Despite what you believe...it still happens
It was a Friday evening, I had already showered and was enjoying some vegan jambalaya I cooked yesterday. I was wearing a comfortable black Dolemite t-shirt, black sweatpants, and black socks. It was 5pm, and as I sat quietly in my living room on the Persian blue, I began to reflect on my social life of the past seven months. I found myself gazing at two squirrels chillin’, munching on some nuts in my back yard and thinking, life is that easy huh’. I began to think about the women I had shared time with.
It was fun, it was interesting and I could not lie to myself, I enjoyed the unknown of figuring out a woman. I enjoyed flirting. Each woman I was with, was unique in her own way, but more of the same as well. I mean, I had dated a CEO, university professor, gym instructor, yoga teacher, lawyer, public school teacher, local news reporter and a corporate ladder climber, so far. Yet, a common thread among them was, a need to prove themselves…all the time. I like “go getters” but, there was always something…
I could not get it…I was walking one Saturday afternoon in Grant Park near the Atlanta zoo with Amrita Vasquez, a yoga instructor originally from Los Angeles, CA. I met her at a yoga studio called Nirvana Yoga when I was looking for a place to get my Ommm…on other than at home, wanting to meet like minds. I was interested in getting more into myself and I received a bonus in connecting with a spiritualistic Latina.
She has a great understanding of human nature, mental clarity, and being centered in one’s uniqueness. So I like having those kinds of conversations with her. That day, the sun was shining golden bright, the sky was blue with dashes of fluffy clouds and a slight breeze flirted with our faces, as the birds sang natural slow jams, I was feeling good. We were laughing, enjoying each other’s company, then she saw an equally attractive woman unaccompanied, walking towards us. Then frantically, she clutched my right hand…extra tight and made sure she was walking extra close, with me. As if she was laying claim to her property? I quickly looked at Amrita and then back at the woman. This newly assumed challenger walked by and rolled her eyes at both of us, as she scoffed. I was…confused. What happened to the centeredness? What happened to Namaste?
I recalled the memory of eating with Angella D. Monique, Esq. at this stale, wanna’ be hip, bougie restaurant in Buckhead called Reality Eats Kitchen, during a Thursday lunch hour. I met Angella at a seminar organized by the Georgia Lawyers for the Arts, in which copyright law was the two-day topic. I met her in the lobby of the King Plow Center during one of the breaks between meetings. We talked about author rights in the realm of the internet. Then somehow the conversation switched to, “Did you attend Morehouse,” which she asked with real enthusiasm and anticipation. As my face twisted like I just bit a lemon, I replied nonchalantly,” Nah, I went to Savannah State U. back in the day.” She said “Yessss.” “Those “House “guys are just a little too much in love with themselves.” I found her judgmental and contradictory display, to be a classic “pot calling the kettle black” moment. Yet, I still was interested in getting to know this alluring and intellectual woman. It was the start of an interesting friendship.
We were vibin’ at the restaurant, though she couldn’t really scale back the precise diction she picked up at Spellman, and the intricate lawyer speak. However, she could not play that with me. Nah, I knew she was from Dade County, Florida and not the sophisticated glamorously portrayed area that is often publicized. Nevertheless, I liked her personal drive, so that is why we got along so well. Everything was copacetic until, THE MISTAKE. It was as if she wanted to make extra sure that the waiter, knew that she could afford to pay for our meal.
As soon as the waiter gave us our drinks and tried to escape, she cracked on him like Django. “EXCUSE ME!? I ordered a Lemon Drop Margarita, which has a key ingredient that is sorely missed. That key ingredient that I am looking for, along with the meals that I came to this establishment to purchase, is none… other… than… lemon. I require more lemon, if you do…not…mind. If it is not correct, I will be looking for the manager.” She extended her left arm and held the glass out for the waiter to retrieve, with her head tilted towards the ceiling, looking at no one in particular, with her lips pursed.
Can you see the look on my face? The jury, I mean, the other people in the restaurant, looked on in stunned silence, she had them in the palm of her hand. I didn’t mind, besides I already had my orange juice, freshly squeezed and she was spending her money. I drank to that.
