“I cannot believe you’re letting him drive like this with your wife in the car.”
“Put your seatbelt on!”
Was I screaming?
Was my terror showing on my face? Evident in my voice? Were we really traveling backwards up an access ramp and swerving in reverse around cars coming towards us? Had Mikey said something to his crazy ass friend?
I decided to address this later because by the grace of God we were finally moving forward as cars should, and I resolved to sit silently until we made it safely back to our car.
“Look man, you really need to apologize to Randie.” Mikey said after we parked.
I studied the ground.
“Man, you’re right. It was just–did you see that traffic? If we stayed there we would have been there for an hour, or two.”
“Man, I get that. I do. But that shit wasn’t cool, man. This is my wife. I’m planning on making a family with her but I can’t do that if she’s dead.”
“You’re right. You’re right. Randie? Randie? I’m sorry. Really.”
I hugged him and told him to drive safely. I also admitted that I prayed over the car because he and the two other girls still driving with him, mattered to people.
That was the last word I said until Mikey and I got home.
And I think we even reconciled once we finally conversed, at least–I thought so. I swear.
But two weeks later I woke up two hours earlier than him in a combative sweat.
“I thought we handled this.”
Me too. But we didn’t and shame on me for being too afraid and too worried about being too angry. When we got home I could tell he felt like shit and didn’t we just spend eight great but long hours at a music festival?
“Let it go, Randie.” I scolded. “Let it go.”
Little good that pep talk did.
I was a blubbering, snotty nosed mess, clinging to our dog Groot when I confessed I lied like hell.
I wasn’t over shit.
“I just don’t understand.” (I was referring to all of the times I never understand) I wailed. “I know you love me, and I don’t believe you were being malicious at all. You’re just so protective of me when it comes to strangers, so I don’t understand why when it’s time to hold the men you love accountable, it’s like pulling teeth. That’s all I can think about. It’s not the car ride but your silence. I mean, even if he didn’t drive like he had some sense after you said something, at least you would have said something. But you didn’t! Not until afterwards.”
“Randie…I just don’t think you understand that it’s a process for me. It’s not easy.”
He was right.
I don’t get that it’s hard for him to get buck when it concerns the men he loves and respects. Especially when it compromises my safety or sanity. But maybe that’s a me thing? A sign of my immaturity? Maybe I don’t really love or respect that many people because I do not play about Mikey, my brothers, or the few men I love. This reality hasn’t been something I’ve had to reveal often, but I know there’s a fire in me that will not consider the relationship I have with the person that has hurt them. He was right.
And dammit, I just want my husband to love me like his wife and treat me like one of his niggas or do I want him to love me like his ni– I digress.
“Mikey.” I said. “I just want to know that if a man you know and love says something to me out of line or does something that negatively impacts me, you will say something without me having to ask you to. I’m not asking you to cut off the people you love. I just want you to hold them accountable. That’s it.”
I won’t speak for other women, but I know I want men and my man specifically to reciprocate what I give. And maybe I’m missing something, maybe I need to learn that while he will react, he won’t always react the way I want him to. I just can’t shake how profound it would be for me if he would or how impactful it is when he does react how I envision.
Get. Buck. For. Me.
and be courageous, because more often than not, it’s the right thing to do. I’m not a damsel in distress and I’m not incapable. However, I recognize that there are spaces I don’t fit, and conversations I don’t feel safe having on my own. There is a particular voice men have with other men and I need for good men and good black men to do away with the content. Don’t just be satisfied with how you are good within yourself. Use your good and be an ally and recognize that it’s not always the strangers you have to check.
Before college, “stranger-danger” was a myth to me, because before college all of my villains had been black, and black males. Black male family and black male friends of family.
But I wonder: what type of generational curses would I have been saved from if the good black men that made sure I was safe with them, made sure I was safe, in general?
This was the powerful quandary that woke me up a month ago with sadness disguised as anger.
Because I wonder.
Photo Cred: Google, Journaling