Bang Bang (My babe bakes me pies)
You know the temptations of a new relationship that seems to be going well. The private giggles. The dimpled smile at your image in the mirror. The need to stop the “aLafi aGdami” and talk about it. To say: 3 Like a grown-up among children is my beloved among all those I dated. I delight to sit on his couch, and his sense of humor is sweet to my ears. 4 Let him take me to all the places I never dreamt of, To honors I thought were reserved only for the prettiest let his hand over me be firm So i know the earth beneath me isn’t likely to shake [anytime soon]. 5 Strengthen me with patience, refresh me with understanding, for I am faint with cynicism from all the psychos i keep meeting. Etcetera.
But.. being a seasoned woman of the world, who has been through this before and end up wishing “minewu milasen beQoretewu”, you would keep your feelings to yourself; dodge the “L” word and refer to your beau as a “friend” when talking about who you went to watch “The World’s End” with, for example. Keeping your eyes eternally open, you watch and wait: to either be dumped or lied to. When he doesn’t seem to, or feels like the type who may not, you whisper his name among a chosen few. “Mechem..” you would begin, “wondochin mAmen kebad newu” then proceeding with the listing of his “beGo gonoch”; you finalize, with a heart-felt supplication to “Emebrhan”, that you think… you hope … this one is… maybe… a keeper.
Troy is the name of the man to whom my “song of songs” would be dedicated were I the type who goes about comparing a man’s eyes with those of doves, his lips to lilies and his legs to pillars of marble, “set upon sockets of fine gold”. He is a good man. Not the kind who forces you to make endless compromises until you had him [“where you want him”] and don’t have to compromise shit. Not the kind of guy who leaves you hanging, then makes you swallow hard and smile, when you need most to know you were valued. Or the sort who gives you the impression he comes to you because he hasn’t got a better place [a better woman] to go to. [But] The kind to whom your coming to his place is celebrated, not obligated. The man who remembers everything you said you’d like to try; then goes out of his way to surprise you with it. The sort who would tune into your station just so you feel connected despite the distance between your bodies. And watches your favorite movie when you aren’t there because he knows you would like that.
The chap who, on your first date; after the coffee has been drunk and all subjects covered asks if you have some time to take a walk with him. You walk, wondering where he parks his car and how fast he’d wanna get to it. Then suggests if you’d like to sit somewhere. You sit on a park bench and you talk, while his happy eyes wonder on your face every time you turned to look at him. The kind of dude who texts back before the dreaded day was over, in less than two hours, infact, to ask, “So when is our 3rd date going to be?”; before you had your 2nd! The sort of gentleman who would let you take your time, and is actually pleasantly surprised the evening you decided to make out. The kind who goes home, “with a goofy smile on his face”, and texts you how he was feeling like a teenager – and how he can’t wait to see you again – and asketh not why you didn’t ask him to stay over. The mature male who goes into the restroom and lets you calm down on the evening you had your first fight; raged and demanded that you be driven home immediately. And comes out, after like 10 minutes, with sweat breaking on his nose and a demeanor visibly shaken. He entreats, while you are stomping your feet, determined to let nothing stay your departure, if you shouldn’t talk about it. When you break into tears, he holds your hands and sits beside you and tell you, in a calm voice, how he refuses to let that mistake/misunderstanding/action be the end of it. He’d let you cry your tears, fume your anger and still not be willing to let you go despite his readiness to take you home. The type who asks you – without your prompting, without the games women play, without the waiting and hoping and guessing and wishing, to be his girlfriend.. to go exclusively with him.. to choose him above all men for he has already made up his mind you were the girl for him. The man who tells his family, friends and daughter about you without your pushing and proding. The friend who likes taking you on walks, enjoys a picnic or a trip to a museum with you, and spends a whole morning after a whole night’s work to manually burn the songs on his list you kind of liked. The sweetheart who would love to meet your friends. Would want you to meet his. And doesn’t make fun of your asking to have a photo together on important events. The rare him, in short, who not just tells you u were important to him – but shows it.
