True Story©... Friends for Life

(I promise, this will make sense soon enough)


“Marlon…  Why does it feel like you’re setting me up for some shit?”
“Chill, Phlip, we GOT this…  I have a plan, dude!”


     My best-laid plans normally come from the WORST of places.  I don’t know if this is a good or a bad thing, but I s’pect it has a lot to do with why Marlon and I have remained friends for the last 17 years and I am sure that it is precisely where Moe Phillips came from.

     For all this time I have known Marlon, he has only “met” Moe twice.  I am more than sure that their first encounter is one of the major reasons we have managed to remain friends for so long despite the shit we have been doing to one another for so long.

     It was 2002…  I had just broken up with an ex.  It wasn’t an UGLY breakup so to say; just that she was not from here and when she graduated college, I was still in and her daddy had already paid for her to go to Law School in Texas.  We made shit work long distance for a while, knowing she would be home every couple or few weeks/months or so, but even then “home” was Charleston SC, still 4 hours from here.  We made it a little over a year before fairness and the fact that we were still only 23 at the time took over and the distance killed us.
Quite literally.  I was not me for a while, I didn’t think it was so visible in my day-to-day, but one day Marlon cornered me at work…

Marlon: “What’s good man?”
Me: “Not shit, whatup?”
Marlon: “What that bitch done did?”
Me: “What?”
Marlon: “You mopey as fuck, my G.  Seems like you done picked up Ice-T’s 100th problem, homie.”

[Phlip note: The Black Album was still about a year off but Home Invasion was already 9 years old at the time]

Me: “Man…”
Marlon: “I’m right, ain’t I?”
Me: “… yeah.”
Marlon: “What happened?”
Me: “Nothing ‘wrong,’ just she had to go to Houston and shit ain’t working right.”
Marlon: “Y’all broke it off?”
Me: “At least until the distance can be closed up.”
Marlon: “So--…  And before I do this, you ARE ‘single’ now, right?”
Me: “Unfortunately, man.”
Marlon: “Cool…  Friday is payday.  We both off, hit me when you get out of class and we gon' spend the weekend painting the town white.”
Me: “You mean red?”
Marlon: “Nah, n**ga, we painting walls!”
Me: “What?  OH!!!
Marlon: “Right…”
Me: “Bet”


      Okay, so it is Friday: 1:40pm…  I hit Marlon with a text as I walk to my car from class.  It took the WHOLE-ass walk on that fucking Nokia 8265, but that is a ghosts-of-non-smartphone-past nightmare that we will not revisit right now.  He responds that he is in the barber shop and will hit me when he finishes, that I would meet him at his crib and he would drive for the rest of the night.
I grab some lunch and go home to let Dutchess out, not knowing when anyone else would be home to do it.  I showered up, chilled out on the couch and this giant red dog decided to lay in my lap.  Naturally, we fall asleep.
[Phlip note: FUUUUUUCK, I miss that dog!]
FOUR FUCKING HOURS later, my phone rings, waking me from my nap…

Marlon: “Ni*ga, where ARE you?”
Me: “At home, man!”
Marlon: “I’m ready, man.”
Me: “Um, I got no missed call, no texts.  Don’t be--…  Fuck it, I’ll be there in a minute.”

     Sneakers on, into the blue coupe and over to his house.  His cousin was hitting the road with us this particular night.
Marlon has ALWAYS seemed to know where the loosest of strumpets would be congregated, so he made friends with security and promoters at those locations and basically had a hookup at the BACK door.  This night, we wound up in a smallish bar under a HUGE hotel with a great DJ and a heavy-handed bartender whose hand only got heavier with better tips.