Then there was Anique Scott, an IFBB (International Federation of Body Builders) Pro Bikini competitor, Crossfit gym instructor, personal trainer and Georgia Peach, born and raised in College Park, GA. We met when I was at an outdoor track in the Grant Park area, jogging. She happened to be there as well, enjoying the neighborhood fitness accommodations. She was pacing, wearing a pink jogging tracksuit, pink socks, with white and pink Nikes for added measure. I have never loved pink so much. She was jogging with an equally attractive female friend, whose J.T. was lime green, with matching lime-green Nikes. I think they were showing off.
I suppose the three of us were keeping an upbeat tempo around the track. They were lapping everyone else except for me, so if I was on the left side of the track, they were on the right side and vice versa. The wolves on the track were salivating and I can’t deny, I was liking her and her friend as well, though I played it cool. Quite different from the wolves who were trying to vie for attention ever so subtly, with overly toothy grins and running whispers.
I supposed the stars were in perfect alignment, because Anique and I both happened to have parked right next to each other. What a smooth coincidence!! A bold sister, she must have told her friend to go off somewhere, since she was alone. She mentioned to me immediately, of how she liked my jogging form. Jogging form? Was I going to deny the attempt, hell no, I caught that pass. I admired here curly natural Mohawk hairstyle and dimples as we effortlessly exchanged contact information. We were smiling and wrapping up our conversation, when I saw those lames from the track, out of the corner of my eye. I didn’t know grown men could suck their teeth so much.
Exercising and getting to know one another had become a twice weekly event. Then one day after a few weeks of feeling out each other, she called and invited me to join her at the gym she actually worked at. I guess she wanted her crew’s opinion of me, I thought. Nevertheless, I agreed to stop by at 5pm later on that day. It was a Wednesday, I believe. We met at a sizable group fitness gym in downtown Decatur, GA called Chaos Fitness, which used to be the home of a department store called K-Mart. We hugged cheerfully as we greeted one another. I admired her latest fitness fashion statement. This time she decided to wear all black, slightly form fitting of course. After giving me a tour of the well-equipped, yet spacious facility, occupied by various fitness types, we agreed to take on the CrossFit class, over the other possible choices. Go hard or go home.
I have taken part in this madness a few times in my day, so I was cool with it. At 6pm the devotees gathered at a chalkboard near the front of “The Initiation,” which was the CrossFit area of the spacious gym, to listen to one of the trainers and the owner, who resembled Roadblock from G.I. Joe. This 6’4’, swole, Zulu, with a bald head, explained the W.O.D. (Workout of the day) and revealed the workout called the “FILTHY FIFTY.” The “jacked” regulars from different ethnic groups, were slapping high fives with christmas morning smiles on their faces, underneath the clock. I gave a puzzled look to Anique and she assured me that I could “handle it.” I wasn’t puzzled about the workout itself, I was trying to figure out why people get excited about a workout? I remembered how I was moderately greeted by these regulars at the gym, as Ms. Scott introduced me as her friend, which I was cool with.
“Gym Rats” are known to be cliquish, especially in CrossFit. So I used that for motivation on those “Suckas.” Roadblock was more talkative, as he was trying to find out who I was, less like Sherlock Holms and more like a father. Which ironically, he was to the Pro Bikini model. How convenient, I thought, though I felt no need to act differently. We took part in a timed workout, in which the objective was to do 10 different drills in the least amount of time and then sprint back to the chalkboard, to document our triumph. The following workouts were listed on the board.
50 Box Jumps (24/20 in)
50 Jumping Pull-Ups
50 Kettlebell Swings (1/.75 pood)
50 Walking Lunges
50 Push Press (45/35 lb)
50 Back Extensions
50 Wall Balls (20/14 lb)
Everyone set up their equipment and personal workout areas throughout “The Initiation,” and waited for the timer to start. Anique set up her workout stations next to mine. Roadblock must have been a hip hop head, because the series of workout songs that were blasting from the speakers were from an array of well-known classics from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. Suddenly, the familiar horns of Ruff Ryders Anthem by DMX kicked the speakers down, as the digital timer counted down-3, 2, 1 and then a mad dash of frantic energy began.