He is a funny man. Funny in an irreverential way. Only the other day, while yours truly was trying to explain why Ethiopian holidays are “all about food and drink – and not fun” [a result of our history of famine caused by “yeGzer Quta” and the burnings of surplus grain when we had it, making over-eating a rare festive-event] he mentioned how [before meeting me] the only thing he knew about Ethiopia was “Band Aid” and “We are the world”. “Did you know it was Christmas though?”, he added, as an afterthought, making me crack up and abandon my mission to acquaint him with my unique abesha culture. In the endless battle of asserting one’s values and marking territories; Troy has a way of making even “major” differences sound light. “No,” he would say, when I ask him if he has a problem with my thinking gays were made and not born and that I would dislike Daniel Tosh, probably, as much as he loves him, “What i want you to do is like the things I like and have no opinion for yourself”.
He is an adventurous man: In the short time I have known him, he’s taken me Hiking. Camping. Bowling. Bought the full gear and taken me a-tennis playing, which was #1 on my bucket list. Then convinced me to give being an American-kid a try by colliding my bumber-car against fellow riders’ at the Puyllup fair on Ethiopian new year. Despite the head-ache I had from riding a “Scrambler”, also a first!, and the extended-bored looks I got from 8-12 year olds, because of my inability to turn the wheel properly [born of an eagerness not to look like a late-bloomer] it was the most fun I had since I visited Hollywood and then Las Vegas in 2011, courtesy of Chris – another good man I was fortunate to have in my life.
When he isn’t trying to help me see life as an adventure to set on instead of a doom to shy from [for Troy sees the glass as always full [1/2 liquid 1/2 air]]; or teach iTunes how to alphabetize album names by letters and not numbers; or sharpening his craft in hockey so he can play for his favorite team online; or giving baking classes [for free!] for his friends and colleagues; Troy is a dog-owner. His dog’s name is Riley. Riley, who smells like roasted almonds-unsalted, is a mix of pug and bichon frise. He neither shades, nor bites nor barks at strangers he has given the once-over [a cursory lick at your leg to know how salty you are]. That administered, he resumes his either walking around with the perpetual air of someone who isn’t getting the joke; or climb into his cot where he looks out into the world with a vision half blocked by his eyelashes until he perks up, head erect and tail wagging, when his “food guy” enters the room. He likes being petted. He likes being walked. And when he isn’t allowed to spend the night with his master, by virtue of the “girlfriend” being there, he will be found curled outside Troy’s bedroom, his stomach rising up and down in deep sleep. Troy thinks that’s a ploy, a ploy to gain sympathy. For Riley is nothing but heart-breakingly sweet. A sweetness not even an abesha who grew up believing a “Sancho”s place isn’t in a human abode, but a couple of yards outside it – standing guard of the household, at the end of a long leash; can resist.
Last, but not least, Troy is [only] human. Despite his ability to pass off for a cheerful-upbeat person who can make friends with the sourest fellow traveller, he admits to being a dork at heart. A dork who “hates people but loves gatherings”. He is that rare breed of an American who had had a “great childhood” with “giants” for brothers he’s learned the art of surviving on the shoulder of, he would tell you. However, he admits, he has managed to become an “anal retentive” on the way, and likes his things in the order he puts them. If a cyclist cuts infront of him or a motorist fails to wave “thank you” when let pass, Troy isn’t above honking the horn or mock waving a thanks in their place. But he is also a human who takes pleasure in doing things for others .. even if it means he has to carry his whole weight in camping-gear up a trail of 3600 feet elevation after a 12 hr. of “graveyard” shift work. Even if it means reading you to sleep like he wasn’t the one up all night. Even if it means watching a movie for the 9th time, just so there is one more thing bringing you closer- to him – and his mission – to civilize [which I have here decided stands for “‘to see and visualize’ how promising life can get when you are dating a man who likes you the way you once thought you’d like to be liked” :-)].
Knock on wood!
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