Picture it, Atlanta 2017; I met one of my friends at Todd Tucker and Kandi Burress’ new restaurant OLG. I arrived at 4:45pm. The restaurant was scheduled to open at 5pm. Countless of eager yet hungry patrons lined Peters St. for a glimpse of their favorite reality stars and of course the food. It was the opening week of the highly anticipated soul food restaurant.
I found my friend and jumped in line. It was evident the people around us had something to say about me cutting in line so I avoided eye contact. As we stood in line for almost 2 hrs, I couldn’t help but to notice the group of friends behind me. There was one dude in particular that caught my eye. He was a slim, light skinned, rocking a well-maintained beard and wore a Yankees hat to the back. Lord knows I wanted to speak to him but I’ve never been the type to approach anyone out of fear of rejection not to mention this guy was skinny. In my experience, physically fit dudes were not checking for guys built up like Carl Winslow. With that in mind, I decided I was going to keep it moving. I couldn’t help but to ear hustle on he and his friends’ conversation. They finally started complaining about the prolonged wait and I figured that was chance to butt in. I’d been waiting for the right time to jump in the discussion like young girls playing double dutch. I don’t know if was the fresh haircut that gave me some courage but I turned around and spoke on the long wait as well. The group of friends laughed at my joke. We all started chatting but I focused on the main attraction.
We finally get inside the restaurant and oddly enough we decided to all sit at the same table to avoid a longer wait time. He and I sat across from one another. During this time, he told me he was a huge Whitney Houston fan. I didn’t think much about it. We flirted and continued to chat the entire time. It was like we were the only people at the table. He then asked me and my friend to come back to his place for drinks. I was reluctant but my mind was put to ease because my boy agreed to go.
Later that evening I get to his spot. I knock on the door and I hear a dog bark. That was no problem as me and dogs tend to get along. He opens the door with the small dog in his arms. He welcomes me in and I reply “that’s a cute dog. What’s its name?” He says, “her name is Nippy.” Of course, my mind automatically went back to Whitney Houston. I am thinking this dude is a fan for real. My thought was confirmed when he mentioned the dog’s full name was Nippy Whitney Houston.
He commences to give me a tour of his apartment which I never asked for but I went along with it. To my immediate right was bookshelf. It was like a shrine to Whitney Houston. There were all types of memorabilia dedicated to the deceased diva. In my mind I am thinking, what in the hell is going on here. I finally say, “you really love Whitney huh?” “I told you, she is my girl. I couldn’t even go to work when she died. We even have the same birthday.” We pass a big wall clock that was not set properly. A nicely updated kitchen stocked with plenty of wine and a contemporary decorated living caught my eye. The 1st bedroom and guest bath round off the first part of the tour. I quickly jotted down a mental note. Good taste, check!
I’m then guided to the master bedroom. The first thing I notice is a 8x10 photograph of a woman on his nightstand. Immediately, in my mind, I am saying that bet not be no damn Whitney Houston! Maybe it’s his mama. I kept my mouth shut initially then he opens the neatly organized master closet. There were posters and pictures of Whitney in the damn closet along with Whitney t-shirts. I couldn’t contain it, and I asked “why was she in his closet.” “I like to see Whitney when I get dressed.” I rolled my eyes so hard they could have gotten stuck in side of my head. I backed out of the closet and commented on the big ass picture which I realized wasn’t his mama as I got closer. He saw me looking puzzled and said “I want Whitney to be the first thing I see when I wake up.”
At this point, I was baffled, speechless, dumbfounded. I found a seat on the couch while he made me a drink. My eyes kept looking at the big clock on the wall. I said “say man when are you going to set your clock.” He places a margarita down in front of me and without hesitation boasts “that clock is set to the time Whitney died.” It was at that moment I realized I had to get my ass out of there!