Fear and Loathing

11 May

Too weird to live, too rare to die.

When

9 May

When Australia passes marriage equality I will have a loving girlfriend to celebrate with.

Just Friends

7 Apr

Advise me internet! I need you!

I haven’t posted in ages cause so many things have happened!

In order: the things:

  1. Discovered “I just want to be friends”
  2. Had heart broken
  3. Dropped out of Law School (after four weeks!)
  4. Went to sit on a beach up north
  5. Started looking for work

I have questions, many questions! If any of these things are your special subject please, jump on in there! I am very lost and very in need of advice!

 

Ok, Thing #1

Remember me talking about the smart, funny and beautiful Polly? (Did I mention she was half Italian!) Well, we had that coffee, and…ah… NOTHING happened. 

Explanation: we are sitting talking, I’m thinking ‘Oh My God, THIS IS NOT A DRILL, we would be an amazing couple, not only does she love every band/tv show/movie I love, not only does she hate Paul Henry/Dawn Porter/Tony Abbott as much as I do, not only all of these things… she is KIND!’. This has always been my number uno criteria, I mean there are features I find more attractive than others (intelligence and green eyes!) But if you’re a dick, its a deal-breaker. Polly’s becoming a lawyer to change the world, AND SHE ABSOLUTELY WILL!

It has not escaped me that ‘bisexual’, has, in my experience, been code for ‘I want to experiment so later I can tell some horny football player I’ve hooked up with girls’. I start trying to drop hints, when we talk about ‘Girls’ (the TV show), I gush about how beautiful Jessa is, I allude to being in the closet, but coming out fast, I try every way I can think of to steer this conversation around to I LIKE GIRLS (not the TV show), DO YOU? To no avail. 

And then it comes: she says to me ‘I can tell we are going to be really good friends’. She gives me this look. I just made a great FRIEND. 

Now I value friendship, but SERIOUSLY!? I mean how many fucking friends does a gir need?! I suspect I may never truly get over Polly, but she has helped me take an important step out. Even though I had a bit of a cry, and a bit of a vent to Will, in true Polly-brilliance, I am not hurting (much), she was honest (when she was sober), and at the end of the day that’s the most I will ask of anyone. 

 

Now, we must go boldly forth to Thing #2

I’m on a boat. A booze cruise. A nautical-themed costume party booze cruise. I’m tipsy but not drunk, mostly cause I couldn’t afford it. I’m hanging out with a sort-of-group that comes and goes in drips and drabs. I’m on cloud nine because I’m out to every single person in this group. That’s not something I ever imagined being able to achieve so soon. 

In our group is Jamie, she is in a different stream to me and we have never met before tonight. 

Jamie is in a silk white dress with lacy gloves and pearls woven through her long, red hair. Drop. Dead. Gorgeous. We are dancing in a hot and claustrophobic cabin, as we lean in to take a group photo she kisses me. My knees go weak. We keep kissing. 

Eventually we go out and find a quiet place on deck. We talk in that flirty way where we don’t stop kissing, well…without sounding seedy…feeling, but at the same time finding out everything we can about each other. She tells me she’s gay, (not Bi, not questioning, but GAY!), that she speaks two different languages (Italian and German), and, most importantly, she would love to go out some time (like with me, like, on a date)! She gives me her number, I write my number with eyeliner on the back of her hand. We keep talking for ages, I can’t believe this is happening!!! If I had written this post then I would of been telling you how adorable our kids were going to be with her kick-ass genes.

Eventually we rejoin the group. We get separated, not difficult with two hundred-odd people dancing in one cabin. About an hour later one of the guys from the sort-of-group I didn’t really know, rejoins and says ‘Oh my god, Jay is hooking up with that second year guy, that one with the dreads’. 

‘Dreads‘ is not this guys most obvious identifier that night. We all look over and see that Jamie is making out with a guy LITERALLY DRESSED AS SEMEN! Suddenly I decide I can afford to get drunk. And I do. Get very drunk. Very drunk.  

