Saturday, January 31, 2004

Grey Sweater

It is back-breakingly cold today. The cold weighs down my shoulders, caving into the small of my back. Inside, the wind blows through airconditioner like an open window. I cover it with saran-wrap, like a left-over pork chop.

I have been alone for three days. Brian is off in a Psych conference in sunny Austin, Texas. In his absence, dust settles, accumulates, as if I don't produce enough impetus to stir the air. Dust bunnies reproduce in the corner. Pretty soon, I'll have enough to knit a hairy, grey sweater. At night, I pull the comforter over my head to ward off the winter chill, my breath humid under the covers. There is only one mound on the bed, a bra with one breast.

Judge Judy dispenses tough justice on TV. I wish she would dispense some lunch instead. I go hungry.

Tomorrow, warmer, the weatherman predicts. Brian will be home.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Revisionist History

So you came in here because this blog was listed as Freshly Updated. Yet, as far as you can see there is no new post, no new entry.

As a writer--have I earned enough stripes to call myself a writer?--nevermind, as a writer, I obsess about how words are strung together, its configuration on a page, the cadence of sentences. I jot down ideas, emotions, impressions in my spiral notebook. Sometimes they come furiously, like hungry birds. Other times, it’s painful, like The Anna Nicole Show.

I rewrite constantly. It is second nature. Every single post has had some change: punctuation corrected, paragraphs reconstructed, jokes reworked. Go on, read the last post, you may find something that wasn’t there before.

On the page, I am powerful: I can change my history, or at least the memory of it, into something bearable, less wretched. The true fiction of my life. I wish that real life can be just as easily be rewritten; I didn’t particularly enjoy high school, college or crabs. If I could change the past, I would give myself less naivety, less mediocrity, less Z. Cavaricci.

Moving to Chicago was a chance to escape my tedious past, the boredom, the outstanding warrant. I was twenty-two, but in a way much younger. I was a novice. I have never lived on my own. I didn’t know how to iron, vacuum or give a blowjob without gagging.

Not knowing anyone was lonely but exhilarating. I could be a punk or jock, Judd Nelson or Emilio Estevez. I could be anybody in The Breakfast Club buffet. I had considered giving myself a new nickname. I tried “Spike,” “Biff,” “Velveeta Jones.” But nothing really stuck. Maybe I should have gotten rid of the "Fresh Off The Boat" sign around my neck first.

One reader, Kalista, threatened to shoot herself in the head if she read “No Milk Please” listed one more time as Freshly Updated. She had an issue with me updating the site nine times in an hour. But it is in first hours after I publish a post, when it is fresh out of the mental oven, still soft, malleable, that I make the most changes. Just like in real life, when you make a mistake, it is best to make amends right away, before it becomes fact, set in stone. Before you spend the rest of your life wondering what if, what if, what if...

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Enormous

The zit on my lip is enormous, like Carnie Wilson before the gastric bypass.

It is hard--no, soft--moveable, pus buried under skin, too deep to surface. It's been there a week. It sits on the edge of my lip, throbbing, letting me know it is there. It doesn't interfere with the Entenmann's donuts though. So now I am fat, in addition to being hideous.

I feel self-conscious when I am talking to someone; I feel like I need to introduce it since it is right there, part of the conversation.

Acne has been a bane for most of my life. It had followed me from my teen years to adulthood, like Wheel of Fortune. I tried it all: hot compresses, smelly ointments, a brown paper bag. I started calling my zits "spots" to give it a British flair. When I moved to Chicago, I left no forwarding address hoping to dodge it. No such luck. It must have hired a private detective.

I could have been a slut but for acne. I could have had threesomes, foursomes, orgies. Instead, I am often left flying solo. A pimple appears just before a hot date, crippling my self-confidence. Once, I got a huge one on me arse, making sitting uncomfortable. A princess on a pea.

I think that I had turned a corner after I turned thirty. It came on less frequently, more sporadically. I guess in a way, it built "character". I wish that it built a chalet in the Swiss Alps instead.