I found myself over the next 20 minutes being slower in some workouts and faster in others. Everybody was in combat mode and there was not a lot of talking, except for big Roadblock walking around yelling at everybody to “keep pushin.’” I occasionally glanced at the participants around me and would see people taking breaks on their knees for a few breaths, getting a fast drink of water and then back to the organized chaos. I honestly was fighting a desire to quit. Anique was going through the workouts like the pro that she was. She looked like a warrior goddess, which motivated me to step it up and fight the self-quit talk. “The new guy was not coming in last,” I thought.
I was on my last exercise! I finished and began to make a sprint for the chalk board at the other end of the gym, which was a 40-yard dash. As I started running, I looked around and thought “Oh snap, I’m about to beat these chumps in their gym?” “I’m gone’ clown in their hometown?” “WHAT!?” My paced picked up, as I got my second wind and I was in an all-out run.
I was feeling good and I began to allow a smile to form on my face, when all of a sudden, I felt something pull my left heel. I abruptly found myself in slow motion, going in a downward, curved direction. Everything was slow-moving, as I fell to the green artificial turf floor and went into a roll. As the room was spinning, I looked up and I saw a pair of black Nikes and caramel toned legs in black Nike shorts pull away from me. Before I stopped rolling, I heard the whoosh of people running past my head, witnessed legs jumping over my body and even felt someone kick my right foot. I thought, “DAMN, this girl tripped me up?!!!??”
As “THE CREW” argued over who had the best times, laughed and slapped high fives at the front of “The Initiation,” I was 38 red hot, while lying on the floor 20 yards away from the scene. I sized up the situation, as I slipped my running shoe back on my left foot. I quickly threw my Bachelor of Arts Degree and my Masters out da windoe.
I took it back to Augusta, GA, so I could make sure they understood what I had to say. I bitterly said “What the fuck was that!” The 15 perpetrators quieted and looked shocked. I looked directly at Anique. “You gon’ trip me up, just to beat me in a CrossFit workout? Girl, you sleep as a muthfucka!” Roadblock looked confused, as apparently my 5’9’ stature transformed into 10 FEET TALL!!
Then a guy reminiscent of Donald Faison, tried to say in a whinny valley dude voice “Relax Bro…” I snapped, “You assholes ran past, over and around me! Ya’ll ain’t give a damn if I was alright or not! You better shut the fuck up, before I put these hands on you!” He was shook. Blame it on adrenaline, but forget that, I went hard, then I went home. Talk is cheap, mothafucka!
I left Anique looking stupid at the gym. I had nothing else to say. All muscle no bite, none of those commandos made a move towards me and I’m sure they don’t miss me. I bruised their featherweight egos. I guess they were used to doing whatever, wherever, without being called out. I must have been that wake up call. Ol’ girl has called a few times since then and we will have a heart to heart. Yeah… but I was pissed. She turned into Ms. Hyde real quick. I still remember that pink… jogging… outfit… though. Unfair advantage.
I snapped out of my flashbacks, as I finished my meal. I put the bowl down on the coffee table and walked towards the sliding glass window. I watched the sun set and I began to feel like doing something different. All in all, the women that I had been meeting were not terrible people. We stay in contact and spend time together occasionally. It’s just that, something is missing.
My life is fun. Even though I stay busy with writing books, articles, a blog, running a self-publishing company, doing lectures, exercising, spending time with friends and family and most importantly sitting alone by myself, to think or meditate, WHEW. However, when I partake in getting to know women…something is just not adding up.
Then a thought of taking a drive somewhere came to me. I decided to take a trip to Nashville, TN, just to try something new. I got up excitingly the next morning, packed a bag with enough clothes for two days, made sure I had my black soap, shea butter and crystals. Yeah, I’m into that and hit the door at 7am for a four-hour ride. I thought to myself as I turned the ignition, “why are you driving four hours just to meet a new female?” I didn’t know for sure. I just felt like breaking out of the same routine and I trusted my intuition. So with that, I slid the Kia Stinger out of the driveway, on my quest to I-75 to I-24 heading north to TENN-I-SEE.
