Him: You’re being extremely unfair!
Me: I’m sorry about that. Did you see August Osage County? What did you think?
Him: Seriously, are you Bisexual?
Me: I keep thinking if I hadn’t seen the Broadway play, I might have really liked the movie. I liked it quite a bit, actually, but I might have been blown away if I hadn’t watched the Broadway show twice.
Him: Don’t change the subject! Stop it.
Me: Julia Roberts really blew the doors off the hinges. It’s worth seeing just for that.
Him: I didn’t see it yet, okay?
Me: Okay. No spoilers, then.
Him: I’m asking you a question, and you’re avoiding it.
Me: I don’t see why I owe you the information. It’s just information, after all.
Him: I read your site for years. I’m extremely curious. What happened? It seems like you’ve made a 180, and I don’t know what to make of all of it. It seems…
Me: Don’t trail off. How does it seem?
Him: Hypocritical. It seems hypocritical. Sorry.
(There is a long pause. I sit on a bench at the bus stop.)
Him: You waiting for a bus now?
Me: Only if it’s an express bus to Canada.
Him: What does that mean?
Me: I dunno. It’s about half a joke. I’ll let you know when/if there’s a punch line.
Him: Hey. I’m sorry I called you a hypocrite – just how I see it.
Me: Ha. Then you’re not really sorry! You’re frustrated about quite a few things, and I’d suspect the root of it has very, very little to do with me.
Him: You can’t just… You can’t write about the gay community for years, and talk openly about being a poly-amorous homosexual – you can’t run some sort of online ‘brotherhood of man’ pie cult for the gays, and then just get married to a woman. Just, poof, you’re married and normal again. Just like that.
Me: Can’t I? Why can’t I? Why can’t I marry whomever I want? Isn’t that the underlined point behind the Marriage Equality movement?
Him: Don’t you feel you owe people like me an explanation?
Him: Because I am one of your readers. Because I’m your audience.
(There is a long pause.)
Me: Well… thank you. I’m flattered you’re reading, that you’re still reading, and that you took the time to contact me. All of these things are incredibly flattering, and part of me agrees with you. A huge part of me thinks I owe it to you to tell you exactly how my sex life is structured, what it means to be LGBTQ in a traditional marriage structure, and send you home with a slice of pie and a warm feeling of hope for tomorrow.
Him: That’s what I’d like, yes.
Me: Then again, I’ve read quite a few books on writing, and while authors agree it is important to have an audience, they seem to also agree that catering things to your audience leads to atrophy in a major way. Bill Cosby said something like, I don’t know what the formula for success is, but I know the formula for failure is trying to please everyone.
Him: Teach me, oh wise one.
Me: I’m not getting paid to teach you, or, for that matter, to tell you how to live your life, or to tell you how I live mine.
Him: Okay, I’ll admit – it’s none of my business.
Me: Thank you.
Him: But I’m CURIOUS.
Me: Yes. You’re curious. That’s exactly right. You expect me to tell you intimate details of my personal life to you, the way I would to my therapist, because you read my site for a while and you feel somehow entitled to missing information. But you’re just an audience member. You’re just tuning in. You don’t know me and you have no real right to my inner physical, emotional, or intellectual life, beyond what I publish on my site, which by the way you read for free – so I owe you even less.
Him: People are going to want to know! You wrote about your sex life for years!
Me: No. Incorrect. I did not.
Him: Yes you DID. You’re being a hypocrite!
Me: Actually, I wrote about awkward dates, urban alienation, and my disappointment in a community full of brilliant, motivated, socially broken people. I almost never mentioned who I was having sex with.
Him: Come off it. You were sleeping with all those boys who made pie with you.
Me: Incorrect. Those were models, or friends, or people who contacted me online who wanted to help. It was very rare I slept with the people on my site.
Me: The “Awkward Dates” happen with people I don’t sleep with. That is the whole point: Here’s how NOT to sleep with me. The irony is, it’s pretty easy to sleep with me, if you’re cute and sweet, but most gay people have no interest in being kind, gentle, or generous of spirit – at least the ones who live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn don’t. They think they don’t have to, and in some sense, they’re correct. Someone will stomach their painfully underdeveloped, spoiled, sour personalities. But that someone isn’t me…
Him: Still seems hypocritical to me.
Me: You’ve now called me a hypocrite three times.
Me: So take a deep breath.
Me: I’m about to tell you what I think about you.
(Pause. He looks concerned. I take a deep breath and count to ten.)
TO BE CONTINUED…