A Chair is still a Chair... (a book review)

But A House is Not A Home is a sad example of contemporary fiction. Now when I was first exposed to James Earl Hardy and B Boy Blues, I was just coming out. I had finally accepted my own truth and was veraciously devouring every gay novel I could find. Soon E. Lynn Harris and James Baldwin were finding their way along side my Accounting Principles and Economics books on the bookshelf. However that was over 7 years ago and unlike me Hardy’s writing has not evolved.

The story is billed as the sixth and final installment in this hip hop homo love story. For those of you unexposed to this story here is a brief synopsis:

Mitchell ‘Lil Bit’ Crawford meets Raheim ‘Pooquie’ Rivers in a gay bar in Greenwich Village in the summer of 1993. Mitchell is a 27-year-old journalist; Raheim is a 21-year-old bicycle messenger and stereotypical B-boy. Their smoking-hot sex develops into strong mutual need as Mitchell discovers that underneath his tough exterior, Raheim is smart, talented, and a loving parent to his five-year-old son. Raheim's major flaw is his violent streak. When Mitchell nudges him to accept his homosexuality, Raheim nearly knocks him out and leaves. Violence is an inescapable part of their world. Raheim's best friend is gunned down in the street; Mitchell's best friend becomes a victim of gay-bashing. However Hardy calls for a happy ending and has Raheim and Mitchell make up and declare their love.

Fast forward ten years and we have the two lovers broken up again after Raheim’s gambling addiction drives a wedge between the two. And that is where this unbelievable (and not in a good way) novel begins. While I understand this is a fiction novel, this is totally a land of make believe. The things Hardy comes up with make the story so fictional that it is hard to follow. Everything from Mitchell’s 50yo mother giving birth to a daughter who she gives to him to raise because she doesn’t plan on spending her retirement years raising another child… to the characters in the novel being featured on every major syndicated news show, magazine cover, and feature movie released in the past 10 years. The writing also reads like it did 10 years ago, and while my naivety to gay fiction overlooked the high school level… it wears on me now and makes what usually takes me a few days to read two weeks.

While I do not want to spoil the story for those who have not read it, the ending isn’t as developed as it needs to be. Which is quite disappointing for this to be the final installment.

My review: If you have read the other 5 episodes, go ahead and pick it up or borrow it from someone. If you haven’t skip it.

There's No Place Like Home....

My current career calls for me to travel quite a bit. Like May, I was only home for 10 days but I am not complaining because I like the opportunity of seeing the country and visiting friends all over, on someone else's dime.

Well that brings me to what is on my mind... have you ever left a club or party in your home city and been like damn I wish I could go somewhere else. Or been like the dudes/girls/whatever floats your boat.. are so lame here, I need to move. Well for since Saturday, I have had the opportunity to visit and experience Philly. Two of my boys from DC drove up on Saturday to share my suite and hang out since none of us had done that here. Well the lack of a black night spot led us to just walk down to the gayborhood, have a drink and take in the sights. And what a few sights there were. From men walking around in wigs, pretending to be drag queens; to the unkept long beard; to the long tshirts that look like dresses. I will leave Philly on Friday morning thankful to head back to a city where there is some sort of style and grooming. And the ability to hold a conversation and at least look like they have a career (not a job, but a career big difference)

Now I am sure all Philly gay residents are not like this and like I said we were novices to Philly night life but everyone we asked pretty much gave the same story that there wasn't much to do at all. So far the highlight of the trip has been vibing with my colleagues and staying at the Loews which is very art deco and in a great location.

Definitely sending an open call to anyone in Philly that can introduce me to the places where upwardly mobile, educated, cultured mid 20s to mid 30s hang!!

Puerto Rico Hoooooo!!

Well it has officially been a week, since I have been back from the warm, sandy beaches of Condado in San Juan. The comments about my tan each day I come to work or hang out with friends just conjures the memories of laying out on the beach, sipping on a cold frozen drink, listening to the waves crashing against the shore, and watching the boys that have been working out hard for the past few months to tighten it up.

Now this was my 4th trip to the island and my second time for the SanJuanBrotha's event. I have been asked by everyone which year was better and I must say last year definitely won in my eyes. Don't get me wrong this year was nice. Having the nightly parties at different clubs around San Juan was much better than everything being at Eros last year. However the crowd of people in 2004 was a lot more younger than this year's. The concert performance by Angie Stone was quite rememberable rather than the chick this year, who till this day I still can't remember her name. But above all it was a great opportunity to get away and get drunk with my boys from DC, Chicago, Atlanta and LA.

Now of a course a single guy can't go to a paradise-like island filled with other single or single for the weekend guys and not have some fun..... well there was the SoontobeSoutherner who not only kept me dancing (or was holding me up cause I was quite intoxicated and don't remember) and snored in my ear two of the four nights. While I had chatted with him online for quite sometime meeting face to face was well worth the wait. We had plans to walk the beach at sunset but that never happened maybe later this summer when he visits me in DC.

Then there was SoontobeEx. Me and SoontobeEx have been dating off and on since December 2004. Nice guy with good things going on, but when it comes to relationships he isn't ready. He is the type that wants you to himself... when he is wants you and wants you to be waiting when he is ready. Well we all know that, that isn't me.. so when I got a text message that he was heading to the airport (please note we were staying the same hotel less than 5 floors between us), that nailed the coffin shut and he became a part of my dating past (please reference the post Romance is dead because this might as well be a ditto to that).

And finally there was Mr.WindyCity. Now this one caught me by total surprise. We actually met last year. We shared a mutual friend, which led to us hanging out often last Memorial Day as well as running to each other a couple times throughout the year. This year we shared a few hidden moments, a few whispers, a few hugs, a few laughs... but most of all a mysterious open ending. Will be very interesting to see will this harmless flirting (maybe a little more) become anything more.

