Scarce Identity: The Purple Side

Scarce Identity: The Purple Side

d2ec576031cfa11b906fc4802eb54c13I wouldn’t say this is a Prince tribute, but between his continuation and reading Frank Ocean’s tribute post on Tumblr, it encouraged me reveal a few passing thoughts.  Since Prince unforeseen move, there is a plethora of articles, think-pieces, opinion post about his non-conforming identity as a black male.  Frank Ocean alluded to this throughout his entry,”He was a straight black male who played his first televised set with bikini bottoms and knee high heeled boots.” Prince even eased Franks own self awareness when he said, “He made me more comfortable with how I identify sexually.” Now, not to be all in the mix, but we know exactly how that went down when he pulled that New York style butch-queen stunt right before releasing his debut album. Thus, collecting his coin from the gays dashing away into the mysterious leaving his fans and the newly gay fans for dry. Hopefully, Prince didn’t teach him how to Forest Gump…I digress, though. Prince own morals permeated the lives of many in the idea of self expression. However in my coming of age when sexuality and masculinity becomes the point in question out of every pubescent’s mouth, my inner thoughts always asked how can they respect his expression and not mine?

The high heeled purple spirit in bell bottoms, hip hugging jump suits, and Halle Berry short cuts was not around when I had to prove my manhood. He was before my time musically. The only time I would see him would be flashbacks shown on MTV some random Saturday afternoon. In those moments when he is wearing one his iconic flamboyant attires, I am thirteen trying to put him in a category as many currently did to me. Is he gay? What is he? People are allowing him to do these things? Boys can wear heels, since when? What seems to be homophobic questions from a sassy kid himself, were nothing more than inquisitions trying alleviate the suppression I put on myself.  I had to be meticulous in the way that I speak, dress, and act. Picking the tone in my voice and the way my hands move about with my words was a process as delicate as plucking petals. I was poor at suppressing those categories, but in how I dress I had no control over and Prince’s tight assembles were in contrast to the standard black male uniform of oversize everything. I had no celebrity hero that was equally accepted into the straight community and LGBTQ+ community as flagrant as Prince. No safe haven for me to conceal behind or vicariously live through. Either way, people loved him for his mystery while in the same breath try to breakdown what they couldn’t understand in me and people alike, even my mother.

My dad thought he dressed a little too feminine for his taste, my mother loved his music, Daily News front cover is of him with his legs crossed in his legendary heeled boots calling him “Sexy” While I struggle to put on leg warmers in hopes that I won’t get menacing looks and sarcastic questions at the age of 23. Do you see where I’m going with this? What partitioned him from me, what made his being acceptable and praised and not the tone of my voice, or the fit of my clothes, my proper dialect,  the glide in my step, my interest in things feminine? Something as simple as going out with leg warmers on a brutally cold New York winter day was an audacious task. the alarming feeling of fear heating my chest, sitting in the back of my throat as I timidly decide if I should place my jeans over them or not. Would I get looks and sly comments? What would my coworkers think? Would my mom question my gender for the hundredth time as she did when I accidentally left foundation in the bathroom? Is it going to bring unwarranted attention? I went ahead and placed them over my knee after drilling to myself, “Don’t matter who says what to you, you bought it, you like it, it’s cold, wear it.” Then someone later asks, “What is that on your legs,” when clearly it is obvious. “Don’t girls wear that for dance?”  Although my sarcastic responses were so keenly sharp with shade, deep down I felt like I called it upon myself.

prince-08  In trying to decipher it all between him and I and others alike, I came up with the idea that Prince gave the straight community something to look past his gender fluidity: His music. As long as you give them something to look past you will be okay. Got to have that something else that will be big enough to water down their ignorance. You can’t just be a regular feminine black male. You need a superior talent. One can express freely as long as you can slay a weave, design their home, shady humor, make them best dressed at the Grammy’s, and write the best gossip column. Or in another case, sleep solely with women. That way the determining factor, who one lays down in bed with, will decide the likeliness of positive receptivity. A women can listen to Prince and wish to sleep with him, while a male can do the same and assume his lyrics are about females and feel comfortable singing them. There shouldn’t be a pass for Prince in heels and a guitar while men like E.J. Johnson; Magic Johnson son, is chastised. Along with  Miss Lawrence and Derek J being slandered because of  who they sleep with is the determining factor of acceptance.

