Saturday, August 22, 2015

Go-Go-Gadget: Abundance.


Over the weekend, I was invited to host a special edition of Colored Boy and Friends as part of the Bondfire Radio Audio Festival. The lovely Tasty Keish granted me one hour to put my thing down, flip it and reverse it. So, I invited my homeslice Willie Jackson, the mastermind behind Abernathy Magazine, and the lovely, travelin' ass Bayyina Black, aka The Planet Blaster, the new TOMS Global Giver and we had a good ol' Black ass time. I also read the following essay, which oozed out of me after a warm-and-fuzzy-conjuring three-hour call with an awesome Somebody.

Before reading this on Sunday, I prefaced it with, "There's some gay shit ahead, so, you know, Hoteps beware." There was a delayed laughter. It was great.

go-go-gadget: abundance.
When I got back from Panama, I considered re-dating my first love. Not the ultra-wretched fling with the clueless and shameless manchild I did whatever that was with, but the man I met at 17 and aggressively dated for two years. The one who proposed during my freshmen year at Virginia Commonwealth University, only to be shot down via a barrage of hearty laughs and nigga pleases. The one who, a few years later, raised hell in my hospital room a decade ago as i lay possibly dying but certainly bloated and comatose because lupus.

I know him better than I know most people, and so it felt easy, familiar and safe. And since I had recently fled Panama to avoid hanging myself, easy, familiar and safe felt like the obvious move at the time.

We reconnected at a time when I was at my most emotionally flat. I wanted to feel normal, to feel alive, and diving into this easy familiar and safe thing felt like the right thing to do.

He was welcoming, understanding, and eager to be an Us. And while that is fantastic and sounded like peaches and sunshine, I wasn't quite ready to really take off the mask, peel back the scumbagginess and be Me as fuck, in front of someone I expect to respect and love me the next morning. Even though he understood and was down for the cause, I wasn't ready.

And so, I ran.
As much as I wanted to feel "normal," and be half of an Us, I didn't feel comfortable inviting someone into my one-man shit show. Just like when I blocked blessings and rejected help once flustered and overwhelmed by my professional endeavors in Panama; I felt it counterproductive to have an audience to my chaos, potential upsides be damned. That fuck ass mask had become mighty comfortable.

Self-defeating, but comfortable.

I retreated into my cave where moping and self care-eschewing were the local pastimes and marathons of The Wire and eternal snacking are all that's on the horizon until further notice.

And so I started fuckin.

And in the course of that fuckin, I met Mister. And as awesome as he was, as life-changing as the sex was and as awesome as he made me feel and although his smile reminded me of stability, a happy home and all that mushy domestic shit, I failed repeatedly at being less terrible and wasn't comfortable being Me as fuck in front of this man, shamelessly and wholeheartedly. I was suggestible, dishonest and passive. Uncomfortable expressing myself and unwilling to try. Still unwilling to remove the mask and be undone in his presence. I convinced myself that I was engaged in real-life emotionally sound, good ol' grownup Emoting. In reality, I remained mute, muted and lackluster for/with this wonderful open-armed man.

shoutout to my cohost, that bottle of champagne.

As unfortunate as the untimely demise of that love hangover was, I needed to take those deliberate steps out of awful personhood, into maturity and honesty and self-acceptance.

If I didn't encounter these two gentlemen when I did on this fantastic voyage to sanityland, I wouldn't be mentally, emotionally or spiritually prepared for the chocolatey wonder with whom I'm presently smitten and designing the evite to the cookout/world premiere of the Instagram video announcing the 90 day countdown to the debut of the flyer for the yacht cruise commemorating the release date for our gaywedding invitations. He's awesome. He’s doper than I could have ever imagined, and challenging and intriguing and hilarious and just all the way the fuck down for Mr. Alexander Hardy.

Look. There haven't been too many times in my adult life when I wasn't consumed by worry. Being self-employed and in control is cool and freeing and being able to masturbate midday is fantastic but hustling can be exhausting. And after the year I've had, journeying from daily daydreams of a quick, painless death to now, with the endless fantasies of Tomorrow...and all the Fuckshit I've fought through, I deserve Easy and Beautiful. And He is the easiest thing that has happened to me in ages. He just...gets it. And he gets me. And, more importantly, we like all the same cereals, so, it's pretty much a wrap.

