Roleplay.

There was barely a soul in the theatre come the end of Thursday. It was always a quiet day here and i liked that. I wanted to be with myself- away from the thousands of eyes that found me in the day light. I came here to sit undisturbed and touch myself. My day had been spent in public smiling and looking at visiting white folk. I worked the door downtown at one of the largest hotels in the city. I saw them come from all around to vacation somewhere out of the way of the bigger cities- a place that was not quite big but held some kind of adventure. And they stayed downtown cause that was a place that was not as close to Black folk as others. They felt safe. I would watch them, person by person, come into the hotel. Each one of them past me with a new disgust. Some stiffened in my presence- became like boards and moved by. Even in the light of day, and with me in servant drag, They were scared. There was a strange energy in the air. It is a curious thing to observe them- walking both in fear and superiority. I was after all in servitude to them, just as my ancestors had been, and there was part of them that sat in that moment with jubilee. At the same time, they were scared, in complete terror. Most days I wanted to abandon any questioning and reach out, grab them by the throat, and kill them. . .

 

That day, a young man jumped back when I approached him. I stood with my hand outstretched, ready to take his bags from him. Our eyes found each other. He looked back with a kind of need I wasn’t used to seeing in their eyes in the hotel- it had been other places. I saw that need in the baths and arcades- in movies and theatres. It was longing and a terror more than what I found in the eyes of White folk who were not sexually moved by me. I ignored what sensation was there and grabbed his bags. There was a thought, about how ridiculous they were, dancing about in my mind.

 

I reached for my sex in the theatre and thought about robbing them blind- being every bit the savage they feared and salivated over. No more smiles- only teeth for biting. My smile had been made numb long ago anyway. On the screen, the regular mix of porn played. There were some men here. They’d hidden themselves so as to avoid being seen or talked to. I never spoke, never gave them eye contact, never invited company. There was nothing in them that I needed. We were there in a collective of silence and wanting. The only sounds were those from the screen. The action mounted. Three men took turns penetrating a fourth. If there was anything happening at that moment, it was rendered irrelevant by the screams, sounds of flesh slapping, and moans on the screen.

 

I spit in my hand- inhaling the scents- found my dick and began to stroke it. There was violence. The bottom on the screen barely seemed to enjoy himself. He sounded in pain. It seemed to be all that he could do to stay on the bed- each top pounding more intensely than the former. Something moved in me and I came to arousal- growing more solid with each movement. In the dim lighting I could see others caught in the same moment I was- somewhere lusting and loathing the thought of being a player on the screen. And why was that? What brought us to this point of wanting to pour our misery into another man in this way? Many of us had partners- woman, man and otherwise? Were they fucked like this? Were they here too, enjoying the show as we were? If Brandon was here, i’d hoped he never find me, there was no love here. There was no softness. There was just thrust- just sex.

In school, there was a boy that I would fuck like the one in the movie. We’d take turns pounding away almost crying- pushing all hurt deep. Afterwards we’d barely speak. I’d throw a joke or two, he’d laugh and talk about some girl he thought looked nice and we’d leave it there. Always, we reminded one another to be cool- to keep our thing between us. The world couldn’t know of what we did. There was nothing in the universe or in us that could bare the hatred that would bring. So, we kept it in us. Nothing in our relations lent itself to any kind of friendship beyond these sessions. Nothing developed beyond what was had there.

 

In the dark, a white boy moved closer to me. I felt him before I saw him- his energy. My hand began stroking faster. I held myself still, moment by moment, attempting to ignore him. At the very last second I turned to see him. It was the boy from before. The same boy who thought I was coming for his bag. This time his eyes were all hunger. I looked at him- his own hand reaching to grab his sex through his jeans. “I oughta rob you for real, this time.” I thought.

 

Eyes danced. A moment and then a discovery. A chill and then. . .

 

“Suck my dick.” i commanded as effortlessly as pouring water.

 

Heat and hunger. The corners of his mouth widened into a kind of crazed smile and he sank to his knees. “You want this huh, boy? You want some of this big black dick?”

 

“Yes sir.”

 

I knew he did before there was speech. They all did. As scared as they were, they were also curious. In here they could get lost- roleplay. They could become submissive in ways that daylight would never condone and become what the society guarded against most- a white man in service. He gave me a slight glance. My dick waved in front of him- measuring his face in the small light.

