A gay indie boy living in suburban South West London recounts his trials and tribulations dealing with sex, sexuality, growing up and getting older

Monday, February 28, 2011

And then... A gift

So after my last post, life inevitably throws a curve ball in order to ensure that things are much more measured. On Friday night, I Was due to perform my installation Censortive Information as part of a club night in Bristol. When I arrived at my B and B, I found out it was located in a gay sauna and the man at the bookings desk told me they had no record of my reservation. Brandishing a confirmation e-mail from Expedia, I made him phone them and ask them to relocate me as quickly as possible. My luck was in – I received an upgrade to a suite at the nearby Holiday Inn with en suite and full breakfast with no extra charge to myself. Flustered, I ran to the performance space and set up. By this stage I was thinking “I just want to do this and then get it completely over and done with.”

So the night progressed and everything occurred as planned, with some minor hesitations from the audience. When I was finishing, someone leaned over me with a long blue overcoat peering very intently.

“So people have painted over this? It’s quite interesting – I think I really like it,” he said, with a very detectable Welsh accent.

I turned around and saw an extremely handsome man with dark brown hair and steely grey-green eyes – he was almost like Steve Jones from T4.

“Yes,” I said, “And thanks... I did it before and it was much bigger.”

“Where are you headed now?” he said.

“Home... Well, to the Holiday Inn actually,” I said.

I noticed his friends were all around me somehow.

“Let’s all of us go get a drink,” he said, very decisively waving his hand in a circle around all of us and then pointing in the direction of the bar.

Standing, laughing and joking with his friends, everything was going well and I was actually quite relieved that after such an appalling start to my Bristol trip, I could manage to wangle a random night out that would make the visit worthwhile. And then:

“You have really sparkly blue eyes,” he said, as if it had slipped out by accident. He looked down at the floor almost immediately and realised what he had said, “Sorry,” he said ashamedly, “I shouldn’t be coming onto you.”

“I’m hardly offended,” I said. “In fact, quite the opposite. I’m very flattered to hear it from someone as handsome as yourself – thank you.”

Of course, more drinks ensued and we sat next to each other at the next bar. He placed his leg next to mine so they were touching. What I loved more about this is it felt like we didn’t really need to say anything. It was known between us. I liked him and he liked me. At this point I’d like to keep myself in check before I vomit, but to have a mutual attraction is extremely rare. I felt really lucky that he liked me and
that is something that makes one feel alive.

We went back to the Holiday Inn – which made me thank God even more that I had to be relocated as taking a potential date to a room above a gay sauna gives completely the wrong impression. He stayed with me till the morning and wanted to buy me champagne via room service. I laughed and begged him not to. I grabbed hold of him from behind while he was brushing his teeth in his He-Man underpants. We kissed and he dragged me back to bed. He stuck around long enough to meet for coffee with my old university friend Fran. He was perfectly sweet and characteristically cheeky, pushing the boundaries with his jokes and seeing how far he could get.

When he slipped to the toilet, I had to ask Fran if she thought he was out of my league. I don’t think I have ever ever asked this question about someone before.

Before he left, he asked to take my number.... Which I thought was hilarious given that I was going to give it to him anyway. I actually asked him not to go... I wanted him to stay. And I partially wanted him to ask me to stay.

He called me later that night. His words were, “Now, I really would like to see you again. Would you, in theory, would you... Is that something that you would like to do?”

And me, totally surprised that I had made someone nervous said, “That’s something I would like to do
in practice

Whatever happens beyond this juncture – whether I see him again or not, whether it crumbles within a few weeks or not, whether we really get on as two people or not – I am thankful for that one night and for this lovely feeling inside that makes someone feel desired, if only for a short while. It is definitely a gift from the world.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Older, wiser... And older

At the moment, I'm trying to cure my writer's block by writing about anything. So I've decided to try and grab onto my thoughts and scribe them while I can.

It's no surprise to anyone that my life hasn't turned out quite how I envisaged. Since I moved to Balham two and a half years ago, I have been stuck in my own little cocoon. I go to work and I come home... I am mostly alone. And when I am not alone, I am seeing David – he is 'a friend with benefits'... Thing is, he's been a friend of this kind for well over two years. And part of me knows that we both know that it will end one day. So we don't talk about it, because not talking about it is far easier than talking about it, arguing about it and then meeting up again and inevitably having sex.

