Honestly there isn’t much going on here so I haven’t had much drive to blog, but I must say that Oxford is truly wonderful. I was texting someone the other day, and they couldn’t get over how beautiful the weather was in Oxford that particular morn. As we were talking about the resplendent sunshine, verdant meadows, and babbling brooks it suddenly hit me, that day was one of those times when you look out your window and have a visceral lust for life. You want to eat it. I can’t describe it any other way. You want to grab it and shove it deep down inside you, saving it forever.
Unfortunately you can’t double-fist happiness.
Yet this blog is titled “Life on the Ephemeral Plane.” There are millions (well ok, maybe tens or hundreds in all honesty…) of ways to interpret it, but for me, beyond just the fact that I live more in an ever-changing plane of locations rather than one set place (I now have miles with 8 airlines’ frequent flyer programs), it refers to my state of mind.
I’ve dealt with depression many times over the course of my life, and while I’ve been buoyed over the last year by my amazing friends and the opportunities that I’ve been blessed with, there is something missing.
I don’t know exactly what it is. Who it may be.
My desire for a relationship stemmed in large part from my feeling of incompleteness, of being some kind of fractured being. Since I’ve never been in a relationship I cannot say whether that is true or not; however, what I do know is that searching for a boyfriend is about as useful as trying to win the lottery. To put it bluntly, I only have so much say in the matter and trying to force merely exacerbates my feelings of inadequacy and fragility. It puts you always on edge, always on the lookout. Every conversation, every glance has the potential to make or break your perceived future happiness. If you mess up a date or a chat it feels like you’ve just let your prince toad hop down the drain, lost forever.
After all this time, and ESPECIALLY after Taylor, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I’m fucking awesome. And fucking horrible. And fucking complex. There is no way that one person could ever be my sole provider of happiness. I have too many facets, too many passions to ever be destined for just one person. Obviously I’m not saying that I’m eschewing monogamous long-term relationships, but what I am saying is that I live my life, no one else’s. If the right man walks through the door then I will gladly escort him inside, but instead of eagerly waiting at the window like a desperate sixteen year-old girl before junior prom I will now calmly read in the parlor. If someone should ring the bell I will answer it, but until then…
I’m rediscovering my visceral lust for life.
My destiny is mine and I plan to seize it, whether alone or holding my love’s hand.
I’ve never cried in public. I’ve never punched someone. I never thought those limits would be tested this weekend. What follows is the worst night of my adult life.
To preface this post I have to give you some backstory, though I’ll be brief. The Sunday before last I met some gay US military guys at a bar in SoHo after gay pride. Afterwards I messaged one of them, Taylor, and we started chatting. He was endearing, cute, interested, and fun. He texted me more than I ever texted him and seemed like a great distraction after my Hollen confusion.
Hence, after a stressful touristy weekend in London I was so excited to settle down in Cambridge and get to know Taylor better.
I arrived for free by train (gotta love a BritRail pass that you leave blank 😉 and Taylor picked me up at the station. We went to this karaoke bar in Cambridge where we talked, though rather sparsely, and in general had a great time. When we got home we watched some TV, though on separate couches, which seemed odd to me. After a rather uneventful night we crawled into bed and suddenly he was terribly interested in me. And I made the gravest mistake of my young adult life. After deciding to wait to have sex again until I had a boyfriend, I broke my vow to myself after four months. It wasn’t worth it in the least. I liked Taylor, but though that beast may have had two backs, one was incredibly bored.
