In the shadows… [Inspired by Angelique’ Kazuke Morgan-Walker]

So, you wake up one day and you find yourself staring at a stranger in the mirror. And in addition to your eye-brows that need to be re-arched, a facial that is over-due and  a nose job you have been contemplating, you also find yourself thinking a certain way, you are embedded with certain thoughts, believes, values, attitudes; you have a specific ideology and view point; you have dreams and aspirations; ‘morals’ and ‘standards’, and then you start to question yourself:- ‘’Who is this person in the mirror?’’, ‘’Am I ‘me’ or someone else?’’, ‘’Do I really believe all these things, for real?’’, ‘’Am I a replica of my parents or am I my own person?’’, ‘’Who am I living for?’’. And then it dawned on me, am I living in the shadows of someone else, created a shadow for myself or am I my own being?

 

These are questions many people live with throughout their lives. And if these questions are left unanswered, a person would have robbed him/her-self ‘a life’. As we get older and life throws us some experiences, bones, challenges and heart-breaks, pleasure and pain, we start to search ourselves and question our ‘make up’. Have you created a person in your head that you would love to be and that is the person you have projected on your friends, or are you really you? Are you a sweet, loving lesbian who needs to take revenge on men because you blame yourself for losing the one guy who you really love? Are you really so cold and withdrawn from everyone because your father left your family when you were 6 years old or, are you a fabulous guy who just needs to talk it out and forgive him?

 

In many cases, we find ourselves creating a persona in our heads of what we should be, what society expects of us, what ‘’gay’’ is, or what would please our parents and then we try to live our lives to meet this expectation [and rarely making it]. What would it take for us to wake up and smell the vodka on our breaths? What would it take for us to finally realize that maybe, just maybe we have been kiddin ourselves in believing that we are who we are and we have been walking in someone else’s shadow all this time? What would it take?

 

Well, for some people, it takes tons and tons of disappointments to finally show them that what they have been working all their lives for isn’t really what they want to do, but what their parents wanted to do and couldn’t do, and so they have to fulfill their parents’ dreams. For others, it’s a failed marriage or relationship to jolt them back to consciousness and point them to what they really want, a gay partner of course. For some, it’s a close friend who has been through the same eye-opening experiences and has come to their rescue before it’s too late.  And there are the few of us who are strong and resilient enough to have identified our true self within ‘’our self’’ and have decided to be that individual instead of the one created by society; religion, church and indoctrination; influence of friends; family pressure and just life.

 

So, how do you know if you are living in the shadow of someone else? Well…

 

A)       Are your hopes and dreams ‘’YOURS’’ or are they those created by your parents, society, religious beliefs, or the education system?

B)       When you are driving and you glimpse in your mirror, who do you see? Do you see ‘’YOU’’ the guy who is struggling with his sexuality and confidence and secretly dying to find a guy on www.gayromeo.com or do you see a guy from Male Vogue who has it ‘’all’’?

C)       When you introduce yourself to someone do you show them your true side or do you show them your pseudo-persona in fear that the person won’t like you for you?

 

Deep down everybody wants to be themselves. It’s just something human beings want! We like individuality. But sometimes, on life’s crazy road we tend to lose ourselves and then we create pseudo-selves. But then, there comes a point where you start to think that, ‘’If I have created shadows for myself, then who am I meant to be and what are the reasons I’ve created these shadows in the first place and how do I remove them and start living ‘freely’?…start being ME!’’

 

<<This article was inspired and co-written by Angelique’ Kazuke Morgan-Walker.   Thank you girl! I enjoyed the brain-storming session.>>

 

 

Dick-notized….

Like seriously! OK! I know you don’t get it, because neither do I! You were always the friends who hung out and hunting down the great sales at Bloomingdales, Collectibles or Aeon/Jusco while shopping together; drank cocktails together and bash on guys; talked each other down off the ledge when you were at your lowest points; tried to figure out where the hell the good guys were; went on double dates together; were there for each other after every bad date and creepy guy encounter; comforted each other when needed, and then one day you realized that you were standing outside Lord and Taylor’s waiting on the doors to open for a massive 50% off sale and your BFF wasn’t there to stand guard with you. Your dear friend who has been your rock since forever has a new boyfriend. And naturally, you are happy for them. After all, you have spent many moons wishing for this moment. But then something doesn’t smell right [and it’s not the guy standing behind you at the Singles Date-athan], your BFF has started to act all superior on you! And then you thought to yourself, ‘’ Is it me?’’, ‘’ Am I just being a mean jealous bitch?’, or maybe….just maybe someone got dick-notized.

