Tag Archives: truth

The Fat Boi Dairies: “Bad Religion,” 20 Tacos, and a Journey to Self-Love

Note: This reflects how I felt about 3-4 weeks ago.

“Ever since this world began

there’s nothing sadder than

the one-man [fella] searching for the man that got away”

Perhaps it was the blue dress suit, or those red lips, or the way her face contorted with, pain, anguish, melancholy, or the fact that she was giving it all in just a rehearsal but I connected to Judy in that moment and knew, just knew her song was true  I have loved and lost and loved and lost  and loved and lost the same man for three years. Quite frankly it was, is, pathetic. I watched one too many movies and identified with one too many tragic divas who pursued their men at all costs. And the cost was high.

I met “Allen” in the summer of 2008 when I was in my mid-twenties (at 25 and up, we gay boys never reveal our age) and he was 19, but we didn’t start “talking” romantically till 2009 when he was 20 and I was still in my mid-twenties.  I told myself the age difference didn’t matter, nor our backgrounds, or my education, or his lack of education. All that mattered was that he once told me he liked me—emotionally, romantically, I was 13— and when I liked his friend “Cam,” he still liked me, stood by me ,and told me that “Cam” passing on me was his loss. I, to “Allen,” was a prize worth waiting for, woth trying for. Eventually, one day, I looked up and saw what was in front of me: I fell for the wrong boy. “Cam” was just a friend but “Allen” was the right one all along.

I had cast myself in my own romantic movie: he was the golden-skinned Stix to my fat boi Keith. Alas, even without an Amanda Jones or Hardy Jenns the path to love would not be easy. His insecurities over my education, my previous feelings for his friend, and his own cloudy history reared its ugly head; when I came to him, heart on my sleeve, like Meredith Grey to Derrick Shepard and did my own rendition of “pick me,” he said “let me think about it,” and then he said “let’s go with the flow.” I wish I could say I said no and went into detail about my worth but I didn’t. I went with the flow.

Back in the day when I was young

I wasn’t afraid to love…what was I thinking of?”

Eventually one night, in late 2009, when I was undressing in the dark, (“Allen” had spent the night a few nights at my place by then, splendid nights where we just talked and got emotionally closer, and this was huge for me because I never let guys spend the night; I was a come over, slip on a condom, slip in me, slip out kind of guy, but not with him, never with him; we didn’t try to push sex, I thought this meant he respected me; now I know: respect can be a weapon)  holding a blanket in front of me by my chin, he asked me, “Why are you covering yourself up?” I could not look at him, and he reached out from my bed, pulled on the blanket, causing it to fall. I was exposed, my giant belly hanging in front of me, my man-boobs, which would be epic breasts if I were a cisgendered woman, hung, alert. Gooseflesh was rising, I was flushing red from fear. And  he grabbed my belly, and then moved his hand onto my stomach and said, “This doesn’t gross me out, this doesn’t bother me. You are beautiful.” That was better than a kiss for me, and at that moment, I could not let go. It did not matter that we were not official, one day I knew we would be, and all I had to do was hold on. I was wrong. A few weeks later, when I asked him about a guy he kept texting, he threw “You are not my boyfriend” in my face; jealousy was not my right, and he could talk to other guys.

Oh the guys. Skinny guys. “You’re beautiful” echoed in my head but sounded hollow. And every time a guy would do him wrong, I was there, waiting like a mammy, to tell him, “I love you; don’t you know what you are worth?” And he would smile, and I would think, this is it, this time will be different.”

“Maybe this time

For the first

He’ll stay…”

It was never different. We would talk, flirt, kiss, act like a couple, and then I would want more, he would pull away, we would fight, then after some grand gesture, we would fall apart and stop talking.  There was the time I cried to him that I needed space and he decided to block me on Facebook. There was the time he abandoned me on my birthday because he felt uncomfortable around my friends; then that next birthday when I found out, by a friend accidentally letting it slip, that he had indeed slept with someone he claimed he hadn’t and never would, a person to whom I confided my feelings about him; oh and last year’s birthday when he stopped talking to me after making out with me. He shamed me for my sexuality and then held it against me when I was tentative.  There were the numerous times he would tell me how I deserved better than him but if I mentioned another guy’s name he would quickly tell me how they were not good enough for me, or if they were undisputedly wonderful guys, like a boy I had a crush on in NYC at a prestigious school, he would sulk and become short with me and sullen and jealous. Oh and that time last October when he asked me to be his boyfriend in the middle of an odd conversation and when I hesitated, he took it back, and within a week he was dating someone else. And I kept holding on. And I paid.

