Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Signed, Somebody Baby Momma: A Short Narrative by Max Reddick

Sorry, I’m late today. I got caught up trying to repair a server. Anyway, I thought I’d go off the script for day 3 of Relationship Week and leave you with a narrative. This is something else from when I was at home last month, but I thought it was too long to post, but I’ll drop it off today. Let me know what you think.

I don’t like that term, Baby Momma. To me it just seems so negative, so final. It’s like that’s all I will ever be, somebody Baby Momma. But somehow I guess that fits me now.

I asked Max to write this down for me, so I could read it back to see if it sounds as absolutely crazy as I think it does. I’ve known Max for a long time, from way back in the day. He was always writing these silly little poems and letters to all the little girls in the hood. And those silly little tricks used to fall for it too. But I never did. I guess that’s why we have remained friends for so long.

But I right now, I just need to get this out. You know, I want to talk to my friends about it, but I’m so afraid of what they will say. In fact, I already know what they will say. And I certainly cannot take this to my mother and sisters. I have heard it all from them before.

But I just need someone to listen, just listen for a second and not talk back. Not render judgment. And ladies, you know how judgmental we can be.

I met him my freshman year of college. He was a junior then. He was one of those what I call wonder men. You know what I am talking about ladies, one of those men you look at, and you just wonder. You wonder what he would look like with his clothes off. You wonder how it would feel with his hands wrapped around you, embracing you, holding you, kissing you, making love to you.

Let me take a second and tell you about him.

He was very tall; he was built like an athlete, but he had the mind of a scholar. Now I know every black person and they momma are always talking about having some Indian in them, but you could see his Indian heritage in his countenance. Both heritages, in fact, were very much in evidence. His skin was jet black, so black that sometimes when the sun would fall on it just right, he appeared purple. But his features were decidedly Indian, and he had the finest, straightest jet black hair. It is as if his hair didn’t fit him. And I used to just admire his long, straight black fingers and wonder what they would feel like on my body.

And then my wondering became an obsession. I began putting myself into his path just so he would notice me. And one day he finally did. We quickly became friends. And almost just as quickly, we became friends with benefits.

You know, I think that’s where I made my first mistake. I never took the time to define our relationship with him. He just came and went out of my life. Sometimes I wouldn’t see him for days. And during these times I would become upset and jealous. I would curse him, and I would curse myself. But other times he would be with me all day, every day. And all night.

And he would always seem to know just what my body needed. Sometimes he would make love to me slowly, almost methodically. Other times, our love making took a faster, more frenzied pace, as if we were angry at one another. As if we were trying to take out all our anger, all our frustrations, on the other’s body. But in the end, I was never left wanting. I was never left unsatisfied.

He graduated a while before I did, but he went to law school in a city not too far away, so I saw him from time to time on weekends, during holidays, and at other times when he would just show up out of the blue.

I found out I was pregnant a month or two into my senior year. I found out he had gone out and gotten married about a month or two before I painfully walked across the stage to receive my diploma, nauseous with my ankles badly swollen. My soror, who came back for the graduation, delivered the bad news.

And perhaps to spite him, or perhaps to soothe my wounded ego, I got married just as my child started walking. And my new husband was a good man. I should have loved him, but I didn’t. And I didn’t do much to hide the fact that I really didn’t love him, either. To his credit, he hung in there as long as he could before he finally decided that it would be best that he moved on.

Since then, I have been in and out of relationships. More times I have been out as opposed to in though. I guess I’m probably one of those women always complaining about not having a man. But when I get one, I just get quickly get bored with them and eventually run them away.

As for my child’s father, he took good care of her financially, but emotionally he treated her just as he had treated me. There would be times in which she heard from him very often. She spent some summers, weekends, and holidays with him. Often she accompanied him and his wife on vacations. In fact, he took her all over the world with him.

But other times we would not hear from him for months. Not a phone call. Not a letter. Nothing. But nevertheless, my daughter absolutely adores her father. You know how girls are about their fathers. In her eyes, he can do no wrong.

But here’s where it the whole thing gets a little tricky.

A few months back he showed up back in town without an explanation and without his wife. And when I found out his wife was not with him, I began to fix myself up. I went out and bought me a whole new wardrobe. Everything, underwear included. New panties. New bras. The whole nine.