The jumpoffs are hereby advised to expect cease and desist notices in the mail in the coming weeks.

...

A successful relationship is a lottery. First, assuming you love yourself and have at least a slice of a piece of a standard, you need to meet a good person. Whatever the fuck "good" means to you. As lacklusterhood is so often rewarded with marriage, daily booty eating and too much damn attention, the likelihood of meeting someone who is:

worth a damn,
a good mate,
a good mate for your ass,
romantically and emotionally available,
ready to do the damn shit and make this Us thing happen,
ready to do the damn shit and make this Us thing happen with your ass,
not repulsive and at least, yanno, invokes a little bit of moisture and/or erections,
unlikely to dice you into pieces as you recline, stupefied and defenseless in a food coma one Wednesday night and,
aware that it takes but seven seconds to refill a damn empty ice tray,
on the right side of the Great Sugar/Grits Debate,
not across the earth or in “Delaware,”
not an Ann Coulter enthusiast and
not prevented by insurmountable personal fuckshit from loving and being loved

...is mighty slim, patna. It's hard enough to find a motherfucker willing and able to leap over your nonnegotiables and into your good graces (for the right reasons). But to have this happen when you're BOTH ready for the work and the adventure and the love is about as high as chances of a true Stateside grasp of who and/or what exactly a Rita Ora is. It really is hard out here for a love-hungry pimp.

It’s never fun to drag another unsuspecting soul through your self-discovery and painful growth. Those lessons that were hard, evasive and ultimately transformative for me felt like gut punches, unanswered questions, microtragedies, games and sneak attacks to that unassuming, open-armed, love-hungy bystander.

While realizing and being repulsed by the depths of my occasional Ain’t Shit Niggadom proved to be a teachable moment for me, my personal growth and big picture saving graces came at the expense and in the aftermath of a promising friendship derailed by my dishonesty, deceit and selfishness. For Mister, someone not privy to the unexpressed aha moments or the circus in my mind or the whats, hows and whys or sight of the connected dots or personal reckoning that so often comfort me in times of disappointing awful personhood, those personal lessons offer no comfort and no understanding and no peaceful nights when he's stewing in the afterglow of our Us.

And I'm sorry for that.

Forgiving myself for inflicting emotional harm has been no easy feat. Accepting the Ugly ain’t fun. Though I can explain and contort and reckon with my actions, I can’t un-fuck up. I can only promise to do things differently the next time around. And it feels pretty spiffy so far to be doing the Do with someone ready for that Ugly.

Sometimes, it’s hard not to give up. On life. On joy. On everything. The difference between “Alright, so I’m a shitty person” and “Alright, I’m a shitty person...but I don’t have to be,” is both minute and monumental. There's a fine line between resignation and resolution. Resting in that discord and deferring and bowing to my mental disarray became easy. Self-defeating, but comfortable. And choosing honesty and better personhood was hard damn work. Taking off the mask and being Me as fuck with myself allowed me to be Me as fuck before this intriguing, sane, supportive gentleman who praised my cheese eggs and has the nerve to be beautiful and bold and endlessly curious and loving and lovable and motherfucking fantastic and just what the fuck I need. He has the audacity to also be down for the corny domestic shit and the world traveling and the happy home and the Black excellence and the aggressive honesty, and, again, is just what the fuck I need right now.

Hope has returned. Rejoice, ho.

After doing the unfun work of working on loving myself, I am ready to be loved, inside (ow ow) and out, not just provided good sex and attention to fulfill my need for companionship. I'm all the way down for this mofo who reminds me that it's okay to be a shitty mess on occasion. This somebody I don't have to be ALEXANDER HARDY, SAYER OF TIMELY AND WONDERFUL AND IMPACTFUL THINGS for or with. This somebody who's forthcoming with their ugliness and shortcomings and fears and vulnerabilities and excited about helping me work through mine.

Months ago, this level of take-me-as-I-amness would have scared me away, but now? I’m hungry for the growth. I welcome the challenge.

