Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Steve and the Seven Twinks...

During the summer I had the chance to get re-acquainted with some guys that I met at university.

They are a true band of twinks, minus the derogatory stereotypes of dim-witted, 'fashion' obsessed fuckwits. It struck me as a little hilarious how now they all have degrees and have moved forward in life, they have stayed very much the same.

I somewhat crashed one of their birthday party's (24 I think...) at the host's apartment, the pre-gathering before heading out to the clubs. Any time I'm at one of these things, I feel like an outsider (because I am) both literally and figuratively.

The typical twink uniform hadn't changed much, with their enviously-thin bodies fitted glove-tight into skinny jeans and tank tops. They've all aged pretty well, with none of them looking burnt-out now that the flame of their late-teens has passed. In fact, a couple of them are looking a little more distinguished now that they've grown into their features.

Shockingly, there was a ton of food at this shindig. Granted, some of it was veg platters, but for every healthy item there was twice the amount in flaky pastries and fatty foods. How do they do it? I mean, honestly, they're all rail thin but they ate. I guess their metabolisms are still in teen mode.

We all swapped stories, and as usual these days, it seemed like everyone was doing something worthwhile/interesting/professional except myself. These guys are genuinely nice, so there was no one-upmanship going on; they all appear to be genuinely doing well for themselves, which is nice.

At some point I excused myself to use the washroom. Normally, this wouldn't be a noteworthy experience, but true to my luck and timing I managed to turn it into a bit of an affair.

I pushed on the soap dispenser, palm open to catch whatever came out. I guess I pushed a little hard, or at the wrong angle, because the next thing I saw was a huge jet of liquid soap rocketing out of the dispenser, completely missing my hand and landing perfectly to the left of the crotch of my jeans.

"Fuck," I muttered. "Seriously?" I'm not a klutzy person, but I seem to be prone to having less-than-graceful moments that are totally out of my control. There I stood, jeans soaked with a perfect line of liquid, practically as if I'd pissed my pants. I slapped a palm to my head, grabbed the towel and feverishly rubbed my crotch, hoping to soak up some of the liquid so I looked less like an idiot.

I did the best I could, but the wet stain refused to budge. Thank you God for my sense of suave and timing.

Darting out of the bathroom, I ran for the nearest chair, grabbed a cup and napkin, crossed my legs and covered my crotch. I don't really think anybody noticed, but I wasn't standing up any time soon.

As the first part of the evening drew to a close and the merry band of twinks marched in procession to the elevator, my friend and I said our goodbyes. Now that everyone had had a few (other than me) the hugs were a little tighter and the smiles a little glowy-er. And so, I watched them walk off into the night, like a zoologist observing a rarely-seen species in it's natural habitat. Some were on the hunt, some were along for the ride.

And I was on my way home.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I am happy goddammit...

It's pretty bad when you have to justify to a complete stranger that you are indeed a happy person.

I had struck up a conversation with yet another mid-20's girl who was flirting with me (albeit in a bit of a ye-olde-fashioned way) because I'm trying to be a little more outgoing, networkable and connected. She seemed to be a contact that would ultimately be good to have in my files, so I played along with our friendly chatter.

We then got to talking about the job market (the bane of my existence) and corporate citizenship, where she took the opportunity to gush about her Fortune 500 company's recent win of some type of good deeds award, given by some council I'd never heard of.

Since I always find it difficult to believe that big business actually does do good deeds every now and again, I joking asked her how much the company had paid for their title. My little off the cuff comment didn't go over so well and I found myself being lectured about what a great company her employer is and all the things they do for the benefit of all.

I don't like being mean, and it felt like she was a little hurt by my blunt disregard for her employer. The conversation quickly wrapped up and in the end I apologized for my comment, hoping to smooth over any ruffled feathers.

Her parting words of advice were that I should, "Try and be happier," so that things will be more inclined to go my way.

"Oh, don't worry," I said with an attempted grin. "I'm a happy person."

She looked at me, gave me a shrug and a smile, and walked away.

I felt like I should chase after her and explain in 25 points why I am indeed a happy person. Because, damn it, I am!

Ok, so maybe I'm not ecstatic about life lately, but I wouldn't classify myself as someone who comes across as unhappy. I'm still polite and friendly. I'm also incredibly lost, but I like to think that I keep that to myself, on the inside.

So it struck me as pretty odd that I felt such a compulsion to prove to this woman, a total stranger whom I may never meet again, that I'm happy. But there it was.

Of course, now I'm paranoid that everyone I meet thinks I'm emitting this wave of negativity. And for all I know, I might be. But I don't see it that way.

Because no matter what, on the surface, I'm a fucking happy person.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Yep, I'm 25 now.

Maybe it's because I'm overly modest, but I don't get why '25' is such a big deal. Friends and family have all been acting like the fact I've made it to 25 in one piece is worth a gold watch. Perhaps if I was in a better frame of mind I would have enjoyed it a little more.

My negativity surrounding the subject is something I really need to let go of. Where others have seen it as a chance to celebrate, I wind up asking myself, "Celebrate what?"

Bah, I'm trying not to turn this into a negative post, but every time I write a sentence it turns out that way. It's as if my 'biological clock' is ticking away very, very loudly, and I'm the only one hearing it. I know that 25 still makes me practically a baby, but when you're living it, it feels like you are lightyears behind where you ought to be.

In truth, I didn't even really feel like 'celebrating' my birthday, because I don't really feel there is much to acknowledge. I guess that's me being my earthy-Virgo self who doesn't like making much of a fuss in my own name.

The day in question came and went rather quietly. I did receive some lovely notes from people, including some fellow bloggers/readers, which truly did make me smile. It really is the little things that make me happy. I even got a baked-from-scratched cake from my mom (even though it was four years in the making...I finally got it! Yay!)

I will, however, acknowledge one major improvement. My birthday last year was pretty much a disaster. For being 'my day', it turned into anything but what I wanted. At the time I was pretty much nearing rock bottom on the sine wave of life and was pretty miserable.

I don't think I'll ever forget crying myself to sleep, alone, the night of my birthday. Not something that I do...well, ever really.

So there. In retrospect, looking at how awful I felt one year ago and enjoying the fact that I'm not feeling that way any more is pretty fucking awesome. Granted, I'm not on the top of the world. But I'm not scraping the depths of sadness I was one year ago.

And that makes 25 a pretty good birthday after all.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Oy vey...

There are days when I think my family was supposed to be Jewish.

Before I get stoned to death for fleshing out a stereotype, I should preface this. You all know me to be an all-around loving guy, which is why I (and my friends) make racial jokes/commentary without there being any threat of it being taken seriously. (More in this vein later, when I tackle gay jokes at the office.)


So I was out shopping with my mom (I'm such a good son), mostly to seize the opportunity to be within a 20-mile radius of a Starbucks but also for lack of anything better to do. We had pretty much done the mall once-over, but I wanted to stop and check out some jeans (since they're my staple clothing item and you can never really have too many pairs). Mom wandered off towards a shoe store, and I ducked into the shop.

I chatted up the semi-cute sales guy and took a couple pairs to the change room. I tried the first pair, did the usual rotation in front of the change room mirror (not the public one, but the one in the stall. I don't think I would be vain enough to trot out in front of a store full of people to check out how my ass looked in a three-way mirror.)

As I was tugging the second pair off, I heard a familiar voice waft down the hall.

"Oh, hi!" she said happily to whoever was standing in the doorway. "I'm looking for my son. Is he back here?"

I did a combo of heavy sighing, palm-smacking on my forehead and eye rolling (again, all in the privacy of my stall). Grabbing the pair of jeans nearest to me, I pulled them on at light speed and practically fell into the hallway to head her off.

While I was doing this, she had (of course) started a lengthy conversation with the sales guy. I whipped around the corner and waved to get her attention. "Uh...something up?" I asked, for lack of anything really polite to say.

"Just wanted to make sure I hadn't missed you!" she said, smiling.

I gave a weak smile and tried to stifle a very quiet squeak. The sales guy looked to my mother, then at me.

"Oh. This is your son," he said, halfway between bewildered and bitchy. "I thought you were looking for someone a lot younger."

I looked (in my mind) ridiculous, squeezed into jeans that were the wrong size, standing in the middle of a change room where my mother was practically calling my name to see if she could find me in the store I had already told her I was going to be in.

I could pretty much hear Fran Drescher's voice in my head, whining, "Ma!!!" Oy vey, indeed.

Upon retelling this story to a Jewish friend of mine, he laughed and said that he actually thought for a while that I was a Jew. Apparently that whole story fit the profile. Even at his wedding, his parents and family all thought I was just another Jew in the crowd.

Apparently I have some Hebraic features that I was totally unaware of. And this after being told by my boss just the week before that I must be a true Scot due to some particular nose-ridge-thing that I have (and so do, apparently, all Scots).

"But, in practice, I'd make a terrible Jew," I chided. "The whole foreskin thing...and bacon! I don't think I could ever really say goodbye to bacon."

Kai laughed in his muted, deadpan way. "Hell, I eat bacon all the time.

"It's my favourite condiment."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


It was fitting irony that, last week, after attending a swank party at an upscale auto dealership in Toronto, my car decided to blow up.

I was cruising home well after midnight, my favourite time to drive. The roads are quiet, the sun is down and rolling the windows down usually greets you with a cool breeze. All was well.

About 20 minutes from home, my engine light started flashing. "Nothing to get worried about," I said out loud, trying to convince myself that I wasn't in for a fuck-up.

My father's mantra has always been, "Just get it home," no matter if it's your car that's broken down, your body that's broken or pretty much anything else. So, I drove on.

A few minutes later, the engine light stopped flashing, and stayed on solid.

A few minutes after that, I noticed the heat gauge spike. The engine chugged and the transmission moaned. It was as if the car was having a heart attack; it was sluggish, slow to respond. If I'd had Aspirin with me, I probably would have thrown some in the gas tank.

"No, no no no. You bitch!" I yelled at the dash. "Don't fucking do this to me!"

But it was not meant to be. I threw in the towel, pulled down a deserted side street, and killed the engine. A quick inspection under the hood confirmed my fears. There was indeed something wrong.

The entire contents of the cooling system had vanished. No hoses were blown, no fittings let loose. The coolant had simply disappeared somewhere, at some point.

I called home for a ride/tow from my Dad, who showed up a few minutes later. We topped up the coolant with water, thinking we'd bring it back to life. I jumped behind the wheel, turned the key...and nothing happened.

Klonk. I tried again. Klonk klonk. The engine refused to come out of it's heart attack mode. After over 400,000km of somewhat rocky service, it had drawn it's last breath.

Dad towed me home, me with the windows rolled down and the radio on, riding along in neutral. A few minutes passed and out of nowhere I started to laugh. I mean, how fucking ridiculous was this? I'm having my last, 3am, with the windows down and the radio going. I didn't want to think of how crappy it was and the million problems the situation introduced.

I just ignored the crap and ran with the completely wacky thought of my last ride in the only car I've ever really called sort-of-my-own.

Thankfully, I've got a borrowed set of wheels for the rest of the week. After that...well, I'm not really sure what the future holds. If I were living in Toronto, I wouldn't really be pressed to find a more permanent car arrangement. Living out in small-town-bum-fuck-nowhere, if you don't have a ride, you don't go anywhere. Seriously, anywhere.

So now I'm doing the rounds trying to figure out who'll screw me less, a bank loan, financing from a dealer, leasing...

I'm not going to say I'll miss the old wreck, but I hear you always have a soft spot for your first. And while getting a new car is high on the 'awesome!' index, it gives me a pretty dim financial future.

At least I'll always remember my last ride, the summer breeze and the after-midnight radio as I cruised off into the night...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Awkward romance...

Someone has a crush on me.

Actually, two people have a crush on me! It's quite flattering, since they're both attractive, intelligent and spunky and around my age.

It also happens that they're both women. per my usual crappy luck, not only do I seemingly repel my own sex, I attract the opposite! What kind of a 'mo am I!?

Ever since starting my shitty Generic Office Job (I'll fill  you in later), I've notice these two get a little...well..suggestive with me. One keeps asking if I'd be open to letting her take a nap in my lap, and the other one, in total chick fashion, told her female friend (also the one that wants to nap in my lap) that she thinks I look like Mufasa from Lion King.

Granted, I've been called much worse than Mufasa, but seriously, what is that supposed to mean? Like, is that a good thing?

