So Obviously Alone

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    Jul 11, 2010 10:01 PM GMT
    This piece I bookmarked probably ten years ago but I think a lot of it holds true to what a lot of gay men feel today. Disconnected, unable to find anyone who stays around long enough to celebrate any holidays or even meet your family...

    I don't want to bring everyone down. I want to remind a lot of you that you are NOT alone!!






    So Obviously Alone
    July 1996

    Sam saw it on HBO. It was in a documentary called “Taxicab Confessions 6 ” where cab drivers pick up whom they would normally pick up only hidden cameras would film the passengers as they talked to the driver. And the driver was normal except really talkative and able to get people to say what they normally wouldn’t to a stranger.

    Sam had never seen the show or numbers one through five because he didn’t have cable at his mom’s house in LA. But, he couldn’t stop watching it. He hoped it would go on all night even though with every minute he sat his anxiety grew. He wasn’t supposed to be up; he was being a bad guest. He was into the third night of an eight-night visit to his sister’s apartment in Sacramento. It was past two o'clock and any sound he made could wake his sister and her boyfriend asleep in the next room. So, he sat as close to the TV as possible and adjusted it so it would make the quietest whisper possible. He watched candid conversation after candid conversation cut together with lurid shots of erotic events in Las Vegas. Then a single young man got in the cab and started talking. As soon as that Sam heard the bad news he’d been waiting his whole life to hear: “Gay men always feel lonely.”

    He wasn’t shocked; it was almost a relief to hear. It was the multi-layered explanation to why just realizing he was going to be gay wasn’t good enough. Coming out was not good enough. He had figured out he was gay himself and that he needed to tell other people, himself. But hearing that he would be lonely his whole life was something he couldn’t figure out. It was, he’d guessed now, the subtext of all the concerns his mother had offered when he had come out. But the clarity of this new prediction gave words to what he now realized would be his plight, meaning to the endless suffering that began before he got to high school and was now getting worse. It even explained why the kids in his school were such dicks to him. It was the job of the world to make him lonely.

    The gay guy in the back of the cab was maybe the most effeminate, atypical example of a gay young man in the whole world. He sat in the taxicab tan, skinny and only wearing a black tank top and black jeans. He told the cab driver that he would sleep with different guys every night and then see them the next day and they wouldn’t even say hi. And he knew that he would be alone forever because he never gone to prom, would never have a wedding, have kids the way his mom wanted him to, never would be able to do any of the things that made it possible not to be lonely. Gay men always feel lonely, he said. And to Sam, it was sad but actually real, the truth. Truer than being gay and being OK with it was the fact that it meant he was supposed to be alone.

    The gay guy started describing what a gay bar was like in a low seductive voice. Sam leaned in and couldn’t make it out, so he upped the TV volume just slightly. As he did, his sister’s bedroom door cracked open so that a body could step out. His sister appeared in a man’s t-shirt and boxers. It was her good deed of the year to let her gay, misunderstood brother come stay with her for a while when she could, so she wasn’t about to get mad. She just whispered, “Sam?”

    “Yeah,” Sam turned and saw his sister in the glaring, uneven light of the TV. He was shaken but never so glad that he had decided not to jerk off. “Oh, I’m sorry, Gabby. I’m sorry.”

    “Shhhhh. No problem, Sam.”

    Sam turned the TV off. “I’m sorry I woke you,” he stage whispered.

    “You didn’t. Tim snores,” she said and cautiously stepping forward grateful that she couldn’t see what was going on in Sam’s midsection. “You were watching HBO?”

    “Yeah, that documentary with the taxicabs.”

    “Right, Taxicab Confessions. It’s Tim’s favorite show. We have them all on tape. You can watch them all if you want…”

    “Sure, tomorrow?”

    “I’m going to turn on a light,” Gabby said.

    “Sure.”

    Relieved by his quick reaction, she lit an old lamp and sat on the couch. Her eyes began to adjust.

    “Are we going to wake Tim up?” Sam asked, always trying to do anything he could to keep people from attacking him.

