I have a sixth sense. Not the creepy kind like that pasty, frail White boy who sees ghouls and goblins, but the kind that actually doesn’t scare people. Not the kind that baraja readers claim to have; the third eye that sends voodoo shock waves into the victims of love struck clients. But the kind that actually helps people. What is this sixth sense I speak of? The kind that every woman in America, in every barrio and campo in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and even little villages in Africa wish they had. I can simply look at a man and know if he’s going to kick it or simply kick rocks and keep on stepping.
I first felt this useful premonition at the age of 18. With my friend Celeste leading the way, I walked up the stairs of the UMass Amherst munchie store and passed a handsome, light-skinned, gold-tee sporting college boy. Immediately, my sixth sense send a flurry of activity to my stomach. My heart flip-flopped as I passed him and met his stare. I quickly turned away and thought, “He’s going to kick it to me”. And he did. He approached me outside the Southside room, cast aside my friends, and inched his way next to me. Little did I know Kurt pursued every new girl (freshman, transfer student, Amherst and Mt Holyoke college campus course switcher) who pranced all of campus. Unfortunately, my sixth sense doesn’t discriminate against mujeriegos. I just see potential penis, people.
As years pass, my sixth sense increases in power. I now walk into a bar, survey the room, turn to my girlfriends and, while pointing to a particular man, say, “That one”. It comes in handy; especially with men who take so long to approach you’d think I was a pasty White Boy.
One man in particular followed this pattern. I sipped on cocktails by the bar of Lounge 87 and he stood at the opposite end of the bar, scully covering head and hoody covering scully. I spotted him as soon as I walked in and knew he would be the man who would ask for my number, eventually. And he did. He also maneuvered his wrap a little differently than expected.
I stood by my sister Adriana, Bacardi and Coke in hand, when he strolled passed me and stood next to her. My eyebrows arched in surprise but I quickly relaxed my face to not reveal my dismay. I watched from the side as he engulfed my sister in conversation. He didn’t even glance at me with his pretty, almond-shaped eyes! But I wasn’t discouraged. My confidence, after all, has bordered on conceit since age 27. Instead I tapped into my sixth sense. It reassured me that he indeed was interested in me, not Adriana. I’d just have to be patient.
I didn’t have to wait long. After fifteen minutes of being ignored, he did the Kurt. He wiggled his way into the middle of my sister and I, turned to me, and asked my name.
His name was Andrew, and just like that this lounge owner’s attention turned to me completely. My sister left us to mingle and he asked if I wanted to sit down to talk. I nodded and we moved over to the burgundy couch by the front window.
“How old are you?” I asked directly.
“22,” he replied. I sighed, discouraged. My sixth sense never warns me about a man’s spring chicken status.
“How does a 22 year old own a lounge?” I asked, determined to have a reason to charm this youngin’.
“It’s a long story. Most people are surprised. How old are you?” he asked. I revealed what I imagined he would think was an old ass age. 29 going on 30. But it didn’t seem to bother him. On the contrary, it peaked his interest, which in turn boosted my confidence. I’m a hot tamale, I thought to myself. And this 22 year old is very cute and an entrepreneur. Why not have fun? My inner dialogue continued. So did our conversation. I learned this 22 year old was nothing like any 22 year old, any twenty something year old even, that I had ever met. He was a half-Dominican, ivy league graduate and business owner who was determined to conquer the world. We had plenty in common, plus he was un papi lindo who knew he was a papi lindo. Which is why showed him I was a mami linda.
“You know, I knew you were going to like me,” I stated matter-a-factly.
“Oh really…so I like you?” he questioned coquettishly.
“Yes. And I knew you would kick it to me,” I revealed, full of confidence. “I saw you from across the room, thought you were cute, and thought I was your type, even though you weren’t looking at me. My instincts told me you’d think I’m the shit” I continued, laughing now.
“You’re a little full of yourself, aren’t you?” he replied smugly.
I leaned in and smiled. “I’m not conceited. I just have a sixth sense about these things. And I was right.” Andrew smiled. Agreed with me with his eyes. He invited me to the DJ booth and I gladly walked toward the back of the lounge, danced to the beat of a song, and stood alongside him for the rest of the night. I watched as women danced in a circle full of girls and men glanced over the pack wondering which would stray and take their bait. I watched women try to figure out their potential mate while my 22 year old, my Double Duce, nudged his face into my neck, wrapped his arms around my waist, and proved what I’ve always known. I see potential penis, people.