An Honest Woman


       He was the most promising thing that had ever happened to her nonexistent love life. He was marriage material, and it frightened her to think like that because she had never known anyone that had ever gotten married. Certainly not her mother who had her, and her sister by a former standout high school football player who eventually turned to cocaine and crystal-meth. Not her older sister who had gotten herself pregnant by a local hoodlum and want to be playboy who, when drunk, would send her pictures of his dick on snapchat. Not herself, she had never been proposed to by the boy who had impregnated her shortly after her 20th birthday and she had never wanted him to. He was an aspiring rapper who ate with his mouth open and didn’t believe in keeping a job. He had shown an intense interest in her when he met her at the bus stop. She remembered thinking that he was kind of funny looking and had a very thin long face like a camel. She wasn’t attracted to him but she loved the way he wanted her, the smile that he had given her, the crass words about the shape of her hips came out sounding rather sweet. She was even charmed by the way he had to keep pulling his pants up because he had forgotten his belt and his skinny jeans were a few sizes too big. She gave him her number. He called, they fucked a few times, she got pregnant, she told him, he never called again, he blocked her on Facebook, deactivated his Instagram and disappeared. She didn’t really care. Honestly she didn’t. He wouldn’t have made much of a father anyway. Besides she would rather raise her child by herself with no interference.

            But now she met this promising brotha at a church function. He was with his family but his soul still wandered. He stood in the pulpit briefly to tell the congregation about the boy’s camp that he had started and how he needed their help. “Give me your boys” he orated “and I will do everything in my power to make men of them.” She thought this was very corny but she was still intrigued. Her son was far too young to attend the camp but she still got his business card after the service anyway. She emailed him the next day, and when he didn’t respond to her satisfaction she called him at his job and left a message with his secretary. The whole time she thought about his cream colored suit and matching tie. She ultimately became impressed by the dramatic nature in which he spoke and his extensive knowledge of scripture, not to mention his youth. He had to be the youngest settled man she had ever seen. She envied his wife and his daughter. She wanted him for her bedroom and she wanted him for her son. She didn’t feel like she was worthy of all of him just yet but she felt like she deserved a little piece. He should be able to spare that. So she continued to call him at his job, and she visited his home church, she helped out at the fundraiser for his camp, and she emailed him inspirational quotes.

            Finally he began to open up about everything that his marriage was not, and she listened. She began to talk about her son, and he listened. She began to laugh hardily at all of his jokes. Even the ones that weren’t funny—especially the ones that weren’t funny. She called him sexy and said, “If your wife ever slips up then you know who to call.” He ended that conversation abruptly. So abruptly that she just knew that she had lost him and she cursed herself for it. But the next day he called back from his job and after several minutes of small talk he asked in a nervous, secretive tone if she wanted to come and see him every now and then. She said ok. He then gave her a location to meet him and she told him that she was looking forward to it.

            She felt extremely accomplished when he finally reciprocated her lust. She never felt bad at all. She felt contented in knowing that she could have a piece of something great. She felt like his touch would raise her above the predetermined fate of all of her foremothers. That if he left work to be with her for an hour then that would elevate her consciousness. And that after enough hours he would come home to her and teach her little guy how to tie a tie, go fishing, and catch a football while she cooked dinner and ironed his clothes. With this young ambitious man she would be able to press the reset button on her womanhood. She had gotten his attention. She earned her hour and now she would submit to him and he would be hers for as long as it took for him to be hers.


Barbed Wire Fences

I build too many walls or maybe I should consider them to be barbed wire fences. People try to climb them but always get cut trying to hurl themselves over the top. I never liked the idea of people getting too close to me. I never liked the idea of getting too close to other people. I’ve never felt honored when a woman asked me to meet her family. I’ve never enjoyed hanging out with a woman and her female friends. I’ve always believed that the most beautiful thing in the world is a woman who can stand alone.

After graduating from college even though I got excellent marks I distinctly remember feeling like a failure. I was upset with myself because I hadn’t found a wife. So I decided to get one. I began paying special attention to a woman who worked with me. She was about a year older than I was and by anyone’s account “had her life together.” She was educated, she was religious, she was from a good family, and she had great job prospects.  One day I randomly caught her by herself in town and decided to make myself plain to her on the spot.  I told her I thought she was beautiful and that I was getting too old to play games and that I thought she would make a perfect bride and more importantly I was a man that she would be able to depend on forever.

She blushed and then took a deep breath. When she responded she spoke of steps. Multiple steps. I would have to get in good with her family, I would have to be approved of by her best friend, I would have to befriend her pastor, I would have to attend her church, it would take a lot of time, and then it still wouldn’t be guaranteed. She would have to give it up to god. After she finished I shared my philosophy with her. I told her that I love the fact that she can stand alone. I asked her why couldn’t we just solidify our love first and let everything else fall into place later. The girl looked me in my eyes and said; “You know that’s what the devil does? He always wants to get people by themselves.” I walked away from that conversation without a clear understanding of what had just taken place and further away from getting a wife than I had ever been.

For a long time I was confused about what it takes to find a life-partner and now I’m just scared. I’m scared because I’m no longer confused. With each passing year I become more content with the thought that I may never get married. As more and more of my friends prepare to walk down the aisle I continue to erect a series of fences. Each one doing its part to protect my inner-solitude. They say that hell is burning somewhere behind a gate but then heaven has its gate as well. I don’t know which one of these places I am closest to and I’m not sure that I care.