Justin's Life...

~ March 2001 ~

March 2, 2001 - Friday

It's Friday night, I'm sitting at home alone, and I'm so incredibly lonely I could scream... except I know it would change nothing. And I'm intelligent enough to know that only I can fix this situation, yet I'm completely without clue as to how to do so.

Thinking more about my recent obsession with The Mole, I realized yesterday that I was envious of the players because they were sharing the experience of the game. The last time I shared an experience with a group of people was in high school. Day in and day out, we went there, attended class, and shared a group master narrative. Yet for the past 7 years, I've only had experiences with individuals; there's been no master narrative. No group routine or group superscript has existed to guide our interactions.

Even tonight, walking around the El Cajon mall, I saw numerous kids and recalled how high school life had its own set of rules which gave the kids a common ground from which to build. Now, the most common characteristic I share with my friends is that we're gay. But the gay subset is a much smaller, more homogenous group than high school students in general. How does one get a large, diverse group of adults to have a shared master narrative? That's the part I don't know how to change.

And so, I'm lonely... but more confused than full of desperation.


March 5, 2001 - Monday

My bout of loneliness has long since passed, and while I have no doubt that it will return ere long, at present, my outlook is amazingly upbeat. This morning, in an attempt to get things further situated, I unpacked several boxes in my bedroom before heading on an hour long walk around the apartment complex. When I came back, I started working on actual projects to bring in some more money, and well, I'm just in a better mood.

Perhaps, too, it helped that I met two guys yesterday. And while unfortunately, my personality didn't especially mesh with either, the meetings themselves gave me hope that good friends are out there: It's just a matter of finding them.


March 6, 2001 - Tuesday

Meeting people via a personal ad online is a curious thing. On one hand, it's hard to gain any real insight about someone from a few e-mails, yet on the other, it's obvious when I won't eventually befriend the person writing me. The question then is why I feel compelled to meet the people I know I won't befriend?

Shouldn't it be obvious if the initial contact is lacking that spark? Shouldn't I just move on... yet doing so seems so rude. Sure, there are some on whom I have no clear verdict, but why do I feel compelled to meet those who I know I won't see more than one time. Perhaps it's because they seem so interested in meeting me. Perhaps it's some hidden masturbation of my ego. Yet does meeting someone to masturbate my ego make them or me the whore?

So, anyway, that's what I've been wondering today as I've been writing e-mail and answering the phone. At the very least, I'm having an attitude change of large proportions due to the meeting of new people. (I met another guy last night, and we did hit it off.)

So, that's it... nothing earth shattering. Just life.


March 9, 2001 - Friday

Last night, I hit my first discouraging discourtesy in meeting people online; being stood up.

The Plan: said guy would call me after he got off work last night at 7PM. At that time, we'd figure out where to meet for dinner.

The Actual: said guy called me after he got off work last night at 7:45PM. At that time, he said he was heading home and would give me a call when he got there in 10 or 15 minutes. I told him that Bryce had come over, so I had to take him home, but I would be back at my apartment in 30 minutes. I took Bryce home and returned to my apartment to find no messages on the machine. I called said guy's number and left a message there. I waited. I called said guy's number again and left my phone number, just in case he'd magically lost it. I waited. At sometime after 9PM, I called said guy's number a final third time and again left a message.

Then, at 9:45PM, two hours after he initially called, I was really starting to realize I'd been stood up, and I called Bryce, who was going to the hot tub at his apartment but said he would call me back when he returned. Forty five minutes or so later, Bryce called back to see if I'd heard from said guy. I had not. He asked if I wanted him to come over, and I responded that I'd like it: I didn't want to sit in my apartment alone eating nuked pizza.

So, Bryce came over... and I still never heard back from said guy.

The Moral: sometimes people make no sense whatsoever. Or rather, sometimes people don't deserve to breathe. Sure, that may sound harsh, but after a trial whereby he had no valid excuse, I'd have no problem convicting him of being held underwater for 90 seconds. (OK, OK, I couldn't kill him even though his worth on earth seems mighty low.)

