Sunday, March 12, 2006

Standing On Top of the World

Not surprisingly, this has been a great weekend. Although my Thursday and Friday were a bit slow the past two days with Meech have been worth the visit over here. Saturday I woke up feeling refreshed and not long after I opened my eyes I got a call from Othello that was like a breath of fresh air. And the weekend went from there. It led me to a movie, some reading, dinner at Meech Muffins favorite Morrocan restaurant and even through the gates of Heaven where I body was taken over by the beats in the hip hop room. But bigger than my good weekend I think is my reflection today on how small the world really is, not just in physical size but in makeup and mental and spiritual scope. Tom Friedman says the world is flat. I don't disagree. I do however want to attach to that and say that the world is small and at the core everything is made up of just a few simple elements and it just depends on where your feet are planted how they are mixed up - but at the end of the day, its the same thing.

This afternoon Meech and I took a short shopping excursion through Camden and I decided that at some point as we sifted through all the outdoor vendors that my stomach needed nourishment before I could go on. It takes real strength to look for a shirt and a scarf. He needed no food so the decision of what I ate lay totally with me. I longed for something warm and pizza was not the answer, chinese wasn't either. An kebab wasn't even close to being in the running. I chose to snack on a samosa. As I was eating it and enjoying it very much I thought how similar it was to other fare I've eaten from different cultures. Seems like every culture has something similar, an egg roll, spring roll, hot pocket. The idea wasn't so novel. The ingredients weren't either but nevertheless it was a samosa and a type of cuisine known as being from that culture/country. It's all the same. It just depends on where you stand really.

After dinner and a nap I figured I would give Kudos another try. I hopped on the tube, got off at Charing Cross and a block later I was walking down the stairs into the basement level of Kudos. How odd I thought. For a second I had a flashback to one of my least favorite establishments in Washington, DC - The Fireplace. It is the local watering hole near Dupont Circle where throughout the week, Sunday evenings in particular, Black gay men descend upon the second floor en masse segregating ourselves from the white patrons that occupy the first floor. Kudos equals The Fireplace upside down. All of the people that clearly appeared to be not of African descent were in full force on the first floor and virtually every man of color was in the basement boppin' to the tunes of the latest hip hop and r&b. Even thousands of miles away it is so evident that race trumps everything including the dividing lines of sexual orientation. It's all the same. It just depends on where you stand really.

I have spoken with several men of African descent that live here and are men who at least privately identify as being gay. Almost all of them have been as inquisitive about me as a person as they have been about me as an out gay man in the United States. Questions they have, I answer. They aren't questions that I haven't answered before about who I am and why I'm proud of it. But the question I never ask folks who ask me about being out - because it use to be rhetorical, now I just think I know the answer and don't have to ask anymore - is what kind of world do we live in today that people are still in some degree of fear to openly live their life if they chose to, particularly men of African descent. The stigmas, and so on and so forth. . .etc. . . It's all the same. It just depends on where you stand really.

Little things these may seem but they do mean more.

How soon it will be before I return to London, I don't know. Now that I have been here twice it is time for me to get a few other stamps on my passport and explore the whole wide small world. Maybe things are more different than I think, I guess it just depends on where I am standing.