Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Let's Be Real

If you don't believe in God--bless your heart. I respect your belief, I support your right to believe it, and for those of you that need material proof of God's existence (He/She/It/Them/They) and haven't received it, I trust your perception of material proof as it applies to your life.

And for all of that, I am psychically, physically, mentally, and spiritually unable to understand your experience. I have always believed in God. I have never had a crisis of faith based in doubt of the existence of the Divine. Please do not get me wrong, I have spent a good part of my life cussing God out for everything from bad dates to my junior year class pictures (please see exhibit A, the offending picture, posted here for your amusement--no...that is NOT the missing third Indigo Girl). And when it comes to proof, I have enough empirical data to make a Nobel Laureate blush. Dr. Erik Streed, the closest person I know to a Nobel Laureate (his graduate advisor won the Nobel Prize in Physics based on the research they did together when Erik was a lab slave) might poo poo my "loose" definition of "empirical," he would be forced to admit that either there is a greater force at work in the universe or there is a yet undiscovered sub-sub-sub-sub atomic particle that he will discover by putting frozen Kool-AID into the CERN Accelerator and adding a dash of lime just as the collider reaches energy output of 3.5 TeV per beam, which he will then redirect using a kaleidoscope while singing "Grease Lightning," and mimicking the mating ritual of the Pakootiekootie bird, which, incidentally, he, himself, discovered in the fossil record and then, using leftover skin cells from Joan Rivers' last face lift, a section of skin from Carnie Wilson's latest gastric bypass, a dash of leftover love lube from a secret butter bath romp between Oprah and Gayle, and an Eggo Waffle, proceeded to clone the Pakootiekootie.

All of that to say is that I am right. Erik is wrong. God exists. Now let me tell you why.

I tried to relapse today with all of my might. I mean short of selling my ass for drugs or training Mimzy to run a meth lab out of her kennel, I gave it the good old addicts try. And let me tell you it was sneaky. Hold on to this trip into the the Misfiring Synapses of Brandon's Frontal Lobe. David and I are moving our open relationship in to a broader scope. I have actually been really proud of myself for not completing giving in to my abandonment issues or losing my mind over things that a year ago would have had me calling on the name of Jesus and raising the TSA security level to whatever the hell comes after orange. But there have been things that have stuck in my craw (and rightfully so). Last night, I couldn't fall asleep because my brain was desperately trying to figure out what the hell was at the core of my discomfort/annoyance/etc. Around 3am, I figured it out. This morning, I didn't trip. And after a rocky moment or two, David and I had a sleepy, half-finished, but ok conversation.

Still with me? Good.

I actually recently dealt really well with am online situation here at home. And we laughed about it. But today is where the synapses were listening to Katy Perry and took that song Fireworks quite literally. So, I figured...hey... I can look at Craig's List. Well, since i am looking at Craig's List, I might as well look at Manhunt. Oh well since this gay with a delicious booty messaged me on Manhunt, and I am on Manhunt anyway, I might as well read the email. Well since I am READING the email, I might as well respond. Oh. wait. what. You are partying (aka crystal meth), well I can entertain that notion. Well, you know, just because I go meet this guy at his place and there is crystal meth there doesn't mean that I have to do it. It was right about there...just after I got out of the shower and had gotten dressed and was about to head out the door that the Lord took a hand. I decided to call the guy just to firm things up. And he didn't answer. I called again, and again, and about 40 more times, until the guy shut down his phone. I was stomping around my house cussing and kicking and screaming and pissed off. I was acting a fool, but in my head, it was all very justified and logical. It wasn't about the drugs! It was about this person that would have had me standing outside of his front door and not answered. It was about the lack of manners and the general upbringing of this heathen with the great ass.

Here's where God intervened again.

I caught myself in the mirror, and at that moment I realized just how ridiculous I was acting. I had rationalized myself about a minute away from doing something really fucking dumb (in the past, I would have realized it, and I would have kept right on going. Hell, YESTERDAY, I would have realized it and kept right on going). And let me not be the saint here. I did, once I calmed myself down, sit back down at the computer and spend about five minutes checking out Manhunt and seeing if there were any other opportunities that could get me out the door and high. That is when two things happened. I slammed down the cover of my computer, walked towards the bathroom and chanted to myself, "FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT."

Then I prayed.

The Lord didn't answer. He texted.


Actually, it was a friend of mine that lives in my hood, and he texted to tell me that he had just gotten laid off. Within one minute another friend texted to ask if I would go with him to Callen Lorde to get an HIV test done. It may not have been Jesus per se on the line, but the Lord works in mysterious ways, and he spent all that time with 12 men in the desert, so it makes sense that he would use the gays as his post-crucifixtion messenger. GayT&T!!

Nothing like a dose of real for real life problems to put your momentary psychosis into check. And all of this ties into another God-moment I had recently.

