Letters

2013-04-30 16.00.12

We are commenting on this blog post: https://piefolk.net/2012/01/12/rice-queen/

This blog post gives an introduction to the “rice queen” term and identity, which is used predominantly to describe white gay men who are primarily attracted to Asian men. The blog post outlines a conversation that Michael Martin has with an older fellow, and illuminates the problematic that exists in the fetishization that is inherent with the “rice queen” moniker. The fellow that Michael converses with frequently reduces entire national and racialized identities into a few characteristics, and denies the complexities that these folks have as human beings. Additionally, Michael Martin comments on the imperial aspects of what many “rice queens” do: travel to Asia in search of cheap sex workers.

In this blog post, Michael does nothing to combat the overt racism that his conversation partner is spewing, but rather voices his discomfort with the rampant racism being perpetuated in the conversation. Though the blog post breaches the “rice queen” topic and label, Michael does not begin to implicate his admitted dominant attraction to Asian men in this system. He seeks not to deconstruct his own location in a racial hierarchy and the imbalance of power in his own relationships with Asian men, but merely frames the fellow whom he is having the conversation with as the evil person, and upholds himself as the one that recognizes and stands against racism.

This blog post speaks to the fetishization of coloured and racialized bodies, which, while deemed disgusting, undesirable and ugly by dominant white society, is also positioned as being for the purpose of white sexual consumption when it is so desired. 

Anonymous 

Hi. Thanks for writing. “We” who? Are you the Borg or something? Also, why would you refer to me in the third person? Creepy. Okay:

I don’t think it’s my job to combat racism in America, but I do write about things that happen to me. Conversations I have, etc.

I’m not responsible for racism in the gay community, or in the world at large. I have a blog that is well attended, and I do my best to remind gay people to play nice with each other. Ultimately, however, the blog is just my outlet to process my own feelings of alienation. I’m a member of an oppressed minority who has not yet garnered its civil rights. Let me say that again. Gay people have not yet garnered legal equality in the United States. That makes us (and trans, or gender queer people) the bottom rung of the civil rights ladder. If I feel like processing an awkward, but polite conversation I had with an older person from a more racist generation – that’s what I’ll do. And I’ll do it online to call attention to the issue.

I am not ‘required’ to start a shouting match with an old gay man who just wants to cuddle with someone on a Friday night. I have respect for people, even racist people. If anything, I’m interested in hearing his perspective, because it’s so foreign to me. It makes me feel good that society might be slightly different now than when he was my age.

I’m not interested in ‘getting my head in the right place,’ if that means people from one oppressed minority are attacking people from another oppressed minority. I don’t quite think I deserve a kick in the nuts for talking about racial politics on my blog. I think calling attention to the issue is valuable for its own sake, and I won’t change my format or apologize.

People seem to be uncomfortable that I’m eroticizing Asian men on my blog. Too bad. It’s about time we as a society started looking at Asian men as sex symbols. There are very few Asian male sex symbols in the media today, though things are slowly changing. I don’t think I’m helping make great strides in racial politics, but then again I’m just a comic. I say what’s on my mind and some people listen. I’m grateful, and on a good day, humble.

I do think it would be useful if you folks went after straight white people, instead of a working class gay guy, but that’s your prerogative. Enjoy complaining to your friends about my blog, and as always, thanks for reading!

Michael

2013-04-30 15.31.19

Letters

img_4360-1

Hey Michael, 

I’m the guy from Duke University/UCB that you talked to on Friday at the Blue Boar. Since talking to you I’ve followed your advice by not fucking anybody in the comedy world and so far it’s going great. It was fun hearing gossip and an honest perspective about UCB, and I’d love to pick your brain again about how one goes about turning comedy and song writing into a career.

Rick

Hey Rick,

It was fun talking to you, too.

So, yeah, don’t fuck any comics. I’ve watched a few of my friends date themselves out of career options when relationships with other comics go bad. One friend in particular springs to mind. She’d had so many failed relationships with UCB comics that there were few teams at the NYC theater who would have her perform with them. Politics, politics…  She’s still successful in her own right, but for my money I’d do it differently.

