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Wiley Wandering

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EPILOG: Mid Day Train to Albany

For those of you who read Midday Train to Albany Part One & Part Two, thanks for joining me on the ride. I travel often enough where it can get monotonous and/or lonely at times. Since the Albany excursion I have traveled to Pleasantville, New York and Paul Smiths, New York by automobile. One trip was with my son who not only "really" saw me present for the first time, but continually tried to finagle his way into the presentation. Oh, should I get overtly flattered when women comment on how handsome my son is, and then later tell me how much he looks like me. Why can’t they just eliminate the middle man (or in this case, boy) and just tell me I’m hot! I guess I will have to just settle for letting my mind “wander” enough to interpret or spin any compliments that are extended to him. This may allow me to overcompensate for the fact that on no one has ever rated me hot. What is that about?

The other recent trip I went on was to Paul Smiths, New York at night. The travel there was a bit anxious for me because it was at night, it felt as if I was traveling through a forest, and I had never traveled on most of those roads that I was encouraged to take. Thankfully it wasn't snowing or their may have been the first instance of a black man experiencing a white knuckle moment. Feel me! Both the Pleasantville and Paul Smiths road trips were experiences that were overshadowed by the events that occurred once I reached my destinations, which literally overwhelmed my consciousness (blew my mind). I won’t go into the details at this point, but talking about lessons learned, stay tuned.

Regarding the Albany trip though, I can only imagine people’s reactions to my fantasizing or lust of a woman outside of my marriage. I know many people would never admit to what Jimmy Carter and I, as well as CB and Steve, all straight up owned. I understand that much of that is peer pressure, or concerns about spousal respect. The peer pressure factor is something to which I refuse to consciously succumb. I just would feel stupid letting other’s opinions of me dictate my life. Yes, no one lives in a vacuum and we need to be sensitive to other’s perspectives on us and the things we do, but if we give other’s opinions of us too much respect we can become immobilized because their opinions are going to always be there, and for the most part those opinions are going to be lacking all the information that they need to be thoroughly informed. Think about it!

The spousal respect factor is huge. No one wants to disrespect their partner, their lover, the mother/father of their children. But if most people daydream, sneak a peek, check others out on the sly (was that a subliminal suggestion for you to check out Foxy’s blog), fantasize, then I believe there is more honesty in talking about it than internalizing it. This is probably why the majority of the women that have been in my life and I have not had problems with discussing the beautiful people that momentarily enter and exit our lives. Here’s a question: Am I the only one who has sat back and discussed whether my date, lover, partner/wife finds the person walking through the lobby attractive or desirable? Somehow I believe in doing that I continue to cultivate an awareness of what the women who have been romantic interests in my life see attractive in men, which in contrast better situates me to see what I am bringing to the table. Perhaps the big difference between me and many, is that I don’t pretend about my fascination with other people, including an appreciation for the beauty and sensuality that abounds in women. While I am not staring, or gawking, I most likely am looking and given enough time, will discuss it. And I love it when the women in my life are comfortable enough to tell me that some other man is hot. I don't necessarily want to know if he is hotter than me though. I am progressive, but not without some level of insecurity!

Another dimension to the Midday Train to Albany blog that fascinated me is the pretension about the way we see one another, and how unwilling we are to espouse our vulnerabilities in terms of our way of seeing. I know there must have been some people reading my blog judging me. I’m not stupid, at least not in the sense that I don’t imagine what people’s reactions might be to some of my blogs. I wrote Part One to entice people who are apt to prejudge-- to prejudge my fantasizing. I wrote Part Two to entice people to empathize with me when I prejudged, though many of those people (did I just say “those people”) may not even process their prejudice towards my behavior as wrong, while sympathizing with me about my prejudice towards the snack bar attendant.

People should be aware if not ashamed of themselves for the way they prejudge one another. When I succumb to prejudging others (prejudice) I am so ashamed of myself. The only good thing that comes out of it is that my dysfunctional behavior stays in the forefront of my mind long enough where I don’t do it for a while. Why is it we uncritically look at one another through glasses that were designed for us to often see one another as one dimensional objects? She isn’t a person who has found love, she is a lesbian! He isn’t a person who didn’t have the opportunities in life that you and I had, he is a bum! She isn’t a mother working to make ends meet for her family, she is a stripper. He isn’t a man who was taught to hate, or not taught to love, he simply is racist! We need to realize that the prescription that enables us to peer through those glasses is not one that really helps us to see better. In the words of Anais Nin: “We don’t see people as they are, we see them as we are!” Well if that is the case, then who are you, and do you really want the world to reflect what you have always seen?


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One vital lesson that can be pinched from the plethora of tidbits tossed out in the past three blogs, especially this current one, is the need for enhanced educational opportunities for all and more conversations such as this one!

Wiley demonstrates how he is all too human, not that that is a bad thing, but given the moral code largely adopted in this country, it means an infinite struggle - throughout this current frame of existence - betwen instinct and conditioning, though it should be pointed out that the former can never fully escape conditioning, because while instinct may result in seductive steps toward a member of the opposite species, the characteristics we prefer in our mates are dictated by the conditioning that dominates us.

So let's continue such conversations, urge our local schools to integrate diversity efforts into curriculums and spawn a generation of children that would never consider donning Klan attire anywhere, such as the recently reported incidents involving local high school and college students.

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