A few weeks ago, I bought an e-cigarette. I was in Ricky's buying some hair products and they had them stocked near the cash registers. An impulse purchase. Since buying that one, I have bought a few more. Since buying that one, I have not bought any packs of cigarettes. They are not the same. They are a close approximation of the thing, but there is a difference. It satisfies most of my urges, though not all, and there are moments when I am taking a drag on one, such as now while I sit here in front of my computer drinking coffee and listening to Kurt Vile, that I would really like to smoke a real one. But I push that thought out of mind and take another drag from this e-cigarette.
I just had a guy over to my house from Scruff. He was an e-cigarette. While his cock was in my mouth, I wanted a different cock in my mouth, a cock attached to a person I knew, had affection for, or even the passion and furtiveness of a steamroom hookup. This was mechanical, willed desire, false. E-cigarettes claim to have all the desired nicotine from cigarettes without the carcinogens. Something key was missing. I had hooked up with this guy several months ago and remembered the experience positively, had been talking to him every now and then about meeting up again. I let him into my building and quickly had to recalibrate my conceptions of this person, my memories of him quite different than how he appeared. He wasn't as cute as I remembered. We kissed and I could taste cologne, some sort of scent.
Lines from the opening of "Song of Myself" quickly flashed through my mind:
Houses and rooms are full of perfumes . . . . the shelves are crowded with perfumes,
I breathe the fragrance myself, and know it and like it,
The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let it.
I tried to forget about these chemicals I was smelling, these things blocking any sort of human scent. One of my biggest turn-offs is artificial scents. The obvious corollary to that is that one of my biggest turn-ons is body odor. Each time I kissed him, the scent filled my mouth and I didn't want to be tasting whatever smell this was. I wanted to taste this guy.
We undressed and hopped into my bed. I started to kiss his chest but tasted cologne there as well. I gave him head and could taste it there on his cock as well. At this point, I asked him if he put cologne on his dick. No, he said.
We fooled around for a bit longer but I wasn't into it. I was tired of tasting these scents whenever I tried to make contact with his body. I told him I just wanted to watch him jerk off. He asked if he turned me off. I told him that I am just really sensitive to scents and just like natural body odors. He apologized a lot and told me that most guys don't and that's why he put some cologne on. He said that next time, he wouldn't wear any. I didn't tell him that there would not be a next time. We both came, he got dressed, he left.
There are things I want and I am more certain of what those things are, at least am so right now in this current caffeinated and nicotine-fueled moment. There are certainly moments when things are more hazy, when I long for this boy or that one despite being rejected by them. There are many moments when I fail to fully live in this space and time. I often find myself wrestling against the past, wanting things to be different. But this weekend, things started to feel different. I realized that I wasn't wrestling anyone or anything, that instead I was flailing around on the floor, cursing shadows still cast by figures that walked away a while ago. I am learning, unfortunately quite slowly (but learning nonetheless), that happiness is accepting these things, of living in a present moment with the things and people presently there - obvious stuff, yes, but stuff that is easily forgotten when you nurse thoughts of being held by this or that person as you sleep alone in your bed at night.
I have had this bundle of fabric in my apartment for a month or so that I had intended to frame and hang on my wall, yet another planned project unrealized. Well, I finally got around to framing it this weekend, to finding a drill, to purchasing a masonry drill bit to hang this on my brick wall, and now it hangs over my couch. One planned project now realized. I followed that up by hanging curtain rods, shortening the length of a set of curtains, and hanging those as well. Two planned projects now realized.
My home feels like more of one. I have a bit of momentum and I am reading a beautiful book, Stag's Leap by Sharon Olds, that is making my life more beautiful, making me realize certain things, clearing away some of the vagueness, some of the haze, making things clear - well, clearer at least.