Saturday before last I packed my daughter and boyfriend “Van” up and drove 70 miles to northern Virginia to see my old friend “Kenyon.”
I knew there wasn’t much time.
He looked worse than I had seen him on Christmas Day. His six-feet-two frame had melted from 200 pounds down to 125.
His handsome, brown face was thin and narrow and his ears stood out from his head like saucers.
Still, he was his same crazy, funny self. Ordering his family around. Commenting on how beautiful my daughter had grown while she blushed and played with his Shih Tsu puppy.
And still planning to buy a new Ford truck and keep his cleaning business going.
But I knew Kenyon didn’t have much time. He looked tired and took frequent breaks to just lay back on the couch and half nap.
He could last a few days. A few weeks. A few months maybe. He had liver cancer and it was spreading rapidly through his body.
Liver cancer is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer. Did you know only one out of 10 people diagnosed with it live for another five years?
I started kicking it with Kenyon before I left my wife. I can’t remember how we met. I think on Adam4Adam.
He was a handsome man with a smooth bubble brown ass and a dick so big and thick I couldn’t wrap my hand around it.
He loved for me to fuck him — we would meet at mutual friend’s houses and do it on the floor, on the bed, anywhere.
He was just that hot. He would moan so loudly I swear the whole block heard.
Kenyon was also very masculine and unclockable. He dated women and married twice and had a grown son. He cussed like a sailor and would threaten to beat up anyone who had something to say about the fact he liked fucking with dudes.
I mean, Kenyon was crazy. But mostly a good crazy.
So he asked to hang around me in the straight world and I agreed against the advice of my gay friends.
And Kenyon would come to my house for cookouts and football game parties and he met my wife and kids and my mother and stepfather and my cousins and my friends.
And everybody liked him. And nobody questioned his sexuality. And he never betrayed me or acted like he was anything more than a homeboy.
“How did you meet Kenyon,” my wife once asked.
“Oh, his company was doing a cleaning job at my company and we started talking and decided to hang out.”
After I left my wife he was my adviser. He had been in the gay world longer and knew all the games, who was fucked up, who I should hang with and who I should avoid.
“Hey Kenyon this guy named Mario from out in Fort Washington hit up on me and wants to date,” I said. “He seems real nice.”
Kenyon rolled his eyes and looked at me like I was a newborn fool.
“Leave that stupid muthafucka alone Manuel,” he said. “He is living with his lover and just fucking around on the side. Haven’t you wondered why he never comes out at night? Plus both them niggas have HIV and don’t practice safe sex. They just spreading gonorrhea.”
“How do you know all this?”
“Manuel, I’ve been around and in this longer.”
And I’ll be damned if he wasn’t right.
Kenyon had wanted to date me but the volatility that made sex so passionate with him carried over into the real world. He was hot tempered and quick to argue and fight and sometimes was crazy but not in the good way.
That turned me off.
For instance one time he set up an Adam4Adam profile that had a name that was a variation of my own. He used it to track who I was getting down with or even get guys I was going after.
We fell out a bit over that shady shit but made up. Because we were friends and had a bond. The love was always there.
Heck, I remember one year I celebrated my birthday by getting a hotel suite and having all my buds over for card games and a male stripper. Kenyon brought a young 20-something guy with him who was his lover at the time.
After the guests left Kenyon and “Julian” helped me clean up. And we ended up in bed having an intense threesome that I didn’t expect because I really wanted to just relax on that birthday and not make it a freak fest.
I remember we fucked Julian so much he made us stop. “Y’all have two big ass dicks. I’m not taking that shit all night,” he said.
But crazy Kenyon made Julian shut up and bend over doggy style. Then he fucked him hard a few more minutes and blew nutt in his ass. They were lovers and got down raw like that.
Julian came too while stroking his dick with Kenyon still inside him. He was a 24-year-old dude in the Army and I think he got off having a hot Daddy like Kenyon order him around.
But eventually they broke up because of the 25-year age difference. Julian still liked to play on his X-Box and go to raves while Kenyon was looking for a mature partner who could help him pay the bills and build something permanent.
By the time Kenyon got sick he had settled down with a new lover, a nice guy in his 50s who was closer in age and worked as a government contractor. They had nice domestic life — a beautifully decorated town home and a pet dog.
And I was able to introduce Kenyon to Van, whom he liked immediately. “Hold on to that one,” he advised. “You two seem to get along and fit each other.”
So you see I had his blessing.
Last Saturday his sister called to say Kenyon had taken a turn for the worse and was taken to the hospital, sedated and put on a ventilator.
It was the weekend I had my daughter so I was going to pick her up.
“Baby, Ken is in the hospital,” I said. “Do you mind if I pick you up and we go visit him before we go out to the movies with your friends.”
“No, no problem,” my daughter said. “He is nice.”
Before I could head to the hospital his sister called. Kenyon had died before I could make it.
I am glad he is not in pain anymore and he was a good man so I know he is in a better place.
But I will miss picking up the phone and gossiping with a man who had the 4-11 on every black gay man in the DMV. And his fun/crazy ways. And the fact he never lied to me and was always a straight shooter.
Rest in peace Kenyon. Until we meet again.