The similarities struck me earlier this afternoon while I was leisurely masturbating in my bed on my day off, passing from one erotic memory to the next, to an even more random one, dug out from some not too often plundered recess of the mind, to a comment Travis Ralston made about sex in eighth grade. Travis Ralston, being the jockey male who used to tease me and who I used to be more than a little obsessed with, and it was a very odd fascination because that is when I was still not even closeted as gay – this is when I still would not even allow myself the privilege of being in the masturbatory sex fantasies with Travis, or with any other boy. I imagined them having sex with some girl, or remembered their bodies undressing close to me in the locker room, because I was not gay. Yeah, but what is it, eight years later now? And I still occasionally come back to these memories, digging them out of that shoebox every once in a while and recalling, reliving the erotic history of my life, the admittedly sparse erotic history of my life. There is a finite number of these memories, I could probably catalog them all easily, but I am ashamed not only at divulging all of these seemingly innocuous moments from my pre-sexually active life that I have imbued with an erotic import way beyond that which they deserve, but I am also be afraid that by doing so, putting it down, it will make me see that they probably don’t deserve such erotic import while I am masturbating, and these treasures already so few, would become even smaller in number.
But to try to explain these similarities, to even tell you what they are, I must first let you in and show you what’s in the suitcase, what exactly it is Marcellus is holding in there, what the source of that light is when the suitcase is cracked open. But to do this requires trust and more than a little hesitation on my part because I am going to give an example, am going to tell you about the Travis fantasy I had this early afternoon in my bed here in Brooklyn, mentally occupying a middle school somewhere on the southern edge of Alexandria, Virginia, and so you must also do your part here, and see the treasure for what it is. If you have any giggles, get them out of your system now. I must be able to still masturbate to these memories, that is all I ask. Some details are going to be withheld, because those are for me to always retain, but here is Travis, sitting right next to me in Home Room because the seats are arranged alphabetically and R, Ralston, come right after Q, me. It is the shop classroom, and so we are seated at those big wooden tables. We are at the same side of the table, he is seated right to my left, towards the front of the class, and so whenever we looked at the front of the class, he was right in my line of vision, this rough boy with thick fingers. In gym class, his locker was right across from mine, and so I had a supply of images of him in his underwear that I would recall on demand when I was looking in his direction in homeroom, images that would be easily recalled whenever he made some lewd comments to the other people at our table, of course, all cool people, all those P and R last names were always the cool people, and I was always the odd Q, liking it best when we could sit wherever we wanted, except of course when Travis was in a class, because if it was arranged alphabetically, he would never be far, and though he teased me often, called me faggot, hit me more than a few times in gym, there was some sick pleasure derived from the teasing. It was attention from this buff, coarse boy. And I would often go home in the afternoons and masturbate until my mom got home from work, roughly 2:30 – 5:30 every weekday, oftentimes to thoughts of my interactions with Travis, of him in his Peace Frogs underwear, and to the comment he made about how much sex he had that day in Home Room. And I have remembered that comment since that day when I went home and masturbated to Travis’s braggadocio. What occurred here earlier this afternoon is further remembrance. The desire for someone that I could only look at, someone that treated me like shit was how I first emerged as a sexual being. Some weird mix of voyeurism and a masochistic pleasure in being shamed, being rejected.
And I think I am over it, but I have thought that many times, and today while masturbating to this thought of Travis, I laughed because the similarities hit me, last night still fresh on my mind. Had I had actual gay sex experiences prior to this Travis infatuation, I wonder if now I would now possess a different rubric of desire, perhaps a more healthy one, or at the very least, a more successful one, as in getting laid more often. This afternoon, I saw the continuum from Travis to Shane Riley to Andrew Hossack to Ben Haber to Matt to my desires last night at Metropolitan.
Rebecca called me last night, said she was in town for one night, travelling through to Maine, and that she was going to be at my favorite bar. I was giddy at the luck that she was going to be going to my neighborhood bar and rushed over to meet her, had an awesome time dancing, which normally does not occur at Metropolitan, but last night, Florida kids took over the floor and I was so happy. Later in the evening, sitting out on the back patio, I watched Christopher* and Jason walk right past me on their way home. Christopher did not say hi even though I have talked to him eight million times. I turned my head to watch him pass (yes, yes – insert that Whitman “to see him pass” line here), and saw his beautiful erratic mannerisms and his mop of brown hair and wanted to melt into the ground with my unfulfilled desire. And that is what I am talking about, this is the Travis method of desire I still am held sway by, at least now though it is gay boys, and so that is some improvement, and I no longer masturbate to thoughts of being shamed. However, the rejection definitely does stir a large amount of the desire. And then I thought I was being too dramatic, that I could have said hi also, and realized that I should not get sad because a boy walks past me, that Rebecca is here who I never see. And then moments later, Kevin walks by. That is when I left, not wanting to run into Kevin’s appendage, Matt. I talked to Rebecca in my bed until both of us started to get sleepy, and that was nice, real nice.
Desire is such an intricate mix of factors that I know I have bungled the job here and reduced something complex and beautiful to an easily pointed to fetish. Oh, he likes to be rejected; he gets off on shame. And that is too simple, I hope you understand that. I am not sure I can ever fully account for why I am attracted to certain people, but even more so, why I continue to be attracted to people when they act like jerks. I am not sure I would ever want to be able to account for the whys. Oh, and about that asterisk: Christopher* is not the same Christopher I went out to brunch with the other day. He is the boy I met about a year ago at Phoenix and who I was obsessed with for a while and who I talked to just about every time I went out to some gay bar, but who always seemed a little frightened by my giddiness. There are so many Christophers that I know. Last week, I erased five Christophers from my phone because I did not know who was who and I never called any of them anyway. Numbers gotten in bars never used. I put non-asterisk Christopher’s number into my phone again after I made out with him last week. He called me on the day of Pride Parade and wanted to meet up. I didn’t call him back. I am not planning on it. Desire fucking amazes me, how fragile its life is, how short lived.