But, seriously, not only did he stand me up, but he caused me to take Bryce home so I could go out with him. Had he just not called, I could have at least hung out with Bryce for the night. Why screw up my night any more than a regular "stand up"? Why call at 7:45PM to not call back? And if something DID happen, which I highly doubt, why didn't I get an e-mail or phone call yet? It's 9:21AM the next day. Surely, whatever happened, he could have contacted me by now.

But, at the very least, the night brought me a lot closer to Bryce. Bryce is an early-to-bed guy, but he drove over here and went to the restaurant with me while I had dinner. It was 11:30PM before I finished; it meant a lot to me that he was there. And when we returned to the apartment, I gave him a kiss good-bye (something I don't normally do) before walking him to his car. I'm so glad he's in my life.

So, who knows how to combat these things. As I remarked to David in Kentucky, perhaps I should start peopletoavoid.com


March 12, 2001 - Monday

Friday night, Bryce cooked dinner here at the apartment and afterwards, we watched a few home videos I'd found when unpacking. The whole viewing of times gone by made me a bit nostalgic, and Sunday morning, while Steve and Carlos were here for the weekend, I went to Costco to buy a digital video camera.

Later Sunday, as we were playing around with the camera, Bryce suggested that we each say one thing we liked and one thing we hated about the other. We proceeded around the room until it became Bryce's turn to talk about me: When he did, I almost got misty eyed at the genuine feelings he had for me... and later last night, after we'd dropped Steve and Carlos off at the airport, I felt amazingly close to him. I even gave him a hug, kissed him on the cheek, and told him I loved him. His reponse was, "I love you, too." and it just felt wonderful.

[ Modem RealVideo(TM) Download ] [ Modem RealVideo(TM) Download ] [ Mpeg Download (6 Megabytes) ]


March 17, 2001 - Saturday

It's rare when I'm surprised, and rarer still when that surprise is something good, yet with Bryce, I sit half baffled at the amazing friend, the best friend, I've found in him.

I mean, I was sure that when we stopped dating two weeks after we started, it would be the last I heard from him, yet now he's undeniably my best friend... and I love him in a way I haven't loved someone in nearly a decade.

Thursday evening, I was even talking to him about it and how it was an unfamiliar emotion for me. I feel so close to him, yet I don't want to be with him. Indeed, as I explained it to him: when he'd hung over me as I was sitting on the couch a few minutes earlier, our hands in each others' pushing against one another, I wanted to kiss him on the lips. Not in a sexual, open mouth, tongue sorta way, but just a sweet longer-than-a-peck, shorter-than-a-romantic-kiss kiss. And a few minutes after that, I did just that.

Thinking about it in detail, I realize it has some semblances of the relationship I had with Chris, the straight red head with whom I was in love in high school. I remember putting my hands in his mouth: It wasn't sexual, it was just something only I could do. And sure, it was immature and perhaps the kiss with Bryce was the more mature he's-gay-too extension of that bond, but I think it's the same bond. I was so incredibly happy back then with that bond I had with Chris. When I think about having that same bond with Bryce, it's just...AMAZING!!!


Got this picture of Bryce (taken last month) developed this week, too.


March 22, 2001 - Thursday

This week, Bryce spent most of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday with me. Indeed, he even spent the night here last night after we cooked dinner together and watched TV, but instead of being happy at how close we're becoming, of being taken with the fact that he loves me too, I'm left feeling incredibly alone because he's not here tonight.

I so miss having someone to come home to... and while Bryce doesn't provide the ultimate comfort I found after years being together with Larry, he does provide a comfort I very much need. This week, we went to the grocery store, we went to Blockbuster; we just hung out, and I even said something about how I could see him as my roommate. Heck, we even changed clothes after the beach without trying to hide our nakedness from one another. Yet one person is not enough.

