These Are The Tales, The PJ Tales, Part V

Panama Jackson/VSB
Panama Jackson/VSB

Now, let's be clear. Going out of town to see somebody that you don't remember but have had some great conversations with will go one of two ways: 1) you all will have the same amazing chemistry in person that you have over the phone (I've been on that yacht before); or 2) it gets SUUUUUPER awkward almost immediately and both people want to bail but you paid for tickets and travelled so everybody decides to try to make the best out of it.


This situation was the latter.

So, I get to the airport and Tina comes to pick me up and we awkwardly hug. Here's why: I think both of us didn't remember the other person looking the way we looked. I can't speak for her, but its my blog and I can cry if I want to, but I'm guessing she was over it. I know I was. But we're at the airport. I can't just go get back on a plane and fly back to DC, though the cold was enough to make me consider it.


Anyway, so we get in her car and make small talk. Nothing is worse than deflated excitement, by the way. Nothing. But, I'm in a new city with a chick who has become amazingly strange to me considering the hours long phone calls we had. Obviously, I'm in the passenger side of the car…with Tina driving. I'm looking around taking in the sights and I look over to my left and see Tina who I'm noticing has a HUGE "L" tattood on her neck. Like a huge one. Big big.

I'm not a terrible person in general, but at this point I realize that there isn't much we can do for each other anyway. Also, she told me her name was Tina. I know we're both Black, but even in my Blackest moments, I can't make Tina work with an L. Ltina just doesn't work, ya know. So I asked the only logical question I could think to ask at the time:

"You must have a really good job, huh?"

Her: "I'm a nurse at a hospital here? Why do you ask?"

Me: "You have an L on your neck. And It's huge. That is job security. By the way, what does that L stand for?"

Honestly, I was prepared for her to say anything from "Lion" to my ex-boyfriend "Larry Johnson". Turns out her name is actually LaTina. Or possibly La'Tina. Or Latina. I have no clue how she spelled it. Which is fine, it's her name. Not mine. (Here's how much of a dumbass I am. In attempts to try to find her, I googled "latina rochester new york" and TOTALLY didn't hink that "latina" is well, "latina". Yeah, that search bore no fruit.)

Anyway, it was evening-ish time and she took me back to her place. I assume we picked up something to eat. I honestly have no recollection. We decided to try to make the best of it and she was like, hey, have you seen the movie Dreamcatcher?


I had not.

Look, I watch bad movies as a rule. They're kind of my shit. But I don't watch bad scary movies where things get so weird that I want to stab you for making me see this. Don't ever watch Dreamcatcher. Ever. There were monsters crawling out of toilets eating folks asses. Again, not in the good way. And then Morgan Freeman showed up. It just got weird and uncomfortable. Now, I don't remember having much conversation. And you know how niggas do. Shit ain't sweet but its time for bed and niggas try women anyway? Not me. I can't even remember if I got my spoon action in or not. But I can see me being like…you know what, I don't care at all. It was THAT unmemorable.


But Saturday? Ooooooh Saturday. So clearly our chemistry had devolved into watching the time tick down til my flight on Sunday afternoon. Now, I woke up on Saturday, and we were chillin' for a minute, and around noon, she ends up leaving. To go where? I have no clue. She hit me with the, be right back. All I know is that I was sitting in an apartment of a woman I didn't really know for HOURS, b. This was pre-smart phone. I didn't have a laptop. Nada. I basically just watched television and DIDN'T watch Dreamcatcher again. I hate that movie, yo. I will also always associate it with Tina from Rochester.

So, HOURS later this motherfucker comes back home and is like, so, would you like to go out to eat? Mind you, I've been in solitaire for like 4 hours with no food and only water in this cold ass city. Yes, I was hungry. We end up going to Cheesecake Factory in Henrietta, which is a suburb of the ROC. But before we get there this happens.


We're driving and she's like, "yo, I need to stop at my homegirl's house…to pick up some duct tape."

Duct tape, my nigga? But what can I do, I'm along for the ride, it ain't like I can say no. My immediate thoughts are, she's going to kill me. Turns out she needed a reason to stop at her girls house. Now, conventional wisdom would say that we get to her girls house, she gets the tape and then we roll.


Noap. She goes into the house for an HOUR. I'm sitting in her car - it's on thank goodness - for an hour wondering if she died or if something has gone awry. Here's the problem, I couldn't check on her if I wanted to, I have no clue what house she even went into. So I was stuck sitting in a damn car for an hour while she went to get some "duct tape." This happened.

FINALLY, she comes back…like NOTHING has happened and is like, are you ready? Let's go! Now, the analyst in me thinks she went to go to her friends house to tell them how shitty this visit has been and because she was over me she gave zero fucks about me being in the car for an hour. Well played Tina with an L on your neck. Well played.


Oh, she ain't have nan' duct tape either.


…at the Cheesecake Factory, Tina hits me with this gem:

"So what are we doing?"

"Um…what do you mean?"

"Like, you came to visit me, are we dating, are we trying to see where this can go? What are your intentions here?"


(Swear fo' gawd that happened.)

Now, I'm dumbfounded. Because how is it that this trip where you've left me alone for substantial amounts of time and have been visibly just as over it as I am turned into a "what's going on here" conversation?


"You cool. But I don't think this is gon' work. Plus, you left me in your car for an hour to get some "duct tape" that you didn't return to the car with. And you left me alone for hours today in your cold ass apartment. NOT to mention you made me watch that TRASH movie last night which, girl, your taste sucks. North West won't be born for another 10 years but she would totally side-eye you right now. But mostly, I just don't this this is gon' work. But I'll pay for this meal though. It's the least I can do after paying to fly up to see you in this cold city. Also, can you recommend a tattoo artist. I really like that L."

It went something like that though I'm sure nowhere near it. We were there for some hours and I feel like at some point upon realizing that this trip was a mess we were able to laugh about it. Usually that leads to some "why not sex" but that didn't happen. In fact, I'm pretty sure we just went back to her place, I slept on the couch and then flew off into the sunset the next day never to hear from or see Tina with an L again.


The moral of this story: Dreamcatcher suuuuuuuuuuuuuucked.

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.

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Y'all must've been seriously unattracted to each other because I can't imagine how the turn of events became this awkward. I mean if you're shooting the sh*t for hours over the phone on an ongoing basis, how were yall not at least cool platonically once you discovered the attraction wasn't there (at least enough to get through the weekend)? It's not like both of you were catfished and you hopped off the plane looking like Sean Kingston.