When Love Escapes Us. » VSB

Theory & Essay

When Love Escapes Us.

jail-breakI met somebody.

Normally this would be a great thing, except I was right out of a failed relationship. Not failed because of infidelity or indecency, but failed because of humanity. Maybe I didn’t try hard enough. Maybe I didn’t try at all. But convincing myself that she wasn’t the one was easier than the self-reflection so I hit my nae nae as I walked out of the door. I didn’t even realize that I’d tripped over the door sweep until I opened my eyes and saw the one who would be next staring down at me as if Allah himself sent her.

Which again, would have been great except, I’d just hit my nae nae and most folks don’t even know what that is. Her included. But hey, woman’s job isn’t to know everything, it’s to show me that I could have been flying the entire time I was walking. And she did. There were no boxes to check off on my list. For a spell she had me buying into the Love Jones definition of romance and I didn’t even like Love Jones. In her I saw the possibilities.

Except I was just out the door.

Love Escapes Us Teaser from #LoveEscapesUs on Vimeo.

But with my confidence in tow and belief that God would neither give me something I couldn’t handle nor records that I couldn’t sample, I ventured into the journey of the unknown with this woman who for all intents and purposes made me smile again. One of those smiles you don’t even realize you’re doing. But once it’s pointed out you’re embarassed because who has a right to be so happy that they don’t even know it? So happy that you feel like you’re in a room without  a ceiling. So happy that basically it is just who you are. I wasn’t that before and yet here I was now.

Happy in a 24-hour video.

I’d found #her. #cool.

Or so I thought. #her quickly became #she and part of that was the walls I’d put up around my heart after my last breakup. To be fair, the devastation of that breakup was far greater than I’d given it credit for and I didn’t even know it until well after I needed to have figured that out. It’s hard to fall in love when you’re wearing a harness that keeps you standing up because falling can hurt like hell. She tried to trip me up though. She gave it her all. Threw her heart out at random intervals and dropped affection and support in my path. And I did the best that I could given my circumstances. Of course, not knowing I had circumstances severely limits how far we could make it.

Was she the one? Maybe. Even now I grapple with that question and enough time has gone by to call it official Black History. Because February. But the nagging is always there. What I do know (now) is that for me, it wasn’t the right time. I hadn’t taken the time to deal with what was and what could have been. I also never accepted the fact that my ability to move on came with strings. I wasn’t going to make the next woman pay for the infallibility of my previous relationship. But who knew that love also worked on credit? This woman, who by any measure adored me and I her stared me dead in my face with the most beautiful eyes I’d ever seen and offered her soul to mine and the best I could muster was maybe 60 percent of my humanity and 20 percent of my vulnerability. And even there is some overlap. My soul? I thought she could have it but over time the arguments spurred by both of our inability to recognize where we were in life spurred a certain lack of desire to share with her what made me tick.

Love Escapes Us Teaser #2 from #LoveEscapesUs on Vimeo.

If Sway doesn’t even have the answers then I didn’t even have the questions. The situation fell apart fairly quickly. What God has joined may no man put asunder. I think both of us thought the little twist tie we’d use to keep ourselves together was a bit more deified than perhaps it was.

Wrong time? Probably.

I stared down my angel and asked her why her wings weren’t as pretty as I thought they should be. But they worked. And she flew. And I stood there asking myself why I was still walking instead of flying. But I’d also bought some new shoes and everybody knows you need to break new shoes in. So I let her fly solo. And I kept on walking. Those memories resonate and I still maintain them. The dream of it all mixed with the reality that set in. But it all blends perfectly, let the liquor tell it.

It is often in a brown-induced daze that I ponder the age old question of what matters more: right person or right time? If you meet your soulmate do you focus on that or do you do the work so that soulmate isn’t just something you say because it sounds good? Do you hope to catch them next lifetime when you can make it work? I don’t know. Ignorance is bliss I suppose so even in that line of questioning I hope it kind of works itself out. I mean who wants to think they squandered heaven because their watch broke?

After some time I dedicated myself to moving past the blocks that held me hostage. Ropes and chains just aren’t my thing. I wasn’t a slave, but I heard about it, it didn’t sound cool. Word to D.C. Curry. Maybe had I met her later in my journey we’d be able to walk it out together into some blissful future both of us dreamed about in unison. But we didn’t so we can’t. So we won’t. And I’m not gon’ cry. Plus Argentina is, like, far.

I’m no soothsayer and I leave the wisdom to the sages. But the question will always persist, be it my story or others: what’s more important?

Some people say if its the right person, then its the right time. Some people also say the end is the beginning. Some people are made of plastic, and some people are made of wood.

Right person or right time?

The questions.

(All of this was true.)


“Love Escapes Us” is the compelling tale of the cycle of love and heartbreak as told through the experiences of two people who fall in love during the wrong season. King (Anthony B. Phillips) and Queen (Iman N. Milner) journey through an emotional path of one another’s love through this poignant story. Can the experience of falling for someone and dealing with unhealed wounds from past relationships simultaneously ever end well. Written by Anthony and Iman and directed by Craig Tovey. Visit the Facebook Page for the Movie: https://www.facebook.com/LoveEscapesUsfilm

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Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • ratchet d-Ibaka

    Jesus what did I just read?! Reads like one of those poems on the subway called scaffolding. Lawwd hammercy. It also reads like the book of Revelations in the Bible.

    • panamajackson

      It’s amazing because I was going for just the right mix of WTF and lawdjeefus that was beautiful.

      What you ain’t know is that I was Joan of Arc in my former life.

      • ratchet d-Ibaka

        Well, thanks for wtf.
        I’m still stuck there.

        • panamajackson

          You hate love.

          • ratchet d-Ibaka

            Oh no. Love is beautiful, very.

  • NomadaNare

    “…the blues on your left leg, trying to be the funk in your right.” Oh, don’t mind me, I was just attending to these coffee shop mfers you gathered in this general space after that single black man in the city haunted by black and white stills and melancholy jazz prose/poem piece you dropped today about love and relationships. There are some extra finger snaps to go around if you want some. I’ll be serious after I shower.

    • I knew I wasn’t the only one who heard saxophones in the background of this post

      • Lea Thrace

        Plus finger snaps and grunts of agreement.

      • panamajackson

        I had Coltrane’s “in a sentimental mood” in my mind when I wrote it. And i’m not joking.

      • Brother Mouzone

        I thought of it as a Spike Lee joint…complete with the mo’ betta’ type soundtrack.

    • Tentpole

      That made me spill her glass of wine.

    • panamajackson

      I think y’all forget that I got into writing via poetry in the first place. This wasn’t poetry though. lol. This was just a different writing style.

      I’m versatile and sh*t. Reminding you motherf*ckers what time it was.

  • Andrea

    Right person or right time? I wanna believe….that All falls into ego time. I wanna set my watch now by divine time. “Where there is right action, there is victory”. I have been trying to decide between getting tissue expanders or implants next week. Now I’m realizing in these last few days…my spirit already made the choice. And now I’m here to understand why I made it.

    • ratchet d-Ibaka

      Girrrrrrl, you better werk! That avi will get you chose!

      • Kinghenry2007

        aye aye!!

    • Sahel

      Nice ribbons

      • Andrea

        That is soooo freakin hilarious! I have more ribbons. IG: beautyphd

    • Mmmm…objectification! :)

    • (some flirty innuendo laden comment)

    • Freebird

      What.ever.you.say. is. all.right.with.me.

    • esa

      ~ I wanna set my watch now by divine time.

      it’s already been set. purrhaps now you are coming into consciousness of this fact and can reap the rewards as they unfold through awareness ~*~

  • JayIzUrGod

    Might be me, but this post seems to blend perfectly with this song


    Right time? Right place? Who knows. Even when you think you have the answer figured out, you realize it was all an illusion, that our feeble minds just don’t have the capacity to see the inner workings like that. What can be said is, every situation is a life lesson. If shorty came, but you let shorty go, then shorty left a stamp on your soul that will glow for a lifetime, but only you have the black light to see it in the dark.

    • nillalatte
      • JayIzUrGod

        Clever, so very clever

      • Lea Thrace

        I want to hate this song. With every fiber of my being. But my soul just relates too much. So I listen. Even when I dont want to. I take it in. And I hurt. *sigh*

        • nillalatte

          It definitely hits a tender spot with me too. :'(

  • nillalatte

    That was an interesting piece of work there PJ. Reflections. They can be very insightful, and sometimes a bit painful. Every new beginning is some other beginnings end. This is so true. I dream. Not in the sense of “I have a dream” speech, but in premonition type of dreams. I dreamed one night that my friend and I had a baby. I told him about the dream and said, “it scared the crap out me, until I realized that babies in dreams signify new beginnings. Welp, that was absolutely true. We both ended up changing jobs and moving on.