And the whole time I’m cleaning out the mall, the whole time I’m maxing out my credit cards, I’m trying to convince myself that it wasn’t for him. But one day after about my third trip to Victoria’s Secret in a week, the salesclerk just looked at me smiled and asked me, “New man?”

He began to spend a lot of time with his daughter, taking her places, buying her things. And of course she was in heaven. Then he began to include me. So, the three of us would be out about town together frequently. It was almost as if we were a family. I remember this little white lady at the Memphis in May festival even commenting on how beautiful we all looked together as a family. And my child’s father didn’t miss a beat. He put his arm around both of us, looked each of us in our eyes, and replied, “Yes, we certainly do.” And now I was in heaven.

But in the evenings when he would drop us off, he never asked to stay. He never once asked me if he could spend the night. And he wouldn’t even have had to ask. All he would have had to do was to come in, take his shoes off, and as far as I was concerned, he would have been at home.

Then, one day about a week or so ago, he asked me to go on a short, day trip with him. Just so we could talk, he said. Just so we could spend a little time together, he said. Just so we could get to know one another again. And my heart leapt.

But when we set off on our little excursion, it began to rain. And by the time we arrived at our destination, it was pouring. So he stopped and got us a room at a bed and breakfast to wait out the rain. It was one of those old Southern antebellum style mansions.

And I want you to take a second to picture this. It was a beautifully appointed room with this huge four poster bed facing French doors which led out to a portico with an absolutely beautiful view of the grounds.

When we arrived, he opened the French doors leading out to the balcony and together we lay on the bed next to one another, not touching, not talking, just watching the rain as it fell on the floor of the ancient portico. Before long he put his arm around me, and I snuggled up against his chest. All the while, I could hear the sound of the rain as it fell, and I could smell its intoxicating…

Wait a minute, Max. Don’t use that. That word. Intoxicating. It sounds so cliché-ish. What’s a better word? Well, go ahead and use it. This whole thing probably sounds cliché-ish by now. This whole thing probably sounds so familiar.

But anyway, I could hear the sound of the rain, and I could smell its delicate scent as it mixed with his cologne and the smell of whatever dressing he used on his hair. And I became aroused. Very aroused. I began to kiss him on his neck, behind his ear. I kissed him on his forehead. I kissed his beautiful black hair. I tried to kiss every inch of his face until I finally found his mouth.

But then he just pushed me away.

He placed his hands on either side of my face, looked me in my eyes, and for the first time ever he did something I thought he’d never do in our lifetimes. He told me, “I love you. I really love you.” I think I saw tears in his eyes. But then he just lay back down and before long he fell asleep. And I lay my head back on his chest. And that is how we spent the afternoon until the rain finally subsided.

And as we lay there I thought to myself how perfect it all seemed. How perhaps many a little teenage girl, many a woman might dream of an afternoon like this. But here I lay with a married man who for whatever reason would not consummate our afternoon together and who was still someone else’s husband. And all I was was somebody Baby Momma.

And as he snoozed, I looked at him lying there and wondered. After all these years, he still has me wondering.

What could she possibly be wondering about? Have you ever been in a relationship that made you wonder? Do you wonder now?

And please come back tomorrow when we will discuss interracial relationships. Von, if you stop by, I’ll need your help on this inter-racial relationship thing.


msladyDeborah said...

There is a CD by Ashford and Simpson that features the poetry of Maya Angelou. It is an extrodinary piece of music. There is a cut titled, "What If" Which basically questions if there was ever another person who could of provided a more fulfilling relationship than the one that they have. In the poetry portion of that song-Maya talks about two men that she calls A and B. She describes their qualities and how she felt about both of them. But in the end she selected A. Even though B was so very important to her. And it is so obvious that whoever B was/is-there was a whole lot of love for him in her heart.

I have often questioned if I had selected someone else instead of the person I am with-would things be different? There is no way to honestly answer that without having the experience. If it is meant to be, in due time and in due season it happens. It may be like a circle-nothing or everything. But, if it turns out not to be what you hoped for or expected-what price do you pay for that knowledge?

