Can I tell you all a story? It’s not a story of redemption. In fact, it doesn’t even have a happy ending. At least not for me. Somebody else definitely took my happy ending and made babies with it. No, this is a story about blown chances. And missed opportunities. And mostly about a woman I never knew that somehow managed to be a central figure in my life for years.
She represented a young Panama’s inability to act. While I’ve grown up and into a confident (and bordering on arrogant) individual, this was a time when I could hold court for 1,000 people on stage with ease but couldn’t holler at the one woman* that I wanted to speak to.
I call this time…college.
So again, can I tell you a story? Good. Have a seat.
There are a few days that I have vivid memories of in my life. I won’t get into all of them because for this story, only one matters. It was the day I saw “her”. We should give her a name. Let’s call her Jackie. This is not her real name. In fact, just now in order to come up with a name, I looked at my iTunes list and the first name I saw was Jackie DeShannon of “What The World Needs Now Is Love” fame . Anyway, let me tell you how she entered into my life. Jackie was a cheerleader for Morehouse College. Shortly before our football season started my sophomore year, we had pep rally for our football team. Just as a point of historical note, my sophomore year, our football team went 0-10. There must have been foresight because NOBODY went to the pep rally. Me and my boy did however, since our other friend was on the ill-fated football team.
While sitting in the stands I look down and I see Jackie. She was gorgeous. Like ABSOLUTELY, without fail, easily a dime. The kind nobody questions. Well, I’m trying to tell my boy how bad she is and he keeps asking me which one she is. My attempts to describe apparently fell on deaf ears – odd considering he easily agreed how hot she was – so I did the only thing I could think of to illustrate to him who I was talking about.
I pointed *dead* at her. And said, “her…that one RIGHT there is the one I’m talking about. The hot one!” Loudly. Or at least loud enough amidst the silent celebration taking place in our gym that a few cheerleaders turned to see who was talking. Mind you, there are maybe 10 of us in the stands so they all saw me pointing. And so did Jackie. And she smiled at me. A huge smile. One of those, “awwwwww…” smiles. One of those, “I see you up there, I’m flattered and that’s cute.”
I was embarassed, but all I could do was laugh. And smile back. We exchanged a smile. She knew I was alive. For those of you who have been cool your entire lives, a woman that you find attractive that knows your alive is pretty much where you can close the piano and go home. You’ve achieved all. Funny thing is, in every other facet but this woman, I was absolutely the cool kid.
Well, the pep rally ended and we left still laughing and talking about the fact that I’d actually pointed directly at her and she acknowledged it. We were kids. That was a big deal. Keep in mind, this is also 1998, before you could stalk anybody on social media. She went to Spelman but I had no idea when or if I’d see her again. Me and the homey went back to my dorm to sit outside on a rail and lo and behold, here she came walking down the walkway with two dudes in tow.
She looked directly at me, smiled again, then kept it moving. My boy was like, “yep, she definitely isn’t forgetting you. You’re in there.”
Oh, P. You were in there. Heh heh. Pun.
True enough, she didn’t forget me. How do I know this? Because for the next three years, we danced without ever touching.
Because the purpose of this little anecdote was to talk about missed opportunties, I won’t dwell on the regular see her from across Lower Manley (common gathering area on Spelman’s campus) sightings and mutual stare downs, though they happened frequently. So much so that even my boys were annoyed that I never tried to holler because it was clear that just from our visual interaction, she’d at least give me the chance to fail.
Which, really, is all any man needs in life…at the very least the opportunity to blow it. Maybe you win and you ride off into the sunset happily ever after. Maybe you lose, but you went down swinging and you live to fight another day.
Well because God has a sense of humor and CLEARLY was trying to see just how much of a womp I was two instances in far away places occurred that showed me that maybe, just maybe, I was supposed to meet this woman. And both times I blew it with such tremendous aplomb that I’m writing about it today because I was reminded of Jackie two days ago.
I’m not the same guy I used to be in terms of being shook. And to be clear, I wasn’t really shook of the ladies. I was shook at THAT lady. Jackie represented something to me. She wasn’t some hot chick – though she was – she was a woman I genuinely wanted to know.
Tune in later for Part II where you get to see how somebody’s God did their BEST to hook me up and I fumbled. Oh…did I fumble.
-VSB P aka MR I WONT FUMBLE NOW BUT IT DOESNT REALLY MATTER IN THIS CONTEXT SINCE I ALREADY BLEW IT AND THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY