Forty-Five Is Not So Old By KYS

Forty-Five Is Not So Old By KYS


ChickenBones: A Journal

for  Literary & Artistic African-American  Themes




She tensed her thigh muscles when his fingers reached her clit. “Yes, yes,

I needed that,” she salaciously whimpered while throwing her head back

Feminism, Black Erotica, & Revolutionary Love



Books by Kalamu ya Salaam 


The Magic of JuJu: An Appreciation of the Black Arts Movement  /   360: A Revolution of Black Poets

Everywhere Is Someplace Else: A Literary Anthology  /  From A Bend in the River: 100 New Orleans Poets

Our Music Is No Accident   /  What Is Life: Reclaiming the Black Blues Self

My Story My Song (CD)


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Forty-Five Is Not So Old

By Kalamu ya Salaam 


It was 1:30 in the morning. Lucinda was half a jigger away from inebriated as she held a double shot of Seagram’s and 7up poised before her glossy, hot pink painted lips. Precisely at that moment, Lucinda made up her mind “since I’m going to die eventually, I might as well live tonight” which meant she was not going home alone tonight. In fact, she wasn’t going home at all, at least not to her own home.

Billy must of thought she was a fool. “Away on business” or so he had said with feinted casualness. Lucinda knew. Even as she had allowed herself to act like she believed him when he said he had to go to Portland for four days, she knew. Maybe he really did have some business to do there, but for sure he was sleeping with Sandra with her little narrow ass. It didn’t matter that Billy had left Thursday during the day and that Sandra was at work on Friday, answering the phone when Lucinda called on some pretense or the other. “I know something is up,” Lucinda mouthed right before the cool liquor crossed her lips.

Just thinking of that little 96 and three-quarter pound strumpet made Lucinda angry because invariably it made Lucinda think of when she weighed 115 pounds and was good to go, but that was at least eight years ago. Her eyes growing increasingly glassy, Lucinda silently surveyed herself in the large mirror behind the bar. “One hundred fifty-five pounds really wasn’t that heavy, besides I’m tall and have big breasts. How is it these little skinny wenches can get men so excited, what’s to it?

“Furthermore, the slut has buck teeth. What in the world could skinny Sandra possibly do for William James Brown that he likes better than what I do for him,” Lucinda wondered as she took another slow sip of her mixed drink. “I don’t look bad–for my age. Hell, in fact, it’s not really age. It’s experience. I look good to say I’m as experienced as am.”

Lucinda smirked as she thought how Sandra couldn’t massage Billy Jo’s feet like she did, then wash them in a little antique porcelain wash basin–I bet she doesn’t even own any antiques, dry them with a ultra-fluffy, teal-colored towel, and then slowly suck his toes as her fingernails crawled up and down the soles of his size eleven feet. And for sure, Sandra had no clue of some of the more simulating thrills Billy Jo’s big toe could arouse. 

Like when Lucinda felt really risque, really felt like lighting up Billy Jo’s little firecracker in her sexy night sky, after cutting his toe nails with a clipper and gently buffing the edges to a smooth evenness with an emery board, after washing them in warm water with a scented soap, after tenderly drying them and then sucking them as he lay back on their bed, after massaging his feet with baby oil, and as it got good to him, after all of that Lucinda would climb up on the bed and slowly stroke her pussy with his big toe, stroke it until she was wet. God, a woman didn’t know what she missing if she had never reached a climax with her lover’s toe tapping on her clitoris. What did that inexperienced child know about sophisticated lovemaking? Lucinda took a long sip of her drink.

Lucinda thought about how pleasantly surprised Billy Jo always seemed whenever she dropped in on him at work. With a toss of her luxuriously coiffured hair which had been crafted into a gleaming and glistening, jet black, lengthy, chemically treated mane which languidly lay across her shoulders, Lucinda remembered how it had been the last time she turned on Billy Jo at his office.

“Billy, I was in the neighborhood. I was on my way to that little boutique I discovered, you know the one I told you specializes in silk batiks and as I crossed Poydras I felt this twinge like a little spark of lightening.” He had looked at her partially annoyed but also partially pleased as she stroked his male ego. “I couldn’t wait. So…” she slid seductively around his desk, “I decided to stop here.”

