Sometimes it needs to be said. And sometimes it needs to be heard. A
friend of mine called me today. I originally reached out to him this
week for business reasons and he called me to follow up. As we caught
up on our personal lives and before we hung up, he told me about a frat
brother of his that had just committed suicide. He wanted me to know
that he loved me and to never forget I was well loved. He knowing my
history with depression, told me that anytime I needed to talk to him to
do so and that he would do the same. I was little caught off guard. I
caught myself tearing up. I personally don't hear those words very
often and it had been about three years since I'd heard it from this
particular person. For the past year, I had been having trouble trying
to figure out what he thought of our friendship as it stood today, we
had been through soooo many challenges in the past. But with those
words, he answered my reservations. I have female friends who say "I
love you" so easily to me. But for some reason, him saying it meant so
much. I needed to hear them. I needed to hear today with the way I'd
been feeling as of late. And unbeknownst to me, it was he who I needed
to hear say them. "I love you." It made a difference in ways he'll
never understand.

So. I don't quite know how to start this topic or how to explain how I
got the inspiration for it. Recent conversations and happenings have
made me realize that the people I used to know didn't deserve the
pedestal I placed them on. I used to think my old "friends" were so
cool, so much better looking, so much more talented than I. I'm seeing
people differently. And I'm faulting myself less. An exchange with an
acquaintance made me ask myself whether my honesty runs people away. I
never thought about it before. I have this one associate "Justin" who
whenever I share a random thought about something that I wouldn't think
is a big deal, I don't hear back from him for days, sometimes a week.
And it makes me laugh, though it used to confuse me. Looking back, I
will never apologize for being so emotionally honest. I'm too lazy to
fake being myself for someone else's comfort. It took me a long time to
accept that.

At my loneliest, I feel guilt. I look around me searching for the
reasons why I am alone. I feel like I've been systematically shutting
down relationships. And now I'm doing the same to the new ones. Why
start something that's going to end up broken, is my current
philosophy? Lately, I've been asking God to remove memories of some
people from my past. I wish there was a way, a reset button, that you
can use to expel any history of someone you don't want to remember.
Because it's the memories of the good times, the memories of the
potential that you once believed in that make you, in your loneliest
hours, exactly did I lose it? Could I have done more?

I need to learn to be 100% okay with the decisions I've made. I can't
continue to drive myself crazy wondering if the traits that I cherish
about myself and are most proud of are the ones that drove away the
people I once loved. Or thought I loved. That's why I'm clinging ever
so close to my immediate family nowadays. They're the only ones that
have been constant. I don't have to worry about them throwing me away
or running away from me, out of fear. The rest of the world is a
different story which leads to my current state: I'm scared to love

"One day an angel
Said quietly
That soon he would bring
Something special
To me,
And of all of the wonderful
Gifts he could bring..."

So, as you can see, I'm making changes to my blog - I've even renamed it. Don't know if I'll keep that name, but tell me what you think about the changes. In a couple of weeks I'll be switching layouts again - moving to a Wordpress format...

"Because he knows he's not even invited to the race, for your heart -
the best friend must always remain...the friend." - Me

Sometimes I feel a little foolish being so open on my blog. I know that
what I write is public. However, I also know that my blog is not
popular in the least. So there is no real worry is there? And if there
was, what exactly would it mean? Not much that I can presume.

Tonight, I'm not exactly feeling lonely. What I am is feeling is
anxious and disinterested at the same time. I've been very reclusive
the past couple months not even making any attempts even on the dating
scene. While the main reason for that is because I haven't been all
that stable in my personal life, the real reason is I'm so over...people.

I recently stopped talking to the woman who I've considered my best friend
for the past three years. I guess she still is but I'm not really ready to resume
whatever it was we had, for a few reasons.

The truth is I've always had female besties, but not by choice. It's more by
circumstance that it always seems to happen that way. And, to be honest, I'm
kind of tired of girls as best friends. It's not exactly an equal relationship and
as much time as you spend or as close as you are, it still feels unbalanced.
Especially when your best friend is a straight woman. I don't know, I sometimes start to
feel like the stereotypical "gay best friend" like a fucking real life episode of 'Will & Grace'.

Sometimes it really bothered me that I couldn't have a just as fulfilling relationship
with another male. I think that's why I've been so quick to latch onto male friends
who were really not good for me in the long run.

The fact of the matter is that most males I've befriended in the past 8
years, I'll say 90%, have not so small sexuality issues within
themselves. Either they're repressing their sexuality, in denial, on
the DL or they are just straight up phonies and will lie to anyone who
calls them on it. I've been able to rid my life of most of these losers
and the others I've been gradually distancing myself from. I really am
in need of some secure male friends in my life. Ones who don't have to
perpetrate and pretend to be something they're not just for appearances
sake. I don't mind if they're straight, but preferably not, because,
let's keep it real, what straight Black men can handle having a close
male friend who's an "other" sexually. I've played that game before.
That shit ain't fun OR healthy at all. I'm not even saying you have to
be gay or bisexual, but it'd be nice to be close to someone who
understands me on 'that' level.