Aside from that, my only other advice is keep going. And, don’t just improvise. Write jokes. Write sketches. Write pilots and spec scripts. You never know when you’ll meet the person who can put your script in the right hands. Also, just keep writing and performing as much as possible. That sounds cliche but it’s true. Keep at it.

I hope this helps, and please invite me to your shows?

Michael

Dear Michael,

 
You may not remember, but about two and a half years ago, I wrote you about being in the closet at the Naval Academy. I just wanted to say thank you so much for the advice you gave me to stick it out. Soon after you posted your response, I started to come out and the response was mixed but mostly good. My last two years at school were much better since I wasn’t worried about people finding out about my sexuality and I actually found a great group of friends who were either out or in the process of coming out. This past May, my boyfriend and I graduated from Annapolis and started our careers as officers. I am so glad that I decided to stay and just wanted to again say thanks for helping me make that decision.
 
Sincerely,
Brad
Thanks, Brad.
It isn’t very frequent I get a follow up from one of my advice letters, and it’s nice to know I didn’t steer you in a disastrous direction. You and your boyfriend sound totally adorable and everyone in the world must be jealous when you two arrive at a military function in dress uniforms, holding hands. In fact, I’m picturing that right now, and I’m wondering if you two would like to come photograph for the blog in uniform?
Thanks for coming out of the closet. It’s important we stay visible, since the world needs positive gay role models. You boys are an inspiration.
xo
Michael
img_40421

Stop. Be still.

IMG_3150 as Smart Object-1

tri vo studio

Him: Are you okay?

Me: No. Obviously.

Him: Stop. You look tired. Stop. Don’t. Don’t hug me. You always try to hug me.

Me: I need affection. Please hug me.

Him: Stop. Fine. Yes. Here. Hug me.

Me: Thanks. Let’s lie down?

Him: No, I’m not here for that. I’m here for you.

Me: I’m fine.

Him: You’re not.

Me: I am. I’m fine.

Him: No, Michael. You’re not. You’re not fine at all. Some very traumatic things happened. You’re trying to act like you’re fine, but you’re bouncing off the walls. Be still.

Me: I can’t. I don’t. I don’t have time for being still, not for one second. I have so much to do.

Him: Why am I here? Why did I come over here? Do you know?

Me: Kiss me.

Him: Stop. No. Stop.

Me: I need affection. Hug me again.

Him: Okay fine. What happened?

Me: Lots of stuff.

Him: How was LA?

Me: It wasn’t as nice as I’d hoped it would be.

Him: Are people mean?

Me: Uh. Some of them are, yes. Extremely.

Him: You mean at the Network?

Me: No. I mean other comedy types that I thought were my friends.

Him: How was the Network?

Me: They were nice enough.  I had no idea what I was auditioning for. I had to stay in my hotel room for three days straight while they grilled me about who I was. I was isolated. I quit my job, lost Alex over it, and I got so exhausted that I might have showed too much ‘realness’ in the final interview.

IMG_3183 as Smart Object-1

Him: Wait, you lost Alex over it?

Me: He was terrified of being alone for six weeks. Maybe he just didn’t really love me to begin with, though? Soon as he said yes to moving in with me, the smiles stopped.

Him: He stopped smiling at you?

Me: Yes. He would look for reasons to provoke me. He wouldn’t smile. He wouldn’t eat food I made, even when I knew he’d skipped dinner. I got a few promotions, and career advancements. He wouldn’t show up to celebrate them.

Him: Wow.

Me: He left me right when I needed him most. He left during the hardest callback process of my life. Whywouldyoudothattosomeone?

Him: Michael. Slow down. Things are fine now, right?

Me: Sure?

(long pause)

Me: I hate this so much.

Him: Stop.

Me: Lie down next to me.

Him: Stop.

Me: That’s why you’re here.

Him: Stop. Stop pacing around. You’re crawling out of your skin.

Me: Why did he do this?  I hate this the most. I told him I didn’t want a relationship but he kept at it. He kept coming over.

Him: You need to be still. People play games. They don’t even know they’re doing it.

Me: Somewhere along the line he stopped smiling at me. Started making me beg for affection. Cruel. I had to work so hard for every morsel.

Him: That’s how us Asian boys act when we don’t get monogamy.

Me: I offered him monogamy.

(pause)

Him: You offered him monogamy?

(pause)

Him: What did he say?

IMG_3130 as Smart Object-1

Me: He told me it was too late – that I should have wanted monogamy the whole time. That I should have known when I met him. I told him the next time he tries to change the mind of a grown man, expect it to take much longer than 8 months.

Him: Hm…  That doesn’t sound right. That sounds like an excuse. Maybe he’s just a kid? Maybe he doesn’t know what he wants?

Me: People are cat-fishing me now, online. They’re making up fake profiles in order to say cruel things. Why is everyone so awful?

Him: Stop. Be still. Okay. Lie down. I’ll lie down with you.

Me: Kiss me?

Him: No. Just lie here with me. I want you to be still. It’s okay to cry, but don’t move. Just be still. I’m going to touch your face a little.

(he touches my face. tears slip out of me. we are quiet for a long time.)

Me: (whispered) He tricked me. I don’t trust anybody now. He took that away.

Him: Stop. You trust too much anyhow.

Me: No. Not anymore.

IMG_2885 as Smart Object-1

(long silence. i am still. my diaphragm shakes.)

Him: Stop.

(long silence. tremors build inside me.)

Him: Still. Be still.

(long silence. i control the tremors)

Him: Good. Still.

(i turn away. i am still. i breathe, but not too deep. he starts to snooze. he has no idea i’m still crying)

IMG_3138 as Smart Object-1

 

-3

Nobody cares at 2am

 

Him: We should have shots! Have you ever had a Bitchy Drag Queen?

Me: No. I mean, yes, but no.

Him: What? You’re weird.

Me: I know. So tell me more about you. What’s your dating life been like, so far?

Him: Oh. I like older guys. Older. Like, you’re probably too young for me. Like older guys.

Me: I get it.

Him: Old. Like much older.

Me: Okay.

Him: Like the last guy I had really good sex with was 50.

Me: Okay. Yes. I get it.

Him: But he was ripped,  you know? And hot. Older guys are hotter.

Me: If you say so. I’ll buy it, I guess.

Him: There’s something else about older guys too…

Me: What’s that?

Him: They don’t seem to care. 

Me: About what?

Him: I can’t put my finger on it. It’s like they’ve been there already, and they’re not worried about impressing you, and they’re not hypersensitive about your opinion.

Me: Yeah. Young people can be like that.

Him: I hate it. I have had sex with younger guys and it’s always a shit show.

Me: Why?

Him: Take your pick. They’re not good at sex. They get their feelings hurt at the drop of a hat. They don’t care about your feelings at all though.

Me: Ha. I knew a poet like that once.

Him: Really?

Me: Yeah, he would go on and on about how shy and fragile and sensitive he was, but he was only sensitive to his own feelings, not yours. He didn’t care at all if he’d hurt or disappointed you. Actors can be like that too, to an extent.

Him: Comics too, I bet.

Me: Comics are different.

Him: Why?

Me: Because they’re real people. If anything, their flaw is that they care too much, and cover up by being clownish, or sarcastic.

Him: I don’t think that’s true.

Me: I’m probably wrong. I frequently am.

Him: Stop it. You’re so crazy. I like older guys. Nothing can phase them. They’re like rocks.

Me: Well yeah. They were your age, and they were pretty, sensitive, talented, relevant.

Him: They still are.

Me: Maybe, but then 15 – 35 years of awful, coarse, wonderful, terrifying, giddy, disappointing, enlightening  things happened to them. And now they’re different. And also tired. I’m tired a lot more often than I used to get.
But I also work more than I ever did, so I guess I earned my tiredness.

Him: See?

Me: See what?

