Tar Baby: Chapter 7
The narrative jumps forward. Son is wandering around New York City, not liking what he sees. Everyone seems in pain, and he thinks that the black people there are living inauthentic lives. He does not feel connected to them.
He went to New York several days after the Christmas dinner, with some money Jadine gave him and Gideon’s passport. Jadine plans to join him as soon as she can get a flight and see what Ondine’s and Sydney’s situation was, whether they were leaving or staying.
Son doesn’t know what to do in New York, so he just waits in the Hilton hotel for Jadine to arrive. He has no idea of where they are going to live or how he is going to earn money to take care of her and the children he expects them to have. He feels that he has been looking for her all his life and believes they have a future together.
In contrast to Son, when Jadine arrives in New York she is happy. She likes the city and feels at home there. She and Son spend four months in New York during the winter, staying in the apartment of one of Jadine’s friends who is out of town. They are happy together.
The news from the Isle des Chevaliers is that Sydney and Ondine appear not to have lost their jobs, although they remain unsure of their situations. Jadine did not tell them she was going to meet Son, and has promised them that she will send for them whenever they want her to, and the three of them can live together.
Son works at odd jobs in New York, but he insists that Jadine go with him to Eloe, Florida, the small town where he grew up.
Son is a complete misfit in New York, whereas Jadine thinks of the city as home. For four months, in the first flush of their love, they are happy together. Living in their own intimate, private world (“They could not concentrate on the given world”), their differences are glossed over. But the reader guesses that this romance, intense though it is, cannot survive for long. These people are from two different worlds, and sooner or later, the differences will surface. Morrison hints at complications soon to come by Son’s insistence, even during their idyllic period in New York, that they must visit his hometown in Florida. He has felt uncomfortable in her world; next it will be her turn to feel uncomfortable in his.