One day in college I sat in the cafeteria and listened to this song over and over and over. With my earphones in deep, I surveyed the room looking at all the male faces, tyring to choose which one I’d like to say, “Now I tell you openly. You have my heart so don’t hurt me.” Man, I spent a lot of unnecessary time fantasizing in college.
I was outside my parent’s house trying to get a good picture of the stinging nettles in the back yard. I leaned in closely, careful not to get stung, and snapped a few photos. None of them were turning out how I had hoped, they kept looking like marijuana leaves. Frustrated, I gave up and went inside.
Mom was standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes. She turned around and smiled and nodded towards the living room to where Dad was sitting with his back to me. She turned off the faucet and dried her hands on the yellow, tattered towel then threw it over the dish drainer. I followed her into the living room where it was really warm. Not like a sauna but more like that feeling you get after 2 glasses of wine.
Que’Shayda was sprawled out on the couch reading Ebony magazine as Dad sat in his favorite chair watching the game. Mom and I both started crying at the miracle of his presence. My brother walked in tossing a football from hand to hand. The minute she saw him, Que’Shayda put down her magazine and sat up off the couch.
“Why didn’t you return Tay Tay’s call?” she asked aggressively. He stopped tossing the football and snapped back, “You mean Dunkin’ Donuts?” and then the two of them left the room.
As I continued to weep, Mom rubbed Dad’s back. Then, as fast as the typebar of a typewriter rocketing up, one question came rushing to the front of my brain.
“What’s heaven like?” I asked.
He turned off the T.V. and looked at me and then at Mom. There was a moment of silence and then he shook his head in disappointment and said, “I’m happier here.”
“We’ll talk about that later,” said Mom.
My weeping got drowned out by the sound of sirens speeding up the driveway. The sirens turned into my alarm and then I woke up.
Co-Worker:I don’t understand why you wouldn’t invite me to their party if you knew about it.
Me:Are you serious? I guess because my parents taught me manners. It’s rude to invite people to parties if you’re not the host.
Co-worker:That’s not the point.
Me:There is no point. Get the fuck out of here.
NOTE:There was big drama at work when rumor got around that there was gonna be a Halloween party at someone’s house and this girl didn’t get the invite. The mature 27 year-old that she is then did what many people consider appropriate now and days and updated her status on Facespace: “I am beside myself. How can 2 ppl who I thought were my friends deliberately not invite me to their Halloween party and continue to talk about it in front of my face and invite all of our co-workers!!! I don't get the need to be better than everyone else in LA. Insecurity?”... Humans can be such annoying creatures sometimes.
I was dating this guy named Paul for about 3 months. He was 25, born and raised in Los Angeles, and had recently moved out of his parents house. He called me one afternoon and had to cancel our date because he was rollerblading earlier that morning, hit a curb, and fell. He skinned up his knees and elbows and couldn’t move his joints. Halfway through the conversation I heard him cringe in pain and say, “Ouch, Mom! That hurts!”
“Um, we can talk later if you and your Mom are busy,” I said.
It was kind of weird that he was 25 years-old and still had his Mom fixing his boo-boos. Apparently he talked to his Mom every day and saw her at least once a week. We rescheduled the date for the following day.
After our date we went back to my place to do sicky things. I was on all fours as he stood at the foot of the bed doing me doggy style (his knees were still sensitive). We were both enjoying it and things were going great. He finally pulled out and finished all over my back. Normal. I sat there for a second catching my breath and felt the warmth of the cum and thought, “O.K., better go grab a towel before this turns cold.” I didn’t act quickly enough. He leaned over and like a Hoover vacuum, sucked up all his own cum. He started at the bottom of my spinal cord and zigzagged his way up.
I immediately rolled onto my back and looked at him with fear in my eyes.
“What was that?” I asked.
“What?” he said and then took a big gulp.
“Nothing,” I said.
It’s a rule of mine now to never date a guy who talks to and/or sees his Mom every day.
Last night I drove across town to Echo Park to meet up with Rosie to listen to some good old fashioned storytelling. “The Moth presents the GrandSLAM. A battle of wits and words – fierce, hilarious, heartbreaking and all points in between. Featuring the winners of the past 10 Moth StorySLAMS,” is how they described it. I’m normally not a fan of events like this because they make me too anxious. It’s stressful being part of an audience when there’s a possibility that the person on stage could bomb. It’s awkward.
There was a guy from Iceland who told a story about how he hacked a computer. He had a very thick accent. His story wasn’t all that great but the fact that he was telling it in another language really won the crowd over. Why are we such idiots for accents? There’s something enduring about a grown man from another country saying, “It was so cute, it tickled my bottom.” He could have told us all to go to hell and we’d still give him a standing ovation. One of the best parts about being a foreigner is that you never bomb. I’m sure the minute he told that story back in Iceland they beat the hell out of him.