The trip to Puerto Rico was quite fun but the fellas who I have named the Brothers of Kinloch from ATL, LA, and Chicago have all decided to do something different next year, but definitely together.

Welcome to Fucking America

I know I may sound like a total racist after reading this post, but oh well!! Thanks to the Constitution I can say what the hell I feel.

Picture it a 90 degree day with at least 75% humidty in the Nation's capital. I decided that I was in need of a nap and would leave work a little early to accomplish that. As I leave my office in downtown and stroll onto the Metro Red Line in the direction of Silver Spring, I catch a glimpse of one of a few remaining seats and claim it as my own. Lucky for me because at the next stop the train filled up and it was standing room only. Still not packed as it will be when the evening rush still picks up, but there were no empty seats on the train. I sit on the cool train deeply engrossed in the Invisible Man, when I notice a filthy arm go in front of my face and grab the bar in front of my seat. I look up to see this apparent construction or day worker standing closer than need be, smelling like sweat and dropping dust everywhere. When I ask him to move over, he gave me this look as if he didn't understand a word that came out my mouth. I asked again and the middle aged hispanic woman he was with said something to him in a latin derivative language that I didn't understand. But whatever it was he moved over enough to give me breathing room.

As we arrived at the Brookland Metro Station, I quickly took my annoyed ass down the escalator and to find that it wasn't working (but if you are from DC you know this is nothing abnormal). As I reached the bottom of the incredibly dark station, I as well as all the other passengers noticed that the station's power was out. The gates leading out were open, since the card scanner was out of service as well. Passengers are just flowing through the gates and making their way outside except for the person in front of me. She stops and tries to force her card into the machine and when myself and the train station manager explain to her just to walk through, she argues that she must get her card scanned first. Apparently not understanding that we were telling her that it doesn't work because of the loss of power and that she was holding up the growing line of people trying to exit the station.

Well the power loss at the station was apparently a community wide problem. As I got into my SUV and headed home from the station I approached a normally bustling intersection. I imagine most drivers know that when you come to an intersection and the lights aren't working, the intersection works as if it was a 4 way stop. Well as I pull to the nonworking light and stop the cars to my left and right cross the intersection giving way to my turn. Well someone must have failed to tell the woman driving the hoop de ville with loud music, stickers and red white and green flags everywhere. She proceeded right through the intersection following the car in front of her nearly causing a side impact crash. And to top it off she looks at me as if I did something wrong.

Now I left out the ethnicities of the individuals out because I don't want anyone to assume I am picking on a particular group of people. However I think the Statue of Liberty's famous engraving should be changed to say "come one, come all but learn the damn language, the rules of driving (which is actually a problem with our city's governments), and learn common courtesy.

In the Background: NBC 4 News at 5

Romance is Dead...

... Said the man standing on top of the Empire State... Day by day, I begin to understand why I vibe with the movie Love Jones, so much. I share the same pessemistic view of romance and love as many of the main characters. It has been 5 years since Mr. D (names have been changed to protect the innoncent) ended what was my first man to man romance. In that time I have seriously dated two people, each for less than a year. In that time I have been on less than 5 real dates. Romance is dead.

So it was to my suprise when a friend called me up late Friday evening and invited me to go to the Capitol City Jazz Festival with him on Sunday. While me and CLK have hung out a couple times the past year, we had never gone on a date. His excitement about the event was infectious. I mean he called me just to tell me that he took down the cooler and was going to fill it with juices and snacks for the concert in the park. At first I thought this was just going to be two friends hanging out. Until my third phone call about the Festival in less than 24 hours ended with "are you looking forward to spending time together? I am". While my pessissim has jaded my outlook on certain things, a friend was quick to point out - ' you hang out with your boys.. you spend time with a date.' This new revelation made the excitement of the event become even more of a reality for me. Who would have thought that me and CLK would spend all of Sunday together listening to great music and counting the endless amount of meals the several fat girls around us were putting down in such a short period of time.

Long story short let me highlight the day:

  1. We had breakfast at this quaint Scottish ( I believe) restaurant that has served over a billion and allows you to supersize.
  2. I paid for my own entrance into the concert.
  3. Perfected a nearly perfect tan that I got in Puerto Rico a week before (more to come on that trip soon).
  4. A goodnite hug in my parking lot... as we set plans to do this again next month when Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, and Queen Latifah take the stage.

Needless to say I will know what to expect next month. And for the record Romance is dead.

I am Looking at Music

It is the color of light,

The shape of sound high in the evergreens

It lies suspended in hills, A blue line in a red sky.

I am looking at sound.

I am hearing the brightness

Of high bluffs and almond trees

I am tasting the wilderness

of lakes, rivers, and streams

Caught in an angle of song.

I am remembering water

That glows in the dawn

The motion tumbled in earth

Life hidden in mounds.

I am dancing a bright beam of light

I am remembering love.


Nina Mosley

In the Background: Hopeless - Dionne Farris

It all started back when...

Six years ago my therapist told me that one way to deal with the emotions that had confined me to solitutude for two months was to write them down in the moment and come back and read them later. That word of wisdom has led to over ten journals.

Several months ago the same therapist reiterated something that I had just learned from experience. Her exact words were, "you have a problem communicating, you must learn to be open." She went on to say that I should let someone close to me read my journals. A cold chill immediately descended my body at the thought of sharing those 989 pages.

Over the past few months I have become closer to an Internet friend, who happens to have a blogspot of his own. After becoming a subscriber and guest star to this portion of his life, I have decided to start one of my own.

Those ten journals are officially the beginning of HisStory however are not ready for public viewing just yet. So this is the beginning of the next best thing.

In the Background: Gotta Go Gotta Leave - Vivian Green