Blindfolded Janet Jackson

A few years ago, that would’ve been a fantasy of mine. Not necessarily blindfolded, but if that were Janet’s jam, I would’ve loved to participate. I kinda had a crush on Ms. Jackson. and I had very nasty thoughts.

We kinda grew up together, she and I. Obviously Janet was (and is) in a completely different socioeconomic class. But she was essentially my age, less than two years my senior. When my hormones started to rage, they raged for Janet. Now Janet and I weren’t exclusive, as I found scores of other women attractive: celebrities, librarians, classmates, and neighbors—you name it, I fantasized about it. But Janet? She held a particularly fond place in my heart.

I mean, I find women of many varieties attractive. For me, it’s about the connection I feel with the individual person. But I am married to this beautiful woman, Dickmoji. So it would seem I do have a thing for black women, wouldn’t it?

Umm, that’s my wife, Dickmoji. Settle down. (But I agree with the sentiment. Hubba hubba indeed!).

Author’s aside:For the record, my wife and I met through a dating app. While the initial attraction was physical, it was the profile describing her personality that attracted me the most. Then, the conversations over the phone drew me in even further. When we met, although I was—and am—wildly attracted to her physical attributes (including a booty of singular excellence), it was her soul that I fell in love with.

Now back to Janet:

Yes, I did have a crush. I cannot say for certain if the feelings were mutual, so in the absence of any proof otherwise, I believe that she did harbor similar feeling for me. But alas, our long distance relationship—if you could call it that, considering one partner was completely unaware of the other’s existence—could not survive.

With our relationship faltering, I was forced to admire her from afar. Her music, her dancing, her…sexiness. Everything about her struck all the right chords. So when I had the opportunity to see her in concert for the first time, I was all in. But this time it was exclusively her body of work that attracted me; it had nothing to do with our physical bodies that we once mutually lusted for.

Janet and I were a thing, Dickmoji. I resent you suggesting anything to the contrary. But as I said, all of that’s in the past. My interest in the concert was strictly for the music.

The problem? I kinda actually wanted to see the concert as well. I…

You are correct, Dickmoji. Although Janet and I are no longer romantic, we are still friends. So it’s only natural I’d want to see her. And concerts also have a visual component, no? The light show, the dancing, the…

I did. Every…

True. And thanks for pointing that out. Lights shows—or sunlight, or headlights, or flashing police lights, or ceiling fans—all are problematic because of…

Yes. Migraines. They’re…

Yes, ceiling fans are a problem as well. The fan blades interfere with the surrounding lights, causing a strobe-like pattern. But even in the absence of light, fans can trigger a migraine event. The rhythmic sound pattern, the fluttering, if it’s at the right frequency, induces my eyeball spasms. In addition to lights and fans, stress, certain foods, chaotic sounds, and random “hey, it’s time for you to have a migraine” reasons can send me to the hospital for several days.

Yes, it absolutely feels like my head is in a vise, with sensations that my eyeballs are being crushed, amongst a variety of other unpleasant symptoms. Like temporary blindness, paralysis, and the inability to speak. They’re debilitating, causing stroke-like symptoms and intense pain. But I’m getting in the weeds. This is about me and Janet.

Prior to the concert, I knew that I’d have to deal with managing my neurological triggers. Effectively, this meant I wouldn’t be watching the Janet at all, except for brief spurts of a few seconds, totaling considerably less than a minute. So occasionally during the show, I’d ask my wife how Janet was dancing and what she was wearing. Strictly for curiosity’s sake, not for any other reason.

No! Well, objectively she is cute. Hard to argue that one, Dickmoji. But no, I was just interested in how she was moving around on stage and what she…

I’m serious!

How did you find…did you hack my…

You’re a supreme prick, Dickmoji. I’ll be changing my login credentials reeeeeaaaaal soon. Trust me on that. But regarding the Janet photo? Solely for educational purposes. It’s only natural that I’d be curious to see how a previous romantic partner looks. It’s been a few years, Dickmoji. I wanted…

I think I better just stop talking. I might be getting myself in trouble with…

Janet was is the past Babe. Yes, she’s pretty darn cute but…. Did I mention how sexy you look? And I’m not saying that because potentially you’re angry about my relationship with Janet. I mean, you know how obsessed I am with you. Those legs, those cute toesies. 😊😊😊😊 Janet has nothing on you, my love. And seriously, the point of this blog isn’t anything about Janet. The concert just happened to be the setting. The real theme of this blog is gratitude.