I definitely feel like I missed the boat of finding my crowd while I was in college.
I found a crowd alright, a crowd of insecure image-conscious pseudo-intellectual college
kids. While they weren't all bad, none of them were my speed. I don't
know if they could feel it, but even in a crowd of so many vibrant
personalities were times I felt the most detached.

When I was a freshman in college I had a gay best friend, though I only saw him
whenever I visited my hometown on weekends. And we had lots of fun in
what was still a new scary, but exciting lifestyle to us. And we were
navigating it together. But we drifted apart because, well, he was a
dummy. And he was intent on living a double life while living in his
mother's house. Me, I outgrew that shit quickly. I definitely eclipsed
him in the self-acceptance category. And I had dreams for a life far
away from some small town in Florida.

All my life, I've tended to attract the overly masculine (society's definition) male
friends. And I spend a lot of my time thinking, "why the hell do you keep coming around
me??" I remember when I was in the 5th grade and was going to school in
a gang-ridden neighborhood in Pittsburgh. I mean there would be
shootings just outside my yard on my street at least once every few
weeks. Anyway, I had this dude in my class. He was the class bad-ass.
A thug in training. He barely came to school, but when he did, he spent
all his time around me. His name was Paris. Lol. All the girls
thought he was so cute. And kids in much higher grades than us had his
respect. This little fifth grader. But for some reason, he and I were
tight. Me, the quiet, skinny nerd.

I just don't get the unspoken interest in me sometimes. Especially the ones
who know more than just a little bit about me. Since I'm a writer now, I'm much
more open with my thoughts through various written works, which obviously leads people to
draw certain conclusions about me. While I'm not feminine, I'm not
overwhelmingly masculine either. So, I don't get the interest in me
sometimes. Damn. So, this problem is why I spend most of my time alone
lately. And why I've been forced to revel in my reclusiveness. I mean,
there isn't anyone out there I find stimulating. And I have to say I'm
not that excited about looking either. Not after the experiences I've
had. I just want some fun, sexually SECURE, intelligent male friends to
come into my life. I just think that so much can be gained from healthy
platonic male relationships. No offense to the ladies, but I need a
break from ya'll...maybe I just need to get out more, which seems to be
the damn answer to everything...which usually means what: go clubbing.
Blah. Again, I feel kind of foolish getting so personal sometimes. But
you won't tell...right?

Oh em gee. So I had to come back to my blog and write about the new
Whitney CD real quick. It just leaked on the web earlier today. I love
it and I still plan to buy the CD when it comes out next Tuesday. Hell,
I may even buy two. And I haven't bought a physical CD in years so this
is crucial. So, the best song on the CD: CALL YOU TONIGHT!!!! I love
that song. The mood, Whitney's delivery, the acoustic guitar and the
lazy, country feel to it. I can't stop playing it. If I was already
moved into my new place, I'd be slow dancing around the room by myself.
This song makes me want to fall in love. Which is weird because I've
been feeling so anti-relationship as of late. But I wanna just lay back
with someone special and blast this track. Or go for a romantic drive
at night, with the sunroof up and this song blasting under a moonlit
LEFT, WORTH IT and SALUTE. I'm so happy to hear Whitney's voice, though
weathered, she can still turn in top notch performances. And, in my
opinion, I feel this CD is the one Whitney was able to make the most
personal connection with. I've heard people complain and say her voice
is different, that she's lost it, and I was one of the ones saying it.
But hearing the album in its entirety, I hear notes that still make me
go, WOW. Her voice is STILL stunning. And I'm sooooo feeling her new
material. She's back. And thank God for it.

I've been reading non-stop this weekend. After another very full and draining week of training my employees for an exciting new school year, I decided to have a very low-key weekend. I finished up Notes From Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I was introduced to that book when I was doing background work for my current screenplay project and was led to Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" which ultimately led me to Underground. The book provided the "meat" so to speak that I needed lend a sense of authenticity and depth to my screenplay's lead character.

After I finished it, I went the library and found another book, one in which I had read many times before: Don't Block the Blessings by Patti LaBelle. Anyone who knows me understands my love for the legendary group LaBelle fronted by the one and only Patti LaBelle. In recent years, I have been toying with the concept of writing a screenplay about the career of this amazingly underrated supergroup. To me, they epitomize what a female vocal group should stand for: they were politically, socially and sexually conscious and miles away from their contemporaries and even those who dare to call themselves girl groups today. When I was in New York, I managed to acquire the contact information for the group's longstanding manager, Vicki Wickham. I'm currently working on a presentation for them. After putting it off, I decided that I would make a go of writing a screenplay about this important group in rock and roll history.