An 11 year-old boy gets a new bike for Kwanzaa. He’s overwhelmed and the first thing he does is run outside and start pedaling. His legs are moving in a circular blur and the chain is cranking like it was being operated by a fuel injected engine. Tiny bits of gravel are spitting up behind him. This isn’t his first time riding a bike but it is his first time riding a NEW bike so he’s super excited and disregards all rules, like slowing down for the sharp turn that’s approaching. The minute he takes the corner his bike goes skidding on its side and sends him rolling through the gravel, ripping chunks of skin off his knees and elbows, finally stopping when he hits the wall of the utility shed. He’s a bloody mess, but survives. As he sits up and rubs his head he thinks, “I knew better.”
This is kind of how my experience went when I got my new iPhone and downloaded Words with Friends. I was so excited to be part of the group that I started inviting people right and left. You know I’m real simple when it comes to words so this isn’t a game I should be playing with just anyone. People started forfeiting when they’d play “quartzy” for 80 points and I’d fire back with “at” for 2 points. It’s been a month now and the excitement has worn off but there are 2 people who have stuck it out with me.
The first is a co-worker who never graduated High School. He’s dyslexic and still uses his fingers to count. He’s beating me 473 to 180. He’s clearly cheating and using that website that calculates the highest scoring word possible. The other day he came up with “zaftig.” I didn’t say anything because nothing makes me feel better than letting an idiot feel smart. I’m a nice guy, sue me.
The second is a guy that went to Law School with my friend. She’s been trying to hook us up ever since I lived in Spain but when I got back he had a boyfriend so it hasn’t exactly worked out. However, he recently ended that relationship and is single again. I’ve been weary to ask him out because I’m intimidated by his intelligence and feel he might be out of my league. The other day he beat me 450 to 296. I messaged him, “Winner owes the loser a drink.” He wrote back, “I thought it was the other way around, but O.K.”
I haven’t been to Yoga in 3 weeks. I have the time I just keep coming up with excuses. “I probably won’t find parking this late at night,” or “Uh, yeah, it’s Tuesday and I’m still hungover from the wedding on Saturday.” It’s my only form of exercise, both physically and mentally, so I really feel it when I don’t go. I woke up paralyzed from stress today and realized that if I didn’t go I was going to die. Die.
I went to a new class today with a new teacher. His name was Roger and he sounded like he was from New York. He had a nasally voice and was rather pudgy. I was a bit surprised because most Yoga instructors are pretty svelte. Roger didn’t waste any time getting us in poses. He started quick and he started hard. He walked around the room like a drill sergeant calling out different poses, one after another. 30 minutes into it I got really frustrated that my hands were slipping and my legs hurt and my shirt was coming up and above all, that Roger wasn’t being sympathetic by giving us a break.
I started thinking like a crazy person: “Fuck you Roger! Go to hell you son-of-a-bitch! I hope you die you stupid blood fart! You’re not even doing these poses you lazy bastard! I’d like to see you get down here and do them!”
That’s when I realized it wouldn’t matter if Roger got down and did them. I’m not there to better Roger’s physical and mental well being, I’m there to better mine. This is about me, not Roger. I’m just looking for someone else to blame. I had to stop finding excuses as to why I couldn’t do things. That’s when I felt a knot in my neck go away. Oh gawd Roger, ya big lug! Love ya!
The primary definition of the Spanish word entender is to understand. However, in Spain it’s also slang for to be gay. So if a guy was interested and wanted to know if you were gay he’d ask, “¿Entiendes/Do you understand?”
I really like how that translates: to be gay means you understand.
I’m still Mario’s bitch but I’m trying really hard to be his lady.
Sign #16 that you’re not just a dude’s bitch is if you meet up for lunch dates. So I casually threw out the idea of us meeting up in Echo Park to have lunch at one of my favorite taco trucks. He said, “Sure. What time? Like 10 or something?” I tried my hardest not to seem excited and said, “That’s too early for tacos. How about noon?”
I couldn’t sleep the night before. How was the date gonna go? I imagined us getting our tacos and walking to the lake where we’d eat on the grass while watching the ducks swim. I’d be in the middle of telling him a story about how I used to have ducks growing up when he’d interrupt to wipe off the chunk of sour cream stuck
on my cheek. Instead of wiping his finger on a napkin he’d just stick it in his mouth and lick it clean. I’d blush. To make this all even more romantic, it’d be in Spanish.
