Tuesday, February 11, 2014

***Poet’s Corner- Langston Hughes 

From The Pen Of Frank Jackman

February is Black History Month


I’m all alone in this world, she said,
Ain’t got nobody to share my bed,
Ain’t got nobody to hold my hand—
The truth of the matter’s
I ain’t got no man.

Big Boy opened his mouth and said,
Trouble with you is
You ain’t got no head!
If you had a head and used your mind
You could have me with you
All the time.

She answered, Babe, what must I do?

He said, Share your bed—
And your money, too.

Langston Hughes
The whole world knew, or at least the important parts of that world, that summer of 2012 downtown Boston world (near the Common say from the Public Gardens to Newbury Street but also near birth place Columbus Avenue), knew that Larry Johnson was Ms. Loretta Lawrence’s every day man (and it goes without saying her every night man too). Make no mistake, girls, women, even though they didn’t hold hands in public or throw public kisses at each other, and Loretta at five-ten and rail thin, fashion model day thin didn’t look like trouble, keep your hands off. And they did, those in the fashion industry, mostly her fellow models, and maybe a few longing sidewinder guy designers too. But somebody had Larry’s attention and Loretta was going to get to the bottom of it.

It all started back in February when Larry asked her for a hundred dollars one night, out of the blue. Now Larry had been on a tough stretch ever since the financial collapse in 2008 (although it only bagged him in early 2010) when the markets went crazy and he got caught short, and since business was bad he eventually got that old dreaded pink slip. And nobody was hiring so he had just been kind of living off his old time bonuses, and a little of this and that. Funny they had met at a bar down in the financial district where he had stopped off for a drink after passing his resume around for about the umpteenth time and she had just finished a shoot (for a cosmetic company that had keyed on her for her ravishing dark looks, brown hair, brown eyes, brownish high cheek-boned skin as they were trying to expand their markets) down near the water at International Place and her photographer had offered to buy her a drink. His eyes met hers, her eyes met his in return and before anyone really knew it he had moved in on her like something out of one of those old time novels that you read and at the end both can’t believe that you spent your good hard-earned rest reading and cannot believe that the “she” of the story would be so stupid in the end to have gotten mixed-up with a wacko like that.
Larry had moved in on her too, literally, after a few weeks of downy billow talk and his argument (which she was okay with, she wasn’t saying she wasn’t) that two could live as cheaply as one (which isn’t true but close enough) and he could cut down on expenses during his rough patch. And it was nice, nice to have a man around, with man’s things, a man’s scent, and a man’s silly little vanities that she had not experienced since Phil (she would not use a last name because Phil was well known, too well-known) had left her a few years back. Every once in a while though she would notice a ten here or a twenty there missing from her pocketbook but figured that either she, spendthrift she, had spent it on some forgotten bobble or Larry had taken it for some household thing and didn’t report the fact (although she, they, had insisted on a collective counting of expenses). Then came the night of Larry’s official request. And she gave it to him, a loan, a loan was all it was. The first time.

After a few more requests for dough, and the granting of those requests, Loretta started to try to figure out what the heck he was doing with the dough (he said it was to help get a job, or he needed new shirts, or something, something different each time). Then she thought about Phil, not about the money part (Jesus, he had thrown his dough at her when he was strong for her, called her his little money-machine and laughed) but as he started losing interest in her he stopped showering the money because he was seeing another woman on the side and showering it on her (that “her” being a friend of hers, and not even beautiful, just smart). And so she started thinking that Larry, Larry the guy who was sharing her bed every night (every night so it had to be a daytime dalliance), was having another affair. She resolved that Larry would get no more money, no more loans, as he called them and if she found out that he was two-timing her that woman had better leave town because, two-timer or not, bum-of-the-mouth or not, he was her man and she had told one and all hands off. And she meant it.


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