A MEMOIR OF ALL THE MEN THAT HAVE BEEN (Chapter 7)

A MEMOIR OF ALL THE MEN THAT HAVE BEEN (Chapter 7)

REX

For many, Grindr is the go-to app when you want a quick release. It usually comes in a ribboned package of bland and hurried conversations and oftentimes off-putting personalities. But if your expectations are low, you’d be guaranteed the orgasm you seek.

I used to be like that, but not anymore. I started wanting more out of men – and who says Grindr can’t give that to me?

After an unpleasant three-month relationship with the pimped-up version, Tinder, which harbors the most conceited assholes, I figured I should stick with Grindr. I reconciled myself with the idea of relationships, embraced the one fuck-buddy remedy for sex when the need calls for it. I was ready to stop being sexually active.

It was not going to be an easy feat but I was willing to try.

My bio profile was what anyone would call wordy; I called it descriptive. Rex, who chatted me up one late evening when the breeze had taken on a pleasant chill and I was about to go to sleep after ignoring the torrent of silly messages that I had opened the app to see, was one of those who called it wordy.

“But it’s very expository,” he went on to say and finished with a smiley emoji.

He’d used complete words, no short form, and I was taken. Curiosity grabbed me and sleep vanished. The next day was a Sunday so it was not like I had to sleep right away.

Our chatversation was easy, the banter was free-flowing and his wit mesmerized me.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have, over the years, come to realise that with a bit of patience, you can meet really smart people on Grindr, and many have gone on to become my friends.

Rex – which was his pseudonym and will be the name I’ll use for the purpose of this piece – said he lived on the Mainland part of Lagos, which was good for me. It was still distant from me, but it was a doable distance.

He was also working. Another plus! The working class status is exactly the kind of stability I seek in a man. I also liked that he seemed to want what I wanted and spared no moment to tell me about it and of his kindling interest in me. When I asked him what his interests were in general and he sent a voice-note in response and I heard the crisp diction with his clear, almost soft voice, I did not hesitate to drop my WhatsApp contact the second he asked for it.

He was a bit insecure about his looks, especially after he saw my pictures, but I thought his uncertainty was adorable, and the chocolate-skinned, leanly-built, tall man I saw in the photos he sent was cute.

On WhatsApp, our conversation soared, and with each detail we revealed about each other, our resolve to be something more, something better than online acquaintances, strengthened. By the time we exchanged goodnights and I turned my data off, I was all flushed and grinning from ear-to-ear as I sank my head into my pillow and surrendered myself to the bliss of sleep.

That the fervor did not wane the following day was amazing. When he called me later that night and we talked for more than one hour before I retired, because the next day was a Monday, I was literally floating on clouds with one leg in the air.

This is it, I said to myself. This could finally be it. After a series of disappointments, after all the indecisions and terrible choices I had made, things were looking up.

Rex called me while I was at work and called me when I got back. It soon became a routine, one I settled comfortably into. And even though I am not the poster boy for phone call-communication, I saw myself returning the favor.

I was liking Rex, and liking that I was liking him.

One evening, as we talked over the phone, he revealed something that weighed heavily in his heart. I had suspicions that he must have gone through really trying periods at some point in his life when he would not stop telling me how damaged he once had been, but whenever I pried further, he would either deflect or tell me it was family stuff.

But here he was, finally revealing all to me, and as I listened to how his ex-boyfriend had treated him like shit, disregarded the care he showed towards him and neglected him when he was ill, I found my hands folding into fists, ready to knock the lights out of the guy, whoever he was. Being the overly emotional monkey that I am, I was crying as he talked. Physical abuse is a terrible thing to go through, but emotional abuse should not be wished on anyone’s enemy.

After a while, I asked him, “Do you think you are ready to be in another relationship, Rex?”

His response came almost immediately, “Yes, Delle. I feel very comfortable with you and you intrigue me.”

I digested that and although I felt good about it, I could not help but wonder why everyone I’d come across was intrigued by me.

After one week of consistent interaction, Rex asked that I come over. This was when the lockdown was further eased and the curfew time extended till 8pm. I declined the offer. It was not because I did not want to see him. If anything, I was glad that he was interested in us seeing because protracted online engagements wear me out. If we are going to be an item, the earlier we meet to see if the spark we have over the Internet can be extended to real life, the better for the both of us. I would hate for us to waste all that time pining for each other only to meet and the chemistry is zilch.

I declined because for some unexplainable reason, I wanted to convince myself that he was for real. I wanted to challenge him further and push myself to see if I was not being desperate. I was scared of Charles happening all over again. For the first time in a long while, I wanted to be intentional about taking things slow. He, expectedly, was not happy about this but did not make a fuss. Over the time we got acquainted with each other, I had come to know he was the kind of guy who would gloss over his anger. He would neither tackle it nor confront you, but would tell you he was fine until you were convinced that he was.

