November 24, 2024

152.5 lbs. (Part 2)

2. titans on my bed

Somehow, what was supposed to be a simple anonymous quickie hookup off the phone sex line became a threesome on my bed. I was hooking up with this guy who said he was a twenty-four year old bisexual closeted guy from the suburbs. Halfway to my apartment, he called to recommend having this other guy join us, who said he was twenty-two, and also a closeted bisexual guy from the suburbs. I was a little wary about it but thought what the hell. The first guy, named Derek, stopped at SA to buy condoms and soon enough he was at my door. He was quite tall and thin, but broad, with short hair militantly slicked down. He had a goatee and wore glasses. A couple minutes later this other guy shows up. His name was Jake. We met him downstairs. He ambled up to the stoop. Beautiful guy. I was intrigued by him. Chiseled jaw, squared. He wore a Simpson College sweatshirt. All three of us sat in a row on my couch, watching “King of the Hill” on Fox. Jake sat between me and Derek. First Derek took off his shirt, then Jake. Both had beautiful, sculpted chests. Beautiful? I suppose in an automatic sense. Derek’s chest was broad tanned from a can and shaved. Jake’s chest was broad as well but less sculpted. With his chest hair growing out again. We took off our pants and Derek was wearing tight black bikini briefs. They both had huge erections. Derek’s was so large that it couldn’t hold its own weight.

Eventually, we found ourselves on my bed and I found myself on the sidelines, so to speak, as these two titans wrestled on the broad plateau. Eventually I just laid there, watching these Hyperions. Jake was fucking Derek, releasing from Derek’s these beautiful smells of A & F cologne, cigarettes, and minty gum. I watched them fuck from close up.

I realized how small I am. How small I’ve become. I was a small human compared to them. They were larger, broader, more endowed. And its funny, because when they both arrived at my apartment, with their clothes on, I automatically compared myself to them. It wasn’t until Jake was naked that I realized I had been wrong initially; I was much smaller than him in reality. They were so different from me! So much bigger and smoother! I felt like a small slithery pine marten next to them. Both Jake and Derek shaved themselves fastidiously. Their balls were shaved, the pubes trimmed to a perfect shape. What else did they shave? Chests? Shoulders? It was almost unnatural—on the opposite end but just as unnatural as I felt, all hairy and shit.

They were also much more muscular than me. Jake’s seemed natural, as though leftover from a wrestling career at Simpson. Derek’s seemed more sculpted, more worked-on. At one point I had lain on Derek’s back. It was broad, and his hips encompassed mine. His back was like a big oak table.

After it was done, Derek went into the bathroom. He asked me if I had any spare hairspray for his hair. I watched Jake finish himself off on my bed. Derek left quickly but Jake stuck around. We went back out into the living room, just him and I. The men were still going at it in the porno on TV. We stood around and watched it for a while. Jake was mesmerized. Soon enough, he left.

In addition to realizing how small I actually was, when naked and up close to these bodies that, when clothed, appeared to mock my corpulence, I felt in a close company to these titans on my bed. We were all minor obsessives when it came to our bodies, we just went about it in different ways. While I monitor the food I intake and fret over the microscopic changes to my body, relying on a warped image of my own body that hasn’t changed since 1997 as a frame, these men also showed evidence of minor compulsions. Derek had shaved every hair off his body except for a tiny bit of fur, a little merkin that capped his dick. Imagine the time he spends each week tweezing and shaving off each stray hair to achieve this formal, statuesque pubescence. And then, once the body has been cleaned of its unwanted hairs, the careful bronzing of the skin, not to mention hours spent in the gym to maintain its symmetry of buffed muscles. Jake as well, shaving his chest (though he was obviously more lax; the hairs were starting to grow back. Derek would have never allowed such sloppiness). I was the odd man out with my body hair. I didn’t conform to their shared ideals. I have my own ideals, and they run counter to those around me. I began to wonder, am I really so different than those around me? Don’t we just choose different forms of obsession?

Of course, I have to admit that my obsession is different from theirs. Shaving off every hair on your body doesn’t have a nutritional component to it; starving yourself does. Eating disorders can be deadly, chaetophobia (the fear of hair) is relatively harmless. I suppose it’s in their origins where I detect a link. What are the conditions under which someone will decide to eradicate hair from their body in perpetuity? What are the conditions under which someone will starve themselves to achieve a particular weight? Just as I look in the mirror and see a bloated body, does Derek look in the mirror and see a werewolf?

