Monday, January 15, 2007

Possibilities Narrowed

Just like in the picture of the young black child to the left, we all believed that possibilities were endless. What happens to those thoughts and beliefs as we get older?

As a young child I enjoyed playing with my army men and creating all types of stories with them. The possibilities were endless for my army men and for me.

As I became a teenager the possibilities for my army men were forgotten. I don't even remember what happened to them. Now my possibilities changed to will I be accepted by my fellow students. Will I make friends? When will I have sex and with whom? The possibilities were narrowing down to my learned likes and dislikes.

As a young adult I thought knew what I wanted. All the parties and clubs, friends, lovers, education and money. The possibilities again narrowed by desire for specific things.

Once I became older the possibilities narrowed even further. The parties weren't as plentiful. The clubs weren't as fulfilling. The friends either died due to the AIDS epidemic or moved away for more comfortable possibilities. The lovers became fewer and father between. The education was achieved. The money was satisfactory but society teaches us to always want more.

As I near middle age I wonder what will my possibilities be. Why shouldn't I have more possibilities? Where do the older black gay men go? How do they meet? Why isn't there a place for us to meet and socialize? Why am I and those of my age bracket called Old Headz?

This will happen to all of us. I think about the elderly black gay men and wonder are they sitting alone in their homes or apartments with narrower possibilities. Where do they go? Who do they meet? They say, "The young will inherit the earth." Well I have a message for the young and those not so young. It's time we take care of our elderly. Give them possibilities. Provide someplace for them to go? Think about it how do we want our lives to be when we become elderly? What do we want our possibilities to be?

How narrow do you want your possibilities to be? Well if you don't think about the elderly today then your possibilities will be as narrow as looking through a keyhole and saying, "Who is that passing by?"


Anonymous said...

oh man, SO TRUE!!! I had to read it twice! This is my life now (the middle aged part). Scary thinking about getting "old".My life has been so good but I see it winding down now at 47. Friends die or disappear. Making new friends is harder now because you don't know who to trust.


BronzeBuckaroo said...

Don't you dare pay attention to that idiotic age bracket label "Old Headz."

Those who use it know where they are today, but they don't know what's coming tomorrow. One thing growing up "fat" taught me is not to dismiss people as irrelevent. I like older brothers of certain ages. They can be just as attractive, or even more attractive than younger brothers. And, they usually have better sense!

Like you,STILL A YOUTHFULLY YOUNG MAN, I wonder what will old age have instore for me. What happens to old black gay men? I wrote a piece like yours asking the same questions, but I just haven't posted it yet. Your's is much better.

D-Place said...

Thanks for your comments anonymous. That's why I wrote this post. It's time to connnect again.

Buckaroo we need more posts like this becaue you're right. The younger set is not worrying about getting old just like I didn't. However, I don't want to be elderly and sad. So I plan to do something to change that.

kennyking78 said...

I don't know if it is fair to say that the young set is not worried about getting older. I do, however, think that we do not have a clear picture of what gay life can be after your 20s... after the clubs wear out, after everyone starts getting corporate jobs. Do we have any heritage as a culture or is the only thing we have in common is sex? If sex is the only thing we have in common then of course, we are all going to be alone or lonely as we age, because everyone is always looking for the sexiest thing in the room... the new guy.

I feel that there is a minor change on the horizon. We are hearing about more and more relationships that don't have to be hidden in the closet. Maybe that will pose some sort of change. Having to be closeted poses a lot of stress that I believe has hindered long term relationships in the past.

D-Place said...

kennyking78 - I understand what you mean and hope that you are right about the relationships that no longer are being hidden. However, I still have to wonder if that will draw us closer to each other as a group. This is weird but in the past it was the secret meetings and hush of where I went last night that bonded us in the past. Not saying that things should go back to that mind you. But we need to emphasis with each other the value of connecting with one another.

Terrence said...

Great piece. My evolution pretty much happened the same way, D. But I grew tired of clubs at 24-years old.

Before I turned the Big 4-0 recently, I have always wondered what will happen when I get older. I don't bemoan it, but when I see a profile that reads,

"SGL brotha, 35, masculine, professional, blah, blah, blah looking for the same SGL brotha age 25-35",

I am reminded of my age.

Like you asked, "Where are they?", "How do they meet?". Thank God for the Internet, if used wisely.

Because I have been friends with lots of older brothas, I have seen them age gracefully - others not so gracefully. And many go to house parties. But most of my buddies don't even look their age. They look a lot younger.

I've thought about opening a bar or club just for the older crowd when I retire - if not before. Amazingly, I feel young, but wise, plus I don't look my age. I know brothas older than I am and you would never know their age because of the way the dress, talk etc.

The only time I think about my age, is when a younger person calls me, "Sir". For the most part, I don't worry about getting "old" though. At least not yet.