The Gritty (part 3)

The Gritty (part 3)

Kasey walked over to me. “Don’t worry about Tommy he is just going through it. He is however the cunt one I was telling you about. Are you sure you don’t want to come with us to club reign?” she asked.  I really didn’t want to go honestly. I initially only came here to be with Tyree, but he brought me here to this environment instead the movies. “Nah. I am good. I’ll just go home,” I said. “Are you sure? You know it’s tranny night!” ” I am okay. For real,” I replied. ” I just don’t feel like being around all of that.” “Why? you know many of them?” she asked. I didn’t feel like opening up to her about my life and who I speak to. I don’t know her. “No, I don’t know any.” I lied. ” I want you to meet my friend, he is so dope. Plus he is a top.  He is so cute. Its his birthday so that’s what we’re celebrated for. I really want you to come its going to be fun.” I denied once more hoping she doesn’t ask me again before I get annoyed.

Tyree and Tommy came from the other room still in conversation about the loss in their family. I took a sip of my drink when the short Spanish lady who sniff coke intervened  again.  She made her self comfortable next to me  asking me for my number. She thinks I am so cool, though I only said last then a sentence. “Yeah my number is 555-671-3000.” I don’t know why I gave her my number, my real number at that. She put on her winter coat and left out the door.  The stranger sitting across from me was drunk to the point of no return. He had a bottle of Hennessy drinking it straight. I looked at him with a screwed face. How can people drink dark liquor with ease like that?  Kasey and I had started a new conversation. She is an interesting girl who is very affluent in this lingo and it made my question who she knows. Maybe we have the same friends and that wouldn’t be in my favor.

“Yeah, my shit was laced. I am telling you. I was fucking with this doctor who I was his assistant for. He was married and everything and still was hitting me off with a few dollars. That nigga wanted me to move in with him upstate. He had a summer-house up there he said I could stay in. He’s a Jew so you know what that means…”

“That he has money, lots of it,” I said, laughing. Tommy and Tyree disappeared into the back room again.
“You damn right, well anyways, I– Wait, why are y’all always talking in the room? Y’all being mad disrespectful to your guest here,” Kasey said to Tommy and Tyree.
“This is my house!” yelled Tommy “N-No one is going to tell me how to run m-my house, okay?”
“But damn boy, why are you acting so shady all of a sudden that is not cute. I am your sis you, don’t you do that!”
Tommy smiled and they decided to hug and exchange I love you’s a few times.

“That is my sis, Me and Tommy been through it all, especially when we out looking for dick. I am telling you Tommy be getting the niggas. You may be a little old now, but that bitch knows how to hustle. Shit, they be after him more than me and I am the girl. They be saying, ‘I don’t want you, you got a pussy I can that in the morning.”

“Are you serious?” I said taking a sip of my vodka and Dr. pepper mix. “Where you do you guys do this at.” I grew a strong sense of curiosity. It seemed so daring, thrilling, and exciting to go out to the unknown and cruise people. Like trick or trick for adults. I wanted to know more. I wanted to her to show me where, but there’s a time and place.
” Right here, in the Bronx on the other side of the four train it’s heavy in that area. Yo! one time we had to run for our lives like dead ass. Some nigga pulled out a knife on us and we had to fight our way out.
“For real? Oh my God, wow that is crazy what happened?” I asked.
” We was sucking the guy off in the staircase and then he just started panicking thinking we was going to tell people on his block about it. Then he pulled out a knife. That was the first time I say Tommy actually fight. I was not expecting his gay ass to buck down but he held his own, ya know.”

“Wait, what happen with the Jewish doctor?” I took another sip.

 

 

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The Gritty ( part 2 )

The Gritty ( part 2 )

As I was walking up the steps, I saw a grown man fair-skinned with a scruff face. Tyree introduced him to me immediately, “This is Donovan I was telling you about earlier that was coming.” Tommy looked at him with a strong stare without saying a word. I started to feel unwelcome already. I was the last to walk into the door leaving me face to face with tommy. I told him thank you for having me and reached out to shake his hand. He ignored it and gave me a hug instead. “You’re welcome, you can sit at the corner in the chair.” I sat down and got comfortable making sure all my belongs were together. By the looks of it everybody already had to be older than me by at least a decade.

This other grown man was already drunk in front of me. He was so incoherent I probably appeared as a mirage to him.  Soon this short Spanish lady started talking to me out of random. “Yes, sweet heart, have yourself a drink. You know my man doesn’t even know that I am. I am soon about to go before he gets home,” the random lady said swaying side to side marinated in her liquor. “You know, what my man doesn’t know will not hurt him. I do a little…” She gestured her hand to her nose. “And my kids don’t know either. I have older kids about twenty-two and twenty-four, also I got my youngest daughter of two.” I started to then question her age if her oldest kid and I are the same age. Then to have a younger daughter of only two years, what age did she start having kids? ” I am 42,” she continued. “It is nobody business what drugs I do. I do my drugs for myself and not anybody else. So no one, especially my kids, can think they have the right to do it.” Although drunk, she made a valid point.  She continued in her ramblings about her and her friends and how they party about. I sat there listening and agreeing to everything she said. I don’t know her.

