Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
before I left Cranberry Lake for Boston, I worked as a stage manager/actor/lighting designer for a theatre troupe. It didn't pay well, but it allowed me to spend several hours a day, attending to the needs of a certain parasite named Elvis who need not be named. When said parasite was removed from my gills, I began shark swimming through life. When the mother of one of my coworkers got wind that I was leaving for Boston, she smiled at me and said "I knew you'd be moving on soon. You're a big fish in a small pond."
I know that she meant I was a talented actor in a limited scene (there's no accounting for taste), but my subconscious interpreted the statement differently. I had lived in Cranberry Lake for nearly seventeen years. I couldn't leave the house to get my mail without running into four people I'd slept with, two of my elementary school teachers, one of my mother's best friends, and a former coworker with a partridge in a fucking pear tree sticking out of their ass. After Ryan's death, I lost all desire to get into a relationship with someone I already knew.
I began moving on whims. Six months in Boston, a year in Vermont, a year and a half in Boston, three months touring the country, five months in Boston, five months in Arizona, and another six months in Boston. All in all that's nearly three years of the last five that I've lived in Boston. No one will ever be able to say "You're a big fish in a small pond" to me here. I live in an ocean.
The problem with the ocean is that there are a startlingly high number of beautiful fish: marlins, coral angels, clownfish, heniochis, red volitan lions. I'm at best a minatus grouper. I stand out enough to get noticed, but I'm not the fish that either the tourists, the scientists or the anglers are looking for. Discarding the fish metaphor, I'm never surprised when someone expresses an interest in meeting me because of my writing or my personal ads, then stops e-mailing me after they've seen a pic.
Last night was an exercise in frustration. I've been writing about Ryan for the book, one of my geckos died, Timmy didn't work out, Saint went back home, blah blah blah, depressing shit. So perhaps it wasn't a good time for me to be trolling for a date, but (insert deity here) I wanted to fuck the pain away.
Enter The Internet. I had a few e-mails from people who wanted to meet me, filed away in my inbox. I sent them replies, and placed an ad of my own. Among all the thirty-eight year old obese married guys who chose to ignore the "under thirty" that I placed not once but twice in the four sentence ad, was an e-mail from someone named James. James was my age. His picture was a face. A cute face but it could have been pasted on to any body. Whatever, I was depressed and horny. We made plans to meet around 11:30.
At 11:00 I got an e-mail from someone I'd been interested in for a long time, Ethan. Ethan was Colombian. His pic suggested he was slightly chubby and a shy, fairly masculine guy. In short, perfect. Also, he'd known what I looked like for a month or so, and he thought I was cute. Booya.
Ethan's roommate was out of town, and he was horny. I e-mailed James a bullshit excuse why I couldn't meet, showered, grabbed some condoms and lube and headed down the street to Ethan's house. Down the street.
It's been a long time since I've gone to someone else's house for sex. My record on going to people's houses for sex is poor. This is why I prefer to host. Last night, hosting was not an option, so I trekked over to Ethan's house.
Ethan was not a slightly chubby, shy, fairly masculine Colombian. Unlike certain Pakistanis, he hadn't lied to me, he'd just lost some weight since the photograph, and become, for lack of a better term, gayer. My gaydar has very limited range, but even I could tell from the moment that he opened the door that he would have a Madonna poster in his room. I don't know what he does for a living, but I imagine it involves flowers, choreography, or a pair of scissors. Not exactly my type socially, but the boy was hot.
We walked up to his bedroom, where we sat down on his bed. The next two minutes were a blur. We talked about how his little brother was living in Arifuckenzona, how disillusioned he was with "the gay scene," how he was really glad we'd finally gotten together.
This was the moment of the film where everything turns around for the hero. After a particularly tragic time involving lots of rain and tear-stained introspective brooding, the main character meets someone he finally clicks with. Fuck you, Timmy. I'm so over you, Elvis. Look at this extremely hot guy who likes me for my looks and my personality. I'm going to fuck all the ghosts away.
Camera zooms in on the protagonist and his love/lust interest. They are sitting together on the bed. Both are smiling. The camera pulls in tight on the love interest's lips as he says "The vibe is all wrong." Pan out. Protagonist is clearly rattled. "You should leave."