I may have to perform surgery on "Carnie." Pierce it with a needle sterilized with a lighter. I don't think I have the guts to do it myself. Maybe Brian will go Dr. Carter on it for me...

Monday, January 26, 2004

Just Good At It

The Filipino woman was grilling me, turning up the heat. She studied my resume intently, trying to fathom the truth beneath the fries. A stain is supersizing under my pits. She opens her purse and hands me balut—a delicacy she says—a boiled duck embryo, still in its shell. I crack open the egg and Mork pops out. "Nanu, nanu," he says, "Sorry, try again." I wake up with a start.

A nightmare.

So, I lied. I like being unemployed. The unemployment checks are like my morphine drip; it keeps reality from creeping in. It’s not much. Only $336 a week--enough to pay the mortgage and keep me in Vienna sausages. It deflects the self-examination, the guilt, the doubt. Do I really want to go back to Corporate America? To take home a day’s wage, an empty lunch bag, “borrowed” office supplies?

I like money. It makes me more interesting.

Inexplicably, I had two interviews last week. I have not changed my cover letter or resume since I started looking. I used the same format, same qualifications, same Glamour Shot. Yet for some reason these companies deigned to bring me in for an audience with the HR queen. I practice my curtsy.

I was nervous, after being unemployed for over 3 months, things are starting to go downhill: I have perfected my Regis impression. My last nibble was two months ago and Simon Cowell didn’t wave me in to the next level. “Relax,” Brian advised, “You’ll get the job, just be yourself—that’s how you got me.” I followed his advice. I went as Carrot Top.

An interview is like a date from an online personal ad. If you can fake being interesting and funny for just long enough, you get to sleep with the guy. I did all the tricks: I lean forward to convey my enthusiasm. I act interested in the interviewer, smiling at all the right places. I am a whore, doing anything to please a john. It left a sour taste in my mouth. Funky spunk.

This oasis, this time away from work has taught me a few things: I work to make a living. I don’t particularly enjoy what I do; I am just good at it. It affords me the lifestyle I enjoy: dinners out, movies, crystal meth. What I really enjoy doing—playing guitar, writing, annoying people—these I do for free. Everybody wishes they can get paid for what they like to do. I am not different in that respect.

One of the interviews went well, it is promising. Maybe in a couple of weeks, life will be just as it was before. Back to Normal.

That has to be enough, right?

Right?

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Happy Chinese New Year!



This is the Year of the Monkey! Look up your Chinese Sign and then check out your horoscope!

Spam Blog

As if spam in my mailbox is not enough, now there are spam blogs. The problem is, most spam is written so poorly that it fails to do what it is supposed to do: persuade people to buy whatever it is they are selling. I mean, the spam I get is just painfully embarrassing. They are all from girls named Tiffani or Amber enticing me with their wet, dripping pussy. Eeew! Isn't it obvious with an e-mail address like hot4dick@SoSoGay.com that a hard, turgid cock would be more appropriate? If the person writing this blog only spent some time writing a more convincing story, maybe it wouldn't be so painfully obvious that it is a scam.

Here's my attempt on a spam blog:

Monday, January 19, 2004
Justin, my fourteen year-old came home today with a C in chemistry. I had been at odds with him about spending more time studying instead of playing Baldur's Gate or talking on the phone with his slutty little girlfriend. Last time she came over, she wore a skirt so short when she uncrossed her legs, you could see her soul. They're upstairs right now "meditating." Despite my extremely flexible work schedule, I find that the normal rules apply when dealing with teenagers: they treat adults like the enemy. This is the same kid that used to come running to our bedroom when Joan Rivers is on TV selling turquoise jewelry. I try to sit him down to help him study, but I realize I need help and a bottle of vodka. Maybe I should enroll him at Sylvan or something. What's the point in making a six figure salary if I can't help my own son?

