Dirty Drawls Love

In mid January, a woman, a middle class, beautiful Jewish
woman
shared a story with me about dating.

Among many things, she talked about dating men who drank,
and drank, and drank and wondering why she continued to
pick these dudes.

She went on to describe what it meant to shift from repeatedly
dating men that were unavailable and deciding to only get serious
with men who wanted to be in a relationship
with her.

I thought hmmmmmm. Dating a man who wants to be in a
relationship with me. That’s cool.

Being willing to walk away if we don’t want the same thing.
Hard, but possible.

Hard because, in our society, women we are raised, to want to snag
the most handsome dude with the highest salary.

There was one thing that she said that stuck with me. She described
how she got to a point right before she met her current husband.

She had been dating with the intention of finding a partner, and because
of this within 2 or 3 dates, after the man made his intentions
known implicitly or explicitly, she kept it moving or proceeded.

She didn’t look at his resume, she didn’t take into consideration
how attractive he was, she didn’t consider whether he had a co-op,
or his MBA, the simple criteria was did he want to be in a relationship
and was he interested in a relationship with her?

Hearing her say this gave me the courage to start drawing
the line in my personal life. What I have found is that
there is a difference between a fence and a wall and most
people, will understand that you not only love them, but you love yourself
as well, so you cannot allow them to trample all over your boundaries.

Which brings me to Filthy. A couple of months ago,
he showed up on my block with yellow tulips, fresh quiche and
orange juice. My three favorites. I had just moved,
so he didn’t know my exact address, just the cross streets.
He had just planned on waiting for me to cross his path.

I was flattered.

His action was precipitated by the fact that we had just
had a conversation earlier that week, and had planned
on linking up, but I because of new information
I received, I was just on some “wait and see.”

One of my male homies was like “Wassup with you two,
what are you going to do?” I said, its on him. He responded, ” I
say this as a man, he may not know how extreme this situation is.
You know, how, when you are about to get laid off, you come in
early, you leave late, you kiss up extra at meetings, M.dot, this situation
requires that work.”

So I mentioned this conversation to Filthy and I also said, “I need
to be with someone who treats me like The Gift. You see, I knew
you were The Gift, you were my friend, I brought you tulips when I
met you. At this point in my life, I need to be with someone
who understands that I am The Gift as well.”

He was like, “What do you mean?”

I explained that, “This means being considerate, and doesn’t
necessarily have to do with a ton of money. For instance, I like
taco’s from the taco truck on 8th ave and 14th street, you could show
up to my door with 3 of those. They are $2 each.
I like tulips, a dozen at Trader Joes is $6. Its not about the money
its about thinking about another person, as much as you
think about yourself. That doesn’t mean that you can’t plan
a weekend get away. I am down for that too. Ultimately tho,
I am not going to fight you to be with me. Both of us are much
too special for that.”

It was scary saying this to him. I didn’t know if he was going
to balk, or agree or decide I had gone crazy. I was standing
up for myself.

But I had to do it, and the odd thing has been, every since
I said it to him, it has been easier to recognize that I needed to
explicitly say what I need from others, without paralyzing fear
that they dramatically indifferent to my request.

Besides, I also knew that I had prayed for God to take
him out my life and only bring him back when he was
ready. I had not anticipated that his being ready would
require for me to work on being ready, to work on my
patience and my willingness.

I talk a whole lot of smack about personal transformation,
but it is completly different to actually believe that a person
can do it
and to watch and support them while they try.

So, he showed up to my door, flowers, quiche and a half gallon
of Tropicana. Ready to wait. Willing to be considerate.

Looking back on that day, I could only think that this must
be a that dirty drawls love that my momma mentioned
when I growing up.

I want that for myself. I like it.

I also want to be disciplined enough to ensure that my needs
are met. But, I don’t won’t to be so caught up in the past that
I get in the way of my (our) future
.

Besides, grudges stifle creativity and kill Love.

In the end. I am content. Its bumpy at times, other
times its flawless and familiar.

I can’t front. I adore the blue eyed bandit.

You have any Dirty Drawls Love lately?

Why is it so hard to say “this is what I need, I will not
be distracted, I am drawing the line here
“?

Why does Tropicana OJ taste so good but cost
so much?

2 Train Wisdom


Last Tuesday, I ran into a homie, Simone, on the 2 train.
She is in BK now,
but she is from Oakland, and we both know
common people.

We are cool, but not tight. This is important to note because
of the significance of what she went on to say to me.

I know Simone to be real down to earth and honest. We were chatting,
catching up on school and babies, then
we turned to relationships. When
I last
saw her in August, she said “M.dot, if you want a baby and
a partner,
pray for both, because I prayed for a baby, and I love
my child but I
didn’t pray for and I don’t have a partner to help
me raise her.”
I then gave her my relationship rundown.

Simone: You asked for God to take him out your life
and bring him back when he was ready.
Me: Yes.
Simone: Then you got what you asked for.
Me: What about what happened in the meantime?
Simone: It’s none of your business.
Me: I also asked God to take him out my life and fill in the
hole.
Simone: Did God do that?
Me: Actually yes. I was able to get things done, I had company,
I was able to shift my recovery into high gear. But, I ain’t feeling this.
He lied.All I have is my word, and when you have very little money, your
word is all you have with people. I didn’t treat him like that.
Simone: He is not you. That is great that YOU are like that but
other people come to you the way that they are. Besides people
have to be given the space to tell the truth.
Me: Your right. I can be an idealist who expects people to deal
with things the way that I do. (Her statement about people being
given the space to tell the truth resonated with me because of my
gender politics and how I feel that many Black men who are gay, and choose
not to share that they are, do so because they are not given the space
to be honest with their lovers or families.)

I then mentioned that Filthy [Birk] had been coasting early our
relationship. He was checking for me, but not treating me like the
one that he “he won’t let get away.”
She stopped me.
DEAD IN MY TRACKS.

If he was coasting, then it was on
you to mind your
business
.
If that means dealing with other people or
being exclusive, that
was and is YOUR choice.” Part of
me wanted to squinch up my face
and stomp and scream.
But she was right. It was my choice
to be involved, be half
involved or simply to walk away.

She left me no room to be a victim. While I didn’t like the fact
that she was saying it to me at the time, I will forever love
her
for it. Remember the victimhood post? Yes, well,
acknowledging how
my choices brought me to my
current situation has helped
me remained focused on
what God has for me, and not reacting
to what another
person says or does.

Between this conversation, and thinking and reflecting on
what the healthiest choice for me was, I had decided to
leave the door cracked for
Filthy to demonstrate how
love
is an action, how love is work, courage or both.

I don’t take this decision lightly. I was once engaged and I
came to conclusion after that relationship ended that it
mattered less to me how much baggage a person had,
and that it mattered more whether the person had the willingness
to do the work to deal with the past and recover from it. I
realized that this was a great theory
to have, now was the
opportunity to practice it
. (Sometimes, yo odio when theory
meets practice.)

Then I received an e-mail yesterday from the woman that he
had a borderless relationship with. When I checked
my inbox and saw the e-mail, I just looked up like, okay God,
you have messages for me today, I see. She called me and we had a

conversation
and I realize that in some ways I was in a borderless
relationship as well. I learned that they hooked up in June and August.
I was tight. However, the past is that past and there ain’t shit that I
can do about that today.

I wasn’t sure what her intentions were in calling me.
The stated reason was to “share some things” that
she might have thought that I wanted to know.

I was lightweight suspect because I called her in Aug ’08, in
response to an event invitation she sent. She was throwing an event
for Filthy and I wanted to surprise him with red velvet cupcakes.
I called her identifying myself as his girlfriend, stating that I wanted
to bring cupcakes and the shit
hit the fan. Apparently I was the only
one that got the girlfriend memo. Ouch.
Rather than call me back
she called him. (After this, Filthy and I went on to have a
conversation about relationship titles, etc.)
That being said, who
knows what questions could have been asked and answered
then, but that wasn’t Gods plan, right? Right.

This is important to me because sometimes we don’t make
phone calls or ask questions because the answer may
mean
that we have to change our path and walk away,
or stop our behavior
all together.

For instance, I have a homie, Hot Momma Leo, and a few years ago,
I introduced her to a guy I was interested in. The three of us were having
drinks at a bar. A few days later she told me they mashed. I was
like WHEN? I just introduced you to him, and I told you I was
checking for him. She claimed that she didn’t know, which
was ridiculous to me at the time. Assuming that she didn’t
know, why didn’t she ask? When he went to the bathroom,
all she had to say was, “Aye, is that you?” Done. Simple. Easy.
What eventually came out, is that if she asked, she
might hear no. So rather than hear no, she didn’t ask, so that
she could continue doing she wanted to do
.

I still maintain my commitment to leaving the door cracked. Armed
with more information, I have my eyes wide open, and I have a strong
faith that if there is anything else that needs to be revealed to me, it will be.
Having parents with addictive behavior has forced me to understand
both the power of forgiveness and the importance of understanding
that I cannot control others. I can only decide to be in a situation
or remove myself from it.

For now, I remain open to what young Filthy has to say.

For a long time, my father disappointed me, and it took him
15 years to get his shit together, deal with his addiction, recovery
and become a consistent presence in my life again. This doesn’t
mean that because my dad struggled I make myself some dudes
doormat, but it does mean that we all need to be given space and
forgiveness if we are to address the past harms we have done to
others in life.

I have a tendency to beat myself up when I make a mistake.
It is a perfectionist tendency and a natural consequence of my
childhood. This of course is really problematic
because as humans we all make mistakes. Our mistakes remind us
that we are human. I see this as an opportunity to practice both
aknowledging my humanity and someone elses as well.

Filthy says he is a changed man. The future will confirm whether that
is the truth. I sit back, not reacting, letting life unfold. Can I tell you
how amazing that feels?

It also helps that I just learned that I am a finalist for one
of the graduate school programs I applied to. (So far, 1 Rejection,
1 Finalist.) Now I just need a writing gig that will let me afford
a membership at the Country Club Gym. Big {TEEF} Smile.

You forgiven anyone lately or decide enough is enough?

What stops you from asking questions that you know you need
the answers to?

Why is it so much easier to hold on to being angry than it is
to look for a solution?

Vibrate Higher


A dear friend sent me an e-mail this morning, inviting me
to his wedding and also commenting on my situation with Filthy.

I’m telling you this for a couple reasons. First, as my friend, I wanted to share this good news and my feelings with you. I hope you have some sense of how much I want this woman in my life and what I’m willing to do to create the most happiness that I can for her. Secondly, as my friend, I want you to have this understanding because I hope that you’ll accept no less for yourself.

The above paragraph is an excerpt from an e-mail he sent and
it really resonated with me, especially
since I was playing “She Lives
in My Lap
” at the time.

I am moving this week, so I just removed my cd’s from under my bed,
and popped Andre in. I haven’t seen my cd’s in 8 months and I miss them.
They are my old
friends. The D.O.C, Al Green and Fiona all are getting
bumped today.

I have learned a lot about myself in this last week.
Things that I don’t think I would have been prepared to
learn or address had I not been been for the love turbulence.
I’m grateful.

Have you learned anything about yourself recently?

Now I’m Realizing that I Love Her

I got the call on Christmas Eve. “Ne, I made a mistake.”

It was Filthy.

I listened, and we decided to link up in mid January.

So, he came to a meeting that I spoke at this past Saturday.
I was nervous and vulnerable. But, I felt fearless and good.
The speech went well.


He then broke the news. he was ready to commit. Ready
to think about the future, a long term future.

I was guarded but excited.

Then the other shoe dropped.

He had lied to me y’all.

2 lies.

In December, he pursued the woman he had a borderless
relationship
with,
they mashed, and to top it off, they kicked it
on New Years Eve.

When I learned this, I started looking for sharp objects.

This made me look at the decision to commit in a whole other light.

At first, when he mentioned that he wanted to commit,
I would have been satisfied with a change in his facebook
status
and taking a trip to somewhere sunny this winter
and perhaps meeting some parents. But this shit was
record
scratch where my gat, get out my face because my “cut you

if you still, shoot you if you running” Texas roots are about to come out.


Two lies.

One was that I told that when he was in BK last December, and I asked him
where he stayed, his response was, with my boy T’s friend.

I just learned, that it was with her.

GRIMEY.

He was suppose to go to Philly for New Years.
That was a lie. He spent it with her.

