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shop daze in nesstalgia

Mahogany Truth

We were wrapped in each other’s arms, caressing away our daily anxiety. I hated how my job made me put on a White Face, and he hated how he couldn’t find a decent job because of how he looked.

I’m not sure how I found him; I think he found me. I was lost somewhere in my own abyss, and he managed to find an affectionate way to pull me out of cloaked darkness. He had a way with little-to-no words; making great points without saying too much.

He had a way with his lips, too. They curved upwards when he didn’t like something; they puckered when wrapped around my nipples. He erased any ounce of anger I felt because he was so quietly happy being in his skin. He never displayed dissatisfaction with his position in life.

His skin: dark and velvety, smeared in indigo and purple undertones; my fresh bowl of blackberries. His eyes were dark and round, filled with hopes of my reciprocation. I dragged my fingers down his cheeks, brought his lips to mine and tasted the essence of myself.

Sometimes I felt I was a bitter and intense person incapable of being loved. I kept feeling like I had to shape myself to be accepted by someone. He tasted the sweetness of my unfulfilled goals, the cream of my doubts, and loved me anyway.

Laying on top of me, his eyes settled on my lips and slowly met my gaze. His arms wrapped around my head and I felt that secure thing I never felt before. That type of feeling when you’re under the blanket while a hurricane is passing, feeling confident your basement won’t flood. That type of feeling where your food is fresh off the grill and the sun is keeping the rain from ruining your barbecue. That walking fresh out the shower to coconut-scented candles and incense creating a love cave. He made me feel these things. They bubbled from the pit of my stomach into all the veins across my ribcage.

We watched each other’s pupils pivot from side to side. This was our form of meditating, our way of communicating. He liked our silence and the way our bodies spoke. My nipples get hard or my pussy gets wet because his dick grows between my legs. Or his eyes turn dreamy from watching me so long and he begins thinking of all the ways he’ll please me.

Besides that, he just liked being quiet. Probably another way he rescued me. I didn’t like to spray my words across the day. Most likely the reason Corporate America wants to get rid of me. I don’t fill their stereotype of Loud Black Woman.

I liked how he made any area his home. The first time he came over to my place, he plopped on my couch and did not move the entire time. He just laid back, kept his arms above his head and watched me straighten up my messy living room. It wasn’t until he smirked and said, “Stop. Come here.” When I sat next to him, he pulled my head down to his chest and caressed my hair. “You need to learn to relax,” he said between kisses to my head. “Just breathe for a second, and do not worry about the papers, the bills, the dust. Just breathe.” That moment I actually felt my body rise from the inhale and exhale. I didn’t realize I was unconscious until then.

Ten months later and I am still having a hard time breathing consistently. He looked at me from above, snuggling between my legs and breathing in my scent. “You’re tense again,” he mumbled in my neck. He despised my intensity. He had his own, but mine swang from the negative end; it was so natural for me. The tense aches in my body were never caused by him or the sanctuary he created for me; it was always me. “What’s on your mind?” He moved to the side of me, pulled my body underneath his arm and cradled my head.

“The world is bothering me.” I said it as simply as I could. I felt his body stiffen a little.

“Speak on it.” He took a sip of his homemade Sweet Whiskey. His breath thick in honey and alcohol.

“I’m tired of being someone’s enemy at work. I keep feeling targeted. I keep feeling like I have to watch my words, my movements, my eyes. I feel so alone in that place.” I felt my heart bubble. “No one sees me as just a working person. They see me and they are tense or just waiting for me to mess up. I can’t stand it anymore. I want to walk into a room and feel secure. I want to feel welcomed instead of threatened. I don’t want to hurt anyone at all.”

“Baby girl, you have to understand we live in a world that is only repeating history. Shit is going to change when it feels like it.” He kept his lips on my forehead, his exhale brushed over my eyelashes. “This is why I just want to leave out of this little city of ours, but you know…shit. I walk down the street and I have to wonder if someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed and want to take it out on me.”

His words stomped through the canals of my ears, weighed down on my soul and infiltrated my thoughts. I realized I never heard him speak this much. Ever.

“Tell me what you utmost desire,” his whisper grazed against my ear and he rolled his tongue across my earlobe.

“My desire is to be seen.”

I elaborated, “To be noticed and welcomed where I go. I am a Black woman in a White person’s world.” Eloquently and passionately my anger, regret and mistreatment flowed through words. “I feel as though I am removing a second layer of skin when I step out my shower. I feel like I am unveiling my true self when I am around those like me. Sometimes I get inside my room and I feel so thankful and comfortable in my little four walls.”

“Not everyone is going to accept you, baby girl. You have to accept you.” His comforting words cushioned me like feathers stuffed in a comforter. His silence exuded a type of energy that let me know he wanted me to feel the softness of his soul reach from the bottom of his heart. “A lot of times I feel the same way. You know this. You will never be alone or misunderstood in that feeling.”

I faced him, wrapping my leg across his hip and snuggled closer to him. This wasn’t a conversation we had too often, but it was enough for me to appreciate it every time. He trailed his hands down my neck, over my collarbone and across my shoulders. He always said my skin was rich in mocha and shiny in sparkles. He always enjoyed my body no matter how many broken pieces I glued together.

I always struggled with loving the faint stretch marks and beauty marks freckled all over me. My hips were track lanes of stretch marks and he always kissed them. He never let me forget they were there, but in a way he always reminded me how beautiful they were.

My body was not what is popular; I was without a curvaceous shape and bust, but he looked at me as if I were one of the models on the cover of KING magazine. My breasts were small, barely enough to sag, and my hips were not the typical definition of hips. I saw myself as a short, straight ballpoint pen. But he held me as though I was a feathered fountain pen filled with pure black ink. He let me write my sorrows and woes all over him, and he never rejected me from pain. He embraced my true self, he accepted every small inch of me, and he continued to flood my soul with his love.

Some partnerships do not need words to remain connected. Some partnerships hold meaning to each other through physical touch, quiet sessions of intimacy, and just pure truth when words are verbally aloud. Everything else is loud. No one listens without having a rebuttal; no one speaks without being misunderstood. I liked how our chemistry based off just our own emotions within each other.

Black people have to be able to sit in a room together, understand each other’s truth and embrace. Embrace each other’s air, vibrancy and aura. We’ll forever be one.

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