Archive for September, 2010

Solitude Part Six

Southwest flight specials brought me back to Detroit for a birthday party for Nick Parker, a friend of ours from high school and college, in early July. Mason was there, and I was hopeful that he would indeed “come around”. But he effectively ignored me, and then left without a word goodbye, splattering what was left of my heart in the street underneath his size 14 shoes. And the jacked-up part about it was that no one noticed.
It’s now mid-August and the only thing that’s come around are my bills and my period. I began to reflect on what once was. Face the reality of my situation, Mason was gone and was not coming back. My world, my livelihood has gone awry and I am nothing but a glimmer of my former self.
And who was I? Mason’s girl. The nameless female at his side at every dinner, dance, and ceremony. I got so wrapped up in him that I’d lost myself. My very existence was squashed by his greatness. My love for him blinded me; that writing on the wall was real and had probably been there for years. But like the residents of a neighborhood filled with graffiti, I knew it was there, but I ignored it. Until now.
He said he loved me. But he loved his ideal of me. What he thought I should be. When I no longer lived up to it, if ever, that’s where the problems began. I never really had his acceptance of me nor his support. I stare at the writing, now boldly written, italicized and underlined and begin to cry for the umpteenth time. Hot tears burn my face like lava; I can’t believe I was so stupid, I don’t know who I am anymore. But, these tears are for a different reason; not because he left me, but because he beat me to it.
I tear through my tiny southwest DC studio apartment; it’s time to cut him out of my life and start anew. I’m in a rage, tearing down his pictures, stuffing every gift he gave me into a box, trying to cleanse my home, my heart, and my spirit of the very thing that drained it out of me over five years ago. I throw the box in the dumpster. I am all cried out, like Lisa Lisa was over the Cult Jam. I have shed my last tear and had my last pity party over Mason Andrews. I am no longer Mason’s girl. I will no longer be the nameless female by his side. I am Evan Martin and I will be moving on.



Book Cover

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Solitude Part Five

My mama’s birthday brought me back to the Motor City in March. Do the family thing, get a little loving from my man, and I was set.
Or setting myself up for failure. My aunt had taken my mom out to a get together at 6pm, and I had the house to myself. I was waiting for Mason to get me to take me to his place. It was 7, 8, 9, 10pm when he pulled up in his brand new Chevrolet. I was livid and sex-deprived, normally a good combination for us but not that night. I asked what took so long, he knew when I’d be ready. Once more, he was out with his friends. Funny how he always made so much time to see people he sees every damn day and can’t even be on time to see his girlfriend who lives 8 hours, four states, two turnpikes, and a 225 dollar plane ticket away; hijinks quickly ensued.
I was determined this time; I was not backing down, I wanted more time with and attention from my man. He tried to trip me up, selling me more bullshit, but I refused to buy it. Then he flipped it on me for real. Told me that I’d changed; gotten some new hair and a new attitude, that I could’ve managed my money better to visit more since I wanted to see him so badly. Then he said he needed space, I was putting too much on him and just didn’t have the time to deal with me right now. My head spun, I was definitely twisted around. By the time I began to realize what was going on, that I was being dumped, he had fired up his SUV and pulled off. Just like the carnival ride, the bottom dropped out from under me, but I didn’t have a wall to stick to.
The next three months were filled with tears, wonderment, and appall. I refused to call him. He was the one that needed to come around and realize he was wrong. I was not going to beg. Eventually he would come around. He’d show up at my doorstep and take me in his arms, apologize and make love to me all night. My mama told me to just give him the space and he’ll come around. My friends were shocked; said that we were so cute together. We’d work it out. Just wait, he’d come around. Come around. Come around. Come around.


Solitude Part Four

We only managed to have brief conversations for about five to ten minutes for the next few weeks. He always had to go somewhere, do something, meet his boys. Not that I was sitting by the phone. I remained active in DC, putting my PR skills to good use with the NAACP and working with the youth through Junior Achievement. I cranked out bi-monthly newsletters at work, planned small-scale internal events and worked with other charitable organizations so our company could get some goodwill. Happy Hours and First Fridays invaded some of my nights, going to the movies or midnight bowling with college friends took some of the others. But I wanted my man.
Valentine’s Day was approaching and I had informed him in January that funds were tight and I couldn’t swing another flight out to Detroit especially since I was coming in March for my mother’s birthday. When I asked him in early February when he was coming out, he said he wasn’t. He had too much going on to make the trip, and he knew I was upset about it, but he wasn’t changing his plans. I’ll get over it; I’ll be alright. I hung up the phone in a huff, pissed beyond all pissivity. All the times I had rearranged my schedule to accommodate him, he refused to budge even though he had plenty notice about my inability to afford three round-trip plane tickets in a span of four months. But I let it go; went out for drinks and fun with my fellow, single college friends; never questioned how my man was spending his Valentine ’s Day. I was beginning to see something scribbled on that wall, just couldn’t make out what it was yet.


Solitude Part Three

So our temporary distance, while it pained me to be so far from him, I knew we could do it. He even encouraged me to take the job in DC. He wouldn’t be at his job long since he wanted to get into financial planning, which meant he’d probably return out East. Where he went next, I’d follow because I hated the distance. It was probably that distance that kept me from seeing the writing on the wall.
At first, we spoke a few times a week. With his acclamation to his new job and my spending habits catching up with me, we didn’t get to see each other the first few months. We attended our first homecoming as alumni and loved each other all weekend long. I went home for Thanksgiving. He didn’t come down for my birthday in December, just as I had decided to stop living the lye after twelve years and bring in my 22nd year of life perm-free. I was upset that he missed my birthday because hell, it was my birthday. I was a little relieved that he wouldn’t see my new natural, though; it was mad short. He said that it was kind of crazy to go down for a few days when the next week or so I’d be there for the holidays. I bought it…bullshit excuses from Fool-Mart. However, I got home for Christmas and he shows up to my annual family Christmas Eve/Birthday Party dinner three hours late because he was out with friends, the same friends that he sees everyday. I only got one gift instead of the customary two and later on he flipped out over my hair, which surprisingly, my family took quite well.
Once more, I was too flighty, doing things without thinking; where the hell did all my hair go and how soon was it coming back? What made me think to blindly cut off my perfectly fine, straight hair when I didn’t know what kind of hair I had going on for real. My newfound nappiness was horrendous, the curl pattern was too tight, Afros on girls are not cute and not even professional. I was crushed, I figured he’d turn up his nose but the tirade was unexpected. I tried not to let his caustic words get to me, I loved my hair, it had more springs, coils and corkscrews than the roller coasters at Cedar Point.  I felt liberated and able to do all the things relaxers kept me from doing. Like exercise…I had gone off the birth control shot and lost 15 of those 35 pounds and that pretty much went unnoticed by him. I stayed until New Year’s and only saw him once. Let him get over the shock of the hair, once it grows out, he’ll be cool, I told myself as I boarded the plane back to DC.