Him: See, that’s something that a young person would never say. ‘I earned my tiredness.’ That’s what I like about older guys. They’re real. Not like young guys, who are petty, and awkward, and selfish. They’ll spend the night dancing with you, and then buy you a drink at the end of the night, and if you get drunk enough they’ll make out with you. But they don’t really want to get to know you. They don’t care about you. They’re only ‘having an experience’ for the night. And they’ll pretend to care. But nobody does. Nobody cares at 2am when you’ve had too many Midori sours and you just need a friend.  But an older guy will…

Me: Midori sours? Why would anyone…

Him: I’ve tried to reach out to them. They suck, okay?! I’ve tried to open my heart to younger people but they don’t know how to take that gift and make something of it. They just eat it and shit it out and wonder if there’s more. Or worse, they hope there isn’t more. I’m so tired of having a significantly affectionate date with a younger guy, only to have sex with him and then have him desperately try to distance himself from me the next day. Where are those shots? We need shots!

Me: We don’t need shots. I’d say we’ve had plenty.

Him: Then take me home.

Me: How about I get you a cab? I like you but you’re a little wasted.

Him: When will I stop being young? I hate it.

Me: Believe me, it’s a curable affliction.

Him: Take me h-ohmygod you just flagged a cab down! What a jerk.

Me: You’re wasted and I have to work in the morning.

Him: Jerk.

Me: I know.

Him: You’re a jerk.

Me: I know.

Him: You’re also old.

(pause – two short blasts from a car horn)

Me: I know. Now go home.

Him: See? Nobody cares at 2am.

Me: Nobody does.

A Special Man

erwin caluya

Her: Hey. I read that.

Me: What?

Her: That book. Are you reading Bossypants?

Me: Oh! Yes. I love it. I think Tina Fey is inspiring.

Her: Yes. It certainly seems like she’s carved out her own path. So what are you doing here, at a bar, in the middle of the afternoon?

Me: Ha. Good question. I was just thinking the same thing…

Her: Ah. But that’s not an answer.

Me: I’m waiting for a date.

Her: Oh. Very nice.

Me: That remains to be seen.

Her: Oh? First date?

Me: Yeah. First date. I’ve never met him.

Her: Is it a blind date?

Me: Sort of? I don’t think people do that anymore. I met him online.

Her: That sounds so exciting. The prospect of meeting a stranger online in real life. That’s not something someone from my generation does very easily. It seems scary.

Me: It’s not. You chat with the guys for a while before you meet up. Just to be sure they’re not a crystal meth addict or anything.

(pause)

Her: What do you do for a living? I’m sorry. That’s a cliche question. I’m not from New York, and when I come here I often wonder how people survive.

Me: Uh… I teach improv classes mostly, and do comedy gigs.

Her: Oh! I love improv! I just LOVE it. It’s magical.

Me: Really? Most people just tolerate it.

Her: No, it’s truly a wonderful thing. So glorious to see people working together, and agreeing. The spontaneity. There’s a real connection between the audience and the actors.

Me: That’s true.

Her: I really love it. I was very fond of a man who did improv – a long time ago…

Me: Did he? Was he good?

(pause)

Her: He was great. I like to think I’m kind of responsible. I took him to his first ever show at the Groundlings. He jumped up on stage with them and started playing.

Me: Wow. Really? Were they weirded out?

Her: No. You’d think they would be, but they weren’t. He was so good at it, even before he took any classes. He was such a natural.

(long pause)

Her: I was married to Phil Hartman.

(long pause)

Her: I was his first wife. He married a few times.

Me: Oh. Okay. Sorry. I thought…

Her: You thought I was the woman who shot him.

Me: For a second, yeah.

Her: No. I’m not. But I know her.

Me: I… That must be horrible. She must be very disturbed.

Her: She was very disturbed, and I can’t say that I’ll ever forgive her. But I’ve gotten to the point where I feel sorry for her. She was a very self-absorbed, very selfish woman. She was like poison for him, but he was so drawn to her.

Me: It can be hard being with funny people. Being their partners.

Her: I’ve heard that, but that was never the case with Phil. He was so loving, and such a wonderful man. He loved making people laugh. It was his reason for living.

