ninth, no … tenth blog
After some reflection on your various attractions to both sexes, a common factor running through each of them eventually ran in front of you. And suddenly you started looking for its tracks elsewhere. You realized it was everywhere.
You are attracted to that which challenges you.
You know it’s true. You know you love thinking, learning and growing and you feel this way about everything—about teachers, about art, about lifestyles. So of course you would build your erotic lens off the same blueprint.
You’ve wondered why your best friendships have never led to romance, while you’ve known shallower ones to incorporate elements of attraction in them…. And it’s because your best friends naturally relieve you, naturally pacify you. Although at times these friends have challenged you, it’s only been intellectually, never sexually and never emotionally.
Your friends whom you’ve had a hard time befriending, your friends whom you’ve found obtuse in the past, whom you’ve found hard to progress with emotionally: These friends are the ones that excited you inexplicably.
You’ve experienced this mainly with other men who made a point of their own masculinity over yours. When a male friend put his maleness between you, put up his machismo as a front, that’s what frustrated you and turned you on. It activated rather than pacified you.
You found yourself challenged to have a relationship with them, where with easier friends (male and female) asserting sexual identity is never an issue.
Friction creates heat! And for you, that holds true in an emotional and sexual sense as well.
For you the excitement of homosexuality has always been in the excitement of competition, the playful invitation to display sexual assertion. Which is why you’ve never felt any attraction toward an actual homosexual relationship, but only toward encounters.
As far as sexual involvement goes, you’ve never wanted anything more than relief to the sexual challenge in the form of sexual release. When it was an emotional incongruity, the emotional became translated into sexual and physical, and from there you wanted emotional release (in sexual outlet).
So far, whenever you’ve been incited by others or by yourself to decide your sexual orientation, you’ve become confused by your feelings. You felt heterosexual, and yet you felt attracted to other boys. But until the onset of adolescence, you’d only ever liked girls, so then why the sudden attraction to boys? All your crushes were still on girls. Why these new, different feelings for boys?
You didn’t know the answer then, but you did know that the way you were attracted to boys was different than the way you were attracted to girls….
And now, coming to understand the two-dimensional makeup of your homosexuality has encouraged you even more toward heterosexual resolution. Although, you should be clear: you have nothing against homosexuality—one of your best friends is gay.
Unfortunately, sex-symbols were usually the girls to command your attention. Real girls have rarely attracted you because they’ve rarely challenged you. And at times this fact has been something that’s compounded your sexual confusion.
You tend to understand girls as innately as other girls do, because you grew up as the only boy in an all-girl home. You’ve made friends with them easily. And you’ve rarely found yourself attracted to them because you’ve rarely felt uncomfortable or challenged around them.
But when girls (real ones) have challenged you, you’ve fallen head-over-heels….
Earlier you were fantasizing about a girl who could shut you up with all her own realizations and ideas—a girl who would invite you to inspired silence. And now you know why.
Still, you need to reconsider all your assumptions, because suddenly you’re wondering whether your intimacy with girls has caused you to put them as a whole into boxes and onto pedestals.
something depressing that happened some time ago
The car in front of you finally pulls forward, so you turn your key in the ignition and turn your lights back up. But suddenly you see the car in front of you, stopped, mere feet away from where it was. So you slump back in your seat.
It’s a little past three a.m.
You have to wait a while more before you’re able to bring your window in line with the microphone screen.
Eventually that time comes and you roll forward, and you quickly turn down your music, The Fall of Man by The Middle East, just as the climactic second chorus begins to roll in. You change your mind and change it over to the radio. You know when you turn it back, it will automatically adjust to a few seconds before where you left off; that way, you can enjoy the beginning of the chorus again.
You flip down the switch for your window, and hold off a second before venturing your voice into the screen: “Hello?” You clear your throat, noticing the funny way your voice lifted at ‘-lo?’.
“… Be with ya in a moment!” replies a light, male tenor.
