April, May, June

Well I’ve done it again. I’ve just ignored my dates the past two months. Its not that I haven’t treated myself. Believe me I have. I just haven’t taken the time to plan out a date with myself. I know that in May, I at least woke up one Saturday morning and thought to myself “if ain’t nobody around today, Ima do brunch around the corner and have bottomless bloodies and mimosas by myself. It’ll be my date for May.”

And so that was my date as I sat at the bar and chatted with folks around me and with the bartender who also happened to be a philosopher.

However, I did just get back from a pseudo-planned solo trip to Cali for this month! It’s a mega-date with myself. I’ve always wanted to take a solo trip, even when I was with The Ex. And now I’m finally doing it. I’ve traveled alone to go meet people before, but this was a trip just for me. I didn’t meet up with anyone. I didn’t set any plans in stone. All I knew upfront was that I wanted to speed by some of the landmarks and focus on just exploring LA and San Fran. That’s right! I’ve always wanted to visit both places. I have preconceived notions about each city, but I had to make up my own mind through my own experience. I was nervous that I might not be as extroverted as usual and I’d be too shy to meet new people. But right off the jump I was already meeting people on the plane and riding the shuttle into the city together. I talk led to locals and dove bar bartenders for recommendations and did some of their suggestions. But in the end I mostly relaxed and walked within a 5 block radius of my room. I stayed in the gayborhood in both LA and SF. And drove up part of the PCH to view the scenic route. I could barely afford anything. And at first I got mad at myself for not exploring more, but I did explore and relaxed and found inner peace and tranquility. I learned a lot about myself which is for me and no one else.

I’m already ready for my next trip!

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February Date With Self

February was another month I was extremely busy with planning an event for over 700 guests, so finding time for myself was not easy. I planned to go see Black Panther and take myself to dinner, but then I decided to take The Ex to the movie on his birthday instead. He did take me out for a $100 sushi dinner for mine, so it seemed right. I know a lot of you might think I was headed down a very dangerous path by taking him out after all the things I wrote about him doing last year. But it’s hard to let go of 12 years together. But I am cautious enough to keep him at arm’s length.

I did go out almost every night in February. So I definitely treated myself, but I’m trying to make a conscious effort of planning one night to spoil myself. I’ll make a stronger effort next month.

Well I survived 2017, but it wasn’t easy. Amazing things happened throughout the year as I claimed my independence and freedom as a single person. I tried to document my journey along the way, but it was a lot harder to document while still processing the emotions than I realized. Yes, writing helps me process but it also forces me to think about the situation which I wasn’t always ready to do. My last post was in August, and a few weeks later would’ve been mine and The Ex’s official 12th anniversary. Ironically our anniversary of becoming exclusive was 9/11. That should’ve been a sign.

It was also difficult to write about the loved ones who hurt me while also respecting their privacy. But then again, why should I hold back from sharing factors of my own truths; they haven’t considered my feelings.

I made mistakes. I battled a double heartbreak. I was faced with discovering who I really am. Do I enjoy and respect that person? I tried to be honest and open with my chosen family and my lovahs. I gained new friends. I met new lovahs and lost other lovahs. I embarrassed myself. I was proud of myself. I earned a grant and produced a show. I worked hard and played harder. I created a demo for an EP all about my road to independence and performed those songs and some stories for my annual birthday show. It was one of the most healing processes I’ve ever gone through. That really does just prove the power of art. And now I understand the strength and popularity of heartbreak albums in so much more depth.

My experiences inspired my current Birthday Resolution which I realized I haven’t announced yet. During my 34th year I am going on a monthly date with myself. Taking myself on dates is something I’ve been doing for years, even while dating The Ex. But this year I wanted to make a conscious effort to do so regularly, so stay tuned to hear all about them!

afterTHOT: The Ex’s New Boo

I had to go over to The Ex’s to tie up some loose ends the other day.  While there, I had a cocktail and caught up with him and his friend.  Then he walked me to the bus stop so that he could vent a little about this friend.  Apparently this friend was betraying his trust and sneaking to read his text messages.  I was totally confused as to why this friend would be all up in his bitnass like that.

Me: There’s no reason for him to be in your personal stuff like that.  (as we continued down the block, I stopped, stepped back, and threw my hands up).  Unless he’s your new boyfriend.

The Ex:  Well he’s not over at my place helping me clean for no reason.  But we’re not there yet.

Okay, now he’s being honest and open.  Okay, this is a good thing, as I don’t want to lose him entirely.  We spent our entire adult lives together thus far.  

