Friday, June 5, 2009

I slide myself forward//through my head//I think halfway//Backwards

The New Objective (with apologies to Joseph):
The G.I. Joe movie comes out August 7th. That means I have 10 weeks to find a boyfriend who would be as giddy as I will be when sitting in the theater. Yes, hyper-masculinity blah, blah, blah but I loved this as a kid.
My Gramsy had my uncles old 12" action figures and whenever I would visit (which was every summer) I would play with them, setting up elaborate scenes, meticulously moving each character through detailed, multi-layered story-lines. Like a good fag, I sewed clothes, sleeping-bags, and tents for them out of old pants, fashioned backpacks out of my dad's socks, and made parachutes out of spent shiny plastic balloons.
I also had the 3 1/4" figurines, which would be strapped to remote-control cars, sent to the bottom of our tenement's swimming pool for "scuba exploration," and thrown from the terrace on kites.
Since we didn't have cable growing up, it was a super special treat that my Gramsy did. After riding my bicycle down the boardwalk and back--the hours were from 6am-9am--I would make it home just in time to catch the G.I. Joe cartoon on USA. And then it was off to do all the amazingly homoerotic playing with dolls (I know, I know: "action figures") described above.
The Old Man (my dad) and I spoke on the phone the other day about my time at Christian all-boys sleep-away camp. A recent post brought me back to thinking about those days, and watching video from the camp, realizing just how young I was... there was something profoundly tragic in it. And, nostalgic. Zizek gets one thing right, I think, and it is this: socio-political ideology (fascism, Marxism, racism) stems from the desire for jouissance, the fantastically "lost" primary love object--the Mother, but most specifically, the Mother qua womb. At camp one was wholly absorbed into the group, one was no longer an individual per se, but rather a necessary "addition" that reinforced the ideological apparatus of the commune. Leaving camp was always the hardest thing: it was like birth; a traumatic abandonment into a hostile world, where the idiomatic dialect that we spoke was just gibberish, where, in other words, an entirely discrete paradigm ordered and governed life.

Joseph and I once noted that we were able to take 5 courses (24 credits), get straight A's, work three jobs each, and have social lives in college because we were in relationships. Those relationships were, in no small measure, envelops that held us securely, kept our letters from spilling out, spared us the angst of negotiating that which so quickly undoes a person. Since that time, since graduating, I've been more or less single--I won't count the last year of my relationship, which was animated more by my drunken affairs (with boys) and vicious fights than anything else. I moved to Chicago alone, I made new friends alone, earned my Masters alone... And I discovered the degree to which my ex served most faithfully as a "womb"--a home I could return to, where questions evaporated, where I was safe. I feel a pang of remorse when I reflect on this, if for no other reason than I knew before it all burned down that it was over but did not allow myself to leave the safety of that space. It was cowardice, and we both paid dearly for it.

Still, I long for another body I can feel safe with. As much as danger is one of my aphrodisiacs--the danger of disease, of committing a faux pas, of violence, arrest or what have you--I still long for someone to wake beside, who will have heard me snoring and have rolled me over to shut me up, who will joke about it later over espresso, make me blush, and then reassure me it was no big deal. I believe we are nothing more than just so many masks--some more highly refined than others through use. I've no illusion that in expressing a desire for something more or less "stable" this is just another dimension of myself that has been strangled of nourishment, choked on so many acerbic denunciations (often couched in Nietzschean parlance of "hardness towards oneself"--an attempt to do away with the shameful history of my fetishization of my ex). The desire for companionship, for erotic relationality that endures beyond a 24hour window, is not a desire to return to the womb per se. Rather, it is a desire to transvalue danger into love.

Enjoy the video. It's one of my favorites by Sigur Rós (another wonderful aspect of my life I owe to Joseph). The title of the song, and video, translates to: "Good Weather For Airstrikes"--a reference to a comment made by a weatherman during the Kosovo war. (Oh, and the lead singer's a fag ;) .)

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