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