Me:  Oh ok.  Well, he still don’t needa be prying like that.  We were together almost 12yrs and I still never invaded your privacy.  Well, not until the very end because you was lyin’.  We not gonna get into that right now, but you know you was lyin’.

Then we both laughed.  He didn’t deny that he was runnin’ around behind my back actin’ brand new.  He opened up to me.  He admitted his betrayal.  

So then on Monday I performed one of my stories from my personal repertoire at a weekly event.  I was booked last minute so I didn’t really invite anyone to come.  Then The Ex called me on the day of the show.  When he found out I was performing, he promised to come.  Well, I gave up on his promises long ago, yet he actually did show up. I was the first to go on, and he literally left right after my performance.  So he was there just to support me.  That’s sweet.  He also convinced TENB (The Ex’s New Boo) to come watch as well, but he was late arriving so he missed my performance and missed The Ex.  So The Ex text me after he’d left to ask me to keep an eye out for him since his phone died and he wasn’t able to let him know that he’d left.  What the fuck!  How did I end up chatting over a drink at the bar with TENB?!  ONLY IN MY LIFE!  But I’m glad The Ex and I can move forward peacefully and with love.

afterTHOT: No Room At This Table

So recently I randomly ran into The Ex out in public for the first time…it was also the first time he met any of my new friends.

Red Flamingo and I were dining at the fine establishment of Micky D’s, and I had my back to the entrance (a very non-mafia thing to do).  Suddenly out of nowhere I notice this hand reach down from behind me and snatch some of my fries.  Now if you knew me, you’d know that French fries are my second favorite food next to chocolate.  I could live off of those two things if I had to!

I look up, and to my amazement it was The Ex.  We’re not in either of the neighborhoods in which we both live, so I didn’t really expect to see him.  Although we both lived in that neighborhood together for years.  So it was a bit nostalgic.  I introduced him and his loser friend to Red Flamingo, who didn’t hear the name and wasn’t quite sure who The Ex was at first.  Then when they went to order their food, Red Flamingo asked me if that’s who he thought it was.  I let him know that it was.

Red Flamingo was like “I had to read your cues because I wasn’t sure if I should’ve scooted over to let them sit with us.”  And I was like “Ida been mad!”  Red Flamingo then joked that that would’ve been the second time he trapped me with an ex!  Ha!

Then The Ex and his friend sat across the restaurant.  It’s the FIRST time The Ex and I have been in the same venue and eaten at separate tables.  It was a bit weird.  All for the best, but it still hurt.  He still breaks my heart when I think about the situation.

Speeding Toward Heartbreak

Once again, I am late with the Sunday post (obvi!).  I clearly backdated this post! Ha!

Red Flamingo and I went to a gay speed dating event the other week.  I’d met the Executive Director (ED) of a non-profit organization at the Onyx Party during International Mr. Leather over Memorial Day Weekend.  Of course, I was one of very few white people at this event, and of course I ended up knowing more of the black men in the room than the black guys I was with!  And of course they accused me of sleeping with all of them!  Ha!  Only one of them, though!  Ha!  Anyway, ED gave me a postcard for the speed dating and I convinced Red Flamingo to go with me the next month.  I wish I’d flirted a little more with ED, but it was a hectic night and we rushed out to the next party.

Red Flamingo and I were expecting something awkward.  We expected to have funny horror stories to tell, but it actually turned out to be quite cute.  And the free food was AWESOME:  jerk chicken, plantains, beans & rice, and a chocolate fondue fountain.  The organizers said they refused to just get a pizza.  There was free testing happening onsite as well.  It was a cute event that brought the community together.  Once again, I was the only white dude.  There was no potential love interest, but there were potential friends to be made.

This was only the second or third time they’d done the event, so it wasn’t very organized.  There were some improvements needed, and ED asked us to email him if we had any suggestions.  Some of the fellas had been to the other events.  I had a great time meeting new folks, and had great conversation with two of them in particular.  I feel like it’s a cute event for the gay community, especially those of color.  So after the 4th of July weekend, I decided WTF, Ima send him some feedback.  I also thought WTF, and told ED that he could share my info with those two guys if they’re looking for friends.  I also thought WTF and told ED that one of the main reasons I went to the speed dating event was because I was hoping I’d run into him!  He never responded to my email!  Ha!  No skin off my back, but I’m just in this place in life where I just don’t see the point in not living my life to the fullest and taking chances!

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?