255. vicissitude


One man he disappoint me
He give me the gouge and he take my glee
Now every other man I see
Remind me of the one man who disappointed me
— Apple, F. (2005). Get him back. On Extraordinary machine [CD]. New York City: Epic Records.

Blue_candles_on_birthday_cakeHappy a month and a half into 2016, everyone!

So far this year has been incredibly busy with school and a new (temp) job that still isn’t in my career field but isn’t entirely horrible in its own right. That seems to be the theme of things at present: not ideal, but also doesn’t make me long for the inevitable and final release of death.

As far as a school update goes, after about a month and a half break I feel as if I’m finally getting back into the swing of things. I’ve stopped eating regularly and my sleep schedule is wacked out, but that’s the essence of grad school, right?

The things I’m working on are things that seem to finally matter, mainly because they feel connected to innate passions and talents of mine—not things that any gibbon could pick up and do for $11/hour. I get energized and excited about cataloging and archives, and concepts like metadata standards and schema. Information access is important in our world right now, especially as we’re trying to sift through more data than ever in our history, and we need clever people who can make sense of it all.

At least, enough for most people to find the information they need.

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. This fact did not escape me, nor did I forget. I simply chose not to acknowledge it. I did see an increasing number of memes on Facebook and Twitter that were trying to recontextualize it as a day to celebrate love of all kinds, including love for your friends and for yourself. That was nice.

Earlier this month I also turned 33, something I only reluctantly called attention to about five minutes after midnight on the day after my birthday, much to the consternation of friends who did remember and would like to observe it.

My decision for now is to stop calling it a birthday because my birth was something that merely happened, brought into a world that is no longer a part of who I am.

So this year I’ve decided to start calling it my Independence Day, because, as some of you may remember, it was five years ago that Seth dumped me on my 28th birthday… or whatever you call it when someone ends a one-sided friends-with-benefits relationship because they just met someone on a blind date and aren’t really sure where that’ll go, but they don’t see a future with you or a reason to continue giving you false hope anymore.

Happy birthday, indeed.

That was also the night I officially became an atheist. I won’t rehash the whole story, so if you’re new or need a refresher, go here. It’s a fun read, if you enjoy that sort of thing.

So the short of it is that I’d rather not observe that anymore. I need a different context, and reimagining that day as the anniversary of independence from my upbringing seems much more uplifting.

As Björk cries on Volta (2007): “Declare independence! Don’t let them do that to you!”

Since we’re on the subject of dates, it’s exactly one month and nine days to the three year anniversary of the end to my last (probably final) relationship with the narcissistic fibromyalgic. On March 24th, I’ll have been single three years, without crossing paths with any realistic romantic partners in that span.

And from today, it’ll be four months and ten days to the two-year anniversary of the last time I was actually on a date.

Probably the biggest fear right now is of being alone for the rest of my life, ending up one of those people who die alone in their apartments, their absence unmarked for months until their mummified remains are finally discovered one day.

Is that likely to happen to me? Probably not. But still.

What probably bothers me is that though I want a relationship, I still don’t what I’d do with one. The only concrete associations I can picture are having a (relatively) dependable plus-one for events, and a (relatively) reliable sexual partner. But I know there has to be more to it than that, because why else (besides social convention) would couples stay together for decades if it’s merely a glorified fuck buddy arrangement?

Frankly, I haven’t met anyone who I could conceive of spending virtually every day with for the next twenty years (well, at least anyone who could also feel that way about me) , and beyond. And I’m skeptical about the chances of meeting anyone in the Midwest.

Part of the difficulty is that, after almost seven-and-a-half years “out,” I’ve come to the realization that I’m a demisexual, as described here:

Demisexuals aren’t suppressing sexual desire; it’s simply not there until a bond is formed. They can’t look at a stranger and think, “Wow, I want to f*ck him”—while they might admire a person for his or her body, the urge to have sex isn’t there until an emotional attachment is formed. The deeper the bond, the hornier they are. It’s a simple matter of the heart leading the pelvis.

It isn’t that I don’t have sexual desire. It’s just not that important without an emotional connection present… which does not appear to be how most gay men around me are wired. They’re: A) sluts and proud of it; B) already coupled (with a 75% chance of being monogamish); or C) emotionally compatible but physically not my type.

The irony is that now I almost get reverse slut-shamed for not being promiscuous, as if that’s the default “gay” mode. And I did try it for a while, but it wasn’t me.

So I’m not sure where to go from here.

Ah well. Back to library homework, I guess.


7 thoughts on “255. vicissitude

  1. 33 isn’t too bad. On March 23rd I turn 38, that’s somewhat more grim. Considering male life expectancy in Western Europe is around 79/80, I’m virtually at the halfway mark. If I factor is alcohol consumption and smoking, I’m probably long past the halfway mark 😀
    As for relationships, people have them for different reasons. I find it easier to get through life alongside someone with whom I share interests and responsibilities. Shared goals and projects go a very long way. And by shared I don’t mean interests in things have to be equal, they just need to be there so there’s common ground that you can build on.

    • David

      I looked up the statistics for male life expectancy in France and Spain, and it’s much higher, in the mid to upper 80s, than in the rest of western Europe! And according to the most recent medical research, even “above moderate” alcohol consumption has positive benefits. So I think you’ll be fine. 🙂

      As far as finding a partner with shared interests, I’d add that a shared outlook is probably higher on the priority list. I couldn’t imagine being with a guy long-term who wasn’t innately curious. As it is, most of guys in my pool of eligibles here in Minneapolis (at least, of those I’ve encountered) don’t seem particularly motivated by intellectual pursuits or curiosity.

  2. Paul Douglas

    33 is really quite young…… it just doesn’t feel that way to you right now. I know you aren’t sure exactly what you would do with a relationship at this point without being in one, but when one finds you it will fit like a glove. It’s that person in your life that you grow with, open yourself up to, share yourself with and come to cherish more and more over time. Eventually, you won’t be able to imagine what your life could be like separated. I divorced my first husband on my 30th birthday (coincidentally) and it took 9 years for me to date or be seriously interested (unrequited) in someone else. At 45 I started dating my current husband and two years later we married. In December we celebrated our 15th anniversary wedding anniversary. I’m only relating all this to try and give some perspective. To quote Dan Savage “It gets better”: when you are following your vision, when you are working on yourself and finding out/ figuring out who you are, which you are definitely doing, quality guys will start to come out of the woodwork. It just takes time.
    I think it is part of the aging well. Unfortunately, youth is wasted on the young meaning it can take so damn long to get to the point that we are comfortable in our own skin, that half our life is gone before most of us are ready to really live and enjoy it. Having a lot of über-religious baggage slows us down even more.
    You are doin’ just fine!

    • David

      Thanks for the encouragement, Paul! Yes, 33 doesn’t feel all that young when one is essentially starting over in their early 30s when most everyone else seems to be settling into their adult lives and identities. And there are plenty of people who will have some kind of midlife crisis in about 10-20 years and suddenly wonder who they are, so the nice thing about that is I’ve already got that out of the way! But it is also frustrating when I’m virtually the only one of my friends who didn’t meet the partner they’re currently with in their early to mid 20s.

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