* capitalization mine.
PS: and it strikes me that I’m probably sending you my carefully worded explanations of THINGS I FEEL while you’re out having anon sex, which is pretty indicative of this disconnect generally and is also exactly as it should be. Xx
And, in a confessional moment, I admitted, “And now I think I want to date an unbearable academic.”
“Oh,” he replied. “So you want to maintain the status quo.”
Enough of him. I could beat myself black and blue over him. And I have. And it is not worth the anxious energies or the increased heart rate to do so again. I intend to keep my knuckles intact. But sometimes there is that moment where I feel my chest become heavy, weighted and full, like right before one is about to cry. But I do not. And I move past it. The storm’s averted. The winds have changed. I feel as if I have just won a minor victory.
In moments of breakup, I imagine glaciers crashing. It’s an image toward which I often turn: I visualize passing icebergs to relax when I can’t sleep; and I can see white blocks of ice crack and tumble into the ocean when I feel the weight of a gentle apocalypse coming. (It all, upon reflection, seems a little too explicit: sheets of ice crashing down to symbolize inner turmoil, to represent my emotional rending asunder. [I am not The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.] But I can’t help it—) It is an association off of which, at the moment, I am unable to break.
But he called. And we did. And I had this desire, as I always do, to ask, “But where did it all go wrong? At what moment did you feel this would go nowhere?” And I never ask, but when this unverbalized question goes through my head, I can often visualize those moments of fissure, those gestures of disconnect, those expressions and inflections in tone and turns of phrase that I don’t even remember that I’ve remembered.
But this time. I am disappointed, of course. I did not ask, but I said aloud, “But we invested so much time. Every night, you called. And so much gas.” And he agreed. And he replied, “You visited twice.” And I said— And I repeated, “And so much time. And so much gas.” And though I did not ask, I did think, “But where did it all go wrong? At what moment did you feel this would go nowhere?” And I immediately replied: everywhere, all the time, all of it.
Mismatched. Inefficient. Inevitable. Correct.
I am disappointed, of course. But this time.
Just work through the Benadryl, and let’s deal w this now. #realtalk. And we can both, like, sigh relieved and wake up feeling unburdened in the morning.
bc I’ve got a million other things to keep me up at night these days, and I would really like to know, confidently, that this is no longer one of them.
It’s late, but I decided tonight in my head while looking at Grindr with a couple of straight women to make a list of the types of men you meet on Grindr and its derivative apps:
You want to know why I’m writing about this? For a few reasons. Obviously, I’m a writer. Writers write. I tend to stay away from personal writing for public consumption because I feel like getting to know someone is a privilege. I value friendships highly, and aside from enjoying one’s company, learning who that person is and earning their trust is something that only they can give you. It’s a gift. Walking into someone’s life by reading something they over-shared (or shared) on the Internet, to me, makes it marginally less personal. It seems desperate: for attention, or for clarity. It can be either unknowingly self-harmful, or cathartic. Sometimes both. (speriod.tumblr.com)
I recently emailed a friend for advice. “Will I reach an age,” I said, “at which the men with whom I make an effort to communicate will actually return the favor?” My friend, a fellow blogger who is someone who I have always looked up to after years of reading his writing, wrote back immediately. “What you’ll find, simply, is that a vast majority of people aren’t available, responsive, capable or worthy of our attentions at the moment we find them,” he replied. “And so you’ll learn over the years not to take it so hard that these people aren’t competent to respond to overtures and interest. It’s not your fault, or even theirs! It’s just rather rare in this world that two people can meet at the right time and have a good and meaningful response to each other.” It was not the response I wanted at all, and it did little to lift my spirits. Days later, however, I became less angry with myself, as I was the person I had blamed for my romantic misfortune. (tylercoates.tumblr.com)
