The Narcassist Boy [01.2018]

Liar!  That’s the very definition of manipulation.  It dawned on me in that conversation that James thought I was going to keep my life on hold while he kept putting his together.  Just fuck off!

Now you’re being spiteful.

That would require giving a fuck, and I’m fresh out of fucks. He had made his affection ebb and flow until I was no longer able to care that he was completely gone.

He said, That doesn’t make any sense.  I’m not moving in!

I was relieved because if James moved in and if I didn’t thoroughly cater to him it would trigger an explosion of his anger towards life.

James made all his internal struggles my fault – just as Ben had.

James took advantage of my hard work to have a life of luxury – just as Frank had.

James made me bend and compromise into exhaustion – just as Joey had.

Every moment with James had dripped with desperation.  In the time between Joey and James, I had convinced myself that I only had one relationship before throwing the towel in (had one relationship left in me) and retiring to perennial bachelor.  James turned out to be that relationship.  I didn’t want to be alone, to be forgotten, and I had many fantasy-futures.  I had made a promise to give-up, and I really didn’t want to – I am a rom-com fan, like “What’s Your Number?”  I was hell-bent on not being a male-spinster.  I’m sure my desperation didn’t make me easy to live with, but – there is no but.

I would’ve been living for him, continuously biting my tongue, and living in the name of fear of abandonment; pretending to be stunted, but all that brought was being walked over, and misconstrued; I couldn’t keep surviving like that.  I was better off because it took too long to stop the tape of disparages telling me I am cruel, uncaring, and cold from playing in my mind.  I convinced myself that I loved him, but it was only a relationship.  James was every poor choice in one person, and by dating him I managed to begin truly exorcising ghosts of the past.

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Narcissist Boy [2018.01]

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As Joey and my correspondence broke down my romantic life became a deconstructed romantic-comedy.  Joey’s friend Ben swooped in and began talking to me.  we hung out and did dugs.  By the end of Spring Break, we were dating and by summer we were boyfriends.  Around Thanksgiving Ben wrote an email to my parents, telling them I was homosexual, and that he was in love with me.  I found out because my mother forwarded me the email.  I was destroyed.  I was humiliated.  Ben’s letter is a moment I have been internally living down.

I do not know why I continued to date Ben, and then drop out of college for him.  Ben was my first boyfriend.

One-night Ben had admitted that the only reason he had spoken to me was because he had a crush on Joey, and wanted to investigate who I was (what was appealing about me).  Ben had wanted me distracted so Joey would lose interest.  Then, he says, he began to like me and fall in love with me.  We were together for three years.

The relationship immediately after Ben was with Frank Maha.  I had met Frank through Ben, who was buying drugs from Frank.  In truth, Ben was cheating with Frank.  Later, Frank admitted to me that the reason for sleeping with Ben was so to break Ben and I up, so he could date me.

Ill-Equipped for Ethnography

For such a long-time Joey cast a constant shadow over my decisions and actions.  My life was in a holding pattern as I hoped he’d come back in.

Joey seemed to be the first same-age guy that showed an interest in me.  Prior to Joey, guys my age said was too geeky, too short, too thin, not thin enough, not gay enough.

Joey liked all those things about me.  He was sweet to me.  He was kind to me.  College’s manic pixie boy façade had paid-off.

In my memory, he was the perfect straight-laced rebel.  Edgy enough to be interesting, and clean enough to bring home.

That New Year’s Eve, through Joey and his friends, I was fully introduced to seedy and drug-fueled as normal.  I was introduced to the concept of frenemies by how Joey and his circle behaved toward one another.  A world where my façade got me accepted in and insulated me from; my silence and listening-skills gave the illusion of emotional investment.  In truth, my carefully designed masks had kept me the constant observe of life and not the actor, leaving me ill-equipped for ethnography.  I began seeing the catty duplicitous behavior and normalized it.  I gave myself permission to replicate their naughty behavior.

Eventually, I went back to school and Joey and my correspondence petered out, as he was always too busy to answer a phone.  As I waited for Joey to re-enter my life, I created disruption in my relationships, making myself always available but never alone.

Meeting Joey

The winter break of my 20th birthday I met Joey Antinore.  It had been New Year’s Eve, at club Tilt.  I had been standing watching the drag show when I felt the back of my ear get flicked.  I turned around and said, “Hi.”

Joey explained he was following an impulse and immediately knew the type of person I was dealing with.

“Alright.”  And turned back around.

Joey got my attention again by asking if wanted to roll.

“Okay,” I answered.

For the longest time Joey Antinore was the elusive ideal; the one ex that all potential suitors were measured against.  In attempting to write down our first encounter I came to the realization that there was nothing epic, template worthy, about the encounter.  There was nothing grandiose or particularly outstanding about the relationship’s arc.  In fact, the mental glorification of that relationship and its beginning is rather obsessive.

What was it about the whole scenario that became #goals?  I wasn’t particularly happy.  When I recall the relationship with Joey, what comes to mind is his habit of telling him something, then he vehemently disagrees.  These weren’t ideological differences, or rooted in arcane knowledge.  Rather, disagreements came over individual rights and basic operations of politics and humanism.  We’d part in the morning for our separate work, and then return to each other that evening with Joey’s mind changed.  This change of mind arose because he had talked to his co-workers, who told him that he was in the wrong; that I was correct.  That was the routine of our relationship: Joey respected only his friends and their opinions, and not mine.  I never fully understood how and why Joey could never just have faith that I’d know something, or respect my stance as having validity.