Itchy Twitchy La La La
I got a note the other day that complimented me on the quality of my "public longing" (that as opposed, I understand, to the more conventional "secret longing") and this tender sprout of an idea took root in the unfortunately rocky and barren terrain that is what passes for my subconscious these days. I don't know if it's really something to be proud of, but I think I've gone too far down the road of radical transparency to really make much of a turnaround now. Nothing short of the online equivalent to death (that is, taking the whole thing down) can really extricate me from my legacy. Or, as they say in the middle of a bum trip, the only way out is through.
So public longing it is. New tag. Warning to any groundlings out there who might see this post; it's got mature content, which is preferable to immature content IMHO (and as the man sez), but if yr parents aren't into that sort of thing, maybe trip away*.
I'm back in that Swerengen place, which I know at least some people out there get. It's a nasty cocktail of pressurized and randy, a place I get where the facts of my life stretch me out thin enough that there are a real limited number of things that'll make me feel good, and the first one on my mind is getting epically laid, but of course this is a pretty terrible position from which to go playing the scene.
I ejected from a particularly nettlesome day in the SF office (12 hours spent mostly heads down, and not much to show for it) and ran my bike right in front of a cop against a red light. My bad, totally, and I swung away and saved my own life there, but he wanted to give me some shit about it since I guess it gave him a start too. No ticket, thanks, but it really ruins the near-death adrenaline rush which (sorry mom) is a staple of my urban cycling reverie when you get chewed out by the law after the fact.
So he hassled me into walking the bike, which I did for a block or two in case he swung around, and so got a little sidewalk-level view of Thursday night in SOMA. Ostentatious pretty people smelling good in the sort of atrocious way of perfume. Bouncers and young professionals. Sorority girls past their prime. Needless to say this wasn't quite my scene, but it got me thinking a little bit.
Because, hey dipshit, what exactly is your scene? Sure I can sound some aesthetic or class-warriorish notes, but what exactly am I doing with my life that's more interesting or exciting than the yuppie circus on Townsend? Not much.
And this cuts right to the heart of this whole tied-up wish-i-could-get-some scene I've been inhabiting in and out for years now. My man Jack's commandment #4 is to "Be in love with yr life" and that's been a stretch for quite a while now. I don't meant to cast aspersions on any of the wonderful, talented and entertaining friends, comrades and fleeting lovers who've been my companions over the past few years but the truth is it hasn't really been there for me. What gets you out of the bed in the morning? For me, it's responsibility; the knowing that Shit Will Get Fucked Up if I drop out; which is no way to live, long haul.
At the same time, I'm uber-conscious of my massive privileges. I might have eaten off food stamps and government cheese as a kid, been the first generation of my mom's family to graduate from college, but my pops was a PhD, and even though they weren't together they both loved and supported me fully and completely which is the more important point. It's no legacy Yale admission, but in real terms it's the leg up that matters in life.
In other words, the predicament I find myself in is nobody's fault but my own. Ain't no excuse for not living the dream 'cept maybe it's hard to get to sleep sometimes.
Honestly I think I'm afraid to put my desire out there. It's easy to write public longings in the removed digital safety of a blog, but I mean in meatspace, dig. Here I wrote a whole play riffing on the Jungian conundrum of self/shadow-self, and a short decade later I'm too uptight to let my sexy out. I'm unsure whether it's ye old fear of success, or the less glamorous and more cowardly terror before the specter of rejection, but these submerged parts of my consciousness are pretty well deep under.
Which is, again, no way to be long run. This leads to weird flailing thrashes of emotionality. I can see it clearly: too long out of circulation, starting to make more out of things than they really are, the tone of voice when someone's talking about a relationship that tells you not to question their commitment to sparkle-motion. Playing catch-up on the emotional spectrum. Bringing around someone and making all my friend pretend to like them.
That's not me, but I can see it out there, this dark future.
The alternative is to find something to love about my life, about being a grown up, a professional, a self-made man. I've made much hay from my ability to bridge structural holes over the years, but it's left me with a lot of scattered bits of my identity. My political people and art people and red dawn people and drupal people and oldest dearest friends all know different flavors of a Josh, and explaining one to the other can be difficult verging on impossible. Me is somewhere in-between.
And underneath all the sexual frustration in the world is the prom-night romantic hope that maybe just getting with the right girl would bring it all back home. Seems kind of unlikely, really, but it's there.
More likely is I figure out my shit, own it, love it, rock it, and that makes me feel pretty good, loose, hot and free, and then interesting things start happening.
Until then I don't see much alternative to continuing to fumble along, and try not to let any opportunities pass me bye.
*I feel increasingly compelled to do these sorts of disclaimers now that I realize my teenage nieces and nephews are on the internet as much as I am, and since my feed hookup cross posts all my stuff to facebook. This whole thing was a lot less complicated when it was more samizdat and all I had to worry about was offending my mom, who's very hard to offend.