"Orville, will you marry me?" Todd asks as we sit in the movie theatre. He's sucking on my neck while I try to push him away. Todd's an ex-boyfriend of mine, and we've been seeing each other on and off forever. I just can't seem to get him out of my life. I don't know if I want to. "Todd, we're in a movie theatre, or have you forgotten?"
"Well, do you love me? Will you marry me? Or am I just wasting my time? Can't you see that I'm trying to romance you, baby," Todd purrs as he starts to kiss my neck again.
"Todd, I told you I'm just trying to get my life together. Now that I've finished university, I've got to get another degree and become an American citizen, all within five years," I blurt out.
"Why do you need to become an American citizen? I see I'm not part of your plans. Orville, I love you. I want to marry you."
"Don't you have any goals? Don't you have any ambition? Becoming an American citizen is on my checklist. As a young black man, America is a land of opportunity, while Canada is a nobody's land."
"Well, we are getting married, Orville. I promise, you will be mine," Todd says.
Todd and I don't speak for the rest of the night. I'm so furious that I decide to take a cab instead of letting him drive me home. I'm confused.
Marriage? I've always believed that same-sex marriage is a form of assimilation. I agree with lesbian scholar Adrienne Rich's perspective that marriage is a form of capitulation and a way of conforming to compulsory heterosexuality.
Plus, I'm a bit too selfish to fall into the gay marriage trap. I'm in my 20s and need to experience life more, to see things on my own. I have my freedom, my independence, and gay marriage will only stunt my creativity. I also don't believe that homosexual marriage will somehow "complete" me.
I've always felt that Todd wanted to put me on a leash, to keep me around to "complete" him. I can't do that for him. He has to help himself. I know it and he knows it.
Yet every Friday night I spend with Todd, the same thing happens: we go to a movie, he gets drunk and we have hot sex.
I try not talking to him for a few weeks, but he shows up at my front door. I can't resist, and we drive off to his apartment. Saturday morning, sitting on his bed, I realize, "I fell for it again. What the hell is Todd good for?" I look at the mile-high dishes in the sink, the pop cans, potato chip bags and pizza boxes littered across the room.
I leap from the bed while he sleeps and crack open the window. Todd is 32, yet he acts like he's in his early 20s. He refuses to do anything beyond just living day to day. He has his grade 12 but no ambition.
I glance at Todd as a ray of sunlight pierces the room: his bulging biceps, thick triceps, hard abs, sexy legs. OK, this is why I've fallen into a trap. He's hot - his seductive swagger, his 6-foot-2 frame, his manly body....
"Come back to bed, Orville. We're not finished yet," he grunts. He lunges at me and pulls me to the bed. I can't resist his sweet chocolate kisses. My fingers press against his firm black behind. Yes, that's it.
"I can't do this, Todd. I feel like I'm leading you on. I care for you deeply, but I can't get married now," I say as I wrap the cotton sheets around my body.
"Are you still fucking that old man Kent?" Todd screams as he jumps out of the bed, grabs me and flings me to the wall.
"No. Kent and I are no longer together. Besides, we've never really been together. One minute we're together, the next minute both of us are screwing somebody else."
"Get out! Get out of my fucking apartment!" Todd screams, throwing the pillows across the room. I've never seen him so bitter, so full of rage and contempt.
"Bye, Todd. I did love you but I can't marry you, not until you get your life together. Not until you decide that you want to achieve more in life then just slaving away at that fucking factory job," I say as I put on my blue jeans.
He runs after me to the elevator. We talk for a bit, fuck around a bit more, and he wants me to move in with him. I can't do that either.
I'll still see Todd. I'll make my decision at the end of the year or maybe next year. I love him, but I love myself even more.