Last Night.

Last night, for the first time in a week and a half, I didn’t take 2 Tylenol PM before I went to bed. Too soon. I managed to slow my mind down enough to fall asleep after about an hour, but I was wide awake again at 3 a.m., trying to reconstruct the sequence of the last few times I saw M, what we did, what was said. I was worried I would forget, so I got up and wrote down what I was able to remember. It’s like a riddle, a mystery; I think if I recall the right bit of conversation, if I look at it from the right angle, it’ll come together, it’ll make sense.

I fell asleep again quickly after writing, but awoke again at 5. I stayed in bed till almost 10, drifting in and out of sleep, dreaming vividly about watching a Stephen Sondheim musical on TV in a dirty, cluttered house with some people whose company I was enjoying. There was a bunch of other weird shit going on in the dream, but I don’t remember any of it now.


I know, I totally know, that 90% of this pain I feel is the sting of sexual rejection. I’m not proud of it, but I have to admit it. If there is any good to come out of this, maybe it’ll be some kind of watershed in my letting go of my vanity.

Sex for me had always been about trying to discover what it was that another person found sexy about me and then maneuvering to show that off and camouflage the rest, whether that meant literally being conscious of in what light and from what angle I was being seen or modulating my attitude, stance, mannerisms. But I let M see me from every angle. I don’t know why I felt safe doing that, but I did. Maybe it was because I didn’t think he was sexier than me, objectively speaking. He has a big belly and hair on his back and bad teeth and didn’t make any effort to conceal the fact that he sometimes wore the same pair of underwear for 4 or 5 days if he didn’t have time to do laundry. He’s fussy and a bit of a snob. I was turned on by him in spite of all that, or because of all that – I was turned on by him, not by an idea of how his body reflected a fantasy I have of a sexy man. I think I assumed the feeling was mutual. I let him see me in unflattering light. I felt like he was attracted to me, turned on by me, not by an image of myself that I was carefully managing for him, displaying for him.

To be rejected at that level of vulnerability is a true rejection. He saw me, and he rejected me. That fact, that he is not sexually attracted to me now, that fact is what stops in its tracks any scheme I devise for reconciliation. I want him. He doesn’t want me.


I’m old. I’m old. I’m not a senior citizen, but I am older than most of the people I encounter in my life. I am older than anyone I know who is still floundering, still cobbling together an artist’s living with no security and no real prospects of it ever changing.

I’m still thinking about moving back to New York.