i am

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harlem, usa
same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. mjt975@msn.com.

Friday, August 15, 2008

48 Years and Counting

God blessed me with anotha year of life August 6. I call it my earth day, because I believe hue-man beings are all born once on the same planet - except Serena & Venus. I wonder who reads this will get the joke? But I digress. I've been wanting to write about the meaning of anotha year of life for a number of days yet making a decision & taking the action seems to often leave me in a quandry of sorts. I wanted to write but didn't. As if that's a news flash. Same shit, different day.

I don't remember beng this lazy as a kid. Then again, I don't remember what I had for breakfast today. My energy level, or lack thereof, plays a critical role in my willingness to sit in front of the computer in my un air-conditioned office (used to be my bedroom) & just write. I'm grateful to be alive. Really I am. No, for real. I just don't feel like writing as much as I think I should be willing to. I think about writing all the time. Well, not all the time. But I think about writing more than I actually write, which makes me feel anxious, frustrated & guilty about not writing at all. Wateva.

Can I get paid for thinking about writing?

Here it is, nine days after my earth day & I'm writing about, today. August 15. A part of me says: why bother? Anotha part of me says: learn to trust your instincts. Anotha part of me says: go back to bed. There are other parts of me but I don't feel like writing about them today. Yeah, I'm a mess. But in a good way. I've learned so much about the exact nature of my beingness: my attitudes, beliefs, emotions, fantasies, motives, patterns, shortcomings, etc. I never thought I'd be able to appreciate my strengths & limitatations. The stress I've endured the last nine days because I didn't write about my earth day on my earth day has dissipated; prolly because I'm writing about it now. Wateva.

Less than 10 people called, e-mailed and/or texted me on my earth day with kind words. Less than 10 people! Was I disappointed by the lack of acknowledgment? Is water wet? Will rain fall? Can sun shine? Does Stevie Wonder? Was Marvin Gaye? Ok, so I was surprised considering I know so many people. In fact, I have over 500 folks on my e-mail adress book, some of whom have utilized the birthdayalarm.com to keep track of the day, as well as others who know my Leo-ness, then there are others who rarely or never reply to the info I send them. Is it an unrealistic for me to expect to hear from one or two family members even though I've been negligent in acknowledging their special day? Wateva.

48 years on earth for a Black man in America is a dubious accomplishment. Why? Black men die prematurely, often related to preventable and/or treatable health issues men neglect. What did men like Rick James, Gerald Levert, Bernie Mac & Luther Vandross have in common? Besides being incredibly successful artists, they all transitioned before the age of 60. AARP age status. Additionally, they (not each man) struggled with addiction, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, etc. - all of which we now have spiritual solutions for.

I live with AIDS. Diagnosed 12/19/94 & taking better care of my body, mind & spirit thru His grace & mercy. I'm also challenged with anxiety, depression, asthma, bronchitis, arthritis, gingovitis, insomnia & vertigo. I got more issues than JET Magazine. But I don't worry about my health. I worry about running out of food, money & porn - masturbation is my occupation. I got a shit load of health issues yet I don't complain I abstain: no alcohol or other drugs, no caffeine, no nicotine, no pork, no red meat, no white bread, no white eggs, no white flour, no white milk, no white salt, no white sugar. i.e. Most of the time I buy organic & vegetarian foods, fast quarterly, pray & meditate daily & workout at the gym weekly. I'm ok. For real. I really am.

Sometimes it feels like God's will is something I enndure & not enjoy. I've been single four years now. Not a prospective partner in sight, online or within memory. I chat practically every day with guys from all over the world who think I'm attractive, caring & wise. One handsome guy in particular affectionately calls me angel & tells me he loves me. But A trip to Nigeria is not practical. I opened a passbook savings account in May with the intention of saving $100 monthly & not touching the account. At all. So I can go to Barcelona next fall. My current balance is $100. $100 won't last me an hour in Brooklyn.

Walter Mosely says he writes every day for three hours. Three hours! I hate him. Spike Lee says he writes every day for three hours. Three hours! I hate him. A former English professor told me she writes every day for three hours. Three hours! I really hate her. I'm tired now. Need to drink something. Snack on something. I wanted to write about the significance of anotha year on earth. And I will. Maybe tomorrow.


Lorraine M. said...

And you will. If not tomorrow then the day after, and for longer than three hours. Then I'll hate YOU ;-)

Mark, you are a wonderful writer--this particular blog post alone was thrilling to read. I mean it--you're that good.

And forgive me (please??) for missing your birth, er, earthday, Cuz. I have no unassailable excuse; just caught up as usual in my own melodramas, at work and elsewhere.

But. I do wish you, on this your 48th, a year of happy surprises, renewed purpose, and all the organic groceries your fridge and larder can hold. Oh, and porn. Really great porn and a special someone with whom you can re-enact all the naughtiest bits. I think you get where I'm going with this.

I love you (No, really) and think about you a lot, even if I forget to mention it.

Peace, sweetie! Muchas Smooches!


Brian (Chicago) said...


It has been a long-time since we have communicated but trust me I treasure in my heart all the words of encouragement you have sent me about writing. I definitely relate to this blog.

It is very easy in this technological society to meet people around the world. The real question I continue to ask myself is if we are truly "connected" or are we disconnected and believe we are when we are not engaging emotionally? It has been years for me as well with the love thing.

I am very sorry that I missed your birthday. Happy belated birthday and ironically I am writing this on my 45th birthday today.

Make God continue to bless you and provide you with a person who understands and loves you like no other.

Brian (Chicago) Thinkpoz