Afterwards he said he didn’t cuddle as soon as we finished… it was an awkward way to end things. The next day he slept until almost one, made us breakfast, and barely spoke. I assumed he was tired, and I had a mound of decolonization documents to sift through, so I was glad to have some peace to work. However, the day continued in a boring, monotonous kind of way. We watched Burlesque, which was awesome, but he fell asleep… once again on a separate couch…
Chris (another gay US mil guy, very friendly and conversational) came by around 6 and I finally had someone to talk to. Around 7:30 we left for dinner at this Italian-American restaurant called Frank and Benny’s. Chris and Taylor knew everyone there so I kind of felt like an outsider, but overall it was fun. However, twice I leaned my leg onto Taylor only for him to pull it away within a minute or two…
I didn’t want to go out… at all… but Chris did, and Taylor was on the fence. I thought maybe if I played along he’d stop ignoring me. Maybe if we went to the club I’d discover this pessimism had all been in my head, that we did have a connection of some sort, especially given that I had sex with him the night before… the second time I’d ever even had sex…
We went to a bar before we went out clubbing in Cambridge, and unlike the night before Taylor was not paying for anything of mine (dinner, drinks, covers, etc.) which would be fine if… we hadn’t just had sex…
To fast forward through the evolution of the night, which consisted of random pairs and triplettes of gay brits meet up with us at the bar before we headed to Ballare, picture a smoky club with a long glass countertop, neon lights enveloping it, and an generally sketchy, sexual atmosphere. Oh, and absolutely devoid of people… well at first. I noticed that Taylor had been talking to this random short pimply white kid a fair bit, and that they had exchanged phone numbers, obviously making me jealous, but I didn’t want to give into such petty emotions. The night continued with Taylor ignoring me except for the occasional exchange of cordial phrases… nothing profound…
After finally getting fed up with this I left for Fez, the club Chris and some of the others had already headed to. With Chris, it was so nice to finally be able vent to someone. I had almost started crying on my way between the two clubs. Sex just makes emotions so much more painful, so much more real.
Chris told me about how Taylor’s “Cool Guy” personality made him treat men poorly, which, coupled with what Taylor had told me about his past, makes me think that he has led a very lonely, broken life. He’s become so calloused to the world that, especially in terms of romantic interests, he will not risk being vulnerable.
I had fun at Fez, but I was ready to go so I texted Taylor, grabbed Chris, and went back to Ballare about an hour after I had left. It was about 2:45am at this point and I was ready to go. I wanted wifi so I stayed outside and received a text from Taylor saying “I’m bring Dylan home!” meaning that as his guest of two days I would be sleeping on the couch my second night as my bootycall replacement got it on with Taylor in the room next to me. Fuck that.
I demanded in all caps that he come outside. I was furious. WHY THE HELL WAS I IN CAMBRIDGE!? What explanation could there be for such a narcissistic, selfish act? He asked what I wanted to talk about. I responded, “YOU.” He refused to come outside saying he couldn’t leave his friends. I texted Chris saying he needed to come immediately, I wanted someone there to break up a fight if it broke out.
Chris and I waited for a few minutes, but the douche never came out. After a few more minutes we headed back in the club as it was shutting down and, after taking drunk Taylor’s keys, we headed outside to a food truck and a taxi. On the way to the truck Chris grabbed Dylan and the other member of our late night crew, Chase, and let Taylor and I go ahead. For that I am forever grateful. I needed to express my hurt, my frustration and without that opportunity I don’t know how it would have manifested.
“Taylor, we need to fucking talk.”
“Why the hell am I here!? Am I not good enough for you after one screw? Do you not have the common decency to hold off on having sex with another guy until I leave TOMORROW MORNING?”
“We were just having fun last night, I don’t see why you’re getting so upset.”
“Are you kidding me??? Do you think I came up to Cambridge, left my amazing friends in Oxford, and wasted a ton of pounds just to see you fool around with some dude as I’m stuck on the couch? You were the one that wanted me here!!!?”
“I’m sorry, I’m not feeling it, I can’t control how I feel. This is life, get used to disappointment.”
“I don’t give a shit how you feel, I’ve never been so disgusted by anyone in my life as I am right now. You are a vile sack of lies. and shit. What happened to ‘You’re just different from the others Dan, you seem like such a great guy, I can’t wait to hang out and show you the smaller parts of England’!? And shut the fuck up about ‘this is life.’ Life is not a series of events that just happen, you decide its course, you define it. You really have no idea where I’m coming from do you?”
