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My roommate just recounted an interesting experience to me.

Many are the people who use online services to go cruising for sex, and gay men are some of the most consistent users of this particular aspect of the Internet.

My roommate is one of these people (and I won't deny that I've also used the net for this purpose from time to time), and while working from home today, he was also hanging out in a gay chat room online.

Someone popped into the room with the nick of KID4$$$$ and his online profile suggested that a) the male in question was young (no older than 20) and b) he was willing to have sex with men of any age as long as they could pay for it. My roommate says this is a fairly frequent occurence, the money usually used to salve the conscience of a closeted young man. After all, if someone's getting paid for sex, it doesn't mean they're gay ... just employed.

This person's online identity caused quite a bit of uproar in the chat room. Most people expressed extreme distaste that someone, no matter their age would so flagrantly prostitute themselves.

My roommate noted that at least any monies paid to this person would go directly to him, whereas everyone in the room seemed to want to deny the fact they were actually using, and paying, their respective ISPs to pimp for them. After all, was not everyone in the room there for one purpose? Was that purpose not anonymous sex? Were not all the people in the chat room paying some entity for the privilege to access that chat room?

This got him nowhere ... except possibly a free hummer from the grateful KID4$$$$. We'll see.

There's just so many things wrong with this scenario, I don't even know where to begin, and it's one of the most frustrating aspects of online communication. The 'net makes it far, far too easy for any individual to explore, safely and privately, their most twisted sexual fantasies. These fantasies, long-repressed and long-denied, are powerful, addictive, and now easily acted-upon in a manner which allows the person addicted to these experiences to deny they ever take place in reality. The legions of men who hook up online get together, fuck, shoot a wad, smoke a cigarette and return to their "ordinary" lives with a facile ease that seriously ... seriously ... frightens me. This is one aspect of the 'net that serves only to encourage some of the more deeply-rooted prejudices our society, including homosexuals, have about homosexuality itself. After all, if it's this easy to have your cake and eat it too, then no one will ever feel the need to talk about what it is they're doing ... until, eventually and inevitably, they get busted by a loved one. And by then it's usually too late to save any involved.

One more thing frightens me. A question often asked these days right before one agrees to hook up with someone else.

That question is, "Wrapped or unwrapped?"

Barebacking is on the rise, folks, and this question is indicative of that. "Wrapped", of course, means that one insists on using a condom during sex, whereas "unwrapped" means you're risking death, even in this day and age.

What frightens me is the number of people who quit talking to my roommate when he answers "wrapped". I'm afraid he'll succumb to temptation if the number of men who reject him for being safe rises any higher. That number, according to him, is about fifty percent.

Fifty.

Percent.

It makes me afraid. It makes me angry. I want to grab everyone who asks (and answers, so we have to include my roommate and best friend here) this question and scream at them, "What is wrong with you? You think one orgasm is worth a still-fatal disease? Do you honestly think protease inhibitors are a cure for AIDS? What is FUCKING wrong with you??"

Sometimes, I'd love to see the 'net crash and burn. I'd love to see its utter demise, its collapse, and thus see these unsavory aspects of information exchange denied to those many people who cannot, for whatever reason resist this particular type of temptation.

Maybe then some true advancement in our society will take place.

I just hope no one I know dies because it's easier than ever to get a blowjob these days.

Previous
Next

It must be me, I guess, but I don't get it. At least with that admission, I won't attract a diagnosis of paranoia.

In my entire life, I've only been aware of one person (many years ago) who actually, truly didn't like me. I don't know if that's unusual or not, but there it is. Everybody says You're a good person, Clarence and You're so funny, Clarence and Don't ever change, Clarence. That last one was last said to me, literally, two days ago.

What I can't figure out is, why they pretty much don't want me to be around. Why I'm mostly not a part of people's lives. I give Nolan the benefit of the doubt, because it may be, at least subconsciously, that he feels pressured by my love and romantic longings for him (though he's never said or even intimated that).

But my casual friends don't have that problem. Case in point: the guy at work, Zed, who introduced me to geocaching about six weeks ago. That was fun, and I said I'd like to do more of it; he said that the next one hopefully would be a bit harder. Last Sunday, I was at the office late and had to call him in to stop the phone system from melting. While there, he mentioned that he'd been out 'caching with Nolan and Nolan's girlfriend. I could have screamed; instead I went home and threw my weight loss progress to the winds and ripped into a box of Girl Scout cookies.

