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  • It's 4:30 AM, and I've been crying all night.

    I started listening to episodes of This American Life sometime around midnight, and once I'm done writing this, I am going to watch Bowling For Columbine for the first time in a few years. Tonight's been a night for self imposed misery. What are the reasons?

    Well, I have always been morose. That should not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me, who has read my previous work, or who understands what it means to be American. It seems almost obligatory that if you live in this country, you have to hate everything. Hopes, dreams, ambitions, these are things that are written off as naivete. Faith in people is written off as idealism. We all know that the government sucks, that "the system", whatever that may be, sucks, that it is pointless to aim for the stars because nothing you ever do will make a difference. I can't imagine that you could find a single person in a crow of people who truly, honestly has never felt that the best they can hope for is a shitty desk job and a life of bills and obligatory species propagation.

    There is also the matter that I am on a new, far more terrifying leg of my journey out of the closet (shh, don't tell my friends). College has been an exploratory expedition into my sexuality on every front except the physical one. I spent my freshman year digging through the layers of delusion and repressed attraction to reach the conclusion that, yes, I am gay. But this has by no means solved my problem. If anything, being gay has forced me to confront myself even more, because now I have to go out there and /find/ someone. I am terrible at dating, I have never understood small talk or taking it slow. I am not interested in marriage now, and probably never will be unless some very drastic things happen, but I am also no interested in a series of short, contained bursts that only make sense as a whole. I want the whole. In winning my second writing contest (with the same story) and in making my plans for the future, I have found myself transformed from a person who just wanted to be with someone, to a person who suddenly has a great many standards. I suppose I would prefer an artist as a boyfriend, because my life revolves around art in so many ways that I don't think I could maintain a conversation otherwise. And I want someone who is as equally interested in living in the moment as I. But perhaps the most important thing is that I want someone who is willing to take charge. This aspect of myself was one of the first things that tipped me off to the possibility of being gay (or, rather, one of the first that I openly acknowledged). Sometimes I would like to be swept off my feet, but it is the job of the heterosexual man to do the sweeping in a typical relationship. I don't mind taking up the role, but I would also not mind switching places every once in a while. So these things are rattling around in my head as I sift through the menagerie of my thoughts, trying to find some semblance of motivation for finishing my book, for getting excited about this next semester, for continuing with online dating even though all attempts thus far have yielded utterly pathetic results.

    And then, of course, I am thinking of my mother, who has now been dead three years. Lately I've been struck by all the moments I'll never have with her, and one of those moments is coming out of the closet. I'd probably have done it by now, honestly. I know she'd be accepting of me, she even told me as much while she was alive. But that does not stop me from wishing for the conversation anyway.

    So of course, I go through the archives of This American Life and do what I've been meaning to do for months -listen. I find the show relevant to my recent interests, and am both heartened and depressed in knowing that I am not alone.

    Of course I am not alone. If everyone knows that it's pointless to try, then we're all together, aren't we? Which of course raises the possibility that, if we are all together... it isn't all that pointless to try after all.

    If there is anything OWS has accomplished thus far, it is opening the eyes of people like me who want to believe that they are not the only one who knows that the world is shit, and wants to change it, but doesn't know how.

    But then again, I've never believed that the world was shit. I'm surrounded by innumerable friends and family who buy into this idea wholesale, but I see too much good in people to think that it's the case. The idea of the 99% is actually a rather fitting metaphor for human communication as a whole. It only takes one person to ruin everything for the rest of us.
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