Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Terry versus Jonathan: Low Down Infidelity or Down Low Insecurities?

Onyango Oloo Pulls Off The Sheets from a Marriage Doomed with Closeted Secrets...


While vacationing in Jamaica, successful San Francisco stock broker Stella meets and falls for a dashing, and much younger, islander, Winston Shakespeare. Their romance forces her to reevaluate her concepts of love and sex, as well as work and motherhood. Based on

the best-selling novel

by Terry McMillan.

First things FIRST.

Best-selling African-American author

Terry McMillan has a new book out.


The Interruption of Everything

It will hit bookstores everywhere on July 19, 2005.

Here is how it is described over at

Terry McMillan's sixth novel, The Interruption of Everything, is every bit as enthralling and empowering as her earlier hits Waiting to Exhale and A Day Late and a Dollar Short. However, as McMillan matures as an author, her characters follow suit, which leads her to a wiser, more introspective lead character in the form of Marilyn Grimes. Our reward, as readers, is a tale of midlife crisis, mixed with family and personal drama, all told in the witty, honest, and inspiring style we've come to expect from this seasoned storyteller.

As Marilyn approaches middle-age, we follow her struggle to discover herself outside the constraints of a passionless marriage, a demanding family and an ever-growing list of dreams deferred. With three children in college, a husband who suffers from destructive professional and personal inertia, a demanding mother-in-law, a senile mother and a drug-addicted sister, Marilyn has more on her plate than she expected at this stage of the game. Torn between taking care of her friends and family and attending to her own needs, she's faced with choices, like deciding to finish her graduate degree, that never before seemed hers to make. Along the way, supporting characters like Marilyn's feisty little niece and supportive-yet-opinionated best friends Paulette and Bunny add humor and depth to our heroine's character. And as always, McMillan does a flawless job of incorporating humor into even the most traumatic situations, as evidenced by a scene in which Marilyn ends up babysitting her hairdresser's children while waiting twelve hours for new braids. ("At three, Blue has to make a run. Orange has to go to the bank to get a money order. I ask Lexus to find me a Pamper and I take the baby in the bathroom.")

Here are the folks from Barnes & Noble:

To say that 45-year-old Marilyn Grimes is suffering from a midlife crisis is to understate. Her three children have left the nest; her boring engineer husband, Leon, is in career crisis and apparently philandering; her mother may be developing Alzheimer's; and Marilyn herself is searching for new frontiers or a place to leap. By turns, hilarious and heartbreaking; Terry McMillan in vintage form.

You will be able to get an audio version if you want:57.60 US Dollars for 8 cassettes or 72.00 US Dollars for 10 CDs....

And its creator is already out there, promoting the new novel.

Here is a link to an interview which is in this month's Essence magazine.

Notwithstanding the fact that Terry McMillan is dismissed by some artsy-fartsy snobs as a "commercial hack" with little literary clout, I happen to be among the many dissenters who hold Ms. McMillan in very high esteeem as one of the most accomplished AND accessible contemporary raconteurs. As you can see from this
biographical link, she is a Professor of Literature so the naysayers can take a quick hike for their mealy mouthed negativity.

Still skeptical?

Well, check out this passage excerpted from her novel

A Day Late and a Dollar Short:

Way I see it can't nobody tell me nothing I don't already know. At least not when it comes to my kids. They all grown, but in a whole lotta ways they still act like children. I know I get on their nerves-but they get on mine, too-and they always accusing me of meddling in their business, but, hell, I'm their mother. It's my job to meddle. What I really do is worry. About all four of 'em. Out loud. If I didn't love 'em, I wouldn't care two cents about what they did or be the least bit concerned about what happens to 'em. But I do. Most of the time they can't see what they doing, so I just tell 'em what I see. They don't listen to me half the time no way, but as their mother, I've always felt that if I don't point out the things they doing that seem to be causing 'em problems and pain, who will? Which is exactly how I ended up in this damn hospital: worrying about kids.

