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Fall Awakening: Chapter Three

PART ONE
THE SUMMER


 

Read Chapter Two here.

Chapter Three

I used to rule the world.

Last night, I went out with Iyanla for a drink. I sat on the patio outside of a bar, staring at the tall buildings and twinkling lights of downtown Phoenix. I brought my cigarette to my mouth, eyes still fixated on the skyline and I thought to myself, “How fucking pathetic.”

Nothing compares to New York City and living here is like settling for a boyfriend who’s comfortable and steady, a guy you can trust to unload the dishwasher while you’re at work and give you a neck massage when you get home. But I don’t want comfortable. I don’t need stable. I don’t need a guy to tell me everything is going to be OK. I don’t need a guy to tell me I’m beautiful. I just need to feel alive. I remember seeing the Devil Wears Prada for the first time and thinking, “God, Anne Hathaway’s boyfriend is so needy and annoying. Can’t he see she needs some excitement in her life? Can’t he see she has a career to focus on?”

The point is I need to move back to New York. But with the way my life is going, I don’t see that happening any time soon. It seems as if I am struggling to hang on to my life, like I’m following the end of a rope that continues to dangle and run away from me as I swing my hands out to snatch it. It appears the only way to take back control is by falling apart completely and starting over again.

I used to be on fire. I used to slay against everything.

I used to rule the world.

I was dethroned when I decided to not get a job right after graduation. I said I would focus on my artistic endeavors, and get in touch with myself emotionally. This war between Jacob the Professional and Jacob the Artist has become more and more of a blood bath and I’m starting to think it may not be worth it. The artist is conquering but even in its own triumph I continue to feel lost. At least when I was busy as a full time student, internship after internship, running meetings and events every week, serving and hustling for cash…at least then I didn’t feel anything. At least then I wouldn’t have had time to be worried about a boy. I wouldn’t have had time to be worried about Damien.

One of the more drastic changes since leaving the professional world is my wardrobe. I am becoming more open with my sense of style lately. I got my septum pierced last week in an attempt to kick off my transformation. The staple-like piercing looks cute and I love what it brings to my face. Kimonos are my latest inspiration, I love the way they hover over the ground as I twirl and dance around my own depression. My sadness is illustrated by flowing garments of nylon fabric, created to draw attention and imply a faulty sense of grace. As I age and lose my hair, at least I have kimonos and jewelry and women’s shoes and hats to keep what’s left of my youthful, vibrant femininity…the femininity that is being stolen from me. These things remind me of my potential to be beautiful.

Speaking of trying new things, I also have the sudden urge to try marijuana.

I’ve never done it before. I’m not sure if “doing pot” is even a proper term to use, which further proves my naivety in the recreational drugs conversation. For the longest time, I assumed marijuana was just wrapped in paper and packaged like cigarettes but apparently there are various ways to smoke this plant. One of these methods involves some sort of tube-like contraption that requires water to get the smoke going. My best friend Lisa happens to use a cute little colorful pipe to smoke her “Mary Jane” for medical purposes. It’s amazing really, an entire subculture exists in the world where you can lift off and smoke up. I want to try it one time just to say, “There! I did it.”

But in all honesty, I see it mostly as an opportunity to keep Damien’s attention.

And it’s working. He sent a video of himself three nights ago (the night of my meltdown) in a cloud of smoke with The Weeknd reverberating in the background, along with the message, “come over.” So yes, I might have texted him saying I was interested in trying out the drug in my sad season. I want to spend time with him after that night we had. I want to talk to him about it. But getting him to talk about that night will be difficult, so if I have to use weed to get him alone, then so be it. I told him I would set up a smoking date for us later this week.

Maybe, just maybe, I can get Damien to open up about that night…

Truth be told, Damien is a great friend. He knows how important my creativity is to me and he believes smoking could help open my mind to possibilities, to freedom and new awakenings. He’s sincere when he says these things. I know he is. Damien is the kind of friend who will stick by you through your messy days and just be there. With you. Sometimes I think I’m too crazy for him though. Maybe I’m too over the top for Damien. His personality always remains chill and stable. I am a deeply paranoid human being but is it too crazy to think that the main reason Damien wants to get me high is so I can be a more subdued version of myself? More like him? It’s possible he figured out a way to bring me down a few notches.

Maybe, just maybe, I can get Damien to open up about that night…

August 7, 2014

Dear Diary,

We are taking Damien to his very first gay club tonight!

Isn’t this exciting? After waiting patiently for him to open up, we are finally going out on the town to get Damien some serious ass.

It’s crazy to think that just a year and a half ago, Damien told me he was into dudes. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was the first person he ever told and it warmed my cold soul to think he trusted me enough to hold his secret. He even told me before he told Betty, and we had only been friends a little over a month. Bless that dumb-ass cat party, because the timing of us meeting was pure perfection.

I never have to know a person for very long for them to feel comfortable opening up to me. Hell, I barely have to know a person at all for that to happen. I’ve been told I have a warm and welcoming aura. There was this lady I met a few months ago at some crystals store in downtown Phoenix and she actually reads auras. Yes, it’s a thing. She told me the closer she got to my aura, the more she felt like we could be fast friends. She also said I have a strong maternal presence and radiated warm nurturing vibes. Penny was with me at the time and being my best friend and all, she couldn’t help but agree. “Yo, that lady was spot on,” Penny said.

