Thursday, March 19, 2009

Loose Ends (or: I'll be the dust in the room, if you be the man with the broom)

Cloaca: a duck's mangina.
And doesn't this speak volumes? I don't know exactly how I started on a duck's reproductive and excretory tunnel, but it did manage to set the tone for the night, didn't it?
(As did that crazy woman's persistent interruptions: "I like snazzy!"... Ok, shut up now.)
Somehow, I learned, the men I manage to fall for are attracted to the utterly abject (shit) and the beautiful. Sometimes, even, this is one and the same.
Now, of course I too have cum to the abject--often when I am abjected, when I abject, or when the scene itself is abject. But this isn't my ideal.
Yes, accuse me of heteronormativity, or whatever. It isn't penetration, per se. It's the power dynamic. I like knowing you get off to my vulnerability, and I too, cum to yours.
(My father once cringed at the idea that I get fucked my men. Joseph cringed at the idea of shaving oneself before a date... Something in the heterosexual psyche, perhaps, that recoils from the idea of vulnerability)
But it is a matter of pain, which is why I've never dabbled in poppers. Even when I top--more than you would imagine, I suppose--it is about pain, and mitigating it.
(Plato writes that falling in love is about "growing wings"--a painful affair--and an erection--and only proximity to the beloved alleviates the pain. But always pain.)
Freud writes that the pleasures of the anal(-sadistic) are defined by a heightened sense of pleasure and pain: the anus is pleased by the painful passage.

Two things entered my mind while walking home, with a detour to Jewel so I could buy more to drink.
1) Indeed, I am a fool.
2) Indeed, I am a fool.
First I thought about this while waiting for the check-out girl to make sure my face was still the same face on my ID.
Second, I thought this while on the phone with Paula, who, too, was alone on a Friday at midnight. She had poured nail polish remover on her lap. And she did the typical fag-hag thing: she listened, she clucked, she sighed, she shared her own despairing story. It isn't Paula that bothers me, per se. No, haha, I love Paula--there is no one else I could call at 2am who would still be awake, willing, and able to talk Foucault. It's what talking to her revealed.
I told her I am typically myself still. She understood.

I asked the Writer if he ever found himself becoming those things that he was attracted to in the men he was turned on. He said yes. Indeed. I told him he taught me the necessity of dating more than one person. There was something on the sly about this, and I doubt he caught it, which is for the best: I needed to make him distant, or else I would do what I always do with men I find myself falling for. The poor men that I've dated since: poor excuses, like a discursive tissue one cums into while watching porn: a verbal napkin.

The Writer is someone who attracts me, yes, and I confess that it isn't always something I understand. He gives with one hand so that he can take away with the other. There is something about his face--I've watched it enough now to begin to chart its maneuvers--that draws me in. And that his hands are hummingbirds. And his lips make a sneer when he enjoys the music he hears.
He touches my hair. He calls me by my last name. He can break a pill in half like it is nothing--a perfect half: really.

Yup: like marijuana leads to heroin: I'm hooked. It's unfair, really. I have absolutely no way of retaliation. I only know this one assault, and it goes like this: "I like you..." This means less in this world, I've learned, than it does else where. Rather than disarm, it equips: a detente I've not the prowess to see through: you will incinerate me, if we continue.

I learned something else: Rachel enabled me to be a good student, to be unsettled, confused. frustrated, fucked by texts, ideas, and lectures. (Sublimation?)
Being with Rachel I avoided being unsettled, confused, frustrated, fucked by those people who I might have learned to bleed from--and to love, too, perhaps. (Reaction-formation?)
All these men I meet: they have learned to keep boys like me at bay, having done what I am now learning to do so many years ago. And it is clear to me they cannot trust is my naiveté, imagining it to be a cynical act.
Yes: I learned to unlearn the only form of intimacy I knew--at least, in part.

He said I was smarter than he was. This is probably true, insofar as I've read more and this may translate into being a better reader in general. There is, however, something ironic to his seeming tip of the hand: (again, he took what he gave, and I'm glad for that) I've no clue how to play a game the rules of which he is fluent in: I am still learning how to read it's fluctuations--and who is to say that he's even a good case-study? One doesn't look for such things, I think.
(It is, in such moments, a matter of practicality: Kant will not help me, nor will Aristotle, or Plato, or Hegel, or Heidegger, or Arendt, or Foucault, or Derrida, or Freud... My wisdom dissolves with your forward question. And you know this, so you keep asking. And I keep wanting you to.)