“I just don’t like guys smarter than me”
“You’ve got to be joking… I could have told you I’m smart [almost said smarter] from the beginning [and here I almost set myself up for a punch in the face, but I recovered it], and that you are… not someone who is intellectual. My entire identity is predicated on my love of the world, of learning its secrets and pushing myself academically and intellectually. You clearly do not have a similar desire. I’m not here for a boyfriend, or even dates Taylor. I just wanted to have a fun weekend with you and I don’t see why you cannot have the decency to respect that.”
[he says some half-assed remark that doesn’t matter… none of his replies really did… he always tried to shirk the blame and push it off of himself]
“We’ll sleep at Marc’s, you’ll sober up, and you will drive me back to Oxford tomorrow morning.”
“Can’t you just take a bus or something.”
“We had an agreement you asshole. You were going to freaking stay with me at Oxford for a few days, and now I’m invisible to you. You even talked about coming to visit me at Duke! Do you even know what the truth is?”
“You will drive me back to Oxford tomorrow.”
“Well Dan, since we’re staying at Marc’s Dylan isn’t coming so this is all pointless.”
“Yes, This is all pointless.” I turned and walk away, back to Chris, Dylan, and Chase, before Taylor could respond.
The rest of the night I rode higher, completely ignored Taylor, and tried to have a good time.
In the morning, after three hours of sleep on my part, I woke everyone up with a succession of 12 ringtones. I could give a shit about their sleep deprivation (well Taylor’s, I quite like Chase and Chris). I threw up on the way to get Taylor’s car. I can’t explain it, but sex just made my emotions so much heightened, so much less controllable or explicable.
We drove back to Taylor’s place. I said a heartfelt goodbye to Chris and continued my complete silence towards Taylor. After he ran to fill up his gas tank for the 2 hour drive to Oxford we finally left for Oxford. I’ve never been so excited to get back a shabby dorm room. We blared the music the entire time and I didn’t say a word except in the final 20 minutes I quickly asked if he was “clean,” and if my aloofness on Sunday-day had been the reason for his withdraw. He responded that he had no STDs and that I hadn’t done anything.
Then it hit me, when the switch had flipped. On the very first night, on the way to Karaoke bar I had talked about MSA and my math class this summer/genius math friends from MSA, and probably other things about Duke/my academics. I’m not going to hide who I am, what I’ve done, and what I love. However, that’s when he got intimidated, that’s when he decided we didn’t click because he couldn’t dominate me. At that point he just wanted a bootycall, and from there everything makes sense.
I hate him, but that will pass. Mostly I pity him. I pity that he can’t enjoy the company of someone that enjoys both his platonic and romantic sides. From the way he interacted with his friends and the things he said it seems like everything revolves around sex or friendship, in clear delineated terms. Of course I don’t know him, I’m just piecing things that I observed and his friends told me together.
He is the most clear-cut stereotypical Velvet Rage gay that I’ve met. He desperately seeks validation, then spurns whoever gave it once he’s secured it.
I finally exited the House of Lies when we pulled up to New College. I grabbed my things as he was slowing down, unlocked my door when he hit sub-5mph and opened it as he rolled to a stop.
He said, “Take it easy.” I bolted out of the car, tersely responding, “Yeah… you too.”
I defriended him when I got back to my computer, and sent him a message with a link to the Velvet Rage and “cya”
Walking to my dorm room I actually cried out, “WOOOO!!! Home!”
I guess some quick personal lessons that this painful trial taught me:
1. Never trust a gay man clearly interested in sex above all
2. Never have sex outside of a relationship
3. Many gay men, even the young ones, are calloused. Stay skeptical, but never let your heart harden.
4. In the end only I can stand up for myself, only I can live my life. Always assert myself.
I apologize for my absence. It has been quite a week.
Last Friday I received an impromptu email from my friend at the University of College London inviting me to World Pride. Given that I’ve never been to any pride parade I figured what the hell and, most painfully, took a 7am bus to London Saturday morning. I met Kelly at a Costa and we grabbed breakfast tea and coffee then headed over to her dormitories. In England you never say dorm.
