Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: One Chapter A Day
THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE
Reggie had left in the early hours of the morning, just the way I liked it. I peeled myself from the sheets and walked to the window, ready to greet my SoHo morning. In contrast to Friday, blue sky and dry streets filled my view. Hello, New York City! I had brought the rollerblades to town, and I decided there was a taxi out there with my name on it. I was uptown within the hour.
Central Park’s bike roads were free of snow debris, and gratefully dry. Snow still covered most of the grounds, and I was exhilarated by the surreal view of skating in a white landscape. I was all but alone in the park, burning up the road, and taking risks coming down the hills. After several close calls, my blade caught a rut: both feet left the planet and I flew through the air. Like a slow-motion film clip, I had time to consider my options, and planned for the pavement. I ordered total body relaxation before my hand pads struck the concrete, and my body followed, skidding mercilessly to a stop. The pads were trashed, but I was intact. I looked up from the pavement and took in the message; now that I could fly, not even a crash could hurt me.
I took out the phone and punched Lamar’s number in Seattle. “I’m skating in Central Park—in the snow!” I shouted after he answered. “It’s a kick-ass blue day! This park is empty, there’s snow everywhere, but the roads are clear!” Lamar Taylor was new to my collection, and riding high on the top shelf.
“Do it, girl! Living the dream! It’s your life and you’re the only one to please!”
“Well, I’m pleased now! And hungry! What a ride!” Changing subject, he asked about the meeting on Madison Avenue. “Absofuckinglutely amazing!” I sang back, stoked by the memory. “Better than I could have expected. Customer promised future business, the boss is happy—and I celebrated with champagne and a great steak in the Meatpacking District. And the hotel! Serious SoHo four-star—and now—I’m blading Central Park in the snow! Baby! I love my life!”
“And I love that I get a piece of your life! Kill it, girl, and keep it safe! I’ve got business with those long legs when you get back to town!”
It was 2006, and my life was proof of the ultimate success of my dating adventures. The experimental phase of my nonexclusive life was officially over, and I was engaged in a dynamic, bachelor lifestyle. I paired up with sexy, smart men. Always upfront about my bachelor ways, my relationships were simultaneous and overlapping. I maintained a small tribe of bachelor relationships. Kyle, Shaun, Dion, and Lamar were my core lovers, but there were many more.
I was always open to a date with a new man. Not all of them became my sex partners, but I reveled in the abundance of quality men who found their way to me. They ranged in age from twenty-two to sixty-six. Many were fathers raising children, and a significant number were the primary parent. They all maintained their bodies like athletes and all were connoisseurs of extraordinary sex. And to my great pleasure, more and more of the men in my life were Black Americans.
As I continued to date black men, my naïveté regarding African American culture was magnified. Since I had been a world traveler for years, engaged in disparate cultures, I took that experience into biracial dating. I paid attention to what I saw, what I heard, what was similar, and different, among the men I was with.
At the same time, I immersed myself in Black History, from Reconstruction to Civil Rights, as well as contemporary opinion on the current state of Black America. My review brought Fredrick Douglass into sharp focus as a profoundly brave, idealistic, and revolutionary figure; a heroic role model for the nation. He deserves equal attention when studying the Founding Fathers, for his leadership and valor, and especially the way in which he dared the nation to honor those first documents.
While my reading reminded me of the depravity of a nation invested in slavery, what altered my perception of our history was that I finally understood how Reconstruction had merely exchanged the leg-irons of slavery, for the bondage of Jim Crow. Those legal restrictions of institutionalized racism promoted white supremacy, and in many jurisdictions, supported the horror of state-sanctioned terrorism, in the form of lynching and cross burning. Marcus Garvey, William E.B. Dubois, and Booker T. Washington were all strategic visionaries; and all offered disparate solutions to transcend emancipation, respond to Jim Crow, and establish equality for Blacks in America. Their efforts had been experiments that offered hope, and some even realized success. Ambitions were high, born of great egos, but foundations were weak, and ultimately, collectively, they barely dented the surface of a maturing American racism.
The formation of the NAACP, and the trajectory of legal arguments that led to Brown vs. Board of Education, distill a compelling narrative about the infrastructure of our legal system. I came to resent the category of Black History as a marginalized segment of America’s story, segregated from the mainstream, like it was somehow an optional subsection. This was a story for all Americans. Early America succeeded because of an economy of slave labor, and the nineteenth century movement to outlaw slavery in the expanding territories led to the Civil War. The story of three hundred years of a robust African slave trade, and three hundred years of their Black American progeny, cannot be segregated from the biography of White America.
By the time I completed my review of the 1960s victories that effectively outlawed Jim Crow, and forced a nation to honor the civil rights guaranteed by the Constitution, I had consumed more than fifty volumes of history, opinion, and literature about Black America. I was continually dumbfounded by what I hadn’t known. And sadly, I understood that generations of Americans of all colors lacked the fundamental details about our national story.
TOMORROW: Chapter 44
Copyright Vicki Marie Stolsen, 2014, Forever Forty-Four Publications, Publicity Rare Bird Lit, Tyson Cornell, Tyson@rarebirdlit.com, Distribution by Ingram, Available online and in bookstores in paperback, eBook, and audio format.