Sometimes, I long to see myself as I am, as a whole, rather than as an outsider watching titans wrestle on my bed.

see also: 152.5 lbs. (Part 1)

Posted by jason at 12:24 PM | Comments (7)

November 23, 2024

152.5 lbs. (Part 1)


I noticed my excesses near the time I took an earnest interest in boys. Their ungiving, shifting eyes, brought on by an inability to speak in any honest way of what they wanted or thought of me, caused me to search myself ceaselessly for the particulars that caused the men I wanted to ignore me. I would stand in front of the mirror and imagine my body as seen through someone else’s eyes. This is a dangerous hobby for any young gay boy, and the results were obviously a projection of my own misgivings about myself. I cracked and crazed in front of the mirror, and through such fairytale meditations, I only saw fat. A washed-out photograph from August, 1997, supports the verdict. I’m on a ferry in Puget Sound with my uncle. I had been buying X-large t-shirts and baggy jeans for years; by aping largesse I could hide the actual contours of my body. In the photo I’m fat. Chubby. Full in the face. Husky, as my mom would say. In hindsight, I can see now how I’ll never be able to outlive that particular, formative image I have of myself.

Though during my first year of college, when I lived in the dorms, I tried to. I would skip breakfast, eat a salad for lunch, a salad for dinner, and work out at the gym every day. Lifting some weights, but mostly running the treadmills and climbing endless flights on the stairmaster. Unfortunately, the stairmaster was my introduction to the world of the gym. Those things never bring you to a place. The journey is qualified in terms of the estimated number of calories burned, the watts generated. The journey is mapped on the charts I kept on which I plotted the meager increases in weights and measures that corresponded to my drop in body weight, but there was no way to know when the top might appear—there was no end to the stairs. As the pins journeyed down, collecting more and more black bars of lead, so did my weight drop. I went from 170 lbs to 145 in a matter of weeks. The last five pounds went much slower. You’re big boned, my mom would have said. Slowly, painfully, I reached 140. My mom began to mention concentration camps in a rather off-color way. Her references filled me with a secret pride.

Losing weight had become the journey. The destination became the journey, as long as I was continuously losing weight, then I had arrived. If I weighed less today then I did last week, then I had arrived. I was in a perpetual state of arriving; the station kept moving farther out after every meal. My goal was to eradicate the food I had just consumed, to burn it off before it took hold, weighed me down. Sustenance became synonymous with cancer and the debilitating blossoms of a cancer’s tumours.

At times, I’d grow nauseous, too weak to move. These were beautiful moments. The pain charted every point of my body. I felt all of myself as a series of junctures; bones meeting skin. I was omnipotent. These were my feelings. I did them. I made myself feel this way. As the engine ran out of fuel, it didn’t sputter. Instead it sped up, slimmed down, grew sleeker.

I’ve gained weight since then, of course. I joke to my friends that my ideal weight is 130 lbs but that’s utopian—something to dream about but impossible to achieve, like time travel. I’m big-boned. I’m compelled by more realistic goals these days, the desire to stay in a size 30” jeans, the statistic that on average adults gain one pound a year and my determination that it not apply to me. I tend to float through the gym these days, unnoticed. I am antimatter, surrounded by men who do not want to shrink, as I do. Men attend my gym to grow particular points of their bodies. The want to be noticed by particular muscles that grow grotesquely while at the same time waging war against the fat that grows in certain places. Pectorals that at age twenty-two defy gravity will sag at forty if not constantly whipped into shape like slaves. Tits go to seed like fallow fields. They puff up like bread dropped in the sea. The body grows excessive and useless. Attention is devoted to specific areas of growth and expansion. Diets are calculated, tweaked, supplemented toward these specific aims. Such attention signals wealth, time, resources that others don’t have. Once upon a time, fatness signaled this. Now fatness is the domain of the poor.

I am the opposite. I do not want large, beautiful man-breasts. At the chest press, the lateral pull-down, I watch my muscles flex in the floor-to-ceiling mirror. I don’t dream of expansion but of tightening efficiency. May my biceps lengthen out and grow tight like sinew, not bulge in materialistic excess.

