At First Glance
By: Vicktor Alexander
The first time that I ever remember “seeing” Daniel, it was in a group on Goodreads, on a thread for members and authors of the group to mention their Twitter names. I remember seeing “shiki_boy” and thinking instantly that he was Indian…like from India. It took me a few days to realize that that was a bad preconceived notion and I felt duly shamefaced. The first time that I remember talking to him was on a different thread, in that same group, after I’d gone to welcome people to the group and I had “given” them all virtual bags full of floggers, whips, canes, paddles, lubes, condoms, etc. Daniel had asked me where his bag was and after I chuckled at him, I “gave” him one as well.
That was really when I saw him the first time. I would see his name pop up and read his comments but none of it really registered for me. He was some friendly, young man who was a part of the same book group that I was and I thought he was sweet, innocent and funny. I thought that we could be friends, but that was it. However, that first real exchange between us sparked off some neurons in my brain and I found myself looking for him in this group, looking forward to answering questions that he had or talking with him about nothing, and looking for him on Twitter. A friend of mine was the first one to tell me that I liked him, to which I pointed out, “I don’t even know the kid.” That apparently didn’t matter. When I decided to start two threads, one about being transgender, so that authors could have the same resources and ask questions for their books, and one about “poker, sex, Doms and toys”, or ways of spicing up a relationship, as well as dispelling myths about the BDSM Lifestyle, he was one of the first people to comment on both threads.
We got to be friends fairly quickly and it was so easy to talk to him about stupid things. When he started looking for Doms in his area that was the first time, in a long time, that I heard myself growl. Yes, just like a wolf or dangerous Rottweiler, I growled when I read that he was talking to and arranging meetings with Doms. I felt rather bad about it, seeing as how I was dating someone else at the time, and when my friends Jamie and Jerome asked me about it, I told them that it was just because I didn’t think he was being safe. The truth of the matter is, my soul, my spirit man (which even when I was a kid I was told that my spirit guide was a wolf) had already claimed Daniel as mine, my brain and heart just hadn’t caught up. I gave him pointers and encouraged him, told him what to be aware of and what to shy away from and when he went off on these meetings and I sat at home with my own boyfriend, I found my mind filled with thoughts and images of “The English Sub.”
When I moved to New York, single, free of the constraints of my biological family and their ideas of what is or is not acceptable, Daniel and I had begun talking and flirting on Twitter. I didn’t have to feel guilty about it anymore because I was single. Some part of my brain, I am very aware, had decided that I was going to stop at nothing to “win” Daniel and claim him as my own. I don’t know if I can say that I have “game,” but I do know that when I want something, I am rather blunt about it. Very open and honest. I wasn’t pulling punches with him, I was focused and determined. I didn’t know how it was going to work with him living in England and me living in New York, but all I knew was that he was mine.
Our relationship moved pretty fast after that and I know that it scared us both. To the point where there was a freak-out on both of our parts, but as I was talking to my writing group and talking about “straight” men who fall in love with “gay” men, I said that “Love is love. It will not be restricted by gender, race, time, class, religion education, wealth or lack thereof, physical appearance or society’s rules and expectations of what is acceptable. It doesn’t give a flying fuck. Love is just love.” I remember those words reaching out from my computer screen and slapping me around. Who was I to tell love that my relationship with Daniel was happening too fast? Who was I to tell love that there was no way that Daniel could be the one for me when we hadn’t known each other that long?
In my heart of hearts I know that some kind of way, Daniel and I would have still found each other. Our souls and hearts would have pulled us towards each other eventually because they are so intertwined and connected. I know when he needs to go to bed because I will start to get sleepy (and when it’s 8pm and you’re getting tired, you know there’s something wrong with that), he knows when I’m sick because he’ll feel it (“My stomach just started hurting for no reason today at work”). I think the moment I knew that we were meant for each other was one day I was coming home from a doctor’s appointment and I kept thinking about him, but every time I did, I would feel this pounding in my head. I knew that something was wrong with him, but wasn’t sure what it was. I got home and he’d had a bad day at work and had needed to talk to me.
As close as we are and as connected, we both sort of tensed up at the whole “Valentine’s Day” thing. I got him a present, but didn’t see the point in mailing it when I’d be seeing him a few weeks after that. Then the doubt set in, did I get the right thing? Was he going to like it? Was I going to have to sit around and listen to how “cheesy” I was for an hour after he saw it? Then I thought back to our first few conversations. I thought back to when I first saw him and while at first glance he seems like someone who would need a diamond platinum, jewel encrusted laptop as a gift, I knew that if I sent him a few paperback books or games or even the fruit flavored water that he calls “tea,” that he’d appreciate it.
So that’s the whole point to this post. Every year I see people scrambling around, trying to find the perfect, most expensive thing for their significant other, but that’s not what it’s about. This day that I used to call “Single Awareness Day,” is about showing to your significant other just how much they mean to you. There’s no better way of doing that then by showing them that you’ve listened to them as they’ve rambled on and on about nothing and you heard when they said that as a kid they had a yellow teddy bear that was lost in the hurricanes down South and you go and buy them another yellow teddy bear or you hear them say that they love playing a particular computer game and so you go and buy the newest release of that.
Valentine’s Day is simple because love, though powerful and all-consuming, is simple. Love simply states, “You are my beloved and I am yours.” That’s it, end of story. The rest of it is details and semantics. I love you, but this is what I believe. I love you, but this is what I want. I love you, but I need this. While the “course of true love never did run smooth” according to Shakespeare, I am a firm believer of love conquering all, if all of the parties involved truly want it too.
So while the love of my life will be in England today and I will be in New York, we both know that this will be the last year that we celebrate Valentine’s Day apart, because even if I have to move over to England and learn to spell donuts as doughnuts and traveling as travelling and call French fries “chips”, I know that I want to be with him. No matter what the insecurities and the doubts and the hesitations and fear on both of our parts, neither of us wants to or will give the other one up unless we think the other would be happier without us, which of course makes the other one of us stand up and call bullshit.
Enjoy the love of your life today, even if the love of your life is yourself for the time being. Let them know what they mean to you, let them know that you care. And for fuck’s sake, if you get them chocolate and they’re on a diet, do the courteous thing and help them eat them.