NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire Vol 17.2: Fall 2017 - Page 12

“Tell me about it.” And she proceeded to tell me about it — the blind men who could suddenly see as she passed near, the preachers who found hiding places for their Bibles, the young men pressing two hands to their crotches at the sight of her. Just standing at a crosswalk, waiting for the light to change, wind whipping the hem of her skirt well above her knees — such a simple sight caused near accidents. Then she told me about the ones with real class who took her to places — casinos, theater, boat cruises, the one who bought her nice leather goods stamped with names she learned to pronounce. One or two might have even proposed marriage, she could not rightly recall the number. She turned them down without hurting their feelings, landing them in a pillow of friendship. For years on her birthday they would send two dozen perfect roses with puzzling pleas for forgiveness. “How do I know when it gets to four?” I had asked. “Only through another scan of your heart.” “In the meantime what do I do or don’t do?” “Don’t worry, first of all. You can’t exercise or eat this one away.” He had nodded twice. “It may never grow.” Second and third opinions were in my future. She was looking at me now with a half-smile. “I can guess your question. ‘How come you’re sitting out here on a park bench talking with a stranger about the past and not living high on the hog?’— as my grandma used to put it. Huh, ain’t that what you saying to yourself right now?” She gestured for another cigarette. I let her take one but did not join her this time. Trying to cut back and all. “I just don’t go around telling my life story to every good looking man come along.” She exha