Just three days ago, Edward and I were leaving the office and there were Zed and his wife. We chatted for a moment, and she took the occasion to say how wonderful I am. Somewhere in the conversation, the opportunity arose for me to mention that they hadn't invited me geocaching again, and they said, Oh, we'll definitely do that. And now, a scant three days later, I see that they were out again with Nolan, et aliae, and didn't invite me.

I remember several months back, I sincerely mentioned to another friend, whom I've loved for ten years, that he was my only friend who hadn't screwed me over at some time. That was very much intended as a compliment, and he appreciated it. (Edward and I weren't friends at the time, but he also passes that qualification -- and we do do things together.) But with most people, I don't know what it is about me that apparently pushes them away, even while they declaim otherwise. I do take a shower every day, I'm pretty sure that's not the problem. :)

Well, I still have four boxes left.


C-Dawg's Office Chessboard Cam
Current streak: 61 wins

I’m still settling into E2, but I think I learned a serious and valuable lesson yesterday –

This place is geared toward factual nodes

When and if you node creatively, you better be extremely careful – E2 isn’t always receptive and will be sure to let you know. But not only that, the limitations of E2 will never let you know why - you just garner downvotes. I’m not criticizing E2; this is just the way everything is set up. Fine. The point is that this setup makes it inherently geared toward factual nodes

So I’ll be sticking to factual and philosophical nodes from now on. Except for these logs (Day and Dream), which are a wonderful part of E2.

The Lesson is Learned

Node Comment: Hugs to humbabba for taking a real shitty experience and producing a witty node out of it - how to get mugged.

Wessabessa looks at his watch and sighs.

"Only another day until I go back to school," He thinks out loud. "And my homework is far from over."
He reaches over to the far side of his computer desk, pushes a CD cover aside and marvels at what his sister has done to his CD.
May as well be.
A fucking.
Disc.
Jockey.
Scratch! Scratch! Scratch!

Punishment for an unknown cause. He sits there, a look of confusion and angst plastered on his already down-set face. Muse. His favourite album of all time. Showbiz.
"Death becomes her," he whispers, opening the door to his sisters dark room. "I hate silverchair."

Two minutes later, he returns to the computer.
Wessabessa awaits his sister's arrival with quiet satisfaction; Revenge, a deadly sin, has been administered.

"Andrew, where's my CD?" she asks Wessabessa.
He holds up his own album. His expression says it all.
The two stare at each other, knowing, internally bleeding.

Tonight, Wessabessa will sleep with one eye open.

Play your moves carefully. Stalemate?

Until the break of dawn, I don't know where the Queen is.

"And we wait."
Generally, people politely laugh when I tell them I'm going to be an English major. My college counseler says: "Oh, that's be great for being a docter or a lawyer." By now, I just nod... trying to explain is too hard. I've fought myself over it for seventeen years, trying to define who I am, define what my vocation means...

It's gotten to the point where writing, where art, where learning has become a necessary part of my existence. Giving it up would be as impossible as given up breathing, and as I mouth that tired cliche I wince, but only because it is vulgar, but also true. I am not a writer now, I am journeying to become one. I am not an artist now, though I make pretty pictures and women find me oddly attractive. But I am moving toward that, the end of understanding and more important the end of creation faster.

And then I read what you write and realize what sorry assemblage springs forth from my adolescent, gawky fingers. And I shouldn't write you, but ya'll, everyone, and it depresses the hell out of me, to quote some kid. So I just continue to grow, and hope, and pray that I'll find a pretty girl who wants a homemaker for a husband.

Today my two sisters and a friend were in a serious car accident in Dublin. I'm daylogging this because this is something I have to say while my feelings are still fresh in my head.

How it went down:
My younger sis was to get on a flight to go to Portugal for a week and stay with our parents. Her flight was at 6:00am from Dublin, which is about an hour from here. My older sis, being the overly generous person that she always is offered to drive her to the airport at 5am.

All was well. We all headed to the pub at around 10pm the night before and had a few drinks. Nothing major, everyone was very well behaved. We decided to move on to a late bar and parted company with my younger sis and her boyfriend. My older sis accompanied myself and two friends to the bar. I told her to take it easy and politely reminded her that she had made a promise to my younger sis, so don't go crazy. She said she wouldn't.