I don't even want to think about Cecil right now, because it might just bring on another attack. He's a bad habit I've had for thirty-eight years, which would make him my husband. Between him and these kids, I'm worn out. It's a miracle I can breathe at all. I had 'em so fast they felt more like a litter, except each one turned out to be a different animal. Paris is a female lion who don't roar loud enough. Lewis is a horse who don't pull his own weight. Charlotte is definitely a bull, and Janelle would have to be a sheep-a lamb is closer to it-'cause she always being led out to some pasture and don't know how she got there.

As a mother, you have high hopes for your kids. Big dreams. You want the best for them. Want 'em to get the rewards from life that you didn't get for one reason or another. You want them to be smarter than you. Make better choices. Wiser moves. You don't want them to be foolish or act like fools. Which is why I could strangle Lewis my damnself. He is one big ball of confusion. Always has had an excuse for everything, and in thirty-six years, he ain't changed a lick.

In 1974, he did not steal them air conditioners from the Lucky Lady Motel that the police just happened to find stacked up in the back seat of our LeSabre way out there in East L.A. Lewis said his buddy told him they belonged to his uncle. And why shouldn't he believe him? All of a sudden he got allergies. Was always sneezing and sniffling. He said it was the smog. But I wasn't born yesterday. He just kept at it. Said he couldn't help it if folks was always giving him stuff to fix or things he didn't even ask for. Like that stereo that didn't work. Or them old tools that turned out to be from Miss Beulah's garage. Was I accusing him of stealing from Miss Beulah? Yes I was. Lewis was always at the wrong place at the wrong time, like in 1978 while he waited for Dukey and Lucky to come out of a dry cleaner's with no dry cleaning and they asked him to "Floor it!" and like a fool he did and the police chased their black asses all the way to the county jail.

For the next three years, Lewis made quite a few trips back and forth to that same gray building, and then spent eighteen months in a much bigger place. But he wasn't a good criminal, because, number one, he always got caught; and, number two, he only stole shit nobody needed: rusty lawnmowers, shovels and rakes, dead batteries, bald tires, saddles, and so on and so forth. Every time he got caught, all I did was try to figure out how could somebody with an IQ of 146 be so stupid? His teachers said he was a genius. Especially when it came to math. His brain was like a calculator. But what good did it do? I'm still waiting for the day to come when all them numbers add up to something.

Something musta happened to him behind them bars, 'cause ever since then-and we talking twelve, thirteen years ago-Lewis ain't been right. In the head. He can't finish nothing he start. Sometime he don't even start. Fortunately, he ain't been back to jail except for a couple of DUIs, and he did have sense enough to stop fooling around with that dope after so many of his friends OD'd. Now all he do is smoke reefa, sit in that dreary one-bedroom apartment drinking a million ounces of Old English, and play chess with the Mexicans. When ain't nobody there but him (which ain't often 'cause he can't stand being by hisself more than a few hours), he do crossword puzzles. Hard ones. And he good at it. These he do finish. And from what I gather, he done let hundreds of women walk through his revolving door for a day or two but then all he do is complain about Donnetta, his ex-wife, who he ain't been married to now going on six years, so most of 'em don't come back. And don't let him get a buzz going. Every other word outta his mouth is Donnetta.

He talk about her like they just got divorced yesterday. "She wanted a perfect man," he claimed, or, "I almost killed myself trying to please that woman." But even though Donnetta was a little slow, she was nice, decent. After I'd left Cecil for the third time, I stayed with 'em for close to a month. By the second week, I was almost ready for the loony bin. First off, Donnetta couldn't cook nothing worth eating; she wasn't exactly Oprah when it came to having a two-way conversation; cleaning house was at the bottom of her things-to-do list; and that boy needed his ass beat at least twice a day but she only believed in that white folks' "time-out" mess. She didn't have as much sense as a Christmas turkey, and how you supposed to lead a child down a path when you lost your damnself?

