Emergency 

Call me psychotic. Call me obsessed. But I had to write an emergency post bc tonite is the nite‼️ Red Flamingo’s bday party is tonite and I’m. Freaking. Out‼️‼️ My friends tell me I’m overreacting and not to worry about The Scientist bc he’s already moved on. Right‼️ That’s part of what hurts so much‼️ The feelings were one way. It tore me up so much I told all my friends and even acquaintances. I really am crazy and spill the T to anyone (my business that is). Either way Ima be hurt tonite. Bc if it goes badly, that’s gonna suck. If it goes well, then Ima be angry that he cut me off without a word for so long and then decided to be nice. Now I’m just repeating what I said last time. But no. Cordial and polite is all that it can be. Beyond that will just not be fair. I’m expecting heartbreak all over again. Especially because I poured my soul out in a letter that prolly came out even worse sounding than what I’d originally said. Fuck‼️ But Ima be strong and confident and cheerful and fabulous and me‼️ Secretly there’s part of me that would love to meet his other friends tonite and have them love me and make him jealous‼️ But I can’t be petty. And I can’t be angry. We are adults and he made an adult decision that was best for his adult life. Not mine. But maybe in collateral it was best for me too. So stop freaking out‼️‼️‼️‼️

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afterTHOT: Not So Magical

I am about to break my promise again, but as we draw nearer to Red Flamingo’s bday party on Saturday, I’m FREAKING OUT. I know I said I wouldn’t bring up The Scientist again, but shit, how can I not think about him.  Am I psychotically obsessed?  No, right?  I mean it makes sense that I’d be freaking out about seeing him for the first time in 7 months.

I have to be the best version of me: I have to look fabulous, be cordial, not be fake, be sweet, have fun, and look like I’m full of life. He needs to see what he’s missing.

I’ve played out a million scenarios in my mind of how it could all go. Of course I want us to run back into each other’s arms, but the fact of the matter is that’s not going to happen. I mean, c’mon, he ain’t even corresponded with me one single way for over 7 months now‼️ I’m a monster to him. And then if it does go so well that we converse and have a great time together, that won’t be fair because of the fact that he ain’t wanna mess wit me for over 7 months.

I realized this will be the first time we hang out together in a group of friends. So will I see a different side of him?  Red Flamingo keeps telling me all kinds of things that make him seem way cooler than I already thought he was.  There’s so much he didn’t reveal about himself.  Either that, or he lied about shit.  I don’t want my other friends to finally meet him and realize just how cool he is and then think that I’m a jerk.  They won’t because they’re my friends.  But FUCK!

This will also be the first time that we will be out together and I won’t be going home with him. That’s gonna be super hard. I feel like this weekend is going to be heartbreak all over again‼️ I’m not ready. I’ve been hoping for 7 months now that I’d see him again, but this is going to be so hard‼️ I literally took the following Monday off of work for a mental day. Fuck. I am completely mental, aren’t I?

But we’ll still have fun bc we’re there for Red Flamingo’s bday!  It’s all about him.  It’s not about me or The Scientist.  But how do I interact?  My friends tell me to keep it short and sweet with my answers and conversation.  But I can’t let it be about me on my friend’s bday.  Even though he’s not gonna live past 28!  We gon win dat game, but Red Flamingo ain’t escaping that room…because Ima kill him!  Ha!

FullSizeRender (3)I asked the Magic 8 Ball app if I was going to be heartbroken all over again, and of course its response was matter-of-factly “Yes, for sure.”  Have any of you ever been in similar situations⁉️ Do you have any advice⁉️⁉️⁉️ I thought my Age of Heartbreak was over.

The Scientryst: Epilogue

Okay, so something went wrong in my editing between my phone app and the desktop.  I like the last post The Scientryst: A Reflection, but I also like some of the insights I included in this post (they were supposed to be the same post).  So I’m going to post them both, please excuse any redundancy.  

