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 ride...er, rites...at 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.

Yeah...as 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.