Saturday, June 26, 2004

On Parole from the Black Hole

I was at Atlanta Pride today. You know, that big event creating all the foot traffic in Piedmont Park? I took on my shift at the booth, flirted with all the people walking past so they'd stop and see what we had to offer, and checked out the more outré elements of the gay community strolling by. It was an interesting, but taxing experience. (I just don't do well around large crowds i of folks i don't know.)

Still, i'm glad i was there today. I ran into some people that brought me joy in small sips and slices. It was like some great power had issued a mass pronouncement of clemency for denizens of that black hole that has swallowed people from my past.

  • It started with Chandra & Carla. I'm not sure how long it's been since i've seen them. Seems like it was almost back at Mellonee and Debra's wedding a few years ago. Seeing them strolling along together brought back the feeling of hope i got at their wedding. We talked for a minute about being old married folks, and making the obligatory annual public appearance. Then i got pulled away by another amazing encounter.

  • I found one of my lost chirren. I only have two "gay kids" that i claim. Damien (who was 15 when he came out to me and, last i heard, had moved to New York) and Khary (who was pretty much grown when i met him, and who left for Alabama or some shit). Lo and behold, who should come walking through the park but my lost second child Khary.

  • Ken disappeared somewhere around the same time the old guard Second Sunday leaders faded into the realm of myth and resurfaced today in the park. We reconnected for a few hectic minutes and talked about the future, the past, the traveling he's doing. (Boy is going 'round the WORLD, ya hear?!?) It was good.

  • I hadn't seen Raquel since the days when neither one of us had hair this long. But there she was at the booth, in my face, lovely long locks and all. We laughed and hugged and compared hair and hugged some more and exchanged numbers and hugged again before other people came by who demanded my attention.

  • Finally, i saw a fellow member of the Tongues Untied online discussion list, who i hadn't seen in a few months. I had forgotten how beautiful this brotha was and what an effervescent personality he had. Francis, thanks for brightening my day.

Then there was the beautiful, beautiful boy who walked past once while i was busy with folks at the booth, so i couldn't stop to try and recruit him. (I'm a photographer, remember?) I didn't know him, but i swear i've seen him before. When he walked back by again, i had to accost him. Of course, he was with his friends and of course i must have looked like some lunatic stalker or self-serving, trickster pornographer. He was with his friends who looked at me suspiciously while i babbled for a minute then gave him my card and let him go on his way. (Hopefully, he didn't trash it as soon as he was out of my eyesight.)

There were some perennials like Craiggie and Bobby (forgot to ask why Eric wasn't with them today), Paris, Warren, Damone, Walter, Ricky & Roger, Anthony K and that boy who shall remain nameless for his own sake who shares my birthday. And there were a few brothas who i gave out program information to, inviting them to the workshops and gatherings i coordinate.

So i'm glad i went to Pride today. {sigh} But i still don't like it.


EJ Flavors said...

I thought about going but on second thought, glad I didn't. When I planned on going, it rained- so there went that idea.

malik said...

Ah, but then i could have added you to the list of people who escaped from the Black Hole!