Here's my ultimate trouble: I hear you say "No," but I fancy myself an acute enough reader to hear that No spoken with ambivalence, and like a good psychoanalyst I stake out my position around this moment of ambivalence, waiting, prodding, inciting the moment when the ambivalence collapses into affirmation of the response I wish to hear.
I told Paula: I'm still myself, and she understood.
She didn't relate, however: she told me a story about a guy she'd seen who didn't catch the hint, even after 4 months of silence.
Matthias used to tell these stories about his ex, Bobby, and I hated hearing them, having been myself the fool on the other line who can't see the rolling-eyes, the impatient distracting, the roommate mouthing "is it him?" with disbelief...
Yes: some of us have an obsessional, paranoiac constitution, after so many years, too many traumas, and all that truth... It does, in fact, begin to hurt, like a persistent ache in the jaw, or the fingers, or the feet when you walk--it is constant, that is, and when it seems to disappear: these moments we remember.
No: you are not a vicodin, or a vitamin. I don't take you... that's the problem, perhaps: you take me, no?

But then, I do use you: you are the secret I keep for myself--no, we cannot go to Berlin: they might see you--no, I have never spoken your name to them: then I might hear of you from their lips--...
This would work better if I could keep my secret from you, too: but I am no good at this, after all. And you said you are turned off by men you know are into you (I said you should read Kierkegaard's "Seducer's Diary").
And isn't this like a cloaca? Some sort of compulsion to make what is distant, perhaps persecutory, aesthetically appealing? And yet, when the split occurs: when the possibility for intimacy and fucking occurs... no--only so much disavowal.

You make me angry. All of this talk of friendship with a slight erotic charge: you hold at bay what might be good, keeping this as a fall-back, a net--and in this way you can pursue that which you can predict, master, know, control (cum to): but never love.
Oh, no: I'm much too self-deprecatory to imagine that _I_ am the one you might want. But it's someone like me, I know, that will ultimately capture you in a way you will not know how to deny.
I am angry because it won't be me: I'll be the preparatory figure who shows you that, in fact, you wish to be vulnerable. And after the safety of our "friendship" you will discover you are, in fact, capable of such a leap.
And I'll, at this point, cease to look at your face, or watch your hands, or reply to your appellations. I will understand, at that point, what I understand now: that, in fact, I am redundant.

I asked him if he found himself becoming that which he was attracted to in others. He said yes. I asked it rhetorically. Because I find myself becoming more like him than I initially knew: despite my own preoccupation with an ethical response to vulnerability I've come to see how perhaps first ethics is mitigating one's own vulnerability.
I can't give myself to this, of course. It means too much deceit, too much loneliness, and I am not prepared to subject myself to that.
I am a brilliant reader, but I will never be able to become the type of person who could read with the certainty such a posture requires.
I called him out on this: you think you know how to read me, but you don't. He accepted that he does, often, pretend how to read other people. And he couched his pretense in the form of surprise or disappointment.
I quoted Judith Butler from "Giving an Account of Oneself"--about how ethics (and love) is about letting the other live, without demanding a totalizing narrative, and to receive the becomings of the other.

I have his bag in my room, and his hat--the famous hat with a pom-pom on top. Paula asked me if he left it here purposefully. I said, Yes: I offered. She meant: did he leave it here as an excuse to come back to my apt. I said, No: I made it abundantly clear that my offer was not blackmail.
I could hear in her silences the question: will you look through it?
No, of course not: there is nothing there I wish to see. It is only so many dirty socks and boxer-shorts.

Here, I think, is the Writer's power: to walk away; to disengage; to enact a distance.
No doubt this makes him a god: his beauty, his intelligence, his poise, his fluency in the ars erotica... all this draws so many men in, I imagine.
I, certainly, am among those decomposing in the poison mucous of his fly-trap.
(Cynical... and not really meant: an ugly metaphor.)
But it is true, and I've noted this before: I find myself envious of his ability to keep at a distance, to see fucking like drinking a mediocre cup of coffee: it's true: it get the job done: but you remain alone, no? I want you to be more than my morning breakfast.

Oh, only the ranting of a boy spurned. And all the insights I may bring to bear--close to blood or not--are only ever so many attacks: this is me cursing, spitting upon, disavowing, denying, rejecting...

And I will see him again tomorrow, for brunch. And at the sight of him all of this will dissolve. And I will be enamored of his hummingbird hands, and his curt speech, and his sneer, and his way of drawing me in only so much--only ever in so much...
And I will call him in a few days, endure his silence with so much gin, and when he calls I will beam and boast and prepare my body...
And the game will begin again. Because it never ended. And this continuity, which his infuriating "truth" scorches each time, will remain unbroken.

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