So I needed one more post to reflect upon the emotions I have been feeling for the entirety of 2017 thus far.  Forgive me if it’s a little lengthy.  Then I will officially say goodbye as these thoughts are not only getting on my friends’ nerves, they’re even bugging me!

I feel somewhat guilty at the fact that I’m more hurt over The Scientist than I have been over The Ex of 12yrs!  But then again, The Ex and I had a few years to fizzle out and come to terms with the breakup.  And the situation with The Scientist was so SUDDEN and UNEXPECTED!  And he’s the first person to ever cut me off!  EVER!  It’s essentially the first time I’ve been dumped (even though we weren’t a couple).  And sure, it sucks when you get rejected in the club or online, but it’s not the same when you don’t have some feelings or a rapport with those people.  This is really hard for me to deal with.

At first I wondered if I was just seeing The Scientist to avoid my troubled home life with The Ex.  But then I realized once I no longer had him, I actually did like The Scientist.  Sure, I probably was using him to escape The Ex, but I was also seeing him because I really liked him.  I miss the way his body felt in my arms.  I miss the way his arms felt around me.  I missed our conversations and the fact that he liked documentaries.  I feel psychotic!  Literally, I can’t get him off my brain.  I’m obsessed.  Now I can understand (somewhat) how stalkers are created!  How could I give him so much power over my thoughts, though!  Sure, I made a mistake, but he doesn’t deserve my every thought.  And I prolly don’t even cross his mind. But did I deserve to be cut off so easily?  How could he do it so easily?

I even sent him flowers FullSizeRender (2)a few months after he returned from his biz trip because he was still (is still) on my mind.  I wrote him another card to go along with it and had the florist custom make a vase arrangement for me and deliver them to him.  He never even responded to that.  I prolly wrote all the wrong shit in that last letter too.  I was open and honest as I always was.  I even called him out on some stuff which maybe wasn’t the right approach, but none of the other approaches worked either, and I knew this would prolly be the last time I ever “communicate” with him.

Was it a cop out?  A lot of my friends think it was.  I mean, it had to be right?  I mean, I wasn’t worth a conversation to him?  And sure, black people are oppressed and micro-aggressed on a daily basis, so I’m sure it gets tiring to “educate” people.  But the worst part is, I didn’t need an education.  I am “woke” enough to know what’s inappropriate.  And he has every prerogative to choose the people in his life.  Especially as an adult.  I envy his ability to do it so easily.  I’m realizing I have more trouble letting go than I realized. Especially if I feel guilty (example: 12yrs in a relationship that ended toxic). Some friends think he secretly already had a boyfriend, but I was with him enough to know that prolly wasn’t true.  And now that Red Flamingo knows him, every time he tells me a story about him, it just confirms how sweet, cute, and classy The Scientist is.  While I continue to realize how trashy I was.  And I’ve always been known as a classy person to my friends.

So how did Red Flamingo meet The Scientist? Well, let me set up the story a bit. I met them both online around the same time last year. And ironically they both share the same uncommon name. In fact,  I met three people online with that same name in the matter of a month. And now a name that I pretty much never heard pops up everywhere in my life these days. So maybe it’s not as uncommon as I’d thought. And it’s usually a family name it seems. Anyway, so after The Scientist cut me off, the situation inspired me to write about it in a storytelling festival shortly thereafter. I had explained the situation to Red Flamingo as a friend but then he came and watched me perform the story which gave him a little more background. That was a Tuesday. That Friday, Red Flamingo went to the burbs on a black gay men’s retreat. We texted throughout that next week and made plans to do happy hour the following Friday. We met at one of our fave places downtown with the best deals. And as usual there were about 8 of us in the booth. And Red Flamingo and I were stuck in the middle. We were chatting and he was telling me about the friends he made at the retreat which was so exciting because he’s a little shy and socially awkward. He’d be the first to admit it, so I was super excited for him‼️ He then tells me that he was meeting them all for brunch that Sunday. Super exciting. He then proceeds to tell me about the guy who was organizing the brunch and starts describing him:

RF: He had long, beautiful, kempt dreadlocks.

