"Ok, my turn," Tarik says. "I'm going to tell you about my date with a blue-eyed demon."
I'm in Norfolk visiting my friend Alan the Pentecostal Porn Star, his boyfriend Sandy, and their friend Tarik. We're swapping stories of celebrity hookups, deplorable dates, and guys with baseball bats beneath the belt.
"Do you mean a real demon?" Alan asks, paling. He's a recovering fundamentalist, and still believes that demonic powers wander the Earth, oppressing and possessing mortals.
"You'll have to wait till the end of the story to find out," Tarik says with a smile.
Tarik grew up on 36th Street in Norfolk. He was raised by his older sister Tamisha and her husband Jameer, who belonged to the Nation of Islam, and took him to the Friday services at Masjid William Salaam.
There he learned that blacks were the only true humans, the Tribe of Shabazz, and whites were monsters created by the evil scientist Yakub 6,600 years ago, who broke free from their cages and set out to destroy the world.
The imam said, "Be polite, smile, but don't let your guard down. If they can, they will take what is yours.. They will even kill you. Never invite one into your home, or accept an invitation into one of their homes. You may not make it out alive."
There weren't any white kids in Tarik's neighborhood, or in his school. About the only white people he saw were the cops, who drove through constantly, looking for an excuse to humiliate the brothers, call them racial slurs, beat them up, and arrest them
"Well, you have to admit, most cops are homophobic bastards," Sandy says.
The imam didn't like gay people, either -- they were blue-eyed demons, sent by the evil Yakob to seduce black men and spread AIDS through the communities.
"So...this story is about sex with a white guy?" Sandy asks. "That's not no thing -- I did that last night. You did too."
"Not just any white guy," Tarik tells us.
Tarik was a good kid. He didn't use drugs, or hang out with the gang-bangers. But he liked guys who played against the rules: sneaking into of the Virginia Zoo after hours, going skinny-dipping in the Lafayette River, that sort of thing. Often their evening adventures ended with a heavy session of making out and oral sex, but Tarik never associated that with being gay.
After graduating from high school, Tarik enrolled at the all-black Norfolk State University as a Food Science major. He was the only boy in most of his classes. Jameer and Tamisha disapproved: "Next you'll be turning into a cheerleader, shaking your pom-poms around!"
He went out for cheerleading, just to spite them.
But...when he watched Miami Vice, about buddy cops Crockett and Tubbs, he found himself imagining the nude form of the white Don Johnson, not the black Philip Michael Thomas.
"No way!" he chided himself. "No way!"
After graduation, Tarik was certified as a dietician, and went to work at the Norfolk General Hospital. It was fun -- and nonstop beefcake! He got to plan the dietary regimes of injured men, interview them about their allegies and food preferences, consult with cute male doctors and orderlies. Many were white,,,,
"No way!" He chided himself. "No way!"
"Once you go white," Sandy says, "You're never uptight!" He laughs. " I just made that up now."
One day Tarik had to interview a new patient, a young man with a broken leg.
White. And amazingly beautiful: short brown hair, flawless pale skin like marble, piercing blue eyes.
Intellectually, he knew it was ridiculous, but he still associated blue eyes with gay people. A gay white man!
"No!" he told himself. :Be polite, be professional, nothing more!"
"Um...um..." he began, speechless. "I'm your dietitian, Tarik."
"Howdy! I'm your patient, Jim." He held out his hand.
"Um... the doctor said you can eat normally, so I just need to check your food preferences. For breakfast, you have a choice of an omelette and wheat toast or oatmeal..."
He returned after breakfast to see if James Masterson -- Jim -- was eating right. And the next day. And for the next two weeks. And when Jim was ready for his release, Tarik was the one who drove him to his apartment, made sure he could get around ok, and spent the night.
"Details!" Alan exclaims. "How big was he? What did you do? Give us a blow-by-blow."
[See Tales of West Hollywood for details.]
Dating one of the racist oppressors! What was he going to tell his friends? What was he going to tell Tamisha and Jameer?
He decided not to beat around the bush. He called, said he had met someone, and arranged for them all to have lunch together at the Handsome Biscuit on Granby Street -- in public, in case there was yelling.
Jim wore his uniform to make a good impression. Tarik helped him through the restaurant door and to the booth where Tamisha and Jameer were waiting. Their smiles turned to stares, then back to smiles, as they greeted Jim, asked polite questions, and sent him on their way.
"So they were more supportive than you thought!" Alan says. "Very nice story."
The next day Tamisha called. "I have a bone to pick with you about that white boy of yours."
Uh-oh, Tarik thought. Here it comes -- the screaming. Traitor! Brainwashed!. Bringing AIDS into the community!
He braced himself. "What about Jim?"
There was a moment of silence on the phone. Then: "Now, I know you like a little danger in your men, but really, Tarik, a cop? He's going to be shipped off to Lord-knows-where, and you'll be at home worrying that he'll get his head blown off by some Iraqi sniper! You won't get even a minute of peace!"
"They were fine with me being gay, and dating a white guy, but they didn't like him being a cop!" Tarik laughs. "Doesn't that take the cake?"
"It could have been worse," Alan says. "Imagine if Jim was a soldier."
"A white boy in uniform!" Tarik exclaims. "C'mon, Boomer, let's go cruising."
The uncensored post, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood .