A moment of clarity
We had been goin’ all day. No breaks except to pee or drink some water. The sun’s position had changed from high in the sky to barely can see anymore. Who knows how many hours it had been. I just know when it is time for him to go, I feel unsatisfied. Disappointed. Bored. Empty. Horny even.
“Is something wrong with me? I must be an animal,” I ask myself.
He is definitely worn out and satisfied.
“Okay, I’ll see you later.” It isn’t but a minute after he leaves I go on the prowl. It is summer after all. I am newly liberated of bras and panties aren’t necessary in the summer. Today I am hardly concerned about a shower after that hot and sweaty record session. In fact I smirk at the thought of walking around with sex odor on my body, unashamed. I throw on some material, I can hardly call it clothes, and stroll down to the local bar. On my way, I hit up a guy I know I have no real interest in. He acted too macho and from what I remember, his penis is small. Whatever. He’ll buy me a drink or two and entertain my ego. I am bored.
Some weeks prior, before the summer was in full swing, lover number 1 had been over and we had a good time. It was always more than sex. Friends first. We had spent a half day together before the night fell upon us. He had to go home. He has a wife, remember? I must’ve allowed the words to dribble from my lips, like a sad child, “Can’t you stay the night?”
As he left, “Of course,” I thought. I never expected him to leave his wife. I didn’t want that, actually. I joked sometimes about us being a polygamous family. I really didn’t want that. But I wanted more time. I wanted to be held. I wanted to lay up all night and talk about what we wanted to build together. But there was a limit to our building. There was a limit to our… Everything. Then it occurred that I might want a partner.
Back to the reckless sex night. I meet up with, let’s call him Ego. I see him, hug him. I’m quite certain there’s lust exuding from my pores. We drink a single drink. I don’t remember the small talk. We’re there for maybe 20 minutes and I tell him to walk me home. Ego was nearly skipping down the street. We had never had sex. We flirted, a lot. I gave him drunk head once. That’s how I know the size of his penis.
Anyway, we get back over to the spot. He doesn’t have a condom. Grrr. I don’t either. But he insists and I’m bored and horny. After he is done (three minutes later) I am still bored and horny, obviously. But now I’m livid.
“Where did you come?”
“You said to come.”
“That’s just sex talk! You came inside of me?!”
“You told me to.”
“That’s not what I said.”
It’s time for him to go and for me to check what time the clinic opens.
Plan B and all the STI tests are in order.
I’m cursing myself. Why did I do that? I’m embarrassed. It wasn’t even good. Ugh.
After some reflection and being nervous about my test results, I acknowledge that I’m just trippin’. I’m not actually happy with the way I’m sexing through life. I want substance. I want love and friendship. I want great sex. I want to create memories. I want to be confident that my partner is responsible. I want to be responsible, shit!
The test results come back a week later. Ya girl is good. Praise Jesus, Allah, Guadeloupe, Krishna and everyone else. I was saved. Blessed. Over the moon I wasn’t having Ego’s baby and that I wasn’t contagious. It’s time to slow it down a bit.
I don’t bring it to a complete halt. I do go on a date and have some safe, yet unfulfilling sex.
But I meet a man on a special night. We connect on some level I have never connected with anyone ever before. But I am just gonna be this man’s friend. I don’t want a relationship. I’m still trying to recover from Ego and dealing with my Molly moment with lover number 1.
But this guy, struck me. We had seen each other a few different times over the summer. We never made an effort to truly connect. But this time, at the local bar, a night I just wanted to stay in bed and reevaluate my life cause Lawd only knows!
My neighbor had a hard day and drags me out of bed to come drink with her, on that special night. As we bounce up the block, she’s venting. I’m not really listening and thinking, “Girl, let me go back to my bed on this last Friday in summer at 10 o’clock. I need to be a better woman and get my life together cause Issa and Molly WILL NOT BE my role models.”
Instead, I respond with the appropriate, “Yeah girl,” and “That ain’t right.”