The next day I get a text, Jamie is sorry if she hurt my feelings, maybe we could get the group from last night together and all go to the Uni bar sometime next week? I ignore her. For the moment at least, I’m done with putting myself out there. Sick of getting so high and then dropped, discarded and put down to a ‘there-was-this-one-time-at-band-campesque’ experience. I mean fucking hell, sometimes I get so lonely, I feel isolated and maybe thats made me jump the gun on a few things, but I just need someone, is that s unreasonable? I’m convinced that everyone in Melbourne is as straight as Bob Katter, so I guess this is my life now; fleeting moments of human contact while someone ‘experiments’ with me?

 

I have to go now, so I will come in with a part two of my list of things which happened sometime soon.

So I Met This Girl…

11 Mar

A REAL LIFE GIRL. A GAY GIRL. WELL, A BI GIRL. BUT A GIRL. WHO FINDS ME ATTRACTIVE. AND KISSED ME. LOTS. 

 

Ok: Whole story time:

 

I’m a couple of weeks into my first year of Uni, and the law society has been putting on a tone of events for first years to get to know each other. So last Thursday there was a Pub Crawl down this very cool Melbourne street and I almost didn’t go cause I wouldn’t know anyone etc, etc but I DID! 

 

I vaguely knew that Sara, a girl I met on O Week, was going to be there so I thought to myself; ‘ok Jessie, its a brave new world and a free bar’ (free bars are my favourite thing) ‘time to throw yourself in the deep end’. So I get dressed and get on the train and then a tram and then I’m there. At the bar. With the girl inside. Not that I knew that yet. The bar is called Electric Ladyland, which I now think was a good omen.

I get in there and my first thought is ‘I hate this’. I rush to the bar and very slowly order a glass of wine. Buying time before I make my premature escape. THen I get a tap on the shoulder. Sara has arrived. I think she got a head start on the wine drinking at home; she hugs me; ‘I’m so glad you came’, she says, ‘This is Polly, she’s getting drunk with us tonight’ 

 

Polly. Polly is beautiful. She has this mass of messy brown hair, rosy red lips and legs you could poke an eye out with. Everything about her is confident, she has this sarcastic smile (maybe cause my jaw hit the floor) and she holds her wine glass in this loose, airy way like 40’s movie stars hold cigarette holders. I don’t know why but best of all is this little crook on her nose, jutting it just that little bit off-centre giving her whole face this permanently cheeky look.

 

Sara is determined to have a good time tonight, we are essentially strangers but she is pouring wine down my throat like she just found me starving in the desert. There is now a group of five of us. All five distinctly tipsy and the conversation turns to dating. We’re teenage girls, what else! Sara’s railing against high-maintenance boyfriends and without even thinking about it I chime in; ‘you think boys are bad, you should try dating girls, fucking prima donnas’ (bit of a fib, haven’t dated, unless random hookups count but in that moment I was so sick of faking even the slightest interest in boys that this felt like the lesser lie) all four laugh and each admit to being a little high maintenance themselves. Polly looks at me’ ‘you’ve tried it then? With a girl?’ I respond, without skipping a bet or a second thought, ‘Well I’m gay, so yeah’.

 

I just said it. Like the most comfortable thing in the world. Like I had told a million people before. And NOTHING happened. We went on to the next bar, buying each other vodka shot after shot, then the next bar. Then the next. We are all piled into a booth practically on top of each other. Polly and I have been talking. Our faces are very close together. Out of nowhere she tells me she’s bi. I touch her face. She kisses me. I kiss her.

 

It was wonderful. For the next few hours we are all over each other. Not just in an oohh touchy way either. She’s sitting on my knee while we joke around with the others, we are pecking each other the same way you see couples who have been together for ages do. It felt so right. So comfortable. So perfect.

 

The time of night came when I had to catch the last train home. Polly asks me to come home with her. I know I can’t, I have Uni in 7 hours, not to mention the fact I’m going away for the long weekend. I leave with her phone number and a promised call on Monday. She called me two hours ago. We are meeting up for coffee on Thursday!

 

I didn’t think something like this would happen to someone like me. I had made my peace with that. And then Polly came along. I’m nervous. I feel like I have everything invested in this going well. I know every girl who has ever told me she was bi has had her eye on some guy as she’s been kissing me. But Polly makes me feel safe. Does anyone have any advise? I can’t stuff this up. I’m so worried she’s going to realise I’m boring, and introverted and nerdy. That she only likes drunk Jessie. What if I can’t think of anything to say? Or I just talk about school the whole time. Or I never stop talking and say stupid stuff.

