We've also reached that point of adulthood where we are mildly envious of the other's life (me of the wife he's still crazy about 10 years and 2 kids later, him of my ridiculous single exploits) but would never actually want to trade. Over our third round of bourbon, he asks me about A Thing I have been largely trying to avoid. But he is him and he knows me, and he knows he has to ask or I'll pretend it never happened until I forget it ever happened.
"What happened with ol' boy that had moved? The one I told you to stop being a fucking savage with."
I roll my eyes ridiculously far into the back of my head and sigh deeply.
"That... didn't. It just... Didn't."
"What the fuck happened?"
"He just... he acted like who he always said he was. I just finally listened."
"Damn, R2D2," which he took to calling me because he once said I was acting like a robot with some other person we've long since forgotten.
"It is what it is."
"I'm sorry though. I was rooting for him."
I shrug again, more noncommittal than I really feel and turn back to my drink.
"So, who else is on the roster? Is Mexico dude still in the picture? Not to be confused with the Mexican dude."
"Both gone. And he was Brazilian, by the way."
"Same thing. So, who else?"
"That's not like you."
"I know. That's why I did it."
"What's going on?"
"I've just been doing a lot of thinking lately and I think..." I let my thought trail off as I stir the amber waves of my drink.
"You think...?" he prompts.
"I think it's time I hang my pussy in the rafters."
He chokes on his drink, which was exactly the effect I was going for.
"Yeah. Yeah man. It had a good run, but it's time to retire. My pussy is Peyton Manning. Well, maybe not Peyton. It's probably not out the game forever. It's more like Tim Tebow. It's gonna be gone for awhile and come back to the game in a different capacity. So, it's not hung in the rafters but it's definitely in the locker room in an ice bath."
"Yo, what is wrong with you?"
"I'm just sayin'. I think you gotta know when to take a knee. You gotta know when to not push it. My pussy is Derrick Rose; promising start but plagued by injuries so it's on the bench until it can shake back."
"Shut the fuck up, yo."
By this time we're both laughing too hard to continue talking or drinking and we are garnering more than a few stares. We take a minute to compose ourselves, wipe the tears from our cheeks and calm the coughs that have besieged us both.
"Okay, seriously," he says to me, turning his body towards mine and giving me the half smile he gives me when he's about to tell me about myself and hurt my feelings.
"You can't seriously be done. At 32."
"Nawl, shawty. My pussy is on leave. It's on hiatus. It's on mid-season break. Put me on IR."
"Stop cracking jokes because you're uncomfortable."
I hate him.
"Listen. I get it. I probably don't have a leg to stand on here 'cause I never really got to be out in these streets like you 'cause I got married so young."
"I'm not out in these streets!"
"You out in these streets."
"Yeah, I'm out in these streets." He chuckles and shakes his head at me.
"You're just comfortable not getting attached to people. And so you run through people like outfits. And then you stay picking all the wrong niggas to finally get attached to."
"You're not wrong."
"The fact of the matter is, you're already gonna have it hard out here. You're the kinda woman a man has to rise to the occasion of being with, and a lot of niggas ain't gone be up to the challenge. So you already starting out at a deficit."
"Is this supposed to be a pep talk or...?"
"Nope. This is a statement of fact. And I made that point to make the more important point; you can't be out here wasting time with men you ain't gonna get attached to OR getting attached to ones you know good and well ain't what you need."
"I'm sick of you."
"I'm just tryna keep your pussy out the rafters, bro. You gone need that one day. My girls need little homies."
"Can't I just buy them cute clothes and take them to their first strip club when they turn 18?"
"You're gonna do that anyway."
"Look, La. Let's be real. If you need to ride pine for awhile while you get your shit together, that's cool. But be honest with yourself; you're not even trying. Not for real. You just doing shit you know isn't gonna work out and throwing your hands up like, told ya so. Shit is a self-fulfilling prophecy."
"What in the Iyanla hell? I am so sick of you."
"I know. But you know I'm right."
"So, and, the fuck."
We sip in silence for a minute, letting everything he just said settled over us.
"Derrick Rose though?"
"I was really, really unwilling to compare my pussy to Tony Romo. Unlike him, she always comes through in the clutch."
"Yo, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!"
"That's the million dollar question, isn't it?"
I order us another round, and turn the conversation towards travel. He's thinking of places to take his wife for their anniversary this year, now that the girls are old enough to stay with grandparents for a whole week. I vote for Thailand, and start searching for a resort I fell in love with during my own wanderlust research. We trade laughs, something about getting a hooker for their anniversary, as I send him details of my upcoming trip to Greece that he might want to steal. But in the back of my mind, his words are sitting there, whispering in my ear when the clamor gets too quiet.
I hate when he's right.