For the past few weeks I've been attempting to figure out what my new book, "Pop Life" is about. I never know what my books are about, because I don't usually read them after they are complete. There are a few reasons for that. When I'm creating a book, it's like a bulimic purging. When I'm writing I'm usually ridding myself of certain emotions that I can no longer harbor in my body, more so my mind. And what really dawned on me today is how much of my work is my life; however I didn't see how much I was involved per se. In English - I thought I found a way to detach myself from my characters, but in a lot of ways a lot of them or me. Wait, why are we talking about this? Oh - right. I figured out what my book was about today. Yesterday I spent 16 hours in a coffee shop attempting to do just that.
I met this guy in there yesterday. Actually he stood out the most because he's very mysterious. He's Muslim and also East Indian. No one knows this, but I'm extremely shy. Like, I almost have a phobia of going into social settings, which is the reason why I used to show up to places high. But I'm getting better at it.
There wasn't a plug for my laptop, so I had to ask him to plug me in at the power strip at the end of the table. I had seen him earlier that day, probably when he got there at 4 that afternoon. I was on hour 7 at that point. He stood out because he was neatly dressed. Khakis, tucked in button down with a brown belt. He wore glasses and he wasn't a usual person that I'd speak with and as the conversation progressed I wasn't one that he would usually speak with either. lol...
But he ended up saying to me, "Saturday isn't really a productive day. Sunday is. You'll know on Sunday." And I found out on Sunday. What do you know? I said the other day I was speaking with my attorney and I said, "You know people just don't use that line, 'We met at a party" to explain how they met someone. Everyone's on some "We met on twitter, we met on facebook," I wanna be the nigga that says, "We met at a party!"
Earlier this year I set a private (now public) goal for myself to meet 10 people at a party and befriend them. I was just saying to myself that I want to expand my social network, meet a variety of people that we have grown things in common with. I want to meet people with more depth, with more conversation, with classic values that stand in the crazy world we live in. I've met 3 people in public settings this year. By the end of the night of me meeting them it was a party. So I'll count it.
A few days ago, I told someone "You don't even see what you're getting ready to do." I think I should start taking my own advice.
Most of my books are never about what's on the surface. But what's underneath.
In "In Pop Life," I examine the lives of 5 black gay men. Kyle DeVoe, Bryan Alexander, Simeon Shanks, Omar Julian and Shaheed Smith.They are all on the road to stardom in their own rite, but something is preventing them, their friendships, careers and relationships to flourish. It's the fact that they were all molested as children.
When I first began writing the book - I didn't start out saying I was going to write about sexual abuse. But the deeper into the mind of the characters I created, they all had that one recurring theme and I didn't notice that until one of characters actually encounters his offender.
Sexual abuse is one of the things that blacks in general just don't talk about, but it exists. Because we don't talk about it and the affects that it has throughout life, a lot of people never get the most out of life because we never learn how to deal with it.
Writing this book actually allowed me to face my own abuse, which is something that I thought that I had dealt with - that was far from the case. Looking back, it explains a lot.
But this needs to be said...out loud at least.