I understood completely when that chile turned to God, got saved, and finally stopped giving Lewis dessert at night. A few months ago she sent me a pink postcard from some motel in San Diego saying she got married, is seven months pregnant and they already know it's a girl, and her new husband's name is Todd and he wants to adopt Jamil, and what do I think about all this? And then: P.S. Not that it should matter, but Todd is white. First of all, who she marry is her business, even though Lewis'll probably have a stroke when he find out. But one thing I do know: kids love whoever take care of 'em. Lewis been lost since she left. And he blames everybody except Lewis for his personal misery.

Can't find no job: "I'm a threat to the white man," he says.
"How?" I ask.
"You more of a threat to yourself, Lewis." He huffs and puffs.
"I'm a victim." And I say,
"I agree. Of poor-assed planning!"
And then he goes off and explains the history of the human race, and then black people, and then finally we get to the twentieth century and the castration of the black man that's still going on in society today because just look at how successful the black woman is compared to us! This is when I'd usually hand him another beer, which finally either shut his ass up, or he'd nod off into a coma.

Tragedy is his middle name. For years I fell for his mess. Would lend him my Mary Kay money. My insurance-bill money. Even pawned my wedding ring once so he could pay his child support. But then it started to dawn on me that the only time he call is when he want something, so I stopped accepting the charges.

Last week he come calling me to say another one of his little raggedy cars broke down on the side of the freeway, way out in redneck country, where Rodney King got beat up, and I guess I was supposed to feel sorry for him, which I did for a hot minute, but then I remembered he ain't had no driver's license for close to a year, and then he asked could I wire him $350 till his disability check came, and this time, this was my answer:

"Hell, no!" He got mad.
"You don't care what happens to me, do you, Ma?"
"Don't start that mess with me, Lewis."
"You don't understand what I'm going through. Not one bit. Do you?"
"It don't matter whether I understand or not. I'm your mother. Not your wife. Not your woman. And I ain't no psychiatrist neither. What happened to Conchita?"
"It's Carlita."
"Comosita, Consuela, Conleche ... whatever."
"We broke up."
"I'm shocked."
"I need your help, Ma. For real."
"So what else is new? You ain't even supposed to be driving, Lewis."
"Then how am I supposed to look for work or get to work?"

I decided to just pretend like I didn't hear him say the word "work."
"I don't know. Call one of your friends, Lewis."
"I ain't got no friends with that kind of money. It's tough out here for black men, Ma, and especially if you handicapped. Don't you know that?"
"I didn't know you was handicapped."
"I got arthritis."
"Uh-huh. And I'm three months pregnant with triplets."
"How come don't nobody ever believe me when I tell the truth? I can't hardly ball up my fist, my knuckles is so swollen. And on my right wrist, the bone is sticking out.... Oh, never mind. Ma, please?"
"I have to go now, Lewis. I ain't got no three hundred and fifty dollars."
"Yes you do."
"You calling me a lie?"
"I'm telling you. All my money is spent."
"Where's Daddy?"
"Barbecuing. Where you think?" I say, lying my butt off.
"Could you ask him? And tell him it's for you?"

I just started laughing. First of all, I ain't seen Cecil in over a month, but I didn't feel like getting into it right then. He groaned.

"How about two hundred dollars, then?"

That's when I slammed the receiver down, because I couldn't stand hearing him beg. My hands was shaking so bad and my heart was beating a mile a minute, so I reached in the kitchen drawer, grabbed my spray, and took two or three quick puffs. Seem like he ain't gon' be satisfied till he use me up.

That thought alone made me start crying, and I don't like to cry, 'cause it always do me right in. I couldn't get no air to come through my nose or mouth, and I clenched my fist and said in my head, "God give me strength," as I made my way to my room and sat on the edge of the bed, turned on my machine, grabbed that plastic tube, and sucked and sucked until my palms got slippery and my forehead was so full of sweat that I snatched my wig off and threw it on the floor. I love Lewis. Would give him my last breath. Lord knows I don't want nothing bad to happen to him, but Lewis got problems I can't solve. It's some things love can do. And it's some things it can't do. I can't save him. Hell, I'm trying to figure out how to save myself.

