Burning Down the House


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My partner “Van” and I go to a Black gay men’s retreat in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina every Martin Luther King Holiday Weekend. It’s a private affair and you got to know someone to be invited.

It’s always fun and we get to interact with professional — and working class — gay Black men from all over these United States. One them, “Milo,” told me this story of being forced out of the closet:

Milo, who works for Amtrak in Los Angeles, lived with his girlfriend. A real beauty. Feminine. And good in bed.

But he also had a male lover on the side. A real handsome guy. Masculine. And a beast in bed.

For months, maybe years, Milo had his cake and ate it, too. Pussy and titties on Friday night. Ass and dick on Saturdays. And never did the two meet.

Until that day he came home from work on a Friday afternoon and found his girl dressed all sexy in black lingerie. They had been together for a while and settled into a routine. Was she trying to light a fire back under things?

“Hey baby, I really want to have a romantic Friday night with you. But first, I left you a little letter on the refrigerator. Go read it,” she purred.

“Oh shit,” Milo thought. “She wrote down something sexy she wants me to do. Like some freaky recipe.”

He grinned and trotted over to the refrigerator in their tiny kitchen and started to read it. And his smile vanished and the blood drained from his face, turning his pecan brown complexion three shades lighter.

His male lover had mailed his girlfriend a confessional and she had posted it for Milo to read.

“I just want you to know I’m in love with your man and he is fucking me too,” it read in part. And for your information you met me. I’m his homeboy Darren. The one he works out with on Saturday. But I’m more than just his buddy. And he is working me out in more than just the gym.”

Seconds passed that felt like hours. It felt deathly quiet in their downtown apartment, despite all that Los Angeles traffic whooshing just two floors below.

“Milo, I want you to explain this to me,” she said.

“Look baby, I got to make a run,” he said. “I will explain when I get back.”

I forgot to explain this. Milo is fun guy from Oklahoma. The life of the party. All smiles and jokes. He still has that high, whiny, Country and Western twang and sounds corny.

But he is crazy as shit,too.

“Immanuel,” he explained. “I went to a gas station and brought some gasoline and I went to that motherfucker’s house. He wasn’t home but I set that shit on fire and burned it down. That’s what that bitch ass got for doing that bullshit.”

“But didn’t you get caught,” I asked.

“Nah, I know how to do shit like that without getting caught,” he said. “And after what I did that motherfucker wasn’t going to talk to the police because he was afraid of what else I might do.”

Milo is handsome but has a face that looks almost like a cartoon character. Like his head is large and slightly bulbous, like Tweety Bird from the old Warner Brothers cartoons.

But something in his eyes — a steely hardness — made me believe he would commit arson and smile so sweetly in your face with that awww shucks manner that you would never believe he would.

Milo went home and sat down with his girl.

“Look baby, I messed up. Dude kept trying to seduce me and I tried it out. Let him suck this dick. That’s all. He just wants me and will do anything to mess up what we have. You know how them faggots are. They just want to be women, anyway.”

She looked at him with liquid, doe-like eyes. She loved him. Believed him. Forgave him.

“Look baby. Let’s get married next week and put this all behind us. Just something small down at the courthouse and a quick honeymoon down to Baja.”

“Yes Milo. I will marry you,” she said. And that night he fucked her till her pussy was sore and a week or two later they married.

But Milo kept fucking with dudes.

And she found out because despite letting the first one slide she was far more watchful.

And two months later they separated.

And eventually divorced.

29 thoughts on “Burning Down the House

  1. Who in the hell did Milo think he was fooling. It’s men like him that make it difficult for folks. Just live in your truth. It may take some time as it took a lot of us, but don’t play on people’s emotions, especially looking like a damn cartoon.

  2. First of all…I was getting worried Immanuel. But I know you’re busy. Secondly, the way I laughed at the tweety bird part. Anyway. I had something like this happen to me. I wasn’t cheating but I was in a relationship with a cat who knew my ex girl. He was also very jealous of her and swore we still were in a sexual relationship. I tried to break with him after a year and he blackmailed me out of 600 bucks and a threat to tell my ex. So I stayed. Year two he moved to another state qqand convinced me that he was robbed at gunpoint and felt unsafe. So I moved there to be with him. One day after drinking I awoke to find him sucking my dick and recording it on his phone. I asked what he was doing and he replied “you leave me, and I send this out”. I left after he called the cops on me one night and he did out me. To my ex, to my friends, to my job, to my mama. Had to get a restraining order against him. But I was glad to be away from that crazy mf. People are nuts man.

      • Yea. He reached out a couple years later via email explaining why he did what he did. In his mind I drove him to it. The email ended with “If you feel it in your heart to reach out to your one true love…” My friends and I have hearty laughs about that still. Lunatic.

  3. His first instinct was to burn the man’s house down?
    Hmm…I don’t like anyone in this story. Milo is crazy, and not in the “Boy, you so crazy” kind of way; but in the “Nigga you crazy” kind of way. I get it he is your fun, lively, cartoon acquaintance, but…yeah. Darren was petty and dumb. Did they ever had a conversation about leaving the girlfriend for him or not? This letter seems so out the blue. He was dumb to think Milo was going to be with him after sending that letter. And the girlfriend was STUPID to the core. You find out your man has been cheating on you for a while, regardless if it is a man or female, he been cheating. You don’t punish him or even put him in the dog house, but you screw him after finding out, because he gives you a “hail mary” wedding proposal, with no ring. Then marries the nigga. STUPID.

    • Nice comment. But I don’t think it’s so much that they were stupid but more that they were young. This story came out when we were all having conversations about coming out as gay men. Milo is very comfortable in his skin now. He is in his mid-50s. But when he was in his twenties when this happened he was still grappling with his sexuality and trying to hide it. When you were young you do crazy stuff that you would not do when you were older because young people often lack impulse control.

  4. Immanuel you have the best stories. I was really worried about you. I was visiting here a few times a week seeing if you were going to post something, until yesterday when I saw you post on Jamari’s blog and I was like let me come here, because I know you had to post something. You can’t leave us that long again.

  5. I think that’s fucked up all around the board. Everybody was getting fucked over but the bul he was fucking knew what it was hitting for. He knew he was the side piece so to put him was fucked up he should of just left him alone and let him do him. Never mix the two.

  6. Hi Immanuel, hope all’s well. I’ve always loved how your share sides of folks we wouldn’t get to see. I try to be sympathetic to DL guys, but guys Milo like make it hard. It’s almost as if he doesn’t care who gets hurt in the pursuit of a nutt, emotionally (her) or physically (Darren)…

    -your friend “T”

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