Love Me Black

“What’s a good wine?” My brother asked almost immediately after I answered my phone.

No break.
No waiting for me to say, Hey what’s up?

We speak in person on major holidays, we text occasionally to remind each other that we’re proud of each other – corny brother shit – but we talk to each other on the phone never, and I don’t take it personally.

I love him and (not but) our lives are completely different. He’s a personal trainer who has a huge social media following primarily of gay men and overweight women who leave heart eye emojis under his comments for him to not respond to.

I’m a gay writer/artist thing attempting to…well…….I have no fucking idea what I’m doing, and I’m doing it.

He is the first person I’d call in a bar fight, but probably the last person I’d call for anything else, so if he’s calling me the situation has to be dire, my answer is probably contingent on  his way of life and I’m concerned what could be so pressing that he had to call me to tap into my area of expertise? Mind you….wine isn’t my expertise, per se, but I do drink my thoughts a lot.

“Is she Black?” I asked.

Again, no break, we’re in our healthiest years. No sense in wasting time on discussing the minor details when we could be using that same energy to navigate a capitalist structure that has reduced our bodies to quantifiable objects used in facilitating productivity all so we can go make money for the one percent and occasionally find time to buy cheap wine to impress cheap women who can’t love us properly.

…..This is why my family doesn’t call me often. I keeps it real.

But back to the point of Black women, which doesn’t matter to me except it does a little. My younger brother is an okay guy. Once as a child, he carried a dead squirrel in a shoe box home from the bus stop because he couldn’t fathom the idea that it was going to die on the side of the road alone.

Yes, time, energy, and social constructs turned him into everything I think is annoying about social media, but all-in-all, he’s a decent guy. He’s also teachable, and most importantly, he can un-learn, which is more than I can say for a lot of these niggas.

“She’s Asian,” he replied.

Fuck, I said into the receiver, mostly to myself, and for a bunch of reasons. The first being that Asia is huge and in it are plenty of countries and cultures, so she could very well be a Laotion refugee with all the information I currently have, again, not that it would matter except in the normal way race pervades every crevice of everyday life. No big deal.

The real issue is that sometimes I’m scared that he doesn’t like Black women. He’s a few women in at this point. No long-term relationships but short and sexual ones with women whose names I never needed to bother learning; girls with unimaginative waist length hair who wore Adidas tennis shoes. Girls whose interactions with myself or my mother made it quite clear that they never loved a black person before – just black dick.

I don’t feel responsible, but I do feel guilty. Which, on the list of effective emotions, ‘guilt’ falls pretty low. It hangs around ‘tolerant’, another ineffective emotion. Together, guilt and tolerance sit around not doing shit, so if I can feel something else, I try to.

To be fair, I don’t have any history with the Black Panther Organization. I waited until I was in my 20’s to go to a Historically Black college after years of beating off to blonde haired blue eyed ‘hunks’ with generic white first names and zesty last names. Johnny Danger, Chad Vicious – corny shit like that. I ain’t know any better. There wasn’t a lot of gay black shit around. I used what I had until I got what I needed.

Just a week around a campus of brown men who loved brown skin influenced me in a way a decade of pale and plastic porn couldn’t. White stopped being the object you chased after and wanted to be, it became an after thought, the last resort, shit, even the punchline sometimes.

Loving Black was different. You ever fucked someone whose mamma was a pastor and daddy wasn’t ever home? You ever danced on someone whose church ain’t know where he was last night? You ever laid in bed with someone asking ‘who knows you’re out?‘ y’all laugh claiming that nobody back home does and the sound of your shared laughter makes you feel less lonely for a second?

Ain’t nothing wrong with other types of love. I ain’t really nobody no ways. It wasn’t nobody’s business whose legs I got in-between, and so long as it’s consensual and everyone is old enough to sign their own permission slips, it ain’t really my business whose legs he finds himself between.

I will say that loving Black has been one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever been able to do and who the hell knows, I know I might find a wholesome white boy one of these days. I’m not against it. The kind that likes books and has a jazz album collection. The kind that already has a few black friends and knows how to keep his nose outta black folks business. The kind that knows big black dick is more of a legend than it is true, but every legend has a bit of true in it.

“Cabernet sauvignon” I suggest. Maybe reluctantly.

If he don’t love Black women already, he will.
I had too many years of people telling me who to love and how to love them and none of it mattered until I found my own reasons why.

…and perhaps that’s the real challenge.

Train of Thought

“I’m really just looking for someone I can build with.” He said next to me on the train. Half an hour ago, we were complete strangers, and I was hoping maybe an hour from now we can go right back to that.

He boarded the packed train going to the city my parents live. I left my car their for repairs a couple of weeks ago, which isn’t information that ought to interest you. I am highly aware you are not here to listen to my story on car repairs.

“You mind if I sit here?” He asked.

My system for speaking to people on trains is quite simple. I don’t unless you’re an elderly black woman. I always have time to make conversations with elderly black women. Listen to me – they have the answer for everything. It is to your advantage to sit your ass down and snap peas with them while they talk about whatever the hell they want to talk about. It is your universal duty to just listen.

In 2018, I’m open to being entirely wrong, but he appeared to being neither elderly, nor a woman. Something taller than six feet and ashy around the elbows, he took the seat without waiting for me to even ignore him properly, just like ashy people do.

He told me his name was Kris.
I removed my earbud to act like I didn’t hear him talking to me and I needed him to repeat himself.

The gospel truth is that I wasn’t listening to music to begin with. What I did is called a ‘power move’. I let him know without explaining that I am not listening to him, and when that ear bud goes back in, regardless if I’m listening to Tchaikovsky, death metal, or the sounds of my own precious thoughts, I will not be partaking in a conversation with him.

I shared a name with him. Perhaps it was mine, and maybe it wasn’t. Kris will not know.

Before I could place my earbud back in, he apologized for smelling like weed. I did not care that he smelled like weed, which he absolutely did. I did care that he was cornering me into a conversation.

He asked me questions that I usually only have to answer on a FAFSA. If I go to school and where, what I study, how many credit hours am I taking, He asked me about work, what I aspired to do. After long enough, I gave up the idea that I’d just enjoy a quiet ride to my parents home.

That’s when he got me.

“How have the guys been here?” Kris asked.

Gay dudes are slick. Gay nigga’s are twice as slick as the average gay dude. You gotta be careful. One minute you’re having a harmless conversation, the next minute you’re fake adding his number so he can text you ‘wyd’ every half hour for two days straight, and then somehow you find yourself sucking musty dick in an apartment with no furniture.

I inspected him closely. I’m not sure where this conversation is going. I thought I was just sitting in this seat quietly minding my business, I guess I really underestimate how visibly gay I present in everyday life.

“I don’t get involved much.” I said casually laughing off the conversation and suggesting in both tone and delivery that yes, bitch, you clocked me, and we should discuss anything else.

He went on about his type. I didn’t ask. He fucked some guy in some frat. Didn’t ask about that either. He asked me about my type.

“I’m just focused on developing myself.” I said.

Yes, I laughed to myself when I said it. Single bitches love working on their spiritual lives or being on some ‘I’m just focusing on me right now’ bullshit as if I wouldn’t change my entire tone in Alfred Enoch walked on this train and confessed an undeniable attraction and wanted to get to know me better.

But you sir, aren’t Alfred Enoch. You are some invasive train-stranger who has inserted himself into my space and business when I didn’t invite you to either of those things.

Go find someone you can build with, you wanna build so bad. Go bother an engineer or architect, construction worker, or a box of Lego’s – I don’t care.