Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Gays pop up in the strangest places...

Does Facebook know I'm gay?

It's not like I've told it about my preferences. And though I have added gay friends and lovers to my Facebook, it's not like they've been whispering in the mainframe's ear about what I've been up to.


It certainly feels like someone's tipped them off (though in reality there is no way). Yet, the tone of the magical site has changed. More and more, I've been exposed to gay-themed advertising on Facebook's sidebars, and I'm starting to really wonder about it.

Take, for example, this ad:

I snatched this image just today, after clicking onto the site's Home Newsfeed. What I first noticed was how hot the guys were...then I shook my head and realized it was an advert for an online gay dating site, sitting idly by on the overly-heterosexual Facebook page.

I studied it for a moment, puzzled. I mean, why advertise gay dating on Facebook, a place that, statistically, would be skewed to the more populous heterosexual audience. It makes no sense...well, very little sense, anyway. Even the photo is slightly (and I mean Miley Cyrus slightly) provocative...two boys who appear to be naked, seen from the bare shoulders up! Maybe Annie Leibovitz is involved...

Naturally, I kept an eye on things over the past few weeks (with the promise of more hot boy photos), and realized that I've been bombarded with gay-centred advertising the entire time. Ads for dating sites, gay social networking sites, even gay Student Unions.

But why so much gay on Facebook?

When I clicked the 'more ads' link, I was treated to a full description of those pesky boxes. There are, this evening, 24 different ads posted. Of those, two are explicitly gay. There are 10 ads aimed at straight men looking for anything from casual sex to a romantic relationship. The other 12 are a mash of wine society advertising, college ads, and other various products/services/entertainment.

So what, you say. Two whole ads, and he writes a post about it?

But it's more than that, in my mind. Sort of amazing to see that, remarkably, the gay audience is being advertised to in 'normal' areas. This isn't a niche gay site, this is the all-inclusive Facebook. Everyone has Facebook.

Even the way the advertising is done differs little from the 'straight' ads for dating sites. It's like they're *gasp* on the same playing field. There is no implied promiscuity, no negative stereotypes skewing the image of the gay ads. They exist as if equal to the straight ones, in both content and in acceptance of things as the 'norm'.

So is this a sign of things to come? Does it mean that the younger generation - my generation - has become so accustomed to gays that it isn't the least bit strange that gay-centric advertising is popping up in their otherwise heterosexually-dominated site?

Admittedly, it's only two ads, and compared to the number of straight-dating ones, it's small. But it really speaks volumes to me about where the ads are popping up. When I clicked refresh on the page once more, I was exposed to an ad for a guitar festival, one I haven't seen before.

But for the most part, I apparently am just prone to getting the gay ones.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Saying goodbye (two variations)...

I had to say goodbye to two people today, and neither one was a particularly happy parting.

To start my day, I helped Lisa move out from her place. She's been living a fair distance from everybody else, and had spent a lot of time in the last few months at her boyfriend's place, which is very near mine. As we threw around the boxes of her belongings, it really sunk in that I was about to say goodbye to her, one of my best friends, for another four months.

The move out took most of the early afternoon, then we decided to have one last lunch and walk around in the sun. As we neared her place, I got a bit of a lump in my throat; here we were, about to separate for another summer. The promises of phone calls and streams of e-mails often get forgotten with us. She lives on the West Coast; a different time zone, a different group of friends. Not that we forget each other, it just becomes difficult to stay in as close contact as we do at school.

There was a brief hug and a 'see you soon', and I mentioned I may try and come out to visit this summer (possibly my last opportunity, if she moves to Toronto permanently after graduating). And with that, I had said goodbye to another constant in my life.

What is most frustrating in life as a student is the constant changes in one's life. I would argue this a lot different than the 'change is good' type of constant change that so many seek in order to spice up their lives. As a student, every four months of my life mean a complete upset in my timetable and even location. While the variety can be fun, it makes moments like loosing friends to summer vacation irritating.

I had made plans to see Latin Boy after the move, something I was looking forward to. We haven't seen each other for about a week, due to scheduling, but were both wide open Sunday afternoon. As we fell into each others arms, it felt so nice to have been missed, and to miss him. One thing led to another, and clothes started to come off, and we were lying in a panting heap on his bed.

He dozed, but I stared up at the ceiling. I hadn't really realized that summer was now here, and that my planned move back home was imminent. It was, as I have said before, a fact that I happily ignored; it was going on in one part of my life, but seemed to have been forgotten in others.

The lump in my throat returned, as he quietly blew air across my chest. I could do two things at this point: forget my problems and just enjoy the evening, or have the discussion I had been dreading for days. But, as uncomfortable as I was, I couldn't simply shrug it off and pretend that everything was going along perfectly.

After a few moments, he woke and kissed me. And I said it, I think for the first time in my life.

"Can we talk about something?"

He looked at me and sleepily nodded.

For a moment my voice caught, but I pushed forward. I told him about my summer plans, about moving away. I told him he was an unplanned but happy development, something that was really unexpected just a few weeks ago. Something that couldn't have come at a more awkward time.

He listened through all of this, as I went on about the problem. I felt it was unfair to be the guy who visited on random weekends, or once a month, or maybe never, and expect him to still be around and interested. "That's just not something I'm looking for, something I want to be," I said.

As we lay there naked, I felt an added sense of vulnerability. We sat in silence, his arms still draped across my stomach.

"You have to say something," I said, looking into his eyes. He looked hurt, but not angry or resentful.

Finally, he spoke. He said very little, just that he understood why I was having this conversation, that our schedules for the next few months would rarely sync, and that it was too early for us to seriously consider spending the summer apart without seeing each other.

But, he then talked about how he hoped I wouldn't disappear, and about the possibility of picking things up in September, "If you want."

I tried to talk around that point, as I want no promises made about reconnecting come fall. The whole point of the conversation was to avoid the situation of being 'together' yet being apart for an entire season, much less promising to be waiting at the other end.

If he had gotten mad, or upset, it would have been easier. But the entire time he lay there, holding my hand, and nodding along. I'm still amazed at how he could take the positive away from it - that we had met completely randomly, unexpectedly discovering we had a spark, and had enjoyed a few weeks of each other's company.

He then launched into a bit of a lengthy speech about how amazing he thinks I am; everything inside and out was commented on. He thanked me for teaching him about Canadians, showing him that we can be loving and open.

"See, this is where I wish you were a Canadian boy. You'd have thrown me out by now, then tossed my clothes out behind me," I said, trying to lighten the situation. It was harder to have him tell me how great I was than to hear how much of an asshole I was.

We were still lying on his bed when I ran out of things to say. The facts were on the table, and while neither of us has said things were 'over', there was a pretty clear understanding that this would be the last time we saw each other for a long while.

He told me he was happier to have spent the time with me than to have gone without ever knowing me, and that he still felt a lot for me and probably would. I'm apparently special enough that I'll always have an opening, at least for a while.