Extra anything holds me back. I walk through the halls at work and absently pinch parts of my body, fretting over this drain on my resources. What is the purpose of this inch of skin I can pull away from my hip bone? What is that extra handful of flesh in my butt doing but holding me back? I must eradicate it.

During certain periods of stress and loneliness, my militancy takes on a particular pitch. I stand in front of a mirror, naked, and certain parts of my body appear to expand. All this work, and I look exactly like that kid on the ferry in Puget Sound. My eyes calculate the minutest changes. I track my morphology before and after dinner, before and after sleep.

Mornings I look my best. In the morning I’m fucking hot. Lying prone all night, the food snaking through my intestines has flattened out and lays uniform from the top of my digestive tract to the bottom. I twist in the mirror, like a chaff of wheat. The ribs show beautifully (what would be the purpose of flesh that would hide them?). I can suck in my stomach and measure the concave it creates. This is beautiful geometry. I have done it.

Gradually, gravity pulls my viscera back down again. This undulation informs my eating habits. I do not eat breakfast, or if I do, it’s something small like an apple or half a cup of granola. I try to maintain the shape of my midsection for as long as possible. After lunch, I feel tired, sad. I feel the food in there, puffing me out. I will not feel happy again until my afternoon bowel movement. That’s a beautiful feeling. Some sort of balance is maintained once again. I have to eat dinner eventually. Again, the love handles bulge out. I dream that I am Antonio from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, forced to render off a pound of flesh. Where do I start? At the sides of my body, of course. The scalpel would glide through the useless flesh. I imagine there are no nerves there, since it’s a useless part of my body. The blade glides through the slabs of butter that hang from my sides like saddle bags.

The destination is disappearance, but I am all about the journey, which is disappearing. I am growing smaller. I love to take up less space, fit into smaller and smaller clothes. Now I am closer than ever to fitting in my own

see also: 152.5 lbs. (Part 2)

Posted by jason at 07:46 PM | Comments (2)

November 16, 2024

Chicago Wrap-up Sans Photos

I've got the photos from Chicago lined up on my desktop at home but haven't had a chance to upload them yet; hopefully tonight. There are some doozies! Mostly it's these hot shots of Camille and Mike, who can't help but pose like starlets on a 40s-era love-story movie poster.

I didn't put them up last night because 1) I had a bottle of wine and 2) spent a couple hours instant messaging the cute boy I made out with at Roscoe's. Turns out he DJs for the DePaul radio station. I have a thing for college radio DJs. He played The Streets for me.

Overall, the trip was great. Marc and I decided that of the six and a half hour drive from Minneapolis to Chicago, about two minutes are pretty. Luckily, we had Margaret Cho to keep us entertained.

Chicago put a closure on a particular part of my life, I realized. And it just happened that way. Marc and I kind of walked around in this "could I live here?" daze... "Could I live here? Yes! Yes! Could I take the El everyday? Yes! Yes!" Back in July, Brian and I broke up and I began to grow out my hair. These past four months have seen me rest on my laurels, slowly becoming me again. On Thursday, I spontaneously shaved my head, returning to the look of my Lancashire days and adopting, at the same time, the ability to burn strangers with my laser-stares that a shaved head imparts. Now, it's time to move on, prepare for the next step, make a new move. Shaving my head was akin to preparing a body for its passage into the great beyond. I have no idea what might happen. But I have meetings, meetings. And I am scheming, scheming. And my therapist approves.

So in Chicago I ate a lot of meat products and drank a lot of PBR. Saturday night was a great night--Mike has some cool-ass friends from Indianapolis and they were good sports. We went to Spin, but the sea of lesbians turned off kiss-crazy Marc and myself. It was off to Roscoe's where Mike and Seth [what's the past tense of "bump-and-grind"?] bumped-and-ground on the dance floor's box while I kissed the cute boy. The kiss was laid back, nice. It was like this cosmic "oh, hey there," as tho the universe suddenly noticed me again.

Back out on the street, Emily asked a stranger for a bite of his burrito. Camille and I peed in someone's yard. And we all headed to Wiener's Circle where Emily matched the employees in insluts and witty repartees. The Sunday morning Bucktown bloody marys were to die for. The drive back ended with me and Marc singing songs from Eau Claire to Uptown.