From Atlanta to the Georgia- Tennessee state line, I was listening to an Eightball & MJG mix that I created including the essentials “Comin’ Out Hard,” and “On Top of the World.” I was bobbing my head to the beat while cruising at 70 mph. I thought of metaphors related to going in directions never tried before, such as Bruce Lee’s “Accept yourself by going with and not against your nature.” I clearly was driving four hours away from “Chocolate City” to find what most people would say, “You can find right here.” Then my patna Osho said “Nothing great will be achieved without going crazy.” I thought O.K., I mean, I had to go crazy to get my ass out of Bankhead. Perhaps, I am crazy for taking this drive…well I’ll just be crazy.
The hum of an engine, the fluctuating landscape of the highway and countryside, the endless series of tall green trees and even the noticeably higher elevation of being in The Volunteer State, were in tune with me contemplating life and enjoying life’s lessons. I had been driving in a car for two hours listing to “Country Rap Tunes” while thinking about philosophy.” I validated myself in that moment. I couldn’t do anything but laugh at the uncommonness of such a blend. But, there is nothing common about me anyway.
Two hours later while jammin’ to Isaac Hayes’ “Do Your Thing,” I finally pulled into the Nashville city limits, as expressed by the green sign that read Music City, Metropolitan Nashville, Davidson County-Home of the Grand Ole Opry. I thought “Grand Ole Opry?” “That’s cool, but that’s not my taste of music.”
A few miles down past the sign, I pulled into a gas station parking lot. I took my phone and began to program my Google Map for a vegan restaurant called AVO, which I bookmarked yesterday. It was located on 3 City Ave #200. I thought that was an unusual looking address. I looked around the gas station parking lot, at what was then 11:30 am.
I noticed something as a people watcher that I had never seen before. It clearly was a Nashville vibe because I saw people of various ethnicities dressed in typical country cowboy and cowgirl clothes with the western hats, occupying the same space as various ethnicities wearing hip-hop and other latest fashion styles. Everyone going in and out of the gas station, young and old, white guys wearing cowboy hats dappin’ up brothers wearing baseball caps tilted to the side and smiling at each other. There were Chevy/Ford pickup trucks, foreign cars and a standout candy apple red 1970 Chevelle SS Vert on 24" Forgiatos, all occupying the same space underneath the city skyline. It looked great and strange at the same time. I never saw this in Atlanta, at least not in the general Fulton County city limits. Yeah, I was in a different environment. It was cool though.
I fueled up my vehicle and went inside for a moment before getting back to official business. It was a 12 minute ride from MAPCO Express gas station to AVO. I followed my directions to interstate 65 north, which visually looked like I was driving on an extended neighborhood street. Trees in the midst of houses upon houses were on both sides of the highway. I got off the interstate onto a residential road and continued my exploration of new areas, seeing a mix of apartment houses, condos and small businesses. This area looked similar to what I was used to in Atlanta, including more trees. What’s a neighborhood without trees, or staying “Green” as they like to say?
I noticed the city so far, was extremely clean and newly developed. As I got closer to the restaurant I saw a CrossFit building. “Not today,” I thought. The actual restaurant was right behind the gym as I looked at the A.V.O. letters on the side of the building pulling up to a four way intersection. There was a volley ball court set up, on the backside of the restaurant, complete with lots of sand and comfortable lawn chairs for onlookers on the surrounding grass. I made a right turn and finally pulled into the parking lot of the eatery.
The shape of the building was very modernistic. It appeared to be a combination of various sized former railcars, grey and very warehouse looking. I was intrigued as I took note of a silver sign outside of the main entrance that read “Welcome Peek Inside & Say Hello-Please Wait To Be Seated- @EATVO -*SAY AVO LIKE AVOCADO.” I pulled the silver and glass door open and immediately noticed lots of green shrubs seemingly bursting through the wooden wall, engagingly placed behind the long wooden bar a few feet away, as I walked in. A young lady with blond hair and blue eyes, who looked like she was a twenty something college student, who was overly glad to have a job, eagerly greeted me. “Wellcume to AVO, how r u today?” spoken with a true country twang. “I’m doing well,” was my response, as I noticed a good crowd of people in the restaurant. Very few who were brown like me, but I didn’t care, I just drove four hours and I was going to get some food before moving on. “Pleaz hauve a seat heaire and as soon as a table becuomes available, I will take you to yir seat.” The young hostess informed me. “I thought I was from the country,” I said to myself.
