This is the first of three posts that are linked together.
With as much as I write about being a single father, very rarely to I divulge in detail about my dating life. I have alluded to, given general information, and so on, it isn’t something I talk about in an active capacity. But I’m doing something a little different and will be a little transparent…well translucent.
The truth is, being back in the dating world has made way for some of my best stories. My friends are constantly entertained by the drama that exists. My good friends who don’t know each other outside of my tales have become living characters to each other that meeting for the first time would feel like a reunion. I mention this for a reason and it’ll make a little more sense in a few days.
There was one girl I was dating. I’d had a little crush from afar for a while. I had done some freelance writing through a mutual acquaintance. I’d told my barber, 360 some months earlier in jest that I was going to make it happen. When the opportunity to meet her presented itself, I took it. After she and I exchanged numbers I gave him a phone call and told him it happened. Our friend Kalique was with me and he cosigned. She was the kind of gorgeous you can’t help but brag about to your friends to.
As good looking as she was, it was her personality that was alluring. We had a lot in common so we clicked instantly. She had lived a very interesting life full of crazy stories and adventures I enjoyed listening to them. She worked two stops away from Penn Station- where I catch the Long Island Railroad home-so we would meet up for a brief lunch before I headed home after work.
She lived on the other side of New York City. I loved that because it was far away from home. I found peace in the change of scenery outside of work and my parenting duties in Nassau County. I took a day off from life: pretended I had to go to work when I had the day off and spent it with her. We drove up to a mall in Westchester County. As soon as she got in the car she asked if she could hold my auxiliary chord and play music. At first she started playing Rihanna. The guy in me hated that; but I let it rock.
On the way back she asked for my phone and said “I’m gonna play some songs from college!” She was two years older than me, yet she the school she attended was right next door. So whatever she was excited about playing was going to be something nostalgic to being in Atlanta between 2001-2005. She waited for my reaction. One can’t help but light up when the 808 drums boom and initial guitar lick for UGK’s “Let Me See It” starts. She rapped it word-for-word and then followed. She followed it up with “Take It Off.” She bounced up and down while giving her best Pimp C impersonation, “Work sominethin’, twerk somethin’ basis. Makin’ big change dancin’ in them chicks’ faces.” The climax of the moment was playing “Do It” from T.I.’s first and oft ignored first album. “Now a thug done chose and I don’t give a damn if the club done closed. Give the DJ a dub, tell him spin one mo…”she recited as if it was an Atlanta night in the early 2000’s. At twenty-nine with a toddler seat in the back of my jeep I was reminded of a time when I didn’t have a care in the world and this was the person I’d have my eye on around 2 AM in Atlanta. That shit was dope to me.
The moment was full of contrast. Riding through the South Bronx-the birthplace of hip hop-with southern classics playing that under normal circumstances wouldn’t fit the scenery. Yet in that moment it made perfect sense. The moment perfectly summed up our dynamic.