Anyone Who Had a Heart, Part 1

Anyone who ever loved / Could look at me /And know that I love you
Anyone who ever dreamed / Could look at me / And know I dream of you
Knowing I love you so!
Anyone who had a heart / Would take me in her arms / And love me too
You, you couldn’t really have a heart / And hurt me / Like you hurt me / And be so untrue
What am I to do?
Every time you go away / I always say it’s good bye dear
Loving you the way I do / I take you back / Without you I’d die dear
Knowing I love you so!
Anyone who had a heart / Would take me in her arms / And love me too
You, you couldn’t really have a heart / And hurt me / Like you hurt me / And be so untrue

Anyone who had a heart / Would love me too
Anyone who had a heart / Would surely take me in her arms
And always love me, love me
Then why won’t you?

Anyone who had a heart / Would love me too
Anyone who had a heart
Would surely take me
Anyone would love me, yeah
Why, why won’t you
No one’s gonna love ya like I do
No one’s gonna make you feel the way I do

— Luther Vandross (via Dionne Warwick), Anyone Who Had a Heart

A little known fact about Ya Brista is that I did not have sex between the ages of 16 and 26, as I waited patiently in my closet hoping this attraction to men was merely a phase as some books I had read said it would. Over time, it became clear to me that it was not a phase and on my 26th birthday, I came out to myself, and thus was born the Neohomo who would grow to become Dominion ONYX. I spent the next several years catching up on all thefun01…fun I had missed out on, and in the midst of all that fun, I met the first man I ever REALLY loved on Memorial Day Weekend during Black Pride in 2001. Every black gay man on the eastern seaboard (and quite a few from the western) had descended for a weekend of drinking and fornicating and dancing and fornicating and conversating…conversate… and fornicating. By Memorial Day Weekend of 2001, Ya Brista had turned 30 and was right in the middle of the fun, having already…conversate01…conversated with several gentlemen. That weekend I was supposed to meet up with this Keith, this cutie from Cali, but we kept missing each other. Now when I first mentioned him to Sydney, my gay mama, his look should have told me everything I needed to know,spockunbotheredbut I was still a Neohomo and I thought he was just being Sydney, so I kept trying to hook up with him all weekend. That Sunday, we finally met up and he was breathtaking in person. A short, brown-skinned cutie with big booty, his manner was at once aggressive and submissive, a combination I found intoxicating. The soft deep rasp of his voice rumbled in my ear and wrapped its tentacles around my heart, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Daddy”, and the spell was caste. That hoe had put a root on me!rootWe were supposed to spend the night together, but he never showed. tpacOnce again, I would have saved myself a world of heartache if I had just listened to Sydney, but I didn’t, so when Keith messaged me a week later, I listened. We exchanged messages all day at work, and when I got home, he called me and we talked until the battery on my cellphone died, and then, until the battery on my cordless died. We got to know one another and we really did start to fall for one another. We spoke almost every day that summer, until one day he snapped.

Out of the blue, he started accusing me of cheating on him. As I would come to find out, Keith was what you might call crazy as cat shit. Given that we had only ever spent 4 hours in each other’s company, I thought it was a bit much to demand that I be completely celibate until we got a chance to meet again, so when he asked me if I had conversated with anyone else since I’d seen him, I said yes. He did not like that answer, even though he said the same (remember this hoe, while sexy as hell, was CRAZY. Funny how often those two things go together). The last thing he said to me was that he never wanted to hear from me again. And that was that, or so I thought.

Two weeks later, there I was in Atlanta for Black Pride, at a friend’s party, when he walked in the door. We eyed each other from opposite corners of the room. I wanted to go over to him and ask him what the fuck his problem was, but Ya Brista is not fond of being messy at other people’s parties (I wish more people felt the same). Eventually he came over to me, reaching up to stroke the side of my face. He stepped into my space and whispered, “I’m sorry, Daddy”, and then he kissed me. And I kissed him back.kiss01Time stood still as we shared breath and the anger between us melted into passion. Determined not to make the same mistake from Memorial Day, I took him back to my hotel room where we spent all night…talking…talking as Erykah Badu played in the background…

I’m an Orange Moon
I’m an Orange Moon
Reflecting the light of the sun

Many nights he was alone
Many, many, many nights
His light was so bright that they turned away
And he stood alone
Every night and every day
Then he turned to me
He saw his reflection in me
And he smiled at me when he turned to me
Then he said to me

How good it is, how good it is
How good it is, how good it is

In the four years since I had come out, I had more than made up for lost time, but I was unprepared for Keith. As his body lay atop mine, still hot from the heat of an orange moon, I was completely and utterly hypnotized by this man. If only we could have lived in that moment forever…

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