It is nine o’clock and this is not how Jessica’s night is supposed to be going. For one thing, she is at home.
Home, technically, is not a bad place to be for Jessica. Many people would like to be in her home. It is on the tenth floor of a midtown building inhabited by young professionals adrift in their twenties, sailing aimlessly, blissfully unaware of the roaring sound of falling water and thin sliver of mist on the horizon. Her small lounge opens onto a west-facing balcony which, if she ever came home early from work would provide her with the sunset view which accounts for seventy percent of the apartment’s rent. A clean, modern kitchen Jessica has slowly filled with catalogue kitchenware remains picture perfect throughout the day; the surfaces have not seen active duty and stand at attention, waiting for the day when their owner will finally call upon them to serve more than a hasty cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of wine and a microwave meal late at night.
Jessica’s bedroom has Egyptian cotton sheets. On many nights the thread count has helped her to decide whether prospective members of the opposite sex are worthy of ruffling them. There have been nights when some lucky, and it has to be admitted, surprised man-boy¹ has found himself well on the road to sleeping with beauty and, as man-boys are wont to do, become too cocksure and done something stupid like Jackson Pollocking the toilet seat and painting her neat and ordered bathroom with the misguided instrument of said cocksureness.
If he cannot hit the bowl with the lights on he will not find the button with the lights off—that is a Jessverse. One of many Jessica has amassed in her young life.
Another Jessverse is that the man should not cometh before the hour. Literally. Because a contravention of the poetic adage often leaves her lying awake in bed long after the most recent object of her fancy is face down in the pillows, passed out from their brief dalliance, wondering whether the flirting, awkward conversation, fumbling hands, quick moral compromises, and short-lived sweating was worth it. Often it is not, so Jessica has, recently, compiled a list of man-boy transgressions² which, should they occur, not only serve to protect her dignity but also her precious bedding.
Because a girl can drop her standards every once in a while but Egyptian cotton judges you forever.
Tonight’s transgressors, though, are not man-boys. The objects of Jessica’s ire are The Girls.
In time, dear reader, you will come to know The Girls, spelled with a capital “t” and a capital “g” because they are facts and forces of nature, in much the same way gravity, light, and sound exist in the world around us. Whether one likes The Girls is really a matter of opinion. The man falling from the fiftieth floor of a building will call gravity a vindictive force; a light in the dark is a good thing when you have been walking towards it in a tunnel but a bad thing when you find out the tunnel is on fire; and the sound of silence can be quite loud when it follows a misplaced statement made by a heathen who is yet to accept Beyoncé as their saviour. The Girls are of that ilk. They are neither friend nor foe. They are just The Girls.
And they are the reason why Jessica is not particularly happy this evening. Because, you see, it is nine o’clock, on a Friday night, and she is at home. Grand plans had been made earlier in the day to go out partying with The Girls. They would have met up at Jessica’s apartment, gotten dressed, probably mixed some cocktails,³ and, after a couple of hours of laughter and swearing, they would have gone foxing.
Foxing, by the way, is exactly what you think it is except The Girls hunt with wolves because, as you may or not know, the best way to catch a fox is to put on sheep’s clothing and wait for the prey to approach.
But that was then and this is now. One by one The Girls cancelled, Jessica’s wing-women were shot out of the sky by fatigue from work, new Netflix releases, boyfriends, and lured into the inescapable soporific clutches of pyjamas.
So now Jessica is at home, all dressed up with nowhere to go. She is looking around her apartment, going into the kitchen and pouring herself a glass of red wine, and walking back to the lounge. She is kicking off her heels, and moving the small coffee table out of the centre of the lounge and making some space.
Now she is walking to her bedroom, wine glass in hand, fishing her MacBook from her suitcase, and setting it up on the coffee table, turning it on and connecting it to her speaker system.
And now Jessica is taking a small sip from her wine glass and scrolling through her playlists before settling on one. She is turning up the volume up with her right ring finger while the index hovers over the play button.
“Three things you should never waste: red wine, red lipstick, and a red dress,” she says to no one in particular.
With the newest Jessverse being added to the universe she presses the play button and prepares to dance to her own wisdom.
¹There is no such thing as a man—they all exist as half man, half boy hybrids.
²A list which, in Jessica’s opinion, should be adopted and ratified by every democratic country in the free world.
³ “Some cocktails”, in this instance, is used as a placeholder for any number between “This is yummy, what is this?” and “Crap, we’ve run out of mixers. We’ll have to hit it straight. When are we leaving, by the way?”
The Jessverses are the many wisdomous (totally a word) observations of Jessica, a not-so typical white girl living in a black man’s body. (Don’t ask how the biology works—you really don’t want to know.) If you think you enjoy seeing the world through her eyes wait until you hear it through her ears.
DURATION: 1 hour 17 minutes (21 tracks)
MOOD: Dance; party; no wing-bitches needed.
NOTABLE ARTISTS: Eve (Scorpion; Eve-Olution); Sugababes (Angels With Dirty Faces; Taller In More Ways); Mis-Teeq (Eye Candy, Lickin’ On Both Sides); Ke$ha (Animal; Warrior); and Lady Gaga (The Fame; Born This Way).