Monday, 17 January 2011

Dear John..

He was that quiet, gentle, intense guy in the corner, the one who on any day would catch my attention. It was four years ago that our paths crossed. There was something about me that arrested him too it seems, for we were drawn to each other instantly, seemingly by forces beyond our control. Smiles, words were exchanged and there and then began the most magical friendship that I have had the good fortune of experiencing in the four decades that I have been on the face of this planet.

The problem for me at the time of meeting John was that I was not free and available. I was in a different relationship, one that had been in existence for a few years, but which by that time was struggling. My experiences in the relationships that I have been in in the past had caused me to become sceptical about whether there was someone out there who was just right for me. My past relationships had not provided me with the level of emotional satisfaction that I desired, although there was also the possibility that with my attitude towards relationships, which I wrote about on this blog sometime ago (click
here), I would overreact in situations where a more considered approach would have been more appropriate. And in the process perhaps I would come across as being too highly-strung, which often would lead to tension and is probably the reason why my last relationship was struggling at the time when John and I met.

John was aware from the onset that there was someone else in my life, but he stated that he didn't mind and he refused to leave. Its not as if I wanted him to go away though.. Also, I think he must have sensed early on that all was not well with my said relationship and although he said nothing about it to me, he made it clear that he was going nowhere. Time passed and it transpired that John gradually placed himself in the position where it was to him that I turned when I needed a second opinion, when I needed to be comforted, when I wanted company.. He became such a good friend to me over a period of more than a year and I tried hard to be as deserving of his friendship as possible.

He fell for me long before I had freed myself from my last relationship and he told me about it. And looking back now I can see that he showed his feelings constantly. It was I who was too deaf to understand what John was really saying to me. A year passed before I finally came to full realisation of what John was proposing. But when I think about it now, maybe I needed that time to rebuild the faith and confidence in others that would enable me to entrust my heart to another person.

Today, I see John as an unmoving, stable, constant in my life, a one who will always be there. Finally, my heart may have arrived at its destination, the "last bus stop" as John likes to put it. But there are issues we must contend with.. We are two African men who believe that we really should be living our lives on our home continent. John is just as passionate about this as I am. I think though that going with John to live in Nigeria is a bit complicated, because aside from the obvious considerations such as relatives, etc., the fact is that I am not Nigeria's biggest fan, even if it is the country of my ancestors. I do however quite fancy living in Ghana, John's country and he appears not to be much perturbed by what his relatives might say or think.

That said, as homophobic as many of today's African societies are, most people in African societies are unable to recognise homosexuality even when it is staring them in the face. Many of them are taken by the false notion that homosexuality does not exist in their midst, hence they are not alive to it and cannot recognise it even when it is holding hands and hugging right before their very eyes. Two gay men who are lovers can easily pass off as friends..

I feel safe with John. It is the inner strength that he possesses which I find to be his most attractive quality. I on my part can be capricious, skittish, whimsical, erratic even.. But John, he's self-assured, always calm, confident, soft spoken and never raising his voice, quietly witty, providing me with a calming, soothing, steadying and stabilising influence.. I suppose by now its easy to guess how I feel about John.. Yes, I admit it, I'm crazy for him.

To declare one's love for another so publicly has been the preserve of heterosexual people. It is taken for granted that heterosexual love can be announced and celebrated publicly. The reality for John and me and for others like us is that our love will perhaps never receive recognition in the hearts of those who are dearest to us, our families. But we take strength from the knowledge that we have each other. If you've read this post up to this point, you deserve my thanks. Thank you so much. :)

13 comments:

CodLiverOil said...

Anengiyefa
I like the fact that you are honest and straight talking, which is not so common these days.

I hope all is well with you. Life is unpredictable, so we wait to see what new revelation you have for us as you work your way through your life.

Wishing you much happiness

Mimi said...

YOU'RE IN LOVE!!! That's awesome. Mazel tov, lol. They say that the best relationships start out as friendships, because they have the lasting tools. After all, when you two are old and wrinkled you have to just laugh together.

About moving to Africa, I feel the exact same way ALL the time, like I want to move back but can I be left in peace. It's quite a conundrum. But, there are a few gay people living all over the continent who seem to be doing fine. Halt the time you are right, most people can't tell. When I was living in Zimbabwe I would go on dates with people and my sister was always saying "Are you sure it's a date, how do you know the girl is gay?" in situations where to me it was JUST obvious, lol. I kept telling her how we lesbians are equipped with the tools to find each other where other people can not.

So, I suppose it depends where you end up..... just not Kampala.

AfroGay said...

I must admit I got a lump in my throat over this. I haven't read this touching in quite a while.

Thanks for sharing.

Dushuma said...

Beautiful. You both are lucky.

Anengiyefa said...

Hello CodLiverOil,

Thanks for your kind words. I just think that being forthright and straight forward inhibits the likelihood of being misunderstood.

Its shows one as being uncomplicated makes things easier too and less confusing. Its like the saying "What you see is what you get"..

Anengiyefa said...

Hi Mimi,

Happy New Year to you.

I agree that a love relationship that has arisen from an already subsisting friendship has a head start, and is less likely to fail. And even if it failed, you would still be friends anyway.. :)

Yep, there are lots of gay people living quietly in Africa. I'm a bit worried though, because i'm not sure that I can trust myself to stand by quietly and do nothing in the face of oppression and injustice, especially where misinformation and ignorance are allowed to hold sway..

Yes, its quite a problem deciding where to go, but as a start we have a choice of two countries already, mine and his. Its most likely though that we shall settle for neutral territory. Anywhere in sub Saharan Africa will be just fine, because I'm entirely certain that I will feel more at home in any African country than I do in Europe, even after living here for all these years.

Now about Kampala, hmm, I'm not thinking of heading in that direction anytime soon, lol

Anengiyefa said...

Greetings Afrogay, thanks.

My mind was bursting with emotion that needed to be expressed. Its like when you feel you want to trumpet it from the rooftops..

Anengiyefa said...

Hello Dushuma,

You know something, my pastor once tried to discourage us from using the word 'lucky'. He said 'lucky' is magician's language and that we should use "blessed" instead. I think I agree with him, and I agree with you that we are indeed blessed. Thank you so much.

camkh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
FreeSurf said...

Totally excited and happy for you. I dream of having me a John too someday though it seems I might have found him in a straight guy. He's got 90% of the qualities I need in a partner. He's one of those straight guys who's so caring to the point one might take a step back and then wonder "Could He be gay?" lol.

Wish you all the best and I sincerely hope it works out well for both of you, wherever you find yourselves ;-)

Un abrazo.

Naughty feeling said...

Hi Anen,
Been away for a while and coming back to this just made my heart warm and I realize what good lies in this treacherous world even for the likes of ourselves.

I can't help but remember Garuba. Whatever did happen. As always your writing takes me to a place I never want to leave.

Anengiyefa said...

Hi Freesurf

Its great to see you gain after a while. Thanks for dropping in.

Hello NF,

Yes, you've been absent for ages. Its good to know you're doing ok. I'm still thinking of carrying on with the Garuba story, but haven't arrived there yet.

Abiola Sanusi said...

This is very sweet. All the best!