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Fucking Valentine’s Day

In blog,lovesexdatinggross by MikeJack / February 14, 2014 / 1 Comment

sm03So the guy I was dating–or thought I was dating has vanished into thin air. Have you seen him? Well, I’m sure he’s not vanished–he’s likely snug in his bed in Morningside Heights right now as I type these words. He’ll wake soon, wipe the sand from his dreamy eyes, have a morning fart, check his Facebook, and realize it’s Valentine’s Day. When he realizes that, will he have a fleeting memory of me–the man he met on OKCupid, got off to a great start with, had great conversation, googly eyes over coffee, laughter, flirty texts, a hot and heavy make out session with, and then radio silence? Will he have a twinge of longing for me and consider picking up his mobile device to type “hi”? Or, has he already pushed me out of his mental sphincter and down the toilet where most modern love goes?

I kind of hope it’s the latter. Flush, asshole! Flush, flush, flush! 

This is not bitterness. Because it’s been a year of incredible personal growth for me and I am now in a place where I recognize that when things don’t go my way, it’s not because there is something wrong with me. I credit this partially to The White Woman whose couch I sit on every other Thursday but mostly to me who has worked his heart, ass, and brain off to arrive at the truly living Michael Jackson. I jokingly call myself The Realest Nigga on OkCupid because the thing I have learned is that for all of my dating inexperience, I have only gotten more and more real and honest about what I need and what I will give. I will put myself out there, like friends always advise, but when I do it I put the emphasis on MYSELF. And so if you’re a man who is too chickenshit to tell me to my face (or fine, via email) that you are not interested in me because it’s 2014 and you don’t know how you feel or you’re having issues or you’re afraid you’re going to hurt my feelings, or you think it’s easier to disappear after you’ve asked me if I was a top or a bottom and told me how handsome I was and how you wanted to date me and how I was so handsome not knowing how many buttons this would press in me who grew up ugly and pathetic and insecure and closeted in his arrested adolescent mind then you are not a man who I want to be involved with and I have truly dodged a bullet. 

This is not bitterness. Well, maybe there’s a germ of it in there, but nothing more than that because yesterday I took a long walk through the truly horrid puddles, ice, snow, and cold of New York City. It was just me, Dionne Warwick, and Burt Bacharach sotto voce. I leapt from street corner glacier to street corner glacier singing hits like “Always Something There To Remind Me” and “Are You There With Another Girl?” pretending like I was a mod heroine in a romantic 70s drama–someone like Raquel Welsh (but like with Annie Potts rising)–someone flawed but really classy and genuine–someone for whom love has always been elusive but who still holds candle flame of hope for it in the dark, dark, darkness.

I don’t know where I will end up. I’m writing a lot of good songs about my perpetual lovelessness which is good. I’m writing my black gay self into existence in this super duper Caucasian world. I’m looking and feeling better and better each day as I follow the diet and exercise regimen that has been so successful for me. I am not particularly pressed to be with anyone as I am particularly enjoying being with myself right now but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to remember those kisses with my now invisible man for a long, long time.

Fucking Valentine’s Day. Man.

 

Freak of Nature (A Valentine’s Day riff)

In lovesexdatinggross by MikeJack / February 14, 2013 / 0 Comments

sm03I don’t know jack about romantic relationships. I’m 32 years old and I’ve never been in one so obviously I feel like a freak of nature everyday of my life, but even more so on Valentine’s Day. The words “you gotta put yourself out there, man” are permanently tattooed on the inside of my eyelids when I go to sleep at night. When friends ask me “are you seeing anyone?” I become immediately defensive because the answer has never been “yes.” At my yearly physical, my doctor always asks: “why aren’t you dating?” One year I challenged him on this by asking him out. He said no. For this and other reasons, my experience of being a single person is different than most. I’m not just in between men wondering which one better fits the feng shui of my beach house. I am a single man. The fact that I am a single gay man even further magnifies the feeling of being a freak of nature.

I had the recent unfortunate experience of being at the most hallowed of gay white male institutions: Sunday brunch, where after several mimosas, we ended up casually chatting over our grindrs about which guys messaged us, which guys we messaged, who we met at [insert name of gay bar here], and how much they ejaculated on us once we got them home. I of course, lied as I always do, about the breadth of my experiences so that I could feel like I fit in. Since that brunch, I’ve left grindr. Since that brunch, I’ve retreated even further into my version of singlehood because I can no longer even pretend I’m “that” gay guy because I’m not. And when I do pretend, I’m perpetrating a fraud of the highest order. The truth is I’m “this” kind of gay guy: I watch a lot of dissatisfying white gay porn. I eat ALL of the time. Most Saturday nights you will find me at home drinking red wine while manically updating my Facebook status with some obscure youtube clip I found of say, a 1983 episode of the now defunct soap opera Guiding Light like this one (so good!)

But like Sophia Petrillo, I digress.

I had originally planned to post this rumination a few months ago in response to this post by blogger Rich Juzwiak because it serves as another example of the funhouse mirror I look into and feel so alienated by when I think of myself dating, sleeping around, and/or being a “successful” gay man in a relationship (even one that is unhealthy or temporary). People who know me think that I’m pretty crazy. I am pretty crazy. I’m totally weird. But I also have very simple needs. And that might actually be the weirdest thing about me. I just want to be with someone who likes loves likes loves and respects me, and whom I like love and respect in return. Over the past year, my therapist (whom I affectionately call The White Woman though not to her face) and I have determined that I don’t trust anyone. When I say I don’t trust anyone, I don’t mean that I actively distrust anyone. It just means that historically, I have been someone who has only ever relied upon himself for his own emotional needs. While this has kept me safe, it has also kept me isolated. In this way, you could think of me as an autistically high functioning lonely person.

“You gotta put yourself out there, man.” I know. But I also know that I have a friend who now lives in the Bay area where he and his fiancée are planning a wedding and subsequent life together. Before they moved, I watched him propose to the fiancée on a rooftop in Brooklyn and was completely overwhelmed and broken in two by the simplicity and the ease of their love for one another—the way in which it was so obvious to them that they should be together and that if they should ever be apart, they would be well adjusted enough to be apart and know with certainty that they could find happiness with other people. Neither of them ever experienced the chronic low grade panic that lives in the pit of my stomach that I will never get over my fear of rejection, my hatred of my body, my closet vanity, my daddy issues, my mommy issues, my self-protectiveness, my sexual inexperience, and just be a person “who needs peopllllllllle … people who need peopllllllllle …” who accepts himself as he is and trusts that someone else could do the same and not just trusts it, but seeks it out again and again as necessary until he finds and claims it as his own.

I have only recently come to the conclusion that I am not a piece of shit. And so I recognize that it’s baby steps toward whatever romantic destiny may (or may not!) lie before me. I can only hope that I am able to sustain the bravery to keep moving forward once I finally decide I’m ready to move beyond the womb of my closed heart.