Wednesday, January 21, 2004
Just talked to John at work, he gave me the number for the place he took his son Sean. Sean has already shown some improvement. His grades have gone up and the bedwetting has stopped. Sean has changed so much he has started wearing black trenchcoats to school. He's even gotten interested in learning how to shoot guns. Hopefully, my Justin will do as well. John is so happy, he told Sean that they were going to Disneyland again this year. They have been going every year since 1995. Eventually, I'll be able to do that also, since work is going so well. I will probably make a huge bonus after I meet my quota this month. I didn't think that I would ever be happy working (or should I say not working and making money), but I am. I really have to give John another blowjob for getting me this gig.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Something’s Gotta Give

There was a time when I was but a lad of ten when I thought that my aunt Evangeline was old. She was 18 years old. I adored her. She was—and still is—the coolest aunt. She took me to movies, gave me money on my birthday, taught me that houndstooth only works if you are wearing a Chanel suit.

Now that I am in my thirties (and my aunt in her forties), I look back and see that I had been so incredibly naïve: houndstooth works in trench coats too.

It’s a cliché, but when you’re young, you cannot wait to get older and when you’re old, you spend all your time trying to avoid jury duty.

When I was eighteen, I thought I knew everything. When I turned thirty, I realized I knew nothing. I have never gone skydiving. Or gone to the Ballet. I have never had English shepherd’s pie, Scottish mince pie, Irish hair pie. There are so many things that I still want to accomplish but The Real World won’t cast me in their show.

These days I look at the mirror inspecting my hair, leaning forward, turning my head this way and that. Did I lose any while I slept? I wondered how much longer before I have to wear flamboyant glasses to disguise my thinning hair. Is that guy splashing about in the pool in the Hair Club commercial really happy with the way his ass looks in speedos? If I can make it to forty with my hair intact, I promise, I won’t complain about the hair growing out of my ears.

The thing is, I don’t feel old. My left knee maybe. And the right one. Come to think of it, my ankles too. okokok, I don’t feel old, but my body is already booking a plane ticket to Florida.



The movie “Something’s Gotta Give” is about Harry (played by Jack Nicholson), a middle-aged man who only dates women in their twenties. He finds himself falling in love with playwright Erica (Diane Keaton), somebody whom he has never found attractive: a middle-aged woman. Diane Keaton, with all her “Annie Hall” charm intact, is wonderful in this film. She gamely does physical comedy but also plays her character with a deep wisdom tinged with fragility. I laughed out loud several times in this film. There was a scene where Erica cries and laughs alternately while writing her play that had me on the floor. Jack Nicholson also does a good job, playing a very sympathetic character much against type. I confess, I really don’t like Jack Nicholson and I usually tend avoid his movies. I don’t know why because he has surprised me so many times in movies like “As Good As It Gets” and “About Schmidt” where he has played characters that I have sympathized with. However, it is Diane Keaton that is the star of this movie and rightfully so: she reveals in her character the young person inside the old shell, the eternal Youth that never grows old.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Give Me No Sign

I was listening to Delilah, a call-in love song dedication radio show on WLIT here in Chicago when this girl, Janice* called in. Janice and her boyfriend were having problems with their long distance relationship: they weren’t having enough sex. She told Delilah that they were praying to God about whether or not they should continue their relationship.

This really pissed me off because first, Janice requested “I Just Called To Say I Love You” and second, because she’s tying up the prayer lines to God with her stupid question. Don’t you hate it when you pray and then you get that "doo-Doo-DOO We're sorry, all circuits are busy now. Please hang up and try your prayer again later" message? Once, I did get through, but I was like prayer number 2,572,336. I was on hold like, forever. After a long while, I was able to put in my request to get the Family Guy DVD set. I hope I get it. The last time God answered my prayers, I got a new TV, some new CDs, a DVD player. Then my check bounced.

In an episode of VH1’s Driven: Jessica Simpson, I found out that apparently during a teen Christian retreat, Jessica became born again. On that bright, sunny day, the group of teens were singing gospel songs when Jessica felt the wind blowing through her hair. She looked around and nobody else’s hair was moving. She concluded that this was a sign from God to join the flock.

When I was about 16, I had attended a similar retreat. The retreat was held in a remote location, in a very natural setting. We were told not to listen to music or watch TV and speak as little as possible. The purpose of the retreat was to find ourselves spiritually.