According the Oxford Dick-tionary of Rainbow Terminologies, Dick-notization is a state where someone who has not gotten any good dick in a long while and then finally finds a guy, and now thinks that it’s the world. He/she starts acting superior and has no control over their own thoughts and behavior. In this state, everything is ‘US’’ and ‘’WE’’ and ‘’JOHN and I’’. A person who is dick-notized starts to pity their friends [who once were their rock]; make comments like ‘’Why is Dwayne still single? OMG’’; try to set you up on some dead-beat guys who previous you two wouldn’t have given a first look more so a second. Dick-notization results in two things:- (1) – YOU feeling bitter, hurt and confused; (2) YOUR FRIEND being jaded, out of control  and over-sexed!

 

But all this started out slowly. There were signs, but you didn’t see them! It started one day when your friend met a guy and decided to go on a date. But, as usual, you thought this was just one of those ‘’dates’’ that will end badly and your friend will rush back to your apartment to cry his/her eyes out in despair and you would have no other choice but to devour a gallon of Hagen Dazs ice-cream, the vodka and the whip cream [If you feel a little S&M-ish… just kiddin] and you would talk for hours… But this date was different. Your friend didn’t rush back to your apartment, but instead called you the next day and sounded giddy, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as never before. But you just thought nothing of it. Weeks later, your friend is still seeing this guy [that you haven’t met yet]. Your Friday and Saturday nights rituals have been cancelled or rescheduled and those were the nights she/he is ‘busy with John’. But you still thought nothing. Then at a lovely Sunday brunch [which usually, you two would have gone and hit the jumbo shrimps at the buffet hard] your friend turns up with ‘’John’’. He/she introduces you to ‘’John’’. As with any friend’s boyfriend, they want to make a good impression because they know that your ‘’blessing’’ on their relationship is important for its survival. So ‘’John’’ tried to be as nice as possible. But one thing is sure, with years of experience trying to find ‘’Mr. Right’’, you would have developed impeccable skills of spotting ass-holes and dicks. So, after 5 rounds at the buffet and 5 light cocktail [not too much vodka…..it’s Sunday…LOL] you soon realized that ‘’John’’ is a ‘’Dick’’! Your friend has been so dick-notized that now he/she can’t see how bad ‘’John’’ is for them.

 

A Dick-notized friend is hard to un-dick-notized! Firstly, he/she is so jaded by all the sex and ‘fun’ they are having that they don’t see how much they have been short-changed. He/she is probably thinking that you are a bitch and jealous, of course and anything that comes out of your mouth if full of guile and bitterness. Secondly, He/she spends so much time with the ‘’John’’ that he/she starts to sound like the ass-hole you want him/her to leave. So, when all is said and done, can you un-dick-notize a friend back to reality? Can you be the rock that you were before and reach down to your friend and show them how jaded they are? Can you rescue your friend from the hands of the ass-hole who he/she fell for? Or, has too much damaged been done that he/she is not able to be un-dick-notized?

 

As a friend, there is so much you can do (and no more) to undo a dick-notized friend. If you try to ‘’open their eyes’’ he/she might run for the hills and never come down and then you would have lost a friend. So, what to do? You can stand by your friend and show him/her love, because you know that one day his/her eyes are going to open and when those eyes are wide open shut and he/she finally sees the ass-hole for what he is, your friend is going need you to help him/her pick up the pieces. After all, that’s what friends are far. We stick with each other even when one falls off the horse and gets jaded by some dick. Dick: .That evil thing that causes a love-hate pull between you and it; it knows how to hit the ‘’spot’’ and sometimes it hits it so well it results in a side effect called Dick-notization. [Oxford Dic-tionary of Rainbow Terminologies, 2011].

Finding love or having ‘sex’…..

In a ‘’normal’’ country, one can either choose to search whole-heartedly for love (and leave sex for later) or decide to show ‘true love’ his/her middle fingers and just go straight for the good old sex. Note, in a ‘’normal’’ country. When I say ‘’normal’’, persons who live in Japan know what I mean. I am not saying that Japan is abnormal. I would never dear say that, my mother raised me better [*big grin*looking around with a guilty smile]. But let’s just say that Japan is ‘’special’’…. very ‘’SPECIAL’’. Where else in the world finding a flying pig is easier than finding love; and exporting your sex life [only able to have any good sex while on vacation in another country] is the order of the day? OK! Now, you get it!