     So here I am, 4 drinks deep this young lady comes over and asks me to dance…  I don’t dance worth a shit, but alcohol does, so I gave it a puncher’s chance with her.  We stayed out for a couple or few songs before she went back to her friends in their booth and I returned to mine at the bar.
Unbeknownst to me, Marlon had been in the bartender’s ear and sent her two of whatever she was drinking “on ‘me,’” and paid for it and it was not to be taken to the table until she returned.  Waitress delivers, she sits and stares at me for like 20 minutes while the homies and I basically just kind of picked on each other and spoke with people we knew passing by.  When the crowd in our orbit dissipated, she came over and sat with me.
Marlon was sitting on the other side of the table.

Her: “Hi!”
Me: “Oh, hi!”
Her: “Thanks for the drink.”
Me: “…”

Marlon kicked me…

Me: “NIG--…  Oh.  You’re more than welcome”
Her: “I’m usually kind of shy, I never ask a guy to dance, my friends made me get up and come over to you.”
Me: “Well shit, should I send them a drink?”
Her: “Haha, not necessary.  What’s your name?”
Me: “Moe…  My name is Moe.”
Her: “Well it’s very nice to meet you, Moe.  I’m Melanie.”

Marlon, being no dummy, and respecting privacy, stared for a moment after the "Moe" thing but eventually left the table and bellied up to the bar, leaving us to some privacy.
Sparing you the gritty details of the conversation, she actually paid for one of MY drinks and we exchanged numbers and we danced a couple more times before last call and the bar closed.  She kissed me on the cheek and we went our separate ways.  Marlon gave me a pass on Saturday night since I had met someone on the first attempt on Friday.

Sunday, we’re back at work.  Sundays were ALWAYS slow, so it was basically 8 hours of sidebar conversation…
Marlon: “Phil…”
Me: “You know better than that, n**ga, Phil is my pops--…”
Marlon: “THEN WHO THE FUCK IS MOE?!!?”
Me: “Moe Phillips, man!”
Marlon: “Who is that?”
Me: “My alter ego.”
Marlon: “W-why?”
Me: “Phillip [redacted] has shit to lose.  Moe Phillips can swing for the fences.”
Marlon: “You don’t ACT like a dude that has had one steady girlfriend for the past two and a half years.”
Me: “I do act like a dude that still knows how to hunt.”
Marlon: “Respect.”
Me: “’preciate it.”
Marlon: “So what happened with her.”
Me: “She text me soon as I left your place Friday night/Saturday morning.”
Marlon: “Word?!”
Me: “I mean, like she had a lowjack on my whip or something.”
Marlon: “Haha, then what?”
Me: “I didn’t go straight home.”
Marlon: “Aww shit!  That’s what I’m talkin’ bout!”
Me: “Ha”
Marlon: “So--…”
Me: “Yep!”
Marlon: “Damn!”
Me: “…  her roommate too.”
Marlon: “WHAT?!!?”
Me: “We finished, I went to the bathroom in her room, she went to the bathroom in the hallway and her roommate stepped out and talked to--…”
Marlon: “GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE!”
Me: “… and she came in and told me her roommate wanted to play too.”
Marlon: “So you go from Keith Sweat to pulling threesomes in three days, why ain’t you CALL m--…”
Me: “No, I did the roommate in her own room, they didn’t get to play together”
Marlon: “Again I ask… And you ain’t CALL me?”
Me: “Think about it, would YOU be able to think straight as this shit is happening?”
Marlon: “Point, but let me ask you this.”
Me: “Shoot”
Marlon: “What if y’all wind up feeling each other and wanna do it again, you just gon’ become Moe every time you go see--…”
Me: “Marlon…”
Marlon: “What?”
Me: “You think I got a future with a woman who basically farmed out my dingaling to her roommate the first night we met?”
Marlon: “Wow”
Me: “I think I could let Moe handle this one for as long as it might last.”
Marlon: “Smart man.”

     While me and Marls had known each other for about a year and a half and were decently cool, the only thing we had done outside of work to that point was playing basketball.

     That he could have even been bothered with FORCING me back to my feet after that shit was big, even though we were both WRONG as fuck for our actions compared against his intentions.  Marlon and I have been close enough since then that even my brother refers to him as our brother.
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