In retrospect, I realized each activity in the retreat was designed to encourage introspectiveness and self-examination. I remember in one such activity, we were told to go find a nice, quiet place and then think about a particular person whom we had a difficult relationship with. In another, we all sat on the grass in a circle at dusk while soft gospel music played. A clay bowl was placed in the center. A candle burned beside it. We were told to write something which we were ashamed of doing on a piece of paper. We were to take the paper, light it, and drop the burning paper in the bowl. One by one, we quietly burned our secret shame. After the last person sat back down, the counselor asked that we join him in a short prayer to ask Jesus to forgive us for our sins. As the prayer ended, the music swelled up and I found myself weeping, overcome with emotion, my guilt in ashes. The counselor then asked for people to step forward and accept Jesus as their personal savior. When I looked up, more than half of the group stepped forward, many crying openly.

Years later, while I was volunteer facilitator for a gay youth group, we conducted an activity where we sat in a circle, and had the participants write down their deepest wish on a piece of paper which they then burned. By the end of the activity, every kid was crying. At this point, if I had told them that saints Dolce & Gabbana had granted them their wish, they probably would have believed me.

It was then when it dawned on me that what I experienced during that retreat when I was 16 was all smoke-and-mirrors. The emotions I felt were real, but the message could have been tailored to fit any occasion. When I was in my early teens and questioning my sexuality, I asked God why I was gay. He sent me the International Male catalog in the mail. So I came out of the closet. In highly emotional situations, you can interpret anything, even the wind in your hair if you were Jessica Simpson, to be a message from Jesus Christ. Maybe this woman who left a prayer in my comments will find "eat me" spelled out in her alphabet soup.

Which brings us back to Janice and her prayer for a sign. Brian said that she reminded him of an episode of The Simpsons where Homer prays to God and God answers all his prayers:


Homer (praying): Dear Lord, The gods have been good to me... In gratitude, I present these milk and cookies. If you wish me to eat them for you, please give me no sign.

Homer (looking around and seeing no sign): Thy will be done (munch munch munch).


‘Nuff said.

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*Names have been changed to protect the stupid.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Relief

I wanted to spend all day surfing the web, talking to my friends, reading novels—so I got a job. I think that the difference between being unemployed and having a job is that you get paid to take coffee breaks.

Since I lost my job, I have not called my friends; conversations inevitably veer towards my frustrating job search. Surfing the web is depressing: news of lay-offs, the weak economy, another season of Celebrity Mole. It takes too much effort to read about somebody else's depression. Besides, I not only can do depression—I use it to accessorize. My two cats are starting to wonder when my extended "visit" will be over—they hate it when I lay around on their couch, watching their TV.

Time has become meaningless. With all my friends at work, I am left to my own devices, lost in the sea of possibilities. I play my guitar, but without my neighbor to complain, I feel bereft, unappreciated. I found myself experimenting with parting my hair down the middle and wearing plaid. If unemployment can make an accomplished gay like me lose all sense of fashion, I shudder to think what effect it would have if my straight brethren gets their hands on something complicated like paisley.

Every decision looms large. While you're deciding to whether to have cereal, breakfast has turned into lunch. And then suddenly it's 3pm and there is no reason why you should take a shower and change from your pajamas—it will be time for bed soon enough.

When Brian gets home from work, we argue about whose turn it is to wash dishes, who left that gob of toothpaste in the sink, who missed the toilet. I am delighted: this is normal.

I am convinced that the only thing that keeps the world civilized is routine. Work, school, your Justin Timberlake fanclub meetings—these are commitments that keep you functioning. Routine gives you structure, responsibility; it keeps you from becoming a slacker, a derelict or Paris Hilton.

Weekends are an oasis from this limbo: you can watch movies, go to restaurants, gossip with your friends. People who work are relieved when Friday arrives, they can focus on being a friend, a father or Dungeon Master. Their lives go on.