Last Friday, I got to see a woman that I love deeply and dearly. Her name is Makeeba Browne. Keeba and I lived together for only about four months when I was out in Oakland. We moved into our house a day apart. She was going through some things when she moved in. She had just moved to the Bay. She had lost someone very close to her not more than a year before. She was black woman in a white ass world, and she had carried a lot on her shoulders. Some of that was those things that life puts on us that aren't really ours but we have to carry and learn to set down anyway. Some of it was things that she picked up because, well, too many of us learn that we were meant to suffer. During our time together, I was also a hot mess, do not let me tell all her tea and none of mine. But if you scroll back in this blog, you can read mine, in detail, with footnotes. Anyway, I digress. Over the course of those four months I learned several things about Makeeba: 1) she was absolutely beautiful beyond her own comprehension. Real, true, amazing beauty. 2) Behind her beautifully sharp tongue there was a beautifully vulnerable spirit that, if you made the mistake of confusing vulnerability with weakness, would snap your neck if necessary. 3) She was wise. Like old old old ancestor wise and deeper than I can ever hope to be. I am not being self-deprecating here. This girl is wise like still rivers that run deep, chocolate brown currents and sensual eddies that whisper gettin' over stories to Guinea-children. I have moments of clarity, but Makeeba is one of my teachers. 4) I loved this woman desperately. There is a story I won't share, but she will know that there was one night that we spent together, and she may have thought that I was comforting and taking care of her, but that night, in her rawness, she was holding on to me and lifting me up. For real for real.

So, Keeba and I met for breakfast last Friday. Seeing her walking down that street was like seeing the sunlight finally come to understand its own brightness. Keeba always dazzles me. But this day, I was almost blinded. Keeba ain't no saint. Lord no she aint, and she inherited the same hoochie gene that I got, but even when she is not ready to DO the work she knows she needs to do within herself...she KNOWS it needs to be done. And I could see that this woman had been WORKING. At one point in our conversation, Keebers said something really profound. I can't remember the exact words, but it was something like, "I know that I am supposed to be here. I know that the universe wants me here. Because try as I might to take myself out of Creation and do what I am not supposed to be doing. The Universe takes care of me! The UNIVERSE takes care of me.' And she was right. She and I have found ourselves in situations that, quite frankly, if they had gone the wrong way would have meant that we wouldn't be here right now. That isn't an exaggeration. If the Universe had closed its unsleeping eye for a quick minute, I woulnd't be writing this blog right now. And let me tell you, when it comes to addiction, I have lost people I know to this disease. I can name three people that I went to rehab with that are now dead. And, truthfully, there ain't a lick of difference between what they were doing and what I have done. Situation might be different. Particulars might be different, but in the end, the risks were the same. And anyone that plays Roulette can tell you...when your number hits twice in a row...and then another number hits twice in a row back to back....that right there...is the finger of God spinning that wheel. And we never know when they are going to call a change of dealer.


  1. I love you, BLC

    Remember that you can ALWAYS call me.....

  2. You have an amazing story. And it keeps getting better.

    My faith has been shaky at times but it is steady getting deeper. There are so many signs that happen every day. I'm beginning to open my eyes and accept that there is a plan that I'm not aware of.

    Thanks, on so many levels, for your writing and being who you are.

  3. Over the past few months, I've felt like even "progressive Christian" doesn't separate me enough from the awful things done in god's name nor does it really accurately describe what I believe. Never one for lukewarm, I passed right over agnostic to atheist.

    But I can't be an there-is-absolutely-no-god-no-how-no-way. Too many special people in my life are in recovery and credit their recovery to god. Hell, I credit my survival as a closeted queer kid to god. So I believe in the god of alcoholics and addicts, of the abused and oppressed.... and that is really fucking awesome god.

  4. May the good Lord continue to smile on you and bless you, Brandon. Thank you for sharing your poignant story.

  5. Damn, that is some seriously gnarly shit to fight through. All I can say is that I'm glad you're here today to write this.

    [... much blather about fighting my own demons, sent other separate cover.]

    I'll put my junior high yearbook photos up against yours any day... chin? what's that? Bad hair? those guys in Revenge of the Nerds had nothing on me!

    Every day,  every minute that isn't fucked up, that we don't fuck up, is a gift. Love yourself, acknowledge that you're human, forgive your failures, learn from them what you can, and move on.


  6. Let the church say...Aaaaamen.
    I'm with you - He exists. And He is holding on to you an tightly as your are holding on to him. Like the old people used to say , "keep on holdin' on."


  7. I love the honesty, the rawness, and the deep spirituality of this post. May you continue to recognize the surprising ways in which the Divine enters our lives and asks us to step out of our own troubles in order to help others.

  8. Thank you to all of you for the love and sharing your stories.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts, feelings, and insights. And thank you for reading!