American Hunger

One more thing about my now-ex-roommate: It wasn’t just that he was a piece of shit; he was fucking stupid. Consider the drama about a month ago in which he cashed the check for first month’s rent and security deposit, then demanded another $500 in broker’s fees. I recently learned that it was illegal for him to do that. When I told him that, he responded that he didn’t know it was illegal. Which makes it okay…somehow. The point is that if he’d been upfront about the broker’s fee, I probably would have paid it anyway just to help a guy out. Even if I’d later found out that it was illegal, I might not have minded. Instead, I’m angry, but I don’t think taking legal action against him from the opposite side of the country is feasible. He was selfish, in other words, but his selfishness was obviously a product of his inability to trust anyone. I’ve met some smooth manipulators before. This dbag wasn’t one of them. He just demanded what he wanted, and when he didn’t get it, he threw a fit. If he really wants to be less miserable, he needs to either take a chance on somebody or learn to hide his douchebaggery a little better. I wish I could have gotten my money back, but I’m better off than he is at this point. At least it was my choice to walk out this time.

I used to be able to read one book at a time. These days, I start one, put it aside for another, put that aside for another, and eventually find myself in the middle of four or five at the same time. I wish that would stop, but I don’t seem to have the attention span to sit down and focus. It’s frustrating. It might be getting a little better, but progress is still marginal. Maybe I’ll straighten it out eventually.

Desire is a funny thing. I’ve spent much of my time since getting back to California doing shit that I kind of feel like I have to do. A lot of it is stuff that isn’t my thing, really, but I need to get it out of the way so that I can do other shit. It’s like I’m stretching myself so that when I snap back into place, I’ll stay rigid. Or something like that. It can get exhausting, is what I’m saying. But something seems to be shifting. I sleep better than I used to, but I still wake up feeling anxious, and the dreams are as frantic and crazy as ever.

I have to say that even though I recognize the urgency to get a job and start making money so I can pay off my debts and move back to New York, I haven’t felt much motivation over these past few days to do much except sit around. August was a very, very stressful month. I think I’m entitled to take it easy for a little while. I’m still looking for a job, anyway. I’m just not getting up in the morning and devoting myself to filling out applications and shit all day. I’m looking around, trying to see what’s out there. I’ll start applying…soon. I hope my parents understand.

I think I’m getting a better handle on why I’m single. When I was a teenager, I blamed it solely on my sexuality. To be fair, I probably could have had a girlfriend or two by now if I’d wanted. When I was in college, I blamed the gay scene. I still think that the scene is partly to blame. I don’t go clubbing, don’t care for Lady Gaga, don’t wear tight cutoff shorts, and have seen Mean Girls only once. So when I got to college and all anyone at any of the LGBT groups wanted to do was get up in the morning, take a gay shower, pour gay milk on their gay cereal and head off to their gay morning economics class, I figured that the problem must be that I didn’t fit in there. To a degree, I still think that’s true. But taking a step back, I think the problem is that no matter where I go, I’m still me: cranky, perfectionistic, obsessively private Robot King. And finding somebody who can put up with that is difficult regardless of which way your door swings. He’s out there, I know. But I wish he’d hurry up and get here.

There is something to be said for seeing oneself represented in a fictional context. Growing up, I was distressed by the heteronormativity that permeates our culture. (I didn’t even hear the word “gay”–or at least, learn what it meant–until I was eight or nine.) It’s hard to overstate just how alienating it can feel to watch movies in which men always fall in love with women. To finally see one in which a man falls in love with a man or a woman falls in love with a woman is like coming up for air after spending several minutes underwater. It’s something you can’t live without. Before I was even old enough to drive, I would take the bus down to local bookstores just so I could read gay books and magazines. (I later discovered some fiction available online.) There’s a subgenre of movies about young men coming out. A few are decent, others merely clichéd. You can define the word however you like, but at the end of the day, I just want to feel normal.

John Barrowman is my hero. (Not really, but this clip is great.)


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