Me: I get that.  I do get that for sure.

Her: I know you do. I love improv. I love people that can just do that. It’s a gift. You have a gift.

Me: I’m trying to think of something self-deprecating to say, but who am I to argue with Phil Hartman’s wife?

Her: Exactly. Except I’m someone else’s wife now.

Me: That’s good. So you’re happy?

Her: I am.

Me: Good. Hey –

Her: What?

Me: Did it hit you hard? When he was killed?

Her: Yes. Yes it did. He was my best friend, for a long time. Even after our divorce he and I were very close.

Me: I’m so sorry. He’s one of my idols. He was a great man.

Her: That’s a good way to put it. Can I tell you a secret?

Me: Okay.

Her: The night that he died, I had a dream. I hadn’t thought about him for such a long time. But in my dream I was getting ready to go somewhere, and I was late. And I was annoyed. And my husband was nowhere to be found. And suddenly Phil appeared in my bathroom, where I was putting on my makeup. And I was shocked. And flustered. And he was the last person I wanted to see. But then he put his hand on my shoulder, and all I felt was calm, and warm. I felt loved. And he said, “So many people love you. I love you. And this is all gonna be okay.”

Me: Wow.

Her: I had this dream almost exactly the time he was shot. Very near to that time.

Me: Wow.

Her: I feel like it was him visiting me, one last time. I feel like he wanted me to know that he loved me. And I do. I know he loved me.

Me: That’s amazing.

Her: I feel like a shot. Should we get a shot? What do you drink?

Me: Bourbon. But I don’t –

Her: Can we have two bourbons? I have to leave to make dinner with my husband, but can we?

Me: Yeah. We can.

(pause)

Me: Hey. Thanks.

Her: What?

Me: Thanks for being open. That felt really good. Thank you.

Her: Thank you.

Me: For what?

Her: For being funny. Thank you.

Me: I wasn’t being funny.

Her: I know. But thanks for being a funny person.

Me: You haven’t seen me perform. What if I’m not funny?

Her: I know – but what if you are?

Me: That’s even more scary.

Her: Exactly. That’s even more scary. But that’s a whole other conversation.

Advice

photos: kristen yoonsoo kim

Michael,

I am a 23 year old virgin… and I am madly in love with a 20 year old young man, who some have labelled as a prostitute. He is probably my best friend, and gives me everything I could want out of a relationship just being my friend. However he has never displayed any interest in me even though early in our friendship I expressed my feelings for him. I have a connection with him that I have never felt before with someone and I want him around for the rest of my life. I have known him for nearly a year now and I feel that telling him I was a virgin before I knew I liked him ruined my chances of him ever being attracted to me. I do everything for him and would do anything he asked because that is just the person I am, however I see him sell his body to men old enough to be his father and then fall in love with them. I have stood by him many times while this has happened and my heart has broken every time. Occasionally I am able to get rid of my feelings I have for him and respect our friendship, but then he will do something nice for me like wash a sweater I left at his house or cook for me and all my feelings come rushing back. He keeps a photo of one of the men who flew him out to Denmark to sleep with him next to his bed. Every time I see that picture, I fall apart.

I do everything for him, because as a person that is just the way I am with all my friends. I don’t have many so this is not a problem. I have bought most of his clothes, I buy his groceries, I cut his mother’s lawn, I drive him everywhere, I pay all expenses when we are together, and I try to look after the people important to him. He does not do anything for me, but the fact that he thinks of me wants me with him all the time means so much to me. He is the person I had saved my body and heart for, yet he is not interested. If it was because he did not find me attractive, I could handle that. However I have seen the men he sleeps with and he himself told me he finds me attractive but does not know why he does not like me. The amounts of pain I feel when I see him try and give his heart to men who only want him for sex kills me. It seems all it takes is for a relatively attractive guy to meet him and express sexual interest in him and he falls in love. I have ruined my chances at doing that, because if it goes wrong, I lose him as a friend. At one point I was going to start sleeping with some of the men who have been trying to sleep with me for years to seem more appealing. But other friends talked me out of it.

