I look around dumb confused because I don’t know this dude. And yet he’s all up in my personal space. And me being me, I am a stickler about my bubble.
“Hello…?” I reply like a question, leaning back and away from him.
“I’m That Guy.”
I’m still looking around wondering what could have possibly prompted him to come over here because I am not wearing makeup, I have on glasses and Howard sweats, and my hair is in a curly ball of foolishness atop my head. Moreover, I was perfectly content with my nose buried in my hard to track down copy of Fuente Ovejuna and yall know good and well I don’t play with niggas who try to pick up girls at Starbucks.
I mark my page carefully and look up at him.
That Guy is plenty attractive, maybe not drop dead so, but definitely not painful to look at. He’s maybe in his late 30s, and trying a bit too hard in his all Columbia ensemble but I recognize that every dude that graduated from there is trying to grab their corner of that Obama swag.
He’s a bit shorter than I prefer, because I prefer my men of damn near Grecian god stature, but not horribly so. He’s got cute freckles that have been dripped from one cheek, across his nose, and over to the other. I won’t even burst his bubble by telling him that light skinned boys went out with bamboo earrings for me. He has a cute smile and what seems like it could be a nice build out of his sweats.
But off top I don’t trust dude.
And not just because he is all up in my space and I am pissy about it. It’s just… something. He’s smiling a bit too big. He’s dipping his voice a bit too low, a bit too intimate for my taste. And dammit if he ain’t all up on me, but not in an innocent I-have-little-to-no-concept-of-personal-space kinda way. More in a maybe-this-is-intimidating-and-will-throw-you-off kinda way. If he was a cartoon, he’d have a long red tail poking out of the back of his grey sweats.
“May I join you?”
“I’d prefer it if you didn’t.
You know, those dudes who were the only cute one at their church growing up so all the little girls were sweating them when they shoulda been taking Sunday School notes, so he thinks he’s all that, when really, he was just the only that? Or dude who has a degree, is marginally attractive and has a bit of money so most dirt bag hoes with no constitution throw themselves at him so he’s deluded himself into thinking he’s That Nigga? (By the way- you’re SUPPOSED to have that stuff sir. You don’t get a medal.)
He’s That Guy- not to beconfused with That Nigga, no matter how hard he tries to convince him.
“I’m not from around here…”
I side eye him. Let’s have every man on earth pick up some new game on the way home from work, shall we?
“I’m not single.”
“Well, of course not. I wouldn’t imagine you’d be. You’re beautiful.”
“So the only reason I’m not single is because I’m beautiful? Not because I’m smart? Not because I am incredibly witty? Not because I am a fantastic writer, cook, carpenter, lover, and car afficianado?”
I can tell he is thrown off but only momentarily. That Guy is used to getting his way with dirt bag hoes, of which I am ashamed he’s even thought to associate me with.
“I am certain you are all of those things. But I haven’t been afforded the opportunity to get to know that side of you. Yet.”
He puts emphasis on ‘yet’ as though it were some kind of invitation. If I were to close my eyes and concentrate, I am sure I could hear him hiss, but I tend not to want to close my eyes on snakes.
“I am all of those things. It’s a shame you’ll never get the opportunity to get to know them. But I will send your regards to my significant other.”
I pick up my book and slide my glasses back up the bridge of my nose, in what I hope is a pretty clear sign that this conversation is over and done with.
Notsomuch with That Guy. That Guy, in case you didn’t know, doesn’t get the subtle.
“You’re fairly young right?”
“Very legal. Though last time I checked, I didn’t need to be carded to have coffee.” He laughs.
“You’re sharp. Nononsense. I like that.”
“Exactly. Nononsense. And yet, here you are.”
“What if I told you that I could set you up with the kind of lifestyle to which you could easily get accustomed and help you build the rest of your life into whatever you want it to be?”
It’s then that I start to take in the details that I missed out of irritation.
The coat thrown over his arm isn’t a couple seasons old Calvin Klein picked up from your neighborhood Macy’s. It’s Burberry, and not the ostentacious display of plaid foolishness either.
The briefcase said overcoat is hanging over is no mere Coach assembly; this is Vuitton. At first glance, this one.
The watch on his wrist is no watch; it’s a Cartier timepiece.
All of that registers, and right around that time is when I start to get both appalled and offended.
Is this what’s hot in the streets now?!
Let’s not even mention that while spying his “timepiece”, I peeped a faint hint of wedding band tan line.
“Look,” he says to me, “you’re a beautiful girl. And in my life, I believe in two things; getting what I want and treating beautiful women a certain way-
“Oh you mean like accosting them and offending them in public?”
“No. I mean like keeping them as pampered and spoiled and well taken care of as I have the means to. And I most certainly have the means to do just that.”
“Sir, I don’t mean to be rude, but your offer is both insulting and honestly just beneath me. I can’t even imagine what I would have to do to earn and retain such favor-“
“Just think about it. Don’t decide now. Here’s my card,” he says as he hands me a heavy, plain black card with just his name and number on it. I imagine that he had these cards made expressly for this purpose. I vomit in my mouth a little. And I don’t fail to notice his sudden haste replacing where improvised cool had once been.
“Call me anytime.”
He walks away, a combination of what I guess he presumes to be a confident gait but it’s a bit too hurried for that farce. Overall though, he has all but wrecked my concentration so I’m ready to get up out of there. As I’m packing up, I notice a beautiful woman breeze through the door, her long hair whipping in the wind behind her, her cocoa skin made up perfectly. She looks around briefly before heading to the counter. She’s friendly, smiling beautifully at the young girl behind the counter, laughing and joking. As I am walking out, she walks past me with a smile of acknowledgement and I think that she is heading to the cushy chair that I just vacated.
Instead, she continues past it… back to the back table in the corner partially hidden from view where That Guy has taken up residence. I watch her lean over and kiss him before sitting, reaching across the table to hold his hand with her left… which is all but crushed under the weight of what has to be at least an 8 carat cushion cut diamond.
What in the married nigga hell?!?
This be what I be talking about. Not only are you trying to convince me that I wanna be your concumbine but you are MARRIED?!?
No wonder the divorce rate is at 53% in this country. The sanctity of marriage has all but been destroyed, and no, you Bible thumping right wing nuts, gays have nothing to do with it.
I recognize, wholeheartedly, that many women in my position might have jumped at this opportunity. But all I can do is shake my head. I would hope, if I ever do decide to get married, that my husband would never treat me this way. And if he did, I’d hope that some other young woman would have the personal constitution to walk away just like I did.
As I opened the door to my car I thought to myself, hoping just ain’t enough.
I walked back inside as quitely as possible, so that he wouldn’t see me walking towards them until I was at the table. He looked up, mildly irritated at first, then wildly panicked when he saw me. I looked him square in his eyes, smiling my sweetest, most sincere phony smile.
“I just wanted you to know, that I might be interested in your… proposition,” I say, dropping my voice to the low, smoky tone I usually reserve for the bedroom. “I have your information. My number is on the back.” I drop the card on the table between them and walk away without looking behind me.
On my way out of the parking lot, I drive past the window they are sitting in. I can’t hear what they are saying, but the woman’s beautiful face is contorted into all manner of angry shapes. She is standing over him yelling, and he is recoiling, like the snake that he is.
Yes ladies and gentleman, I am a goddamn marriage superhero, saving one marriage at a time.