Yes, I was unable to see the concert. But, I was able to hear it. And it sounded pretty damn good. How many people can say they’ve been to a Janet concert? How many people can say they went to that specific concert?

I did Google it, Dickmoji (At least for the question regarding how many people attended that specific concert. The question regarding how many people have ever seen Janet seemed far too daunting to calculate.). The answer? The capacity of the arena we attended is 10,500. In a world with 8 billion people, I’d say I was pretty darn lucky.

The point is, each concert is unique. Different set lists, different sound quality, different people, different experience. Yet another reason to feel grateful for being in that moment, regardless of whether I could actually see a damn thing or not.

So here I was, at the concert, next to my lovely wife:

Seeing it makes me a little sad, because my wife was sad. She felt bad that I was feeling bad and that I “missed out” on the full concert experience. And when the lights show was intense and I buried my head in her lap, I had a moment of feeling those same emotions. A moment of loss and self-pity. But that’s not entirely correct either. Because I didn’t actually have those feelings, Rather, I had a instance of self-reflection where I recognized how easily it would be to allow those feelings to surface. And then if I did permit those feelings to gain control? I would’ve been lost, wallowing, curled up in the fetal position.

Life is filled with moments like that, isn’t it? Moments that challenge our resolve, chisel away at our faith, spiral us into self-doubt, or make us question our very existence. The thing is, none of us are going to get through this journey without sorrow and pain. But it’s how we respond that matters.

And on that night when I saw heard Janet, I responded with gratitude. Lying there in my wife’s lap, I was in bliss. My smile couldn’t have been any broader. In addition to the music entering my ears,my other senses—minus my sight—were heightened. My feet were dancing to the music, while the aroma of my wife’s scent…

God, you’re an asshole. I’m referring to the scent of her natural skin. Her hair. Just her. And while I fully admit I love the aroma of other areas, I’m not really sniffing down there during a Janet concert.

Author’s note to wife: Nikki, you have absolutely nothing to worry about regarding your fragrance. When I’m very close to that region, it’s obviously gonna have a little 11 herbs and spices. It’s intoxicating, my love. 😍 

Toes tapping and the essence of my wife wafting into my nose, Nikki gently caressed my arm, face, and ears. The sensation was electric, causing me to quiver as I often do when I think of my wife romantically. The feeling of her touch was simply magical; never in my life had I felt so loved. Nikki cared for me deeply. I already knew it well before that night. But I really knew it then.

Another reason the night was so memorable was that the concert was our first that we attended together. Firsts are always gonna be memorable, no? They’re significant markers in our lives, ones we often don’t ever forget. And I’ll never forget that Janet concert.

Would I have changed a thing? Do I wish that I was able to actually see Ms. Jackson? No and no. The memory of Nikki’s touch and nuzzling into her neck and lap far outweighed what I was sacrificing. That might, I held on firmly to what I gained by being blind, not at what I had lost.

The question is how do we get there? How do we get to that gratitude-slanted state of mind? How can we flip the switch, in times like these, times where we can either give up or continue climbing? I don’t have all the answers on that. But I know, for me, it’s about how I prep for those moments before they come. It’s the practice before the game that matters. The daily work: the journaling, the meditation, the mindfulness, the attempts to live in the moment, all of it. And I work hard. Every fucking day. Because I know how susceptible I am to the curled up fetal position. I can slip so very easily into feelings of inadequacy, depression and insecurity. My tools don’t always work. But they do increase the success rate. I think that’s all I can hope for. And that night—eyes closed, resting my head on my wife’s thighs—I couldn’t have hoped for anything more.

Basically, don’t waste the opportunity to learn from what your challenges are teaching you.
Same damn thing. Don’t wallow. Learn.

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