 

On some level, I believe that everybody wants to find love [where ever it’s hiding its ugly ass]. One may, from time to time, indulge in a little ‘’good sex’’ campaign but deep down the ultimate goal is to find ‘The One’. Well, that was my thought when I first came on the Banana Boat from Jamaica to this planet, Japan. I was eager, bushy tailed and bright-eyed. I was thirsty for some Asian meat and started looking for a nice ‘pork chop’ to devour. So, I did what any respectful up-standing citizen of the LGBTIQA community would do. I hit the internet to see what’s out there; I scouted out my community and work place and the small expat’ groupings I knew of. So, I hexed out the expat’ group very soon afterwards, not that there weren’t any ‘’meat’’, but none of which I was THEN looking for. I was fresh off the boat and wanted ASIAN MEAT! American and Canadian ‘’cuisines’’: been there, done that!  So, naturally the next stop on the train would be to see what ‘cuisine’ my co-workers were serving up, IF ANY! Well, I boarded the train and exited at ‘co-worker central’. Big disappointment! That was a letdown! Talk about closet-cases and in denial. It was a case of fantasy, intrigue and the novelty at first followed by a reality shock and mixed signals, on their part. These Japanese civil service men were a special breed only bred in Asia. They were only gay on certain days of the week and certain time of the month. It was like they were on a ‘cycle’ [pun intended]. Seen that I get dizzy easily, I figured these guys’ cycles and I weren’t going to cut it at all and I soon served them their ‘walking papers’.

Then when all failed, I thought to myself, there is no way in hell the internet is going to fail.[Forgive me, I was still thinking as a Earthling] So, being a Jamaican in Japan, you will soon realize that a ‘celebrity’ status comes with it and under the rainbow it’s even crazier. I don’t know what it is… maybe it’s the myth of ‘black men’, or some loud mouth leaked a story about Jamaicans or they saw Asafa Powell’s picture [Oh lord… TESTIFY!!!!! Jeezz], but the Japanese go wild for the islanders. So, finding a date wasn’t the difficult part. The difficult part is maintaining some sort of friendship after 7 days.  It was so predictable that I developed a ‘7-day Theory’ that I passed on to my friends for testing. So said, so done!  These Japanese boys were so predictable that it would be fun just waiting for day 7 for them to disappear. So this is how it works: as soon as you would meet and they put you through the INTERVIEW PROCESS; have another date; maybe some sex (lolol)… and that’s it! Bamb! They vanish into thin air, without a trace. At first I thought it was just me, but then I spoke with some other Jamaicans here [OK!! Now I have just out-ed all the Jamaicans here… LOLOLOLOL] and I realized we were all being SERVED, Honey B.

 

So, after trying the dating scene, there is so much one can take and no more [and this rule goes for other things too…LOLOL]. So, like so many who have trodded this rocked road in their Gucci loafers, I had given up on finding love and soon start looking for ‘fun’ [bigger mistake]. Needless to say, my search grew weary; my patience faded and my frustration rose. Being Jamaican, one is accustomed to ‘eating’ big chunks of meat that when served right makes any mouth salivate. Well, I am no different. I am 100% Jamaican, and I love dinning at a well spread table with delicious pork chops, beef steaks and mouth watering sausages. Well, coming to Japan I didn’t expect to find Jamaican ‘’cuisines’’ (of course not), but I expected that the ‘’meats’’ on the market would be of a good quality and I would be able to ‘work wid it’ (as we would say in Jamaica). Well well well… I am no Jesus, so I don’t do miracles and I can’t turn water in wine; 5 loaves & 2 fishes into 12; and Japanese wieners into ‘Frankfurters’. The Japanese ‘’cuisine’’ came short [pun intended] of what I expected. I am not a bitch [do not comment on this… LOLOL], I am not hard to please. But there is a difference between incompetence and inability. Needless to say that the Japanese ‘cuisines’ that I have come across [I am not going to count…..] can’t even ‘stop a gap’ [as we would say in Jamaica]. And remember, I am not being a bitch.