"I'm not going to disappear," I assured him, after he asked if we could still stay in touch.

We were still lying there, now in complete silence. I felt so uncomfortable, being held by the guy I just told I wouldn't be dating any more. But still, he held me, and I limply embraced him back. He kissed me, and I weakly kissed back.

"I think I'm going to go," I said. This drew his first notes of protest, finally.

"Why?" he said, hurt. "You don't have to. Why leave?"

"Because, this feels really hard for me, to sit here and tell you we can't do this any more, and still be sitting here," I said.

"Oh, and you don't think this is hard for me?" he demanded, becoming defensive.

I nodded as I pulled my shirt over my head. "Of course, I understand. I just feel awkward."

Slowly, silently, we dressed. He opened his blinds, slid his window shut. I checked my hair in his mirror, felt my pockets for keys and my phone. Bending over, I picked my watch up from the floor beside his bed.

As we reached is apartment door, I noticed he had his jacket in his hand.

"Going somewhere?" I asked.

"I want to walk," he said, putting on sunglasses and opening the door.

We moved in silence to the elevator, waited for it to come, and rode down. About halfway, he leaned his body into mine, and kissed me once more. I made sure this was our goodbye kiss.

"I'm sorry," I offered.

"," he said, shaking his head.

By now we had reached the street. We stood there looking at each other, me wishing he was yelling and throwing things at me, him with his eyes hidden behind dark glasses.

"Can we hug?" he asked, moving his arm.

"Of course," I said, and pulled him in. "I'm sorry," I whispered again.

A moment later, we let go. My hand traveled down his arm, then grazed his palm, then fell away. I turned and, with a small wave, left him alone on the curb.

I'm still pretty surprised that it happened, but I felt so guilty sitting there, knowing that we had to have the conversation sooner or later. And it was more difficult to hear him say how happy he was with me, rather than have him turn on me in anger.

And so it goes, another failed relationship, at my hallmark one-month deathtrap. Another guy who, though no bad feelings were exchanged, has now been removed from my life. Another night where I sit here and realize that I am once again alone.

Pretty sad, for the guy who professes to genuinely want a long-term relationship, that he seems to be unable to ever have one. Not that I really felt Latin Boy was going to turn into Latin Boyfriend, but still, another slap in the face, a reminder that no matter what I do, I never seem to find the right guy that just makes me happy, that I finally just get to be with. That I get to ride off into the sunset with.

I can't help but wonder how long it will be until I actually find him.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Suddenly, it's summer...

I guess it shows how much I do want to hide my head in the sand, because I don't even want to sit here and write this post, let alone think about it for any length of time away from my keyboard.

To update you all, school has once again come to a close for me, as it has most every Canadian university student. We are indeed on summer vacation, and with the amazing weather recently, it certainly feels like the vacation is in full swing.

For me, summer has always meant different things in different years. During high school, it was the few weeks that felt like years that we could sit around, enjoy the weather and basically do nothing. I would spend time working for my uncle, or around with my family, or just hang around with friends. It was utterly simple; there were no real expectations of you since there were no tuition, rent or food bills to pay in the coming months.

After first year university, summer meant coming home and loving almost every minute of it. I was genuinely excited to return home, to wash myself of Toronto and university and reflect on what had happened, how things had been different than I expected they would, and what the future had in store. After all, I had three more years of school, plus I was just about to get my very first apartment with my friend.

Once second year was finished, I wanted to be anywhere but Toronto. My living situation had become completely unmanageable and I could not fathom living under that roof a second longer than necessary. I think I moved back home the moment my last class was finished, desperate to escape my situation and eager to forget my year. After my trip to France, I came home to unemployment and a tumultuous summer with my family.

Now that third year is over, I again have a very different outlook on things. For the first time, I feel a great sense of ease living in my city of Toronto. Its taken time, but I've slipped into a comfortable acceptance of the city that I didn't even realize was happening. Just last week, a friend (who also lives in a rural area back home near Vancouver) and I were talking about how after living another year in Toronto we had both become at complete ease with the city. We had, dare I say, become Torontonians (minus, of course, actually having any position in the ranks of Toronto culture and society).

Maybe it's a reflection on how I feel as a person. I've really become comfortable with myself, as each year passes, and don't feel the struggle and strain from my inner battles with understanding. Not that I never 'knew who I was', but I have dusted off the finer points of character and embraced them. And not that I have become completely satisfied with the state of my being (as I still have a bunch of questions that go unanswered), but I continue to discover that I am happier now than I have ever been.

But I have some serious decisions to make, and they must be made soon.

In the next few days I have to...hell, I don't even know what I have to do. Essentially I have to nail down what I'm going to do for the next few months. But in all honesty, I'd rather just go hide in a corner than have to deal with all of this...thinking.

My problem is, I'm happy. (Holy shit, did I just say happy?)

Things in life right at this moment are actually OK. I don't have drama in Toronto with roommates, as we all get along fine. I don't have drama at home with my parents (read: mother), since it seems that everyone has genuinely gotten over whatever our issues were. And as for me, well, I don't have any major internal conflicts that are preoccupying and persistently interrupting my life.

Like I said before, by no means is my life perfect, with everything in its place and every question answered. But on the grand scale, things are better than ever.

But with all this relative un-drama and non-bullshit, it makes my decisions about what to do for my summer even harder. I don't need to run away from Toronto, nor do I need to avoid my home and family. I don't need to move out of my apartment.

But the one thing I do need is a job, and it's something that I'm having a lot of trouble with.

I don't even know where I want to spend the summer, let alone what kind of job I really want to do. It's pretty late in the game to be looking for summer student employment, to be quite honest, but I think that shows just how lost and undecided I am; I have been avoiding answering this question for as long as I can remember.

The first part is, where do I want to spend my next four months? Do I want to remain in Toronto, or do I feel like a change of pace that would be achieved in the country?

At this point I'm leaning more towards spending my summer at home, for a change of scenery and a reduction in my cost of living. I'll be able to spend less money, both on the essentials of food and household goods, and the unessential damages to my bank account that come from living near the best shopping in Canada.

I of course have some pretty opulent plans if I do end up living back home, what you may think of as 'summer resolutions'. I plan to get up every morning, early. Join the gym, and build it into a regular part of my day. Work my shift at whatever job, and maybe work overtime to get some extra cash. Fill my down time with actually useful activities, like reading scholarly works and maybe getting involved in doing some volunteer work. The point is, I don't want to waste away my days over the summer doing nothing. I've done it, and as much fun as it can be at times, it mostly is very draining and daunting to aimlessly piss away the days.

Looking at that list, it seems quite ambitious and slightly unreasonable. I mean, will I actually get any of this stuff done? Truthfully, what scares me the most is an idle summer, so I would have to guess that yes, I'll be doing some of the things on my list.