Any-hoo, my homegirl Iyanla and I are taking Damien to Hanny’s for some $5 gin martinis and then we are going to head over to this new gay spot downtown.

Also, can I just say that I make an excellent wingman? If you ever want a lover for the night, I GOT YOU, BOO-BOO. Iyanla is also a perfect wingwoman. She’s a Gemini so obvi, people love her instantly. What an air sign.

So here’s the game plan. We get Damien drunk, we get him around some dudes, and then Iyanla and I will start working the room. If Damien sees a guy he thinks is cute, Iyanla and I are on the case. We will reel the boys in and present them to our handsome Damien as a worthy candidate for after-party festivities (if you know what I mean). Hah! Oh, and did I mention Damien hasn’t even kissed a guy yet? He’s so gorgeous, I don’t understand. Damien can make bitches weak at the knees with his smile alone. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. When I see thirsty bitches surround him and touch all over him, I can’t help but laugh. In my head I’m thinking, “He will never like you, you thirsty bugaboo. Stop it, girl.”

I suppose Damien just hasn’t put himself out there enough. I don’t think he’s been around many gays but tonight we are going to change all that. My goal is for him to flirt with at least one person and get some digits.

The thought of Damien talking to a guy absolutely warms my heart.

xo JC

August 8, 2014

Dear Diary,

Damien kissed a guy for the first time tonight.

In an interesting twist, that guy was me.

And in an even more interesting twist, he’s the one who kind of initiated it.

But in a not so surprising turn of events, I found a way to make it super awkward.

I just got home and it’s 3am so I’m going to sleep. I’ll write more in the morning.

xo JC

August 8, 2014

Dear Diary,

Ok, so here’s the thing…I never had the intention of kissing Damien. It just kind of happened, naturally, electrically.

But I mean it’s really not that big of a deal anyways. A kiss? So what? It’s not like I went down on him, geez. But then again…I was his first…that has to mean something right? I think I’m just overanalyzing but it’s hard not to.

This is basically what happened:

Damien was the IT guy at the club last night. Everyone pretty much wanted a piece. Not surprising at all. But even as the cuties came around (there were few), he wasn’t really about that life. He kept saying to me, “Look around us. We are the best ones here. We are the guys everyone wants.” Of course, I couldn’t argue. I did look good that night. But I have to admit, hearing it from Damien was super flattering.

As the night wore on, Damien and I found us separated from Iyanla and on the patio.

Damien turned to me and said, “God, I would love to make out with someone right now.”

And that’s when he gave me THE LOOK. Everybody knows that look. Damien looked at me like I was a prize to be won at the state fair, but everyone knows I’m a lot easier to take home than a prize at the fair.

So he was fairly confident.

“Oh my god,” I thought to myself. “Damien wants to make out with me.”

Iyanla reappeared out of nowhere so I whispered in her ear, “Girl, Damien def wants to make out with me so you’re gonna have to go disappear for about fifteen minutes.” Like the best friend that she is, she did just that and was out of sight.

Nothing was really happening during her absence, Damien just ordered more drinks. When she came back from hiding and realized nothing had happened, she boldly said, “You two should make out.”

Damien and I giggled at the idea and did the whole “nah we’re too close” thing, acting very playful with each other and hanging around each other’s necks like we were trying to stand ground on a rocking boat. We decided to kiss each other on the cheek for Iyanla’s amusement.

As the night wore on, and the club began to empty, and the last round of drinks were ordered, I had given up on my desire to kiss Damien. I didn’t have these strange feelings for him until he gave me that look. Before that look, I was simply just Damien’s fairy gay godmother. But after that, everything changed.

Damien and I found ourselves alone again, in another small pocket of public privacy. It felt like we were in our own special place in the corner of the patio. And that’s when we did it. I don’t remember the moment leading up to it, or who moved in first. It was the both of us. We did that. We both put each other’s tongues in our mouths. It was really quite good.

We pulled away after about seven seconds and we acted like two friends in a sitcom.

“Well that was interesting,” I said.

“Yep, definitely no sparks,” said Damien.

Definitely no sparks? While he might have been right about there being no sparks, I still felt like there was something there. And the fact that he said that almost felt like he was covering up some truth.

“Yeah I guess no sparks,” I said in agreement.

“It’s funny, because Betty always said you liked me.”

That’s when it got interesting. You mean to tell me that Damien and Betty talk about how I like him? It sounds like it happens frequently the way he said, ‘Betty always said you liked me.’ And why would he bring that up right after we made out? I don’t understand. Did he want me to confirm it? Did he want me to deny it? And if you really do feel like your friend has feelings for you, wouldn’t you avoid giving them reason to believe you feel the same way? Like kissing them for example?

“Oh yeah, I don’t know what Betty’s talking about,” I said. I really didn’t know what else to say except, “God, we’re probably going to make out again aren’t we?”

“Probably,” he said with a chuckle.

Our private spot became private no longer and everyone was ready to go home. On the drive back, the reality of the kiss began to sink in.

“Damien,” I said softly in the silent car. “Was I the first guy you ever kissed?”

“Yes,” he said sweetly.

Then I said something terrible…

“Well don’t ever do that again, Damien. You can do so much better than me. Let’s not ever talk about this.”

And that’s when I fucked things up.

Read Chapter Four

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