Yikes, this has to be a quick one so I can sneak in under the wire before midnight. Faustus ordered us to post at least once a day while he was gone, and that last one doesn’t really count. So on to the haiku:
Sitting at the bar,
My soul filled with deep longing
And deeper terror.
I am that goody two shoes that Adam Ant sang about. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. On top of that I don’t do any drugs, I’m prone to crippling shyness, and caffeine makes me jittery after a while. (OK, I’m not that much of a goody two shoes because left to my own devices I’m prone to being slutty, but you get the point.) Therefore, the idea that bars are the easiest way for a gay man to meet another man has never really worked for me. Catch me in the right mood and I can be awfully sociable, but even with a group of friends hanging out in a bar is tough. I just don’t have the social skills for it. I can’t rely on alcohol to loosen me up (besides, I suspect I’d be either very maudlin or very angry if I ever got drunk), and drinking Cokes all night makes me hyper and fidgety. And since I’m pretty shy, I don’t really have much natural grace when it comes to chatting up strangers. Even worse, I’m too naturally polite to repel the unwanted advances of guys who creep me out. Bar hopping? It’s a death sentence for me.
Yeah, yeah, yeah I know. Bars aren’t the only way to meet other people. Duh. But they seem like the thing to do sometimes when you’re bored, lonely, and tired of sitting in front of the TV all night again. In effect, they seem like the thing to do at the exact moment when my self-esteem is least prepared to deal with a meat market. It’s a vicious catch-22, and I’ve caught myself in it many times over the years.
Sometimes, though, I would just convince myself that I was making a big deal out of nothing and give it another go. Hope, or at least delusion, springs eternal. It’s been quite a relief to be out of that game for so long now.