Wednesday, June 06, 2012

This isn't San Francisco

I end up having sex with this boy I meet on the phone sex line who’s really cute but so scared he’s shaking and he tells me he was abused by his uncle: I can see it in his body, like when he says something he's somewhere else and I say maybe we shouldn't do this right now and then he looks angry like a little kid and I say I mean I like you, it's just that you don't really seem like you're in your body and he keeps saying what do you mean? What do you mean? And then he grabs my dick and sticks his tongue in my mouth.

Later, I'm thinking about this conversation I had right when I moved back to Providence with someone who I met at Erica's who was also an incest survivor, and she said there are two categories of people: abused and non-abused. And I said: there are people who realize, and people who don't. But now I'm thinking: there are people who realize but don't deal, and I don't want to be one of those people. So then I'm looking at that knife again, the one I got from my parents’ kitchen when I went back, it took me like five times of reaching my hand over to pull it out of the drawer but I couldn't, my hand would just go limp. And then when I finally succeeded, all I could think was that I was going to chop off one of my fingers, or poke my eye out, even though the knife isn't that sharp at all, and then I wrapped it up in lots of newspaper and took it with me. I don't know what it means exactly, but every time I take it out from under the bed I get really scared like something catastrophic is about to happen. But this time the knife kind of arouses me and I start thinking about plunging it up my ass, down my throat, chopping off my head. And then I remember that book by Margaret Randall where she talks about how she was always afraid of mushrooms and finally she realized she put all of her fears of her father into the mushrooms.

But then a knife isn't exactly a mushroom. I make a list of all the people who I love, and there are seven. Maybe eight or nine. Melissa says: I had a dream that I had sex with my father, and I wasn't scared -- I'm scared now. Can’t I lend you the money to move out, I say, but she doesn't want to –why, I say, why? I can't, she says, and I'm thinking about when we met in ACT UP and how she would never say anything at meetings, but then afterwards her analysis about the politics and all the interpersonal dynamics was so clear, clearer than anyone I ever met actually. But somehow she was stuck in her parents’ house in San Francisco. She says: Jim is really sick. And I feel sad but I don't know what to say, it feels so far away.

All I know is that I'm not going back to my parents’ house for any of the holidays, maybe never again, so I'm in Boston trying to figure out where the gay neighborhood is. I’m at Glad Day, kind of surprised that they have Close to the Knives, trying to decide whether I should get another copy – it's always good to have extras because I'm always lending it out. I decide to get it, and then I'm asking the snotty queen with gray hair who always acts like she's at a country club where the gay neighborhood in Boston is, and can you believe she says this is it. So then I walk all the way up Newbury to the end, starting at the Other Side, past Urban Outfitters and Allston Beat, the tacky club store, and the music store and the place where I got my combat boots and a new vintage store and all the restaurants and tourists and hair salons and way too much overpriced high-fashion – I go into anything that seems like it might be queer, a few club flyers but nothing else and then I walk back on Boylston with all the chain stores and churches and office drones and jocks and someone yelling excuse me, ma’am, excuse me. And then, when I turn around: oh, sorry, sir.

So then I go back to Glad Day and I say listen, I just walked up and down Newbury and Boylston, and I didn't see anything gay, and he says what are you looking for? Bitch, I want to say, stop looking at me like I'm trash. But I say I don't know, bars or cafes, maybe something like the Castro? And he says: this isn't San Francisco.

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