Now, Charlotte. She a bull, all right. And I wish I didn't feel like this but I do: half the time I can't stand her. I don't know how her husband can tolerate her ass either. I feel sorry for Al, really. He's one of them pussy-whipped, henpecked kinda husbands but try to pretend like he Superman in front of company. Everybody know Charlotte is a bossy wench from the word go. We ain't spoke this time going on four months. I think the record is five or six. I can't remember. But, hell, all I did was tell her she need to spend more time at home with them kids and she went off.

"When was the last time you worked full-time, took care of three kids and a husband, ran a household and three Laundromats, Mama, huh?"
"Never," I said.
"So how can you sit there on your high horse telling me what you think I should be doing?"
"Get some help and stop trying to do it all yourself."
"Do you know how expensive housekeepers is these days?"
"Oh, stop being so damn cheap, Charlotte. You don't have no trouble spending it."
"Cheap? Let me ..."
"I heard Tiffany got expelled and Monique is running her mouth so much in class that she might be next."
"Who told you this-Janelle? With her big mouth? I know it, I just know it. Well, first of all, it ain't true."
"It is true, and it's your fault for not being there to keep their behinds in line."
"I'ma pretend like I didn't hear that. But let me tell you something, Mother. Tiffany did not get expelled. She got sent home for wearing too much perfume, 'cause half the class-including the teacher-started getting nauseous. And for your information, Monique just told a joke that made everybody laugh."

I knew she was lying through her teeth, but I didn't dare say it, so I just said, "Un-huh."
"And since Janelle's running her mouth so much, did she bother to tell you that Monique is also having a tough time 'cause we regulating her medication?"
"I got her medicine, all right."
"Mama, you know what? I'm so tired of your sarcastic remarks I don't know what to do. Sick of 'em! You never have nothing nice to say about my kids!"
"That's bullshit, and you know it!"
"It ain't bullshit!"
"When they do something good, then I'll have a reason to say something nice."
"See, that's what I mean! Has Dingus thrown a touchdown pass lately? And what about your darling Shanice: did she get straight A's again? Go ahead and throw it in my face. I could use some more good goddamn news today!"
"You better watch your mouth. I'm still your mother."
"Then don't call me until you start acting like a mother and a grandmother to my kids!"

And-bam!-she hung up. The truth always hurts. This ain't the first time she done slammed the phone down in my face or talked to me in that nasty tone: like I'm somebody in the street. I ain't gon' lie: it hurts and cuts into me deep, but I refuse to give her the satisfaction of knowing how bad she makes me feel. To be honest, Charlotte just likes people to kiss her ass, but I kissed their daddy's behind for thirty-eight years, I ain't here to pacify my kids. No, Lordy. Them days is over, especially since they're all damn near middle age. Charlotte came too quick. Ten months after Paris. I did not need another baby so soon, and I think she knew it. She wanted all my attention then. And still do. She ain't never forgiven me for having Lewis and Janelle, and she made sure I knew it. I had to snatch a knot in her behind once for putting furniture polish in their milk. Made 'em take a nap in the doghouse with the dog and fed 'em Alpo while I went downtown to pay some bills. Had 'em practice drowning in a bathtub full of cold water. How many steps could they jump down with their eyes closed without falling. The list goes on.

Now, all my kids is taller than average, as good-looking as they come and as dark as you can get, and I spent what I felt was a whole lotta unnecessary time and energy teaching 'em to appreciate the color of their skin. To not be ashamed of it. I used to tell 'em that the blacker the berry the sweeter the juice, 'cause everybody know that back then being yellow with long wavy hair meant you was automatically fine, which was bullshit, but here it is 1994 and there's millions of homely yellow women with long straggly hair running around still believing that lie.

