Stages: A Handbook on Men and Relationships – Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Smooth, smoothness, smoothnicity, which is the act and philosophy of being cool, is all in the mind. Check this out, last week I was sitting at the barber shop having my fade tightened up so my waves would be on point for the weekend. I’m sitting in the chair rapping with my man Clyde as he carefully slides the clippers around the sides of my head. The chair is lifted up just enough for me to see the opposite side of the shop. The beauty side. I’d noticed earlier this nice looking sister had come in with this thick brother. She was about my color, Hershey brown, her long legs were wrapped up in a pair of khaki capri pants, with a tight white t-shirt on, that fit perfectly around a handful of breasts, just what I like. Her big ass boyfriend was sitting in front of me, reading a magazine and checking out the beauty of the week, like any brother would. And just like most brothers he wasn’t paying any attention to his lady.
I would’ve been over there talking to her making sure every brother in the joint knew she was with me, but he was slipping. He was in his own world, giving every brother in the shop a chance to look at this sister. I was the main cat looking, from the time she walked in. I hoped she would catch me sneaking a peak and hear me rapping with Clyde about how beautiful she was. If she could read thoughts or lips that is. So here I am sitting in the chair and her boyfriend sits down about eight feet from me by the window, the sun slapping him on the back of his fat neck making him sweat. His lady comes close to the barber’s chairs. I say to Clyde softly as she passes, but just enough for her to hear.
“She is beautiful.”
“That’s Big Red’s lady, Tee.”
“So, I’m just paying the sister a compliment she deserves,” and like slow motion she turns towards me and smiles as she continues to take one long chocolate stride after another towards the back.
“You a slick brother man,” Clyde said chuckling.
See what I mean, even brothers know I’m smooth. Just like I said, like silk and satin, with a summer breeze floating through an open window, curtains drifting apart as candles flutter to the breeze and flames dance to the distant sound of Curtis Mayfield singing, “Give Me Your Love,” smoothnicity.
Big Red was sitting in his chair continuing to make love to the pictures in the magazines, while his lady sat to get her nails done.
Now ain’t nothing wrong with paying to have your lady’s nails done, as long as she is devoted strictly to you. Which means: no looking, smiling, joking or nothing else with any other men, boyfriends included. Personally, I have never had any success with preventing these things, but I made sure I was always the man. You have to put the law down in a relationship, even if the relationship is only a sex thing, there have to be boundaries set.
“I’m going to spin you around and make sure your line is straight,” Clyde said swinging the chair.
“That’s cool, just make sure you turn me back her way when you finish.”
“You talking kinda loud Tee.”
“That cat don’t hear me, look at him.”
“Alright,” he said criticizing. The chair spun back around in her direction. Just as I thought, she was still looking. I smiled at her and she grinned. There is just something about a dark sister with a beautiful smile. I began thinking of how I could get her one of my cards. I continued talking with Clyde.
Clyde is a stage three brother. I had a lot of difficulty relating to him after he made the jump. It was cool and all, but the therapist / patient relationship I had with him was affected. I couldn’t talk to him about a lot of things because he was becoming a better person. A brother at stage three, rapping with a brother below him, will always play preacher. Which Clyde didn’t do because he knew his place but some of the traits were there.
“Look here man let me put some alcohol around the nape of your neck so you don’t get any of those ugly bumps.”
“Hook it up. Look Clyde can you-”
“No, I can’t.”
“You don’t even know what I was about to say.”
“I don’t? This is Clyde man.”
“What then? What was I about to say?”
“Can you give her my card? I saw you going into your pocket.”
“And? She keeps looking, just-”
“No Tee. I ain’t getting in the middle of your shit.”
“All I’m saying is just go over there and borrow a razor or something from Leslie and put the card down in front of her.”
“Then what? Tell her that the silly ass brother that saw you come in with your boyfriend wants you to call him?”
“Come on man, just do this one solid for me. Who’s your best customer? Who’s your-”
“Alright man, I’ll do it but don’t make this a habit.”
“I won’t.”
“You need Jesus.”
“And you need to come back from Stage Three.”
“I’m gonna keep this whole twenty for my services.”
“Clyde-” As he walked over and dropped off the card, he pointed towards me. Old girl flashed those pearly whites and my nipples got hard. Damn, I love sisters. I told Clyde he was wrong for keeping my whole twenty. He grinned at me and called his next customer. I nodded at him and walked out of the shop.
Smooth as brand new Lex on a street in a White neighborhood, smoothness. Am I right or wrong? There is a distinct set of rules that have to be adhered to in situations like the one I had climbed into by giving my card to the sister at the shop. I knew she wouldn’t call immediately. It would take a little time. Something would have to occur between her and Big Red, then she would call.
It just so happened that the girl never called. But a man in Stage One works hard to lay the groundwork, like in construction. He spends the majority of his time putting on this facade. Stage One brother will spend the majority of his non-working hours in pursuit of as many women as he can get, believe me, I know.
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