Monday, December 17, 2007
Blog Rewind (Unposted Blurb)
While not a part of my Tribe Of One series, this does parallels those thoughts to some degree. I wrote this post last week, sometime, either Monday or Tuesday, and had intended to publish it last Wednesday, but the icy mix came and then life skidded to a halt for several days. The post was to be entitled "This Is What You Need." Rereading segments, reminds me I need to listen to my own advice...
This is What You Need
Sometimes I'm a little too old school in my habits. I'm not one to deviate from a trained path easily. Perhaps this is a failing in my persona, but familiarity is far too easier than attempting to change. OK, this sounds bad, at least typing resonates uneasy feeling within. This might explain why my life occasionally derails and gets out of commotion.
I wonder. Is change as difficult for everyone? Apparently not. My friend EJ seems perfectly adaptable for any given situation change, flexible enough to roll with the punches and go with the ebb and flow. Hmm. How? Why? Well, he reads the Axe, so perhaps he'll be able to answer my query, but it seems enigmatic how some can go to one moment to the next, with little to no regard with changes. They simply accept it and gaily move forward. But how????
For me, life has been about learning to avoid change to avoid painful situations, even though the lack of change propagates discomfort and refuels a perpetual cycle of agonizing moments. Yet changing how I respond to crisis is difficult. Is not, then , the definition of insanity repeating the same behaviors and expecting different results?
OK, sure. We all have hurt at one time or another. We've all experience moments of sheer torture and embarrassment. So what do you do to get over it? Change behavior, right? Something so easily said is not necessarily easily done. Routine and familiarity are extremely comforting, more so than to risk taking a chance on the unknown. Life is scary, dammit! No one wants fo at it alone. When I was younger, I had the surroundings of my family and friends to help me through tough times. Now, as an adult, I still have family and friends, but most often I've been east into the belly of the beast, off to face Grendel on my own, armed only with a knife and folk as my weapons. Ah, yes.
Of course I still have the love and support from friends and family, but they also have their won lives and responsibilities. My friends, in part, all have families of their own to nurture and care for. Husbands. Wives. Children. Boyfriends. Girlfriends. Dogs. Cats. I have to sometimes wait in a long line holding a ticket for their attention. Yeah, I know, at 37 perhaps how it should be. I should be self-reliant enough to manage on my own. Yet, living alone, sans partner to call my own, I feel old age, hark middle age, setting in all too quickly. Eek! Mid-life crisis alert!
It's said men in their 30s begin to experience a crisis moment around 33-34 and have them about every five years or so, thereafter. Some are mild cases. Some become prolonged, full blown over the top moments, stirring the status quo. So far, I've been lucky. I've only had minor crises in my life. I'm due for a major episode some day soon. Be afraid, be very afraid...
Life has given me what I needed. God has been kind. Satan has been cruel and dastardly as per usual. Lately feeling alone, frightened, and helpless, I'm wondering when situations will fall into place where I can accept what is, what isn't, and move forward. When can I learn to change and accept it willing with a smile and like it?!?!? Will that ever happen? I hope so.
Pondering this, I'm reminded of something EJ asked me today over dinner. He asked if I ever considered dating someone who was different than me religiously. Someone, who say, perhaps is a little more conservative in their religious values than I? Without hesitation, I said "No." I'd never date anyone who was way over the top conservative Bible-Thumper. It simply wouldn't work. They'd want to fashion me into something different. Something more acceptable to what meets their standard. Sorry, no. If I'm not worthy and deserving to you as I am, right here, right now,no. I know a relationship could never work successfully.
There's a passage in the Bible that discusses about being "unequally yoked." Not until EJ posed his question, did this scripture give clearer meaning and understanding, especially to my answer. I admit, I never fully understood its meaning. I'd always believed it meant to put th Christian above the non-Christian, above everyone else, a "I'm better than you" meaning that a Christian could never deign to date someone who doesn't live up to snooty standards of living. Mind you, while I believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible, I don't necessarily call myself Christian. I believe Christ is our Salvation, but the association to other Christians, well they are too Puritanical in their thinking. They act too conservation, inflexible Republicans, and demand their way or the highway. Many have little compassion, warmth, understanding or love for others despite these ideals were central to Christ's teachings.
