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The Underwear Drawer: All Is Fair in Love and the H.O.V. Lane

The Underwear Drawer: All Is Fair in Love and the H.O.V. Lane

Written by: Langston John Blaze

 

It gets harder and harder to write this column. Having to reflect on the pain colored by every word…I don’t know some times. Why is love this hard? It’s the equation no one seems to have an answer for. Is love interpretation? It’s surely not it’s symbol of hearts, kisses, and flowers. No, the real love is the storms, and through it, the ones who still stand. At this point, I’m confused. Who am I when it comes to love? I have yet to know the person I am in a relationship because of the lesser opportunity I’ve had to experience merely dating a guy.

Okay, am I picky? Uh, yeah. Who isn’t? Or better yet, who shouldn’t be? After telling Nathan how I really felt about him and then finding out he had a boyfriend, and on top of that, having to read his text that “you should have said something sooner,” I wasn’t broken but a little discouraged. The next day, I found myself telling, Ty Jacobs, “I love you with all my f “ing” heart, but I have to let you go.” He said a few words after my last statement, but I hung up the phone before he could utter anymore bull. I had been consistently hooking up with Ty for over a year and somewhere in that time, I fell in love with him. It turns out he was only worth a paragraph of my time, so I dare not write an entire column on his trifling ass.

However, I let this so-called motivational speaker tell me, “Langston, I don’t know how to express myself.” Why did I fall for that weak statement? Why did I put up with Ty after we were suppose to attend church together one weekend and after asking him not to drive fast because I knew I would have issues following him in my truck, Ty drove fast anyway and my car overheated and I was left on the highway…alone…in the HOV lane? He didn’t even call me that evening to find out what happened.

The next day, after the Nathan incident, I bawled my eyes out when Ty told me he was also in a relationship and had been in one for five months. Five months! The same five months when I would text him, “I love you,” and he replied, “I love you too.” The same five months when I would ask him to send me a sexy picture through my cell phone and he did it. This was the same man I fell in love with, who I watched take care of a sick and disabled brother – who I was growing close to. All of this had my brain clouded between hating and loving just as hard. I tried to ignore my feelings but when a man ignores his loving emotions toward someone, his body will tell him everything he is trying to ignore.

That September afternoon, before I told Ty I was in love with him, I felt sick. I felt like I had been running for hours and all the oxygen I needed rushed in and out of me like the first exhale after swimming so deep underwater. I blamed myself too. With all the hooking up Ty and I were doing over the last year, it gave him permission to treat me like dirty drawers.

Upon revealing my feelings, as soon as I thought things would get better, they got worst. In our last conversation, after telling Ty all of my feelings of what I wanted to change about our “friendship”, he replied, “I don’t know what to say. Why do you expect me to treat you so much more special than anyone else? I don’t have to explain myself.” I knew I had a bad habit of giving the men I experienced in my life the benefit of doubt. After the highway incident, I was without a car for five months. Ty lived over 30 miles from me, so the only way we stayed connected was through the phone. He was busy all the time so there wasn’t much effort put into physically interacting. But this time, I had to stop giving this situation the benefit of doubt. Love stopped for no one and would have turned around for me on that highway instead of continuing to drive off.

I scared my sister with my rush wave of tears. I couldn’t stop crying. Even as I type these words, I’m reliving it. I can smell the scent from the fresh grass I had just cut in my front yard. I can feel the beaming sun darkening my skin. I can hear the scratchy tone of my voice explaining to my sister what happened. I tried to be considerate of the fact that my family didn’t approve of my lifestyle but I needed my sister in this moment. She was there. She rubbed my back in my dark room. Tears rain down my face for a boy I thought I was over. My tears were a tribute that I loved him. I knew this because plenty of guys had hurt me but not enough to bring me to tears.

I rode in my vintage ’97 Camero that afternoon, shopped til I dropped, and clouded Ty out of my mind. Throughout the day, he would come in and out of my mind especially since I went to Lenox Mall, the place where I decided I was going to tell Ty what I wanted but continued to get interrupted by different instances throughout our day.

Nevertheless, I write this to not sound like a sad puppy dog, but I can’t help but wonder. Do I want love? Because wanting the sun rays is wanting the storms too. Love comes packaged with both. And if I ever fell in love again, was I willing to risk the hurt, the tears, my analytical nature, and my health? Love affects everything. It’s one thing to be in love but another to be a gay man and want it and keep it. Sad thing is, some of us have closed that underwear drawer a long time ago.

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