There is a monumental difference between “drink” and “drank”, particularly when referenced in the Negro dialect. A “drink” is consumed at a bar, in a proper glass, for a proper price. It’s contents appear on the bottle’s label, or on the menu. A “drank” is served in a disposable cup and is usually an ambiguous mix of pure liquor and a “mixer”
ingredient that can range from Coke Classic to Kool-Aid, depending on the budget and who’s doing the mixing.

This particular woman is a connoisseur of both as she sips her drank. The DJ walks us through a survey of 1995. Jodeci is involved as is the Mary J./Nas collabo from that year so much of the world has forgotten.

I have not seen her in a decade, since grad school, when I learned from observation that she had grown three inches since that summer program in 8th grade. Her thighs have thickened, her once questionable extension pony tail replaced by a jet back weave of the highest quality, with bangs in the front, that cascades over a plain white beater and matching bra.

The dark jeans do not fit loosely. She’s a lawyer but she’s from around the way, one of the few from that era who kept unwanted seeds out of her sacred space, despite her love for the opposite sex.

I often made the mistake of thinking that if a girl didnt speak she didn’t care, though the truth was quite the contrary. And as we are engaged in the art of bulllshit conversation, running down names and reflecting on the trash television that currently unites both Black people and Negroes, I wonder what I might have missed back in the day, or more importantly what there could be now.

I lead her out onto the cleared earth that is the dance floor. Montell Jordan comes into play as gnats and mosquitoes hover above the multitudes. He wants to get it on tonight.

We go through a medley of the old dances from the Reebok and Cabbage Patch to the Roger Rabbit and then The Prep, finishing up with some dancehall shit.

She turns around and brings her hips to me. The DJ spins back one year to a young Robert Kelly’s remix. He don’t see nothin’ wrong with a little bump and grind. I feel on her booty. She doesn’t stop me.

The crease in her back becomes shiny w sweat. I can see a nipple poking through the front of her shirt. There is the smell of chargrilled ribs and honey barbecue wings off on the distance. My palate can’t lose the Hennessy aftertaste from my “drank”.

She gives me her number. I use it, but I’m too late. She’s already got a man. But the situation changes about a year later.