    “Nah. Not when he’s stoned.” To Sam every boyfriend his sister had had since she ran away from home five years ago was stoned all the time. Whenever he was around pot was everywhere. He was glad that he didn’t like the smell or he was sure that he would be an addict by now.

    ‘Which Taxicab Confessions was it?” his sister asked.

    “Oh a guy asked a girl to marry him, and a lesbian was in the cab with her mom, her grandma and her aunt…”

    “The white ladies?”

    “Yeah that one. That family was cool. The grandma said she would like her granddaughter’s girlfriend more if she wasn’t so good at hitting a golf ball.”

    “Yeah I liked that one. But it seemed like that girl’s dad was still being kinda a dick about her being a lesbian…”

    Sam nodded. Their dad was a kinda a dick too. The kin d of dad that doesn’t pay child support and promised things that he would never give them anyway since he was almost fifty and worked at a supermarket. He wasn’t mean but just a complete vacancy in their lives. When Gabby ran away she was only seventeen. She wasn’t running away from her dad but her mom.

    “Did that one you were watching have that gay guy by himself in it?” Gabby asked. Sam nodded. “That guy is so sad.”

    That comment choked Sam up. He knew exactly what she meant.

    “I know girls exactly like him,” Gabby said.

    “You do?”

    “Totally. That guy thinks he’s lonely cuz he’s gay. Lots of gay guys have long-term boyfriends, like Tim’s brother does. That gay guy reminded me of mom.”

    The thought gave Sam shudders. He shook his legs not wanting to think about it, “Really?”

    “Yeah. Guy to guy, always wondering why guys are so mean to her. It’s like Dr. Phil says: you teach people how to treat you. And mom always says to guys, make sure you treat me like shit.”

    Really Gabby didn’t know the half of it. Many guys had come and gone since she had left. Including a new step-dad that was constantly disappearing and reappearing. The last time he was around he had threatened their mom’s life, repeatedly. During the time that Gabby left guys would come around for a few days and then never seen again. She had left one night when her mom came home at four AM and yelled at Gabby for the house being a mess. Five years now and she had never been back to LA. She never would have called their house again if not for Sam. She said it was the only thing that she and her mother had in common.

    “It’s hard to think of Mom as lonely,” Sam said.

    “What about that guy? The guy on the show? He meets someone every night but he’s alone.”

    “So you don’t think it’s because he is gay?”

    Gabby shook her head. “You won’t turn out like that, Sam. Don’t worry.”

    To Sam her words felt so much less true than what the gay guy in the taxi had said. “Why not?” he said a little too loud.

    “Shhhh…” She leaned down to the floor. “Because I won’t let you,” she said lifting a bong with one hand and a lighter with the other to take a hit.
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    Jul 11, 2010 11:35 PM GMT
    Odd ending with the bong hit...
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    Jul 12, 2010 1:54 AM GMT
    We do teach people how to treat us, no doubt about that. Interesting entry, are you Sam?
  • thatonedude21

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    Jul 12, 2010 2:02 AM GMT
    good story icon_smile.gif, needed an something uplifting today.. bad day
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    Jul 12, 2010 2:05 AM GMT
    I'd love it if just once you could post something uplifting on these threads instead of how we will all die alone
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    Jul 12, 2010 2:16 AM GMT
    Sweet, so it's all hopeless! Good to know!
    icon_lol.gif
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    Jul 12, 2010 4:25 AM GMT
    I guess like most things this story is negative only if you want to take it that way. Maybe it's pointing to deeper realities that require one to read between the lines. Maybe it's point is talking about the dangers of confusing sex with companionship, or maybe the emptiness of choosing sex to fill a hole called loneliness and always coming up short in that endeavor. Or maybe there is even a deeper point. I have to say that lately I've been thinking a lot about the implications of the majority of facebook status updates. It occurs to me that more then ever the facebook generation has become a generation of selfish, narcissistic, insecure individuals, who would rather engage in the passive aggressive game of nasty facebook updates then confront the problems of life directly. Maybe it's these social trends that are leading to greater and greater loneliness, fewer and few long term relationships and more dissatisfaction then any generation in recent history. It seems more then ever it's hard to find real genuine guys that love and care about others, that are capable of empathizing with the feelings of others, and that are capable of considering the impact of their actions on others, and then actually giving a damn if they hurt other people or not. Without a sea change in mindset and a return to the values of caring about one another, doing our best to be a good person, thinking less of ourselves and more about others and our impact on other living beings, then I would say this generation might well become the loneliest in history. Or maybe I'm just reading to much into a miserable story...
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    Jul 12, 2010 11:12 PM GMT
    TheIStrat saidI'd love it if just once you could post something uplifting on these threads instead of how we will all die alone