But there also is the genuine possibility that I'll be quite lonely over the summer. Not completely alone, mind you, but without much to do. I know most of my friends from home are staying in their respective cities, and I have really grown away from most of them anyway. Of the few that I know will be in town, I can honestly say I wouldn't be calling them up to go for coffee. Time spent together with mutual friends is one thing, but turning an acquaintance into a friend is something I doubt I'll be doing at home.

To that end, however, I realize that I can travel between home and Toronto fairly easily during the summer months. I won't be cut off from the city, and realistically I can spend a bit of my spare time there. It won't be every second, but I can see myself bouncing back and forth on my days off work.

So now with a location seemingly chosen, I have to find work. Sadly, there isn't much available in our area, and I honestly don't know how one goes about finding a job. It sounds stupid, but I've really never had to do a student job hunt before. In the past I've always worked for family or at a job where I could return to my position; neither of those options are available anymore.

While there are many things that I could see myself doing for work, there are equally many that I could never possibly envision myself doing. This isn't a superiority complex, just an observation. After a quick breeze through our local paper's want ads, most of the positions advertised are for lawn maintenance, golf course maintenance, construction and landscaping...all jobs that I would be hapless in performing. While the thought of joining a gym and running on a treadmill quite appeals to me, hauling wheelbarrows of soil around all day does not.

What irks me the most is the news of other people getting halfway-decent jobs for the summer. One friend is working at a lab, labeling samples and processing them. Another is working for a manufacturing company (and being well paid for it). Some are even starting real jobs related to their field of study; I shouldn't compare this to myself because it's not what I'm looking for, but still, it's hard to hear of people getting into the working world and actually making money.

So...where, in all of this white noise known as my brain, do I find my answers? My problem is that I simply have none, and it's hard to find the motivation to solve the puzzle when I don't really have a picture of the final product to work towards.

I'm not sure how, but I have to come up with some answers soon, since summer has officially started.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A night in (two variations)...

"Well, I'd better go, I have a naked boyfriend in my bed," she said, after our seven minute conversation came to its conclusion.

I was standing in the kitchen, sunset streaming into my face. "Ooh, well, aren't you lucky," I said. "Far more exciting than my prospects."

"All I have is a bottle of wine and a porn magazine."

She laughed, then paused when she realized I wasn't.

"Are you serious?.." she asked, after a slight pause. I reciprocated her silence.

"Well, I have the wine open just now..." I said, as she burst out laughing again.

Monday, April 21, 2008

First contact...

I knew, even though my throat tightened the moment I saw him, I should probably say something.

There he was, looking as good as ever (on a Sunday afternoon, when he's obviously just doing stuff around the house), fiddling with the dryer and looking unimpressed. This happened to be the dryer sitting right next to mine.

I was doing a couple loads of laundry between procrastinating on some important school work on a warm Sunday afternoon. It was my last trip downstairs; all I had to do was collect my dry clothes and I was pretty much forced back to work.

A bizarre thought floated through my head as I opened the laundry room door...what if he's doing his laundry?

Strangely enough, there he was. As I rounded the corner, I staggered at the sight of Elevator Boy, positioned at the dryer immediately beside the one that contained my sheets.

Holy shit
, I thought. OK, be calm.

I dropped my hamper on the floor, opened the door and piled my stuff out, all the while having a minor heart attack. After all, I've accidentally mirrored this guy's walk to school, sat next to him in class, rode in elevators with him...and we've still never even uttered a word to each other.

I stopped myself from simply running for the door, but I didn't really do much else. I stood there for a second, inspecting the now empty dryer, looking for an excuse to stay around. Then, it came to me. I grabbed the dusty lint tray, took it to the garbage can sitting a few feet away and scraped it off.

This entire time I was having a major internal conflict. One side, the adult one, was rolling its eyes and asking why I was being so childish, why I couldn't simply pipe up and say something. The other side, the shy kid, was trying to figure out the right thing to say, or, more accurately, remember how to speak at all.

The lint tray firmly back in it's place, and the dryer door closed, I was left with about three seconds to either say something or simply walk away. Elevator Boy was still playing with his dryer's buttons, and made a frustrated sound.

"Heh, not your day?" I heard myself say.

He looked over at me, and laughed a little. "Hell, not my year," he said.

I saw my hand stick out into open space, and heard my voice again. "Hey, I don't think we've ever been introduced before, but I'm Steve."

He shook my hand. "We're in some of the same classes," I said, feebly hoping for a flash of recognition to ignite in his eyes.

"Oh?" he said, looking at me.

Shit. " are at [my school], right?"

"Oh, yeah," he said.

"I've sat next to you in class a couple weeks ago," I said again, still hoping he would remember seeing me at least once, somewhere.

"Hmm..." he said. "Sorry, don't really remember."

He then launched into a conversation about the assignment we were working on, which led to discussion about the class, which led to us walking around the laundry room while he finished what he was doing.

I was struck at how friendly he was, how instantly outgoing and seemingly comfortable he was. We stood there talking as if we'd talked that very week in class, comparing opinions and experiences and having a few laughs.

We had both finished, so we walked to the elevator and rode up together. It was a bit of an awkward goodbye, very much like the beginning. "Well, see you," I said, and stepped off the car.

But holy shit! I'd finally done it! I'd made contact with Elevator Boy, and it went surprisingly well. I replayed the conversation in my head, and again couldn't get over how personable he was, how he seemed to actually look at me intensely while we were talking. He has this penetrating gaze, intense but not combative, and I wondered if this was his poker face or his genuine interest.

Today, I walked to campus to drop off some paperwork, and surprisingly there sat Elevator Boy beside the very door I was going to walk in. He smiled, I smiled and waved, and stepped inside to drop off my stuff.

I backtracked out the door, where he was still sitting with a couple other people. Again, we struck up easy conversation, and I stood there chatting for a few minutes. And like before, his gaze focused on me, the same look of intensity.

It was at that moment my imagination (which I had just told someone was very vivid) started running away with me, and I wondered for a brief moment if he was checking me out. Insane, I know, and how egocentric is that? But there you have it.

I didn't want to stand there, with two other people staring at us talk, so I wrapped things up and with a friendly wave headed on my way (hoping that I had some sort of early-summer sultry walk/burning in my eye, and wondering if I looked like shit or half decent).

I guess there really is a time and place for everything, a time and place when we are all thrust together at the right moment. I've waited eight months for the right moment to actually say something to the mysterious Elevator Boy, and finally the situation presented itself.

It was a little reassuring to see that he hadn't remembered the various times that I've run into him. At least I know he doesn't think I'm a stalker, something that would have been easily interpreted had he remembered my mirroring his every move during that first walk to school.

And at least I know, next time I see him, I'll be able to say hello.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

What's my age again...

I have become ever more aware of a purported 'truth' in the gay community.

Guys who are worth dating, apparently, only date older guys. Young guys in their early 20’s are ‘immature idiots’, and to be avoided in favor of older men who do not exhibit such qualities.

I read recently an instance of a 20-year-old (20! Good lord! Not even 21!) that does not date boys his own age, since they are 'immature and childish'. He insists on dating only those who are older than he is. Period.