How many children are created by couples that do not have a solid relationship? Up until the child has been concieved it seems that there is not deep enough thought given to what that child does to a relationship. Because a life long bond is created. Even if the parents do not remain together.

Will this couple ever have a future? Only they can determine if that is the right move for them. Someone will be hurt in the process. Maybe they will never fully connect again...

Violet B said...

Wow, I was completely blown away by this post. It was very raw, deeply moving and breath taking. It makes you reflect on some of your own life experiences in this same arena. The best part for me was when he held her face in his hands and said "I love you, I really do love you" then laid down and fell into a deep sleep instead of them making made passionate love which left her . . . WONDERING. AWESOME!!!! Hook a sister up on how to get permission to repost this story pretty pretty please!!!

Anonymous said...

After reading this post I had to sit with my feelings for a moment before responding. I dug in expecting a debate of the term “baby momma” and got much more than I bargained for. As a married woman, I am trying hard to look past the intended seduction of a married man and maintain objectivity. To be honest, part of me is screaming “you should have thought of that before conception”. Then I stop, remove stones and scarlet letter and silence the married woman. I grew up in a two parent household and my parents remain together to this day. The “intact” family was something I valued and wanted to provide for my child, causing me I think to pay closer attention to my actions in planning for my future. However, many of my friends fall into the “baby momma” category. Do I respect them any less? No. In fact, I think I hold a greater respect for the fact that many of them are raising children on their own and I know how difficult this is with the love and support of a spouse. Having a child with the person you love, I would think it only natural to want the “complete” picture. I do though have serious questions about the man presented in this narrative. If he left you pregnant & married someone else and then years later caresses you & tells you he loves you while away from his wife, is he truly worthy of the adoration bestowed to him? I think as woman, we are often blinded by the fantasy and in love with the idea of love. To borrow from one of my “baby momma” friends, love makes you deaf, dumb, blind and stupid at times. I have always had an issue with labels, period, because they pigeonhole you into a stereotype that may not appreciate the full characteristics of the individual. Personally I believe the key lies in self-love, self-forgiveness and self-awareness. Once you achieve these ideals, you are able to define the parameters you are comfortable with.

Keith said...

This was such an incredible post. It really moved me. Thanks for sharing this with us. It definitely touched me. It really makes you think a lot about life and the choices we make. I am really impressed with the posts you do here.

Keith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Orchid said...

For a few minutes I became that woman, even though I have never experienced anything near the agony she must have endured. I second Violent B. It blew me away too. I hope everything works out for her and her little girl.

Orchid said...

goddess, look at me, talking to the character like she's real lol. I hope to be able to write like this someday, where I leave people thinking that the character is real lol

Bougie Applebum said...

D@mn. Great post I'm mad brotha man just fell asleep like that but I'll let him make it - this time.

KST said...

Great post. I hate the term "baby momma." Would you really want someone who was half-assed about being a father, and cheats on his wife? He seems to fit his child, and now you into his life when it is convenient for him.

The "good man" who married you, (even though you recently had a child with someone else) and said child are the people I feel for here. I am not trying to be harsh, but if you are "wondering" if he's going to come back and you two are going to be together - stop. Even if he does return - what are you getting? The grand prize in the Pile of Crap Sweepstakes? You deserve better, and more importantly, his wife deserves better.

Max Reddick said...

@ msladydeborah

I remember that CD. I never got chance to hear it though. Maybe I will now.

@ Violet

You have my permission to repost it. Just let me know when you do and by all means, give me credit.

@ ggSpirit

In love with being in love--I haven't heard that one for a while. I used hear this one a lot when I was growing up.

@ Keith

I'm adding you to my blogroll today. I thought I had done it a while ago, but I guess I just overlooked it. And thanks for your continued support and comments.

Max Reddick said...

@ msladydeborah

I remember that CD. I never got chance to hear it though. Maybe I will now.

@ Violet

You have my permission to repost it. Just let me know when you do and by all means, give me credit.

@ ggSpirit

In love with being in love--I haven't heard that one for a while. I used hear this one a lot when I was growing up.

@ Keith

I'm adding you to my blogroll today. I thought I had done it a while ago, but I guess I just overlooked it. And thanks for your continued support and comments.

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