The concept of being unequally yoked is a protection, yes. But it is also meant to protect the non-Christian too. Why would anyone put themselves through the hardship, pain, emotional agony, spiritual conflict, to be together in a lasting romantic relationship, when their basic tenets conflict with one another? It seems moronic. I can cite too many examples of mixed religious beliefs couples that have nothing but tension to the core of their relationship. The conflict in values is just too overwhelming and overpowering. The unequally yoked passage takes up the position not just to defend the Christian lifestyle, but to shelter, no, protect others from the potential wrenching hurt, hardship, turmoil, and suffering that results from mixed matched religious pairings. Do you get what I'm saying?
Until now, I haven't mentioned him other than a passing word or two, but there is a new fella who I'm interested in. Interested in a big way. Let's just call him "Myjah," OK? It's not his real name, but close enough to it. Anyway, Myjah is different then most men I'm interested in. Scarily enough, he reminds me of EJ, but rest assured, I have no subconscious homosexual love angst for EJ. He's my friend. One of my best friends. My brother. We've known each other for 20 years and thinking about him in any sexual context creeps me out! Ewww! Like I said, he's my brother (no offense EJ, you know you all that, boy! LOL.)
Myjah. Yum. It's hard to give details when I'm purposely withholding accurate information (semi-anonymous, remember). My friends know how and where I met him. I'll leave to them to counsel me what I should do about that on-going situation. Another "don't go there" moment potentially.
Myjah is taller than me, about 6'2" and thin as Hell. I mean THIN. For those whose have been regularly readers of the Axe, you can gather the type of black men I'm attracted towards. Myjah definitely doesn't fit the bill. He's thinner than Mr. Napoleon, who definitely is one emaciated brother, in my opinion.He's dark complexion, perhaps a shade or two darker than EJ, keeps his hair cropped short, and has a cookie duster, peach fuzz, goatee, you see the younger boyz sometimes wearing. That's the most sexiest thing about him to me, that damn goatee. Mmm.
He's intelligent and has just enough "ruffneck" air about him to make him that "bad boy" type I'm always drawn to, but is level enough to has kindness and compassion to be down to Earth and smooooooth.At first, I was terribly afraid of him. Some guys, especially certain African American men, intimidate the hell out me. Why? Perhaps due to my past relationships with straight Black men. Read some of my previous posts, it's been all spelled out before. Straight Black men, those who would never cross the sexuality line, are threatened all too quickly by gay black men. I was afraid of Myjah, I guess, because past experiences in my life have taught me to be weary of men, men of any race , really, and Myjah came across as one of those boyz who taunted, harassed, and harangued me from grade school through college. Yeah, I got some deep emotional damage going on.
Don't get me wrong. I'm don't mean to overgeneralize. I don't classify every man I meet into the abuser role, I'm just apprehensive against most straight men, the group I've suffered far more abuse from than any other. Unfortunately, in my developmental and formative years, this abuse came from the hands and the mouths of young African American men, boys, really. EJ, in fact, is quite heterosexual, unequivocally so. Then again, EJ is a different than most black men and breaks many stereotypes. But no, Myjah did something to shatter my "straight fear" barrier and we've been talking up a storm ever since. What happened next was the blip on my sexual radar.
At first, Myjah didn't even ping on my gaydar. He's smooth, I've said that. It wasn't until he started letting subtle suggestions and gestures slip, that I recognized he might be gay. These subtle gestures aren't ones someone who is straight would pick up and tune into. I could be that he is straight, but at least "straight-acting" queer. Zooming in, I've been trying to ascertain hints on what the real deal is. Is he a gay black man? He doesn't project gay (please let's not get into a debate on how some projects gay, all you queers out there know what I mean). He definitely flies well under the radar if he is gay. But family always recognizes family in the end (see what I'm saying brothers and sisters!) Sometimes it just take longer to pick up on the truth.
The thing about Myjah, is if he is a gay black man, does he sublimate his sexuality through his faith and denies his sexual orientation? This is in part why I brought up the whole "Unequally Yoked" scripture reference. Myjah is religious. In one of our conversations, we discussed his heavy involvement in the Church. This made me groan! I've known far too many black men, GAY black men, "in the Church" who are "family" hiding behind the sanctity of the Faith, living in deep, deep denial. Is Myjah queer? I dunno yet, but I'm on a mission to find out. I'm certain he's gay.
