When we last left our hero, Panama, he was looking like a damn fool after being given as much of a green light as possible in a mall in Chattanooga, Tennessee by the object of his admiration out of bounds from their normal center of dalliance.
My senior year (and her junior year) went by like any other last year. Fast as f*ck as I attempted to figure out what I was doing with my life. Jackie pledged Delta, because of course she pledged Delta. I’d again see her millions of times and never say sh*t. To be honest, by this point, I was over myself. And it ain’t like I wasn’t dealing with other women anyway. She’d gone from woman I was intrigued by to symbol of my need to step up to the plate more. She achieved a purpose in my life by being a reminder of just how wack I was in certain areas of life. Hell, my senior year of college I fell all the way in love with another woman from Spelman who I’d eventually end up dating for like a year. She is the reason why I don’t date Jamaicans anymore. Point is, while I was still checking for Jackie, I’d chalked it up as an L and sorta moved on.
For most stories, this would be the end. I graduated and moved to DC and she went off to do whatever it is she was going to do whether we ever met or not.
But God has a sense of humor. Which brings us to the final chapter in this tawdry affair. And it happened in Durham, North Carolina in September 2003. By that point, I’d just finished up my Master’s Degree from the University of Maryland-College Park. It turns out that in September 2003, Morehouse College would be playing NC Central University in football in Durham, NC. One of my boys was going to be DJing a party that a gang of Morehouse cats were throwing so me and my other homeboy decided to drive down to the game and party. It was the first time Morehouse was playing Central so it was a bit of a big deal b/c most of us from DC had to go way down south to see Morehouse play. This was a four hour drive.
I don’t remember sh*t about that game because both teams suck. I’m positive Morehouse lost though. That much I’m sure about. But here’s what I do remember about this game.
Me and the compadres are sitting in the bleachers. Watching the game soaking in the NC sun. North Carolina has a beautiful sun, which explains why so many beautiful women come from there. Yes, lawd.
Out of the blue, who but who do I see walking up the steps and then sitting down like two rows in front of me and across the little aisle.
Mind you, there was nobody at this game so I had PERFECT line-of-sight. I was stuck like Chuck and am pretty sure I said, loudly, “GET THE F*CK OUT OF HERE!!!”
She didn’t hear me but like all people do at games when you’re sitting in the stands you look around to see who else is there. She looked behind her about 87 degrees saw me and had one of those “WTF” looks on her face. Like a true look of holy sh*t! I’m fairly certain our faces shared that look.
Did I go speak to her? Of course not. For the rest of the game we both did the “look and pretend we didn’t” thing. Some of her friends showed up and she ended up rushing off while I looked on in a tortured…what am I doing with my life manner.
Fast forward to the party. Now, I had a bit of comfort in knowing that because this party we were attending was the Morehouse party, if she was still there, she’d be there. And lo and behold, she showed up with some friends, a few of whom I knew from Spelman.
Keep in mind, this is two years after Morehouse and I’m kind of in a different lane so I’m a lot more confident at this point. So this time…I was determined to go speak to her. Sounds like I’m about to win the game right?
I see her by herself and I walk right up to her and say, “hello…how are you? I remember you from Spelman and the many times I saw you around campus. What’s your name?”
Her: I’m Jackie. I remember you too.
Me: Well it’s nice to finally meet you.
Her: What is your name?? (Important to note, she asked me this with some urgency, kind of caught me off guard)
Me: I’m Panama. (Despite being donned with the nickname Panama in 2001, I did not actually refer to myself as such until I started blogging in 2004)
Her: Do you live here?
Me: No, I live in DC. I came down for the game.
Her: Oh. Do you make it down here often?
Me: No. In fact, this is the first time I’ve been here. (Funny enough, and I’ll get to it, but after that night, I actually DID make it down there often…but I’ll get to that)
Her: Oh. I’m glad you came over to say hello! Weelllll (dawdling), my friends and I are about to leave…so….
Does he do it? Does he go in for the kill? Does he man up and ask for her number and say, hey…I would love to stay in touch if it’s possible because I’d like to get to know you better?
Me: Cool. Well it was nice to meet you Jackie…enjoy your evening!
In the history of green lights, I’m pretty sure that was the greenest light I’ve ever been given. Almost as if it the light itself said, “dumb a**, all you have to do is ask for it. Literally, that’s all…just say the words, “can I have your number to call you sometime?” That’s it. But I couldn’t do it. Not even for the vine, which was about 9 years away from being invented.
She looked at me funny then left into the night. I kicked myself AGAIN for not even trying to get her information or giving her mine. My email or phone number or something…SOMETHING. DC ain’t nothing but four hours away…back then I’d take a road trip in a heartbeat.
Oddly enough, at this same party, I got a woman’s phone number who lived in Durham and was at the dentistry school at UNC and was a Delta from Howard, and we ended up dating for a while. So I was back and forth to Durham quite a bit.
Thus ends the tale of Panama’s Immaculate Fumble. I feel like I had been given as many opportunities as one man deserves. If you fumble that many times, its just not meant to be. She’s happily married now and doing quite well based on what I know. Again, I’m friends with a bunch of her friends here in DC. And I can’t complain about life either. Things happen the way they’re supposed to. But I still think back to how bad I f*cked the dog in this regard. Forget what could have been; it’s unimportant.
I literally SUCKED at attempting to talk to the woman that I had been interested in, in a very real way, for years. Obviously, I’m over it and I don’t have that problem anymore. But Jackie reigns supreme in my life as a memory of a real time and a real lesson learned. In that sense, I’m glad she happened. She’s one of those women I’ll never forget, even though I never even knew her.
Thanks, Jackie. You’re aces. And in the words of Bill Withers…
…I wish you well.
-VSB P aka MR. YOU WONT CATCH ME SLIPPIN’ NOWADAYS aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3