 

“Go on boy.”

 

He began. I grew in his mouth. There was wetness streaming, pulling, gagging, and choking. He threw looks my way. Part of me wanted to see him moving up and down on me. Part of me wanted to see what his eyes held now. Was it still hunger? Was he scared? Did he care what happened to him here at the mercy of the nigger doorman? Did he want some kind of intimacy? That curiosity never won out. My eyes averted his everytime and found dissonance in the screen. He felt nice. I dug deeper with each breath- began to push his head down on me. Seeing someone requires heart. That sight requires movement and understanding- requires the emotions that bring folks to conclusions involving marriage and moving in and such. You ain’t seeing anyone in this dark. Here, there was only moisture, moans and half thoughts. Men came here to release- use and be used.

 

Again Brandon came to my mind. For a moment the White boy became him and we locked sight. He cried, bit down and let out the same sigh I heard when his favorite Aunt passed. No longer smiling, no longer wanting me. He cursed me- for using this boy, for white men, for our ancestors, and for my dishonesty. He cursed me.

 

The boy at my crotch was loosening up. He may have been losing steam. I grabbed his head again, more forcefully. He had to know that he wasn’t done yet. Seas moved in me. There’d be waves crashing soon. He choked- letting up for some air. My sex was covered in spit and lust. His sight travelled from it to my face- lusting for an expression that would tell him where this journey was going next. I could never use Brandon like this. It wouldn’t even look right, His body felt too pure to me. It didn’t trigger the same rage nor did it beg to be degraded. We were both Black men, stepped on daily. His voice just as quiet as mine- just as smothered by poverty. We knew the same notes. There was no justice for our hard work- nothing more than what we celebrated in one another. Our labor was produced jubilee for others who sat in privilege. Others, who ruled over our material lives and looked at us like beast in a zoo.

 

I grabbed the man, before me, and forced him down on my dick. I was close to exploding and only wanted to hear the sounds coming off of the porn. My eyes closed and I began the final round of thrusts. Tension mounted. The boy could barely hold on. Images of his expression, when I reached for the bag, came back more vivid. I became harder. I saw him scared- saw every pale face, every milk toned look of terror. He braced himself on the arm rests. I opened my eyes as I came. He couldn’t avoid any of it. We both were wet.

 

My core shook. The boy removed his mouth. My sex jumped in the cool air.

 

“shit!” I exclaimed.

 

I sank into my seat. He looked at me. Somewhere in him wanted to speak. I got up before he could. I wiped as I walked and placed myself back in my pants. I left before he could speak. There was nothing to say. When I got home, Brandon hugged me- probably ignoring the smell coming off of me. When he asked me how my day had been I responded with a sigh and a small mumble that was meant to sound beat but not defeated. I came into the bedroom with him after showering and we laid together- him spooning me.

 

“I love you, Eugene.” he whispered.

 

“I love you too, pa.”

 

“You off tomorrow? What do you want to do?”

 

“Lay here. Be with you. I think that I’m tired of being outside. Maybe we can go for a walk.”

 

He squeezed me and laid his head on my shoulder, giving me a small kiss.

 

“I love you.” another squeeze. Sometime later I pretended to fall asleep. I listened to Brandon float off to sleep. I let out a few tears, then turned to see him. I searched his face- leaned in kissed him and watched him sleep. There were no sounds other than his light breathing.

 

Black men. rage. white womyn. patience. and anger.

the more i walk in this world- the more i am present in the act of living- the more i understand a lot about other Black men. i see our commonalities in experience and understand what can only be called, “our common pain”. 

 

earlier in life, i thought that being queer would somehow shape me different. that this extrat identity would cast my life in a direction radically different from other Black men- that i would see the world differently. and i do- i hold the magic and the horror of queer life in my chest always. I talk to flowers, wanna wear dresses, fear walking down the street in front of large crowds of brothers, speak softly with sass, and like sit in my hips. these things aren’t “queer” in essence- but they are differences that have developed with the encouragement of my queerness and solitude. 

 

 i still share skin with my people. i share histor, ancestors, walk, dance, and spirit. my queerness does not remove me from a sat at the table of diaspora. and so i also share our saddness.

 

the more i attempt to stand in this world- the more i can understand my father’s anger and the sad tones in my brother’s speech too. they- like most Black men in this country, have lived lives that have filled with the joys and pains of our race and sex. i understand their silence more than anything. i am noticing the development of a quiet rage that, if not healed or held, could consume me and any other relations i have. 

