You remember back in the day when you’d get ready to pour something in a glass for someone and you’d ask them to “say when.” Basically, we were asking that when the person thought you served them enough he/she would ask you to stop pouring. I’m grateful that the last few weeks have been a time of feast in my dating life. I’m enjoying the great company and the crop of good fellas that have come my way. Last night I agreed to a date with White Chocolate – a man I met close to two years ago. A professional by day and a single father by night, White Chocolate is a light-skinned, full-pink-lipped brother that has always struck my fancy. He’s a quiet, but sexy soul who knows what he’s doing and doesn’t need a lot of fanfare to get the job done. Unfortunately, as many single moms will attest, time is of the essence with single parents and plans can easily be shifted, broken or disrupted. In the last year, I’ve come away from WC because I’m not good at compromising and I don’t take well to having dates cancelled when I’ve looked forward to them. Admittedly, my original date with WC was for last Saturday, but since I was enjoying the HOE, it seemed an act of self sabotage to keep my date and forgo the great time I was already having; so I cancelled and offered-up a brief dinner and some reconnect time for last night. At 5:15 p.m. I dashed from my office and made for the train like Carl Lewis on steroids, I opted for a cab instead of the bus after my train ride and halfway levitated, rather than walked, the dog. I dumped all my junk mail, cleaned my bathroom and ran the vacuum – let me be sure you get the picture here… I could probably do all these things from my couch, since my apartment is about half the size of Barbie’s Malibu home. Just as I was getting ready to freshen up and order Chinese, I heard my phone ring. Do I really need to tell you who was on the other end? Right! WC was calling to say that his confirmed sitter – his younger brother – had cancelled and he wouldn’t be able to make our date. I laughed. When he asked why I was laughing I said, “When!” and burst out into more hearty laughter. He was silent for a moment and then followed-up with some nervous laughter of his own – what can I say, my laugh is infectious. As I caught my breath, I cleared my throat and said, “Don’t worry about it pa, it’s really cool.” He sounded surprised to hear my calm and light demeanor. “Well, get that boy of yours some dinner, I need to jump in the shower. We’ll make time for each other at some point.” He sounded relieved, but skeptical. I reassured him and said, “Hey, it happens. Call me later in the week.” I hung up and laughed some more. I enjoyed an incredible weekend and was greedily scheduling more and more dates as though the idea that I could somehow was more of “I should.” Lesson learned. Know when to say when. It’s okay to enjoy someone and really like them without feeling that by adding others to the mix you’ll protect yourself from focusing your full emotional attention on one person. Now I won’t say that I’m going to somehow confuse dating with becoming serious, but I don’t need a slew of men to help me recognize a good one.
Paris Has Burnt; By the Grace of God Puerto Rico Stands
Every so often, I’ll pull the old documentary Paris is Burning out of the video collection and take a look at the 1980s classic that introduced the world to the Blatino NYC Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender community and the cultural phenomenon known as the ball scene. What strikes me about the film is not what it introduces – I mean, I lived and partied in this era and with these people – but I look at all the faces and realize many of them are no longer with us. I remember dancing in clubs with these folks, going to 12-hour marathon balls with them and yes, even how the hard street life running with some of these folks shaped my life. Last night as I watched my old running mates, I found myself tearing up at the fact that most of them are gone – dead. To say that I had some kind of magic formula that saved my life is a lie. It was the grace of God and the luck of the draw that allows me to be here today. This year I will celebrate my 38th birthday. When I hang out on weekends I’m rarely, if ever, confronted with those familiar faces of years past. Sure, it might be that folks my age have given up on the whole “hang-out” scene, but more often than not, their absence is due more to the catastrophic effect of AIDS on our community. In the coming weeks, I will begin my drive to raise funds for my yearly NY AIDS Walk. I hope you’ll take a moment to help support the cause. God and luck may have been on my side, but there are those that live each day with the reality of HIV and AIDS. It is a difficult and stigmatizing daily struggle that we all must share the burden of if we are to help bring an end to one of the top killers in America.
Have your views on HIV/AIDS changed in the 25 years since the discovery of the disease OR do you feel that the facts and information have done little to change your reaction to those infected?
Keep passin’ the open windows…