What a frightening thought. To think that all my peers (and therefore myself as well) are 'immature and childish' makes dating and finding someone worthwhile even more trying. It seems to me a pretty shitty outlook on the gay community, and reduces the prospects of happily pairing off even more than they already were.

While I agree that some young people are truly vapid, insecure and unlearned, it's quite hypocritical. After all, this is a statement from a 20-year-old, who says he is past dating guys his own age. Yet, theoretically, he should not close the door since there must be other guys the same age as he is who have the same outlook on life, and are not 'immature and childish'. This fear of 20-something 'idiocy and immaturity', while in some people well founded, is condemning of an entire group of people who will one day grow up to be the 'older men'.

I do admit that, after thinking about this for a few days, dating older guys would probably satisfy many of the things that would make for a compatible relationship. While a part of me doesn't want to admit it, I can see being quite comfortable with someone just a little older, or with more mature tastes.

Case in point; last night I went out to dinner with a friend of mine. We don't see a ton of each other, but we get together once a month or so, and usually it involves going out for a great meal and some wine. We talk about all sorts of thing, from the mundane to the worldly and everything in between. Usually we rack up a bit of a bill, but when you're enjoying such good food and good company it is usually forgivable.

We got talking about how the both of us rarely have the opportunity to go out for such meals with people our own age. Of everyone I know, only a handful actually appreciate quality cuisine; for most my age, the magic is lost.

Now, I'm sure there are lots of guys older than I am who still have little appreciation for food, but the chances of finding someone who actually really enjoys fancy dinners would probably be much higher.

The same goes for taste in music, literature, film; the enjoyment of architecture, museums and traveling. Even compared to some friends my age, I have radically different taste. I have a sneaking suspicion that someone older would have more compatible tastes in these areas.

I'm not trying to be a snob here, as I hate pretentious 20-somethings that think they're intellectuals. But, thorough my entire life, I have always been the one with taste that falls just outside the 'mainstream' for the times (that is to say, for the age group). I remember vividly being the one breaking open bottles of red wine at high school parties, much to the horror of my friends. I took a lot of flack for my taste during those few months, until everyone realized how great wine was and it became the 'it' drink. For once, it seems, I was at the head of a new trend.

But, with all of this presumed similarity in taste between a young and an older guy, would we have anything actually in common?

As I try to keep an open mind about the age gap in dating, I can't help but wonder what a 20-year-old would have in common with a 35-year-old, other that the appreciation for a nice '04 Pey La Tour and a mutual disdain for revisionist architecture. While someone younger would still have school and family and summer jobs to worry about, someone older wouldn't have the same issues. A student who attends four hours of class a day cannot relate to a professional working 50 hours a week at a law office. The professional, working on buying his first house, cannot possibly comprehend the student-budget apartment living his boyfriend endures. The two come from such vastly different worlds. Will the mutual appreciation of art keep them together?

I firmly believe in the 'young at heart' aspect of anyone, at any age, so that is not part of this argument. Anyone can be whatever numeric age they are, but still have the energy and passion for life of a 20-year-old (and in many cases, more). But even if two people are of similar outlooks on life, would not the fundamental differences

And how too does this work for older guys who are dating these younger boys? Would they not carry the suspicion, as our 20-year-old example does, that boys of a younger age are not worth dating because of their attitudes and behaviour? Or are they older, and wiser, about the fundamental truths of humanity; that all people are not the same, and that there are wonderful people of every age.

The older guys who are in relationships must go through a lot of crap, from people their own age and from younger people themselves. I've been accused on many instances of being ageist, so it must be quite trying at times for someone older to have to justify his choice in a younger partner.

What about sex? I must admit, I really do enjoy the company of boys my own age over people significantly older than I am. I apparently have a taste for the type you still have to check ID's for to make sure everything's legal, something that I find odd since I don't really fantasize about 'underage sex' or sex with teenagers. Guys who are young-looking apparently scare people other than me. The ‘daddy’ type does not make my stomach flutter and eyes dance.

But back to the theory is it will be easier now to sleep with 18-22-year-olds than it will be when I'm 30. Is that right? I mean, I want to enjoy the ridiculous passion of youth, but will I be able to do so when I'm older? Or will it be, gasp, easier to pick up that 19-year-old who wants to show me his new tattoo?

And where does that leave the morals of the older crowd? I mean, if the young one is up for it, I guess there's no problem, but I would feel a bit off at first, questioning if dating older is what the guy 'really want's, not some kinky experimentation. Not that I’m implying there is anything wrong with a gap in age, but as someone unaccustomed to it myself, I would be hesitant at first, again, questioning if this is really what both party’s ‘want’.

Then again, there's lots of videos on xTube featuring younger guys and older guys together, claiming the young ones seek out the older, and both parties seem to be enjoying each other immensely.

In the recent debate in Canada over the age of sexual consent, gay and lesbian groups were outraged at the thought of raising the age from 14 to 16. The debate centred on the notion that the gay community is ‘inherent to relationships where large gaps in age exist’. The argument focused on the fact that, as a minority, it is difficult for an openly gay teenager to find sexual partners of their exact age, forcing them to explore people of other ages in an attempt to enter relationships and live the same sort of life their heterosexual peers do.

It seems everywhere that the idea of younger dating older is entrenched in the gay idiom, though admittedly for vastly different reasons. While GLBT groups argue it is out of necessity for younger people to find partners, my 20-year-old example simply does it because of his disdain for his own age group.

But I still fall back to my main argument; if I, at 21, am mature and have tastes of someone older than my age, there must be other 21-year-olds out there that possess the same qualities. I may be unique, but I can't be one-of-a-kind.

I supposed until it actually happens to me, I’ll never really know what it’s like to date someone older than I am by a margin of five years or more. I’ve dated people a year or two older, but nobody 26 or 27.

But the more people I have gone out with, the more I do realize that I am still just a bit ‘different’ than they are. When I think of the longevity of the relationship, sometimes I question if the person I’m with will really gel with me. Sure, there’s the flash of youthful passion, and the reassurance that you’ve a)finally found someone who likes you and b)have a boy to hold. But after a brief stint, I start to have a gnawing question in the back of my mind…is this really going to go anywhere?

That said, dating someone older might not solve that. The question of compatibility is one that crosses every age group, regardless if you have five years or five months in between you. But to harbour the attitude that someone younger, your own age, is simply not worthy of your time in dating is simply scary.

So keep your minds open, be it for an older guy, or a boy your own age; you just may be surprised at what you find.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The answers...

Well, thanks to all that asked some interesting questions of me.

I didn't even realize that I had posted almost a week ago, then written nothing since! I'm a horrible blogger, I know. I'd like to blame the fact that I'm in exams, but I won't. I'll just mention it, and let you draw conclusions.

OK, and on to the answers!

