Category Archives: Not Another Lonely Holiday Season

Not Another Lonely Holiday Season Chapter II: A Not So Lonely Thanksgiving

When Zada woke up on Thanksgiving morning, there was a nervousness to her that she hasn’t experienced in a long time… She wanted to make a good impression – As it pertains to the appearance department – on Delmar…

She wanted to showcase her curves and sexiness, but also didn’t wanna scream out that, “I’m putting so much effort into this to impress you”… She also wanted to wear something casual… But also something that didn’t seem like she didn’t care. So after staring in her closet for around the time of a traditional and modern sitcom – Commercials included -, and deciding on – And then deciding against – wearing a particular item, Zada finally made a decision on what to wear…

A distressed acid washed jeans that accentuate the longness of her five feet eleven framed legs, that she’s been dying to wear for an occasion like this… A black and white floral blouse, and some creamed colored open toed pumps to put the punctuation on the casual sexy look that she was looking for…

And to add another punctuation to her look, Zada decided to spray on some of her Adrion Nichols perfume, and put on her turquoise teardrop earrings as well…

 

Meanwhile, over at Delmar’s place, he didn’t know how to feel about going over Zada’s place… He was afluttered about getting to know more about her (even tho at The Quiet Castle Dollar Store, he doesn’t say much to her)… But he also didn’t wanna get his expectations up, just for it to be popped like Scott Walker’s 2016 presidential bid

Through the years, Delmar has learned – The hard way –  not to get his hopes up as it pertains to dealing with humans with the XX Chromosomes

So anyway, when two o’clock arrived, Zada was sitting at her dining table chewing on some bubble gum, in her carefully selected outfit waiting for Delmar to show up…

……….

Twenty minutes had passed, and Zada was still sitting at her dining table chewing on some – Now very stale ass – gum waiting for Delmar to show up… Or at least to give her a call…

……….

Another twenty minutes had passed, and Zada was still sitting at her dining table… Except now with a sadness look on her face… She felt stood up. She felt unwanted… And that sadness continued for the next couple of minutes, until suddenly, her phone began playing a dope ass ringtone, and Zada instantly knew it was Delmar (because she chose that tone specifically for him)…

“Hey I’m sorry for being late… Something came up and I won’t be there until three”… Said Delmar.

Please don’t stand me up… Pleeeaaase…”… Is what Zada was thinking… But what actually came out of her mouth was…

“Okay… I’ll see you in around twenty minutes”…

And after their quick convo, Zada went to the bathroom to freshen up, and to make sure she was on the fleekish of fleek for Delmar…

And at three o’clock, the intercom in Zada’s apartment began …..

“Hey it’s Delmar… Can you buzz me in”?… Asked Delmar.

And Zada did just that, and then said to him…

“Apartment 203”…

And a couple of minutes later, there was a knock on Zada’s door… And it was Delmar, and she let him in… And they gave each other a casual friendly hug, before he went on to say to her…

“Sorry for being late, but I had to catch the end of the game… I didn’t expect it to be so good, because the home team has been like the last decade of the music charts

“I forgot all about the game… Who won”?… Asked Zada.

“The road team… Like they always do on Thanksgiving… The next game will be starting in about thirty minutes…

So you like football”?… Asked Delmar.

“Since I was a kid… It’s the only sport I watch”… Answered Zada.

“I don’t know if you mind, but I brought a sweet potato pie and some whipped cream with me… We can have these for dessert”… Said Delmar.

“Okay… You can put those on the table over there… I haven’t had sweet potato pie in a while”… Responded Zada.

And as Delmar was walking over to the table to put the sweet potato pie and whipped cream on it, Zada made her way to the kitchen to go to the fridge to grab a pack of turkey deli meat and some bread. And Delmar had a, “Are you really serious” look on his face, before going on to say…

“This it”?…

And Zada had an embarrassed look on her face, before getting herself together, and saying…

“Iiiiiiiiii reeeaaally can’t cook… I usually eat out or buy food that I can warm up in the microwave or stove”…

“Well do you have anything in your fridge or pantry”?… Asked Delmar.

And Zada spent the next few minutes looking around her kitchen for some food items, and eventually came up with some rice, ground turkey, cheese slices, a bag of frozen sweet peas, and a jar of jalapeno slices…

“Is it alright if I try to make something outta this”?… Asked Delmar.

“Sure… Knock yourself out”… Replied Zada.

So Delmar went to Zada’s kitchen to start making a meal out of the food items that Zada had presented him… And as the minutes pressed on, the natural warmness of the kitchen and the heat from the stove began to show its effects on Delmar, as perspiration began pouring out his forehead. So Zada said to him…

“You gotta be hot in that thing”…

“It’s cool… I can handle it… But can I get a cup of some ice water”?… Responded Delmar.

And Zada just stared at Delmar for a couple of seconds, before saying to him…

“Take off the hoodie”…

So Delmar temporarily took his attention off the stove to take off his navy blue hoodie, while Zada went to the fridge to pour him a glass of ice water… And when he returned to the stove, Delmar went on to make a cheesy rice ground turkey casserole, with some peas and jalapenos mixed in for some added texture… And as for Zada, she grabbed a bottle of cola from the fridge, and the two were now ready to sit down, eat, and conversate…

……….

Zada took a bite of the casserole, and soon thereafter asked Delmar..

“You like to cook”?…

“Yeah… I didn’t in the beginning, but I’ve grown to appreciate the beauty and complexity of cooking…

The mixing of all of these individual ingredients that come together to make a beautiful cake… Or how just four basic ingredients can produce such an enticing and tasting bread

Or how long and what temperature you cook or bake something can change the texture and taste of the food… It’s very fascinating the more you sit and think about it”… Answered Delmar.

“Damn… I’ve never thought about food that way… You make it sound like the making of the Beyonce album… I just see food as something on my plate that I eat”… Responded Zada.

And both she and Delmar chuckled for a few seconds, before he went on to ask her…

”So speaking of food… What are some of the foods you like to eat”?…

Meat, meat, and more meatTurkey, chicken, beef, pork… I like deer meat, but it’s an acquired taste… And when I’m down south visiting family, a gator po boy ain’t bad either… Particularly with BBQ sauce”… Answered Zada.

And Delmar stared at Zada with a, “I kinda regret asking that question” look for a couple of seconds before saying…

Well okay then… I used to be a meat lover, but as I’ve gotten older, my taste has changed. The only meats I eat regularly are chicken and turkey… But I mainly eat fish”…

“Any particular reason why you don’t eat as much meat”?… Asked Zada.

“Well yeah… I don’t trust the companies that make the meat we eat… I can give examples, but were eating right now, and this is something that shouldn’t be talked about while doing that”… Replied Delmar.

“Yeah.. You’re right about that… That’s a topic for another time… So do you have anything against any drinks”?… Asked a somewhat snarky Zada.

And Delmar stared at Zada for a few seconds before he began chuckling, and soon thereafter answered…

“I try to keep it as natural as possible… Fruit juices… Apple, orange, grape, pineapple… Juices like that… Also I’ve just gotten into almond milk… I thought it would taste like watered down milk, but it actually tastes really really good. I prefer it over cow milk now”…

(Writer’s Note: You wouldn’t think that such a mundane “Watered Down Milk” Google search would produce such serious results… But that’s just the way it is these days huh)…

“I don’t really mess with milk… Don’t like the taste of it… Unless it’s chocolate… But I mostly drink soda… I know I should cut back, but… I do love drinking cranberry juice… I don’t remember when I started liking it, but you put that with some vodka, and it’s… Whew”… Responded Zada.

“I’m not an alcohol drinker… Hate the taste. Hate the way it makes me feel… But I know a lot of people love the turnt up feeling… So to each its own”… Replied Delmar.

Life without alcohol?… I ain’t tryin’ to live in a world where I can’t get turnt every now and then… Gotta get ya mind your mind off life’s problems”… Responded Zada.

“So what kind of alcohol you drink”?… Asked Delmar.

Vodka, hennessy, tequila, champagne, cider… But not beer… Hate the taste, hate the… Everything”… Answered Zada.

“You smoke”?… Asked Delmar.

“What”?… Replied Zada.

“You know do you smoke…”?… Asked Delmar again.

“I know what you was asking… But smoke what”?… Asked Zada.

“Cigarettes… Herb”?… Replied Delmar.

“Cigarettes… I hate to admit it, but I smoke more than I want to… When I’m stressed… But I’m trying to quit all together… Not tryin’ to deal with the consequences of smokin’ years from now…

Now herb… Nah not really… I mean every once in awhile with a friend, but I don’t have anything against it… You”?… Asked Zada.

“Took a few puffs of a cigarette when I was a teenager and hated it… It smells, gets into your clothes, hair… Gives you bad breath, funky teeth… There’s very few things in life that I hate more than cigarettes…

And as for herb… Never smoked it… It kinda smells for me… Not as awful as cigarettes, but for something people like so much, you would think someone would do something about that strong aroma… I can’t inhale anything that smells so …..

But if someone ever did something about the smell… I’ll probably begin to indulge in it”… Answered Delmar.

“You’re really sensitive to smells aren’t cha”?… Said Zada.

“I guess… But I don’t eat, drink, or mess with anything that stinks… My believe is that if it stinks before you ingest it, then why would it taste good?… You know like chitterlings

My mom loved them… Why?… I don’t know… They look like a creature from a far off planet, and they smell like… You know ….. But she loved them… And she had the house smelling like… You know ….. for days… I really didn’t like her during that time… She eventually stopped eating them when she saw how upset they made me”… Replied Delmar.

“I’ve never eaten chitterlings, but I have the same type of hatred for goat meat… My mom made some form of it almost every other night… I know she and my sister loved it, but I was like enough already… Give me something different every once in awhile like beef, chicken, or pork… But my mom told me…

‘I pay the bills around here, so I decide what gets eaten in this house’!…

So you know… What choice did I have”… Responded Zada

“Yeah I understand… But at least we’re grown now… We can decide on what we wanna eat”… Replied Delmar.

“Yeah… That’s true”… Responded Zada.

And after around two thirds of a minute of ………., Delmar said to Zada…

“I didn’t wanna say anything earlier, but you look real good in those jeans”…

And at this particular moment in time, Zada was melting inside like a chocolate candy bar on a hot day… She was hoping for a comment like this when she picked these jeans hours earlier, but actually hearing Delmar say it was better than she could’ve image… But on the outside, she didn’t show any excitement for the comment… She just simply replied with a…

Thank you… I greatly appreciate the compliment”…

And while Zada was in delight from Delmar’s comment, he looked down in the direction of her feet to view her cream colored open toed pumps…

“Please tell me you didn’t wear those just for me?… You have to be uncomfortable wearing those at home…”… Said a curious Delmar.

Uncomfortable… Nah… I wear these around here at least a couple of times a month… And today is just one of those days that I felt like wearing them”… Answered Zada.

Okay that last sentence by Zada is just plain ole bullshit… The only part of it that wasn’t BS were the first couple of words… Although she wasn’t exactly feeling cozy in them either…

“I get it… I guess this is like when women put on makeup and dress out when they don’t have to… Because it makes them feel good… There not doing it for a man, they’re doing it for themselves”…

Yeeeaaah… Exactly”… Replied a Zada who wasn’t thinking in that mindframe… But that answer sounded many more times empowering than the one she’s thinking

(Writer’s Note: I tried searching for a pic, vid, or meme that would make a more accurate description of the previous link… But after ten to fifteen minutes, I said the hell with it, and just went with the link above)

“You know I’ve been wondering something for awhile… Why do you women wear those types of jeans?… I mean they’re definitely sexy, but particularly this time of year… You have to be as cold as a dolphin in buffalo”… Said Delmar.

“Well I’m inside… And my thickness keeps me warmer than some other females”… Replied a snarky Zada.

Well I don’t have anything to say to that

……….

… You know if there’s a shirt or hoodie version of that blouse?… Because I would be interested in picking one up and adding it to my collection”… Asked Delmar.

“Nah I don’t know… But now that I think about it, this would be dope as a shirt, dress, skirt, or even a hoodie”… Responded Zada.

“Yeah I have a lot of hoodies… Around twenty or so… I just love them… I love how they feel on me”… Said Delmar.

“Well I have a lot of earrings… So we all have our passions don’t we”… Replied Zada.

And Delmar just stared at Zada for around a half minute or so, before saying to her…

“You are very beautiful… You know you really do have a resemblance to Lupita… I love your natural hair, deep chocolate mahogany skin… I mean you’re taller and thicker, but still the facts are the facts”…

……….

… Ummm… Thank youuu… I… I…

………. ………. ……….

… You know… There’s something I’ve been wanting to ask you for awhile now…

When you walk into the store, you always look so sad… Like you just found out that your dog died… You have a beautiful smile… The few times I see it”…

And Delmar responded by staring at Zada for a handful of seconds, before plainly saying to her…

“Because I’m not happy”…

And Zada’s “Interesting” facial expression suddenly changed to a, “Wow… This got heavy real quick” tone… So all she could say was…

“Oh”…

“I’m sorry to be a Debbie downer… I’m pretty sure you don’t wanna hear about my problems… You’re a grown woman… You have your own issues”… Said Delmar.

“No it’s okay… You wanna talk about it?… Sometimes it helps to talk to someone about it”… Replied Zada.

And Delmar stared at Zada for a few seconds before saying…

I miss my mom… I miss her so much”…

“When did she pass away”?… Asked Zada.

“It’s been a while… Five and a half years… But I still miss her like it just happened yesterday… She’s the only person who’s truly loved me”… Answered Delmar.

“What about your father and the rest of your family”?… Asked Zada.

“I don’t like thinking about him… And I’m not close to my family either… I don’t have beef with them, but I ain’t in love with them either… I haven’t forgiven them for pretty much trying to bully me into having a relationship with my father…

You know when you see a woman sitting next to a man on kiss cam at a game, and the crowd eggs her on to kiss him even tho she doesn’t want to

(Writer’s Note: Not exactly what I was looking for… But close enough)

… That’s what I feel like my family has been doing to me for years as it pertains to my father”… Replied Delmar.

“Sorry to hear that… But I understand where you’re coming from… You ain’t the only one who has issues with family”… Said Zada.

And the two spent the next minute or so staring at each other in a way and eating on the casserole, before Delmar resumed the conversation…

“You know I really thought about not coming here because I thought you were messin’ with me”…

“Why would you think that”?… Asked a genuinely perplexed Zada.

“Women don’t talk to me… I’m invisible to y’all”… Replied Delmar.

“Are you a virgin”?… Asked Zada.

“No… But I check my dick every once in awhile just to make sure it’s still there”… Replied Delmar.

And Zada was so caught off guard by that answer, that she had to quickly drink some of her soda to prevent herself from choking on the casserole, as her eyes became red and watery…

“Are you alright”?… Asked a concerned Delmar.

“Yeah… ….. I’m… ….. Okay…  It’s just that… ….. … I’m sorry for laughing at your issues… But that was just too funny…

(And after it took around a half a minute or so for her to get back to – Almost – normal, Zada continued her statement)

… I understand where you’re comin’ from…

I haven’t had a good history with men… Been cheated on a couple of times… And for the longest, I blamed myself for their actions

Did they cheat on me because I can’t cook?… Did they cheat because I wasn’t beautiful enough?… Did they cheat because I Was too monotonous in the bedroom?… Had I been willing to get my freak on more, would that had prevented them from looking elsewhere?…

But I eventually realized that it wasn’t me… They were just low down dirty dogs… That needed to be put down”… Replied Zada.

“Wow… Talk about bad luck”… Said Delmar.

“Yeah… But believe it or not, they weren’t the worst men I’ve been with…

Kevin… Kevin… Where do I even start…

He used me… Financially and sexually… He almost never had a job… And when he did, it was only for a couple of weeks… So I paid his phone bill every month… With the exception of a month or two, and I bought him some expensive ass shoes… Because anything not Jordan or LeBron would be like wearing grandpa shoes

And for a skinny ass nigga, Kevin ate like a fucking elephant… I go to the store and fill the fridge up on Monday, and it’s fucking empty by Saturday… And he never eeeva tried to fill it back up…

Kevin really is the definition of a fuck nigga”… Responded Zada.

“So why did you stay with him for so long”?… Asked Delmar.

“Because… Because… He was a world class pipe layer… I know it’s shallow, but it’s the reason why I put up with his shit for so long… His cunningus game was so good that it inspires you to write a story about it…

And to add the proverbial icing on the cake, Kevin always told me that he loved me and that he will be a better man during and afterward…. And I was so lost in the afterglow, that I forgot that he was a 24 karat fuck nigga… Which he went back to a day or so later…

And to make a long story short, even tho the sex was P-H-E-N-O-M-E-N-A-L, I knew I had to end it with Kevin… At some point I came to the realization that he was never gonna change, and that he loved his boys more than me… In fact, he didn’t love me at all… He just loved what I gave him

So I had to call Tyrone on his tired ass”,,, Responded Zada.

And it took a just over a second after her statement for Delmar to burst into laughter… And Zada was wondering, “What’s so funny”… And it took her a few seconds to realize why he was laughing his ass off, but when she did, Zada said to him…

“Kevin’s main homie really is named Tyrone”…

And Delmar continued to laugh his ass off some more, and soon thereafter, Zada began to share in the laughter as well… And when that had run its course, she said to Delmar…

“I really do want a man, but I’d rather be alone than be with another bitch ass nigga”…

“I can understand that… You can’t have toxic leeches

(Writer’s Note: Bonus WTF video)

… In your life… But sometimes you just want someone… Anyone to be with… So you won’t feel like the loneliest person on the planet…

So you said that you have issues with your family… What happened”?… Asked Delmar.

