I’m headed downtown to meet Chris for half-priced drinks, when I run into Too Good He barely recognizes me, as I just cut off my curly locks yesterday. I was over doing my hair every morning. We strike up a conversation leaving a Breast Cancer Awareness rally, and I invite him to join me.
Too Good got his name because he doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, and is the nicest man on earth. Sticky sweet, always smiling. Total A. We initially met through mutual friends but never stayed in touch. We have a hi-bye relationship. We walk the few blocks Uptown until we arrive at a hole in the wall where the music sucks but the drinks and company are great. Chris’s friends are hysterical (and tall and fine). So over three-dollar cranberry and vodkas (ginger-ale for Too Good), a group of intelligent men and women discuss politics, the Black situation (all Black intellectuals’ favorite topic), then move on to relationships.
I get a little hazy on the details of the conversation because for some reason, I am checking for Too Good. I always thought he was cute, but today he seems a little taller, his shoulders a little broader, his braces-perfect smile a little brighter, his laugh a little deeper. And the thoughts coming out his mouth? Dude has sense, too! Why didn’t I notice this before? maybe because this guy has always been cordial but never once remotely expressed an interest in me (i.e., I’m’ in his Friend Box).
We bounce from there to Tajj’s, a restaurant turned nightclub, because it’s the only place we can think of to go. We walk in and find folks partying on Thursday evening as if it’s two A.M. on a Saturday. The crowd is mostly suit-and tie dues who discarded their ties hours ago. This is a good look. the group heads toward the back for a men’s-room run, and I’m happily abandoned in a sea of tall men. I begin to check the room discreetly for available cuties, and I spot my ex, Corey, dancing with a woman right in front of me.
He spots me, too, gives me the I-barely-know-you wave. He was two-stepping when I first saw him, but as soon as he sees me, he starts getting low. Then he backs it up on his female companion. Then he turns her around so she can back it up on him.
Is this his new girl? She’s…….cute. Taller than me. Thicker in the waist, bigger in the booty. Fluffy-haired.
I try not to watch them, but I can’t help but look. They’re two-stepping again, and he’s holding the woman close, with his hand resting on her gigantic tush. As I look, he catches my eye and smirks. Is he gloating? I casually look away as if I didn’t see him. I won’t give him the satisfaction of letting him know he got to me. Then, from somewhere inside, a surge of much needed pride pops up. What is he gloating over? Despite his parting words, he’s not the only man who will treat me well. eff him for thinking he one upped me ’cause he’s rubbing up on some big booty girl in a crowded club. So what if I’m alone…..
HOLD UP! What am I talking about? I’m not alone. I walked in with three tall, broad-shouldered, well dressed, well-educated, well employed Black men.
Where are they?
I look over my shoulder, hoping to see them emerging from the men’s room in a pack. No such luck. I look right. No sigh of them. I look forward, and there they are, parting the sea of bodies like a trio of Black Moses and bearing gifts like Wise Men – two Heinekens, a ginger-ale, and a white wine for me.
I run up to Too Good, giving him a big smile, grabbing his hand, and intertwining my fingers with his. “Quick,” I say, pulling him down so I can whisper in his ear. “Pretend to be my boyfriend!” He immediately wraps his arm around my waist protectively and pulls me to his side as if I’m his woman and he’s proud to be my man. He doesn’t even ask why.
“A guy I used to date is here,” I explain, looking up. “He’s dancing all up on some girl, trying to make me jealous.” I nod in their general direction. The girl is winding on Corey now, and he’s engrossed in her fatty.
The Boyfriend screws up his face, squeezes me a little tighter to him. “The dude with the chick with the mustache?”
I look over at her again. Ooooh! I guess she is a little shadowy above the lip. “Um. Yeah.” Boyfriend turns around to tell the fellas what’s going on. They peer over at the girl, and all are unimpressed.
“You have nothing to worry about,” Chris assesses with a shrug. “You’re much cuter……”
“But she has a fatty!” I declare. Big booties trump most everything else, right? “And a mustache,” Avery points out. I get a sense that I’m missing the big picture. “They cancel each other out,” he says with a chuckle.
I have no idea what song comes on, but suddenly, I am being led to the dance floor by the Boyfriend. We dance a little two-step, and I tug on his tie when he comes close because it feels like the right thing to do. He has amazing rhythm. One song goes off, then another, then another, and we’re still dancing. I’m biting my bottom lip to keep from breaking out in a huge, cheesy grin.
“Don’t look at me like that,” the Boyfriend says. I’m blushing. I know I’m blushing. “Like what?” He gives me a don’t-start-no-trouble-you-don’t-want-to-finish look. “Like that.”
I tug his tie again, then spin off. I haven’t even remembered to check on Corey and Phatty Girl to see if he has noticed me with my may-an.
A wack song comes on, and the Boyfriend pulls me to his chest, wrapping both arms protectively around me in a tight hug. Without meaning to, I nuzzle into that comfy space between his hardened man breasts and run my hands over the steel frame he calls his back. I fight the urge to purr in contentment.
He kisses my forehead affectionately and looks down at me, squeezing me tighter. “Am I a good boyfriend, Reagan?” I nod my head into the man breasts. And then I have an Alicia Silverstone-like epiphany, like the one near the end of Clueless. I could like the Boyfriend! He’s a sweetheart, and he’s gorgeous, and he’s got rhythm, and he’s got good politics and common sense and chiseled man breasts! Uh, why did it take me so long to notice him?
“Does that mean no?” He looks offended. “Huh?” I pull back from my nuzzle and look up, realizing I’ve been caught daydreaming. “Oh, no! you’re great. you’re perfect!” i reassure him patting a firm man breast for emphasis. “Of course, you’re a good boyfriend.”
“Good.” He gives me another forehead kiss (damn that frontal lobe!) and releases me but keeps his arm around my waist…..for show? I don’t know anymore.
We chat it up with the rest of our crew for a bit, and then I finally remember that the purpose of the Boyfriend is to one-up Corey, who was attempting to one-up me. I look around the room discreetly, hoping to spot him. The Boyfriend catches me searching, leans down and whispers in my ear, “He left ten minutes ago.” He kisses my cheek, squeezes me to him tighter, and rejoins the conversation with our friends.