Just have to say, afternoons and sunset are becoming my most favorite part of the day. I was never keen on this time. Actually, they always freaked me out. I remember this video game in which the season was "Eternal Autumn," which meant the background was forever orange with yellow dying leaves, and the sun was permanently set just above the horizon casting long shadows against a darkening tangerine-colored sky. I always felt the scenario was the perfect backdrop to ominous and terrifying events. Nowadays, I find the whole scene warm, inviting, and highly sexual in an "adult" way. I think of warm breezes against falling autumn leaves and a setting sun, and I automatically conjure up ideas of drinking a cup of herbal tea with my significant other on our porch, laughing and talking with each other with our cat and dog sleeping in the grass. And maybe right before the sun goes completely down, we go inside and just fuck our brains out on the couch.
This brings me to Nate. I once pontificated about how he could be the greatest love of my life, and I stick by that sentiment. As far as his current storyline, I told him to never contact me again. He contacted me again. We met at the parking lot that I usually go to relax and contemplate life. It could be the fact that I have not had human contact in close to a year, or it could be the fact that it's true, but I declared my undying love for him. I told him I loved him from the first time I saw him… like in 2002 or something like that. Did not help that he looked incredibly handsome at the time or the fact I was terrified of touching him because of this goddamn pandemic. We never kissed. We never touched. We did cry at different times, talking about different areas of our lives. It was heartbreaking seeing him go. I remember tearing up when I started the car because I knew it had to be done, and I would have to be the one to end it first.
There is a whole other story that led to this meeting, but the solace I assumed he earned in Phoenix fell through with his usual annoyingly predictable song and dance. The lyrics of the song go something like this,
The woman I'm staying with
She's a bitch
She's a witch
I don't know what to do
This wasn't my fault this time
I did would I could
God doesn't like me
I did what I should
I know that you are struggling
Do you have anything
Do you have $5
Do you have fifteen?
He has sung this song SO MANY times over the years. The specifics might change, but the lyrics are EXACTLY the same for about a decade now. The chorus is overdubs of him crying uncontrollably.
The "woman" sometimes is a man, sometimes it's a couple, but more than likely, they want to sleep with him, and it just adds to an already hostile environment that he downplays. This time the "woman" was biologically related to him, and, yes, supposedly, she also wanted to sleep with him. Words were exchanged between the two; I get a phone call with him singing his song, ends with the chorus; I tell him to not call me until he gets his shit together, he calls me while his shit is NOT together, we meet, I fall in love with him all over again, I wish him well and hope that… with his eyes on God, his rebel heart and his adventurous spirit that he can clear a path for himself within all of those thick and lethal branches in this wild, wild forest we live in called life.
December rolls around. That forest has eaten him whole, leaving just a husk of what he used to be. I get the call and only part of the song before his phone craps out. Months pass. I have absolutely no idea where he is… or if he still exists, quite frankly.
I imagine this is why I have been so fantastically romanticizing what we had and what we could have. Nothing like reality or the truth to fuck up a really good dream.
I woke up fairly late today and had breakfast in the afternoon. Eggs, plant-based sausages, hash browns, and coffee with vegan creamer, sweetened with "Monk Fruit in the Raw." I took my daily cocktail of "old man" medications. I sat there listening to the singer/songwriter station on Apple Music while covered in this illustrious peach sun warming over everything in the kitchen. I had this vision that was so crystal clear that it felt like a memory.
I owned the house I currently live in. This house was mine and everything in it; it was all my choices, from the furniture to the food. Nate lived here with me. He was happy. We were happy. We ate breakfast, took our respective medications, drank coffee, and laughed at each other. We had so much sex.
Sometimes I take him from the back while he says profane things to me and unleashes all of the unsavory commands that he experienced in those dark years on the streets before we consummated our relationship. Things that he feared would condemn him to whore status and wash away any respectability from his name to a ragged, porous, matte, charcoal, colorless briquette. But at this point, we know each other. I know he's a whore. He knows I'm a whore. We know we have been both innocent and deviant, and that both distinctions can exist in the same place, and neither disqualifies us from love. And we love each other. On our knees. On our backs. On our stomachs. Tied up. Gagged. Wet. Smacked. Bruised. Vertical. Horizontal. Slanted. Bent over. In every room. On every surface. We. Love. Each. Other.
It's never on Facebook. My "marital status" never changes. There are no pictures of us together. We are not on Instagram. There are no articles about us being in a loving Black on Black gay relationship with accompanying syrupy sweet photographs. No one even knows we're together, married even, until maybe years into the marriage, and even then, there is no "announcement." This relationship is ours and ours alone to respect, nurture, and acknowledge. We don't need anybody's conjecture, approval, or counsel. It is our and our responsibility alone to maintain. And we are unbelievably happy.
I finally take that trip to Paris with friends. I suggest he does not join me. I have the time of my life, but I miss him terribly. On the last couple of days there, he flies out on his own and surprises me; the second most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me. The first: that first night together in Paris, when it rains, and we're laughing so hard while drinking wine and looking out the window, knowing we're going to be making love soon, he proposes.
We get married in Paris. An impromptu affair with only a handful of people in attendance. We're both wearing tuxedoes. We both look good. We stay in our room for a couple of extra days for the honeymoon, and we just laugh and fuck and drink wine for days.
We come back home, and we live our lives.
Maybe, later on, his best female friend finds herself in legal trouble and is incarcerated. We take care of her daughter. We have a three-bedroom house, after all. The one I'm drinking coffee in right now. Maybe adopt a boy so she can have a brother.
I finished my coffee in that warm afternoon sun, and I could have sworn those kids ran right in front of me to go to the refrigerator to get something to eat then ran out. Then Nate came in, poured himself a cup of coffee, and sat right in front of me, grabbed my hand, and smiled.
I hope he's okay. I hope he's alive. I hope he knows I love him so much that I'm not only dreaming of him but for him. And I hope, somehow, this brings him back to me.