Anyway, no matter what I did or said to make my kids feel proud, Charlotte was the only one who despised her color. Never mind that she was the prettiest of the bunch. Never mind that she had the longest, thickest, shiniest hair of all the black girls in the whole school. And nothing upset that chile more than when Paris started getting breasts and learned how to do the splits and Charlotte couldn't. She was the type of child you couldn't praise enough. Always wanted more. But, hell, I had three other kids and I had to work overtime to divide up my energy and time. What was left, I gave to Cecil.


She grabs you and holds you under her story-teller's spell, doesn't she?

I will plead guilty readily to that misdemeanor-if enjoying Terry's books is considered an offence by any pompous "high brows" browsing this...

Having read that excerpt, perhaps as a dessert, you should take in this interview as well.

If you go to google and type in her name in the dialogue box and choose "news" before you start searching, you will come back with 223 results.

UNFORTUNATELY, this current affairs curiosity in the million selling US author has NADA to do with her new novel or her successful literary career.

Instead, we are talking tabloid territory here with torrid tales of deceit and shocking details of double-dealing and double-dipping.

Terry McMillan is making the society headlines on CNN, THE Washington Post, the Mickey Mouse Channel aka ABC News from her Michigan home state, the The Detroit Free Press; Gay.Com and West Indian Times; not to be out-done, Queer Day.Com the Celebrity Cafe and the Detroit News.

Long story short:

53 year-old Terry wants to slip out of those pingu za maisha because she has apparently just discovered that her 30-year old Jamaican mshikaji, sabuni wa roho, mshefa, mchumba na mume nyumbani is a liar and a cheat who has been closeted,boinking his fellow wasenge on the side while pretending to be straight as a Standard Four pupil's pencil and according to Terry, married her under false pretences with devious intentions to acquire US citizenship and some of her own hard earned buganas. That is her story and she is sticking to it.

In fact, she is mighty pissed off as you can see from these comments she uttered on the Tavis Smiley PBS show last night(Tuesday, July 12, 2005):

Here are some excerpts from McMillan’s comments to Tavis about the dispute:

...“I was getting a divorce from Jonathan in the first place. When I basically asked him if he was looking for a place to live was when he decided to tell me he was gay. I find out he has a lover of nine months. I kicked him out of the house. His lover was not available. I put him up in a hotel for three weeks, and the next thing I know, he gets an attorney and he’s suing me for my prenuptial agreement saying basically that he signed it (under) duress, which is not true.”

...“I’ve got evidence to prove all kinds of things, that he was gay when he met me, that this is basically extortion. Everything that he has done from the time I said I’m not paying him any money. I have a valid prenuptual agreement which states no spousal support, no legal fees. I pay for his college education, a vehicle. I paid $300,000 to get him a pet grooming business. Three days ago, I heard that he sold everything in it and split. Everything he’s been doing, he’s been lying, he lied in his court documents and made them available on the internet. He and his attorney both are guilty of trying to spread rumors about me being a homophobe. Everything in his court documents are lies with two exceptions, one that he’s gay and two that he’s Jonathan Plummer.”

...“I resent that he did all of this to basically eclipse the publication of my book so people would think that it’s a publicity stunt. I don’t need him for publicity. All this is basically because he wants my money. He’s not getting it. He has risked my life by having sex with men for years. He has become a U.S. citizen because of his relationship with me. He’s trying to get sympathy for himself and he’s a habitual liar and he’s a sociopath. Now, I will prove it. He has gotten on my last nerve.”

...“But right now, I’ll be honest with you, I’m afraid for my life. He’s coming across as Mr. Goody Two Shoes and Mr. Nice Guy. Right now, the world knows almost everything about me. The contents of my home. He has spread all of these lies on the internet and even gone on nationwide TV and has lied. He has not had to prove a single lie. It is filed in the US Superior Court, every lie that he has told. He has gone on nationwide TV to spread them. I really resent it. The legal system has not worked in my favor. My personal information should not be in the news, not be on the internet, not on newspapers. He should not have been permitted to go out there and spread lies about me that nobody believes anyway.”