“My mom… My mom… She’s actually the reason why I stayed with Kevin for so long… She kept pestering me about getting and keeping a man… She wants me to settle down and start giving her some grandbabies like my sister has… So I stayed with Kevin to make her happy…

But when I finally broke up with him, my mom blamed me… She brought up all of my flaws…

My ability not to be able to cook…

‘You’re almost thirty years old… How do you think you’re gonna keep a man if you can’t cook the bacon that he brings home after a long hard day of work’?…

Why can’t I look more like a woman?…

‘I know you’re not fat, but you can always afford to lose a pound or two… Or ten’… ‘Seriously Zada, what man wants to be with a woman who has a better line than him’?…

(Writer’s Note: Extra Short Hair Pic 1 and Extra Short Hair Pic 2… You’re very welcome 😉😉😉)

…You need to start looking more feminine… You need to get some extensions… Or at least get a wig for god’s sake… Get with the times… Men don’t want that Natural African look anymore’…

I’m too tall…

I can’t remember an exact quote my mom has said about my height, but I know she wished I was three to four inches shorter… My mom is a dwarf compared to me… And my sister is only a couple of inches taller… The ideal “Feminine height” according to my mom… So anyway, she thinks my being so tall is a reason why I can’t keep a man…

And then… My mom actually told me that in order for me to keep a man, I should treat him like a king… That “Men are worried their masculinity and manhood are being threatened by the advancement of women… With women making their own money and taking care of themselves and not needing men like they use to, men need to feel wanted. They need their ego stroked… Act like you don’t know how to do something even when you do… He gets to feel like a man and it validates his masculinity…

(Writer’s Note: Here’s a more interesting  – IMO – read about this subject and nice guys as well. Never would’ve thought those two demographics would have anything in common)

…I know she’s my mother and comes from a different time… But I swear ta god I really wanna strangle the life outta her at times…

(And after sitting there in silence for a few seconds, Zada continued)

…My mom has always liked my sister more than me… She’s prettier, slimmer, longer hair, fits more into the “American Standard of Beauty and Attractiveness”… Which is all the rage with you men these days… And she’s married with two children… I know that light skin bitch thinks she’s better than me”…

……….

“Do you love your mother or sister”?… Asked Delmar.

And after staring at Delmar for a few seconds, Zada took a deep breath and said…

“I honestly don’t know… I’ve never sat down and thought about it… But at this point in my life, I can’t deal with them… I mean they have been there for me at times where I had no one else… But they also are a big reason why I have so many issues in my life… I gotta focus on Zada right now… You know what I mean”?…

“I understand…

Do you still want a man?… Or have you given up on them as a whole?… Asked Delmar.

“I hate to admit it… But I reeeaaally wanna man…

I don’t need an Idris, a Morris Chestnut, or a Vernon Davis… All I want is a man who is kind, considerate, who isn’t afraid to tell you that he loves you… When he doesn’t want something from you… A man who can accept Zada Octavia Lenton as a strong, beautiful, and intelligent black woman… Who also at times needs to be told that she is beautiful… Even when she doesn’t believe it herself… A man who I can place my head on his chest and cry like I’m the Pacific Ocean into it… A man who will wrap his strong manly arms around me, and tell me that everything will be alright… I need that… I’m not strong enough of a woman to do this all by myself…You know what I’m sayin’… Said Zada.

“Precisely”… Replied Delmar.

……….

Then Delmar grabbed the sweet potato pie that he had brought with him, and asked Zada…

“You want a slice”?…

“Yeah… Sure”… Replied Zada.

So Delmar cut out a large slice of the sweet potato pie for Zada and himself, before handing her plate back to her, as he went on to put some whipped cream on his slice… And shortly thereafter, Zada took a bite of her slice, and after taking a handful of seconds to savor the taste, she said to Delmar…

“This is really good… Where did you get it from?… Because I gotta get one of these for myself”…

“I made it myself”.. Answered Delmar.

“Really”?… Asked a surprised Zada.

And Delmar replied by nodding his head in a yes gesture, before going on to say…

“I don’t go out much, and restaurants charge way too much for food these days… I mean what more can I say… I really like the satisfaction of making my own food”…

And Zada responded by chuckling for a few seconds before saying…

“Hopefully one day I’ll be able to actually cook something more than a tv dinner”…

“I actually like that a lot of women can’t cook these days… Could you imagine the number of dead men there’d be if women could cook?…

‘You “Females” can’t do this because of your “Hormones” because of that time of the month… Or I really don’t wanna hear what you have to say… Even tho you have a Bachelor and Masters degree in Science, I prefer you have a Masters in sandwich makingSo be a doll and go into the kitchen and make me a pork and bacon sandwich… With cherry tomatoes, yellow onions, romaine lettuce, and dijon mustard on it… And don’t forget to make it on rye bread… That’s my favorite’…

And then the woman would respond…

Yeah I’ll go make you a sandwich… And add a special ingredient of rat poison or ricin in it… And that’ll send your backwards thinking ass back to the 1950’s where you belong’…

So as I said… If more women could cook today, there would be so many dead men, that the UN would have to pass a Crimes Against Humanity Resolution to do something about it”… Responded Delmar.

And Zada couldn’t contain herself, as she laughed out loud for a few seconds, before going on to say…

“i wished I could’ve given a couple of my exes one of those rat poison pies or ricin turkey sandwiches”…

And Delmar responded by just staring at Zada for a few seconds, before simply saying…

“Yeah… That would’ve made your life easier huh”?…

And Delmar and Zada went on to take a few bites of their cheesy rice ground turkey casserole, before he took a look at his phone to see the score of the game…

“Well okay… The game is tied”… Said Delmar.

“Seriously?… I forgot that it was on”… Responded Zada.

And then the two shortly thereafter made their way to the front room to watch the game…

Which so happened to be midway through the third quarter at this point… With the Cowboys driving for the go ahead score… But it wound up ending in profound – But very usual disappointment ….. – …

On second down, the boys thought they had scored a touchdown, but the receiver didn’t complete the process of the catch – Even tho for the first century of the existence of the sport that was considered a catch – …

On third down, the running back was stopped at the two foot line… And on fourth down, the QB fumbled the ball as he was attempting to throw to a wide open receiver, and the other team ran the ball back ninety-four yards for the go ahead – And what would become – the game winning touchdown… And the QB fell unto the grass turf to ponder why the hell is he destined to have these plays happen to him…

The receiver had a “C’mon man… I was wide FUCKING open… But he still loved his quarterback…Because that’s his teammate

The coach had his look

And the owner… Well we don’t know whether he was upset, happy, or whatever, because his facial expression hasn’t changed in the last two decades…

(Writer’s Note… If you’re not a football fan, then the previous paragraphs won’t make any sense… And it doesn’t have any long term effects on this story… So it doesn’t matter)…

So anyway, as the game progressed, and it became clearer that it was over, Delmar and Zada continued their conversation…

“So you’re a football fan?… Who your favorite team”?… Asked Delmar.

