‘To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself’ - Soren Kierkegaard
There was nothing especially unusual about the beginning of the evening. I had been at the 30th birthday dinner of one of my best friends for 6 hours. Those hours had passed while talking and joking with my friend’s warm and jovial Italian family while consuming copious amounts of food and alcohol. I had been tired all day due to lack of sleep the previous night and as a result I was strongly considering going home straight afterwards. Albeit, some of my other friends were at a birthday on Chapel St and another group were at The Peel celebrating another birthday. Tired I may have been, but I could feel the night beckoning me into it like an old friend calling my name. Rest could wait for now.
Midnight struck and much like the shoe losing princess that is Cinderella, it was my time to go. After the many cocktails and unusually substantial canapés I had all but inhaled, I was somewhat surprised that I walked instead of stopped, dropped and rolled out of the house, but I guess that’s just a testament to the resilliance of the human body. After a drive to the station while finishing off the last drops of my ‘traveller’, I farewelled my chauffer like best friend and made my way by train to Windsor, briefly stopping to drop in on good friends and refuelling my level of inebriation in the form of cider. I knew this was still not the end of the night for me. The night was beckoning me further, deeper into it. I was in need of adventures of a more sordid nature.
I tumbled into a taxi driven by a fast driving and altogether unfriendly Indian gentleman who after a night of driving drunken idiots around town seemed much more interested in chatting to friends and family back home, so I reluctantly played on my iPhone, with it’s all consuming apps and always ever-so-close-to-dying battery. After a 15 minute drive that seemed to last for hours, I arrived at my destination, the home of fun and debauchery that is always a favourite of all of my friends ; The Peel. I had had a feeling all night that during this second installment of the evening something was about to happen. As I opened the door of this infamous gay drinking hole with it’s door handle in the shape of a penis, it served as a talisman of at least part of what was to come.
After trying to navigate the bar sans my glasses which I had stupidly left at home, I did a round of walking through the club in search of my friends, who were as per usual dancing while singing along to a nondescript pop song. My friend was with some guys I knew, some I didn’t, and some I get a weird vibe from ever since having a threesome with him and his boyfriend a few years back, so I tried to engage while at the same time remaining to keep a nonchalant distance from the threesome participant. I knew if something really interesting was going to happen tonight I was going to have to source it myself, so I left the dancefloor for the smoke filled haze of the outside courtyard and smoked numerous Peter Stuyvesants with intermissions to top up my beer intake. For once I didn’t know anyone in the smoking area so I was able to observe the testosterone charged headiness out there uninterrupted. The courtyard was filled with the smell of smoke and sweat. There was a lack of any handsome or interesting men and instead the courtyard was filled with the usual mix of ever so slightly desperate looking middle aged men and young twinks who couldn’t handle their alcohol. My willingness to be consumed by the night was fading, so I went to the bar and ordered the never-fail drink to keep a night going, a Smirnoff Ice, which I find provides just the right level of sugar and alcohol, if consumed in small quantities, to keep even the most weary nighttime reveller perky.
I walked through the mirrored hallway back to the dancefloor and struck up conversation with a friend who I invited to come with me to the bar so I could buy them a drink, but they insisted upon purchasing it themselves so I went along anyway to keep them company. The venue was still crowded at nearly 3am and service was understandably taking longer than expected, and when a creepy looking middle aged man came and stood next to me and stared in my direction, I decided to temporarily leave my friend to his own devices and stood waiting against the wall. As I did, I looked up and even without my glasses could see the tall, blonde haired, blue eyed and incredibly handsome man walking towards me. He looked like a straight guy who had either been lost and ended up here after a venue up the road had shut or had been lured here by his girlfriend to hang out with her and gay best friends at a gay bar. The music was incredibly loud and my hearing isn’t good at the best of times, so I was glad when he seemed to take the noise into account by saying directly into my ear “your friend over there keeps looking at me funny”. I looked to my friend who was still at the bar and who had paid no attention to this guy at all, so I inquired, “who do you mean?”. He pointed to the middle aged creep and said “that guy” and I laughed then replied “oh no, that’s no friend of mine”. I looked at his face and he flashed his brilliant blue eyes and smiled a white toothed grin. I started to suspect this seemingly heterosexual Viking may have another agenda, so I said “I’m Jake, and if you wanted to come up and talk, I’m pretty friendly to hot guys so hello is usually a good start instead of a story”. He giggled, knowing I was teasing. “I’m Mitch, do you want to come and sit down?”. Do I ever.