Lucinda reached down and slightly opened Billy Jo’s bottom desk drawer. She propped her leg up on the edge of the drawer as she took his right hand and cunningly glided it beneath her skirt and up her thigh. Lucinda shuddered involuntarily as she expertly guided his fingers into the curly mass of pubic hair and the moist flesh of her mound. She tensed her thigh muscles when his fingers reached her clit. “Yes, yes, I needed that,” she salaciously whimpered while throwing her head back and squeezing her eyes closed with the same intensity as the forceful contractions caused by Billy Jo’s fingertips tap dancing on the head of her clitoris. Lucinda savored the first trickles of what would soon become a musky flow. And then his phone rang. It was intrusive Sandra reminding “Mr. Brown” he had an appointment in ten minutes.

“That’s enough,” Lucinda said pulling his hand away, “for now.” And then she remembered his astonishment as she bent over to slowly suck her moisture off of his fingers. “We can’t have you smelling like pussy when you shake hands with the movers and shakers of industry.”

When Lucinda completed tongue washing each finger, she reached into her mauve silk purse which hung by a silver metal shoulder strap dangling off her left hip. Moving aside her black satin panties which she had removed in the parking garage, she withdrew a pink linen handkerchief that was embroidered with her initials. Before she finished drying his fingers, there was a knock at the door.

“Come in.”

As Sandra entered, Lucinda ostentatiously finished her task with a flourish, waving the handkerchief, “there, all clean, all dry.”

After daintily refolding her handkerchief and replacing it in her brightly beaded pouch, Lucinda slowly kissed her husband on his clean shaved cheek, paused to close the bottom desk drawer and cheerfully called out to him over her shoulder as she sashayed past Sandra, “have a good meeting honey, we’ll finish ours tonight.”

Pausing at the doorway, Lucinda pirouetted coyly, “and Sandra, you have a nice day. Ok.” That little narrow-ass secretary didn’t know anything about how to administer sexual quickies.

While she was lost in the reverie of remembering the sexual games she often played with Billy Jo, an impeccably dressed young man sat on a stool one removed from Lucinda. Attracted by the resonance of his masculine baritone ordering a cognac, Lucinda turned to look directly at his massive profile. She sniffed and caught the faint whiff of an expensive cologne. He was ruggedly handsome.

“Hi,” she smiled at him.

He looked at her briefly. Lucinda saw the almost imperceptible survey flicker as his eyes started at her face, moved quickly down her body, strayed briefly to her behind–she sat up straight and slightly arched her back–and down her legs, and…nothing. He turned away without even responding.

She wanted to throw her drink at him. Instead she decided to annoy him. “I said, hello.”

He grunted, turned his head and pretended he was ignoring her. Lucinda hated to be ignored.

She got up, slid onto the stool next to him, and ignored his ignoring her. “My name is Lucinda.”


“And your name is?”


Oh god, what a common name, Lucinda thought, he probably doesn’t even have a college degree. Lucinda’s liquor continued the conversation, “Jawon, that’s nice.” Pushing her purse aside, Lucinda leaned forward on the bar’s leather lining. “Jawon, I’m conducting a survey. Would you mind if I asked you a couple of opinion questions?”

Jawon grunted without looking at her.

“I take that grunt to mean, ‘oh god, why doesn’t this old bag just leave me alone with her silly questions. I’ll answer one or two, but she better make it quick’.”

Jawon was slightly taken aback by her boldness. He turned to get a second look at this woman. Lucinda leaned back slightly, crossed her legs, and did not bother to tug down her worsted wool dress. Noticing her broad, soft calf leather, black belt with the bold, gold buckle, Jawon accessed she was probably some kind of leather freak who liked to tie down men or spank them with riding whips. Nah, it’s not worth it, was his final appraisal.

“If our ages were reversed,” Lucinda leaned forward again, bracing her flawlessly made-up face with the back of her exquisitely manicured hand, “If I was a mature man and you were a young attractive woman, would you be offended if I brushed you off without so much as a civil hello?” Sporting a self-assured smile, Lucinda looked directly at Jawon awaiting his answer.