“The Jags”… Answered Zada.

And Delmar gave her a stinky face stare for a quick second, before going on to say…

“The Jacksonville Jaguars?… How the hell did that happen?… Are you from there or something”?…

“No… I just liked their uniforms when I grew up… And I was a huge fan of the Mark Brunell, Fred Taylor, Jimmy Smith, and Keenan McCardell era… And I don’t care what anyone says, MJD is the most underrated player of this generation… And it’s because he wasn’t on a good team, and he played in a small market”… Replied Zada.

“I can’t lie, those Brunell era teams were good… Although I never liked watching them… I just found them boring”… Responded Delmar.

“BORING!!! You’re telling me that you find Brunell rearing his left arm back to throw a beautiful fifty yard touchdown to McCardell boring?…

(Writer’s Note: I spent around three quarters of an hour looking for a Mark Brunell to Keenan McCardell touchdown and couldn’t find one… Also, besides the link above, you can’t find a Mark Brunell Jacksonville Jaguars highlight montage… I really don’t know what that says… I’ll let you be the judge of that)

… You’re telling me that a second year franchise who just barely made the playoffs going into Mile High and upsetting the best team in the league isn’t exciting?…

You don’t think watching them destroy the Dolphins and sending Marino into retirement wasn’t exciting”?… Asked Zada.

“No”… Answered Delmar.

“You’re buggin’”… Replied Zada.

“I just never rooted for them… They always seemed to ruin a game I was looking forward to watch… I mean they weren’t the 97 or 98 Broncos, or the 98 Vikings, and damn sure weren’t “The Greatest Show On Turf”… Responded Delmar.

“Okay I’ll give you that… But not everyone likes the flashy and sexy… Some people like the tough, the grind, the tenacious… Like the 2000 Ravens… They’re my favorite team of all time… Although I love my Jags”… Replied Zada.

“Yeah in hindsight I really respect that team…

I’m definitely not a person who normally says this… But I miss the good ol’ days of the nineties and early two thousands… Back when you actually had to be a good QB to throw for three hundred yards… And high scoring games were a rarity and not a weekly occurrence…

I mean I still like football… But it’s just a different game now… Too much offense, not enough defense… But I guess you have to change with the time”… Responded Delmar.

“Yeah I know what you’re saying… But it’s still football and I still love it”… Replied Zada.

“You watch any other sports”?… Asked Delmar.

“No… Not really… I sometimes watch basketball with one of my girlfriends, Caryn…

(Writer’s Note: I wanted to use another word besides girlfriend, and BFF is so ….., and the female equivalent of homie is homiette… Which I’m pretty sure a caucasian came up with, because I’ve never heard a black woman – Or man – use that term… So I just stuck with girlfriend… Which just feels 1992 to 2005 ish… But whateva)

… She really has this crush on this light skin nigga… So that’s her favorite team… And she played some ball in high school… So she really likes the sport”… Answered Zada.

Basketball is actually my favorite sportI can’t play worth a lick, but I enjoy playing and watching it”… Said Delmar.

“Yeah it’s pretty much football for me… And I really don’t care about any other sport”… Replied Zada.

……….

“So what do you watch when you just wanna sit back and chill”?… Asked Delmar.

“Reality TV and Shondaland for the most part… Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, Nellyville, T.I. & Tiny, and Welcome To Sweetie Pies are some of my favorite ones…

I also like watching The Haves and Have Nots, Being Mary Jane, and of course the Shonda shows… But I honestly don’t watch much tv… I’m always busy or out with Caryn, Elaine, or someone else… Or I’m in my bed asleep”… Replied Zada.

“Yeah the best part of my day is when I put my head on the pillow at night, so I know what you’re talking about there…

But really, I watch a lot of sports… Mostly basketball and football… Watch a lot of PBS… They have a lot of interesting programs that I like watching… And I like watching a lot of nature programs… I like learning about the creatures and the environment we live in… It’s a beautiful world we live in… It’s just too bad that we’re fucking it up, and the most innocent and vulnerable are the ones who suffer from it the most…

(Writer’s Note: I couldn’t decide between the last link above and this one on which one is sadder… You can be the judge of that)

… And with all the bad news that I see on tv and read on social media and the internet every day, I’ve been watching cartoons like I’m seven years old again… But it’s the only thing I can watch that doesn’t sadden me in some way… Plus it’s actually more funnier than I remember it back in the day”… Replied Delmar.

“Wow… I haven’t watched a cartoon in forever… I think I was like twelve or something like that”… Said Zada.

“Well what can I say… Sometimes you gotta go back to your childhood to help you get through the fuckedupness of adulthood”… Replied Delmar.

And Zada nodded her head in approval, before simply saying…

“Yeah”…

And after the two sat there in ………. over the following minute…

“So what do you like to do”?… Asked Delmar.

“Huh”?… Replied a somewhat confused Zada.

“What do you like to do for fun… You know… Like activities”?… Responded Delmar.

“Oh… Okay… Nothing much really… I work, come home, sometimes go out with Caryn and Elaine, go to the club from time to time…

Oh yeah, I really like doing crossword puzzles… It helps calm me down and take my mind off shit… It’s my version of watching cartoons”… Answered Zada.

“You have a really boring life”… Said Delmar.

“I agree”… Replied Zada.

And then the two chuckled for the next half minute or so… before Delmar said to Zada…

“It ain’t like I got that much of a life myself, so you and I can just sit here and do crossword puzzles and watch cartoons…

(And the two chuckled for a handful of more seconds)

…But yeah I just mostly read and draw. I sometimes play some video games, but I ain’t into it like I use to when I was a teenager”…

“So what do you like to read”?… Asked Zada.

“Stories that interest me… It can be political, comedic, mysteries… It really doesn’t matter to me… I also like to read adult stories… It helps to expand my imagination”… Answered Delmar.

“Adult… Yeeeaaah… I read some of those type of stories… It’s much better than watching them… I’m surprised someone like you would be into that… It’s more geared towards people like me”… Said Zada.

