All relationships were tricky in this day and age. You could never tell what the other person was thinking, you never knew where the person was twenty-four hours of the day, and most importantly, you never knew who they were with. I have a friend who was hurt by a guy countless times from this very action- being with men he had no business crossing with- he built himself away from any signs or antics displaying foul play, his name is Unique. It has closed him whole to feeling any empathy for a guy for a while, sometimes he even pushes men away for the mere fact that he doesn’t have the ability to read their minds, no risk is worth the hassle.
Until he found a hassle worth risking.
Two weeks ago he called me to tell me that he was serious about a guy, he gushed on and on about the way he walked and talked, he was so infatuated with a person he had wanted nothing to do with at first; we were over the telephone but I could tell this guy meant something, he would never call me about a fling, those are more text associated.
(Always keep receipts, darlings.)
Later that week, we had gone out for coffee and macaroons at a cafe on 23rd & 8th Avenue, he talked more about his guy, I listened on- squealing when the antics were appropriate, and all of a sudden, his face dawned with gloom-
“What’s wrong?” He asked, apparently being able to read my mind, in this case. I’m sure he was asking himself the question; opposed to asking me.
“Nothing. Don’t doubt anything that’s good. Your aura is glowing, I feel your shine, don’t cloud it, Unique.” I even contemplated telling him of my new dating life but chose to remain silent as he continued on to his reasoning.
“You have the same reaction as everyone else, no one is telling me to be careful… Well, my mom- but only her, why?”
“Well, possibly because we know that you are always careful, you haven’t really been dating for a while because you are so damn careful,” We both laughed for the moment, I picked up my mug to take a sip of caffeinated confidence, going for the mile run with my speech. “You seem pretty happy, and even if it’s for the moment, enjoy it- because you never do. You guys are still fresh, so you can always take it slow until the right time comes.”
“Yeah, possibly-” He still seemed wary about my speech, but continued on. “You know me, always sleep with one eye open! No one can be trusted it seems. Well, except you.”
“Right, except me.”
A Stern Conversation to Put Up With.
One complete moon later, when the day still remained gloomy and rain colors pastel the sky, as slow pallets fell on my face- Unique’s words called to my ears.
All night, I had been recounting his words over and over in my head, it was so abstract the way this man thought- a man so detached and hated to be consumed in big party functions now found the man who relished in the same nature, and now he was questioning it all for the sake of thinking it will grant him safety within the union. In the spirit of impromptu journalism, I pulled two of my most trusted shipmates towards the bow of the boat, sitting them down and making them swear over a photograph of Alice Kingsley from Alice in Wonderland (No one can lie in the presence of Alice).
“The first thing that probably would’ve come out my mouth was ‘Be careful’,” Melina exclaimed after me confessing to them my new found confusion, she picked up a case of Budlight with one hand, another case of Stella with the other. “He just has to follow his heart, honestly. He knows what it’s like to be in love- the warning signs, so he knows what to look for-“
“But does he?” I interrupted, “Do we ever? If so, what would be the point of having an ‘ex’? We never know which problem it will be, a cheater- a freeloader- a momma’s boy- a guy who’s still trying on clothes in the closet- or just a downright liar… We never know who they are until it happens.”
“Well, you can’t expect every relationship to be perfect, there are kinks- sometimes you two don’t get what you want, but it’s all up to you to figure out if you want to put up with that or not. Uh, Uh.” She lifted the boxes higher before they could manage to slip from her fingers.
“And if I don’t?” I stopped her before leaving.
“What if I don’t want to settle for being imperfect, what if I don’t want to figure it out and what if I don’t want to put up with it?!” I didn’t know when the emotion had slipped into my voice, her horrific facial expression told me there was too much personal emphasis on the nature of the conversation.
She chuckled while adjusting her boxes, now moving towards the stern of the ship, “Then, it’s a good thing we were talking about Unique and not you.”
After Melina had walked away, I beamed my eyes at Destiny, she had seemed to be the quietest of all, and she could catch the shade I was throwing from halfway across the room.
Once she finally glanced over, I nodded my head, waiting for her to speak, in the midst of her rolling her eyes, she confessed, “I agree with Melina, for the most part- I just don’t think he should make a definite choice, play the waters and see how it goes, we all have a lot on our plates, don’t chew more than you can swallow.”
The Six Year Engagement
I solid week later, I got a call from my friend from Austin, Texas.
But Toto, he wasn’t quite in Kansas anymore.
He had moved to New York with his mom at a young age and since his school was only a few floors above mine, I noticed the accent almost simultaneously in the halls. Since the day I’ve met him, he has always talked about this boy that lived on the other side of New York, a boy he in fact loved, they had a relationship for a long time- possibly longer than anyone I’ve known… And honestly, the rest is history.
Ronald Givens, but everyone calls him Ron, I’ve talked about him in my previous posts, he was possibly my favorite friend- he was not only intelligent but handsome and the most romantic man anyone has met in a while- the classic 1960s stand up guy. He was entangled in an interesting on again, off again relationship; one that he didn’t quite want to give up- a long lasting union that should’ve been terminated a long time ago, one they both assumed was terminated, this feeling that he expressed almost felt a new. It felt different from the one they experienced as younger teenagers. They were now in a mindset where the future was literally all that they saw, Ron just wasn’t sure if Isaac was in that future of his. He wanted him to be, very strongly- very intimately, but deep down he questioned if that was really what Isaac wanted.
“Want to know how it all started? I had to ask him! He didn’t say ‘Ron, I’ve been waiting for you for a long time, be mine’, he didn’t say anything I dreamed about- what am I doing?”
“You’re going after the man you have loved since you were fourteen, that’s what you’re doing.” I insisted.
“I mean, I know what I’m doing, I mean…” We had stopped at a cart in the entrance of Central Park, stopping to grab a couple of hotdogs, it wasn’t that warm outside, but it was far warmer than any of the other days that winter granted us this season. “God, I don’t even know what I mean.”
He continued, “I love him… I do, I just can not-”
“Oh, just spit it out, Ron. You know I will find out some other way, no gays like to keep their mouth closed, might as well just tell me now.”
“He’s not the only one… ” This was one comment I felt a gasp come after, a big one- strong and pungent, one focused on the sheer confusion of five words… “Don’t be so shocked! He was upstate, who is to tell what he was doing,”
“Or who, apparently…” I confessed. “Well, the new guy, the other guy- is he nice?”
His eyes swoon backward, a smile slowly rising on his lips.
“The nicest I have ever encountered, he understands me so much more than other people, he fights for me- not only for my love but more so for my attention and time. He punched this man in the chin for just slapping my butt. He really cares for me, Little jay.”
“So, who will you choose?”
“Well, that’s just the thing, who do you choose when it’s something like this- the guy you know you could have a life with, a man who knows you like the back of his hand, a man you know how everything will go and you know you will be happy with your choice… But for how long will he be happy? What if I choose Isaac and it ends worse than the other times? What if this is the last time we date? Or the actual last time we talk, what if-“
“Are you afraid of the what ifs because you have been through most of them, or are you afraid because you know the new guy wouldn’t put you through the same thing…?”
“I’m afraid that what if he might do it as well,”
“No… Honestly, I’m afraid I might make a permanent choice because of temporary emotions, however- I know how concrete my feelings are for Isaac; the real question is, is his feelings as firm as mine? ”
“Or will you drown in a pit of quicksand made from his love…?”
A Feeling Worth Experiencing
About two hot dogs, one spicy sausage, honey roasted peanuts, a bottle of sprite, and a vanilla ice cream cone later, Ron and I were starting on our way down a dirt path, going to meet our friends, Melina and Taraji. They had seen recent snap chat stories of us at the park and decided to take the walk from their apartment down towards the park entrance at 72nd street.