Me: (playfully mournful) Oh, like my Ex Lovah!

RF: He has beautiful artistic tattoos too.

Me: (realizing the irony) Oh. Also like my Ex Lovah.

RF: And he’s a scientist.

Me: (actually mournful) Oh my fucking god. That IS my Ex Lover‼️

RF: No, it can’t be. And ironically he has the same name as me!

Me: (certain now) Omg, yes that’s him.

RF: No! (then he tells me the last name)

Me: Yes. I’m telling you that’s him.

RF: No‼️ Let me show you on Facebook.

Me: No. I’m telling you that’s definitely him. (shows me anyway) Yep. That’s him.

Then I excused myself to go upstairs and get my stuff from the office (I work in the same building where happy hour was). I had to scream at people to let them know the urgency of the situation because I certainly didn’t want to start crying in front of all my coworkers in a packed bar‼️

This sucks!  I literally turned him off. Gross!  Like something I did made us go from hot and heavy to nothing at all!  DID I SCARE HIM OFF EVERY WHITE GUY?  Did he finally decide to give a white guy a chance and I just proved him right that we’re all awful stereotypes.  Am I that white boy his mama always warned him about?  I mean, all of his friends that I know of are black.  He even went on that black gay men’s retreat shortly after our “breakup”.  This experience has inspired me for a story in a storytelling festival; it’s made me reevaluate the person that I am; it’s made me look back at our entire time together and question everything; it’s made me nervous that I’m totally misreading any signs that a guy gives me now; it inspired me to make a PUBLIC apology on Facebook where I called myself out on my white privileged bullshit.

Literally everything reminds me of him. We had so many inside “jokes”. And one of my best friends has the same name as him. How do I move on when I see his name pop up every time Red Flamingo texts me (which is everyday).

How do you rebound from the rebound?

Reflections

This weekend was full of more than just Professional Development opportunities; it was packed with Personal Development opportunities as well.  Friday night was a celebration for Bayard Rustin’s centennial at UIC.  I learned a lot about a man who was behind the scenes in many Civil Rights events.   I think it’s easy for theatre people to relate to someone who’s not always in the spotlight, but is always part of the show.  I could also relate to him on a personal level.  He fought for black and gay issues in a time when that was taboo.  I happen to be a gay man who is dating a black gay man, so the topics surrounding these issues of homophobia and racism are a regular presence in our lives.  I also could relate to Rustin because he spent a while in the prison in Ashland, Kentucky.  I grew up in Kentucky, and went to college just outside of Ashland, so I know how people from that region behave.  Not that I know how the behavior becomes heightened in the prison, but I know it stems from the same hatred.

Bayard Rustin fought to make it easier for my generation to come out and be proud.  But I didn’t grow up without challenges.  After helping the Y make decorations for a high school Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) dance, I saw how much easier this new generation was having it as well.  Not to say they don’t face bullies everyday, but the fact that they can even consider coming out at age 14 means we’ve come a long way as a society because of fighters like Rustin.

Because of the Centennial event, I had to switch my shift working at the shelter to Saturday night.  Of course, many of these young adults are kicked out of their home for being LGBT.  This also put a different perspective on the past, present, and future of gay society for me.  These kids are not as privileged as those in the GSA, but are they really so different?  They too have people at home that don’t accept them.  They too build new families amongst their peers.  One of the most difficult parts of volunteering at the shelter this weekend was running into one of my previous students.  Could I have helped prevent this child from becoming homeless?  Or did I do enough by instilling passion for the arts in him?  That’s all we talked about–his continued involvement in theatre, and his future plans for school.