“Well one day I was watching a video and thought to myself, ‘This is some really fake ish’, and I couldn’t get into it anymore… The horrible plot. The horrible acting, The genericism of it… I just decided that I would rather read it and let my mind take over from there…

(Writer’s Note: After doing a quick search, I’ve decided to not spend the time needed to search for those type of videos… I just don’t feel like it)

And my imagination is a lot more adventurous than I ever thought”. Said Delmar.

And Zada responded by chuckling for a handful of seconds, before saying to Delmar…

“You know something else that I like to do that I just thought of… And I can’t believe that I didn’t think of it until now, because it’s my favorite thing to do…

I like to do some photography

Every couple of months I go around town and take pics of locations and landmarks… I don’t know why I do it. I just do it because… Well because… It brings a happiness to me that nothing else really does”. ..

“So you’re a young Carrie Mae Weems”… Stated Delmar.

“I wouldn’t say that… It’s just that taking pictures reminds me of my great uncle… He was a photographer back in his days. He took pictures of people, events, stuff like that… And since it was the fifties and sixties, you know he had a lot to photograph

Anyway, to make a long story short, he gave his camera to me when I was around six or seven… I don’t remember the exact age, but he passed away a few months later from cancer… So I started taking pictures in honor of him… He meant a lot to me… The father figure I never had…

But anyway, as the years progressed I began enjoying it…

I’ve taken around a thousand pictures over the years on my great uncle’s camera… I can’t believe it still works this good after all these decades”… Replied Zada.

“It must be really challenging finding someone who develops that type of film these days”… Said Delmar.

“It’s not as easy as going out to get a new phone, but there are people out there who like that kind of photography, so it’s not as challenging as you might think it is… You just gotta know where to look”… Replied Zada.

You should take some time and travel, so you can take photographs of other places and see more of this world… I know that’s what I wanna do… When I save up enough money, I’m outta here”… Said Delmar.

“I’ve never thought about moving from here… I mean I don’t necessary like it, but it’s home… I met Elaine and Caryn here… And I don’t wanna leave them… I need them way too much”… Responded Zada.

“Well I wanna go somewhere more optimistic, warmer, beaches, by the ocean… I need a new lease on life”… Said Delmar.

“Such as?…”… Asked Zada.

“I’ve really only thought about moving to one place… And that’s Warlington…

(Writer’s Note: The following names of the cities that are about to be mentioned are cities that will be used in most of my future stories, so I’m just introducing them to you now)

… It’s always warm, it doesn’t snow there… I’m pretty sure there’s other reasons, but that’s the important one for me… And people seemed to become happier when they move there… I guess when you move from an area where snow storms are a regularity, and when you walk outside this time of year, you feel like a slab of beef in the icebox, moving to Warlington is like going from being the coach of the franchise where QB careers go to die, to finding yourself coaching the best QB in this generation”… Answered Delmar.

“Yeah I guess… But I don’t wanna live in a city that big… And although I don’t like cold weather, I don’t hate it either…

If I ever move from here, I would consider Chitroit or Bonebrand… I got a couple of cousins down there… I also have family in Claoyosa…

(Pronounced Clay-Yo-Sa… The first o is silent)

… Also, I thought about living in Vanmoor as well”… Replied Zada.

“You think Warlington is big… Vanmoor is the biggest city in the country… I could never live there… Too many peopleNot enough space… And the winters are colder than here”… Said Delmar.

“Yeah I know… But it’s the big city… The city of dreams”… Replied Zada.

“Well the city should dream about warmer weather this time of year”… Responded Delmar.

And Zada responded to Delmar’s statement by chuckling for a few seconds, before asking him…

“Are you auditioning to be the next Kevin Hart”?…

“I’m shooting for someone more higher… Eddie, Pryor, Mac… But seriously, I suck at comedy… I just say what’s on my mind, and if it’s funny, then that’s cool…

(Then after taking a quick look at his phone)

… It’s eight thirty… I Thought you were going to see your friends tonight”?… Asked Delmar.

“I’m enjoying my time here with you… I’ll see them over the weekend anyway”… Answered Zada.

And as the following handful of minutes ticked away, Zada and Delmar continued their conversation…

“I’m not interested in this football game… You know of something we can do?… Asked Delmar.

“I’ll be back”.. Replied Zada.

And then she disappeared into her bedroom for just under a minute, before returning with a deck of cards…

“You wanna play”?… Asked Zada.

“Sure… How about some Gin Rummy”… Replied Delmar.

“Okay”… Said Zada.

And as she was sitting back down, Delmar said to her…

“I haven’t played this game in almost a decade… I remember spending hours playing gin rummy with my mom… We would laugh, talk about all kinds of things… It really was just fun… I look back very fondly at that time…

Like when we would just sit back and conversate about how much we dislike my father… We did that a lot… But we also conversated about life, sports, news, just whatever… I look back on it in retrospect and realize that it was a form of therapy for myself… And probably for my mom as well”…

“I hope I’m not being insensitive… But what did your mom pass away from”?… Asked Zada.

“A blood clot in her leg…

She had an accident… She fell, severely twisted her ankle, and never recovered… Her ankle doubled in size, and she was bedridden for the last eleven months of her life… It honestly looked like her leg weighed fifty pounds… Like a Hollywood prop… It was black and blue and so unnatural looking… You had to see it to believe it…

I knew my mom was in pain… She had other health issues, but this was the one that sent it overboard… I still can’t believe that a twisted ankle eventually led to her… Her…

Honestly, when she died… I really don’t like using that word… Even after all these years… It’s just too real… But what was I talking about?… Oh yeah, when she died, it was like someone detonated a bomb inside me… I was alive, but I was like a paper mache wall… I seemed solid on the outside, but punch a hole through it, and all you see is hollow emptiness…

I really don’t like talking about my mom… And yet I do… I’m just thankful for all the years I had with her… But it makes me miss her… Like the mundane things like her yelling at me… I shouldn’t be reminiscing about when my mom whipped my butt, but yet I find myself doing just that frequently”… Replied Delmar.

“I can tell that she meant a lot to you… I don’t know if I have anyone in my life who would give me those type of emotions… I love my mom and sister… And yet I don’t… My father is nonexistent…

I guess the only two people who I would cry over and be depressed if something happened to them would be Elaine and Caryn… There my best friends… Caryn and I go way back to sixth grade… And Elaine is my sister from another father”… Replied Zada.