After smuggling my suitcase passed the front desk we changed and headed out in the rain for “the world’s greatest pride parade,” which turned out to be a gross overstatement. While I had an incredible time with the 8 other Dukies, the parade was lacklustre. It was more of a political march, a solidarity showcase if you will, than a celebration of LGBT culture like it is in the states.
Nevertheless I adore London. It is cleaner, more architecturally diverse, and nicer than Paris, and less chaotic than New York. Quaint, modern, and wildly varied, London is one of the greatest cities I’ve ever been to.
Over the course of pride I got a shit ton-O-stickers, most awkwardly when a dude stuck one, rather forcefully, on my crotch.
After pride we headed back to UCL. Kelly crashed for a few hours while I messed around on the Internet. For dinner we got some classic fish and chips at this shoddy little dive that was remarkably expensive given its decayed facade. I’ve had so many damn chips here that I do believe I may transform at any moment into a golden fried potato.
That night we all pre-gamed in the dormitory then took the lift down to the entrance and headed out for Fabric, an illustrious London megaclub.
Except that we had to pee… Real bad.
So we detoured to this 80s club called Reflex to use the lou. Since we got in for free we figured what the hell and stayed for the rest of the night, most notably for a drunken Flashdance-style dance-off between two opposing bachelorette parties.
When we finally resolved to leave we staggered around central London trying to ride the night buses, with St. Paul looming over us everywhere we went – that thing’s massive. Luckily we figured them out and made it home in the pouring rain. In England it is always raining. I never leave home without an umbrella, especially this year, which has seen the wettest June and July in the entire history of the British Meteorological Society.
Once home we collapsed. I would not rise for 12 hours.
When I did awake Sunday afternoon I got a text from a friend in the British Army to meet him down in Soho, the gay district, for drinks with a bunch of other gay servicemen. After a gorgeous hour-long walk across London I met up with the guys. Brad, the guy who invited me, was rather annoying, but the US guys were great: open, masculine, hilarious, playful. That afternoon in the pub was truly awesome, especially because I met Taylor.
The US has a pretty significant amount of airbases in the United Kingdom and Taylor works in intelligence at one of them. He’s humble, confident, and hot.
He was exhausted post-pride but we talked more over the next few days and now I’m heading up to Cambridge Sunday to hang out with him. I’m ready for a change and he’s a great guy.
All in all my weekend in London was incredible. I’ll come back and edit this with more stories, pictures and music later, but I’m doing all of this on my phone so I’m rather limited.
As for the rest of my week I wrote my paper on British Economic decline Wednesday, had my first tutorial Thursday, went to Shakespeare’s hometown (Stratford-upon-Avon) and saw the Tempest.
Now I’m on a bus to London to see all the touristy stuff: tower of London,
Parliament, Buckingham palace, tower bridge, war bunkers, Harrod’s etc
Since I’m busier than I expected I’ll try my best to update this frequently but I cannot promise it. I recommend that you follow the blog so you can update when I do make a new post.
*note* All of these pictures were taken by me. Please pilfer them. */end note*
Desperately I clung to my bag, but she wouldn’t relent. “Come on,” I cried out as she demanded I place it on the ground, “If this get’s lost I’m dead.” “We haven’t had a fatality in over 8 years” was her unsettling reply, and with that my bag was forcibly… checked.
After a harrowing three hour multivariable exam my mother drove me to Houston International for my first flight to Philadelphia. Fearful of any sort of delay or disruption that could prevent my arrival in London, I arrived three hours early. Security took 20 minutes. I busied myself with redistributing my things post-invasiveness, and then called friends and family before I departed. The flight to Philadelphia was on a smaller plane, Embraer not Boeing, instant red flag as to the size of the plane, so I couldn’t gate check my supposedly “oversized” carry-on [which I have put into Embraer overheads tens of times]. Instead the wretched shrew, with the gaudiest candy apple red lipstick, absconded with my luggage. I vowed that I would move any mountain to get back at her if my luggage was lost. My entire life for the next 6 months was/is packed into that carry-on suitcase. *spoiler alert* Luckily my suitcase survived. *You can rest easy now.*
On the plane I sat next to a Michigan State Professor of Turf Field Management. Yeah… apparently that’s a degree. Who knew. I read The Making of Modern Britain for most of the flight. It was delightfully uneventful.
