Thursday, September 24, 2015

Dating Series: Looking For A Love Jones, Part 4

We release an installment of "Looking for a Love Jones" each week. If you'd like to share it, you can do so with the hashtag #lookingforalovejones & tag @rivaflowz and @bae_app on IG or Twitter.

It was a Basquiat. 

Anyone that knows me knows that I adore Jean-Michel Basquiat. 

I looked at him, at the painting, and then at him again,"Travis, is this legit?"

"Yes. I did my research orrrr you had his crowns in your photos on the Bae app. Go ahead, you could touch it."

I was amazed. I walked up to the piece, done on an inanimate object. I could tell it was probably one of the pieces that one of Basquiat's "friends" sold when they were in a bind. He had a habit of giving his work to people, as gifts, who were likely to give it away for something else. I ran my fingers along his brush strokes; I envisioned the pain he must've been in when he wrote "Father," where I traced the letters.

"Why do you love him so much?"

"I just know so many people like him."

"Like who?"

"It's a long story. They're all long stories."

Travis sat on a nearby gallery bench, "I've got time. Tell me one."

I told him about one of my best friends addicted to drugs and suffering from psychosis, starting in her early twenties. She was creative and amazing, but something was always missing. I always thought her issues could be prevented, if she had parents that paid more attention; if their expectations weren't so high. They applied so much pressure for her to be things she didn't aspire to be. 

He looked down, concerned, "Are you still friends?"

"Not really. It was hard for me to see her that way. I couldn't do it anymore."

He held my hand, "C'mon. Let's get out of here."

We walked back to his car, and I hugged him, prepared to say goodbye.

"Oh, I'm not leaving you yet. We're going to get something to eat; I'm starving. I'll bring you back to your car, later."

I got in, he pushed his AUX cord into his iPhone, J. Cole lyrics filled the car, and we drove off into Brooklyn's night.

His GPS targeted a restaurant I knew well, but after a few blocks he pulled over and changed the address. 

"Where are we going?"

"I wanted to take you somewhere I love, but there's somewhere I love even more. We're going to go there. You seem like someone I can share that with." 


In a few minutes, after several smiles and the pointing out of his old hangouts, we pulled up in front of a local Jamaican takeout spot.

We walked in, and he was greeted by everyone behind the counter, "Travis! Wha gwan?"

He leaned over to hug a woman with her arms outstretched, "I'm alright Auntie May, how is everything?"

"Business is okay. You know we'll always be okay."

Travis leaned on the glass case, filled with Hardo bread and assorted cake slices, "Let me get a curry goat dinner and a curry..."

He looked at me, and I realized it was my turn to speak, "Chicken."

Auntie May winked at me, "Coming right up."

In five minutes, she came back out with the dinners and started to place them into paper bags with our drinks. Travis handed her a hundred dollar bill.

She laughed, "Travis, take your money back."

"Bye Auntie. See you tomorrow."

She tucked the money into her bosom and smiled.

He took the bag, took my hand, and we started walking back to the car.

"Who is she to you?"

"She's my boy's mother."

"Oh. That's sweet."

"Yeah, he's kind of lost, like your friend. Your story made me think of them. I go and see them every day, but I was going to skip today for you."

I admired this, "You're dope. So, where are we headed? I know we're not eating in that fancy car of yours."

"You're damn right! We're going to the park."

He popped the trunk of his car and pulled out a blanket and a bottle of wine.

"Oh man, you're just all kinds of prepared huh?"

He opened a duffle bag and dropped all the items in, even a corkscrew.



I was on one side of the bar talking to Raymond's friends, about DC characters and we could not seem to agree on anything. 

"Superman has all of the best powers! Are you kidding me? I'm sick of you guys glorifying this man with a tool belt!"

"That's why Batman's the man! He doesn't need powers."

I groaned and took another swig of Sangria, frustrated with defending Kal-El of Krypton for the thousandth time.

From the corner of my eye, I watched Raymond flirting with a girl at the bar. She was tall, with an hour-glass figure, and beautiful coils were sprouting from all over her crown. He pointed at her back so that she couldn't see, and I nodded in agreement.

I looked down at myself, I was wearing my work suit, but my legs were out, and my makeup was flawless. I found myself doing this often, comparing myself to women that Raymond found attractive. I could not fathom why. I thought I'd grown out of my attraction to him. 

After more DC and Marvel chat, Ty invited me outside to get some air. Ty and Raymond had known each other since they were teens. They were so much alike that it was hard for me not to see Ty as a close friend too.

Ty scrolled through his Instagram, as Fort Greene buzzed with drunken hipsters,"When are you gonna tell him?"

"Tell who, what?"

He closed out Instagram and sighed, "When are you going to tell Raymond that you're in love with him?"

Ryan, my home girl, and I made it to DC at 9 pm. We'd left work, hopped the Amtrak and made sure we threw our suitcases into our AirBnB so we'd have enough time to have drinks.

D.C. is my favorite city, despite the memories. I could not wait to run through all of my favorite neighborhoods. We hit a Caribbean bar, on U-Street, first.

Ryan called to check in with her guy; they'd been together for years and he wanted to make sure she was safe. 

"I love you too, baby."

I mocked her, "I love you too, baby."

"Oh stop it. I remember when you and you-know-who did that."

"You know better than to say his name, with his Voldemort behind."

Just as our dark & stormys arrived, my phone went off. It was a text from Mason:

"You're in town, and you weren't gonna tell a brother?"

A smile spread across my face; Ryan knew what was up. 

"Mason or Travis?"

"It's Mason. Travis is in Australia this week."

"I told you not to update your location on Facebook! I'm going to have no time with you."

"Oh, please. He's just saying hey, he's not trying to hang."

Just as I said that, another text came in: "I want to see you."


"Now, right now."

See you next week!

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