There comes a time in a woman’s 42 years of life where she has to take a stand. Where she has to confront this love/hate relationship she has because, “Being in love with you ain’t cheap.” Now, I’ve seen you during all kinds of seasons, from dusk until dawn…we’ve lived in the projects, uptown, downtown, in different boroughs, in tiny apartments to beautiful homes in the suburbs (the property tax alone).
We’ve had boys that are turning into men. But that’s when I had to take my first stand. I told you, “These are black boys.” And while I love our museums and theatres they may like sports and take to the grit. You say, “They may even fall in love with frolicking on the train, enjoying their independence.” They are tall. The cops may give them a hard time. I’m talking to you New York City. You greedy bitch.
I’ve been trynna make a dollar outta 15 cents from corporate America to non-profits. Years I’ve given you. The glass ceilings were short and road blocks crept up even when I went around them. While you offered me culture and the boys did enjoy Central Park (many parks), your beauty came with the New York City slap you in the face grit. You quoted Cee Lo trying to convince me, “If I was richer, I’d still be with ya.”
When we started this relationship Nell’s was still around. My first apartment, a 2 bedroom, was only $550 a month and I shared that with a roommate. Don’t you see you’ve turned on me? Now, a studio costs at least a G, and everyone here has to have a side hustle.
Yeah, you’ve attracted all types of Sex in the City rich. I’ve been to their houses, their events. I see you flashing them around. Some I’ve met at school. Some have been my colleagues. I guess the change in my pocket wasn’t enough. I’ve had three jobs trying to keep you. I walked around like a zombie forgetting that I was living in the greatest city in the world. Now I’m down to two. So I went back to school. I worked my jobs. What happens? When I’m not working, I’m correcting papers. Then I do the Math. Yes the Math. I divide the hours by the 75 papers I have to correct and the truth comes out. I’m running in place!
If I’m not correcting papers, then I’m writing, or I’m editing, or I’m reading, or I’m looking for an agent, or I’m…you get it. Always doing something to only run in the same place? Remembering Cee Lo, I say, “FU!” Because, “The way you play your game ain’t fair…I pity the fool that falls in love with you.”
Then there are moments when I remember all my great friends over the years. Those who have loved me and the boys. I remember the impromptu dances we’ve had in our apartments, giggling until our cheeks were aching, and this while we were grown. That’s how you keep me, giving me friends who equal my silliness. I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. Then you did some slick shit and allowed my son to finally, finally get into a school that supports him…a good school. Damn it! It’s a school I can’t duplicate anywhere in the United States. You slipped it in like I didn’t notice. So, now you’ve got the youngest boy. He loves his friends, and his school and his too small apartment. He loves it as I did when I was his age. He wears Vans that reminds me of my turquoise Chuck Taylors. He rides a skate board like I did. Then I fall and say in my Cee Lo voice, “Why? Why? I love you. I still love you,” as I look at my toilet flush and my running water thinking of Puerto Rico and my own family unable to get clean water.
But then I see a baby rat for the first time outside during a walk. No, not cute. It reminds me that our apartment got infested by mice for the first time this summer. It was war! Then I walk into Starbucks. Why? I pay almost four bucks for my tea. But I justify it and say I’m really paying for that corner table where I can write. Remember the tiny apartment. Okay then. But then I walk to the supermarket. I want a cheap meal my grandmother use to make. I search and search for a can of salmon. It’s almost five bucks. Now ain’t that some shit.
I hear Cee Lo and his background singers in my head. Spontaneously my shoulders shimmy from side to side.
And although there’s pain in my chest
I still wish you the best with an
FU by Ceelo on repeat today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K71XXSin4lc