...My first year of college was off the chain and so were the men. My older sister told me the scoop on the yard. She said, "Ok, your 1st year lay back in the cut and be everybody’s friend. Don't commit. Just have friends and be cool." I tried, but every flavor was represented and my taste buds had been opened early for more than one flavor at a time.
The Canadian boys were rich, fine, corny, and whores. The East Coast men had the doe, the cars, clothes, and the swagger. The southern men, like me, could play the male-belle role so that was no fun and the West Coast dudes - in my opinion just needed to date and mate the west Coast chicks . Trust, they were a different breed. But it was the tongue of an Islander, sweet like Melrose, bitter like Goldenseal no chaser, that hooked me in like a gullible, guppy fish. The Islanders were big pretenders, broke, and non-dressing with accents that melted the…
…After losing all my commissary shooting dice in prison, I sat by the six telephones on the wall in our dorm of one hundred and fifty inmates contemplating life and all its obstacles. I grew up Church Of God In Christ (COGIC), but as soon as I became insightful in things of the world, I began to explore and enjoy its evil trappings - the beginning of my downfall into the street life.
“Mac what’s up player,” my homeboy lil’ Hill hollered on his way to visitation. Contemplating interrupted.“I wish I had a woman to come see me and bring me money, give me sex, choke on weed and eat Porterhouse steak I hollered back. My Mom’s phone was turned off due to me calling collect all the time, so I really had no connection to the outside world, except when my homeboy’s came back from visitation and told stories of how much fun they had with their wives, sidepieces or their children. I didn’t have any kids, so that also meant I didn’t have a baby momma to come visit me.
Feeling desperate and in need of someone to talk to, I picked up the phone behind me on the wall and asked an off brand dude for the first three numbers of his area code. We called them other inmates from small towns OB’s for off brands because no one had ever heard of the places where they were from until we met them in prison. “My area code is 683.” I said thanks quickly and wrote down ten bogus phone numbers off the top of my head beginning with the 683 area code. My dad shot dice for as long as I could remember and brought home the change to prove it. He was a real hustler. So I knew a little about gambling and decided to take a chance on a made-up phone number hoping to reach a real dime.
I began with the 683 area code and then dialed the first number on my list. This is a collect call from Mac I said, will you accept? “Yes,” the woman on the other end said. Show time. “How are you doing today? My name is Mac, thank you for accepting my call it truly is a blessing to hear your beautiful voice on the phone. Who am I speaking with?” After all my macking intro, with a tinge of irritation in her voice she said, “Mac, how did you get my number?” I was quick to hit her back with this one. “God sent me to you through this new program called inmates keeping in touch with the free world. I need a friend in my life. I wanted to ask you to be my special friend. I am a single male with no kids, some college education…but enough about me what’s your name.” Disinterested but interested, she said, “My name is Lisa.” I asked Lisa to describe herself. Not that looks are the only thing that matter you understand, but I wanted to have a picture of her in my mind until we met. I needed to have a real vision of love after looking at OG’s, murderers, and thieves in the cage. “You sound so sweet and sincere. Thank you for accepting my call. It means the world to me. May I ask, are you married Lisa, any children?” With no hesitation she replied, “I’m recently divorced. My husband of 20 years cheated on me with one of his co-workers and we have a 20-year old son from the marriage and a Rottweiler name Lexus.” I quickly assessed the numbers in my head and knew I had a winner. She had been married for 20 years and her son was 20, that let me know she did it right…no babies and probably no booty before marriage. She kept one dog and got rid of the other; that let me know a dog can also be a woman’s best friend…so I was in.