Vodka & Crackers asked, "Right, what are the first 5 things that pop into your head when you wake up in the morning."
-gah is it (blank) a.m.?
-shit, do I have what I need to finish that assignment...
-...and when was it due again?
-(often lingering sense of failure or dread, mostly related to half-forgotten dreams from that night)
-oooh I like this song! / oooh I HATE this song...I'm going back to bed

Of course, that's when I'm in classes and/or perma-worried about things. On a day like today, it was more like:
-ooh 10 a.m.
-stretching is good
-CNN (to start my day with a laugh)
-better get up

- - - - - - - - - - -

Manxxman asked, "Have you come any closer to telling your dad that you're gay?"

Closer? Well, if you mean do I still think about it every time I see him, then yes. I've thought a lot about how to tell him, when to tell him, where to tell him...and honestly it's all really confusing. Since this will be the first really 'bad' reaction I've gotten, I don't really know what to expect or how to handle it, or how I can minimize the blowup. I suppose it just has to happen.

That said, I really do need to tell him, and acknowledge that. I never once thought that I would go through life without telling him, but lately I just really have to bite my tongue so I don't blurt out "I'm gay" when the mood strikes me. I don't want it to be some spontaneous thing that just falls out accidentally. I have to talk to my mom about it, because she'll need to be aware of it to support both him and me depending on how things go.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Blueyedboy, who always leaves great comments (and somehow I never return the favour, I'm sorry! I'll try harder this spring) asked, "What are you studying at university and what do you plan to do after you graduate?"

While I don't want to discuss my major, or the university that I attend, for privacy reasons, I can talk about what I want to do after I graduate.

I really do want to move on to grad school. A very large part of me does not feel finished with education, and learning, and thinking that I may have to start a job one year from now is just a bit scary to me. Not that I'm turning into a career student, or hiding from the real world, but I do believe that I will benefit both in the short and long term by pursuing a grad school program.

The really big question is where I want to study. I have a few options in Toronto, but would like to expand my horizons, try the whole 'fresh start' thing in another city (not that I don't love Toronto). Sadly, there is nowhere else in Canada that appeals to me, as Toronto is the best and only city I would really consider living in here in the North. Studying abroad would be really interesting, but again, brings up a few questions. If I went to Europe, more specifically England, I wouldn't be living a life like the one I lead now. The difference would be great, I don't doubt, and I'm sure I would love it, but when I move away again I'm afraid it'll be a bit of a culture shock to come back to Canada.

As far as studying in the United States, again, I'm open minded about it. I'm not ready for New York yet, I know that much, and I can't see myself in a rural state like Kansas. Cities like Chicago, Seattle and San Fransisco are appealing to me, because they're big enough to enjoy all the splendor of a city while still being small enough to not be completely lost or drown out in a crowd of people.

Whatever happens, part of my summer will be spent figuring out what exactly I need to do in order to successfully apply to schools both at home and abroad.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Someone asked, "In your moment(s) of deepest longing, who or what are you thinking of?"

That's an interesting question, but depends on your definition of 'longing'. If I'm longing for some fantasy sex, I'm probably thinking of Sean Corwin or Dillon Samuels.

In moments of deep longing for a boyfriend, I don't really think of a 'person' since I haven't met him yet. Mostly I think about the qualities I would want in a potential partner, and just about the comfort that I one day hope to find. It's mostly reinforced with romantic stereotypes, me longing for the 'perfect' fit.

The way I've described it to myself as of late is a sort of male version of Emma Peel. The 'ultimate' man for me would be someone incredibly intelligent, driven, very classy, but still fun, loving and engaging. Not a snob, but someone who appreciates the 'finer things in life', as they say. Also, throw in some witty banter here and there, as well as the occasional bottle of champagne, and I'm pretty much ready to walk down the aisle.

In moments of general existential angst, I find myself longing to understand and be a part of the gay community. I think of how I want that group of friends who really understand what it's like to be 'the other' in society, a group to go out with and dance with sweaty boys all night. Generally, while I don't want to become a 'scene queen' or so conceited and buried in gay life that I forget who I am, I do want to actually have some gay in my life. I know it's not the requirement to be happy in life, but when I think about how out of touch with the gay community I am, I get a little scared. I know some of it is fueled by stereotypes, but at the core of it I do feel I'm missing out on a part of my life, and myself, that I don't get because I simply do not have the gay community in my life.

- - - - - - - - - - -

"Are you out to all your friends? How did that go?"

Honestly, I don't know who knows and who doesn't. Sounds crazy, doesn't it? But after coming out to people time and time again, I just sort of stopped inserting it in conversations. Most people know, from what I understand.

The way I think of it (and want to keep it) is that everyone I've met in my university life knows, while people from back home do not. I don't mind if anyone I meet in Toronto knows, and while I don't expressly tell everyone, I'm sure it's gotten around. But I do care if people from high school, who I see rarely, find out. It has nothing to do with the five minutes we spend together at Christmas, and sadly it would become a huge topic of conversation.

As for how it all went, I've never had a 'bad' experience. People have been really great about it, with attitudes ranging from bored acknowledgement to excited 'Good for you!' I am very thankful to live in Toronto, where nobody really cares. It is a thought, though, that my progression as a gay man has somewhat 'faultered' because of all this good experience. I haven't been pushed away from my friends, or forced to live a different life on the side. I don't even want to use the word 'accepting', because people have been more than that; it is just a non-issue, as it should be. But, this has also not make me seek out a support system of other gays while I was coming out, at a time where I could cement a place in the gay community. Food for thought.

- - - - - - - - - - -

"What are your religious views?"

I've attempted to describe my religious views before, but I can never really get a definition that I'm comfortable with. I'll tell you what I do know.

I'm a Christian, I believe in one God, and Jesus, and all that Christian stuff. I believe it to my very core.

But within that, I'm a very liberal Christian. As long as I'm not doing harm to others, I don't really have a problem with doing anything. Alcohol, drugs, pre-marital sex, homosexual sex...all don't really offend me, and I have no qualms in partaking in any or all of them. I'm sure there are many Christians who would burn me at the stake for such an attitude, but hey, at least I'm honest about it. I don't do this in secret, then have it come out when I run for office 20 years afterwards.

I believe in an afterlife, in having a good relationship with God, and following my moral code. I have it pretty great, I think; I had a great-grandmother and mother who really gave me great morals and standards to live by, through religion. Somewhere along the way I also kept an open mind about the 'fun' stuff, and sleep very well at night.

Don't take away from this that I'm some drugged out whore who uses his Bible as a coaster. I'm a really warm-hearted person, and I go out of my way to help people and do 'the right thing'. I also happen to be very politically centrist, in case you were wondering if I was a flower child drugged out whore. I just also don't think that God, or the government, has any right in poking their heads into my bedroom.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Hish asked, "How did you "meet a guy" for the first time, and how did it go?"

