Dinner Fiasco

I spent a recent evening at dinner w/ an amazing guy friend whom shall be called Greg and another girl, Nicole, a friend of my bestie, Katrell. Katrell was supposed to be meeting us, but called after we’d all arrived at the restaurant to say she wouldn’t make it.

The food was great. But the chemistry between Greg and Nicole (both single) was far more interesting than the Pan Asian fusion on our plates. After a bit of unexplained akwardness which I assumed was because Nicole didn’t know either me or Greg, I realize they’ve been friends for a bit. As the evening wore on and Nicole opened up, their banter and cheesy smiles and a million shared interests hinted that maybe there had been more between them at some point. And if not, there should be more than friendship between them in the future.

Hmmm.

Greg excuses himself from the table to take a call and leaves me to chat with Nicole, who I’ve only met in passing several times before. In short, she is single, attractive, and childless w/ a warm heart and a smile that lights up any room. She has common sense, is well read, intelligent, and articulate. Her hobbies include cooking (favorite) and decorating and she is a self-described neat freak. Oh, and she’s a journalist for the newspaper, has a side hustle too and believes in traditional relationship roles, ie let a man be a man, whatever the hell that means.

As far as I can tell, there is nothing wrong with this woman. She’s great, so great that if I were a man, I would date her.

I ask her, ”may I speak freely?” and she agees that I may. So I just say flat out: ”what’s the deal with you and Greg? You guys have great chemistry and you’d be totally cute together.”

”Greg?” I can’t read her reaction. She’s not surprised, excited, or happy, but she’s not shocked, appalled, or mad either. She’s just blank.. and says nothing for an awkward ten seconds, which could have gone longer had Greg not returned to the table.

Ever the gentleman, he apologizes for his absence and offers to buy a round of post-dinner coffee or tea, which I accept and Nicole declines. He and I babble about nothing and Nicole, apparently back in her shell, has gone mute beyond uttering ”yeah, uh huh” and ”hmm.”

As soon as the check comes, Nicole throws down way too much cash, and says she has to go. She gives weak goodbyes, double air kisses to us and practically sprints out the restaurant as we try to tell her to take back $20.

”What the fuck was that?” Greg asks after the door slams back in Nicole’s haste to escape.

”I think I fucked up,” I say.

He quirks one eyebrow really high. I am so jealous that he can do that. ”What’d you say, Reagan?”

”I asked her why she never tried to date you casue I thought you two would be an amazing couple and there’s a lot of chemistry between you and you’d be so cute together and- and -and- and she just shut down as soon as I said it and I asked her if I could speak freely before I aksed. I did. I didn’t mean to offend her or anything. And she’s a good woman. I mean really good. She’d be so good for you.”

He sighs and gives me a stern look. ”You shouldn’t have asked that.”

”Well yeah. I know that now.”

Another big sigh. ”We used to hang out a lot. I thought about it but there was no… What do you call it all the time? va va va voom?”

I nod. ”Just cause she didn’t like you then doesn’t mean she wouldn’t like you now.”

”I didn’t like her.”

Huh? ”What?! She’s amazing.” This is fact, not opinion.

”She is.”

”So what’s the problem?”

”She didn’t do it for me.”

”A good woman didn’t do it for you?”

”I’m not attracted to her… I mean physically. I mean I wasn’t then, but I am now.”

I look at him like the stupid he is. ”Did you tell that good woman you weren’t attracted to her?”

He nods. ”Yes,” he sort of squeaks out.

”And you like her now, don’t you?”

”Yes.” Another pitiful squeak.

I shake my head and just stare at him. ”I love you dearly, but you are an idiot.”

”Oh, you have no idea.”

I try–and fail– to do the eyebrow thingy.

”Last month, I told her that I was feeling her now.”

”And if she’s the woman I think she is she told you to go fuck yourself.”

”In so many words. She asked ‘why now?’ first. And I told her.”

”You told her what exactly?”

”That I was attracted to her, that she’s an amazing woman. She said it was too late. She’s over me.”

”You fucked up.”

Long pause. ”I know. Trust me, I know.”

“Now oddly enough, the present finally made sense.”

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That Moment

“One of my readers e-mail me a couple of weeks ago, stating that I had the best life, and the best male friends based off my writings. Well I must admit I do have some pretty special people in my life. I’m filled with positive men, and women.

I don’t know the exact moment I fell in love with him. Somewhere between the 29th and 30th of a certain month of a certain year after the millennium between 4:46 and 4:47 in the morning when the sun was squeezing in between the moon and the horizon to peer through my window and cast a slant of light on his caramel face, his mouth slightly opened to leave the most subtle gusts of air on my nose as he exhaled.

And then I inhaled.

Yea, I think that’s when I fell in love with him, as I waited for the hours to pass by so that I could peer into those beautiful eyes and make sure.

Because you usually don’t know love until you see the eyes. The eyes, they burn into yours and suddenly, somewhere in between noses, that spark happens. Maybe “sizzle” is a better word. It’s a feeling so potent that the air between the two people runs away blushing, and suddenly, there’s nothing between you and his lips but that last brave breath.

All happens in the eyes, I used to think.

But as I continued to watch him wrinkle his nose to snub that triangle of light that had dared to interrupt the darkness behind his eyelids, I realized that I didn’t need to see his eyes. Because the way his caramel limbs warred around me, torn between being scared of suffocating me in their tightness and never wanting to let me go, let me know I was in love with him. The fact that, at 4:47 in the morning, I was itching to tell him what I had discovered overnight–that this was it–that I loved him so much, right now, and the first person I wanted to tell was him.

