#mylifematters Part IV


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Part IV

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I lied. I wasn’t quite done with Scott. I met him once more. I was back in town, possibly on break from school in San Francisco, which I’ll get to soon. I had made plans with Armando to see him and catch up on life. We met at his place, near a lovely tequila restaurant, over near the Ravenna district, if you’re familiar with Seattle. It was odd, seeing him again. I thought I was still interested, still attracted. I wasn’t. Not that I was disgusted, I just saw that I had moved in, grow up, changed styles, looked different, and he, well, he looked the same, and honestly, he was beneath my standards. I guess San Francisco did change me, this time in a positive way, learning and exploring my sexuality, discovering new things about myself, like my good looks and outgoing personality. I don’t know where those came from, they would have been useful earlier in life, but I suppose I had to grow into them,  like a good leather jacket, it takes some time. Anyways, I really had no interest when I saw him again. But I think, to him, I was now an exotic foreigner, from the land of San Francisco, which, by all rights, is a far away land, disconnected as it is from the nation physically and philosophically. So, he asked me to bed, instead of me begging, like previous times. He had a new boyfriend, someone that was with him in the Gay Men’s Choir. Armando always loved to sing, so I was happy he had met a like soul. But it made his sexual advances much more awkward. Do gay men always sleep with their exes after breaking up? After the hurt had passed? It seemed like that, like I obviously had intended for sex to happen, like the good old times, or maybe it was a duty owed. For what, I don’t know. Well, he stripped, I stripped, he waited, expectantly, I stared back at him, then I realized that he intended for me to suck him off. Resentfully, I did. No play time for me, apparently, all about him, like usual. This was actually the first time I realize that that was usual for him. He had an outsized ego, a persuasive personality and a commanding tone. It was only natural that I be subservient, because it wasn’t going to be him. His dick smelled, like he didn’t even bother to try and clean for me, or his boyfriend, for that matter. I gagged my way through the process. He came, shortly, to my relief. Didn’t even touch me, started putting on his clothes. I see. It really was a duty owed, not a sexual adventure together, not by my definition anyways. After reflecting on that for a moment, I got out of bed, hurriedly clothed myself, said my goodbyes, and oh how nice it was to see him, the place looks good, I love that statue in the corner, tell your boyfriend I said hi, actually, probably you shouldn’t do that, but take care now, best wishes, goodbye. I walked home, feeling too dirty to take the bus, wondering if I stank of dirty cock and low standards. You can smell that type of thing, like a dog sensing his prey.

It was a day or two later, now. I was at the restaurant with a cute boy, Geraldo, one of the servers. We always casually flirted, but worked different shifts and neither of us could really host (my place was cramped, his had boyfriend attached), so it remained just under the surface, just under the radar of management, which was also important. But that day, Saturday I think, some other event was taking place nearby, and nobody was coming in to dine, so I got cut. I was fine with that, I hated  being bored at work, wiping down the same tables with the same bleach cloth, again and again, buffing silverware that was already shiny, chatting with the dish boy, anything, really, to look busy. I was preparing to leave when Geraldo stopped me. He had just gotten cut, too, and was just wondering, for no reason, what my plans were. Here was our chance! I had the rest of the day free and his partner didn’t expect him home for hours. We just had to find somewhere to go. He wanted to do it in the car, but I was nervous about that had actually gotten caught once before doing that, no charges were filed but my embarrassment under his stern, watchful eye was punishment enough. My roommate was home, and I lived in a small boat at the time (not terribly small, two cabins and a galley below deck, a wooden boat, a classic, not like the cheap plastic buckets they pass off now as quality boats) so going there would have been awkward. Then I remembered, by brother was at work for the next several hours, late into the night, we could go over there! He seemed fine with it, so I went to his work and borrowed his game and apartment keys. It was dark by now, a little chill in the air, I was impatient to get inside, maybe have some fun before my brother came home. I’m not sure he had actually given permission to do that while he was gone, but he wasn’t there, who’s the wiser? We parked a block away then got out and headed to the gate.

Only we weren’t alone. There was a small gathering at the gate. Two teenagers and a middle age man. The boys looked terrified. I realized why, once I got close enough (too close). The man was carrying on, loudly, about nothing in particular, it was all menacing but not in a specific way. That is, until I looked slightly downward. His left hand was gesticulating, wildly, punching toward the boys for occasional emphasis, when the spit flying out of his mouth wasn’t sufficient to terrify them. His right arm, I traced my eyes down, to the pocket of the trench coat, where, unmistakably, he was holding a pistol. It wasn’t just a hand in the pocket amateur joke, it was a silver gun, safety off, easily to access and use whenever he was done with his tirade. I don’t know what I was thinking, why I thought I could be the hero, but I stepped in, leaving Geraldo at the edge of the group. It was quite dark now, and I couldn’t quite make out his features, but something told me there was something amiss about this situation, aside from the obvious. This was a sketchy neighborhood by all accounts, so I wasn’t surprised that there was trouble, but this, this ws different, even if the gun hadn’t been a factor. Anyways, I engaged the man, distracting him long enough for the boys to escape inside, locking me out at the gate with the man an arms length away, within his zone of spittle. He was mad, both in the sense of angry, and crazy. He smelled like liquor, reeked actually. I hadn’t noticed earlier. There was a drunk tank around the block, my guess was that he had sobered up enough to leave, but just barely sober. As I started listening to his actual words, I realized there was a theme. He wasn’t randomly rambling on, like a schizophrenic might, but rather he was, and I swear this is true, directing his conversation towards me, accusing me of being a faggot, of being rude and dishonest, of spurious behavior, and, especially, of seeing his son. That’s it! It was Scott. I finally put the pieces together. Armando must have mentioned to his father, apparently they were still close, that he had seen me, maybe even that he had sex with me. If you want to call that brief encounter “sex.” Sure. But that was all Scott need to hear. I had dared, without permission, consent or knowledge, to sneak past him and see his son, without offering my usual sacrifice to him first. He was the gatekeeper, the Guardian, or, should I say, the Guard. No one met his son without the ritualistic sacrifice, without performing services for him. Did Armando know, or intend, that his father was here? Did he so fully accept his relationship with Scott that he would “tell on me,” as it were? That would be so wrong, but then, the entire relationship, the bondage between them, the power play that was taking place, the whole of it all was so wrong, so why should I be surprised? How did Scott know where to find me? I had casually mentioned to Armando where I was going and when, just making small talk, being polite, like always. Sometimes I should just keep my mouth shut. “Scott!” I yelled, “Scott, put the gun away!” I started talking fast, knowing I only had a few moments to convince this drunken, sallow, diseased man that he didn’t need to shoot, that everything was fine, that I was truly, deeply sorry I had met with Armando (and I was definitely sorry at this point) without consulting him, that I was even in town at all without notifying him. I didn’t realize had signed up for a lifetime of bondage when I had first started dating his son. That should have been in the contract up front. No matter now. Scott was getting louder, gesticulating more wildly, staggering forward, towards me. I instinctively reached out, no, punched out, with all my might, taking aim at his right arm. The next thing I heard was a loud thud followed by a loud clattering. I saw the gun slip put of his tightly clenched hand and fall on the sidewalk, much as he did, reeling from the punch. Well, I’m not that seeing, he was probably reeling from the alcohol, but the details don’t matter right now. All I knew was that I had temporarily subdued him, but that I had to act fast before he grabbed the gun again, more bellicose than before, and certainly not listening to or trusting me anymore. So I acted. I grabbed Geraldo, who looked obviously terrified and shocked, shoved the card key in the general vicinity of the reader, and ran through the gate as soon as it buzzed. It couldn’t come soon enough. Scott was just starting to get up, but the gate closed too fast. Thank God for small miracles, or for modern security. We, Geraldo and I, sprinted across the lawn separating the gate door from the front door, and showed ourselves inside before the buzzer stopped. The door slammed firmly shut behind us. The boys were sitting there, on the bench, looking at me like I was even crazier than the man they had just encountered. They just sat there, like they had the whole time, apparently. Now this didn’t occur all that long ago in my life. Cell phones were ubiquitous. The whole apartment could be accessed by stair or elevator, had they wanted to reach someone. The fucking fire alarm handle was right behind them. I went off, screaming obscenities, why, why, why hadn’t they called the police, or pulled the alarm, or ran for help? Did the situation look normal from their vantage point, the safety of bulletproof glass and locked doors? All they said was “that was cool,” and something about how stupid I was, and how did I do it anyways? I didn’t have the patience. Geraldo and I grabbed the elevator and went up to my brother’s room. I never called the police. It didn’t seem right. I, alone, had defeated Scott, for the first, and hopefully last, time, and I savored that feeling. Not that bringing him to justice wouldn’t have felt good.  But I think he finally had gotten all he could get from me, and he wouldn’t be bothering me again. My brother came home a few hours later, I didn’t bring it up, we had a few drinks and then headed to the clubs. Just another night.

Desperate for answers 
Looking for some guidance 
The future remains out of touch

How am I supposed to move on
When failure is the only game I’ve got. 
The demons if my past
Torment me
Make me repeat my mistakes
Only fail to learn again

Fuck that 
I’ve been through hell and I’m not going back 
The future is unknown 
One day at a time is all I can take 
I’d peer into my crystal ball
If I thought it contained any answers

But fortunes are won and lost only on the battlefield 
I can’t stay low forever 
I must get back into the game
Past be cursed and future unknown 
All I can do is make the present my own

Clawing out of my hole, 
Reaching up, towards the sun
I deserve the right to be happy, demons be damned
There’s still so far to go, 
But look how far I’ve come 
I never thought I would escape my low

Press on
The future is unknown
But the demons of my past can stay in my past
I’ll take my chances on a new life
I foresee pain, loss and suffering 
But also compassion, caring and joy
Learning to live in a fucked up world
Learning it’s ok not to hate everything 
Learning there are some moments actually joyous 
And learning joy can be felt more matter what the state of the world

Learning to live again 
One step at a time
But each step further from the past than the last
Until the future becomes known to me 
And I can break the bonds of my past

-Future Tripping, personal writings, 2012

So in his chapter we saw the death-grip that Scott held over Armando and, by extension, me, and the lengths he would go to to assert his power. For the first time, I stood up to him. In fact, that may have been the first time I ever stuck up for myself, period. Times were changing. Now it’s time to take a break. Some trivial matters follow, such as getting accepted into law school, moving to San Francisco, attending classes, throwing parties, learning the club scene, learning how to attend  class with a miserable hangover and pounding headache. It was all worth it. But that concludes the happy period of my life, whatever happiness I had previously gleamed, at least it concluded my happiness and satisfaction at school and in San Francisco. In fact, I felt so happy and confident that I finally, for the first since Armando, years prior, went out on a date, then two dates, then sleepovers, then kisses exchanged in public, then became boyfriends. His name was Jason. I’ll never forget.

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