 

No matter how nervous I am I’m also on cloud nine. New beginnings people. New leaves. Time for everyone to start meeting ‘out’ Jessie!

I Don’t Believe You

24 Feb

Does anyone else find this? That people assume your being a lesbian is a ‘phase’ as stupid and transient as your ‘I’m gonna wear a cool hat’ phase? What did you do to convince them otherwise?

My absolute best friend in the world doesn’t know I’m gay. But maybe she should. She is my person, and I’m hers. We are totally safe with each other, we ask each other things we would be too embarrassed to type into Google, do things we would never do without the other by our side, we have adventures and make mistakes together. And we tell each other everything.

But she doesn’t know I’m gay.

I have never been able to tell her sober. What we have is not something I’m strong enough to risk. Intoxicated, however, is another story.

Long before that awkward night I told William my secret I was at another friend’s house. A big girls night in. The four of us bonded at school over our distinctive brands of weirdness; weirdness was a trial at a school such as ours and to unwind nights of weed and tequila shots were not uncommon. They always started out with such promise but as usual this night had ended with the pungent smell of vomit through the whole house; two of us too wasted to care, the other two lying outside in the grass and mud, getting too wasted to care.

Tonight Kat and I were lying in the grass, drinking against our better judgement. When I get to a certain point of intoxication all that fills my head is a need to come out. Something about alcohol makes me feel so very lonely and so very brave at the same time. Not a good combo.

Silence fell and I decided this was the time, if I couldn’t tell Kat, who could I tell? The anticipation of saying the words I had only ever said to myself was like an adrenaline rush. The countless toxins coursing through my system were egging me on and finally I did it, well, I sort of did it.

ME: Hey Kat,

KAT: Yeah?

ME: I’m gay.

KAT: No your not.

Oh. To be honest all the versions of that conversation I had in my head that wasn’t one of them. I was shattered. I threw up, my whole body was shaking, I felt like an invisible somebody was squeezing and squeezing my head while somebody else was sitting on my chest. In the morning Kat didn’t say a word. I still don’t know if she even remembers. I never mentioned it again.

For a long time after that night I thought she had reacted that way because she couldn’t stand that her best friend was a lesbian. Now I’m less sure.

There aren’t too many lesbians in popular culture. Especially not in Australia. Any lesbian relationships on TV tend to be a one-off, resigned to the ‘there was this one time at band camp…’ category of hook ups. In the real world when two girls who make out at a party they always have an eye on a boy watching. Alternatively it is the phase white, middle-class girls have when they decide privilege isn’t cool. In real life and in TV-land being a lesbian is a passing phase, something you decide to do and then ‘get over’. Its not the same for guys. No man has ever come out of the closet and been treated with skepticism. It feels like a whole new generation of sexism.

I couldn’t stand that happening ever again. Baring my soul, then to be called a liar. I don’t want to be this way, this isn’t fun or easy or any kind of statement. But I can’t hate Kat for assuming it is. I spent too many years hoping I was just having one of those phases people have on Home and Away whenever ratings are down to hate anyone for assuming thats what this is. It doesn’t make me feel less alone though.

Does anyone else find this? That people assume your being a lesbian is a ‘phase’ as stupid and transient as your ‘I’m gonna wear a cool hat’ phase? What did you do to convince them otherwise?

Contra Mundum

17 Feb

In the summer of last year I read Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh and it changed everything. Somehow I expect that the message I got from this book was not the same one Waugh intended, nor what literary critics would say was right, but I became totally entranced by my interpretation. Anyone who has read Brideshead may doubt the wisdom of this but I now count Sebastian Flyte along with Ida Arnold and Billy Pilgrim as one of my personal literary heroes.

Sebastian draws his strength from being an outsider. At Oxford, when we meet him, he is at his prime, he has essentially relinquished his responsibility to his strict Catholic family, and this frees him for the first time to act with social impunity. His downfall begins whenever he attempts to discard his role of outsider. As his days of freedom slip away he becomes increasingly trapped and falls to alcoholism. At this, almost his lowest point he asks his friend, his unrequited love and our protagonist, Charles Ryder whether its still; ‘you and I, contra mundum’?

