When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Nick & Nora's Excellent Adventure

So yesterday I had an appointment with a movie. Over at Geek Central there's a subforum where the NY geeks shout out to one another and occasionally set up a meeting or two. Earlier this week, a few of the gang set up a gathering for "Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist," which was a novel I had never read. But it starred Michael Cera, and it appeared to be a movie along the lines of "Juno", which I loved. These are movies about emo, angsty white late-teens in today's most excellent, effed-up society. (You gotta love the white people, which I totally do, as you all well know.)

Well, the appointment was set at the Union Square Regal Cinema, just south of Union Square park, where the emo, angsty white late-teens and early twentysomethings hang out skateboarding and lounging in an "Urban Living Room" which was a couch and a Twister board set on the concrete in the park. There were scores of them piled on top of one another. Oh those crazy kids.

Being that I got there mad-early because I wanted out of the house to capitalize on my one day off, I bought my ticket and went on the wander. I headed further south from the theater down Broadway, meandering. Went back to my old street, 8th, where I used to work at the Starbucks which no longer exists. I reminisced about the Gray's Papaya westward on 8th St at 6th Avenue but decided instead to go east where 8th St. would turn into St. Mark's Place. That's where the karaoke bar is that I like to rent a room and warble, and I had thoughts to do so, but I was craving sweets instead. So I went through St. Mark's instead of into it, and landed on 2nd Avenue, hunting sweets. I needed to hit up a Bank of Solvency...I mean, of America to get some cash in my pocket, and saw the oddest sight. An apartment over a corner deli/convenience store with huge storeroom windows. It had an attempt at curtains, but mostly was exposed. And although it was broad daylight, I saw a shirtless man walking around up there.

And here we go.

I mean, the man was good-looking. Trim with enough muscle to carry him. No handlebars, muffintops, or Pillsbury dough in sight. Dark hair accentuating his abdomen definition and giving his pecs a broad, superhero, pen-and-ink pattern.

And so my mind returns to it's haunting grounds. Dozens upon dozens of beautiful women singletons passing me on the sidewalks of New York on a chilly Saturday afternoon, and the most notable attraction I experienced was the shirtless Italian-type fitness model dude.

I'm just so gay.

So what am I doing and what do I want?

I want to fit into the society at large. I don't want to be a subset of a subset of a section of a subset of the population. I don't want to explain a "boyfriend". I want to be accepted, not just tolerated. Never wanted that. Ever.

Now here's irony. Two of the guys I went to see "Nick & Nora's ..." with are gay (not unlike the characters actually IN the movie). Out, openly, unequivocally vocally homosexual. This I learned at Geek Central, by their own posts. Neither of them "trips my trigger," so I am more inclined to hang out with them because they like what I like. Movies like "Nick & Nora's..." for instance. And comicbooks, for another instance. So I respond to gatherings when they put them out. And all the while I know that possibly the only difference between myself and them is 1) experience, 2) self-acceptance, and 3) a sad depletion of melanin (but we'll allow for that. They can't all be Black Like Me).

So why haven't I told them about my Time On Planet Earth? Why haven't I soul-shared? I'll tell you why. To share it with gay people I "know," as opposed to gay people I blogread, is like making a declaration that I'm not prepared to make. I can write about it, diary-like, but I can't say it out loud (too often, anyway). Because still, I don't want to be gay. Is that so hard to understand?! And who am I trying to convince?! Am I yelling?! I don't mean to be yelling!!

Well guess what I discovered last night. One of the two gay guys? Used to be a pastor of a church. Actually of two churches. For SEVEN years. So, yeah. He's not a pastor now. He doesn't even largely resemble a pastor, in fact. In fact-fact, I had no earthly idea. He's as angsty, suggestive, funny, and profane as they come (no pun intended). In the few times I've hung out with him, I've heard him represent his outness with candid little details about his what trips his trigger. Now, while it isn't clear to me if he has had a prior relationship with the other gay guy in the party, I have eavesdropped on their conversations enough to know that they share intimate details about guys. And it was those graphic and humorous details that never indicated in the slightest that this man had clergical service in his history, let alone seven whole years of it.