Then, as it often does, my mind began to race and over think what, a moment ago, was as clear as a baller’s wife’s ring. What if he didn’t love me back? What if I let those words leave my lips only to have those eyes, those pools of ink, grow wide as the only reasonable thing, in his mind, to do was mutter a pitiful “…thank you.”

And what if, because I said those words, he began to rethink his forward steps and want to walk a little backwards? Maybe he would ponder if we were moving too fast and he would take moments away from me, running away as those words I had uttered chased his mind and his heart until finally he decided that his emotions just had to be done. With me.

What would I do then?

Suddenly, his limbs that had once been my proof of his love became heavy, suffocating. I breathed deeply while trying not to inhale his smell. I couldn’t be further intoxicated by that vanilla-laced-with-musk smell that lingered in the crevice of his neck. That smell itself would make me utter words that I wasn’t ready to say– confront feelings I wasn’t ready to feel.

As quietly and gently as I could I peeled him off of me. First a toned leg. Then, after three tries, I was able to successfully dodge his arm’s attempts to pull me back in close to him. I reached into my dresser, pushing aside all of my clothes until I found it.

The only thing in the world that would ever know how I really felt.

I would agonize over my decision afterward. I would smile at him and stand on tip toes to kiss him, when, behind my eyes, a war was waging between the tiny inkling of courage I had to tell him, and the fear of what his rejection would do. But in this moment, I had to let these overwhelming feelings out somewhere.

So I turned to the only thing I knew.

“Dear Journal…

Swallow It

Katrell had just recounted a story of love and loss.  I did my girlfriend sympathizing duty as we rode with Kewon to Cafeteria, an afterhours restaurant.  Kewon took another approach to Katrell’s dilemma.  you know men stop themselves from solving a problem.

“Learn to swallow,”  Kewon told Katrell…..I think.  “It’ll keep your man happy and at home.  No man will leave his woman if she swallows,”  he added.

The phrase learn to swallow became a running joke this summer.  Every time a woman complained about a boyfriend who was hanging with the boys too much or not showing enough attention, this was the laughed-out advice we started to give.  But it wasn’t for women simply looking for a man.  Male consensus held that swallowing can help a woman keep a man she’s got but will not help her get a man she does not.  The guys unanimously agreed that swallowing without a title will automatically dismiss a woman from consideration for a relationship.  And yes, they acknowledged that it’s not fair.

“Life isn’t,”  Kewon noted.

I took the phrase for the partial joke I assumed it was until one night, I realized Kewon was dead serious.  Kewon came to visit me, with a few of our mutual friends a couple of days after my birthday.  So they are sitting in my living room, and somehow the conversation resurfaces itself.  So I voiced my real feelings on the matter to the guys, which  in a word was “Ugh!”

Sean, a friend of Kewon’s who had become a really good friend to me, became visibly upset.  “Not swallow?”  he bellowed as if I was actually dating him.  “What do you mean, not swallow?”

“It’s disgusting,,”  I shot back with equal venom.  “You watch too much porn.”

“Disgusting?”  Another bellow.  “My seeds are disgusting?”

I kissed my teeth, and rolled my eyes.  “In someone’s mouth or throat, they are!”

The look on his face was pure comedy.  He was appalled that I could not fathom a woman loving his cum.  “Dudes swallow women’s juices all the time.  You think we spit it out when we’re down there?  You think we like to swallow when a woman cums in our faces?  We commit to the act.  A woman has got to commit to the act!”

The following weekend, I broached the subject at Charlotte’s verson of the Pink Taco.

“What’s the obsession with all this swallowing business?”  I ask the Don Q’s pretty boy crew.  Brothers from the Uptown residents in their mid-to late thirties who stay perfectly fly at all times.

“That shit just feels right!”  is the general consensus.  Dap and laughter all around.  Apparently, they’re not as deep as Kewon and his friends.

From Darwin the youngest homeboy of Don’Q comes a bit more explanation:  “Don’t think about it in terms of what it can do for him, think about what it means in terms of the greater good for you.  You swallow, and you can get anything you want.”  He wasn’t speaking of material goods.  More like romance, affection, and attention.

“Does swallowing feel better than sex?”

Darwin is in deep thought, trying to come up with the right answer.  It’s as if I can see the wheels turning as he recounts all his sexual experiences.  Finally, he reaches a verdict:  “Depends on the skills of the woman.”

Eh…..I’m not convinced about this swallowing bit.  I offer an alternative, bringing up the skills of Italia Blue, an adult actress.  She provides a good education, but whenever her mate reaches ultimate joy, she takes it, then spits the contents back onto the rod.

“That’s the equivalent of swallowing, no?  She took the mouth shot,”  I reason.

The guys are horrified.  I get a flurry of “NO!” and “Ugh!” and “She’s gonna spit on me?”

Now it’s my turn.  “Yeah…what’s the problem?  Um, it’s yours.  You want women to swallow something you don’t even want touching you?”

“That’s disgusting, Reagan,” says one of the guys.

“But, um, it’s not disgusting for a woman to swallow it?”

He shakes his head.  “No!” he blurts definitively on behalf of the guys.

“Why not?”  I challenge.

“It’s just not.”

“If men want women to do it, ya’ll have to give a valid reason.  ‘Because we want it’ isn’t enough.”

Sensing that I’m not dropping the subject anytime soon, one of the other guys in Don Q’s crew  takes a moment to ponder the question seriously.  “Really?  I’ll speak for all men and say as long as a woman’s down on my dick, no real man’s really going to complain.