SOMETIMES ITS BEST TO SAY NOTHING by @trevor_brown_artist
I'm not sure why I even responded. Force of habit I guess. Mr. Berry told me if someone messages you with some bullshit don't reply. A little background I had met Jonathan in the late nineties and he was your proverbial dirty old man. I don't recall the specifics of how we met he more than likely cruised me on the street and invited me back to his loft right off of Union Square. I enjoyed the attention but wasn't that into him and it wasn't because of his age. It was because of his desperation, he was acting all thirsty before that was a term and it wasn't attractive.
The dynamic with him then is so relevant to the #MeToo movement now. He was relentless in chasing me about but I was adamant in my lack of interest in him sexually. This didn't discourage his overtures. I can recall he made us dinner once and I think he was trying to kiss me and I was like nope. Another time it had gotten too late for me to head back to I guess Williamsburg and he wanted me to stay the night, in his bed.
This is the one thing that's different about same gender loving relationships in my opinion the power dynamic is a bit more balanced. Even though he was older than me, I was young vibrant and strong so even with all his experience I had the ability to thwart most of his attempts. The last time I remember interacting with him was around my grandparents fiftieth wedding anniversary I wanted to give them a portrait of both of their grandchildren. I'm pretty sure my brother was a teenager at this time.
Since Jonathan was the only professional photographer I knew I asked him to shoot the portrait even though I was doubtful of bringing my younger brother around him after his actions towards me. Thankfully my brother setting the ground work for the man I know today flaked and didn't show up. Jonathan was fussy because he had supposedly spent money in setting up lights in his home studio. I repeat home studio. I was like whatever and I don't think we interacted again.
Cut to a week or so after the Orlando night club shooting. I was devastated this shooting felt like a personal attack against the LGBT community which I was still a card carrying member. I was so frightened I didn't want to leave my house but my councilperson was throwing a vigil at Grand Army Plaza for the victims one of which was a mother from Brooklyn who was at the club supporting her son. My anxiety was through the roof because what was preventing something from shooting us all up at this vigil. Dressed all in white I noticed one of the photographers it was Jonathan who of course had gotten older I on the other hand was still as fine as when he used to chase me about. I did the math in my head and decided I wouldn't let him know who I was because I didn't want to get into that old dynamic again.
What I did do is contacted him via Facebook keeping his hands at digital arms length. We chatted briefly and that was that. Cut to a year and a half later I get some random ass photo in my DM's, no context no message, nothing. As I said this is where I went wrong I should have just kept it moving and ignored it as Mr. Berry has advised but I couldn't my mind was perplexed it wanted an answer to this puzzle. I sent my sticker of Starfire from the Teen Titans with a perplexed look on her face saying "Oh. Okay."
Was there a hint of shade in this jpeg, maybe a little but I was genuinely confused. I don't normally start an interaction in the middle and feed someone clues later, that is unless I interact with you often. Jonathan and I were barely acquaintances we had no digit shirt hand that each other understood.
He sent me back a question mark. I said well you started with the random ass message. He said:
"Nothing I send is random, in UK."
And I'm still sitting there like, and how is any of this relevant to me. And once again I should have departed the conversation but I didn't. I sent him a gif of President Obama with an expression of huh on his face accompanied with a shoulder shrug. A bit sarcastic which is entirely on brand for me, but playful also in my opinion. Spoiler alert the playfulness was about to come to an end.
"Sorry to bother: will delete u."
Well that escalated quickly just like the name of the debut novel of one of my favorite Internet talents Franchesca "Chescaleigh" Ramsey. Am I the only one who finds this notion of unfriending and deleting people problematic as fuck? When did we come to a place where our relationships were so disposable? Where human interactions have been relegated to likes or ❤️'s. I miss letters and postcards and seeing people in the flesh call me nostalgic bit this digital shit doesn't work for me, it such a neutered form of communication with all sense of nuance loss. There was only one thing to respond with a gif of Nene Leakes throwing up two fingers and saying 'Bye!'
For some reason this must have pissed Jonathan off because he got in his feeling in his next response:
"Why r u rude?World is too full of real stupidity to be petty."
Clearly he doesn't know I am Emperor Petty as my brother likes to call me or my favorite Petty Brown.
"We met June 2016."
Umm no we didn't but I'm not rehashing that.
"At Bklyn vigil"
Someone please shoot me if I'm over sixty years old and bastardizing the English language like this. It would be one thing if he was a millennial but he's not and I'm sure no one pays for characters in text anymore, besides we were using Messenger. My reply is salty as fuck.
"My brain doesn't work like that. The last time I corresponded with you was a year and a half ago. You send me some photo with NO CONTEXT. How the fuck am I being rude when I am confused? #🤔
And we met in the late nineties when you were trying to get into my pants. I saw you at a vigil."
I warned y'all.
He shoots back.
"20? Years ago; i hope ur pants are intact & im sure others have been in ur pants since 1990. how sweet for u to remember: there is no context in the world. Random shootings. Random president random death destruction. Facts: context: ur in my phone: thought i would acknowledge u & explore if u were still alive, kicking & gracious:"
What the black ass fuck do other people have to do with getting in my pants? He's clearly mad he never did and never will. He ends his message with where he should have started it. Giving me the clarity I was looking for but now much too late I'm over him and over this correspondence.
I send him a gif of Diddy sighing and drinking a glass of water.
#trevorbrown #journalentry #writing @ello @ellowriting @ellowrites