The move was successful and I am officially installed in a humongous house, with two other people. They are young ‘uns, not long out of college, but I believe we’ll get along, as long as I have a bedroom (and even an attic, woohoo!) to disappear to if need be. And oh my goodness I thought I was a geek: these are people who actually discuss KEPLER at the DINNER TABLE and make JOKES about AUGUSTINE.1

After living by myself for a year, having people around is — meh? I’m not sure yet. It’s like the first time I tasted cilantro: it took a minute before I could figure out what it tasted like, much less whether I liked it.

Part of the strangeness is that, when I was by myself, I gradually developed a schedule with two main ends in mind: to use my time well, and to keep from getting too lonely. Most of my days went something like this: Mass, work, exercise, eat, write, sleep. Not a bad schedule, and I got all the socialization I wanted on weekends and the odd weeknight out, but my time mostly came in well-defined blocks, not well-suited to interruption. Is that a defense mechanism, or is it just regular old self-discipline like grownups are supposed to do?

And then there’s the whole SSA thing, although it’s not as big a deal as you would think. For one thing these dudes are not my type. For another, I tend to be attracted to men I want to be, and these guys are nice enough, but who wants to be a recent college graduate? I’m like my mother — when people say “I wish I was 17 again,” her reaction is to (at least internally) recoil in horror. Again, the nice part about being lost and confused for most of the first part of your life is that the latter part feels like vacation.

It might be tricky explaining what the deuce I am doing by myself on the computer all the time. (It’s not what you think! I’m doing the opposite of looking at porn!) I don’t want to seem even more antisocial than I actually am. When one of them asked, I told him something vague about a writing project, but I’m hoping he won’t be insistent about seeing it.

It’s not even that I’d mind them knowing — I don’t think I’m rationalizing when I say that I don’t want them to be uncomfortable, which I believe they would be. Don’t know if either of them have ever (consciously) known a real live homo, and I’m not about to be all I’m-here-I’m-queer just to teach them tolerance. And if I had been going to do a full disclosure, the fairest thing would have been to do it before bringing in my uhaul full of junk.

Well. It is getting late, and this old man is going to bed. Peace out.

1 I’m giving myself away. I bet you fellow denizens of the Catholic ghetto know exactly which college they graduated from.

11 thoughts on “Young ‘Uns

  1. Christine

    Now I’m very curious about what the Augustine joke was. Please do share!

    When I was in grad school in a theology program some members of our class decided to make haikus to describe the various ecumenical councils. Here’s the one for Nicea:

    Athanasius (or, if you pronounce his name as 4 syllables rather than 5, St. Athanasius),
    Growing red in the face, yelled,
    “Homoousios!”

    I am ashamed to say that I was not a part of the group that was doing this.

    Reply
  2. liz o.

    “Who wants to be a recent college graduate?” Too funny. I’m with your mom…aghast at the thought of having to be 17 again.

    Reply
  3. Larissa

    Now what would be “the opposite of looking at porn”? NOT looking at it? Looking at dressed dudes?! That might confuse people! Hehehe

    Just kidding, Steve, I love your texts. I’ve been reading them regularly all the way from Brasília, capital of Brazil. :)
    Thanks for sharing!

    I hope your new house turns out swell.

    God bless!

    Reply
  4. ARM

    Ah, fellow-alumni of mine, evidently! But don’t worry, I’m way too old to have any idea who they (or you) are. If it helps to know this, they’ll get better: we can become almost normal, given a decade or so out of college.

    And besides, Kepler really is super awesome, even if it’s a bit pretentious to discuss him at breakfast.

    Your blog is awesome too. Thanks for writing, and good luck housebreaking the kids.

    Reply
  5. Jordan Gray

    I second Christine, let’s hear the jokes!

    “I’m not about to be all I’m-here-I’m-queer just to teach them tolerance. And if I had been going to do a full disclosure, the fairest thing would have been to do it before bringing in my uhaul full of junk.”

    I’ve resolved to always be up-front about being gay with anyone I deal with. If I realise at any point that I feel worried about them knowing, I’ll make a point of ensuring that I don’t speak carefully or avoid the topic. Aside from feeling that doing otherwise would be cowardly and dishonest (and I am speaking about myself here, not you, so please don’t take that to heart), I know first hand that everyone suffers—sometimes horribly—when you treat your sexuality like a dangerous secret.

    I’m not an unlikeable character, or so I hope. :) While it might make some people uncomfortable at first, in the long run they always get over it, and it doesn’t hurt for them to know that there are gay people out there who are genuinely well-meaning and tolerable.

    Reply
    1. Steve Gershom

      Hello Jordan,

      I can see your point. I gather from your other comments that you consider homosexuality to be on equal moral footing with heterosexuality. If I believed that, I’d adopt your policies on how to talk about it. But my axioms are different, and the practices that flow from them are necessarily different too. When it comes down to it, I don’t know most people well enough to discuss my sexuality with them at all.

      Of course that’s totally different from blabbing about it on a blog all day long. :)

      Peace,
      SG

      Reply
  6. Rayjo

    “a real live homo…” I took this as a subtle social commentary, rather than seeing it as a phrase you honestly use to describe yourself, but still, reading “homo” as a noun always makes me sad:(

    Reply
  7. Jordan Gray

    “I gather from your other comments that you consider homosexuality to be on equal moral footing with heterosexuality.”

    In a sense. I’d probably put it a little differently and say that I don’t consider it a moral anything, just a neutral human trait that, for whatever reason, we make a big deal out of.

    But that’s not really why I’m so open about it. I’m not sure if you remember my first comment here, back in July, but I will say that the incident described back then is largely responsible for galvanising my refusal to cower. Simply put, my long-term partner was not out to everyone, and the fallout from that after he died very nearly destroyed me. I’d say a lot more, but I’m on a phone and it’s a long story that will probably only get you down. Hopefully you can understand the gist: there are deep personal and philosophical reasons I believe gay people have a responsibility to be open with the people around them.

    Good luck with your new housemates, Steve. :)

    Reply
  8. Hannah C.

    I’m fairly certain that if we didn’t go to the same college, we went to very similar colleges. Also, I remember seeing a set of initials in another post of yours a while back which also made me wonder if we shared an alma mater… But even if we did, it’s quite possible we would never have run into each other.

    Gotta love any college where one jokes about Augustine. :D Good luck with the new roommates!

    Reply
  9. Gabriel

    I don’t know — I accept Catholic moral teaching, but my policy is pretty much the same as Mr. Gray’s. Awkwardness now saves awkwardness later is how I feel. On the other hand — it is your business, and if you don’t care to divulge it, that is most certainly your right. However, for what it’s worth, I’ve virtually never had people cold-shoulder me or act weird around me after coming out, not even the breederest of breeders, excuse my French.

    Reply

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