i turn on grindr, which is a fucking mistake because i’ve spent the afternoon reading gerard manley hopkins’ beautiful and obviously desperate poems in adoration of christ’s tortured body, and i’m trying to juggle two horrifically boring conversations with the most promising guys on there: and then this fucking gorgeous guy pops up and suggests he drive over to mine to give me a blowjob. and i sort of don’t notice myself doing it immediately, but i sort of just softly ignore him and go cook dinner.
my living situation has been a bit strange for the past couple of years (without going into details, it’s been an awkward space where i don’t feel comfortable in asking guys back). i’ve been away for work for the past three months or so, and actually when i returned a few days ago, the person i live with is away, so this week I’ve actually been able to be at home in a relaxed way, more or less doing what and living how i want to in a really free way that’s been tremendously simple yet totally huge and significant, and totally revealing something that i’ve been missing now for years.
so i’m in my flat by myself, on grindr, but i find that i’ve left this guy hanging. i’m repeating the habit of not being able to accom without quite having the conscious reason to actually say to him that i can’t. and i remember the week before, when i was at dinner with a couple of friend:. both of whom are straight, and one of them has recently gotten more serious with her boyfriend (which is great, he sounds like a nice guy) she’s telling us about how it’s great, and that he’s a nice guy, and that she’s happy; and the other friend, who’s by the way the most lovely and intelligent and sensitive guy, asks me, i can’t remember, maybe asks me about whether i’m seeing anyone or maybe how my love life is, and i’m not sure if he gets it, the sense of total alienation and general despair that feels a given long before you would ever know to yourself and the word ‘gay’ together (in a very similar way to how it’s somehow very evident that you’ll never have kids), but also like: the sense of the continued disintegration of any sense of what a gay community might be; the way that meeting guys just feels like this oblique encounters between confused and broken men with harshly different expectations and desires; the utter apathy i feel when i see white gay men insisting a connection to any sense of queerness any more; or that the rare moments of romance and belonging occur in the unexpected and hastily negotiated encounters at urinals in bus stations, train stations, and airports, and the first time i walked through that park at night, and a nervous man asked me whether i wanted to suck his cock.
and i don’t know what replied, but then, somehow, he asks me if i believe in love. and i obviously have nothing to say to that either, so i mutter something about grindr. and this lovely and intelligent man, this totally inspirational man, who has only ever interacted with me with extreme generosity, then says something like “oh, i hear that’s got a bad reputation”, and I immediately feel like I never want anything to do with, or hear anything from, heterosexuals again. i spend the rest of the evening slowly collapsing into this horrific depression, feeling inarticulate, and guilty, and like i’m spoiling the evening. later that night, i mention something on twitter about how the somatics of depression isn’t something i can describe on there (which is not to do with not having the words, but rather feeling, as I always do, that it’s a harsh thing to put on listener) but i wrote it down for myself on my phone at some point in a memo titled ‘fuuuuuuck’:
everything inside the skin feels like sewage
hot and raw
shit clings to the side
the heavy downwards of anything fluid-like
a thin cord is pulled out the back of the head, setting teeth on edge.
eyes are hot and heavy and dry
the insides of the arms tingle like when you really cry except you’re not crying
repeated urges to stab myself in the stomach and the eyes
(which actually feels ok to post here, maybe because of distance but maybe because of what i’ve written above kind of framing it, feels ok to post here apart from the total embarrassment that someone might thinks the above is trying to be poetic, but it feels worse to try edit it into anything less awkward.)
so i feel like the gorgeous cocksucker who wanted to travel to mine is gone by this point, so i ask a couple of others on there where they actually meet guys in this city apart from grinder, and it doesn’t seem like they do – no bars, no cruising spots – and i have this sort of despair, this despair at belonging to a community which i have zero respect or interest in, and wondering what kind of energy or commitment i can put towards these people. and then this song comes on my computer, which i’ve been playing on repeat for pretty much the past two days, and i’d been wondering how to encourage more people to listen to it, and so this seemed like the best way to let you know why it might have struck me so much: