Noni Jones in Harlem #15: Two is Complicated, Three’s a Crowd

Geneva

He called… wait actually he straight harassed me for two days, with text messages and phone calls until I finally picked up and asked, ‘What do you want negro?!”

In my head. But my hello was definitely more of a question than a exclamation.

He acted as if nothing had happened. He asked me how I was doing and how the show went. Now I know this fool is crazy.

All his eccentricities aside, when asked me to meet him somehow I ended up in BK, on the foot of his bed hearing him out.

He told me he had to make a trip home at the last minute to see his folks and he said it in a way that I felt guilty trying to ask more. So I didn’t.

Instead looked him square in they and attempted to let him know what I’m feeling. And I’m not sure I knew. He was wearing black sweat pants and wife beater and he smelled like coco butter. I hate that when we’re apart, I can’t stand him, and when we’re together, I just want to cuddle. I didn’t feel like having an argument, which with Paul, is more like a melodramatic monologue recited before an audience of one.

I didn’t go there. “I need– I need to know what we’re doing, because lately it doesn’t feel like we’re together. I don’t know, I don’t feel connected to you any more.”

“I mean, I don’t know why you feel like that. Everything is cool.”

Take a deep breath. Calm. Take another deep breath. Do not curse.

“Except for it’s not cool–” I said slowly. “Like when you call me, I answer. When I call you, you don’t. So….”

“So you trying to say you have a problem with me not answering my phone?”

I wanted to say “No fool! I have a problem with you being a dick”. But when you love someone, and you’re trying to keep him, you can’t say that.

” I just don’t know what’s going on. You seem distant. I don’t hear from you for days.”

“We don’t have the type of relationship where we have to be together all the time. We’re beyond all that.”

“But at least I should hear from you!! Like what is the excuse? You’re not taking classes or TA-ing right now. Why couldn’t you just call… no, send me a text? Why couldn’t you even send me a text message to tell me you weren’t coming to the show.”

I lost my patience, and Paul decided to stop acting like an apathetic ass. He became gentle.

“I don’t know what you want me to tell you Geneva. I apologize, I didn’t know my being there meant that much to you. But don’t start doubting me, us.. I love you. I tell you all the time that your my queen. He leaned in from his chair and placed his hand on my knee. I had nothing else to say. So I just looked at him, let my crossed arms fall and he came on the bed to join me. He kissed me. Then asked if I wanted a t-shirt to sleep in for the night.

***

The next morning Paul rode the subway with me home and the way I was feeling was so problematic. This man is capable of making me feel high, but that morning, everything was a crazy blur. Something didn’t add up but I couldn’t even call him on it. He walked me to my building with his hands in his pockets. He was deep into what ever music was playing. We hugged. He kissed my cheek and our evening of reckoning was over.

I was relaxing with my door closed since my roommate insists in allowing her wild assed dogs run free in the area also known as a living room. As I was going through my daily blogroll, my phone rang. I was hoping it was Paul needing to get something off his chest.

It wasn’t. It was a 917 number I didn’t recognize.

“Hello?”

“May I ask who I am speaking to?” It was a woman’s voice, like an older womans voice and she sounded like she had an attitude.

“May I ask who I’m speaking to?”

Silence.

“Hello?”

“Yes, I’m still here. This is Paul’s woman and I would appreciate it if you would stop calling him.”

Wait what? “Excuse me? Who is this?” It had to be a practical joke, but she sounded like she was too old and too stale to be playing phone games.

“Don’t worry about who I am, just don’t keep calling my man. You understand that?”

“How’d you even get this number? Why are you calling me?”

“Because this number is all over his fucking caller ID.”

I hung up. She called back. I didn’t pick up. Who was this crazy woman and why did she have access to his phone. Actually, why does she think she’s seeing him?

My first instinct was to call Paul, but he wouldn’t have answered. Instead, I took a shower, shoved my hair back with a scarf, and caught the subway into financial district. I was going to need for Caroline to take a two hour lunch break.

 

-Geneva

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