[Due to an overwhleming work load, this post will be more of a tangent and a preparation for a post on specifically poetry.]
It is an act of betrayal when a gay man has a crush on a straight man. There's no doubt about it. I've never understood it. Maybe because it's never happened to me. Maybe because I feel that there's always plenty of gay man to reject me. That's one of the things I miss about Utah: model scouts and mountain climbers. Those are two of my favorite things. I also like sunlight. I am a person who has to rush out of my home every morning into the sunlight to make sure the world is still here. It is. It's such a good feeling and I know I can begin my day.
I also am jealous when a straight man says gay men hit on them. They usually say it's happened a lot. Gay men have never hit on me. No flirtations. Only when I begged. For me begging is flirting.
I always have believe that people with ugly attitudes are ugly in real life. You can spot evil. It's pretty transparent. It can only hide so much, just enough, so that if you're a weak person you can pretend you don't see it. My partner is a wise man. "But you don't have street smarts," I say. He looks at me like I'm being crazy and insincere. Which I am. But still. Sometimes he doesn't make eye contact with people. I used to think it was because he was shy. Over the years, I've realized that isn't the reason. He knows there is some evil in the world and doesn't want to risk spotting it.
This is my point about ugly people. If you know how to look, you will see them. It's the same thing about straight men. You see that they wear tennis shoes to the mall and you know that they have a wife and kids. As long as they're not evil and require a divorce. (In Upstate New York, everyone, gay men included, wear tennis shoes. It's creepy. Jesus, Upstate New York. University of San Francisco, I hate you. I don't care how talented your faculty is, that at least three of them are brilliant. You're all evil. You ruined my life. You know why.)
Because straight men are transparent and on occasion evil, but no more evil than any gay man, you dodge them. You never say to a straight man, you are attractive. They will say something horrible, especially the ones who possess no homophobia. They will say, I'm flattered.
How dare they? Flattered. Flattered what? Flattered that in your eyes, I noticed the obvious. That is the problem with straight people: everything is obvious. It is not obvious for gay people. That's why people like me were ruined at a very young age. We couldn't quite get on board with the obvious: one should not use young girls to hide from our peers at the time: other young boys who thought kickball was a creation of good, not evil.
Those young girls saved us. Perhaps that's why straight women bait gay men into admitting that they find their husbands attractive. They're punishing us for using them when we were in high school. Is that evil?
Of course it is. I don't make rhetorical questions. That's what sissies do. That's what I say to my students. Rhetorical questions should be banned. Like the buffalo penny. Like the exclamation mark. Or perhaps not like the exclamation mark. At age 32, I have rediscovered the beauty of the exclamation mark. Perhaps my high blood pressure increased as a result of thinking that I couldn't use the exclamation mark and stressed about finding the right combination of words instead. Refusing short cuts is the mark of the young.
Older gay men (32 or above) should not like younger gay men. Just as any gay man should not like any straight men. I don't understand how they do it. All men 25 or younger look the same to me. Same thing with straight men. They're sporadically charming dizzying blurs. They're no more or less intelligent than gay men. But still. They all talk loudly and because of their privilege they rely on the exclamation mark without having to think twice about it.
New poem in The Cortland Review
5 weeks ago