I looked over to my left behind me and there was a long tan, wooden bench placed against a black wall with the words “Let Food Be Thy Medicine,” written on it. I thought “Where have I had heard that before.” As I motioned to sit down, I noticed eight blissfully chatty and homely people of various ages, setting next to each other, taking most of the space on the bench. I saw an elderly couple with them and thought “They must be a family.”
There was an open space next to a white rail, which separated the entrance from the waiting area. While looking at that empty space on the bench, I suddenly I caught a shock. It was a good shock. Mine eyes had seen the glory, ahem, I mean I saw the most beautiful woman I had ever seen in my life.
Something weird happens to most men when they see a woman that beautiful and honestly, I couldn’t shake the fever either. Everything halted and got quite, as I observed and critiqued from the tip of her toes to the top of her head. Yet, this woman was past beautiful she was stunning!
Five seconds seemed like 30 minutes, as I examined her open toed blue and tanned shoes, which revealed matching blue toe nail polish on well-manicured toes, check. Her pants were white, with an abundance of blue, red and black paint stroke designs, check. Her shirt was light blue collared, with the sleeves rolled up to elbow length, check. Her neck revealed a red tank top, accompanied by a gold Cuban link necklace that extended down to the, um…curve if you will, at the top of her undergarment, check. Her hair was ear length, in short tightly twisted, black locks. A style that is very popular with many Black women, but the way she wore it was as if SHE invented the style, check. Her earrings looked like black feathers sprinkled with gold, check. Her eyebrows were neatly trimmed, but not extreme, which complemented her neatly shaped, blue fingernails, check again! This caramel complexioned and curvaceous woman wore her outfit with a confidence that said “I AM HERE.”
I said, “OH my goodness,” well, maybe something more explicit than that. I said it to myself…I think, if I did say it out loud, I hoped she did not hear me. I gathered myself as I walked over. “Are you holding this space for…someone,” I asked her confidently. “No…not at all,” she coolly replied, as she motioned towards the prime location. We exchanged smiles as I positioned myself. I glanced at her hazel brown eyes, high cheek bones and dimples, I gleefully thought “This is ridiculous!”
Yes, by every definition she was…BAD. But, I had to reel myself back. Too many men have been taken advantage of by beautiful women, who quickly figured out, they could have a mesmerized man, eating out of the palm of their hands. This world is not entirely a fantasy land, it can be rather cold, if the rules are not obeyed. But, who made these rules?
These “rules” do not leave room for being straightforward. I couldn’t tell her, honestly and in totality of how good she looked. Maybe, these rules would have let me express wanting to get to know her. These clichéd “rules” left zero room for really being blunt and telling her,” I want to FUCK.”
That would have made me look “creepy,” “thirsty,” “needy,” or possibly produced a slap in my face. But in this world…none of that is a given. Anyway, few people appreciate outright honesty, if so we all would at least know where we stand. I rubbed my goatee and chose to play it cool and let the situation move at its own pace. I simply asked her how she was doing and she replied with a pleasant and charming reaction. I was glad I had gotten a haircut recently and was looking on top of my game as well. I patted myself on the back for being ready.
Two minutes passed and the college hostess arrived back at the waiting area to escort the family of eight to a sizable seating area. Then, it was hazel eyes and I, alone on a bench made for two. We were seated fairly close to one another when the family was seated beside us. When they left, I assumed she would slide down some, to give herself more room. She did not move. Unconcerned with the newly available space. She was still seated next to me…hmmmm.
As things go between men and women, there always has to be something said or done to “break the ice.” I looked down and noticed her perfectly sized feet. They were so cute. As I was admiring her scent I noticed her left foot was touching my left leg. Not in an accidental way, but in a way that her toe was moving slowly up and down the leg of my jeans.
I thought to myself, “Is she flirting with me?” I continued to look around at the brown, white, tanned vegan themed restaurant and stayed cool. I was assessing the validity of this invitation. I got the idea of taking a look at the rest of her. I looked at her left foot again and looked over to her right foot. I had a quick sigh of relief as I said to myself, “At least she doesn’t have a clubbed foot.”
I slowly looked up her thighs, towards her breast and then directly at those hazel eyes and said playfully, “I can take my shoes off too if you like.” “Huh,” she reacted as I must have caught her off guard or she was glad that I finally took her invitation. “I didn’t quite her you,” her bluff was well taken. I countered smoothly with, “I said if you like, I can take my shoes off too.” “That way my foot can touch your foot, that is already touching me.”
