Tag Archives: Randomly Thinking

the empty seat at the table

Lina Jaros Series titled “Beyond the Walls”

i looked at my cell phone. mom called. i didn’t hear the phone ring. i purposely set the ringer to silent. hearing merry Christmas or happy anything makes me a bundle of nerves. the holidays remind me of family. i try to distance my family to keep the unspoken things between us unspoken. how do you articulate mom i’m gay over the Christmas turkey. mom that’s why i have never brought a woman home for the holidays. holidays are too awkward as a gay black man. there’s always an empty seat at the table.

i tend to disappear around the holidays. they remind me how lonely gay life can be. the longest relationship i’ve had lasted one year. we were young and thought we loved each other. i think we loved the idea of being intimate more. relationship building was a foreign language to me.

my dislike for holidays started in 99. my boyfriend and i were in college in atlanta. we were inseparable. i was supposed to spend the holiday with my family. i decided to spend time with my boyfriend instead. he had an apartment off-campus near lenox mall. i remember calling my grandmother saying that i would call her on Christmas eve. i didn’t call her. i didn’t call on Christmas either. i called the day after Christmas. i said i would call her the next day. i didn’t. i stayed at my boyfriend’s apartment until new years day. we watched the countdown on TV drinking Asti Spumanti champagne (I threw the cork and label away two years ago) and fell asleep on his fire engine red sofa bed. i caught the marta and bus to my grandmother’s house in stone mountain. the garage door was open, which wasn’t strange. i saw grandma on the cordless phone talking. she looked upset like she was crying. she was crying. she looked up at me, jumped up, and gave me a big hug. i thought someone had died. she thought i had died or something tragic happened to me because i didn’t call her. that stayed with me for a long time.

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Riding in Cars With Girls

I’m a listener. Listening is a natural ability I have. The sound of another person’s voice. The subtlety of a hand dropping a pen to a legal pad. Language. Body language. I hear the things most people don’t catch.

My friends, Tracey and Becky, are sitting in the backseat. Tracey says Psalm 37. I tune out “Que Me Coma El Tigre” and listen. I getting a tattoo of Psalm 37 on Sunday. Psalm 37 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

God will give you everything you want Tracey says.

In prayer, God or the deity you pray to, is the listener. Does God listen to gay people? I ask myself that question sometimes. Churches draw a line between the bible and gay sin. You can’t be gay and believe in God. As a gay man, I can’t distinguish the two. I’m a spiritual person. I pray. I meditate. I workout. I think spirituality has more than one appearance – what happens in church. There are so many more layers to it.

An image of Psalm 23 (King James' Version), fr...

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I have a great respect for the bible. I think it’s very romantic like poetry, especially Psalms. The Psalms are my favorite. “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Only a poet could write that. The desires of your heart – to desire is to listen to that inner voice within.

I wish I could desire women. It would make life so much easier. I love looking at beautiful women. Beauty is beauty. My heart, that inner voice, desires another man to listen to me complain about nothing in particular.

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