Oh, closetedness, how I don't miss thee

posted 05 April 2004

Brad is right: Lance Arthur is hilarious, and an excellent writer generally, talking in this case about his first kiss (at 23!) with a girl, while still heavily closeted:

Shannon and I went into a room by ourselves and she, without preamble, pulled me to the floor and stuck her tongue in my mouth. Two things occurred to me immediately: Firstly, golly, I'm so gay that all I can think about here is how ugly the carpet is and why on Earth did the decorator think that wallpaper would work anywhere? Secondly, it would have benefitted me to have had something to drink before this was happening because Shannon's tongue tastes like Tequila and cigarettes and ass and I am going to vomit directly down her esophagus.

...this being part of a longer article discussing how he was a late bloomer. Oh, was I ever a late bloomer. I wet the bed 'til I was 11, didn't even begin puberty until I was 15, and have still not mastered whatever primitive metamorphosis it is that requires mastery of an automobile. I also identify with his peeking glimpses at playgirl and those long, long, long showers.

He's right. Why should I be ashamed of these things? Turned out okay in the end, right? It seems he and I have some other things in common, which he expresses in a way that I only wish I could: perfectly.

I didn't start drinking until I had a reason to. The whole concept of peer pressure just never made sense to me. Or maybe I had no peers, or the pressure was of a different sort. At any rate, I never really wanted to get drunk, never liked the taste of alcohol and couldn't see the value of losing control of one's motor skills and falling over a lot.

He even has the double personality problem!

I lived a very long time in the land of assumption. I thought I was this other guy, see, and it turns out I wasn't actually him at all. I made him up! Funny, isn't it? Now, the hard part is that I sort of tattooed him to me rather than just wearing him like a suit. He's very hard to erase. Some of him, that's still me. A lot, probably. But a lot isn't, and a lot of him was built out of fear and avoidance.
The more I mention this, the more I discover it is a problem everyone has had, though I continue to be convinced that the Laurie/Seldo break was exceptionally extreme: how many times did your personalities have strident vocal arguments? (I'm so glad no one else was in the room)

There is not really much point to this again rather self-involved post. I could probably wrangle a convincing moral conclusion and a valuable take-home message, but really it would just be an exercise in post-hoc rationalization, and I've had a long day. In the words of Bargepole: if you don't like it, you can bugger off and write your own.

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