We walked to the lounge area and sat on one of the couches and played the customary game of getting to know you quickly before we start making out. He told me he was in his mid twenties and was in Melbourne for the weekend with friends. Melbourne seems to be lacking lately in the way of handsome men so I wasn’t surprised our fair city has had to outsource. No more than 5 minutes went by before there was a brief pause in conversation and we stared at each other then kissed. I’m not one to wear my heart on my sleeve and trust me, I’ve kissed more than my fair share of men in my time so I knew almost immediately, there was something different about this one. When we retracted from each other, he said “sorry about before, you’re so hot and I’d been trying for a while to think of a good segue to come up and talk to you”. I’m always friendly but can be moderately dismissive to a lot of gay men trying to score, but his opening line had obviously piqued my interest, for which I congratulated him, “well, it certainly got my attention”.
The next two hours were spent on the couches alternating between getting to know each other further, joking, large amounts of kissing, as well as telling each other how much we wished we weren’t in a club. I asked him if he was out and was surprised to be told that indeed he was. His hair looked perfect like a model in a Giorgio Armani advertisement, but it smelt like the trade-off of getting it to look as much was not washing it for extended periods of time. His face was unshaven with half a week of growth, his clothes were that of a young skateboarder or alternative type, and his t-shirt was just low enough to see he had what is for me the prerequisite manly chest hair I love so much in abundance. We had by this point developed an almost routine of kissing, then me kissing down his neck and then him kissing behind my ears. This did not feel like an ordinary club hook-up, there was something more there and the feeling was both tangible and mutual. Despite the present feeling of ’something more’, there was also large amounts of drunken lust and going for a stroll outside of the club was decided upon. As we were about to leave I quickly looked at my phone and he saw that I have Grindr and Hornet and proceeded to say “why do you have those apps, man? You don’t need them. I’d never have them”. Quick, someone pass me some rope so I can tether this unicorn before he gets away.
We walked up Wellington St and discussed the possibility of getting a hotel room ; he was staying in a sublet with friends and my house is 45 minutes away so it seemed like the easiest route. When we got to the closest hotel it was closed for business so a quick phone call was made to another with no response, and it seemed at this point the only thing for it was to do a ‘George Michael’ and go public. We kissed between two parked cars then he gave me a quick yet overwhelmingly satisfying blow job. It was freezing and any continuation here seemed ridiculous, so we decided to call it a night and in the morning discuss the possibility of meeting up the next day before he flew out. We walked to Victoria St and kissed each other goodbye and he said “I’m really glad I met you. I hope we do see each other tomorrow, dude”. I was so attracted to him I felt giddy and was all too pleased I had met him too.
I hopped into a maxi taxi, feeling somewhat guilty in case a person in a wheelchair was somewhere in the city also in the blistering cold and waiting for a ride home, but also basking in the glow of what had just happened. As the taxi tore down the freeway I decided to send him a quick text as my eyes were almost closing so I quickly tapped out on my phone “Hey mate, fucking brilliant to have met you tonight. Would love to see you again if you have time”. Then I remembered an old trick which is always handy which not many people seem to know about ; type his phone number into a search on Facebook to find his profile that way. After I did, I saw the profile match. It would appear he had given me a fake name at The Peel. I felt a feeling of disappointment that he hadn’t trusted me enough, mixed with curiosity as to why he had, mixed also with amusement given I have also done the same thing when I was younger.
The following morning I received a text from him saying it was great meeting me too, and that he wanted to either meet up that day or would I like to fly up to where he lives soon?. I don’t shy from confrontation, so I asked him straight away “bit confused about something, is your name Mitch or Daniel?”. He quickly replied “Haha Daniel. I’ve had a horrible experience with telling a dude my name. Anyway….sorry for the confusion dude. Was going to tell you”. I paused for 20 minutes to evaluate what had just happened and it appeared he started to panic because it wasn’t long before I received a follow up text “is that ok man? I’m sorry mate I just find it hard to tell random strangers because of a thing that turned sour”. This wasn’t my first rodeo. I suspected immediately he was gay and not out and was still stuck in that limbo period any gay man hates to remember, where you’re terrified of anyone finding out. I was a bit surprised he didn't ask me how I had found out what his real name is. I replied “oh ok. Bit weird. Yeah that’s fine. Did you end up heading out for breakfast?”. No harm, no foul.
The rest of the day was spent exchanging up to 100 texts of telling each other how much we wanted and were attracted to each other, the paramount of which from him was “I hope I catch you again hey. Last night was so rad hanging with you. You’re incredibly handsome and cute mate. There was definitely something. You’ve made Melbourne for me”. I couldn’t have agreed with this sentiment, returned to him, any more than I did. Why on Earth did this man have to live hundreds of kilometres away? It’s at times like this I become convinced I surely must have committed some sort of grave romantic wrongdoing in a past life, cheating on then abandoning a defenceless wife perhaps, left alone to feed 5 crying babies or the like. I was far too tired to go anywhere and he was busy with his friends, so we told each other how good it would be if I went up to went to the city he lives in. He asked for my Facebook so he could have a look at my profile which I willingly gave him, I assumed because he knew I had already looked at his. He asked for my Instagram account so he could private message me pics on there because his phone apparently wasn’t capable of sending MMS (in the age of smart phones, is that what’s called a dumb phone?). Before his flight he told me “so keen to keep chatting and see where things go. You seem like a sweetheart man. If ya keen”. I’ve never really jumped headfirst into a romantic situation before in my life, so I thought I’d give this a whirl. As the cool kids say these days ; YOLO. Later that night as we were texting each other constantly he sent me a photo of himself from his Instagram account, the username of which is his first initial and surname. For someone so determined to hide his identity, this was a right step in a more trusting direction.
Daniel messaged me early the next day on Monday morning and the texts continued much like they did the day before. Declarations of wanting each other, liking each other, wanting to see each other. Then a situation for us to meet up again sort of just fell into place. I was meant to fly to his city to stay with one of my really good friends not that coming weekend but the following, but said good friend had since been offered a job for 10 days working in Melbourne so had offered me his apartment from Thursday onwards. I had originally thought of turning it down, preferring my friend to be there so we could paint the town red together, but I had other friends I had also planned to hang out with and now could use the empty apartment as a love nest with Daniel. It was like I had won situational Tattslotto. Daniel and I made plans to catch up that weekend, accommodating for his job and university commitments, and then spoke on the phone for a while that night about our respective days and plans for the weekend further. This guy was absolutely beautiful. We sent each other selfies that night before going to bed, he said “so I can doze off thinking about ya”. Cuteness factor hitting a 10.
I initiated text conversation the next day and it initially continued like a daily routine, idle chatter, more declarations (mostly from him about how he wished I lived where he does or wished I was already there), then he told me he had “never came in a dude before". I took this to mean he had never slept with a guy and asked him as much (and hoped he didn’t ask me what my number was. Why do people these days want to know how many people their partner has slept with?). He told me he had only slept with two guys. Yeah, me too….. Oh lord. His answer piqued my earlier suspicion so I inquired further “I know I asked you this before. However, are you out?”. He replied “not really, but I hardly ever get with dudes man”. Voila! I love it when I’m right. I replied “thought so. So are you gay, bi, or straight and like fucking guys?”. His answer was “bi, but I don’t really get with chicks either. To be honest I Just get with people I really feel it with. What about you?”. I didn’t reply immediately because I was trying to digest all the information he had just told me. He was apparently bi-sexual, not gay like me. And not out. He sent me a follow up message “is that ok?”. He could sense my hesitation for a quick response.
