I reread James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room yesterday. That could be the reason. Or, at least, part of the reason. A reason among a multitude of them. The weather also. As much as we as humans might like to think we’re independent, sentient beings in control of our destiny, our emotions, our lives, often the reason why something is or is not comes down to something so deceptively simple as the weather - a thing we mistake as simple, a part of life, the background to it - when, in fact, it’s often the showrunner, the producer, the script we act out, life itself, the thing that determines what we do or do not feel, how we behave. So the weather, too. Let’s add that to the list of reasons. Also, the gym. Another reason. I’m going to Fire Island in a week and I’ve been working out hard in some last-minute attempt to get more in shape. Working out is producing certain effects in me, inspiring more confidence in my body as well as releasing whatever chemicals and hormones it does, chemicals and hormones that have me increasingly horny over the past several days.
And so it’s the sum of those, plus all the other assorted things life presents - meals, sleep habits, scents of trees, scents of men, people passing by on the street, the skin of shoulders on display on the sidewalks in this warm weather New York is experiencing, memories, texts, imagined futures.
All of these things combine to make me a person, a human, a man, desiring the company of another person, another human, another man. I want something nice. Sex is easy. I jerked off with a guy in the steamroom at my gym yesterday morning before work. Things like that are easy. There are guys on Scruff and Grindr who are to the point, who tell me that they want to be fucked, that they want my load, that they want me to suck their dick. Which, good for them. There are nights, days, mornings when such talk appeals to me. There are nights, days, mornings when I talk such ways also. Lately though, it’s something else I want. I want to have a drink first and chat, and then yes, we can have dirty sex, but I want some connection, to feel something with another human being beforehand.
There is a heat in the subway stations that seems early for late May. In some stations, it already feels like August. The heat has been trapped in some of these stations. People wipe the sweat from their brows and fan themselves with free newspapers, their copies of The New Yorker. Once boarding the train today, I rode next to this man in rolled up short sleeves, wearing pants cuffed high with no socks. There was skin, glorious skin, on display. I wanted so bad to touch it. I let our arms brush against each other while holding the pole above us. There was a moistness to his skin that sent shivers through me. I looked at him out of the corner of my eye, imagining certain things, nothing even in particular. I let this reverie of feeling take me off in its current as the train swayed through tunnels, taking us somewhere, to destinations known, to destinations unknown.
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