It reminded me of Obinna, but with Obinna, you could tell he had moved on from the anger. With Rex, I felt he was piling them up, waiting for an implosion that would scar the both of us.

I did not like it but I could do nothing about it. “Not everyone is like you, who likes to confront issues,” he would say, and I would be silenced.

Rex was also very religious. Not a fanatic, he assured me, but religious enough to update his WhatsApp status with scriptural quotes or sermons, video and written. Even though it slightly disconcerts me when I come in contact with a religious gay man, despite considering myself to be a Christian, I have no serious issues with it, insofar as you’ve reconciled your faith and sexuality. I believed Rex had done so.

The following week, I was in an uber headed to Rex’s place. It was going to be a sexless visit. I suggested that because I did not see the hurry and he supported it.

Getting to his place was a hassle, what with the terrible directions Google Maps was indicating and the not-so-comprehensive one Rex was giving over the phone.

See eh, most times, Lagos drains me. Actually, make that ALL THE TIME.

An hour, forty-five minutes later, we finally got to the place. Rex was living with a friend, and the flatmate was out to receive me. Rex was apparently in the bathroom. After a quick exchange of pleasantries, he took me up to their apartment, and I waited in the small living room until Rex was done.

There is this air of awkwardness that immediately descends when you meet someone you have been talking with on the phone, no matter how long, and it was there when our eyes caught. It remained even after he smiled and said I looked better in person. But when he hugged me and I responded, breathing in his cologne and that faint scent of soap, it dissipated.

We proceeded to his neatly-arranged room, and the moment I sat on his well-made bed, we fell into a simple thread of conversation. It was easy to smile with him, to laugh and to just be. He had taken his time to get me ice-cream and biscuits, two of my favorite things in the world, and I thought it was really thoughtful of him especially when he narrated the stress it took him to get them, seeing as it was a Sunday. He wanted the best and paid the price. I was touched and found myself liking him the more. It was also easy to assume he felt the same way because of the way I caught him staring at me and how he could not get his hands off me. They were not lewd caresses or suggestive in any way, but romantic and spoke of someone who wanted to cherish and appreciate. If he wanted sex, he did a good job of masking it. He came off slightly domineering but that was something I could handle, I told myself.

Against his wish, I left that day. He’d wanted me to stay over because the following was a public holiday, but I did not want that, seeing as I had not planned to. However, his request only informed me of his feelings for me.

I thought wrong.

That evening, when he called to be sure I had gotten home safely, would be the last time he called me.

It was not until Wednesday, when I could not bear the silence anymore, that I called him. Although he apologized for not calling, his tone was cool and disconnected. He said he had been really busy with work and exams (he was preparing for CFA).

That had never stopped him before. Why now?

I asked him this and he said he had a lot he was going through, both on the family and work fronts. He said he expected better understanding from me and that he would call me back.

After I ended the call, I was not convinced and was greatly disturbed. So many questions whirled around in my head. Did he want sex that day? Was he lying when he said he loved me as we lay on his bed with me on his chest? Was he really busy, so much so that he could not spare a chat or a call? What was going on?

It was especially frustrating because he was not forthcoming with reasons. By Saturday, I was distraught. I hated the fact that he was AWOL. I hated that he had not called back as he promised. I hated that the messages I had sent him on WhatsApp had been read and not responded to. I hated that he was not giving me the closure I wanted – no, needed.

I hated him.

I called him again, and because I did not know what and how to feel, because I was literally in a dark tunnel, I was crying. But I was glad that he picked; this is how badly I needed to understand what was going on. This time, he told me he was scared of getting into a relationship with me because I was scaring him. He said he expected me to understand that he was struggling with so many things and that my calling him only tells him I would not be.

It was all mind-boggling to me, as I sat and listened to him say all these things. The more he talked, the more confused I got. Maybe we had hinted on being official in the times we started talking, but I never even expected it to be anytime soon. So, when he made mention of the relationship part, I just kept opening and closing my mouth as my brain struggled for the right words to say. That day, when the call ended, I went to bed even more confused and cried myself into a restless slumber. This was Charles happening all over again, except this time, I was Charles. Was Mother Nature not just the consummate comedian?

The following morning, I blocked Rex on every single platform on social media and even barred him from calling or texting me. I was not going to do this; wallow for some damaged being after all this time. Not me.

But it proved to be more difficult than I hoped, and by the second day, I unblocked him and resorted to dealing with my pain. I saw that he viewed every single status update I put up on WhatsApp and while it stung whenever I came across his name, I learnt to live with it.

I never did get the closure I wanted, and even though he promised to call and explain the one time when he slid into my DM some months later, he has not.

And right now, I do not care. As far as I am concerned, I dodged a bullet.

