a casual disbelief rested elegantly in the slight laugh line that was birthed when i told her, her pretty smile tainted with an unsureness that i’ve become familiar with. she didn’t know whether to believe me or not, stay or run. so she laughed it off, as most lovely creatures who’ve been sheltered from my world do.
“you serious?” her head tilted in a ‘wait…’ sort of way, contemplating the possibility that i was indeed.
my song was one that passed the lips of many a blues singer. my life had been many shades of blues and browns. a sad melody of homelessness and restlessness to the beat of uncontrolled anger. i was damn near savage back then. had to be. everybody i knew was. that story, that story is one that doesn’t need to be told. should be pushed in the corners of dark shelves and forgotten like the lives of everyone else who lost their soul in the battle of the streets. shouldn’t be allowed to breathe. letting a fire breathe was letting a fire grow, and this fire blazing my insides had claimed one too many casualties as it was. she didn’t need that type of problem. she didn’t want my type of issues.
she smiled again. “alright. well thank you for your honesty. anything else you’d like to add?”
“…you look incredibly unattainable, tonight. stunning.”
her smile lit up a thousand dark alleys, a million black holes, at that. “unattainable. i like that. very smooth.”
this image she had of me … this pristine immaculate schoolboy she thought i was, was a fallacy. an image created to relax those around me. an image that hid demons behind shadows of demons. the image detained the memories for the most part. i was a damn good actor. had the innocent bystander act down. had used and manipulated words into my lies that became other people’s truths so much that i was be a million different things to a million different people.
“not smooth. true.” it was.
these 27 years look back at me like a salute to black-stained memories. embedded scars the badges of battle. the sign of times masked deep in my brown melanin. too many wounds unseen. she’d have to deal with a lot. too many unhealed pains. and yes i felt like a pussy for letting this permeate into my thoughts, letting this fear of feeling more human sustain a place in my heart, but this is what fucked up looked like. this was growing up with bullets tucking you in at night. this was cuddling up to death at thirteen in hopes that it’d win that battle with that aortic pump. this was fucked.up.
“are you ready?” her hand raised and landed on my left arm gently, her face telling me she was ready to move on.
“are you sure?” i turned my body slightly, away from her, stopped the currents her touch caused.
i should’ve left her there. should’ve disclosed the full truth. the elegant line birthed when she smiled again held me captive, though. held my tongue. the pavement that usually echoed only one pair of familiar footsteps to my keen ears, now resounded with the foreign clack of femininity beside me as i walked away. this would be interesting.