In A Man Can Love A Man Troy and his friends post-dinner conversation was beginning to create tension
When I went back into the room, Martin, and Justin, were putting their coats on. It’s as if they knew that things had gone too far, and that we were no longer on the same page.
The farewells were brief, and after shutting the door on them, I was left feeling empty.
I contemplated knocking on my neighbour Claudia’s door but I knew she always went to bed early, and it was now 1am. I considered rolling a joint then I remembered I’d promised myself I would only smoke in company, never alone. My lap-top winked at me, and I thought about logging on to view some porn. No, that wasn’t the answer. Porn had become quite a crutch after splitting with Alex, and I didn’t want to fall back into the habit.
Why had Martin, and Justin, said those things about Alex? What craziness were they referring to? And how long have they been feeling this way? I wracked my brains for clues? I remember Martin saying once that my beads were all over the table without a thread. That phrase always stayed in my mind.
Yes, it’s true that I’d gotten into a funk after Alex, and hardly left the flat. And yes, there were a few guys on the rebound! But that doesn’t make me crazy, does it?
After the spilt, I tried to style it out by saying the reason I was ‘off my game’ was because Ketamine Kelam, had given me a pill that didn’t agree with me. I created an elaborate story that during a moment of weakness, I asked him to get me some stuff, and that it affected me so badly that I was ‘out of sorts’ for weeks. I now realise that Martin, and Justin, had never bought the story! They knew that it was Alex, who had fucked me up, so to speak.
I began to straighten the flat up for something to do, and even washed up all the pots just to keep busy.
Thoughts of Alex, flooded my mind. I still missed having him around. I missed how he hated washing up because he said that he was allergic to washing up liquid. Or how, when he was hoovering, which he loved, he would sing Bob Marley songs at the top of his voice. I missed him encouraging me to write my book after we discussed ‘coming out’ to our families. I told him that after telling my parents that I was gay, they were completely cool about it. That’s the kind of book I want to read, said Alex. We need to show that the entire black community isn’t homophobic.
Alex’s views on life completely opened a new window on the world for me. It was Alex who told me that I was a spiritual being having a human experience. Not a human being trying to be spiritual. It was Alex who told me about the great empires that came out of Africa, and how a lot of history was rewritten. And it was Alex, who taught me that anyone who hated gay people was devoid of love for humanity, and really hated themselves.
It’s amazing how I could still have fond memories of someone who had hurt me so badly. Why did it all go so wrong? Maybe deep down I knew but just didn’t want to face it?
The memories were making me feel tired.
I quickly brushed my teeth, washed my hands and face then crawled into bed. I reached for my mobile and searched YouTube for the Luther Vandross single ‘Only for One night’.
Alex always said that we were eternal twin flames across time and space. I wanted to fall asleep dreaming of happier times. Only Luther understands.