He's been extremely friendly. Friendly to the point that it would appear he could be interested in me. There's no concrete proof, but a tingly gut feeling he might be interested. A gut feeling that won't go away. Now I've been down this path too many times before, mistaking people niceties as amorous advances. That is a change I'm WILLING to make because I don't wanna go on that journey again. The previous ones only lead to heartache and emotionally overwrought discomfort in unimaginable ways. I DON'T want to fall for Myjah only for the shit to backfire and blow up in my face. But yes, Yeah, I could see myself really falling for the guy.
Again, with my point, with being unequally yoked, Myjah is obviously more into his beliefs and faith than I. I've never been able to reconcile my faith and my sexuality into a cohesive whole. It's always been a one or the other type of deal. I've found that most African Americans can't reconcile homosexuality with loving Christianity either. They're anchored in belief its a sin and immoral. I won't open that can o' worm, just say I understand their thinking to a degree. I've been there. I can't bring myself to a whole on the issue. Sure I can't divorce my sexual tastes from who I am. I put faith, at least belonging to any organized Christian church, on the back burner. I don't feel comfortable in church, like others are judging me. "Poor faggot. Poor sodomite. He just hasn't surrendered his all to God yet." Maybe I haven't, but then again, you don't know how many times I've tried and failed. How many times I BEGGED God to make me "normal," to be straight like everyone else I know. Why would I choose to be different, suffer, live in anguish, to just sleep with men by a choice, to only be ridiculed and rejected??? To be a social pariah and outcast? Sexuality is not a choice!
12/17/2007 Note: This whole paragraph came back to bite in the ass in a major way on Thursday last week. When I blog about what happened, it will give a clearer understanding why I got upset because God ANSWERED that question, quite literally, plainly, and to the point. I will blog about that soon....
Realistically speaking, even if Myjah is gay, how much of a future could we have together? I'm getting way too old to be sneaking around, living my sexuality in secret because of my family. Even though I'm not out to my family, I live openly in my life I've established. My parents live two hours away from me, so there is no reason to pretend I'm straight. I don't hide my sexuality from my coworkers, friends, or associates. Yet, there's something about Myjah's faith I find troubling, that its so stronger than mine. I can't compete with that. It's a shame, though, because he seems like someone I need.
Napoleon was the first man in my life to give me acceptance and validation that I could be with another Black man, set down roots, and have a loving relationship, family, a future. Leoben, my good friend I don't talk about much on the blog (he reads this blog and because I use his real name, he'd be pissed if I talk about his fierce private life), though he's biracial, considers himself black, was the first man to teach me the value of self-acceptance as a gay black man and not to be ashamed of who I am. Yes, I still struggle with self-acceptance, but both Leoben and Napolen keep me uplifted whenever possible.
So coming full circle to where I started, what do I need? Should I take a risk, change habits, break preconceived notions, and go for Myjah? Do I allow myself to walk through the threshold of pain, guilt, and embarrassment, yet again? Then again, isn't that what love is all about? Taking chances? Taking the risk of having your heart broken? Isn't that what faith, after all, is about? Holding onto the hand of God, allowing Him to take control, guiding us into gentler, safe pastures?
I'm afraid these are all things I need. I like Myjah. I've asked God, however, that if this going to be another tortuous ordeal like the experiences I had with "Y-Not-The-I," Napoleon, Brother Soul-man, Sherrahn, Patrick, et al, to stop these feelings in their wake, now. But the thoughts haven't ceased. I honestly don't understand, don't know what to do. OK, so I still don't know exactly what I need....
12/17/2007 Note: I will reflect on this in a future post, but many of these queries and pondering got answered as I said on Thursday. Myjah's current actions may possibly be God steering him away from me. It hurts, but if this hurt will spare me the depth of pain I went through with other fellas I've been interested in, bring it on Lord! I'll deal with this pain than suffer that misery any day!
While this blog is not really intended to show adult content, I can't guarantee that an occasional image of male nudity won't appear. Be advised that this blog is intended to be read by people with an open mind. I don't claim any rights to the images nor do I have any knowledge of the sexuality of persons featured (unless they are openly gay...duh). Enjoy yourself and take a small step in my every day life and pondering... Feel free to email any comments or opinions.