Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A shift in the texture of the air

Sometimes I wish I could let go of sex, maybe desire would become something else like lying in the grass and holding the sky. I've been trying to regain a sense of liberation in my own sexuality, but I find myself trapped by the usual unsatisfying options and the lack of space to create what I really want.

The other day I was telling Chris that I've banned myself from Blow Buddies, the Nob Hill Theatre, and the internet, because I want to make something happen somewhere else like maybe when I'm going on a walk or at the grocery store or at a reading or on the bus and I do feel more open, open to all these options even as everyone around me seems less and less open. And wait I've always been open to those options. No the difference is that I'm more emotionally open, does that make sense?

I asked Chris if he had any ideas, he said what about Eros but that's not what I meant. For weeks now I've been trying to think of this particular phrase, something like it's over but grander and more eloquent like the love is gone but it never was love so I just get stuck trying to figure out how to say that I don't know if there’s any hope for me in public sex anymore. I mean beyond the possibility for the moment to transcend, even that is rarer and rarer now and maybe that's what I mean by the love is gone. I think I did used to love it, now all I can feel is the lack and I do think things have changed, especially the way guys walk around with a shopping list like they're checking off boxes and that's the internet overwhelming public space but also maybe I've changed. And I need something else.

I understand why so many fags give up on sex, or give up hoping that sex will become anything other than something lost, over and over again this loss or maybe I mean lack, this sense that something is lacking and some people go to great lengths to keep it that way. Others just follow the rules, and the rest of us slowly lose our sense that sex will ever illuminate anything else.

I understand why people hold onto relationships that aren't working -- at least there's something to hold onto. Something grounding in the gestures of the familiar, even when the familiar keeps you still when you want to keep moving, and moving when you want to keep still. I hold onto my relationship to public sex, and I'm unwilling to let go of the dream that it can become more, more of what I'm dreaming. I've been holding onto that dream for almost 20 years now, really 20 years I just realized it's been 20 years that's a long time. Starting somewhere in those first bathrooms where I always hoped that somehow I'd meet someone like me, I mean I was there so what about someone else? I'm not sure that's ever happened, and I'm not sure it ever will. The culture is only changing for the worse, I mean the culture of public sex and the way its limitations become strictures.

I don't want to let go of the way sex in public is what sex means to me, more than the gestures it’s the possibility of a shift in the texture of the air. I don't want to give up. But sometimes I can feel the air changing anyway, this air inside me and sometimes that means my desire feels empty and pointless, a rush that only leads me to walls. I'm so sick of walls. But sometimes I can sense something else, a difference in the way that I hold desire and maybe that means eventually it will hold me.


Talia said...

“Love, desire, and need get all confused and they fight and switch clothes just to fuck with me. But all three burn and ache and when mixed are this dangerous chemical compound that releases poisonous gases from my eyes, clouds of readable smoke, inscribed with all my naked wishes and poetry. And these are the times I want to close my eyes to the world, and these are the times that they are so wide open I scarcely take the time to blink, usually racing from one club, one bed, to another. Love is what makes me keep writing and trying and doing it over and over until I get it right.” -Thea Hillman

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Talia, that's a beautiful quote -- Thea and I were thinking of doing some events together in the fall when we both have books coming out, now you've given me yet another reason to call her up and check in about that!

Love --