Upon touchdown in Philly I raced to my gate, chilled for thirty minutes, then met the other two Duke students on my flight: Matt and Kelsey. These two rock. I already knew Matt, but Kelsey was a wonderful surprise. Unfortunately she actually wasn’t on our flight. She was on the British Airways flight leaving at the same time one gate down from us at the same time. When she went to board our US Airways flight the attendant gave her the most hilarious, “Mmmmm yeah ma’am this is the wrong airline. You’re gonna have to mosey on down to A16.”
The flight to London was actually great. I watched the Iron Lady (solid BBC production, absolutely riveting biopic of Thatcher) and the Ides of March (well constructed political drama, not particularly memorable but certainly an interesting take on modern politics). Our meal was unremarkable, but my company was not. Gregory was a 42-year old Vice-President of an energy firm in Aberdeen, Scotland. We chatted for a few hours about Scotland, UK Politics, the global economy, and our respective lives. He was a character. To my left sat Rachel, a mild-mannered flaming ginge from San Francisco that had just graduated from nursing school at one of the Cal States. She was doing a two week tour of London, Paris, and Rome with her sister, and had never been across the Atlantic.
The flight was a quick seven hours and we touched down in Heathrow at 10:00am. Matt and I scurried through the terminal to the next bus to Oxford, which, at a rather steep 27 pounds ($40), took us to a bus station in downtown Oxford.
Now I could tell you about some of the random people from the bus, or about how the countryside is almost exactly the same as Northern France, but instead let’s get to the unusual, less pedantic aspects of my travelogue.
To begin, Oxford isn’t actually a beautiful university. It is a beautiful city that happens to contain 38 “Colleges” (think super dorms, dorms that have their own faculties, rooms, dining, chapels, sports teams, etc.) and various faculties (Medicine, History, Literature, etc.). There is absolutely no campus to speak of outside of your college, and for that I was rather dismayed. The city of Oxford is quaint, but not particularly fascinating thus far. I’m sure once we dig into the famous old pubs that literary giants once graced and tour more of the colleges, I’ve seen around 10 so far, I’ll start to feel more of an Oxford vibe, but for now I feel like I’m taking a random Duke class in a small English city.
Fun fact, Oxford has the densest concentration of Harry Potter filming locations outside of the dedicated studios. Meaning that when you go on tours they point out all kinds of hilarious HP tidbits. For instance, today I sat in the Restricted Section of Hogwart’s library today… aka Duke Humphrey’s Library. The cloister by my room is where Moody turns Malfoy into a ferret in the fourth movie. The statue in our chapel was the model for Nearly Headless Nick. Basically, I’m living at Hogwarts.
Except I’m not. I live next to Hogwarts. No, instead I live in a rundown version of the Burrow. Yes, I live in the equivalent of the Weasley’s sprawling, yet dilapidated abode. I have a large room complete with a bed, desk, sink, two small closets, a chair, nightstand, and end table. “Oh heavens how wonderful!” you think to yourself. Au contraire my friend, these objects come with the wonderful functional decor that made the late 70s and early 80s so anathema to college students everywhere. Moreover, it’s not even well maintained. Despite the fact that I live in a dorm built in 1981, a full 200 years younger than the main dormitories of New College directly next to it, it is in complete disrepair. My paint is chipped, my table is warped, and, most intriguingly, my wall has a hole in it directly above my bed. Oh yeah baby, this room has character.
The food thus far is quite good, though the vegetables and fruit are lacking. They give us a nice variety of entrees, but green beans and salad sans dressing can only be appetizing for so long. On Wednesdays, and the opening and closing nights, we have High Table, which is when all of the Professors sit at a table raised above us (yes exactly like Dumbledore et co. in Harry Potter) while we eat on one long row table flanked by parallel row tables on either side. It truly is the Great Hall, yes, it’s even called the Great Hall. Wednesday’s are a wonderful night to go out because after a cocktail hour and many glasses of wine at dinner you only need a few shots and you have a drunken gaggle of Dukies on your hands. After the first High Table on Saturday we had our Oxford guide (Matt, 23, Med Student) take us out for drinks at a pub. We all got a shot of vodka, followed by pitchers of Blue Lagoon, this delicious mixed drink of immense size that we shared as a group. Well… we shared 4 of them to be precise… Plus I got a pint of Guinness… Come on, it’s the UK after all.
