Things Done Changed
by Anthony Lindsay
I stand here watching his recently revealed gut rise and fall while he sleeps in my three legged recliner; held level with old Jet magazines and TV Guides. The recliner is less than a year old. He broke it, moving it from my place to his. Fixing it correctly, requires him to go to the furniture store and buy a new screw in leg. He'd rather balance it with magazines, than take a twenty-minute drive, trifling.
I stand here watching him. There was a time I enjoyed watching him. His movements are full of grace and power. His backhand causes opponents to cower on the tennis court. There was a time when he was something for me to watch, a time when my eyes willed themselves to him. A time when seeing him pleased me, but no more, that time is gone.
I stand here watching him. The more I see of him, the more revolting things I notice. Three weeks, I have only lived with him for three weeks and I can no longer stand the sight of him. Perhaps if he was half the man he appeared when I met him, the disgust I feel toward him wouldn't be as consuming. Standing over him with packed suite case in hand, I am fighting the desire to swing this bag with all my might into his pudgy stomach.
I stand here watching him. His gut is a prime example of his half maleness. When I met him I thought his stomach was as flat as mine. Thirty minutes out of each one of my days goes to keeping my stomach firm and flat. The flat stomach I was deceived into believing he had, meant he dedicated time to his stomach as well. But no, nothing was further from the truth. His flat stomach was do to the thick elastic band he wore for a back brace. The brace held his disc in place and it also tucked his pudgy stomach away. He told me the brace had to stay on during all physical activity, that included love making, so I never saw him without it until last week. He doesn't wear the brace around the house when he's relaxing.
I stand here watching him. I could have lived with the gut, if it were not accompanied by other man destroying imps, such as hairy ears. When I found the hair removing lotion in his toiletry bag, it confused me. I knew he shaved with a straight razor because I enjoyed watching him do it, and I knew his body was hairy, therefore I didn't see the need for the lotion. When I asked him about it, he showed me the stubble in his ears. He then dipped a cotton swab in the lotion, and removed the hair from his ears. Goose bumps claimed my whole body during his demonstration. He told me if he didn't remove the hair twice a month, it would grow long enough to braid. After that revelation, he dropped dramatically on my sex appeal chart.
I stand here watching him. I am a grown woman, a part time college student with enough hours to have senior standing. I have; my own job, my own car and I had my own apartment until I moved in with this . . this . . . this less than.
I stand here watching him. He is the first man I have lived with and my second lover. However, I do not believe that one has to be engaged in frequent sexual encounters to find a suitable companion. Prior to us moving forward in the sexual area, I was certain we were a compatible couple, at least I thought we were. God I want to hit him with this suite case. I have been played by a less than; less than me, less than any man I ever dated and surely less than the man I'd been intimate with before him.
I stand here watching him. No, hitting him isn't enough, I need to cause him some real pain. He undeservingly became privy to my intimacies. A less than . . . knows me well. How did it happen? I know how it happened, I kept watching at the Jackson Park tennis courts. Dark brothers look good to me in white shorts; and I noticed him at several functions at the Dusable Museum and I bumped into him twice at the Regal, but it wasn't until I heard him sing at the Gospel Fest did I decide to return his smiles. What a fool I was, I should have kept him ogling. I stand here watching him. What kind of man sings in a Christian choir and is not a Christian? This sleeping deceiver right here is the kind. Maybe if I dropped my suite case on his neck? That would cause him some pain, make him hoarse for awhile. No, Jesus gave him that gift. He sings with such an anointed baritone voice that Christians, especially the sisters, get happy from the first line of his solos. Oh, he can call the spirit in the room, his voice is truly anointed, but one blessing from The Lord doesn't make up for all his other short comings, not by far. He is a heathen and a deceiver, and that makes us unevenly yoked. I am justified in leaving him.
I stand here watching him. Everything about him is false, driving that Mercedes like it's his. What did he tell me, it was one of many, yeah one of many on his sister's car lot. Phony, just plain phony. His sister provides his car and his brother the retail buyer gets him his clothes and he lives rent-free. This is his mother's courtway building. No wonder he always cool and at ease, everything he needs is provided for him. The man is blessed and he doesn't even know it. Heathen.
I stand here watching him. He's smiling in his sleep, even in his sleep his smile is slender. He is careful not to show those missing molars and decaying incisors. What could he be dreaming about that has him smiling so?
I stand here watching him. I should wake his wicked butt up. He'll probably let go of one of those long farts; like he does when I wake him up in the mornings. He goes for a full minute and tries to acts like he's not aware of it. He farts rolls over and falls back to sleep. Funky devil, just rotten on the inside.
I stand here watching him. He told me he was a couple of years older than me. I'd like to know in what language is fifteen a couple. I would have never thought he was that old, but drivers licenses don't lie. Now I know why he shaves his head, to keep the gray hairs away.
I stand here watching him. My father told me a righteous man wouldn't ask a good Christian woman to live with him, and a God fearing Christian woman wouldn't consider it under any circumstances. I told my father things were different today; Black Christian woman have to hold a good man, and if it meant living in sin for a short while. . . well . . . God is a forgiving God. Oh, I should have listen to my father.
I stand here watching him. Three weeks ago I would have slapped The Virgin Mary for this man. That was before I knew how many women he had living here before me. Now, I wouldn't give a wet food stamp for him. Maybe I should knee him in his privates. I wonder how did the other eight women that lived here before me leave him? He told me I wasn't the first woman to live here with him, but I didn't think I would be the one to complete his baseball roster.
I stand here watching him. I can't help wondering were the other women disgusted? Did they feel deceived? Did they know he was a less than? Did one of them put that scar on his neck? Did on of them cause the cap on his front tooth? Did one of them split his ear lope? Is one of them responsible for the twitch in his left cheek whenever he sees grits boiling?
I stand here watching him. What should I leave him with? After all, I'm player number nine, I completed the team. My exit should have some sort of closure to it, nothing criminal but defiantly something memorable.
I stand here watching him as his eyes blink open. Hey baby he says, he was just dreaming about me. He was thinking about how lucky he was to have a woman like me. Not lucky he says, blessed to have a woman like me. He would be a fool not to do everything in his power to keep my love.
I stand here watching him. I can't believe I'm listening to this crap. He's reaching into blue jean pocket and pulls out a little black box. He says he knows he ain't no spring chicken but he ain't on his last leg either. He ain't been no saint he says, but from all his back sliding, one thing he knows, is a good woman, and he has a good one in me. He's opening the little black box. Lord have mercy, it would make Liz Taylor blink.
I stand here watching him. He was going to ask me Sunday after he joined church, but his dream about me made him feel so good he couldn't wait. If I say yes, he's going over my fathers and formally ask for my hand. If this is what I want.
I stand here watching him and things done changed.