There was freedom to undergrad life away from home near New York City, of a world that I had dreamed deeply about escaping to. Manhattan was the setting where I could pursue being queerly perfect. I have always had dreams of living in Manhattan, beginning with the rollicking technicolor adventure of Disney’s Oliver & Company that created the landscape that fueled my queer escape fantasies. Oliver & Company painted the picture of New York City, and Sex & the City populated the city with the experiences and people I wanted. Sex & the City’s high playful fashion, wit, and comradery showed a New York City was the world that was tailored to me.
Knowing that NYU or other colleges within Manhattan or New York City itself were beyond my reach, I became an alum of SUNY @ Purchase. In the shadow of the city I wanted to call home, I freely made my homosexuality explicit and explore relationship dynamics. In college, I found that perfect hand transmogrified into the antithesis of high school, evolving to be the artistic and eccentric. Outside of high school, perfect was chased by girls and boys, but perfect boys were more likely to chase boys back. Perfect was still not the quietly humorous one who liked school and read in his dorm – he was cool though, which afforded me the opportunity to be entertained by a peer as a possible date.
Refreshed by a gust of attention, I maintained a crush on Marc, the friend of the students on the floor below me, and visited every weekend. My dormmates knew Marc’s friends on the floor below through a mutual friend from Long Island; guess New York City isn’t that big of a city. I bought weed for the first time to impress them, in an effort to appear more appealing to Marc. My crush was an obvious fact that quickly dissipated by his rejection (I wasn’t his type, and he preferred guys more seasoned than I was). His friends felt sympathy for me, revealing that Marc gets crushed on a lot. I thought how if I wasn’t special or a first to Marc I’d move on and I was over him. We hung out after and it was clear we had nothing in common other than our mutual friends. During that friendship, I saw that beneath bravado, was a desperate want for stability with a boyfriend, just as I did.