    True. I've not been on here too long, but in looking back over other things you've written, I can only suggest you get some help. The feelings you express are valid, and they deserve to be heard. Seek help. You deserve to feel better about yourself. Only then can you begin to move toward meeting good people and if a relationship is what you want - you can learn the tools needed to strive for that. Seriously - seek help. If you need names of good professionals in your city, I've got them. Write to me. I want to see you happier.
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    Jul 14, 2010 2:25 AM GMT
    DuluthMN saidThis piece I bookmarked probably ten years ago but I think a lot of it holds true to what a lot of gay men feel today. Disconnected, unable to find anyone who stays around long enough to celebrate any holidays or even meet your family...

    I don't want to bring everyone down. I want to remind a lot of you that you are NOT alone!!






    So Obviously Alone
    July 1996

    Sam saw it on HBO. It was in a documentary called “Taxicab Confessions 6 ” where cab drivers pick up whom they would normally pick up only hidden cameras would film the passengers as they talked to the driver. And the driver was normal except really talkative and able to get people to say what they normally wouldn’t to a stranger.

    Sam had never seen the show or numbers one through five because he didn’t have cable at his mom’s house in LA. But, he couldn’t stop watching it. He hoped it would go on all night even though with every minute he sat his anxiety grew. He wasn’t supposed to be up; he was being a bad guest. He was into the third night of an eight-night visit to his sister’s apartment in Sacramento. It was past two o'clock and any sound he made could wake his sister and her boyfriend asleep in the next room. So, he sat as close to the TV as possible and adjusted it so it would make the quietest whisper possible. He watched candid conversation after candid conversation cut together with lurid shots of erotic events in Las Vegas. Then a single young man got in the cab and started talking. As soon as that Sam heard the bad news he’d been waiting his whole life to hear: “Gay men always feel lonely.”

    He wasn’t shocked; it was almost a relief to hear. It was the multi-layered explanation to why just realizing he was going to be gay wasn’t good enough. Coming out was not good enough. He had figured out he was gay himself and that he needed to tell other people, himself. But hearing that he would be lonely his whole life was something he couldn’t figure out. It was, he’d guessed now, the subtext of all the concerns his mother had offered when he had come out. But the clarity of this new prediction gave words to what he now realized would be his plight, meaning to the endless suffering that began before he got to high school and was now getting worse. It even explained why the kids in his school were such dicks to him. It was the job of the world to make him lonely.

    The gay guy in the back of the cab was maybe the most effeminate, atypical example of a gay young man in the whole world. He sat in the taxicab tan, skinny and only wearing a black tank top and black jeans. He told the cab driver that he would sleep with different guys every night and then see them the next day and they wouldn’t even say hi. And he knew that he would be alone forever because he never gone to prom, would never have a wedding, have kids the way his mom wanted him to, never would be able to do any of the things that made it possible not to be lonely. Gay men always feel lonely, he said. And to Sam, it was sad but actually real, the truth. Truer than being gay and being OK with it was the fact that it meant he was supposed to be alone.

    The gay guy started describing what a gay bar was like in a low seductive voice. Sam leaned in and couldn’t make it out, so he upped the TV volume just slightly. As he did, his sister’s bedroom door cracked open so that a body could step out. His sister appeared in a man’s t-shirt and boxers. It was her good deed of the year to let her gay, misunderstood brother come stay with her for a while when she could, so she wasn’t about to get mad. She just whispered, “Sam?”