“Yeah it’s funny how the people who you think you would care the most about, you wind up not caring about them at all…

……….

… So what are your life goals”?… Asked Delmar.

To be happy… I’ve been so unhappy for much of my life that I would chose that over winning a one hundred million Free World Credits lottery

(Writer’s Note: In this story and the other preceding stories, Free World Credits will be the currency… And yes, just in case you’re wondering, I have huuuge plans for this)

… But I’m pretty sure you meant professionally?… And my answer to that is I live my life day to day… I don’t think long term… I might go back to school down the line, but we’ll see””… Answered Zada.

Then after around a quarter of a minute or so of ……….

Have you ever been suicidal”?… Asked Delmar.

And Zada replied with a long stare at Delmar, before saying to him…

“I don’t think so… I mean I’ve never thought about killing myself, but there have been a few times where I was like what’s the point of being alive right now… No man, no family that I’m particularly close to, no life… But every time I felt that way, Elaine, and before we became friends, Caryn pulled me through… That there’s sunshine behind all those dreary clouds in the sky”…

(Writer’s Note: This is the most disappointing Writer’s Note I may ever do… Because on the second of the four links in the previous paragraph, I was looking for a picture of a group of black women hugging each other in that “We all we got” way that I’ve been seeing on tv, online, and in magazines for much of my life… But even after going through the “Black Women Hugging (Each Other)”, Black Women Embracing Each Other, Black Women Loving Each Other, and even the “Black Love” search terms on Google and Bing… And couldn’t find one… okay it was two, but I didn’t wanna use any of those pics… Ironically, I found two or three pics of white women embracing each other in a way that I was looking for for that link – Yeah I know… The irony in such search terms… But that happens a lot in America doesn’t it -… But if you were to search for negative search terms for black women… One: It would be as long as a shopping list,,, And Two: You would have an abundance of pics to choose from… Hence why I called this the most disappointing sad Writer’s Note ever… Now let’s get back to the story and cheer you up)

“That was very poetic”… Replied Delmar.

“Thank you”… Responded Zada.

“Well I’ve never been suicidal, but I’ve felt like I don’t matter ever since my mom passed… It’s the biggest reason why I miss her… Like I could fall off the face of the planet, and no one would notice or care… And the subject that makes me feel like I don’t matter the most is women…

It’s been a lifelong struggle… From girls laughing at me when they asked each other which of them would ever consider liking me… From this girl I talked to on the phone, and when we met she had this look of ‘This is not what I was expecting’… To this time when me and this woman was talking, and we had planned to do something… But when I called her to iron out the details, I got ….. … And the worst was when I liked this woman, and we were really clicking and hitting it off… I really liked this woman… And then one day, I wanted to surprise her with some romantic gifts, when I went to her place, and caught her and my best friend… Ya know …..I don’t think I have to say how much that emotionally crushed me

My best friend, and the woman I was falling in love with… It was Jone before Jone”…  Said Delmar.

…..

And Zada stared at Delmar in a sympathetic way for a handful of seconds, before saying to him…

“Wow… I’m sorry that you’ve had such fucking shitty situations with women… I mean wow…”…

“Yeah… I’ve had some fucked up situations with women… Even if that last situation isn’t true… At least for me”… Replied Delmar.

And then he shot a ….. smile at Zada… And after a few seconds, she returned fire on him…

“Through all the years of feeling like shit, I’ve developed a midnight sense of humor… You’ve have to had live it to understand”… Said Delmar.

“Yeah all I’ve developed is the ability to listen to Mary, Beyonce,Jazmin, and Ledisi”… Responded Zada.

“We all cope in our own different ways…

But to be real serious for a moment or two… I just don’t feel good enough for women…

I feel too husky, too unattractive, too different… Like I really don’t know how to get women to notice me… I see so many men that I should most definitely be ahead of in having a partner with… But here I am still single, lonely, and not knowing if I’ll ever have a woman again…

To feel like you don’t matter to an entire gender of people… It’s a pain few people understand… Or even care to understand”… Replied Delmar.

(And after a long stretch of ……….)

… You know I’m not the only one allowed to feel like shit… You got something that makes you feel like what I talked about a few minutes ago”?… Asked Delmar.

……….)

“Besides my exes and history with men… Dating… I’ve had some ….. dates… So bad that I’ve just about thrown in the towels when it’s come to that…

I had a date a few years ago where the fuck nigga had me pay for everything… The food, the parking, the tip, the movie tickets… And then felt entitled to get some… But he wanted me to pay for the protection… Yeah…

And that’s how most of my dates have gone… Even when they’re not cheapskates, they just want to smash and nothin’ else… And online… I was on a dating site for two days, and then quit… That’s not a world I wanna be a part of…

I just can’t believe that it’s this hard to find a man who you can have a thoughtful, intelligent, and engaging conversation with, and he’s not using it as a ploy to fuck you”… Replied Zada.

“Well… I can’t speak for all men but… I can’t speak for all men”… Responded Delmar.

“Well I’m pretty jaded about men right now… Between my exes and disastrous dates, I just can’t with them right now”… Said Zada.

……….

“So do you have any pets”?… Asked Delmar.

“No… I don’t hate pets, but I don’t love them either… I’m not even neutral… I just don’t have an opinion or feelings about them”… Answered Zada.

“I’ve been thinking about getting a pet for a while, but I just don’t know which one to get”… Replied Delmar.

 

And as the next hour or so ticked away, the pace of Zada and Delmar’s conversation pretty much resembled Katherine Heigl’s career post Grey’s, as they focused more on the playing of the entertaining game of gin rummy… And eventually, Delmar looked at the time on his phone, and saw that…

“It’s ten thirty… I think I better get home now”… He said.

“You know if you want, you can spend the night here… I can set up the couch for you… I really wouldn’t mind the company”… Responded Zada.

“O that’s very kind of you… But I think I’d rather get home… I like sleeping in my own bed… But truly thank you for the offer”… Replied Delmar.

“Well… I understand”… Said a ….. Zada.

Then Delmar got up from the table in the dining area, and began making his way to the front door…

“I’m glad I showed up… It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in awhile… I really enjoyed my time with you… We gotta do this again soon”… Said Delmar.

