Riding on the 2 With My Woes

Sunday, March 8, 2015
10:39 PM
NP: Trust in Me - Etta James 

Beautiful memories. They make me teary-eyed but I've grown so much stronger over the last month.. The tears don't fall. They just make things blurry, literally and figuratively. 

"While there's a moon on high, while there are birds to fly.. While there is you ..you and I .. I can be sure that I love you. Stand beside me all the while .." I leaned back, with my arms still around his neck, admiring the tint of his eyes. I could barely see as the only light in the room came from the candles but I didn't need to see to sing, "Come on daddy, face the future .. Why don't you smile ... Trust in me ...and I'll be worthy of you... Trust in me in all you do.. And have the faith in me that I have in you.. And love will see us through....." 

He created a trail of kisses that started on my forehead and ended on my neck. His lips triggered a chrysalis effect as every butterfly in my tummy began to flutter. We swayed back and forth to the beat of the bass. Friday nights in Baltimore always seemed to start with us slow dancing to some soulful classics in my vinyl collection. Chaka, Aretha, Marvin, the Stylistics, Luther, Teddy..... 

Etta will always be the same. Everything is so different between us now but Etta, she remains timelessly untouchable. 

This bus ride seems endless. I'm bracing myself. For the first time in 7 months, I'll be getting off of the bus without the baby-teethed smile and securing embrace that always showed how much he really missed me throughout the week. He never let me get off the bus without a gift. My favorite will always be the least expensive of them all, that single red rose and hot chocolate. There is something about a fine man holding a red rose ...or maybe it was the way he looked in the tie and crispy white shirt...

"Can I have some?" I asked, reaching for the steamy Starbucks cup.

"Yes, it's for you. It's hot chocolate. I bought it for you, Bae." 

"Really?" I gave him the side-eye. "Because there's some chocolate still on your face." I used my thumb to wipe the corner of his lips. 

"I had my own." He smiled and laughed a little because he knew that I knew, even though he may have had his own, he still drank some of mine because no matter what beverage or food we ever had together, he would always finish his fast and then take a little of mine too. 

Beautiful memories. 

I'm fighting every urge to ask him to meet me at my bus. I have so many bags and it's going to be so dark and it's not safe for me to travel on foot by myself this late at night and the walk to the train is so long ....and ...and all these are excuses. Truth is, I miss that man. Im .. I.. I have to fight myself not to tell him to come downtown to get me because I know for a fact, no matter where he is or what he's doing, he will gladly drop everything and come ...and that's just not what we need right now. It's too soon. It's been a month since the break up but my wings are so fragile. I'm still trying to heal. 

I SEARCHED FOR my headphones. They were all the way at the bottom of my bag. I pulled them out and began to untangle them. Took me a while. 

"I would've given up by now..." 

"You don't have patience." 

"Well, that could be true but can I say, I couldn't help but notice your rings. You're not from Baltimore, are you?" The smooth Hershey color of skin shone under the small, reading lights. He'd been sitting next to me for the whole ride but finally decided to speak to me right before the bus stopped on 33rd. 

"No, I'm from New York." I felt ill-mannered not asking him where he was from but I really didn't want to talk. 

"It was nice sitting next to you. You smelled like fresh rain." His West Indian accent was thick... And attractive as hell but still, I didn't have the slightest urge to entertain his conversation. 

"Thanks. Take care." I gathered my luggage and the bag of things that "you know who" left at my house. 

"You don't smile much? Maybe I can take you out while you're in town. I would love the chance to make you smile." He was fine and that was cute. 

"No thanks. I just got out of a beautiful relationship." I walked to the corner and waited for the light to change. 

"Don't you mean a bad relationship? Why would you leave a beautiful relationship? And what man would let you leave?" He followed me as I walked across 11th. 

"No. It was beautiful." I didn't answer his second question... or his third. "If it's okay with you, I'd like to finish walking alone. Take care sir." I gave him a half-hearted smile and continued to walk away. 

AFTER LUGGING MY BAGS for almost twenty minutes, from 11th to 7th, my hands were throbbing. But the journey wasn't over. I had to carry my bags and my heavy suitcase down two flights of stairs to get to the train.

"SH_T!!!" I yelled in aggravation. I got all the way to the bottom of the stairs just to find that the station didn't have a metro card machine. I couldn't get in, which meant I would have to carry my stuff all the way back up the stairs. I took a deep breath and headed back to the street. I was so over it and when I looked up, I was standing there by myself, looking stupid. No really - I looked up and there I was on an electronic billboard, all by my lonesome, in the middle of that bare sidewalk on 34th, for the world to see how pitiful I was. I never knew those billboards recorded people on the streets. What a way to find out. 

I walked down the block to the next train station and was greeted at the bottom of the stairs by the same gates but no metro card dispenser. How could I let this happen it again? I swear I wanted to cry but I wouldn't dare let myself cry over something so petty. I picked my stuff up and started all over again. I went across the street this time and finally found an entrance with metro machines.

I thought I was just in time. I kept hearing the automated messages say that the next uptown 1 train was "Arriving on the local track" but after 15 minutes, nothing ever came. Three 2 trains and two 3 trains came and left before I finally noticed the big bold sign that was posted on the burgundy pole that read, "NO 1 TRAINS AT THIS STOP THIS WEEKEND"

"F_CK!!!!" Yup... I went from sh_t to f_cked in a matter of minutes. I was tired and annoyed. All I wanted to do was get to Aunt Lorraine's house so that I could free my hands and lay down. 

Thankfully, a 2 train pulled up within a minute. I used one hand to hold my bags and the other to hold on the to cold, chrome pole. I couldn't help but notice two tall, well dressed, white men laughing and touching one another like no one else was around. 

When the train stopped at 42nd, lots of seats became free and I sat right across from us... I was wearing a pair of ashy black uptowns and he was in a pair of high top, brown Tims. My hand gestures were used to supplement the force behind my words. I had a serious attitude with him.

"Am I right?" His voice was calm, despite his feelings. 

"This is not about your law school smarts." I rolled my eyes and turned away from him. 

"Look at me. Its not even like that. You know that."

"The fact that you perceive it that way is indicative that their is an issue." 

He shook his head and started reading, letting me have the last word. I wasn't satisfied with it though. 

"You don't take me seriously. That's fine."

The train stopped and I got up and stormed out. 

"I'll find my own way home." I didn't even look back. 

He sat there, looked down at his book, and for a second, it seemed like he was about to continue with his reading ...but he did not. He closed his book, threw his bag over his shoulder, and ran after me, just before the doors closed. 

I wanted to stop "me". 

I watched that feisty, petite, Dominican girl frustrate her boyfriend and everything in me wanted to stop her. His face told how tired he was ... Tired of all of the arguing. Tired of chasing her. Tired of the relationship. 

It was just.like.us. 

I wanted to stop the girl mid-sentence. I wanted to tell her to just love her man, it was Sunday night, they were together - all they should've been doing was laughing and touching like the gay couple. I wanted to tell her that I could see how much he loved her but his love was fading because of the blinding darkness of her aura. 

But it all happened so fast. She stormed off too fast ... 

I hope he caught her. 
I hope she let him catch her.