I understand more than most people how difficult the coming out process can be. While my mother, sister and most of my family were overwhelmingly accepting, one of the first family members I came out to was my father. I was briefly living with him at the time. After I did, I asked him if he still loved me and he told me he didn’t know. The next day I was so emotionally devastated that I wagged school and when he got home he knew immediately and asked why I had wagged school. When I told him it was because of what had happened the day before, he pinned me to the couch and beat me. The situation at school was no better. Both during and after the coming out process was terrible. Every day I was called a faggot. Called a poofter. Told I was going to die from AIDS. I was pushed. I was shoved. I was punched. I had rocks thrown at me. I felt like a sub-human and my self-esteem and level of self-worth were zero. Every day when the 8.05am train arrived to take me to school, I had to make a decision whether to catch it or jump in front of it. I wanted to so badly so that the terror I was living could be over, but I didn’t just in case, two years from then when school was over, everything would be better, and it turned out it was. I’m so glad I held on through that. One often hears of right wing religious groups saying that gay people will go to Hell. Thing is, people like me have already been there. If this guy had made it to his mid twenties in this day and age and was still not out, there must be a pretty big reason why. I wasn’t offended he wasn’t out, I was however offended he had lied. Again. I tried to gently reply : “on Saturday night you told me you were out and it’s become pretty obvious since then you’re not”. He told me “it’s just complicated dude. I hope ya understand”. So there is a reason why.
After spending the night sex texting, the next day I became suspicious there may be more he was yet to reveal, so I asked Daniel “just so I know were you honest about everything else you told me about yourself?”. He replied “what you mean man?”. I asked “are you really in your mid twenties? Are you actually from ……..?”. He made a joke of it and said “nah I’m actually from Albania and a 50 year old dude”. I was relieved. I was being silly. Or so it seemed. Trust your instincts. You have them for a reason. We gelled it over though. He said “hurry up and get here babe”. So we were ok. Me : “can’t wait to see you champ”. Him “looking forward to a beautiful weekend dude”. This sort of dialogue is exactly what it had been like 4 days now in about 50 or more texts a day. It was really lovely. But it is probably making people it wasn’t sent to (e.g.. you, dear reader) wish that they were blind.
The next morning was my flight. As per usual, I had misjudged my timing and was running late. Daniel and I messaged each other numerous times in my rush for my flight so he could check I was ok. I finally boarded after the flight had been delayed for nearly 1 1/2 hours. As the flight took off, I thought of my childhood flying routine of grabbing the hand of one of my parents during take off. Half out of fear, half out of excitement I wanted to share. At the end of the day, don’t we all just want someone we can hold the hand of and share with?
When I landed I already had a text waiting for me from Daniel asking if I had got in ok. I didn’t understand how someone so thoughtful, so handsome, so lovely, could be single. And I was absolutely thrilled that for once, this sort of person instead of some the arseholes I’ve dated in the past, was involved with me. After I got into the city by train and I told Daniel where I was he couldn’t believe how close I was to him. He suggested a place for me to have a drink where I met a friend, and by late afternoon was exhausted and considered cancelling my date with Daniel that night. Not because I didn’t want to see him, but because I was so god damn tired I knew my sexual performance wasn’t going to be an Academy Award winner. Then again, I’m pretty good in bed so even if it’s not my best it’s still above average, so in the words of a song from an overwhelmingly annoying pop group from the 90’s, c’est la vie.
Daniel messaged me to tell me “imagine if you weren’t coming up this weekend, how would I cope?”. I teasingly replied “hot guy like you would be able to find it easy”. Him “but I want you. I’m really nothing special mate”. Me “yes you are”. I had feared that once I got there some of the glow may be gone, as if this was a fantasy involvement and the reason it had become so intense so quickly is because we were in different states and it couldn’t happen. I was relieved that once I got there and it could happen, things were full steam ahead.