    If I truly think about some of the men I hang out with, none of them are very appealing as a life partner. So, obviously, none of them are the right person and this is definitely not the right time for me. However, I think that if a man were to come into my life tomorrow, I would be very hesitant to allow him in easily. Dark Horse explains it all.

    • JayIzUrGod

      Makes it so trippy to want something so bad then be afraid of it if it stares you in the face

      • nillalatte

        When it does come at me and it feels right, I’m sure I won’t hesitate. ;)

        • JayIzUrGod

          Well you’ve got ovaries of steel, i ain’t worried about you, you’ll be fine

    • esa

      ~ Every new beginning is some other beginnings end.

      “In the end is my beginning.” ~Mary Queen of Scots. perhaps this is because we move in circles, and not a straight line.

    • panamajackson

      Every now and then I shoot for interesting.

  • Kinghenry2007

    this is more like Spoken Word, Janette Ikz style. Word though, I am stuck in that same situation.


    • Andrea


    • panamajackson

      At one poing while writing this, I thought about turning it into a poem b/c I’m a poet.

      • Kinghenry2007

        it’s as good as a poem sounds bro.

  • Bah hum bug. There Malik. I contributed.

  • DG

    Y’know you gotta be of a certain demographic to use and/or recognize a Pressha reference…lol.

    Mr. Splackaveilli, indeed.

    • Augusta’ s favorite son, Pressha will always get love.

      • DG

        True indeed, folk. how’s married life treating u?

    • panamajackson

      I tossed that in there so y’all ain’t think I forgot who I was during the writing of this post. See also: nae nae.

      • DG

        Good to know, homie…

  • Shy Fran

    Right person or right time? I don’t think that that either option can exist without the other. Maybe this person is not the right person but came into your life to prove that love & happiness can exist after your last breakup. That’s not to say if the person circled back around in the future, during the right time, that things could work. But again, emphasis on being the right person at the right time. At this point in your life, she may have just been the prototype.

  • Geneva Girl

    I think it’s different for men and women. For women, the right person can make it the right time. For men, I truly believe it’s all about timing. I met my soul mate at the time in his life when he was ready for me. He’d ticked off the boxes for what he wanted in his career and he’d gotten down the list to “wife”. I walked by at just the right time. Had it been a year earlier, he wouldn’t have noticed me. Many women I know have said the same thing: You can’t force a guy into a relationship he’s not ready for, but when he’s ready, it can happen quickly.

    • MsSula

      I just wrote the exact same thing! Should have read all the comments. :)

    • Kinghenry2007

      very trues, & good for you.

    • Because women never walk away from good things, ever. Apparently.

      • They definitely do, but they do it for different reasons. If a woman’s heart isn’t in the game, no matter if the circumstances are good or bad, they’ll walk away.

      • esa

        everyone is capable of self sabotage. it is written into our genetic code.

    • JayIzUrGod

      I’m partially agreeing with you and partially agreeing with Tristan. I met my wife at a point in time where that was the only good time to allow her into my life. Any other time would have been bad.

      But like Tristan says, women walk away from good things too. Had we not been on equal footing when we met, she would have just bailed on me because she was too scared of good things. I’ve met too many women who are horrified by good things, same as men, because they’ve gotten so used to the crappy things that they seek nothing else.

    • Tentpole

      Then he wasn’t your “SOUL MATE”. He was somebody you wanted regardless of how he felt about you. A soul mate is someone who work right out of the box. There are no growing pains and no deal breaker issues. Every problem has a soultion because you both meet in the middle because you BOTH want it to work forever and neither one of you can see your life without the other.

      • esa

        ~ There are no growing pains and no deal breaker issues.

        that doesnt sound like life tho. it sounds like heaven.

        • Tentpole

          And there you have it, the definition of a soulmate

          • esa

            if your definition works for you, thas beautiful. but it does not work for me. i’m way too flawed a human being to encounter anyone and not experience my own set of growing pains.

            that, and i cant (and i wont) wait for love until i am dead. i shall embrace it while i am on this mortal plane. but that said, i do believe that our souls connect over and over again, through past present, and future lives. and that in fact we are really just atoms from exploded stars seeking a reconnection of original matter. that is why some people vibrate wildly when they are in the presence of each other. it’s literally a chemical reaction.

          • Mr. SD

            I think the ” no growing pains and no deal breaker issues” is a part of it but not fully.Typically (in my case at least) the person serves a very unique and dynamic purpose in your life for a period of time. Not saying they are infallible or perfect in any respect. Them mothercrackers come with pleanty of deal-breakers..lol But they possess this unique innate element that connects to/with you until it no longer does.

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