#XD30 – Eleven – Dancing On The Smooth Edge

“It’s been a while since I did this but I think I still got it.”

Diana thought the same thing to herself. She smiled and they both slow danced to Blackstreet’s “Before I Let You Go.”

Arthur’s was now Katra Lounge where it was 25 enter and 30 to remember. Diana and Vann knew they’d be in good company.


The danced the night away, and made the night beautiful.


Vann drove Diana to her home on the hill, and in true gentleman-like fashion, Vann walked her to her door.

“I had a really great time tonight, Diana. May I see you again?”

“I’d love to see you again.”

Diana kissed him on the cheek, entered her house and closed the door. She slid down to the floor with bliss.

Vann walked away smiling hard the same way he did when he asked Sarah out on a date.

“I still got it.”

This concludes the story. We’ll revisit something new tomorrow.

#XD30 – Ten – Here

…picking back up where we left off…

“You have to be real cool, Dad. Don’t tell her any of those corny jokes you tell us.”

“They made you laugh, right?”

Alexander continued to fix his father’s tie before he went to pick up Diana for dinner and dancing. Vann had watched nothing but movies with Billy Dee Williams in it to ensure he could impress and woo the object of his affection.

On the way to Diana’s house, Vann picks up a bouquet of lillies. He heard through the grapevine at church that those were her favorite. Well, not really the grapevine. She kept a fresh bouquet of them on her desk in the pastor’s office.


He pulled up to the house, and parked the car. He smelled that smell again.

He smiled.

He then rang the doorbell.


#XD30 – Eight – In This Bed [a poem]

Note: This is completely separate and a departure from the previous story I was writing. I’ll eventually come back to that story, maybe.


in this bed

you are home to me

you greet me, complete me

in this bed

you remake me, study me

in this bed

you spoil me, excite me

in this bed

you breathe me, see me

you betrayed me, hurt me.

in our bed

that we shared.

#XD30 – Six – Diana

After 16 years of being single and mourning his late wife, Vann decided it was time to find love again. The only thing was that he had forgotten how. He hadn’t picked up a woman since the early 80s. He figured the best way to find a woman was in church, because he needed to be sure that his next relationship was washed in the blood of the lamb.

“You know Sis. Stokes always had a thing for you, Dad.” Vann Jr. made sure to call his father and brother every Wednesday and Sunday evening while he was away at UCLA. He was there on an academic scholarship studying Applied Mathematics.


Diana Stokes was the church secretary. She was 5’9″ and smelled like tulips. Vann designed all of the furniture in her home.  Vann heard a beeping noise on the line.

“Hold on, son. I got another call.”

“Hello, Vann? This is Diana.”

#XD30 – Five – Different

This Sunday was different. It wasn’t an Easter Sunday. It wasn’t Mother’s Day. It wasn’t Father’s Day. It wasn’t the start of Vacation Bible School. It wasn’t those things at all.

Vann made it a point to make sure his two boys were rooted and grounded in The Word. Vann would make sure Vann Jr. and Alexander dressed up in their finest creased slacks, dress shirts with no collar (because Joe Sr. said collars were for the white man) and black loafers. Vann always wore a suit — nothing more, nothing less. He always encouraged the boys to become active in the church, and they did so. Vann Jr. played the drums and Alexander sang in the choir. It made Vann happy to know that his now teenage boys had a strong foundation and constitution, even though the past 16 years his was weak.

This Sunday was different.

Alexander began to sing.

Afterwhile, afterwhile
This too shall pass
Scars will heal, you’ll love again
It won’t hurt you afterwhile
It won’t hurt afterwhile

Vann walked up to the altar, and rededicated his life to Christ.

Pastor Johnson whispered in his ear, “It won’t hurt afterwhile.”

Vann burst into tears and for the first time in 16 years, he breathed.

This Sunday was different.


#XD30 – Four – Pin

Vann was a nerd. He had thick coke bottle glasses, but he always stayed in a fly adidas track suit and the freshest sneakers. He was known as the “Flyest Kid in Wood Shop” at Dunbar High School. He also had the crush on the the pretty girl with cocoa skin in home room. Sarah Cunningham had shoulder length hair and was always seemed to float across campus. Vann was enamored with just the thought of her. He would always get the urge to speak, but everyone would tease him about his nervousness and he would just shy away.

In the 10th grade, Vann opened his lunch and found a note.

Just tell her hi. – Love, Dad.

Vann sucked it up, walked over to the table where she was sitting and said, ” Hi, I’m Vann. I think you’re really pretty and I wanted to know if you wanted to go with me to get a burger and the record store after school today.” His palms were drenched with sweat and just as he began to turn green, Sarah smiled.

“It depends. Where are we getting the burgers from?”

“Arthur’s. Where else?”

Vann studied and knew the object of my affection more than anyone and before he ever had a conversation with.

“Alright. Deal.”

Vann walked away with the hugest smile on his surprisingly acne free face, and went to class. Wood Shop. Vann made a pin fashioned into a shape of a rose to give to Sarah on their impending date in a few hours.

She wore the pin on their wedding day.

She wore the pin at her funeral.