I have written very candidly about this before, so it's in the archives somewhere near the beginning of my blogging career. It was a really great experience, although a bit unorthodox, but I do not regret it at all. Where it could have been messy and left me very cold, it was a genuinely happy experience, probably the best I could have hoped for outside of having a long term boyfriend. I hope one day that I can be as wonderful to someone as this guy was to me, 'for the first time'.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Alex asked me, "What happened in that encounter that made you start blogging?"

Again, something that I've written about extensively, but an important question. It was Christmas of last year, 2006. I had been reading 'Debriefing the Boys' for about a month, and had just started 'Micifus'. This was about the time that I had also really taken a hard look at myself and began admitting that I wasn't straight, that the years I'd been jerking off to gay porn (not that I'd ever sleep with a guy, but it was hot to watch, I reasoned...) meant more than just a passing physical attraction.

During this time I became pretty depressed (from what I see now, looking back. I didn't realize at the time.) It was Christmas, I was surrounded by family, but I couldn't stop thinking and worrying about the fact that I wasn't straight. I was pretty much going out of my mind, and I needed an outlet. Here I was, reading about the adventures of two guys who had reconciled with their sexuality, and I realized if I ever wanted to be happy, I needed to do the same.

So I started blogging, getting my thoughts out and helping map my future moves. And I'm still here today.

- - - - - - - - - - -

A few people have asked, "What about your long-lost best friend that turned out to be gay?"

Well, I messaged him via Facebook suggesting that we have coffee and catch up, and never heard back from him. Ever.

I was a little miffed at first, but I realize now that I'm just sad about it. I really would like to catch up, and see if it's for sure true. Maybe have a good laugh about it.

At the moment, he's abroad, and has been since winter. Maybe when he gets back I'll try again. Also, his mom added me to Facebook and dropped me a line, there's a chance I can stimulate a coffee meeting through her. We'll see.

He's still gorgeous, though.

- - - - - - - - - - -

And finally...Jon asked, "What kind of underwear do you like?"

The kind that looks good on my floor?

OK, after that horrid stab at humour...Looking in my drawer, I'm pretty partial to Calvin Klein. I have a few other random pairs, including a couple Ginch Gonch. The GG's are super-comfy, and look pretty damn good too. Really, I've just tried the tip of the iceberg in terms of great underwear, but it doesn't hurt to have good old CK as a standby.

I know what I hate, though; any department store brand, Hanes, etc. Crappy material, crappy colours, crappy look and crappy feel! Do yourself a favour, get some cute underwear! You'll love them!

- - - - - - - - - - -

Thanks to everyone who had a question, I had fun doing this!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What's on your mind...

It crossed my mind the other day that people might have something more to say.

I've decided to throw open the floodgates (that weren't ever really closed but rather not used) and welcome reader/fellow bloggers questions. Ever want to ask me something? Well, now's your chance.

I think it might be a bit fun to see what people want to know that I haven't already said, to see if I'm doing a good job at communicating myself to you or to see if there are mysteries about me yet unsolved.

So, go ahead. Ask me whatever. You don't even have to use your name, if you want to be anonymous whilst asking embarrassing or sensitive questions. Or even if you just feel like it. Not saying I'm going to answer every one, depending on how racy, but I'll do my best at answering them.

Let me see if I can satisfy your curiosity.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Warm inside and out...

The sunshine has really changed my weekend.

Our first fully sunny, slightly warm weekend of 2008 has brought many things. Saturday saw me hanging out in Kensington Market, part of our Chinatown, with a group of people I haven't seen in a while. We actually got to eat out on a patio in the full blazing sun!

I ended up buying a random gray pinstripe suit for $40. The jacket fit pretty well, and there was no way I was putting on the trousers until it was professionally cleaned, which is why I dropped it at my dry cleaner on the way home.

It was just one of those great relaxing days, lots of fun with good food, good people and lots of sunshine. I found myself felling really great, really warm inside (as stupid as that sounds). I guess it's just because spring is fast approaching.

When I got home, I realized I'd been messaged online by some random guy. It was all pretty random; he dropped me a line, and we had an awkward conversation while my messenger software sputtered and went in and out. I really wasn't feeling it, so I said goodbye and moved on with my evening, which involved watching college basketball for the first time in my life.

This morning I got up feeling pretty great, since it was the second sunny day in a row. I made some plans in my mind to head way out to the west end and visit a little bakery there that I love, plus catch some more rays in a park or something, hopefully with a good book in my hand.

Casually I went on messenger again, and lo and behold the guy from last night began to chat with me again. I wasn't really doing much else, so I stuck around to say hi and see if things went anywhere.

After a few minutes of conversation, I was becoming less and less interested. His writing was sporadic and fractured.

Out of nowhere, he suggested we do something this afternoon, since it was a beautiful day. Part of me felt like saying no, but I thought what the hell. This was me embracing the 'go with the flow' mentality that doesn't come so easily to me. I figured if it was crappy, I could politely leave and still do whatever I wanted for the afternoon.

It took half an hour to hammer out the details of our afternoon, which frustrated me to no end. I felt like dropping the whole thing several times throughout, because we were simply not making any progress, but I held out until we decided where and when. The time: 3 p.m. The place: Union Station, with plans to walk down to the lake.

Surprising even to me, I made it early. I sat in the sun, warming myself and wondering why I was wasting a perfectly good afternoon on this insanity. My argument was, it was better for me to take advantage of meeting someone/doing something new than just hanging out by myself all afternoon.

When he approached me, I didn't quite know what to think. There he was. I was amazing at how much I didn't feel; usually if I ever do meet someone it's because I'm attracted, I go in knowing there's something there. Today I just felt very relaxed and very much without any preconceived notions.

We chatted for a few minutes as we walked, and I started to actually learn about who this guy was. He's been here only a few months, after living in other parts of Canada, and only arrived in the country a couple years ago. He's originally from South America.

As we talked I really enjoyed learning all about his life, with his interesting past and present and great life stories. All the while I wasn't really feeling anything other than the sun on my face.

We walked along the lake for a bit, then went for coffee. It was then that I really started getting this guy. Our conversation was just so natural, our views so complimentary. He was just so much different than others I've met, so together yet still so young.

Around this time he professed that he was pretty lonely in Toronto, that he didn't have many friends in the city and was still getting his feet wet. I took this as a sign for myself, at the very least I should walk out of this with a new friend. Maybe I shouldn't even consider the other options, just enjoy his company.

More time passed effortlessly, and we wound up back on the lake, this time sitting on a stone bench gazing into the clear sky. He told me all about his life, his family, growing up. I told him pretty much the same, even found myself telling him little things that I don't mention normally to others.

The next thing I noticed, our knees were riding up against each other, then our hands, then our hands clasped together.

We got up and walked casually along the boardwalk, hand in hand. Holy shit, I thought to myself as we strolled along. What the hell is going on here?

After another coffee stop, we made our way back north into the city, still walking hand in hand. It felt so surreal, but so natural and so right. Since we were both pretty chilled from the afternoon on the waterfront, we took the underground path north, snaking our way through mostly deserted walkways.