And for a little while, so does mine. Thank God it's Friday.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Appetite

I don’t remember how I came to be cast as a cow in a Christmas Nativity pageant. This just sort of thing just happened to you when you are six years old. Your world was Sesame Street, your rubber band collection, your favorite booger-stained t-shirt. You ate the paste, licking the stick; it tasted good, you didn’t question it. If your Mom decided to have an unholy alliance with your kindergarten teacher to cast you in a tacky school play, you didn’t question that either.

I went along with my mother, who took my measurements, bought fabric. If I understood that she was going to sew a brown cow costume with golden spots, I may have suggested she picked a mocha-colored fabric, preferably satin; it would have itched less and complemented my skin tone. I look sallow in brown.

Yes, technically, it was probably more appropriate to call my part “The Bull.” But I was six, and at six, I didn’t really understand the difference between male and female, and that the difference involved our genitalia. When you were six, did you know that a male goose was a gander? That someone who had thick ankles, wore sequins, and who gustily sang “New York, New York” was not a woman but a man, albeit of dubious royalty? I think not.

That was my first time on a stage. I stood among the other six year-olds, a menagerie of of sheep, horses and other cows looking down at the plastic Baby Jesus in the manger, itching, thinking about how this was sooo not what I stood for politically. If I had my way, the Angels would have feathered wings instead of cardboard ones, and the part of Joseph would have been played by Bernard C.—he of the petulant, pouty lips and dried-up snot. I didn’t understand sex, but I understood Art Direction.

Did that first time whet my appetite for attention? Or was it something deeper than that? As a twin, I was always part of a pair, half of a one. To some people, maybe even our parents, twins are interchangeable, a cheesy Doublemint commercial waiting to happen. I wanted to be Singular. I don’t want to confuse, befuddle; I want to be picked out in a police line-up.

It is very heartening then to see when readers of my blog are appreciative, when people respond to what I have written. These thoughts, these words are mine. When Pua, and then Ray quoted directly my posts, I confess my imagination had gone girls wild. In my mind, I was signing book deals, being a spokesperson for Lactaid, showing off the condiments in my fridge on MTV’s Cribs. It was very exciting, better than when I found Portuguese spam1 in my guestbook.

It is quite possible these words will outlive me. I just hope they won’t be used against me in a court of law.

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1See entry #30 in my Guestbook.

Friday, January 09, 2004

A Blogless World

There is a woman who comes to the Caribou Coffee where I hang out at. It is the general consensus--general being Brian and I--that she has some form of mental illness because she talks to herself. And she wears stirrup pants. With heels.

Today, she comes in, grabs a discarded coffee cup, goes to the bathroom and fills it up with water and then sits right across from me. She doesn’t smell. Her clothes look clean, albeit disheveled. She doesn’t say a word to me, her eyes unfocused. Caught unawares, I am frozen in my seat. In a minute, she starts talking to her invisible daughter standing behind me. I turn around and make sure that the daughter is not trying to pick my pocket. She keeps talking.

I often have similar conversations in my own head. I would argue myself about whether ripped jeans from the 80s are back. I make devastating comebacks to the queens that dissed me a year ago about my hoodie/leather jacket combo. Should I tell my friend that alcohol has made him a different person from the one I loved?

When I started blogging a couple of years ago, I found that blogging captured the conversations that existed in my head. After awhile, it became a separate, almost tangible self. This self is more popular, more articulate, funnier than I am. It has made friends, acquaintances, blogstalkers. Things have gone so far that it has formed its own online clique and excluded me; I am not cool enough for my virtual doppelganger.

I thought, maybe blogging can help this woman across from me; help her to release her mocking self, to resolve her internal conflicts, to smooth out her split ends. I wanted to show her how to blog on my wireless laptop.

I focus back on her. She has now joined an invisible book group. Being an avid reader, I wanted to put in my two cents but I didn’t know what book they were discussing. If she had a blog, I could bring up HaloScan and maybe comment on plot inconsistencies. When she started berating an invisible shopgirl for giving her the wrong color nail polish, I could comment that the color matched her pink sneakers. She intimidates me in person, but my virtual self is bold, opinionated.