She giggled and smiled. Her eyes revealed a warmness, friendliness I had not felt in a long time. I glanced at her short twisted black locks, pouty full lips, white teeth and dimples, as she either was relieved or shocked at my response. It was pleasurable looking at her. Maybe her reaction was a bit of them both.
“I’m sorry, I was just really into my thoughts and I didn’t notice I was touching your leg,” she countered, embarrassingly as she touched my left arm with both hands. I thought to myself “Shiiiiit I’m not complaining.” I told her that is was not a problem. I was quickly searching for the next words to say, as I anticipated the hostess coming back at any moment. I looked at her feet and said “I was just thinking that, you wanted me to tickle your feet while we waited to be seated.” It was the best I could come up with in the moment, but it must have struck gold, because we both laughed at the thought of it.
The hostess came back. “Hi, I kun tayke you guys to your seat now, you mayk suhch a cute couple. We looked at each other and the hostess and laughed. I said “We didn’t come here together.” “Oh, I’m sorry, well Miss, I can take you to yur table now. Its outside on the patio. If yu wud reahder sit inside, itl be awhile.” “Sir, U’m sorry for da wait, its our luunch time and we are always busy around dis time.”
My new acquaintance looked at me and said “You can sit with me if you like, I don’t mind.” I happily took her up on her offer. We followed the young, blonde hostess, but my eyes were on my potential new friend. I was admiring her walk as I was supposed to. She appeared to be the type to work out a little bit. I thought that was a plus. I didn’t even know her name yet.
We delightedly sat down at a spacious metal table. She sat with her back towards a grass area on the side of the restaurant, while I sat with my back to the volleyball area. No one was playing, I guess it was too early.
I cut to the chase, extended my hand and said “My name is Jassiri Nassor…and what is your name?” She smiled and replied, Catori Adair, it is nice…to meet you Jassiri.” May I ask if your name has a special meaning?” “Absolutely...Jassiri is a Swahili name that means “fearless” and my last name Nassor also Swahilian means "victorious."
I continued, “My parents gave me my name after a suggestion from my godmother. She was very conscious of African and other spiritual systems. My parents used to say when I was growing up that “God Mother Mozzell knows some things.” They were never curious enough to find out exactly what she knew though. They were strict church folk.”
A brunette, tattooed waitress politely gave us or menus and left. Giving a few moments more, to make our decisions. “Does your name have any specific significance,” I asked. “Yes…it…does…”she said with a smile. My first name Catori means ”spirit” and my last name Adair represents a particular clan of the Native American Cherokee, she said proudly. “Wait, you are Native American?” “Yes..I am!” “Actually, Native Americans who look like me, prefer to be called Black Native American or Afro-Indian. I could quite easily go by the title Black Seminole.”
“Would you like to place your orders now?” Sure, you first please, I yielded to “Hazel Eyes.” Four orders of Kimchi Spring Rolls, Crispy Fingerling Potatoes, Smashed Avo Toast, two Lentil Burgers, two Kale Ceasars, Yerba Mate and Maca Cold Brew, served as the nourishment for us, during this chance meeting.
We finished our order and Ms. Adiar continued. “My father grew up in Florida and the Bahamas. So he can not only lay legitimate claim to being a Black Seminole descendant but also Bahamian, since he grew up and has relatives in both areas.” She was peaking my interest. My mother grew up in Oklahoma and later moved to Tennessee with her family as a teenager. She was born and raised as a Cherokee and was groomed as a natural healer and is what you can call “the neighborhood therapist.” “My father grew up learning similar traditions as well in Florida and the Bahamas. They happened to meet each other in Oklahoma, when he traveled there in his twenties, to attend a national meeting of Native American tribes.” “They saw each other, married six months later and not long after, I came into the world.”
“I am sure you were a beautiful baby,” I complimented. I was enjoying our food, conversation and how the sun was ricocheting off of those hazel eyes. She was something. “So what do you do to keep groceries in your home,” she asked humorously. “That’s a cute way to find out how I make money.” I thought. I responded, confidently, but with a little distrust. “I am a writer and self-publisher primarily.” “I travel at least twice a month, to lecture around the U.S mainly and overseas, every three months, so far. I get the opportunity to meet “the friends” of my books and I wouldn’t call it just a lecture. It tend to give a borderline motivational speech/lecture and sermon dealing with my book topics. I just tend to go there for some reason.” I admitted candidly.
