The Blue Box Blues

Homegirl had the nerve to smile at me as she walked out of Steve’s on Broad and Windrim with the last of the baked macaroni and cheese. She probably didn’t remember me, but I rarely forget. She was victim to the physical expansion and mental stagnation of most folks I’d known in grade school, but to be honest, the booty to waist ratio was something to behold. Seeing it from the front is usually grounds for further investigating. I may have glanced as she glanced back at me. I tend to lick my lips often, and it’s possible that she mistook this as interest in her as opposed to my fantasizing about the Ox tail and macaroni and cheese with yams I would soon obtain. But as soon as I realized that she procured the last serving of my preferred side dish, I never wanted to lay eyes on her or her booty again.

I settled on rice instead of macaroni…

As I walked out of Steve’s she was sitting in her car with a friend staring at the door. She tried to flag me down but I sped up, walking across the street into the Rite-Aid parking lot where my car was. Of course when I came out of the lot to pass them and be on my way, the light in front of us both, turned red. There I was frozen, right next to her, looking forward, listening to The Wind Up Bird Chronicle on audible. I turned the volume all the way up when I saw her lean out of her window towards me preparing to talk, but since some of the characters speak in hushed tones, I could still make out what she was saying. Against otherworldly gravity I forced my head slightly towards her, offering a fake smile. The light turned green and I crept off, making sure I didn’t seem eager to escape. The last thing I caught from her was: “What kind of nerd shit is that you listenin’ to?”

And at that moment I hated her. The opposite of how Ender felt when he understood his enemies. Granted, I could have caught much more had I stayed and entertained a conversation of avoidance with her—had I given in to more penile desires, but I hadn’t even considered it. Seven or eight years ago, I would have been wasting even more time texting her the next day to see when she could come over. I would have repeated the same mistake I have made countless times in moments of supreme loneliness. Now that isn’t to say that I haven’t slept with any of the wrong women in the past seven or eight years; clearly that is false. However, the gradient and frequency of wrong has fallen from a steep cliff, in spite of record highs in loneliness and it isn’t easy to define why.

Some folks will say it has to do with “maturity,” which is a subjective claim they have yet to reconcile within their own universe. Another easy one that gets tossed around is, “it’s because you have kids now, a daughter at that,” which is clearly nonsensical, knowing some of the guys I know who have daughters. A more rational, yet not all encompassing explanation would be the factor of time. “You’re much busier now, and value your time more,” I’ve been told. In some ways that last statement is true, about valuing time, but there was once a Joseph that worked three jobs and was out of the house from 4:00 A.M. until late into the night 6-7 days a week, during that time I had little contact with friends but there was certainly a wide breadth of sexual intrigue. It’s definitely not a vanishing libido problem either…

Although several factors play a role I’m sure, I am choosing to attribute the no longer getting any booty phenomenon (NLGABP) to simply growing apart. The same stark separation that has occurred with friends, has also been taking place with everyone I could potentially date. From an aerial view, my friends, family and potential mates are way outside of Wall Maria and I’m stuck trying to climb Wall Rose. Implications of savagery not my own. The thing is, navigating a society that you have only in recent years been a part of is difficult. It requires changes that I haven’t always been willing to admit—mostly because it means acknowledging how far away I’ve drifted from loves ones. I can no longer be roused, even slightly by the things many of my friends consider to be gospel, nor can they feign interest in any of my obsessions. It hurts to say that, because none of us have ever, and may never have this conversation in person. We will continue to make plans with each other less frequently, and cancel them more often. We will continue to love each other, of course—we’ll see each other at weddings and some funerals, but that will dry up too. And that isn’t all bad, it’s just reality.

What’s bad is that none of us truly have the emotional intelligence to have this conversation. To care enough to have this conversation. It was either not bred into us, or beaten out of us. Sure, we can get together and talk a load of shit about anything, have some laughs, primarily at the expense of each other. But a heart shearing séance of emotion really just isn’t in the cards, although one of them, Drake in particular, is drinking the emotional intelligence avocado smoothie and sharing it as manly as he possibly can. Aisha says I should get a therapist; probably right.

Anyways, all that is to say, if the rift between myself and those whom I’ve already loved has grown so much, it’s no wonder that potential mates—who are of the same age, demographic and sensibilities as my estranged loved ones, seem like Lucifer by comparison. Add to that the NLGABP and the fact that homegirl took the last of the macaroni and cheese and therein lies my obsession.

One thought on “The Blue Box Blues

  1. I’m over the hyper-masculinity of my youth. You’re my best friend. So if we have to get two straws and share the Avocado smoothie together, so be it.

    This was a good piece, both enlightening and enriching. I’m sure it will resonate well with a lot of readers.


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