Love cost me dinners, movies, gas, Aldo Shoes, Express pants, Express sweaters, a designer watch plus inscription. I spent on him, money ear-marked for trips to NYC and Chicago to visit my brothers. Few people know that. Without realizing it, I had made him the most important aspect of my life. I lived on the hope of “I love you,” a touch, an acknowledgement.   “ I thought love had to hurt to turn out right…” I was almost dismissed from my doctoral program, twice, because I struggled to get out of bed; I was worthless, not good enough, he would not be mine, he would not claim me in the light. I drank more than I should. A bottle of wine day. It helped me sleep. I called our friend “Cam” and always asked about “Allen”  repeatedly every week; I stumbled through conversations, pretending to care about “Cam” and his life until I got the inevitable  “Have you heard from ‘Allen’?”; “Is he with you?”; “Is he flirting with guys?” I wore “Cam” down, abusing our friendship for information. I needed the information, pain signified connection, dues being payed, a fix. I think I vomited on six separate occasions when I found out “Allen” was out and I was in.

“You don’t know what love it

Until you’ve learned the meaning of the blues

‘Till you’ve loved the love you’ve had to lose

You don’t know what love is…”

I don’t know how I picked myself up that last time. April of 2012. I was two years behind in my program. I cried every night and day because I thought I was going to lose it all, and I had nothing to show for it. Even then, I saw “Allen” as my light; if I had him, then whatever, the outcome would be worth it. Truthfully, I didn’t pick myself up then. Between the stress of graduate school and “Allen” drop kicking me to the curb right after making out with me on my birthday (and accusing me of a lie on the phone), I would burn myself to get through  from one hour to the next, to face each new day; eventually I took a knife, heated the blade, placed it on my arm and smelt the sizzle. There is still a faint mark of the “x” on my forearm.

“If it brings me to my knees

it’s a bad religion

this unrequited love

to me, it’s nothing but a one-man cult.

And cyanide in my styrofoam cup.

I could never make him love me.”

Foolish boy. I wasn’t in my twenties anymore but I was still just a boy. This is what comes from looking to the world to love you when you have obsidian skin and extra flesh and large nostrils, and wooly hair. You cling to the first one who comes along and smiles; you don’t see him as the iceberg that cuts and sinks the ship; you mistake him for the raft.

“The Greatest love of all

is easy to achieve

learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all…”

I love Whitney, lord knows I do, but she was so wrong. It is not easy to love yourself. It is not easy to be honest with yourself and others about your failings. To say, “I was pathetic over a boy who didn’t know my worth” is not easy, but if it is true, it is necessary to speak it. It is mandatory to be honest with yourself and admit that you loved a boy who asked you to be his boyfriend and because out of fear, bred from a messy past you share with him, you hesitate, he shuts down and dates a random boy four days later. You must face the mirror and see that you allowed yourself to apologize for him to everyone.

This past week I proposed my dissertation project and my department approved. I am officially a doctoral candidate. I smile writing that. All those close to me in my life called me to wish me well. But not “Allen”; even though we still talk, and he had admitted he loved me, that I was the only one he ever had loved, and we supposedly had a bond, and I left him a message saying how nervous I was, he never called.  When I called “Allen” to tell him I was ABD, he reacted as if I told him I just bought a brand new pair of trousers.  I pressed him and he exploded at me. I tried to assert myself but once I got of the phone old feelings resurfaced. I felt guilty and wrong. So I called back to apologize. He answered the phone, I think just to let me hear how annoyed he was. He said “Maurice I can’t do this right now, I am about to be rushed and I gotta fry twenty tacos.” He hung up on me while I was speaking. And it hit me. That was, is, us. He hangs up on me because he can, because I have taught him he can; I come crawling back; each time I crawled back to him, acting as if it is all okay. Each crawl came, comes, back to me, out of time  because each wound is still immediate and fresh:

You lied to me, that is fine; you slept with someone else while we were trying to make things work, that is fine; you let me confess my emotions about you to that person you slept with, that is fine; you told me you cared and then you lied, that is fine; you ruined my birthdays for three years even though I went all out for yours, that is fine; you told me you loved me and then dated someone else, that is fine; I wrote poems about you and read them in front of crowds, wooed you, made you feel loved, and you couldn’t even take five minutes to read to for yourself; you just said I don’t like poetry, and that is fine; you told me no one ever celebrated your birthday or made you feel special so I created a picnic for you on a cloud, I showered you with affection; you said you had no one to confide in, to depend upon, so I made myself open for you; I said I needed you and you never showed up; it took my cousin being murdered for you to be there for me just once, and when you were supposed to have been with me at his funeral, you stayed and went on a date with your ex who left you to fuck around with different guys, and when I called you that weekend, crying, in pain, you didn’t answer my call because you were busy fucking your ex in your car, and that is fine; when I confessed, after you told me you loved me, that I had never slept with a man who loved me and I wanted you to be the first (at the time, only), you told me you couldn’t sleep with me b/c it would be too serious, but you didn’t really want to let me go, and then, that night when I massaged you, and respected your words and didn’t make a move to sleep with, despite your erection, you held it against me, my actions and, i suspect, your erection, and that was fine. Everything was fine because it had to be, for us to stay. But, when I called, expressing joy, wanting to share it with you and you only care about frying 20 tacos, that is not fine.

It is not that he has to fry twenty tacos and I have to schedule meetings, and try to do research. Nor is it that I want to talk about jazz, films, wine, books, and everything bougie under the sun, and he hates reading, doesn’t care for jazz, and finds poetry a waste. It is that words are not important to him. I was not important to him, my success, my joy did not trump frying twenty tacos.  I thought about when he told me, “You deserve better than me” and realized he was right.  I am fat, smart, dark, and beautiful. He has to fry twenty tacos.  I thought of my ancestors and cried because I am fat, smart, dark and beautiful; I am what they dreamed for. And he has to fry twenty tacos. I thought of what my mom always told me: “Baby, you are worth your weight in gold.” And he had to fry twenty tacos. I thought of what my Baptist pastor daddy told me: “I can tell you love this boy, but not all love, be it straight or gay, is good; you can’t lose yourself. You gotta love yourself more.” And he has to fry twenty tacos. I love myself more than twenty tacos.

I’m worth more than twenty tacos.

“And if I loved myself

as much as I loved some

bodied else

that would be revolution.”

Song Lyrics cited:

“Why Should I Care ” by Toni Braxton

“You Don’t Know What Love Is” by Nina Simone

“The Man That Got Away” by Judy Garland

“Maybe This Time” by Liza Minelli

“All the Man I Need” by Whitney Houston

“The Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston

“Bad Religion” by Frank Ocean

“To Be Young Gifted and Black” by Nina Simone

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A Poem, Nay A Thought

A Poem, Nay A Thought

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Millennial Talking: What is dating and how do I do it?

After watching the  HuffPost Live, Is courtship dead? with the fabulous Alicia Mendez, something occurred to me: I need someone to teach me how to date. I don’t think I know how to date; I know how to interview and how to be in perpetual never-ending break-up, but I have no clue how to just date. Now when I put this on my facebook page my b double o (Bianca) stated that I have given her rather good dating advice. And here is the thing

 she is right. So what is my problem? Why can’t I follow my own words?

Let me first lay out my “dating life”; it fluctuates between looking something like the Sahara dessert, or dying of thirst on a boat in the middle of the ocean (water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink; except substitute men for the water, and other activities involving orifices for the drinking and you have my life). So when I do get to date, it is rare and I never really know what to do.