This isn’t about Prince. This is me trying to understand my self identity through him and question why society accepted him and cannot accept  me and others alike. No, I’m not crying out to wear heels. However, like Prince, he was an unapologetic spirit. I need to be that. Part of me is still healing from the past wounds as it still plays a part in how fully self express today. Part of me needs approval. I am working on that, I know I don’t need it. I don’t need Kid Cudi and Will Smith to make it okay for me to wear a crop top or Jaden Smith to pick a shirt from the girls section. I don’t need a rapper to be dressed in all pink for me to wear pink. I don’t need a straight male or women to vogue in order for me feel comfortable voguing in public. I don’t need Tank making a video about his salad being tossed for me to toss mine with organic toppings. I don’t need an presumably straight male to approve my fluid expression, my feminine side of a young black man. It’s the unwavering confidence in my self expression I am perfecting. Thanks Prince!

 

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Mental Trauma

They argued with such vitriol that they didn’t notice the children standing between them, until the unforeseen happened.

When I think back that’s all I remember. Being a little boy deathly afraid of my father because that’s what he wanted. He spoke loudly on a daily bases to remind my brother and I we were inferior to his being. His size that stood 6’0  high and over 200 pounds, mostly muscle from his high school years of being a star football player.

His eyes were blank when him and my mother viciously argued. My mothers voice powerful for a black woman was unmatched to my fathers. Friday nights were not the glory days  adults and kids awaited for. While Fridays marked the day of freedom for others, Fridays marked the day of trauma and distraught, as it foreshadowed the hell stricken weekend. Paranoia was my best friend that manifested into a deep soulful hate that lived inside of me.

I had thoughts of killing my father for the drunk nights he would come on the weekends. I would stand only a little over 5 feet staring at him with my lips curled in, eyes pinched together, and little fist balled thinking of that steak knife. The enemy would lay passed out on the couch with his sliva peaking out from his lips while snoring.

He would wake me up and my brother up and speak to us from 11 at night till 3 in the morning about nothing. He forced us to stay up while he condemned us for being kids. He would tell us we don’t need any friends and we don’t need family. No one will care for us as his family never cared for him.

My brother and I both less then age of ten and three years apart never knew what a quiet home was between my mom and dad. Deplorable slurs of words clashed between the two giants  violently every weekend for all of my childhood.

 Nights of him sending us in our room crying behind a door while our ears were pressed against it was normal. Unbreakable nervousness rode the thick red water in our veins when he would threaten to break my mothers ankles. Tears of silent prayers ran on our cheeks.

I can’t seem to forget a history that was part of me as I remained isolated disabling the need to express my grief in what I went through at home. As it was “no ones business,” as my father would say, “what happens at home”.

So I developed the ability to compartmentalize the terror for weekends only. This was my only coping strategy although I was unaware at the time. I gained victory in my dreams as a kid when I would beat my father off my mother. Or when I do grave harm on to him falsely giving me courage I never had growing up.

For being so afraid to die in his arms.

Daily Prompt – For Posterity

A Rose In A Hard Place: Chapter 2

A Rose In A Hard Place: Chapter 2

 

read Part 1 here 

“What would you like to order?” The waitress asked in the most courteous voice. “I’ll take the Dancing Chicken with brown rice,” I ordered. “And I will take the Crying Tiger with brown rice as well.” Anya added. “And what would you like to drink with that?” “Two cranberry juices in the largest size you have,” Anya said. “But who said I wanted cranberry–” “Shh! be quiet girl and yes that will be all,” Anya said,  outpouring her smile that can steal Wall St Investors wallets. I shook my head and rolled my eyes from knowing how Anya already acts with her robust self. She grabbed her black lambskin Christian Dior bag from her hip and placed it on her lap and started ransacking inside. “Girl, what are you looking for?” I asked.  Anya pulled out her crystal craved flask. I know she was not about the spike our drinks with her liquor. This should not surprise me after the twelfth time she spiked our drinks at even the most tasteful restaurants. “That is so ghetto Anya put it away, like now.” I tried to obscure my eyes with my hand trying to hide away from the bashfulness. “Miss Thing…I make my own money, I have my own business, if want to bring liquor I will. Plus, this is not just any liquor. This is a twelve thousand dollar diamond distilled Kors Vodka.” Anya said.

I was nearly two seconds away from hurdling out my seat to slap some sense into her. Anya is still the same girl from our high school years when we used to venture up and down the streets of Harlem in our fresh new pairs of Jordan’s. Times have changed since, now we’ve moved up from the middle class . But damn, she still got that edge all up in her, especially in that luxurious vodka. I’m not even going to lie, I wanted a taste of this diamond vodka.

