Remember that snowy night we went to a party in Bed Stuy? We cross dressed. We confessed. We digressed. Your name was Roxanne and Jasmine and Shealah. After some local freaks shoveled your car out of its parallel parking spot at three am (I had given them two twenties and wondered if that was enough), I invited you back to the Upper West Side where we climbed the dog shitty snow piles while we talked about girl bands and poetry and Mediterranean cuisine. We laughed and felt each other shake with my arm looped around your bruised elbow. I called you my African Queen. You said you wanted to dominate a white girl. Soon, morning broke over Central Park, spreading its warm curves over our roof deck. We sipped champagne, and you told me the truth. Your real name was Naomi Yvonne Carr. I screamed your name with joy, "Naomi Yvonne Carr!" And the sweet sound stirred over the snow drifts covering the parked cars on 73rd Street (We had re-named it Seventy Turd Street). You told me you were homeless. Your father disowned you and his grandchildren. Your men all left you broken and blue. Where are you now, Namoi? You still sipping cold coffee at the Galaxy Diner on Ninth Avenue, waiting for Paul Auster to leave his gorgeous wife for you? You know he would if he got one whiff of your bliss balmy fragrance. You'd set him to thinking. Because how a homeless woman with four children can keep herself smelling like jasmine flowers is still a deep mystery to me.
I never told you the truth. To this day, I do not know whose apartment that was on the Upper West Side. I was just grateful, that freezing cold night, those conveniently absent tenants had forgotten to lock their door.