I miss family. I miss my family I had with Larry and the kids, and I miss my family in Kentucky. Perhaps I'm all the lonelier because Bryce is with his family now. I am envious of him in that regard: He gets to go home nearly every weekend. I get to... stay here and continually try to make this "home." I'm making progress, developing my new "family," but it's a slow road.

When Bryce and I cooked dinner last night, we fixed biscuits and gravy. I cooked pork chops to get the requisite gravy fat, and eating them for dinner, I remembered just what a comfort food they are. They were familiar, homesy, something I'd eat in Kentucky, yet I'd never order them in a restaurant and can't recall the last time I cooked them myself. I'm trying to bring a bit of my family here in pictures, too.

And I'm meeting new people, trying to find those who can become part of my family, but it's a discouraging process. Of the eight or nine people I've met in the last three weeks, I'll likely see only one again. I've almost got my first dinner speech on autopilot. I know what questions to expect and have the answers "pre-packaged."

So, anyway, that's life as of late. Now I'm off to bed: It's 12:49AM and I'm rambling.


March 25, 2001 - Sunday

This past week, Dan called to tell me that he and his friends would be hanging out today at North Park, and if I wanted to come along or meet them there, they'd be near the volleyball nets. So, completely bored and craving real human interaction, I headed over to North Park to find several well-built gay guys playing volleyball, throwing footballs, and catching frisbees. A phone call to Dan, however, revealed that he had left the park a few minutes earlier, and so, were I to speak to anyone, it would be completely up to me.

I drove around the park twice before deciding to park my car and walk around the volleyball area on foot. I mean, I knew I'd have to start a conversation were one to happen and I knew that I'm completely inept at cold starting a conversation in a non-meet-someone scene (like a bar). But I parked the car, nevertheless, got out, and walked around the volleyball area.

One lap around the area then I walked back to my car, got in, and drove home, wishing I had the skills and courage to just start a conversation with a stranger.

I mean, the guys there were undoubtedly gay. We would have had that in common, but what could I have said that didn't sound cheesy? "Hi, I'm Justin" was much too direct: this wasn't a bar after all. And I didn't need to ask anyone if they needed players as it's been far too long since I last played volleyball to cold start a conversation AND play the game. And yet, by the time I got back to the apartment, I realized I could have said, "I know this is an odd question, but do you know Dan [Lastname]? I was supposed to meet him here this afternoon." It wasn't too cheesy, and it wasn't a total lie either. I was going to meet him there this afternoon; he'd simply already left.

So, anyway, I came back to the apartment and have been here ever since, racking my brain at how I can have some real life interaction. I will meet Dan and his friends there the next time they go, and as Bryce is out of town until next week, I might even meet them at their Tuesday night dinner, but I'd really like to do something tonight.

I do know, though, that I'm gonna get to the point where I don't sit here bored and alone (too often), and I do know that it takes time to make friends, but I know, without a doubt, that I'm gonna make it. And knowing that is a formidable spirit lifter.


March 28, 2001 - Wednesday

Today I read a response to my personal ad which began, "OK, so you're sitting down and probably bracing yourself for yet another psycho from PlanetOut. Perhaps I'll be the three legged man who tells you how wonderful our life together will be, once I get out of jail. Nah...that would be too mundane. :)"

I couldn't help but laugh to myself. It was funny... because it was true.

Even with my personal ad worded to specifically discourage misguided souls from responding, I've gotten innumerable responses which have left me wondering, "Is he that delusional?"

My ad, in its latest state reads:

Cute, Masc., & Out 25yo, New2SD

I moved to San Diego last month, and while I have a few close friends I knew before moving here, I'm looking to meet other koool guys in this neck of the woods. [ And who knows, if you're cool enough, we just might let you into our group. ;-) ]

Seriously, I'm a masculine cute 25 year old guy who happens to be gay... and I'm totally fine with that fact. I actually LIKE myself, and in my "normal guy who happens to be gay" life, my being gay isn't a big deal... it's just part of who I am. I don't do drag. I don't go to pride parades. Yet I don't date girls. I'm not bi, or curious, or in the closet. I'm gay... and masculine... and not a bear. Hard to imagine, I know. ;-)

Yet most of my friends are the same, and hopefully you are, too.

