One day, years ago, I got off the 5 train at Gun Hill Road. The 28 bus stop near the train station usually gets crowded so I would walk down Gun Hill & wait at the Young Avenue stop. There’s a big Presbyterian church across the street from that stop. That day as I approached the bus stop I saw someone I knew. He was hanging out in front of a stoop with some guys or a guy, I can’t remember. “Hey,” I said, completely embarrassed because I wasn’t expecting to see him. “Hey,” he said. I waited there facing away from him & towards the church across the street thinking unholy thoughts about this guy behind me. Where was the angel on my shoulder to tame these wild thoughts? My bus came, I got on, and that was that. That was one of the only times I ever ran into him unexpectedly. I only expected to see him on Sundays, if that. Fast forward, too many years to remember, I asked him something & it brought him right to me & the front of my building. I trusted him enough with a secret that not many people knew – I was a stoner. Then something happened that I didn’t expect. He wanted to have a conversation with me. He offered to smoke with me.
On my quest for bud in the city, he came to mind. Could he help me secure some weed in my neighborhood? I don’t drive & I didn’t have any connects. When I used to live in the Bronx I didn’t have a ‘drug problem’. Now I averaged an eighth a week and only got clean to secure a job. Smoking is such a lifestyle & I knew plenty of people about that life. But no one in NYC knew that was my lifestyle. So I turned to him in my moment of desperation and he came through. I was super nervous & planned to just give him the money & run but he asked me if I wanted to smoke so I said yes, of course. I’m terrible at rolling up and I hate to smoke alone and I liked him. It was an unexpected trifecta. The stars aligned in the day time. While we smoked I talked about how my life was and he mentioned how my mom would kill him if she found us. We were sitting in his car in front of my building. After that he began to text me for no reason at all. I continued to text him and ask if he could bring me bud.
He didn’t really know I was an insecure little brat whose life wasn’t going her way. Not yet. No one noticed that except my dad. He said “I thought you had it all together but, where’s your confidence?” It’s gone. Confidence for what? Here I was, living with my mom & her creepy boyfriend, completely in debt, working a job a monkey could do, hopelessly uninspired, & kind of lonely. I may look like I have it all together but that’s because no one’s really looking. I rarely speak about myself. If you ask the right questions you’ll know the real me. I love when people know the real me and they love me. I’ve met two women like that in my life & I pray to God I never lose contact with them. In my darkest moments they have been there for me in ways I never imagined they could be. Then here comes this guy who asks the right questions and…And? And I don’t know how to explain it other than I thought he liked me. He was so interested in me for a person who had a life more brilliant than mine. A day job, a stage name, a kid. I mean an adorable little baby. A family. That was my main mistake. Thinking he was interested in me or he liked me when he was just bored.
At one point I felt like he was living a double life. Entertaining me when his real life got dull. Forgetting what he said to me as soon as the day was done. Like a show with no continuity, what happened last episode doesn’t apply in this episode. Unless I’ve had too much to drink, I usually remember everything & I don’t take the words I say or text lightly. I’ve never lived a ‘double life’ but I feel like I’ve lived multiple lives. Never simultaneously though, I live one life at a time. Right about now I’d say I’m trying to end my 6th life and start my 7th. It’s a longer process here in NYC than it was in Albany. Sometimes I choose when one life ends and a new one begins. Sometimes I don’t, like now. When I don’t choose it, it’s always harder to transition. I thought this would be my last life that I would grow old in but it simply isn’t. You know the saying, what’s done in the dark always comes to light? I thought this would be the life where everything would come to light. It just isn’t.
My relationship with him began to grow. He said our car sessions were like therapy. I started to call him Guru. We talked about everything and it always led to sex. He asked me out once, I think, but I turned him down. I couldn’t figure out what he wanted from me. My friend said it best, its like Fences. I make him feel good. At first he said I was like his annoying litter sister and then I was his chocolate bunny. My Chocolate Bunny. “gm my chocolate bunny.” I told him it reminded me of Easter. Each time he called me that I said, “don’t call me that.” I liked it though. Maybe he just gave me a nickname because I gave him one. I only called him Guru ironically. I figured he was trying to f**k me but trying to make it seem like he was giving me advice on how to f**k other people. I have trust issues.
He wondered if his flirting would break down a wall. It did. “What would be the reaction then?” he questioned. I think this is it. At first I told him I wanted to look different & I showed him exactly how I wanted to look. I halfway went through with it but I just felt like I needed my own look. Plus, what was the point if someone I was attracted to was attracted to me just the way I was? Another mistake was thinking he was attracted to me just because he said nice things about my appearance. I felt like he was always gushing over me, how awkward & cool I was, how pretty I was, whatever. Once when I wore sweat pants and a hoodie he said he was turned on by me. That night I remember trying to look my worst.
