I miss spoken word. I miss performing. OK, I didn’t do it as much as I should have, but the taste and rush I got from the little have never left me.
There was a smokey Ethiopian restaurant we’d meet at in Westlands for classes. We had a teacher. With a long unpronounceable name. And she loved to point to her students and say “You, you’re next.”
Which means in twenty minutes, I’d have to have come up with words that weren’t just readable, but would strike her like a theatrical play.
Words that weren’t just a mix of the alphabet. But carrying a memory that emoted to the audience.
It’s dark and rainy outside, so this evening feels as good as any to emote a memory.
Perhaps one day, I’ll perform it. But for today, I’d appreciate if you could just read it.
Where do you want to meet? He asked.
They’d been chatting for months, playing hide and seek amidst chats and typos. Throwing banters and quips dressed in flirtations and giggles.
The dark and moody bar was her favorite spot in town. So the question wasn’t hard to answer. She had plenty imagined the moment when he’d be sat across her.
Seven of the matured day was the time she picked. Not to early to be misconstrued as church time. Not too late to be unclassy.
Tell me when you leave home, he said.
Which she did after spending 6000 hours picking apart her closet. Staring and speaking to each cloth she held.
Which one of you says, I’m pretty and smart? That I’m not trying too hard cuz i don’t care too much but, please free to ogle at my ass?
I’m out. she said.
And the uber took her off in her fitting jeans and sheer black. Converse shoes too because, heels say too much.
Past the security with a sway in her hips. She approached the counter with nerves. I need something with tequila she, told the barman.
Whilst she slid in place and took deep breaths. Calm down she told herself. It’s no big deal. He’s just. A. Man.
There was just one witness at the counter, and a couple canoodled three tables behind her. But nothing, not even the shot calmed her nerves.
The clock struck time. And she ceased pretending, this book she carried the words had vanished. So who was she kidding? She wasn’t reading.
He’s on his way. She kept thinking. The back of her eyes, kidnapped with floating images of possibilities.
The music was piped but the sounds were sallow. She took out her phone and revised her chats, goddammit, what if she misunderstood the chats?
It was unmistaken when the air changed. He’s here, she felt. He’d taken over space when he stepped to her. Casually dressed but DAMN he looked divine.
This guy didn’t even try, she thought. Letting her see his toes in sported sandals. Cladding his leanness in black sweats. But FUCK, did he have to look that FYNE? She wondered.
So this is you? She asked.
This is me, he answered. While he slid on the seat next to her in the spot she’d imagined him for months.