the break up

In The Desperate Hour

Oblivious. That’s what I was the first time I let him climb my back. I wasn’t aware of his commitment to another man. Why would I? I didn’t know his name. I was in a hotel in a big city  belly empty backside on fire for something Black and tall. He was number four of six that night.

A few months later over Thai in a dimly lit restaurant he says “I thought you were stupid but attractive. I thought you were a hoe and I’d never see you again.” I think it baffled him that he had a crush on a harlot. By this time he had mentioned his live in boyfriend it was massaged on me that they were at the end of their relationship. Their commitment was only in name because they shared a lease. What-the-fuck-ever: I could not care less; I had already fucked him. As I ate my green curry, he talked about casually dating me after they ended. Maybe after he gave himself some time to self evaluate and heal.

I enjoyed my free meal.

By all means he is a nice guy. Said he only stepped out on his old man after they stopped having sex. Rejection is a hard thing to take from someone you share a home with especially when there are others that are willing to do what your partner won’t. We did a couple cool things platonic friends would do together: worked out at La Fitness, watched the VMAs together, and a midnight diner run or two.

At some point while they were still leaving together, but may or may have not been a couple, he invited me over. I know it was to fuck so I drunk some darks hoping I could be tipsy while it went down. I was was extremely uncomfortable in his place. I’m always sorta awkward it’s just in my nature, however; I felt I shouldn’t have really been in their space. Although they were no longer a couple, I think, or maybe just not happy, they were co-habitating.

I stood. He told me I could take a seat on the living room couch. I was like some new born child not knowing where to go or where exactly where to sit or how to do gracefully. I plopped next to the arm of the couch holding on to it like some security blanket. He tried to make me feel comfortable but I had to go to my car because I left my charger. Really? I had to go take a shot of a mini I had in the glove compartment. I thought I’d take one, but I took two.

When I came back in I told myself I’d be this aggressive power bottom and take control. I made sure he knew what I came for by throwing my ass in his face. First he ate my ass on the couch then he took me to a their spare bedroom.  I recall him saying he wouldn’t be that trifling as to take me into their actual marital like bed.

In the spare bedroom as we were having sex he says, “tell me you love me.” I obliged. And while he said afterward it made the sex better; I thought to myself: how desperate can one person be.

But I remember a similar situation when I said it during sex only months early with someone in an attempt to make a connection — to make the sex better. In that moment as well, I said to myself “how desperate can I be?”

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.

To Cut a N*gga Off or Nah?

I struggle with the idea of when to let go.

Do I cut a dude off the first time he lies?

Snip: after the third time he can’t call to say he’ll be late?

Hack: at the first sign he’s entertaining people after we’ve clearly and vocally expressed we are serious? Of course the men that committed those infractions against me say, “No”.

Saturday, (well a Saturday in August) I finally did it; what I haven’t been able to do with most guys that I think commit disingenuous infractions: I cut that bitch off.

Back in June I met, David, things moved rather fast; I basically saw him every day. Though, I did hold out from having any sexual intercourse with him. With his king size mattress on the floor (his frame was on backorder), I sat up to put my wine glass in the kitchen. My abdomen and neck twisted to look at him; he’s looking at his Jack’d. I went about normal business: wine glass on kitchen counter, back in bed, cuddled feel asleep to Bruce Leroy a film produced by Motown’s Barry Gordy.

Of course, I brought it up later. Not in spite, or to be malicious, or to hang it over his head. In fact, I said it in jest. During a playful situation of tickle monster and jokes, I mentioned it;  he stopped in his tracks unaware that I had seen him.

Side note: I’ve very ticklish. I’m snort like a hog, buck like a bull, watch out I’ll hit my head against your nose and bloody it ticklish. But I’ll never admit it half naked with armpits exposed. (End note).

He apologized as if I was upset; I was not. He stated how upset he would be if he was in my position.  I assured him we were okay, and that nothing had changed.

 A month later, in August, with my head on his chest and that same king size mattress on the floor, we watched some movie on HBO. This Sunday morning, I was texting my best friend, while I was still resting on David’s chest. We were deciding on where to eat breakfast: a cute double date in the city of Atlanta. We decided on Roasters off Lenox rd. David and I both got up from the bed, he placed his phone on the window sill. I wanted to wash the bed crumbs, dust, and night sweats off of me, so I headed for the shower; my phone still in my hand. While getting undressed, I noticed what everyone hates: battery percent below 20 percent. I went back into the room to place my phone on the charger. Like a scene from a movie, his charger was by his phone and as I hooked my phone up an income text, two, lit his phone up. They spoke of who was picking up the condoms and if it was going to be a threesome with David, the texter and the texter’s boyfriend.

After giving him hell, I forgave him and we still went to brunch.

End-of-Relationship

 More than a year before this, something similar happened with my boyfriend of two years. Three months into our relationship I saw a text (I did not go through his phone) regarding people coming to visit him at his place of work and home. I moved him into my apartment after that.

I think I’ve learned my lesson.