Once he picked me up from work when I asked. A couple of times he picked me up from the train station on my way home from work. He would if he was in the area. At the gym or his grandmother’s house. Once he was taking care of her so he came to me and we stayed out all night into the morning. Almost every time we got together we stayed out for hours or talked for hours, unless he had to go to work. Once he even smoked with me before he went to work. That was our shortest session and it was cool. I don’t think he remembers.
He always initiated contact with me. At least once a week. I think he used to text me every day. One time he said he was in my neighborhood & thought of me. He would text me and say I was in his dream or he had a dream about me. Another time he asked me how was the weed (it was actually trash that time). “You miss me?” he asked one day. Whenever I thought about him he would text me. I never missed him until it was too late. I asked him to stop texting me every damn day. I felt guilty with that much attention. I didn’t deserve it because I wanted it. I wanted so much from him. He just couldn’t understand that. I don’t know how he could have. I never explained it to him because I couldn’t explain it to myself.
He said he was always honest with me during our car sessions but I don’t think he was. Besides my trust issues, towards the end he said casually, “I like to lie.” Towards the end I asked him to stop texting me when he was bored. I don’t know for sure if that’s what he was really doing. Once he texted me when he was at some studio. I sent him some songs I recorded in my apartment. I wasn’t bored the entire time in my living room studio. Was he really bored in a professional one? In any case, I never texted him when I was bored. I would text him when I found a picture of him around my house or when I wanted to sext or when I had a question for him. He wouldn’t text me back. I started to feel like a woman scorned after he sent me a text that wasn’t meant for me. I felt like he was getting everything he wanted from me but I wasn’t getting everything I wanted from him. “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.” But I never let him know that. I kept changing my mind about how I felt so I barely let myself know. I would tell myself I didn’t even want anything from him so what was I upset about? I felt it was my duty to keep things light for some reason. I felt like I owed him something so much because he gave me attention no one else would. Feelings are so complicated I usually avoid them in the moment and write about them later. Now I feel everything, every day, & attempt to put it into words.
One night I was eating and drinking and celebrating with my family when someone mentioned he got married. I was devastated. I was shocked. I was devastatingly shocked. Who knew I cared so much about his marital status? I repeated the words in my head like a mantra, a chant, a sick dark prayer. He got married he got married he got married. When I got home I began to hyperventilate and cry. To be fair, I was drunk and to be honest, I cry when I’m confused. My dearest friend let me cry on the phone with her and she comforted me from miles away. “I can’t believe he got married. What the f**k. What the f**k!” I called my one friend who had spent time with both of us. “F**k him,” she said. “I can’t.” I said, “that’s the problem. I can’t believe he got married! What the f**k!” She took me to a movie that was supposed to be about a funeral but it started out being about a wedding and I just couldn’t bear it. I was so delirious I cried for about a week every time I thought about it. I took myself to the movies & he sent me a text. I rode around on the bus and he sent me a text. And I kept responding to every text he sent me.
Congratulations! That’s what I said when he confirmed he got married. I asked if he proposed to her because my friend asked me and I realized I didn’t know because I didn’t ask. Who cares? You see, in a way, he proposed to me too. He proposed we smoke together that very first time he brought me my bud. After he got married (he actually texted me the day after and never mentioned it) I asked him if he wanted to smoke with me and he said of course. When was he going to tell me he got married? My guess is never. Why didn’t he just tell me? I can’t figure it out because I know he wasn’t gonna f**k me while he was married so maybe he just wanted to tell me face to face. That probably would’ve worked best as I would’ve just acted like everything was normal and asked him all the questions I wanted until he kicked me out his car. And he calls himself my friend. He called what we had a friendship. After I found out he got married he said he didn’t take advantage of me & he didn’t have a goal with me. I don’t know what prompted him to say that; I already knew that. He’s not a man with a plan. A man with a plan would never sleep with me and not tell me he’s getting married. He’s just a guy that goes with the flow. And I can be like a lazy river. What a match.
I first met Guru when I was a little girl. My first memories of us together are of him, my sister, & I in the hallway outside of my family’s penthouse apartment in Harlem. The penthouse of our building was 14 and it was 1 of many apartments on that floor. I was young, in pre-k or kindergarten, but from what I remember my mom would pick us up and bring us back to the apartment. She would send us upstairs while she looked for parking maybe but my dad would always be sleep. With earplugs. So we would ring the doorbell. Then we would bang on the door with our fists. Then we would turn around and stomp on the door with our feet. Then my mom would come upstairs and let us in. I think maybe sometimes she left her keys at home which is why we spent so much time in the hallway. I can’t be sure what was going on. But he was there. I would say he was my first brother but I’ve never had a brother so I don’t know what that relationship is really like. But, like all of my ‘brothers’ he liked my sister. He was 5 years older than me & 2 years older than my sister. I don’t know the origin of our families relationship but his mom would come & pick him up after a while, when we finally got into the apartment, & his grandmother went to our church in the Bronx where my dad was the Minister of Music. I’m not sure if my dad knew his mom first or if our mothers were friends but some kind of way he was in my mother’s care & around my sister & I. Maybe my parents were his babysitters because we lived in Harlem & so did he. He was cute. He played basketball. He could sing. He was older. I just liked him.