So now this guy is a fountain of information for me, right? A veritable Fort Knox of sexuality. So do I spill? Do I drop at his feet in an eruption of unburdening? Nooooooooooo, not me. Last night I drug out most of the details of his experience, and kept mum about most of my own. Oh, I told him about my years in Bible school and where I split from the doctrine as it became evident to me that my black face wasn't going to fit in their conception of the family portraits--but did I tell him a nagging feeling that dudes rock has derailed the consummation of every female relationship I've ever had? That religion was the perfect fallout shelter from the nuclear storm of adolescent sex at age 16 until ... well, now?

No I do not. Becaue I do not want to identify myself as such. I do not want to make the leap into lifestyle. I do not want him to begin equipping me in the war, supplying my front lines, or breaking down my defenses for that matter. I don't want a gateway in, I want a gateway out.

That's what I want. I want not to.

Meanwhile, most of the places I visited yesterday before the rendevous to the movie? The reason why I detailed my travelogue at the start of this post? They were IN the movie. It was the most surreal, funky cool, badass experience I've had in a movie theatre since watching The Dark Knight in Imax while sitting next to my own personal real-life superhero.

If you want the visuals to my city experience yesterday, I urge you to run, don't walk, to watch "Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist." The church where Nick gets menaced by homoerotic homeless was three blocks south of the theatre on Broadway where we were watching the movie. The nature of these fellow geeks allowed for going to those locations after the movie to squee and giggle. We went to eat at the restaurant, in fact, where a poignant pairing of Nick & Nora occured, Veselka (I called Childhood Bud from there because when he used to live in Brooklyn and we used to play D&D at the Geeknasium he took me there one night when I drove him home. We're trendy like that. And I just found the coolest-ass html-map of 8th Street that I've ever found. Go here. Oddly, the karaoke bar is missing from the map, but if you scroll down the page into the first St mark's Place block, on the right, just above the "St. Mark's Comics" link is where the karaoke bar should be located).

Anyway, so I have a new resource that I can use if I ever decide to declare myself openly homosexual, I mean in the real world. I have an option. And I don't want it. It's clear to me that I don't. It's as clear to me as it's clear to Ned that his relationship with SF is over. And I wish that could be the end of it. I swear I do.

Until the next shirtless dude struts by. And then what?

And this is why I feel like I'll never be with anyone ever. This is why I can eternally encourage love between men and women, and revel in the successful pairings, and mourn the unsuccessful ones, but never enjoy one myself. Destined to live vicariously. Folded on the inside.

And sometimes, it doesn't feel like a life worth living. It feels like living death. It feels like I'm inside a dead body, looking at life through the film formed over dead eyes. Sometimes.

And sometimes, like now before I've started my workday here in Edison, NJ on a Sunday near-noon, I have to blog for two hours before earning my salary because I couldn't take my day seruiously without processing this. Because when you're the living dead, facing the 44th year on Planet Earth without a pulse, you don't really give much of a damn if you're stealing the company's money by blogging instead of working.

And really, that's all I wanted to say today. Well, that and "Oh Don Piaaaaaaaaaaaaano."

Comments welcomed.

1 comment:

Geovanie said...

I feel for you my friend. To me, sexual orientation shouldn't necessarily be something that has to be out in the open to any regard. Whether it's male-male, male-female, or female-female, that's entirely a private choice that should stay as such, private.

Although I applaud you for having an outlet to "come out of the closet" as it were, I don't think by any regard that anyone should have a reason to "come out..." primarily because it's all about comfort zones right? Your personal choices can remain your personal choices, and while you yourself want a "way out" keep in mind that attempting to fit in is similar to trying to "find a way in"... so why not just stay in limbo!

Nick and Norah's was an amazing movie however! I enjoyed the corny teen-angst riddled movie much like I enjoyed Superbad, and Juno.

So koodo's on a good pick!