Friday, December 07, 2007

modern love and book lust

I have transitioned from shopping online for men to trying to meet them. And last night I was chatting with this guy, LW, who was raving about the way you date in NYC: you meet someone, have sex, date them for 2 weeks and then move on. He thinks it is awesome. I said that sounded depressing to me. It sounds kind of soulless and empty. And he suggested that I move to Kansas or Ohio. He pegged me as a Midwesterner in a heartbeat. But wrong part of the heartland, hello!? *prickle*

But his description of things, if true, could explain a lot about the degree to which my love life has been mostly theoretical since I moved here. To the point where I would describe it as a lack-of-love life. I say this in an observational and bloodless way, not to elicit sympathy or words of encouragement. This place is so distracting and tiring that I mostly can't recognize the soul in a person anyway. That would take time and attention and openness. Things no one in this place ever has enough of. My gambits must make no sense to the locals.

I was stood up by LW yesterday. Stood up on the first date, surely a bad sign. Almost as bad as my first internet date which lasted exactly one hour. He turned to me as he finished his beer and said, "I'm done. Are you done?"

So I went by myself to an event that I suggested that he and I attend. It was a thing on bookmaking. The actually making of reading materials. Which many a person has mocked me for. I thought I was going to be a lecture but it was actually a book selling, book signing, book exhibit. And it was really cool. I put on gloves and handled and inspected many hand crafted books. They were soooo cool.

While there, I got a powerful case of book lust for an out of print book called "Colorful Tales" by Paul Cherches from 1983 Purgatory Press. It's a book in which there are one page, short short stories or exerpts except that for each expert parts of the text have been replaced by bars of color. Like a censored letter with black covering sensitive information only in yellow or green. There was something so charming and engaging in the decisions that were made with regard to what was there and what was not. It was curious that a book that was obscuring its story could be so compelling.

We could each fill in the blanks for ourselves. Would we each come up with the same story? How much information do you need to have a narrative? It is true that there are a limited number of stories to tell with endless variation on the details associated? Are the details the most important part or can they be dispensed with entirely?
And so on.

I crave this book from 1983. I have hunger for it that spurred me to buy other books. To try to settle the pang. Brilliant on the part of the organizers.

I walked around and kept trying to remind myself to not forget. To take what was there and what I experienced and carry it with me. But I think this story is all I have managed to take away. Oh, and a couple of books.


MomVee said...

Reality check: you don't have to be a Midwesterner for that scenario to sound soulless, empty and depressing. I'm a Northeasterner born and bred. I, just to be as hackneyed as possible here, love New York. But I think you, not just you but everyone, deserves and should expect more than that.

end of rant.

eh said...

It's all supply and demand, dear. With so many career-minded, college-educated, single women flocking to NYC, the men there can pretty much dictate the rules of the local dating game. Hence, dating in NYC is what dating everywhere would be like if men didn't have to negotiate terms with women. Which is to say the NYC heterosexual dating scene is like the gay dating scene in every other first-world metropolis.

Hell, it's a veritable male paradise: all the fun of being gay (higher education level, higher income, looser sexual mores, lower expectations for commitment in relationships) without any of the responsibility (staying in shape, dressing fashionably, good grooming), plus you get to hit puntang instead of the poopenschaft.

What's not to like?

ergo said...

MomVee: Sing it, Sister.

EH: Perhaps that is why I have been so enjoying the company of marvelous gay men recently. They truly understand what it means to try to love a man in this city.

Drali Afrohealer said...
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