cheating

Before The HIV: Part 4 of 4 (Origin Story)

I wonder if he’s shouting Black Lives Matter now. I wonder if he’s protesting the senseless murders of Black men (and Black women). I know I rarely say it. I haven’t bought into it. I haven’t surmised how much I truly believe the statement when I’ve placed my own mortality on the line several times. Still, I wonder if Black lives matter to him now. I wonder if the statement only pertains to Black men slain by enforcement officers — if it does that’s fine by me, no animosity at all. Causes should be specific, plights are. I wonder how politically and socially conscious he is.

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It’s not that Black lives didn’t matter back in 2010 when we helped one another contract the disease, but obviously we cared a little less for our lives than we’d like to admit.

Things change rapidly. Though we weren’t in the midst of the 1980s rapid discovery and explosion of HIV/AIDS, 2005s mentality of the virus was nothing like it is in 2016. I remember back then if you met someone online there was very little exchange about HIV/AIDS status. Of course websites like A4A had a drop down menu that let you include your HIV status: positive, negative, unknown or it could be left blank. But rarely beyond that tidbit of information did men flat out ask one another. Fast-forward to 2016 (and in a testament to mattering more) plenty of men (if I haven’t gotten to it first) will ask me my status (and I love  it).

 The act of mattering to one self is a very internal feeling that is shaped by external forces whether they be government, media, faith, or family. On the surface my act of unprotected sex was the naivety of adolescents — I’m a young Black invincible gay motherfucker (imagine it in a Samuel L. Jackson cadence and tone).Under the surface I was condition to not matter to myself. I can’t speak for him.

I met him online the summer before my Hampton freshmen year. I fell quick and hard, hormones raging for this 6’3″ brown skin older boy with the legs of a soccer player and dick like the trunk of Snuffleupagus. We dated all freshmen year. We broke up all freshmen year. We reconciled all freshmen year. We fucked all freshmen year in my lone freshmen room (my roommate found out I sucked big black dicks and in some misguided notion thought I’d regress back to baby dicks requested to move out). We fucked raw all freshmen year. I fucked others all freshmen year. I fucked others raw, at times, and I fucked others protected, at times, all freshmen year.

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The most annoying question I repeatedly get since having HIV is “how did you get it?” I can’t recall anyone ever asking me “are you okay?”, or “are you mentally and emotionally healthy regarding it?”. Do I matter? Do Black lives still matter? I’m not sure how I contracted it. Well, the real question that they want to know and some do ask “do you know who gave it to you?” It never mattered to me, so why does it matter to so many other people. Nosey no empathy having motherfuckers — I say. It seems once you’ve contracted the disease you become an alien and according to what people have said to me once they know, I now know extraterrestrial lives matter but not my black one.

I understood the Emmy nominated production that is Beyonce’s Lemonade right away. I don’t matter to the world, but why am I also being betrayed and disregarded by the man (or men) I love? After freshmen year, I didn’t think I was coming back to Hampton so we ended it. I don’t recall the reason why I didn’t want to go back or didn’t think I’d be able to. We knew long distance was not logistical for us. However, we kept in touch through penis pictures and videos. About 6 months before the semester was to start I found out I was indeed returning to HU (the real one) and I proceeded to tell him. He said we would pick up where we left off.

He didn’t mean the monogamy or the relationship, but instead the back and forth. I wish I could say I remember it like yesterday, but I don’t. Somehow he told me; it could have been by phone call, email, plane or train. A week before I was to trek back to HU (the real one) he had confessed he was in a new relationship.

I still carried on with him my whole sophomore year off and on. Sex. Unprotected fornication. He was mine first. The first boy I swore I ever loved. Sex. Unprotected fornication in their home. He was mine first and he said I’d be his last. Swore he’d break it off. Some first year psych major may say I didn’t hold myself to a high standard, because I didn’t value my own self worth. I didn’t value myself enough to demand to be the only one in his life or have protected sex; if he was fucking me raw they must have been fucking raw and seven years later I think to myself who wasn’t he fucking raw. I guess Black lives didn’t matter.

I can admit: I haven’t cared for living for some time now. I didn’t care before the HIV and haven’t shifted my self-worth post diagnosis. I admit I’m a 27 year old insecure and suicidal Black gay male. I go off and on meds, even though I know that could create complications and lead to death. Hell, recently I almost overdosed on prescription drugs and alcohol, full disclosure: it was not my intent, but when I woke up in my car on the side of the road at 5am vomiting I couldn’t help, but think why I couldn’t have just died instead. I hypothesized (and I’m probably not the only one) that until Black gay men really internalize the feeling of worth, value, of mattering HIV/AIDS will never be a thing of the past for the Black community.