…Me and Dewayne did something I had never done in any relationship prior to meeting him. We waited. And I was elated. Until the wedding night. After auditioning for the part and practicing the role, at curtain call on our wedding night he could not “perform” and begin to disclose things he should have told me at least a year and a half before this particular date, over coffee and bagels. Give me the opportunity to make a dramatic exit, customers gazing, coffee in tow. Instead I’m lying here stuck, married, stuck, confused, stuck, angry, stuck, stuck, stuck. How was I supposed to explain to my parents, family, and friends who had spent good money traveling – some of them crossing 10 states - to my wedding, thanks for coming if you wait a few hours you’ll make the annulment. I had never successfully practiced celibacy in a relationship and was excited about the prospect of doing it right, and even more excited about doing it right tonight. My West Indian temper was about to wreak havoc all over his East Coast temperament of nonchalance and seemingly cavalier attitude about his inability to rise for the occasion. God, how could I have been so blind. Unlike the men in my past he didn't jump my bones on the first date, and he never got out of line sexually, come to think of it, he never crossed the line sexually. A perfect gentleman. Too gentle, but a man...
…Don’t ever say never if you ever plan to never, eat your words. I was a never girl. Never leave home without makeup, Never leave home without my hair done. Never let em’ see you sweat and never, never, kiss and tell. Yet here I am. Pride and never are friends. And the Bible admonishes us to take heed lest we fall.
Somehow, being a part of Christianity can make you feel competent spiritually, even comfortable. Once you get comfortable in Christ, the downhill is in full effect. You know the syndrome, you think you are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing The Laodicea Complex. Been there, done that, and running out of fingers. They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again even though you get the same results, I was INSANE. Party, pray, party, pray. I wouldn’t party the night before church, but the other days were fair game and loaded with foolish carousing and drunkenness from the wee hours of the night til the break of dawn, and I was married.
Sometimes after hours of drinking, I would meet men and have inappropriate relationships with them. In hindsight of course I ask, “How could I ever have done such things, I was married for goodness sake. But while I was actively involved, it sure felt good to me. Unfortunately, they all disappointed me so eventually I found an alternative. Now before you say never, consider yourself and walk a little more in my shoes to see why I started walking the other way.
I was baptized at nine, but bumped into Jesus almost eighteen-years later. No, not at a party. Everybody wants to have that dramatic Damascus road experience where God knocks you off your horse and some supernatural, unexplainable, occurrence leaves you speechless. Yeah, right. But more often what actually happens is the still small voice corners you when you’re all alone and you and Jesus go head-to-head.
At 27 years of age, I had my one-on-one encounter with Jesus. I sat on the edge of my bed as Jesus and I began this strange dialogue. I was tired of my life. He had the keys to eternal life. The stop and go relationship of church, partying, and having a good time was wearing me out, of course He wanted me to cast all my cares on Him. I found out very quickly the fun was short-lived, empty, temporal and only felt good in an immediate sense. Once the moment passed, so did the fun. That night Jesus said to me “You have to make a choice!” I began to weigh the pros and cons of my lifestyle but my sinful life flashed in front of me instead. Believe me, when sin is apparent, there are no pros, only cons…
…I have spent a lot of time with Alex. The trip we planned for Miami fell through, so we spent most of the day, Friday chillin and getting to know each other better.
I made up my mind when I first met him not to sweat him, to give him space during his two to three week Christmas break. So on that personal understanding I went about my normal weekend activities of going to church and hanging out with my boys from church.
Still, Alex was on my mind most of the time because it was New Year’s Eve and I wanted to ring it in with him. He had already told me that he probably wouldn’t be free until after the new year rang in. Although I was disappointed, I was cool with that because it gave me a chance to catch up on sleep. The problem, however, was he never called again after that conversation to let me know the deal. Now I’m disappointed and hurt.
During my Sunday morning walk, I thanked God for the opportunity to meet Alex and then commenced to fill his ethereal ears with my feelings. I felt a bit weird expressing my hurt to God about this new thing in my life, especially knowing that He disapproves. Yet, I let it all flow because He said, “cast all your cares on me.” I did. Afterwards, I prayed for my family, Alex again, and my future plans. Since meeting Alex, I’ve been walking and talking with God a lot more.
I caught up with him later Sunday afternoon for lunch/dinner at a restaurant near the airport. He looked great. I had only seen him in sweats and t-shirts, but this time I was able to see the real Alex: gray slacks, wine loafers, black long sleeve button down, and chardonnay long sleeve sweater vest.