However the night took a nasty turn when, after drinking so much so quickly, the bartender suddenly shut some of the other guys off, despite the fact that we were not being rowdy in the least. A few minutes later, after we migrated to a table in the back, the manager of the bar came over and promptly told Matt and Noah that they had to leave. We were shocked. This couldn’t be happening. Kicked out of the pub on the first night? With no warning? No explanation? They resisted at first, but then bowed to the inevitable and departed. Soon after two other guys in our party were asked to leave and we decided to start an exodus immediately rather than get picked off in pairs.
Afterwards we headed to a lame nightclub called Thirst, which we pointlessly paid 3.5 pounds only to then leave 5 minutes later. I was rather peeved at our early departure. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t that bad. Luckily the next club was indeed great. The first floor was ehhh, too much 80s music and the crowd was older, but I led the group upstairs to the second floor where smoke, house music, and a younger crowd made the night significantly more enjoyable. We raged until about 2 then headed home, drunk and jet-lagged.
Sunday through today we recuperated. As I explained in my earlier post gay Oxford blows, though I’ve chatted with an American getting his PhD in history here that seems cool, and an Aussie post-doc. Plus, there’s an adorable Major in the British Army who is also a doctor that teaches at Oxford. He’s about to deploy to Afghanistan in 5 weeks, but I’d like to meet him before he goes. However, I’m pretty indifferent to all this business. With communication only available when I have wifi, compounded by my mixed emotions about the last month, I’m not exactly chomping at the bit to get out there. Instead I’ll see what happens, but nothing would be as fine as something. I have no expectations.
Otherwise, my tutorial seems interesting. I like my books and my tutor (personal professor in a way, he’s a lecturer at Oriel College, mid 30s, the equivalent of an Associate Professor in the US), though the reading load is rather ridiculous at roughly 25 full books… I want to learn as much as possible, but I don’t know if that much reading will be possible in only 6 weeks. I have a one hour lecture on Tuesdays, and then I meet, along with another student (my tutorial partner) on Thursdays for an hour to defend our finished papers in front of Dr. Coggins. We have 5 papers due over the course of 6 weeks and they’re only 7 pages long.
As a taste of the course, here are some of our essay questions (the book titles are rather obvious, things like Social History of the UK, Econ History of the UK, Women & Culture, the Post-War Consensus, Decline of the Empire, etc.)
-Did the growth of the British Economy in the 1950s and 1960s conceal long-term decline?
-Why did the end of the Empire cause so little domestic controversy?
-Why did Labour lose the 2010 General Election?
The questions are fair, far from dense or complex, and allow us to present rational nuanced arguments based on the tomes of books we’re reading for this course.
However, despite all of this, and I do believe I’ve told you just about everything, there’s just something missing. I feel like I’m just kind of floating through all this. I’m not tethered by anything. However, I have some wonderful angels that might bring me earthbound. By far the best part of this trip is the circle of friends I’m lucky enough to be a part of, and I cannot imagine Oxford without them. I knew Lindsey from before, but Hannah, Kelsey and Morgan were all complete strangers. We laugh constantly, have a serious of seemingly never-ending inside jokes, and most importantly they provide the company that I’ve missed this summer. The guys of the group, Jack, Noah, Matt, and Phil, are all great as well, though, as always, I just click better with girls so we only hang out with them sometimes (generally when we’re going out). I’ll try to write a grand post about some of the funny moments of the trip so far (dosey, sloots, AB kids obnoxiousness summed up in “What is happiness?” conversation in the JCR, Barcelona, Tesco meal deal, the first High Table, Walking Tour esp Noah and Matt, Shakespeare in the Rain), but for now I do believe you have a taste of my life here.
