Superficiality

In homosexuality the superficiality of idolized physicality was not me – the queer geek who’s the interests, experiences, and beliefs existed on the peripheral of popular.  I liked dressing in big sweatshirts and sweaters with oversized jeans; everything I wore was about disappearing my differences.  The popular straight boys, who got all the attention, were pop-idols and porn stars who looked like Justin Timberlake in Abercrombie & Fitch.  Not me.

Abandonment became engrained in middle school when everyone began pairing-off to experimenting with relationship dynamics, leaving me feeling alone.  I couldn’t go to local gay youth groups because I wasn’t ready for an identity label, which was rooted in the denial that was needed in high school to survive.  The homosexual teenagers I conversed with through the internet seemed so much braver than myself because they had found and proclaimed their inner authenticity.  Their assured identity, confidence in their labels – which had already been presented to their parents – gave them the bravery to ask to meet immediately.  I was incapable of reading other homosexual teenagers’ eagerness to meet as a shared isolation, and so made excuses as to why that couldn’t happen.

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Loneliness Dreams

Life taught me early that existence was being in a state of constant heartbreak.  The gay domesticity templates of Jodie Dallas, Ellen, and early representation demonstrated that life would never consist of a cozy bubble with another; only the longing for one.  Jodie Dallas was perpetually single, and Ellen’s relationship was full of bickering.  These examples of playing-house were a lacking perfect reflection of what I wanted, which was the bittersweet rom-com of How to Marry a Millionaire; 13 Going on 30, What’s Your Number, and Sex & the City.

In the past, I sunk under the weight of pursing others like a puppy only to not be selected.  I frequently dream about my exes and crushes, wherein I omnisciently observed their typical day as they worked, then home to their husband.  If it was an ex, I gave them kids or the home we had dreamt of together.  A crush was bestowed the ideal life, where someone else filled the role that I had hoped to fill.  In my fantasies I make other people happy in their relationships away from me.  Dreaming or awake I have the believe that everyone is happy but me, who is overwhelmed with a feeling that I am incomplete.

The Forest’s Trees

Knowing the minutiae of events, the details needed to plan a day, and the trees of the forest become the goal of every day.  The big picture is in the plan, but the trees are too enticing.  It takes all my strength and energy to stay focused and not become distracted by gears in the clock.  Too much focus on patterns, designs, clashing, and mixing loses the trail through the woods.   To exist between the moment, focused on details, creates a life of managed crisis and devoid of stability.  Management sustains an imprisoning homeostasis, wherein activities are missed; and then isolation ensues.

Being overwhelmed can have a physical effect on the body.  It doesn’t always need to be pressure, but an overriding omnipresent emotion or anxiety from a routinely occurring event.  Triggers can be wide ranging from job promotion to routinely being around negative human beings.  The body and mind have reflexes driving actions towards knowable patterns – again the cycle repeats.  In the instance of myself it causes extreme stomach and back pain.  I begin feeling constant pain in my abdomen that doesn’t dissipate with consuming food.  Knots form under my shoulder blade or at the base of my skull as pressure becomes more consuming.

When the stress’ antecedent is removed, stamina must be regrown to fully participate and engage with life.  The road to mending is a slippery slope – anxiously re-entering the hamster wheel.  Life is a cyclical series of work, relax, work, relax.  At any moment during the early moments of recovery there is the nagging thought that the next quick cycle would be the trigger for another physical episode.  Regardless of the cycle that a person endures, breaking and starting on a new path is difficult to do.

Over time I have learned that it is okay to feel comfort in drifting within day to day.  I began doing this by actively choosing to go through the two boxes of print outs and read, which allowed me to see how much of my fictional cosmology has been told.  I began reserving weekends to take inventory of what I have produced.  I learned that days do not need to be a constant rush towards the goal line, but can be relaxed and taking inventory.  It is on those days, taking stock of what has been accomplished, one can be humbled by the steps that have been taken; we can pat ourselves on our own back.

Friends and inter-personal relationships assist with driving the new path, constantly grabbing the brakes by injecting day-to-day with vulnerable relatable stories.  While they are not trained cognitive therapists, friends and co-workers offer opportunities to relate anxieties, failures, and successes.  They provide conversations where automatic thoughts, which distort reality, can be challenged.  Then the automatic thoughts can be worked through and dispelled with a professional.

It takes a village.

Elusive Ideal

For the longest time Joey was the elusive ideal.  Joey was sthe 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.

I met Joey just as I was turning 20 years old.  It had been New Year’s Eve, at club Tilt, during the celebratory drag show.  I felt the back of my ear get flicked.  I turned around, “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.