 

in Babylon Black folks (like other oppressed folk- but we are speaking specifically of Black oppression here) are robbed of power. we are either expendable labor for this beast or we are fodder. self determination, the right and power to guide your life as you see fit, is stripped of us in large. 

 

for Black men- power is taken out of our muscles and speech and replaced with a numbing silence. Patriarchy gives us no tools or language to process the infinite hurt of racism. and i can see this in how little i can speak to other men about my hurt, in how much we hurt, in how much hurt we create through anger, and in how much i hurt. 

 

i have to remind myself to find calm places inside of myself instead of other outlets when i feel rage. i felt rage yesterday- pure. 

 

i work/ have to deal with alot of white womyn socialized to treate me like i am not a grown ass man. this behavior is a racist attitude held in this country for centuries. while the Black womyn is often times mammied and turned into a docilce servant or hyper sexualized- the Black male is feared and his intelligence is treated like a thing of amusement. 

 

at the clinic, that i go to. (which i am leaving soon) there is a white counselor. i had an appointment with her to renew my health coverage. after waiting about 40 minutes to be seen, i finally came into contact with her. she immediately began violating my space and trying to touch me (with hugs) and my things (grabbing at my books- asking what i was reading) she takes up my time talking about things i don’t care about and which are not health coverage related and several times i had to redirect our conversation back o the matter at hand because i am homeless and looking for work so i do not have unlimited time to sit and talk to this white womyn who was already late to our appointment. at the end of our appointment she closes the door and says “i’ve heard from others that you’re battling a substance abuse problem. . . here are our resources at the clinic.” inside of me rage built. I wanted to say “BITCH IF I WANTED TO TALK TO YOU I WOULD BE LOOKING AT YOU! IF I WANTED THESE SERVICES I WOULD BE IN HERE LOOKING FOR THEM! SIGN MY DAMN PAPERS AND LET ME BE!” I wanted to say that but I didn’t. I cooly looked at her and said “im good. i got some healing going on.” and she looked at me and once again reached to hug me. this time instead of telling her that “i didn’t do hugs” i moved out of the doorway and told her “goodbye”.

 

at work- i sat through more of the same. my boss laghed at my inability to solve a problem and when i asked if she could fix the issue she came over and was just as stomped as i was. She made me restart a project because the order that i was working in was not the one of her choosing- despite getting the same result and my process not disturbing any of the work. 

 

i left work and walked around the lake. white folks playing African drums, dancing, police, white folks vending things. .  this is Lake Merritt and this is Oakland. I thought to myself “the colonizers are here. . .” they’ve been here. they’ve moved in and settled. They taken our space. 

 

At the end of the day. i feel grateful because i am still privileged. i am homeless but i have a job, i am a recovering addict but i have community, 

 

im getting a free haircut and learning how to love myself and understand myself. i feel grateful. and i am more privileged than a lot of folk- other brothers but i am also walking in Babylon as a Black man. I am working and moving through their system as a Black and Queer man and that means things still . . . it means that these people do not have the resources, worldview, or love that i share and that they are opperating from places of false knowledge, incompetence, socialization, and stupidity that trigger me.

 

i have to write this and remind myself of the positive things in order to not sit in that anger that had my father in the bottle or my cousins screaming. 

 

and this is not meant to be liberal. or condescending. i am just processing. 

 

the next step is taking up arms with brothers. speaking with brothers and buildig with brothers around our hurt. we have to address our hurt and bring that to the larger family so that we all might heal and plant seeds out of Babylon together.  

 

right now, for me, that may look like this writing being completed and them folk being called. i am committed to starting or being apart of an organization that might save our lives- in bringing Black queer male bodies together in something other than sex and anger in clinics. thats something that can and must happen. 

