I dreamed that I could paint you with words. But there were no colors bright enough, black or white enough, blue or green enough, it didn’t mean enough. You are the star that touched the earth.
Mary J. Blige feat. Mos Def and Talib Kweli, “Beautiful” (Blackstar remix)
@TheMisterCeizzo and I have discussed doing this for some time, y’all. Buckle up. Matter fact, unbuckle the belts and lean back. Put one in flight. It’s just a fly love story, something I freestyled and put together for your entertainment.
In retrospect, I guess I can say that it was a perfect love (imagine even the possibility), created in the heavens and birthed in Harlem. It was the summer of 2003. The first time I saw her I was on two-fourth and Seventh, right by the State Building. I coulda sworn she was Jane Kennedy’s daughter, just as golden brown, with natural shoulder length hair in French braids. She stood at a bow legged 5’6”, with a look in her eye that said determination. I swear time froze the very moment our eyes met in a glance that eliminated every other pedestrian on the street. I was stuck in quicksand, but I managed to wink at her. She licked her perfect lips and smiled. In return, I bit my bottom lip and continued to stare her down. Damn it! The light turned green. She quickly gathered her thoughts and began to cross the Avenue along with the other pedestrians. Dribble or shoot, Monday! my inner self screamed from within. That meant to walk her down or continue to go on about my business. I chose the former, and not the latter. By the time I got to the corner, the light was about to change. I jetted across both sides of Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. (Uptown feels me), narrowly escaping oncoming death. Whew! I never took my eyes off her the entire gauntlet; she was halfway up the block, headed to two-fifth. I did my best Olympic power walk while maintaining my cool (I try to refrain from using swag) the only way an Uptown nigga could do it. When I ran her down we were right on the corner. I cut her off (always a feast or famine gesture). Aren’t you bold, sir? Pardon my sense of urgency, but I’m Ty. I’m Eternity. I’m from the eastside, where are you from? I’m from Gambia. Wow. East Africa. How did you know that? I’m a scholar, sweetheart. I don’t doubt that, but Gambia isn’t as well-known as Ghana or Nigeria. Well, I’ve never been to Accra or Abuja, but I’m intrigued by the Motherland. If I ever get to travel the world, I’m going to Africa first. Really? Really. What country? Gambia…I had her heart from there. It just so happened that she was on her way home from school. She interned in the Mayor’s Office and took summer courses at NYU. (Remember that piece of info). She was staying downtown in SoHo with friends of the family. She was uptown, and she wanted to see Harlem. I was her tour guide. We went everywhere. We walked two-fifth. We ate at Manna’s. I took her to the eastside, my side, after we passed through Central Park North at 110th and Lenox. We sat in the plaza of my projects. We discussed life under the stars. Before we knew it, it was 2:30 am. She had class at 9. I flagged down a cab for her. She kissed me passionately right before she got in the cab. I melted. We spent the better part of the next two weeks together. We did things she liked to do. We went to the Guggenheim. We went to the Bowery and took pics in front of CBGB. We lay out in the grass on the Great Lawn of Central Park and had a basket picnic. On the thirtieth night after I met her, we made passionate love throughout the night. She told me that she loved me the next morning. Then she cried. I held her closely. Then I asked her why. She told me she had a dilemma. I asked her to explain. She told me that she’d never been in love. She told me that she’d never felt this way. I interrupted her. I told her that I felt the exact same way. But I explained that it felt right. She cut me off. She asked me to let her finish. I obliged. She explained how she never planned to fall in love, she couldn’t. I asked her what she meant. She told me that she came to America for one reason and one reason only. She came to America to educate herself so she could return to her native country and help the masses. She said it was her calling. It’s been her dream since she was eight years old. That’s when her mom gave her the prophecy shortly before she passed. Her internship would be complete within the next couple days. She’d already finished her summer courses. She’d be returning home to Gambia within the next week. But she didn’t want to go. She wanted to stay and be with me. I wanted to be selfish. I wanted it to be all about me. I wanted her to stay. But she told me how she was the golden child, a national scholar and hero long before adulthood. She was Gambia’s favorite daughter. Staying in America with me would certainly change it all. We were in love with one another, both for the first time. But, as much as it hurt me, I had to let her go. What triggered these memories? After all these years, we finally got back in contact. She is the country’s top educator, the founder of the nation’s first charter school. She fulfilled her mother’s prophecy. She sounded happy. She sounded content. Right before she hung up, she told me she had just had her first child. He was born on September 10. She named him Ty. After I hung up, I paused. Then I smiled. Then I dropped a couple tears