The ultra secret meeting of the men folks was this last Wednesday. Me thinks these little get togethers have become way too formalized and that it’s just cool that we can all be boyz and hang togther when the mood hits. The line up was Rog, MC, Jai and the Sorat Rican. Funny story- last year, before Elana was leaving to Cali, it’s me, Rog, Elana, Lynne and Sabrina chillin in Casa Graham- Rog’s old place. Whenever the ladies were around, me and Rog were acting the proverbial fools and when they let us be- we got to talking about relationships, truth in poetry, truth in conversation and where all those roads meet (or don’t) in the middle.

“What y’all fools talking about?”

When we told them, they laughed and dismissed it as more chicanery. Then they let us be and on to Michael Jackson and how he may just be the ultimate physical manifestation of America’s persistent need to equate class with fair skin. This went for a lil bit till the ladies came back again and we reverted to third grade tactics,

I look forward to guy’s night just to know that we can momentarily suspend that factor from the equation of our conversations and only get dumb cuz we want to not cuz we are forced to. Don’t get me wrong- I am the first fool to act silly when a woman is around and should there be more than one… watch out! Ima retreat to whatever safety blanket I have.

The main point of topic became race and with three immigrants of different points of origin and the Caucasian upstater in the house, it became quite the exchange of ideas. Nothing was solved and nobody turned out to be no more right than the other in their varying theories but we all went at it though. Even when Neesha, Rog’s childhood friend from Trini came by and lent the female perspective, things stayed pretty tight and the silliness was held to a simple laugh.

One of the things we were supposed to do was write a poem about our masculinity that did not include women in the text. I ended up going somewhere I haven’t been too in a while. Frankie was the son of Linda. He was ten months old when I entered their lives. He also had an older brother, 2 yr old Ricky, but it was me and Frankie that quickly developed a bond. I mean, how could you not when you are there for someone’s first steps, first birthday, baptism and the first words he says are ‘ahh-stahh” before “mmaa-mmeee.”

I looked nothing like Frankie’s dad and didn’t look like Linda much, either, but wherever we would go, it was always- “He looks so much like his daddy.”

Linda wouldn’t bother correcting folks and after some time, neither would I. Frankie looked like he was gonna be a straight up fullback always barreling through everything but still being gentle enough to cry if his brother even looked at him wrong. He was everything I would have wanted in a son and I told him the night I broke up with his mom. He was dead asleep but it wouldn’t have made much difference any way. He was only two and wouldn’t remember this anyway. I wonder if he ever asks who the man in all those pics of his early years is?

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