if you’ve ever read anything by toni morrison, you know it’s not an undertaking that can be handled lightly. morrison requires you to think, she needs you to be an active reader, to be an active reader. so with this in mind, i curled up on the fabulous blue couch with Love in hand, ready to forget the mean reds and follow toni wherever she wanted to take me.
about 20 pages in, i hear sobbing outside the patio door.
“kenny, kenny, you were supposed to help me,” a woman said, crying. “i’m six months pregnant and you watched me carry a TV. you watched me carry things bigger than me.”
i don’t hear anything from kenny, and the way the woman speaks i can’t tell if she’s really young or maybe mentally-handicapped.
“kenny, you’re supposed to support me. this isn’t supportive. you’re my boyfriend and you don’t even want to help. you just want to hurry up to get to anita’s and your friends.”
nothing comes from kenny and i hear them go back inside the building, and i turn back to toni. ten minutes later. . .
“kenny, kenny i’m sorry. i do appreciate you. i do. didn’t i say, “thank you baby?” didn’t i? i’m sorry i had to step around you. i didn’t mean it to be mean. i was just telling the truth. kenny, it was the truth. i had to get around you and the stove.”
still no word from kenny. i decide to get off the couch to see if i can’t see this much-maligned kenny. i can’t see him, but i do see a pregnant woman who can’t be more than 20.
“kenny, i’m sorry. i just need you to support me. you’re supposed to support me and i just want a clean apartment. i just want my apartment clean. don’t you care? don’t you care about the chemicals?”
the whole time she’s talking i can hear her crying and sniffling, she’s not quiet, and there’s still not a peep from kenny.
“kenny, kenny, just come back in. come back in and help me and i’ll take you to anita’s. i promise. it’ll only take 25 minutes. i promise i’ll take you to anita’s.”
kenny and the cryer go back in.
five minutes later they’re back out.
“you know i appreciate you. i told you good job. didn’t you hear me? my mom won’t help me kenny.”
“bullshit,” kenny said.
“what do you mean bullshit? you know she won’t. you’re supposed to support me kenny.”
“quiet,” he said. “someone’s coming.”
“kenny, kenny, i don’t care. i just want you to support me.”
then they went back inside, then they left. now, 15 minutes later, i heard them come back, and she’s still crying. “kenny, kenny, i swear i had five dollars in my purse, i don’t know what happened to it.”