...“I don’t care about him being gay, but he risked my life. What if I’m sitting here HIV positive. I can’t get rid of that. And he wants my money? He should get a job. That’s all I have to say.”

..."I will not be deterred. The bottom line is that I know that I was told don’t call him names. But he’s gone on TV and called me a homophobe. I have too many friends who are gay for him to even to say that. I’m not a homophobe. I’m a 'Jona-phobe.' He has basically orchestrated this entire thing, all of which is to set me up to pay him money. Because he thought this would embarrass me. I’m not embarrassed. What I am is insulted that he went this far. That’s why I know I’m a 'Jona-phobe.' The botton line is this, he has basically orchestrated this entire thing, all of which was to set me up, to pay him money. He thought this would embarrass me. I’m not embarrassed. What I am, is insulted that he went this far. That’s how I know he’s a sociopath. He’s a covetous sociopath."

..."I’m insulted and humiliated that he was able to get away with this without having a shred of evidence. The bottom line is this, he’s the one who’s gay. He’s the one who withheld this knowledge and information from me. He’s the one who has tried to hurt and sabotage my entire life and disrupt it. I am insulted. I am pissed off, is what I am. And so far he has done OK. I’ve got a judge ordering me to pay this bastard money - and his lawyer. I’ve got a valid prenuptial agreement that states that I don’t owe him anything. I’ve got proof. It’s like I feel like I’ve just been railroaded. I don’t feel weak by it because there are a lot of legal issues that I hope to be able to bring up that a lot of women who aren’t in my position couldn’t even address. And that’s where I’m coming from. It’s not just about me. I’m smarter than he is. I am insulted that somebody of his intelligence – that’s probably more than anything, that people know just how stupid he is. That’s what I’m embarrassed about. Cause I didn’t know how stupid he was. He’s slick but prison is full of slick people.

And how about Jonathan Plummer?

What is HIS SIDE of the story?

Before you get to him here is what his cousin said in a letter to the mainstream American Gay magazine, The Advocate.

But a gay reader of the same publication slams Jonathan and supports Terry McMillan.

To hear Jonathan's side, in his own words, let us forget the media reports for a sec and go to the actual legal affidavits filed in court late last month.

Here is what Jonathan Plummer has to say and you will see a lot of personal and biographical inside dope about their "groovy courtship, whirlwind relationship and cyclonic parting of the ways.

He was of course, RESPONDING to these initial accusations found in this link, laid out in excruciating detail by Terry McMillan, who as we all know, and as Jonathan ruefully observes more than once, writes for a living.

Jonathan quickly followed up with a second declaration of rebuttal where he cited a series of allegedly violent, offensive and homophobic acts on the part of his soon to be ex-spouse.

Jonathan talks about harassment and homophobia at Terry's hands ...

It is exceedingly sad that a romance that had ensnared and enraptured millions of readers and movie-goers around the world is galloping towards such a ghastly ending.

The cynics may argue that real life love stories rarely have happy endings- evoking British singer

Bonnie Tyler's melancholy lament where she inquires of a soon to be expired flame:

If I sing you a love song, will you always remember?
Will you hear it on lonely nights when I'm not around?
If I sing you a love song, will you hear it forever?
To remind you how much I care and how I needed you

Love songs last longer than lovers ever do
So baby let me sing a love song for you
Love songs don't leave you but lovers often do
Oh, baby I'm afraid it could happen to me and you

If I sing you a love song let it always be with you
When the others have gone away let it still be there
Love songs last longer than lovers ever do
So baby let me sing a love song for you
Love songs don't leave you like lovers often do
Oh, baby I'm afraid it could happen to me and you

The elephant in Terry's and Jonathan's living room, an elephant they can not ignore is captured in a two letter acronym:


What is DL?