Annnyway...the whole fact that I'm gay hasn't cropped up in conversation yet, so I guess they're both labouring under the idea that I'm straight and available. And it would feel totally presumptuous of me to simply tell them that while I'm flattered, they're missing the correct anatomy to attract me.

It just seems to carry on with my usual luck that, while two completely viable potential persons of romantic interest present themselves, they're just...uh...not my type.

Eventually, when one of them flat-out asks me, or if the opportunity presents itself, I'll out myself and be done with it. But I just don't want to be that guy who's all, "Guess what gang, I'm a homo!" out of nowhere.

At least I know, should I ever really run dry in the gay world, I can still live a totally heterosexual life and make it believable.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Come together...

So today was culmination of Toronto's week-long Pride celebrations.

And I was not in attendance. Partly by choice, partly by scheduling conflicts, partly because I had no irresistible offers.

Of the few people who asked what my Pride plans for this year were, most were surprised to hear that I didn't have any. After all, Pride is supposed to be the big gay celebration, where Mo's from all across the region (and even from around the world) descend on the city, clad in booty shorts and skin-tight tank tops. And how does it all make me "feel?" they ask.

Well...sort of awkward. And anxious.

When I attended my first Pride a few years ago, I did so under the wing of the guy I'd been dating that summer. We went out with his friend, he made all the arrangements, and all I had to do was show up and try not to stick out in the crowd.

That sounds sort of ridiculous, since the crowds are largely made up of nearly-naked members of both sexes, clad with leather or spun out of their minds on a handful of different drugs. Since I don't fit into any of those categories, my simple jeans and T-shirt uniform proclaimed me an outsider. It was sort of like Alice falling through the looking glass, waking up in a world very far from my own.

I actually had a blast that weekend. It was fun and pretty meaningful for me, at that point in my life, to have been part of it. But this year, the thought of Pride just reminds me of how I still really have yet to find out how I fit into the gay community.

There's a whole other post I'm writing on that subject, since I find it pretty daunting to tack down the exact definition of 'modern gay', but that's for another time.

When I think about the thousands of horny homos, sweating under the pulsing beats of a club's sound system, complete with live sex show being simulcast on 50 foot screens...I dunno. I'm very torn.

On the one hand, it's like a huge high school party. There's all these people there having a good time, comfortable in their surroundings, confident in their swagger. All the 'cool' kids gathered together, getting drunk and trying to get laid. The sense of belonging.

Of course, in high school, I was definitely not one of the cool kids, and that's transitioned into my current status in the gay world - uncool. You know there's going to be this huge party, and everybody is going to be there, and it's all amazing and shit...but you're not invited.

I want to say that I'm mature enough to not give a shit about it. After all, at it's seediest, Pride is a cesspool of bad decisions, bitterness and thinly guised disgust for anyone who doesn't fit the perfect homo mould. When I think of it that way, I really don't have time or patience for such bullshit. It's ridiculousness on such a huge scale that they even have a fucking parade to cap the weeks festivities off.

No longer is Pride about gay rights, inclusiveness, acceptance. It's about a bunch of hot guys trying to fuck each other and chastising anyone who doesn't fit into their particular clique. And while I don't mind a bit of good-natured debauchery, when you feel like the odd one out it takes all the fun out of it.

And this is where I feel torn. Because as much as I understand that Pride is a rehashing of high school drama, and really isn't the lifestyle that I want to pursue, I still wind up feeling left out of the fun.

I just want to feel like I belong, like I'm not still an outsider, even amongst my own people. All these years later, and I'm still trying to figure out just how I fit into the gay community, where I can befriend some like-minded guys and finally have some fun times in a part of the gay world that I would be comfortable in.

I usually tell myself, "There's always next year." But I've been saying that for a long, long time, and still things have yet to change. I always thought that once I got to university, moved to the city and came out that things would sort themselves out, yet here I am still feeling like a total outsider on the one weekend a year when I should be feeling part of the 'big picture'.

And, alas, the pendulum of my mind swings back and forth between 'this is bullshit' and 'wow I wanna be a semi-cool kid'. Tick, tock. Tick, tock.

Now that Pride week is over, I'll roll out my excuses for not taking part in any of the events. And I'll probably not feel so wracked with anxious tension about not 'fitting in'. And in another week, it'll all be a distant memory.

But then, there's always next year.