I leave the late bar and return to my friends house and to have a drink with her and her bro. I feel really tired and make for bed.

Since I fell asleep, all hell broke loose.

Apparently my older sis arrived back to my friends house with a load of wine and Smirnoff Ice and stayed up drinking till about 3:30am. At around 4am she got into her car, drove home, woke up my younger sister, told her to get her shit together as they were leaving for Dublin soon.

My younger sister protested, saying that older sis was too drunk to drive anywhere, and that her boyfriend should drive the car instead. My older sister insisted that she was fine to drive the 50 mile journey.

Stupidly they all agreed to this proposal.

Apparently everything was going fine until they were about 5 miles from the airport.

According to my older sister, the road was wet and she was driving too fast.

Anyway, she came skidding off an empty motorway and straight into a concrete barrier. She reckons she was doing about 100mph when the car skidded. They slammed into the barrier, the airbags popped, everyone was slightly injured, but no broken bones. A passing taxi driver saw the crashed vehicle and called 999. The cops and an ambulance arrived soon after. Older sis didn't get breathalised, thank God. They spent the next few hours in the hospital. Younger sis had to get stiches around her eyelid. She was in the back with no seat-belt on. Her boyfriend, who was sitting in the front seat suffered bruised ribs. My older sis, the driver, has a lot of bruising on her face, swollen arms and hands. She is in severe shock too.

I didn't know what had happened until she arrived home today, broke down and told me everything that happened.

I'm still numb and not feeling any real emotion about it.

It's confusing.

On one hand I feel I should be really angry at them. It was both my sisters fault, older sis for driving under the influence, younger sis for allowing her, and me for not being prudent enough or some other shit.

On the other hand, I'm so thankful that they are all alive and not seriously hurt, also that there were no other cars involved.

I won't write any more on the subject as it's pissing me off thinking about it.

I will say this though.

Don't be a asshole. No matter how "fine" you feel, you're never "fine" enough to fucking well drink and drive. If you care about your loved ones, if your boyfriend, partner, girlfriend, mother, father, sister, brother.... anyone is in the habit of "having a couple", hopping in the ol' wagon and cruising off home, plead with them to stop this awful habit.

Look out for them, point them in the right direction and convince them that what they're doing puts real lives at risk. Tell them to shake of their "It'll never to me" attitude, because sooner or later it will happen and people will die.

I nearly lost two of the most important people in the world today and let me tell you folks, it's not a nice thing to contemplate.

I rarely daylog unless it's important to me.

I'm just happy that I'm not daylogging the death of my two sisters.

Just don't do it.

Letter to the hubby, in transit, scrawled on paper, train-of-thought style - if you're curious.

I watched on the map as our plane's trajectory bent southward around Columbus, passing it by. Pennsylvania remained on the right side of the screen - i imagine you somewhere there, driving, fighting sleep, heading home to work. We descended past a spectacular ocean sunset above the clouds into a night-wrapped Cincinnati. Looks like the winds & the rains say i'll be bunking it in the airport chapel tonight - so, surprise, i beat you to Ohio & i'll be staying (but not for long).

. - - ' ' ' - - .

Leave it to clampe to make magic out of something half-joking and completely ad-hoc. I'm baffled and bewildered when i try to classify the creature we've created - some strange analogue to community, no longer the writing experiment and playground i was so charmed with. I've contemplated quitting as the content i have to offer slips closer to the low end of our mediocre - generalists are useful in the first stages of a knowledge project, but easily exposed as hacks later on! yet somehow - some of my strongest relationships in the last few years have been directly attributable to E2 + the unique brilliancies of its people. Can we be a diaspora if we were never really together? Who knows, but within our kaleidoscopic variety, there does seem to be a noderness that we can call on as one calls on family, close or distant. Even if it's totally invented or imagined, it's real and its effects can be seen.

Granted, we walk into gatherings looking for friends + similarities + wonderful people. If we walked into the street, perhaps, every day with these expectations, we would be besieged by friends & the multicolored gifts of selves. A local community might develop? But this is not the issue. The issue at hand is that we've chosen our people, they are scattered, we are everywhere, and everywhere full of longing and love. Sometimes great respect develops, or awe - sometimes jovial familiarity (though these are not exclusive). We have had our crises, affairs, feuds and marriages.