 

Keeping in mind that I am still not a bitch, there is an ongoing debate about ‘’the size of a sausage vs. technique used (to jerk…. I meant BBQ the sausage)’’. Back in Jamaica, when we are planning a fabulous ‘’BBQ’’, if the person who is in charge of the sausage didn’t bring a big sausage to the ‘’BBQ’’, rest assured that the technique used to ‘’BBQ‘’ the sausage is of international standard and very much ‘’saaaaattt out’’( we would say in Jamaica). So, with that background, silly me ventured out in Japan with all this in my head and again, my ‘Rights To Good Techniques’ were denied without prejudice!!

It was like I entered the planet of small sausages and guys who can’t ‘’BBQ’’. [*frustrated look*]

 

OK! So, being a relationship-frustrated, sexually-deprived foreigner in Japan what does one do? What are the options? You have two roads before you: pick your choice. On one road, you can either settle for mediocre burgers on the grill and temporary relationships [where you are sure that your case number will turn up on ‘’WITHOUT A TRACE’’].

On the other hand, you could choose to export your sex-life! [It’s easier than it sounds and lots of fun…..LOL…. TESTIFY!!!!] Where am I going for summer, again? *wink wink*

3 little words

What are the three hardest words you have ever said? What three words make your tongue cleave to the roof of your mouth and refuse to function? What three words make your heart race so hard it seems as if a heart attack would be better than what you are currently experiencing? What three words take forever to say and when said cannot be taken back? What three words can change relationships forever? What three words demand a silent response followed by shed tears? What three words, when whispered, can have two completely opposite effects – they either pull love ones towards you or repel them as a bug spray on a summer day. What three words make your bones shift and your bowels move? What three words can change our lives forever? Are they —– I am sorry? I love you? I hate you? Please forgive me? You’ve got mail? |50% off Sale|? Nope, not even close! None of these words come close to the impact that ‘’I AM GAY’’ has when whispered to a friend or your family or even more catastrophic, a lover.

 

Being gay, in itself is a lonely and treacherous road to walk. On the outside, it looks all glamorous and sparkly and ‘fab’!. But it’s not always about cocktails, cute Fendi totes, designer clothes, drag queens and blow jobs (don’t look at me). Sure we do indulge in the finer things of life [happening parties and clubs, designer labels, great sex, and so on] and of course we are the hallmark of the most important industries [fashion and entertainment] that matter. But when the music stops and we are stripped of everything including our ‘avant garde-ness’, we are only left with our thoughts. And all that’s floating around in our heads is, ‘’How can I tell them?’’, ‘’How can I break the news?’’, ‘’How can I do this without shattering dreams and breaking hearts?’’, ‘’How can I say the three hardest words known to man?’’ [Maybe Oprah knows how to break this kind of news….hmmm]

Some things in life don’t come with a manual and so there are no easy ways around them —- like calculus; breaking up with a guy; fitting in to a size 4 when you are a size 14…blah blah blah…

The damage can be so unpredictable that preparing for it futile. So go head on, kiss your Gucci loafers, cross your fingers and toes, say three ‘Hail Maries’ and hope for the best. This is the approach one has to take when thinking about whispering the three hardest words to their love ones.

 

When the time was ‘’right’’ [if there is such a thing], this was the ‘’approach’’ I employed when I decided to tell Mommy dearest (aka Miss Irene…) the three hardest words. I waited until my birthday (good move or not? –I don’t know.. LOLOL. I thought it would have been a good present to myself). She was in a good mood; so was I. We talked about our usual chitter-chatter and then I told her I wanted to ‘’discuss’’ something with her. When I ushered those three words it was if I vomited on her. The sky became pissed, the wind refused to blow in my direction, the sun threw down itself and decided not to shine on me, everything became still and then it was as if hell farted and it was all fire and brimstone. Soon I realized nothing could have prepared me for what was about to happen. Nothing could have reassured me nor make things ‘’better’’. Nothing could make those three words as wonderful to the ear as the rainbow it’s represented by. Nothing!

And after sitting silently [while crying and trying to keep it together] and listen to my mother’s sermon about my three little words, then there was a deafening silence on the phone. She hung up! She had said all she had to say and there was nothing that I could have said to have made those three little words bring a smile instead of a frown.

 

Is it that the impact on a friend is less than on a relative? Or, is it that your friends ‘’understand’’? Or, is it that the generational gap between your friends and your family makes a difference? Or maybe…just maybe true friends always ‘’know’’ [or, so they say to ease the pain they see on our faces when we tense up to tell them the hardest sentence known to mankind] and they are just waiting for you to share your precious little secret with them. Being a Jamaican, it’s not easy to share this secret. These are three words that many men and women never think to utter to their families, more so their friends. But, from my experience, true friends care less if you are gay, straight or like puppets. True friends are those who sit quietly while you try to utter the three most difficult words of your life, and after you have uttered them, they embrace you with unconditional love, cry with you and then treat you to a cocktail at the most swinging bar.