My question is…. I believe I am reading into some of his actions and it gives me hope he may one day want me. I have shared a bed with him on a few occasions, and during the night I would sleep turned away from him and in his sleep he would call my name and spoon and kiss the back of my neck. I never mentioned it to him because I thought it might make things awkward. In his relationships, he never instigates sex. Guys come to him. But on a few occasions he has oddly lit candles and snuggled up to me while watching a movie. His family members tell him he is stupid for not snatching me up. Also one night when I was driving him home, he brought up the topic of why I haven’t had sex yet and got upset when I said I would only sleep with someone I was in a relationship with. My question is; should I stay around and hope that one day he realizes that I am a good man and would do anything for him? Or should I try and come on to him sexually and hope this works for me like it has for all the other men? If I am going to cut him out of my life, I might as well go out with a bang right? I know he will never appreciate that I have saved my body just for him; the mental connection we share is far too intense to deny my attraction. I recently drove him out of town to move him into university, and now that he is far away I feel like I am dying on the inside. I am at the point where I cannot live with him, and I certainly cannot live without him.

I know this will probably read as a jumbled mess, but that is what I am at the moment…

 

Thanks for Piefolk and Best Regards,

Jeff

Jeff,

Thanks for writing. I hope the tone of my advice doesn’t seem harsh, but honestly, it seems like you need a kick in the pants even more than your friend.

Okay, firstly, let me answer your questions:

1) Should you stay around and hope he realizes you’re good and would do anything for him?

NO. He already realizes this. He is a selfish creature who’s allowed you do buy him things and provide for him. He already knows he can get you to do anything for him without even using his main bartering tool – sex. As far as him realizing you’re ‘good,’ don’t hold your breath. It sounds like he’s a sociopath. Sociopaths are frequently very charismatic and charming, but to a sociopath the word ‘good’ is synonymous with the word ‘weak.’ Just means he can take more advantage.

2) Should you try to come on to him sexually and hope it works point blank like it has with other men?

NO. You’ve already described  a situation that you don’t have any respect for, and now you want to try to add an element of sex to your one-sided relationship. You can bet as soon as you have sex with him, he’ll ask you to lend him money, or buy him something, and you, being a fantastic push-over, will give him whatever he wants. In effect, you’ll be participating in the prostitution of your friend that you’re so much in love with. Yuck. Is that how you want your virginity taken? By a blood sucking tick who sees it as a transaction? Ugh. I hope not.

There’s a larger issue here though, and it’s not with your friend, Jeff – it’s with you. You need to stop being such a door mat. Get rid of your ‘provider’ complex. Most people don’t buy groceries and clothing for their ‘friends.’ You offhandedly toss out that information like it’s normal. It isn’t.

That type of love (where you sacrifice your own happiness and well being for the sake of someone else) is called unconditional love. And it should be reserved for your children and possibly your parents. That’s it.

A prospective lover should have to prove their worth to you, because you’re worth being with. That’s called valuing yourself, and by making yourself the commodity, you’ll make a perspective partner know that pursuing you is worth something. Not just a transaction.

Honestly, Jeff, answering this letter has made me feel more than a little icky. It sounds to me like a habitual martyr has met up with a chronic taker. And the perfect storm of non-functional co-dependance has been established. I’m glad to hear he’s gone away to university. The farther the better.

You’re 23. It might be time to get laid, and get it over with. Or, it might be time to make a resolution that you’re going to wait for love. That’s up to you. But stop thinking that a relationship is you providing for someone. Start making them work for it a little. Feels good to be chased.

Get far, far away from your prostitute friend. And stay there. There’s nothing wrong with sex work, in my book, but he isn’t fucking you. Except for fucking with your head.

Thanks Old Faggot – Part Two

Him: So tell me a little about yourself?

Me: What do you want to know?

Him: Well, why do you meet people online who are clearly lying about their age?