“Alright,” you say in instant condolence, not even registering the likelihood that this response went unheard.
You wonder if you should take this opportunity to turn your CD back on, but decide against it. Instead you surf the radio for a tolerable station and settle on the local pop-channel. The saxophone is just picking up on Alexandra Stan’s Mr. Saxobeat.
After a brief period, “May I take your order?” spills out of the speaker.
“Yes,” you say, eying the bright advertisements on the translucent menu-board, “I’ll have a McRib please, the meal, and to drink I’d like….” You search the picture list of soft drinks for the perfect choice. None stand out, so you say, “I’d like a Sprite.” because Sprite sometimes reminds you of ginger ale.
The meal displays on the screen and the cashier rejoins the conversation, “What would you like to drink with that?”
You blink and smile, and say again, “I’d like a Sprite please … and uh,”
The drink displays and you look at the McRib again. And it’s as if your hunger has given you greedy, green glasses to look through. So, metaphorically, you let your glasses slide down your nose and look back at the picture with skepticism. You ask the cashier, “Are the McRibs good?”
The cashier says, “What?”
And you say, “I’m asking you your opinion on the McRibs. Are they good?”
Then the cashier hesitates and says, bashfully, “I … I uh … I don’t eat this.”
So you laugh and decide, “Well, I’ll have another McRib, just the sandwich.”
The sandwich order displays, the cashier says something you don’t quite catch, and you send your thanks out the window before you pull around to stop behind the car from earlier.
You go to put the CD back on, but interrupt yourself and remember to raise your window. Now you’re fee to turn up the volume (or free from the risk that turning it up will bother anyone). So the second chorus of The Fall of Man descends on your car and sweeps away a part of you. And it is loud.
And it is sweet, and bitter too—like the best hot tea, like the Old Testament, and like the suffering light of a cold, white morning! But not even one of these analogies occurs to you at the time, true as they are…. No, you are far too enfolded by the sounds surrounding you.
By the time your ears are hearing the notes of the coda, the car in front of you is driving off and you are driving forward. The cashier slides the window back, and at once several things strike you (mentally). But in order for this to happen something has had to happen already: namely, a failure to strike you.
Your mind never attached a mental image to the disembodied voice that had talked to you! It never even approached that next step! Evidently, your mind was focused on feeding you instead. The McDonald’s ordering-process is so unchallenging and so streamlined, and your mind is so anxious for and prone to relief-seeking that it hypnotized you instantly And so, coming to the window, a depersonalized person confronts you.
Your mind has left you to negotiate this deep cognitive gap without even thinking about it.
Immediately every detail of his appearance meets your eyes. He is a young man, he is close to your age (just like most people in this college town), he is thickset, he is black, he wears his hair in a kind of faux-hawk, he wears glasses too, and he has to wear a uniform: and everything, his age, race, face, hair, it all catches you off-guard!
And from out of this living, breathing, human being came a voice—visibly formed by the lips, teeth, and tongue of a moving mouth. “It’ll be seven twenty-four.” He says with a silly smile.
And you smile too. You laugh because it’s a little dizzying. You feel like
[Recent insert: Honestly, you haven’t reread everything you’ve written heretofore, to use a formal term. And honestly, you aren’t intending to.
The point of all this is that it took something as meaningless and yet ironically meaningful as the interpersonal landscape of your local McDonald’s drive-thru to awaken you to the disconcerting truth that you fail impressively at considering other people, to the extent that you subconsciously deprive everyone of any shred of humanity.
And so on, and so forth, communicating the ultimate asshole you are.
And who is Alexandra Stan?
Whatever. The point after the point is that you really ought to take everything less seriously, because you’re totally freaked out over negligible details.]
You are wondering:
That sympathy when you were ordering was so instant, so then … was it unreal?
Your mind conjured compassion quickly, thoughtlessly, and that can’t be good … can it? Real sympathy and real compassion are not easily come by, so then what was this… ?
[Recent insert: … Hmm.]