I’m down for all of the legendary dinner parties with bountiful spreads of masterfully seasoned goodness and rum punch and the crockpot on the counter and the letter magnets on the fridge that hold up report cards and abysmally spelled and adorable handmade birthday cards drawn by my wondrous blackety black ass polyglot offspring. And love. And collabbing on grocery lists and double teaming these motherfucking bills. Full ice trays and clean ass baseboards and fancy toilet paper and love. And the idea of having a two-in-one eating partner and freak nasty ho shit co-conspirator. Gimme.

I've grown painfully adept at denying myself joy. I specialize in second guessing myself right on down from the edge of greatness. I'm magnificent at that shit. I've squandered friendships and romances by repaying honesty and openmindedness with dishonesty and reticience. It has taken me years to feel truly worthy of love, just as I am, whether I'm at my best Janet or my worst La Toya, through the good times and the ashy times. Learning to love myself has helped me become a better friend, lover and human.
...

Being poor (or, "in a constant state of luchini limbo," if you will) while dancing around grace periods, scratching to make it through the month and hustling in circles in a self-designed hell of romanticized self-employment made me hyper-resillient. Being poor while feeling alone, worthless and hopeless made me miserable. I hate that Lack was my normal and that I grew so used to not having money, resources, peace, romantic love, confidence or joy. I hate that sex and excess became substitutes for those things. Now that things have smoothed out and long-awaited freelance checks have beamed down from heaven and shit is coming together wonderfully here in New York, my anxiety shows up and shows out less often.

I have never felt so close to the life of peace and joy and romantic love and writing gigs raining from the sky. I can smell it now. And that shit smells amazing.

For the first time since the United States of ‘Murrica had a Black ass President, I can smell the relieftrees ahead, just about the bend or whatever. So give me all of the damn stability and predictability and cornball romance and grocery shopping and the I got up early to mosey over to Chick-Fil-A to get you some delicious homophobic chicken biscuits because you da bess and I know you love them shits and the five- to seven-year plans to lock down a suitable, rentable uterus in which to marinate my future lil pretty-eyed polyglot chocolate wonder. I want it all. Every drop of it.

Give me the stank morning breath and the sitting the fuck down at the dinner table together every fucking night and the debriefing and the superhero pep talks. Corny, yes, but because most of my adult life has been consumed by a maddening, impossible pursuit of perfection and worry over money or life or my family or all the things I don't have and haven’t done, I'm sopping up all of this positivity.

Plus, my parents, who I’ve never seen argue with or disrespect one another, are still married. I have a beautiful and relatable example, not the dreamy, unrealistic way we chocolate homos love to decorate our romantic worlds with Beyoncé-and-Jay-Z-hued paint. I don’t need anybody’s American dream or Instagram-friendly love tale. I want realness, phenomenal sex, aggressive honesty and intrigue. I want a partner and a friend. I just want to thrive in a drama-free romantic dancerie. That ain’t too much to ask, is it?

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to do it right, to be Me as fuck and not be an Emotionally Unavailable Rat Bastard from.the.first.step. And to truly be his friend first without phenomenal sex clouding one’s judgment as it is known to do. So give me all the butterflies and the movie nights and favorite restaurants and the uncomfortable conversations. We are practicing being able to say anything—ANY AND EVERY MOTHERFUCKING THIIIIING—to one another. And it has been wondrous.

It’s easy. Peeling back the scumbagginess and taking off the mask is easier. Effortless, even.

I’m working on my self care, which entails not just doing and working and worrying for myself, but also caring about my life. And treating Alex like a person who loves himself and plans to be here a month or a year from now. My therapist and I worked extensively on monitoring and addressing the way I talk to and about myself. The journey has been trying, powerful and worth all the anguish.

The love I've cultivated for Alexander Christopher Hardy has allowed me to let some beautiful being love on the Alexander Christopher Hardy that snores sometimes and has nightmares about ruined pots of rice and farts in public and is a pervert and has a really hard time being patient and kind with himself.

Seeing and appreciating the growth after this shit show of a year has been a magical experience. I am grateful to know that I'm worthy, ready and capable of all that's ahead. This convergence of goodness that’s happening around me right now feels like unicorn Dick, magic, unlimited chicken, bottomless sweet ass sweet tea and luchini pourin’ from the sky.

Go-Go-Gadget: Abundance.


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