Somewhere we came upon some photos on a wall, and he seemed interested to stop and look at them. I told him a bit of history, where it connected, and he seemed really interested. Then things went quiet. Then he slowly pulled my arm around his back.

Then we leaned in, and kissed.

Holy shit, I'm kissing a boy and I think people are still walking by and it's not even dark yet! I thought calmly.

Our walk took a long time. We talked, then fell into comfortable silence, as if we've known each other for years. Not once did I feel odd or out of place.

"You know, you make me feel so happy," he said softly. "I just feel relaxed inside around you."

My heart sort of melted, but it was in many ways true. I felt pretty much the same as he did.

We stopped at intermittent places and kissed. I wouldn't even say made out, because it was far from teenaged lust.

"I don't normally like Canadian guys," he said in a whisper. "They're cold, but you're nothing like them."

After another stop, he whispered the most charming and suspect line of the afternoon: "So, where are your wings?"

But honestly, it didn't feel like total crap. It wasn't cliched. It wasn't corny or stupid. I just felt right.

I had to get him dropped off at work, so we finally parted ways. "Will I see you again?" he asked me, genuinely. "I'm not sure, but it seems like guys here sometimes don't call you again."

"I'm not normal," I said, laughing. "You have my number, use it!"

And with a quick kiss, we let go of each others hands and went our separate ways.


Now, in retrospect, this all sounds completely insane, and feels sort of like a dream. I've since come home, filled in both my roommates, done this and that, and found that I don't really believe what happened just a few hours ago.

What really struck me was how different he was, mostly because of his culture. We talked at length about how warm South Americans are, how much emotion is displayed and how honest they are. It really carried through to our afternoon, his words weren't cheap lines. It really felt like he was telling it like it was.

On the other could all be insane and never amount to anything. I'm still trying to evaluate that.

Ooh, just got a text message. "Where your wings are?"

Bottom line, I guess it really is true, what they say about when you're not looking, you find.

Oh my sweet fuck...

I swear to God I'm a curse on boys.

Remember the time I told you that a guy I'd gone out with for a bit was now going out with a woman?

Well, I just found out that another guy who I'd gone out with just got married. To a woman.

Words do not do justice to my shock and awe. I must have some sort of insane quality that rubs off me and makes boys straight.

Either that, or this is a sham marriage so the groom can actually stay in the country, since from what I recall, he's gayer than gay and here on a visa.

I want to, sort of, say congratulations and good luck. But I can't even make sounds at this point so how am I supposed to string a sentence together? And who the hell gets married at 21 anyway!?

And so the world turns...

Friday, April 4, 2008

Dream big...

No figure throughout our history can truly be understood and trusted.

Unless you knew them personally, it is impossible to wade through the history books, the lies and truths, the conspiracies, and really understand who they were and what they did.

So too is it impossible to separate the figure from their followers, making it even more difficult to understand just exactly who they were and what they personally were like.

I saw this photo on the New York Times website this morning, not even realizing that today marks the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Photo: Bob Fitch, via the New York Times

I just really was struck by it, and for a moment I was drawn into another world. A world with very little light.

A world we like to think we don't live in anymore.

Who knows what Dr.King would think about our situation today. The United States is fighting the same war it did when he died, albeit in a different place. People of colour are still seeing vastly different standards of living than Caucasian Americans. Civil rights for homosexuals, the disabled and in many ways are still being fought for by many ethnic groups.

Have we changed? Yes. For the better. My generation, at least the people I know from it, are true believers in equality. In many ways I believe I am effectively colour blind, though thanks to some throwbacks from the earliest days of my youth I cannot claim to have never heard a racial slur. But like in all times before us, one feels the great sense that there are still many hurdles to overcome, many changes to be made, many ghosts to be reconciled.

I can never say that Dr.King would embrace my homosexuality, because he existed in a time and place where civil rights focused more on what you were on the outside instead of what you were on the inside. But I can only hope that he would today be a champion for all those whose lives are lived with even the slightest frown or wrinkled nose from 'the majority'.

But I guess truly, we will never know.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

$15 for your thoughts?...

It's always amazing when you call someone with your own troubles, only to have them superseded by theirs.

That was the case last night at around 8:30, when I called a friend to complain about our final assignment, and exams, and studying, and laundry, and a bunch of other things that were happening. She let me ramble on, talking about this and that, and about this cute boy that I'd taken a shine to from a class. I finished my complaining for that moment, after asking her for some advice, and then dropped the usual, "And how are you?"

"I'm late."

"Late for what?" I asked...then said, "Ohhhh...shit."

As it happened, she was late about five days for her period, something that always comes to her like clockwork. I went through my limited knowledge of the menstrual cycle. Her stress levels have been high, she said, thanks to family and school and problems. So maybe it could be that, she guessed.

"But I don't know what to do," she said quietly.

Truth be told, neither did I. Not like I've been having my period since I was 14 (is that even when they start?) and not like I've ever really asked Mom about periods and the woman question. I asked her if she wanted to wait a few more days, or talk to a nurse, or another girl, or maybe try a pregnancy test.

"I just don't know what to do," she said again.

"OK, well, sweetie, do you think that doing the test will make you feel better?"

A pause. "I guess so?"

"Alright then," I said, "so a pregnancy test. Easy stuff." As far as I knew, but what the hell do I know about women?

We talked about doing it for a few more minutes, and I asked her if she wanted to come over and do it here in my bathroom. "No, that's OK," she said. Her boyfriend wasn't going to be by for a while, so she would just do it herself.

"Are you sure about that?" I said. I didn't want to push her into having me help, but she seemed half-gone at that moment.

"No," she said, starting to cry.

"Do you want me to come over?"

"Yes," she said almost silently. I swear I could hear the tears by then.

"OK, that's what we'll do. We'll just have to go to the pharmacy and get one, and then pop back to your place."

"Where do they have them?" she asked, "and how much?" There was another pause. "I guess I could just go get one myself..." she said, her voice trailing off.

"No, no. I'll just pick one up on the way," I said. "Sit tight, I'll be there in 15 minutes."

My trip to the pharmacy was embarrassment free, which didn't really surprise me. I walked to the condoms and cleverly underneath was a row of pregnancy tests. I took a brand name I recognized, looked it over, and went to the pharmacist to pay. No questions were asked, until I asked about a girls period being late. She told me it could be anything from stress to illness to physical changes, but that it was a good idea she do the test anyway.

Her parting words of wisdom actually went on the 'Things I Learnt Today' list: Girls can actually have their periods change if they start hanging around with another group of women. I kid you not, their bodies actually tune themselves to each other so they all get bitchy and bloody at the same time. I shook my head, paid the $15 bill and headed out.

This would be my first time ever having to fulfill the role of 'girlfriend'. I mean, I'm there for my close friends, but I've never been asked to do that whole 'girlfriend' thing, to fill the shoes of the more experienced woman. Hell, I'd come prepared with a 5 minute crash course in periods, pregnancy and the hCG, dropped $15 on a test kit and powerwalked ten minutes to confront a girl about her sex life and talk periods and menstrual flow.

