Tamara Jones "The Last Good Kiss" Chapter 25
Let’s see it’s August 30th, my birthday month. I’m at Quincy’s place. He’s renting a condo in New Rochelle. It’s a nice condo at that. Quincy spends a lot of time at home writing. He’s gotten a contract with Bantam. For now, five poems, to publish in a book of poetry for, more money than I dare to mention, and so he has been racking his brain to make it perfect. Seeing how I just popped by with the kids unexpected, he decided to take a break. A beer for him, and an Ice-T for me. The man that I visited in jail is still standing in front of me, but I no longer consider him a misguided unmotivated young boy. Now he is a man with a future, with dreams, and lots of promises to himself that I know he will keep.
“If airplane black boxes are supposedly indestructible, then why the hell don’t they make the entire plane from the shit?” I ask.
“Because then you’d have to drive the plane, not fly it.” He replies, and I do believe that is the first time he has ever had an answer to one of my dumb questions. And right after he responds, I laugh, because it was the most obvious answer.
We are sitting on the deck in the backyard, Quincy in a pair of khaki shorts, and a light t-shirt and me in a tank top, and jean shorts. We were both sitting on lawn chairs, watching Parys run around the yard with Nadine and Brion, Two of the four children that Precious has. I had taken them to the zoo this morning, and decided to stop by Quincy’s on the way back. They are screeching louder than I ever thought possible, and chasing a plastic bag around the front yard.
“I miss her!” He says so softly that I almost don’t hear him. He is looking reminiscently at them running around the yard.
“Who?” I ask absentmindedly. The kids have abandoned the plastic bag, and Brion has hold of Parys’s pigtails, and is yanking on them while standing behind her. She is smiling and Nadine is on the grass rolling with laughter.
“Miss Dee.” He says looking up dreamily.
“We all do. Your mother was amazing.” I told him.
“I met my father once.” He said, and then snickered. “He was a joke. I found his address in Miss Dee’s phone book, and went to find him. For no reason, but to see what he looks like. He lived in the ghetto. I’m talking Harlem Tamara. With eight snot nosed little kids, some of them white, some of them black running around the yard, and I knew that he wasn’t feeding or clothing any of them. Not one! He looked at me, as though he didn’t know who I was, then he called me the son of a whore. Said my mother kicked him out because he was cheatin on her. He had the nerve to say, ‘look at me now’, and seriously thought he was livin it up. I knew he was on something. Coke, Heroin, I don’t know. But I had to leave. Had to get away, because I might have hit him then. But it was the worst feeling in the world. To see that he was part of where I had come from. He had helped bring me into this world. I can’t believe that my mother had even so much as spoken to him. I hate him! I literally hate him!” He says quietly. “I have never hated someone so much!”
“I’m sorry.” I whisper, and when I looked over there was a tear trickling down his cheek as he looked up at the sky. I can’t explain what it feels like to see a groan man cry. I’ll liken it to watching someone you love die painfully, without being able to help. My heart went out to him, and I got up off the chair to sit beside him, and hold his hand. He took it in his and turned it over and over like he has done so often. I reached up with my right hand, and brushed the tear away, but one fell down the other cheek, and then there was an entire series of them. He sat up, and I put my arms around him, his around me, and cried, on my shoulder. And before I knew what was happening I was crying along with him. It was the two of us sitting there so vulnerable and open to each other, that made me cry even harder. I could feel the rise and fall of his chest, as he heaved the pain out through his eyes, and the occasional sobs that escaped his lips. This wasn’t a man crying for any reason other than to rid himself of years and years of pain.
“I…..I….was s…..so mad. How could she die. B….before I could tell her I loved her so much. Th….that I was sorry? I need her. The last time she came, she kissed me extra long. It was like she knew. I felt so much from her at that moment, but being the man I was, I just pulled back, like I was too old to be kissed by my Mother. It was the Last Good kiss I will ever receive.” He sobbed. I leaned back, and untangled my arms from him, and brushed his tears aside, mine had stopped falling. I don’t know why I did it? Except I wanted him to fell better, it was the only thing I could think of. I placed one, two, three, four kisses, on his dark wet cheek. He looked up at me eyes wide, and then we embraced again, no more kisses, and no more words, just the heat, and compassion from each other’s warm bodies soothing each other. I wanted to erase all the hurt, and confusion then. Turn the past into non-existent, but I didn’t have that power. But I could be here for him.
“I’m here for you Quincy. Always.” I said, and even though he didn’t stop crying, his sobbing subsided, and his breathing sounded regular again, as he rested his head on my shoulder. Even though all of my senses were filled with him right now, I could hear the continuous happy laughter, and squeals of Joy as Parys, Brion and Nadine ran around the yard.