All I could think of was Gotty saying, I told you so. You see,
when the relationship ended after Thanksgiving, I called Gotty.

M.dot: Aye blood, your boy is done.
Gotty: Really. What happen.
M.dot: This other jawn, his homie came at him, made her feelings
known, put LOVE on it, and he shook. She cut herself OUT of his life,
and now he claims he is grieving her, but now can’t do it.
Gotty: Man, he is trying to pop at her right now, trust me, I know this,
I been there.
M.dot: I am not so sure. He kinda jacked up.
Gotty: Alright, don’t listen to me.
M.dot: Imma listen to you, it just doesn’t make sense.
Gotty: It don’t have to. Take care of your self mayne.

So, to get this information now, I am hella stuck.

It’s God’s now.

Ironically, I asked God to take him out my life, and only bring
him back (or for that matter anyone into my life) when he was
ready. I asked to only have people in my life who have the
courage and the will to love or the will to build
the capacity to do so. Now that it has happened, I am having a
hard to with the process. God is funny.

I have been thinking about something one of my married homies
said to me. He basically mentioned that in his experience,
men ask themselves whether they are ready, and if they are they proceed
and they aren’t they keep it moving. It had nothing to do with me.

Filthy is apparently at a point where he has had the serious commitment
conversation with himself and decided to proceed, but for me its
foul how it happened.

My girl has told me that I am focusing on the negative. That a
man’s and or person’s willingness to learn how to put another’s feelings
ahead of his own is a time to be celebrated
especially because he or she is probably going to need some help. She has
a point, but I got ice chips in my heart man.

His contention is that he had to go through what he went through

to get to the point he is at now. And the outcome is what matters.
I hear it, but I still give that shit the side eye. Ice chips melt, right?

I also look at it like this.
He is a good man. He challenges me. Is gentle. Is encouraging.
He my friend.

But he is also Bleek. Not Memph, who I have always had a
crush on since forever. But Bleek, Bleek Gilliam. I don’t do Bleek.
I realized that Filthy was Bleek last August when I learned of the four
boxes of W.E.B Dubois books, amongst the 12 boxes of books.
In my mind, I might as well had been dating DJ. CRACK ERA FAIL.

Given all this. Peep the nitty gritty.

It’s incredible, because there have been
some serious conversations had about the future, about
residences being changed, five, ten and twenty year plans.

I have learned a lot about my shortcomings as well. I have
learned that I have a hard
time asking for what I need and I
can sometimes play the victim
in order to avoid taking action.
Ouch. Admitting it is the first step to changing it. Right? Right.

I also understand that relationship gray areas exists. In the past,
once, I have carried a torch for another person. This torch
impacted my ability to really connect and be with the person
that
I was with at the time.

But then again.

I was 20 years old then. And we ARE not 20 years old anymore.
I have also done my fair share of scandalous. BUT. I have been honest.

I have a code.

Right now, I face the risk of walking away from the love that was
meant to be or staying with a person that made a mistake but also
understands that this is the chance to show that he can make good
on his word, and for him to take the opportunity to make tangible efforts to
continue to make good on his word.

He is trying. He is trying to do something he has never done before,
he is trying to step out on faith and live the life of Bleek after he can no
longer play the trumpet
. At this point I can just sit back and watch
how it unfolds.

The ante has been upped.

I gave it to God.

How to Be in Pain and Not Fall Apart is in full effect.

Not Gone Be Able to Do: The Love Below

Matthew and (Re)nina
Forte Green, Brooklyn June 2008


It’s been about a month since my relationship ended, or -if you
will, changed.

I have never known a human being that I could spend five
or six consecutive
days with and not want to kill them after
day 3, or be enraged at them, or see the roots of resentment
growing like weeds.
The days would be productive, filled with
reading, writing, meals and mashing.


This was my relationship with Matthew, p
reviously known has
Filthy Dubois.

When the end velocity started, at first I thought there was someone
else, and then I learned that it
was us. Ironically, in the midst of
the all this, young SJ an ex and dear friend
from Texas, called
me out the blue and apologized for being angry at me for how
things ended between he and I. We hadn’t spoken in months.