I also had the chance to network with another passionate group this weekend.  The hosts of the event were so friendly, and I would love to get involved.  But despite our common passion, it’s just too soon to jump into something so similar to what I recently had to give up.  It was almost like looking into a mirror ten years from now, and so I knew I was being tested by the universe.

I’m not quite sure if I’m walking away from this weekend with the right lessons, but I know I’m walking away a little wiser.

 

Missed the Mark by a Hair

Sometimes it can be totally boring sitting around at rehearsal when you’ve not got much to do.  This has been the first week my Hair/Make-Up crew has been called to Brillianteen rehearsals.  It’s so exciting to be backstage and practice quick changes and play with the cast’s hair!  It’s also great to see all the budding talent.  We definitely have some stars in our midst.

Since I’m advising the hair crew, I decided to print out some pictures of 1950s icons and hairstyles.  I must admit that I only Googled the images because I didn’t have time to sneak away to the library to do some hardcore digging.  Immediately, pictures of Elvis and Marilyn popped up of course.  I switched the words around a bit in the search engine and a few more idols such as Liz Taylor and James Dean appeared.  I came across a photo of Dorothy Dandridge and quickly copied it because I realized that she was the only African American I had found from the 1950s so far.  I didn’t want to not represent other races on my poster, especially because we’ve been trying to encourage students of different ethnicities to enroll in the Brillianteen program.  But when I Google variations of “African American hairstyles in the 1950s,” you’d be surprised at how many pictures of WHITE PEOPLE show up!  I was blown away.  So I continued my search for various hairstyles and lost track of trying to represent all my students–my main focus was searching for HAIR because the same hairdos were popular for both blacks and whites in the ’50s.  I literally even found a website that explained in the thumbnail how black women would process their hair, but when I clicked on the link, a white girl showed up.  Perhaps it’s been difficult finding photos of African Americans because it was in the decade before the Civil Rights movement?  Perhaps it’s because a lot of families didn’t have cameras during that era; I mean, I even had troubles finding photos of high ponytails which were one of the most popular styles for teenage girls.

Whatever the reason, I did not purposefully mean to offend the students, but I was later told that I did upset them.  We all want to be included, especially at that age.  Lesson learned.  Next time:  Try Harder!  But now what other ethnic groups do I need to be sure to include??!

The Show Was–

All black people hate white people, but I didn’t have to learn that from the show last night.

I really enjoyed Race at the Goodman.  David Mamet is so hard to read but so interesting to watch (this seems to be a common theme with plays).  It’s funny how staccato language is so difficult to decipher on the page, and yet so natural to use in our everyday dialogue.  But I didn’t need the lawyers onstage to tell me what black people think.  I have a black man telling me what he thinks everyday in my own living room, and it’s hard to shut him up!  Like the lines in the show, some of boyfriend’s comments are quite humorous I admit, but most of the time I just tune him out like he does me! That happens after 7 years, though.  Hell, that happened after one year!

I must think my girlfriend for taking me to the opening last night.  I love going to shows with her because she brings her scary black opinions to everything, and I bring my loaded gay opinions to everything.  I’ll have to tell you our Scary & Loaded story some other time, though.  We also saw White Noise together last year, that show Whoopi produced, and it was similarly funny in the way they kept throwing around racial slurs.   It’s amazing how humor can get a message across.  Although I did hear a few audience members complain that Mamet was just talking out the side of his ass like he usually does.  But I can’t really blame them for stating the obvious:  this show was written by a white man.

Regardless of whether or not you liked the opinions on the stage, there were still 800 people who walked out of that theatre last night with a better awareness of how blind we can all be to our own prejudices.  Once again theatre has brought light to a social issue to help build a better community.

Link

And we’re off to the Race!  Tonight I’m seeing Race written by David Mamet and directed by Chuck Smith at the Goodman Theatre.  How ironic that I’m about to watch a show based on racial tensions after just reading All God’s Chillun Got Wings and also recently watching In the Heights.

Theatre is a great way to create awareness about such issues.  It truly is an amazing art form!!