19 January 2021

Dear Laca,

On the subject of fond memories, the time I dated a drummer...

At 16, I met a boy while I was part of Oman, oh man! a production by Debbie Allen. We practiced and danced at the Kennedy Center, it was so glamorous!

Anyway, the production had a live band of African drums and I was absolutely smitten with one of them. We kept in touch over a few years, texting occasionally. I think we even did that almost dating thing that we used to do, where you’re dating for a few weeks but you never actually see each other lol.

It was so weird how our paths kept crossing. I went to Debbie Allen’s Dance Academy the following summer, and she had hired him to drum for a class. The next summer, I went to Italy with the Grahams and Gabbie, and he was staying two hotels down. I didn’t actually have the courage to leave the hotel at night to go meet him, but still. Then a year later, he was performing at a venue close to my college at the time, University of Maryland College Park.

That night is a really fond memory. I got to the concert, and I had tickets waiting for me at the box office. I got to watch him play all night like a groupie haha it felt really cool. I remember a man leaning over to me at some point screaming “Did you know that guy’s from Senegal!?! That’s where I’m from!” and I remember getting to say “yeah! he’s a close friend of mine!”

After the show, he draped his arm around me and we walked by his other band members and I remember him passing up the opportunity to go out so we could go out alone. I felt so important, being the one to get the night. We didn’t do much of anything that night. We just laid in bed and talked. At some point, we left to get something to eat at a little hole in the wall place. I had to leave at 4 am to get back to College Park in time for work the next day.

sigh I also remember texting him a few days later and his wife answered. That’s how I found out he had a wife. Annnnd that’s where the fondness ends.

❤ your mother