Me: Well. I write about it. I had a string of painful, awkward dates about a year and a half ago, and I started writing about it. People starting reading. Now, when I come across someone online who seems angry, self important, or blatantly deceptive -no offense…

Him: None taken…

Me: Instead of ignoring or blocking those people, I go out with them and write about my experiences with them.

Him: I’m not sure I like that.

Me: I’m not sure I asked for your approval.

Him: That’s why. That’s why I don’t like it.

Me: What do you mean?

Him: You’re being glib. Sarcastic.

Me: Do you think?

Him: I do. I think it’s a real problem with your generation. You roll your eyes at everything and you’re terrified of any sort of genuine human interaction.

Me: Doesn’t this particular interaction – me sitting with you on this park bench – prove your theory wrong? Isn’t this a genuine human interaction?

Him: Well it would be, except you have the ulterior motive of wanting material for your blog.

Me: And you have the ulterior motive of wanting to sleep with me.

Him: No I don’t.

Me: Come home with me and give me a blowjob.

Him: Okay.

Me: SEE!

Him: Okay fine, I concede that you’re right about that. But where did you meet me?

Me: On Grindr.

Him: Exactly! A site for guys to meet each other because they want to hook up…

Me: So?

Him: So – who’s worse? Me, the horny, dishonest old man?? Or you, the good-looking young liar?

Me: Jeez, Old Faggot – can’t we BOTH be awful people?

Him: HAHA. We can…

Me: And thanks for the compliments. You’re a handsome guy yourself.

Him: Thanks, can I put my hand in your lap?

Me: Twenty years ago you can.

Him: What an asshole.

(pause)

Him: So why?

Me: Why what?

Him: Why put yourself in these awful situations? What do you gain from it?

Me: I don’t know. I like writing about things that are true

Him: Don’t give me that horseshit. You’re being sarcastic.

Me: I’m not! I’m just saying it sarcastically!

(pause)

Him: So you started writing why?

Me: To process stuff. I was in a long relationship that ended. About a year went by with me being single. Then I started dating again. People were awful. Defensive. Petty. Small. I wanted to write about it. Kept me from getting depressed. After a while though, I started seeking out people because they seemed a little off. It got alienating. I don’t know exactly why I’ve kept doing it. I’m compelled to, somehow.

Him: Ugh.

Me: What?

Him: Just…  Your generation.

Me: What?

Him: You guys all feel shy, and alienated, and lonely, and yet you’re so very hyper-connected. It’s narcissistic. Everyone is squawking constantly, but nobody is listening. Nobody cares. And worse – you don’t just urgently need to communicate your awkwardness or your ironic detachment – you guys fetishize it.  

Me: I’m not sure I’d go that far.

Him: I would! What is an American Apparel ad, if not fetishizing awkwardness?

Me: Uh…  It’s…

Him: Or what about those movies by P.T. Anderson?

Me: … Boogie Nights?

Him: No, that’s a great film. I mean like Rushmore and the other one…

Me: Royal Tenenbaums?

Him: Ugh. Awful. So coy, and precious, and ironic…

Me: So you mean Wes Anderson.

Him: I guess. He’s all the things about your generation I don’t understand. He fetishizes that alienation you were talking about. He urges the rest of you to indulge in this glorification of the uncomfortable. Life doesn’t have to be so labored and ungraceful, you know. We used to just call it ‘going on a bad date,’ and it happened every once in a while, but we didn’t react by being glib or sarcastic on the next date. That was considered rude. We certainly didn’t write about it for the world to read.

Me: Okay fine. I get it. You don’t approve.

Him: I don’t.

Me: Well then don’t read.

Him: I certainly won’t.

(pause)

Me: You know. You spent a lot of time calling me indelicate. But that doesn’t explain why you think I’m interesting enough to sit here and waste the afternoon with. Stop looking at my dick. It’s nothing special.

Him: It looks pretty nice, through your pants.

Me: Thanks Old Faggot.

Him: Can I ask you one more question?

Me: Sure. But you have to wait until Part Three.

Him: Why?

Me: I rarely blog more than 800 words.

Him: Why?

Me: It’s self indulgent, Jerk.