These quotes have been bouncing around in my head for at least a month. The post in which the former appeared coincided with (and may be partially related to) my decision to minimize the frequency with which I posted, or even looked at, Tumblr; and the latter quote, from a post that appeared around the time of The Great B Fiasco that opened the summer, helped me work through and organize some of my own emotions regarding my relationships, disappointments, and experiences with men. I’ve especially been thinking about these quotes this past week or two as I’ve been mulling over whether and what and how much to write for this post, which I was planning to consist of More Stories About Boys. (Actually, it turns out I’ve only kept these quotes’ general sentiments in my mind as I’ve contemplated how to proceed with my postings; rereading these quotes, however, I realize that I’ve misremembered them a bit.) Recently, I’ve not felt inspired to type anything of great (or even not-great) length here, having decided to work through any complicated emotions regarding Dudelationships by talking it out with friends or, instead of complaining on the ‘Netz about these Dudelationships, talking to said dudes themselves, which generally is always mortifying, usually exhausting, sometimes disappointing, and more satisfying (or at least definitive). As a result, my Internet Presence has consisted mostly of posting short, pleasant, and useless things on Facebook because my mind, I think, can’t handle long-form anything right now. However, I’ve been trying to write and edit a few papers before the school year starts up IN A WEEK and I’m already having nightmares about the coming semester and I’ve been unable to really write anything of substance, so I’m (again) attempting to write something of non-substance just so that I can assure myself that, yes, I do actually know the basic mechanics of grammar and punctuation. But, honestly, I’m not even feeling like writing this post. At least not now. So, I guess I’ll just let this shit sit here, a reminder of another failed attempt at writing. In conclusion, I’ll end by pointing out that the two quotes that initially served as extended epigraphs have now become the main content of this post about “How I Spent My Summer Vacation,” and I’ll add that I probably set a personal record in the month of July for “Most Days Spent Without Bothering To Put On A Shirt.”
I blew a guy while hungover (I’m referring to both of us) while The Robyn Episode of Girls (actually titled “All Adventurous Women Do,” but I tend to refer to it as “The Robyn Episode” or “The Booth Jonathan Episode” or “The Episode Where They Talk About Baggage”) was playing, and then I paused when “Dancing On My Own” came on and said, “This has got to be the gayest beej I’ve ever given,” (and, for the record, I only use the word “beej” ironically), and then we decided to dub the day Semen Saturday, and then we watched the first two episodes of The Outs, and apparently this is how my summer is progressing, and I am, admittedly, pretty all right with that, and I really don’t want my mother to find this blog or any future employers unless they are editors for the blogs of NYMag or Blackbook blogs, and, even then, only if they like it, and, for the record, I kind of would like to blog for NYTimes Magazine blog, too, but, honestly, I will probably only get published anywhere when I write a curmudgeonly “SMS To The Editor” to the main iPaper in Wichita when I am seventy-two and nobody except me even reads the news anymore they like ingest it in pill form and Wichita is completely underwater or something.
Yesterday morning, I made this odd and uncharacteristically brash decision to make a weekend visit to this guy whom I had slept with a couple times and whom I had been corresponding with for months (no seriously), J (previously mentioned but vaguely). I was apprehensive, mostly because of the speed of this decision, but I have felt a need to, like, move on in some way after The Great B Fallout of 2012 which manages to prolong itself in new and creatively unpleasant ways and it’s almost eating its own goddamned tail at this point but it’s still present, and so I suppose that I felt this movement needed to occur in some very literal way. In case there was any question about the state that I’m in, I also decided to dovetail this impromptu visit with a couple days at my parents’ place, because I’m an adult who deals with things adultly and I am also in need of some fresh vegetables since all the tomatoes I can find around me taste like shit. Anyway, things ended up being about how one would expect them to be—hot sex but odd otherwise since I may have accepted an invitation that was made in half-jest and my plan to call his bluff was met with its own bluff being called. Or something. My mind is unclear. Anyway, we also went to some music festival and I met a few lesbians who, as per usual, I loved. I also met some straight women named Janelle and like Eve or someshit, who were skinny and cute and knew they were skinny and cute and were werqing it but annoyingly. I also drank quite a bit because I was both amazingly uncomfortable while being semi-paraded around being given looks and glances that verified that these men and women had heard stories about me before AND because J was continuing to Grindr some teenager (literally) throughout the night and I had to drink up the courage to say that that was, actually, a shitty thing to do while I had driven 3.5 hrs away on his request and (also let’s be honest) my own desire, but I had still, like, driven it so get the fuck of Grindr you know? which I said in so many words and then some and then drank some more beer because that’s how I roll. To top it all off, I guess, there’s the matter of being shaken at 4 in the morning and asked if I could please leave the bed because he was unable to sleep which was, like, the icing on the shittyhostcake. And so, in true unfortunate-comedy fashion, I stumbled out of bed, tripped on my shorts on the way out, picked out a few blankets from the guest bedroom, and then walked outside to, like, air out my aggravation or something whereupon I managed to step in a spot on the back lawn where not only his trip light but the neighbor’s also went off, and I was caught just chillin’ in my underwear in a lawn swearing to myself with a glass of water in my hand and with bedhead. I’ve mastered the art of sneaking out at wee hours of the morning and I think I’ll just stay awake for a couple hours more and then take off but I really didn’t expect to drive three hours from home to do what I always do back there and shit’s kind of shitty sometimes you know what I mean just sayin’