After dinner, I dropped him off and went to my Mom’s to chill. Then I scooted on home to fill out an application for employment at an assisted living facility. But before I made it home, I stopped at Target. No, actually I’m mixed up. I stopped at Target on my way to my Mom’s after dropping Alex off at his house. I remember because I picked up some flowers for my mom and a rose for him. I wanted him to know I was grateful for the time we had spent together.
I had planned to drop off the rose and a note at his place, you know, leave them on his windshield – classic romanticism, but opted to take them with me to the club that night; since I told Derrick I would go with him to see the show; and immediately after that I told Alex I would see him there since he had been asked by a friend to go also.
The crowd was scarce. The attention I received that night, however, was far from insufficient. One guy in particular continued to express how gorgeous I was, and once Alex made it and the patrons caught a glimpse of us together, it was done. Yet, I’m having mixed emotions about the progress of our relationship. Yes, I’m happy to know that Alex is interested in me; especially since I was nervous that he wasn’t, because he was being, or seemingly being elusive. It was funny to hear him say the other night that he didn’t think I liked him because I show him no affection. It was funny because the reason I had restricted the affection was because I thought that it would be unwelcome.
Saturday morning I had told God that I wasn’t going to deal with Alex anymore. I was going to give him three days and if he didn’t call within those days then I would leave it alone and continue on solo. The three-day ultimatum, funny, Jonah was in the belly of a fish for three days and Jesus was in the ground for three days. Since I was still on the run like my boy Jonah, I could hardly compare my three days of waiting to Christ’s in the grave. Anyway, he called at 8:23 p.m. I was shocked and excited. I remember telling him that I was happy to hear from him. Why? Today, I talked to God about my issues with rejection. I’m glad to know that Alex is interested, because if he had rejected me by not calling, I would wonder why and what was wrong with me. I would question if it was Father doing it, or if Alex had truly become disinterested.
I like Alex. So, where does that leave me? Where am I going from here? Where does that put me with God? I know He will love me even if I decide to go against His wishes and date Alex. I know that at some point in the future if I’m with Alex, our relationship will strain my relationship with God. It’s inevitable.
Alex spent a few hours with me at my apartment, yesterday. It was cool. After the conversation we had Friday night, or more like early Saturday morning, the unspoken restrictions we were putting on ourselves have loosened.
We talked about our futures, touched on our future, breezed over our past, and summarized a few idiosyncrasies about the other that we had noticed over the past three weeks. We also defined our relationship: Chillin’ with the hope of growth. Alex and I agreed on the realization that we were both looking for something long term. The difference, however, is that if this doesn’t work with Alex, then I am done. Whether that means I will go gung-ho for God again, begging for His forgiveness; or, I just chill and do my thing as a single man for the rest of my days, I don’t know. Because God still hasn’t promised me the life that I am hoping for, I know that I will have to accept what He feels is best and trust that it is what is best for me. But I don’t trust that, and I definitely don’t want to accept it.
So, is Alex a filler until I decide what to do?
No. He is a legitimate date; a serious suitor. I
expressed my sentiments about us to him:
What do you mean by that?”
“I bet you $200 I can have you,” I said.
He laughed. “Let’s get that money then.”
“For real though, I have a lot riding on you because if we don’t work out then that’s it.”
“That’s it...meaning you’re going to leave guys alone?”
I said, “Yes. Exactly.”
I know that things probably won’t work out. Male to male intimate relationships don’t work for the long run in my opinion. So, not only am I doubtful about where Alex and I will end up, but I’m also unsure as to whether I want to continue with God, even if Alex and I stop chillin’ today.
Do I love God? No. I care for Him, so I don’t like to hurt Him. I appreciate Him, so I try to do things that will please Him; things that He appreciates. I respect Him and in return I try to emulate Him. I enjoy Him, which makes me want to spend time with Him. I love things about Him, so like Peter, when asked if I will leave Him I reply, “Where will I go?” But, like the disciples that left after hearing the “hard sayings” of Christ, I think that leaving is best…
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