Naked and spectacular

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Es un mundo pequeño

I have always known what it feels like to be loved.  As a child my mother loved me and this was not the mundane love of sitcoms and romantic comedies; I knew that long before I had a language to express it.  I grew up in a land where my mother's love was not taken away from me so people on the other side of the world can drink coffee and eat bananas.  Rather, my mother was always at home when I finished school and the New Zealand government paid her a domestic purposes benefit to facilitate her love.  Every idea of love I was taught by Walt Disney and my Sunday school teachers was superseded by the true love I experienced every day of my life and I grew up with the truth that resounded throughout my entire body and so had little time for the truth that rattled around in my confused head.

Before she met my father, my mother was beaten by her husband, the man she was in love with and married, pregnant, at the age of 18.  It was 1968 and until then she had known only the love of her kind and gentle father and her two older brothers who would take her out and look after her.  She thought that a man should honour and protect a woman until she discovered a different type of love; a love that makes a woman beg her husband not to leave her after years of abuse.
My mother taught me that a man should not hit a woman.  My mother taught me that words like "cunt" are offensive to women and a nice boy like me should not use them.  While my other values slowly formed amidst the cultural noise I grew up surrounded by I knew in every cell of my body that a man should not hurt a woman.  I also knew that a man should not have sex with another man, which is the lesser evil of merely "disgusting".  So I wasn't entirely confident of what to do when my love starting swarming up from loins to my brain in swirling streams of desperate desire.  I was 11 years old.  I liked to kiss girls, but I liked to feel the presence of the body of the boys warm and thick beside me.  It was clear to me early that the rough dirty physical nature of my sexuality would be more appropriately aimed at boys than girls.

I have always been loved and it was true love when Bobby Bish and I dreamed about each others' naked flesh.  It was true love when my friend was older than me, sexually experienced, and we watched The Graduate together and my mother feared that we must be having sex but I was more scared than anybody of her sexuality.  It was true love when Jane and I found each other and she was 33 and I was 17 and she was married and I was virginous and we kissed for hours and found little or no context in which to express our love for one another and when we sat in the front seat of her car and she asked me what I wanted I couldn't tell her that I wanted to be inside her so I simply pulled her towards me in a directive manner and she said no because we don't have any condoms and now our love is just a memory held in the recesses of my body where apparently a great deal of love can be stored for many years.

I wonder about the love my mother stored in her flesh when after 35 years of trying to sustain love through heterosexual monogamy she told me, "I've always found women more attractive than men.  If I grew up when you grew up I probably would have called myself a lesbian.  But I chose men."  When I told her I "am" "gay" this is what she told me.  She knew before I did that this is how I would express myself in this life.  Eight years later I wander around staring at men and wanting to touch them and the ones I stare at are no longer 13 years old and my homosexuality is no longer a secret and yet still my desire is not being manifest as the physical act of love within heterosexual monogamy or homosexual promiscuity or by any other means.  I am as far away from marriage as I have ever been and I respect and honour women as much as I ever did and yet no woman holds me at night and draws me into her body and her vast abundance and I am not sure I want that, I'm not sure I would prefer a man to take into my mouth.

Perhaps it is too dangerous to fall in love with a woman because I know that falling in love is losing control and if I fall in love with a woman she may just accept me and I would be lost.  Perhaps it is safer to fall in love with men, especially men who don't know how to express themselves.  It is real love because I see the beauty inside of them and I understand why it does not come out.  I write stories about the blossoming of the hidden beauty inside of me and I pretend that my love will draw them out of their protective shell but the silent projection of my fantasies produces nothing but masturbation and confusion.  I would like to think that one day I will fall in love with some beautiful man at precisely the time in his life he decides he wants his beauty to be seen by the world.  I visualise some sort of committed relationship, kissing each other on the lips before we go to work, but I don't understand what monogamy is so I don't know how I will sustain it for the rest of my life.

Why is there so much silence at the core of all this cultural noise about sexuality?  Why do we make so many jokes when we can't even look each other in the eyes without filling the air with banal language vibrations?  What does it mean that only in the most loving and accepting places in our society am I allowed to expose my body as if I have nothing to be ashamed of and yet even in these places there is the unspoken certainty that if my penis becomes erect it also becomes inappropriate, even unacceptable?  I have the idea that other people have a more fluid experience of touching than I do, less uncertainty and tension around hugging or making love or wrestling naked in the mud but I am not sure because only my experience is recorded in my body.  I do know that every human being on this planet wants to be touched and to touch.

I imply that I am sad, and yet throughout my life I have witnessed my ability to express myself expand beyond limits I previously never conceived of.  It seems to me this process will continue and soon love will flow through me as effortlessly as the water I drink and it will cleanse me, taking with it all the impurities I have collected.  This effortless flow will transform the part of the universe in my vicinity with an aura of beauty the power of which is not yet imaginable.  Okay, I said, I'm no longer ashamed of my love for you.  Just because you are a man and you are beautiful and you probably consider yourself heterosexual does not mean you don't want to be touched.

My mother used to give me hugs that would fill my being with the certainty of love and security the memory of which has never left my body even though I can't remember in my brain what these hugs felt like.  One time I hugged her and I felt blood swell to my penis and I realised that the physical manifestations of love are not always straight forward.

And while I hunch over the keyboard attempting to say something meaningful about love to post for the entire planet to read I am interrupted by two naked little Estonian girls offering me milk and singing "It's a small world after all" in Spanish, saying more than I have in hours of typing.


Anonymous said...

nice one man. you write the most honesty on matters of sexuality iv yet encountered. and you are/were in estonia? i am glad that ur travels take you far, far far, is good. nick

Chris Kirk said...

I hope the honesty spreads around.

I passed through Estonia briefly in September, as I describe in Halfway to the Holy Land story; but that is completely unrelated to the fact that I am currently staying in Sydney with three generations of an Estonian family.