You are talking about living on the "Down Low"- an African-American slang expression that has reached mainstream currency to signify the clandestine relationships of men who sleep with other men while maintaining long term relationships as "heterosexuals" with straight women.

The following images and thumb-nail book reviews tell the tale more eloquently than I can at this point:

Delivering the first frank and thorough investigation of life "on the down low," (the D.L.) J. L. King exposes a closeted culture of sex between black men who lead "straight" lives. The trend is proving to have skyrocketing health consequences for wives and girlfriends unwittingly caught in the double lives of their men: African American women represent 68 percent of new HIV cases, and an alarming one out of 160 black women carries the virus, compared to one in 3,000 white women.

Drawn from hundreds of interviews, statistics, and the author's firsthand knowledge of D.L. behavior, On the Down Low reveals the warning signs and protective measures every African American woman needs to know. Providing a long-overdue wake-up call, J. L. King bravely puts the spotlight on a topic that has until now remained dangerously taboo. Volatile yet vital, On the Down Low is sure to be one of the most talked-about books of the year.

Down Low, Double Life is a tale of infidelity, reality and relationships. Jamie Kennedy is an ex pro football player who is about to get married to his college sweetheart, Mia. The day of the wedding, he has his doubts. Mia has been in his corner for years. She was there when he had nothing. Still, Jamie is afraid to commit to the one person in the world that has his back.

After getting married Jamie experiences the fabled seven-year itch. Mia's career as an editor for a popular magazine begins to demand most of her time. Jamie feels neglected and gets the urge to cheat. His best friend, Michael tells him that infidelity is why he lost his wife, Loretta. After two years of being divorced, Michael is still trying to win back his ex wife's heart. Loretta loves Michael, but she is afraid to give her heart to him again.

Trent Matthews is attractive, educated and he is engaged to the beautiful, Lisa Cooper. To the world Trent is a heterosexual man. But in truth, Trent has secret sexual encounters with men.

Lisa Cooper is engaged to Trent Matthews. How will she react when she learns that he has sex with men?

Newspaper columnist Daniel Caruso has a wife he loves deeply, a daughter who means everything to him, and a secret that could destroy them all. At a conference in Seattle, he meets and spends a passionate night with Stephen Hart, a handsome firefighter. Awakening alone and deeply conflicted the next morning, Daniel once again resigns himself to the hollow pleasures and tainted joys of his dual existence." "But on the journey home to Providence, R.I., Daniel receives a bizarre and frightening sign from someone who knows the most intimate details of his deception. Soon after he reunites with his family, another message makes it chillingly clear that Stephen Hart has been murdered." Through macabre communications the killer paints a brutally accurate portrait of Daniel's sexual obsessions, leaving no doubt that he observes every move Daniel and his family make. Even as Daniel desperately tries to shield his wife and daughter from the truth, he succumbs to the diabolical manipulations of the killer and is dragged deeper into a netherworld of bathhouses and S/M clubs.

Invisible Life is the story of a young man's coming of age. Law school, girlfriends, and career choices were all part of Raymond Tyler's life, but there were other, more terrifying issues for him to confront. Being black was tough enough, but Raymond was becoming more and more conscious of sexual feelings that he knew weren't "right." He was completely committed to Sela, his longtime girlfriend, but his attraction to Kelvin, whom he had met during his last year in law school, had become more than just a friendship. No matter how much he tried to suppress them, his feelings were deeply sexual.

Fleeing to New York to escape both Sela and Kelvin, Raymond finds himself more confused than ever before. New relationships—both male and female—give him enormous pleasure but keep him from finding the inner peace and lasting love he so desperately desires. The horrible illness and death of a friend force Raymond, at last, to face the truth.

