So it appears we’re due for an update.

In June of 2007, after twelve of the gayest years of my life lived in Nashville, I chose to move home to the Mohawk reservation where I grew up, all those years ago when I thought the world revolved around Music Row.

With literally hundreds of CDs in tow, and a couch, and my stereo, I landed at the Mohawk reservation where I was raised about three months after a coterie of my neighbors stood up in protest over a plot of land my community never surrendered but has lost use of for the past … oh, I don’t know … 170 or so years.

As I recounted here last week, tensions have erupted and my brother – evermore the warrior than I’ll ever be – found himself in jail. It’s the classic tale: colonists take land, we go to jail. Anyway, now that you’re up to speed …

Here’s the crazy part about witnessing a family member be put to jail whilst defending the land – just like in the movies.

It truly does play out like such a cliché. Every now and then I think to myself, “What did Val Kilmer do in that movie when the spirits started to overcome him?” and then I wonder, “Shouldn’t I be trying to tap into the full-blood Indian guy in that film who was so knowledgeable that his character didn’t need to evolve at all?”

Or maybe I’m the gay Indian in “The Business of Fancydancing” who comes home after many years away and tries to pick up the pieces of the life he left when he moved to college.

Wow. Got my answer. That’s me to a T. Unfortunately there were no Indians in jail in that movie. And if memory serves he didn’t drive a nice looking car in that movie, either. Oh heck, that’s me too!

One thing I’ve been entirely awakened to recently is … taboo lust. Except for a school trip in high school, I don’t believe I’ve ever been in a courtroom until a couple weeks ago. So because there were two Indians up for bail – and because white people are apparently inherently frightened of us – we had to go through a security check that (a) I’ve learned they never otherwise do at that small town courthouse, and (b) was just as intrusive as your average pass through the airport.

Let me say, first of all, that I’m not one of those gays who get all hot when a man in uniform walks in the room. That is, until that day, I wasn’t. I’ve long believed there must be some major recruiting on the college campuses up here for hot civil servants, because all the frontline government employees under 35 here are … hot.

I sat in the waiting room outside the courtroom just flat-out staring at this young policeman – I can’t even guess his age – thinking to myself, “My brother thinks of you as the enemy because your people invaded our land and he was arrested trying to defend it, first, from developers who threatened to build on it, and secondly, from your guys who taunted them until you arrested them all … but me? I wanna get in your pants so bad right now.”

My favorite TV quote recently comes from an episode from last season of “30 Rock.” Tracy Morgan looks down into a bag of cornbread, inhales, then looks up and says these words, “I love this cornbread so much I wanna take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant.”

So there I am, in the hallway outside the courtroom, wishing hot policeman can read my mind, because this is what it was saying, “I wanna take you out behind the middle school and get you pregnant.”

And then I laughed out loud. Nothing like a gay guy making unwed pregnancy jokes.

Race has never been much of an issue to Indian folk, especially those of us who seem to be the only one within a hundred miles – like I felt when I lived in Nashville. It seems a bit different when you’re surrounded by Mohawks and your head is turned by who appear to be the only black guys in the entire city.

They go to my gym. One is a bit shorter than me and muscular. Kinda old looking, maybe in his late 30s (and that’s being generous). The other is a lot taller than me but way-skinny. Like beanpole. Kinda old looking, too. I’m not terribly into short, nor am I into too-tall menz so we’re deep in taboo country here. To make matters worse, the tall one is built like my brother, which puts me in a taboo territory where I have no interest to venture further.

So I’ve chosen to ignore them both. Because what if one of them is … you know. The one? I’d hate for it to all come about because I’m going through a phase where his unusual-ness is what I’m finding so attractive, because you know damn well that’ll wear off in a couple years and what’ll I be left with?

It’s kind of embarrassing but these really are some of the thoughts that run though my mind during that long-ass hour I spend on the elliptical cross trainer, pretending I’m being entertained by the copy of The New Yorker in my face. Every now and then I’ll lose interest and look up at the TV screens only to realize that watching “Jeopardy” with the volume turned down low is … well … a major waste of time.

Or I’ll look around me and it’ll start all over again.

He was about my height, kinda handsome in a “yeah I’m still looking” sort of way. Youthful and yet I see evidence of a receding hairline. I guess I’m at a weird point in my life where I can’t decide if that’s good or bad.

My eyes venture down, and I ain’t complaining, until I get to those (otherwise) white ankles. I see tattoos … everywhere. And they’re colored, with splashes of – get this – orange and yellow, plastered all the way around his ankles.

Now THERE’S some taboo for ya right there. A deal-breaker if I ever saw one. He might as well have been smoking. 

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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