Saturday, December 26, 2009

That's the Way We Get By

When I was in Italy with friends a girl we were fond of said: when you're in love your cells change their shape, like puzzle pieces, and get used to the other person's cells. It made me think of the old myth from Plato's Symposium told by Aristophanes: two halves looking to be whole. And yet, its that or some sort of cosmic clock that allows two people to somehow get on a rhythm, move in some sort of syncopation. Last night, for instance, after watching the very, very long and silly "Terminator Salvation" to kill time while waiting for J. to call I thought, after looking at the clock, well, he's not gonna call. And then, the phone rings. Literally, as soon as I had ejected the movie and put it back in its case. It's like a cosmic clock that chimes our movements. An erotic metronome.

I was talking to the Vegan yesterday, and after letting slip the identity of the Writer--a secret I'd managed to keep for almost a year--I told him how, ironically, being in a relationship can be oddly de-sexualizing: when you go out, you are sized up, groped, you dance with beautiful men in suggestive ways, you're offered drinks, phone-numbers, quickies, ect. I don't think I'm the first to point this out, but whereas most would say, "But the trade-off is intimacy, comfort, security, ect..." I want to say that there is something profoundly weak about that counter-argument. Yes, intimacy, comfort, security, ect. But, still, I am a sexual being--which is to say, most gay men are rank narcissists and we live on the affirmation of others who look at us and say: I want to fuck you.

It's not that one cannot have such a thing in a relationship, indeed, I think I do! It was just a strange experience to be missing J. rather profoundly while also wanting to go out dancing, to go out and get that affirmation--that nice reminder that I am fucking hot, that while I may be out of the game, I still haven't forgotten how to play. This is also, no doubt, a reaction formation to the trauma of loss--I think that my experience with a near melt-down after breaking-up with my ex almost 2.5 years ago still haunts my imaginary.

I spoke to the Vegan about how much it bothers me that J. is still in touch with his ex, and that I keep finding out about his past lovers. By contrast, J. knew from the beginning where lovers from my past stood--the Vegan, the Writer, and the German--all neatly contextualized, all neutralized as "threats" to him, which was necessary, I thought, because I wasn't about to sacrifice my friendship with any of them. The Vegan says, well, at least he's not going to leave you to discover what he might be missing (which is what he did with his ex after four years). And the Vegan sympathized with my being bothered about J.'s ex. "The same thing happened with me, and I hated it!" I wonder if J.'s ex serves as that reminder for him, that he can still play the game even though he's off the field. I'm not nervous, or jealous. I just wonder what serves as that extra-relationship force for him.

Anyway, he calls. Just when he needed to. Just when I had given up on him calling. The pendulum of our erotic clock swung us back into place.

The down-side to rebounding from a mild anxiety attack is that the up-swing tends to hyper-sexualize me. And J. says to me the other night that I grind my teeth in my sleep. He understands why I'm an alcoholic now that he's taken my pills. If I was on those all day long all the time I would need a drink to take the edge off, too. Of course, there's something off about taking pills to get "on" only to then have to drink to take the edge off. The problem, perhaps, of harmony. I'll have to talk to my doctor about this. We shall see. But, anyway, knowing that I'm in a hyper-sexualized arc I'm not worried about the "truth" of my feelings. And, still, I wonder.

And then, as if my cosmic clock needed to sound the alarm, to rouse me from a stupor: in walks this man, a boy, that I almost made the mistake of sleeping with. Details aren't important. Needless to say, I was done with him before I met J. and he was after thought until this afternoon when in he walks to work. And he is so repulsive--not that he's ugly, and he's hung like a horse--but that his soul itself is offensive. It makes the skin rise on pin-pricks. He says, after finding out that I'm in a relationship, well just because you have a boyfriend doesn't mean we can't still hook-up. And I say, actually that's exactly what it means. And that was that. This sniveling, gossip, creep made me realize that I would never trade what I have with J. for anything, least of all that douche bag.

And J. is off to mass with his family. Off to get married, he jokingly says. And I say, that makes me your elicit "friend" which is fine with me so long as you name your first born son after me. He says, maybe not the first born... but who knows, maybe just 'junior'. And I'm horny as fuck. Wanting to see him kneeling at the alter for communion, imagining those perfect lips parting, the moisture of his tongue lapping up the sacrament with reverence...

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