Editing, editing, always editing. Why can’t I bring myself to edit anything that I should actually give a shit about?
My previous post is proof positive (unintentional alliteration) that I’ve forgotten completely how to write.
We’ll get the important stuff out of the way first. The “important stuff,” I say, as if this isn’t just, like, a permutation of things that have been said multiple times before.
I have been tempted, in the last week, to reconnect with B. Mostly, this has been a desire to do so on a friendly level, to try to smooth over the abrupt ending of things (from once a week to a month-and-a-half-long radio silence) and ease into it slowly again and see what happens and be sure to check my emotions carefully and constantly and abort when I need to and be very honest to him and myself why and when that aborting needs to happen. However, sometimes it has been something that I’ve wanted hornily, sexually. And while I am not against just sleeping with a guy just to sleep with a guy, I have, in a moment of amazing clarity that is actually just common sense but something about which I realized I feel especially strongly, that sleeping with this ex-whatever just for the sex, no matter how good, would be a very unwise move for me at this moment. This set-up is mostly just to explain that I have hesitated even reaching out to B even for, like, getting a coffee because (and I can’t really understand why I feel this way, but I do) there is still this general sexual desire for him that I think needs to lessen, to become a dull hum instead of the very loud bang that it can sometimes be, before I start seeing him in any kind of capacity. Mostly, I think, it’s this acknowledgement that even if I began seeing him as a friend, I would probably start thinking with my dick and would immediately convince him and myself that we could just do that it’s just sex thing and it would totally just be sex no big deal so come on why not. And we would fuck. And I would probably not feel so great about it later, the next morning or the next week or whenever that would happen.
The problem is, of course, that he and I run in some of the same circles and so there is always the possibility of seeing him. And sometimes I can steel myself, prepare in some way. Like a few weekends ago, when he opened an artist/curator talk and I knew he would be there and was, of course, anxious, as that had been the first time I had seen him or said anything to him, really, in about a month and he had really not been in my mind at all, or had at least only been that low, dull hum in the back of my mind, effectively compartmentalized and extremely ignored. And so I entered the auditorium before the talk and said some very probably embarrassing things loudly and turned and realized he was already there, sitting, waiting, watching the room. And I generally just spent much of the time before that talk turned in the opposite direction, avoiding eye contact, because I’m mature like that. And after the talk, which was great, I waited in the lobby for a friend and saw him coming and going and found myself generally unable to go up to him, heart racing, palms sweaty, even though I knew that he knew I was there and I knew that I wanted to be civil but I just couldn’t. So, I just kind of stood near a wall and looked at my phone and waited for my friend and pretended to be nondescript. And, after walking around the exhibition, coming down the stairs, I saw him, standing alone texting on his phone, nicely positioned between me and the exit. So, of course, I said hello and we exchanged pleasantries and we were civil and it was his day and I’m sure it was a great and stressful day for him and so I made it short and sweet and hugged goodbye because we are friends and that is what friends do or something and I left to go on a date with J. And I was generally in a foul mood because even that brief interaction with B, which had been completely drama-free, had put me in an odd place mentally and I think I needed to mull it over (to write about it on Tumblr?) and I didn’t really have the opportunity to do so and I was generally kind of poorly behaved or at least in a less-than-flirtatious headspace. And J had been here all of that week and was about to leave and we had fooled around but hadn’t fucked and I was analyzing that situation, as well, and being mildly neurotic about men generally and so it turned out to be maybe not-so-romantic, though we sat on a hill near a lake drinking bubble tea with my head on his lap but I was generally not feeling it and not really in the mood to be regaled with his stories about guys on Grindr that he had slept with even though that is sometimes how we communicate.