Later, Daniel came and met me at the apartment I was staying in. When he walked in he seemed even taller than I had remembered. We sat on the couch while kissing and talking about our days despite the fact we already knew exactly what each other had done from all the texts that day. I so badly wanted to finally be naked with him, so after we had another kissing session, I led him to the bedroom, and he asked for the lights to be turned off “in case someone sees”. Bit paranoid, but I’ll roll with it. We did ‘everything but’. Never thought at the age of 30 I’d become an ‘everything but’ (as in everything but penetration) guy, but I wanted to save the main event 'til another day when we had more time. We spent a while afterwards in bed hugging and kissing and being romantic, but it couldn’t last all night as Daniel had to go home to finish uni assignments. Ah, the downfall of being involved with someone younger. We had plans to hang out the next night anyway, and after he had left he texted me saying “wish I didn’t have to go”. Same here buddy. He was adorable.
Because he had come over and spent time with me instead of doing assignments he had had to stay up all night and seemed pretty grumpy the next day, so I took myself off to a plethora of art galleries, then to an art gallery exhibition and auction with a friend. After a boozy dinner I finally dragged myself away from what was potentially going to be a big night. Sadly the second I got to 30, whenever I have a hangover I more or less resemble a placenta that’s been tied to a cart and dragged down a dirt road, so I decided it was in my best interest if I was going to keep this guy interested, I needed to make an ongoing effort to resemble a human.
The next day Daniel slept in and had to go to work and asked me what my plans were. I told him I was going to a place I was going to take him to, and he said “ah man, you know I’d be there if I didn’t have to work”. I obviously understand he had to work, but this was now the second plan he had to blow off. I’m famously impatient. Need I say more? I made plans with friends instead. Daniel and I only messaged each other occasionally for the rest of the day, including a text that was meant to be reassuring saying “I’m just trying to work out a time to see you - I’m not dogging it I promise”. It would appear the glow was becoming a dimming spark. By Sunday I couldn’t be bothered chasing him anymore, so I just said to him “I thought we would spend a little more time together. Then I got here and you backed off. I don’t get it”. I was surprised and disillusioned by his reply “I understand man - I think after meeting you the other night I bloody loved and froth over you so much man… But I got freaked out because of how much I do and the fact that you’re interstate… To be honest I’m just afraid of hanging out more and liking you more which makes it too bloody hard to deal with when you go back home”. I’m here for a good time, not a long time. Make the most of it pal. I told him the fact remained I did go home tomorrow so if we were going to catch up again it would have to be today. He had more assignments to do so decided to bring his laptop with him so we could spend even more time together and made the hour long train journey from his place to where I was staying.
When he walked in he commented how hot it was in the apartment. I thought that was just the effects of a hangover from a night spent bar hopping the previous evening. I opened all the windows and we sat and talked in bed for a minute before he asked “can we pull down this blind? Those people might see”. The people he was referring to were on the balcony of an apartment in another building 20 metres away, whose balcony was at least 5 metres lower than the level of the window. Unless said people were just pretending to have a barbecue after a hard day working at ASIO and gay hipsters were now on the Abbott government’s list of terror suspects, I was pretty sure we’d be fine, but I complied with Daniel’s wishes. After some idle chit-chat about what we’d each been up to, he pulled me on top of him and asked “are you still angry with me?”. I was pretty annoyed. I had been under a constant impression from him that we would’ve spent a lot of the weekend together, it just hadn’t transgressed that way. We kissed before I replied “a bit” and he retorted “don’t be”. We spent the next couple of hours having sex 3 times with intermissions between. It was pretty intimate and as raunchy as it could be now I was onto my fourth day with hardly any sleep. When we were onto the third time, I noticed the way Daniel masturbates : with his wrist facing towards his body like a tennis left-handed forearm, while pulling his penis in incredibly slow motions downwards instead of pulling it relatively quickly outwards or upwards. I’d never seen this apparent 12th century form of dick torture before and it appeared it was about to make him ejaculate. Well, I’ll be damned.
