Friday, March 18, 2011

The Past Rears Its Sometimes Ugly Head

caspar-david-friedrich-el-caminante-sobre-el-mar-de-nubes Caspar David Friedrich, The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, 1818

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to date more…but when you’re queer, older and more of a bear than a gazelle the same-sex dating pond can be a bit shallow.  Okay, so I am being a bit dramatic.  Thank you Miss Havisham.

The other night as I was trolling through OKCupid, I came upon a familiar face.  R_____ and I had dated briefly (twice) some 10+ years ago (more of a gazelle then).  Perversely, he dumped me both times.  When I think about it more clearly now, his only appeal to me was probably physical and he possessed a certain sadness that always seems to appeal to me,  much to my own detriment.  For some reason, he got under my skin in the way sometimes people who don’t give a fuck about you do and the results were not pretty.  And now thanks to the internet, I was able to remember that train wreck all over again.

In these moments of ugly memories, I often think of what William Burroughs wrote just before he died:  “Love? What is it? Most natural painkiller. What there is . . . love.”  I just hope I don’t have to wait till I am almost dead to realize it as he did.

This dating memory also suggests for me how the internet is an uncanny thing full of digital ghosts of the past, known and unknown, myriads of faces and bodes, clothed and naked, that are part of my past and potentially part of my future which hauntingly dance in my head.  The internet is like a fixed/unfixed time machine which often prevents one from the impossibility of staying in the present.  And sometimes it takes you back to an ugly, embarrassing moment in your life as you/I stare out at the limitless digital ocean of memory.

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