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And The Story Goes ... Episode VIII

          A summation of thoughts over the last few days produces feelings of self preservation and self annihilation for Karen. Prayers, sighs and cries led her to calling off work a few days ago. Now out of breath from Plyometrics, a workout regimen from the p90x® series, Karen drags herself to the linen closet to get ready for her shower. Beads of sweat peruse her cocoa butter body; sliding past her back to her firmly shaped hamstrings and then to her calves; sculpted like a runner, they tend to make themselves known whether she’s still or ambulatory.  With her head leaned against her right arm, that’s propped against the linen closet door, Karen grins thinking about Cyan.
          Cyan, a beautiful soul, almost angelic, given the way she assisted Karen with her depression the other day; Karen was wallowing in a pool of self hate and conflict trying to come to terms with her yearning for women. She had reached out to an ex-gay counselor after sleeping with her boyfriend only to hear she was wrong for taking that route. Deciding to get away from the walls that seemed to be closing in, Karen goes to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. While walking along the wall, she considers the many sacrifices each person named must have given and begins berating herself for having feelings of despair over being gay. What do I have to be sad about? I’m not in the trenches waiting to be fired upon or bombed. Why can’t I get passed this? Why am I making this thing with women such a big deal? As Karen contemplates an answer to her own question, Cyan walks up and asks, “Is someone you know listed on the wall?”
          “No, not at all, do you know someone here?” Karen asks snapped from her trance and now focused on the stranger’s possible loss.
          “I don’t believe I do, but some of my family members served in Vietnam. My granddad got a purple heart,” Cyan proudly declares.
          “I’m sorry your grandfather was hurt,” Karen atones eyes welling.
          “Thanks, but he’s okay and there were so many that didn’t make it back; I mean look at this wall, so many lost. Hey listen, I know you said you’re not here for that, but you look so … what I mean is, are you okay honey? What’s your name dear? I’m Cyan.”
          “You’re so sweet to ask, but I don’t have an answer. Well accept for my name that is, I do have that for you; my name is Karen. As for everything else, I don’t know what I am right now. I’m a whole lot of something. Well actually, I’m a whole lot of nothing.”
          “No doll, that just can’t be; I don’t even know you but I know that. We’re all God’s children and He doesn’t make any mistakes. Are you telling me you’re the one exception?” Cyan buzzes, consoling Karen handing her tissue before grasping her hand.
          “Thanks for the tissue. I know God is infallible but you don’t understand. I’m all messed up. It’s not His fault, it’s mine. I’m the one who’s made a mess of my life. Let me ask you something Cyan, have you ever heard of the point of no return? That’s where I am, the point of no return.”
          “Is that so? Please tell me where that is; I’ve been dying to know. Is it somewhere near ‘I’ve arrived’? You know where I’m talking about right? That place everyone tries to get to,” Cyan enunciates. Karen begins guffawing; holding her stomach and bending over to catch her breath. Now drawing the attention of others visiting the wall, they decide to walk. Cyan grasps Karen’s hand and starts swinging their arms forward like school girls. Looking over to Karen she admits, “Now that’s what I like to see; a pretty girl with a pretty face—no tears allowed. Are you ready to tell me why you were the one mistake in all of God’s creation?”
          “It probably seems like I’m having a pity party, but I’m not; well maybe I am—shoot I don’t know. I’m not sure I have the words to help you understand,” Karen emits and releases the catalyst to her dolor; her desire for women even though she’s in a relationship with Brad, the abomination for being gay sermon preached from the pulpit of her cousin Sophia and the perturbation parade marching through her head. Karen finds it amazing how willingly she divulges her private hell. I guess it’s true what they say—sometimes it’s easier to tell a stranger. Listening in earnest, Cyan proclaims, “don’t allow yourself to be prisoner based on the beliefs of others. It sounds to me like you were fine with being gay until your cousin took you to a revival of some sorts, and they told you how ashamed you were supposed to be about being you.”
          “Thank you for trying to be supportive but it’s not that simple Cyan,” Karen resolves.
          “The heck it ain’t. Let me tell you what I know sugar. I know God loves me, you and every other living thing out here. It wasn’t that long ago that I thought, no correction, I knew I had to be a mistake. Can you imagine being born with male genitalia but knowing you’re a female? I bet you can’t and don’t want to,” Cyan concludes and timelines her discovery; chronicling the many battles with her parents, associates, so-called friends and most viciously, the fight within herself. She expounds, at length on the day she came to terms. Ready to terminate her life, she pleaded with God to help her be a man; to make her a son her parents could be proud of; a brother her siblings didn’t have to defend to others and on that day, after petitioning and beseeching, Cyan received her answer. Trying to tell what happened next, she clutches Karen’s hand tightly and whispers, “do you know that the phone rang? It scared me right out of my despair; there I was begging God and asking for His help and the phone rings. I picked up and said hello as if God was calling me direct from heaven, of course it wasn’t, but you’d never guess who was on the line.”
