Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Some (if-not-most) Men are Oblivious.

(Yes, those are my hands.)

I’ve got a ton of male friends. Handsome, intellectual, and creative men who I love spending time with. I’m no Helga Pataki, but sometimes I fall in like/love with them. Sometimes, they even make it to the journal. THE JOURNAL. Once you’ve been placed there, you’re forever. God forbid you make it to a poem. That’s another entry.
A few nights ago I went out for drinks and soul food with one of these “friends.” I couldn’t help but reminisce on our past as he devoured his wings. Our current relationship is miles away from the one we abandoned during our teenage years. A sixteen year old boy with a fitted cap and similar destination asked me on the train, “Nice journal. Where did you get it from?” I looked over at him and noticed his marble composition book adorned with the sticker from the poetry slam we were both headed to. I responded, “Barnes & Noble. I live there.” We laughed simultaneously and trekked the entire way to the café swapping a language that only poets could understand. As soon as the slam was over, I grabbed one of our now mutual friends and pleaded for him to find out more about the newcomer.
He returned a few minutes later after a bout with the gentleman and a few avoidant paces around the crowded room. I asked eagerly, “Well what did he say?”
He hesitantly responded, “He said, he doesn’t date fat girls.”
At first I was appalled by my fellow poet’s audacity. I thought he’d return with information on his relationship status or who he’d been checking that night. Instead he’d gone for the straightforward approach and told this man that I was “interested.” His reply soon reverberated upon my heart for a second time. Fat girls? Wow. I pledged there and then that I would NEVER speak to the poet I’d bonded with a few hours ago, ever again.

I kept that promise. Well, for a few years.

My sophomore year of college I came home and performed at the very same venue where we’d been introduced. He was there, sitting in the row where only performers were allowed. He approached the mic and performed a love piece about a girl he’d lost to his foolery. I smirked on the inside and glared at him during his entire spiel. I took pleasure in him noticing and then wearing an uncomfortable demeanor after his set.

After the show he approached me with good intentions lingering somewhere nearby. He said I had an amazing style and he wanted to pick my brain. “Let me take you somewhere after this, my treat.” He said.
Like a fool, I went. I walked into a heaven I’d promised myself I’d never enter, the heaven of the guardian angel. I partook in late night conversations, banters of I-can’t-stand-her, and the venting of relationship frustrations. I became his ear and he became mine, and that’s great for friends. However, this was torture for someone who’d slowly been pulled back into her love of his literary savvy. I was stuck.
I was trapped within the world I begged my friends to leave and had written about numerous times. Don’t you wonder why the person, who has almost half a block of time to move from the oncoming car, never moves out of the way? They never do. They just stand there in shock and awe, amazed by the fact that they are about to be hit. It’s the same with the man who treats you like the title you’ll never have. His woman.

I’ve been around to witness the collision of relationships he’s had for the last four years and still I stuck around waiting to be the one to change his course. A year and a half ago, after listening to a woman going through the same plight, I broke my spell and started to warn others about it.

Fast forward.

While we were eating he asked how my manuscript was going. I pulled the cluster of papers from my over sized bag and handed it to him. (Currently: I’m writing a few projects, one of which is a compilation of blog posts, memoirs, short stories, and poems on love.) He randomly opened it to a page and voila, he landed on the guardian angel article. How coincidental.

He glanced over it and suddenly I saw that same teenager, the one who wore the guilty look before a microphone a few years ago. He said, “Explain this to me.” So I did. We sat for an hour while I explained my made-up syndrome to him and he nodded and laughed with approval.

While picking up the check and making his I-got-this motion, he said, “No woman should EVER have to go through that. I’m disgusted by men who send women mixed messages. If a dude ever does that to you again, dead him. Seriously.”

I laughed at his advice, knowing I’d already done that. Well, partially.


Shanelle Gabriel said...

"It’s the same with the man who treats you like the title you’ll never have. His woman." OMG, CHURCH!!!!! Girl, I've been through that so many times, I don't even know what a real relationship is supposed to look like...Sigh. That's the problem with being the perfect woman: men never know what to do with you.

Anonymous said... so much to say. From a male perspective, in short yes we are way to oblivious-though most are too oblivious to admit it.

I'll have to submit a paper though on all the reasons why we are the way we are lol. This comment box is nowhere near big enough.

Pino 44 said...

The problem lies in observation on both fronts. Riva, I think you and I know that it's not good enough to assess someone, only based on the first encounter and go round with one another. (That means our 2nd meet up is monumental!) I believe on his end, he's guilty - I think the guy that's the subject matter of this post made a poor assumption, and crossed you out for his PAST still dictates his present and future. And as for you, I still think magnanimity should still rule - forgiveness and kindness is the greatest revenge, and as long as you have him look in the mirror, maybe your his saving grace for his future endeavors.


T. ODIS said...

...I've been here before.

Ciara said...

you speak the truth. you would think that he would get it especially since it was right in his face. sigh. what gives...

Reckless Takeover said...

I like that one..