Hello guys, not that this is necessary, but all the same, I want to clarify that this journal is not a weekly account of my life. Therefore the things I write about every Wednesday are not things that happen between Wednesdays. Some of my entries are weeks apart because I am constrained by space to write everything as they happen.
I had a terrible week, and by the time Friday came around, I was totally exhausted. We had auditors from the regional office around, looking into the books, and everybody was understandably on the edge. My boss kept snapping at everyone as these men pored over every financial detail. And at a point, I secretly wished I could poison their coffee. So I was more than happy when Friday came and I called it a week and headed home to a cool bath, a good book and some coffee.
And then, my phone buzzed on Whatsapp, and it was this guy who is in Uniport that I’d been talking to, who I met when I went to see a play at the department of Theatre Arts. He is young, waiflike and has sparkling eyes, and I was (pleasantly) surprised when he asked for my phone number after the play. He’d been going on and on about how I don’t want to invite him to my house (as if my house is an amusement park). So when he buzzed on that Friday, I simply asked him over, seeing as I did not have any plans for the evening.
We spent the night together and we went to play some football the following Saturday, which was great since I had not played football in a really long time. However after the game, as we walked home, I noticed he kept on sneezing, like he had an allergy or something. But I did not think anything of it. Throughout the day however, he kept on sneezing while we went about my errands together, and when I asked him, he said it was the rainy weather, and that it was no biggie. So I let the slide.
We were having sex in the night when it happened. I had just gone in and was trying to get into rhythm when I noticed his breathing had become labored and was coming in gasps. I sighed, thinking he was coming already, which was of course going to be the end of this session. He continued breathing that way, and then he started gasping for breath and then began wheezing.
In that moment, the realization of what was happening dawned on me. I had a bit of history with a sister who grew up with the ailment. So I knew this guy was having a crisis – an asthmatic attack. This with my dick still lodged inside him. How quaint.
I panicked and jumped up and started asking him for his inhaler. When he gave me the sign that he had none, I saw my life flash before my eyes. This boy was going to die right here in my flat, and what would be my story? Linda Ikeji front page? What would I tell his family? How do I even begin to explain my friendship with this NINETEEN year old? No, this was not good! I carried him (literally) and made a dash for the car, and sped into the road, rushing to the closest clinic where an ex-boyfriend of mine works.
Nigerian medical establishments sef… *shaking my head* I had to pay money for emergency consulting fees before they opened the gate of the clinic for us, even though I was carrying someone who was visibly struggling to live. As if the worst had not happened, my ex was on duty and he promptly attended to us after we had paid; he wore a permanent smirk on his face as he went about his care-giving duty, a smirk that seemed like a gloat. So much so that when the nurse asked me for the boy’s surname, before I could respond, my ex smiled and told her I did not know. And honestly, I did not know. I mean, who finds out surnames before shagging. At this point I did not care about the ex or the bill of 14k I was given; I just wanted the night to be over so I could put it all behind me.
After treatment, he was okay and we left 30 minutes later, and there was an awkward silence in the car as we drove home. Until the boy spoke up and said he was sorry for making me spend all that money. I snapped at him; it was not about the money, I was simply angry that he’d been careless with his life and had nearly put me in trouble. What asthma sufferer does not have an inhaler on him at all times? And if he had mentioned he had a history of asthma, I would have gotten him some tablets when the symptoms first started that morning. I was so mad at what he put both of us through. What if I had no money? Or if there was no car and I had had to carry him on my back to the junction to what – hail a cab at 2am? I was livid.
After he left the following day, I decided I wasn’t going to see him again. But Colossus (who I spoke to about it) said I was discriminating against asthma patients (lol), and Sensei weighed in as well. So I let it go and called the boy again. That night however ranks as the scariest night of my life so far.
The other day I was out with a few friends. We had called an intervention for one of our friends who had just had a kito situation. He had fallen into the hands of a blackmailing bitch, and now the shit had hit the fan and splattered on the faces of his parents. We were drinking beer and trying to figure out how best to calm the situation, even though I was more concerned with how to get back at the boy who brought about the mess.
My friend, still obviously distraught, spoke up: “I am tired of being gay… This thing is like a curse, and nothing works in my life because of it. Kito, kito, kito, that’s all I get… I had a third class in university… I cannot get a job… My parents hate me… I don’t even have money… kito, left, right and centre… Me, I am tired of this thing, I cannot continue to live like this, I am tired!”
I wanted to smack him in the face, but I kind of understood where he was coming from. And because of what he’d just gone through, I let it slide. An awkward silence descended on the table as everyone looked fixedly at their glasses, not knowing what to say.
I finally said: “I am gay too, Ikenna (not real name). Just like you. But my experience has been different. I have never had a kito situation (yes, I have been fortunate in that regard). I graduated on top of my faculty in university (can I brag just a bit, please). I have a job, and I’d like to think I have a great life. You know the difference between me and you? You often think with your dick and ass, while I think with my brain. You have made very poor choices in life which had nothing to do with you being gay, it’s just that you always seek instant gratification, no matter the cost, and that is the root cause of these your issues.”
When I was done talking, another silence ensued. And then, another person asked, directing his words at me, “Dennis, are you saying you like being gay?”
I took my time to answer that question. I told them that my life would have been easier if I were straight; by now, I maybe would be engaged to some schoolteacher and we would be planning our wedding. But it is what it is. If life hands me a lemon, then by god, I will make lemonade and sell them at a profit, rather than lament that I wanted citrus instead.
So, do I like being gay? I would say that all round, being gay has made me a better person, because I am tolerant of differences, something I wasn’t when I was still in denial of my sexuality. Anytime I want to judge someone for anything, there is always this little voice in my head, reminding me that people also judge me and that it would be unfair to judge someone else so. I find myself constantly defending minorities; I defend the rights of women, I defend single mothers, and I generally no longer buy the single story about anybody the same way I expect people not to make my homosexuality the single story about me. I was once driving through GRA Red Light District with a friend, and he turned up his nose at the prostitutes we spotted in judgment, and I told him not to judge these women until he’d heard their stories, as I do believe some of them do not want this life they live.
So yes, being gay has made me a better person and I live my life without regrets and on my own terms.