Contra mudum, against the world.

For all of last year, the hardest year of my life, I would draw strength from those words, just like Sebastian tried to. When I felt so invisible at school it almost hurt I would scribble ‘contra mundum’ all over my page. When I was lying awake at night, so lonely I felt like I didn’t want to exist I would whisper my mantra over and over to myself; ‘contra mundum’.

Sebastian haunts me these days, he was so strong as the outsider. When that stopped being enough the pressure of a world that wouldn’t fit him became too much, and he was no longer an outsider, he was alone.

Somehow, to take the road more frequently travelled was the hardest thing Sebastian could have attempted, and I can’t bring myself to think it was the right thing.

I’m trying to learn from Sebastian, but I’m still not sure what lesson to take; I see the cautionary tale, but what am I supposed to be cautious of?

The tug between a place on the outside or the inside is always unclear but whichever way the threat is the same; ending up alone. Part of me yearns for a place on the inside, but really all I want is not to be alone; someone to share my life with. To take on life with me, contra mundum.

My Dream

11 Feb

Ok, so there is a fair bit of rambling here, but I would love to tell you guys about my dream so please feel free to skip to that bit (its second paragraph from the bottom)

So I officially enrolled in university today. Everything that could be done online (groan) had been done so I got on a train and then a bus and one hour later I was sitting in a real-life lecture theatre. Before I knew it I had a goofy-looking ID card in my hot little hand and a membership to the Law Library.

 

Finally. Law School was literally the only thing that got me through the last two years of high school. Fantasising about one day sitting in that lecture theatre helped drown out all the awfulness that came with being the weird, quite kid in class and now I have finally achieved my dream. I couldn’t be happier. Well…I shouldn’t be able to be happier.

 

This should be the great big pay-off. I’m free. I will probably never ever talk to Patrick or Barbra or Vicki again. Yet it seems my pathological desire to be liked takes over again. 

 

Something about law school had made me picture myself surrounded by young, alternative, motivated types. In my head it was going to easier to be out at Uni. That tiny little optimistic bit of me had me sitting next to the future love of my life on the first day. We would have bonded over the fact that neither of us know anybody and at the end of the day I would have sheepishly asked if she wanted to grab a coffee-cue: blossoming romance. Instead I’m sitting there next to some muscle-bound, tanned guy called Bret, or Brad or Chad or something and its like I’m back in high-school, barely holding up a conversation with some guy who is giving me this look like he’s the good samaritan because he talked to the strange-looking nervous girl and me not thinking cause all the thinking parts of my brain are going ‘shit, sound straight, he already knows your a geek, a teachers pet and a neurotic just don’t let him know your a lesbian’ or else ‘Oh god, just let this conversation go well, just let him think that maybe I’m not some alien or Data from Next Gen, then maybe you won’t have to feel so very small every time you step into a classroom’.

 

I sort of thought this blog would be half sorting through the past and half looking into the future. And zero whinging. This was not going to be another first-world-problems blog. But all I could think about today was how I kept promising myself that my other dream would come true. I keep reassuring myself that at the next stage of my life I would find the balls (excuse the irony) to come out, next time, next time. But now it just feels like waiting for Godot.

 

I want to tell you all about my dream: its this picture in my eye, as vivid as if I saw it just the other day. 

 

Its 15 years from now and I’m walking home from work, me and my wife live close to the city but I still take the train in everyday, like the extra time it takes creates a buffer zone from my home and the real world. We live in a small weatherboard house with a corrugated iron roof and a little verandah. When I get home my wife is sitting on a musty old couch that was already there when we moved in, fresh-faced from uni. The evening sun is in her eyes and she pours two glasses of wine as I fall down next to her. I slip off my shoes; thus shredding the last vestiges of my working day. She used to drape her arm around me, but these days its taken up holding our beautiful baby. We spend the rest of the evening the same way we spend every evening; just talking to each other and watching the world walk by. 

We do this every evening but for some reason, on this evening, I look over at the two loves of my life and tell them; ‘I couldn’t be happier’.

 

I can almost taste that image whenever I think about it, which is always, but something is stopping me from reaching out and grabbing it. Sitting in that lecture theatre today I realised that that girl on that verandah was the only thing I ever wanted, law was just some misguided theory about how to get it.