I hope that things settle and I feel more connected to life. I think that’s become my biggest struggle over the last two years, making everything feel real, caring about the present.
I shouldn’t be sad, but I am. Inexplicably downtrodden is the best way to describe how I feel.
I’m sitting here at 4am in my Oxford dormitory, unable to sleep, which is going to result in a terribly sleepy tomorrow. I was exhausted earlier, but had to finish my French placement exam, and ever since I haven’t been able to get back to bed.
I guess the best way to understand where I am right now is to recap the last seven days. So my last week wasn’t anything like I envisioned it would be. I nearly broke my toe (Michael – lame friend – creepy walk home – oh my!), studied extremely hard all week for Multivariable only to blank on the final, Hollen and I parted under confusing circumstances, and my time so far in Oxford has been fun but strangely empty, which I will discuss in a post tomorrow.
Suffice to say I do not miss Rice in the least. Wonderful school, not for me. The final was fair, but there was just so much to know. I froze in fear many times, terrified at the thought of failing the test. I pulled it together and finished, and I’m confident that I did well enough to pass, but who really knows. (I did pass!)
Hollen and I, well I have no idea. I don’t really know what to say, either way. From his texts in Chicago and our conversations the week before I anticipated a messy, complicated heart-wrenching conversation about what exactly these last two weeks had been and how we would go forward. Instead, we watched TV and got tacos. Which would have been fine, I just let my expectations get the best of me. I know that he is going through a very tumultuous period in his life, and I’m trying to rationalize everything along those lines, but I still just feel like everything is incomplete back there. Every now and then I’ll briefly think back to Houston and just get this little pang in my stomach, the pain of ambiguity, of incongruity. I really have no idea what, if anything, will ever come of those five dates. On the one hand I’m glad that I’m not longing for him or missing him so terribly that I can’t enjoy Oxford, but at the same time I don’t like loose ends, and at this point it’s too late to tie them, which brings me to the most recent reason for my malaise.
Gay Oxford blows… The worst dudes I’ve ever interacted with. In 3 hours I’ve already had 2 hardcore fake profiles, a douche who said after a 15 minute conversation that I should read his description again because he only likes “muscular men and clearly you are not one.” Plus everyone is ugly and boring. Thank god my class starts tomorrow. I really think I might just completely hold off until Paris at this rate, but even Paris scares me. It has the second largest number of Grindr users in the world, after London, and in a city with that many gay men how will I compete? How will I set myself apart. With 155,000 unique users and only 200 men visible on the app how will I even find the good ones? I don’t know, I’m just at a very low point in terms of my relationship outlook. I’m going to check out Oxford’s gay bar and gay club, but I think I’ll take a break otherwise, a sad admission after only one night on Oxford’s grindr…
Everything just seems to be coalescing in a negative way, and I can’t help but shake the feeling that somehow this malaise will always be around me. That I’ll never be happy and satisfied with my life. I mean I’m at Oxford University right now… how is it even possible that I’m not overjoyed? And to that I have no answer. Tomorrow when my tutorial starts I’d like to pour myself into it, to learn as much about modern British politics and economics as possible. I think that Oxford might be the time I need this summer to turn inward, to really find out who I am and what I want before Paris starts. I have 6 weeks and only 4 hours of class a week, plus it’s history so I won’t have any issues with the material. No, my issue currently is myself and why I can’t find happiness. Tomorrow I’m going to get my room in order, organize my computer, start working on some belated research for my boss, and read a lot about Britain.
Maybe when it’s not so late and I’m not so confused I can elucidate things better and come down from the abstract to the finite, but right now I just… I just don’t know anything.
I’ll try to skype all of you that I promised to skype as soon as possible. After tomorrow we should know our schedule and from there I can start planning things. Given my emotional fragility right now I think my trip to London this weekend should be postponed, so I’ll be around Oxford. Didn’t postpone, met Taylor, who knows how my life would have been had I skipped that bus. But no regrets, life is meant to be lived.