ugh Christ. This is boring even me at this point. To the point, dear. So: I go to the Walker today with another friend to see the same exhibition because, literally, I cannot fucking get enough of it, and I really really really did not expect to run into him because it was a Thursday and I knew that he usually leaves at six and so we arrive at seven thirty. And, of course, leaving the exhibition, outside at nine, watching some jazz musician who sounded like early Norah Jones (which is “fine”), I spot him buying a beer enjoying pseudo-Norah Jones and he comes over and he and my friend meet and we all talk for a very long time about art and things and students and life and it gets dark and she leaves and the two of us talk for a while and catch up kind of by saying empty sentences in hushed tones to each other and he sits cross-legged on the grass and I find this generally kind of cute and at that moment I catch myself thinking this and then I take an embarrassingly long time trying to get my bike and everything ready as I leave and he just kind of watches all my fumbling and opening and closing and reopening my bag and putting on my lights and dropping my keys and thinking that I’ve lost my bike lock and I tell him, “Really, you shouldn’t watch this and just walk away,” because I have no idea why but it’s something out of that interaction that I remember saying and he replies, “I’m essentially just waiting to hear the sound of you unlock your bike,” so I unlock the bike and quip, “You’ve been released,” and he responds, “That’s one way of looking at it,” and I almost fall off my bike a couple of times as I bike away and thankfully he is leaving the country for a few weeks because I think I would be tempted to meet up with him in the next week probably to fuck and fortunately there’s not even an opportunity for that unless I become incredibly foolish tonight or tomorrow. Anyway, I thought I would have the bike ride to mull that interaction over, or at least to brood, but as I hit my first stoplight, J calls and so, as I bike back, I talk to him (through my headphone mic since I think that people that bike and hold their phones look like pricks) and somehow this chance-ish meeting with B comes up in conversation (I say, actually, that my time at the Walker was just fine but that I ran into an “ex-something” and he asked what the something was, and I say it’s not something that I really want to get into (though I should’ve just said “read my blog”)) and somehow we get into a conversation that involves regrettable romances and I say, without really thinking and in that self-deprecating manner of which I am a pro, “Don’t worry—I’m about to be your next one,” and we both pause and consider the assumptions and implications of that statement and I kind of just want let that statement go and don’t really acknowledge that it happened but, importantly, don’t apologize for it and now he has asked me to come up to his place for the weekend and I just don’t know what to do with myself at this point anymore and I’m a little impressed at the amount of ink I spill mulling over things with B because other things happen in my life sometimes and I feel no compulsion to take them to the internet so does that make him my Tumblrmuse or something?
that moment when you’re hungover and unemployed at 10:30 on a thursday eating eggs, watching Louie while looking at job postings and Facebook and this guy who was a total idiot prick in high school posts something generally thoughtful and relevant and typo-less and is actually very attractive without the facial hair and with a shaved head and he’s married and i would do him now and you’re like wait what the fuck how did that happen i’m going to die now thanks xohungoverunemployedandeatingeggs