Once he was with me & my mom for some reason & she left us in the car after she parked. He was sitting in the passenger side and I was in the backseat behind him I think. I was in 3rd or 4th grade I think. Annoying as ever I asked if I could tell him a joke. “Why was 6 afraid of 7?” “Why?” “Because 7 ate (8) 9!” “What?” He said, “sixty-nine? That’s so nasty. I’m telling your mom!” “What? Nooo! 789 not sixty-nine!” I don’t remember how old I was. When I think about it, I laugh. When I told him, he didn’t remember. Now, sixty-nine is something I’d bring up but, we never got around to it.
During our sessions we would talk about how compatible our signs were. While I was at work he would text me and ask what color panties I had on. One night, we had a normal conversation and I got turned on. That night there was an energy between us which I’ve never felt before with anyone. But I’m young and dumb. My body on fire was probably a result of finally being with someone I had a crush on. I’ve never been able to talk to a crush. I’m like an idiot. So I mostly settle for cute guys who like me. Now I was still an idiot but he still kept inviting me to smoke. I liked him so much I overlooked everything like the obvious – he lived with the mother of his child.
On my birthday my friend asked me, “so…what happens when they have another kid?” I was at a loss for words and I felt strange because I couldn’t answer the question. That never crossed my mind. So I told her, “I don’t know. I mean, I don’t think anything would change, he already has a kid…” But I realized what she meant. Were they f**king? I had no clue because I didn’t think it was any of my business and obvi I just didn’t want to know. She went on to say I should stop whatever I was doing because, “they live together, they have a child together, what do you think is going on girl? They’re happy & in love.” I could only reply with, “he said it’s complicated,” and as I said it, I felt idiotic and a gut feeling that the father of my child would be f**king someone in his backseat one night who wasn’t me. When I kinda told him about this exchange he said, “I don’t have to explain myself or my situation.”
Soon after that I told him we shouldn’t hump anymore. It felt like the right thing to do in terms of karma but the wrong thing to do in terms of my life at the moment. He made me feel good about myself. He made me feel good. So when I heard he got married and confirmed it was true I knew that things would change even more between us. Unless I was gonna hang out with him & his wife I don’t see how we could stay ‘friends’. He said I made him harder than he’d ever been. That I make him smile. That he likes when he’s around my energy. That my fellatio was great. That he was curious about me. In a text he said, “you match my sexual drive I think or maybe even more.” I meant to ask him what he meant by more. Now it doesn’t matter. I listened to everything but when he said, “just don’t sleep with [me] guru is gonna teach way more than you know #sprung.” So here I am. Definitely not sprung. Just confused.
My main confusion being, how can someone who I was planning to f**k in their new car come back from vacation married and completely unf**kable?
Obviously him getting married has not a damn thing to do with me. It’s just I was still waiting to live out some fantasies with him. I think it was delayed by me feeling weird about how we were communicating or him getting into a car accident. “Don’t tell anyone but I got into a car accident,” he said. Who the f**k would I tell? His backseat was destroyed. It is so crazy how things happen – it’s fantastic he doesn’t have to ride around with his wife in a car he was f**king me in. Which reminds me. I would make him playlists on Tidal. He didn’t like the first one. Too much singing. I kept making them & sending them but he didn’t listen to them. I started to realize either he didn’t have time or he just didn’t want to. Once he said he would listen to one on his way to work. I enjoyed making the playlists so even though he didn’t like them or listen to them I would play them when we were together. So when he told me his new car was gonna be white I sent him a song that said, “mayonnaise colored Benz / I push miracle whips.” I don’t think he ever listened to the song. I’ve never been in his new car and I doubt I ever will be. The accident destroyed our sex space. The replacement is white like a wedding dress. What could we possibly talk about now? I just want to know everything about his relationship that I never asked before. But like he said, “I don’t have to explain myself or my situation.” So we really don’t have anything to talk about.
