“Up Against It”

Neil Tennant told an interviewer that, by that point, he had been clubbing for 20 years. What’s the return on that kind of investment? “Synchronize your watches: There’s still time to kill… drinking this swill to sweeten the pill.” What you’re “up against” is the grind of the gay bar – and the realization that you’ve been going out, with hopes leavened by whatever degree of success, for many more years than you’d like. Rick Bébout notwithstanding, “the Bar” remains merely a bar. It’s part of the bill of goods that coming out – back in the days when we had to bother – sells to you: You can stop being lonely by standing there surrounded by hundreds who, you’re told, are just like you. Funny how they never chat you up.

After you’ve been going out long enough, you reserve the right to roll your eyes and snicker. “Long after the war has ended, we’re still… in fatigues” may be telling us a lesson about the appropriateness of inverts wearing camo pants. When was the last time you fought in a jungle?

“Young Offender”

Whoever’s stuffed into those pants might be some svelte young thing, all gay-liberated and post-queer ’n’ shit. So at ease with themselves, really, unlike you at their age, or, truthfully, you at every age.

You can’t help it if your weathered carcass and/or your hypothalamus pull a Mark Leduc, staring at the boy and projecting. “I’ll do what you want if you want me enough. I’ll put down my book and start falling in love. Or isn’t that done?” (Can’t you imagine Tennant wearily looking up from a serious paperback?) “Will I get in your way, or open your eyes? Who will give whom the bigger surprise? […] Young offender, how you resent the lovers you need. It hurts when they bleed. Young offender, why the pretense?”

Frankly, I’ve had nothing but trouble with men my age. Apart from crackproofing the place here, I don’t see what I have to lose by shopping downmarket, though when I try to visualize how that would work, I only ever see a strawberry-blond Olympic medalist taking my place.

“One in a Million”

For the urban invert, age and maturity are only occasionally coincident. Monogamy, loyalty, and decency are as well-promoted here as democracy is in Cuba. Remember, you’ve got two types of inverts, the promiscuous and the romantic, and the entire “community” caters to one of them. What might have been the alternative is simply the norm, most corrosively exhibited in the entire concept of “open relationships.” They are, in the main, a cover story for a criminal absence of self-restraint or a simple bullying, in which the stronger partner threatens to leave unless the weaker partner “opens” the “relationship.”

So if you are in that other camp and, from across the room, your eyes should meet, the odds are not in your favour. You’re gonna have a problem later, because the best he can match love with is merely sex – one time only, or at his beck and call. “One in a million men, change the way you feel,” you ask. It’s not gonna happen.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2004.07.25 12:43. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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