He texted me that morning. He wasn’t in the mood for tacos so he suggested another place A Peruvian joint called Mario’s located in a mini mall on the corner of Melrose and Vine, central Los Angeles. Real romantic. Oh, and he said that he was bringing a friend.
I got sad. On the way there I kept asking myself, “Is he bringing a friend because he doesn’t want this to seem like a date? Am I that bad? Really though, what were you expecting? Why do you keep creating these false, weird little fantasies about heterosexual men?” That’s when an ad came on the radio for prostate cancer and I snapped out of it. There was no reason for me to be sad.
I ended up having a blast. The food was amazing. I ordered Saltado de Pollo minus the jabanero peppers (if 10 was too early for tacos, noon was definitely too early for jabaneros). His friend was really nice, and easy going. The three of us laughed the entire time. We were just a couple of dudes hanging out, having lunch. Exactly how I should have looked at it in the first place.
When you’re in a hurry, choosing the right lane at the grocery store can be very stressful. I stood in the middle of the aisle on my tippy toes, looking over the racks of magazines to see which lane would be the fastest. I scanned the entire area.
First, the Express Lane. I quickly counted everything in my basket. I had 21 items (22 if you count the green pepper that was in the same bag as the Fiji apple) which exceeded the maximum of 15.
Next, the self-checkout lane. I had wine and it’s been my experience that whenever I have alcohol it takes forever for the woman who’s selling cigarettes to some guy at the lotto counter to mosey on over and check my I.D. Also the scanner is hit or miss on those things. I’ve had to pass a gallon of milk over one of them so many times that when it finally registered it had curdled and rang up as cottage cheese. Next.
Kenny, the crazy-eyed dude hired under the Americans with Disability Act of 1990, is the cashier in lane 5. He’s nice and I normally go through his lane because he always has something funny to say but that’s only when I have all the time in the world because he’s really, REALLY slow.
The only other lanes with lights on were 6 and 7.
Lane 6 had two women with full shopping carts and lane 7 had four people with baskets. I assumed the two women were Moms doing their weekly shopping and might have coupons which would take up some time so I jumped in line with the other single people who had baskets.
Single people are annoying. The obese gentleman in front of me started arguing over the price of red grapes. His hair is oily and he has grease stains down the front of his shirt. The cashier tells him that the black grapes were on sale, not the red ones. The man is stubborn and says, “No, the sign in front of the red grapes says 99 cents a pound!” The cashier is patient, as she’s worked there for 20 years and deals with idiots like this guy on a regular basis. She has Roger, the pimply faced clerk boy, run and check the price. Everyone stands in silence as we wait for him to return. When he finally does, he’s out of breath and his voice cracks as he says, “The red grapes are NOT on sale. The black ones are.” The oily pig shrugs and says, “Well, then I don’t want them.”
At this point I watch as the Mom who I would have been behind in the other lane checks out and is pushing her cart out the door. My blood boils and I’m pissed at myself for choosing the wrong lane, yet again. Oh well, lesson learned. Always choose Moms with carts over single people with baskets.
Me, to my co-workers, while scooping ice out of the ice-machine and into a customer’s glass. I had to resort to saying this after I didn’t get the reaction I wanted when I proclaimed my sexuality for National Coming Out Day. I really didn’t lose a band-aid but at least I got the attention I was looking for. Does this mean that coming out isn’t a big deal? Nah, coming out is still a big deal it’s just that everyone around me is already immune to it. So if you’re gay and your friends/family aren’t immune to it then you should probably do something about that.
My Dad’s youngest sister, Auntie Rosie, got married straight out of High School. She’s been faithful to her man, Jesus Christ, ever since. When I was a kid she’d always greet my brothers and I by nibbling on our ears. That was her thing. We’d scream and run under tables and hide behind couches but that wouldn’t stop her from getting on her hands and knees and chasing us just to get a nibble of our lobes. She was one cool nun.
It was really nice seeing her at the memorial service. She brought one of her besties, Sister Helen. They’ve been friends forever. The picture above is of them when they were just a couple of hip, young, habit wearing gangtas cruising the strip at Seafair (the annual hydroplane races that take place on Lake Washington— anyone who is anyone attends) back in the 70’s.
As I was refilling my watered down punch, I overheard the two of them whispering at the buffet table. Sister Helen had dropped a piece of chicken on the floor and picked it up with her napkin but couldn’t find a trash can. Auntie Rosie looked around and then leaned over and said, “Just throw it under the table. Someone will clean it up later.” That’s what Sister Helen did and the two of them carried on as though nothing had happened.