Now i'm no theologian nor great believer in the institution of marriage (as spiritual, social, or legal phenomenon). However, as an anthropology student, i am a great believer in the power of ritual & symbolism & groupness. This event, however tossed off, however full of satire, was witnessed to. Though not man & wife in any traditional sense of the word (that i'm aware of!) - we are something. I intend to wear (or carry somehow, until i can make it fit) yr ring and know that i will (as ever, really) do anything i can for you - but now our people know it too. And i think, i think, that brings them closer to each other as well, in some intangible way.

What for? Well, i can't say. Have you read Vonnegut's Slapstick? His final president of the U.S., while ineffectual in every other way, gives the ever-lonely American people the gift of family by assigning everyone a new middle name - so every Daffodil-12 might find home + help wherever he goes - just find another Daffodil-12.

I do not doubt that each of us is lonely. More people i know than seems possible are depressed, are trapped, are collapsing into themselves or bearing up under unbelievable burdens of heartache or weariness. We've stopped short of assigning ourselves new legal names (otherwise imagine how quickly we'd be pinpointed as cranks and cultists!)* but it must be something other than the booze that brings us far, on the brinks of our selves, our sleeplessness, our social ability, and makes us fall in love with the idea of this family & with each other.

Don't you go telling me i got the short end of this deal. Though i don't know if this means i will see you more, it means you know i wish i could. You are unlike anyone i know, an infinite-cracker gem (who needs karats?). While it's true that this could be said of several noders, other prized friends, i think we have an understanding. Though we don't really write anymore (so my explanation of the site flies out the window), we're still a part of all this and each other. Huzzah.

` - - . . . - - '

Tomorrow - i'll be cramped from sleeping on a pew. I'll take the MAX train home from the airport, walk into the house, drop my things. I'll be tempted to sleep, but instead i'll shower. It's all planned out.

I don't know who'll be home or if i'll have chewed the big bites of experience from this weekend enough to speak about them - perhaps i'll be elusive + taciturn. Maybe i'll be at ease + speak freely. At any rate, i'll walk off again to work.

The city is full of flowers. It may rain but it won't matter. Gardens reach over the sidewalk and i'd hug them if i could. I made new friends this weekend and they amaze me like new growth does. Contact with my old friends leaves something of itself with me, as when walking i rub my hand over the rosemary that grows into the walk.

We, when moved by great emotion, evaporate.
Does the air we dissolve into taste of us, then?
*
The chapel is no longer empty.

Luckily, they've stopped talking - stranded and sleepy travellers like myself. I think i'll lie down and see what happens.

You never know until you try.

The sounds in this airport at 1 am remind me of giant living machinery. Of the imagination of the Chief in One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest - machinery, peopled by babbles & shrieks of the insane. How homey. But liminal - travelling from place to place, making themselves, dispersing themselves. This is industry of identity. This is losing onseself in the middle of the country. This is liminality and ambient noise.

This ring fits better on my thumb but i'm stubborn.


* Of course, the next day as i type i realize we do give ourselves new names. It had been a long day. We do not, however, rename ourselves out of context. Context is everything! Have a good night.

Walking to the park with the sculpture of the giant dominoes. I'm trying to be witty,
placebo effect,
or the early signs of my impending trip?
Rule 0: Cars are real.
Rule 1: Cars can hurt you.
Rule 2: Giant toasters the size of cars are cars. See rule 1.