I'll post the pics tonight, I promise...

Posted by jason at 01:13 PM | Comments (0)

November 08, 2024

Divided America: No More Anonymous Sex with Republicans

The other night, I was talking to this guy on the phone line who described himself as a twenty-year old Latino bi guy from the suburbs with a seven-inch dick who had never done anything like this before EVER. Already bored, I nonetheless messaged him. He said he wanted to try new things, like kiss. Well, I'm your gateway drug. But as I was giving him directions, he interrupted me. "Oh, hey, I hooked up with you before. About a month ago." I tried to remember. Latino. Seven inches. A month ago. I couldn't quite place him. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not THAT bad...I THOUGHT he MIGHT be this young latino guy I met a month ago, but that guy didn't have a seven inch penis. His was rather different. I thought I had even drawn a picture of it in my journal it was so interesting... Of course, when he showed I realized he was the guy from before. He asked what I had been up to. "Oh, just depressed about the election..."

"You voted for Kerry?"

"Well, I voted for the right guy."

"Oh Yeah, sure." Snicker. Silence.

Great, I thought. A Republican closet-case. My fears were confirmed when he opened his jeans. He was wearing American flag boxers. He awkwardly put me in this semi-half-nelson as he man-handled my tits. When I told him to stop, he proceeded to yank and tug on my balls as though they were stress dolls. I was not having fun. I told him I wasn't really into it. He asked if I was sure. But the proof was in the pudding. "Is it me?" he asked.

"Unfortunately, it is."

"Do you want me to leave or should we just hang out?"

He eventually left. There are those silent moments when it hasn't worked out and the other person is trying to put on his clothes and shoes and leave as quickly as possible and I sit there on the couch, hands folded patiently in my lap. Those moments are so charged, so awkward, yet I wrap myself in them. I went to the window and saw him depart in a black SUV.

Later that night, I flipped back through my journal...and sure enough, there was my little sketch:


Posted by jason at 09:49 PM | Comments (1)

November 07, 2024

Memory Lane

This weekend, I was going through some old photo albums. Oh, nostalgia, you cruel, cruel mistress. Journeys completed, lovers come and gone, and bad experimentations with facial hair.

I wanted to share some with you all--but what would be the organizing priciple? So I present to you every photo I could find of me drunk. I never look my best in them, from Big Ten dorm room drunk to Stevens Square strung-out boy-toy to Britboy bravado. Oh they each have a beautiful and sordid story behind them, I swear.

Check out my other experimentation with LiveMotion, this fucked-up weird porno-poem.

Posted by jason at 11:56 PM | Comments (4)

November 03, 2024

This Nation Has the Government It Deserves

In the days leading up to the election, I looked at maps and polls that made me feel better. My armchair punditry was informed by a self-evident conclusion--how could anyone vote for this guy again? I couldn't fathom any other outcome. From policy choices home and abroad down to management skills, speaking skills, and personality, the choice for me and everyone around me was obvious.

What I'm refusing to think about right now--REFUSING to consider--is what his advantage in the popular vote says about America. In the past four years I've been able to swallow our little lurches to the right. Last night was a BIG FUCKING LONG JUMP. The southern democrats were dispatched. The state constitutional amendments banning gay unions were passed. Rehnquist can now choke to death in peace. Bush has gotten a stamp of approval on his doctrine of pre-emption. At this point, I can't imagine what might be waiting down the road. How could it get any worse? What plans might be cooking behind that vapid frat-boy grin? In the closing days of the election, he had nothing to say. Nothing about his own plan except TERROR TERROR TERROR. And attacks against Kerry. I think terror will be a prominent emotion these next four years. And a bitter me says to those in the I-4 corridor of Florida, those in rural Ohio who have lost their jobs under Bush's term, those in the red states that visually overwhelm our map like a hemorrage, bleeding their morals like blood into the Mississippi, who have given him a second chance simply because he appealed to their basest bigotries and most primal fears, this country only gets the government it deserves.

My 20s will now be eclipsed by the two terms of Bush. I have no idea what this means, what it meant to gay men who spent the best years of their lives under Reagan (oh yeah, they all DIED). In order to fall asleep late last night, the only consolation that had an affect was, "at least it will be good for your art..."

Posted by jason at 08:59 AM | Comments (0)