Book Excerpt: Poetic Justice

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To commemorate reaching the 40,000 views mark: Here’s one of the short stories from the book I’m working on…

Poetic Justice: Cydney My Wingman

“Nigga don’t approach her with that Atari, nigga, that ain’t good game, homie, sorry/ They say conversation rule a nation, I can tell/ But I could never right my wrongs ‘less I write it down for real/”-Kendrick Lamar

A few months ago I wrote a post based on this book/study called “Why Men Marry Some Women and Not Others.”  My bachelor’s degree is in psychology after nearly three years of majoring in business management because I was seriously considering a career in marriage counseling.  What I love about music is how it makes people feel.  We hear certain songs and lyrics that triggers emotions related to the song.  My love of music and the most common theme and motivation of composers-love- inspired me to study how people interact with those they often feel the way that these songs often conjure.  Since then, I’ve always had an interest in articles like this.  I found this post to be an interesting read.  After interviewing over 3,000 subjects they had an empirical study and the results intrigued me.

In the last part of the article, John T. Molloy gave bullet points about single fathers and widowers.  What stood out the most to me was that he stated “Single fathers with young children have little or no energy for a social life.” (2014)  I laughed at this because it is beyond true.  I don’t have the time or the energy to waste on being social.  I’m not going to chase any woman around for months or spend every weekend I can be out and about—I have a daughter.  In the context of dating and relationships I know what works for me and what doesn’t.  It doesn’t take me long to see it will work out or not.  I will also not lead someone on for months just because I am lonely and sometimes need the company.  I’d rather be by myself or doing dad stuff with Cydney.

My friends know that they will not see me unless it is someone’s birthday or a special occasion.  No one holds that against me.  Everyone also knows that if I am dating someone and there is potential for taking them seriously that if I get one free night a month, it goes to her.

I take Cydney with me everywhere.  Cydney has come with me to happy hours, birthdays, barbeques where we’ve got home late, and she is my traveling buddy.  It’s to the point now that if I am out without her, people ask where she is.  She is a part of my crew of constituents and when she isn’t there to be part of the revelry her presence is missed.   Because Cydney comes with me almost every time I’m out, when I meet women she’s with me.  Cydney is in fact my wingman.  She’ll scout around and if she feels up to it, she will let her presence be known to said girl knowing that I have to follow behind her and in some capacity introduce myself.

One time, I was in Harlem with some of my college friends watching the Knicks game.  Towards the end of the third quarter, Cydney got tired of sitting on my lap and hanging with us.  She got up, walked over to the neighboring table where two pretty girls were sitting and started watching the game with them.  She introduced herself, and sat there as if she’d known them.  She started eating their food and they were talking to Cydney all while having a good time.  I apologized to the girls and they said it was alright.  I brought Cydney back to my table and she went right back over there.  Had I felt like it, I could have made that work for me.  But I wasn’t that interested.  Cydney has done this many times.

Not only is Cydney my wingman, she’s the gatekeeper.  She’s the boss who makes the approval on whom I hang around with and who I don’t.  I’ve taken Cydney out with me on dates and in a fairly passive way she will make her opinion on the person known.  Usually, she will pretend that she’s tired, lay her jacket or coat on the floor, and pretend to go to sleep.  That means she’s over it.  If we walk into a room and she’s never met anyone in there before, she knows who are the people I am close to, interested in, or dating.  I think it’s just her intuition being strong because she’s young and she just can pick up on a vibe.  Maybe she sees how I look at them, they look at me, or they say “Hi” to her very differently.

The same night Cydney introduced herself to the table of girls my friends and I walked across the street and went to another bar to watch the rest of the playoff games.  We sat at a table and throughout the evening many people-girls included-came and joined us.  Cydney gave everyone the same kind of attention. She let everyone hold her and take pictures with her as well.  Towards the end of the night when we were leaving this establishment another girl had come in there and joined us.  She definitely caught my eye because she was gorgeous.  Something about her looked familiar.  I asked her if she went to Spelman College, the historically black all girls college across the street from my alma mater.  She said that she did.  I asked her “What year did you graduate?”  She replied “2008.”  I told her that my girl graduated that same year.  She asked who was it and I said “Timile Brown,” knowing that as soon as I said that name to anyone at Spelman who graduated in 2008 they knew who she was—the girl who recently died from cancer.  She nodded her head and said she knew her.  She didn’t really hear me and I could tell from the body language.

As we all walked out I pulled up a picture and showed her.  She gasped and her jaw dropped.  She said “Oh my God!  I had classes with her.  The day she died I cried over the phone with a mutual friend of both of ours.  She realized that the little girl I had with me was the Cydney, Timile’s daughter.  She began to well up and said that she needed a moment with Cydney.  She picked Cydney up, walked off with her, and said something to her.  Maybe she didn’t say anything.  What I was paying attention to was how my daughter looked at her.  Cydney looked her dead in the eyes and they bonded.  It was as if she had imprinted on this girl she’d just met.  It was a look I hadn’t seen Cydney give anyone except Timile.  I was very taken aback and didn’t let it be known that I in fact was having my own moment watching this.

I offered to give her and one of my other friends a ride to their next location.  It was time for Cydney and me to go home.  I walked and talked with my friend the two or three block walk back to the car while the girl carried Cydney and their moment extended to minutes.  She and I talked in the car.  She said that if I ever needed someone to watch Cydney that she would be more than happy to do so.  I didn’t take that seriously because every girl I’ve met who has found out that I am a windowed father has offered that.  In fact, I almost write off anyone who says that the first time I’m out and they meet her.  I just said “okay,” we exchanged numbers, and became friends.  As we would go back and forth talking on the phone or through text message she would ask questions about Cydney.  I could tell that she was actually interested in my daughter and kept saying that she wanted to take her on a “girl date.”  I said “ok” halfway still writing it off.

After she and I had hung out a few times just the two of us I told her I would arrange for the two of them to meet so that she could get to know Cydney.  She lived in Manhattan, but coached children’s soccer not too far from where I live in Long Island.  The girl had suggested that Cydney and I meet here out there and I said that I couldn’t make it, or that I wouldn’t; one or the other.  I took the bus out there with Cydney in her stroller.  The girl said that she looked up at me and was thinking to herself “Who is this one black person out here?”  As we got closer she saw I had Cydney with me and she was too excited to meet her again.  This was how Cydney and Neighbour became friends.

Neighbour once said to me that we first became friends because of Cydney…Regardless of whether or not Cydney was there I was leaving that night with her number.

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