“You know,” Anya started, “You honestly should have gone with us on Jessica’s trip. We had such a blast! The men were dope, we got so many free drinks, I got into at least five clubs for free, and to top it off…I had this fine ass dark chocolate, football player looking, sex God tastes my treats!” Anya started to fan herself in excitement. “You know it’s been a long time coming since I had this kitty cat primed and polished. It was worth the wait. Can I get an Amen!”

“Amen!” I shouted, but this wasn’t I wanted to hear at this time. “But Yo! Let me finish telling you what happened.”

 

 

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.

 

 

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.”

Ever Critically Analyzed Your Relationship? Well, Here’s Mine of Four Years. Part 1: The Value

We have been together for nearly three years going on four. Which has been the most trans-formative experience to my personal growth. Ever! I’m only twenty-two getting out of his first long term relationship. With a clear insight to who I am, I’m growing into a person that is in search for deeper understanding of all things. When I realize through life experience how everything is well constructed into each other, feeding off each other, evolving out of each other, there was always a “Why” behind everything. Understanding Why lessen the reason to pass judgement towards anything. As, you wouldn’t pass judgement on to yourself because only you know where you came from and why you choose the choices you did. As one get’s deeper into themselves they may even uncover  the unconscious choices too! At the start of 18 years of age part of my life has been the search for a deeper sense of me, that I was beyond my skin color, sex, sexuality, and tradition. That I didn’t have to be bonded by negative thoughts and emotions and act irrational and call it “Normal.” While reading self-help books like “The power of the Now” by Eckhart Tolle, and other amazing authors like Napoleon Hill, Elizabeth Gilbert, and more I widened my perspective with so many things that elevated me beyond the normal thought patterns. I am intrigued about the understand of self, The understanding of self ego and how it plays out through you relationships with people. I am intrigued by the understand of Love unconditionally in full condition. Which means the absence of passing judgment and insecurities and trying to make your partner fit into this idealism of what you want them to be. Aren’t we all guilty of that.

So I’m here to tell a story of four years. I’m telling it through my eyes. Its not a story from a broken heart. I’m not broken.  A disclaimer though there will be some tooting of my own horns through my confidence because I am proud of myself. Here I hope my thoughts that I am no longer tied to or  identify with be relatable to you and see part of my thought process.

Here it is…welcome in.

                     My idea of relationship is very simple. Memories. Being with someone you love should be an ease as breathing where the importance of the relationship is the strengthening of a bond. A bond that was filled with memories and conversations that allows you to dig deeper and understand why a person is they way they are and love them all the way through. I am the type of person who wants to experience new things and adventures with my partner. The thirst for interesting life experiences that sets us aside  from other what I call “average” relationships, that is predominately filled with  the next argument, movies dates, and going to work. Within the four years of being with him I tried my best to instill new adventures that hold close dear to my heart. With it came the thought of, “Am I the only one bringing new experiences into the relationship?
The person I was with, which I knew from the jump, was a person that had a tunnel vision for one goal in life. I loved that about him, it was the opposite counterpart to who I am. As I was still developing who am I. I came into this relationship at 18 wanting to be a weatherman, to let go of the relationship being a writer and a radio host. Because of this, I didn’t accept that striving for a long life goal means you couldn’t input in other area’s of relationship. I saw it as this, If I can go to work, go to school full time,  balance my hobby, and still manage you express my love and time for you, think of future dates…he can do the same. As in my perspective, all he really had to manage was me and his training days. His work days were never a much of a determining factor in my relationship with him. Because of this again, I didn’t want to just accept the bare minimum. I also did not like the feeling of being the anchor of the relationship, unless I’m consistently being shown or told of my value to him. In other words, I didn’t mind holding the relationship down, but a simple thank you or a random form of appreciation would mean a lot. It would say to me, “I know I am not doing all that I can because I am focused elsewhere, but I still see and admire your effort to keep in tact.” I wasn’t sure of my value to him, maybe that was part of my insecurity. A strong maybe.

I did struggle greatly in understanding my value to him. I knew, but you don’t want to just know and that be the final action of just knowing, you want experience it. I want to see it, read it, taste it, feel it, and more. I didn’t want just knowing to be  all I have, because my thought would then say, “How do I know he values me in what way do I have proof?” Then the distress came from looking in my room seeing nothing and having nothing as proof, on top of as previously stated, the feeling getting just the bare minimum. For an example, you don’t want to know your mother just loves you. You want to experience it so you can feel it. Feeling it beats any materialistic proof. The answer than came to me and it struck a major cord. I realized that my value to him was measured based upon answering text messages first, answering my calls first, and top position on Facebook. When I gathered all this I was upset because I was belittled for not equating those same ways.

        So my thought went as follows,
Who am I to judge how to express your love to someone. I am honored to be the top position on Facebook because it does mean we speak most compared to anybody else, I honor you value the urgency to respond to me first before any other text messages or calls. But I would never knew any of these priorities First hand. These are things that only one person can witness and that’s you!”

For an example, In my phone he was titled “My Everything” and  “Lover boy” with my favorite picture of him. When I found out It wasn’t the same, I didn’t think any less of him. I didn’t make it a big deal because that was MY personal expression of my love for him in my way. What he valued me on was based off his own personal expression that I cannot experience. I took it as that is his only way to show gratitude and appreciation, therefore he expects me to also have the same exact criteria. Yes, small things do count; everything counts. Does that mean its small enough to where another person cant see, hear, and feel it. Instead after every great way of me expressing gratitude and love came with it a bomb of disappoints for not always keeping aboard with his list of expectations that stemmed from how he solely handles things. Almost like in a religious way; Its only way which is my way and any other way no matter if the results are the same is then wrong. All efforts or consideration is not good enough. If It wasn’t a bomb of disappointments it was in some way shape or form me falling short of something.

To the point I would sit and think,
You are so concerned about my actions and what test of yours I’m going to pass or what expectation I’m  going to succeed that you are forgetting what you actually put into the relationship.  To busy not looking at the bigger picture of who is in front of you and what has done and still be willing to do. I’m being take granted for he must not realize how much I put up with and pick up what he “cannot do” for I respect his life goal. I made it to easy for him, if he was confident in what he put in he wouldn’t have to worry about what friend I’m around, who hit on me and how it was handled.

             If I didn’t meet these things, It was my responsibility to fix them, because “I am the reason he feel this way” and I have yet found the best possible solution to fix. I am the full reason behind every disappointment. Instead of taking responsibility ones own insecurity.  Eventually, it became well maybe he’s right. I guess it’s something I have to prove to him on and work within myself on top of holding the relationship. To busy trying to give, and make sure he is not disappointed, I never sat back watched what I am actually receiving from him. What happens when I stop being blind and really look at what I am getting in return.

And the critical thinking begins….
Now…

In part 2…hehe!

Heavy waters.

I took off my shirt and threw it to the side of the bathroom. It fell on the side of the toilet, but I didn’t care. I followed with my pants being pulled down. My brown temple showed it self in the mirror that holds no secrets. I took off my underwear revealing all of my brownskin in different shades. My hair is two weeks outdated from its last haircut. My face sullen with marks of acne and bad dieting. I pushed aside my white sea shelled bath curtains to turn on the knobs and ignite the shower. The terrental rains splattered against the tub. I made my way in. My once dry skin is now moist. My sanctuary fills up with warm steam. I try to let go of the built up emotions, but I failed.  I opened my body scrub with sea salt and essential oils that changed the scenery with its Forrest smell. The essential oils soften my skin to impeccable luxury. I try to embrace the gratitude I felt when my hands raced across my arms and legs with slippery ease. The smell transports me to a get away in brackets of imagination flashes. Vacation away haulted by upsetting thoughts:
   I don’t understand any longer. The fight and the confusion. The paranoia and discomfort. I don’t know if this love is toxic. I don’t know if this is love. Why can’t we be at peace forever with each other. Why must you be so paranoid. Are you afraid I’m going leave? Why not focus on making me happy; making each other happy. I thought everything was fine. I thought we were moving forward. Maybe cause I accepted flattery. Did you accept flattery as well? Have you been perfect all up until now ? Are we not mature enough? I ask of the universe to send me the right answer to show me is this right for me. My insticts are confusing me. I need something definite.
  My face frowned. My head, like a reseviour of water, held stress. I can feel the worry. I can feel the confusion. I can feel the dis-ease. I belted out a loud cry. I dip my head in pouring rain. I hope the warmth of the water will embrace me enough to rid my thought and promote a positive feeling. Instead, it caused me buckle down. I sat in the tub hunched over. I accepted how I felt as now. I didn’t want to accept my thoughts. I didn’t want to no longer feel this discomfort. Still bare in skin I belted out one last time. This wail broke the dam that held my emotions and it poured. I, like the water pelting against my skin, began to weep. I take my hands and placed them on my head as the water falls rapidly. The water curves my hands and my eyes. The water stream seperates on my face making new trails across my eyes, down my nose falling off a cliff to the top of my full lips. The warmer water from inside slowly trickled my cheeks moving at its own pace admist the wild foreign waters. I can taste the salty tears and the fluoride infused water.

I have one last chance in me. If this doesn’t work. I will fully take all responsibility and go for good.

I will try to be vulnerable.