I met up with a new but really good friend today. He was leaving town for good and even though he had a million things to do, he wanted us to meet up. We met up, walked around – which involved lots of meandering through throngs of tourists and avoiding been run over by cyclists who would knock down an old lady in a minute without remorse since they are really the ones “saving the world” and “creating green energy”. At the end of the evening, he hugged me and said he was proud of what I had managed to achieve in the past 18 months. I brushed it off but when I got home, I realised that I am constantly looking forward, constantly thinking about how to advance my goals that I never stop to celebrate the things I have managed to do. So today I opened a bottle of bubbly, a gift that I received at Christmas and drank it down alone, while listening to Seal, who happens to be one of my favourite artists and whose song supplies the title to this post. While I’m the first to list the disadvantages of drinking alone, today is a ME day. And I’m not going to be apologetic about it.
While it may be a normal/boring/crazy/terrible day for you, have a drink today for me, to the future.
You know when a one-night-stand who’s left town for good calls you, it’s not going to be a good morning. That was exactly what I was thinking when a man I had spent a lovely night with called me on my way to work, effectively turning an already grey London morning even greyer. After exchanging pleasantries (it’s England after all), he told me he had tested positive for an STI and I should get checked out. Read the rest of this entry »
While having a much-needed tea break in a nearby café just before closing, I ran into a friend and colleague I hadn’t seen in a few months. We’d become friendly after we collaborated on project but when the it ended and we went back to our departments, we never seemed to find the time to meet up. It was unfortunate as I enjoyed her company and she was one of the only gay people at work I was friends with. However I wasn’t out to her. She once described me as “the straightest” straight man she knew. While I was amused, I wasn’t sure I liked that description especially the frisson of pleasure I felt when she said it. Did that mean I was completely boring with no redeeming qualities? Was the fact that I felt some pleasure inside mean I was still clinging to the hetero-normative ideas of manhood and had a problem with feminine qualities I or other men possessed? Read the rest of this entry »
I heard of a young man (within two degrees of separation), handsome and smart who committed suicide by shooting himself with his father’s gun. He had been troubled, sad, frustrated and felt he had no one to talk to. He cloaked his inner turmoil in humour, cleverness and life-of-the-party-ness. When he couldn’t handle it any more, he stopped.
For a while I’ve felt overwhelmed. I feel the weight of having to be responsible. Friendly. Sensible. Lacking the African shoulder chip. Feeling worthy of something when I know I didn’t put in enough work. Having to be capable. Smart. Funny. Fun. Caring. Confident. Knowledgeable when I feel like a fraud.
And I’m tired. I don’t want to see another therapist. Sometimes I feel I learned much more of psychologists than they ever did of me. How they attempt to shape your treatment based on what they think is right for you and not what is actually right – if ‘right’ actually exists. How they live vicariously through your own experiences. But I’m so tired of having to wear masks everyday. I want to run away to a place that I don’t have to be polite. Responsible. Sane. Reasonable. Friendly. I want to ride the wave of the anger, joy, happiness, irrationality, redness, light, darkness, weakness, power, nothingness that I feel rising higher and higher inside me and see where it takes me. I want to retreat so far into myself that the world ceases to exist. I don’t want to wear a mask today.
But I fear that if I give in, I will never find my way back. I cannot afford that. And so as I put on another mask and leave home, I believe everything will be okay.
One of the issues that has come up during talks with my psychologist is my hidden desires. We agreed that it was time I explored some of them. As I found myself caught in a wrestler’s sleeper hold a few days later, feeling dizzy but tapping away frantically on the floor, I doubted this was what either of us had in mind. Read the rest of this entry »
Over Christmas I got a call from my ex. Not my ex-boyfriend who I’ve talked about many times but the last girl I dated. Even though it has been a more than few years since we broke up, we are still in contact. Though we don’t chat often, when we do it’s always long, rich and interesting. We had been good friends before we started dating and we still had that friend connection. One of the things she said as she ended the call was how good she felt that we had remained friends, that our brief relationship made us drift apart and she looked forward to continuing our friendship. It made me remember our last month together. Read the rest of this entry »
When I started this blog, there were three things I wanted to write about. I just managed to talk about one. Some of these things have been kept inside for such a long time that now that I can talk about them, I can’t find the words to do so. At such times I wish I had the writing skill that Clare Flourish and Ricky possess. They have a way of talking about their experiences in such a frank, real, human way that I sometimes feel as if I’m a part of it. I have started this post many times and I still cannot include many things because I’m not ready to talk about them, even to myself.
Years ago my mother asked me if her working so hard when we were young was worth it. It was a very unusual question because she isn’t someone who doubts herself very often and when she did, she generally wouldn’t come to me. I told her then that her sacrifice was worth it but I was lying. The truth is that back then I didn’t know. Growing up, both my parents worked super hard to take care of my siblings and I. A lot of the things they had to do wasn’t apparent back then but with the eyes of an adult, I see how hard it must have been for them and I love them even more. One of the reasons I couldn’t give her an honest response was because I went through an experience as a child that no one should ever go through. Read the rest of this entry »
I spent sometime in DC recently and had quite a bit of fun. My friends took me to the clubs which were nothing short of phenomenal, filled with some of the most beautiful men I’d ever seen. And the gogo dancers! They were packing some of the biggest meat I’d ever seen up close. My mind kept screaming “they are naked men in the club!” as my eyes bulged at the never. I tried to chat up a couple of good-looking men but was shot down every time. I decided to concentrate on having a good time with the friends I came with. To complete my DC experience, one of the guys took me to an old, nondescript building with a big parking lot which was so full that we eventually had to park on the street after going round a few times and fighting for spots with a couple of other cars. I kept wondering what exactly was going on inside and making the place so busy. I repeatedly questioned my friend but all he gave me was a very secretive smile and three words: just be patient. When we finally got in (after standing in line for fifteen minutes mind you), I found myself in a seedy house filled with small dark rooms, winding corridors and glory holes. What really surprised me was that the building was filled with the guys I’d seen in the club who had acted like they weren’t interested in talking to anyone. Now they were all smiles and touchy-feely, patrolling this joint like police men on red alert. I’m not sure why this bothered me so much. It’s almost like these guys felt too proud/ashamed/insecure to talk to themselves in public (public here meaning gay bar) but would go to such dark places where they could have sex without knowing/caring who they were having it with and forget about it tomorrow along with the fact that they may not have used condoms. I kept wondering why such places exist, after all being gay is legal already. What is it that is so attractive about mindless hookups? Was HIV eradicated while I was sleeping? Am I really that vanilla that I don’t get it? Is being gay still a problem for gay black men in the US? Why would anyone choose this over something more meaningful? Even with all the problems I have had with my relationship, I would still choose it over this.
Different strokes for different people. Then again, what do I know, I’m not African-American and I don’t know the struggles they face. I’m glad I had this experience though.
A few months ago, someone started thread in an web-based group with this question. He then followed by stating that he did not think any GLBT should be allowed to raise children. When questioned further, he said he didn’t have any reasons, this was his “gut” feeling even though there is existing evidencecontrary to what he believes. On a regular day, I wouldn’t have cared about this sort of nonsense but what angered me the most was that this was a gay group and this guy was very gay.