Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cardinal Rules: No Around the Way Boys

It was one of those nights when I was up to no good. I was headed to someones house I had no business heading to when I passed a guy on the street. Now, said person who's house I had no business visiting after 11pm on a Wednesday lived nearby, so I was in my own hood. I passed a random man on the street, we exchanged a glance, nothing major. The regular quick check out, and while our eyes met for a moment too long (usually the window opener), neither of us stopped. I kept going towards my destination when the voices in my head-we'll call them a conscience so y'all don't think I'm schizo over here-started ticking off the reasons I had no business going where I was going.

This is a bad idea, Blackie. Remember that sabbatical you're supposed to be on? Remember that promise you made after your last jaunt? This will not do anything but satiate you physically. What about your emotions, don't you miss feelings?

Did I mention how much I hate being a girl?

Fine, Blackie. Let's be real. He's messy. He's saved in your phone as Don't Do It! You're inviting drama to your doorstep.

By this point, I was standing outside his building, hand hovering over the buzzer. As if on cue, my phone vibrated: "Hey, where you@? Still coming?"

Moment of truth. Conscience shouting it's disapproval. I typed out the letters quickly: "Emergency @ work. Will be an early one. Just gonna go home." I turned on my heel and headed back the way I came, a bittersweet feeling that combined approval (for leaving/abstaining) and pissed off-ness (for leaving/abstaining).

I was crossing the street, reminding myself of why this so called sabbatical was apart of my so called life, when I crossed paths with the same man on virtually the same part of the street as before.

"Now we have to speak," he said. He had a drop it low (low) voice and a pair of hazel eyes. He was older with sprinklings of Idris Elba gray hair. Salt and pepper. Distinguished. A far cry from the youngins' game of dress up.

"I guess we do," I replied. We walked to the opposing corner, my corner, and talked for five or ten minutes. He was an actor turned producer, had a brownstone here and a loft in Studio City. He was in town for a film festival, might stay for a bit, he loved Manhattan this time of year.

He was a nice guy, attractive and when he asked for my information, I obliged, breaking my dudes-on-the-street rule. We went our separate ways. I felt like he was my reward for not going where I had no business going earlier. I was proud of myself.

Then life happened and after his initial phone call, to which he left a message, I completely forgot about him. Not in an I'm-not-interested way but in a life-is-crazy-I-don't-have-time way. He called again several days later. I realized I sucked and promised I'd call him that evening. I got caught up. I didn't.

Two days ago, I was waiting on the subway platform of my closest train station. I saw him out the corner of my eye, first, dared myself to actually direct a full gaze his way. I tried not to, but I felt him staring. I prayed he wouldn't recognize me. But when I peaked over, his hazel eyes were still on me. I gave a faint smile. One I hoped conveyed how busy I'd been and that it wasn't him, it was me! His lips set in a firm line, his eyes a bit steelier, he gave me a look of his own. Actually, it was more of a sneer. Sheesh. It's rough in these streets. I thought about saying something, but it just seemed so pointless by this point. Too bad, would've been nice to have a little house in Studio City. Besides, this is why I've voted a new rule into immediate effect: no dudes within a 20 block radius. Not that it really matters.

Sabbatical, B, sabbatical.

That bitch stole my line,


Blackie Collins

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