I’m a 24 year old gay man who has never had a Valentine’s Day celebration with a lover at his side. It’s either I’m meeting him a month after this goddamn overrated holiday or we are breaking up a month before (both instances have occurred), leaving too much space in time to think about at least a post breakup or pre-dating Valentine’s Day gift exchange.
Believe me, it’s not fun spending this holiday observing a facial resection and reconstruction in an overcrowded theatre for a man who’s got a tumor on his jaw (Side effects of blowjobs, anyone?).
Sometimes I wonder how nice it’ll be to spend the holiday with someone special, going out to eat, and then a movie, and then nasty-ass sex in a room filled with red roses – Wait! I’d skip that meal; my walls have to be clean for that nasty-ass session to go smoothly.
I’ve been watching this couple strutting around school for a while now, joking around and being playful in public like being gay in Nigeria isn’t a punishable offense, and I must say I’m envious, envious of what the two of them share. Just two days ago, I was furious after my choir leader chewed me out for something I did not do; I’d climbed the stage after his chastisement, backed up a song, even with my fury burning a hole somewhere inside of me. As I sang, my angry eyes darted through the crowds, landing on every big hat, short dress, expensive suit, and the sometimes hot guys in them. My eyes kept skimming the crowd until they casually passed by this couple. I saw the light-skinned boy, singing along to the lyrics of “Praise Him, Praise Him” while playfully swaying and nudging his boyfriend, shoulder to shoulder, with every sway; and he was grinning from ear to ear. His boyfriend however, remained silent and still, his body and head only moving to the right in response to the push from the boo. He too was just smiling, acting like he didn’t like what Le Boo was doing. I looked away, still fuming.
Two songs later, my emotions had cooled to an indifference. My anger has gone, but my eyes were still sweeping through the crowd. And my stare landed on those two again. This time, my eyes stayed on them. They looked so happy. (I have a feeling they are reading this). And unprovoked, my mind flashed back like a movie, to two years ago when I was the light-skinned boy, nudging Gerry to the same songs, in the same church, and smiling. He was always the other boy, silent, still, smiling, hands in his pocket, looking around like he was lost. He’d laugh as my shoulder brushed against his, and two seats ahead, a tall, ebony-skinned, bearded man would look back and smile fleetingly at us. Gerry would murmur that the man is looking back because he fancies me, but I suspected – I knew he was merely drawn to our young love.
And now, with startling clarity, I couldn’t help but think about how I’d switched from the light-skinned lover nudging his bae to the ebony-coloured onlooker eyeing a young couple playing love while in church.
I remember Gerry – his beautiful eyes, sweet voice and perfect toothy smile. I’d always joked that he could land a plane on his incisors. I remember our Sunday brunches at GDC, immediately after service, his fork always invading my plate and picking at my bigger piece of chicken, his inability to finish a measly scoop of fast food rice, the beaming photos we’d take afterwards. I also remember calling him “Bae” without thinking in front of the cashier that day, and observing the puzzled expression that eclipsed the young woman’s face as she looked from me to him and no doubt pondered why I’d be calling a guy bae.
I remember his dreadful farts and how they always woke me up in the mornings; then I in turn would wake him with a cuddle and a kiss. Sometimes the farts would get out of hand, and I wouldn’t bother with the cuddle and kiss; I’d simply shake him awake and send him off to the bathroom to empty his colon of whatever radioactive substance he was harbouring in his alimentary canal.
I also remember our last month together; when I finally told him he had my heart, after four months of being together. I remember the distance that followed after, the indifference that’d mar his face whenever I did something sweet. My eggs suddenly became dry and salty, and my sausages were not fried the way he wanted them. I remember our last argument over something so trivial, I honestly cannot remember the cause. And finally when he broke up with me over Fucking BBM!
I just started talking to Gerry, a tentative reconnection. It’s a little weird. He says he misses us, but I don’t buy it. I still miss him, and I’m happy we dated. With him, I got to know what love feels like, even though it didn’t last.
And now, today, as I write this, it is 8.05 pm on the 14th of February. I am alone in my room, with no boo to pull me out of this damn plastic table, and give me some Valentine dicking. After I submit this to the Powers-that-be, I plan on going to the fast-food joint down the road. I’ll buy as much junk food as I can afford with this one thousand naira, and stuff my face with it… Because, let’s face it, there’s no love greater than self-love… Well, except God’s love for us. That, and the fact that my body needs to drown this lonely Val-less feeling I have.
And tomorrow morning, I’ll wake up and work out the calories from this junk food binge I’m about to go on, take a shower, go to school and watch another disgusting Caesarian section.
Written by Lorde