“I’m glad you made that decision to show up… I thought you had stood me up there for awhile… But yeah, I agree, we gotta do this again”… Replied Zada.

Then Delmar went to give Zada a hug… And she shortly thereafter joined in, as the two engaged in a long friendly hug, before Delmar left Zada’s place…

And as he was walking downstairs and out of the apartment building… And as Zada closed and locked her front door, they each had a smile on their faces that signaled that this was the best time they had had in a long time…

Not Another Lonely Holiday Season Chapter I: Zada Can’t Keep Get This Dude Off Her Mind

The typical “Customer/Employee” interaction at The Quiet Castle Dollar Store goes something like this…

Customer walks into store… Then shop around until they pick out the items they want… Then they head to the front of the store to pay for their items – And while the cashier is ringing them up, the two may engage in casual conversation -… And finally, the customer leaves the store to go on with their day…

Zada Lenton has had an approximate couple thousand or so of these “Customer/Employee” interactions in her time as a cashier at The Quiet Castle Dollar Store… But only one of those customers has she not been able to get her mind off of…

 

For the last seven months, Zada has had her eyes on this man who comes into The Quiet Castle Dollar Store almost every day… He usually walks in with some headphones on, grabs a couple of items, before walking up to the front to pay for them – And around two thirds of the time, it’s Zada who checks him out -, and soon thereafter, exits the store to go about his day…

Now that sounds pretty normal – And it is -, but there was something about the way the man walked into the store and stared at her when he went to pay for his stuff that Zada couldn’t get her mind off of… He almost always looked like his dog died, and he just looked like a loner… But despite that, Zada still wound up developing a crush on him Even when she was in a relationship with her ex… But also after all these months, there was something that she still didn’t know about the man… And that is…

“What is the your name”???

So one day, Zada mustered up some courage (she’s not shy per se… But object in mirror is closer than it appears), and sparked up a quick convo with the man…

“I see you buy a bag of these chips everyday… You really must like them huh”?… Said Zada.

“Yeah… I never thought I would be a stans for these chips… But I like the strong and zesty taste of them… And I don’t feel bad about eating them like I do with other kinds of chips”… Replied The Man.

“You know I see you walk in here every day, and I never see you smile”… Responded a smile faced Zada.

“I do most of my smiling on the inside”… Replied a stoned face The Man.

“Uh… Okay… Well I just think that expressing it outward puts you in a better mood… I know from experience… Ever since I began smiling more, I’ve been a happier person”… Responded Zada.

“I’ll try that… Thank you for the suggestion”… Replied The Man.

“Zada”… Stated Zada.

“Huh”?… Responded The Man.

“My name is Zada”… Replied Zada.

“Okay… I’m Delmar”… Responded The Man… Now known as Delmar.

And Zada just stared at Delmar’s creamy peanut butter skin toned face, and curly hair – Which was held down by his headphones – for a few seconds, before he broke her concentration by saying…

“Um… I gotta go”…

“Yeah… Okay… I guess I’ll see ya soon”… Replied Zada.

And Delmar just stared at her for a couple of seconds, before heading to the entrance door and walking out, as Zada still had her mind on him, but was now focused on the next person who was checking out now…

And although Zada and Delmar didn’t really say anything all that consequential in that mini conversation, it did open up a line of communication between the two, as they went on to conversate from time to time over the coming months… And Zada’s feelings towards Delmar went from curiosity, to a schoolgirl crush… But she didn’t know if he shared similar feelings towards her, so she kept her feelings towards him to herself, and the conversations with him casual (things going around town, tv talk, etc)…

And this went on for a couple of months, before Zada finally said to herself…

“If I don’t tell Delmar how I feel about him now… Then I never will”..

So on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, when Delmar walked into The Quiet Castle Dollar Store, Zada decided that today would be the day that she – Begins to – tell him how she feels about him… And as Delmar walked up to checkout to pay for some salt & vinegar potato chips, Zada stood there and just ringed him up… And a minute and change later, she watched as he walked out the door… And that’s when she suddenly snapped out of her spell, and asked her friend and coworker, Elaine to cover for her for a couple of minutes, before she exited The Quiet Castle Dollar Store to catch up with Delmar…

“Hey you forgot something”… Said Zada.

And that something was a small pack of sunflower seeds

““Huh… I only bought a bag of potato chips”… Replied Delmar.

Okay you got me… you didn’t forget anything… I just needed an excuse to talk to ya…

So are you doing anything for Thanksgiving?… Because I’m gonna be at home by myself for much of the day… I’ll probably go to one of my girl’s places later in the evening… But for much of the day, I’m gonna be by myself”… Responded Zada.

“I’m just gonna sit on my couch and watch football all day… That’s pretty much it”… Replied Delmar.

“Would you like to come over my place?… It makes no sense for us to spend Thanksgiving alone, when we could spend it together”… Responded Zada..

“Are you sure”?… Asked a surprised Delmar.

“Yeah… I’m pretty sure”… Replied Zada.

“Well in that case… Yeah, I would like to come over”… Responded Delmar.

“Great… Come over around two, two-thirty…

Well I have to get back… And ah yeah…

(Then Zada handed the pack of sunflower seeds that were in her left hand to Delmar)

… This is our little secret…

(And then she gave Delmar a quick smile)

… I’ll see you on Thursday”… Said Zada.

“Okay… Thursday”… Responded Delmar.

And shortly thereafter, Zada went back inside The Quiet Castle Dollar Store, and Delmar turned around and went on with his day…

And once she was back inside…

“So what happened”?… Elaine asked Zada.

“Delmar is gonna come by my place on Thursday”… Answered Zada.

And Elaine responded by giving Zada a dirty smile before saying…

“So you two are gonna finally smashIt’s about damn time”…

“It’s nothing like that… It’s just two people getting together for a casual date… That’s it”… Responded Zada.

And Elaine just stared at Zada, smiled for a quick second, before saying…

“Sure Zada… Like you haven’t wanted him to knock dem ankles loose for the last couple of months… I see the look in your eyes when he walks in here”…

And Zada responded to Elaine’s statement by just staring at her for a couple of seconds, before simply saying…

“You gotta customer in aisle three”…