We spent a while hugging afterwards then he attempted to do some uni work on his laptop, quickly losing interest and returning to hugging me. Hugging in bed is something I love but rarely do because hugging in bed with a one night stand gives me the creeps, but that he was not and somehow Daniel and I just seemed to physically fit together. An hour later when we were nearly asleep, an alarm went off on his phone. Apparently he now had to catch the train home to actually do these uni assignments instead of loitering around in bed with yours truly. He got his stuff together and we kissed goodbye and it felt a little weird, knowing that I was leaving the next morning and unless something major was going to happen and we were both willing to fork out god knows how much on plane tickets, we wouldn’t see each other again until the next time we might be in each other’s cities.
I flew home the next day and everything was fine (apart from the fact I now had double the amount of luggage). We texted each other all day but by the next day, I was flat out at work and there was no communication all day. That night just before falling asleep I sent him a quick text “how was your day, hombre?”. When I woke up the next morning I lay in bed just sort of pondering what would happen next, if anything really, between us. Then it dawned on me ; when I’d found out he’d used a fake name I was so taken aback I didn’t even bother looking at the rest of his Facebook profile, so I looked him up and quickly scanned through some posts. Then I saw when he had graduated high school. It would appear Daniel had also lied about his age and was in fact 3 years younger than what he had told me. You’d think he would’ve cleared that up with me by now. Then I saw the vital missing piece that made at least part of this mystery puzzle click. Him and his family were members of a religious organisation. Given the organisation, I wasn’t surprised at all the lengths he was going to to conceal his identity. Albeit, I was sick of being lied to. Coincidentally, I suddenly received a reply from him to the text I had sent him the previous night ; “Hey man sorry I was at a work event and my phone died. Day was so full on! How was first day back at work?”.
I was unsure how to approach the situation and to be honest, I’m not proud of what I said or the way I acted next. My mind was boggling with possibilities of what else he may be concealing and lying about. And I came to the realisation that, apart from knowing that they are essentially a wonderful and beautiful person, I didn’t know him at all. Looking back I really should have acted far differently, but hindsight is a blessing and a curse. It was one of those sorts of situations much like when you’re watching a horror movie and someone hides in a cupboard and you think ‘what are you doing dickhead? Run down the stairs!’.
I replied ; “That’s cool. Hey so I’ve got a question for you. You’re (insert age here) not (fake age) and weren’t honest about a couple of other things. Why? Are you really that scared of being found out for being bi / gay or is it something else? Are you in a relationship? I’m not angry just a bit weirded out and would like some sort of explanation”. Normally my actions could be regarded as a bull in china shop type of approach to life, so in comparison this handling it with kid gloves. I realised I’d backed him into a corner and became concerned he was freaking out in some way when 7 hours later there was still no reply, so I said “can you just send me a text and let me know you’re ok?’. Shortly I received a response ; “Yeah I’m ok, just not sure what to say… This is why I tried to avoid it all at the beginning and I apologise for that but the fact you have stalked my Facebook (assume that’s how you found out) or whatever has really weirded me out…. Considering the fact I haven’t given you my Facebook”. I naturally didn’t understand what he was saying. If he didn’t know I’d seen his Facebook, how did he think I had found out his name? Plus I had his name from his Instagram account anyway! Who in this modern age would be given a potential lover’s name and not have a quick squiz at their Facebook? It seems almost ludricrus not to. I realised I was going to have to try to gently nudge him further in an effort to try to get him to reveal anything and try, for me, to do it as gently as possible.
I waited a while, then sent him a message that said : “I didn’t mean ro weird you out at all and if I have I wholeheartedly apologise. I have an overwhelming sense of curiosity so when you wouldn’t answer many questions about yourself the other day I became overly curious and looked up your Facebook this morning. Again, not in a creepy way, but because I suspected by your lack of forthcoming information that there was something behind it. And it turns out I was right. And now I really don’t understand. I don’t understand why you lied about that, and I don’t understand how you can ever really become close to someone if you do lie about that. It’s ok though, I’m ok, I just don’t understand unless you explain it to me”.
