was already wide open to him, despite any other players in this life game, but he’d always noted how my legs never spread as wide.  I began to think I owed him this before he moved on.  My heart wasn’t in it though his body came prepared to do everything but come.  Damn near a decade of unspent liquid emotion couldn’t find the exit that night.  Needless to say, it wasn’t a day that inspired bragging rights from either of us.

I don’t know if love or ego brought us back together, but one-day opportunity knocked again.  The power of the mind fuck was as heavy as the bass in the southern club we rocked and bounced in.  Sexy dripped in the air like the sweat down the backs of the hardcore dancers.  He made a power play, unbeknownst to him, in effort to prank me.  He soon found out that it could be more than that if he was willing to bop away from the throngs of club goers back to a more private setting.  The only problem that night was his bed had no posts.  I was ready to turn tricks, turned on by what I knew his girl wouldn’t do, and knowing he’d be turned out by the time I was done.  All I wanted was to leave my stamp on his ass, let the next 1 know I’d been there, even if she never found out who I was, and that she’d better step her game up.  I play hard.  Come strong.  And leave the door unlocked if so moved. 

That night, I thought I’d left a challenge for any subsequent SHE’s to enter the scene.  What I didn’t know was that it was HE who picked up the challenge and he came, years later to check mate my ass.  So he came to break me. 

And I gladly picked up my face afterwards, feverishly rewarded for years of patience and the inability to close my heart to this cat.  I hadn’t really tried.  There was no need, I always remain open to those who can find the key.

 

Lit Chats & Toothaches

I sat minding my own business on a pollen-glazed bench, half reading a book and half daydreaming.  Out of the corner of my eye was approach of a pair of expensive cargo pants.  I could tell they were expensive because nothing about them looked like they were ever intended for work.  This immediately made me look toward the feet of the man coming toward me.  They seemed deliberately pointed in the direction of my yellow dusted bench, making it difficult for me to pretend to take him in as he passed.  There would evidently be no passing.  My eyes did a roll to the right under hooded lids, making an arc on their way back down toward the pages of my book.  European casuals, I assessed, with none of the standard symbols or designs I’m used to on actual feet.  I get my virtual shop on and have run across similar shoes on occasion but had never met any in person.

His personal style was impressive and prepared me to take in what I assumed would be Euro sexual ambiguity.  Instead I was greeted, starting at his hands, by a long shot of chocolate syrup.  His skin was full of depth and richness that made my tooth hurt, back and to the right, where cheap chocolate causes me to ache.  He was anything but cheap.  I closed my book to take a more deliberate look at him.  “Beautiful afternoon, beside this ridiculous pollen.”   His head tilted, took me in, and smiled.  “It is, isn’t it?”

This loud strumming sound took over and distracted me.  I searched around me for the fluttering wings of a humming bird.  I’m a nature buff and bird watching has always gotten me open.  Nerd…I know.  So I’m searching for this bird and see not a wing in sight.  Nothing.  His face hadn’t changed, no reaction to the sound whatsoever.  Suddenly I realized it was my heartbeat, racing as though for the cure.  I smiled, stifling the desire to chuckle.  His eyes were on me again, like he had a secret.  “What are you reading?”  I tried to do a quick assessment of whether he might actually read books or if he was just making small talk as a predecessor to what I hoped were larger plans.  See, his eyes were deep pools that presented the most exquisite danger to my non-swimming ass.  Maybe it was his lashes that looked like fans inviting me to cool the heat that he was causing.  I had to do an internal pinch to snap out of it.  “Sula.” 

At this moment I was a proud black girl.  I was grown and reading a book by a literary great.  There were no photo shopped glossy covers of pseudo gangsters with sagging jeans and some tragic but well coiffed woman wearing his wife beater and pledging to ride or die by her grip on him.  You know, that trash you see many of us reading on the train to work in the morning.  “Toni Morrison, right?”  I like to fell right off the bench with this dessert-like man sitting next to me in all his dapper dan glory who clearly has read more than a text book and a King magazine.  This kind of thing only happened in the movies that my folks tend to be scared to write because no one wants to see us actually love each other.  That’s not the point. 

So…we’re sitting there discussing literature.  No, really, we did.  He put me on to some of his favorite non-fiction and I hipped him to some writers who don’t paint pictures of all black men as Mister from The Color Purple.  We even discussed the value of telling a story with Mister in it.  We talked Martin vs Malcolm, the fine points of vegetarianism, the best sushi spots in town, where to find good local honey, and wondered together what ever happened to good cobblers.  And no, we don’t mean the peach or berry kind.  As it all went down I had an out-of-body experience and wondered what universe I had stumbled onto and how I could accidentally on purpose find myself stranded there.  The ring of a cell phone interrupted the train of thought of my floating self. 

“I’m just sitting in the park, things got a little stuffy at my desk…  I just need to send a few emails and then I’ll be ready to go…  The reservation’s for 6:30…  I have a say?  Where the red, it’s my favorite…  I love you too.  See you soon.”

When he finished he apologized for the interruption.  I smiled wittingly and raised my book slightly, as if to say, “I’ll be getting back to this now.”  He tilted his head again, took me in and said, “Sure…”  In one fan of his beautiful lashes I found myself looking at those beautiful shoes walk in the direction they came.  The long shot of chocolate left me with my toothache and a bitter pill. Image