Tommy came out from his room showing me a picture of his Godparents. “This is a picture of my parents, I call them my parents because  didn’t know my real parents.” His godmother looked so pretty in her 1960’s glam hair style, her body pinched in a silver dress, and her lashes  with heavy eyeliner. “She looked like a party goer,” I said. “yeah, she was but she just passed, you still  have your mom around?” Tommy asked. “Yeah, I do.” I responded.  “Well, cherish her because my godmother was all I had and now she is gone.” Tommy started to weep empty tears, but I felt the pain inflicted on him from this realization. Tyree came from behind him, “Yo, what the hell I told you about tell everybody your passing. You not gonna’ learn are you? People are out here ready to take advantage of your ass and you’re out here being a bitch in front of strangers.” “Look!” Tommy blurted, “I am a grown ass man and this is my house and I can do what ever the hell I want too. Tyree, we have to talk come with me in my room.”

The Gritty

The Gritty

Damn, It is so cold I hope I don’t get stood up again, I thought. I paid the cab driver twenty dollars  wishing him a safe and good night. I stood right on the corner and gave him a call.  He didn’t pick up. It had to be sixteen degrees outside and Lord knows I don’t want to be out here for long. I saw the street sign counting down from 20 seconds and ran across the Grand Concourse to the other side. Maybe if I wait half way into the subway I won’t be too cold. I was making my way down the steps when someone called me. It was a middle-aged black man with his lips swollen.
“Hey sir, I’m sorry I know it’s cold I came from the shelter that’s around the block behind Taft High School, I need help with getting my ID in Brooklyn. It’s kind of hard asking people out here, you know man, this one guy thought he was too good to help me.”

I looked at him and shook my head. “Yeah, okay do you need help getting on the train I can swipe you on–”
“No,” He interrupted,” I can get on the train with no problem, I just need help with money for getting my ID, you see this?” He pointed to his fist. I saw one huge, dry, ashy, cold knuckle. “My main man, was telling me not to act a fool and rob people.”
” Yeah, don’t do that sir, it’s no need for all of that it is way too cold!” I said. He continued asking if I can help him with anything and I stood there thinking what I should do. Should I lie and say no? or break my twenty and give him ten?
“Well, lets look for a store and I will help you out with something.” I said. He sighed in great relief. We found a store several feet away where I broke the twenty and gave him two fives.
“Yo, man thank you so much, I am so grateful. I seen you cross the street and wanted to compliment your jacket also.” He said. I get compliments on my jacket quite often.
“Thank You and sure no problem.” I said. ” So what is your name?” He asked.
“My name is Donovan.” We walked back up the hill to the concourse and bid farewells when my phone started to ring.

It was Tyree. I seen him across the street standing tall with his Tim’s that match his beige jacket and hat. He was looking all other ways instead of in front of him when I approached him. He still looked the same from last week. Which made me a little at ease. “Yo, your here,” He said smiling. “I’m sorry that I had you waiting the other two times. I told you about my cousin in-law getting locked up and shit. I know we were suppose to go to the movies too–”
“Yeah, I know, but it is okay, now I am here. It’s cold as fuck now too.” I said. We walked down the hill. He was telling me how  they all drinking getting ready for the night.  He convinced me to get some liquor. I didn’t feel like drinking, merely because I didn’t want to be drunk in an unfamiliar place with strange people. “Okay, but I am getting the smallest thing of vodka,” I said. “Alright cool, and I’ll cover your drink,” he said.  I got me a little Barton’s Vodka. I never had that brand. I am not even a drinker. Liquor stores are as foreign to me as Spongebob is to being late for work.

I Want To Be Understood.

I want to be understood. Like how one understand the calculation of the seasons, like how the Egyptians knew the precise location of Sirus A.

I want to be understood.

That “ah ha!” moment.

The feeling when someone says “I get what your saying.”

The moment when someone agrees with you. The moment you convinced someone who you are on an emotional level.

I want to be understood. Like how one understands to smile when they feel joy.  Like how you understand a child.

I want to be understood that I am a human.

I am Dontae.

I am who I am.

I am all that is.

But I have to really learn and not fight that idea everybody will understand me. I am not asking to agree. I am asking to hear me out.

Know why I do what I do.

Why I am they way I am.
Why I read certain things.
Why I give.
Why I expect.
Why I believe.

Why things interest me.
Why I am seeking.
Why I am joking.
Why I am hiding.