I think anyone else would have plonked this situation in too-hard basket days before this, but I was temporarily blinded by feelings. And now I wanted a little something. A little explanation. A small tidbit. Anything. I’d had so much contact with and spent days with this person and didn’t know them at all apart from what I’d discovered myself. I also realised I’d completely backed them into a corner to do this. Come on Daniel, take the bait, take the bait! Tell me about how you can’t come out because of the religious organisation and the predicament you are in, and that’s why you’re so scared about your identity being revealed to anyone. Then he said “Dude you need to relax about this whole thing. I’m not used to sharing my whole life on a platter for a guy I’ve just recently met! I feel like the whole situation with you and I has become too serious for you, and I understand that I’m at fault here because I was feeding into it all with the texts the week after we met. This is what I was afraid would happen. Look dude I’m sorry but I don’t really feel comfortable chatting”.
What? WHAT? What on Earth just happened? I don’t think someone’s name and age could really be classified as someone’s ‘whole life on a platter’. This guy was being more dramatic than Meryl Streep in an Academy award-winning leading actress role. The fact that he had then turned the entire situation around as if I was at fault in some capacity and had belittled me and our involvement thus far to be one-sided, when he had been the one bombarding me day in, day out, with messages about his feelings and yearnings, was absolutely infuriating. I had been trying to be nice about it. Now I was just plain angry and if he was going to act like a twat, I was aborting the mission faster than Hussein Bolt does the hundred metres. I responded the best way I knew how to when my head was exploding ; “never contact me again”. I was so angry at this point I was really hoping he never did, but then he replied “mate I’m really upset at this - I’m sorry”. Oh no you didn’t. This isn’t all about you, mate. I took the bait, easily as always ; “I don’t understand you, what you have said or what has happened at all. It hadn’t become too serious for me, I was mirroring the sentiment you supposedly had. If you just wanted to get your dick wet, you should’ve just said so”. Yeah, take that. I went to walk away from my phone but then it beeped with another text from Daniel ; “Dude I hope you know me more to assume I think like that! I’m an idiot and immature I understand man. I just don’t want you to become bitter at me please”.
For the next day or so, I was bitter. I was so disappointed I had finally had feelings for someone, I had actually expressed those feelings, and ultimately it was eventually thrown back in my face. I was disappointed with the ridiculous way Daniel had acted at the end. I was annoyed I had spent weeks making an effort with someone, and lets face it, in gay male terms : that’s years. But then I stopped being so wrapped up in myself and thought about the situation he is in. He is a beautiful young man in his twenties that lives in a democracy like Australia in 2014, and despite this, because of his own family’s religious affiliations, he has to conceal who he is. To everyone. He has to create a fake persona just to be even some of what he could potentially be if his situation was different. And that is so unbelievably sad. And I really do hope, for his sake, that somehow his situation changes. That somehow he is able to live the life of an ordinary human being. Not have two parallel lives, or even three. Sure, coming out is hard. And everyone’s experience with coming out is completely different from the next person’s. But 15 years on after I did myself I can safely say there is now way I would return to living in the shadows. Not for love, not for a man, not for anyone or anything. And nor should anyone have to.
When I think about the involvement and situation as a whole I almost giggle at all the possibilities of what it actually was ; was I used as the human equivalent of a cum-rag in a bi-curious guy’s real life wank fantasy and once he had got his rocks off, he was off? Was I romantically involved with a lovely guy, up until the point he realised the impossibility of it continuing because of his own situation, then he had freaked out once he thought I would somehow reveal his identity (which I obviously would never do) and I had become collateral damage in the process? Was it just a brief fling until the situation, for whatever reason, became impossible and he lost interest? I don’t have the answers to any of these questions and I probably never will : they’re trapped inside a man hundreds of kilometres away and a sunny Spring sojourn I once made to another city. What I do know is that for once that when it came to my feelings, I had dared to lose my footing.
And it felt really good.