I always thought it didn’t matter if a girl f**ked a million men, she’s only wrong if she’s f**king someone else’s man. I am dead serious when I say, if he’s not married he’s single. I never saw him as someone else’s man so I never really felt like I was doing anything wrong. Obviously how I saw things was different than how he saw things and different than reality. I saw him as a dad of course but he never really wanted to talk about that with me. He would say things like, if he had met me or if he had known me and I always reminded him that, he did know me and he had met me before he had a son. The worst text he ever sent me said, “Lauren, if I would’ve met you before all this kid stuff you would’ve been mine.” It’s the worst because it made me feel something for him. It made me feel like there was an us or something. Like I could find a way for him to be with me even though he had a family already. I think that’s where my shock & general sadness from his marriage comes from. He said so many words to me but I don’t think they meant anything to him. I failed to make a plan for us to be together so now he has a wife and I knew him before he met her too.
The biggest secret I ever kept from him is my guilt over vows I made at my purity ceremony when I was 16. It makes me feel like I’m supposed to at least try to have a relationship with every guy I hook up with. The second guy I ever slept with, my first baby daddy, the sex just wasn’t good, except the one time we did it in his car, but I could never say it to his face and always answered when he called me. One guy was just so vain but I always responded to him simply because we f**ked. It just helps to ease my guilt for having sex without being married. That & prayer. But with you…with him, I had great conversation and sex so I never really felt guilty. Maybe if I didn’t like having sex in cars I would’ve felt like what I was doing was wrong.
Later he made things simple. I asked him why he kept texting me and he ended up telling me he didn’t want anything from me. But he did want something from me even if he didn’t want to admit it. He wanted to smoke with me. To talk to me & text me. To flirt with me & feel me up. To call me chocolate bunny. I asked him once if he wanted to make out with me & he said yes. On NYE I asked him if he wanted to get busy in his backseat & he picked me up within 30 minutes. Maybe he didn’t want anything because I gave him everything. Like someone who answers a question before you even ask. But he got married and the first time I saw him after that I couldn’t look him in the eye or hold a conversation with him. So he decided he wasn’t going to text me any more and that was that.
I think we were great companions. It’s just that I’m so shallow & he’s so deep. I know I’m selfish. I wanted that deepness so much for myself. I wanted so much from him and if I would’ve asked I wonder what he would’ve given me. I cherish what he gave me but I want to let it go. One night he said someone was going to fall in love with me. When I brought it up after he said he didn’t remember. I’m sure he doesn’t remember anything at this point. Like how he would let his hair out and I would run my fingers through his locs. Or when I kissed him on the shoulder while he was rolling up one night. Or how I would get strawberry frosted donuts with sprinkles. Or when he told me he was going to Cali (or did he say Vegas?) in March. The rain always reminds me of us and it’s been pouring lately. This just feels so excessive because we didn’t even have sex that many times but the fact that we had sex and we’ll never do it again – never wake up to a text from him, never go to sleep after smoking with him, never have an honest comfortable conversation with him or any of that so unexpectedly- just seems so tragic to me. By writing this and getting it out, I hope I can’t remember too.
I prayed that the Lord would reveal to me the best way to deal with whatever was going on between us. So aroused by a guy ‘working’ on his complicated relationship with the woman he had a baby with. It was never my intention to tempt him but the fact that I did drove me crazy. I didn’t think someone like him would ever be interested in someone like me. Let alone spend hours texting and talking with me. One night he brought out a side of him I never saw, his alter ego I called it. Even consumed with lust, I would never change like he did that night. Weirdly, how he was that night was how I expected him to be that first day when I wanted to give him the money and run. It was like he had something else he needed to do so he would just do me first & get it over with. Why can’t people just be who they are all the time? I mean I have mood swings, not personality shifts. But he changed like a chameleon. I should’ve expected that from a Gemini. For the entire night he was like a stranger. I would never do that to him. Or, maybe I did the first time I laid eyes on him as a newlywed. Anyway, that night I decided we were more different than we were alike. Maybe that’s why he liked to spend time with me. Who knows?
The answer to my prayer was him getting married. I’m just someone he f**ked & had a cool time with & that’s it (his words). He didn’t want anything from me that he couldn’t get from someone, anyone else. He doesn’t regret anything because he didn’t learn anything or lose anything. He got a new car & a spouse so he gained a lot, even if it was by accident or whatever the case is. Sometimes I regret everything because I feel like I didn’t learn anything and I feel like this is going to happen to me again and I feel like I lost something. I feel like I should’ve said no I don’t want to smoke when he asked me that very first time or any time after that. I feel like I should’ve never responded to his texts. Have you ever heard everything happens for a reason? “Sometimes that reason is because you’re stupid and make bad decisions.” I feel like I’m stupid & this was a story of some bad decisions. But feelings are complicated and they’re not always accurate. In spite of my feelings, I learned that you can’t lose something you’ve never even had. But, you can mourn over what you feel you lost…and that’s exactly what I’m doing.