We arrive to the bar. It’s poppin’ and there are Black people of every hue pouring into the streets, socializing and being beautiful. I strongly dislike crowds and hope I can find a space to be antisocial in all of this.
I see him. Sort of ignore his glance at me as we go into the crowd. We find somewhere to sit outside and she finds a boy to talk to. I go get us some wine. He follows me in. He says “hello.” We speak. I ask him what he’s drinking. I buy us all drinks. He doesn’t expect it. It’s all friendly. No intentions here.
We both go out and my neighbor is talkin and cackling with two men. Perfect. I don’t wanna hear anymore about her horrible day. This Man and I sit next to each other on the deck, people watching and laughing at nothing, making jokes and I’m sharing my life story as he starts his as well.
As the night rolls on, so much funny shit goes down: A very statuesque woman comes out of the bar super cutely dressed and drunk as a skunk. She is talking loud and wrong and sits on This Man’s lap and tries to kiss him. All, of us laugh. Where are her friends? She gets up and starts to declare some nonsense and begins lifting her dress. Seriously, where are her friends. She then tries to make out with the bouncer.
After crazy lady leaves, my neighbor is somewhere else talking to some other dudes and This Man buys us a round of drinks. In the lull of conversation, I tell him he’s handsome and then proceed to uncharacteristically demand his number. My intentions are still on the friend tip, I promise. He’s interesting and I need to get my life. He gladly hops to it and puts his number in my phone.
Excitement stirs again. Mos Def pops into the bar all discrete like with a woman I know. Baby mama I was told. Cool! Baby mama comes back later, without him though. Then a woman pops up. This Man knows her. She feels like they had some history. He greets her warmly and continues with our chat. Baby mama is smoking something so beautiful. I ask about it. She says it’s clove. Mmmm. She passes it. Girl with history passes it to me with a smile. That’s sweet. I inhale and pass to This Man. He starts to pass it back, but then my drunk ass, loud ass flirtin ass neighbor yells, “Whoa whoa! Pass that shit!”
It gets passed and then Baby mama gets tight. “I don’t know her! Give me my shit back!” Uh oh!
Shoot I gotta pee! The bar bathroom has a line and is probably filthy like a New York sidewalk. I tell This Man I’m going home to pee. And girl with history pulls this man aside. “I’ll be back,” as I power walk toward my house.
I make it to the toilet. Praise Him!
On the way back, I am moving a little faster than normal. I don’t have on a bra, but I don’t wanna miss This Man. So I put on my invisible blinders and make believe ear muffs in preparation of the Bed Stuy cat calls. Old men in Bed Stuy think they still got it.
On my way, I see my neighbor sitting on the curb in front of a bodega. First thought is, “Why the fuck are you sitting on the New York ground?” Second, “Why are you so far away from the bar?”
“What are you doing over here?” I only slow up, not stop. Her face isn’t particularly excited. She waves her hand up into the bodega. There’s a young lookin’ chocolate guy I didn’t see at the bar at all. He’s at the cash register buying Lifestyles.
I only mouth “O.K.” and keep it moving. I hope This Man doesn’t leave. I approach and I’m relieved.
“Where’s your friend?”
“At the bodega with… Malik.”
I shrug. We laugh and kind of stare.
“Are you high?”
“I dunno, are you?”
“Yeah I think so.”
We stand in the street, facing the bar like it’s a spectacle. I realize I’m really high and need to get back home.
“Hey, I’m pretty fucked up. I’m gonna go back home.”
“You want me to walk you home?”
I hear myself almost scream “No.”
I laugh and insist it’s best I go home alone.
I stumble along Thompkins, past the crack heads and horny and drunk people at the bodegas. I manage to skirt the seedy lookin’ dude who wouldn’t take, “I’m not interested” as a no. I make it home. Safe.
I’m not Issa! I celebrate. And fall asleep. In my bed. By myself.