I changed the lock on the front door of my duplex apartment the moment Bruce was gone. We were lovers for nine years. It was time to put an end to our interracial love affair. I had to change the locks, not only in fear of him returning to take more of our material possessions, but also because he really still loved me and loved fucking me.
I know how Black men can be.
I would not take the risk and grant him mid-night access to our old home with me laying upstairs in the bed naked, as I have always slept. It would not have surprised me if he came sneaking in at night to re-enact one of the rape scenes we once engaged ourselves in as willing porn- actors, making slave- master love as official domestic partners.
He agreed to move out and let me keep the place on 46th Street only under the condition of a mutual agreement that subconsciously stated that we were breaking up for artistic reasons and we would continue to make love, even though we were not officially the property of each other.
“Yes, Bruce, I will always love you,” I said, without really saying it.
“Will you still let me fuck you sometimes, Charles?”
“Of course. If you act right!”
I was not going to take the chance of having him return to what was now to become my house to pick up things that he forgot to take with him when he moved out. What if I wanted to sleep with other men? I was free now!
“Are you sure this is what you want, Charles?”
“Yes. Just go. I don’t care. Take it all. I just want to be single for once in my life.”
Our separation was informal. Lawyers were unnecessary. We were not married anyway. I permitted him to make the first choice on what furniture he wanted, although the credit card debt incurred for purchasing our household goods just five years earlier would follow me out of the divorce . Thousands of dollars had been invested by Bruce during numerous redecorating projects. He loved new curtains and had a flair for making a home appear comforting.
Like a sissy girl, he disguised his bitchiness by decorating home. I preferred the open- feel; less things to sweep under and fewer mirrors to look into. We were not girls. Why bother? He filled out all of my credit card applications, like a wife may do, placing her name as not the co-debtor, but rather, an additional signer. He was running all over my life. I wanted him gone. I didn’t care about the debt, but I was sure as hell going to at least get half of what I would spend the next ten years paying off.
Even on non-holidays, the windows of our home twinkled with the sparkles of tea-light candles ignited with wooden match sticks at twilight. Bruce loved candles. He placed the tiny white flames inside thick, green frosted glass cubes that I still have to this day. We sat down to ingest gourmet meals together while wiping our mouths with sturdy cloth napkins bought at the Pottery Barn during an after Thanksgiving sale. I was glad to see him go. I didn’t care what he took with him. He could have it all, I wanted strange sex. A materialist by nature, Bruce was having a fit trying to decide what his first choice of furniture would be. He must have wondered what it would be that I would pick-out when it came my turn to choose next.
By being the second divorcee to chose what would become mine, I was entitled to select two things that would become my property.
I wanted the James Taylor painting that our Jewish friend Joan McElroy gave to us as a housewarming when she moved to Jamaica. Tony forgot about the original painting that James Taylor had posed for, and foolishly selected a mossback sofa with a frame made from an entire trunk of a tree instead. He loved that couch because the mahogany frame was not made by individual pieces of wood, glued and molded together, but rather, by an entire trunk of a tree that had painstakingly been carved into the frame of a camel back sofa. On the day we bought it, we made love on it. The green velvet brush-burned my knees to a point where I actually started bleeding. The doggie-style position he had forced my body into on that couch nearly dislocated my shoulder. I was tired of sex with him. It wasn’t that I didn’t love him and love living with him. The truth was, I needed to sow my wild gay oats and I didn’t want to fuck around on him. I loved him too much to do that.
“Joan gave me that painting, bitch,” Bruce shouted at me. It was then that I saw his true colors, under his high-yellow black skin.
“She gave it to us, and it’s mine. You got the sofa. Just don’t fuck anyone on it? Alright? Promise me that?”
“I already have a new lover. I’ve known him for years. You can have the James Taylor painting, Charles. Anthony is an advertising executive for Pepsi and he is buying me a house. So what is your second choice?”
“Me! That’s all I want is me. Take it all. Bleed me dry!”
Bruce started to cry…