The Long Way

I took off work to go see Gucci Mane at Barnes & Noble. He liked my review, and I wanted to get my book signed. But, I have to buy a wristband to get in. It’s the price of the book, and I’m not buying the book.

So I email the publicist to see if she can come and get me out of the line, but I’m ok if she doesn’t. Even though I did want to see him and maybe lapse into my Atlanta accent, maybe ask him to anoint my head with oil or something.

Instead, I walk up and down the line just to look at the people. It spans four blocks and there are people of every age, race, and nationality. A very blond, relaxed white woman stands patiently looking like she is getting a book signed for her kid. A young Asian guy plays “Wasted” on a little boombox.

And PETA is here. Protesting my nigga.

I think back to Patchwerk Studios in the A and that dry-ass party he gave where girls were walking around serving Krystal burgers and Blow-Pops on little silver trays. He sat slumped on a couch looking bloated and half-dead. And Momma Dee bragged, “All my hoes got the fattest pussies IN Atlanta.” Me and Nadine left after that.

Gucci done came a long way.

I walk to a nearby coffee shop and sit between two cops while I charge my phone. “Fuck 12,” I think in my ATL accent. And it makes me laugh. My blue and white dress is too summery, it’s September and New Yorkers are back to their uniform of black, grey, and navy blue. I feel like an outsider. The Country Cousin.

I decide to take the bus back home to Harlem. It’s the long way and I just want to think for a while.


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