 

While we dated, I believed I was not complex enough for him because all that he was appeared brave and loud.  Two things that I was not.  I was scared the whole time that he’d find out that beneath the image I had designed wasn’t someone worthy.  I feared his rejection, and so created chaos to deflect from being a cypher.  I covered up my exuberance, believing that a demeanor of cold detachment decision making would be impressive, because in my fantasy of you I saw strong and decisive; weighed down by another’s gushing emotion; a man that saw devotion as a flaw.  Instead I became frigid and distracted with constant repair on my ice-walls.  I never learned to thaw for those I care about.

We broke up in 2011 on a Sunday in mid-January.  Thank you for being polite until after my birthday, but that didn’t make it hurt any less.  We hadn’t seen one another the previous night – I had worked late, so was all puppy-dog tails to see him.  When I arrived, I was greeted by a friend of his unceremoniously handing me my things.  I was numb; I needed to understand, so putting my belongings down took out my phone.  Joey’s response was a generic text stating the official dissolution.

I should have predicted the break-up because of the distance for three-and-a-quarter-months.  I persisted by being better at playing house as a new year’s resolution, but it was all too little, too late, and now suspiciously out of character.  His apprehensive glances telegraphed the to end our relationship.

Years later, when I looked backed on the relationship I know 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.  The chaos that I had sewn had seeped into every aspect of our relationship, leaving Joey unable to have faith that I’d be saying the truth, or respect my stance as having validity.

Verve – Joey Looked Good on Paper

For the longest time Joey as the elusive ideal cast a long specter over everyone that came into my life.  He was the one ex that all potential suitors were measured against.  Physically, Joey was wondrous.  He was tall with broad shoulders.  A great chest; a nice set of strong thick legs; beautiful chest hair.  Joey had kissable lips.  I loved his devilish cackle of a laugh, and the glint in his eye.  Joey was never the emotionally warmest person, in my recollections, but I never found it a problem.  He did share though, he talked about his day and how events affected him.  Joey brought a person in.  I never felt alone with him. I was always an embarrassed 13-year-old around him.

Conversely, Joey looked good on paper, but fed the deepest insecurity about being valued.  Joey had the habit of vehemently disagreeing with something I had said, which could’ve been an explanation or clarification of a fact.  These were not exactly ideological differences.  We’d part for work, and then return to each other that evening.  As we discussed our day Joey would drop comments synthesizing his morning’s statement with what I had said.  This change of mind arose because Joey had talked with his co-workers, who had informed him of why I was correct.  That was the typical routine of a typical disagreement.  Over time, I began asking myself, Why does Joey never just have faith that I’d know something or be correct, or respect that my stance has validity?  Joey respected only his friends and their opinions, and not mine.

Essays explain the world to me

Writing is a pure reaction to the world that produces something, new to create and build upon.  Fiction, essays, and articles bring currents to depths, re-contextualizing the world and experiences.  Writing affects the physical world, re-conceptualizing experiences.

The writing process involves searching to a root of what I would enhance or disagree with in life.  Writing allows me to edit and revise the world or myself into agreeably unique.  What is put down on paper – fiction or non-fiction – is the distilment of that act.  It is the statement of the me that cannot tap down.

Essay writing grants me the opportunity to talk about the world, and its effects.  Essays require stories from the writer’s life to provide wisdom for the reader.  The level of introspection on my past affords me occasion to forge new-ness, spurred by the peace brought from new perspectives on experiences.  Essay writing crystalizes life events into formative moments to create a sound foundation to move forward.  Sharing personal moments – connecting through failures, cultural touchstones, milestones, etc – that enlarge and unite everyone’s humanity provides foundation to deep relationships with friends and family.  Celebrating humanity as foundation analyzes to create an increased quality of life.

Verve (7/17-7/21)

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.

Verve (6/26-6/30)

Moving is a stressful time for anyone, especially nesters like myself.  I’ve been in the same apartment for seven years.  I am a person that enjoys having roots and growth.  The instability of my youth has deepened my desire to have a home, to abandon gypsy life.

The new apartment is in the same building but I’m moving without any assistance.  I have friends that say they will help, though so far, after the first day, they have not arrived to help; or had to cancel at the last minute to stay at work.  This is acceptable to me because I can move most of the small boxes and furniture on my own, but I do hope that friends are able to come through with their aide on the weekend, when I need to move the heavy furniture.

Friendships have always come difficultly for me.  I do not know why.  I have always envisioned myself as a nice person.  Conversely, I have been horrible I relationships.  My boyfriends were always good boyfriends, but they weren’t good boyfriends for me.  Being in relationships required greater socialization than I can handle in any given moment.  I would rather be home – writing, drawing, cooking – than to be out in the community.  My home is a cocoon to rest and recharge.  It is a place where I can fix-up and modify the next day’s necessary identity.  The nomadic and public life is draining, removing the necessary recuperation period.