 

if you are like me (a queer of color, a black male queer, a black male, etc. . .) then how do you see our healing happening on the daily? what will push our lives towards thriving?

morning thoughts on being a “have not” and what power is.

we are dealing with evil.

the society in which we live is a wicked one- let there be no doubt. in a socety built on the creation of classes of “have nots”being exploited, drained, and killed by a wealthy 1% of the population, there can only be suffering. in capitalism there is only room for this kind of order- because monopoly means that there is a singular power controlling industries and profitting. there can never be a comprimise between the rulers of this world and the workers. there can only be a total shift, in which the workers and those neglected and shut out of formal “wage slavery” (aka a 9 to 5) take back their power and run the society for themselves. the oppressed must use their power to destory hierarchy and the ideas that it necessitates.

but what is “power”? and where is it? how do they have it and we dont?

the capitalist/ 1%/ rulers of this world have material power. money means power and is protected by force. the systems of government seek to care only for the wealthy while holding up the illusion of working for us all. but anyone looking closely enough will see the true nature of our “representatives”. their true faces- mostly white, owners of industry. police protect these representatives and the laws that they create. and most of the oppressed population believes these laws because we belive in “fairness”, “democracy” and the like- even though it is never in play. Where is there democracy when millions of Africans were stolen for labor, killed, raped, and tortured in the creation of this land? Where is there democracy when the native population of the Americas was wiped out to make space for the colonial European power and forced onto small pockets of the lands their ancestors thrived and dreamt on for generations? Where is there democracy when this imperial land starves other nations and forces them into slave-like labor for capitalist gain? Where is there democracy when the prison system of this country houses a majority black and brown population while bodies of armed men, given the “right” to protect us, murder us for sport? Where is there democracy when the majority of this country is dying unnecessary because of lack of access to basic health care, healthy food, and work?

there is none. there is only a dreamed illusion that supports this “democracy” and guns that defend it. “democracy” in this reality is a dangerous lie.

in creating a class system- it is important to destroy the self confidence and self fullfillment of those who will make up the lower classes. it happens all the time in this world. folks are starved, told their bodies are ugly and unworthy, given food that is dangerous to eat and wears down the body (simultaneiously destorying the spirit)- folks are given scraps of jobs (and told to be greatful because everyone else is unemployed or jailed), and given guilt- the oppressed are blamed for their condition. “you are poor/ unsuccessful, because you aren’t working hard enough, because you aren’t playing the game, because you are . . . “

all the while, the media dictates what the picture of success is- shifting every so often to include a smaller amount of tokens. (faces of oppressed populations that will help maintain the illusion of fairness- that everyone can succeed) the oppressed are being sold a pipe dream, because now to fill the void of what they/ we ,suppossedly, don’t have (“beauty”, “wealth”, “health”, etc. . .), the oppressed are told to buy their healing (get surgery, buy more clothes, purchase the shiny/ updated versions of that indigenous healing that the colonizers demeaned and destroyed) or to numb it through addiction- to food, to drugs (“legal” and “illegal”), to violence, to escapism via television or videogames, to sleep, to sex, to domination (esp in the case of working men and men of color, the society teaches you to take your power back through controlling what you can- your interactions , your children and partners, your friends)

all of this creating unhealthy dependancies and ideas of these things.

the aim/ goal in all of this is still the takng of power.

the oppressed are having their power stripped by being told that it doesn’t lie inside themselves. 

the oppressed are starved. but not powerless.

chanting down this Babylon means looking inside ourselves for what can be healing- and leaning on one another when we feel low or destructive (self and otherwise). the methods of healing and growing our own gardens are being pronounced as “new”, “trendy”, or otherwise “a thing of privilege” are ancient and ours. we, the oppressed, created them. we knew how to hold earth and breathe life before it was called “organic”. we knew the multiple beauties in our bodies before we were called fat and we had ways of harvesting food that would produce health and longevity. we created- in free time and healed through that.

part of the “power” that has been stripped from us ain’t really gone. its just been hid behind distraction.

  “i believe i have inside of me everything that i need to live a bountiful life. with all the love inside of me i will stand as tall as the tallest tree.” – celie, “the color purple”

part of that power is in self love and “actualization” and community. and it is hard to cultivate because we are surrounded by conditions that are of opposite intentions but we must seek it. we must use our lives to build community strong enough to sustain us and we must talk about the lies being fed and how to undo them through truth and establishing centers of power for ourselves where everyone is growing and knowledge isn’t specialized and held by a “boss”. we must all be workers that build together and share in the bounty of our work together. and we have to tell one another that we are beautiful- especially when we feel low because that is how we gain power. we gain it by living for ourselves and our community. we gain it by healing and living for our healing. we gain it by questioning our thoughts and our actions. we gain it by seeking life outside of these parameters given.