Don’t Call Me Lunatic. Fag. Slut. Old. Depressed. Or … ANYTHING. Wait.

Me. Seven p.m. last evening: Unable to draw a deep breath.

In my panic and solitude, I reached out to a few people, all of whom were having their own issues. So, I un-reached and tried to distract myself in the Twitterverse where National Geographic writ digital-small pictures clued me in that it was the occasion of the Harvest/Supermoon. That explained it.

Years ago during my long-haired, wandering, table-waiting, drug-taking phase (well, the first) a friend who had re-named herself for the Angel Gabriel and collected the lost and the lonely and the looking, diagnosed me as a Lunatic. She meant it in the Latin sense, as a compliment, that I was sensitive to the phases of the moon and like a werewolf, when the celestial orb was full-on-reflecting the light of the hidden night sun, it was my nature to become a wild thing, not of the furred and clawed and bestial variety, but rather, someone whose emotions must bubble and burst passionately, raging through the thin layer of socialization and culturally-approved, controlled behavior I’d managed to cultivate exposing an impetuosity, an unrestrained urgency of need and lust and anger and desire, all demanding to be expressed, released, for, if not, the force of them would devour me from within.

Yes. Often. And not just during certain phases of the moon. I am impassioned. Perhaps perfervid. Maybe, sometimes, melodramatic. Too fiery and fiercely engaged for my own good. But, yesterday? Look at the world.

The debacle of the NFL’s ridiculously inadequate, near-non-response to Ray Rice’s assault until a video of the actual punch emerges. The NCAA reinstating Penn State’s post-season privileges and scholarships while the child-rape victims of Sandusky/Paterno/the entire athletic department of Penn State continue to suffer. Mike Brown was murdered in Ferguson a month ago and still no justice. War and killing and hatred exploding all over the globe. It’s a wonder anyone can breathe. Lunatic or not.

But some have suggested I am crazy. Some have suggested I take medication to dull my reactions to the world around me. I am not a lunatic. I am a Lunatic. And that’s mine to use, not yours to label and cage and dismiss me. I am not that simple to define.

Which brings me to the Washington Post’s article about Grindr and its locator glitch and its corporate disdain – or, as the WaPo called it; “lack of empathy” for its users. [Read the article here.] Listen, I’ve no doubt that Grindr – gay owned or not – is like nearly every other corporation in the world and completely unconcerned with actual human beings: We are nothing more than clicks and bytes in financial metrics, expendable and disposable except to the degree we improve the profit margin.

That said, Grindr’s dismissal of concern for its users is as NOTHING compared to its users lack of compassion for, communion with, and recognition of the humanity of one another.

Ridiculous as it sounds, I got on Grindr as research for a mystery-cozy novel I was trying to write during that period when I was sure I could do something other than literary fiction and snarky blogging. I was appalled. I remain appalled. The prevalence of discriminatory and hateful “isms” proudly pronounced by the app users is extremely confusing to me.

  • “whites only – not racist just a preference”
  • “no creepy old guys”
  • “masculine only”

And that’s just the beginning. Here’s the thing; I have a type too. I’m not going to go into it because even the most casual reader of this blog would know by now that my disastrously bad taste in romantic partners – well, in MOST cases – in people in general – has resulted in what some have termed my “depression” (more about that later) but, I like to think of myself as the sort of person who is attracted to the SOUL of another, the shine of their Light, the depth of their Love, and that I don’t discriminate.

But, I do. I mean, let’s start with the fact that no matter how beautiful a soul, bright a light, and deep a love, I am not physically attracted to women. So, does that make me heterophobic? Also, as a general rule, I prefer younger men. Does that make me ageist? I am also, usually, attracted to men who are not terribly bright. Does that make me – Calvin Klein? Don’t know, but, it definitely ends up making me sad most often – neither here nor there – but, you know what I am saying. Don’t you?

Because I am confused. I was talking to another fellow who, unlike me, was very experienced with Grindr (and not a few other hook-up methods) and I remarked about how rude, cruel, judgmental and harsh were many of the users and he said, “That’s Frederick fags for you, and most of them are just that. Fags.”

Now, mind you, this was not a fellow anyone would mistake for John Wayne. Rather, this was a John of another stripe, as in, perhaps, Elton? To hear him label with such vehemence and vitriol a subset to which he – in the eyes of many (including, I suspect, himself) – no doubt did and had long belonged, was horrifying to me. I told him so. Nicely. “I don’t use that word, it’s way too loaded with self-hate and heteronormative judgment.”

He hasn’t spoken to me since. My truth was not his. Or, was not the one at which he wanted to look. He had previously judged me because I was too terrified to hook-up through Grindr and other on-line methods. He thought that was self-hate and fear. Maybe it was. By the same token, my social-sexual life he deemed inadequate to the point of asceticism would be – and has been – labelled by others I know as wanton and profligate, making me a Slut.I try not to think about that. Dichotomy. Truth. Someone’s truth. The truth of my various, multiple realities and communities.

The truth about those communities -to one degree or another I am judged as having failed, as being not quite enough or too much, in all of them. Truth?

Well, see there? It seem I have lots of inconvenient and unattractive truths at which I would rather not gaze this late in life.

But, damn it all, like my emotions on the occasion of the full moon, these un-examined truths are now roiling and rising to my wrinkled “creepy old guy” not terribly “masculine only” surface and demanding I confront them or drown in my own lunacy – small “l” this time.

And here’s where I am with that, or, rather, this. Today. I am unable to determine when an attraction driven by pheromones – the Greek derivation of which is “impetus” – crosses the line into bigotry or discrimination. Is this a cultural determination? A function of evolution? Will we, one day, evolve to the point where there is only union/attraction between souls? No physical element?

Wait – that’s the Twitterverse. There I am already in love with and involved with many people I will never meet in person. The messy questions of whether or not we would enjoy one another in flagrante delicto is beside the point. There, I am not what I am (or have been called) here – Lunatic. Fag. Slut. Old Depressed. Repressed. Cruel. Crazy. Liar. Sucker. It goes on. And it includes the people who will read this and attribute it to what they call my depression – which I call a reasonable reaction to a fucked up world. But, like I said, the names keep coming. They do go on.

And on. But don’t. Don’t call me anything. Or, as is so often the case in my dating and authorial life, just don’t call me.

Damn that Harvest/SuperMoon. I shall be ever so happy when tonight has come. And gone.

Happy Tuesday, Lovies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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