So we are talking, and he hears the trembling in my voice and
I let on what was happening and in a moment of eerie clarity, he
said, “Wow, I did the
same thing to you.” Meaning that he let a lot
of time lapse before telling me that he was having major
problems with the relationship. He waited until he couldn’t
take it any more and decided that it was over. I was grateful for
the fact
that he made the connection
, sad for the fact that it
was true
.

My girls are optimistic. I am neutral and here is why, both
Matthew and I believe that love is being willing to extend
yourself for the spiritual growth of
another person. If we both
love each other, but want different commitments
then I have
to let him go. As much as I don’t want to, I have to. To do anything
else is to be greedy and to try and assert my will over the will
of what
is. That’s not extending myself, that’s trying to control it.
That’s not my job. Resisting it requires praying almost 5 times a day,
no lie. But I do it.

We may work or exert courage in directions other than toward spiritual growth. and for this reason all work and courage is not love. But since it requires an extension of ourselves, love is always either work or courage. If an act is not one of work or courage, then it is not an act of love. There are no exceptions.
from The Road Less Traveled

We have been in contact, albeit limited (while writing this, ironically
I received a long e-mail from him.) Through this haze, he has
coached me through school application deadline
madness, assisted
me with my writing sample and offered to read my personal
statement (along with 5 other people- hi Mean Sexy, Jonzey and
Songee
.)

We were friends before, and in many ways, the evidence of that
part of the relationship is bright and clear. In many ways,
having
a friendship basis, makes all of this that much more
difficult. Sometimes,
I just wanna shake ’em, like dude, how
can you say that it
has never been like this with anyone else
before, but commence
to putting it on pause. But I hold
back, because if this is what
he believes has been willed to be,
then I can only respect that
.
I still be wanting to shake him tho.
However, I’m sure I wouldn’t want any dude pressing me if I
was like,
“Nah ock, I’m not where you are and I need to move
around.

That being said, human bonds are incredible. In many ways
this turbulence
with him has shown me the strength of other
bonds in my life.
And not just the strength of the bonds, but that
once created, they never go away.
For me, that idea has always
been abstract, but now that I have seen
it operate in my life in real time,
I have experienced how it works.
It is in coming to understand these
bonds, and the bumpiness of this relationship that I am learning
how to
fall back gently, and not just cut him off. Which is what I
have seen people do, time and again, in my biological family.


In early December, Matthew and I had a sort of peace inducing
conversation. Then record scratch,
I woke up a few days later, livid.
It came to me
that I stepped to him in July about feeling over committed.
Instead of saying something to him, I could have been scandalous
and just kept it to myself and commenced to lining up
back ups.

However, human beings are not objects, or positions, that
can’t be lined up. I have also been reminded that to expect
someone to do something that I know how to do is short
sighted
and unfair. People come to you with the tools that they have.

I was angry that I had the courage not only to feel it, BUT to share,
whereas, he didn’t. It felt like he was on the take.
I knew that there
was a risk me saying to him, “Aye blood, I feel over committed” and
upon reflection, I realize that I
felt that he was selfish in being
unwilling to take the same risk
with me.

All it required was “Ne, I’m having second thoughts.” Subsequently,
when I brought this up he has apologized
profusely, and said
that he didn’t know how to say it at the time. Lord knows that there
are things that I haven’t known how to do in the past, like manage
my anger, which has helped me to kill not one, but two relationships.
I understand that he didn’t know how to say it, I have forgiven him.

“Truth or reality is avoided when it is painful. We can revise
our maps only when we have the discipline to overcome
that pain. To have such discipline, we must be totally dedicated
to truth
. That is to say that we must always hold truth, as best
we can determine it, to be more important, more vital to
our self-interest, than our comfort.” From The Road Less Traveled

Looking back, I have changed over the course of the relationship and
I am grateful for it.
My writing voice is clearer, I have a far more nuanced
understanding
of how much of what we see in society is rooted in
history, and my
recovery game (in terms of being related to people
with addictions), has been taken up a notch.

I have also resolved to pursuing writing and school work that is
self directed and in line with who I am and what I believe in.

Yet and still, the cold Christmas and colder New Years has me
light weight shook. But, it just reminds me to be in the moment.

Besides, there is always 2009!

I bet this post was a surprise. Wink. Nod. Wink.