First of all, I’d like to make one thing absolutely clear. I’m straighter than the shortest distance between any two given points, and I’m not talking geometry. So should you ask me if I’m gay after reading this, you’d better either be talking about my emotional disposition, or be sure that you have sufficient hospital insurance.
That said, let’s begin.
Sometimes, you happen upon signs and indications that seem to demand you get off your behind and do something you wouldn’t otherwise consider as warranting expeditious execution. Should you choose to ignore them, these signs then suddenly start getting more and more frequent and insistent until you eventually comply. Earl Whatshisname, that un-funny lead character in Val’s favorite comedy series, ‘My Name Is Earl,’
attributed such peculiarities to Karma. [As does the entire Hindu-speaking population within and without the Indian subcontinent, but I digress.]
Anyway, this Karma recently needed me to do something that under normal circumstances, I would consider not doing, think about it three times and then NOT do it. In a nutshell, Karma wanted me to speak out on homosexuality.
Obviously, I wasn’t favorably predisposed towards the idea. However, I wasn’t really worried because writing is not my main hobby. My main hobby is spending copious amount of time doing absolutely nothing, and this lazybones dispensation, I figured, would make it pretty hard for even Karma to find a way of getting across to me and compel me to do its dirty work.
But trust the resourcefulness of this force of nature to find its way around such little hurdles.
Remember a few weeks ago I blogged about upgrading from a Nokia 3100 to a Samsung E250? Well, that was because I recently became convinced of the immeasurable worth to be found in propagating the myth that I am a really happening dude, especially while dealing with impressionable damsels for whom I must confess an incurable weakness. The possession of sophisticated mobile gadgetry, I was told, is the main indicator for happening dudes worldwide nowadays, and since Nokia 3100 apparently doesn’t ooze sophistication, an upgrade was in order.
thus upgrade I did, and after I had acquired the Samsung,, I decided to pimp up its screen with an off-the-hook wallpaper, because I was also informed on impeccable authority that cool wallpapers on sophisticated phones are also a mainstay with happening dudes in all continents of the world including Africa. I am a big fan of Rock music, [which I am also reliably informed happens to be the music the entire global population of happening dudes listens to,] so naturally, I wanted a Rock-themed wallpaper for my phone.
And Karma, it seems, somehow was aware of my juvenile pursuit of social popularity; which was exactly where it first came for me.
For my wallpaper, I had a choice between my favorite Rock artistes, Serj Tankian of the group System of a Down and Billie Joe Armstrong of the group Green day. But Serj is, for lack of a better description, an aesthetically-challenged guy, not exactly the face you want on your phone if your intention is to hoodwink the public into believing that you were somewhere near the front row when dudes were being taught to happen. Therefore, the more worldly-looking Billie Joe [who by the way has the most hypnotic eyes you will ever see on the human male species,] got the nod.
When I raided the internet for free wallpaper, however, I mistakenly googled up the wrong alley, and instead of going to the freebies page, I landed on Billie Joe’s Wikipedia bio. Obviously, my curiosity was sufficiently aroused for me not to go away without first browsing through it, and as I did exactly that, I happened across a curious bit of information I’d hitherto been unaware of.
Apparently, my second-favorite rocker is bisexual.
As you would expect, that shocked the living daylights out of me. But, I reasoned, I did not start liking Billie Joe because I was under the misconception that he is a poster boy for conservative sexual values. Rather, I like Billie Joe because he makes the kind of music that makes me want to have him as my wallpaper image. Which was why with a shrug and a “well, you learn something new everyday!” I accessed the right page, got his wallpaper and forgot all about it.
But Karma didn’t.
A few days later, I was checking through the music files on a friend’s computer when I came across an all-time favorite song of mine that I haven’t heard in quite a long while, “Everyday I love you.” By the Irish boy band Boyzone. Immediately, I recorded it on my phone’s voice recorder and temporarily replaced Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ with it as my morning wake-up alarm.
That little incident would have been nothing but a very innocuous event of my day, but three days later, I was woken up by that very alarm, and as I started my daily morning ritual by catching the early morning news on TV, I got stunned by reports that one of Boyzone’s members, Stephen Gately, had mysteriously died the previous night while holidaying in Spain.
Stephen Gately, for the ignorant, forgetful or otherwise uninformed among you, was the Boyzone band member who during the height of their popularity in 1999, famously came out of the closet to publicly admit he was of homosexual orientation.
So this was the second time in two days that I was being confronted by a reminder of homosexuality, and I found that a tad bit intriguing. But once again, I made nothing of it and only wished Allah’s compassion and grace upon the soul of Stephen Gately before relegating all thoughts on the subject to whatever section of the brain it is that things to be forgotten are kept.
But Karma, of course, was having none of that.
The next day at campus, a colleague requested for a couple of documents I had in my possession tucked away with some old files at home. I have certain designs on this colleague, so I promised I’d give it a check when I got home that evening. [And since that is about as much information as I am willing to volunteer on the matter, please spare yourself the trouble of asking what those designs are.]
That evening as I went through my old files to find the requested documents, I noticed two sheets of typed paper I vaguely remembered putting there some time back. On closer inspection, they turned out to be the draft copies of an article I had written after a clandestine interview two years ago with a guy I met under circumstances I am not at liberty to divulge. I remembered I’d later chickened out of submitting the article to my editor because I was afraid of the reactions it would likely have elicited had it been published.
The subject of the article? An anguished, candid lament of a man leveled against a society and a government that shuns him…because he is gay.
Well, if I had earlier been skeptical about Karma being onto something here, finding that article emphatically and totally wiped out every little shred of it. So I’m posting that article here next week, [after al, I still have to show Karma I can be lazy when I want to,] andI stress once again, is not a representation of my orientation. Rather, it is my declaration of sympathy for gay rights and my own opinion on the subject of homosexuality.
In ‘My Name Is Earl,’ Karma expects that un-funny lead character to perform his tasks, and when he deviates, the reminders he gets keep getting progressively more painful until he gets down to it. If that is what Karma wants, then I figure I’ve done my part. So please, Karma, I suppose that means I won’t be getting hit by a car moments after buying a winning lottery ticket, doesn’t it?