Acid cruelly dripped from Jawon’s thickly mustached lips, “I think you ought to be at home baby-sitting your grandchildren instead of out here trying to rob the cradle.”

“Ah ha. Well, Jawon, ten years from now, I hope you’re not sitting on the other end of this question, and if you are, I hope the lady’s whose attention you’re trying to get, is just a bit more understanding than you are now. That’s all. You may go now.”

Jawon backed off the stool and walked away, leaving a dollar tip on the bar and no further acknowledgment of Lucinda. Lucinda turned to face the mirror behind the bar and in the reflection caught sight of Roderick, the genial bartender, standing discreetly to the side dressed in black slacks, crisply starched white shirt topped with a hand-tied black bow tie, and a black and white checkered vest highlighted by a metal name tag which mirrored the bar’s multicolored neon and florescent lit interior. There was neither smile nor smirk on Roderick’s lips, nor did his eyes give any indication that he had watched the drama unfold. Without bothering to look directly at him, Lucinda sat her drink on the dark wood of the bar and familially addressed Roderick, “Well, Rodney don’t just stand there. Freshen my drink, please.”

As Roderick moved toward her, Lucinda glanced at her watch. It was almost midnight in Portland. Lucinda mischievously decided to call Billy Jo and disturb whatever little excitement in which he was engaged. Before Roderick could pour the freshener, Lucinda waved him off, “Rodney, I’ve decided to go home instead of sitting here and getting my feelings hurt. Be the gentleman that you are and call a cab for me please.”

Lucinda never, never ever drove her white Lexus when she went alone to paint the town. A solitary woman cruising down the avenues late at night was like flashing a baked ham in front of hungry bulldogs. Any man that she might meet would pay more attention to her car than to her, and assume that where there was a Lexus there was a big bank account that they might access. Besides, it was safer this way. Not that she had ever done much more than flirt–just to see if she still had what it took to attract a man ten years younger than she. Most of the time… oh, why think about.

Pulling two crisp, new twenties from her purse, Lucinda waved them at Roderick, “I assume this will cover my tab for four doubles and also adequately provide for your well being.”

Roderick nodded affirmatively as he received the bills with a smile. His clean shaven head was oiled to a soft attractive sheen and were it not for the gaucherie of two gold capped teeth, Lucinda might have found him attractive as well as personable. “Will there be anything else I can do for you?” he asked Lucinda in a charming tone that implied he was both a trustworthy listener and a resourceful procurer.

Lucinda’s liquor got the better of her normal disinterest in what other people did or didn’t do. “Does diabetes run in your family Rodney?”

“Not that I know of. No, I don’t believe so. A little arthritis is all I’ve ever heard about, but then my folks are from the country, out Vacherie way. Don’t a day go by they don’t walk at least a mile and all their food is fresh, home cooked.”

“You’re fortunate, Rodney. Did you know the treatment for diabetes is deleterious to the libido.”

“So, I’ve heard.”

“Watch your diet young man, we wouldn’t want your libido going south before you’re sixty-five.”

“Ah, no mam. We certainly wouldn’t want that to happen.” Roderick had been idly wondering if she were single or out for a fling, or both. Without her having to say anymore he knew that she was grieving for a husband or lover who was no longer sexually active. Someone called to him from the other end of the near empty bar. Roderick waved an acknowledgment to the customer while he was wrapping up with Lucinda. “Is there a particular company you prefer?”


“Cab Company.”

“No. How would I know, I don’t usually take cabs.”

“Ok. I’ll be right back.” Roderick walked briskly down to the waiting customer, served him, reached under the register, pulled out his portable phone and rotely dialed the White Fleet number as he walked back to where the matronly woman sat.

“A cab is on the way. The dispatcher will ring me when they’re outside.”

“Such an efficient young man you are.”

“Thank you,” said Roderick with a bow of his bald head.

“Rodney, one more thing.”

“Yes. At your service.”

“Might, I use your phone to make a quick long distance call?” requested Lucinda while removing another crisp twenty from her purse along with the note page on which Billy Jo had written his hotel telephone number. “My husband would just love to hear from me at this particular moment.” Roderick took the twenty with his right hand and handed the phone to her with his left.