“And yourself?” I wanted to get off of my “pocket history,” so I made it brief. I have never liked talking to women or anyone else about my money, I have heard of and dodged too many bad experiences.
“I am a visual artist or commonly known as a painter. I enjoy and have made a great living producing works that combine aspects of fine art, social commentary on popular culture, race, gender, spirituality and identity. I also feature the Afro-Indian experience in my paintings. I have been fortunate to feature my work in art museums around the world. Some of my favorite exhibits have been in Paris, Harlem, Atlanta, Seattle, London, and Australia.” “I was able to follow my Dad’s footsteps as an artist. He has been a painter for 40 years and traveled the world with his art.” I was impressed with her accomplishments. Though I was still judging her based on past women in my life.
We had loosened up considerably and then she decided to tell me something that threw me off. “You know, I want to be honest with you.” “I am a little nervous about telling you this.” “Why be nervous.” I insisted. “We are having good conversation, the food was great, the weather is great, and we have a positive vibe going.” “Well…I want to keep the good vibe, but I have somethings I need to say that might, um make you feel that I am an odd person, but there is a lot about you that tells me, its ok to talk to you in this manner.” She replied nervously.
I was still trying to stay cool but she was beginning to concern me. She squirmed in her seat and settled herself as she began. “I want to admit a few things to you first, before I say what I want to say.” “It’s kind of a set up and it will help you understand what I am going to tell you.” I tried to keep myself from thinking of something dumb, like her big masculine lesbian lover bursting through the patio door, saying in a deep voice “What you doing with my woman!” I just kept it cool.
She carried on her revelation, “I feel like I can be very honest with you, so here goes.” “I grew up learning a lot about developing and accepting spiritual gifts like clairvoyance which means being able to see things that most people cannot, um…clairaudience… which means I can hear information from unseen sources, clairsentience, which means… I can feel out situations and people in a way that most people cannot and…ahem…claircognizance, which means that I just know things naturally without any prior information. ‘When I saw you, I knew we were going to be eating together.” “You have this blue and indigo mixed aura that is one of the purest I have ever seen.” “I saw that you are really strong, calm, and have an unconventional view of the world. You also have the same abilities as I have, but not as well developed but more developed than most people.”
I was startle by what she told me and I was trying to figure out how to respond. I struggled, in grasping what she was saying. She looked at me nervously, “I have never told a man this before. I have never felt the urge to. In spite of me being so confident in every other area of my life, this situation is different.” “I just had a feeling, I should come here today. I felt like today would be extra special.” She was rambling a little.
“So, you can read my mind as well?” I cautiously replied. She smiled shyly…yeah I can. “O.K. so tell me something I may feel very self-conscious about.” I asked, bravely. “Are you sure you want me to tell you?” She replied, with equal caution. I took a deep breath, “Yes, tell me.” “You have not had sex in seven months.” I laughed and felt ashamed, as she discovered my secret. “It is nothing to be ashamed about, I sense that you had your moments prior to this period of time and you wanted more, thus saving yourself.”
I was floored. I met this gorgeous woman and I couldn’t hide anything from her. That was crazy to me. I was also extremely attracted to her as a person, beyond just her physical beauty. Everything I have ever wanted, was in front of me, in this “Black Magic Woman.” Yet, being in her possession was not something I wanted to run from, but I still was unsure.
I gathered myself and figured if I am going to say anything, I better tell the truth. “That’s a hell of a thing to lay on a guy.” I smiled at her and it seemed to give her the permission to relax. “I have been in relationships with women all my life, who I could never be totally honest with. Not because I did not want to, but because I always felt they could not handle full truth. I also could never be truly honest because there are woman out in this world who look at honesty as a weakness and also as a green light to take advantage of a man.”
