Friday, May 14, 2010

All the tears I can get

Okay, so I admit I go to Volunteer Park for some sort of nostalgia: it’s where Andee and I used to go, late in the afternoon, shoes off and feet in the grass. It takes an hour to get there from where I’m staying, because the buses are so slow, and I know I shouldn’t be carrying my bag this much, but then I get to the bottom where you climb up the stairs and onto the driveway, up a hill and through clouds of gnats, into the trees and towards the bathrooms and even though the bathrooms are closed I’m still excited. I get to the main field – it looks the same: still too manicured but the way it curves down towards the city, it’s a warm day so the sun in the evening is still strong enough for me to worry about burning.

I take off my shoes. I look around. That’s the hard part. I mean, there were always lots of annoying people in Volunteer Park, but now they’re all straight. Except that over-tanned guy lying in his bikini. Everywhere else it’s just smiling upwardly mobile straight white people with kids, really smiling. I walk over to the other part: smiling straight white people without kids, I guess I’ll sit here. At first I thought some of them were queer, because of the fashion -- especially this one guy working the ‘70s gay clone look, but no – it’s just fashion. I sit there for a while – I watch the jockier ones play frisbee, and then the ones who are more nerdcore play some game where you try to get a heavy ball near another heavy ball, and then they all get together to drink, joke about the approaching summer, slang they don’t recognize, music, texting – I move back and forth from sun to shade and it’s calm but lonely. Sometimes gay people walk by, I hear them and look back. Maybe Andee will call me right now, from Berlin, and I’ll give her the update.

I wait until it gets too cold to wait, and then I walk to 15th Street because I need to get something to eat. There’s the bus, but it’s not moving: I check the schedule, it will be sitting there for the next half-hour. I keep walking, maybe I’ll go to the Thai restaurant where Andee and I used to go, even though it will probably make me sick now. No, I keep walking. Oh, the vegan restaurant I don’t like that much – okay. James calls, she says I was worried when you said you were going to Volunteer Park, because you said 15 years ago. It’s funny what you want to see when you’re traveling, what gives you a sense of place. James says something about how it’s still busy after dark, in the bushes, and even though that’s not what I was looking for, I think of going back.

The food is actually good: I’m going back to Volunteer Park. Suddenly I’m in a rush, trying to put my bag down as often as possible because my shoulders are hurting. Walking through the grass and I get to the other side and over to this group and you know when there’s someone who’s impossibly hot, so hot it hurts and he’s standing up from sucking someone’s cock, spits in the grass and then wait it doesn’t hurt because I’m holding him, kissing his neck and hoping the remnants of his cologne or deodorant don’t rub off on my clothes and when he says he wants to be alone he means alone with me, and then we’re over into another clearing and what I want is to make out but I can tell he’s not so into it, he says I need you to warm me up with your lips, and he pulls out his dick, pushes my head down, of course I can’t resist that invitation, now there’s a crowd and I’m focusing only on this guy, or on his cock, really really focusing because I want to give him everything he wants.

The thing that made him even hotter when he first stood up from sucking someone else off, hotter than his curls and those big eyes, hotter even than his lips was the way he said something, nothing much but the tone of his voice said he wasn’t afraid of being queeny, or at least that’s what I heard, queeny underneath the clean-cut preppy veneer of desire, but then when I’m sucking his dick he keeps saying man, as in man, I love your lips, man that’s great, yeah. Gay people are so strange, we switch places but I definitely don’t say man, I just moan. Although I always switch into some strange masculine demeanor, even in my floral print women’s cardigan, which actually doesn’t seem to frighten people as much like usual, I mean in this domain. But anyway, there’s me, and this guy, and maybe someone watching us, but from a distance, and when he stands up I grab his head, and that’s when we’re really really making out, what I want, even though he says he’s not really into kissing, that’s later, after he wants to see my ass, then his tongue, then his dick up against and he says do you want me to fuck you? And when I say it takes me a while to relax, he says it doesn’t seem like it would be a problem to me, and his confidence makes him even hotter; I wonder if maybe he’s right, maybe it’s just the fear.

Maybe it’s my imagination, but I think it’s when I say condom that he starts to have trouble staying hard, I mean he starts to talk about it. I’m a grower not a shower, he says, as if I was worried. Sometimes it’s difficult to be in a public sex space if you don’t feel invincible. Then he’s cold, really cold, so he’s going back to his car to warm up and I tell him I’ll go with him and he says I’m sure you would.

He was already cold, it’s not that he’s running away, or not just that he’s running away, and I say thanks, you’re really hot, and he says thanks, and then I’m alone again, where is everyone else? I could tell you about later, first the guy who was following me around, telling me I was so beautiful I could be his boyfriend, couldn’t he just see, just see this thing at my crotch that these spaces are all about. But at least he told me where everyone was, on the other side because of the cop over there, and then we walked over together, a conspiracy, and later the guy who was too nervous to be fun in the way I wanted but still I was walking with him afterwards, down the street to catch a cab, he kept looking back, more nerves, and then I did too, and should I ask that guy for a ride, the one getting into that car, impossibly cute again but maybe too cute, standoffish in that pompous prettyboy manner, but all this is in my head, the guy with me thinks maybe he was following us and it’s not until later when I wonder wait, maybe that was the guy from before. And then I’m in that space of hating myself for not saying hey, want to give us a ride, just in case, as if that was my fatal mistake, it could’ve been everything. Right. So then I’m sad again. It’s not until the next day when I finally cry, talking to a make/shift reviewer about a writer whose politics have developed since her confrontation with him years ago about his lack of awareness about female prisoners, she says she can’t believe how much he’s changed and that’s what brings on my tears, yes tears, more tears please they make me feel so much better. Luckily there’s the news, I haven’t listened to the news in a while so of course I’m sobbing, or not sobbing but crying periodically and that feels good too, I’ll take all the tears I can get.

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