***

I know you will say I friend-zone the most amazing men I have come across and fawn over the idiots. But I challenge that. I just do not think my heart has successfully been able to tell infatuation from love, and the latter is what is needed to be with someone. There is also the glaring fact that man is naturally drawn to trouble and mystery. Well, be rest assured that I am making conscious efforts to not be part of this statistic. Luckily for me, in spite of all that I have seen and experienced, I am still a hopeful for love and I know that when it hits me, the tale would take on a different tempo.

And who knows, I just might pen it down for your reading pleasure. We all love a happy ending, no?

Thank you, guys, for going on this journey with me.

THE END

Written by Delle

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  1. Mandy
    February 06, 08:42 Reply

    For someone who claims to be a victim of an ex boyfriend’s abusiveness, Rex sure turned out to be quite the emotionally abusive jackass himself. Imagine pulling the “you are not understanding” crap on you for simply wanting answers as to why he suddenly pulled the switcheroo on you. SMH. He even comes off like a coward too. He very clearly wanted sex with you, but didn’t want to risk the impression he felt you had of him, and so, in order to not have to deal with that, he simply chose to ghost you.
    Real asshole.

    • Delle
      February 06, 11:46 Reply

      I think so too. I think he wanted the sex
      Or maybe he really is damaged. Maybe my coming made the reality of a potential relationship more certain and he couldn’t deal with it.

      But you see, I’m tired of concocting these possibilities. He’s an asshole and I’m glad I didn’t have anything to do with him

      He doesn’t need a man. He needs therapy.

      • Pink Panther
        February 06, 11:59 Reply

        “He doesn’t need a man. He needs therapy.”

        Lmao. This is funny and sadly true. Hurt people hurt people, unless they get help.

        • Delle
          February 06, 21:52 Reply

          I can only hope he recognises this and allows himself get the help. If not, the community is in for it.

          Sheesh. Me thinking of all the many people like Rex…😭

  2. Lopez
    February 06, 08:59 Reply

    Awww Delle, how about a selfie or a WhatsApp group for all of us that men hurt badly. But don’t include me in the sub group of those who cried because of men. Karma has a way of dealing with all of us , one by one. You know, toxic behavior and hurting people deliberately in the name of self love and not being ready for a relationship… At least you know how it feels to be at the receiving end of that negative behavior.

    • Delle
      February 06, 11:50 Reply

      Hmm. You came to gloat over this sort of thing? How low, even for you. Of what use is it though, being mad and bitter towards someone who doesn’t know you (thanks to the anonymity of this platform)? It’s all crumbs, dear. Crumbs.

      I hope you heal.

      • Lopez
        February 06, 13:07 Reply

        Being mean to strangers is actually something I copied from you. You’ll learn, and you’ll realise it’s in appropriate to hurt others and especially inappropriate to ridicule others on an anonymous blog.

        • Delle
          February 06, 21:55 Reply

          In the way you said this, it’s obvious you know it’s a wrong thing to do. Yet, YOU COPIED ME!

          Your attempt at flattery is as weak as it’s sad. Anyway, you really should stop being mindless and acting all out like a baby denied lollipop. It’s making your already ugly persona even uglier.

  3. Mitch
    February 06, 12:18 Reply

    …overly emotional monkey…

    I concur!!!

    That’s all I came to say.
    #OkBye

    🚶🚶🚶

    • Delle
      February 06, 21:56 Reply

      Not everyone can have a hole in the heart like you 🚶

  4. Lopez
    February 06, 22:27 Reply

    Are you talking to yourself? You must be talking to yourself. It won’t hurt to be nice to people, even strangers on this platform but you clearly chose the opposite. And yes I know it was wrong, I was deliberately paying you in your coins, again, now that you know how it feels may be you’ll learn a thing or two.

    • Delle
      February 07, 09:22 Reply

      😂😂😂😂

      You think you’re teaching me a lesson? Jeez, your delusion.

      If you think I am mean or rude to people on here, you’re well within your rights to think that. I do not believe it. I just don’t have the patience for folks like you. For very obvious reasons. This is a platform where ideas are shared; this isn’t a church where we have to be ‘nice’. So, I do not get where that idea is coming from. It’s just out of place.

      Now, shoo.

  5. Pie
    February 07, 10:05 Reply

    Rex is a miserable being.

    • Delle
      February 08, 02:59 Reply

      It would seem so. Found out late despite all the warning signs.

      😪

  6. Lopez
    February 07, 21:20 Reply

    I’m not teaching nothing I don’t even have that energy, but life and a Rex will teach you alot. You see this notion that this is not a church so you don’t have to be nice is where you failed, this place suppose to be better than a church, it is supposed to be a safe space for all of us, but people like you are ruining it. Don’t do what Nigeria and Nigerians are doing to us here. There’s no Monopoly for being asshole. Be nice!

