Saturday, June 28, 2003

My high school prom date, Katie, is visiting me this weekend.

Katie, whom I refer to as Kates, has managed to (a) go to prom with a gay man, (b) graduate from high school and become a Mormon, (c) be a phone solicitor for prop 22, the Don't Let Fags Marry Campaign in California, (d) eventually become an apostate, finding even the 12 year old girl with a Jesus Saves shirt as suitable target for delivering her Ten Reasons Why you Should Run From the Church and Get Highlights in your Hair speech, and (e), somewhat cyclically, spend Gay Pride weekend with me in the gayest city ever: San Francisco.

I'd go on to mention something about The Greater Scheme in Life or serendipity even, but after taking one too many tequila body shots off Kates' breasts, my mind is less bombastic than usual.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Save for my throbbing ears due to new piercings, today was a grand day.

(1) I successfully, after spending the entire morning running around downtown from office to office, secure my new passport's arrival days before my departure for Greece, (2) mopped and vacuumed and dusted and rearranged the apartment like the good housewife God clearly destined me to be, and (3) found out that I can now unabashedly be a card-carrying Sodomite in Texas without fear of arrest.

Call me an optimist, but things really are looking up for me.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Cooling

I had to leave the apartment today because its silence, along with my thoughts, that dripping faucet, had the potential to drive me mad.

A coffee shop, I thought, might make it go away, that feeling of being broken— misaligned even. I thought that a room full of faces, the sound of a turning page, the espresso machine, the woman to my right detailing her day trip to Santa Cruz to a partially interested friend, might stop my own detailing, that internal voice counting off the one hundred and one things wrong with me.

But even here, beneath the slow-turning hands of the ceiling fan, by the stapled flyers advertising Salsa lessons, Homeopathy events, and, of course, something about The War, I still hear its voice, but louder, more refined—as persistent and as stubborn as a car salesman.

Sure, it says something about last Friday night, something about my call to go-go boy, my invitation for him to come over (and something else which I’d rather not repeat), to which he both replied to in the negative. Sure, it says something about my embarrassment—the experience of feeling undesirable, foolish, childish, pathetic, delusional, irrational, dramatic, stupid—it also speaks about continuity, pattern, and that this is not the first, and definitely not the last, time I’ll end up the idiot with a battered ego and an imagination big enough for five to share.

So I wasn’t going to obsess over it, I told myself, got to do something productive, eat a fruit, it’s a beautiful day, kind of day you’d want to walk in, wear a light-colored shirt. And that’s what I did. I walked all over Saturday, got plugs, and, somewhat overzealously, registered for the AIDS marathon in New Orleans next February.

I did all of it, and now I’m here writing about it in a coffee shop a block away from the apartment feeling, five paragraphs later now, considerably lighter. And even if body piercing or fundraising for a nearly incurable disease, or even all the coffee shops in the world, can’t make this annoying tragedy which is my life stop altogether, these things in life make it less tragic and less annoying, hinting that whereas things may not always work out for us, for me, things always work themselves out regardless.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Note: Written some five hours ago.

Stronger

It's taken me two glasses of wine to convince myself to leave the apartment tonight. I am only writing this in order to afford myself a few minutes for a third.

So it seems I'm suffering from a case of existential blueness (translation: I feel unattractive and undesirable; further translation: I feel bloated).

Going out to the bars just seems pointless, especially when they're straight bars. See, primping myself endlessly to go out to the gay bars harbors, at least, a modicum of sense, i.e., the prospect of meeting Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now In The Back Seat of my Car. Going out to straight bars with the "girls" is as useless as running shoes for the paralyzed.

Whatever. Maybe a desperate girl will hit on me, and I'll reap the pleasure of showing obvious disinterest, the smile on her face waning as quickly Bruce Willis’ hairline.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Like the Sun and the Moon (Idiot)

When you're right smack in the middle of what's been called June Gloom, wherein the sun will occasionally make its appearance for a scant few minutes, all the while knowing God damn well that a few hundred miles south of here other free-spirited college students are plastered underneath the sun doing things like sipping on Pina Coladas and worrying about such things as tan lines and skin cancer, you've got to do something to keep yourself from swallowing cyanide.

With that said, Danee and I are obsessed with this.

We've developed a nightly ritual of getting into our bunk beds, turning the volume up, and snickering like schoolgirls underneath our covers.

Obviously, we're oozing with class.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Not Really a Revelation

After taking my midterm for my Human Sexuality course, I was feeling somewhat suicidal, so like any well-adjusted gay man I headed out to the gym to sweat off my sorrow on a treadmill. Tragically, this didn’t prove to have the therapeutic effect I was hoping for. So, again like any well-adjusted gay man, I stopped in at the IKEA on my route home, thinking that pillows or drapes just might lift my mood.

Unfortunately, IKEA has been looking more like a swap meet these days with herds of snot nosed children running loose, their parents too busy with measurements and color debates. Luckily, I was able to find some useless yet accentuating things to buy, mainly kitchenware, so I left feeling moderately entertained.

