I’m convinced that I will meet the love of my life on the New York subway. Don’t ask me how or where or why the darned subway. I just know… I feel it in my bones, you know? That this guy… the one who’s going to sweep me off my feet, the one who would say to me… “Where have you been all my life?”, the one for which my heart will literally stop beating for a few seconds for… yeah… that one – I am convinced I am going to meet him in the Big Apple. This year. 2015.
So, in preparation of this, I have been prepping myself for this big meet. First of all, when he asks me what I do for a living, and I say “I’m a writer”, I need to be able to look the part. Natural hair…check. Surely there’s an unspoken rule somewhere in the African Writers Ether which states that members must have natural/unprocessed hair – preferably dreadlocked, but if not twists would do. Ah… check. Next criteria – Ankara or Adire outfits. I might need to stock up on that. I don’t have enough Danshiki prints to earn my stripes in the great hallowed halls of ethnic writers. The next thing I need to acquire is the ability to speak about ‘The Mother Land’ – of its rich depth of culture and the intense pull I probably should have towards the origin of my chocolate mocha skin.
Thinking about it now, it seems like my journey is still far; maybe I should move the timeline of meeting this Subway Dude to 2016? Look, don’t judge! I pictured it so clearly and so accurately. He is a finance lawyer in the city, and the first time he takes me home, I’m sat there (yeah, read that in my faux Ogbomosho-British accent. English people say ‘sat’ when they mean ‘sit’, but let’s not descend into the piss poor pits the language is in) Anyway, I’m sat there in house; my Afro in its full glory – complete with my recovering/chopped edges. My black t-shirt that has a Laolu Senbanjo drawing on it, short Ankara skirt – on fleek! (Honestly, when you’re 25 and above, you should be flogged for saying ‘Fleek’) My wooden bangles and beaded necklace will be in place of course! What is an African writer if she isn’t in her full bohemian flair?
Anyway, there I’ll be in this penthouse owned by my hot man, (did I mention Subway Dude is at least 6’ 3” with abs and arms for a life time?) Anyway, his Mum comes in, absorbs my Earthy aura and gives me this clenched-teeth force smile. Subway Dude rushes to my side and takes me into a protective embrace. His eyes say to his disapproving mother “you can’t help who you fall in love with.”
Ah yes! Take that Mama. You can’t help who you love! But is this a true assertion? Let’s take a few minutes and step out of the fantasy bubble for a few minutes, okay?
Whenever I hear someone say “you can’t help who you fall in love with”, it makes me very curious. It is usually a call to take a closer look into what may or may not be wrong with that relationship. A lot of times, the words are bandied about like a shield from the prying eyes of the public. Don’t look too closely. I can’t help myself. This is the lot apportioned to me by destiny.
But is love really this avalanche that sweeps one away utterly and completely -leaving one incapable of reasoning? Is love really this thing that draws you inextricably to another person, such that you find yourself unable to push back against certain things? So, let’s say my Subway dude really doesn’t care too much for my permanently clad Danshiki state, is love the rose-tinted glasses that lets him hold that stiff smile in place while the world wonders why his Boo thang insists on wearing cut offs in the middle of winter?
If love is this involuntary, then why don’t we have more main stream stories of the Shrek variety. You know? Where the princess can’t stop herself from falling for the Ogre? I’m not even talking about the physical now. I mean, if we can’t help who we fall for, then we should have more testimonies of heiresses and street hawkers.
When people give me that exasperated shrug of ‘You know how this works, we can’t pick who we love’, I squint and wonder if it’s not ‘Konji’ speaking. Sometimes, with the most unlikely couple, a closer investigation will reveal the presence of either a financial buffer, or someone is being held hostage by amazingly good/mind blowing orgasms. Call me cynical, but I betchya Mummy Subway Dude will have those thoughts running through her head if she doesn’t get to know how much of an amazing super-duper cool cat I am. 😀
I believe love is like every living thing – if nurtured, cared for and protected, it would blossom – in the fertile soil of Common Grounds.
Hold on… I feel like I’m starting to go off point. Let me just leave this talk of whether we can or can’t help who we fall in love with. It’s time to actively work on getting Subway Dude – bagged and tagged.
Hava a fabulous week ahead! Don’t wait for the change you want to see to come from other people. Drive carefully. Be polite. Don’t throw trash on the road, and for goodness sake, let’s try to be considerate at all times!
Oh… before you go, share your thoughts on whether love is really as helpless as we make it seem. Oh and my NYC people, what are the best times to run into hot, single, men on the Subway?
Peace, love & cucumber slices.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Bobby Deal