So... check out more picts at my website ( http://www.interactiveknight.com (tho I live in SD now) or http://www.justinslife.com/ ), then drop me a line. In order to get a response, you've got to include an e-mail address and have a picture yourself. (Sure, I've met guys who didn't look like their pictures, but I've NEVER had it go well where I met someone who didn't have a picture.) It should go without saying, too, that you need to make your response INTERESTING! If you're the type of guy who just sends out his stats, move on. I mean, if we seem to click, I'll want to meet before too long (as I'm not into online romances: they're just not real), but first there has to be some spark via e-mail.

Also, no offense, but if you're anything but an All American Boy Next Door, save yourself the e-mail: Again, from experience, I know the people with whom I hang.

Have a great day, and I look forward to hearing from ya!

-- Justin --

Yet I've gotten responses from Peru and responses like, "Im honest, reliable, confident, cute, trutworthy, and best of all a nice person lol. if u are interested just email me !" I've gotten responses in Spanish and responses telling me how the respondent is my perfect "straight acting" match, with "honey," "girlfriend," and "sweetie" written throughout the e-mail. And most common, I've gotten responses where the guy says he's "cute" but upon looking at his picture, I flinch at how amazingly ugly he is.

Are people really that delusional? I mean, my ad says I'm looking to make friends in San Diego: if you're in Peru, Mexico, Brazil, or anywhere outside of California, that's not San Diego. And, of course, I'd never want to meet someone who's honest, reliable, confident, cute, trustworthy, and a nice person. Shouldn't that be a given? Why should I have to e-mail back to say, "Yeah, gee George, I'd like to meet someone like that."

The responses in Spanish completely baffle me. If I were looking at personal ads in French, I'd respond in French. If the guy said he could read English, I'd write in English... but I surely wouldn't respond to a French personal ad in English.

And the e-mails from "straight acting" guys who are sassier than West Hollywood drag queens baffle me, too.

But, above all, who in the world has been telling all these guys that they're cute? STOP! I mean, I can be objective enough to determine that yeah, I'm cute. I can say that I'm cute and know that in most people's eyes, it's true, but I would never say I have a good body or a big dick. It's just not true. Yes, I've even heard that I have a "hot" body, that I'm at the appropriate weight, and that my dick is emphatically NOT small. But I'm conscious enough to know that that does not mean that most people would think that my body is "hot" or that my dick is big. Didn't anyone ever tell these people that they should know their strong points, own their weaknesses, and don't try to fool themselves or others?

And I know I sound bitter... but it's just like, damn, how much clearer can I be? It boggles the mind... and leaves me feeling guilty for not responding back, even though they clearly didn't meet the requirements of my ad.


When I started that last entry, I had intended on writing about the phenomenon of cute people only wanting to hang with cute people and how society looks down upon cute people being exclusive to one another when it comes to personal ads but accepts it as natural selection when the meetings are more random. But, having gotten that response to my ad and having it ring so true, I went with that instead. ( I mean, how did he know I was expecting another freak's response, especially considering that my ad was worded to avoid the freaks? If it's that prevalent, someone should certainly talk about it. )

So, anyway, my original point was that while I feel guilty that I don't want to hang out with ugly people, I don't think I'm alone in my thoughts. I know those thoughts are shared with Bryce to a strong degree and I know Steve holds similar feelings in at least a medium degree, yet if we all hold these opinions, why do we view them as being bad?

Cute people want cute friends the same way honest people want honest friends, yet why is there such a stigma with someone wanting only cute friends? Is it because honesty is a trait we think we can change whereas attractiveness is perceived to be the luck of the draw?

I don't know; I can only suppose, but I am sure that writing how I mainly only want to hang out with cute people, I feel like I'm confessing a sin.

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© 2001 Justin Clouse
Justin's Life...Justin's