i’ve thought about dropping my bed off at the dumpster and stopping by the consignment shop and picking up the twin size mattress and sitting it on cinder blocks and wooden slats so i could sleep tight this winter – breathing into her neck.
this autumn will not allow that to happen.
this autumn finds me sitting low in crimson, leather seats – eyes slightly above the steering wheel.
fingertips slightly gripping below.
the nights have never been so crisp.
the air has never tasted so welcoming.
it’s as though it showered before my arrival.
and she stands there blowing from her lungs what she grew up believing was smoke -
wanting to say to the girl closest to her “i can see my breath.”
but they aren’t friends.
the starbucks cup and p-coat reminds her that warmth did and does exist.
the sky’s attempt at darkness brings her memories of summer sit-downs on park benches and piers after hours of shopping for lip gloss – shoes and scarves for the coming winter.
the scarf around her neck reminds her of his impersonation of her muslim mother who wore scarves to the market because the owner would always comment on her beauty in scarves and give her the discount he saw fit.
she stood there alone.
my lungs inhaled what was left of the cologne sprayed on my white t.
my lungs exhaled the chorus of an old otis redding song:
‘i’ve got dreams to remember’
the cold is here.
she feels it.
i feel it.
i want to sit low beneath goose down comforters with her – eating plantain chips and chocolate chip bread pudding with coconut ice cream – listening to sade depress the shit out of both of us.
i want to frequent malls with her, visiting every store – vowing to never shop with her again – carrying all eight of her bags to the car when it’s over.
i want to fall in ‘like’ this autumn, pushing her down in a pile of leaves – then letter her catch me just to see what her revenge will be.
i want to fall in love this winter watching her read through the newest ‘vogue,’ and ‘elle’ while sitting on the counter – heat on 95 degrees, salads on plates, dressing on the side – and neither of us hungry because we’ve filled up kissing.
this autumn, though, finds me sitting low, in crimson, leather seats watching her waiting for him – not me.
and remembering what i hope is to one day be.
i unlock my door for the woman currently waiting on permission to occupy the right side of my queen.
i exhaled on an old sade joint:
‘when i lay eyes on you’
dear moonfaced girl:
i woke up this morning and the man on the radio said you were coming for a visit.
it’s been a few months since i’ve seen you last. there have been women between then and now, but i’m not sure if they’ll survive your return.
there are those who have proven themselves weak and have been left at tables & in parking lots wondering if i’d return.
i sometimes sit and listen to bill withers talk about his everyday darkness in her absence. “her” being the woman that goes away. i have no idea where she’s going, but i sometimes wonder if she ever left him as long as you’ve left me.
it’s going on 9 months now.
i’ve begged women not to get their emotions caught on my buttons.
i stopped wearing earrings in 2006 because i listened to brittany’s heart beat and it got caught on the diamonds.
i haven’t yet mastered the art of breaking their minds.
love me with that, i tell them.
but, moonfaced girl –
do me a favor.
make sure those that break rules find lovers to hibernate with through the winter – and dine with in spring.
summer does her own thing, so i leave no notes for her.
i want to fall in autumn – hibernate in winter with youknowwho
so please, moonfaced girl, don’t mess this up.
To You (who i thought about while I found it difficult to piss this morning due to erection caused by the dream in which you starred):
i know you’re at work, fingering through papers that mean absolutely nothing to you, pretending to be busy in front of your boss. I respect that grind. But I’m hoping this letter creates a ding in your inbox and you check it before I begin my day.
come over. the building is too quiet and I’m going insane from the solitude. let’s create noise. let’s leave the doors open and raise the blinds. let’s fuck on the welcome mat because i just washed it. can you think of a better way to celebrate me learning how to work this new dryer?
let’s press down hard on each others flesh because we don’t know what else to do with our hands. let’s fuck and moan like the sounds we make are the only things keeping us alive.
I’m not sure if the paint dry, but it should wash easily off your back. bring your brush and comb and flat iron if you have to go back to work after.
come over. i’m well rested. i’m thinking about that time i climbed into your uterus and we slept comfortably. i’m watching the video we made and the pictures we’ve taken and it’s not helping. so come over. come now or i’m coming there, but if we don’t fuck before i start this day, i may just die, and i don’t want you having that on your heart. ok?
so i’ll see you in 25 minutes?
You asked me yesterday if I was happy. I said “yes.” That’s true. I am happy, but kinda growing tired and ready for something new. Something to shock my system.
I’m writing you from the Newark Airport Runway. Headed to Atlanta. I’m writing hoping that by the time you read this, you will be happy, too. Completely. You have the goods for it, just not the know-how yet. But you know me now. So grab a glass, pour your finest and let me make this toast:
To You : Because You Sometimes Need Words
Outside of the skyscrapers, fast life, and fucked up relationships, I was no fan of Sex and the City, but recently I sat down and watched both films. Carrie Bradshaw and John James Preston (Big) should have never gotten married. They should always be that couple that lives big, meet in the middle on the night on the Upper West Side or the Lower East to eat a crepe in the back seat of the BMW. They should always be that couple knowing marriage is for fools who need legal authorities to justify them. So there will be no more meeting like strangers in central park on park benches after weeks of not speaking just to share a sunny day. Is it all worth it?
“They’ve been through it,” says my movie mate. So I agree with a nod, a “hmph” and a sip of apple juice, and keep watching. Of course they’ve been through it. And when they emerged on the other side, they stayed together. Prior to the first film, they stayed together out of want, the greatest reason of all. “I took a vow,” is Big’s reason for staying now. Not because “I want to be here,” or “I’ll always show up because I love you now for who you are and who you’ve always been for me.”
I want a relationship very much like their relationship in the series. I want to think of you and get nervous because I’m not sure if you will call me tomorrow because you’re bored with what we have. I want to meet you on the Ludlow, just off the F Train and grab a #8 off the menu, and swear you to secrecy in regards to my favorite eatery in New York City. We’ll speak about marriage when our friends show us their rings, and call them fools on their wedding days. Then we’ll offer them shoulders when they argue and need a place to sleep.
Not because I promised God and 300 people I would, but because I want to, I will stay. We can wake up in the morning and choose to be together knowing we have the option not to. An option that would require nothing more than packing a few things and coming for the rest later. I want to.
So I can be your John James Preston and you can be my Carrie Bradshaw, but before Jennifer Hudson magically appeared, and there was a want, by you, to get married disguised as a strong need. And if that day comes when we may want to demote ourselves from phantasmagorical to extra-ordinary, we will, but only while holding onto promises to always disappear and reappear like the clichéd trains traveling in opposite directions around midnight; to always love crepes, benches and Chinese food on Sundays; to wake up afraid to open our eyes to an empty other side of the bed. Let’s always be nervous while we smile hardest, and let’s make whatever we get worth whatever we do.
Darnell Lamont Walker