Thursday, October 9, 2014

My 10 Most Memorable Moments in "Is It True What They Say About Black Men?"

They've been the best and worst of times, and they're almost over. We're less than one month away from the official November 4 release of my travelogue/memoir Is It True What They Say About Black Men?: Tales of Love, Lust and Language Barriers on the Other Side of the World (currently on pre-sale at Amazon) and the end of an eight-year journey. Now that my work is done and the book is being sent out into the world, I can finally reflect, from a comfortable distance, on how I got here.

The most difficult part of the three years I spent writing the book was reliving some of the experiences in it over and over and over until I got the wording just right. Sometimes it felt like picking at a scab until it multiplied into a series of fresh wounds that would heal overnight only to be reopened the next day. Other times it was nice to recall details I'd completely forgotten, some of which were funnier than they were when the stories happened. It wasn't all pain, no gain -- not by a long shot. I'm a gallows humor kind of guy. I live to laugh through tears.

Here are 10 high/low lights from the near-decade covered in Is It True What They Say About Black Men? To partially quote Morrissey (in "Break Up the Family," from Viva Hate), they will forever stay emblazoned on my mind.

1. The morning I came home and found a threesome in my Buenos Aires apartment. Alas, they were burglars, fully clothed and brandishing a deadly screwdriver!

2. The night my boyfriend sprung a life-changing and life-threatening secret on me.

3. The five hours I spent in a Buenos Aires jail.

4. The day after I lost 24 hours following a drugging in Rio.

5. The morning a one-night stand was removed from my apartment in handcuffs by the BAPD after threatening to kill me.

6. A word in Spanish. Actually, several of them, and one in English (the N-word) after a suitor went from wanting me to wanting me on a cotton plantation in the space of one rejection.

7. The night I met the future love of my life when he was out with his girlfriend.

8. The night I was touched inappropriately by a masseuse in Bangkok.

9. The 10-hour Bangkok-to-Melbourne Jetstar flight I spent seated next to a man who I didn't know was blind until after we landed in Australia.

10. The afternoon at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg when by the House of Bondage exhibit I sat down and wept. It was almost like a Tracey Thorn song...

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