“I understand…but as someone who was groomed to have these gifts and use them positively, it is against my traditions to be dishonest with a person. So, I cannot lie either, I have to tell the truth.” “I owe it to all that I am, to my deepest level.” She said it with a compassion that showed she was not being fake. “I suppose that you are just as honest with yourself?” I asked. “I could not have it any other way, otherwise I would be a hypocrite. Self-honesty is the greatest honesty, I do not mind, changing, improving myself.”
I took another deep breath. I kept looking around me in between our exchanges, examining the sky, birds, clouds, the sun and my hands, in search of clarity about who I just met. Clues from anywhere is what I searched for.
“Jassiri, you could keep meeting and dating women who do not live up to your expectations or you could follow your deepest feelings and take a chance…” Catori said, with a sudden confidence and conviction that came out of nowhere. My mouth was wide open now. I asked, “Are you giving me an option to be with you or to keep dating…unhappily, I assume?” “You are that chance, you speak of?” She raised her eyebrows and smiled only.
I decided to give a bold statement of my own, “So everything about me, tells you, I am the man you have been looking for, to the point were you persisted through fear, to let me know?”
“Yes, you are the man I have been looking for.” She responded, more assuredly than before, “We could settle for someone else and convince ourselves that we are happy, or we can take advantage of this moment.” “You could also choose to live your life asking yourself the “what if” question.” She was really letting me have it.
“Why do I feel like you are trying to sell yourself to me, put pressure on me?” She responded to me with the coldest truth I ever heard. “You do not trust me totally because, you do not trust women. All of the women or girls you have ever had a relationship with, have hurt and disappointed you all your life in some way.” She continued, in a more stern voice. “You feel you have to wear this armor to protect yourself from bullshit, even with a women that has come completely clean with you, and you saw how nervous I was.” “Yet, you are still struggling to let go of that stuff and take advantage of this moment.”
“Catori, what women tells a man on their first get together, even an unexpected one, that she is the woman he needs to be with.” “I know we do not live our lives by perceived “normal,” standards, but this is wild to me.” I must have sounded confused, I think my cool fell on the floor. Nobody at the restaurant knew or cared about what we were discussing. Though, this was a situation for the ages.
I was scared as hell at that point. She was calling me out. All that player shit I had learned all my life, all that macho shit, was now being put in my face. I guess society had did a number on me. Was I scared to be with a women that I could completely let my guard down with? Was I afraid to be with a woman who would always tell me the truth? Was I afraid to be truthful with a woman all the time? Was I afraid to let go of the bullshit and experience something freeing? Was I scared to be with a woman that was completely in love with herself? Damn, I had a decision to make.
Catori was looking at me with those eyes, with one hand in her lap and the other, used as a rest for her dimpled cheek. She was waiting for an answer. I thought about how insane this was to me. Within myself, I was clashing with what felt right and what I was taught to accept as a man from friends, music, movies, television, The Mack, Iceberg Slim, Dolemite, cousins and uncles. That game has its place, but clearly not with this woman. “Yeah…maybe I finally met a complete woman,” I thought, as I abjectly looked at her.
Seven months later, on a bright Thursday afternoon, I was walking towards the courtyard at The High Museum of Art, in Atlanta. I was looking for the Roy Lichtenstein’s House. It is a sculpture that looks like the average suburban American home. But, upon further review, it offers an inverted perspective and symbolically complex messages. It offers a commentary on how the eyes can be easily fooled, by illusions.
As I got closer to the sculpture, I saw this woman wearing an ankle length flowing blue denim skirt, orange Nikes, orange collared shirt and a blue denim jean jacket. Her hair was styled in tightly twisted black locks, which extended just below her ears. I saw a diamond studded earring in her right ear. I observed a white and crystalline mixed aura around her. It symbolizes people who have a strongly developed spiritual awareness. A light most commonly found in spiritual leaders.
I tapped her on the shoulder, while she looked at R.L’s House. She turned around and gave me a sturdy, affectionate, hug and kiss. I gazed into her hazel colored eyes, as I held both of her hands. I told Catori Adair that I loved her, with more sincerity and feeling than I have ever experienced in my life. Her new art exhibit “Flirtatious” was opening for a week-long showing on Friday. I was there to give her a ride and my final opinion on were each painting should be placed.
Later on, we headed back to our new home in Decatur, GA. We like to laugh and tickle each other when we are together. It’s our little inside, flirt thing.
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