Wednesday, May 18, 2005

District Livin'

At 6:15pm I grabbed my bag and hustled to the elevator and out the side door of my office building. I was headed to have a bite to eat AQueer. I haven’t seen him in a couple of weeks because most of his time has been devoted to putting the finishing touches on his first year of graduate school and most of my time as of late has been spent putting the finishing touches on next weekend. AQueer and I decided to meet up on U Street and sit in the corner of the café near the window so we could admire the sites of the city. Most of those cites were men passing by, only occasionally did we acknowledge just the sheer beauty of some of the remaining structures of historic U Street.

AQueer, who once lived here in DC has been living in Baltimore since moving there for school this past August just couldn’t stop smiling and talking about the feel of being back in the District. He said he misses atmosphere DC offers and the beautiful men and women here. He said what we often hear, that we don’t miss something until we don’t have it anymore. After about an hour it was time for him to get back on the train and head home and for me to walk down the street to Duke City for the kick-off reception for the Black Pride Resource Guide.

When I arrived at the reception there weren’t too many people there so I decided to do a quick voicemail check on my cell. By the time I checked my voicemail and blinked my eyes the room had filled with people. Lots of them the usual suspects and a few faces I’d never seen or at least remembered seeing. For the next two and a half hours I did one of the things I truly love to do when I’m feeling it– socialize with my people. I talked someone about music. I talked to someone about community building. I had a wonderful conversation with a young man about the lack of dialogue around class issues in any of our shared communities. I laughed. I made brief remarks. Of course I did some politicin’ but most importantly I had a good night in good company.

Sometimes I complain about this town but for all of the gripes I have with it I realize that there are a lot of perks to living here. Besides New York City I can’t imagine living anywhere else at this juncture in my life. Every city has a few elements that one could not like but here the positive seem to outweigh the negative. I often take for granted the freedom that I have living in the District as a Black man and as a Black gay man. There are some social and professional opportunities here that I don’t know that I would be afforded in many other places, certainly not my hometown. Tonight I am happy to be where I am. As I tell my friends all the time, I am always where God wants me to be.