Friday, June 19, 2009

Never Thought Tonight Would Be This Close To Me (or: I met a boy)

I am working hard not to intellectualize, to resist even the urge to poeticize.
I met a boy.
I met a boy in the most unlikely of circumstances. I gave him my number, thoroughly expecting nothing to come of it. He came back to see me and we talked for an hour, parting with plans to see one another Sunday.
He invited me over for sherbet the next night.
(A digression: A friend recently hypothesized that beneath the bravado I am a prude. I don't think the metaphysics of essence he alludes to is valid, but it got me thinking critically about how I present such that he would venture that reading. I realized my political passion, expressed in previous posts, to resist moralizing our sex practices prompted a hyper-amplification of my own sex practices to a disproportionate extent. His observation, thus interpreted, was timely.)
The invitation to his apartment for sherbet seemed too innocent to be taken at face value. An effect, no doubt, of the ghetto mentality such that everything is innuendo, where words, unless freighted with sexual polyvalence, are undecipherable.
The contrast struck me as such: I recalled a scene from Thorton Wilder's "Our Town" where George and Emily go out for a rootbeer float-- the invitation carried that tone. But then, too, it wasn't explicitly articulated in those terms and it was mediated via instant messenger--a medium in which I am wholly disarmed: nuance, body, intimacy simply do not translate.
Confident this was a booty-call I ventured out.
No, not confident at all: there were too many unknowns, myself included: I didn't want to simply sleep with this boy: I wanted to take him out for dinner, to go to the movies, to fall in love.
My ambivalence--for I would have slept with him, so I could claim him, conquer him--but I didn't want to: he shook me out of my anticipation when he returned and I did not want to simply be conquistador, or conquest myself. My ambivalence, transmuted through that mysterious alchemical art of desire, became anxiety and when we reached his apartment and lingered at his herb garden I gratefully received his hesitation...
We went for a walk, a journey that brought us to the lake--though I suggested it, he promptly voiced like-mindedness, and for the first time we settled into a trepidatious harmony that would guide the rest of our sleepless night.
At the lake I spoke of the romance of the sea, of open water, of the pleasure of a vibrant starscape, and the dangers of groundlessness. He beamed and it was no longer my fantasy. I imagined a calm night somewhere in the Pacific lying beside him gazing at stars. I imagined him imagining the same thing.
He invited me back for sherbet. This time he meant sherbet but more, a more both of us we could name with vague and cliched poetics. We left it unspoken and when we reached his apartment we savored the sweetness of the lemon ice, made sweeter because, now, I stood across from him in his kitchen safe in my desire, in his desire.
(A digression: He has the physique of a statue boasted in the Uffizi gallery in Florence of the boy-god Hermes. Last night, my second in his bed in as many days, I told him this and he said he always fancied that of the Pantheon he was closest to Hermes. He is a musician and a director-in-training: an artist. Artists, who deliver to us the truth of the human condition--.)
He lent me a copy of Murakami's "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle". I promised him a copy of Nietzsche's "The Gay Science".
I fall in love too easily. That standard refrain. Love pulls me out of myself, and thus all the more deeply am I thrust into myself. He said I make his whole body tingle. He laid his sweatshirt on the damp bench when we sat by the lake.

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