Puffy red eyes and a sniffle that just wouldn’t vanish, it didn’t take much longer for my friends to ask Ron what was wrong with him, and it actually didn’t take long for him to tell them, either.
Unlike with me, he managed to tell almost every small particle of the story, now forcing me to remain in the middle now, not exactly sure if my advice was valid earlier, (Now you can see why I don’t really give advice, I just relay it from one person to the next).
“Who do you like more?” Taraji asked.
“That’s not a valid question, he’s in love with one, and likes the other- that doesn’t count. I have a better one,” Melina argued. “Why are you so afraid of letting the new kid go?”
“What if I do it and I regret it for the rest of my life…”
“Aren’t you being a tad dramatic?” I exclaimed, but Ron didn’t flinch, he remained in his same therapeutic infused calming tone.
“Am I?” I wasn’t sure, but I was certain that my friend was about to break down in tears if this battle between men didn’t become a tad bit easier. “Isaac has been with me for years, he wants me and I’ve always wanted him… But now he’s this guy. Full of life, full of love, he’s been broken and pieced together again, and now he is the perfect Humpty Dumpty and I don’t even like eggs.”
“A build a bear!” I exclaimed.
“Will Isaac still wait for you? I mean, I know you both have been waiting, but will he wait to see how things go with your guy? And god forbid things go wrong, you guys go for it?” Taraji asked.
“I can’t string them both along, that would hurt me more than it would hurt whichever boy not receiving me at the end.”
“It’s not stringing, it’s testing your options- you’ve had this life with Isaac, you know how a life with him will progress, give this new man a chance, not because he’s around you more, but because he didn’t have you stick around for years before finally committing to you,” Melina commented.
“Don’t shame Isaac, though, he was in school- the same as Ron,” Taraji explained.
“But I’m sure if Ron had the choice he would’ve picked Isaac over school,”
“And at that age, it wouldn’t have been smart. Isaac was smart in his moves, you both were- you dated once but you waited and talked for six years to see if you could spend a life together, and now your life might almost be here- the question ultimately comes down to, who do you see a life with? But you can’t ask yourself that question until you have had time with the new guy. No, not stringing along Little Jay, you are finalizing one love as opposed to clinging onto two.”
Playing It Smart
A while ago I saw a quote, it said ‘I sat back and glorified, everyone surrounding me is only focused on himself, and they have the right in mind, so I question, why am I not doing the same?’
Is that what we are doing? Just all looking out for our own backs…? But wasn’t that the whole meaning of having a relationship- someone who watches your back when your hind eyes were occupied. One man professed that you couldn’t trust anyone, and another perspires to give another his everything, with just having a plan B.
I really questioned- who was really playing it safe?
This was a difficult topic to explore, given both men were my friends, I saw logic within both of their reasonings- how couldn’t you… One guy was afraid of losing everything he had gained and valued in his self-confidence, another confused in a poetic battle between the future and the past- both wrecked harshly from past emotional ties and yet, they persisted…
But essentially, it all dawned down to what was the actual emergency protocol to go to for playing it safe?
No one ever wants to get their heart broken, especially by someone who has already had the luxury- but it’s nothing more distraught than a fresh heartbreak, one you possibly saw coming because you experienced so much alike to them- ah, a very difficult topic indeed.
Ultimately, I would have to settle for what all of my friends suggested, following your heart.
That was the one thing sparking a fire even brighter than the one you relished over with certain men, or at least it should’ve been- one so prudent it almost didn’t matter if you had a man or not… It will take the fire of his several attempts and constant ferocious gestures to gets what’s his; his fire will spark anew within you- and you won’t have to worry about your fire being diminished because it will collide with his.
As I’ve said, all relationships were tricky this day in age, you never knew how to start or how to end, honestly (Slight joke towards next week’s article); no one’s feelings were definite, and almost everyone thrived on the notion that they were doing better than you- so, I questioned; since we are not all blessed with the gift of telepathy and essentially we do have a heart on the line, what was your gameplan for playing it safe?