The United States has the highest number of bloggers in the world. If terrorists wanted to wipe out America, they just need to bring Blogger down for a week and watch the violence and suicide increase as people find no vent for their Seinfeldian observations. Right-wing extremists, with no outlet for their fiery misspelled rhetoric will declare war on other nations, resulting in nuclear holocaust. A blogless coup.

Blogger has been going down more often of late. When it is down, I find myself worrying about how soon it will be back up. I feel impatient, helpless. The words are running and I want to catch them before they turn around the block and disappear. Without an outlet, how many people revert to talking to themselves? Without blogging do we find ourselves back in that place of loneliness?

I look at the woman in front of me. She is staring into off space.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Winter of Discontent

Now is the winter of my discontent.

It has been 90 days since I last worked. I had planned to be productive during these days of unemployment: organize my Pez dispensers; build a website dedicated to Mary Kate & Ashley; categorize my collection of Happy Meal toys by cultural significance (Lion King toys should have front shelf status as it ushered the golden age of Disney even if Finding Nemo had a bigger box office).

Without my old adversary the alarm clock, I find it harder and harder to get out of bed, to emerge from my dreams of going camping with Nick Lachey and Brian Urlacher, pitching the trouser tent and fishing for zipper trout.

The cheerful anchors on WGN news used to bid me good morning. Now I wake to the No Man’s Land of TV: Regis & Kelly, Divorce Court, Judge Hatchett. I move to turn it off, but the screaming, the blaming, the backstabbing reminds me of my old work environment. I leave it on. It is comforting.

I go online to the job boards, browsing jobs I am qualified for but will never get: indifferent HR employees buried under mountains of resumes are on the other side of my click. I decide to save a few trees by not applying for anything; I will have to bear the guilt of the single sheet needed to print my unemployment check.

I thought that I would now be able to catch up on all the trashy romance novels in the communal library in our building laundry room, where we swap romance novels like swingers at a party. But when the question comes to decide between a Silhouette Romance or porn, porn always seems to win out. Romancing myself is easy—no awkward moments, no polite chit-chat. Just a quick encounter—no deep feelings, just a few drops of tears at the end. Nothing a little Kleenex won’t fix.

My life has taken the path of least resistance. I stay in my pajamas. I let my beard grow out. I eschew grooming. Unemployment has accomplished what my priest and my shock therapist couldn’t—make me a straight man.

Two more months of winter. Hopefully in the spring things will be different, a job maybe. In the spring, hopefully I re-emerge from this sloth, this lethargy, back to my old self.

Monday, January 05, 2004

The Deep South


Suzie, now that the Human-Animal Marriage Act has been pased, we can get married and you can wear that cute bonnet and carry a rose-and-hay bokay just like we planned...

See the rest at The Deep South!

Origins of "The Deep South"

Thanks to Peter Elk for sending me a link to a comic strip by Tom Tomorrow about The Homosexual Menace. The strip shows some typical arguments that some people may have about gay marriages. It always bugged me that whenever there is a discussion concerning this issue, somehow the conversation always ends up comparing gay marriage to bestiality, that it will open the gates to people marrying their pets or farm animals. This despite bestiality being a predominantly hetero activity, which struck me as comical--gay people are being crucified for the perverted activities of heteros.

I was going to write a satirical piece to respond to this, but inspiration struck: I would make my own strip in reply. I tried using the Red Meat comic generator to do this but after trying out several "meats," I decided to use my own characters. Thus I created "The Deep South" which I may turn into a regular feature here. Hope you like it.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Manifesto



Hello, I'm Paul. Welcome to my weblog. First, an explanation: I don't drink milk, and I avoid all milk products. I hate cheese. Nope, I am not lactose intolerant, or a vegan, just not into the whole dairy thing. Occasionally, I will eat some pizza or ice cream, so don't look at me strangely if I do. I'm sure some of you don't eat cauliflower, brussel sprouts, mussels, curry, or entire categories like meat, seafood or green leafy vegetables--so I'm not so different after all.

Surprisingly, my lack of desire to eat any dairy doesn't really affect the range of cuisine I enjoy, although it's kinda hard finding something to eat in a french bistro with all the heavy cream sauces they use. I do have a preference for asian food. Duh.