Part of this is that me, little ole me is a big ole fattie. Now the politics of beauty and dating (particularly in gay culture) is a whole ‘nother post, but the reality is: weight can and does limit your options. Limited options may not lead to desperation (it can but doesn’t have to) but it does often lead to less experience. What I do have experience in as a millennial, a queer boi, as university boy, as a person is: texting, sex, interviewing, and judging.

A date for me very often starts off on something like this: I am bored; I get on my iphone. I find a boy. He is bored. It is 2AM. We “talk”; no sexting = a great guy. This is all app level mind you. So this is my new coffee shop, open 24 hours a day. I can always look for something shinier, and brighter. I can always find a guy hotter, smarter, with a bigger dick, and closer (gas is high & plane tickets ain’t cheap). There is no off switch, and while that nonsexting 2AM chat with “Bigdick4U” (who is only looking for friends while showing all but his dick in his profile pic) is great and all, in the back of my mind he too is looking for someone hotter than me, brighter than me, (often) smaller than me, and with a fatter ass (god I need an ass), but never smarter than me (a boy has to have some pride right?). And before you claim I am just self-sabotaging (I am, but wait before you say it; sometimes the pause is everything), he often is on several apps, looking for several different types of men. So basically, for this millennial options are a bitch!  Water, water too much to drink?

The next problem is that I am an interviewer. Often a date (in person, on the phone, or via text) with me requires that you bring your resume. I don’t mean to do this, but I can’t help but get my Oprah on, on a date. Where do you work? Where did you do to school? How many siblings do you have? What kind of man are you? What are your dreams? What are you scared of? What was the last great movie you saw? When did you last hook-up? How big is it? What did you say your name is again? Needless to say, well I am saying it anyway, the guys start sweating, break out in hives, and flee for the nearest exist or, magically, the phone connection gods fail.

Now, if I get a guy past these two hurdles, I think: brave soul. I get happy, excited, and hopeful. I am that crazy person who actually tries out my name with their last name, their name with mine, and hybrid versions. This is never really serious but it is what I do; it has taught me that my name always sounds best with my last name last (just a heads up), and it is pointless since I am not big on marriage, but basically I am saying, despite all my freewheeling, get ready to be serious pretty fast. This is a problem. In this world, apparently dating minus the title of boyfriend can last FOREVER. And while I am being Charlotte York’s dilluted black cousin, the boy always texts me something like: or I find myself in conversations like:

sexy right?

To be clear, I am the grey.


But often, too often, my dating life has the lifespan of a fly. Hella short: it is born, it lives, and then it dies, in minutes and it is often not that great. The last romeo texted me: “come to the back door; be quiet. You can’t stay.” I want to say I didn’t go; I want to say I said, No it is cold outside and it is 12AM and we just met online. But I went, came, and then left. Because well, sex, a hookup was just easier.

So yeah, I need a teacher. Someone teach me, how do I date and not interview; how do I date and not hookup? How do I just be?  Can we be on a date and not feel like we are auditioning for the position of boyfriend? Must there always be this performative aspect to the whole thing? And why, if we can’t get our talk and laugh on, is sex always still on the plate? Why do I sleep with guys I don’t date, and “talk to” guys I never sleep with? Here I am, unable to have a good date but able to hookup. The only dates I have ever been on has been with a guy who is my ex but not my ex because we were together but we weren’t together (which basically means we REALLY REALLY weren’t together but we were REALLY REALLY fucked up), and they weren’t “dates.” We laughed, we talked, we kissed, we hugged, we watched movies, went to the museums, talked about our lives and shared secrets with each other; we danced in my kitchen to Bette Midler’s “Rose” but none of them were official dates. So, in this age of hooking-up, sexting up, and stripping down, how do you date? Like literally, sit down, talk, laugh, enjoy each other, and schedule a follow up meet, you know, a date.


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My Drink

My Drink

Growing up Black you have many of the following conversations:
“Mom my stomach hurts.”
Mom: “Drink water.”
“Mom there is nothing to drink.”
Mom: “Drink some water.”
“I have a headache.”
Dad: “Drink water.”
“I think I broke my arm.”
Parents: “Drink water.”
Today my foot feels cramped and hurt, so I am guzzling water.


Grad School Scam

A colleague posted this on FB. It is an oldie but a goodie, and possibly true.

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