It was (guesstimating) maybe 5-7 months after we stopped having sex that I was diagnosed. It was (guesstimating) 3 years later that we both confided in our statuses to one another with no anomosity. No questions of how it was contracted just two Black men now making sure we were both okay, making sure we knew we mattered with honesty.

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Dawn Richard’s “Billie Jean” + “Castle” a Soundtrack to my Cheating Ways

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Billie Jean

 

I met him during a threesum with then boyfriend, Lucas. He was short, but I still invited him over. I’m a groupie for brown and dark skin, so I gave him the “pussy cause his tatts looked great”. For the most part we kept it about the bass and the rhythm of three bodies intertwined trying to pulsate together. I was the kick drum they took turns on.

 

As it happens with open relationships at times. Connections are made with the third party, those moments of harmonies and stacks. Those moments, like in “Billie Jean” by Dawn Richard off her latest release Blackheart, must be sparse and brief akin to a 20 second chorus. Though the moment, much like the sound of the chorus, seems more devoted to traditional structure, and even soft compared to the drums that have fallen by the wayside in the production, our eyes were doing nothing, but merely fuckin the gateway to the soul.

 Dawn Richard booklet

My goal was to keep it nasty — to keep this live action version of “Billie Jean” nasty, filthy, and to make him want to come back for more. Instead, I committed infidelity and went to him four days later, solo.  My goal was not intimacy. I needed to explore the sexual connection that began that chilly Wednesday evening. I told my self one or two orgasms with him would suffice, I wanted to be like “an assassination [and] leave without a trace, except for the mess he made when he came all on my face” (Bille Jean).

 

With a failing relationship grinding on my back like a monkey, I decided it needed company without the obligation. I employed Lucas to make me feel good, in dire times. Much like the lyrics of Billie Jean, I never wanted to stay too long with him; it was all about the orgasm of the mischief and the remedy from heartbreak sometimes being under a new guy brings.

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I got to be “Billie Jean” with Lucas: a sex fiend (as Richard writes in the lyrics). A bumpin yet grindin’, soft and rambunctious piece of ass.

 

This relationship with my then boyfriend ended in July. Around the same time Lucas and I found one another again. He text me, asking for pictures, ass shots, wanting to parlay our conversations into phone-bones. However, while I was free to do anything I wanted to do with him in the open, he was the one in a committed relationship now. During these text sessions, I always refused to send him pics and engage in sexual talk with him. I’m sure I may have failed one time or two, but if my memory serves me right 99% of the time I refused.

 

Now out of his relationship for a few months and me still single, we have found ourselves spending a lot of our time spent together. And while I’ve heard, “I love you,” and “I care for you,” and friends and strangers have inquired about our relationship status together, I don’t believe we can be together . . .

Castles

 

. . . because “we built castles out of sand” (Castles). “Castles” by Dawn Richard off the January 15th, 2015 aforementioned album is the best way for me to describe this relationship with Lucas. The track described by some publications as electro-R&B is chaotic and sensitive as is this relationship for both of us. Richard originally wrote the track for the 2014 October released DK3, but it did not make the cut. So the track finds its birth on parent album Blackheart and I see similarity in the lyrics and production to what began as a tryst for me, a cheater, and has spawned this relationship of confidant, friend, and sexual partner. Because of the foundation our relationship was founded on, I, like Richard, see a doomed end although we are currently “so high we could see clouds under our feet” (Castles).

 

I recall a time when he texted me asking what I wanted from him. I replied as writers do, vague. He said good; he would just enjoy the ride — we could stand in the breeze “say our c’est la vie” (Castles). The electro ballad begins in chaos: synths, bass, vocal samples techno’ed up to be used as an instrument, and when Dawn’s head voice is introduced to us, she is calm and peaceful as if she ‘knows it all’. Yet, the moment when the track gets a moment to breathe (nothing really goes away, it just softens) she states “please don’t let us fall”. In this moment, Dawn’s vocal delivery is monotone, almost lazy. It’s as if her and I both know pleading will get us know where.

 

It is not until the second verse is divulged that you can hear how distraught she is, but I for one don’t believe that it is because she doesn’t want it to end; instead, I believe this new emotion in Richard’s voice is due to her feeling damned that she was a part of this faulty foundation to begin with. This is an emotion, I believe I will encounter in this relationship sooner or later, the both of us. While I cheated with Lucas, he never actually met me to cheat on his boyfriend although he asked me to meet me several times. Numerous attempts were made to get drinks, but he would cancel when his boyfriend couldn’t make it. Because his boyfriend was not into threesums and they weren’t in an open relationship, I’ve tried to communicate to Lucas that the behavior is still damaging. I wouldn’t want to date Lucas and have to wonder if this friend we are having drinks with is secretly a nigga he is communicating on the side with to get some ass.

 

This castle is very sandy.