Why everyone needs a lucky shirt
“What country in Africa are you the queen of?”
I looked up and there stood a salt and pepper haired man. His almond shaped eyes twinkled behind his rimless glasses. I could not help but chuckle at how corny his comment was. “Funny!” I said with a smirk. “I like the head wrap. Thought maybe you came from Wakanda,” he said in a playful tone that reminded me of my granddad. If it’s not Erykah Badu, it’s Wakanda. I had on some distressed cropped jeans, pointy toe flats, and a hand-me-down men’s Burberry green button up that I tied to crop. This Burberry shirt is my lucky shirt. Good things always happen to me when I wear it.
It was sticky hot and I was excited to feel the wind from the A train approaching the platform. We both entered, grateful for the air conditioned car even though it was packed. We squeezed in like sardines, getting nudged by the subway doors as they closed. It was like rush hour, but on a Saturday at 3pm. His brown skin glistened with sweat. He had on khaki pants, a blue blazer, and some black leather loafers. They were the kind of loafers from 1992 that a black granddad still gets mileage out of, taking them year after year to get resoled. He had no wrinkles, but I could tell he was older by how he dressed and spoke. He spoke very pastor-like. Saying things like, “so where are you headed on today?” It seems regular folk don’t say “on today,” only traditional black pastors. They have their own dialect. “Ft. Greene area. Doing work,” I replied. He considered my response as if he were contemplating some deep revelation of God. “I used to live there for many many years.”
“Oh! Really?” I was curious about who this man was. He seemed “important” and very studious, like a thinker. He said, “you look like a New Yorker, but don’t sound like one. So where are you from?" There was time so I gave him the whole synopsis. "I moved here from Texas a year ago, but I’m not from Texas. I grew up in Germany. My dad is retired army. Moved to Virginia for college." "Ahhhh, where did you live? Wiesbaden,” he asked. I was surprised. Most Americans I meet don’t know much about Germany. "Yea, actually, and also Mannheim and Heidelberg." Then he told me about what he knew about Heidelberg, Stuttgart, Kaiserslautern and Ramstein and the US army in Europe. I was so stunned. The only people I come across who can speak about it are usually other folks like me who lived there as an American. It was kind of cool. Then he asked, “so what made you move to Texas?”... “Seminary. I went to seminary in Dallas.” Then he says “DTS? Chuck Swindoll, Tony Evans and all those guys right.” Hardly anyone I meet here has ever heard of DTS, let alone any facts about it. “Yes yes! Wow you know a lot.” He says, “a curse that I know too much but yet nothing at all. I’m a pastor.” I knew it! He goes on “I went to Union and Harvard” Wow! Me and this pastor talked for hours about theological positions, scriptures, the Church, the differences between my “conservative” education and his “liberal” one. I absolutely love talking about these things. In my everyday life there are very few people I can just go on and on with about the scriptures, eschatology, ecclesiology, Calvin vs Armenian, and just contemplate with on some healthy scholarly debate. It was so refreshing. I was totally sucked in.
We sat outside in the triangle at Ft. Greene and he told me that it was his birthday.
“Oh Happy birthday!”
“I’m 54,” he said. I was actually shocked he was that young. His whole vibe, speech, and mannerisms were like he was in his 70s. He began telling me about his children, showing me pictures. He mentioned he was twice divorced and how he wished his ex wife would have done a better job with talking to his grown daughter about being a woman. As he started down this line of conversation, I started to feel a little on edge. Where is this going? I’m not trying to know all that sir. He goes on, “you know she just didn’t talk to my daughter about sex. Do you talk to your mom about sex?” Wait, what the...?! I frowned and leaned back in my chair. “I can talk to her about it.”
”What do you talk about?” He was staring intently into my eyes, his body language shifting from pastoral to playa. I suddenly felt uncomfortable.
”We talk about what we need to talk about.”
He studied me, looking down at my Daisy Duke tied shirt. “Well, I think God just wants us to be happy and I think our paths crossed for a reason.”
Wait a minute! ”There’s a time and a season for everything under the sun and sexual activity is a gift from God. You want to enjoy it while you’re ripe and fertile.” Bruh, he's using Ecclesiastes in this twisted attempt to Bible bait me. He bit his bottom lip, looked me up and down. “I think you’re beautiful and you should enjoy sex while there’s still time.” I grabbed my purse. The slime oozed from his mouth as he asked, “So, if I give you my number, will you call me sometime?”
“Nah pastor, granddad, sir. I’m good!” Thanks lucky Burberry shirt. 'Preciate it! Commence the eye roll.
Head wrap: #ceeceesclosetnyc
Necklace and Earrings: #selahviejewelry