Pop Culture The Word 5 minute read




“I’ll be your city in two weeks on business.  I’d love to see you,” Larry’s Facebook message read.

 Immediately my panties got moist and my mouth got dry.  How does he still have this effect on me?

 I fell in love with him my sophomore year in high school.  He was “organic” before it was trendy:  everything about him seemed to spring naturally from his soul at a time when the rest of us were poring over magazines and chasing fads.  He wore long dreads when everyone was rocking fades and high tops, he would customize his Timberlands and wear t-shirts that spoke of his Black pride.  He smelled like Cocoa Butter and a Bounce dryer sheet.

He was poetry: fluid, moving—causing all around him to submerged into his flow.

Something about him made me feel understood—seen for the first time.  I was 16; and he was more than a crush.  He broke my virginity, introduced me to a new way of feeling.  He made me feel differently; be different.

Youth and going to different colleges caused the typical break-ups; we’d break-up and then find ourselves tangled in body knots during hours of mind-blowing sex in the days and the weeks we were on school breaks. 


We’d go our different ways; have different relationships; fall in love with different people; but when we connected (usually unexpectedly), it was always the same.  He was the stanza in my song.

And now he, all these years later, was coming to town.

I told him to meet me at a nice restaurant in the Hyatt.  I knew what I wanted – him — all of him — that old school him.  I wanted that old feeling, to escape, to not be 45 with all the shit that comes with it.


 I knew he’d be late.  He’s always late—flowing to the clip of the wind.  I accepted his disregard for punctuality as a part of his bohemian vibe—refusing to be controlled by any man-made ideas.  I ordered a vodka tonic with a squeeze of lime; then another; and another. The hotel lobby was visible from my table so I was moderately entertained while I waited and waited and waited. 

If this were anyone else, I’d leave.  I ain’t got time for no rude ass bitches who don’t respect my time.  But, it was him and I waited—panties already moist in anticipation.

Finally, he walked in—no he flowed through—and I was submerged.

“Let’s go,” he said motioning to the elevator doors. “I know what I want to eat for dinner and it’s not on this menu.”

 I was so ready…..so, so ready.


Just being around him, made me feel good—young.  He smelled like cocoa butter-still.

He started to kiss me — his lips the same mixture of firmness and softness; but his kiss was . . . well . . . different.  I don’t know how to describe it.  I know this man, his body, our bodies together, our lovemaking like one knows their favorite dish, the route home from work:  and when something that familiar changes, you may not know what’s specifically different — but you are keenly aware that it is indeed very different.  And different is disappointing when it –whatever IT was — was perfect and you’ve been waiting, waiting and waiting for it again.

But I wanted for him to be good and for us to be good so I tried to dance to his song, groove to his different beat. But it wasn’t just the rhythm that was altered. No, the change was deeper–so deep, soul deep.

I faked that we were flowing like we used to—not for him-but for me because I wanted it so badly to be like it was. I wanted him to take me back.

But he couldn’t.  He wasn’t that guy anymore.  And I was now 45, tired, and simply not able to waste time anymore.  So, I gathered my things and left—disappointed.  I knew I’d never see him again.  I’d read his old letters and reflect on our good times together; but we had no future together.  He was too different.


I went to see Lauryn Hill last night.  It was similar to terrible sex with the guy who used to make you quiver back in the day –extremely disappointing.

Lauryn, of course, was later than a pregnant woman’s period; but I expected that.  She still has her voice; but she doesn’t have herself anymore.  Something is off—completely off.  My friends and I left halfway through the show. We wern’t alone.  People were leaving the arena faster than employees leave work on Fridays.

There were tons of people outside & leaving DURING the concert

There were tons of people outside & leaving DURING the concert

I will definitely still groove to Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and reminisce about the brilliance of that album.  But, I know I’ll never see Lauryn Hill again.

My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more


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