Widely known for his sexy, urban African-American novels (A Love of My Own, etc.), Harris now reveals the inspiring story of his own life. Harris's smooth, Southern accent and conversational tone immediately put listeners at ease, and the heartfelt, unpretentious candor of his narration more than makes up for any details lost in the abridged audio translation. Convinced he would die "one of the brokenhearted," Harris recalls his struggles with his abusive father, his 1990 suicide attempt, his battle with depression and his first gay relationship. Though much of the memoir focuses on the difficulties he faces growing up poor in a small town and of a race that largely considered his homosexuality "inappropriate," the author's underlying message-that you can triumph through perseverance-is universal. Harris leavens his narrative with humorous anecdotes, including a particularly funny reminiscence of his first days at IBM, where he wore shiny suits from Sears, gold chains and sported the "world's largest Afro." Hearing Harris explain how he moved beyond his self-hatred and self-doubt to become the happy, successful author he is today should motivate listeners to make their own "happy endings."

By the way,

Brenda Stone Browder

the former wife of the famous "Down Low" author J.L. King has written a book released in February 2005 titled

On The Up and Up where she expresses her anger, shock, disappointment and sense of humiliation at the way

her ex-husband lied to her during their years together as a married couple with children.

You can read an excerpt from Brenda's book by simply clicking here.

So what is Onyango Oloo's take in all this?

Well, last evening before I embarked on this digital journey I spoke to TWO Kenyan women that I am quite close to- one is my ex and the other is a platonic confidant of mine. They are both very open minded and have friends from the very diverse gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered communities.

Remarkably, even though they each live in different parts of the world, separated by time zones, they echoed each other's thoughts almost idea for idea, word for word:

Jonathan Plummer BETRAYED Terry McMillan. He concealed his sexual orientation from her and thus guaranteed that their marriage was a complete fraud from the get-go. The fact that he may have been seeing other partners(and not so much that they were gay) meant that he risked her health because unbeknowst to Terry who thought she had met the love of her life, she was literally sleeping inadvertantly with any and all of Jonathan's sexual partners. My two friends, both ardent feminists underscored that there were definite sexist underpinnings in this whole caricature of a relationship notwithstanding the fact that Jonathan now identifies as a member of a marginalized social minority. He still used his male privilege to hoodwink, and go further, to financially rip off a woman who loved and trusted him. If he had the balls, he should have 'fessed to his true identity and perhaps if all he was looking for was a ticket out of economically depressed, violent and homophobic Jamaica, perhaps Terry could still have offered a helping hand.

In other words, Jonathan is a slimy creepozoid(my words) who should quit using that non-applicable "homophobic" ruse.

As Terry McMillan put it, she is not exactly homophobic(OK, Terry, there is NO EXCUSE for the "Burn Fag Burn" scrawls and rants, OK?) but more properly speaking, "Jonaphobic".

I tend to agree with all three Black women on this issue.

One other observation which touches on the interstices of globalization, world monopoly capitalism, neo-colonialism, tourism and sex is the following:

We should also look at the class dynamics that permeated the intimate encounters between a filthy rich American celebrity and a struggling, closeted Jamaican worker barely out of his teens. Is Terry McMillan guilty of snagging a boy toy on a sexual safari to the Caribbean?

I will titillate my readers with that question without answering it because in precisely eleven minutes, I have to go live on the air at CKUT 90.3 FM to participate in the weekly DUNIA show...

See ya.

Onyango Oloo


john said...

The pre-nuptial seems extremely meanspirited for one who claims she was in love.Even Donald Trump gave Ivana a house as a parting gift!!I believe he can prove coercion since she paid for his lawyer ,at least partly(conflict??)i know its the story,but his gayness(new word)didn't end the marriage,it was already over,so she should just settle and move on.p/s O.O she is definitly homophobic and slightly deranged(hell hath no fury...)so don't excuse her now that we all know this.A sad end to a beautiful story..cue the music

James Brooklyn said...

Really an interesting post.

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