Call. The. Police.
We stumble out of the club onto the sidewalk. It is closer to two am than it is to one. The club closes at two. Last call was at one fifty. We leave the club at one fifty-two. We hold onto each other in support and fun. We’re happy. We’ve danced with ourselves. We’ve danced with each other. We’ve danced with everyone at the club. We’ve danced. We are still dancing on the street.
We drank. Shots were bought. Shots were being passed around. We drank them. We came together. We leave together. We drink together. We are drunker then we’ve been in a very long time. We laugh. Everything is funny. The nothingness is hilarious. The laughter is uncontrollable. We are happy drunks.
The street is filled with clubs that have emptied out all of it’s happy drunkards. Taxi cabs line the curb like vultures. We decide to hang on and off of each other and walk. Home is responsibility. Home is kids. Home is bills. Home is sleep. Home is adult. We are not adults. We are happy and free, drunk and young. Home will wait.
We decide to walk, to hold onto the young night. We decide to walk to air out some of our intoxication. We cannot drive. We decide Uber is best; lets walk some. She adjusts my neck tie. My arm is around her waist. Our eyes smile into each others eyes. For this night, we are love, we remember why we fell in love. We remember each and every vow we wrote and spoke before our closest family and friends when we married. Today, we are the same as we were when we decided that we wanted to wake up each day beside each other.
We walk and cross the street barely noticing traffic coming or going. We get to the other side without getting hit. We realize we’re going the wrong way, in loud laughter. We turn to head South instead of North. We enjoy each other’s company. We enjoy each other’s laugh. We enjoy each other’s voice. Alcohol has heightened our love for each other. Alcohol has heightened our tolerance for each other. We are the only ones that matter.
We walk, going South, with much effort. My love has to be held up. Walking has become work. A Black Man is walking toward us. There is no fear. We do not notice him. We are Black People. We walk to our left to let him pass us on the right. He walks to the left. I am drunk. I am not blind. We do not move. It is my subconscious decision to not move assuming that he will move instead of walk into us. We’ve already moved. He does not move. We stand before each other. We do not speak.
My wife is more intoxicated than I am. I am aware. I am conscious of the direct intimidation. I do not understand why.
“Excuse us.” I say. My wife is holding onto me oblivious to a possible confrontation. I leave her in her peaceful space. The man does not move. I sigh. I pull my wife and myself to the right to continue walking South. He moves with us. I pull myself and my wife a couple of inches back, away from him. I immediately yell, “Call. The. Police.”
My wife is sobered immediately. I am not happy about it. Life is not surrounded in peace. We have sitters where the children can stay the night. We should still be experiencing the effects of the good time that we paid for. It is over.
“Who do you think you are?” The man says. His voice is African. He sounds Nigerian, not that I’m experienced in connecting accents with their place of origin. I can only assume. We’ve had many run ins with Nigerian Men.
“We’re just walking, dude. We want to keep walking.” I say.
“Do you think you are man? Woman cannot be with woman. You are not a man.”
“I’m not trying to be a man. We’re just walking, minding our own business.”
“You don’t have the right to stand here-” My wife begins. She is lucid. This can go either way.
“Call the police!” I yell. I interrupt her, on purpose. The man says nothing else. He pulls out a switchblade. We are walking backwards. He is walking forward. I don’t immediately know what it is that he’s pulled out from his front jean pocket until he pushes something and it releases the blade. “Call the police!”
People linger on the streets. Some are recording us with their cellular devices. Some are arguing among themselves with their friends about whether to interfere. Some are even yelling at the man, “Hey! Leave them alone! Who do you think you are?!” The yells come from more than seven feet away. No one comes near. The music still comes out of clubs and onto the sidewalk. We should have waited until closing.
“You think you are man? Fight like a man.”
“Call. The. Police.” We could try to run. Me in my brown faux leather boots and her in her heels, I know we will not get far. He doesn’t look like he’s been drinking. Nothing about him seems to be impaired.
He moves quickly to stab me. My wife sees it coming. I think she tries to stop it, move me, or stop it but she vomits on us instead. I get stabbed in the lower abdomen. I get stabbed again. I feel nothing. I stand holding onto her. She gets stabbed. She falls to the ground immediately. I get stabbed again. I fall with the pressure of his blade in my abdomen.
I lay beside my wife. She is only breathing, not speaking. She finds my hand. She wants to hold my hand as we die together. It’s romantic. It’s a good time to die. We don’t argue. We had fun. We danced. We drank. We had a date and no friction. The kids are with sitters that are family. The kids can just remain with them when we’re gone. No worries. It’s a good time to die.
Her hand isn’t empty. It is a taser. I could question when did WE get a taser, it is my way. I don’t. I take it. I aim it at the man, as he comes toward me again. I squeeze the trigger and watch the wires jump onto him. His body jerks and he falls to the ground. No one comes near to us. The music still plays. The conversations still go on around us.
“The kids?” She says.
“They are fine.” I respond.
“Should call them.”
“Since we’re not calling the police.” I say.
“Don’t call the police.”
“Don’t call the police?” I ask.
“The police would have killed us.” She says. “We’re Black. We’re Women. We’re Lesbians. Drop the taser. They will still kill us. Don’t call the police.”
“Don’t call the police.” I whisper. She is right.
I awake. This is from a dream that I had. My wife and I have had negative interactions with American African Men and African Men because we are an open Lesbian couple that does not travel in hiding. This dream did not happen in our real life. We were not stabbed. Yet, we have been harassed. A Nigerian man has stood in our way yelling way more obscene and threatening things than what appears here in this fictionalized short story. I wanted to share this because it has been my experience. To read about what is happening to Black Women at the hands of many ethnic groups of men and the police, Black Women also have the terrible misfortune of being oppressed by Black Men as well, even more so. Sometimes, we can’t call the police. It doesn’t often bring about peace. A Queer Tale among many.