Another thing that's been on my mind lately is Las Vegas. If you don't know, I lived in Vegas for a total of seven years as a kid and teenager. My father and my brother still reside there. I haven't seen or spoken to either of them in almost two years. Now that I live in L.A., I'm only a hop, skip and a jump from them. Since, I can't get to Florida as often as I would like, I decided I should try to mend the long-broken relationships with the "Black sheeps" of my dysfunctional little family. My mother called me a few days ago and shared that she would like me to begin making monthly trips to Vegas, particularly to check in on my father and his health.

Some early readers of my blog may remember that my father experienced a brain aneurysm followed by a couple of subsequent strokes two years ago. I took a month off of work to supervise his extended hospital stay. Well, once my father got "better" he blamed me for what he was told was a "mishandling" of his care and took his anger out on me. Myself and my uncle tried to convince him that it was the other family members, relatives and "friends" who complicated the process, not me. Unable to make him see the efforts and lengths I went through to save his life (even making plans to move him to Florida with me while he went through the rehabilitation process) and ensure his care, I stopped speaking to him. I was tired of the arguing, the lack of trust, the lack of gratitude. I needed peace. He didn't understand that the only thing I was afraid of was losing him to a premature death with our relationship perpetually on the rocks. One thing about my father: he sees things in life or death. Even when he drew up his end of life care, he didn't consider his options if he became terminally ill. This made my job harder when the situation actually occurred.

Anyway, I've decided that I am going to force my way back into my father's, and even my brother's life. I know it means a great deal more struggle, more arguing, more discontent is on the horizon. But, I think I'm learning to keep my eye on the bigger picture. Ironically, as my father gets older, he is getting physically weaker. I'm using this to my advantage. Maybe if he's weaker, he'll be too spent to try to fight with me so much and realize that he wants a great relationship with his sons as we want with him. My father is the kind of guy who's used to fighting hard. It's so easy to let him piss you off which just makes you, forces you, to stop dealing with him altogether. It's almost like he expects you to give up on him. And he's too proud to say he wants otherwise. But, I'm not giving him the easy way out anymore. I'm gonna stay in his face. I'm gonna keep coming around. Even if we have to curse each other up one side of the house and down the other - that's the way it's gonna be. This is one of the times when I am becoming the teacher. He must sit back and learn. Because, after all, I only have one father.

That's a thought I was thinking of today. Today after, receiving
confirmation that all of my paperwork, background checks etc., went
through with my new job (yes, I'm a WORKING man now!!!), I decided to
treat myself to a movie starring my favorite actor Anthony Mackie.

The movie, THE HURT LOCKER, is in limited release and I'd been hoping
for months that I'd have the disposable income to check it out before it
leaves theaters. I finally did and have determined that it is now one
of my favorite films of all time. In addition, it's easily the best war
movie I've ever seen, giving a very intense and raw look at three
soldiers immersed in the Iraqi war experience.

The film had a scene at the end where the main character (Jeremy Renner)
is talking to his 1 year old son and expresses that as a child, you tend
to love everything. But, he says, as life goes on you realize you don't
love things like you used to and then eventually, it seems you only love
one or two things.

It led me to the thought that maybe life has a
tendency to beat the love out of us; I could definitely see this
applying to soldiers in war. Anthony Mackie played the second lead and
delivers a very heartfelt and emotional scene which is easily one of my
new favorite performances in a film. It's such a powerful film all

Anyway, back to me. As I said earlier, after three months of interning
and job hunting I finally got offered a position in L.A. which actually
lands me back in the Education field. It's been a little over a year
since I left my last comfortable position in Education for the
possibilities of New York City and later Los Angeles. My new position
is one I had back in Florida but with a MAJOR pay increase and a few new
welcomed challenges. It's another management position so I have a staff
as well as a program of middle school-aged children to mentor. So, at
this very second, I'm happy with my life and where it's headed.

I'm in
the process of apartment hunting in order to move in closer proximity to
my new job. I'm also lining up my next few film projects which I will
be undertaking. So, as of today, I've managed to lift the stone that
I've been under in an attempt to allow in a little light. Soon, I'll be
completely out from under.

There's so much that I've experienced lately (relationships ending,
career refocusing, personal prioritizing) that I want to blog about, but
I want to give them each a proper presentation. I'm honing back into
myself as my life starts to level out again which means I'll be bringing
it all back to my blog, my home.

Stay on the lookout and thank you for continually being apart of the
journey. Great things are in store...

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