To say she was cowering in her room would be an accurate statement. For some reason she never likes crying in front of me, so the tears had stopped, but she was still in a state. I gave her a hug, and she squeaked out a, "Thanks for coming."

Why do people think they are so totally alone in these situations? I would move heaven and earth to help the people I love, and I don't think a second thought about it, yet people seem so surprised that you would be willing to help. But she seemed so generally happy that I had taken the time to buy her a test kit and come do it with her, as if the possibility that I wouldn't come even existed. It's almost like people expect you to tell them you're busy when they need to go to a hospital or are getting divorced or have just accidentally drown their significant other in the coy pond.

All I know is, I really have faith in my friends, and if I ever asked for help I sure hope they're there for me too. I just hope that faith isn't misplaced, because everyone other than me seems to be surprised at my random acts of kindness.

"OK, so bear with me," I said as I pulled open the box and read the leaflet. "I haven't done one of these before, for obvious reasons." Why not insert a bit of humour? It's not like we might have an newly minted mother on our hands.

We read them through together, and I asked her if she needed any more directions in my best doctors voice. She said no, and I went back to the page.

"Sometimes I wish I was gay," she said, exhaling on a laugh. "You don't have to deal with this."

I tried as best I could to keep my forehead from launching off my face. "Well, yeah, I guess you're right," I said. "We just have to worry about, you know, that test that you can't take back."

We both laughed, but I think I got my point across.

"Right, so now you've just got to go wee on a stick, and we're all set," I said.

She looked at me. "Wee on a stick? What the hell is that?"

I glanced over at her. "Well, come on, I haven't done this before. The only experience I have of pregnancy tests is from Bridget Jones, and that's how she described it," I said, in mock defence. "Jesus, besides, they at least had a bottle of wine on the go...what do I have!?"

She stepped out of the room and I sat staring out the window, mind ablaze. Not that I really believe she was pregnant, but still, there always is the freak chance...

...and as I was finishing that thought she came back in the room and slammed down the test on the chair in front of me.

"How could you be done!?" I asked, "you just went in there! Did you, uh, get it on the strip?"

"Oh yeah," she said, "easy."

We both sat there. A pink line appeared. "Don't worry, that just means the test is working," I said, still staring at the line. Don't you fucking move, I mentally chanted to it.

To break the ice while we waited, I asked if she had told her boyfriend what we were up to. She had said she was 'concerned' but didn't come out and say it to him. I then asked if she would be telling the boyfriend if it came back positive, and got an 'I don't know' answer. Probably best to stop there.

After a few more minutes, I realized we'd forgotten to check the time. The test was supposed to show within 10 minutes, and we were pretty sure that over five had already passed. We waited a few more, then she breathed deep and said, "That's it then, I guess I'm not pregnant."

It was very anti-climactic, really, because I didn't get that rush of 'ahhhh' that I expected. Probably due to the fact that I 'knew' that she wasn't pregnant, but still, we both felt a sense of relief. I packaged up everything and put it back in my bag, figuring it best not to leave a spent test in her garbage can for prying eyes. Around that time I realized my head was pounding, so I got some aspirin and a glass of water and we just sat there shell shocked.

A few minutes later, we Facebook stalked a cute boy in a class of mine, to get her opinion, and then I decided I should make my exit before the boyfriend came by.

"That's it, I'm never having sex again," she said. "Never, never, this is crazy. I'm done." I contemplated the thought of 'never never' having sex again, shuddered, and told her she'd be back in bed with her boyfriend inside a month. She rolled her eyes and called me oversexed.

"Thanks for coming," she said again, and gave me a big hug.

"Of course," I replied, and she walked me to the door. A few minutes later I was out on the street, breathing in sweet fresh air and contemplating moving to the mountains and living as a hermit.


Of course, no day like this could end without one more little slap in the face.

I smacked the up button in my lobby, blaring music and trying to pretend I was anywhere but there. The door slowly creaked open to the elevator, and I stepped into a car that was already half full.

Within about a half a second, I realized someone who we all know and love was also on board, standing in the corner. He looked as good as usual.

Indeed, Elevator Boy was again locked in an elevator with me, who looked like absolute shit, Carly Simon blaring out of my eardrums and looking withered and washed out.

I made the faintest of eye contact, then glared at the door, cursing my ever-ridiculous situation with the guy. I swear, one of these days I'll actually say hi. Either that, or hope to God we meet through one of our mutual friends. To think, I've gone an entire school year and not even said hi to him...what am I, 12?


This afternoon, while walking through the mall, I found myself passing by some sort of drop-in massage place. I had actually walked by it, then stopped, backtracked and read their sign. My back was killing me from what doctors like to call 'tension' and normal people call real life, and since I knew I wasn't going home to Swiss Boy, a hot bath and massage oils, I figured what the hell. For $25 I could get a 20 minute massage.

As luck would have it, there was no wait, and after filling out a questionnaire that asked me everything but did I enjoy getting fucked by barnyard animals, I was introduced to Brian, a middle-aged guy with a strong handshake.

"So, what are we working on today," he asked pleasantly. "Anything bothering you more than other areas?"

"Uhh...upper back?" I said, since I have no real idea what you call where it hurts other than pointing.

"OK, upper back, shoulders," he said, and sat me in this back-rubbing-chair-contraption.

I've never had a massage with a shirt on, and I've got to say I'm not really a fan, but the things that man did to me were wonderful. I have definitely said "harder" and meant it before, but he could deliver.

As he was rubbing away I could actually feel the tension in my body. Sort of amazing what we can do to ourselves, isn't it? As he moved to using his elbows, he hit one particular spot that was the money shot of the massage.

"Mmhhoooo," I groaned in pain. It felt great, but ow, it hurt.

After a few more such noises, I amused myself contemplating how much noise one young gay boy is allowed to make with one older straight man before it raises eyebrows.

As if on cue, he moved to my spine, pushing from the bottom up. A second later, there was a loud 'crunch crack' and he stopped. "Wow," he said, "even I heard that."

"No problem..." I moaned.


In other news, the Swiss boy left today. He gave me a big hug, which I happily ate up. Annoying in a way, since he's pretty much exactly my type (except for the straight part). Tall, really good looking, European, intelligent, quiet in a fiercely friendly way.

The hug felt really good...I never really noticed, but hugging boys just feels so much different than hugging girls. I hug women all the time, and boys infrequently, but this felt just nice. I tucked right into him, which annoyed me further, because honestly what kind of a tease is a perfect hug?

He did leave me with one great memory though, a going away picture in my mind. As I was walking to my room, I passed by my roommate's door to see him standing beside the bed. What caught my eye was the blur of motion, as he leaned back to stretch his arms out. With his arms pinned behind him, his newly-bought white Abercrombie tee rode way up his stomach, giving me a brilliant view of his amazing body.

And that's just how I'm going to picture him when I remember him.