I am alarmed at my constant ability to form unhealthy, co-dependent and fiercely intense friendships that always end in tears and heartache.

I don't really meet anyone new. I have become very lazy. Going out seems pointless and love seems almost impossible – like a dream I remember but I woke up from a long time ago. I work. And work and work and work. Every day I think about quitting my job and every time I tell someone that I write, they tell me how lucky I am. I haven't met any new friends, really. And the friends that I do have, I just don't feel like I can talk to anymore. They all think David and I are 'going out'. The truth is I have been sleeping around and not telling anyone because I know their answers will be so predictable and I am so fucking tired of hearing them justify my own behaviour to me so it makes sense to them. Part of me wants to keep on taking advantage of my body while I still have the time, but ultimately I am incredibly lonely because no one knows completely what is going on and I can't be honest with anyone. My life feels extremely stale and crumbling like a biscuit in the Sahara.

I've realised that I have spent a lot of my life actually very scared and inside my own head. Someone said to me recently that "thoughts require perfection, and that's a pretty impossible ideal to live up to." Part of me thinks it's hilarious – instead of being in the moment, I've been away in my head where almost anything can happen. In many ways, it's much more appealing: if I want to imagine that something sensational and exciting for me is waiting just around the next corner, anticipating the next second it will all kick off then it is. In fact, I'm already there in my mind. I don't know how many films I have been in, how many songs I have sung, how many wonderful adventures and things I have achieved in my imagination.

I wish that they translated to reality. The fact is I am a nobody – a nobody, just like everybody else. I was an idiot. I wish I had behaved differently when I was younger. I used to believe in destiny and now I don't believe in anything. In fact, I find it quite hard to get passionate about anything nowadays. I can't do anything. I can't be creative anymore... I am on the verge of giving up and yet I can't give up because I won't let myself. I'm always kicking my own backside for nothing.

I just wish I could be happy. I often think 'there must be a piece of happiness here for me in this life'... But then I think that perhaps humans are programmed that way. We just can't 'accept' things... But then part of me thinks I have not taken enough risks. Perhaps I took too many. Sometimes, I think that happiness lies in simplicity – a retreat far away from everything, a small Scottie terrier called McDougal, a fire crackling, a job at the village pub, a whisky every evening... And nothing more. I can't tell if it's me, or if it is the way I grew up that makes me covet 'success', but I think we were lied to. We're told that we can achieve anything in this life, but I really don't think that's the case anymore. To be able to achieve anything you need money and connections... The rest of us are fucked.

I spent some time researching today's up and coming stars and you know what? They all went to the BRIT school, or their parents paid £18,000 for them to attend RADA, or their family were already famous. I'm not sure I believe social mobility exists nowadays. We don't live in the 80s anymore, where someone like Julie fucking Burchill can start off manning the reception at the NME and end up as a hateful cow who writes for the Observer every month spewing her worthless opinions about how bisexuality doesn't exist.

The woman answered phones. How is she in any way qualified to give her opinion?

No – we're all meant to make do and mend at the bottom of the heap while the privileged do what they always did and expect us to respect and admire them while they shit all over us.

I know I sound bitter, but it's the truth.

By the way, Kat, you're the only one who subscribes to this so if anyone is reading it, it's just you. And I doubt this is news given the approach to 28.

Most days I feel like I am decaying and my body is starting to reflect that. I feel like I will never be loved in the way I once was. I am no longer the youngest or prettiest in the room – I'm just hateful old cowbag that no one wants. And still a lot of the time I feel like I wasted a large part of my 20s. Since I turned 25, life has been rather stagnant. Small victories – be it in my performance or writing – only feel like a thing I 'must' do on the way to something bigger. I can't enjoy them. Sometimes I don't and if you don't there's no point in doing them, right?

I feel like everything I do is sub-standard and my work gets in the way. It interferes with my mind and I am fatigued most days – I can't think, everything's foggy. I don't text or call people nearly 5% as much as I used to. I come home and I'm tired, I wake up and I'm tired. I want to quit and I'm too scared to face the financial insecurity on the other side.

What I really need is a shake up. A change. A new life somewhere else. If I can't kill myself then I have to kill off who I am.

But then I'm scared.

And also tired of creating these little fantasies... Because ultimately that's what's preventing me from achieving anything solid in this life.

Labels: , , , , ,