Sunday, October 6, 2013
In my head I am polyamorous. I say in my head because in real life I don’t even have a date on the horizon. But in my head, there’s more romance and slutty intrigue than a Jackie Collins paper back. There’s the guy in the canteen at Wits that puts the zest in my meals there. Just sitting in his proximity gives whatever I am munching on “flavour-flave”. The guy in a certain boutique shop at Rosebank mall who makes me wanna try on every item in the shop and ask him “how do I look?”, (to which he’d probably answer: “crazy”), there’s a few guys at Babylon Illovo and Babylon Centurion who inspire a certain kind of pelvic thrust and I even have a guy that I see in the health stores and restaurants in and around Greenside. I can’t buy anything vegan-friendly without wondering if I’ll see the “Greenside guy”. These are individuals that I don’t necessarily see every time I go to that venue, just on rare occasions, enough to make it a novelty and something to hope for, or look forward to. There’s the Cresta centre guy, the Majestic video shop on Gleneagles guy, the Killarney mall guy, the Woolies guy, and more than a few on Facebook that make me want to send them a “poke”… You get the picture. I may occasionally greet some of these gentlemen, but for the most part I hardly acknowledge their existence when I am around them. It’s enough of a thrill hoping to see them or bump into them, and just to be near them. I don’t actually want to get to know them and shatter the illusion and snatch them out of my fantasy and into the dreaded “friend-zone”. It’s a blessing and a curse that I make friends with people so quickly, so remaining distant keeps the illusion and the thrill intact without the danger of rejection or disappointment. These chaps add an extra motivation and/or thrill to popping out and picking up those soya sausages or a DVD or two, a way to spice up the mundane everyday ‘ins and outs’. I guess I could call them my “phantom-relationships”, it makes sense if I consider that I had an imaginary friend as a child, an imaginary boyfriend seems a natural progression. Imaginary boyfriends are a lot like pistachios, it’s neither easy nor necessary to have just one. There are many places and spaces in the world that I need motivation to fill. One of my favourite “phantom-boyfriends” is my gym crush. I see him three mornings a week. He is about my height but he doesn’t have long spider-monkey arms like me, he is nicely filled out and substantial. He has dark hair and stubble and beautiful thick eyebrows that canopy blue eyes that are always lost in murky thought. He is introverted and broody like Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. I’d love to pull a “Cathy” and haunt outside his bedroom window. He is also terminally straight. Whereas, I feel I sometimes waft around like a piece of fluff in the wind, his gait is like that off a smooth round rock rolling slowly down a gentle incline. Introspective and deeply private, he is irresistibly fascinating. After six months of observation I have begun to feel like Sir David Attenborough doing a National Geographic special on the strong, silent straight guy. It may sound stalkerish but, like a good scientist, I am very careful not to disturb my subject. Although I do know that he is aware of me. I only observe him with my peripheral vision and when he is fully clothed (out of respect). He is a fine specimen but he is more than just a quick thrill to me. I’m trying to understand what it is about him that is so captivating and the fact that he hardly speaks to anyone else and is always alone just fuels the flames of his mystery. I really like him. I suspect it is because he is the exact opposite of me. So many of my gay brothers date their exact replicas, but I have always been attracted to the “other”. I don’t have any hopes that he will one day turn to me in the weights section and ask me if I’m available to keep his back warm next winter. I’m not deluded. But my crush on him is mine to cherish. I savour it and enjoy how much easier it is to wake up and go to gym on certain mornings. Not everything in life has to be outcomes based. Sometimes the beauty of something is that it never really takes any form, other than in the fantastical world of the imagination. Some phantom things can make you substantially happy.