Say No To This

(A Laurens prequel to the real Say No To This.)

Laurens: I just got another letter,
G-d I thought that he’d get better now he’s married to Eliza,
She will make for him the best wife,
He’s so lucky to have her in his life,
I love him too well to bring them strife —
I gotta write him and tell him ‘no’
Tell him that we’ve gotta let go
Tear his heart from mine, we both gotta say ‘no’
I’ll be fine. He was never mine -

Alexander: You’re lyin’.

Laurens: It’ll ruin your reputation
Sodomy so high in the nation?
He ignores me, tells my frustration —

Alexander: It’s love, how can it sinful?

Laurens: The preachers all swear that it’s dreadful.
(speaking) Thou shalt not lie with a man the lyings of a woman —

Alexander: I never said we’d take it Eliza’s bed,
C’mon let’s head to yours instead.

Laurens: So he lead me to my bed,
let his legs spread, and said —

Alexander: Staaaaay.

Laurens: Hey ~
Lord, show me how to say ‘no’ to this,
I know I oughta say ‘no’ to this,
But, my G-d, he makes me helpless,
And my body keeps tellin’ me “Hell, yes.”
Do you know what my father will say if he learns what we’ve done?
He’ll say “I take comfort in the thought that I once had a son.”

Alexander: Give me the power to show that I love you by actions rather than words.

Laurens: Lord, show me how to say ‘no’ to this,
I know I oughta say ‘no’ to this,
In my mind I’m tryin’ to go,

Ensemble: Go, go, go

Laurens: But his mouth is on mine,
I do not say -

Ensemble: No!

Laurens: Yes!

Ensemble: No!

Laurens: Yes!

Nobody has to know.

Alexander: Yes.

Photo: "Theatre Gold"

This theatre was part of a facility for feeble-minded women, particularly between the ages of 16 and 45.  It was designed to detain, segregate, care for and train these women and operated from 1920 to 1998. 

Despite the hospital’s dark history, this theatre was quite beautiful. I loved the worn texture of the wooden seats, the missing tiles on the ceiling playing a game of Tetris and the beautiful massive windows with gaudy golden draperies. 


To be honest, there are people more passionate about Abolition than Mulligan and LaFayette. And Laurens knows them. He talks to them, exchanges letters. Hell, he’ll spar with them. Well, most of them.
But they aren’t friends. Not the way LaFayette and Mulligan are. LaFayette and Mulligan don’t expect him to be things.
Which isn’t true, really, but it’s the best way Laurens has found to describe it. Maybe it’s more that they don’t expect him to be different things. Maybe that’s it.
LaFayette stopped trying to hook him up with women after the third time it didn’t work, and with men after Laurens punched that one guy in the groin. Mulligan never even tried.
Which is funny, because they are more than half made of sex. Occasionally one of them will get unusually drunk and start groping him under the table, but he can always just get out from between them and see them redirect their attentions.
Mulligan teaches him the vilest of street fighting moves without comment on why he might need to know them, and LaFayette has acquired a knack for interrupting conversations just when they get awkward.
It’s — safe.
It’s odd, being safe. Being what people want him to be. Not having to check his words five times before they come out of his mouth. Not having every damn thing he says questioned and analyzed and turned against him.
It’s bizarre.
And when Hamilton shows up it somehow doesn’t change. Somehow, Hamilton fits in. He writes the way LaFayette talks, he’s risen farther from a poorer background than Mulligan, he knows more about Abolition than Laurens does, but he doesn’t — doesn’t expect them to keep up.
Doesn’t expect them to be the kinds of genius he is.
Laurens knows Hamilton fancies him, he’s not exactly subtle, but he takes his hands off when Laurens shifts away from touch, he’s patient. (Laurens asks, once, what he’s waiting for. “Whatever you’ll give me,” Hamilton says, and hands him the next book in the series.) It’s strange, having someone wait for him.
Especially Hamilton. Hamilton is never satisfied.
But he is safe.

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