    “Yeah,” Sam turned and saw his sister in the glaring, uneven light of the TV. He was shaken but never so glad that he had decided not to jerk off. “Oh, I’m sorry, Gabby. I’m sorry.”

    “Shhhhh. No problem, Sam.”

    Sam turned the TV off. “I’m sorry I woke you,” he stage whispered.

    “You didn’t. Tim snores,” she said and cautiously stepping forward grateful that she couldn’t see what was going on in Sam’s midsection. “You were watching HBO?”

    “Yeah, that documentary with the taxicabs.”

    “Right, Taxicab Confessions. It’s Tim’s favorite show. We have them all on tape. You can watch them all if you want…”

    “Sure, tomorrow?”

    “I’m going to turn on a light,” Gabby said.

    “Sure.”

    Relieved by his quick reaction, she lit an old lamp and sat on the couch. Her eyes began to adjust.

    “Are we going to wake Tim up?” Sam asked, always trying to do anything he could to keep people from attacking him.

    “Nah. Not when he’s stoned.” To Sam every boyfriend his sister had had since she ran away from home five years ago was stoned all the time. Whenever he was around pot was everywhere. He was glad that he didn’t like the smell or he was sure that he would be an addict by now.

    ‘Which Taxicab Confessions was it?” his sister asked.

    “Oh a guy asked a girl to marry him, and a lesbian was in the cab with her mom, her grandma and her aunt…”

    “The white ladies?”

    “Yeah that one. That family was cool. The grandma said she would like her granddaughter’s girlfriend more if she wasn’t so good at hitting a golf ball.”

    “Yeah I liked that one. But it seemed like that girl’s dad was still being kinda a dick about her being a lesbian…”

    Sam nodded. Their dad was a kinda a dick too. The kin d of dad that doesn’t pay child support and promised things that he would never give them anyway since he was almost fifty and worked at a supermarket. He wasn’t mean but just a complete vacancy in their lives. When Gabby ran away she was only seventeen. She wasn’t running away from her dad but her mom.

    “Did that one you were watching have that gay guy by himself in it?” Gabby asked. Sam nodded. “That guy is so sad.”

    That comment choked Sam up. He knew exactly what she meant.

    “I know girls exactly like him,” Gabby said.

    “You do?”

    “Totally. That guy thinks he’s lonely cuz he’s gay. Lots of gay guys have long-term boyfriends, like Tim’s brother does. That gay guy reminded me of mom.”

    The thought gave Sam shudders. He shook his legs not wanting to think about it, “Really?”

    “Yeah. Guy to guy, always wondering why guys are so mean to her. It’s like Dr. Phil says: you teach people how to treat you. And mom always says to guys, make sure you treat me like shit.”

    Really Gabby didn’t know the half of it. Many guys had come and gone since she had left. Including a new step-dad that was constantly disappearing and reappearing. The last time he was around he had threatened their mom’s life, repeatedly. During the time that Gabby left guys would come around for a few days and then never seen again. She had left one night when her mom came home at four AM and yelled at Gabby for the house being a mess. Five years now and she had never been back to LA. She never would have called their house again if not for Sam. She said it was the only thing that she and her mother had in common.

    “It’s hard to think of Mom as lonely,” Sam said.

    “What about that guy? The guy on the show? He meets someone every night but he’s alone.”

    “So you don’t think it’s because he is gay?”

    Gabby shook her head. “You won’t turn out like that, Sam. Don’t worry.”

    To Sam her words felt so much less true than what the gay guy in the taxi had said. “Why not?” he said a little too loud.

    “Shhhh…” She leaned down to the floor. “Because I won’t let you,” she said lifting a bong with one hand and a lighter with the other to take a hit.



    Dear DuluthMN! I always love your deep and thought provoking posts, and I also enjoy how YngHungSFSD so beautifully expressed the reality of loneliness, that the average single person knows and lives it everyday, and that sadly so many tend to sweep it under the rug by means of superficiality.


    Leandro ♥