The Seat Filler; he and I part 1 of 2

This is probably the most difficult topic for me so far on The Cis Jungle. I thought “Sh*t Get’s Real” was difficult but this week the topic remains real, personal and even more difficult. I’ve forced myself to face my own thoughts and feelings, something I very rarely ever do publicly. Some are lucky enough to know the subject matter of this post and perhaps it will provide some understanding to the relationship we have but for others it’s all question marks, but who it is isn’t the important piece. What is important is that in this writing I reveal how my brain functions when it comes to building relationships and connections with people and the barriers that make that difficult. I’m nervous not only to reveal these thoughts to the world but also to him because this is my unspoken truth.

There is a man who I’ve know for around a year but in the past several weeks we have grown much closer. We spend plenty of time together and have practically created a name for ourself as this duo. We can be seen roaming around the city together up to any one of our millions of adventures that occupy our day. And those days often lead to us sitting in my living room sometime after night fall talking or laughing or having unimportant 3 a.m. conversations on the phone any given day of the week.

He has a way of making me feel special, as if I am the only one, but it’s widely known that without a doubt I’m not the only one. And that is okay because it’s one of the perimeters of our relationship. It’s who he is, a friendly free spirit who cares for everyone. To others who push at something beyond our friendship I often downplay my role in his life causally and jokingly referring to myself as his “jump-off” because I know I’m nowhere near the core of his life just a corner piece to the puzzle. I look at it this way; he’s a boy with an entire chest full of exciting toys some more exciting than others and I may be one of those more exciting toys. I’m new, beautiful, shiny and have an array of features and capabilities. I wasn’t the toy he asked for but he enjoys the surprise of me and what I can do. But one day the novelty of me, this exotic brown trans doll, will wear off and I will be shelved. Left only to glimpse at from time to time in remembrance of what was. That’s how I view my relationships with everyone around me, eventually they all leave me on a shelf, everyone does. It’s much easier to love the idea of who Christian Jackson, than it is to love the reality of her.

Our relationship is everything I want. We see each other frequently and connect on so many different levels. We support one another in our accomplishments and the things we do. He and I show up for one another even if we have nothing to offer but our presence. We joke, we play, we flirt. We often tease and call each other out on our behaviors. He makes fun of me for my all the time “sexy” body language and apparently subtle accent. He can always tell when I’m angry because he says the sexiness leaves my body and I contract this thicker southern accent. From the outside looking in our relationship may not appear to be the most cookie cutter of friendships but it works for us. It’s the relationship I want without the commitment and rules and the label of an actual relationship
or romance. He only asks for one thing I’m not sure I can give him. He wants me to open myself up to him completely and be free.

I don’t think that our friendship by any means is black and white. There is lots of gray space between us and I think that is exactly what we like, the gray area. The details of the gray area are private and should and will remain between us, but for others it’s not the most conventional friendship which is what I think confuses other people. We have an undoubting closeness and chemistry. We play off of each other as strong, black, power houses and maybe that is why we click. In fact he celebrates me and everything that I am even the parts of me I don’t like. Neither he nor I are run of the mill everyday people or personalities so why should our friendship be? To be honest it’s nothing like any relationship I’ve ever had with someone so for me there is a lot to define, explore and learn and also a lot to fear.

Even though we are so close and spend so much time together I still have trouble letting go and completely trusting him though he’s given me no reason not to trust him. Sometimes I really want to sleep with him because I know it will ruin our relationship and he will be something I no longer have to deal with; a thing of the past, another point proven. I will no longer have to answer these burning questions about us from other people, he will no longer push me to open up, and I will have been in control of how this ends. The past has taught me not to trust and never to rest. I always have to be prepared for war. Honestly because we aren’t in a romantic relationship I’m not 100% sure it’s fair that he ask me to be completely transparent and free which is part of the reason I fight him on that. I know he perhaps thinks it’s the best for me, BUT I’m not sure it’s the best decision for me.

He is the first black man (outside of 2 or 3 men in my immediate family) to ever tell me he loves me and he’s the only man to ever reaffirm it to me constantly. Just about everyday we say we love each other at least once. And as I mentioned previously I mean it when I tell people I love them, it’s just hard for me to be that vulnerable.

Sometimes I’m mean to him for no reason at all, simply because I want to push him away I want him to remain at a distance. It’s weird to think I fight for happiness but I also fear it because it’s impossible to know what waits for me around the corner. I’m so afraid to be happy I over analyze every detail and aspect of our relationship. Is his fascination with the fact that I am this brown trans girl, or because I present to the world as this shining beacon of eloquent glamour. How much of the real me does he see? Why did he choose me as this woman he loves and so passionately wants to support?

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