Over the weekend, on Halloween night, dressed as some slutty gay version of a tiger, I met this man, Ben, while waiting in line at the bathroom at Spectrum. I felt a connection, or more likely I wanted there to be one. This was a new face, a person I had not already tried and failed with, a person who I haven’t already seen and looked past numerous times over the past twelve years of living in New York. He was new, which more and more becomes a problem in New York for me.
The odds of romance seemingly become slimmer and slimmer with each passing year in this city. More and more of the faces have become familiar, have become friends, or have long ago passed that point at which anything would have happened. The faces that don’t fit this are usually new faces to the city, usually people quite young, which now in my mid-thirties, is a demographic that I have less and less interest in.
After peeing together in the bathroom, Ben and I continued to talk in the hall. A friend of his came up and started talking to him, and I went to go dance. I walked home at some point from Spectrum, too overwhelmed with it, too many familiar faces preventing me from losing myself, from being a stranger. I have been unable to find this person on Facebook. The friend talking to him could have very well been his boyfriend. Maybe I actually would have no interest in him with the masks down, with this dress-up of Halloween not allowing us to present ourselves as something other than we are, or perhaps the costumes allowing us to present ourselves as we really are, shedding the costumes that make up the other 364 days of the year.
I looked at guys on Grindr. I looked at guys on Scruff. I went to bed alone.
I feel really good about my life these days. Work is going well for me. It’s allowing me to feel creatively fulfilled in a way that I rarely have in my past work experiences. The weather outside is beautiful. The stillness and crispness of the fall air always does something to me.
There are so many beautiful men in this world and in this city, and yet I don’t know how to have a relationship with one of them. There are guys I dream about every night, a rotating cast of two or three. I look at their Instagrams and Facebooks and wonder why it didn’t work out, wonder if it still could. Occasionally, I will message them or like a photo, the digital equivalent of pebbles against a window, a suitor outside in the bushes wanting so so badly the thing on the other side of that starred photograph, on the other side of that balcony.