When A Black Man Loves - a romantic journey

Let it Burn

Zachary M.C. Harris
Wednesday, April 15, 2015

So, lately I have been loving the new Jazmine Sullivan album.  It took me awhile to pick it up, but I finally did.  Some of the songs are based on too much young folk/hood folks bullshit, but I think that’s the fantasy thoughts of some folks; see the song called “#Hoodlove.”   However, there are some gems on this album, one of which is a song called “Let it Burn.”  This song has that r&b feel that I haven’t heard since the early 90s, conjuring up groups like Surface, The Deele, Portrait, Skyy, Atlantic Starr and a number of vocalists during that decade.  This is that song you snuggle up to someone with and lay in each other’s arms while candles burn down.  Maybe you are making love, or maybe you’re just chilling, listening to each other’s heartbeats. 

The past weeks have been interesting as I have partaken in some interesting conversations, enjoyed some intimate times, and observed some intimate follies.  And while I won’t go into them, I can honestly talk about how this song makes me feel.

This song is one of those tunes that hits you hard, and makes you want to believe in someone and stand by them regardless of what they are going through.  This is the type of song that makes me automatically think of the women that I have loved [and lost, but in most cases just dodged the bullet]. 

It harkens me back to listening to Renee and Angela, Angela Winbush and Tracey Spencer while embraced with Nicole many stories up overlooking Walnut Street from a dorm at Penn, or when she had that dorm room over at 36th & Walnut.  I can think of sharing Mint Condition with Karen and listening to her lovely voice or that time we celebrated my birthday where she brought me a nine pound lobster and a case of my favorite beer at the time (Lindeman’s Framboise).  The memories of getting my car trapped in the mud with Etta down by the river; I think I had the new Sade album playing.  I can think of several romantic times with Sharon, especially that time in Ocean City, or the birthday celebration that we had at the Rose Tattoo in 2002.  I can think of that bubble bath, which also consisted of music, candles and some blueberry champagne that I shared with someone when her birthday plans fell apart.  I can even think of some good times with Greta.

This song reminds me of some of the carnal assignations that I have had in my life; why, oh why, did I lose touch with some of those women?

This song even makes me think of the possibilities that I envisioned with my last ex-girlfriend, and the haunting feeling I get when I see a woman who looks damned near spot on like her (one of my Facebook friends, Ajuana, looks just like her).  It also reminds me of the woman I thought would be the next person in my life, and that I would possibly marry. 

Dodged that one.

But this song makes you think of love, heartbreak, and continuance.  And it’s weird that Percy Sledge just died this week as well. It reminds me of the poems I wrote when love wasn’t working out for me.  Some of them were for the other person to let them know exactly how I felt, and some were just for me to vent my feelings, exorcising my own pain.  Lana can tell you that we once talked [after Sharon] and I was driving around East River Drive in the cold of winter with my windows down singing Lenny Williams’ “Cause I Love You.”  Kendra can tell you about the time I drove down to Sharon’s with a love letter and a bouquet of flowers, hoping to change the situation in my favor.  And Etta can tell you about a trip to New York in which I hoped to start anew.  You see, I have never been afraid to let it burn, because if you have those feelings, you can at least be honest about it.  Funny that “Loverboy” starring Patrick Dempsey came on the other day; this movie is one of those that really shows the fantasies of men.  I remember seeing it in 1989 at the opera house movie theater which is now a CVS at 19th & Chestnut Streets.  I can still remember that it was raining that day, a hurricane was upon us and a tornado actually appeared in Old City.

This song is one that is one that a short film if not a whole movie could be written just to have this song play at the correct time.  It’s like at the end of “Brown Sugar” when the song “Brown Sugar” which is based on Norman Connors’ “Invitation” plays.

So, I am going to let it burn.  I am going to think of all the loves I have had and all of the dreams and wishes with each one of them I have had.  And I am going to get down to my business.  I have already coined the term “fireplace” wine, so the next thing is to look forward to that time when I am with someone beautiful both inside and out and we are enjoying great wine, great music, a fireplace and each other.

Let it burn!

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