I made a conscious decision scheduling this post for the tail-end of Pride Month. For starters, today is Pride Day. It just seemed appropriate for the post. I chose today because it feels that everyone makes the bigger deal at the beginning of June. That’s when we see the most corporate marketing for Pride. That’s when we see influencers beating their chests about how much an ally they are. As the month winds down, people who aren’t a part of the community just stop caring. There’s no financial gain to it.
With that said, this is not the original intro to this post. The original intro consisted of a story of a friend coming out to me. While I kept that friend’s name secret, I nonetheless began to have second thoughts. I only have so many friends and it wouldn’t take too much a detective to figure out who I was talking about. While I know this friend’s family is fully aware, I don’t know where our mutual friends stand.
In short, while this story does contain me as a character, it is not my story to tell. Most of the post remains the same. The ending has been altered to because it tied back to the introduction.
“I’ve made you get the pass list for a reason,” I tell him. “The balls in your court. It’s up to you how you play it.” The whole time I’m thinking how the fuck I got myself into this mess…again. Didn’t I learn never to take anyone under my wing?
Of course, I’m half telling the truth. My main reason for having him get the pass list is sheer laziness. I couldn’t care less if he ever gets the nerve to speak to S. Still, I think he has some redeeming qualities. Until…
“I used to beat up guys like him in high school,” he tells me. I gauge whether he’s telling me what I want to hear, as if every “straight” guy hates his homosexual counterpart. Unfortunately for him, I’m far from a straight guy. So far that there is no label for me…except the one thrust upon me.
He’s speaking about R, one of the bartenders. A few days ago, he stood around, speaking with R when things turn to the topic romance – I’m not sure, I wasn’t there. He asked, “So what are you into, man?” to which R replies, “You just answered yourself.” What follows – and this is only speculation – is the graphic details of R’s homosexuality.
Now, it’s no big secret that R’s gay. For some odd reason, my unfortunate sidekick didn’t know. “What did you want? A neon sign?” I ask him when he confides in me. “R’s as gay as they come.”
“I thought I had a new friend,” he tells me.
“Why can’t you be friends with him?”
“What if girls think the wrong thing?”
“You’re gonna be friends with him, not make out with him.”
M, who’d been a silent participant in my misery, speaks up, “I had a couple of gay friends. There’s nothing wrong.”
“I had a couple myself,” I say. “They all went away. I don’t blame them. If I were gay, I’d leave this place, too.”
Later, he asks, “I wonder if [R’s] an embarrassment to his family?”
“Because they had a boy.”
“Well, they still have a boy.” After a beat, “You really have to lose this backward ideology, my friend. Girls love gay guys. And those who don’t, well, I don’t know how to help you talk to them because they’re vapid bitches and I don’t deal with vapid bitches.”
“I have a cousin who likes both things,” he says – I suppose to his defense. “And you know what I mean by both things.”
“Yes,” I sigh. “I do.”
I don’t partake in it. Hetero, Homo, Bi and Pansexuals all disturb me to no limit. The latter blurring the line between genders – “Genders are for fags,” as one Tumblr-ite said it. But what’s in a label? Nothing but shit, really. Sexual orientations are for suckers, I say.
Reminiscent of something else
We’re not going through this tunnel together without coming stronger on the other side. We can fight or we can take flight. The adrenaline will kick in. The pain of our former selves will fade. Now, take my hand and jump.
Even after all this
“I don’t believe in sexuality,” I tell him and I let him take that to mean whatever he wants. I don’t tell him the years of ridicule. The bullying. The name calling. The self-hatred of being different from the majority. I want to punch him. I want to smack this guy down and give up on everything. There is no hope for a man stuck in his boyish ways.
I want to add, “I think being an embarrassment to yourself by hiding who you are is much worse than being an embarrassment to your family.” I want to tell him there’s nothing wrong about being gay. I want to reeducate him. It’s just not worth my time.
There is a statement that goes here. It’s meant for you to tread upon. For you to find your way into my heart. Into my past.
Why do we love each other so much? Because we complete each other.
It’s a nickname – a moniker, if you will – given to me by an ex-girlfriend’s older sister. I don’t know where it came from. As memory serves me, I never once wore mascara. I wore eyeliner on occasion – mostly for Halloween. The habit of having Miranda dress me up like her masochistic Barbie doll played a role, maybe. It’s nothing to think about, just something that popped into my mind.
[There is a message here, but the signal’s breaking up]
This disease eats people from the outside in. That way, their souls are the last to go. Some travel to Shangri-La for cures, only to find the land barren – a waste zone of decay and boredom.
For centuries we looked to the skies in hopes to find our significance. When nothing happened, we started making up gods and fictions to explain our higher reason. To mark our dominance over the terrain and fauna. Created rules. Social norms bestowed upon the people.
We covered our histories in myths. Fabricated our origins. Created messiahs. Sacrificed them to feel closer to our fictional creators. Then huffed the opium in.
“C’mon, you telling me you’re asexual?”
“No. I just don’t prescribe to sexuality.”
“Which means, you’re asexual. No?”
“No. I like sex. I don’t like to limit myself.”
“So you’re bisexual?”
Once I might have labeled myself. I suppose we all do at one time or another. If you deny this, you’re a bold-faced liar. Truth is, sexuality isn’t black, white or gray. It’s really not existent. It’s something we created.
I’m not sexually attracted to men. I’m not sexually attracted to women. I’m sexually attracted to humans, their minds. Their emotions.
Please don’t make me drink it. The force of the syrup slips through my lips, fills my mouth and slithers down my throat. I’m intoxicated by the flavor. I’ve been off the junk for weeks. Months. It’s hard to remember. The days here just bleed into the next. The clocks on the wall are all broken. They’re all stuck on the sixth hour. Lined up in a roll like that. They say that it’s a fiction here. We come here to forget. Some of us don’t even remember why we came.
My memories aren’t so erased. Not yet. The junk spews from every faucet, on every street. A buck fifty will get you the better shit. You thinking that things like this ain’t a big deal.
At the disco, forty-year-old men consort with the eighteen-year-old dancers looking for a good time. Their money isn’t worth shit here. They’ll suck out their souls, leaving behind the husks they’ve allowed themselves to become.
In the corner, the redhead tosses her head back in laughter. She’s seducing. She’s venom. She’s the moon. She’s the sun. She’s young and fishing. I knock back my drink and leave, escaping to the streets. Feeling nothing for the others. Emotions aren’t here. They don’t exist. There is no guilt. Fuck it.
A couple of days longer and this will all be over, anyway. I won’t remember. I’ll be back on the train out of here. Memories erased.