“Take your time,” Roderick said over his shoulder as he moved to the far end of the bar.

“Mr. William James Brown, please. He’s a guest.” Lucinda smirked at the thought of calling Billy Jo from a bar. “Hello, my lover. Where ever you are.”

“You know where I am. I gave you the number and you called it.”

“I miss you.”

“I miss you too, honey.”

Then there was an awkward silence as Lucinda waited for Billy Jo to indicate interest in her. And waited. And waited.

“Other than missing you, I’m doing all right, thank you,” Lucinda finally broke the silence, not bothering to mask her sarcasm.

More silence.

“I’ll be home late Sunday night.”

“Should I wait up?”

“You don’t have to.”

“Billy Jo why do you…” her words trailed off into a stiff silence. Something was in her eye, she paused to dab the edges of her left eye with the heel of her hand. “You know where I am now?”

“No, I don’t Lucinda. Where are you?”

“I’m sitting in a bar, but I would rather be somewhere with you.”


Something else was in her eye now. “Billy I just want to make you happy. Be good to you. Make it all good to you…” Lucinda abruptly stopped babbling. “You see you’ve got me babbling. Would it excite you if I told you I wanted you so much that we could make phone sex right now. And…,” Lucinda paused. “I started to say something really naughty but this is a mobile phone and anyone could be listening.”

Silence. The liquor kept her talking long after she normally would have stopped.

“I’ll be forty-nine next week and, in another four months or so, you’ll be forty-six, and that’s not so old. I was thinking maybe some other medication might…,” his silence was not making it easy. “Are you sorry that I couldn’t have children?” As Lucinda questioned Billy she instantly regretted saying anything and wished that he would say something. Anything. “Billy are you there?”

“Yes, I’m here.”

“And I’m not.”

“Lucinda, I think you’ve had too much to drink.”

“It’s all right. I’m catching a cab home.”

“See you Sunday night, honey.”

Lucinda held the phone to her ear long, long after the dial tone sounded following Billy Jo hanging up. As Lucinda lowered the phone from her ear, Roderick moved toward her. Before she could hand the phone back to him, it rang and startled her. She almost dropped it. Roderick grabbed it, also catching hold of her hand in the process of securing the phone.

“It’s ok, I’ve got it.” She left her hand nestled in Roderick’s as he used his free hand to expertly hit the talk button, shift the phone to his ear, and answer, “Hello.” While he listened to whomever was talking, Lucinda tightened her fingers on Roderick’s hand. “Thanks. She will be right out.”

Roderick hit the talk off button and leaned on the bar without trying to pull his hand away. “Your cab is outside.”

“Is it?”

“Yes, it is.”

“Rodney, you wouldn’t be interested…”

“I don’t get off until four and I’ve already promised…”

“Just kidding.” said Lucinda unconvincingly as she reluctantly released his hand. “Have a good night.”

Lucinda slowly descended from the stool, studiously attempting to maintain her balance and walk as straight as she could. Roderick shook his head, “the world is full of lonely people.”

Meanwhile, in Portland, Billy Jo lay on his side in the dark, Sandra firmly massaging his back.

“That was Lucinda.”

“What did she want?”

“Nothing. She was drunk.”

*   *   *   *   *

“45 is not so old” (Dark Eros, 1999)—”it’s in the anthology dark eros, but i think it is listed under a pseudonym that the editor used because he was also using some of my poetry and a rather long essay” (Kalamu ya Salaam)

An updated version of “Forty-Five  Is not so Old” was published in Robert Fleming’s 2004 Intimacy. That version is also online in Kalamu‘s new blog on WordUp.

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music website > writing website > daily blog > twitter > facebook >

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Guarding the Flame of Life

New Orleans Jazz Funeral for tuba player Kerwin James / They danced atop his casket Jaran ‘Julio’ Green

Audio: My Story, My Song (Featuring blues guitarist Walter Wolfman Washington)

*   *   *   *   *’s 25 Best Selling Books

For July 1st through August 31st 2011  


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Michelle Alexander Speaks At Riverside Church /  part 2 of 4  / part 3 of 4  / part 4 of 4

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From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery /

George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

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update 16 June 2008 




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