I am a thirtysomething queer asian, a twin, a wannabe rockstar. I live in Chicago, in an area frequently referred to as Boystown where a lot of gay folk live. I like the word "queer" because it is inclusive of the diversity of our community. However, you may call me anything you like: gay, homo, fag--they are just words.

This weblog is not about anything political, religious or of any specific social issue. It is just my worldview, my ramblings. Frequently, it is about inconsequential things like tv shows, music, movies, guyz. My tongue is firmly in cheek--don't take anything I write too seriously. So, relax, stay awhile and please feel free to put in your two cents and join the fray.

Friday, January 02, 2004

A Little Less Lonely

Being a twin, having someone who looks just like you, has its advantages. You can share discount cards, gym IDs, Hello Kitty fanclub memberships. You can look at clothes objectively because you have someone who can wear it for you before you buy it. It means that you can eliminate bad fashion choices, unfortunate punk haircuts or being blonde without having to live through the embarrassment yourself. Being a twin means that there is someone who can read your mind without you saying a word.

I never had to “come out” to my twin and vice-versa. Maybe I had super intuition powers. We weren’t stereotypically gay after all. We talked about girls all the time: their beautiful hair, their sassy shoes, the way that Kathleen pulled off pairing a plaid skirt with combat boots. We both liked bodybuilding, poring over bodybuilding magazines studying muscle, sinew, bulge. There were no obvious indications.

Even though we had so much alike, endured matching outfits and shared presents--we kept separate friends, separate lives. We enjoyed each other’s company, but we always did our own thing. We weren’t joined at the hip like some twins were. We shared the same bedroom until we were about 13 when I moved out into the adjoining room. I figured I needed my privacy when I masturbated. A bathroom connected our bedrooms, yet we were separated by The Closet.

A sister of my gay friend asked me why her brother was so reticent about sharing his life with her and the rest of the family. When her brother came out to them, she and her family were very accepting of him and tried hard to include him and his boyfriends in family gatherings and events. They were not ashamed of him and didn’t try to deny her brother's homosexuality. Yet, her brother didn’t open up to her, didn’t share his life with her, his daily minutiae. He was a closed book.

Crazy huh? A lifetime spent lying, repressing your true feelings, your true self to the ones closest to you can’t be undone in one simple act of coming out. I spent the first 25 years of my life not telling anyone, even my twin about my true feelings. We shared a womb, a bosom, a room—yet our sexuality, our shared struggle kept us apart. Even when we were finally out to each other, we never really talked about what we went through: the fear, the shame, the guys with slobbery kisses.

It was hard to overcome how society views us queers, but we did. I just wished I was able to go through it with my brother. Maybe it would have been easier. Maybe a little less lonely.

***

Thanks to Joe, Annie, Patrick, Dave & Julie for the generous Christmas gifts.

A very special thanks to Happie Bunnie for the thoughtful presents. Check out her funny site.

Mood | Thankful

Thursday, January 01, 2004

My First Goal

As my first goal this year, I want to be in the top ten of Rice Bowl Journals, a online community of asian bloggers. If you are on this page, please please please vote for me by clicking here. There is no form to fill or anything, just click on the link, it will automatically record your vote and then re-route you to the RBJ homepage.

***

UPDATE: I am currently #2 with 14 votes. Apparently, there is some kind of handicapping in RBJ that prevents a person to get way out in the lead. When you are in either top 2 spots, votes for you are not counted until other people move into the top 2. This is to allow other people to get a shot at the top spot. Thanks to those who have already voted! However, please keep voting. :-)

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UPDATE 2: I am currently #1, which is exciting but mystifying at the same time because I know I only sent out that e-mail to vote for me to 20 people, and currently it says that at least 75 votes. Right now, there is a five-way tie between me, Ronan, Alex Kleeman, Mark Nam and Jess H for the top spot, and whoever has the last vote remains at number 1. You may keep voting for me if you wish. Maybe I'll score a three-book deal like Will Wheaton, if I become an Internet Celebrity.
;-)