Remember “Ray,” my down-low thug neighbor who lives up the block?
Well, one day I got a chance to talk with him privately and I asked Ray when he had his first dude. And Ray told me this story about the first man he kicked it with and how they fell in love. I changed names and some details to protect their identity:
Ray was 19 years old and living in the Bronx in the mid 1980s. And he befriended this neighborhood drug dealer called “Dax.”
Dax was the terror of the street. He made mad money selling weed, cocaine and the new drug of choice — crack. But nobody messed with Dax, a muscled, brown-skinned black man of Puerto Rican and African American descent. That is because people who fucked with Dax soon disappeared.
Dax was five years older than Ray and took a liking to him. “Hey man, come over to my place and hang sometimes and play this Ninja game with me on my Sega.”
“Yeah, I may do that sometime,” said a wary Ray, who was afraid Dax was trying to pull him into the drug game.
But one day Ray got into a bad fight with his girl Wanda, who kicked him out of her pad in the projects. So he had nowhere to go and ended up knocking on Ray’s brownstone door.
“Damn man, it’s late as fuck,” Dax grumbled. But he let Ray crash in his guest room in the big iron poster bed.
Ray was tired. He and Wanda’s relationship was winding down…he just wasn’t feeling her anymore. And he knew he had to find a place to stay and get back on his feet. So he just went to bed and was soon snoring softly.
That is until he felt something wet and warm tugging and pulling at his dick in the middle of the night. And he looked down and there was Dax, sucking his dick in the dark, his head bobbing up and down.
Ray froze and pretended he was asleep. He was scared out of his wits. “If I wake up and say something this nigga might shoot me. He has killed dudes before.”
Dax’s skillful sucking had Ray’s dick hard as rock but he still pretended to sleep. After awhile Dax got up and went back to his room.
The next morning nothing was said. Ray went to his department store job and Dax went about pushing drugs. But that night the same thing happened.
Ray had girlfriends but had always wondered what it was like to be with a guy. He would rent straight porn on VHS tapes. But instead of jacking off to the women he would jack off looking at the guys’ nipples and asses. He would not dare try gay sex because all the gay men in his neighborhood acted so feminine and femininity in men turned him off.
But Dax was different. He was masculine, toned and had a deep voice. He ran the drug trade. He had two babies’ mamas. Everybody was afraid of him. He had a collection of guns and knew how to use them. How could he be gay?
But after a week of nightly dick sucking Dax finally just put it on the table. “Nigga, what the fuck is up?”
“Huh, what do you mean,” Ray asked.
“Don’t play stupid, I know you ain’t sleeping. You like when I suck your dick. Shit, you shot nutt over my shoulder last night. So stop playing.”
Ray got quiet. Then he breathed deeply and said, “Yeah, I liked that shit man.”
And that was that. Ray moved in with Dax permanently and they became lovers but everybody thought they were just homeboys and roommates. But they were anything but.
When they got behind closed doors Ray would ride Dax’s tight, light-brown ass like a jockey on a racehorse. That dude loved Ray’s curved dick, which hit his prostate just right. No one suspected they were more than friends.
But Dax was jealous as a motherfucker. One time he caught Ray looking admiringly at a hottie walking down the block. Dax walked over. “You like that bitch,” he asked.
“Man, shit that’s my home girl Tracy…,” Ray started to say. Before he could finish Dax hauled off and knocked him down in the street. Ray had to keep up his street cred. He got up and the two got in a knock-down, drag-out fight in the middle of the street.
“Shit, why are Ray and Dax beefing,” Tracy asked her girlfriend while they stood on the sidelines watching the two bloody each other as a crowd gathered. “I thought they were like brothers.”
Nobody knew they were having a lovers’ spat.
Dax’s jealousy eventually drove Ray away. Plus he was nervous about associating with Dax or even driving with him. The drug wars were heating up and people were getting killed left and right over nothing.
So Ray moved to Baltimore to stay with an aunt who had raised him and get a fresh start. But Dax soon followed. He knocked on Ray’s aunt’s door and asked Ray to come out and talk to him. Ray’s aunt thought nothing of it — they had been friends for years.
When they got around the corner Dax pulled out a shiny steel pistol. “You are never going to leave me. I will kill you now and then I will take care of myself.”
Ray felt like his stomach had sunk to his ankles. He literally saw his life pass before his eyes. He knew Dax was serious.
But Ray could also think fast on his feet. He pretended to break down, boohooing and crying in the middle of the street loud enough so there would be witnesses. “Man, you know I love you but you drove me away with your jealousy. What was I supposed to do? You know you don’t want to kill me.”
Ray’s Oscar-winning performance worked. Dax tucked the gun back in his waistband under his baggy Cross Colours shirt.
“Okay, man. I have been kinda on edge. But you know I act like this because I love you, right?”
“Yeah, I know.”
But the weirdness continued — Dax kept doing underhanded things to bring Ray back to New York City. One day Ray came home to find his aunt distraught on the phone. She was very religious.
“Dax is on the phone. He just told me that you two are doing the ‘f-word.’ The nasty! That you are lovers. Now Ray you know that lifestyle is against God and you are going to hell and Dax right along with you. After your mother died I tried to raise you right. I didn’t raise you to live like this. Oh, Lord Jesus, what is my sister thinking in Heaven. I have failed.”
Ray was so angry he hopped on a bus to New York City that night. He wasn’t ready to come out to his family, especially his Auntie. How could Dax do that? He was supposed to love him?
Ray arrived at Dax’s door. He had a key but knocked instead. Dax opened the door. Before Dax could pull out a gun he always had on him Ray punched the shit out of him, square on the chin. Then he kept hitting and hitting him until Dax fell unconscious on the brownstone steps.
People gathered on the street. “Damn, I thought them two were friends but they forever fighting,” one neighbor said. “What the fuck is going on now?”
Nobody knew Ray and Dax were having their final lovers’ spat.
Ray went back to Baltimore early the next morning. Surprisingly the two kept in touch although the passion cooled down to a friendship that has lasted now almost 30 years. Dax got out of the drug game and is living a respectable life — he was one of the few dealers who actually saved his windfall.
Sometimes when Ray goes home to New York City he will call up Dax and they will got out and have drinks and laugh about how crazy their love life used to be back in the day. It’s funny how time can heal things.
Ray and Dax were obviously in an abusive relationship, both physically and psychologically. Domestic abuse exists in LGBT relationships just as in straight ones. Eleven percent of lesbians reported violence by their female partner and 15 percent of gay men who live with their partners reported being victimized by their male partner, according to the American Bar Association. I was so surprised by all the tales of domestic violence I heard from gay men I wrote this blog entry, “Scars,” back in 2009.