    • Delle
      February 08, 02:58 Reply

      I’m never an asshole unless you’re deserving of assholery. Stop acting like I took your man, I don’t even do second fiddle.

      Whatever opinion you have of me, I really don’t want to hear it. Keep it in your pockets. They would give it better attention than me.
      If you want niceness, perhaps, perform some. Cos all I have seen of you so far is hurt and bitterness; spite and anger. Bro, stay far from me.

      I’m done with you, Painlina.

  7. Lopez
    February 08, 07:45 Reply

    What do you do, third wheel? Stupid men and this country all made us bitter, but some of us know how to buckle it in a secure place untill a need to show that side arise. What about you, Can your say that about yourself? We’re all angry Mr Delle. Be nice, just be nice even when you disagree with people here. I’m sure you don’t want anybody to stop visiting this page because of you.

    • Delle
      February 08, 11:33 Reply

      😂😂😂😂

      You give me too much credit, dear. I’m almost flattered.

      Almost.

      • Lopez
        February 08, 17:48 Reply

        You should be, I actually took my time to make sure the next time you saw my pseudonym you’ll think carefully before writing rubbish. I hate bullies, especially the coward one’s behind a keypad on an anonymous gay blog.

        • Delle
          February 09, 16:54 Reply

          Don’t be delusional. The next time you come at me, I’ll take time out to decimate you.

          And I’ll enjoy it.

  8. Kingayo
    February 08, 08:42 Reply

    Hmmm. They come so sweet with every inch of perfection. I thought I had meet the best man on planet when he came(grindr) with like minds and being an entire spec. Messages and calls here and there, so sweet like I won a medal for all my try and errors. I was in the middle n enjoying what he started when he cut off without even telling. We still talk have been great deal but am still in the dark hoping one day we get to talk about this(I thought less of my self checking where I went wrong).

    I wonder why it was and why they do that, but Las ls we’d be alright. We keep spreading love even if we haven’t receive alert of our investments. One day the returns will come bountiful

    • Delle
      February 08, 11:38 Reply

      Exactly, King!

      Your positivity is amazing. You’ll be better for it, believe me.

      💓

  9. Rudy
    February 08, 12:35 Reply

    This certainly took me down memory lane, that fast knee jerked-whirlwind kind of love and affection only to be deserted and left dejected by the excuse of “not ready”.
    It’s a form of Anxiety that is endemic in the queer world & some good Therapy is the requisite to help deal with & curb such canker.
    Gay people of all ages need to pass through a form of Therapy at least once in our lifetime, we definitely need it to counter all the internalised fear and unworthiness.

    Rex was clearly dealing with his inner demons & he probably haven’t yet reconciled his sexuality with his faith completely. I smiled when you unblocked him the next day, that baggage wasn’t yours to carry.

    You are good to go Delle with a ton of experiences under your belt, go make the world your oyster.
    Love is just a mile away….

    Good read, as always!

  10. Lopez
    February 09, 18:40 Reply

    I’ll never come at you unless you come at me, it’s never in me picking at people here, nobody can say I’ve done it before but I’ll surely defend myself and even a pay back. of course you enjoy it (bullying people), know that it’s never a thing to be proud of but you’ll never see that, cyber bullying is even a crime in some places. You need a therapist, it as very apparent.

  11. Denzy
    February 10, 09:55 Reply

    Seriously, people – please, can these bickering and grudgery that has become rife on here just stop?

    This blog is supposed to be a ‘community’ by inference: inclusive, tolerant, welcoming and safe. That we can disagree with each other and be civil about it; that we can acknowledge that no one ideology is superior and caved in stone; that we can find unity by attacking negative ideas and not people.

    One would expect that a people already subjected to the worst forms of discrimination, abuse and persecution; a people that seek equality and acceptance from the society would be better to its own.

    We cannot be a house divided against itself and be taken seriously.

    We need to be BETTER to each other! 🙏

  12. Tristan
    February 15, 12:07 Reply

    Once they start saying they are afraid of the the relationship — run, run, run. They are just sugarcoating their need to have sex.

    Never let your guard down with a potential lover. Never ever!

    Mine was quite a story. I even wanted to commit suicide but it just isn’t worth it. Learn to love yourself.

    Meanwhile, I’m writing the story. It’s so very painful

    • Pink Panther
      February 15, 12:33 Reply

      I’d sure love for this story to be told here o. Lol

      • Tristan
        February 15, 12:47 Reply

        Would sure send it in when I’m done writing.

  13. O.B
    March 12, 01:44 Reply

    Oh… Sorry about that, someone has done that to me… I cried, and got angry that I was crying, sef… I felt really humiliated, because I deserve to be treated better, but I simply deleted his number…

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