What was making me feel as if I had lost a testicle to testicular cancer?, I thought to myself as I slowly cruised the aisles, idling picking up objects, fondling them for a while, and placing them back into their positions in that cool, rhythmic, and practiced way housewives have perfected through years of experience. It wasn’t this past weekend and meeting the ex; true, it had been sexually climactic, but in the end it had left me on an emotional plateau of sorts. We spent the night together, and after an interim of ex-sex, we (meaning mostly I) resolved our issues and, in the morning, went our separate ways. What I had expected to have the emotional and dramatic umph as a sequel to Steal Magnolias turned out to be almost as banal and dull as heterosexual sex.

So somewhere between Bedding and Bathware, the thought occurred to me: Maybe this is just the way I am. Maybe wanting to die in the rubble of a twenty level basement in the aftermath of a earthquake, all traces of my existence vanished, is just part of the essential, 100% Cashmere fabric which is me. Like sleep or digestion, feeling melancholy and generally disgusted with myself just seems to be part of my biology.

Either way, hopefully two bottles of wine will be more therapeutic than the kitchen rug I purchased today that, while being unsuccessful at brightening my life, has managed somehow to liven up my kitchen considerably.


Friday, June 06, 2003

I feel as anxious as an ant.

One of those ants scurrying off in the grass, lost, and looking for the other pack—the others who got away with a quarter of an Oreo. I’m that ant.

I can see myself forlorn, my six legs stretched out underneath the sun—my antennae desperately scanning the air for a clue, a pheromone, to lead me in the right direction, to lead me home. I’m that desperate ant.

I’m sure this has nothing to do with the fact that tomorrow I’ll be heading out to LA where I might, just might, have dinner with Garrett to discuss God knows what.

So how was detox?

Maybe I am looking for trouble, trying to snatch that crumb on the outskirts of our territory the others said would prove deathly to retrieve. Maybe I am that overly confident ant, bypassing the pit bull, the leaking hose creating a river the human equivalent of the Rio Grande, just to get to that Ritz cracker I spotted last week. Maybe I am on overdrive, hauling ass through the gardenias, only to be met by the eyes of an inquisitive nine year old, his Reebok Pumps leaving imprints on my face as fine and detailed as a lithograph.

Whatever the case may be, plans have been made and, unless I awake next morning paralyzed, unable to see, or mysteriously transformed into a potted plant, I fear there’s nothing I can do but drive the distance and hope that I prove to be more resilient and wiser than an insect.


Monday, June 02, 2003

Kind of Blue

It’s been a while since I’ve been here, and I don’t know exactly why that is. It could be the frenzy and alcoholism and trips and surge of excitement that comes after finishing final exams that’s kept me from documenting my thoughts. I don’t know.

The carnival is in town this week, and I pass it on my way to the gym, it’s gold and red and green lights flashing from beyond the Marina where, if I look carefully, I can make out the figures of running children, parents with hands busy with napkins, and the occasional first- or second-date couple making their way past the cotton candy vendor in that languid and absentminded walk that comes with being on a first or second date.

Before leaving for Santa Barbara this weekend, going to that damn carnival was all I could manage to think about. Like a root canal or a trust fund, I had everything planned: A boy would take me, of course, and he’d laugh at me when I admitted to sympathizing with the gold fish trapped in zip-lock bags by the booth with the empty fish tanks and tossed golf balls, so he’d win me a stuffed animal instead, something large and blue, something I’d initially feign embarrassment over carrying around but eventually, as we made our way past the funhouse and distorted mirrors, would cradle into my arms like an adopted child, and it would ride between us on the Ferris wheel, both of us hovering over it as we lean toward each other to kiss at that moment when our cart is suspended directly on top, and during those few seconds, that interval for a couple to get off and another take its place, we’d neck wildly like two carnivores having their first taste of flesh.

The night would end with him, noticing my slight shivers, offering me his Letterman’s jacket, which I would, somewhat casually, throw over my shoulders, secretly turning and smelling the inside of the collar, taking in that sweet scent of cotton and sweat and fused cologne the way a young boy might take in the smell of his own gas underneath his bed sheet: silently, coyly, and with a grin as wide as the Atlantic.

Instead, this weekend I spoke to my ex, to Garrett—to him. A year later I found myself speaking to him, stumbling on the corner of State St., somewhere between being drunk and sober, between joy and disappointment, somewhere between the intensity of hearing someone’s voice after a year interval of silence and the intensity of remembering that long year of silence and the clamor and noise that came long before it.

We spoke about the weather, my semester—the way he disappeared like a construction worker after the job’s been done, taking with him his tools and the Miller’s daughter’s virginity. We mentioned something about betrayal, his sobriety, the last conversation we had had, and somewhere in-between our current half-hour cell phone conversation, I found myself swooning on a curb off State St. because some things, like staring into the sun or even enduring starvation, are too powerful, too furious, and demand so much of a person, that the center, that space between your chest and spine, has no other option but to fold.