 

While I know that Jamaica isn’t indigenous to this level of ‘hush hush’, I had no idea Japan could beat us. I assumed that these guys would tell their mothers over a nice hot cup of green tea and sea weed crackers, but no. While Japanese SEEM to be tolerant of foreigners being gay, our Asian mommies and daddies aren’t so tolerant when their hand-bag carrying, hair perm-ing, make-up wearing, and Victoria secret buying sons [who are sometimes married on top of all of this…. DON’T ASK ME HOW? —Japanese women are just cluelessssssssssss] come home to say, ‘’私は同性愛者です。’’ = ‘’I AM GAY’’.  So, the three hardest words to utter are the three hardest words to swallow in Japan [even if they put syo-yu sauce on it].

 

Well, whatever happens when you dear to mention those three little words, happens! Be strong! Be fierce! Because, whether you belief you were born ‘’this way’’; or forced into ‘’it’’; had an unpleasant childhood experience and somehow ended up ‘in it’’; just curious and tried and couldn’t stop trying ‘’it’’. Whether you belief in the nature vs. nurture theory; you are here and you are queer and that’s how it’s gonna be! So stand resolute in your PRIDE and don’t be afraid! Put your Mac and Cover Girl lip balms on and bellow those three words. Because in doing so you fight your fear, show your pride and armor yourself from all negativity that’s ahead.

 

 

 

Let Go…

Failure! Who likes failure? I don’t! Failed friendships, failed marriages, failed relationships and the list goes on. But failure is a normal part of life. Where it becomes tricky is when we FAIL to let go.

Human beings! We are a specie that holds on to things until its dead, eventually. We hold on to our first love, because that’s all we knew and it was as familiar as finding the toilet while sleep walking. We hold on to clothes, jewelry, and letters because they have some symbolic meeting in our lives. We are so wired to hold on to things that we fight to stay in a non-existent relationship; we hold on to our exs even when they have obviously moved out and on; we hold on to memories of ‘what ifs’; we cling to dreams we once shared to someone, knowing very much that they are only dreams and can’t be realized; we grab on so hard unto the past as if it were able to be moved forward. But there comes a point when we need to snap the hell out of it and realize that holding on is just a self-defense mechanism and the only way forward is, forward!

Am I being a cold-hearted bitch? (don’t answer that) Or, is it not so easy to let go? Self righteous – I am not! Yes yes…I know you love him… Yes yes I know you think you should be together… Yes yes, I know that it’s hard… But nothing in life is easy! Letting go isn’t easy. But it’s what you have to do in order to save yourself. How many more lies are you going to believe? How many more times are you going to be settle for second or third place? How many more nights do you want to go to cry yourself to sleep? How many more times are you going to forgive him? How much are you willing to compromise? At least if you are compromising, you should be getting something in return!

 

The clock has stroke mid-night, Cinderella has lost her glass slipper, the carriage is turning back into a pumpkin, the horses are turning back into mice – It’s TIME!!!!! It’s time to let go! No one said it was easy! It wasn’t easy for me to let go of ‘him’. But I had to do it. I couldn’t bear to hear one more ‘’I’m sorry’’; I couldn’t stomach being placed 3rd, 4th and 5th place anymore (because of course, he comes 1st and ‘’she’’ 2nd); I couldn’t bring myself to sit across from him at another dinner while he sips his wine and tells me how much he loves me and then that’s where it ends; I couldn’t bear the burden of being the one who has to compromise, only to be lonely when I needed him; I couldn’t bring myself to admit to the fact that he had let go long long before (as a matter of fact, was he even on board?) and I was the one holding on to a failed relationship, just wishing I had someone to help me LET GO!!