Why something may anger me.
Why I may pass judgement.
Why I have an opinion.
Why I am emotional

Why I am happy.
Why I am rebellious.
Why this scares me.
Why I have hope.

There is power in knowing why? Its what leads to discovery. The discovery of one another, the discovery of true understanding. Why is what pulls the layers of one apart reaching into the depths unexplored, unexplained, while bridging gaps that connects to everything. The conflict is accepting not everybody cares to know why? That the only thing that matters is the action inflicted not the understand the reason. I have to rid the feeling to convince people of who I am. I have to rid the feeling to be understood. How can one come form a place of compassion without understanding, without knowing why what is-is?

We may not like or agree with the unfair laws placed against us, but there’s a reason.
You may not like the high price in gas, but there’s a reason.
You may not like that you got cheated on, but there’s a reason.
A serial killer killed hundreds, but he has a reason.
She selling her body on the street, but she has a reason.
He stole him from his dad, but he has a reason.
Terrorist had reason.
Countries don’t like American, for a more than agreeable reasons.

You think the wise one knew what they were up against without knowing the reason?
You think Gandhi faced his battles without knowing why the oppressors are what they are?
You think MLK, Malcolm X and more,  didn’t know why they wanted to oppress Blacks?
You think terrorist have a reason?

I want to be understood.
I want to be looked at as all the parts of me in one.
Look at me holistically.
The merge of all reasoning.

Boys Do “This,” Girls Do “That”

Growing up I was very Unique. In most pictures it was very easy to point me out, not because I was extremely cute with a smile of the sun and dimples of the deep, but merely from being the kid that did weird poses and expression. I made picture taking…FUN! And this sense of  doing what comes to mind is still with me today. It, however, wasn’t easy.

I was really good by the way

I was really good by the way

I don’t know why, I don’t even care to know why, I was attracted to “girly” things. No! not wearing my moms clothes or having long hair, although, I did used to put the neck of a T-shirt around my head to swing it, but all kids did that!  . . right? Well, who cares. In elementary school,  I would be the boy you mostly see with the girls playing hand games like Numbers, Patty Cake, Miss Marry Mat, and Tweet Baby! I loved the hand eye coordination matched with rhythmic words telling an elaborate story. I would literally be the only boy to do these activities, and of course I did get the back lash of words and phrases belittling my being. Kids are mean. They say what they want with no second thought or remorse. Uncouthly, they speak their truth.
Naively, I thought I could bring the same careless at home. Nope, that wasn’t the case. I had a bad history of being teased for being feminine. My parents tried to conform me in ways to oppose the harsh criticism. Sometimes it resulted in me teasing them back or fighting, which didn’t happen often.

Nobody sent me this fake change from kids to boys...fuck that I'm stay a kid!

Nobody sent me this fake change from kids to boys…fuck that I’m stay a kid!

I hated being teased, but I hated to do things that did not appeal to me even more. Hanging around girls came with a strong sense of ease. They had more fun together, they were always consistently laughing and giggling. Boy’s on the other hand, I felt like I had to live up to an expectation of masculinity that took way to much work. I felt like they and me were acting. Especially, around intermediate school, boys “grew up”. In the summer of 4th grade going into 5th grade, Allegedly, there was a memo sent around saying boys will now prematurely deepen their voices, pull their pants below their waist, and only like basketball and football. I damn sure never got this memo.

I liked playing double dutch. My parents tried numerous times to ban me from playing it. It was something that “girls do” amongst me talking with my hands, because Italians do that too, and talking on the phone too long, etc. I remember playing double dutch with my friends and my mother came to the park to pick me up. She scolded me, “Didn’t I tell you, you shouldn’t be jumping Double Dutch, it’s for girls, are you a girl?

Then came the lecture of in order to stop the name calling I had stop doing girly things bullshit.  This started to take a toll on me. I was afraid to bring a rope home, I was afraid to speak on experiences. I slowly was developing a double life very early in my childhood. One day I after a good rope session I made up this dumb lie to change her perspective on me jumping rope.  I said, “Mom did you know they passed a law so boys can jump rope.” She replied sarcastically, “oh really?”

downloadI thought I had won her over and now I was freed from the shackles of stupidity. I was wrong again. I with all honestly couldn’t not understand what rule book many people were going by. Did I really lived in my own world throughout my life? The rejection forced me look at the world around me and question deeply WHO MAKES THESE STUFF UP? and why can’t I just do and be me? what is so wrong for a boy to play hand games and jump rope. I’m not going around in girls clothes at 7 yrs. of age, or even saying I want to be a girl.  So I felt If I can’t do what I want to do, then I’m not going to do anything at all. And that’s exactly what I did till I was 15.

SO, I ask you readers, have you ever been forced out of your likings for the sake of someone else or image?