          “Who; one of His disciples?” Karen interrogates without equivocation and quite seriously.
          “In a matter of speaking, yes it was a disciple; his name was Joshua—go figure. I’ll never forget what he said after I said hello. He replied, yes um hi this is Joshua from Love You, I’m trying to reach Darryl. Cyan goes on to explain that Darryl was her birth name and Love You is a group who touted as its mission ‘To help you love you no matter who you are.’ She had been told about the group, but never called. The fact that she was receiving an unsolicited call during her request for God to miraculously heal her perceived affliction; it was the answer she needed. Moving forward, she faithfully attended meetings, eventually accepting who that she was not cursed or a mistake. She changed her name to Cyan because it means blue in Greek and blue is representative of peace; the peace she tries to maintain. Speaking with glee, she shares how she finally found love. “Once I loved me, I became open to others loving me. Actually, I have too much love going on right now.”
          “Is there such a thing?” Karen asserts unclear of what Cyan means by saying too much love.
          “It is when you have a girlfriend and a lover.”
          “You have woman? I don’t get it; if you like women then why didn’t you just stay a guy”
          “I could ask you the same thing; you have a boyfriend, why not just be heterosexual?” Cyan retorts one eyebrow up, waiting for Karen’s epiphany.
          “I see your point, I’m sorry that was tacky,” Karen acknowledges.
          “All is forgiven sweetie, but the truth is I do have a situation. My girlfriend and I were having issues and we took a break.” Cyan clarifies holding up the quotation marks. “That’s when I met Kennedy. She walked in the café and I could not stop looking over at her. I stopped focusing on my coffee, my book and the phone call I was on. She sat near my table and we ended up talking. Next thing I knew, I was trying to stop myself from giving her every way imaginable to meet me. My cell, home, address, email, you feel me? Kennedy and I went out a few times, but of course Samantha and I got back together.”
          “Oh I see; Kennedy is the lover and Samantha is your girlfriend?”
          “Affirmative.”
          “Well, I can see why you are in high demand Cyan. You are some kind of special.”
Karen chuckles softly standing there at the linen closet remembering just how much she laughed that day with Cyan; Cyan made it all seem so easy. I wish it were that easy. I haven’t received my revelation just yet. Cyan wasn’t in a relationship lying when she faced her demons. I’ve got a man who I want to want but don’t. He loves me, he wants me and I still can’t get it together. I’m sitting here wanting something I could never get from him and there’s nothing he can do to change that. I must be the most self consumed bitch on the planet. Me, me, me that’s all I seem to think about these days. Let me hurry up and take a shower so I can go check on Jennifer. She’s laid up in the bed trying to heal and all I can think about is my shortcomings. Snap out of it Karen; can’t you be there for someone else right now? Get over yourself already; gosh.
*******
          Having dismissed her class early, Shaun gets ready to stop by Toni’s play rehearsal. Toni has been working so hard running lines trying to get her part just right. I’m so proud of her. She’s gonna be shocked to see me there. I should stop by RaeKi’s and pick up her favorite dish. Who in the world is calling? Everyone knows I still have my students now. Looking down at her phone, Shaun sees Andi’s name highlighted. I might as well talk to her now, since I’ll probably  be hanging with Toni later.
          “Hey babe, how’s it going?”
          “I’m not sure, why haven’t you called me back? I know you know that I’ve been calling you,” Andi insists.
          “I’ve had students all day; you know that Andi. The only reason I could pick up now is because I let them go early. Relax babe; tell me about your day.”
          “You mean to tell me you couldn’t call me at least once today? How likely is that? And why did you let the kids go early today, did you give them a test?” Andi gripes. “You know what; you should come pick me up. Let’s go get grab something to eat.”
          “How about I take you to breakfast in the morning?” Shaun offers.
          “What about tonight? I don’t wanna go to breakfast.”
          “Tonight’s not good, tomorrow would be better. I’ll have more time then.” Shaun announces.
          “Why can’t we go out tonight?”
          “I already told you babe, c’mon let me pick you up in the morning and we’ll chill together.”
          “No, I can’t.” Andi argues.
          “No problem, I understand. I need to call you back—one of my students just came in.”
          “Yea I’ll bet; I’ll talk to you later; bye.”
          “Bye babe,” Shaun utters and hits the ear piece to disconnect. Happy to be off the call, she considers the best way to end any relationship type dealings with Andi. I need to end whatever this is with her, sooner rather than later.
          Miles away as the call between Shaun and Andi ends, Andi pouts over being turned down for dinner. What is she up to? She let her students go early but she can’t spend time with me. She could’ve found some time during the day to return my call. She’s so full of crap. She never has time for me. That’s cool though, it’s not like she’s the only person I can hang out with. I wonder if Michelle is gonna be with Mike tonight?  
*******
Stay tuned and find out what happens next, Monday June 7th 2010. Have a great Memorial Day and remember our fallen heroes!


This post first appeared on And The Story Goes ..., please read the originial post: here

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And The Story Goes ... Episode VIII

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