 

Failed relationships aren’t the only thing we tend to hold on to. While a failed relationship might be more dramatic and heart-wrenching and cause you to pig out at a ‘all you can eat Chinese buffet’, eat an entire cheese cake and gallon of ice-cream and suffer the weight gain and pimple break-out (deeeep breath), a failed friendship can leave a bad taste in one’s mouth (and it’s not the taste you like… if you are even into that.. LOLOL). But an investment is an investment, whether it’s wall street, stock markets, a relationship or a friendship, and no one wants to feel like they have invested in the wrong ‘’scheme’’ and being taken for a fool. So, sometimes instead of letting go we think we are fighting back by holding on. But this is one of those ‘’fights’’ that isn’t worth it. Why would you want to hold on to a state of emotional and psychological rejection by your partner? Why would you cling on to be mistreated and ill-treated? Why would you fight to be with someone who obviously doesn’t want to be with you and hence not fighting for you? Why would you continue to invest your last bottom dollar on him knowing that your investment is at high risk?

 

Fear! Fear cripples! Fear paralyzes! Fear holds us back! If we are not strong, fear will devour us and leave us empty! Fear prevents us from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and hence letting go. Fear plays these little sick games with us and allows us to think that it would be better to stick with the loser guy that we have now, rather than venture out into the ocean’s deep and see what’s out there. Fear is evil! But, rest assured, where ever there is fear there is always a friend there to help us through the rough times. A friend who believes in us and knows that we deserve better than what we are currently being served! Sometimes all we need is a friend and guts to help us LET GO!

 

Man/l-function

If you are lucky enough to be gay (eat your heart out bitches); have gay friends; even privileged to be in our presence (lolol…It’s a privilege), or know anything about gay culture, you should have heard of the word, ‘’Gaydar’’ (gay + radar = ‘‘Gaydar’’). Each and every gay is equipped with this weapon. Come close to us and you might get set it off and then begins the strip and search (*wink wink*). So, basically, according the NEW OXFORD HOMO Dick-tionary, the ‘‘Gaydar’’ operates as a six-sense which tells us if another guy is gay or not; and to what degree. In some cases, even on a weak battery, the ‘‘Gaydar’’ goes off like a siren [that means, the person is gay as hell]. Damn!  It is said that all gay men possess this gift and that we can sniff out a Gucci-perfumed man in the middle of peak hour on a Friday afternoon. And I am sure our lesbian counter-part can sniff out the home-depot and those timberland boots off a girl from a million feet.

I think my ‘‘Gaydar’’ was pretty good, or was it just Jamaica? Maybe! Coming to Japan, it seems like my ‘‘Gaydar’’ was thrown out of whack. I first noticed this when I just moved here. Japanese men are so different from Jamaican men or even western men. They walk hand and hand; sit in each other’s lap and are very physical with one another and to top it off they wear jeans that are skin-tight. Only a gay man would wear clothes that tight, I naively thought. But these Japanese are straight (or so they think)!!!!

The longer I lived here, my ‘‘Gaydar’’ continued to be called into question. So, you have the guys who bring purses (no not wallets)… I mean full-fledge Christian Dior totes: they wear make-up (no, not lip balm)… I mean as much make-up as Rupaul; and they go to the Salon (no, not the barber)… I mean the hair salon with curling irons and perms. Yep! Our little Oriental guys are sporting coiffes that only the most fashionista gay men in the west would try to get away with. Name it they are doing it: – accessorizing, plucking eyebrows, tanning, fake tanner, listening to dance music and vogue-ing out to the latest disco diva or club track. Done, done and done!

I felt hopeless at this point. My once reliable ‘‘Gaydar’’, that has been with me since BIRTH has been compromised. I felt lost and confused.

But what makes it worst is the difference between the guys in the city and the guys in the country. Holy Mary Mother Of Jesus!!! Hold on to your bra straps, bitches! The men in cities are virtually impossible to “detect.” Maybe I would need to borrow Rupaul’s ‘‘Gaydar’’ to pick them out of a line-up. Talk about hand bag carrying, wearing barrettes in their hair, paint their nails and carry cute little dangly cartoon character charms on their cell phones or bags. And, they are often holding hands with a girl or seemingly have girlfriends! It’s bizarre.

Japanese guys are even more touchy-feely with each other than anywhere else I have been (except India… LOLOLOL… Now, that’s another story….SERIOUSLY it is). I’ve personally witnessed what looked like groups of average teen sports-playing guys fiddle with each others’ hair and put their arms around one another’s waists. And I assumed they are straight .And if I should start telling tales about the JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL boys, now that’s another story (so many stories to tell….. damn!!!). The JHS boys literally play with each other’s dicks and poke their fingers in each other’s asses. And these are the straight kids! The gay boys are at their desk reading books. (DO NOT LAUGH!!). No straight man in Jamaica nor western countries would behave in even remotely a similar way. It takes “metrosexual” to a whole new level.