I hugged my nephew who I haven’t seen since being released from jail for hitting some dude across the head with a baseball bat. He’s living in a half-way house where he’s allowed to go out in public but only with supervision. It’s a program for people who have demonstrated good behavior and are one step closer to freedom. His chaperone was a nice fella who mostly stood by the buffet table eating little rolls of ham while keeping a watchful eye.
I hugged my Aunt who was wearing so much old lady perfume that it rubbed off on my jacket and face and neck and I spent the rest of the reception walking around smelling like I was trying to cover up rotting vagina.
The most awkward hug I had was with my cousin’s wife. Nine years ago, when I was still in the closet, I attended my brother’s wedding. It was an afternoon wedding at a beautiful flower farm just down the road from my parent’s house. I don’t do well at afternoon weddings because that means drinking starts early and doesn’t end for a long, long, time. At one point I was holding the jug of Jungle Juice over my head and pouring it in my mouth as it splashed all over my face and down the front of my shirt. As my cousin played Frisbee in the distance, his wife and I somehow became drunk buddies and started flirting. I turned into this giant pig who began making lewd noises while pretending (not touching) to tickle her private parts. What was I thinking? Was I trying to prove that I liked girls? Well, what a terrible person to choose to start on. My cousin was aware of everything but just rolled his eyes as the two of us followed each other around acting like idiots. Luckily it ended when I drank so much that I fell into the sweat pea patch and started making snow angels and then just fell asleep. I woke up the next morning feeling so empty. How could I disrespect my cousin like that? What made me, a closeted homo, even interested in acting like that? At least I could have flirted with a female cousin’s husband. Everything about the situation was just wrong.
So now every time I see them my gut sinks to my feet and I crawl into a weak shell. Everyone tells me not to worry about it, that I’m over reacting, but there are certain things that I’ll never be able to forgive myself for and this is one of them. I get anxious and can’t hold a normal conversation with them because the whole time I’m thinking, “I’m a pig. I’m a pig. I’m a pig.”
Memorial services are awkward for more than just the obvious reasons.
I graduated in the Top Ten of my class. It wasn’t easy. It took a lot of studying, a lot of schmoozing, a lot of rough drafts, a lot of re-takes and of course just a little bit of cheating. What is High School without cheating? We give it up in college because, well, we want to be there and enjoy what we’re learning but it’s a different story in High School. I couldn’t be bothered to memorize formulas for Algebra II, I mean when was I ever going to use them anyway? I had more important things to do like find clever ways to hide that sudden erection that popped up out of nowhere while walking to the locker bay.
One of my most successful ways of cheating was writing all the formulas in the little booklet that came with my Texas Instruments scientific calculator. Our teacher would always pass the test back in order of worst grade to best grade. It was a really intense process that embarrassed a lot of people and made others proud. I thought about telling the kids who got their test back first about my secret but then I figured they wouldn’t be as envious when they saw me get mine last, so I kept it to myself.
Especially for hiring this one… “Apple’s new CEO, Tim Cook, is the most powerful gay man in the world. Surely this is something we can and should be celebrating, if only in the name of diversity — that a company which by some measures the largest and most important in the world is now being run by a gay man. Certainly when it comes to gay role models, Cook is great: he’s the boring systems-and-processes guy, not the flashy design guru, and as such he cuts sharply against stereotype. He’s like Barney Frank in that sense: a super-smart, powerful and non-effeminate man who shows that being gay is no obstacle to any career you might want.”
The Latino:It’s my bday this Sat and I want to come have dinner at your restaurant LOL then clubbing after if you were around....
Me:I’m out of town this wknd but I’ll take you out for a bday drink when I get back! Cool?
The Latino:Deal! U promise! And a blueberry muffin for that night! (He’s referring to a time when we were dating and he wanted me to blow him while he ate a blueberry muffin… A little weird but you know I just smirked and got on my knees because, well, why the fuck not?)
Me:Haha! That damn blueberry muffin! O.K.
The Latino:LOL Pa comermelo y chuparlo todito!
Me:Si, Mexicano. Los mejores.
The Latino:A juevo!
NOTE:I haven’t heard from him in months but was happy to see his text. With my sister’s passing and her memorial service approaching I’ve been extremely sad and nothing is more medicating than sex when you’re sad. Why is that? My friend, who is a complete top, only bottomed once in his life and that was the day after his boyfriend’s Dad passed away. He knew it’d make his boyfriend feel better and sure enough it did. Long story short, I’m looking forward to a little healing intercourse. Am I worried that The Latino could be my Mr. Big the way he keeps popping back into my life? No. He’s just a fuck buddy (and I think he's perfectly fine with that title since he’s only calling every 4 months looking for a blueberry muffin).