They have swings at the park. Matt, you're a genius. Mike is paranoid.
Didn't we come here to play some game? Football?
How bout Calvinball? You make up the rules as you go.
As the people walk by. Groove with it,
relax, we should be freaking people out. What are you staring at,
that's what I should have said.
Holy crap a dog! It's mouth looks huge, and is it puffing out its chest?
He knows, he can sense it. Don't bite me.
It's time to go back, lets go back. Lets walk in the grass. Lets dance.
A face in the shadows and light, a mouth the drainpipe into a ditch.
Everybody sees it, but we try not to.
Are you still dancing? Yes, lets do sound poetry.
Ommmmmmmmmmm. Out of the park.
The neighborhood was in space, a tiny section of planet, with light coming from the flipside.
That man is a skeleton, why is he grinning at me? Why am I grinning at him?
Act normal, act normal. Don't act normal.
The street, oh my god. Remember the rules. Walk faster.
Apartments! Too many people! Hurry, inside, people are around.
I forgot to dance, I've been walking this whole time.
Music! Now! Floored, all of us. The comfortablist feeling in the world.
Outside for nicotine. This feels great. Look at that, do it again, blow the smoke furthur.
People are about, but I'm just having a cigarette, nothing funny about that.
Come closer so I can freak you out.
I'm experiencing the tree. Look Neil, try this, you can see all the layers,
there's so many of them.
Stop being paranoid Mike! Yeah, thanks.
I don't want to move. Come on, lets go back inside.
Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Are you filming? Oh shit! I am filming.
I want my guitar. Now play it like a sitar.
I don't want the tv on. Why are they on a bus? We're all on a bus.
It's catwoman. Bam! Ka-pow! This is so colorful.
I think it's time to smoke. Neil rolls a joint, it's pretty bad.
Pizza! Pizza! Pizza! What the hell just happened? Somebody order a pizza!
Calm down Ryan.
I have pizza, let's make a journey.
Now that we've eaten the pizza, what's next?
Last time

We got up early this morning and ate a brisk breakfast. Then we packed our bags and set out in a more or less dead straight line west-north-west towards the Channel ports. Our intention was to go by as direct a route as possible, while visiting two cemeteries where members of my family who died in the First World War are commemorated. Our route brought us onto what is presumably a Roman road, running in a dead straight line through Cambrai and la Capelle on the way to Arras. We didn't actually go all the way to Arras, as our first stop was at Vis-en-Artois British military cemetery. Despite the name, this graveyard is not in Vis-en-Artois, but in the neighbouring village of Haucourt. The relative of my father whose memorial we had come to see went missing in action, and so no grave in the vast cemetery bore his name. He may lie there though, for all we know, because many of the gravestones simply read:

A SOLIDER OF THE GREAT WAR

KNOWN UNTO GOD

At the back of the cemetery, beyond the hundreds of graves, is a white stone wall, with two large pylons set in it. From the road, the wall appears unmarked, but by the time one has walked two-thirds of the way through the graveyard, it becomes apparent that it is not. Every major vertical surface of the monument is covered in names, carved in letters two inches high, and closely packed. This is not even one of the great, famous memorials to the missing, like that at Thiepval or the Menin Gate at Ypres. Yet thousands of names are inscribed on it, each one a solider - or a seaman, like my relation - who went into battle and was never seen again.

Our second stop was at Béthune, where my grandfather's adoptive father is buried in the town cemetery, along with many others who died in the military hospital there. It took us a while to find the cemetery, since the directions we'd got from the Commonwealth War Graves website had been originally written in about 1920. We asked at the local bakery, but none of the four or five employees seemed to know the location of their town's large public cemetery. Eventually, we figured it out using a map in a bus shelter. The cemetery turned out to be so close to the bakery, the staff could have walked down there in a coffee break. The war graves were at the far end, past rank after rank of polished grey headstones with gold lettering, ostentatious family tombs with colour pictures, and several gothic mausoleums with plate-glass patio doors. It was almost a relief to reach the simplicity of the military section. The majority of those buried there - several thousand - were British, but there were also considerable numbers of French, and some German soldiers. Among the British dead were several Hindus, with distinctive bilingual headstones, and both French and British areas included several Muslims. One British officer had been Jewish. We found the grave we were looking for among the rows of similar, but far from identical British army headstones, each one carved with a regimental badge. After a few moments' reflection, we headed back, pausing by the memorial columbarium designed by Edwin Lutyens to look in the register. 'Died of wounds' said most of the records, including the one for the grave we had seen. We wondered if it was better to die slowly 'of wounds', but with some form of care, or suddenly on the battlefield. There is not easy answer.

Then we went on, to the Channel Tunnel terminal at Coquelles, near Calais. We spent our last Euros on brie salad sanwiches, which we ate on the train. The weather was not good, and we wondered what would happen to my brother's school trip, who were returning from Flanders by ferry at about the same time. Once we had got home and had a little dinner, we got an answer. They had been delayed by the high winds, and would be two hours late. This left us somewhat at a loose end for the next couple of hours, and I decided to read my email and log onto E2 after four days' absence. I was much too tired to node, however, and had work the next morning, which is why these four daylogs are so late.

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