So, here is one of the many mysteries of Japan. How then does one tell if a man is gay here? Perhaps a lot of these strange specimens are in fact gay and just don’t admit it (~ and again, that’s another story!). Surely, it is not possible for there to be so much cross-cultural confusion. And I know that with the “keeping up appearances” and conformity which pervades Japanese culture many gay men are probably forced to stay in the closet and dare not venture out (well, only between 10 PM and 6 AM), in fear of not getting married (which is a big thing in Japan). Perhaps some of these men can’t even come to grips that they are infact, GAY. It would be stepping out of the box way too much, and that’s sacrilege in Japan. So they grow up, get married and have kids, all the while secretly lusting after men and denying it to themselves. It’s sad if this is the case. And it’s no way to live.

I still haven’t gotten to the bottom of this mystery. I hope someone can ‘top’ me (pun intended!!). And my ‘‘Gaydar’’ is as shaky as ever. But I need to get it recalibrated when I return to the west: the land where straight men wear polo shirts, baseball hats, stay away from tanning salons and women’s accessories and listen to hip hop or rap and play sports while gay men wear tight clothes, highlight and style their hair, accessorize, and groove to Madonna. Until then, I’ll stick to my Indian and Pakistani ‘’diet’’. [It’s about time I tell you that story..LOLOLOL]

 

HIS-tory

Yet, another break-up and you are doing the post-mortem with your girlfriends over wine, cheese cake and cocktails. You ensured that the ‘mixologist’ is someone heavy on the vodka and light on the conscience. And every time you swear this is the last time… but deep down you know that it won’t be. We all do!! Then, tomorrow comes and you are still feeling like a plastic bag just drifting through the wind and you are screaming for a fresh start. And it’s like Cher heard your prayers and out of nowhere your door bell rings, your phone rings, you get an email or text message, you looked over your shoulder while shopping, you get a complementary glass of wine, the elevator door opens and wha-laa in walks ‘HIS-tory’ again to ‘be there for you’.

During high school, I wasn’t too fond of History, but the older I got I find myself approaching ‘HIS-tory’ with a new perspective. ‘HIS-tory’ is that guy who is ‘right for now’, but you just can’t get a relationship working with him – strangely. He comes in ever-so often when you are at your lowest point, helps you ‘get over an ex’, wines and dines you and put another notch in your self-esteem. Rest assured, ‘HIS-tory’ knows exactly what he is doing!

So, here am I coming from work on a dead beat Friday and  heading to the supermarket, and my phone rang. Looked at the number and thought ‘’Damn!’’. So, having drunk all the cocktails possible, ate all the cheese cake and being through post-mortem upon mortem, I think my Doctor would prescribe a little ‘’HIS-tory’’. So, I answered the call and in walked HIS-tory came in my life as fast as a Japanese orgasm (1 minute tops); and I thought to myself, ‘’things are gonna heat up pretty soon’’. Needless to say, within the hour I was sipping on some wine and before mid-night….well, just say I FELT BETTER…..

So, what’s the deal with ‘HIS-tory’? Does he have a radar to know when you are lonely and vulnerable? Is he like a predator that just lies in the dark and wait for us to be ‘available’ and easily devour-able? Or he is just an angle who is sent to help us through a rough patch in our lives and leaves when we are ‘ready’ to move on and re-integrate within society. Or is he a combination of all of the above (if that’s all possible)? Break-ups are awful experiences in our lives and it messes with our self esteem, our self perception, and faith in people. On some level, I am glad ‘HIS-tory’ has that ‘6 sense’ and visits us from time to time, like the tooth fairy; and like the tooth fairy, leaves something under our pillow to help us sleep through out the night while we recoup. There is so much your friends can do; there is so much retail-therapy can do; there is so much a cocktail and clubbing can do to heal the pain of a nasty break-up. Helllllll………who doesn’t like to feel needed? Who doesn’t like the attention? – I do, so I know you do, too.

So, hurry up with that post-mortem of your ex, drink that cocktail, eat an entire cheese cake, go shopping, go clubbing; and wait patiently for ‘HIS-tory’ to ride in on his big white horse to save you once again because you know you like it. But remember, ‘HIS-tory’ has to go back to his wife in the suburbs so never fall for him. LOLOLOLOL…

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